Smoke and Mirrors

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Burton Richter, who has served on U.S. and international review committees on climate change and energy issues, discusses the sensible, senseless, and biased proposals for averting the consequences of global warming. In Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century, he provides an overview of what we know about climate change, discusses current energy demand and supply, and the energy options available to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


Burton Richter,

Comments [16]

Colin from Weehawken

Talk about paid off by nuclear power companies!!
digging holes in the ground and keeping spent nuclear waste in the ground!?!? That's better than figuring out how to over come the coefficient of friction to get a wind turbine blade going? That's Ridiculous!! His silly analogy of the Egyptian pyramid lasting 5000 years, so we should make a underground bunker to hold nuclear waste for 500 years - That bunker will leak and fall in to disrepair like EVERYTHING EVER BUILT! Who's going to continue the up keep of that bunker, effort & money-wise? Not that many countires last that long nowadays. A rocket taking the waste to outer space is more logical an idea. Then he says the other option is to burn spent nuclear waste - where/what does that exhaust do/go? how dangerous is it?

Apr. 26 2010 12:44 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

why does every person over the age of 50 with any influence on how we move forward so cowardly in their resistance to shifting to zero-carbon energy sources? forget this idea of "transitioning"--everyone thinks we need 20 years to "transition" from fossil fuels. why? isn't the need now?

Apr. 26 2010 12:41 PM
McGill from Canada

Today is the 24 th anniversary of chernobyl

Apr. 26 2010 12:32 PM
Thomas W. Thompson from Albany, NY

The more this continues, the further out we go. Any comment on the fact that Tritium is leaking from the Vermont Yankee nuke plant into the Ct. River?

Apr. 26 2010 12:32 PM
Estelle from Houston

What about trash-burning power plants?

Apr. 26 2010 12:32 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

thomas w. thompson - to say nothing about our subsidies to oil and gas, as well! that they are recommending further indulgences for these industries is simply inexcusable.

Apr. 26 2010 12:29 PM
Thomas W. Thompson from Albany, NY

Mr. Richter indicates that solar panels require subsidies. Does Mr. Richter believe that fossil & nuclear fuels are not subsidized? We are spending $2 trillion on the Iraq war. Is that not a subsidy? Would 1 single nuke plant ever get built without the Congressionally authorized (and constantly reauthorized) Price Anderson Act? The answer is no.

Also, what evidence is that clean coal can ever be done, with or with out subsidy?

The gent is really smart, but let's get real about who is subsidizing what. This is way too sophomoric for a noble prize winner.

Apr. 26 2010 12:25 PM

Why not use natural gas for automobiles and nuclear for electricity with solar for additional peak (during the summer) in areas with a lot of sun. And maybe use wind for places like Chicago.

Apr. 26 2010 12:21 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

gerald fnord - cheney never cared, except to profit from climate-destroying practices like "natural" gas hydrofracturing via his work with halliburton, and his writing exclusions to the clean air, clean water, and superfund acts for oil and gas industries in the 2005 energy act.

now kerry's fallen into his trap by wanting to neuter the EPA's authority via his new "climate" act.

Apr. 26 2010 12:20 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

natural gas is NOT "clean". it burns dirty/is carbon-producing in use, and exploring it (particularly via hydrofracturing) is extremely toxic to land, water and air.

Apr. 26 2010 12:17 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

also--please weigh in on kerry's disastrous proposed "climate" bill (the big giveaway to oil/gas).

Apr. 26 2010 12:16 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

why not simply change the semantics to bring deniers back into the dialogue? instead of using terms like "warming" and "climate change", why not get back to simpler concepts like "polluting" and "dirty energy sources"? i.e.,make this about polluting water, air, depleting earth resources/erosion via chemicals. uninformed people usually need things dumbed down,anyway--and it's more difficult to argue against the result of these actions.

Apr. 26 2010 12:15 PM

What is the guest position on nuclear power

Apr. 26 2010 12:15 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Regarding use of computers for climate modeling: My calculus teacher in high school would tell us stories of groups of mathematicians solving complex systems of equations by hand during the Second World War.

Apr. 26 2010 12:15 PM
Gerald Fnord

The people with power will not be affected by this except to the extent their investments will be, and the Market is very good at adapting. Therefore, I don't think they've got much incentive to act fast to change a world in which they've done (or inherited) quite well for themselves...and if you think most powerful men care one jot for millions of drowned Bengalis, just try to imagine Dick Cheney even trying to _pretend_ he cares.

Apr. 26 2010 11:57 AM
a. g. from hudson county nj

i strongly believe in global warming. i think humans have had a lot to do with it. if in addition to the geologic lunacy[fueled by corporations,enabled by politics] there is a natural cyclical event,that is taking place irrespective of our action/in action,that does not change the need to act. the pollutants that assault our senses and immune systems day in day out,ALONE,should be enough to stop archaic 19th century industrial practices. not to mention oil wars. for those who only think of temperature[which should be enough] think about all the other nasty stuff that comes with the way we pursue our energy needs-death in coal mines[no such thing as clean coal,or nuclear] death on oil rigs,death in iraq and afganistan. wind,solar,geo-thermal NOW!

Apr. 26 2010 10:24 AM

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