environment,energy,greenhouse,gas,carbon,dioxide,global,nuclear energy,clean energy,emissions,global climate change,environmental impacts, Nuclear Energy Can Save US: This Century Malthus Could Be Right (Part Three)

Nuclear Energy Can Save US--America�s 100 nukes equal four million barrels of oil per day.


Billions of lives and civilization itself may be at risk from the Global Warming & End of Cheap Oil, Crisis. Rising sea levels and rising oil prices could be the end of civilization as we know it. The problem is so huge that the most powerful answer, many nuclear plants, must be deployed. Currently, America‘s 100 nukes deliver the energy of four million barrels of oil per day. Wind and solar cannot do the job, and may delay the real answer too long. Still, all kinds of clean energy, plus conservation, plus reducing deforestation, will be needed to help the poor half of the world, and for civilization to survive through this century.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Century Malthus Could Be Right (Part Three)

Just one week ago, I became frightened when I read that we Americans are dependent on fossil fuel for the productivity of farmers (Please read "Eating Fossil Fuel", referenced in Part One of this post.) Now today, Oct. 17, 2007, the US Agricultural Department dropped a Bombshell; US wheat stockpiles have fallen to the lowest levels in 59 years.
There are many reasons, some easy to correct, but others are scary:
Farmers harvest 40 bushels per acre now, versus 17 in WWII, but acreage is down by one-third, or 28 million acres. The extra grain was produced by fossil-fuel farming.
20% of last year's corn crop went to make ethanol-INSANITY (my opinion).
Bad harvests in the Ukraine, one of Europe's breadbaskets, was followed by poor harvests in Russia, Egypt, and Australia; Global Warming is blamed by some experts. This is not proven, but how can we blithely ignore the possibility?
USDA slashed its estimate of Australian harvest from 19 million to 13.5 million tons.
China and India are importing more and more food each year, for their growing populations and improving life styles. However, drought has withered 27 million acres in China.
Despite its rising GDP, India's food grain production has been stagnant for a decade. Also, since they produce very little oil, they plan on 35 million acres of biofuel crops. This may be a worse form of INSANITY than America's ethanol; India's people do not have surplus food.
US prices for food and beverages rose 4.2% in the 12 months through August. USDA estimates the next 12-month rise at 4.0%; but what if it is double that, as others guess? So many nations are rushing to buy our exports, since they consider them cheap.
15% of the world's food grows on depleting ground water, or rivers that are drying up.
It is time for the world to stop whistling in the dark. Thousands of nuclear plants and millions of wind turbines must be built. Worries of so-called "nuclear waste", proliferation, etc. are as nothing in comparison with the possible total collapse of world civilization.

6 comments:

Rod Adams said...

Richard:

I just discovered your blog though a link from NEI Nuclear Notes. It is great to have someone with your experience and education sharing your thoughts about such an important topic.

As you said, America's 104 reactors provide us with the energy equivalent of 4 million barrels of oil per day. Worldwide, the total quantity of nuclear generated energy is about 12 million barrels of oil per day. That is about 30% more than Saudi Arabia!

Just think what the price of oil would be if nuclear power had kept growing at the rate it achieved in the early 1970s. Wonder if there is any relationship between the prosperity of the oil, coal and gas industries and the well financed efforts to slow nuclear power developments?

Keep up the good work.

Rod Adams
Editor, Atomic Insights
Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast

Charles Barton said...

Thank you for your excellent blog.

shawrich said...

I have always believed that the oil and gas companies were only interested in pushing there own industry; though they may have been glad that nuclear was hampered. Also, I lost the data, but some big shot financier from Morgan Stanley I think, was quoted two months ago saying that oil and gas companies must get into nuclear energy if they don't want to be left behind. This would be good, the oil comapnies have enormous resources, and the Morgan Stanley's of the world will have to manage all the capital that will be needed. Thank you. Dick Shaw

shawrich said...

For Mr. Barton. Thank you. Dick Shaw

Rod Adams said...

Dick:

The oil companies MIGHT have worked hard to simply improve their own game while not making any effort to slow down their competition. I find that scenario unlikely.

However, there are a number of countries whose only claim to prosperity is their ownership of extensive oil, coal or gas resources. A few of them have significant reasons for wanting to use those resources as a weapon against "western" democracies.

The leaders of those countries are part of the fossil fuel industry. I have strong reasons for suspecting that they did more than just watch the anti-nuclear industry develop.

shawrich said...

I thought that you were talking about US/western oil companies. I have no ideas about what OPEC nations might do, except that, it is almost cetain that the nuclear industries troubles stemmed mostly from two events. Neither really amounted to anything, in comparison with, say Bhopal, India chemical plant disaster. There one employee killed and maimed thousands just by opening a valve one night while everyone slept. Dick Dhaw