Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/15 - On Crony Capitalism, Rise Of The Maker Movement, How An Economist Might Be Misled

Thursday, March 15, 2012, 10:41 AM
  • Dutch Backing For EU Fiscal Pact Under Threat
  • Lehman Act II Is Now; “The World Is Not Expecting This”
  • On Crony Capitalism
  • Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
  • A Doctor's Vision For Medicare
  • Osborne Mulls 100-Year 'Super Gilt'
  • Rise Of The 'Maker Movement'
  • Collapse Of The Shiny Pretty Things
  • How an Economist Might Be Misled
  • Fukushima: No Reason for Nuclear Energy Ban
  • Obama Announces WTO Case Against China Over Rare Earths
  • Twin Creeks promises thinner, cheaper solar cells
  • Food Fight! Stores, Producers, Consumers Battle Over High Food Prices
  • "Dry Winters" Lead To Hosepipe Ban

Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water

Economy

Dutch Backing For EU Fiscal Pact Under Threat (Johan V.)

The Dutch Liberal-Christian Democrats coalition depends on opposition parties to secure Dutch parliamentary support for euro zone rescue measures because its natural ally, the Freedom party led by Geert Wilders, opposes bailouts.

Labour is the second-largest party in the Dutch lower house and is wary of too much austerity.

Lehman Act II Is Now; “The World Is Not Expecting This” (David B.)

The details added to the decision to declare a credit event is akin to a judge handing down a ruling, then embarking upon an explanation into the details and ramifications of the ruling, of which he cannot possibly know in advance.

On Crony Capitalism (Davos)

Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.

“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” Stockman tells Moyers.

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs (VeganD)

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

A Doctor's Vision For Medicare (June C.)

So let’s pick a number—more specifically, a proportion of total economic output— to cap Medicare. Now the number is 3 percent to 4 percent of GDP. We can live with that. Distribute it to geographic regions based simply on how many beneficiaries live there. Expect howls of protest: Urban areas will complain their labor costs are higher; rural areas will complain they cannot achieve the same economies of scale. And everybody will argue that their patients are sicker.

Osborne Mulls 100-Year 'Super Gilt' (ScubaRoo)

Marc Ostwald, an economist at Monument Securities, noted that the bond could have wider significance in the Western world’s fight against its debt pile. It ‘paves the way potentially for a major restructuring of UK public sector debt, which would more or less tacitly admits that lowering budget deficits and indeed overall debt burdens in the western world will not be achieved by austerity alone,’ he commented.

Rise Of The 'Maker Movement' (Chris M.)

The maker movement has grown through the spread of real life "makerspaces" or "hackerspaces," which pool resources and provide access to more expensive technology. Each year, Maker Faires are held around the United States, drawing between 50,000 to 100,000 visitors.

Collapse Of The Shiny Pretty Things (thatchmo)

It absolutely cannot be sustained much longer, is what they're (still) saying, this rapaciousness, this constant craving for more. They say we're pushing the planet to her absolute breaking point quicker than ever, no really we are, and in fact she's actually now well past the breaking point in many categories and has run out of many natural resources, ores and precious minerals and essential planetary nutrients, not to mention thousands of animal species and sufficient fresh water and nuanced human thinking. The oceans? Don't even start.

How an Economist Might Be Misled (Mike K.)

If an economist views the period between World War II and 1970 as “normal” in terms of what to expect in the future, he/she is likely to be misled. The period of rapid energy growth following World War II is not likely to be repeated. The rapid energy growth allowed much manual work to be performed by machine (for example, using a back hoe instead of digging ditches by hand). Thus, there appeared to be considerable growth in human efficiency, but such growth is not likely to be repeated in the future. Also, the rate of GDP growth was likely higher than could be expected in the future.

Even the period between 1980 and 2000 may be misleading for predicting future patterns because this period occurred before the huge increase in international trade. Once international trade with less developed nations increases, we can expect these nations will want to increase their energy consumption in any way that is possible, including using more coal.

Energy

Fukushima: No Reason for Nuclear Energy Ban (James S.)

Power wise, the nuclear disaster forced Japan to start taking on more natural gas to balance the country's energy sector. With Asian economies booming when compared with the rest of world, the shifting focus on eastern markets could spell trouble for other countries looking to add more natural gas to their energy mix. This, in turn, would lead to higher costs and potentially exacerbate already-growing concerns about the impact that soaring energy prices are having on global economic recovery.

Obama Announces WTO Case Against China Over Rare Earths (Jeff B.)

China produces 97% of all rare earths, according to the European Union. The materials are used in products such as flat-screen televisions, smart phones, hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, electronics, cars and petroleum.

"We want our companies building those products right here in America," Obama said. "But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objections."

Twin Creeks promises thinner, cheaper solar cells (Davos)

"We're not a panel or a cell maker - we make big machines," said Chief Executive Officer Siva Sivaram. "Once one of them uses this, the cost advantage is going to be so large that everybody will be forced to use the same technology."

That technology also could pose a serious threat to thin-film solar companies, many of which are already struggling.

Environment

Food Fight! Stores, Producers, Consumers Battle Over High Food Prices (Jeff B.)

Last summer, corn prices hit a record high of $8 a bushel. Naturally, to get in on the action, farmers all over the globe have shifted production to grow more corn. As a result, prices for “the big daddy of the major U.S. crops,” according to Reuters, could fall 20% this year. Even if that happens, U.S. farmers should still be in good shape, with total domestic farm income anticipated at $96 billion, the second-best year ever (after 2011).

"Dry Winters" Lead To Hosepipe Ban (maughan.m)

The Environment Agency said rain in March had been welcome but not enough to reverse the impacts of two consecutive dry winters for the affected regions. It said it was concerned about the situation at Bewl and Darwell reservoirs in Kent, Ardingly in Sussex, Pitsford reservoir in Northamptonshire and Rutland Water.

And the lack of rain had left river and groundwater levels extremely low across southern and eastern England from the Dorset coast to Grimsby - with areas to the west and south-east Yorkshire also at risk of drought.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

37 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Here we go!!

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/enterprise-just-4-days-away-arrival-swift-cut-iran

Quote:
The push to get Iran to do something terminally irrational (now that USS Enterprise in its final tour of duty is almost on location just off the side of CVN-70 Lincoln and CVN-72 Vinson in the Arabian Sea, where the US will shortly have not one, not two, but three aircraft carriers) is now in its final stretch. As AP reported earlier, Iran has been now entirely cut off from the global financial system, as that anchor of international financial transactions, SWIFT, has just taken Iran off the grid. This leaves Iran with just three options for international trade: making gold into a fully convertible currency, barter, or exchanging Rials for Renminbi and other local currencies.
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Nuclear Energy

It amazes me that any person would actually still consider nuclear energy. It has been estimated that the deaths from fallout caused by Fukishima is 14, 000 just in the united states. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medical-journal-article-14000-us-deaths-tied-to-fukushima-reactor-disaster-fallout-2011-12-19

Japan is reknown for the high quality of their engineering. If they experience these problems then consider what a less developed country with worse standards would experience.

Look at it using a risk matrix, if the worst possible event does happen it's catastrophic, thousands of years of vast amounts of land rendered uninhabitable. The chance of these event happening is not minimal, chernobyl, three mile island and fukishima are proof that the most developed countries can't avoid these problems.

I am astounded anyone would suggest that nuclear power shouldn't be banned.

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The Japan reactors are based

The Japan reactors are based on old technology.  There are a number of safer designs, some of which that can burn up much of the "waste" from our old reactors.  The persistance of pollution in the environment due to nuclear disasters are a problem.

However, at the same time it is estimated that there are around 13,000 deaths per year in the US due to particle pollution from coal power plants.

http://www.lung.org/about-us/our-impact/top-stories/toxic-air-coal-fired...
http://www.catf.us/resources/publications/files/The_Toll_from_Coal.pdf

Pick your poison.

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  Goldman exec meets

Goldman exec meets disappointed mupp^H^H^H^H client....

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nigel wrote:It amazes me

nigel wrote:

It amazes me that any person would actually still consider nuclear energy. It has been estimated that the deaths from fallout caused by Fukishima is 14, 000 just in the united states. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medical-journal-article-14000-us-deaths-tied-to-fukushima-reactor-disaster-fallout-2011-12-19

Japan is reknown for the high quality of their engineering. If they experience these problems then consider what a less developed country with worse standards would experience.

Look at it using a risk matrix, if the worst possible event does happen it's catastrophic, thousands of years of vast amounts of land rendered uninhabitable. The chance of these event happening is not minimal, chernobyl, three mile island and fukishima are proof that the most developed countries can't avoid these problems.

I am astounded anyone would suggest that nuclear power shouldn't be banned.

nigel -

The cited article is so full of holes I don't even know where to begin.  Presenting deliberately misleading information with manipulated units of measurement is a red flare that calls the rest of the article's objectivity into question. 

"levels of radiation in air, water, and milk hundreds of times above normal across the U.S. "???????

You are kidding me right?  Hundreds of times above minimum detectable is tenths of a percent of the normal limit.

The professional community was pretty quick to step up and condemn the way IJHS handled this "effort".

http://www.reportingonhealth.org/blogs/2011/12/20/fukushima-alarmist-claim-obscure-medical-journal-proceed-caution

Apparently, IJHS thinks quite highly of themselves and understands that generating any interest in their journal is better than accuracy and academic rigor in what they publish.  At least they aren't last.....

http://www.journal-ranking.com/ranking/listCommonRanking.html?citingStartYear=1901&externalCitationWeight=1&journalListId=336&selfCitationWeight=1

And while we are looking at conclusions from cherry picked information using a risk matrix, let's also take a look at this.  Nearly 33,000 people were killed in car accidents last year.  Or about 11,000 in the same amount of time as referenced in the article.

I am astounded anyone would suggest that automobiles shouldn't be banned.

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Gov. Chafee Unveils Relief Plan For Cities and Towns (RI)

"Governor Chafee unveiled his long awaited plan to help bail out financially strapped cities and towns Thursday.

Central Falls is already bankrupt. Woonsocket, West Warwick, Pawtucket, and Providence are at the brink of bankruptcy.
Gov. Chafee Unveils Relief Plan For Cities and Towns

One of Governor Chafee's seven bills lets cities and towns freeze retirees' cost of living increases. Another allows the state's "most distressed" communities to suspend teachers' raises based on seniority and stop using bus monitors.

Now the unions and general assembly have to buy into it. Governor Chafee's been vague about which state lawmakers support him. None of the key players went to his announcement in Pawtucket Monday."

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saxplayer00o1

saxplayer00o1 wrote:

"Governor Chafee unveiled his long awaited plan to help bail out financially strapped cities and towns Thursday.

Central Falls is already bankrupt. Woonsocket, West Warwick, Pawtucket, and Providence are at the brink of bankruptcy.
Gov. Chafee Unveils Relief Plan For Cities and Towns

One of Governor Chafee's seven bills lets cities and towns freeze retirees' cost of living increases. Another allows the state's "most distressed" communities to suspend teachers' raises based on seniority and stop using bus monitors.

Now the unions and general assembly have to buy into it. Governor Chafee's been vague about which state lawmakers support him. None of the key players went to his announcement in Pawtucket Monday."

Sounds a lot like Greece version 1.0.

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We could ban cars, yes

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

I am astounded anyone would suggest that automobiles shouldn't be banned.

See, that's the difference. We could ban cars tomorrow if we wanted to. We could. But we could not ban radioactive contamination tomorrow, even if we wanted to. We could not. Notice the difference?

I am afraid to tell you that's a scientific point of view you missed.

Samuel

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Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail

Another hard-hitting, MUST READ article by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi.

He puts together in one article enough of the financial fraud committed by Bank of America that's been in the news over the last few years, and you wonder, how could they be so cumulatively evil, and still keep getting bailed out?

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail (March 14, 2012)
"The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?"
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bank-of-america-too-crooked-to-fail-20120314

"Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they'll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world's worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt's funeral. They're out of control, yet they'll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard."

Where's our Pecora Commission? Where's our Savings & Loan crisis-era prosecution that landed thousands in court and hundreds with felony convictions?  People in government need to be prosecuted for dereliction of duty to the American people.

Please share this article.

Poet

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guardia

guardia wrote:

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

I am astounded anyone would suggest that automobiles shouldn't be banned.

See, that's the difference. We could ban cars tomorrow if we wanted to. We could. But we could not ban radioactive contamination tomorrow, even if we wanted to. We could not. Notice the difference?

I am afraid to tell you that's a scientific point of view you missed.

Samuel

How about we ban sensationalist, inaccurate, poorly written, and deliberately misleading articles?

I am afraid to tell you that's sarcasm YOU missed.

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America's Rare Earths?

Do we really need a trade war?  (though I'd hate to see them in full production- upwind from my Alaska place you understand...)  Aloha, Steve.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/where-was-alaska-obamas-rare-earth-mineral-announcement

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Stockton Has Hours Left To Respond To Wells Fargo Bank

"The city of Stockton is in mediation. If Stockton declares Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, it will be the largest city in the nation to do so."

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One armed economist

Dear Dogs

I am sorry for my post and choice of quote. I am reminded of the one armed economist that President Truman asked for, I think i chose like president truman to look at a single point of view. It is always good to look at thing from another point of view. I don't stand by my post but I do stand by my belief that nuclear may be the wrong option. I do however respect your thoughts and ideas and do not want to get into an argument with you. I am sorry, it was an off the cuff post and I really don't want to discourage the exploration of fact.

I realise that is a cop out, so I want to tell you why it worries me so. Given that recorded history is only 5000 years and then in a very incomplete way, how do we make a sign warning of radioactive danger that will last the half life of radioactive waste?

Yours Sincerely

Nigel.

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nuclear != cars

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

How about we ban sensationalist, inaccurate, poorly written, and deliberately misleading articles?

I am afraid to tell you that's sarcasm YOU missed.

Ok... still, why is it exactly that you still think nuclear power is a good thing? The fact remains that, because of some nuclear facility run by the Yakuza, Tokyo could have been a thing of the past. I don't see a Ferrari half-assed built by the Mafia running down the streets of Los Angeles as a factor potentially forcing its evacuation?

Samuel

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Reality exists, get over it

In response to all the concern about putting signs on mountains where radioactive  material is "stored"
our  mountains and other places already have radioactivity in them, and nature has not provided signs for us.  get over it

radioactivity is all around us and it is seeping into our cellers  (radon) bombarding us from above (cosmic  rays) and so on and so on
Instead of losing sleep over only the human touched radioactivity after it is moved or transmuted/formed by human endeavor, we should look at the big picture and the reality of the situation. We TAKE radioactivity OUT of mountains to USE it.  I dont see why we cant PUT BACK radioactive materials into a mountain.  The DIFFERENCE is using knowledge to understand and to package the radioactivity so that when we  are done  we understand the difference.  (is the stuff we put back more liable to leach into ground  water compared to what we take out?  in worse elemental (isotopic) or complexed forms?)  a little education is needed here and less knee jerk reaction pontification

Certainly packaging radioactive waste (much of which is  created by fission in power  plants) into stable formations such as fused silica glassine rock like form should be considered and weighed against the forms (water dispersible/weatherable/soluble or otherwise) that long term ALL NATURAL radioactivity exist when TAKEN OUT of mountains.  or is NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY = Good (or innocuous) and Radioactivity made/modified/touched by human hands = bad ?

It is hypocritical to accept  or  ignore TAKING OUT radioactive  materials from deep inside a mountain  but then forbid PUTTING BACK the same or new forms  of radioactivity even when more stable forms can be made for the latter.  We need to confront reality a little more here.  

The reluctance to learn about and confront the chemistry and physics and geology of radioactivity is THE problem.  The refusal to confront reality and put stuff BACK into mountains has resulted in vast amounts of radioactive materials (produced  from stuff pulled OUT of mountains) accumulating out in the open, under the skies, in concentrated and dispersible forms where it can do the most damage.  We are making our mountains safer by removing uranium from them, and making our  cities more dangerous by accumulating waste produced where it can do the most harm.  This stuff exists and we have to do something intelligent with it (like put it back).  Get over it.

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Radioative seawater from Japan

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nuke meets bazooka

irongamer wrote:

The Japan reactors are based on old technology.  There are a number of safer designs, ...

Rambo with a bazooka

Old dreams die hard, eh...

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thanks Matrix man

Thanks Matrix, I have been wondering just where the dispersion has been and this is very informative.   I would like to see a biological map - food chain movement sometime too.  Many people are  avoiding Japan now because of the radioactivity but my place in Japan is 600 miles south-west (exactly left of the red part) and upstream of this stuff and unfortunately California will take a direct hit.  This is a visual reminder of why the govt/bankster/gangster controlled nuclear power industry in Japan (and other countries for that matter) is everyone's problem. 

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Re: thanks Matrix man

Mirv wrote:

Thanks Matrix, I have been wondering just where the dispersion has been and this is very informative.   I would like to see a biological map - food chain movement sometime too.  Many people are  avoiding Japan now because of the radioactivity but my place in Japan is 600 miles south-west (exactly left of the red part) and upstream of this stuff and unfortunately California will take a direct hit.  This is a visual reminder of why the govt/bankster/gangster controlled nuclear power industry in Japan (and other countries for that matter) is everyone's problem. 

Yes, and the fish industry of Ibaraki may still well be salvageable given their new stunt publicity offering fish at half (50 Bq) the official contamination limit set by the government (100 Bq)! May still remain a useful source of omega-3 after all...

Samuel

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Fish industry in Ibaraki

lol  regarding your comment: "Yes, and the fish industry of Ibaraki may still well be salvageable given their new stunt publicity offering fish at half (50 Bq) the official contamination limit set by the government (100 Bq)! May still remain a useful source of omega-3 after all..."

it  gets better..... It is nearly impossible to get a commercial fishing license in Japan.  So........ the national government of Japan announced recently that they will deregulate the commerical fishing industry by allowing newcomers to enter BUT ONLY IN THE FUKUSHIMA area.

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RE: Reality exists, get over it

Mirv, spoken like a true nuclear industry shill (not saying you are, just that you sound like one...)

For a start 'radioactivity' isn't all equal, and isn't the only issue. Natural or not, you still need to vent the radon from your basement if you don't want lung cancer. It is NOT just ignored because it's 'natural'. What makes radon so dangerous is that it can be inhaled - a bit like, say, krypton-40 which is regularly vented from fission plants, for instance.

nature has not provided signs for us

No, but did provide us enough gumption to work it out for ourselves. Seems a bit churlish not to pass on the benefits of our insights to future generations which will have enough other problems to deal with, most likely a massive loss of engineering and medical 'know how' in an energy-constrained future. Nuclear waste is another one of those issues where the generation getting the benefits aren't paying the price.

I dont see why we cant PUT BACK radioactive materials into a mountain.

That's an argument from incredulity - what YOU see or not alters nothing but your perception. When we take uranium out of the ground we break up rock formations, expose ore-bearing bodies to erosion, scatter dust all over the place etc. Then we turn it into a greater amount of fission products and create a bit of plutonium as well - which  beyond being radioactive is also highly toxic and a proliferation threat par excellence.

It is hypocritical to accept  or  ignore TAKING OUT radioactive  materials from deep inside a mountain  but then forbid PUTTING BACK the same or new forms  of radioactivity even when more stable forms can be made for the latter.  We need to confront reality a little more here. 

But I think you'll find that the people opposing repositories are also objecting to the mining, and I'd call that consistent, not hypocritical... or was that just a strawman you erected???

The reluctance to learn about and confront the chemistry and physics and geology of radioactivity is THE problem.  The refusal to confront reality and put stuff BACK into mountains has resulted in vast amounts of radioactive materials (produced  from stuff pulled OUT of mountains) accumulating out in the open, under the skies, in concentrated and dispersible forms where it can do the most damage.

Erm, no. It's the getting of stuff 'out of mountains' that is the prior cause, surely?

We are making our mountains safer by removing uranium from them, and making our  cities more dangerous by accumulating waste produced where it can do the most harm.  This stuff exists and we have to do something intelligent with it (like put it back).  Get over it.

Now, this is where you need to decide which side you want your bread buttered... as you have directly contradicted the rest of your post. If removing uranium from the mountain makes the mountain 'safer' what is the logical conclusion from putting fission products back into the mountain. Hmm?

This stuff exists, and we ought to do something intelligent - like stop producing it.

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need to decide which side you want your bread buttered?

Reality exists. I dont care about your bread or your butter or your "nuclear industry" or your "stop producing it."  You are not addressing the problem.    We have thousands of tons of highly reactive radioactivity piled up where it will do the worst, just waiting for tsunamis etc.  Most of the waste is not even from nuclear power but instead from bomb making, which is out of sight out of mind, basically stopped, and ignored courteousy of our wonderful "defense" department which now has control of our lives and any pouting of "no nuclear energy" will not make that waste go away any faster either.  Solar electric energy and other energy sources are cheaper safer etc and sustainable on the long run and the world is running out of uranium anyway.  India  and China will not stop using up the remaining uranium or starting up infinitely safer thorium reactors just because of stupid American refusal to address or solve the problem of waste.  I was being a little sarcastic about safe mountains and I think you took the bait.  Naive narcisstic pouting or stomping ones foot on the ground is not an answer to a serious problem like this. America is not the center of the world, is not the wealth producer and not the nuclear energy leader or main player.  Such narcisstic notions that the problem will go away if  WE stop using nuclear power is sad  and counterproductive.  Hopefully the countries in Asia that are taking over leadership of the world will do something to solve the problem that America created, since it is clear that we are too soft and unwilling to face reality to do it ourselves.

We need to clean up the mess created by our parent's generation and then move on....................

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guardia

guardia wrote:

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

I am astounded anyone would suggest that automobiles shouldn't be banned.

See, that's the difference. We could ban cars tomorrow if we wanted to. We could. But we could not ban radioactive contamination tomorrow, even if we wanted to. We could not. Notice the difference?

I am afraid to tell you that's a scientific point of view you missed.

Samuel

Actually Samuel, since almost 20 years of my adult life was spent operating, maintaining and repairing nuclear power plants for the Navy's submarine force, I very likely understand the "scientific point of view" regarding long half lives of radioactive fuel, waste and fission by-products better than the vast majority of the CM.com community.

I am also quite able to separate hot button emotional triggers and look at it through the stark lens of reality.  Nuclear power is a djinni that is out of the bottle and it can't be put back in.  Ever.  What we can do is continually look for ways to improve the way things are done and HOPE that we don't learn most of our lessons following accidents.  But since humans are involved there will be times when it gets fooked up six ways till next Tuesday.

But it can be done safely - remove the profit motive and it gets significantly better.  Nuclear power is one of the few 'industries' that I feel should be nationalized.  The model for a successful nuclear power program exists - it is the United States Navy's nuclear propulsion program - and it is the legacy of an ornery, disrespectful, egotistic, cranky, crotchety old coot named Hyman Rickover.

And it's 50+ year history of operation without an accident speaks for itself.

I get it that radioactive waste, fuel, by-products, et al, have tremendously long half-lives.  That problem doesn't go away, even if we were to shut down every single nuclear power plant in the world tomorrow.  So do we advocate for the ridiculous or do we try to make the system that exists today as safe, efficient and low risk as possible?

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Damnthematrix wrote: Mike

Damnthematrix wrote:

Mike -

Couple of questions come up with this graphic. 

Is it a prediction of dispersion based on a model or is it a map of actual measured activity?  What are the units?  What do the colors mean - is yellow an activity level just above minimum detectable so that it paints a misleading picture of this giant radioactive bloom marching across the ocean or does yellow indicate an activity level of real concern.

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Hypocrites abound...

Mac wrote:

But I think you'll find that the people opposing repositories are also objecting to the mining, and I'd call that consistent, not hypocritical.

Except that they are often also the ones sitting at Starbucks, blogging on their i-pad with often no clue about how that power gets to them.  They often oppose all kinds of other exploration as well - no coal - that's dirty, no natural gas with that evil fracking, no they want wind and solar with no concept of the amount of resources it takes to build those things or support the infrastructure.

So no, I have yet to find an "environmentalist" who is not a hypocrite.  I would prefer we not have to have nuclear power and that the world would be filled with sunshine and lollipops, but with 7+ billion people all wanting to be fed, warmed, and entertained nuclear power is going to be with us and probably increase.

Japan seems to be in a particularly precarious place with small land mass, high and dense population (twice the density of NJ - the highest in the US excluding DC )  which requires an astounding amount of energy to support with very few natural local resources available. Not a pretty picture. 

When I see 90% of the "environmentalist" volunteering to give up their lives to get to a sustainable population, then I won't consider them hypocrites!

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nigel wrote: Dear Dogs I am

nigel wrote:

Dear Dogs

I am sorry for my post and choice of quote. I am reminded of the one armed economist that President Truman asked for, I think i chose like president truman to look at a single point of view. It is always good to look at thing from another point of view. I don't stand by my post but I do stand by my belief that nuclear may be the wrong option. I do however respect your thoughts and ideas and do not want to get into an argument with you. I am sorry, it was an off the cuff post and I really don't want to discourage the exploration of fact.

I realise that is a cop out, so I want to tell you why it worries me so. Given that recorded history is only 5000 years and then in a very incomplete way, how do we make a sign warning of radioactive danger that will last the half life of radioactive waste?

Yours Sincerely

Nigel.

Nigel -

No need to apologize - discussion and debate is good for both sides.  I saw the title of the post and started following links.  That's when the credibility of the material started to fade away.  Your post forced that scrutiny.

Sheesh, if off the cuff posts weren't allowed, 75% of mine would probably be taken down!! 

I understand and respect your belief/opinion that nuclear is the wrong option - but the reality is that it is here to stay (at least for 5 half-lives into the foreseeable future - sorry for the poor nuclear humor).  The way I see it, completely eliminating it ISN'T a realistic option so isn't the best way forward to figure out how to do it as safely as possible, with risk mitigation in the forefront of any new plant construction or existing plant overhaul/upgrade?  Like maybe not building them on fault lines, next to areas known to be at risk for tsunamis?  Or putting emergency diesel generators in basements below sea level?

I wouldn't worry about needing to make a sign warning future generations - the science and physical chemistry is well understood - so hopefully they will be able to look back someday and wonder aloud how they made it that far given how backwards and primitive their ancestors (us) were.  Sometimes we make the Neanderthals look more advanced.  Who knows, in 5000 years maybe the latest Geico commercial will be "So easy a 21st century Banker can do it"

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Questions.......

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Mike -

Couple of questions come up with this graphic. 

Is it a prediction of dispersion based on a model or is it a map of actual measured activity?  What are the units?  What do the colors mean - is yellow an activity level just above minimum detectable so that it paints a misleading picture of this giant radioactive bloom marching across the ocean or does yellow indicate an activity level of real concern.

I've been wondering myself....  I first saw this on FBook, and finding where it came from was much harder than I would've thought!  It's modelling of ocean currents more than anything, but this site http://www.asrltd.com/japan/plume.php , the source of the graphic has more info, though I can't find anything on the calibration of the colours...

Quote from that site "just because we can measure radiation doesn't mean it's dangerous"!  So maybe I shouldn't have been so zealous with posting this...

Mike

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Damnthematrix wrote: I've

Damnthematrix wrote:

I've been wondering myself....  I first saw this on FBook, and finding where it came from was much harder than I would've thought!  It's modelling of ocean currents more than anything, but this site http://www.asrltd.com/japan/plume.php , the source of the graphic has more info, though I can't find anything on the calibration of the colours...

Quote from that site "just because we can measure radiation doesn't mean it's dangerous"!  So maybe I shouldn't have been so zealous with posting this...

Mike

Mike -

I've got calls into some friends at the Navy's METOC Command to see if they have anything.  Will post anything I find.

The part that has me a bit suspicious is I would expect the edges to be more diluted in color.  Unless it's some type of cumulative distribution function that accounts for all activity in the water column as it moves through a fixed volume over time, but if that were the case, I'd expect to see a lot more red closer to Japan.

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can you get detailed ocean current info?

Hey Dogs,

You mention:" I've got calls into some friends at the Navy's METOC Command to see if they have anything"

can you get detailed ocean circulation data from the navy?
remember that article last December about "Japan inventing" a wind turbine? A professor from Kyushuu had a nice turbine that was rather silent and said to be efficient.  I met him soon after near Tokyo.  He said that he is refocusing on using his turbine underwater to catch ocean currents and really needed some data (the US military likely would have) regarding tidal and current flows  around the Japan islands and wondered if someone here could find such data (eg. from the military).  Could you help with this or at least give me a contact off line?  thanks

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Mirv wrote: Hey Dogs, You

Mirv wrote:

Hey Dogs,

You mention:" I've got calls into some friends at the Navy's METOC Command to see if they have anything"

can you get detailed ocean circulation data from the navy?
remember that article last December about "Japan inventing" a wind turbine? A professor from Kyushuu had a nice turbine that was rather silent and said to be efficient.  I met him soon after near Tokyo.  He said that he is refocusing on using his turbine underwater to catch ocean currents and really needed some data (the US military likely would have) regarding tidal and current flows  around the Japan islands and wondered if someone here could find such data (eg. from the military).  Could you help with this or at least give me a contact off line?  thanks

Mirv -

Check your PM inbox.  Until then, here are a couple of sites you can try poking around....

Naval Oceanography Operations Command:  http://www.weather.navy.mil/NOOC

Naval Oceanographic Office:  http://www.weather.navy.mil/NAVO

Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center:  http://www.weather.navy.mil/FNMOC

All of the above hosted here at the Naval Oceanography Portal:  http://www.weather.navy.mil/oceanography

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radioactive plume

Zerohedge had the same graphic and attributed to a consulting firm with a report that included this:

We use a Lagrangian particles dispersal method to track where free floating material (fish larvae, algae, phytoplankton, zooplankton...) present in the sea water near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station plant could have gone since the earthquake on March 11th. THIS IS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF THE RADIOACTIVE PLUME CONCENTRATION. Since we do not know exactly how much contaminated water and at what concentration was released into the ocean, it is impossible to estimate the extent and dilution of the plume.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/remember-fukushima-presenting-radioactive-seawater-impact-map

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Re: Fish industry in Ibaraki

Mirv wrote:

lol  regarding your comment: "Yes, and the fish industry of Ibaraki may still well be salvageable given their new stunt publicity offering fish at half (50 Bq) the official contamination limit set by the government (100 Bq)! May still remain a useful source of omega-3 after all..."

it  gets better..... It is nearly impossible to get a commercial fishing license in Japan.  So........ the national government of Japan announced recently that they will deregulate the commerical fishing industry by allowing newcomers to enter BUT ONLY IN THE FUKUSHIMA area.

When the government gives you lemons, learn to make lemonade! The results could turn out to be interesting. Although I'm not holding my breath, it sure beats the monkeying of the 2000s. At least something is actually happening now

Samuel

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the United States Navy's nuclear propulsion program

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

But it can be done safely - remove the profit motive and it gets significantly better.  Nuclear power is one of the few 'industries' that I feel should be nationalized.  The model for a successful nuclear power program exists - it is the United States Navy's nuclear propulsion program - and it is the legacy of an ornery, disrespectful, egotistic, cranky, crotchety old coot named Hyman Rickover.

And it's 50+ year history of operation without an accident speaks for itself.

That's good, but how much does that track record cost? Do you have any data on how many cents per kWh these guys get? That would be an interesting statistics to peer at... I bet it's way over 15 cents per kWh, because we can get better from wind power and solar power. If nuclear power were actually cheap, the nuclear industry would not need to cut corners the way they are doing now and feel the need to get Yakuza's goons to hire drunkards from the street.

Samuel

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True costs are hidden

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

But it can be done safely - remove the profit motive and it gets significantly better.

Not sure that's a good way to go.  Exactly how has removing the profit motive worked in so many other cases?  The problem is you have to make sure the costs, profits and risks are all borne by the participants.  With nuclear we have so far skewed the field, who know's what the true costs are.  We have subsidiezed uranium, huge regulartory costs, lots of politics, PRC fiefdoms, ...

Guardia wrote:

That's good, but how much does that track record cost? Do you have any data on how many cents per kWh these guys get? That would be an interesting statistics to peer at... I bet it's way over 15 cents per kWh, because we can get better from wind power and solar power. If nuclear power were actually cheap, the nuclear industry would not need to cut corners the way they are doing now and feel the need to get Yakuza's goons to hire drunkards from the street.

Not sure your $0.15/W for solar/wind is close either. It's also a massively manipulated area as well with massive government subsidies.  On the nuclear side, just think, the plants in production here in the US were mostly designed without computers - the last one was built in 1977 - before CAD!  We have so much government interference and fear that any changes or modernization are not done because of the huge costs - so we get old plants that are kept operating well past their planned lives, antiquated safety mechanisms, etc.  It's just a complete mess.

As with many industries - determining the true costs is extemely difficult because the costs and rewards are often not borne by the participants.  Government interference in many markets allow cost to be public and profits private......

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Nuclear Energy

Nigel, please, please, please watch this 5 minute video Thorium Remix- 

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Re: True costs are hidden

rhare wrote:

Not sure your $0.15/W for solar/wind is close either. It's also a massively manipulated area as well with massive government subsidies.  On the nuclear side, just think, the plants in production here in the US were mostly designed without computers - the last one was built in 1977 - before CAD!  We have so much government interference and fear that any changes or modernization are not done because of the huge costs - so we get old plants that are kept operating well past their planned lives, antiquated safety mechanisms, etc.  It's just a complete mess.

As with many industries - determining the true costs is extemely difficult because the costs and rewards are often not borne by the participants.  Government interference in many markets allow cost to be public and profits private......

That's true. Further, I would obviously like to get a picture of the real physical EROEI, but as you realize, just getting any data in terms of money already represents quite a challenge... :(

Samuel

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