environment,energy,greenhouse,gas,carbon,dioxide,global,nuclear energy,clean energy,emissions,global climate change,environmental impacts, Nuclear Energy Can Save US: September 2008

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.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rising Seas: Not the Only Danger of CO2.

As discussed in the August, 15, 2008, post, our sun, the star Sol, may be entering a cooling phase, which in turn could be related to sunspot cycles. As a slightly variable star, Sol's cyclic changes in heat output will take centuries to determine. However, a possible few decades of cooling could give Earth some relief from rising seas, i.e., if cooling is not extreme (See also August 15 post). However, other dangers of CO2 can't be muted by a cold spell.

30-50% of the world's CO2 is absorbed in the ocean, about the same also in plant life on land. Another serious danger of CO2, is that the ocean's acidity is increasing. Per LA Times articles, resurgence of ancient conditions, poisonous jellyfish, burning seaweeds, and toxic clouds from algae blooms are already being detected in many oceans. Important lakes, and rivers like the Hudson in New York, can be saved from pollution death by decades of effort, but what could be done for 140 million square miles of ocean if we let it get out of hand.

Luckily, efforts to fight deforestation (20-30% of CO2 emissions), are increasing. Per Project Earth show on the Discover channel, studies of large-scale forest reseeding from aircraft look practical. Also, discussions at Bali, for a treaty to replace Kyoto, seem headed toward financial incentives for indigenous people to save their forests. About time! Last year, the World Bank announced that they had G-8 support for a $250 million forest rescue fund, but they were not certain of investor response unless a new treaty covered the risks. (Even so, $250 million is not much money for the work that is so critical.) If most of this CO2, say 20% of the world's emissions, could be averted, it would be like 900, one-gig nukes, replacing 900, one-gig, coal-burning plants.

PS: Sol is at the low-point in its 11-year sunspot cycle. Sunspots should not be frequent, but last month, August 2008, was the first, full-month in a century, which has passed without a single visible sunspot (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO, satellite).
Some experts think this may presage a cooler sun and cooler weather for Earth, but no one knows for certain.