To nuclear, or not to nuclear… is that the question? Or how George Monboit has dropped the ball again

CORRECTION – I’ve been further investigating the claims about Chernobyl, and George Monboit’s claims. It would appear some of the source I cited below have very little standing the scientific community. My mistake was to rush to print and not qualify my sources. It is an important lesson, not to accept evidence at face value and maintain a healthy scepticism and not let the facts fit the argument. No one is immune from that – even WtD!

In this I feel no embarrassment – indeed I hope it serves as testimony to the idea that scepticism is a wonderful thing.

Admitting mistakes is an important part of the learning process. I would rather acknowledge error then dig myself into an ideological hole.

On the question of nuclear energy itself, I don’t think it can be ruled out. I’ve been reading extensively on the issue and I’d recommend a recent issue of New Scientist (Issue 2805 25 March 2011) as a good place to start.

Please see the following:

George Monboit – reviled by deniers everywhere – has come out in defence of nuclear power, even though he has enormous reservations about the industry itself:

I despise and fear the nuclear industry as much as any other green: all experience hath shown that, in most countries, the companies running it are a corner-cutting bunch of scumbags, whose business originated as a by-product of nuclear weapons manufacture. But, sound as the roots of the anti-nuclear movement are, we cannot allow historical sentiment to shield us from the bigger picture. Even when nuclear power plants go horribly wrong, they do less damage to the planet and its people than coal-burning stations operating normally.

However he then goes on to repeat what is the worst meme spouted but pro-nuclear shills… that the actual death toll was tiny:

Coal, the most carbon-dense of fossil fuels, is the primary driver of manmade climate change. If its combustion is not curtailed, it could kill millions of times more people than nuclear power plants have done so far. Yes, I really do mean millions. The Chernobyl meltdown was hideous and traumatic. The official death toll so far appears to be 43: 28 workers in the initial few months and 15 civilians by 2005. Totally unacceptable, of course; but a tiny fraction of the deaths for which climate change – through its damage to the food supply, its contribution to the spread of infectious diseases and its degradation of the quality of life for many of the world’s poorest people – is likely to be responsible.

Actually there is enormous controversy over the figures, and it is now acknowledged that the death toll is considerably higher.

How high is a matter of controversy.

Indeed, had George taken an extra five minutes research he would have seen even the most conservative estimates put the related deaths in the thousands. George may have been relaying on some of the Guardian’s (the paper he writes for) own reporting which states that low figure based on a 2005 WHO report:

The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl almost 20 years ago has so far claimed fewer than 50 lives, according to a study by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Development Programme and the World Health Organisation.

But about 4,000 people could eventually die from exposure to radiation released when a reactor caught fire in the Ukrainian forest and showered Europe with a plume of radioactive particles.

This is the same report Andrew Bolt has been waving around.

However, since 2005 further studies indicate that the death toll could be much larger. A 2006 Guardian article indicates the figure may be higher than the 50 plus:

Yesterday Belarus said that one-sixth of the country was still contaminated and the disaster had cost it $235bn (£131.5bn) so far. In a separate study, scientists said the health of the 200,000 people in Ukraine who took part in the cleanup had been badly affected. Across the region, hospitals said they were overwhelmed by people with thyroid cancers, children with genetic mutations and adolescents with radiation-linked illnesses.

But while five independent scientific studies in the last two weeks, including one by the Russia’s academy of sciences, have estimated that between 30,000 and 250,000 people have died so far as a result of the disaster, yesterday the World Health Organisation maintained its figure that only 50 people died and that it expects perhaps 9,000 to die eventually from the accident

A more recent study (2010) indicates the death toll could be even higher. The reason for estimates where much lower was because the Soviets – remember them, the one party totalitarian dictatorship – lied about the impact of the explosion.

Now that the Soviet archives have been opened, it is suggested the death toll, mostly associated with the effects of radiation, could be closer to 1 million:

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment was published by the New York Academy of Sciences.

It is authored by three noted scientists:

Russian biologist Dr. Alexey Yablokov, former environmental advisor to the Russian president;

Dr. Alexey Nesterenko, a biologist and ecologist in Belarus; and

Dr.Vassili Nesterenko, a physicist and at the time of the accident director of the Institute of Nuclear Energy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Its editor is Dr. Janette Sherman, a physician and toxicologist long involved in studying the health impacts of radioactivity.

The book is solidly based — on health data, radiological surveys and scientific reports — some 5,000 in all.

It concludes that based on records now available, some 985,000 people died, mainly of cancer, as a result of the Chernobyl accident. That is between when the accident occurred in 1986 and 2004. More deaths, it projects, will follow.

The book explodes the claim of the International Atomic Energy Agency– still on its website that the expected death toll from the Chernobyl accident will be 4,000. The IAEA, the new book shows, is under-estimating, to the extreme, the casualties of Chernobyl…

…As to deaths, the list of countries and consequences begins with Belarus. “For the period 1900-2000 cancer mortality in Belarus increased 40%,” it states, again based on medical data and illuminated by tables in the book. “The increase was a maximum in the most highly contaminated Gomel Province and lower in the less contaminated Brest and Mogilev provinces.” They include childhood cancers, thyroid cancer, leukaemia and other cancers.

Considering health data of people in all nations impacted by the fallout, the “overall mortality for the period from April 1986 to the end of 2004 from the Chernobyl catastrophe was estimated as 985,000 additional deaths.”

Further, “the concentrations” of some of the poisons, because they have radioactive half-lives ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 years, “will remain practically the same virtually forever.”

The book also examines the impact on plants and animals. “Immediately after the catastrophe, the frequency of plant mutations in the contaminated territories increased sharply.”

How can we judge the validity of this study? It is hard to say… the Wikipedia article gives a good summary of the controversy over the issue.

This recent Friends of the Earth article provides a summary of recent studies which put the death toll in the tens of thousands:

…Nuclear advocates frequently claim that the death toll from the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster was 30-60 deaths. They also claim, as the Uranium Information Centre (2004) does, that “there is no scientific evidence of any significant radiation-related health effects to most people exposed” to fallout from Chernobyl.

Such claims are ill-informed and/or misleading. It is widely acknowledged that it is difficult for epidemiological studies to demonstrate statistically-significant increases in cancers or other pathologies caused by Chernobyl fallout for various reasons such as the relatively high incidence of the diseases, the latency period of cancers, and limited data on disease incidence. However, difficulties in measuring impacts is no justification for trivialising or ignoring them…

…The estimated death toll rises further when populations beyond those three countries are included. For example, a study by Cardis et al (2006) reported in the International Journal of Cancer estimates 16,000 deaths. Dr Elisabeth Cardis (2006b), head of the IARC Radiation Group, said: “By 2065 (i.e. in the eighty years following the accident), predictions based on these models indicate that about 16,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 25,000 cases of other cancers may be expected due to radiation from the accident and that about 16,000 deaths from these cancers may occur.”

Other studies estimate a still higher death toll. UK radiation scientists Dr Ian Fairlie and Dr David Sumner (2006) estimate 30,000 to 60,000 deaths. A 2006 report commissioned by Greenpeace estimates a death toll of about 93,000. According to Greenpeace (2006): “Our report involved 52 respected scientists and includes information never before published in English. It challenges the UN International Atomic Energy Agency Chernobyl Forum report, which predicted 4,000 additional deaths attributable to the accident as a gross simplification of the real breadth of human suffering. The new data, based on Belarus national cancer statistics, predicts approximately 270,000 cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases caused by Chernobyl. The report also concludes that on the basis of demographic data, during the last 15 years, 60,000 people have additionally died in Russia because of the Chernobyl accident,

The WHO report, which people such as Andrew Bolt and George Monboit cite is acknowledged to be flawed, as this New Scientist article notes:

…Zhanat Carr, a radiation scientist with the WHO in Geneva, says the 5000 deaths were omitted because the report was a “political communication tool”. “Scientifically, it may not be the best approach,” she admitted to New Scientist. She also accepts that the WHO estimates did not include predicted cancers outside Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The health impact in other countries will be “negligible”, she says, adding that there is no epidemiological research showing otherwise. The WHO “has no reasons to deliberately mislead anyone”, she insists. “WHO’s position is independent, free from political issues, and based on scientific evidence of the highest quality.” The IAEA refused to comment.

Fairlie and Sumner’s accusations are backed by other experts. The IAEA/WHO report “misrepresents reality by significantly underestimating the number of cancer deaths”, says Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina in Columbia. A paper co-authored by Mousseau and published this week in Trends in Ecology and Evolution (DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2006.01.008) points to studies suggesting that fallout from Chernobyl has already caused germline mutations in animals and plants.

Clearly the death toll of Chernobyl is considerably higher than the “fifty or so”. Just like climate, it appears partisan politics drives people’s perceptions and acceptance (or rejection) of the evidence.

Monboit makes the mistake of wanting nuclear to be perfectly safe to counter the impact of climate change. Indeed, I’d say it is own form of denial as he is earnestly hoping for a quick and easy “fix”.

I admire Monboit writing, but I acknowledge he frequently “drops the ball” – witness is “disappointment” with climate scientists and his calls for Phil Jones to resign.

George – do your homework.

It took me all of 15 minutes to get an appreciation of the issue.

Given that you’re paid to do this, take the time to get it right. I blog/write/research in my free time.

We all want the climate problem “solved”.

But we need to take a hard look at the alternatives, and not place our hopes in wishful thinking that nuclear will be the panacea to “fix” the climate issue.

86 thoughts on “To nuclear, or not to nuclear… is that the question? Or how George Monboit has dropped the ball again

  1. JG says:

    To be honest, I’m with Monbiot on this (not his figures but his conclusions). The best figure for Chernobyl-related deaths that I’ve been able to find is the WHO’s 4000. The Greenpeace and FoE figures seem inflated for agenda purposes. (They’re both great organizations, but this is precisely the sort of data where they tend to err.)

    It took me all of 15 minutes to get an appreciation of the issue.

    I think this is your difficulty.

    The question is not: How safe or dangerous are nukes? It’s: How safe or dangerous are nukes by comparison with other currently available forms of energy? However you look at it, they’re safer than the fossil-fuel regime we currently have, which is estimated to kill some 300,000 people annually. (Even using the Greenpeace/FoE figures, that still makes nukes an order of magnitude safer.) Obviously, we’d be far safer if we could switch over pronto to renewables like solar, wind, geo, hydro, whatever; but at the moment there’s a worldwide lack of political will to do this, partly because of a public that’s convinced it “understands” climate issues while demonstrably ignorant of them (see, for example).

    So, in the foreseeable future, we’re left with the practical rather than ideal decision either to do nothing about climate change or to embrace nukes as a stopgap solution. Any realist will choose the latter, as should anyone genuinely green.

    Incidentally, I recognize most of your anti-nuke arguments. I used them myself . . . about 40 years ago. Since then the technology has advanced immeasurably and the circumstances have changed radically.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Some good points JG…

      This is why I put the post up to get a response from readers.

      Can we rule out nuclear?

      That is why I use a question mark.

      And your points about orders of magnitude is correct.

      This is the debate that needs to happen.

      I will confess… I’m on the fence on this one.

      I need more evidence, and a better understanding of the issue.

      I was hoping many of my alert readers here would kick the conversation off.

      • JG says:

        I should make the extra point that, while it’s being assumed the Fukushima crisis is exemplary of the dangerousness of nukes, in reality Japan is studded with nuclear plants that have survived intact one of the worst geological impacts in recorded history.

        Imagine the death toll had there been lots of Japanese working down coal mines.

      • john byatt says:

        There is currently hundreds of thousands of gallons of fossil fuel from depots etc spread across the entire area, pollution from that will last decades yet no one in the media has even mentioned it

  2. john byatt says:

    I have sent a short post in to mike for his consideration,,

    you understand the problem, many greens do not

  3. john byatt says:

    Many years ago i stood up at a community forum in townsville and debated a paid nuclear shrill, Dr Christensen, i think his name was over the transport of yellowcake through the port of townsville, wiped the floor with him ,
    i have not come at any conclusions based on short term knowledge but rather from years of an anti and pro position, we have a short period to act, once arctic co2 permafrost melt begins then our reductions of fossil fuel CO2 will have to be total near zero emissions to compensate ,

  4. john byatt says:

    Comment at BNC

    @David Lewis – There is some valid concern that the apparent increase in thyroid cancer seen is a screening effect, rather than a true increase in childhood cancers, Also the use of loaded terms like dramatic increase suggests an incident rate greater than what was actually found.
    In fact the incidence of thyroid cancer has more than doubled in the past 30 years, in Western nations, the rise being attributed to improved diagnostic techniques of previously undetected disease, rather than a true increase in the occurrence of thyroid cancer. This from an article in the May, 2006 issue of JAMA.
    I hope that as always we are going to stick with main stream science on this subject

    of course there were increases in thyroid cancers from drinking milk re chernobyl

    at current levels in the local milk you would have to drink normal amounts for at least one year to at least be equal to the dose from a CT scan


  5. Although I’m fairly 50/50 on nuclear. My biggest concerns regarding it’s use is the overwhelming similarity in behaviour and responsibility from the pro-nuke crowd to the pro-fossil fuel bunch. Playing down risk is simply stupid. I’d feel better about the use of nuclear power where there is great clarity – what you point out here basically demonstrates that there isn’t much.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Ditto.. as I said, I’m also on the fence.

      Monboit plays down the risks… better to go into the debate eyes wide open.

  6. john byatt says:

    What would be a two thousand year event that would put solar at risk in Australia ?

    A super high altitude equatorial volcanic eruption., thats what ,

    lots of eggs and lots of baskets ,, and soon

  7. Spatch says:

    I’m not on the fence. Unless India & China go all out on Nuclear over Coal we’re screwed.

    My main issue with nuclear is the waste. New research on transmuting the waste is looking promising so hopefully the waste issue can soon be overcome.

    BTW, Be sure to catch Four Corners tonight on the Fukushima accident.

  8. john byatt says:

    HEHEHE spatch our evil propaganda is getting out there,

    The US congress has dropped all pretense that the planet is not warming or that the cause is not fossil fuel emissions, The new propaganda chanted by the coal and oil lobbyists has reverted to … ” Extremes due to the .8 DegC warming to date have not been too bad so prudence would tell us that as the planet warms then it might not be too bad in the future”… This is insanity, Australia has two issues to confront, Energy and Water security, they are both central to the future mitigation and adaptation measures required, The accountancy nightmares that will be created by both CPRS or industry emissions taxes will do little to address either , bureaucracies that will use up the bulk of taxes while we boil in the crock of our own inaction , A 12% tonne tax on all Coal mined in Australia in conjunction with a 6% tax on Methane would realise over $12 billion per annum. If we were to go solar then we must understand the consequences of a major equatorial volcanic eruption in the future, wind power in cyclones or major storms means loss of power, placing all our eggs in these two baskets will result in a frittata of failure.
    $12 billion per year would allow ongoing construction of nuclear power plants along the Australian coastline, the waste heat being used for desalination. the commencement of two per year with thirty as our goal . We already have the expertise to build the structures and there are numerous global companies that can complete the fit-outs .
    Uranium and thorium are more plentiful than tin , new generation reactors mean that we would have fuel for thousands of years, what we call nuclear waste has only had one percent of its available energy extracted, it is fuel for the future, new passive safety features do not rely on engineering , new reactors can burn plutonium to a condition where it cannot be used for nuclear bombs. A nuclear industry would provide long term construction employment, highly paid technical salaries and a real solution. If you cannot see nuclear power as the answer then you have no idea of the problem .

  9. john byatt says:

    The ABC news reporting on this is pathetic, a little, new news item attached to an older out of date main item, it appears that 4 corners will mainly be whistleblowing anti nuke scientists and activists , c’est la vie

  10. Watching the Deniers says:

    Perhaps “experts” need to be upfront about the prospects of nuclear…

    Stating while it reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, it will come at a price. Accidents are going to happen. Lives will continue to be lost.

    The original point of my article was to point out Monboit’s inconsistency.

    For all intents and purposes nuclear is “dead” in Australia, if not many parts of the world now.

    Is that a good thing?

    Nor is it as “clean” claimed.

  11. john byatt says:

    Many of those Aussie that fled Japan in the wake of Fukushima did so on the claims made by their Aussie friends and relatives, “you are being lied to over there , the truth is in the Australian newspapers, get out, run for your lives,

    i will go down fighting for the science of climate change and the appeal to include nuclear in the mix,

    by 2030 we will be wishing that we had started earlier as we race against a real worse case scenario ,

    fossil fuel kills and poison millions every year , nuclear does not

    “Is that a good thing?”

    no, it is a disaster


  12. Des Carne says:

    George is between a rock and a hard place. He can’t accept an outlook on the future that accepts we have passed peak oil and catastrophic climate change is now unavoidable, and that this may/will result in substantial depopulation of the earth and perhaps the end of industrial civilization as we now know it, for instance as in his dialogue with Paul Kingsnorth of the Dark Mountain project, published in the Guardian last year.

    His unwavering belief seems to be that the only moral position is to strive to save industrial civilization as it is, based on endless growth, with its growing billions, at least till global population recedes from its expected 9 billion plus peak. This position requires him, on the available evidence, to accept nuclear as the only viable technology for low carbon base-load power.

    I in fact agree with him – given the multiple threats we now face, the risks attached to nuclear power are lower than to continued reliance on coal, and made the same concession, based on a science/engineering and risk assessment of the technology 2 years ago, when I still thought, like George, we could “save the world”. I’ve said as much on Barry Brooks’ blog – Barry being the most credible climate scientist in Australia to have accepted this position and taken to advocating the nuclear alternative.

    This position is understandable in the near-term as we ride/skid/tumble down the declining oil curve and battle over all the solid carbon we could still dump in the atmosphere to keep the dominant, unsustainable way of being human going. But in the long term, and consistent with the view that the endless growth model of a global industrial capitalist economy is unsustainable under every circumstance, I accept Dmitry Orlov’s view that we should close down the nuclear industry and begin to find ways to live healthier, simpler and less industrial lives – the great task is to find cultural, social and political values that inhibit or prevent the expropriation of value by one class from another, and I don’t see that happening before there’s is nothing left for those addicted to environmental and human pillage to take. On my reading of culture/behavior change theorists, most are way too optimistic that significant change can happen quickly, the fastest usually led by a dissident religious minority who are persecuted, and once a new value system gains majority adherence it is converted by rulers to an ideology and used to controvert its own origins, eg, Christianity.

    • john byatt says:

      It is indeed a pickle, with the PCB getting underway by the mid 2020’s we do not have a great deal of time to either

      re-educate the planet to live sustainable lifestyles, global average pp/CO2 emissions 2 tonnes

      drastically reduce population in the highly per person polluting countries , eg Australia, USA

      cover the earth in renewables ,solar wind

      build nuclear power plants to replace coal fired stns

      Des i am an atheist but please keep the Christian bashing out of this ,


  13. Des Carne says:


    I am not Christian bashing in any sense at – just pointing out the social and historical fact that rulers neutralise dissident or subversive value systems by appropriating and refashioning them as ideologies – in the West the excesses of Medieval catholicism are exceeded only by todays imperial evangelical state. The same applies to all fundamentalist ideologies – even when they are dressed up an non-religious.

    • john byatt says:

      accepted Des, possibly “religion, communism,capitalism” as examples ,

      many evangelicals are putting a lot of effort into getting the AGW message out there Des, lets welcome their efforts ,

      ,its all about chosen word i suppose and connotations .

  14. JeffT says:

    While you all waffle on about nuclear, radation, thyroid cancers etc.
    There is this:-
    Why don’t you put your collective efforts into lobbying for similar in Australia, instead of uranium fission nuclear reactors situated along the coast with large quantities of spent fuel rods, that no-one wants to dispose of safely or reprocess.
    Or do we just become an exporter of the raw material from Australia’s vast resources of Thorium located in beach sands and other mined sources.

    • JG says:

      I have to confess I wouldn’t trust a science article published by the Daily Telegraph, home of Christopher Booker, Richard North, etc. (Think Andrew Bolt, but ten times more pig-ignorant and even viler.) I could be wrong, but this sounds to me like a batty piece of pseudoscience akin to the effusions of other Telegraph commentators.

  15. john byatt says:

    While half of the coalition and your dipstick mates cannot even see a problem with maintaining Coal as fuel what this garbage you are going on with now ,

    you dropped nuclear like a hot potato the other day during the crisis ,

    • JeffT says:

      Oh Johnny Byatt,
      You’re delusional again.
      “you dropped nuclear like a hot potato the other day during the crisis ,”

      Dream on bozo, – The only nuke I will push is Thorium.
      The article is valid, does it matter what or who the carrier is ? Uk Telegraph, Finance is reporting, not making up carbon fairy stories.

      Look at the pdf of a submission on an Australian Thorium Reactor I posted @ Klem below.

  16. ianash says:

    OT but of you’ve been keeping tabs on the Berkeley temperature study (the supposed study to end all studies), it looks like it has turned into BEST-gate.

    With deniers dribbling all over the drafts, how could anyone consider it independent?

  17. Sundance says:

    ‘Obama: Drill, Brazil, Drill!’

    ‘Obama Approves Substantial Coal Mining Expansion’

    Progressives are pondering abandoning President Obama in the next primary. They are turning into angry white racist treebaggers. lol

  18. klem says:

    Hmm here are a few good reasons to push for more nukes; Each plant costs a mere $10 billion to build, it costs over $300 million just to turn a nuclear plant off, nuclear plants are terrorist targets, the fuel is destructive to make, the fuel is dangerous to handle and transport, the fuel is a terrorist target, the spent fuel must be buried in old abandoned mines for thousands of years due to it’s toxicity, the spent fuel is also a terrorist target. In addition, there has never been a nuclear plant anywhere in the world which has made money without huge permanent subsidies, primarily because the industry is so heavily regulated they are unprofitable. Before they get a chance to pay for themselves they need to be retrofitted and refurbished, driving the costs up again after only a few decades of use. Of course we have Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to thank, the two main reasons why they are so heavily regulated, and now Fukushima will add more regulation. Just hearing the statement “nuclear is a lot safer today’, that’s the ultimate reason, it really gives me such confidence in nukes.

    Coal on the other hand is none of these things. It is old technology, plants are cheap to build, cheap to maintain, they are not welfare cases and they are not terrorist targets. The only problem is they emit smoke. Why can’t we solve this simple, old technology issue? I guess nuclear is sexy and coal is not. My suggestion is that instead of spending $10 Billion on a soooo sexy nuclear plant, we spend $1 Billion on R&D to make coal a smoke free energy source, and spend the remaining $9 billion to buy malaria mosquito nets for just about every vulnerable person on earth. And the whole coal/nuclear issue would go away. Perhaps even malaria too.

  19. adelady says:

    Why on earth would Australia, of all places, want to build any form of nuclear plant? We’ve got the best exposure of any developed nation on earth to a guaranteed, 4 billion years proven nuclear generator provided free in our skies.

    All we have to do is harvest it. Unlike fish, this resource daily exceeds any need we could possibly invent for it and it’s inexhaustible.

    We can use a hand held rod in a dinghy for this harvest – single PV on a roof.

    Or we can use a gigantic trawler – concentrated solar thermal with ginormous storage.

    Surprisingly enough, gigantic trawlers cost a bit more than dinghies. But not more than the equivalent number of dinghies to harvest the same quantity.

    Is there something hard about this concept that I’m not seeing?

    • JeffT says:


      Brilliant concept, really amazing you thought that out. (all by yourself)
      Before you ask, I know you don’t mean giant fishing trawlers

      But is it going to damage the marine environment ? When there are marine parks currently in place, and more to come (check out the Greens website on Marine National Parks and reserves). These reserved areas are to protect the marine environment and allow fish stocks to recover

      They tell us the corals are dying (all that carbonic acid in the water)
      and the fish stocks are dwindling ( over fishing ).
      These proposed energy trawlers could disturb this conservation effort.

      Gigantic trawlers would have a gigantic energy input requirement, and when you have solved that problem, there’s still the requirement to get all this energy ashore (long extension leads).

      I see Greens proposing solar concentrator molten salt storage electrical power generation, in Central Australia and Western New South Wales but that also has a problem, amongst others, of getting the energy from the source back to the consumers via a grid network of high voltage transmission lines, which require access, tree and foliage cleared and maintained.

  20. john byatt says:

    Jefft sounds like a vegetarian arguing about the best way to make a beef casserole .

    Adelady ,
    a good full page article in the regional newspapers today re nuclear and renewable , Australia’s energy requirement will double by 2050, those arguing for only renewable energy have to do so by including massive reductions in energy use, this is not addressed fully,
    we really do not have a long time to sort this out and need to start now with what is available and achievable,

    my choice is by 2050
    25% renewable
    75% nuclear
    and start now

    remember that most of the USA nuclear plants are dated and old technology,

    • JeffT says:

      Johnny Byatt,
      Pleeesh translate:-
      “Jefft sounds like a vegetarian arguing about the best way to make a beef casserole .”

      As it sounds like another swipe at me, due to my CO2 stance, then shove it.
      I’m all for efficiency, lower pollution from SO2, NO2, NO and particulate matter, and saving limited resources.

      Adelady said giant trawlers, I answered about giant trawlers and the impractical environmental problems it would create.

      Also any remote energy generating source, whether it is solar concentrating technology, large wind farms, geo-thermal require connection to the grid network, result in environmentalists objections due to transmission tower and cleared tracts of land for the towers and cables.

      • john byatt says:

        seeing that you are here you might as well learn something

        Cosmic ray effects on cloud cover and their relevance to climate change – Erlykin et al. (2011) “A survey is made of the evidence for and against the hypothesis that cosmic rays influence cloud cover. The analysis is made principally for the troposphere. It is concluded that for the troposphere there is only a very small overall value for the fraction of cloud attributable to cosmic rays (CR); if there is linearity between CR change and cloud change, the value is probably ~1% for clouds below ~6.5km, but less overall. The apparently higher value for low cloud is an artifact. The contribution of CR to ’climate change’ is quite negligible.” A.D. Erlykin, B.A. Laken and A.W. Wolfendale, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2011.03.001.

      • john byatt says:

        Two humungous mud crabs in my pot today, having a good week with the muddies, only one hundred metres from back door, Jefft no doubt will be dining on caviar and french champagne looking forward to watching the ice flow back and forth back and forth .


  21. john byatt says:

    Jefft “I’m all for efficiency, lower pollution from SO2, NO2, NO and particulate matter, and saving limited resources which is why we are going to pollute and use as much energy as possible tonight during earth hour’

    • JeffT says:

      Little Johnny Byatt,
      Can’t tell the difference between a bit of sarcasm and fact.
      The only response to Erf Hour is nothing , zero, zilch. “Who, what “.

      And besides that, if we turned all the lights out – “There’s Greens Out There” and they might come up from the sludge and GET YOU.
      That is a reason to be afraid of the dark, how many Bob Browns and Adam Bandts are out there ?

      That’s good Johnny, you’ll be dining on muddies, caught just 100m from your back door, probably from part of Tin Can Bay. Enjoy, then after you eaten have a look at the pollution in the estuary via Google Earth and M/S Bing maps.

      I’ll be out tonight at a celebratory dinner to mark the end of Labor in NSW.
      Probably only a light meal, but I will enjoy.
      Probably I’ll enjoy a Tasmanian Mercury Cider or three or four. It would be the first time in 16 years I’ve felt like celibrating.

      • john byatt says:

        Once again you show outstanding ignorance , the flooding Mary provides nutrient for the great sandy straights, The straights depends on these outpourings of sediment for its unique environment, without the sediment outpourings into the straights the wildlife would be at great risk, one of the main reasons to stop the mary being dammed was the likely loss of the life giving sediments ,

        pearling great sandy straights

        The high quality of the pearls is due to the excellent water quality and unique combination of marine and estuarine waters that exist in the middle part of the Great Sandy Straits and the water temperature range which is optimal for producing high quality pearls.

        now he will be watching the tide flow in and out in and out of the GSS

  22. john byatt says:

    TCS Earth hour post, these people are scum

    What happens when you turn off the light? Darkness! And what happens to people in darkness? They are scared. Do you remember when you were a child and went to sleep with your lamp left on? And your parents sneaked inside and turned it off? And you suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and found yourself surrounded by complete and utter darkness? How did you feel? What did you think? You were scared, and you thought about all the horrors that could be hiding in that impenetrable darkness. You thought about monsters and boogeymen and squirrels, and other nameless and unspeakable horrors. And you screamed in terror and you wet your bed, and your parents came and yelled at you because you had wet your bed again. And it took a long time until your heart stopped pounding like mad and you felt safe again.

    Yes, that is what darkness represents to humankind. It is the primeval fear and terror. And that is what those behind Earth Hour want you to feel. They want you to feel like when you wake up in the middle of the night and your parents or your wife (now ex) have turned off the light. Because they know that scared people are easier to manipulate and control. Earth Hour is all about psychological warfare.

    Don’t let them scare you and control your mind: say No to Earth Hour!

    Luceat lux vestra

    • JeffT says:

      Besides all the hobgoblins mentioned in the perloined post from The Climate Sceptics by little johnny byatt ( TCS must really like his way of spreading the ‘word’ ) –

      What is lacking is any mention of semi-authoritative (read Non elected Government Organisations (NGO’s) telling people to switch off their lights for a period – rewarding them by making them feel good about it, by telling them they are saving the planet.
      Conditioning ?
      In light (tic) of the fact that the UK, due to their growing dependence on renewables, are looking at rationing of electricity. The base load backup from nuclear fueled France, is increasing in cost.

      Australia only has peak load backup of 500Mw via Baslink, if Tasmania can afford to make the excess available.
      As coal fired power stations in Australia become more non-viable, due to aging and refurbishing that cannot be financed, we could look at more – make electricity while the sun shines or the wind blows, and then rationing the balance.

      And as this thread was about – “to nuclear or not to nuclear”, that went on quoting various figures and projections on radiation related death toll due to the Chernobyl explosion.
      here are some recent figures on the death toll from freezing to death, from some Central European countries ( late Jan 2010 )
      Czech Republic – 6
      Romania – 22
      Poland – 11
      Ukraine – 250
      And remember, this is only for part of the winter in this part of Europe and is not even the coverage of the projected Chernobyl fallout.
      This is not an exhaustive list, and it could possibly be upgraded.

  23. john byatt says:

    Jefft “. It would be the first time in 16 years I’ve felt like celibrating.”

    Sad really

    • JeffT says:

      Ha Ha Ha, little johnny byatt,

      First – Western Australia Liberal/Coalition State Government –
      Then – Victoria gets rid of the Labor/Green coalition –
      Now – NSW gets rid of the Labor/Green coalition and at least two Independents. –
      Coming up -Next Queensland needs removal of the Blight on the land –
      Then if not before the Blight removal – Gillard/Brown coalition of the damned.
      From a derivation of Ten Little Indians –
      Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
      A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.(Bracks/Brumby)

      Three little Indian boys walking in the zoo;
      A big bear hugged one and then there were two.( K.K.Kennealy)

      Two Little Indian boys sitting in the sun;
      One got frizzled up and then there was one. (the Sun gets to AnnaBlight)

      One little Indian boy left all alone;
      He went out and hanged himself and then there were none –

      No suggestion the PM should do herself any personal injury, just that she keeps shooting herself in the foot(feet).
      Maybe she should join hands with Brown, Bant, Wilkie and skip happily down the Yellow Brick Road – to Damascus.

      I hate to gloat – but I’m gloating.

  24. JeffT says:

    Relevance ?
    A) Bluudy

  25. john byatt says:

    It sounds like jefft’s whole happiness depends upon which ever side of politics is in government , from that i would guess his age at 60 to 75 ,
    married forty years , married between 20 and 35 years old ,

    I play one side of politics against the other reason for last election working my butt off to Larissa Waters up in the senate, first green senator in QLD ,
    marvelous , whichever side of politics got in , the question of climate change had to be confronted,

    If one side of politics went with nuclear next election they would get my vote, they would probably lose everyone else’s vote though

    • JeffT says:

      Uh Oh, little johnny byatt,
      Is trying to dig out my status.
      Yer right, at least part of my happiness does involve who is in government.
      Stupid wasteful government as in the PREVIOUS NSW state government is a good example.
      Dangerous to the population, wasteful and deceitful Federal government is the other example.
      Anyone who votes in Greens, should have their eyes checked, to allow then to see that the conservational ideologies of original greens, has been replaced by other agendas. Use your eyes again and read the Australian Greens platform and policies, – I have.
      My age and marital status-
      All very clever but simple mathematics, using the data I have provided and don’t try and hide.
      And you ID from elsewhere states retired, which puts you into a similar age bracket.
      Back to my query to JG in response – Relevance ?

  26. JG says:


    Relevance ?

    I was just wondering if you were, like, 10 and trying to make everyone think you were clever.

    • JeffT says:

      Dealing with RRsholes, brings out the naughty child in me.
      “I was just wondering if you were, like, ”
      Yeah dude, I was, like wondering, dude —–

      Do I add you to the list ?

      I did say relevance ?


  27. john byatt says:

    Jeffs mate Geoff may actually be jeff with a beard and glasses,

    here is geoffs second blog for women,

    followers 1 male
    poll votes on AGW to date on blog, nil , poll closed

    the scientist

  28. john byatt says:

    Is this Jefft in disguise?


    • JeffT says:

      Nope, that’s the handsome Mr “Geoff” Brown of TCS and JG.

      I can’t wear a beard, I find they’re even more irritating than johnny byatt


  29. john byatt says:

    The incredibly popular AGW scam ladies blog by Geoff

    wonder if they will change the name to Nowhappyafter16yearsmate

    • JeffT says:

      As usual, little johnny byatt likes to play around with words.

      From Not Happy Mate blog, the premise of:-

      There are many disgruntled Australians around. (you’re right there , all over Australia, not only NSW – so why the addition of “after16years ” )

      Have you had pink batts installed and are unsure that your house is safe? Not Happy… ( and the insurance company wants to increase your premium, while you wait and wait and wait for inspectors to check your insulation job )

      Are your power bills sky-rocketing but you have reduced your usage? Not Happy… ( Yes, funny thing about that, solar tube hot water system
      installed, booster switched off and power charges increase )

      Does the fact that “Our ABC” has admitted being a propaganda of the Government cause you anguish?
      ( but watching Kerry (the Red)’s face as the evening of 26/3/11 unfolded just about made it worthwhile)

      Are you worried that your children are being taught voodoo science? Not Happy… ( inclusion of Al Gore’s science fiction movie and book, I wouldn’t class as voodoo science, more like deceitful science or pseudo science. Proven by the fact of legally recognised 9x incorrect issues by a UK judge, requiring balanced material be supplied along with any school presentation. There are at least 35x misleading or incorrect issues with A.I.T.)

      Do the anti-Australian policies of the Greens distress you? Not Happy…
      ( If you have read the Greens policies and platform, how do you feel ? Do you need to ask ?)

      Are you worried that Governments can remove your property rights? Not Happy… ( state governments can resume lands/property, with either poor or no compensation. I can directly relate to that. – Corporation Queensland is another matter, Commonwealth government, different rules, legal representation necessary in all cases – definitely not happy )

      Are you concerned that Governments are too big and are overspending? Not Happy… ( obviously – )

      Do the Federal Labor Government’s broken promises bother you? Not Happy… ( “I will not have a carbon tax during my term in office” #1 and still counting )

      Does the Man-made global warming hoax cause you disquietude? Not Happy… (disquietude = a state of anxiety. When you are being told multiples and variations of “The End of the World is Nigh”, that can only be saved by “A Big New Tax “(description by Sen. Tony Abbott) then the answer is YES )


      • john byatt says:

        Pink batts, this is the first house that i did not build or help build,
        put my own insulation in , its not rocket science

        power bills are fine, even with the pool pump , house is eco smart, no air con required, no heating req,

        you seem to believe in an ABC conspiracy theory = nutter

        voodoo science , creationism no longer taught in QLD schools
        AIT is basically correct, i have read the judges statement,

        I was very happy with the greens policies after reading their update , all good stuff

        governments have always had the right to resume land , QLD paid big time for the Mary valley homesteads

        you claim that you voted for someone that lied to you, give us all a break, the only mob whinging are the ones that did not vote for Labor
        we got the greens and independents in and gillard had no option, that is how we win jefft,

        so after that rave about the blog it actually has a follower of one, that should tell you something jefft , apart from the 3000 heads in canberra everyone else is getting on with their life

        and you seem quite happy to pay up the twenty billion that abbott’s scheme will cost, i would be too but it does not go far enough,

        never get off your fat arses and do anything for yourselves, just whine, moan and grumble, bet some scam merchant has taken you for a ride and you are now bitter with the world, that is how you come across jefft

  30. john byatt says:

    earth hour success ,

    meanwhile a bloke living at The Port was found all crisp and golden brown after turning on every light and appliance in his house in protest ,

    • JeffT says:

      T’weren’t me,
      So solly,
      I was too busy making a hangover, by celebrating the exit of another hangover of 16 years.

  31. JG says:

    Dealing with RRsholes, brings out the naughty child in me.

    Actually, it seems to make you completely bloody infantile. Why don’t you go and play among the like minds at, say, The American Thinker?

  32. john byatt says:

    jefft’s brain dead mates have been discussing this all day, quite neurotic about it
    they will be all moaning about their next power bill

    this one was the best comment of the lot, trying to spotlight the google earth sat,

    Reply by Andrew Schroeter 19 hours ago
    G’day Zeg…the spotties are pumpin (aircraft landing lights 500 watts each)…..aimed straight at the sky as I know they take Sat pics to measure the response by the sheople and to see if the brainwashing is working.
    Should of got a heap of LED lights and leave a message for them…what would you right ???

    • JeffT says:

      Watt’s Up little johnny byatt ?
      Go to go looking for someone who may not be able to express their feelings about Erf Day in a way you THINK they should ?

      Besides all the “funny” examples you can dig up –
      Check the real data from the energy suppliers.
      That’s were the facts are, not your exceptions, which may be a source of amusement for some small narrow minds, but do not represent data on the alleged power savings.

      In the US there were people hiring Hollywood spotlights to light up the sky.

      My attitude is, it is best to ignore this WWF inspired demonstration of the power of their control.
      Response as described above is helping the WWF cause, by being available as an example of wasteful extravagance.

      • john byatt says:

        I will be putting up your goon mates post at unleashed if there is an article on it, he can proclaim his right to right whatever he feels he has a right to right

  33. JeffT says:

    And Canada ( home of the the old hippy Dave Suzuki ) 26/3/2011
    See grid demand 24hrs – may have to select graph for ‘Yesterday’

  34. john byatt says:

    demand crashed into a nose dive half hour before , good post jefft

    • JeffT says:

      Avanother look – half an hour before would mean everyone is going to sit in darkness starting 30 mins earlier, –
      try power use decreasing after demand during evening cooking. That’s a normal usage pattern.

      Believe it or not, but Suzuki is also an active in Al Gore’s The Climate Project in Canada, and acts as an agent.
      Yes I have seen recent pictures of Big Al and Old Dave at a TCP function.

  35. john byatt says:


    The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real. Irrefutable evidence from around the world – including extreme weather events, record temperatures, retreating glaciers, and rising sea levels – all point to the fact climate change is happening now and at rates much faster than previously thought.[10]
    The consensus includes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, consisting of over 2,000 scientists from 100 countries. The findings of the panel have been approved by the National Academies of Science of each of the G8 countries, along with those of China, India and Brazil.[10]

    • JeffT says:

      Only in your mind buddy,
      More of the rhetoric – Irrefutable, extreme weather, record temperatures retreating glaciers, rising sea levels, faster, CONSENSUS, IPCC.

      I’ve seen the list of hand picked >2000 scientists from 100 countries. Hmmm.

      The BIG ones – NAS from G8 countries – I’m so impressed, I will query China, who says one thing while continuing to do their own thing.

      The Indian Government has disassociated itself from the Pachauri lead IPCC and have formed their own Climate Change body.

      Brazil’s economy needs the boost of carbon (dioxide) money, so compliance with the UN is necessary.

      I see that article is numerically referenced (10) , so is another copy and paste.
      Your getting good at that Johnno, you should take it up as a hobby,
      usually called “scrapbooking”, you could take it up at one of the craft classes near you.


  36. john byatt says:

    do you make this stuff up jefft or do you actually believe it

    CANCUN, Mexico — India has emerged as a new global power on climate change, with major nations voicing praise — and surprise — at New Delhi’s agile diplomacy that helped produce a deal in Cancun, Mexico.

    Jairam Ramesh, India’s outspoken environment minister, was instrumental in breaking a deadlock over how to verify nations’ climate actions and, for the first time, said that his country would consider a binding deal in the future.

    claims from newspaper articles which are then spun to produce garbage to put into the empty heads of you kooks

    • JeffT says:

      Without chasing this up, I’ll take your word for it.
      But I have just watched a video interview with Dr Jairam Ramesh, stating the opposite to what you’ve reported about Cancun.
      It was basically to do with Glaciergate, misinformation from the IPCC and the deceit by Rajendra Pachauri .
      New Delhi may be diplomatically agile and Ramesh may have changed his mind. Coercion comes to mind.

      • john byatt says:

        What jefft is missing here is the purpose of the india climate authority.

        In australia we have the CSIRO

        India has in the past relied on outsiders to study the Glaciers to any extent,

        India will now take over the study of its own glaciers and that will be what goes to the IPCC in future rather than anecdotal evidence,

        this is a great outcome ,

        Coercion……. Jefft can only appeal to a conspiracy .

  37. john byatt says:

    China Puts Forth Energy Intensity, Carbon Intensity and Total …
    6 Mar 2011 … Similarly, while the 16 percent energy intensity and 17 percent carbon intensity reduction targets are in line with China’s goal to reduce ……/china-puts-forth-energy-intensity-carbon-intensity-and

    • JeffT says:

      Page not Found

      They must have changed their mind (LOL)

      • john byatt says:

        Hint, when page not found is encountered remove most of the link.

        eg in above just leave up .org/ this will take you the home page then you can find article quite easy ,

        or like jefft you can just make a stupid comment that confirms his own stupidity

  38. john byatt says:

    The Next Five Years of Clean Energy and Climate Protection in China
    Posted by: Barbara Finamore
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 – 10:41
    With the adoption of its Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has cemented key long-term strategies for greening GDP, controlling energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and key pollutants, and capitalizing on the growing low-carbon economy (full Chinese plan). Environment and climate are given the most prominent position ever in a Five Year Plan, aspirations that will be backed up by a number of concrete planning documents over the coming months.

    meanwhile in Australia a bunch of silly old illiterate morons are whining about even a small sacrifice to benefit their own offspring,

    • JeffT says:

      And the other side of their face says: Buy more coal.
      Go have a look at projected coal imports into China – from whoever they can get it from. This includes brown coal.

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