@dajbelshaw re: blight green - i find this bit overly pessimistic. "Geo engineering" is "large scale", but how do we define that exactly? There are dreams like the Sinai peninsula project (linked) and there are restoration projects that have pretty big impacts (like Onondaga Lake restoration). Is restoration NOT Geo engineering? Also nuclear power has a very bad rep. However, production and nuclear waste disposal *can* be safe/non-polluting. https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/20/our-biggest-challenge-lack-of-imagination-the-scientists-turning-the-desert-green
@epilepticrabbit 🤔 I'd love to read something on how nuclear can be anything other than terrible for the planet for thousands of years?
@epilepticrabbit OK, well I'll see that and raise you the fact that nuclear power stations tend to be next to the sea, and sea levels are rising
@dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit Intario (the Canadian province where I live, with 15 million people) has very quietly been generating energy from non-carbon sources fo years now, most of which is nuclear (and less than 4% from natural gas or oil). So I think nuclear can be a viable solution, if you focus on what works, and not on what doesn't. https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-markets/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles-ontario.html
@dajbelshaw @Downes @epilepticrabbit Ultimately some kind of municipal battery-storage, like sodium-ion batteries, might supplant the need for a base-load generation system. But even when countries are "100% renewable" I'll bet that they still generate baseload and just export the excess, because nobody likes blackouts when the wind slows tomorrow and backup stations take time to come online and reach peak efficiency.
Baseload can be fossil ( ) , biomass (nope nope nope), hydro (aaaaaah), or nuclear. Nuclear creates the fewest deaths and least pollution by a massive margin. Responsible placement and design matters, as you say, but safely decommissioning a plant as the sea rises is probably easier than with fossil fly ash silos.
I'll grant that Hydro decommissions itself quite nicely, albeit in an unplanned and uncontrolled way that kills lots of people. With these new patterns of blocking rain systems we're seeing in Europe I expect to see a few such events in years to come, or the quiet decommissioning of lots of hydro plants..
@epilepticrabbit @dajbelshaw A lot of negativity around nuclear comes from propaganda from the fossil fuel industry. (Obvious disasters were avoidable, and three in 60 years is a fraction of fossil fuel industry disasters). I have no doubt that nuclear has to play role until renewable tech is scaled up. The risk of including too much nuclear is “ah sure, do we really need renewables at all, at all?” creeping in. We need renewables.
@dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit In terms of direct loss of life, they’re nowhere close. It’s one of those techs that *can* be done better, for sure, but fossil fuel burning has pretty much peaked in terms of how clean it can get. I think the lack of carbon emissions from nuclear is by itself a compelling reason to include it in the mix (unless energy consumption drops through the floor, which ain’t going to happen).
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