Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Fri Dec 11 2009 - 01:01:08 EST

I suspect not too many people with a scientific background doubt that AGW is scientifically sound or that global temperatures have increased a small amount over the past century. What I am skeptical about is (1) the percentage of that increase due to human activities, (2) the ability to model the effects accurately--that is, predict the future, and (3) the ability to do anything significant about future changes even if they're all man-made. Physically it may be possible to stop AGW, but IMO it won't be possible politically, especially if James Hansen (see Dec. 14 issue of Newsweek) is right.

141 scientists with backgrounds in climate science have just expressed similar skepticism in an open letter to Ban Ki Moon at<>.

Opening sentences: Climate change science is in a period of 'negative discovery' - the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know. Truly, the science is NOT settled.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Murray Hogg<>
  To: ASA<>
  Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:45 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies

  Hi John,

  Just so you won't die wondering...

  Personally I've moved even further TOWARD the view that AGW is a scientifically sound position - mainly because I don't see any substantial arguments have been advanced against the consensus position.

  The only reason for my silence is that I have nothing to contribute to what is a very enlightening discussion at several levels.

  I personally don't know what to make of Glenn's data (North American cooling) -- particularly given that in my local context every factor points the other way.

  That said, the observations regarding weather data from Darwin is intriguing. If I can find the time I'll have to run it past a couple of people I know in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO -- being up with this sort of thing their opinion would be helpful, I think.

  Otherwise, I'll just keep lurking.


> " So I am very skeptical of everything. I am suspsicious of the real
> agenda behind the AGW movement. "
> Interestingly enough, it appears the tone on this list has shifted
> somewhat since the initial cocksure AGW cheerleading. I was open and
> willing to be convinced but the more I hear it seems my skepticism is
> increasingly warranted.
> Randy I want to thank you for your challenge to "engage with the data".
> I think that is honest science and that approach has really helped us
> pinpoint and focus in on the core issues of the debate on this list.
> BTW, we are still waiting for a response from you or Rich after you have
> engaged with the data that Glenn and Don have referenced. I am sure one
> will be forthcoming, right?
> Thanks
> John
> *From:* David Clounch <<>>
> *To:* Iain Strachan <<>>
> *Cc:* Don Winterstein <<>>; asa <<>>
> *Sent:* Thu, December 10, 2009 1:38:35 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 6:37 AM, Iain Strachan <<>
> <<>>> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:36 AM, David Clounch
> <<> <<>>> wrote:
> I think of it in terms of what is available. When will it be
> depleted and when will that sub-industry collapse, leaving
> humanity without energy? Of course there will be economic
> collapse long before actual depletion. Unless there are vast
> new sources of uranium we don't yet know about I don't see a
> long term answer to energy supply.
> On the contrary, nuclear is an extremely long term answer to energy
> supply. Existing fission reactors use only U-235, which is 0.7% of
> natural uranium. As such it is a limited resource. But fast
> breeder reactors can be used to convert the U-238 (99.3%) of natural
> uranium to the fissionable product Pu-239.
> Are there any governments proposing the usage of breeder reactors? My
> assumption is these styles of reactor are frowned upon because plutonium
> presents a huge waste storage problem. The other thing I don't know
> about is whether breeder technology is as safe in its operation as more
> conventional models. I think the anti-nuclear lobby will have a cow
> over breeders. Given these are the same folks that embrace AGW I
> expect a huge political warfare to take place before any widespread
> deployment of plutonium generators. Because of this I just ignore the
> presence/possibility of breeders as a solution.
> Seems to me a peak energy crisis is the real crisis, not a warming crisis.
> Look, we have been really good at putting particle pollutants in the air
> to increase the albedo of the planet to get a cooling effect. And we
> could do that deliberately. If the people who are so concerned over GW
> are serious they would be fighting the anti-pollution measures that are
> lowering the albedo. They would also be proposing nuclear if they were
> serious. Do they in fact do either? I suspect not. So I am very
> skeptical of everything. I am suspsicious of the real agenda behind
> the AGW movement.
> According to Wikipedia there is enough U-238 around to be an energy
> supply for five billion years, but I think this must be a mistake -
> I would have put it at several thousand years.
> In addition it is possible to use U-233 that is bred from Thorium -
> an element that is 3.5 times as common as uranium, as an
> intermediate term solution.
> For the long term solution, one must look to Nuclear Fusion.
> Current reactors are based on a D-T reaction which requires the
> breeding of Tritium from Lithium - an abundant element, which
> according to Wikipedia would last 3000 years if all the worlds
> energy came from this source. If it became feasible in the future
> to have sustainable power from a D-D fusion reaction then (again
> according to Wikipedia) there would be sufficient for 150 billion years.
> I wouldn't trust any of these figures, to be honest. For a better
> estimate, consult David MacKay's book "Sustainable Energy without
> the Hot Air", which is available on the web. However, Fusion is an
> extremely long term solution, and it appears that, given Thorium and
> Fast breeder reactors, that nuclear fission is almost certainly a
> sufficiently long medium-term solution to allow the fusion solution
> to be developed.
> Iain
> --
> -----------
> Non timeo sed caveo

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Received on Fri Dec 11 01:01:31 2009

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