Lessee: we got this political dilettante, Donald Trump, never elected to anything not even dog-catcher, styling himself top contender for office of President of the United States, on no qualifications whatsoever other than he’s a billionaire “reality” star. Which come to think of it, after Citizen’s United, is all that really matters. read more.
In the months since the public in-person opportunity to comment at EPA’s Clean Power Plan hearings this past July, it has become apparent that, as it is currently written, the Clean Power Plan will fulfill the expectations neither of EPA Administrators past or present, nor of environmentally concerned scientists, engineers, economists,and commentators who have realistically analyzed the nature of the climate catastrophe now upon us, and the enormity of the tasks involved in its mitigation.
My purpose here is to explain why I feel compelled to equivocate my previously unequivocable support, and to suggest ways in which EPA’s Clean Power Plan might be improved such as to further its original intent and aspirations. read more.
I was privileged to speak in-person in support of the United State’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan July 29, 2014, in Denver. These are my brief remarks along with supporting notes, and links to EPA resources and directions for submitting public comments (deadline 16 October 2014). read more.
“It’s no easy thing to have come to the conclusion that the rapid deployment of nuclear power is now the greatest hope we have for saving us from an environmental catastrophe. Yet this growing realization has led me to question many of the founding tenets of traditional environmentalism, from the belief that we can dramatically reduce our energy demand through energy efficiency to the belief that solar and wind power will one day power the planet. The almost theological adherence to a set of unquestionable beliefs by most liberals and environmentalists has likely contributed as much or more to prolonging our addiction to fossil fuels as the equally appalling state of denial among many conservatives when it comes to climate change. Both sides are locked into rigid, self-righteous ideological positions with potentially disastrous consequences for us all unless we begin to face the facts...” –From the Director’s Statement.
There are limits to what one can cover in 90 minutes, and some viewers may feel slighted by neglect or oversight of their favorite pro- or anti-nuclear arguments. Books have been written on both; I do not intend another here. Pandora’s Promise attempts to condense sixty-two years of nuclear power and policy history, with additional commentary on modern reactor safety and waste management. Here I merely pull a few threads of Pandora’s backstory, and provide links that support some of the film’s facts and assertions. In Part II we go beyond the film’s initial premise and provide cogent argument, based on extensive integrated climate and economic modeling by our universities and national labs, that it simply will not be possible for renewable sources – wind, water, biomass, and sun – to by themselves provide the huge amounts of global electric energy required to mitigate climate change in the 21st century in anything close to an economic competitive fashion. It is a massive problem that requires integrated solution. Nuclear power will play a critical role. read more.
Free-market considerations are, of course, frequently and willfully misapplied to argue political ends to which they patently do not apply. We’ve seen it before. We will see it again. We would be remiss not to include a brief rant illustrating the technique. read more.
When confronted with economic policy, many people invoke Adam Smith’s ”Invisible Hand” and rest themselves assured all will be well if but they look after their own profit. Life is not so simple, and neither is classical economics. We explore some popular misconceptions in this central essay we expect to frequently revise and revisit. read more.
In a previous incarnation, back in the early pre-dns daze of the Internet, I dabbled in some moderately obscure mathematics of my own, eventually publishing a few modestly-received journal articles. These were prepared using the LaTeX document preparation program, which I found rather convenient for the purpose. I was hardly alone, and since then LaTeX has become the common standard for publishing research articles and textbooks involving mathematics. read more.