Monday, December 31, 2018

Bill Gates Wants Us To Use More Nuclear Power

Including, possibly, traveling-wave reactors.
I'm with Gates: renewables are great, but it's a fantasy to think they can do it all right now.
   And I'd add: climate-change hysteria is partially driven by real, legitimate concerns, it's partially a stalking-horse, and, partially, at this point, a symbolic issue. I'm attracted to an idea some conservatives floated a long time ago, roughly: one measure of how real the concern is is: how willing the left is to drop its opposition to nuclear. If Smith genuinely believes that we are facing a fossil-fuel-fueled, species-ending climate catastrophe, then nuclear should be the first alternative Smith thinks of. If, instead, Smith ignores this relatively conservative, readily-available solution in favor of, basically, a moonshot solution that requires the development of relatively radical new technologies and major changes in our approach to energy production--technologies and changes he's been pushing for years, independently of this new alleged crisis--well...this is grounds for skepticism about his actual reasons. To the extent that Smith does that, there are grounds for suspecting that he's using AGW as a stalking-horse to pursue antecedent goals that are independent of the alleged new crisis.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all fossil fuels are created equal too. Natgas produces something like 30% less CO2 than coal, and is actually a more effective feedstock for power plants than coal too (think about the logistical wins with pipelining compared to rail shipping, stuff like that). If you're really serious about dropping CO2 fast, you would strongly incentivize coal to gas switching in power plants, which requires hardly any infrastructure build out (because coal plants can usually run gas just as easily, both burn after all), and utilizes our significant natural gas resources in the Marcellus and Permian shales.

We've already basically proved this out in the US, as we actually reduced C02 emmissions this year. It's obviously a short term solution, but considering the capital efficiency of it, it will buy time to give runway to an actually cost competitive replacement to be developed without causing a global depression, which even a forced build out of nuclear plants might trigger given the massive capital needs of constructing a nuke plant.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I know just enough to agree with you, but not enough to have produced that point on my own.

So: word / thanks.

3:35 PM  

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