Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I do not ignore it, at all...

Ben, per-capita energy use rates X population growth is a critical consideration that you continue to deny or ignore.

I DO NOT IGNORE IT.

Take China. If in 50 years, only half a billion people live there, BUT they are using twice as much energy per person as they are today (which is a reasonable estimate), then it will not much matter if their country's population has been halved since 2006.

IT WILL MATTER A GREAT DEAL COMPARED TO WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IF THEY WERE GROWING.

Or, if you take a much poorer country like Nigeria, where per capita energy usage is very very low (a small fraction of that of the US) -- even if their population shrinks by 75% in the next 50 years, it won't much matter if they quadruple their use of energy per person.

OF COURSE IT WOULD MATTER COMPARED TO WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN.

In all likelihood, however, these countries' populations will not shrink nearly so drastically and may in fact continue to grow (even if it is at a slower pace that will eventually reverse itself into population decline at some unknown future date.) If these countries continue to grow economically (and we can certainly expect this from China), then their per-capita energy usage is almost guaranteed to go up. By how much, we do not know for sure (no one can, as you are fond of pointing out.) I have read your beliefs in the advent of cheaper, less greenhouse-gas emitting technologies (Thorium, other nuke technologies, etc.) and I will admit to you that these technologies could indeed solve part of the problem. But do not expect, Ben, to see these advanced technologies implemented in developing countries anytime soon. Certainly not before they are implemented in the United States, and despite all the recent progress on the alternative energy front, we are a long way from adopting these technologies wholesale. Expect China to continue mining domestic deposits of filthy coal for at least the next generation. And as the average Chinese citizen starts wanting to live the rich life, expect more greenhouse gas emissions per-capita -- whether there's a population decline or not. With recent estimates that China's population increased by 10 percent in the last decade despite the one-child policy, I think we are in for some surprises on this front.

FRANCE DOES IT. MANY OTHER COUNTRIES ARE BUILDING NUCLEAR PLANTS --- SOME SUPPLIED BY THE U.S.

However, Ben, I think you are remiss .

I THINK YOU PROBABLY MEANT "AMISS" AND EVEN THAT IS NOT THE RIGHT WORD. THE RIGHT WORD WOULD BE "WRONG."

I'LL TAKE POSTS EITHER WAY BUT I WOULD PREFER THEM TO BE IDENTIFIED , PARTICULARLY IF THEY ARE ARGUMENTATIVE.

***

A NUMBER OF POSTERS HAVE TOLD ME TO GET EXPERT ASSISTANCE TO HELP GROW THE BLOG. I HAVE A NUMBER OF EXPERTS HELPING ME.

BUT WE ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING OTHER BLOGS OR SITES TO PICK IT UP.

ANY IDEAS?

BEN

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BUT WE ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING OTHER BLOGS OR SITES TO PICK IT UP."

Don't type in all capital letters on a blog. It is the equivalent of shouting.

November 01, 2006  
Blogger Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Ben,

I am struck by a few things in this post that I suspect I am coming in on the middle of a previous discussion.

First, the comment about China's population. China has sentenced itself to death. The breeding population is 15 to 35 year old females. The one child per family policy has been in effect for about 20 years. Because of the preference for male babies, affected by both infanticide and selective abortion, the breeders have been more than halved. They have also, according to a friend who has traveled extensively in China, instilled the small family ethic in the population. I expect that the population will be one quarter of current in 40 years.

Second, greenhouse gases. You have to buy into the global warming thesis to view this as a problem. The guys who predicted massive hurricanes this season and who can't tell you whether to carry your umbrella next Tuesday want you to believe that the temperature will be 2 degrees (Farenheit or Centipede?) warmer in 100 years. Snake oil!

Chicken Little is alive and well and the favored haunt of grifters and charlatans. You were more than right years ago with "The Good News Is The Bad News Is All Wrong" - at least that's how I remember the title.

As to how to expand your horizons: please talk to Roger L. Simon, one of the driving forces behind Pajamas Media. They feature bloggers across the spectrum and some illustrious names contribute.

Regards,
Roy

November 01, 2006  
Blogger Rod Adams said...

Ben:

I found your blog via a link from NEI Nuclear Notes, so there are at least some blogs that are "picking it up". I will also add your musings to my list of links - you attracted me with your positive comments about nuclear power, but I have just spent an interesting half hour or so reviewing some of your thoughts about topics like baseball (glad to see that you are not a Yankees fan), Jimmy Carter (I am not exactly proud that he and I are alumni of the same school), Iraq (yes, our troops are volunteers in the service, but there are a growing number that are serving in roles that are violations of the obvious print in their enlistment agreements), and investing (diversification is a great idea; stock investing is a huge part of the ownership economy).

I have to disagree with whoever thought that advanced nuclear power systems would have to be implemented in the US before they are implemented in developing countries. South Africa and China are both working feverishly to implement high temperature gas cooled reactors, an advanced technology that was first proven in Germany, the UK and the United States more than 30 years ago.

Argentina has an increasing interest in deploying their CAREM reactors, an integral light water reactor that is appropriate for use in less technologically developed areas, while Russia and Brazil are also working on smaller reactor plants that can provide power without a complex infrastructure installed.

My own company - Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. is also developing smaller power plants appropriate for remote areas where the difficulties associated with transporting fossil fuels have inhibited economic development in the past.

Keep up the interesting work. Hope to correspond more with you in the future.

Rod Adams
President, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc.
Editor, Atomic Insights

November 02, 2006  
Anonymous RS said...

Ben:
I have a few suggestions to improve your blog:

1. Add some material in the sidebar, especially links. Link to some other blogs where you have some agreement with the ideas or where the discussion is stimulating. Links to other bloggers are a form of courtesy in the blogosphere - they're often mutual.
2. Jazz it up a bit. Post a picture every now and then.
3. Pay almost as much attention to grammar, spelling, and capitalization as you would when writing for a newspaper.
4. Consider using more links in your posts. There are two reasons to do this:
a - A link shows where the material to which you are responding comes from.
b - Links help the search engines that go crawling all over the internet find your blog and pick it up. This is one way that people find blogs.

Hope these ideas are helpful.

November 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting experience and background. I am shocked you don't draw a following -- can u use your PBS program as a medium to advertise your blog address?

November 02, 2006  
Anonymous Calixto Lopez said...

Ben,
First off, I've always liked your books, and your PBS show think tank. I am a fellow Hobart Alumnus, and I attended a lecture of yours at Hobart while I was a student there.

I did not know you had a blog, until reading the Atomic Insights blog, who linked to this post.

FRANCE DOES IT. MANY OTHER COUNTRIES ARE BUILDING NUCLEAR PLANTS --- SOME SUPPLIED BY THE U.S.


Indeed, Japan, Finland, South Korea, South Africa, India, China, and now the UK plans to as well. I certainly belive that we should so as well.

But do not expect, Ben, to see these advanced technologies implemented in developing countries anytime soon. Certainly not before they are implemented in the United States, and despite all the recent progress on the alternative energy front, we are a long way from adopting these technologies wholesale.

Heh. China, and South Africa and India, all developing countries are being far more aggressive in developing nuclear energy, and indeed more advanced technologies than we are currently contemplating.

November 02, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home