A sustainable world is one powered by solar, wind, batteries and molten salt or other breeder reactors. Biofuels can not generate enough energy to power the world and power their own production. Research should be conducted to invent even better of all these, and fusion (but biofuels must be recognized as filling only a small part of humanity’s needs). A sustainable world also has enough clean energy to remove its excess CO2 from the atmosphere and recycle everything via plasma gasification facilities. Minimalist “energy is bad” ideology is anti-sustainable (since more energy is needed to be truly sustainable).
Only clean energy can power futureworld. Only a free market (with some but not too many rules) can provide the economic means to build clean energy. And only the environment can provide both (we must not allow global warming and pollution). These are the “3 E’s” to which humanity must obey. They are the pillars to a growing humanity which does not cause tragedy of the commons.
We can not allow minimalism or socialism to obstruct any of these objectives. Following is evidence that shows that socialist ideology has firmly planted its seeds into our free market principles which seek to build walls against clean energy The oil companies aren’t the only opposition to an awesome futureworld! Thus, a forth component to a sustainable world is one free of planned scarcity (socialism). I do not know how to prevent that other than to post links so that we can spread the awareness that political agendas use global warming and “sustainability” as an excuse to create planned scarcity…
His admin is “ordering a sweeping environmental review” of the offshore wind industry. What a Freaking idiot! Like a bunch of wind spinners are going to cause pollution! They don’t ban fossil fuels, and now, they can’t because they are banning that which is good and needed to replace fossil fuels with. They are in effect, using “fisheries” as an excuse to continue polluting the biosphere with oil.
The oil companies aren’t the only ones against abundant clean energy
What is more important, keeping your rights or saving the planet? Actually, both are just as important because one cannot exist without the other.
Keeping our rights is mandatory in order to insure that we can even fix Anthropogenic Global Warming. Without the right to the pursuit of happiness, we refuse the economic means to afford scientific solutions to whatever problems that might pop up. The current pandemic is happening because our leaders were not quick to instantly mandate social distancing. In like manner, our biosphere is going to heat up to a point where only urgent actions could cool it off unless we act now to prevent it (we don’t want to blast a bunch of sulfur dioxide in the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight to offset extra CO2 caused radiative forcing)!
To be sure, the solution to a pandemic is NOT the same as the solution to fixing AGW. It is actually the opposite of merely sitting around doing nothing! In fact, the global pandemic has only decreased CO2 emissions by a small amount because we use electricity, get clean water, use gas to cook and even use the car to buy food which requires all these same infrastructures to produce. We also use a bit of energy watching and interacting with media. And people can order things made in factories. The point is that mere conservation within the dino paradigm is NOT a solution.
Only the industrial mass manufacture of clean energy components can stop global warming which gives us the power to eradicate poverty, too
Unfortunately, we have some errant thinking concerning global warming solutions. Most believers in AGW think that we have to reduce our energy demands. Doing so merely reduces our economic output, the tool to creating better science based solutions, like better solar, bigger wind, better batteries and far more efficient and safer nuclear. We can not let the minimalist or socialist ideology to rob our awesome American future with their preventing the above vast clean energy options. We can not become confused and polarized because a few silly birds want a nonsensical New green deal because it does not promote large scale clean energy. Only the free market (with some rules embedded) can build molten salt reactors, big wind, big solar and better batteries.
“Governments should not waste our money on a dangerous toy,” Jan Van de Putte of Greenpeace International said when ITER was announced in 2005. Van de Putte predicted it will never be efficient – so why bother?
Spokesperson Bridget Woodman said: “Nuclear fusion has all the problems of nuclear power, including producing nuclear waste and the risks of a nuclear accident.”
A secret memo written by the Sierra Club’s executive director proposed a strategy of fear-mongering to make nuclear expensive. “Our campaign stressing the hazards of nuclear power will supply a rationale for increasing regulation… and add to the cost of the industry,”
Wellock, T. R. 1998. Critical Masses: Opposition to Nuclear Power in California, 1958-1978. Univ of Wisconsin Press.
You could argue that an environmental organization might not have to balance the pros and cons of nuclear, that all they really have to do (at the largest scale) is promote solar and wind. However, Greenpeace knew that nuclear was needed (at the time) to overcome global warming.
“If the U.S. is to meet its ever-increasing demands for energy, while reducing the threat of climate change and reliance on overseas oil, then the American nuclear industry must be revitalized and permitted to grow.”
“This would have generated much-needed revenue. All you have to do is drive down there and see the conditions of our roads. We have minimal amounts of public safety. This was going to be a big thing, but the rug was pulled out from under us. And it was all done in secret.
The environmental groups should have been our allies,” Botelho said. “They are the ones pushing the state to reduce carbon emissions. I just don’t understand it.”
And Greenpeace was one of the groups calling it a “win-win” for scaling down thatsolar project!
I understand the concerns of local environmentalists because we need to preserve nature the best we can. However, environmental leaders should be helping out with ways to protect wildlife from much needed RE construction. Instead of solutions, (it seems) they’d rather see us continue the use of fossil fuels which ultimately will destroy the entirety of ALL wildlife via AGW. They even accepted fossil fuel money! Again, I’m not opposing local environmentalists around the world, just their leaders who oppose the advanced nuclear options and the large scale solar/wind/battery options!
The oil companies aren’t the only ones against abundant clean energy
I searched to get a general idea of how much it would cost for Cortez’ trains. What I came up with is a shocking “Oh no!”. Just ONE high speed rail project (that I voted for) would end up trying to cost $100,000,000,000. And that’s just for 1/2 of a state.
Environmentalists cry global warming – and then propose the stupidest solutions. I’m going to do a little bit of math and after that, no one will EVER use global warming as a VALID excuse for building a bunch of trains. I use global warming as an impetus to build the solid state clean energy infrastructure, not to promote transportation modes that are sooo last century.
Ok, figure on a nice even 10x what the state of CA was trying to do. And figure 100,000 people ride the trains every day. And figure half price, for a total of 20 super cool trains for a cool trillion dollars. That’s only 2 million people a day, to not have to use “gas guzzling” cars. What’s the average, let’s call it a lowly 10 mpg (yes, I’m being way “conservative” here). And let’s say that all these people drive a whopping 100 miles, every day (even). That’s 200 million miles. Or 20 million gallons. Or about 420 million lbs of CO2. Or, not even close to a million tons of CO2 “saved”. Wow, whoopie! Ok, this, per day. Multiply that by 365 = a more respectable 69 million tonnes of CO2 saved, each year.
Now, let’s consider energy inputs (needed to build a bunch of trains)… Nevermind, let’s be even more conservative and say “only clean energy will be used to make it”. That would be great, but how will we afford clean energy if we spend a trillion on trains?
Instead, I will go a more sensible and exciting route! And you guessed it. Let’s spend a trillion dollars on wind, solar and batteries. I will assume that the combined capacity factor of wind and solar will be just 30% (solar is like 20 to 25 and wind is like 30 to 35%). This means we have to build up by the inverse, or 3.33x plus account for storage inefficiency. Figure 4x wind/solar and 3 parts of that into battery storage just to make a 24/7 reliable clean energy system.
Large scale wind is about $2/watt and large scale solar is about $1/watt. Let’s just call it $1.50/watt (by the time we ever build this much). Batteries in bulk, by the time we spend this much on wind/solar, will only be about 10 cents per watt hour of storage capacity, which should last about 15 years (maybe more by the time we build it). That’s the predicted $100/kWh in 2021. The combined amount to be stored should be almost equal to the overbuild needed (to make up for low capacity factors) minus “1” (that part being used without need for storage). So, 3/4ths of generated goes into storage. That’s about 6 hours worth in this combined setup (less for solar, and more for wind, as per their capacity factors). Call it 8 hours total, just for simplicity.
8 hours of wind/solar at $1.50/watt plus 6 hours of storage at $.10/watt hour equals a trillion dollars in this case to reject ALL new trains for ALL new RE. This, assuming we already have such a thing called long powerlines, needed to better distribute from sunny and windy areas to nonsuch, to save on storage, so that we only need up to 3/4ths of a days worth of such. Algebra anybody? Since I can’t seem to quickly figure it out, I will “trial and error” it.
Let’s spend 600 billion on the wind and solar. Now we have 400 billion watts of clean energy generating capacity. We will store 300 billion x the 6 hours worth, or 1,800 billion watts, costing a tenth of that, or 180 billion. Since I don’t really know algebra (and figure exactly what a trillion dollars would give us) I’ll be (even more) conservative and say, “let’s just spend 780 billion dollars on wind, solar and batteries instead of spending a whole trillion dollars on stupid trains”.
What emissions savings do we have, now???
Each gallon of gas creates about 20 lbs of excess CO2. It also is “worth” 32,000 watt hours. However, since about 3/4ths of that is wasted in the conversion to mobility, I will say 10,000 watts (ok, I’m still being slightly conservative!). I must state that the 1,800 billion watts put into storage could be used to displace gasoline. 1,800 billion divided by 32,000 = 56 million gallons of gas, displaced, every day. Or, 20.5 billion a year, or a CO2 displacement of 400 billion lbs, which is over 180 million metric tons. Since gasoline only converts about one third of its energy into mobility, I get to add in that inverse, multiplying that 180 MT by 3 to get a realistic figure, being that electric cars are about 4x more efficient than gas cars! So, being not so conservative, I get just over half a billion tonnes save.
Compare that with just 69 MT of CO2 saved with the trains, an eight fold return on our (even lesser amount of) investment! BOOM!
The United States could definitely sustain itself beyond fossil fuels. However, it really seems like the answer will be a definite no, because it appears we still want to try to sustain ourselves with mostly fossil fuels. Eventually their costs will go up as the low hanging fruit is converted to even more excess CO2. And global warming will become an exponential threat. Every decade will see greater damage, till eventually, we might not even be able to feed ourselves. Of course, the world will have to use better agricultural techniques to remove much of it, convert large amounts of deserts into biofuels crops that create new CO2 sucking soil and for burning for energy while practising bio-CCS.
Even during the supposed energy crises, we did not opt to re-invent the meltdown proof reactor (links below). Now, it’s probably too late because of all the evil and greedy politicians that no longer have the best interests of the country they were sworn in to protect at heart. Republicans used to like nuclear. Now, both sides don’t want to do anything but a token gesture. Obama helped out with solar, although failing miserably with Solaria, an honest 600 million dollar mistake?
I see our lousy transition efforts from fossil fuels (FF) as just causing further political polarization. Why is it that the Dems which supposedly want 100% renewable energy not causing a furious “debate” over it? Why are other, lesser, issues eclipsing the action needed. Why is it that environmentalists also do not want large scale wind, solar and nuclear? Why do these people say “global warming” and then shout against large scale clean energy? Doesn’t make any sense!
Some people really believe that we can’t transition from FF, however, the Federal government could make it such that the U.S. could properly and efficiently transition from FFs.
If you, I and everybody else wanted it!
They might not know how to just yet but they do know that they would succeed if that was to be their goal. They could initiate a few hundred billion dollar war effort style research and development campaign not unlike the building of 300,000 warplanes in less than half a decade, seventy years ago, and landing men on the Moon half a century ago to simply re-invent the molten salt reactor, or other efficient reactor, to be mass produced by private enterprise and to perfect battery technology for use in ALL vehicles and heavy equipment.
France did the nuclear thing, almost half a century ago!
Gloss over these links and you’ll see why we might not have a bright future…
Solar power potential
To power the U.S with solar would require about 4.4x more than what environmentalists think (always stated at 10,000 sq mi). We use almost 100 quadrillion Btu. If converted to electricity, about 29 trillion kWh (or 29 PWh).
We know that about 2/3rds of this energy is wasted in the conversion into electricity and mobility due to the confines of thermodynamics. So, we can reduce this number by that much to find the amount of solar panels needed.
10 trillion kWh over the course of 1 year is equal to 1.15 TW. The actual capacity is 1.075 TW so, we can figure on 1 TW for now.
Some might be tempted to say “just install 1 TW of solar”. However, that would only produce about 25% of that (usually less)! In winter, the capacity factor is down and in the summer, up. Large PV farms have got 25%, so, we’ll go with that.
Therefore, we need 4 TW plus extra for inefficiency of storage. Pumped Hydro is between 60 and 90% eff (will say 75% round trip).
The battery revolution is coming and their roundtrip eff should be in the 90% range so back down to 4.5 TW. At 25 sq km/GW (based on solar farm in India), that would require almost 115,000 sq km or about 44,000 square miles. The U.S. is about 3.8 million sq mi in area, and thus, solar alone, would require 1/86th of the land.
Of course, this doesn’t include other losses like from inverters and powerlines. However, I didn’t deduct energy requirements for refining crude oil and shipping gas, either. We could need more energy in the future as the population increases and uses energy for as of yet unknown reasons and for CO2 removal, despite potential efficiency gains. Electric car eff has already been figured in when I cut the total energy use by two thirds.
Despite previous predictions, solar is NOT experiencing exponential growth in the U.S. However, Florida Power and Light is to install at least 10 GW of solar by 2030alone! So, it’s hard to tell if America really wants to sustain itself when global warming gets so bad that there will become international law against fossil fuels. The following img looks to be more of a linear growth, unfortunately.
Tesla’s batteries are forecast to be as low as $60/kWh in 2023. Let’s say that with installation costs, they get it down to $100/kWh. We’ll need to store for a day providing interconnection across the whole country to overcome local storms. We’ll need to put 75% of a day’s worth of solar into batteries. 25% (the capacity factor of solar) of a day is 6 hours. 6 x 4.5 TW is 27 and that x .75 is just over 20 TWh. At $100/kWh, that should cost 2 trillion dollars.
For comparison, that’s almost exactly 1/3rd of the US’ gross domestic product, about 13national highway systems and a bit more thanthe Iraq war, at about 4–5 trillion. I’m sure it could be done over twenty years, and replaced every thirty years. The batteries last for about 5,000 cycles,or about 13 years, discharged once per day. Can we afford to do that too? Is this the only clean choice? There’s wind, and lots of it, however, it will not back solar. This can reduce the need for storage, slightly.
Grand total for 50 years: $15.2 trillion plus interest
And that’s just for one large country! If we were to do the nuclear option, the costs should be down to below $5 trillion assuming safety and security costs are added to much cheaper mass produced units which last for 50 years.
Solar can power the United States with storage using just 1% of the land
French style nuclear could have powered the world since the 1970’s for 50 years until the solar/storage revolution in 2020. However…
Nuclear would cost at least 3x less for the next 50 years!
We can have better nuclear. We do have better material designs and better ways of making molten salt reactors. Consider the “ordinary” molten salt reactor for a moment, where the fuel is in the mix. Eventually, much of the entire periodic table of elements will want to plate to the heat exchanger. Doable, but not good for long term capital. Now, consider putting the molten salt fuel mix in rods, just like conventional reactors, except having a different mix of molten salt (like table salt) as the coolant. Now, we don’t have all the fission products trying to clog the heat exchanger. They are inside the zirconium clad fuel salt rods. Still, there might be a corrosion issue, however, the tank is now rad free (rad is in the tubes). Now, all the parts can be replaced with little or no rad issues. Also, permitters really don’t like the idea of the process of fission going on everywhere in the tank, around heat exchangers and through pumps… The below videos explains this better technology.
I want to refute anyone that tries to change our minds about anthropogenic global warming, or AGW, being a serious issue. And now, although I have not made for myself the resources necessary to refute prominent people, I feel that it’s my duty to pick apart the half truths spoken by the vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, Danielle Pletka, here on a site that, unfortunately, may never be seen by many.
There’s videos on Youtube that explains the clever psychology AGW skeptics use – to subtly change your mind, with. I’ll post links in hopes that I help spread the word.
And, of course, it’s these videos from whence I found out about Danielle’s quest to downplay AGW on none other than “Meet the Press”.
Arguments against concern over AGW and MY debunk.
The “CO2 follows warming” argument. Well, of course higher temps will cause more CO2 and I’m sure there’s proof of it in the past. However, this time, the actual effects of the GHG is causing infrared radiative forcing to the tune of about 1.5 W/m^2 which is about 75x the extra heating caused by all our energy usage. Note that, hundreds of millions of years ago, we’re talking different planets and even different stars! Different land masses cause different ocean currents, smaller sun require more CO2, etc. A good “control” is the isthmus of Panama. It was there 3 million years ago during the Pliocene. For some reason, the ppm was about 400 and the seas were between some 15 and 80 meters higher. Probably depending on natural variations like earth’s wobble, orbital eccentricity, etc.
The “CO2 is insignificant” argument. GHGs have to be insignificant in proportion to the amount of air we actually need. It doesn’t matter much that there’s only .o4% CO2. The lower amount of .028% is what did the job at keeping the biosphere warm in the first place. Note also, that it was way down to some 190 ppm during ice ages! If you really think it’s ok to adjust the GHGs in OUR air, you had better get another “control planet” to prove me (and billions of other people) wrong with.
Some “downplay” tactics. People that don’t believe, or don’t care will try to convince you of such. However, they know that it’s not easy to change somebody’s mind. Therefore, they will go along with it, before denouncing. Take Danielle’s sentences, that I will pick apart, for example,
The problem for many is that they perceive this as an agenda that is much more about corporate and much more about law and much more about the kind of governance that America has and much less about climate.
That has no scientific relation to AGW but makes it seem like AGW is more of a political issue – which it is not. Next is,
So from the standpoint of those who have doubts about this, and I don’t think we can have any doubts that there is climate change, whether it’s anthropogenic, I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.
Again, no scientific reasoning against AGW, but willing to believe it, but not know it. Perhaps suggesting that it is ok to think it is not anthropogenic. Next line,
I look at this as a citizen and I see it so I understand it.
She just said she doesn’t know if it’s anthropogenic (caused by people). Perhaps said said this to reinforce the “I’m with you” stance. Next,
On the other hand, we need to also recognize that we just had two of the coldest years, the biggest drop in global temperatures that we’ve had since the 1980s, the biggest in the last 100 years.
Let’s just look at the ever upwards trending graph and focus only on a little drop in temps. And is it the largest drop in temps since 1980 or since 1918? Let’s look at the “global temps” graph… From temperature record.
You have to actually go there to see the years, and to select and drag to zoom in, like I did for this image. This shows from just 1980 to a few months past 2018. Surely, there’s the down spikes she used to downplay with. However, as you can see, the lowest point is still higher than what the highest point was in 1980’s time period! Furthermore, this graph shows that nature will go up and down, but gradually up. It’s lower in the 1970’s where the “0 mark” seems to average out at, too. Go there to see since the year 1000, to zoom in and to see other data. It’s nice to see all the way across the computer screen. Anyways, Her next sentence is,
We don’t talk about that because it’s not part of the agenda.
Yes we do talk about that, otherwise it would be a big elaborate conspiracy plot that doesn’t show any data! She is clearly making it sound, again, like a political agenda, like it’s ok to not like to believe, or know about, AGW. Next,
The United States has been dropping in C02 emissions since we pulled out of Paris.
It has gone down, slightly. Gee, let’s all celebrate the fact that we have become slightly more efficient (put roll eyes here). That’s to be expected, thanks to science and technology. What’s not to be celebrated is the fact that her fanboy, the U.S. president wants to cut emission standards for cars. If so, then obviously, that line would go up! She said,
…and let’s admit that Donald Trump does actually speak for… a pretty substantial bunch of people.
With that, we get the clue that there’s a lot of people who follows a leader that don’t care about AGW. Of course, there’s other, perceptibly more important reasons why 46% of the people would follow Trump. Next, she says,
There are actually good things that are happening.
Yes, there is. Next,
We are not using dirty coal anymore. It’s the Europeans who are using dirty coal. There actually is some corporate leadership on this. Yes, we need to deal with these problems, yes we need to mitigate the things we see. But we shouldn’t be hysterical.
Ya, blame it on the Europeans! I thought it was they who also do a good job at developing non fossil fuel sources – especially France! I believe, unfortunately, that she did a pretty good job at minimizing the concern over the conversion of very many cubic miles of oil and coal, pictured below, into over a trillion tons of excess CO2!
1 Cubic Mile of OIL
This post will be continuously added on to, to include more anti-science debunking, as it’s not nearly complete!
Hank picks apart how she tries to make us believe that AGW isn’t something to get “hysterical about”. She tries to make us think that Europe is worse than the U.S. concerning emissions. And that it’s really no big deal.
The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder
Sam and company relates to how ineffective her downplaying should be because (she says) she’s not a scientist and relates to how car companies might not want to ratchet down emission standards when the next guy in office will most probably raise them back up.
Here’s a link to the transcript of that particular episode of Meet the Press. What more can I add? How about the beginning text, from CHUCK TODD:
This Sunday, President Trump takes on his own government, the CIA, dismissing its finding and siding with the Saudi crown prince in the Khashoggi murder.
This post to be periodically edited to better explain how to actually remove the excess CO2.
Everyone is currently still debating whether or not global warming is real. Below, pictured, is about 1% of the fossil fuels burned by humanity… if that.
This is about 1 cubic mile of oil
Instead, they seem to want carbon taxes and entertain seriously flawed ideas of geo-engineering which will not remove the excess CO2. I don’t want to go there. If you do, just search something like “geoengineering CO2”. Perhaps replace the “CO2” with climate change, or (say it with a little evile…) sulfuric acid?Another compound is just SO2, or sulphur dioxide, which is also part of what volcanoes spew into the air.
The skeptics are right about the warmists’ gullibility. And the warmists are right about the skeptics lack of willingness to understand that CO2 is a GHG and that the future is, indeed, threatened. Yes, the gullibility of us renewable energy advocates, that think we can really power the world with just a few more multiples of what’s already installed. What a lack of doing the energy math!
I’ve revised my estimates concerning how much heat we produce compared to the sun. Since the sun delivers about 164 watts per square meter as the average everywhere and all the time (on Earth) and since the sun delivers (almost as much as) all the energy we use in an entire year – every hour, then simple math tells us that we add about 1/8,000ths extra heat to what the sun gives us, and all that energy decays into heat. So, 164 W/m^2 divided by 8,000 is 0.02 W/m^2 extra. We, no matter how clean our energy is, use as much energy to be just about 1/75th what our GHGs already force! Maybe if we remove all of that excess CO2, we’ll be ok.
I figure that FUTUREWORLD will require about 5x the energy we use now, that they will add literally 1/10th of a watt per square meter, extra heat to the world. Now, how much extra heat is caused by infrared radiative forcing? I will trust the scientists and assume it’s what they say. That is about 1.5 or so W/m^2. Therefore, in my last post, I was “slightly” wrong by saying future energy demands are hundreds of times less heat than today’s excess CO2. Future energy demands are about only 15x less heat than today’s excess CO2. Even now, we emit about 75x less heat by all of our energy use, than by the infrared radiative forcing from our CO2 emissions.
Pause for a moment to reflect upon what that means. Our waste products force 75x the heat to the biosphere than our actual energy expenditure!
So, how do we get rid of the extra CO2? Use plants (yes, real green plants) that store carbon deep into the soil. That’s how. The warmists just need to learn about the liquid carbon pathway – which is like learning a better way to do agriculture! Yep, the entire solution to global warming is (almost) that simple!
I say “almost” because we still need to build lots of desalination plants, lots of piping and, of course, much, much more clean energy systems (such as solar, wind, storage and molten salt nuclear reactors).
There will, contrary to the skeptic claims of mitigation being an economic black hole, be MORE prosperity as a result of all the extra infrastructure being built. Global powerlines (not literally 24,000 miles long) and desalination plants should erase poverty, across divided state lines, too.
Here’s more links about how to naturally and safely remove the excess CO2.
I seriously doubt that there isn’t enough land on Earth to remove a trillion tons of excess CO2. But to be sure, we can do some math. There’s about 197 million sq km of land on Earth. Farmers like to use hectares, so multiply by 100 for total hectares (1 hectare is 1/100th of a sq km). That’s 19.7 billion. We have to sequester about a trillion tons of excess CO2, which amounts to about 270 billion tons of carbon that will be converted from CO2 by photosynthesis and put back into the ground (divide CO2 by about 3.666 to get the carbon only). 270 billion tons of carbon divided by the ~20 billion hectares to put it in equals about 14 tons of carbon that needs to be put in every hectare on Earth, each being a square 328 feet on a side.
I know some say it’s impossible while others say it’s totally possible. A quick search reveals that:
Scientists say that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; there are 2,500 billion tons of carbon in soil, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life.
So, we have to sequester slightly more than a tenth of what’s already in the soil, back into the soil.
I’d say “terraform the deserts”, too! That way, we can build lots of prosperity producing infrastructure, like that needed to build awesome 3d cities…
No, we DON’T want less energy!
Another idea is algae. It, unlike all the other plants, can be more easily grown in 3d.
Still another idea is to brute force it and suck it out of the air using nuclear energy, preferably the almost unlimited energy possible from molten salt reactors. Yep, Alvin Weinberg, one of the greats of the 20th century, deemed necessary to replace light water reactors (LWR) with molten salt fuel because it’s even safer than the engineered safety of reactors that rely upon pressurized water. He got fired for that in the pretense of yet another better reactor, (under the Nixon admin), the sodium cooled fast reactor. That was all just a farce by the oil tycoons, evidently, because that was canceled, too (by the Clinton admin)!
Nuclear aside, we’ll need literally hundreds of thousands of square miles of solar and hundreds of multiples of wind power, just to match the energy content of present day fossil fuels combustion. Yes, intermittent and diffuse sources require lots of land, to the tune of about the inverse of their capacity factors. Because we have to store close to that inverse (-1) just to make them the 24/7 reliable energy source we all need! To better explain how much solar and wind energy we need to not only power FUTUREWORLD but to remove excess CO2, consider that solar’s capacity factor (the rated wattage divided by the actual wattage given in a year which is about 22%) will require that a full on 100% of our energy supplies need to be supplied (in solar only scenario). That’s fully 4 or 5x initial installation plus extra for the inefficiency of storage. Thus if storage is 90% eff round trip (only the many variations of lithium batteries can do this good), we’ll need about 11.1% more solar, just to make up for the inefficiency of that storage. If the storage is pumped hydro, which is only about 75% efficient, then we’d need about 33% solar and if the storage is molten salt (which is like 99% eff, but requires that a steam generator lose most of that to make electricity) then we’d need 3x the solar, because only a third of that heat energy is converted into electricity!
Probably the best way to remove excess CO2 is to grow about a continent’s worth of biofuels. Pick the best plant that stores carbon in the soil and that is good for being burned for generation electricity. And then apply bio-CCS.
Of course, we’ll have to use lots of energy to build the infrastructure needed to water such large amounts of land. The best energy source is probably the Stable Salt Reactor
Humanity has put over a trillion tons of excess CO2 into the air… and people think one of 4 things:
1, That there’s no consequence and global warming is not real.
2, That there’s nothing we can do about it.
3, That all we have to do is use less fossil fuel energy.
4, We must engineer our way to meet the excess CO2 challenge.
One, it has been proven since the late 1800’s that CO2 is an infrared absorber. The more GHGs, the more certain infrared photons are re-emitted, causing more heat. There is NO denying that. Either you believe the scientists or you learn why the scientists are in agreement! Evidence isn’t only in chemistry and physics, but it is also surfacing in the form of accelerating sea level rise, more ice melt and more warm record temps than cold record temps.
Two, it’s almost like there’s nothing we can do about it, because it seems that political persuasion is greater than science itself, actually, the great engineering projects that science makes possible. People think that they have to be negative because that’s mostly what sci-fi and the news is about, and so, project that “learned” negativity from within to others. Some, more accurately, realize that since this is a big planet, global warming is like a freight train that can’t be stopped, once started. They just don’t realize that as humanity grows, we’ll also have more power to nudge it back before it really gets a mov’n!
Three, There is no possible way that global warming will magically stop on its own. Even if we all quit using fossil fuels. Why? Because we’ve already passed the “do nothing” tipping point. Already, our trillion or so tons of excess CO2 has begun its process of obeying the laws of physics. The slightly warmer air melting ice has lowered the albedo of the planet, meaning that less sunlight is reflected into space, and our biosphere warms a little more. A slightly warmer biosphere will cause more methane release (itself a more powerful GHG until broken down into CO2 by UV in a decades type timescale). A slightly warmer air will hold more water vapor before it rains, (also a greater GHG). Together, these compounding feedback effects are surely able to cancel whatever negative feedback effects caused by excess CO2 (such as the possibility of more clouds reflecting more sunlight). Thus, if we all did nothing, we’re still in trouble, just not as fast as if we continue BAU. We can all do our part to reduce emissions, and sure, that will add up to some hefty emissions savings, however, that alone can only prolong global warming damage for a little while longer.
And four, There’s actually a lot of people who optimistically believe we can engineer our way out of it. Theses can be subdivided into “A and B”. A, some underestimate the amount of large projects needed to solve the problem. And B, some of us realize that it will require the greatest amount of engineering surpassing that of anything ever done before, perhaps equalling everything we’ve done before added together!
ONE CUBIC MILE OF OIL
How much is the total amount of energy garnered by use of hydrocarbons? They say that we literally consume about a cubic mile of oil (CMO) every year and that, with all other sources (mostly coal and NG) we consume about 3 CMO equivalent. That would be about 5 terawatts continuously per CMO being burned every year.
APPROXIMATELY ONE CUBIC MILE OF OIL
1 CMO is equal to about 45 trillion kWh. Granted, about 2/3rds to 3/4ths of that is wasted as heat in the conversion to useful energy (which also degrades back to heat). So, If using nuclear, chances are, we wouldn’t get much more efficiency. However, if using wind or solar, since they already generate electricity, we would only need about a third of that, in order to provide the same amount of electricity. And, it’s still about the same with coal.
YEARLY COAL CONSUMPTION, TRAIN CARS TO THE MOON AND HALFWAY BACK
Note, that solar creates its own heat, depending upon the difference in the darkness of the panel and the land it covers. Sand has an albedo (reflectivity) of about 60%, whereas a PV farm’s panels has an albedo of about 5%, meaning that if the world was covered with panels, we’d be in a lot of trouble! However, only a few percent of the land needs to be covered, to do the job of powering FUTUREWORLD and excess CO2 removal, and it’s own overall intensive energy inputs.
How much extra heat can the planet handle? The sun delivers all the energy we need in an entire year in just over an hour. Thus, we heat up the planet to the tune of about 1/8,000ths as much as the sun does. If we get it all from solar, the albedo of solar might heat it up by double (unless future panels could be made lighter in color and still efficiently convert light into electricity). The world will, most definitely need at least twice the amount of energy, and I would almost say, “double that!”. So, in the future, we can say that we’ll add no more than about 1/10th of 1% of what the sun gives to the planet.
The average watts/sq m, across the entire planet, during 24 hours, is 164 watts. Thus, we’d be adding only about 0.016 watts to that. However, with solar and wind, if we could cover the vast amounts of land needed without environmental decay, we would cut that by at least half (not by two thirds because we still have to contend with devise heating). Also, certain types of nuclear reactor designs are designed to operate at higher temps, and thus, are more efficient (and require less water for cooling).
The heating we are concerned about is that caused from excess CO2 induced infrared radiative forcing. That is said to already be around a whole watt/sq m! Actually, according to the IPCC, between 1.5 and almost 3.5 W/m^2, hundreds of times the decay heat from future energy demands!