When talking with pseudo scientists about climate change, ask them if they know anything about science, the scientific method, the scientific community, or scientific peer review.
Ask them for answers to the following questions:
- What is the difference between climate and weather?
- What is the greenhouse effect as it applies to: an actual greenhouse; the Earth’s atmosphere?
- What is blackbody radiation; what does a blackbody radiation spectrum look like?
- What blackbody radiation temperature spectrum is a good representation of:
- The radiation spectrum of the sun: hint ~5,778 K?
- The radiation spectrum of the earth: hint ~279 K?
- The radiation spectrum inside an actual greenhouse: hint ~293 K?
- How can the blackbody radiation spectrum be used to explain the greenhouse effect responsible for: greenhouse warming; global warming?
- What is entropy; what are the laws of thermodynamics?
- How does entropy and the application of the laws of thermodynamics contribute to a better empirical understanding of Earth’s biosphere, ecology, environment – land, water, air – and our interaction with it?
Then ask them, using the 12 graphs in the referenced PDF document, to explain why their opinion has any value at all. Ask them if they have published their findings in a peer reviewed and respected scientific journal. If their answers to any of these questions are not forthcoming, then their opinion is absolutely worthless.
You might want to ask the pseudo scientists if they will use the same logic and procedures to select their brain surgeon when that need arises as it most certainly will.
After all that the scientific community has done for us, that community deserves much more respect than our business, educational, entertainment, financial, industrial, media, political, spiritual – ethical… leaders are giving them. Instead of following an uninformed and special interests agenda devoid of reality, they should be asking the scientists what is the current best understanding of the effect of atmospheric pollution on climate using at least 3 scenarios, best to worst case, and what do we need to do for each of them. And then do what the scientific community recommends based on their best estimate of what is the most likely scenario, and how cautious and flexible we need to be.
Also ask the scientists about the benefits to our health of the reduction of atmospheric pollution that will result from their recommended response to climate change.
And finally, and even more importantly, we should ask our scientific community what we should do about the profligate and uncontrolled pollution of our soil, water, air, ecosystem. And quit letting the polluters, distract us with their mindless opinions about the reality of climate change, just one of the many symptoms of that pollution.
A very simple overview of the major human mechanisms producing a rapid increase in atmospheric carbon unprecedented in 800,000 years, and the major natural mechanisms capable of absorbing only ~45% of that production.
What we have learned about renewable energy storage from this and other studies:
- As with all investments, an energy portfolio is based on a selection of a hierarchy of investments with the greatest ROI. At the top of that RCIT & electrical supply hierarchy are EEU investments. In energy as in all investments, FTF.
- The major renewables – hydro, solar, wind – have a complementary variability.
- Although variable, renewables are not unpredictable; renewable predictability is at least as accurate as demand.
- Renewable supplies emphasize again the importance of EEU, demand matching, and grid storage.
- Renewable energy costs are decreasing rapidly; non-renewable energy costs – fossil, nuclear – are increasing rapidly as sources become more difficult to find and exploit, and as more honest bookkeeping tracks the real costs of the subsidies and collateral damage of these sources. Reference:
- Non-renewable suppliers often neglect the maintenance and emergency downtimes of their centralized power plants that can sometimes be weeks and months (10-12% of the time) when they point out the variability of the renewables. The breakdown of centralized legacy power plants is one of the main reasons for an energy grid.
- Non-renewable suppliers often neglect the security, flexibility and reliability of distributed supplies.
- Non-renewable suppliers also neglect the power of sustainable renewable self-sufficiency.
- Complementary to distributed energy supply is distributed energy storage. Distributed storage can be used for load balancing, time shifting of supply, and making demand more flexible.
- Examples of high demand flexible end use energy storage are: smart charging electric vehicles, renewable energy driven EEU water desalination & water storage, high storage air conditioning… End use storage is the medium and the message
- An interesting distributed energy storage concept requiring further research and analysis is seasonal storage. Reference:
- The most cost effective ways to make the grid more reliable and flexible are: distributed smart storage, small hydro, biogas turbines, geothermal…
- The most expensive ways to make the grid more reliable and flexible are: bulk storage, centralized fossil fuel power plants… And they should be used last, not first.
- Already in practice in Europe are renewable electricity supply scenarios that supply 25-58% of the demand more reliably than US suppliers of electricity.
- The USNREL has choreographed economic renewable scenarios that supply 80-90% of the electricity demands of the lower 48 states.
- Renewable energy storage scenarios require detailed and careful analysis by professionals. Pseudo scientists and pseudo engineers with hidden agendas are not qualified to even comment.
“Whatever exists is possible.” (RMI, 2014-07-08)
If the bookkeeping is honest, solar energy is already a much better energy supply investment than any of the fossil fuels – it costs not a little, but a lot less. What is honest bookkeeping you ask? Insist that the fossil fuel industries pay all of their real costs; do not let these industries transfer the expenses of their industries to citizen taxpayers; do not let these industries externalize the following costs:
- The cost of the military industrial complex to support the fossil fuel industry, particularly in the Middle East.
- The cost to find, extract, refine, deliver, store, cleanup, etc the fossil fuels: wells farther & farther away from the surface of the earth, pipelines, water & land tankers, refineries, storage & end user delivery facilities, waste & other pollution management, end user pollution.
- The cost to cleanup the many environmental disasters.
- Healthcare costs: hundreds of thousands die prematurely worldwide each each year because of the water, soil, and air pollution of the fossil fuel industries.
- The enormous costs of fossil fuel caused environmental damage including climate change that are growing exponentially.
For comparison, think of rooftop solar:
- Clean energy delivered directly to the end user.
- Converted directly into electricity using silicon, one of the most abundant elements on the surface of the earth.
- Delivered by copper wire, the cleanest, cheapest, and most efficient of all energy delivery systems.
- No military, no exploration, no refining, no complex and expensive infrastructure, no additional healthcare, no environmental damage.
- Efficient energy use in all sectors – RCIT.
- Energy independence, self-sufficiency, & security; new domestic industries & wealth; no massive transfers of wealth to foreign jurisdictions.
The nature of the opposition to rooftop solar is a measure of the power of the solution:
- A simple calculation shows, for example, that the USA can be energy self-sufficient and independent in less than 10 years by focusing on rooftop solar alone. Include parking lots, road and railway right-of-ways, airports, golf courses, athletic fields, solar farms, EV charging stations, water desalination, and optimal EEU.
- For many RCIT applications like buildings, industrial processes, EV transportation, and reverse osmosis desalination using energy recovery pumps, the medium is the message, the end use is the storage medium.
- All that is currently missing is the co-operation, optimism, flexibility, ingenuity, and determination that fostered the much smaller information technology revolution, put mankind on the moon, and revealed our place in the cosmos.
- The solution is, of necessity, inclusive. Everyone can and must participate, contribute, and benefit.
- And a major collateral benefit worldwide, energy and security for all unprecedented in human history.