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 The Whale and the Reactor 1986 Rebels Against the Future Kirpatrick Sale


Mark Lynas

Science author, reformed technophobe

Seeds of Science

Why we got it so wrong on GMOs

Multco Central 664 L9871s 2018

Edinburgh University MA in Politics and Modern History

Lynas' 1996 article for Greenpeace's Corporate Watch helped spur "direct action" against lab-modified crop plants ... which led to attacks on experimental fields in Britain. Lynas organized ecovandalism for years, and attacked Lomborg with a pie in the face. Lynas started reading academic science literature for justifications, and discovered that he enjoyed science, data, and writing better than ecovandalism. That led to the books High Tidein 2004 and Six Degrees in 2007, which earned a Royal Society prize in June 2008. In the academic literature, Lynas found zero support for his anti-GM views, and many reasons why GM methods would help the world. A decade later, this book, as an apology and explanation.

p30 "In the town of Totnes in Devon, a kind of UK version of Portland, Oregon, in its multitudes of alternative lifestyle inhabitants (under the road sign announcing 'Totnes' someone affectionately wrote 'Twinned with Narnia') ...

Much about Greenpeace false GMO propaganda in Africa, perpetuating poverty and starvation.

p213 antinuke book The Whale and the Reactor by Langdon Winner argues that nuclear requires a centralized state

  • .. as if roads, harbors, hydropower dams do not

p241 social psychologist Jonathan Haidt The Righteous Mind (BVTN): "If you ask people to believe something that violates their intuitions, they will devote their efforts to finding an escape hatch -- a reason to doubt your argument or conclusion. They will almost always succeed." Haidt thereby refutes the 'deficit model' of human psychology. "... a barrage of facts ..." doesn't work.

p242 Patrick Moore Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout (Multco Central)

p269 David MacKay http://globalcalculator.org

Nuclear 2.0

Why A Green Future Needs Nuclear Power

Mark Lynas, 2013, 333.7924 LYN

Lynas refers to his 2007 "Six Degrees", which advocated rapid adoption of green-tech (solar, wind, efficiency) to mitigate global warming, and dismissed nuclear. His studies since 2005 changed his mind on nuclear, and this book is the result, calling for regulatory restructuring and massive investment in an "Apollo Program" (p9) scale-up of mass produced 100MW-scale nuclear power plants between 2020 and 2030. While we are 9 years closer to his 6 degree nightmare, we are no closer to that rollout.

  • p9 The pro-renewables and pro-nuclear tribes will have to join forces
  • p10 Electricity use is tightly correlated with human welfare.
  • p13 China growth 9%/year for 30 years, 400M people out of poverty, 20x increased income, compressed the West's 200 year industrialization into 30
  • p13 Vast majority of new energy is from coal, half of China's rail capacity transports coal
  • p15 largest coal reserves Russia, US, China, (4th?), India
  • p16 US shale oil overtakes Saudi Arabia in 2013
  • p19 Wind displaces gas-fired generation in UK, intermittency less than intentional overcapacity
  • p20 political opposition to wind/solar from nimbys
  • p21 2011-12 windgen increase 18%, solar increase 60%, 200%/1200% over 5 years, but 0.3%->0.95% wind, 0.01%->0.17% solar, compared to a huge increase for coal,

  • p25 Amory Lovins' 1976 projected 33% 'soft' sourced primary energy by 2000, true figure 0.5%
  • p25 pessimists predicted global famine, actual population increase 4B to 7B, GDP increased 2.5x
  • p29 500 word essay for New Statesman, angry responses, undermined activist's whole life work
  • p31 early 1970s Sierra Club preferred nuclear to flooding valleys for hydropower
  • p31 Spencer Weart The Rise of Nuclear Fear displaced from weapons

  • p35-39 Nuclear plant projects replaced by coal
  • p40-54 Fukushima accident, few hypothetical deaths, probably zero, except for abandoned hospital patients
  • p54 Chernobyl, death toll 50 includes 29 emergency workers and 15 child thyroid cancers, most effects psychological
  • p56 air pollution kills 3.2M/y Hansen&Kharecha 2013 paper, nuclear saved 1.84M betwetween 1971 and 2009

  • p61 RMBK dual-use power and bomb fuel, positive void coefficient, no proper containment

  • p62 for comparison Argonne's Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) shut off coolant, simply shut down with no intervention
    • p63 sodium coolant, 90x better than water, safer metal (rather than oxide) fuel, 100x more efficient
  • p66 high level waste volume very small; long half-life low activity, high-activity brief half-life
  • p66 Strontium 90 and Cesium 137 most concerning and biologically active
  • p68 UK uranium inventory could power nation for 500 years with fast reactors
  • p68 Thorium proven reserves 3 million tonnes, 1 tonne -> 1GW-year, hypothetical 120 billion tonnes in Earths crust.

  • p70 GenIII+ reactors 72 hours of passive safety. European Pressurized Reactors big and costly
  • p71 factory-produced modular designs (300MW) like GE Hitachi PRISM (Power Reactor Innovative Small Modular)
  • p71 Six PRISM "advanced recycling center" producing 1.8G W while deactivating nuclear waste
  • p72 Babcock and Wilcox 180MW mPower SMR (Small Modular Reactor)
  • p72 NuScale 45MW Power Module ( OSU/Corvallis, world headquarters nearby)

  • p75 sans nuclear, environmental disaster
  • p78 Global Wind Energy Council assumes 15x increase in wind and 95x increase for solar by 2030, 10 times more than US Energy Information Administration projections
    • p79 1M square kilometers of windfarm, 50K km2 of solar plants, 2500 plants the scale of Ivanpah California plant
  • p80 if current nuclear is removed, this means emissions rise by 22% instead of 28%
  • p82 "All of the above"
  • p85 Author suggests more-than-nuclear-industry-ambitious expansion to 1000 nuclear plants by 2030 - 4 new reactors per month starting in 2013.
  • p86 all the above -> 82% carbon-free by 2030, 50% chance of only 2-Celsius climate rise, 10% chance 2.8 C

  • p88 "But today the anti-nuclear movement is already a shadow of its former self" Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace no longer have dedicated antinuclear staff in UK The Whale and the Reactor 1986 Rebels Against the Future Kirpatrick Sale

MarkLynas (last edited 2022-02-08 19:57:30 by KeithLofstrom)