The "mini-ice age coming in 15 years" isn't coming


#1

[Read the post]


#2

You expect the right wing newspapers to employ competent scientists to report on science?
Even the more or less centre Independent in the UK fell for it.


#3

Several problems make people believe this BS.
1-It is hard to really understand the level of carbon we are mining and drilling out to burn and inject into the atmosphere, that we may have already passed the halfway point to emptying worldwide reserves.
2-The most popular proposed solution is severe austerity for 99%ers while 1%ers trade carbon credits to cancel out their audacious lifestyles, this is little comfort to those under normal rules.
3-For some reason the modern nuclear power option combined with renewables Manhattan porject is rarely mentioned, the nuclear option introduces less radioactivity than fossil fuels and is far less dangerous than hydroelectric which has a megadeath potential on par with an actual nuclear explosive.

We need to move to a George Jetson flying cars and jetpacks future hydrogen economy, but we will not get there if the only option is excruciating pain. Without a totalitarian regime people will simply pretend not to believe if it forces them to vote for pain to save the world. Do we really want to go the ocen hydrate route to poisoning the atmosphere?


#4

No one in the right’s power structure actually believes this. But it is conveniently beyond some of their expected lifetimes (or term of office, or tenure as CEO). So long as the WHINOS keep goosestepping to their music, who cares about the generations left to clean up?


#5

And they can create the narrative that “climate scientists predicted an ice age in the 2010s,” to replace “in the 1970s.”


#6

Introduces far less radioactivity and is far less dangerous than hydroelectric assuming competent management of the facility for its lifetime and its waste for hundreds or thousands of years longer.

My position on nuclear is still that it would be a great solution for a race of incorruptible, superintelligent, unimpeachably moral beings, but it is not necessarily so great in the hands of human beings. Especially when administrated by profit-motivated corporations.*

*Yeah, laugh at my hippy ways, but any cost-benefit analysis weighing the certainty of costs saved on safety measures versus the small probability of a serious accident that would be paid for largely by taxpayers rather than the company who owns the plant is going to come down on the side of fewer safety measures.


#7

Professor Zharkova hmm I think I see where this is headed


#8

There is some sort of Denialist swarm in the Slate article’s comments about this Ice Age thing. Lots of comments about “Ha - you silly leftists can’t keep the sun from cooling off, don’t you feel silly now?”

I wonder who has steered all of these thoughtful commenters here:


#9

Grim news. This doesn’t bode well for my plan to corner the mitten and muffler market.


#10

Wow, who knew? Fukushima producing less rads per watt-hour than a hydro dam? (Since it’s putting out zero watts now, I would think the figure would be quite high…)


#11

Well put.

In the really big picture of eras and civilizations, my expectation is that nuke plants have a half-life of their own. That is, the monkeys who run them can, on average, only keep them going for so long before they go they way of Chernobyl, TMI, and Fukushima. If history is our guide, then we could say that the half-life may be less than a century. And because they leave a mess that will be dangerous for multiple centuries, the arithmetic would seem to indicate that they are a bad idea.


#12

Actually it’s MICE age. My bad.


#13

The Indy is a shambles these days, especially since being owned by Lebedev and in the same stable as the Evening Standard.


#14

I never implied dams were radioactive.
How many has Fukishima killed vs a parachute failure(or vs the earthquake)?
How many has Chernobyl killed vs a bus accident?
How many have dam accidents killed vs actual nuclear weapons?
How many did Three Mile Island kill vs a quiet morning cup of coffee?

If we actually believe in global warming as a disaster, then we need to quickly, as in a crash program, convert to a nuclear powered hydrogen fuel economy. I just dont see the energy density anywhere else to actually accomplish the job. If it is not an emergency then we can wait for renewables to catch up, but then we have been exaggerating AGW as accused.
We simply can not go to the austerity route, as the good intentions will be thwarted by the majority of humanity who will revolt and depose the austerity regime with either their votes or with pitchforks and torches. We need nuclear-hydrogen or similar energy density to at least oil/gas/coal unless we intend to install a ruthless totalitarian management class over us to enforce carbon conservation onto a majority serf class and quash all dissent and rebellion.


#15

Following that argument, the human race is a bad idea.
Near where I live, there are Roman lead mining sites where the soil is still toxic. More recently, there are coal mine spill heaps and areas of one town where vegetables and fruit cannot safely be grown due to arsenic and cadmium from mining waste. The metal nickel was so named because the areas in the Harz Mountains that produced it had such high contamination that many people were born with physical defects. And in the UK we’ve somehow survived having Dartmoor, which produces a lot of radon from fractured granite.
And then there’s that site in Africa where there are still the remains of a natural nuclear reactor that was active around 2Gya. Perhaps planets are a bad idea.

Seriously, on a scale of man made disasters, Chernobyl and Fukushima really don’t rate at all high. Most animals are not nearly as long lived as people (at least in the wild) and they seem to be doing just fine around Chernobyl.


#16

The right benefits from spinning a narrative that delays the conversation 15 years, at which point I’m sure they’ll come up with something else if they haven’t been booted from the public discourse by then.

Obviously this is quite stupid, the data doesn’t back it up.

Also it is very short sighted, even if the sun enters a temporary cooling period that isn’t a blank check to up greenhouse gasses or we’d be doubly screwed when that period ends.


#17

Without wishing to comment on the sun spot stuff, the “London Bridge stopped sea water moving up river and that’s why the Thames froze” line is dubious. If that were the case, you would expect the Thames to freeze still further up stream where the water is completely fresh - this doesn’t happen. I can’t remember the last time the Thames in Oxford froze over (Wikipedia suggests 1964) - and certainly never to a thickness to support people, let alone horses and carts and the building of fires etc - all of which were common occurrences on the old frost fairs.


#18

It froze at Oxford in 2010, apparently.

Somewhat tangentially, I remember walking on the frozen Cam in Cambridge in the mid-1980s (the creaking of the ice was absolutely terrifying). It’s apparently frozen thick enough since then to allow bicycling.


#19

We actually don’t have any good figures on this because the Soviets rounded up everyone who lived in the area and scattered them throughout Russia to hide the spike in cancer rates.


#20

Parachute failure? Now we are really in the weeds. Things people do right after ‘Hold my beer’. Hardly in the same category as a child dying from leukemia that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

We will never know how many people are killed, or simply never exist, because of Fukushima. All accoutability (as well as accounting) has been suspended, as radiation monitors are turned off (or probably classified as military secrets). Food is no longer tested for rad pollution, or testing is much reduced… My guess is that Japan will be less crowded in the 22nd century than it is now. Could be a lot less.

Anywho, the article was about CO2 pollution, and climate. And what the planet will look like in 100 years, after we are gone. Yes, there is an effect. CO2 scatters infrared. We can see the impact on alpine ecosystems, as they creep up to higher altitudes, and some get squeezed by running out of mountain.

But of course, fission products last for centuries as well. And there are astonishingly large piles of the crud at nuke power stations everywhere. A milligram will kill you, like Litvenenko. And between human stupidity and geology, every nuke power station is simply waiting…

But I’m with you on the ‘carbon credits’. Nothing but financial fraud, won’t impact carbon at all. In reality, nothing will, probably. The climate will do whatever it is going to do. Some common sense on ‘renewable’ fuels and deforestation might be nice, but I don’t see much progress on that, either.

You see, all these arguments always revolve around this notion 'but we need the energy…" and the fact is that energy use will not continue its exponential growth no matter what. Not only do we not need the energy, we are going to get by on less energy per capita, going forward. You may look up the math, as I am coming to the end of this comment, but it revolves around the exponential function.