Rethinking Nuclear Power

Here is an interesting story by Michael Schellenberger. He explains his transformation from being anti-Nuclear to pro-Nuclear energy generation.

Is nuclear power as dangerous as we’ve been led to believe?

How do the dangers of nuclear energy compare to the dangers of fossil fuel energy? A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that some 50,000-100,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by particulate air pollution, the biggest cause of which is coal-burning power plants in the midwest and east. Even taking the maximum predicted death toll from Chernobyl, we would need a Chernobyl-sized accident every three weeks to make nuclear power as deadly as coal and oil already is.
Brian Dunning

Did you know that nuclear power could be one of the biggest, cleanest energy providers?

…we’ve been trying to do solar for a long time and yet we get less than a half of a percent of our electricity globally from solar, about two percent from wind, and the majority of our clean energy comes from nuclear and hydro.

And according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nuclear produces four times less carbon emissions than solar does. That’s why they recommended in their recent report the more intensive use of renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

It’s time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science & start questioning the impacts of our actions Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?
– Michael Schellenberger –

Climate Change: Scientists Vs Politicians and Media

The QuipperyClimate change is an urgent topic of discussion among politicians, journalists and celebrities… but what do scientists say about climate change? Does the data validate those who say humans are causing the earth to catastrophically warm? Richard Lindzen, an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world’s leading climatologists, summarizes the science behind climate change.
– Prager U –

Canada Historical Climate Trends

Canada is the second largest country in the world, with an area of 9,984,670 square km (3,854,082 square miles). Canada has apparently been keeping track of temperatures across the country since 1948. The number of weather stations that track weather, now and in the past, is impossible to determine. Canada’s Weather and Climate website does not make it easy to find that kind of information.

Here are the reports I have been able to find about Climate Trends and Variations in Canada.

Summary of annual mean temperature departure Lineal Trends:

2007: 1.4°C
2008: unavailable
2009: 1.4°C
2010: 1.5°C
2011: unavailable
2012: 1.7°C
2013: 1.6°C
2014: 1.6°C
2015: 1.6°C
2016: 1.7°C
2017: 1.8°C
2018: 1.7°C

Canada 2007

The trend over the period 1948 to 2007 shows a 1.4°C increase when looking at annual temperature departures from the 1951 to 1980 climate normal.

Canada 2009

The blue linear trend line – national annual temperatures warmed by 1.4°C since 1948. Temperature data from more than 330 weather stations were used to compute seasonal and annual departures from normal. A Baseline Average was calculated from 1961-1990 data. The annual mean temperature departure trends for the nation as a whole and for all climatic regions showed confidence levels varying from 90% to 99.9%.

Canada 2010

Annual mean temperature anomalies 1950-2010 as departures from the 1961-1990 average. The red dashed linear trend line indicates national annual temperatures warmed by 1.5°C since 1948. Source: Vincent et al. 2012; Environment Canada 2011.

Canada 2012

The red dashed linear trend line – national annual temperatures  warmed by 1.7°C since 1948.

Canada 2013

The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation warmed by 1.6°C since 1948.

Global and Canada 2013

Annual mean temperature anomalies and linear trends for the globe, all of Canada, southern Canada (i.e., south of 60°N), and northern Canada (i.e., north of 60°N) over the period 1948–2013 (relative to the 1961–1990 average). Canadian mean temperatures were computed using the CANGRD data set (updated from Zhang et al., 2000), which is based on homogenized temperature data from 338 stations in Canada.

Canada 2014

The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation warmed by 1.6°C since 1948.

Canada 2015

The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation warmed by 1.6°C since 1948.

Canada 2016

The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation warmed by 1.7°C since 1948.

Canada 2017

The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation warmed by 1.8°C since 1948.

Canada 2018

Winter 2017-2018 – The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 3.4°C over the past 71 years.

Spring 2018: The linear trend indicates that spring temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.6°C over the past 71 years.

Summer 2018: The linear trend indicates that summer temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.5°C over the past 71 years.

Annual 2018: The linear trend indicates that annual temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.7°C over the past 71 years.

Precipitation to 2016

When averaged across the nation, annual precipitation amounts have tended to be wetter than the 1961-1990 average since the beginning of the 1970s.

Precipitation 2017

Winter precipitation for December 2016, January 2017, and February 2017

Spring precipitation (March-May)

Summer precipitation (June to August)

All of this information is, or was at one time, posted on the Canada Environment and Climate Change website. They state that this information is available for personal or public non-commercial use and may be reproduced, in part or in whole, and by any means, without charge or further permission, unless otherwise specified.

Everyone Talks about the Weather

Weather is the state of the atmosphere at any given time and place. Climate is the long-term average of the weather in a given place. While the weather can change in minutes or hours, a change in climate is something that develops over longer periods of decades to centuries.
– United States Environmental Protection Agency –

Certain ‘activist’, ‘extremist’ or ‘alarmist’ media will invariably report colder than average temperatures as just being ‘weather’. Warmer than average temperatures will be reported as   ‘climate change caused by CO2 emissions’(formerly global warming.)

Drought, extreme rainfall, heat waves, wild fires, cyclones, flooding, hurricanes – certain media will always claim these are caused by climate change, even if reputable scientific sources dispute these claims.

Whether you are an Anthropogenic Climate Change Believer or Skeptic, the important question is “What are you going to do about it?” In a one-year longitudinal study of 600 American adults, participants reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures. (Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 56, April 2018, Pages 55-62)

Three belief clusters emerged: the “Skeptical,” who believed least in anthropogenic climate change; the “Cautiously Worried,” who had moderate beliefs; and the “Highly Concerned” who had the strongest concerns.

The unexpected twist in this study is: the “Highly Concerned” were most supportive of government climate policies, but were least likely to take individual-level actions. The “Skeptical” opposed government policy solutions but were most likely to take individual-level pro-environmental action.

One observation that came from this study was that changing Skeptical minds might be less important than getting the Highly Concerned to take personal responsibility.

Skepticism is not nihilism or being negative; it’s adding an extra filter. Rather than taking anything for granted, you want to validate the truth. You don’t take social constructs as true no matter how strong peer pressure is.

Skepticism is not denialism either. Anything is possible (or not) until proven the contrary. Challenging a theory is how new lines of thinking are created. If you believe that one idea is an absolute truth, you don’t leave room for incremental improvement.
– Gustavo Razzetti –

How fearful are you of Climate Change?

Putting Weather into Perspective – Climate Change

I have shoulder strain from the last two days of raking. Not just ordinary raking, either. On the north side of the house, I was raking snow off the patio, out onto the driveway. I thought it would expedite the melting process. Otherwise the four foot drifts will take a long time to melt, and I’ve got pansies under there somewhere! On the south side of the house, I was raking dead grass. I was spreading it onto the flower beds where it will act as mulch. I’ve never raked snow and grass on the same day before…

Today, I’ll take a day off from raking and I’ll go back to shoveling. It is snowing, and about 4 inches of very large, fluffy flakes have fallen in the past few hours. The big rock behind the house looks quite a bit different than yesterday’s photo. No ducks and geese sitting on top, basking in the sunshine. The ducks have abandoned both the rock and the pond, and are wading through the snow on the lawn. Duck Foot Prints are everywhere.

I expect ducks have come across this situation in the past, and they will deal with it in whatever way ducks cope with adversity. They adapt pretty well. Their forefathers have been coming to this pond for hundreds, if not thousands of years, so ducks as a species have a pretty long range perspective about how climate changes.

Which brings me to the topic of my perspective on Global Warming and/or Climate Change. I am much like a duck. I’ve seen decades where it got colder, and ones where it got warmer. So yes, I believe the climate is changing, and I’ll even agree that the climate is warming right now. I’m not, however, convinced that ALL of this change is the result of mankind. I think we give ourselves way too much credit to think we can so completely and utterly affect the climate, while ignoring all the historical cycles the planet has gone through since life first appeared 3.8 billion years ago.

And selfishly, I’d rather see the world warming than cooling. These really big rocks behind my house arrived on the glaciers and I’m not keen on seeing some more of them move into the neighborhood…