Author Topic: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...  (Read 30577 times)

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Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #200 on: December 17, 2018, 07:52:57 pm »
When you bring up the sustainability of overconsumption, and even the climate change problem, some wealthy people immediately jump to blaming it on the middle class.

Not on any particular country's middle class. All of it.

I think thats just evil.

They argue that desires on the part of the rest of humanity to have long needed improvements in standards of living are impossible to realize because of inexorable 'economic realities' (Imagine one saying 'you see, Virginia, your labor just simply isn't worth enough for that anymore')

They 'deserve what they have' but the way they frame it, others don't.  They can afford cutting-edge energy solutions, but others who can't should have to pay more for energy to force them to freeze, or buy one.

There is another hidden sub text here in the US, they want to export our natural gas elsewhere (Asia, not Europe is where it fetches the most, as many as four or five times its US price) Despite the fact that the resource by many accounts has almost run out, they want to make hefty profits on it. (or maybe they hope to use ISDS and a manufactured crists to soak the nation in an ISDS suit when we as a nation realized we made a mistake signing the right to prioritize our own needs first- our 'right to regulate' away.

Is milking all nations for everything they can an entitlement of capital? Some clearly think it is. Thats how developing nations ended up so insanely in debt. because of this so called investor class and their sketchy deals.

 They will think of a million different reasons to justify doing whatever they want to do. They are experts at that.

This is why the solutions for every problem exist and they must be the common sense ones. Lacking any drama.

Simple strategies like multi-pane windows and spray in insulation could save huge amounts of money on heating.

PV systems - passive solar design - even retrofitting it, and solar hot water systems, are proven performers.

Why wont they do this, in fact, as many people could definitely use the help and it would have a salutary effect on the economy, why wont the government subsidize it?

In part, because "GATS". Also because of the GPA (or AGP in some countries) procurement rules. If the insiders cant monopolize it, they don't want it.  But the biggest reason is they have other plans.

Because they want a perfect storm to blow in and destroy older housing so they can tear it down and build new that nobody can afford. This is a problem everywhere but its the worst in the US.

It would force millions out of affordable homes they live in today. And radically change the US and similar countries, (as far as age of their housing stock) especially urban areas for the worse. 

Thats also why they want to stealthily - then suddenly cause the price of energy here to double or perhaps even triple or more. Knowing that many families, already reeling from having the prices of drugs, health insurance and out of pocket costs, and education jump through the roof, and the outsourcing and offshoring of too many jobs, which is also planned - and described as 'payoff for the world trade agenda'.

Payoff for misplaced trust is more like it.

Families absolutely cannot handle it. All these things are too much for families.

They are planning to cash in, buying up properties in anticipation of the change. "These buildings would be too expensive to renovate".

When they aren't.

People have to call them out for their manipulations.

Punitive thinking that punishes middle class and working class people for not being wealthy is not going to solve our problems.

Another serious problem is a mindset of disaster capitalism. We can see that aim clearly in the outcome after the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Many of America's wealthiest families literally made their fortunes on it in one shape or form from really shameless acts of war profiteering and exploitation, financial markets manipulations that clearly were illegal but were never prosecuted. they come like clockwork every ten years or so.. and it has not gone away. We have to stay away from falling into traps that would expose our countries to the schemes of the disaster capitalists. Particularly anything that could possibly have the tag 'emergency' attached to it. Because that is their way, the magic word 'emergency' in the disaster capitalist world means no adult supervision. And making money hand over fist at the taxpayers expense.

Nothing gets disaster capitalists more excited then talking about emergencies, I mean actually excited.

ISDS is a scam by which the disaster capitalists hope to milk the public again and again. We have to diteh it before anything like the things others described earlier could possibly be safe. Not just because corporations are irresponsible and getting a free pass to steal.. because of ISDS's ratcheting in effect, which makes correcting any mistake literally impossible except at huge taxpayers expense in 'future expected profits'. (Even though future cant be predicted and its likely huge profits - genuine ones will become more difficult as jobs dry up- no the most ridiculously optimistic estimates must be used- thats how ISDS works. The people exercising the right to regulate must be punished so they wont do it again!) we can never approve anything and then reverse it if it turns out to have been a mistake. A ratchet clause is literally a noose choking policy and making it only be able to deregulate, and never regulate again unless it is literally the most half assed means of doing anything, and it also has to make them more money or they suddenly must be compensated. Nomatter what facts say on causation or who is responsible or why. No more compromising. With ISDS, by design, government of by and for the people can't ever happen as it should. And thats ISDS's goal.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 08:53:32 pm by cdev »
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Offline Kilrah

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #201 on: December 17, 2018, 08:57:59 pm »
Sure it can. We don't need new phones or furniture every two years. We need to build better and use longer.

The issue is that a drastic change is needed in how society operates.
We don't need new phones or furniture every 2 years, but the current system is built on "keeping people busy", and people being busy they make things (some intangible "things" being just throwing wrenches into others' gears, making those work more to overcome them), and one needs a way to shove these things somewhere to continue keeping them busy, and the cycle repeats.

I've been saying for a long time that people could probably only work an average of 1-2 days per week doing just what's needed for living in a comfortable manner. But something pushes stupid humans to keep themselves busy working their ass off making totally unnecessary and wasteful stuff for nothing at all instead...

Still haven't understood what, but my dominant view is currently just personal benefit and wealth of some who understood that people would always be happy to work becasue they have nothing else to do... becasue the system never let them enough time to think about what else they could do.

Actually just watched an instersting doc on new gen nuclear which was very interesting:



But while that's great and is probably indeed a solution the planning has been poor, and that would have to be improved. There are a lot of complaints in there that current plants are built on "stone age tech" and that we've long known of better solutions - aka we missed on crucial improvements becasue the plants were built with waaaay too long a planned service life. What that means is then that any new plant needs to be designed with only 10-20 years life so that we don't drag dinosaurs again and just decommission/rebuild frequently as there is further progress. BUT then is it still economically viable in this case? For sure not with such a heavy implementation. Maybe some of the lighter ones presented in this like the NuScale stuff...

About the waste management, I still believe it's a problem. AFAIK so far every attempt at long term storage has failed in a way or another, so there is absolutely nothing to make me believe that the next one will magically work.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 09:11:27 pm by Kilrah »
 

Online bd139

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #202 on: December 17, 2018, 09:07:29 pm »
Fear drives people to that outcome. Everyone is taught to fear the next person up the hierarchy. The only people who win out of it are the people who are at the top and they gain the most from having people working all the time.

I make sure there is no one above me and equally importantly no one below me. Beside is the preferred position.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #203 on: December 17, 2018, 09:29:02 pm »
No, the Brittisch government borrowed money at an insane interest rate. That is plain stupid. It has nothing to do with the cost of nuclear.
This has a good reason.
No bank and no insurance wants to take the risk of nuclear, so the interest rate is very high on this high risk investment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.
Yes it has because the Brittish government could have borrowed the money as a country for a very low rate no matter what the purpose is.
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Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #204 on: December 17, 2018, 10:29:18 pm »
Insurance always excludes nuclear accidents, radiation, acts of wars, and everything of that nature. Its not meant to insure against those kinds of risks.

No, the Brittisch government borrowed money at an insane interest rate. That is plain stupid. It has nothing to do with the cost of nuclear.
This has a good reason.
No bank and no insurance wants to take the risk of nuclear, so the interest rate is very high on this high risk investment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.
Yes it has because the Brittish government could have borrowed the money as a country for a very low rate no matter what the purpose is.
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Online nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #205 on: December 17, 2018, 10:55:33 pm »
Insurance always excludes nuclear accidents, radiation, acts of wars, and everything of that nature. Its not meant to insure against those kinds of risks.

No, the Brittisch government borrowed money at an insane interest rate. That is plain stupid. It has nothing to do with the cost of nuclear.
This has a good reason.
No bank and no insurance wants to take the risk of nuclear, so the interest rate is very high on this high risk investment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.
Yes it has because the Brittish government could have borrowed the money as a country for a very low rate no matter what the purpose is.
Again: insurance has nothing to do with the interest rate a country pays. FFS the US is borrowing craploads of money to buy weapons!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #206 on: December 18, 2018, 12:34:46 am »
This may sound crazy, but often now it seems to be against the rules for a government to do something thats saves its taxpayers money if it would be more profitable for investors for them to do something else.  Seriously.

All sorts of rules apply to governments now. Their hands are being tied by international rules that ensure they support business' maximum profitability at any cost.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 01:25:51 am by cdev »
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Offline Nauris

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #207 on: December 18, 2018, 04:32:37 pm »
No, the Brittisch government borrowed money at an insane interest rate. That is plain stupid. It has nothing to do with the cost of nuclear.
This has a good reason.
No bank and no insurance wants to take the risk of nuclear, so the interest rate is very high on this high risk investment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.
Take any insurance contract, for anything, cars, houses,.... They specifically exclude the risk of damage due to nuclear fission or fusion.
I would think more important reason for high interest is Areva being half-bankrupt already and with strong track record of not capable of delivering anything in-time or within budget. Loaning money to them is like buying Greece bonds, good luck getting anything back.

Also regarding the waste issue, I remember hearing some years ago Mr Putin promised significant R&D effort into nuclear waste reprocessing, investments at Mayak reprosessing facility etc. Great goal was to develop closed fuel cycle so no radioactive waste is left to dispose of. But he may be out of money, as always.
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #208 on: December 19, 2018, 10:47:12 pm »
That's exactly the overly rosy view of the risks involved with nuclear power which make me hesitant about using it. We've tripped over our own overconfidence too many times already. We always think we can build an everything proof storage facility and there's always some unforeseen flaw which ruins the whole plan. Like I said before I'm actually not opposed to nuclear power, but I am opposed to people naively waving the risks away. If we're not going into this being wary of every step we take, it's simply going to end in disaster. In that case we better abandon it and not play with the fire we can't responsibly handle.
We should be very careful, absolutely, but exaggerating the risks is also bad. In the 60's they definitely had a overly rosy view of the risks involved. The US-airforce even wanted to build a nuclear powered bomber... talk about flying disaster waiting to happen. :palm: Luckily it's not even technically feasible otherwise it probably would have existed today. In the 60's they also thought dumping mercury a few km off the coast was a great way to get rid of industrial waste. That was incredibly stupid, no argument there, and we are suffering for it today.

But that is not the problem now. Look at the graphs posted before: the only energy types that are decreasing are nuclear and oil. Oil because we are running out of it, nuclear because people are overly afraid of it due to all the scaremongering. We are replacing nuclear with coal, that is a huge problem. Air pollution from coal power plants is a far far grater health issue than radiation from Chernobyl or Fukushima combined. If you extrapolate from the Swedish study I mentioned before you get that coal kills about 200k (prematurely) every year in Europe, compare that to the estimates of 30k (worst case) from Chernobyl. A nuclear power plant can blow up every year and it will still cause less health problems than the air pollution from coal does. Add to that the environmental effects from coal such as acidification and mercury poisoning, or the greenhouse gas emissions, and it should be blatantly obvious to any rational person that it is coal we should be getting rid of, not nuclear. It's not that nuclear is 100% safe, it's that the alternatives are far worse (even hydro is more dangerous).

Nuclear contamination can indeed be dangerous for tens or even hundreds of thousands of years. That's no imaginary claim, but agreed upon by those both for and against nuclear power. It's not some residual radiation either. Things aren't remotely safe after a 100 years.
Yes, as I wrote: the waste is dangerous (radioactive) for ever, that is a given by the nature of an exponentially decreasing function: it never reaches 0. However, the radioactivity goes down quickly in the beginning, it's not constant, it's not even linear. For most of the infamous millennia the waste is only weakly radioactive. So when people claim it will be super dangerous for millennia they are being dishonest.

Besides, something being dangerous forever is common; take mercury for example, it's also dangerous for all eternity. At least nuclear waste becomes (almost) harmless after a millennia. Yet no-one is talking about the mercury storage problem.

I never said the waste is safe after a hundred years. It is not, it is still 10 times as radioactive as the fresh fuel. But think about what that means: we dig up uranium from a mine, refine it and use it as fuel. When we take it out of the reactor again it has become much more radioactive, and so we need to store it somewhere safe, a geologically stable location far underground for example. After a 100 years, it will be about 10 times as radioactive as the new fuel. But if 10% of the 100 year old spent fuel leak out into the old mine again, the net change in radioactivity in the mine will be zero! The math is simple enough. None of it should ever leak of course, containment vessels are designed to last for millennia. This is just to put things into perspective. If it did leak it wouldn't be particularly dangerous.

Of course you shouldn't store waste in a volcano, or an area with earthquakes, just like you shouldn't store other dangerous substances in a volcano. You pick a geologically stable area to store it in and then back-fill the mine so no-one gets in there by mistake. A few km under ground is far outside the biosphere, nothing living will get in contact with it. A small amount of highly radioactive solids that are stored a few km under ground isn't a threat to anyone, it really isn't a problem.

It's also true that Chernobyl was a disaster avoided. A few men prevented what used to be the core melting through the floor and reaching a reservoir of water. It's accepted that would have caused a much more massive steam explosion which would have wiped out the entire plant and led to much of Europe being heavily contaminated. "By most estimates, such a blast may have wiped out half of Europe, leaving it riskier to live in for 500,000 years." I can imagine that being unaware of both facts makes one much more cavalier in regards to the risks of nuclear power. It's hard to fear what you don't know. We danced with the devil and he threw us a bone.
It's these kind of exaggerations and scaremongering that is the real problem.

The danger with nuclear is that you get radioactive smoke particles that spread over a huge area. It is impossible to contain or clean up. That is what happened after Chernobyl. The radioactive fallout from Chernobyl rained down all over Europe (mostly here in Sweden actually). Some of the radioactive elements accumulate in crops and food animals and thus we get a tiny increase in radiation dose compared to if it hadn't happened. For the individual it isn't noticeable, you get higher dosage from a dental x-ray. But if you integrate it over all the people exposed over time (and make worst case assumptions) it's still bad since so many are affected.

I'm sure Chernobyl could have been somewhat worse if most of the fallout ended up over Europe's more densely populated areas. What does "riskier to live in" mean here (we will never know because those "may have" figures was just pulled out of someones behind) but it probably would not be riskier than living in e.g. Denver (which is naturally relatively radioactive). It's a very deceptive and misleading statement. There are people living even inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone today that never left, they are doing just fine. The remaining reactors at the Chernobyl power-plant are still in operation today, people go there to work as we speak!(EDIT: The Chernobyl plant has been decommissioned now, sorry about that, I've read outdated information at some time. But the last reactor wasn't closed until 2000 so my point is still valid: people continued to work there for many years after the accident. It's not like you couldn't go near the site, live there or work there.)

It really was a disaster though, about 100 deaths can be linked directly to the accident and they had to evacuate the nearby town. Most of those who died were the firefighters, etc, who were first at site and who weren't informed about the risks involved by the authorities at the time. There shouldn't be any Chernobyl-type reactors anymore because they are dangerous, but iirc there still are a few in operation in the former soviet bloc. The main reason they are used is because they can produce weapons grade materials.

But even if you add the worst case estimate of premature deaths because of the increase in cancer from the fallout (commonly cited as about 30k worst case), the failure of a hydro dam can be much more devastating; like the Banqiou dam failure in China which killed 171 000. Just try to imagine what happens if the yellow river dam fails! And worst of all: coal which kills many many more people than the other two combined (200k/year only in Europe) because of the air-pollution, and it gets worse if you also consider the mercury poisoning, ghg-emissions, ocean acidification etc. I would much rather live downwind of a nuclear power plant than a coal plant (or in the valley below a hydro dam).

It should also be noted that we're still dealing with the containment of Chernobyl. We haven't fixed or cleaned a lot, we've just built another dome over it to make it go away. That's essentially the same as stuffing it in a mine. It's probably naive to think the disaster as it happened didn't claim that many victims. We know the impact was quite significant as many times more were poisoned rather than killed, and we also know the Soviet Union did everything in its power to downplay the scale of the disaster. The same applies to Fukushima. The Japanese have been diligently downplaying the scale of the disaster and we don't have any real solutions to the problems they face. They just keep on building storage tank after storage tank to store the contaminated water used to cool the reactors, but it turns out those are already leaking water. Their "alternative" if filtering it a bit and dumping it into the sea while storing the highly radioactive sludge on-site. Those are not real solutions. It's moving the problem around.
No it isn't naive, it's what years of studies have concluded.

You are right that the Japanese government covered up the full extent of the accident in the beginning, and that is very unfortunate. Because of that we can't really be sure of all of the consequences yet which is why I haven't mentioned any numbers from Fukushima. I would be surprised if it's any worse than Chernobyl, and it would have to be many times worse than that to beat the Banqiao dam disaster or the continuous poisoning from coal power plants.

It's hard to say much about Fukushima when we don't have all the facts, but at the very least, if you see it as part of the overall damages that the tsunami caused it is almost negligible in comparison.

Still, we shouldn't continue using the old light water reactor designs either. They were developed because they were convenient for nuclear powered subs and ships. There are safer designs that would have avoided the Fukushima accident. The pebble bed reactor or the thorium molten salt reactors are both more fuel efficient and a lot safer (they shut down gracefully in the event of a complete power failure). Unfortunately they never became popular because they didn't have the same military potential.

If we're not serious about the problems we're already seeing, we're just asking for some more.
The problem is we are ignoring the dangers from coal and gas. We are filtering out gnats, yet swallowing camels. It's completely irrational. Nuclear is not perfect, but it is the safest power-type we have today. (Solar and wind is great but it still can't replace coal).
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 02:15:57 am by apis »
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #209 on: December 19, 2018, 11:08:50 pm »
We should be focusing on things like better batteries and other storage methods to store the substantial amounts of solar energy that go to waste due to it being generated during the daytime and summer - Once we simply solve that one problem a lot of other issues become much more manageable.
Right, simple: just invent some new super battery! Not so simple I suspect. Might not even be possible. Even if it is, who knows when the breakthrough comes. Nuclear is proven existing technology. Super batteries is wishful thinking.

Actually that's wrong. We are currently using super batteries, when compared with the batteries of, say, 40 years ago.

Batteries and other technologies (hydro, flywheels, etc etc etc) have been evaluated for many decades - and been found to be insufficient. I remember my father formally assessing them in the late 70s / early 80s when he worked at the Central Electricity Research Labs.
That is a good point. Technological progress is a great thing and we should spend more on research and less on stupid wars, reality shows and such. But science and tech isn't magic, it's not possible to pull everything we wish for out of a hat. Until we have a working prototype it's just wishful thinking to say "in the future when we have these super super batteries it won't be a problem". We have to base our decisions on what exist today. We need electricity now and while I love solar and think it should be expanded as much as possible, it just can not completely replace coal and gas yet.
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #210 on: December 19, 2018, 11:25:44 pm »
About the waste management, I still believe it's a problem. AFAIK so far every attempt at long term storage has failed in a way or another, so there is absolutely nothing to make me believe that the next one will magically work.
It hasn't failed, it's never been implemented because the anti nuclear lobby keeps stalling, demanding more studies and insurances. It's impossible to prove something is 100% safe (and nothing is 100% safe either) so you can always demand another study just to be a little more certain it's safe.

On the other hand it's not a big problem storing it as we do now, because there is so little produced compared to the energy generated. It probably makes nuclear power more expensive than it has to be though, since the operators has to pay for the temporary storage facilities as well.

Also regarding the waste issue, I remember hearing some years ago Mr Putin promised significant R&D effort into nuclear waste reprocessing, investments at Mayak reprosessing facility etc. Great goal was to develop closed fuel cycle so no radioactive waste is left to dispose of. But he may be out of money, as always.
Interesting, haven't heard about that. Current generation reactors are very inefficient, only using a few percent of the fuel. There are many proposals of how you could reprocess the waste so you get more energy out of it and at the same time you get rid of most of the waste. Haven't heard of any such facility being in use though.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #211 on: December 20, 2018, 12:03:49 am »
We should be very careful, absolutely, but exaggerating the risks is also bad. In the 60's they definitely had a overly rosy view of the risks involved. The US-airforce even wanted to build a nuclear powered bomber... talk about flying disaster waiting to happen. :palm: Luckily it's not even technically feasible otherwise it probably would have existed today. In the 60's they also thought dumping mercury a few km off the coast was a great way to get rid of industrial waste. That was incredibly stupid, no argument there, and we are suffering for it today.

But that is not the problem now. Look at the graphs posted before: the only energy types that are decreasing are nuclear and oil. Oil because we are running out of it, nuclear because people are overly afraid of it due to all the scare mongering. We are replacing nuclear with coal, that is a huge problem. Air pollution from coal power plants is a far far grater health issue than radiation from Chernobyl or Fukushima combined. If you extrapolate from the Swedish study I mentioned before you get that coal kills about 200k (prematurely) every year in Europe, compare that to the estimates of 30k (worst case) from Chernobyl. A nuclear power plant can blow up every year and it will still cause less health problems than the air pollution from coal does. Add to that the environmental effects from coal such as acidification and mercury poisoning, or the greenhouse gas emissions, and it should be blatantly obvious to any rational person that it is coal we should be getting rid of, not nuclear. It's not that nuclear is 100% safe, it's that the alternatives are far worse (even hydro is more dangerous).

Yes, as I wrote: the waste is dangerous (radioactive) for ever, that is a given by the nature of an exponentially decreasing function: it never reaches 0. However, the radioactivity goes down quickly in the beginning, it's not constant, it's not even linear. For most of the infamous millennia the waste is only weakly radioactive. So when people claim it will be super dangerous for millennia they are being dishonest.

Besides, something being dangerous forever is common; take mercury for example, it's also dangerous for all eternity. At least nuclear waste becomes (almost) harmless after a millennia. Yet no-one is talking about the mercury storage problem.

I never said the waste is safe after a hundred years. It is not, it is still 10 times as radioactive as the fresh fuel. But think about what that means: we dig up uranium from a mine, refine it and use it as fuel. When we take it out of the reactor again it has become much more radioactive, and so we need to store it somewhere safe, a geologically stable location far underground for example. After a 100 years, it will be about 10 times as radioactive as the new fuel. But if 10% of the 100 year old spent fuel leak out into the old mine again, the net change in radioactivity in the mine will be zero! The math is simple enough. None of it should ever leak of course, containment vessels are designed to last for millennia. This is just to put things into perspective. If it did leak it wouldn't be particularly dangerous.

Of course you shouldn't store waste in a volcano, or an area with earthquakes, just like you shouldn't store other dangerous substances in a volcano. You pick a geologically stable area to store it in and then back-fill the mine so no-one gets in there by mistake. A few km under ground is far outside the biosphere, nothing living will get in contact with it. A small amount of highly radioactive solids that are stored a few km under ground isn't a threat to anyone, it really isn't a problem.

It's these kind of exaggerations and scare mongering that is the real problem.

The danger with nuclear is that you get radioactive smoke particles that spread over a huge area. It is impossible to contain or clean up. That is what happened after Chernobyl. The radioactive fallout from Chernobyl rained down all over Europe (mostly here in Sweden actually). Some of the radioactive elements accumulate in crops and food animals and thus we get a tiny increase in radiation dose compared to if it hadn't happened. For the individual it isn't noticeable, you get higher dosage from a dental x-ray. But if you integrate it over all the people exposed over time (and make worst case assumptions) it's still bad since so many are affected.

I'm sure Chernobyl could have been somewhat worse if most of the fallout ended up over Europe's more densely populated areas. What does "riskier to live in" mean here (we will never know because those "may have" figures was just pulled out of someones behind) but it probably would not be riskier than living in e.g. Denver (which is naturally relatively radioactive). It's a very deceptive and misleading statement. There are people living even inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone today that never left, they are doing just fine. The remaining reactors at the Chernobyl power-plant are still in operation today, people go there to work as we speak!

It really was a disaster though, about 100 deaths can be linked directly to the accident and they had to evacuate the nearby town. Most of those who died were the firefighters, etc, who were first at site and who weren't informed about the risks involved by the authorities at the time. There shouldn't be any Chernobyl-type reactors anymore because they are dangerous, but iirc there still are a few in operation in the former soviet bloc. The main reason they are used is because they can produce weapons grade materials.

But even if you add the worst case estimate of premature deaths because of the increase in cancer from the fallout (commonly cited as about 30k worst case), the failure of a hydro dam can be much more devastating; like the Banqiou dam failure in China which killed 171 000. Just try to imagine what happens if the yellow river dam fails! And worst of all: coal which kills many many more people than the other two combined (200k/year only in Europe) because of the air-pollution, and it gets worse if you also consider the mercury poisoning, ghg-emissions, ocean acidification etc. I would much rather live downwind of a nuclear power plant than a coal plant (or in the valley below a hydro dam).

No it isn't naive, it's what years of studies have concluded.

You are right that the Japanese government covered up the full extent of the accident in the beginning, and that is very unfortunate. Because of that we can't really be sure of all of the consequences yet which is why I haven't mentioned any numbers from Fukushima. I would be surprised if it's any worse than Chernobyl, and it would have to be many times worse than that to beat the Banqiao dam disaster or the continuous poisoning from coal power plants.

It's hard to say much about Fukushima when we don't have all the facts, but at the very least, if you see it as part of the overall damages that the tsunami caused it is almost negligible in comparison.

Still, we shouldn't continue using the old light water reactor designs either. They were developed because they were convenient for nuclear powered subs and ships. There are safer designs that would have avoided the Fukushima accident. The pebble bed reactor or the thorium molten salt reactors are both more fuel efficient and a lot safer (they shut down gracefully in the event of a complete power failure). Unfortunately they never became popular because they didn't have the same military potential.

The problem is we are ignoring the dangers from coal and gas. We are filtering out gnats, yet swallowing camels. It's completely irrational. Nuclear is not perfect, but it is the safest power-type we have today. (Solar and wind is great but it still can't replace coal).

I could write a point for point reply, but I won't as it would essentially turn into my previous post. You still have an overly rosy view on the problems and risks associated with nuclear waste. If you don't research and accept the facts, your conclusions are obviously going to be off. There are many major and minor examples of the quoted facts being inaccurate or outright untrue, like how the Chernobyl plant is reportedly still active while it has been retired years ago now or how dangerous waste products will be after a certain period of time. Calling estimates made by experts based on available data "pulled out of someone's behind" isn't going to fly either.

That we've dodged the real bullets in Chernobyl and Fukushima doesn't mean those near-disasters didn't almost happen. You can't just point at the body count released by Soviet propaganda and pretend that's all there's to it. It's obviously not. Pretending hydro power is more dangerous is just silly. No dam ever nearly blew half of Europe into oblivion or could do such a thing, or laid waste to similar areas for millennia. Water can be pretty devastating, but not nearly that devastating. Downplaying the disaster that Chernobyl almost was isn't going to fly. Like it or not, a much bigger disaster was narrowly averted. What did get released was relatively harmless and an extremely violent explosion was narrowly averted. That's not conjecture or really up for debate. Despite having avoided the actual disaster the impact has been fairly sobering. The WHO reports elevated levels of thyroid cancer and other radiation related health issues and expects the effects to last well into the future. That's not exactly "getting an X-ray" territory.

Your reasoning how nuclear waste isn't dangerous after a relatively short period of time doesn't hold water either. In my previous post I've showed most waste products have half-lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of years. You seem to think we don't understand radiation disappears exponentially, but the problem is that with these kinds of half-lives it still takes many millennia to be anything other than acutely dangerous. Pretending stuffing it into a deep mine will solve things is dangerous hubris too. Every time we think we keep it "out of the way", yet it always comes back to bite us. Walls crack, concrete crumbles, mines flood and materials get shifted by unsuspecting or nefarious people. Just this week news broke about how the deep underground is essentially a huge and diverse biosphere. Oops, we just poisoned and contaminated an unknown biosphere, with the potential of the biosphere moving materials around. Once more we thought things would be fine and they turn out to not be. Dumping it somewhere and pretending it doesn't exist has so far proven to be a terrible "solution", so simply trying it once more is hubris of the worst kind. Besides, waste can't be just dumped into a hole. It stays hot for very long times and needs to be stored and cooled appropriately, which means keeping it above ground.

I imagine this becoming a "is so" "nah-uh" discussion as it kind of already is, so unless there's some significant sources with new information introduced I'll refer to this and my previous post.


« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 12:11:14 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #212 on: December 20, 2018, 12:22:27 am »
the Chernobyl plant is reportedly still active while it has been retired years ago now
You are right about the Chernobyl plant being decommissioned now, sorry about that, I've read outdated information at some time. But the last reactor wasn't closed until 2000 so my point is still valid: people continued to work there for many years after the accident. It's not like you couldn't go near the site, live there or work there.

If you don't research and accept the facts, your conclusions are obviously going to be off. There are many major and minor examples of the quoted facts being inaccurate or outright untrue
Right, how convenient for you. The only one providing facts and discussing data is me, you just try and see if you can find some mistake I've made to discredit me and then insinuate that everything I say is inaccurate.

How about you responding to my arguments instead. Why is death from radiation worse than death from water or death from air-pollution? What are the relevant numbers? Isn't it true that far more people die because of hydro electric and coal?

The WHO reports elevated levels of thyroid cancer and other radiation related health issues and expects the effects to last well into the future. That's not exactly "getting an X-ray" territory.
Of course the WHO says there are increase in cancer risk, that is the problem with radiation, no one claims otherwise? If you get an x-ray you also get an increase in cancer risk. The question is how big the risk is and how many are affected.

The dosage for the wast majority of people exposed are below x-ray territory. The large death count often cited is just because the fallout affects so many people. Of course, some people living very near the reactor might have gotten somewhat higher dosages:
Quote
Another UN Chernobyl Forum report from the following year, Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes, gives a total of 5,000 for the excess cancer deaths “predicted” for the inhabitants of the contaminated areas. This is consistent with the 2005 report, as it represents about a 0.5% increase in cancer mortality.
https://allthingsnuclear.org/lgronlund/how-many-cancers-did-chernobyl-really-cause-updated

So, for those with the highest exposure there is an "predicted" additional 5000 deaths. That is included in the about 30 000 "predicted" total. It doesn't change the fact that 171000 dead from a single hydro dam failure is much worse, or the ~200k deaths yearly (in Europe) because of coal power air-pollution.

Quote
That we've dodged the real bullets in Chernobyl and Fukushima doesn't mean those near-disasters didn't almost happen.
Saying we dodged the bullet with Chernobyl is very dishonest (and fukushima as well now ???), it can't be proved or disproved, it's a bullshit argument. Give me real data and we can discuss it. What we know have happened since nuclear power was invented is that there have been two major accidents: Chernobyl and Fukushima. That's data we can discuss and compare, just like the failed Banqiao dam or the air-pollution from coal power plants.

And again: I would be the first to protest if someone wants to build another Chernobyl type reactor, or even light water reactor, there are many safer designs that could have avoided those accidents.

You talk about dodged bullets and "what if" there is some boogeyman we haven't thought about that makes waste storage unsafe. With that kind of reasoning we couldn't do anything. What if the yellow river dam fails? What if the Hoover dam fails? What if there is some risk with coal power we haven't thought about?

With air-pollution from coal power plants we aren't dodging any bullets, we are sucking it in right now as we speak.

I imagine this becoming a "is so" "nah-uh" discussion as it kind of already is, so unless there's some significant sources with new information introduced I'll refer to this and my previous post.
Indeed, can't argue with you if you are unwilling to discuss the facts.

Your reasoning how nuclear waste isn't dangerous after a relatively short period of time doesn't hold water either.
As I've said many times now, it will be dangerous for ever, just like a lot of other dangerous substances. But it will be far less dangerous already after a few hundred years. I'm trying to put things into perspective. The waste problem has been solved a long time ago. But now I'm just repeating myself...



« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 01:58:40 am by apis »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #213 on: December 20, 2018, 01:01:03 am »
You are right about the Chernobyl plant being decommissioned now, sorry about that I've read outdated information at some time, but the last reactor wasn't closed until 2000 so the main point is still valid. People worked there for many years after the accident. It's not like you couldn't go near the site, live there or work there.

Indeed, can't argue with you if you just make things up and refuse too look into the facts. Saying we dodged the bullet with Chernobyl is very dishonest, it can't be proved or disproved, it's a bullshit argument. Just give me the facts instead.

Sure the WHO says there are increase in cancer risk, that is the problem with radiation, no-one denies that. But if you get an x-ray you also get an increase in cancer risk. The question is how big the risk increase is and how many are affected.

What most people don't get is that you have to compare those risks with the alternative, coal, and the risks from coal are far worse. The WHO usually use the 30k estimated deaths from Chernobyl figure iirc, how is that worse than 171000 deaths from a hydro-dam failing? Why is death from radiation worse than death from air-pollution?
This reaction illustrates the point I made fairly well, to be honest. It's not just the information about the plant being shut down, it's not knowing all kinds of basic information about nuclear power and the Chernobyl and Fukushima disaster in particular. It really is no wonder no sound assessment of the risks of nuclear power can be made if you know so little about it or how it may go wrong. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

Saying we dodged the bullet with Chernobyl is dishonest? Have you looked into this? How the events unfolded and how a steam explosion was prevented is very well documented and not disputed and although we can't exactly be sure how big the resulting explosion would have been, experts agree on that it would have been massive compared to what we know as the Chernobyl disaster. It's quite possible to ascertain what would have been from our understanding of physics, the energies involved and the situation as it was. I'm not sure how that can be called dishonest, other than it not fitting your narrative and being inconvenient. Surely you're not arguing we should value your estimation of the resulting disaster above those of actual nuclear experts and people researching the subject extensively?

Meanwhile, pretending it's just an increase in cancer risk is actually dishonest. The WHO reports that thousands of people have been found to suffer from cancer in the disaster area. This is reported to be a statistically significantly higher number than normally expected and detected elsewhere. Thousands of actual people have been getting actual cancer, while the risk of cancer from getting an X-ray exists in theory but has never been statistically proven. They can't really be compared, unless you're of course trying to downplay the effects of the nuclear disaster as it was. We're not even talking about the disaster it could have been yet and the massive amounts of much more radioactive material that would have been spread far and wide.

I do agree though, deaths from coal are bad as well. I'm not opposed to nuclear power as such. However, considering people can't seem to handle the risks it seems we should ban both. Another wrong doesn't make a right.
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #214 on: December 20, 2018, 02:12:00 am »
Meanwhile, pretending it's just an increase in cancer risk is actually dishonest. The WHO reports that thousands of people have been found to suffer from cancer in the disaster area. This is reported to be a statistically significantly higher number than normally expected and detected elsewhere. Thousands of actual people have been getting actual cancer, while the risk of cancer from getting an X-ray exists in theory but has never been statistically proven. They can't really be compared, unless you're of course trying to downplay the effects of the nuclear disaster as it was. We're not even talking about the disaster it could have been yet and the massive amounts of much more radioactive material that would have been spread far and wide.
No cancer from X-ray? that's a good one. Most calculations of the number of premature deaths (cancer) because of Chernobyl (the 30 000 projected deaths I've mentioned) is based on the LNT-hypothesis (Linear No Treshold), which basically means they extrapolate linearly the risk of getting cancer from very low dosages based on data from very high dosages. If you want to limit yourself to cancer that can be directly linked to radiation from Chernobyl the figure is much lower than that (a few thousand at most), so that just makes my argument much stronger: nuclear is safer than hydro electric and much much safer than coal.

(And sorry, I messed up my previous post, seem to have posted it prematurely while editing somehow.)
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #215 on: December 20, 2018, 02:37:27 am »
I had another reply typed up and posted but at this point we're going around in circles, so I'm going to leave it here. It's not as if anyone is going to change their mind and I doubt the other forum members get much out of the discussion. I hope you'll continue looking into the matter and are prepared to keep an open mind if you do. Best of luck.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 03:53:51 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #216 on: December 20, 2018, 04:12:28 am »
No cancer from X-ray? that's a good one. Most calculations of the number of premature deaths (cancer) because of Chernobyl (the 30 000 projected deaths I've mentioned) is based on the LNT-hypothesis (Linear No Treshold), which basically means they extrapolate linearly the risk of getting cancer from very low dosages based on data from very high dosages. If you want to limit yourself to cancer that can be directly linked to radiation from Chernobyl the figure is much lower than that (a few thousand at most), so that just makes my argument much stronger: nuclear is safer than hydro electric and much much safer than coal.

(And sorry, I messed up my previous post, seem to have posted it prematurely while editing somehow.)
It's statistical significance versus no statistical significance. It's pretty straightforward. Claiming you're "the only one providing facts and discussing data" is once more dishonest. I needed to bring up various well known and documented events or facts that you were seemingly unaware of and which you still seem to contest. Only now you seem to start to do some research to find the evidence to prove the point you already established before doing the research. Experience tells me that people who approach a discussion in this way tend to endlessly argue their point and never concede or adjust their opinion. It's only a bitter rubbing of the ego. I hope I'm proven wrong this time.
If you claim x-rays doesn't cause cancer you have to apply the same logic to the fallout from Chernobyl which then for the most part suddenly becomes harmless and the projected death counts would have to be lowered drastically. That just means my main point (that nuclear is safer than hydro and coal) is even more valid. People usually argue we should use the LNT-hypothesis since it's a reasonable worst case estimation as long as we don't know better. That is a valid argument but then you have to remember that those figures are worst case.

I've done the research many years ago and read up on it every now and then. I might remember something wrong, but the major points are corrects as far as I know. I'm providing facts and numbers that can easily be verified (except the deaths from coal air pollution which is mysteriously hard to find). Hypotheticals and the risk of unknowns are hard to debate.

Insisting the waste problem is solved is a joke. We have solved nothing at all. Even if there waste were to be only properly dangerous for a few hundred years, we don't really have good examples of institutions reliably being active on comparable time scales. We don't have a solutions for the waste either. We could dump it into the ground and pretend it's not there, but that's not a solution. We dumped it into the sea before because the thought it'd go away and we dumped it into other places and it never actually went away. Every time it became a head-ache due to oversights. Now we discovered that the deep Earth crust is actually a rich biotope. So much for dumping it out of the way in a place it can't possibly do harm. Silly humans and their hubris. Saying the waste problem is solved is like saying fossil fuels don't cause problems because we have chimneys to put the waste into the air, or plastic waste isn't an issue because we have oceans to safely tuck it away. That's what people actually thought and we all know how much of a success that was. Let's all make the same mistakes again. This time it can't go wrong.
A rich biotope? There are maybe some bacteria down there but it doesn't matter if some bacteria gets killed.

Why isn't "dumping" it deep in the earths crust a solution? Saying there might be some unknown is an argument you could use against doing anything.

Looks like the Finnish are going to beat us to it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBS-3

There is a real danger with nuclear. When you get radioactive smoke and fallout over a large area it eventually ends up in food and thus becomes a health hazard. It's hard to tell what the situation is in Fukushima, but they seem to have problem with radioactive water leaking out. It's similar problem then: it eventually gets into food (fish) which then become a health hazard I would guess. Those risks shouldn't be underestimated, but they shouldn't be exaggerated either.

Quote
I've already responded to the other arguments you ask me to respond to. I refer you to my previous posts. Look for the real disaster that was avoided in Chernobyl and coal being a wrong that doesn't make nuclear waste a right.
Ok, so we agree that coal is worse than nuclear? You are right that it doesn't make nuclear harmless. But what is the alternative that can realistically replace coal today then?
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #217 on: December 20, 2018, 04:22:43 am »
Unfortunately you didn't catch the edit of my previous post in time. I'm going to leave it at that.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #218 on: December 20, 2018, 11:05:47 pm »
Meanwhile, pretending it's just an increase in cancer risk is actually dishonest. The WHO reports that thousands of people have been found to suffer from cancer in the disaster area. This is reported to be a statistically significantly higher number than normally expected and detected elsewhere. Thousands of actual people have been getting actual cancer, while the risk of cancer from getting an X-ray exists in theory but has never been statistically proven. They can't really be compared, unless you're of course trying to downplay the effects of the nuclear disaster as it was. We're not even talking about the disaster it could have been yet and the massive amounts of much more radioactive material that would have been spread far and wide.
But then many people get health problems from power plants burning coal. Look at this website which shows the SO2 concentration world wide:
https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=so2smass/orthographic=108.72,33.63,401
Millions of people die due to air polution:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843953/

Nuclear versus coal is like airplane versus traffic. An airplane accident kills a lot of people at once and yet it is one of the safest ways to travel.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #219 on: December 21, 2018, 12:08:44 am »
The build up of mercury pollution in the environment is the worst thing about burning coal. Elemental mercury has always been in the environment, and it builds up in all plants, in varying amounts. It cycles between different states, a process called mercury flux. Its a powerfully pro-oxidant toxicant. Unfortunately coal contains mercury in varying amounts and there really is no way to scrub it out when its burned effectively enough to be safe. As if that wasnt bad enough methylmercury is much worse, MeHG is a very potent neurotoxin thats produced when mercury is in the environment. Another property of mercury, its depleting of glutathione, is likely causing a lot of health problems directly also, because of a problem with the expression of Fyn and c-Cbl and an effect of those changes on the process of cell differentiation in a developing nervous system.

So we have to find other means of powering our society besides coal. mercury levels in some parts of the US and northern Europe are higher than they have ever been, and thats very bad.

But no, I dont think coal is worse than nuclear fission because of the ultimate heat sink problems which have caused multiple simultaneous meltdowns when cooling was interrupted. And the long term persistence of radiation after nuclear disasters.

We should cut usage of energy as our #1 goal. Here in the US would you believe they let a corporation (GM) privatize and then dismantle what was once the best public transit system in the world? Leading to my country's current problems of dependence on cheap oil.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 12:13:34 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #220 on: December 21, 2018, 12:36:33 am »
The build up of mercury pollution in the environment is the worst thing about burning coal.

Nonsense.

The buildup of CO2 is the worst problem.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #221 on: December 21, 2018, 01:08:40 am »
We should cut usage of energy as our #1 goal.
I don't disagree with that, but while we wait for that to happen we need alternatives to coal. We should choose the safest alternative, which is solar, but solar can only replace a part of it (sun doesn't shine during night and less during winter), so we still need a lot of nuclear for the foreseeable future.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #222 on: December 21, 2018, 08:18:37 am »
We should cut usage of energy as our #1 goal.
I don't disagree with that, but while we wait for that to happen we need alternatives to coal. We should choose the safest alternative, which is solar, but solar can only replace a part of it (sun doesn't shine during night and less during winter), so we still need a lot of nuclear for the foreseeable future.

Just so. Not difficult really.

You can add wind power into that, in the UK at least, since the mantra "if the wind isn't blowing her then it is blowing there" is simply false. As a rule of thumb, the aggregate UK wind power will be <1% of rated power for 3 days per year. When a "blocking high pressure" sits over the UK there is low wind which can last for weeks. That's beyond any known capacity to store the energy. No, pumped hydro in the UK isn't and won't be suffcient.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #223 on: December 21, 2018, 09:43:59 am »
The build up of mercury pollution in the environment is the worst thing about burning coal.

Nonsense.

The buildup of CO2 is the worst problem.
No. The effects of CO2 are nothing more than a nuisance. WE humans see it as a problem because rising sea levels and changing weather patterns will reduce the amount of available land to live on, damage harvest and damage buildings. But in the grand sceme of things it isn't the worst that has ever happened.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Kilrah

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #224 on: December 21, 2018, 02:18:33 pm »
I think (hope) he was being sarcastic, as in CO2 being the only thing that's constantly being bashed in our face by the media, ignoring said more important problems...
 


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