Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I had missed the word "ambassador" in his job description, so at least on the issue of it being his job to promote US interests, I must admit that you were entirely right.

"When the entire fuel cycle is included, including mining, milling, enrichment, transport, decommissioning and long term storage, the carbon footprint is indeed debatable, no?"

I did not, and he did not, say that it was zero (nor is any of the alternatives zero when you take the entire cycle). But it is one of the smallest carbon footprint options available. It is most likely to be replaced by coal.
Plus, I fail to see how the decommissioning costs can be taken into account there: if you stop the plant earlier, you'll still have them. Only way to avoid them is to never start the plant, which is not what is being proposed here.

"national security issues which are avoided by renewables."

He also fails to talk about how nice it is to have the Berlin Philharmonic.
He makes it clear from the start that he takes it for granted that the German public is well aware of the advantages of dropping nuclear, but not the costs.

And from everything I see, it is presented as an absolute environmental slam dunk, when there is a strong likelihood that it will mean much greater use of coal -probably imported, but that only makes it worse in the global picture (I reckon Germany is better at doing things properly than some of their neighbours).
And most studies show coal to be much, much worse than nuclear. If you know something that does not make it so, please elaborate.

"He says Germany "is reaching the point of destabilizing the grid," which it is not."

I take your word for that, and in that case it is a bad thing that he made this false claim.

"Yes, i wish to dispute his points about solar PV, and yours."

Since my only point is that it is not likely to replace much of the current nuclear production, I will be delighted to hear from you where they will be installed, who will pay for them, who will make them. I also note that you failed to scream at his not mentioning the terrible environmental costs that they have when you take the whole life cycle into account. Or is it only a wilful omission when it goes against our prejudice?

"Actually, since he uses the phrase "economically viable" in two sentences in a row would indicate it IS central to his argument. "

Absolutely not. If it were he'd give it a dollar value. It's important only in that if it were not economically viable, then we wouldn't have to replace so much electricity -as it would not have been produced, another source would have been preferred.

The argument is replacement right, left and centre. And I agree that it is phrased in a way that does not do full justice to wind economic viability, although it's rather milder than what we usually read. Plus, remember that the price-lowering returns of wind are strongly decreasing when you add a lot of it (because you are no longer replacing the most expensive type of plant, but the second, third, fourth most expensive one). We are talking about 25% of current consumption that have to be added.

Because it needs to come to that. None of the alternatives would be an improvement, by your own criteria. Yes, I'd like to reduce energy consumption, but we know that it means MORE electricity production (to remove internal combustion engines, mostly).

And only wind is alright, by your own criteria. So, your dismissals of any costs associated with shutting down the nuclear plants means that wind (plus wave energy I guess, plus any yet to be discovered technology) will have not only to replace those 65 terawatt hours, plus all the required additional production. You seem to claim that this will not be a problem.
I'd like to see the plans before I believe them. And I would want nothing more than to actually believe them. I'd really love to.

Because otherwise, it's just the type of hypocrisy we usually saw in answer to Kyoto, claiming to have made the planet cleaner because we exported all the dirt to countries that had no environmental regulation. And if it comes to that, it's Merkel that I would call the propagandist.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 04:51:02 AM EST
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