Why Thorium? 8. Radioactive waste from a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors. A Limerick.

The nuclear waste meant for Yucca

would destine Nevada the sucka

But with Thorium we rid

us of waste that is hid

No need for that waste to be trucka!

Radioactive waste from an LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor)  decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years for U-235 based reactors. Initially LFTRs produce as much radioactivity as an U-235 based nuclear reactor, since fission converts mass to heat, but the decay products have a much shorter half-life. See the figure below.

Where is the storage for spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste now? Look at the map, it is scary.

And these are just the U.S. installations!

Many years ago I studied Engineering at Chalmers’ University in Sweden and I thought I would become a nuclear engineer. Sweden had at that time a peaceful heavy water based nuclear power program together with Canada and India. The advantage with heavy water as moderator is that it can use natural, un-enriched Uranium. One of the end products is of course Plutonium 239, the preferred material to make nuclear bombs, but it could also use Thorium, and the end product is then mostly Plutonium 238, used in space exploration, and we were dreaming big. One of the advantages of Thorium as fuel is that it produces about 0,01%  of trans-Uranium waste compared to Uranium as fuel. About that time the U.S. proposed we should abandon the heavy water program and switch to light water enriched Uranium based nuclear power. They would sell the enriched Uranium, and reprocess the spent fuel at cost. They also had the ideal final resting place for the radioactive waste products in Nevada. This was an offer the Swedish government could not refuse, at the height of the cold war. This was  in the 1960’s! India on the other hand did refuse, and they eventually got the nuclear bomb. Since that meant Sweden was never going to use Thorium as nuclear fuel, and I could not figure out how to get rid of all the radioactive waste products, I switched my attention back to control engineering.

.What did President Trump mean with innovative approaches?

Is this where Thorium comes in!? Thorium solves many problems with nuclear energy. Meanwhile the Biden administration and Congress keep hoarding nuclear waste in local storages.

Of the recorded temperature increase between 1980 and 2022, how much is attributable to CO2, and how much to other greenhouse gases?

By far, the strongest greenhouse gas is water vapor, not because it is very strong of itself, but it absorbs nearly all outgoing energy in the infrared spectrum except in the so called atmospheric window, where it only partially absorbs. Yet water vapor is missing from the IPCC AR6 chart seen here:

IPCC has consistently treated the effect of greenhouse gasses as additive, but it is impossible to absorb more than 100% of all emitted energy for a given wavelength. This leads to an overestimation of absorption when 2 or more gasses are present. For example, if CO2 absorbs 90% of available energy at 13 μm and water vapor another 50%, the sum is 90% + (1 -0.9} * 0.5 = 95%, not 140%

This will change the relative importance of greenhouse gasses drastically so it must be tested against reality. We now have a good global satellite temperature record from 1980 to 2022 or 43 years:

During this time the temperature rise was 0.5 C, which translates to 2.375 W/m2 ERF

Water vapor.

This is a good chart to see the relative importance of all major greenhouse gasses:

It is to be noted that water vapor also absorbs the incoming solar radiation in certain wavelengths, but solar influx is assumed to be constant.

When average temperature rises 0.5 C, the possible absorption rises by 2.375 W/m2 minus the energy that escapes through the atmospheric window.Water vapor through saturation: is responsible for all of this increase except where other gasses also absorb in the atmospheric window, and in the atmospheric window the absorption must be proportionally shared, subject to the 100% absorption limitation.The atmospheric window is about 26% of all the emitted radiation so net water absorption is 0.74 * 2.375 = 1.6 W.m2 or 0.34 C. However, the relative humidity is also decreasing, see picture:

Between 1980 and 2022 the net humidity increase is 3.6% minus 0.75% relative humidity for a net increase of 3.54%. This increase only matters in the atmospheric window which is on average 25% saturated, so the total increase from water vapor increase is 0.26 * 2.375 * 0.25 * 0.9925 = 0.15 W/m2 or 0.03 C., to be added to the total before increase in humidity.This means that for a 0.5C temperature increase between 1980 and 2022 the total sensitivity to water vapor is 1.75 W/m2 or 0.37 C

Carbon dioxide

CO2 is the strongest greenhouse gas after water vapor. The only wavelength band that is meaningful is 13 to 17.4 μm and absorption occurs from both CO2 and water vapor. Since they exist together, the effect of each of them must be proportionally allocated, or the sum of them added would exceed 100%

Between 1980 and 2022 the CO2 levels rose from 335 ppm to 415 ppm or 24% increase. The temperature increase 0.5 C. The net temperature increase or ERF in the 13 to 17.4 μm band is 0.035C or +0.17 W/m2 for the water vapor and 0.04C or +0.19 W/m2 for the CO2. To see how the calculation was made, go to Appendix 1.

Methane.

Methane gas is created from a variety of sources, both man made and natural. See pie chart

The good thing about methane is that its lifetime in the atmosphere is only 10 to 15 years, and the real contribution to climate change is only 1/5th of what is commonly advertised, since iits absorption bands occur together with partly saturated absorption from water vapor. See appendix 2.

In 1980 the CH4 concentration was 1.6 ppm and will be 2.0 ppm in 2022 which results in an increase of the greenhouse effect of 0.035 C or 0.17 W/m2 ERF from rising levels of Methane since 1980.

N2O.

Atmospheric N2O levels averaged 336 ppb (parts per billion) during 2022, about and was 301 ppb in 1980. It is a 300 times stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 by itself, because its absorption is not saturated in the atmosphere. When water vapor is dominant it is diminished by over 70% since it is at the edges of the Atmospheric window. For calculations see Appendix 3.

In 1980 the N2O concentration was 0.3 ppm which results in an increase of the greenhouse effect of 0.0065 C or 0.031 W/m2 ERF from rising levels of N2O since 1980 .

Ozone.

Ozone occurs as stratospheric O3 which is good. It protects us from uv radiation. O3 in the troposphere is considered harmful if it is over 0.08% It is normally around 0,01% in the troposphere. For calculations and figures, see appendix 4.

When the earth’s temperature rises by 0.5C, from 1980 to 2022, the amount of tropospheric O3 probably rises by 2% (Lacking good data I am guessing wildly, in urban areas it may be much more, but this is global average). This comes to 0.0034C temperature increase or 0.016 W/m2 ERF from O3, from 1980 to 2022.

CFC gasses.

CFC’s are cheap and efficient gasses to use in refrigerators and air conditioners.Their use rose rapidly until it was discovered they destroyed the protective ozone layer in the stratosphere, so its use, got banned in 1994, later diminished including its use in inhalers. CFCs has since diminished slowly and is maybe already below the levels in 1980. See also Appendix 5.

HFC gasses.

HFCs replaced CFCs and are rapidly growing in use, and the compressor seals still leak. For pictures on why they are a growing concern for the future, see Appendix 6.

The temperature increase from 1980 to 2022 was 0.0015 C or 0.007 W/m2 ERF.

Summary of all greenhouse effect causes for temperature rise from 1980 until 2022:

Effect from water vapor increase: 0.37 C or 1.75 W/m2; 80.9% of total

Effect from rising CO2: 0.04C or 0.19 W/m2; 8.78% of total

Effect from rising Methane: 0.036 C or 0.17 W/m2, 7.86% of total

Effect from rising N2O: 0.0065 C or 0.031 W/m2 1.4% of total

Effect from rising Ozone: 0.0034C or 0.016 W/m2 0.7% of total

Effect from rising HFCs : 0.0015 C or 0.007 W/m2 0.3% of total

TOTAL TEMPERATURE CHANGE 1980 to 2022: 0.4544C or 2.164 W/m2

Conclusion

CO2 amounts to less than 10% if the temperature increase since 1980, and so does Methane. The green new deal is a pipe dream that does not solve the climate problem, but will make it worse.the price of lithium carbonate used in batteries has risen sixteen-fold between 2020 and late 2022. Since then, it has dropped to one third of its peak price. China has corned the market in Lithium for now. There is not enough Lithium to be economically and ecologically justifiable to mine to meet demand in the future. Since solar and wind power are intermittent supplier of electricity they can never be used as base supplier of energy. Other solutions must be offered

Actions to be taken

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh last winter in some countries before subsides.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

Appendix 1, CO2

The following chart shows both CO2 and H2O are absorbing greenhouse gases, with H20 being the stronger greenhouse gas, absorbing over a much wider spectrum, and they overlap for the most part. But it also matters in what frequency ranges they absorb.

For this we will have to look at the frequency ranges of the incoming solar radiation and the outgoing black body radiation of the earth. It is the latter that causes the greenhouse effect. Take a look at this chart:

The red area represents the observed amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface. the white area under the red line represents radiation absorbed in the atmosphere. Likewise, the blue area represents the outgoing black body radiation that is not absorbed. The remaining white area under the magenta, blue or black line represents the retained absorbed energy that causes the greenhouse effect.

Let us now take a look at the Carbon Dioxide bands of absorption, at 2.7, 4.3 and 15 μm. Of them the 2.7 and 4.3 μm bands absorb where there is little black body radiation, the only band that counts is at 14.9 μm, and that is in a band where the black body radiation is near its maximum. Let us first consider the CO2 alone in a dry atmosphere, that is one with no water vapor at all. We will investigate the concentration of 335 ppm (in 1980) and 415 ppm (in 2022)

The very top line of the top black band represents total absorption at 415 ppm, the bottom of the black black band represents absorption at 335 ppm. Divide the frequency spectrum in 3 parts, below 14 μm, 14-16 μm, and above 16 μm, In the 13 to 14 μm band 66% of available energy is absorbed at 335 ppm, 70% at 415 ppm. in the 14 to 16 μm band 100% of available energy is absorbed at both 335 and 415 ppm. In the > 16 μm the numbers are also 66 and 70%. In addition, temperature is 0.5 C higher at 415 than at 335 ppm, so available energy is 0.7 % higher at 415 ppm.

The net result is greenhouse gas contribution for CO2 is 5.10 C at 335 ppm and 5.26 C at 415 ppm and 1.5C higher ambient temperature for a dry atmosphere.

The normal way to account for greenhouse gasses contribution is to simply add together the CO2 contribution and the contribution from water vapor. This leads to the wrong result for in doing so, the total result is more than 100% for some energy band, because it is impossible to add more than 100% of all available energy for a given wavelength. Again, the spectrum of interest is 13 to 17.4 μm.

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 μm wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 75%, the total sum is still 100%. It is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 μm all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The only fair way to allocate the absorption is proportionally, 57% to CO2 and 43% to water vapor. Likewise, the 13 to 14 μm band is not fully saturated, so the total absorption is 62% of available energy for CO2 and 33% for water vapor. In the 16 to 17.4 μm range the total absorption is 44% for CO2 and 55 % for water vapor. For CO2 at 335 ppm and average temp 13.5 C the total temperature rise, when proportionally allocated comes to 2.73 C for the CO2 and 2.30 C for the water vapor. For CO2 at 415 ppm and an average temp 0.5 C higher, at 14 C average the net temperature increase or ERF in the 13 to 17.4 μm band is 0.035C or +0.17 W/m2 for the water vapor and 0.04C or +0.19 W/m2 for the CO2.

Appendix 2, Methane

Atmospheric methane levels averaged 2.0 ppm (parts per million) during 2022, or around 25% greater than in 1980. It is a 28 times stronger greenhouse gas by itself unlike CO2, because its absorption is not saturated in the atmosphere. On the other hand the lifetime of Methane in the atmosphere is 10 to 15 years, some of the Methane eating bacteria will do its job. There is only one significant absorption band that absorbs in the atmospheric window at 7.7 μm, at the edge of the atmospheric window.

The picture shows a small peak at 7.7μm. This is because at lower wavelengths absorption from water vapor has nearly eliminated the CH4 contribution. Remember that total absorption can never exceed 100 %, so the maximum absorption from CH4 occurs at 7.7μm. At 1.6 ppm it amounts to a greenhouse effect of 0.68 C for a dry gas.

The only major absorption line at 7.7 μm has two side lobes, at 7.5 and 7.9 μm. In the 7.5 μm sideband water vapor already absorbs nearly all energy, so the NH4 is of little effect. In the 7.9 μm sideband water vapor is 50% saturated at that level and the NH4 net absorption is 20% the net greenhouse effect is one fifth of the effect for a dry gas, or 0.14 C. In 1980 the CH4 concentration was 1.6 ppm and will be 2.0 ppm in 2022 which results in an increase of the greenhouse effect of 0.035 C or 0.17 W/m2 ERF from rising levels of Methane since 1980

Appendix 3, N2O.

Atmospheric N2O levels averaged 336 ppb (parts per billion) during 2022, about and was 301 ppb in 1980. It is a 300 times stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 by itself, because its absorption is not saturated in the atmosphere. When water vapor is dominant it is diminished by over 70% since it is at the edges of the Atmospheric window. On the other hand the lifetime of N20 in the atmosphere is short and is typically greatest at 5 p.m. One of the major reasons for the N2O increase is the increase of fertilization with nitrates, the other is from diesel fumes from trains, boats, ships, trucks and mining equipment

The picture shows a double N2O peak at 7.4 and 7.8 μm. . At 0.336 ppm in 2022it amounts to a greenhouse effect of 0.325 C for a dry gas. In the 7.4 μm band water vapor is saturated, in the 7.8 μm band 80% is saturated by water vapor.In 1980 the N2O concentration was 0.3 ppm which results in an increase of the greenhouse effect of 0.0065 C or 0.031 W/m2 ERF from rising levels of N2O since 1980 .

N2O is commonly called laughing gas, and is hazardous in high concentrations, and should be limited in confined places, but in concentrations of under 1 ppm nobody laughs because of that.

Appendix 4, Ozone.

Ozone or 03 is good if it is in the stratosphere. There it helps to absorb the ultraviolet and cosmic rays from the sun and other cosmic radiation. Ozone is bad if it is near the ground. The total proportion of O3 in the troposphere is about 0.01 ppm, yet it is a substantial greenhouse gas because it forms by uv radiation in the stratosphere and mesosphere, and thus protecting us from uv damage. See figure:

The O3 in the troposphere on the other hand is bad. It is normally around 0.01 ppm, but is considered damaging if people are exposed to more than 0.08 ppm in an 8 hour period. This can happen in urban environments in warm and stagnant weather, typically through car traffic. It is a great greenhouse gas because its main absorption band is at 9.5 μm, right in the atmospheric window where the outgoing black body radiation is the greatest. See fig:

The dotted blue line at 9.5 μm represents the tropospheric absorption, the total absorption is between the brown and the solid blue line. The total greenhouse effect from O3 is 0.88C, but the stratosphere does not interact very much with the troposphere, so the stratospheric O3 does not count as a greenhouse gas, only tropospheric O3. The total contribution to the greenhouse effect from tropospheric O3 is about 1/5 of the total, because atmospheric O2 absorbs in the same band limits the temperature rise to 0.17C When the earth’s temperature rises by 0.5C, from 1980 to 2022, the amount of tropospheric O3 probably rises by 2% (Lacking good data I am guessing wildly, in urban areas it may be much more, but this is global average). This comes to 0.0035C temperature increase or 0.016 W/m2 ERF from O3, from 1980 to 2022.

Appendix 5, CFC gasses.

ChloroFluoroCarbon (CFC) gasses started to be manufactured at the beginning of the refrigeration age, replacing ice as the refrigerant. It soon appeared in the atmosphere, mostly due to leaks in the air conditioner compressor seals. It didn’t amount to much as a greenhouse gas even though it was five thousand times more efficient than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. It was discovered that CFCs ate up the Ozone in the stratosphere, and if it continued to increase it could deplete the protective Ozone layer faster than it could be produced. In fact it created an Ozone hole over Antarctica. So it got forbidden Jan 17, 1994, In 2020 even China stopped production. Since 1994 CFC are decreasing by about 1% per year, but cheating persisted, especially among poorer nations and China. By 2022 it will probably have a greenhouse effect of 0.01C or 0,05 W/m2 ERF.

Appendix 6, HFC gases.

CFC started to be phased out and replaced by HydroFluoroCarbons (HFC), less efficient and more expensive, but at least they do not deplete the Ozone layer that protects us from cancer. Some of the HFCs are even bigger greenhouse effect generators than CFC, but well worth it to protect the Ozone layer. Their biggest absorption bands are in the middle of the atmospheric window.

If nothing is done to control them they will increase from nothing in 1980 until 2022 and beyond. See fig: NOAA Research News

The temperature increase from 1980 to 2022 was 0.0014 C or 0.007 W/m2 ERF..

What will the global temperature be in 2050 if we implement all climate initiatives versus doing nothing to save the climate?

As a climate realist, this is a subject that has fascinated me since I was a child in my native Sweden and saw first hand the effect of the ice ages. We learnt in school that the climate was warmer during the age of the Littorina Sea (now the Baltic Sea) around 5,000 years ago, followed by the little ice age when the Baltic Sea froze over and the Swedish army in 1648 crossed the Danish Great Belt on ice and sacked Copenhagen. Since then the climate has gotten milder, some people are worried of a thermal runaway, others about a coming ice age.

I will try to observe and calculate where the temperature of our planet will be in 2050. I will use thermal equilibrium calculations assuming the earth is a black body where incoming radiation is in balance with outgoing radiation. This gives the best instantaneous results. It will also partly give the heating or cooling of lagging bodies such as the oceans.

1. The sun is getting warmer and will explode, but before that there will be a thermal runaway on earth.

Believe it or not, this is how Dr. James Lovelock started trying out to find when the earth’s self regulating ability would come to an end. This eventually lead to the GAIA hypothesis. It turns out that the sun gets brighter at a rate of just over 1% every 100 million years—Earth would suffer this “runaway greenhouse” in 600 million to 700 million years. In the next 27 years that would amount to a temperature increase of 0.000005C

2. The sun has gotten warmer the last 200 years, but we may now be entering the ‘Eddy Grand solar minimum’.

The sun reverses its magnetic field every 11 years or so. and the sunspot intensity varies with time. Every 400 years or so it enters a grand solar minimum and the resulting average global temperature is reduced by about 1C at the minimum. This grand solar minimum may have started in 2020 and will be accelerating, starting in 2025 and reach its minimum around 2070, after which the warming will resume.

3. The effect of the Milankovitch cycles.

We are near the end of the interglacial period, and from now on we will slowly enter a new ice age at a rate of – 1C per 2000 years.This means we are cooling down another 0.0135C by 2050

5. The greenhouse effect increase from now to 2050.

In ‘Of the total temperature rise from 1775 to 2050, how much is due to greenhouse gas increases, and how much is due to CO2 increase?‘ is answered how much temperature increase since the beginning of the industrial age until 2050. Temperature rise from greenhouse gasses from 1775 until now: 0.885 C Here is an estimate of the temperature rise from 2023 to 2050 if the current trends continue.

CO2 rises from 420 ppm to 460 ppm causes a temperature rise of 0.025 C

CH4 rises from 1.9 ppm to 223 ppm causes a temperature rise of 0.02C

Water vapor rises 2% with a 0.3 C abs temperature rise, Greenhouse rise 0.13 C

All other greenhouse gasses combined 0.029 C

Total temperature rise from greenhouse gasses the next 23 years: 0.165C if current trends continue and no action is taken.

But there are sources other than greenhouse gassed for temperature increases

6. The effect from decreasing cloud cover.

White = 100% cloud cover, Dark blue = o% cloud cover

This is a world map showing the average cloud cover in August 2009. It shows the cloud free areas of the earth in blue. Another way to look at it is to see how much total water vapor there is in the atmosphere:

Nowhere on earth can it rain out more than two inches without more humidity being transported in from another place. Over the ocean humidity gets replenished by evaporation, over land only areas that has vegetation or swamps or lakes will replenish humidity by evaporation. Keep these charts in mind for later. For now concentrate on the decreasing average cloud cover. It has only been measured for the last 40 years, but here are the results:

There are many different clouds, low, mid-level and high clouds, and they have changed differently over the same time span:

Of these clouds, the low level clouds are reflecting the most, so the 2.4% loss in average cloud cover is an assumption on the low side on the loss of reflection.

In 1984 the average cloud cover was 63.7%, in 2019, 35 years later it was 61.1%, a loss of 2.6%. over 35 years or 0.075% /year. This amounts to a loss of 1.7% from now until 2050 if the current trend holds. The total reflection from clouds and atmospheric scattering is 77 W/m2, of which 60 is from cloud reflection. A 1.7% loss of area of reflection leads to a decreasing of incoming energy of 60 * 0.017 = 1.03 W/m2. This results in a temperature increase to 287 * fourth root of (1 + (1.03 / 340)) = 287.21 K, or 0.21degree Celsius increase

When temperature increases by 0.21C water vapor increases by 1.25% on average; the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.3 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.09% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1+0.3/340) = 287.063 K, or 0.063 degree Celsius increase.

If this trend continues until 2050 the temperature rise from diminishing clouds will be 0.21 + 0.06 C = 0.27C

7. The effects from air and water pollution. . a. The warming of the Northern Arctic region.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that resulted in depositing its silt over large areas and thus fertilizing the land. The American Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilized the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down to Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the United States east of the 98th meridian. This also occurs in Northern Europe, especially in the North Sea; the rivers flowing into the North Sea are rich in nutrients. The Baltic Sea was near oxygen death, but after the Baltic countries and Poland joined the EU, their rivers got partially cleaned up. In the far East the Yellow Sea and the South China sea are suffering major pollution. All these regions produce more clouds, and through prevailing winds some end up in the Arctic, where they snow out, except in the Summer when they rain out except on Greenland where it snows 12 months of the year. This leads to increasing winter temperatures of about 5.5 C above the 80th latitude, 2.5 C in spring and fall and a decrease of about 0.5 C in the summer (it takes a long time to melt that extra snow). This affects about 4% of the earth’s surface, so the total temperature increase from over-fertilizing the rivers is 0.04 * 2.5 = 0.1 C. No such effect occurs in the Antarctic. To illustrate the current yearly temperature trend in the Arctic, see this current polar temperature chart:

Even more illustrative is the development of ice on Greenland. In 2012 it looked like all of Greenland was going to melt in less than 1000 years, and the polar ice cap would be gone altogether in late summer of 2020. The ice over Greenland is now growing ever so slightly again:

b. The effect of various air pollution.

This is a picture from IPCC AR4

The following picture is from IPCC AR5 showing 1750 to 2009

This is from IPCC AR6

These are three interesting charts, trying to explain warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gasses and other pollutants such as aerosols. It is expressed as W/m2 and a 1W/m2 energy absorption results in. a 0.21C temperature rise. But the most important greenhouse gas of all, water vapor is missing from the calculations. IPCC has from the beginning omitted the influence of water vapor. it affects CO2 calculations the most, since CO2 is fully saturated in the most important range, water vapor also participates, and it is impossible to absorb more than all energy available in any given band. Methane and N2O also must be adjusted for water vapor presence. To compensate for the lack of water vapor calculations they assign a temperature runaway factor to the net result, but it depends how much each greenhouse gas is influenced by water vapors, so the net result will not be right.

The greenhouse effect for CO2 between 1750 and 2011 is according to IPCC AR6 is 1. 8 W/m2 or 0.38C. According to my calculations the greenhouse effect from CO2 is 0.35 W/m2 or 0.073 C, and the effect from Water vapor in the same frequency range as CO2 is 0.38 W/m2 or 0.08 C. For CH4 the same calculations yield 0.5 W/m2 or 0.105 C from IPCC6, and 0.26 W/m2 or 0.055 C plus 0.22 W/m2 0r 0.05C from water vapor. This means the real climate sensitivity for CO2 is only 40% of what is given in IPCC AR6. For CH4 the real climate sensitivity is 20% of what is given in IPCC AR6

The major effect from air pollution is that it generates aerosols that act as condensation points for cloud formation if the air is oversaturated with moisture. In the last 40 years the air has gotten cleaner in the industrial west, not so in China, India and Africa. The net result was a 2 % drop in cloud cover and the resulting temperature rise is already accounted for. There are no good worldwide analyses of ancient cloud cover, but air pollution was rising rapidly until the clean air act, enacted in 1963 was beginning to show results in the 70’s. However, ancient method of heating with coal, wood, peat and dried cowdung was far more polluting and harmful to your lungs. If U.S is eliminating all remaining coal plants the CO2 will still be rising since China is planning to build another 1070 coal burning power

c. The effect of greening of most of the earth.

There is one great benefit of increased CO2, the greening of the earth.

Thanks to this greening, about 15% more leaves and grass since 1982, done with only the fertilizer of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what good it does for plants and wildlife.

The greening of the earth will cause a temperature to increase, thanks to the lowering of the albedo of green leaves and grass rather than desert sand. In addition, with rising CO2 levels the leaves need less water to perform the photosynthesis, so the net result from lowering the albedo by 15% of 0.05 over 17% of the world leads to a warming of the earth. The average albedo on land is 30%, and 17% of the earth lowers the albedo by 15% of 0.05 this lowers the total albedo of the earth by 0.13%.

The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.13% of that is 0.030 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature increase of (287 * fourth root of (1+(0.030/ 340)) -287 = 287.063 K, or 0.063 degree Celsius.

d. The areas that are becoming more like a desert.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year from the river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decreasee of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.007/ 340)) = 286.9985 K, or a cool down of 0.0015 degree Celsius.

Summary of all causes for climate change from now until 2050:

Long term warming of the sun: 0.000005C

Effect from the potential Eddy Grand Solar minimum: 0 to – 1C. Yes,that’s cooler

Effect from the Milankovitch cycles: – 0.0135C

Effect from reversing the magnetic poles: undetermined.

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.025C

Effect from increasing CO2 increasing water vapor : 0.03 C

All other greenhouse gasses combined 0.032 C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover 0.27C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.063C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0015C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE CHANGE 2023 to 2050: 0.384 C rise to 0,616 C decrease if the Dodd grand solar minimum occurs

If the cloudiness of the earth stays the same the temperature change will be from a 0.114 C rise to a 0,886 C decrease between now and 2050.

Of the changes CO2 amounts to only 6.5% of the potential change, decreasing cloud cover could be up to 70% of the rise.

What will be the temperature in 2050 if all pledges by the Paris accord were fulfilled?

The sum of all pledges means a 15% reduction in the RISE of C02 between now and 2050, leading to a reduction in temperature rise from rising CO2 of 0.004 C. In addition it will reduce the amount of temperature rise from the greening of the world by 0.0009 C. the total temperature rise will be 0.0049 C less by 2050.

Then again, temperatures will rise again after 2050 when the Grand solar minimum is over, but by that time we should have switched electricity production to Uranium and Thorium Nuclear power. We need the coal for the coming ice age. And fusion power is always around the corner and will one day solve our energy problems.

What congress is doing to “solve the problem.”

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is even worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background level. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. Conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.1 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.11 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.27 C, of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.045C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. Below are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct.

A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.

The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.

The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .

The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future?

Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.

Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.

New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.

Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet, and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct that is supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2023 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution are still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as surplus nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. People like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 7,8,9, 11 and 12 end in a dam or lake, which hold enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

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Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing:

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

 3. Thorium based nuclear power produces 0.012 percent as much TRansUranium waste products as traditional nuclear power.

 4. Thorium based nuclear power will produce Plutonium-238, needed for space exploration.

 5. Thorium nuclear power is only realistic solution to power space colonies.

 6. Radioactive waste from an Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors. A Limerick.

 7. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

 9. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe, only gravity needed for safe shutdown.

10. Molten Salt Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten, and it is a continuous process. No need for refueling shutdowns.

11. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

14. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Nuclear reactors scale beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

15. No need for evacuation zones, Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors can be placed near urban areas.

16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

17. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid.

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program, planning to meet 30% of its electricity demand via Thorium based reactors by 2050.

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

21. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened?

22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

27. With electric cars and trucks replacing combustion engine cars, only Thorium Nuclear power is the rational solution to provide the extra electric power needed.

28. The race for space colonies is on. Only Molten Salt Thorium Nuclear reactors can fit the bill.

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

Joe Biden, it is not your age, it is your blunders. To the tune of ‘freight train’.

Elizabeth Cotten was born Jan. 1893 in Carrboro N.C. She died Jun. 1987. Before she died, at age 92 she performed her song ‘Freight train’, which she had composed at age 11. She got inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame On Nov 7 2022.

No, Joe Biden, it is not age, it is talent, health and a clear mind that makes you able to perform until old age. Let’s begin to count Joe’s blunders. one by one. Here is the first verse: (To the tune of freight train).

Biden’s blunders happen fast

and we know it will not last.

For he plans to run again,

and who knows what happens then.

Climate change is real,but increasing CO2 is responsible for less than 14% of it.

1. The sun has gotten warmer the last 200 years, but we are now entering the ‘Eddy Grand solar minimum’.

The sun reverses its magnetic field every 11 years or so. and the sunspot intensity varies with time. Every 400 years or so it enters a grand solar minimum and the resulting average global temperature is reduced by about 1C at the minimum. This grand solar minimum started in 2020 and is accelerating. After 2070 the sun will again be more active.

2. The effect of the Milankovitch cycles.

We are near the end of the interglacial period, and from now on we will slowly enter a new ice age at a rate of 1C per 2000 years.

3. The earth’s magnetic field has begun to reverse poles.

The reversal of the earth’s magnetic field has begun and the field is now decreasing at about 1% per year. It is not noticeable yer except in the South Atlantic where the field is already 30% weaker. This is not so much a temperature event, but because more cosmic radiation will enter the earth it will rain more in areas that already has too much rain and worsen the drought ridden areas. In addition there will be increased damage from radiation effects.

4. The greenhouse effect increase.

The greenhouse effect is what makes life on earth,as we know it, possible.Without greenhouse effect the earth would be cooler by about 33 degrees Celsius.

The Earth has warmed 1.3 to 1.4 degree Celsius since the little ice age, coinciding with the beginning of the industrial age and the rate of increase has been increasing. To better understand how much of this warming is due to greenhouse gases look at this chart:

From this chart we can see that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, followed by CO2 with Methane and Nitrous oxide far behind. Oxygen is part of the atmosphere, and so is Nitrogen and their concentrations are assumed to be constant. Ozone concentration is too small to have any effect. Raleigh scattering is why the sky is blue and it is constant regardless of other factors.

The following chart shows both CO2 and H2O are absorbing greenhouse gases, with H20 being the stronger greenhouse gas, absorbing over a much wider spectrum, and they overlap for the most part. But it also matters in what frequency range s they absorb.

For this we will have to look at the frequency ranges of the incoming solar radiation and the outgoing black body radiation of the earth. It is the latter that causes the greenhouse effect. Take a look at this chart:

The red area represents the observed amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface. the white area under the red line represents radiation absorbed in the atmosphere. Likewise, the blue area represents the outgoing black body radiation that is re-emitted. The remaining white area under the magenta, blue or black line represents the retained absorbed energy that causes the greenhouse effect.

Let us now take a look at the Carbon Dioxide bands of absorption, at 2.7, 4.3 and 15 microns. Of them the 2.7 and 4.3 micron bands absorb where there is little black body radiation, the only band that counts is at 15 microns, and that is in a band where the black body radiation has its maximum. However it is also in a band where water vapor also absorb, not as much as CO2,only about 20% to 70% as much. The important thing is that in the frequency band of 14.5 to 15.5 micron CO2 absorbs all the energy available in that spectral range, and it also did it before industrialization when CO2 levels were one third less than today!

. But the top chart is deceiving, for it does not fully explain the net effect on radiation, from the sun or from the earth. The chart below displays it better:

The incoming solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near infrared radiation. This is all the heat incoming to the earth, except what is conducted from the earth’s core. All area under the curves of the right half represent greenhouse gases absorption, except the blue area which represents energy radiated into space. The all dominant green-house gas is water vapor but CO2 contributes with 2 absorption bands, at 4.3 microns, 9.4, 10,4 and 14.9 microns. The 4.3 micron absorption is of almost no importance since it occurs at a wavelength where very little radiation is available, neither from the sun, nor from the earth’s black body radiation.

Let us take a closer look at the outgoing black body radiation and the atmospheric window:

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 micron wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 80%, the total sum is still 100%. It is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The olive area represents the extra absorption of CO2 at 280 ppm when the water vapor is taken out (you cannot absorb more than 100%). The small yellow slivers represent the extra CO2 absorption at 560 ppm. The white area between the brown total absorption area and the red earth emission line is the total emitted energy through the atmospheric window. Methane and N2O gas greenhouse absorption occur at wavelengths where water vapor already absorbs nearly 100%, so their contribution to greenhouse gases is negligible. Likewise Ozone absorption occurs where O2 also absorbs. From the picture below (thanks, NASA) we can see that the total amount of energy escaping through the atmospheric window from clouds and from the ground is on average (29.9 + 40.1) = 70 W/m2. In pre-industrial times the value would have been around 70.7 w/m2.

NASA update 9 August 2019

NASA has made a good estimate of the earth’s energy budget. Total incoming energy is 340.4 W/m2 and escaping through the atmospheric window is 70 W/m2, or 20.56%. Before the industrial age the value was about 70.7 W/m2 or 20.77%, an increase of 0.24%. A black body radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature (Kelvin). The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from the sum of increasing CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

This is but a small portion of the temperature rise experienced, and it so happens that there exists a good measuring point, where the all dominant greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, NO2 and O3. At the South Pole in the winter the air is clean, there is almost no water vapor and the winter temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September 2021, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957, and the trend is 1 C colder per century. In the summer the trend is increasing temperatures.

4a. The greenhouse effect of water vapor.

In the rest of the world the dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, H20 and is responsible for most of of the greenhouse effect. The increase of absorption occurs in the atmospheric window, and in some bands of the incoming sunlight in the near infrared region. The bands are 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.1, 1.4 and 1.9 μm. Together, they make up 92% of the greenhouse gas temperature rise, or about 30 degree C. When global temperatures increase by 1,5 C there will be 10% more water water vapor assuming relative humidity will stay constant, there will be an additional 0.45 C temperature rise. Water vapor is fundamental and the additional gases will be added, but even if the gases, notably CO2 in the 13.5 through 16.5 micron absorb 100% of the available radiation, water vapor has already absorbed more than half of the available energy, the total is still 100%.

4b. The greenhouse effect of CO2.

Besides the absorption window in the 14,9 micron that absorbs 100% of the available energy water is fundamental and the majority of the energy is already absorbed. But there are smaller absorption in the 10.5, 9.5 and 4.3 micron. The 10.5 and 9.5 micton wavelrenth do not saturate they participate with their full strength when CO2 increases but the 4,3 micron does. This occurs when the available radiation is lw, co it is of little importance. The total greenhouse effect from CO2 at 280 ppm CO2 is 2.5 C and when CO2 is doubled to 560 ppm the additional temperature rise will be 0.2 C.

4c. The greenhouse effect of Methane.

The methane gas has only one major absorption wavelength at 7.6 microns. This occurs when water vapor is already absorbing 85% of the available energy so the greenhouse effect of Methane is almost negligible. The total greenhouse effect is 0.012 C and if the amount of Methane doubles this will only add 0.006 degrees C to the temperature.

4d. The greenhouse effect of Ozone.

The Ozone gas has only one major absorption wavelength at 9.7 microns, which is almost the same as the absorption for Oxygen. This occurs when Oxygen is already absorbing 80% of the available energy so the greenhouse effect of Ozone is almost negligible. The total greenhouse effect is 0.018 C and if the amount of Methane doubles this will only add 0.0095 degrees C to the temperature.

4e. The greenhouse effect of Nitrous Oxide.

The N2O gas has only one major absorption wavelength at 7.7 microns, which is almost the same as the absorption for Methane. This occurs when water vapor is already absorbing 85% of the available energy so the greenhouse effect of N2O is almost negligible. The total greenhouse effect is 0.009 C and if the amount of Methane doubles this will only add 0.005 degrees C to the temperature.

Summary of greenhouse gases:

H2O: Responsible for 30 degrees global warming; When temperature rises 1.5 degrees the direct effect is a 0.45 degree Celsius temperature rise from water vapor. CO2:: Responsible for 2.5 degrees global warming; When concentration doubles from 280 ppm to 560 ppm the direct effect is a 0.2 degree C temperature rise from CO2. CH4: Responsible for 0.012 degrees global warming; When concentration rises from 750 ppb to to 1800 ppb the direct effect is a 0.007 degree C temperature rise. N2O: Responsible for 0.009 degrees global warming; When concentration increases from 280 ppb to 340 ppb the direct effect is a 0.001 degree C temperature rise. O3: Responsible for 0.018 degrees global warming; When concentration dpobles, the direct effect is a 0.009 degree C temperature rise.

The temperature increase from increased greenhouse gases total less than half of the temperature increase observed since pre-industrial times, and the contribution from CO2 is about one seventh of the total so something else must have caused the increase, and the answer lies in looking to the skies. Water vapor is a condensing gas, and when water vapor is saturated and there are enough aerosols (from air pollution or aerosols released from trees or plants) in the air clouds will appear. How much can be attributed to changing cloud patterns and land use changes?

5. The effect from decreasing cloud cover.

White = 100% cloud cover, Dark blue = o% cloud cover

This is a world map showing the average cloud cover in August 2009. It shows the cloud free areas of the earth in blue. Another way to look at it is to see how much total water vapor there is in the atmosphere:

Nowhere on earth can it rain out more than two inches without more humidity being transported in from another place. Over the ocean humidity gets replenished by evaporation, over land only areas that has vegetation or swamps or lakes will replenish humidity by evaporation. Keep these charts in mind for later. For now concentrate on the decreasing average cloud cover. It has only been measured for the last 40 years, but here are the results:

There are many different clouds, low, mid-level and high clouds, and they have changed differently over the same time span:

Of these clouds, the low level clouds are reflecting the most, so the 2.4% loss in average cloud cover is an assumption on the low side on the loss of reflection.

In 1984 the average cloud cover was 63.7%, in 2019 it was 61.1%, a loss of 2.6%. The total reflection from clouds and atmospheric scattering is 77 W/m2, of which 60 is from cloud reflection. A 2.6% loss of area of reflection leads to a decreasing of incoming energy of 60 * 0.026 = 1.56 W/m2. This results in a temperature increase to 287 * fourth root of (1- (1.56 / 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.67 degree Celsius.

When temperature increases by 0.67C water vapor increases by 4% on average; the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.8 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.24% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

6. The effects from air and water pollution. . a. The warming of the Northern Arctic region.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that resulted in depositing its silt over large areas and thus fertilizing the land. The Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilized the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down into Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the United States east of the 98th meridian. This also occurs in Northern Europe, especially in the North Sea; the rivers flowing into the North Sea are rich in nutrients. The Baltic Sea was near oxygen death, but after the Baltic countries and Poland joined the EU, their rivers got partially cleaned up. In the far East the Yellow Sea and the South China sea are suffering major pollution. All these regions produce more clouds, and through prevailing winds some end up in the Arctic, where they snow out, except in the Summer when they rain out except on Greenland where it snows 12 months of the year. This leads to increasing winter temperatures of about 5.5 C above the 80th latitude, 2.5 C in spring and fall and a decrease of about 0.5 C in the summer (it takes a long time to melt that extra snow). This affects about 4% of the earth’s surface, so the total temperature increase from over-fertilizing the rivers is 0.04 * 2.5 = 0.1 C. No such effect occurs in the Antarctic. To illustrate the current yearly temperature trend in the Arctic, see this current polar temperature chart:

Even more illustrative is the development of ice on Greenland. In 2012 it looked like all of Greenland was going to melt in less than 1000 years, and the polar ice cap would be gone altogether in late summer of 2020. The ice over Greenland is now growing ever so slightly again:

b. The effect of various air pollution.

The major effect from air pollution is that it generates aerosols that act as condensation points for cloud formation if the air is oversaturated with moisture. In the last 40 years the air has gotten cleaner in the industrial west, not so much in China, South Asia and Africa. The net result was a 2 % drop in cloud cover and the resulting temperature rise is already accounted for. There are no good worldwide analyses of ancient cloud cover, but air pollution was rising rapidly until the clean air act, enacted in 1963 was beginning to show results in the 70’s. However, ancient method of heating with coal, wood, peat and dried cow cakes was far more polluting and harmful to your lungs. If U.S is eliminating all remaining coal plants the CO2 will still be rising since China is planning to build another 1070 coal burning power plants, and their coal is inferior to ours and their pollution control is far less strict than ours resulting in more aerosols over China and some of the soot to be transmitted all the way to the Arctic, resulting in a black layer of soot on old snow and old ice.

This is the official IPCC AR5 assessment of forcing factors, and we can see that CO2 is over-estimated by a factor of 2.5 and Methane by a factor of 10. When this is taken into account the net forcing from all other factors is neutral within the margin of uncertainty.

c. The effect of greening of most of the earth.

There is one great benefit of increased CO2, the greening of the earth.

Thanks to this greening, done with only the fertilizer of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what good it does for plants and wildlife.

The greening of the earth should cause temperature to increase, but if there is enough moisture in the earth the evapotranspiration from the leaves have a cooling effect and more than offsets the lower albedo from green leaves versus dry earth. In addition, with rising CO2 levels the leaves need less water to perform the photosynthesis, so the net result from lowering the albedo by 0.05 over 17% of the world leads to a heating of the earth. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and 17% of the earth lowers the albedo by 5% this lowers the total albedo of the earth by 0.8%.

The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.8% of that is 0.18 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature increase of 287 * fourth root of (1 + (0.008 / 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.017 degree Celsius.

d. The areas that are becoming more like a desert.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued, and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year from the river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decreasee of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.007/ 340)) = 286.9995 K, or a cool down of 0.0005 degree Celsius.

The total temperature change since before industrialisation:

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.20C

Increasing water vapor from 1.5 C rising temperature: 0.45C

Effect from rising Methane: less than 0.007C

Effect from rising N20: 0.01C.

Effect from rising ozone: Probably zero.

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover 0.67C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.017C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

Net temperature rise from other pollutants: Probably 0.05 C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE since the little ice age: 1.4C and that is about where we are today.

7. To reverse desertification, change the water rights laws!

In the Bible the first treaty signed was over water rights. It was between Abraham and Abimelek and was about a well that Abraham’s servants had dug and Abimelek’s men has seized. To make sure Abraham was the owner of the well Abraham and Abimelek confirmed it with an oath. The place is called Beersheba and Abraham planted a tamarisk tree there. Since then, in arid regions the fight has always been about water and water rights. In the American Southwest there are many Indian reservations, and when the white man came in they took the water upstream from the rivers and the Indians lost their livelihood. Here is a song by Johnny Cash:

The rain belongs to the land on which it rained. There are many reasons why that should be so. In higher elevation temperature is lower and evaporation much lower. The best solution is to build swales to contain small amount of rainwater where appropriate. This will restore aquifers and make it possible to plant indigenous trees and bushes that will lower the soil temperature by providing shadow. It will also provide aerosols, especially from pine trees that will increase rainfall when conditions are right. In addition it will lessen erosion. The immediate result is that the rivers will get less water, but in time the rivers will provide a more even and increased flow.

8. What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times more expensive than conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is much worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries.Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China or India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

In fairness, conditions in the American Southwest are much more favorable for this type of development, but it is still unfavorable when taken into account that all conventional power generation must still be teare when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

What congress should do instead. a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.4 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.20 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.027C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for three times as much globally or 0.67 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.11C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has risen even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest. The problem:Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage. Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, that is supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project did cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2023 money applying simple scaling up principles.The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph value is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source. But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2023 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation and electric grid enhancement and provide for a more robust electric grid. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aqueductcrossection.jpg

C. Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft

.Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and swales. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing: Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it.

Here are 30 of them: 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.  2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.  3. Thorium based nuclear power produces 0.012 percent as much TRansUranium waste products as traditional nuclear power.  4. Thorium based nuclear power will produce Plutonium-238, needed for space exploration.  5. Thorium nuclear power is only realistic solution to power space colonies.  6. Radioactive waste from an Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors. A Limerick. 7. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.  8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.  9. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe, only gravity needed for safe shutdown. 10. Molten Salt Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten, and it is a continuous process. No need for refueling shutdowns. 11. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control. 12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design. 13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport. 14. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Nuclear reactors scale beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants. 15. No need for evacuation zones, Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors can be placed near urban areas. 16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants. 17. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid. 18. Russia has an active Thorium program. 19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program, planning to meet 30% of its electricity demand via Thorium based reactors by 2050.  20. China is having a massive Thorium program. 21. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened? 22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen .23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible. 24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen. 25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh. 26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles. 27. With electric cars and trucks replacing combustion engine cars, only Thorium Nuclear power is the rational solution to provide the extra electric power needed. 28. The race for space colonies is on. Only Molten Salt Thorium Nuclear reactors can fit the bill. 29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs. 30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2.50 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least somes years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The American Southwest can still be saved.

The East Palestine train derailment. The real content of the derailed tank cars, a brief pollution history and a Limerick.

A TRAIN-WRECK in EAST PALESTINE.
no agency came to the scene.
NO DISASTER RELIEF.
THERE’S NO NEED TO DEBRIEF.
“THEY VOTED FOR TRUMP: that’s obscene.”

According to Pete Buttijieg the secretary of transportation there are a thousand train derailments every year, so he can’t be bothered with such minor incidents. The United States has an aging infrastructure, The so called “Inflation Reduction Act” concentrated on green technology such as solar panels, bought from China and wind turbines from China and Western Europe rather than real infrastructure and cleaning up the waterways and modernize the air traffic system. No, they concentrated on social equity, gender equity and other pet projects.

But here is the kicker: It used to be much worse as pollution is concerned. The difference is that now there are so many carcinogenic and unhealthy chemicals rather than spilled oil and soot.

In 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948 and 1952 the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire. Here is a picture of the 1948 fire.

( Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library)

The river caught fire a few more times, but nobody cared until 1969, the last time it happened. I remember in 1965 hearing thee song ‘Pollution’ by Tom Lehrer

In the second World War the oil refineries dumped the unwanted products from the refining process in the Delaware River, and things got so bad it stripped the protective paint from the hulls of ships coming in to the Philadelphia harbor.

We tend to forget how bad things were before there were any substantial environmental regulations. Factories solved their exhaust problems by building higher chimneys, spreading the poison over a larger area.

The content of the derailed tank cars.

There were five tank cars in the derailed part containing Vinyl Chloride. Vinyl Chloride is a gas, stored under pressure ( 3,5 atmospheres at room temperature). When the cars derailed, there was fire from burning and Norfolk Southern were afraid the cars would overheat and explode, so they drained them and dumped the vinyl chloride in a trench and set fire to it rather than hosing down the cars with water to lower the temperature. Vinyl Chloride when burning produces hydrochloride and carbon monoxide. Combined with water vapor it produces hydrochloric acid, which causes instant emphysema among other things. In addition it is a known carcinogen.

There was just one problem. The tank cars were mislabeled. Thy did not contain vinyl chloride, they contained 1,1-Dichloroethene, commonly called vinylidene chloride. Vinyl Chloride is bad, vinylidene chloride is far worse. The health effects from exposure to 1,1-DCE on fish, animals and people are primarily on the central nervous system, including symptoms of sedation, inebriation, convulsions, spasms, and unconsciousness at high concentrations. When the dug trench containing the drained volatile liquid was deliberately set on fire, who knows what substances that generated. The gas is a potent oxidant and a class 2B carcinogen.

One tank car contained Ethylene Glycol Mono-butane Ether. It is a known health hazard but not a carcinogen as far as I know.

One car contained Ethylhexyl, Acrylate and the tank was breached and the content spilled. There should be no particular health hazard from this tank car.

One car contains Isobutylene, a flammable gas. Most of it is still in than car.

One tank car contained ButylAcrylate and al its content was spilled on the ground. It is now being leached into the soil and has now been detected in the Ohio river just upstream from Cincinnati. It is not particularly toxic in the small concentration moving down the Ohio River, but yet.

And there was to tank cars containing benzene, a known carcinogen, but none of the benzene has leaked out.

The question is:What are the long term effects of this major spill and fire? Time will tell. It sometimes takes decades for cancer and respiratory diseases to develop.

Oh, and by the way, it is simpler, safer, much cheaper and more efficient to use pipelines. With a thousand derailments a year it is a wonder these types of catastrophes do not disrupt the supply chain more than they do.

The train-wreck in Ohio. A pollution history and the content of the railroad tank cars. A Limerick.

A TRAIN-WRECK AT EAST PALESTINE.
THE GOVERNMENT SAYS: ALL IS FINE
NO DISASTER RELIEF.
THERE’S NO NEED TO DEBRIEF.
“THEY VOTED FOR TRUMP: HOLD THE LINE.”

In 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948 and 1952 the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire. Here is a picture of the 1948 fire.

( Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library)

The river caught fire a few more times, but nobody cared until 1969, the last time it happened. I remember in 1965 hearing thee song ‘Pollution’ by Tom Lehrer

In the second World War the oil refineries dumped the unwanted products from the refining process in the Delaware River, and things got so bad it stripped the protective paint from the hulls of ships coming in to the Philadelphia harbor.

We tend to forget how bad things were before there were any substantial environmental regulations. Factories solved their exhaust problems by building higher chimneys, spreading the poison over a larger area.

The content of the derailed tank cars.

There were five tank cars in the derailed part containing Vinyl Chloride. Vinyl Chloride is a gas, stored under pressure ( 3,5 atmospheres at room temperature). When the cars derailed, there was fire from burning and Norfolk Southern were afraid the cars would overheat and explode, so they drained them and dumped the vinyl chloride in a trench and set fire to it rather than hosing down the cars with water to lower the temperature. Vinyl Chloride when burning produces hydrochloride and carbon monoxide. Combined with water vapor it produces hydrochloric acid, which causes instant emphysema among other things. In addition it is a known carcinogen.

One tank car contained Ethylene Glycol Mono-butane Ether. It is a known health hazard but not a carcinogen as far as I know.

One car contained Ethylhexyl, Acrylate and the tank was breached and the content spilled. There should be no particular health hazard from this tank car.

One car contains Isobutylene, a flammable gas. Most of it is still in than car.

One tank car contained ButylAcrylate and al its content was spilled on the ground. It is now being leached into the soil and has now been detected in the Ohio river just upstream from Cincinnati. It is not particularly toxic in the small concentration moving down the Ohio River, but yet.

And there was to tank cars containing benzene, a known carcinogen, but none of the benzene has leaked out.

The question is:What are the long term effects of this major spill and fire. Time will tell. It sometimes takes decades for cancer and respiratory diseases to develop.

Oh, and by the way, it is simpler, safer, much cheaper and more efficient to use pipelines. With a thousand derailments a year it is a wonder these types of catastrophies do not disrupt the supply chain more than they do.

What will the global temperature be in 2050 if we implement all climate initiatives versus doing nothing to save the climate?

I am a climate realist, and this is a subject that has fascinated me since I was a child in my native Sweden and saw first hand the effect of the latest ice age. We learnt in school that the climate was warmer during the age of the Littorina Sea (now the Baltic Sea) around 5,000 years ago, followed by the little ice age when the Baltic Sea froze over and the Swedish army in 1648 crossed the Danish Great Belt on ice and sacked Copenhagen. Since then the climate has gotten milder, some people are worried of a thermal runaway, others about a coming ice age.

I will try to see where the temperature of our planet will be in 2050. I will use thermal equilibrium calculations assuming the earth is a black body where incoming radiation is in balance with outgoing radiation. This gives the best instantaneous results. It will also give the heating or cooling of lagging bodies such as the oceans.

1. The sun is getting warmer and will explode, but before that there will be a thermal runaway on earth.

Believe it or not, this is how Dr. James Lovelock started out to find when the earth’s self regulating ability would come to an end. This eventually lead to the GAIA hypothesis. It turns out that the sun gets brighter at a rate of just over 1% every 100 million years—Earth would suffer this “runaway greenhouse” in 600 million to 700 million years. In the next 27 years that would amount to a temperature increase of 0.000005C

2. The sun has gotten warmer the last 200 years, but we are now entering the ‘Eddy Grand solar minimum’.

The sun reverses its magnetic field every 11 years or so. and the sunspot intensity varies with time. Every 400 years or so it enters a grand solar minimum and the resulting average global temperature is reduced by about 1C at the minimum. This grand solar minimum started in 2020 and is accelerating.

3. The effect of the Milankovitch cycles.

We are near the end of the interglacial period, and from now on we will slowly enter a new ice age at a rate of 1C per 2000 years.this means we are cooling down another 0.0135C by 2050

4. The earth’s magnetic field has begun to reverse poles.

The reversal of the earth’s magnetic field has begun and the field is now decreasing at about 1% per year. It is not noticeable yer except in the South Atlantic where the field is already 30% weaker. This is not so much a temperature event, but becaus more cosmic radiation will enter the earth it will rain more in areas that already has too much rain and worsen the drought ridden areas. In addition there will be increased damage from radiation effects.

5. The greenhouse effect increase.

The Earth has warmed 1.3 to 1.4 degree Celsius since the little ice age, coinciding with the beginning of the industrial age and the rate of increase increase is increasing. To better understand how much of this warming is due to greenhouse gases look at this chart:

From this chart we can see that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, followed by CO2 with Methane and Nitrous oxide far behind. Oxygen is part of the atmosphere, and so is Nitrogen and their concentrations are assumed to be constant. Ozone concentration is too small to have any effect. Raleigh scattering is why the sky is blue and it is constant regardless of other factors.

Before we go any further let’s examine one absorption band for CO2, the 14,9 μm band. at a concentration of 400 ppm it is fully saturated from 14 to 16 μm and tapers off from there, see picture:

The black band shows the difference in total absorption from CO2 concentration of 280 ppm to 400 ppm.

The white area under the shaded area is the absorption at 280 ppm. The shaded area is the additional absorption at 400 ppm, an increase of 6%. The reason it is not more is that it is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration.

. But the top chart is deceiving, for it does not fully explain the net effect on radiation, from the sun or from the earth. The chart below is much better:

The incoming solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near infrared radiation. This is all the heat incoming to the earth, except the heat that is radiating from the earth’s core. All area under the curves of the right halves represent greenhouse gases absorption, except the blue area which represents energy radiated into space under a cloud-free sky. The all dominant geenhouse gas is water vapor but CO2 contributes with 2 absorption bands, at 4.3 microns and 14.9 microns. The 4.3 micron absorption is of almost no importance since it occurs at a wavelength where very little radiation is available, neither from the sun, nor from the earth’s blackbody radiation, but water vapor absorbs nearly all radiation anyhow. The only wavelength that counts for CO2 absorption is at 14.9 microns, because it occurs in the so called atmospheric window and the blackbody radiation is near its maximum.

Let us take a closer look at the outgoing blackbody radiation and the atmospheric window:

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 micron wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 80%, the total sum is still 100%. It is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The olive area represents the extra absorption of CO2 at 280 ppm when the water vapor is taken out (you cannot absorb more than 100%). The small yellow slivers represent the extra CO2 absorption at 400 ppm. The white area between the brown total absorption area and the red earth emission line is the total emitted energy through the atmospheric window. Methane and N2O gas greenhouse absorption occur at wavelengths where water vapor already absorbs nearly 100%, so their contribution to greenhouse gases is negligible. Likewise Ozone absorption occurs where O2 also absorbs. From the picture below (thanks, NASA) we can see that the total amount of energy escaping through the atmospheric window from clouds and from the ground is on average (29.9 + 40.1) = 70 W/m2. In pre-industrial times the value would have been around 70.7 w/m2.

NASA update 9 August 2019

NASA has made a good estimate of the earth’s energy budget. Total incoming energy is 340.4 W/m2 and escaping through the atmospheric window is 70 W/m2, or 20.56%. Before the industrial age the value was about 70.7 W/m2 or 20.77%, an increase of 0.24%. A black body radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature (Kelvin). The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from the sum of increasing CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

This is but a small portion of the temperature rise experienced, and it so happens that there exists a good measuring point, where the all dominant greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, NO2 and O3. At the South Pole in the winter the air is clean, there is almost no water vapor and the winter temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September 2021, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957, and the trend is 1 C colder per century. In the summer the trend is increasing temperatures.

In the rest of the world the dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, H20 and is responsible for most of of the greenhouse effect, and some of it can be attributed to the warming caused by increasing CO2 levels that warmed the world 0,17C, and if the relative humidity stays the same this leads to an increase in water vapor of about 1 % on average. The increase of absorption occurs in the atmospheric window, and in some bands of the incoming sunlight in the near infrared region. The bands are 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.1, 1.4 and 1.9 μm. Together, when water vapor increases by 1% on average the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.2 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.06% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0006) = 286.95 K, or 0.05 degree Celsius less.

The temperature increase from increased greenhouse gases total only 20% of the temperature increase since pre-industrial times, so something else must have caused the increase, and the answer lies in looking to the skies. Water vapor is a condensing gas, and when water vapor is saturated and there are enough aerosols (air pollution) in the air clouds will appear. How much can be attributed to changing cloud patterns?

6. The effect from decreasing cloud cover.

White = 100% cloud cover, Dark blue = o% cloud cover

This is a world map showing the average cloud cover in August 2009. It shows the cloud free areas of the earth in blue. Another way to look at it is to see how much total water vapor there is in the atmosphere:

Nowhere on earth can it rain out more than two inches without more humidity being transported in from another place. Over the ocean humidity gets replenished by evaporation, over land only areas that has vegetation or swamps or lakes will replenish humidity by evaporation. keep these charts in mind for later. For now concentrate on the decreasing average cloud cover. It has only been measured for the last 40 years, but here are the results:

There are many different clouds, low, mid-level and high clouds, and they have changed differently over the same time span:

Of these clouds, the low level clouds are reflecting the most, so the 2.4% loss in average cloud cover is an assumption on the low side on the loss of reflection.

In 1984 the average cloud cover was 63.7%, in 2019 it was 61.1%, a loss of 2.6%. The total reflection from clouds and atmospheric scattering is 77 W/m2, of which 60 is from cloud reflection. A 2.6% loss of area of reflection leads to a decreasing of incoming energy of 60 * 0.026 = 1.56 W/m2. This results in a temperature increase to 287 * fourth root of (1- (1.56 / 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.67 degree Celsius.

When temperature increases by 0.67C water vapor increases by 4% on average; the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.8 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.24% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

7. The effects from air and water pollution. . a. The warming of the Northern Arctic region.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that resulted in depositing its silt over large areas and thus fertilizing the land. The Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilized the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down into Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the United States east of the 98th meridian. This also occurs in Northern Europe, especially in the North Sea; the rivers flowing into the North Sea are rich in nutrients. The Baltic Sea was near oxygen death, but after the Baltic countries and Poland joined the EU, their rivers got partially cleaned up. In the far East the Yellow Sea and the South China sea are suffering major pollution. All these regions produce more clouds, and through prevailing winds some end up in the Arctic, where they snow out, except in the Summer when they rain out except on Greenland where it snows 12 months of the year. This leads to increasing winter temperatures of about 5.5 C above the 80th latitude, 2.5 C in spring and fall and a decrease of about 0.5 C in the summer (it takes a long time to melt that extra snow). This affects about 4% of the earth’s surface, so the total temperature increase from over-fertilizing the rivers is 0.04 * 2.5 = 0.1 C. No such effect occurs in the Antarctic. To illustrate the current yearly temperature trend in the Arctic, see this current polar temperature chart:

Even more illustrative is the development of ice on Greenland. In 2012 it looked like all of Greenland was going to melt in less than 1000 years, and the polar ice cap would be gone altogether in late summer of 2020. The ice over Greenlnd is now growing ever so slightly again:

b. The effect of various air pollution.

The major effect from air pollution is that it generates aerosols that act as condensation points for cloud formation if the air is oversaturated with moisture. In the last 40 years the air has gotten cleaner in the industrial west, not so much in China, India and Africa. The net result was a 2 % drop in cloud cover and the resulting temperature rise is already accounted for. There are no good worldwide analyses of ancient cloud cover, but air pollution was rising rapidly until the clean air act, enacted in 1963 was beginning to show results in the 70’s. However, ancient method of heating with coal, wood, peat and dried cowdung was far more polluting and harmful to your lungs. If U.S is eliminating all remaining coal plants the CO2 will still be rising since China is planning to build another 1070 coalburning power plants, ane their coal is inferior to ours and their pollution control is far less strict than ours resulting in more aerosols over China and some of the soot to be transmitted all the way to the Arctic, resulting in a black layer of soot on old snow and old ice.

This is the official IPCC AR5 assessment of forcing factors, and we can see that CO2 is over-estimated by a factor of 2.5 and Methane by a factor of 10. When this is taken into account the net forcing from all other factors is neutral within the margin of uncertainty.

c. The effect of greening of most of the earth.

There is one great benefit of increased CO2, the greening of the earth.

Thanks to this greening, done with only the fertilizer of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what good it does for plants and wildlife.

The greening of the earth should cause temperature to increase, but if there is enough moisture in the earth the evapotranspiration from the leaves have a cooling effect and more than offsets the lower albedo from green leaves versus dry earth. In addition, with rising CO2 levels the leaves need less water to perform the photosynthesis, so the net result from lowering the albedo by 0.05 % over 17% of the world leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and 17% of the earth lowers the albedo by 5% this lowers the total albedo of the earth by 0.25%.

The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.25% of that is 0.057 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature increase of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.057/ 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.012 degree Celsius.

d. The areas that are becoming more like a desert.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year from the river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decreasee of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.007/ 340)) = 286.9995 K, or a cool down of 0.0005 degree Celsius.

Summary of all causes for climate change:

Long term warming of the sun: 0.000005C

Effect from the Eddy Grand Solar minimum: – 1C. Yes,that’s cooler

Effect from the Milankovitch cycles: – 0.1C

Effect from reversing the magnetic poles: undetermined.

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.17C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from rising CO2: 0.05C

Effect from rising Methane: less than 0.01C

Effect from N20 and Ozone: less than 0.01C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover 0.67C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.17C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.12C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 0.3 C higher temperature than during the little ice age by 2050.

What will be the temperature in 2050 if all pledges by the Paris accord were fulfilled?

The sum of all pledges means a 15% reduction in the RISE of C02 between now and 2050, leading to a reduction in temperature rise from rising CO2 of 0.02C. In addition it will reduce the amount of temperature rise from the greening of the world by 0.006 C. the total temperature rise will be 0.286 C by 2050 from the little ice age.

Then again, temperatures will rise again after 2050 when the Grand solar minimum is over, but by that time we should have switched electricity production to Uranium and Thorium Nuclear power. We need the coal for the coming ice age. And fusion power is always around the corner and will one day solve our energy problems.

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is much worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.1 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.17 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.33 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.055C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct.

A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.

The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.

The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .

The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future.

Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.

Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.

New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.

Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2022 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

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Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing:

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

 3. Thorium based nuclear power produces 0.012 percent as much TRansUranium waste products as traditional nuclear power.

 4. Thorium based nuclear power will produce Plutonium-238, needed for space exploration.

 5. Thorium nuclear power is only realistic solution to power space colonies.

 6. Radioactive waste from an Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors. A Limerick.

 7. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

 9. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe, only gravity needed for safe shutdown.

10. Molten Salt Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten, and it is a continuous process. No need for refueling shutdowns.

11. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

14. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Nuclear reactors scale beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

15. No need for evacuation zones, Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors can be placed near urban areas.

16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

17. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid.

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program, planning to meet 30% of its electricity demand via Thorium based reactors by 2050.

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

21. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened?

22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

27. With electric cars and trucks replacing combustion engine cars, only Thorium Nuclear power is the rational solution to provide the extra electric power needed.

28. The race for space colonies is on. Only Molten Salt Thorium Nuclear reactors can fit the bill.

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The American Southwest can still be saved.

Thanksgiving proclamations from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. Joe Biden and Dutch Sheets, a patriotic Christian. Compare and marvel.

November 24, 2022

A Thanksgiving Prayer

The event that Americans commonly call Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621. History says it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The gathering lasted 3 days. Our first President, George Washington, issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving in 1789, after which it was celebrated intermittently. Abraham Lincoln issued one, as well, in 1863 and made it a national holiday. He called it “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Washington’s and Lincoln’s proclamations are brilliant and can be found belowt. The verbiage is a bit different than ours today and somewhat challenging, especially for children. Then it is followed by Joe Biden’s contemporary version for contrast, not part of Dutch Sheet’s post. Instead, Dutch Sheets has written a contemporary proclamation . Agree with him as he reads it today:

Gracious Father, we in this blessed nation give You thanks today. America was Your idea. You had in Your heart to form a nation of nations – numerous Native American nations, Asians, Europeans, Africans, Latinos and more. Though the journey and process has at times been painful, even evil, due to our selfishness and rebellion, Your sovereign power overrode our flaws and formed the United States of America. And we thank You.

We are well aware that forming America was not just for our benefit but, like Abraham of old, was a covenantal partnership for the purpose of redeeming the world from sin and its curse. We are honored beyond words to be part of this plan and agree with the words of Robert Hunt at Cape Henry in 1607: the gospel of the kingdom will go forth from these shores, not only to this land, but to all the nations of the earth.

We thank You for preserving us in times of war, disease, sin, and chaos. In the war of our birth, we were saved through an appeal to Heaven; in the horrible Civil War, You preserved us through incredible bitterness and the loss of over half a million soldiers – sons, husbands, fathers, brothers; in two world wars, You preserved us from evil, demonized despots intent on ruling the world. Through all the trials and all the years, You have been faithful.

We thank You for the incredible prosperity we have enjoyed due to our partnership with You. Though some try to convince our people You had nothing to do with this, that America does not need Your gracious hand of blessing, we know this is untrue. Unless You build the house, the laborers work in vain; unless You protect the city, the watchman wakes in vain. You have blessed this nation – of You, through You, and to You are all things. Thank You, gracious and beneficent God!

And we thank You today for our Savior, the Messiah, Christ Jesus. Son of God/Son of Man, thank You for Your sacrifice in becoming a member of the human race. Thank You for discovering what hunger feels like, for experiencing the pain of a loved one’s death, of rejection and betrayal. Thank You for walking dusty roads to heal diseased bodies, taking detours to redeem thirsty hearts, spending sleepless nights praying over Your assignment. Thank you for exposing the futility of religion, the evil of pride and the power of love. Thank You for revealing the Father to us again, and making a way for us to find and reconnect with Him as our Abba. Thank You for paying such a high price for this: the beatings and lashing, Gethsemane, the mocking, the crown of thorns, the wrath of Hell, the hideous cross. Thank You.

And gracious Father, wonderful Savior, and blessed Holy Spirit, though we as a nation have dishonored You, rejected You and mocked You, Your love endures. Though we have worshiped idols, embraced false religions, shed innocent blood, defiled Your marriage covenant and expelled You from our schools, causing our children to reject You, Your mercies endure. Though our government, in pride, deception, and rebellion, has risen up against You, rewritten Your laws, legislated murder and immorality, and has determined that You are no longer welcome in their functions and procedures – You have demonstrated amazing patience. And though the church should be Your instrument of preservation from these ills, she has grown lukewarm, complacent, and ineffective. Yet, in spite of these and many more evils, You have said You are coming to save us again. You have promised to renew our purpose and destiny, healing our brokenness and returning our hearts to You and one another. Our prodigals are coming home, a lost generation is being found by You, the fire of passion is returning to the church, millions will be saved, and America will be reformed. We will once again become a powerful voice of the gospel of the kingdom throughout the earth, partnering with You through the power of Holy Spirit. For this we give You thanks.

Father, we are thankful for the United States of America. We are thankful for the covenants our Christian forefathers made with You. They sacrificed more than we can ever imagine in order to fulfill Your will in their generation. They knew they were sent here to dedicate this land to You and Your divine purposes. Therefore, we thank You, Lord, for those sacrifices made so long ago. May those that prayed, endured much hardship, fought, and established America be forever honored by future generations of believers. We are so grateful for the blessings of the covenants that were established with You in those days.

May every believer today remember to thank You for those covenants. Your promises are eternal. We may break them, but You never do. You will always find a way to partner with Your Ekklesia to see them restored, when we humble ourselves in prayer before You. For that mercy extended to us time and again, and so many other things, we thank You. Provide our leaders with the grace they need to lead this great country. Provide mercy for America to maintain our covenants with You. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

By Dutch Sheets. He can be found here , and especially his daily message Give him 15

President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America—

A Proclamation

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks–for His kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted – for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us – and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

“Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.” (George Washington)

President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States

A Proclamation

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. The population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

“In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

“Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth. By the President: Abraham Lincoln.”

Now compare these proclamations with today’s proclamation by Joe Biden:

A Proclamation on Thanksgiving Day, 2022

This Thanksgiving, as homes across America fill with laughter, favorite family foods, and the joy of friends and relatives reuniting, we give thanks for everything that is good in our lives and reflect on the many blessings of our Nation.

     This American spirit of gratitude dates back to our earliest days, when the Pilgrims celebrated a successful first harvest, thanks to the generosity and support of the Wampanoag people.  It inspired George Washington to give his troops a day of prayer and thanks amid fierce fighting for American independence.  It also moved Abraham Lincoln to proclaim Thanksgiving a national holiday, honoring America’s bounty and asking God to bring us together to care for one another and heal our Nation.

     Today, Jill and I share that same gratitude for America’s promise and for the millions of heroes across our country whose selflessness and care for their communities represent the best of who we are. 

     We are grateful for our family and friends and for all of our fellow Americans, even those whom we may never meet but rely upon nonetheless.  We are thankful for the scientists, researchers, doctors, and nurses who have kept us safe through a pandemic, and for the frontline workers who have kept essential services going by growing and providing food for our tables.  We are grateful to faith leaders for their counsel, comfort, and support.  We thank our brave service members and veterans who sacrifice so much for our freedom, and the first responders who put so much on the line to keep us all safe. 

     As Scripture says:  “let us rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.”  This is a special time in the greatest country on Earth, so let us be grateful.  America is a great Nation because we are a good people.  This holiday, we celebrate all that brings us together, grounded in history and our shared hopes for the future.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 2022, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage the people of the United States of America to join together and give thanks for the friends, neighbors, family members, and strangers who have supported each other over the past year in a reflection of goodwill and unity.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

                               JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

And finally, here is the full video of Dutch Sheet’s post:

After the UN COP27: Re-signing the Paris Accord was a very bad idea, even for the environment! A Limerick. Solve the water problem in the American Southwest instead!

Don’t fall for the Paris accord!

A bondage we ill can afford.

CO2 keeps us free;

food for you, food for me!

The end of the world!! cries the horde.

6 – 18 November 2022, the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt was hosting the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27), with a view to building on previous successes and paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change.

According to alarmists’ climate change models, joining the Paris accord will decrease global temperatures by 0.05 to 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, or a catastrophe too big to fathom will occur. See the official chart below!

I want to reply to what climate alarmists say:  My conclusions on climate change are not in line with political science logic. Being a climate realist, I never said that increasing CO2 is unimportant, only that the negative effects are vastly exaggerated, and the positive effects are ignored. Let me explain:

Climate alarmists and IPCC AR5 believe that the thermal response to increasing CO2 has a feedback gain from increasing water vapor that results from higher temperatures, leading to much higher temperatures. Current climate model averages indicate a temperature rise of 4.7 C by 2100 if nothing is done, 4.65 C if U.S keeps all its Paris commitments and 4.53 C if all countries keep their part of the agreement. In all cases, with or without Paris agreement we are headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.

As the chart indicates, implementing all of the Paris agreement will delay the end of mankind as we know it by at most 4 years.

Myself and quite a few scientists, meteorologists, but mostly engineers believe the feedback loop in nature is far more complicated than that, in fact, there is a large negative feedback in the system, preventing a temperature runaway, and we have the observations to prove it.  The negative feedback manifests itself in 2 ways:

Inorganic feedback, represented by greenhouse gases and clouds. If there were no clouds, the tropics would average a temperature of  140 F  thanks to the greenhouse effect. The clouds reflect back up to 300 W/m2 into space rather than the same energy being absorbed into water, air or soil. Clouds are highly temperature dependent, especially cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds. Cumulus clouds are formed in the morning, earlier the warmer and more humid it is, and not formed at all if it is cold and dry, thunderstorms appear when it is warm enough. The feedback, which is positive at low temperatures becomes negative at warmer temperatures, and in the equatorial doldrums, surface temperature has found its equilibrium. No amount of CO2 will change that. Equatorial temperature follows the temperature of the ocean, warmer when there is an el niño, cooler when there is a la niña. Here is a chart of temperature increases since satellite measurements began as a function of latitude.

The tropics follow the ocean temperature closely, no long term rising trend, the extratropics are also stable.

In the Arctic there is a rising temperature trend, up to 5C in the winter, less so in spring and fall, but a slightly cooling trend in the summer.

If this trend continues, all Arctic ocean ice may melt in 300 to 400 years, faster if there is further warming and nothing else is changing. Let’s take a look at the Arctic above the 80th latitude, an area of about 3,85 million square kilometers, less than 1% of the earth’s surface, but it is there where global warming is most pronounced. This chart from Nov 17, 2022 shows this trend.

Take a look at ice accumulation on Greenland.

What happened? Last year it snowed more than normal. In the Arctic, it gets warmer under clouds, warmer still when it snows. Take a look at Greenland and what has happened this freezing season. It has snowed and snowed and Greenland has so far, nearly three months into the accumulation season accumulated 60 Gigatons more ice than normal. So, at this point in the season we are a total of 80 Gt ahead of last year, and this is with Arctic temperatures this fall being five degrees warmer than normal. The counterintuitive conclusion is that it may very well be that warmer temperatures produces more accumulation of snow and ice, colder temperatures with less snow accumulate less. What happens during the short Arctic summer? With more snow and ice accumulated it takes longer to melt last years snow and ice, so the temperature stays colder longer. If this melting period ends without melting all snow and ice, multi year ice will accumulate, and if it continues unabated, the next ice age will start.

The second feedback loop is organic. More CO2 means more plant growth.  According to NASA (2015) there has been a significant greening of the earth, more than 15% since satellite measurements begun. This results in a warming effect everywhere, except in areas that are drying out, where there is a cooling trend. The net effect is that we can now feed 2 billion more people than before without using more fertilizer. Check this picture from NASA, showing the increased leaf area extends over 90 % of the land area.

There are two major ways of trying to predict future temperature trends. UN IPCC uses models to predict. They look like this:

This model refers to the atmosphere between 30,000 and 38,000 feet altitude, a height where water vapor is low, so CO2 is the dominant greenhouse factor. As we can see, the models are off by a factor of 4 in average temperature rise. This is because all IPCC models suffer from a fatal flaw: they assume that the factors are additive, but it is impossible to absorb more than 100% of all the energy available in one particular wavelength, for instance, if CO2 absorbs 100% of all energy available in the 14 to 16 micrometer band, and water vapor absorbs 60% in the same band, the sum is not 160%. It is still 100%.

Abetter way to estimate temperature trends is to treat the earth as a black body with sunlight warming the earth and the same amount of energy escaping through black body radiation. If there were no greenhouse gases the equilibrium temperature would be 255 K (-18 C or 0F) according to Stefan-Boltzmann law, which states that the total radiant heat power emitted from a surface is proportional to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. But thanks to water vapor and CO2 and some other minor gases we can now enjoy a comfortable average temperature of 13.9C, up from 12.7C average temperature around 1700, just as the little ice age ended and industrialization started in earnest.

Using the black box approach and assuming equilibrium temperature at all times this method fits much better with measurements, for details, see here. The total changes in temperature when CO2 rose from 280 ppm to 400 ppm, lower cloud cover decreased 2% and leaf area on earth rose 15%.

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.17C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from rising CO2: 0.05C

Effect from rising Methane: less than 0.01C

Effect from N20 and Ozone: less than 0.01C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover by2%, from 64% to 62%: 0.67C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.17C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.12C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 1.2C which is equal to the measured rise from 12.7C to 13.9C.

The big question is: What will the equilibrium temperature be in 2050 if we do nothing to limit CO2 and other greenhouse gases?

Direct effect from rising CO2 levels from 400 ppm to 490 ppm: 0.10C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from increasing CO2: 0.03 C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover another 1/2% 0.16C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.04C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth another 10%: 0.07C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 1.6C, 0.13C of which is when CO2 rises from 400 to 490 ppm, 0.20 C from when cloud coverage decreases by 1/2% and 0.07 C from 10% more leaf area from the greening of the earth.

According to COP27 the carbon reduction pledges by 2050 looks like this:

The sum of all pledges means a 15% reduction in the RISE of C02 between now and 2050, leading to a reduction in temperature rise from rising CO2 of 0.02C. In addition it will reduce the amount of temperature rise from the greening of the world by 0.006 C. the total temperature rise will be 1.574C or thereabout, still over the 1.5C target.

There is a better way.

The temperature rise since per-industrial times is caused by basically 3 factors: Greenhouse gases and water vapor increase: 23%, decreased reflection from decreased cloud cover: 65%, and decreased albedo due to the greening of the earth: 12%.

There are some disturbing trends in rain patterns around the world. This fall the four largest rivers for barge traffic all have severe limitations in their barge traffic volume due to low water, the Mississippi river in North America, the Rhine River in Europe, the Yang Tse Kiang River in Asia and the Parana River in South America. It seems to be world-wide. At the same time snowfall is increasing in the Arctic, leading to warmer winters and a little cooling in the summer since there is more snow to melt. Areas of the world is being desertified, lakes are drying up, aquifers are being depleted, and so some areas are drying up. These are the same areas where people love to live and use its water. The Great Salt Lake in Utah is down to a third of the size it had in the 1970’s, Lake Aral is nearly all gone, The Caspian Sea is again shrinking and Lake Chad in Africa is down to 20% of its size in the 1970’s.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles in total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to supply all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year than promised from the Colorado river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decrease of the world by 0.002C.

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is now much worse, with electricity rares up to 40 c/kWh, and that is with subsidies.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.026C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are; to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.2 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.17 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.33 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.055C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied. The so called winter pool level is nearing, after which no further power can be generated.

The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.

The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.

The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .

The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future.

Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.

Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.

New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.

Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2022 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aqueductcrossection.jpg

C. Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing:

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

 3. Thorium based nuclear power produces 0.012 percent as much TRansUranium waste products as traditional nuclear power.

 4. Thorium based nuclear power will produce Plutonium-238, needed for space exploration.

 5. Thorium nuclear power is only realistic solution to power space colonies.

 6. Radioactive waste from an Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors. A Limerick.

 7. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

 9. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe, only gravity needed for safe shutdown.

10. Molten Salt Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten, and it is a continuous process. No need for refueling shutdowns.

11. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

14. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Nuclear reactors scale beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

15. No need for evacuation zones, Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors can be placed near urban areas.

16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

17. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid.

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program, planning to meet 30% of its electricity demand via Thorium based reactors by 2050.

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

21. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened?

22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

27. With electric cars and trucks replacing combustion engine cars, only Thorium Nuclear power is the rational solution to provide the extra electric power needed.

28. The race for space colonies is on. Only Molten Salt Thorium Nuclear reactors can fit the bill.

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The American Southwest can still be restored.