Has anybody else given up on climate change?

Nonsense. I’m in no way claiming that liberal resistance to nuclear hasn’t been a shortsighted policy during the recent decades since the climate-change threat has become clear, but liberals are not “mainly” responsible for conservatives’ propping up fossil fuels.

In fact, it’s been mostly the other way around: the propaganda mission to prop up fossil fuels (which is by no means an exclusively conservative cause but which conservatives, such as the Kochs, are far and away the most significant drivers of) bears a lot of the responsibility for public sluggishness to recognize the threat of climate change. Which in its turn has allowed a number of liberals to avoid doing the necessary recalculation of the costs and benefits of nuclear power in a warming world.

Don’t forget that absent the climate-change threat, liberal opposition to nuclear power makes a lot more sense, given the still-unresolved problems with nuclear waste. If it weren’t for climate change—a crisis that conservatives are still dragging their feet on even acknowledging—it would still be reasonable to conclude that the polluting byproducts of fossil-fuel plants are on the whole preferable to those of nuclear-fission ones.

In any case, even “building nuclear power plants all along” to any degree that’s even remotely realistic wouldn’t have fundamentally changed our crucial dependency on fossil fuels up to now, or the fossil-fuel industry’s determination to keep dominating energy markets.

Nah, the current discussion has basically become about that. Because liberals are the only ones anymore who are actually expected to take responsibility for making wise policy decisions. It’s basically taken for granted that conservatives and libertarians will be irresponsibly and mendaciously devoted to their own near-term power and profit above any other considerations, so there’s no point even trying to hold them accountable for it.

It’s more like knowing your asexual grandmother will eventually whack hereself farting around with autoerotic asphyxiation as part of her Easter Sunday David Carradine memorial tradition. It’s just bound to happen.

I defended Biden regarding new oil & gas leases because he suspended new leases and was forced to reopen them. But I’m dismayed at the latest decision to open sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve merely to lower fuel prices. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

One, “strategic” refers to defense strategy, to having enough fuel in time of war or national emergency, not political strategy of insulating the public from market signals to be more energy-efficient. :roll_eyes:

Two, the price of fuel is going to have to rise to incentivize efficiency and conservation. Time and again in the last few decades, the public has bought more efficient vehicles when fuel prices were high and gas-guzzling monstrosities when they’re low. People who don’t care about the environment insulate their homes when home heating prices are higher. People buy energy-saving lights and appliances when electricity is more expensive.

I’d prefer the price increase to be by carbon tax with the revenue used to provide alternatives (subsidizing electric and hybrid vehicles to put them in reach of lower-income people, etc.) so it’s not simply a question of Carter-ian “put on a sweater” austerity. But a “market” increase will do in a pinch. And God knows we’re in a pinch with climate change!

In that light, eating our seed corn, or discharging a fire extinguisher to cool a case of beer, is even a worse idea than usual. And no court or coalition of red states forced Biden into it.

Yes, in fact, it was you who brought the fact that new plants are, finally, being built and at least 1 is near completion. I agree, things are moving in the right direction wrt nuclear.

And just to be clear, I don’t think nuclear is a panacea for all our ills either. It will take more than that to fix things. Our energy mix needs to be just that…a mix. Wind and solar have parts to play, especially since the costs have come down well for both, but especially solar. But we are going to need a baseload system, and nuclear is the best we have if we want to get off fossil fuels.

Except I don’t consider that ‘socialism’ or ‘socialistic ideas’. I get that many conservatives (and, frankly a lot of left-wingers and liberal types too) think that anything that smacks of a social PROGRAM is SOCIALISM, but I don’t subscribe to that belief. Now, you can call my take on that ‘ignorant’, and I’m fine with it as at least it’s something I have said and believe. :stuck_out_tongue:

I disagree with this part. Had we continued to build nuclear power plants at a steady rate, the US would perhaps have doubled or even triple the current number. That could take us from 20% and dropping in nuclear power to 40-60% and steady…perhaps even rising. And we could have been continuing to push development. Maybe we’d have a large-scale deployment of small modular reactors at this point or other designs. The US’s CO2 footprint has been in decline since, IIRC, the early 2000’s, but it’s been a pretty slow decline. It could have been a lot greater. Also, we could have gotten more bang out of our solar and wind bucks if we had nuclear as a baseload system instead of coal or even natural gas.

Sure, we’d still be dependent on fossil fuel for transport (which is, I assume what you were getting at), but on the energy production side, we would be down to maybe 20% fossil fuel (and if we made the switch to natural gas from coal that 20% would be at least a bit cleaner). All that makes a substantial difference, and is all ‘remotely realistic’ had we not suddenly halted new plant production and much of the R&D for new designs.

I remember Bangkok started to put out different bins for different materials. You know, aluminum etc. But it was just for show – the garbage men just dumped each bin together into the same truck. That’s how I feel about most of this stuff anywhere, it’s just for show.

I remember someone writing that China exports a ton of single-use plastics and other stuff to the US, where we use it, then sort it for recycling, before shipping it back to China (using diesel-powered ships) where the Chinese either burn the stuff or toss it into their own landfills…or dump it at sea. All to make us feel better about recycling and that we are doing something. The person talking about this was really talking mainly about plastic, but you could expand that to climate change easily.

Nonsense. EV’s are rapidly entering the market to replace ICE vehicles. No regulation is needed to accelerate the process and the government couldn’t stop it if tried. There’s a massive, and I mean massive, drive to improve batteries and that is partly driven by the phone industry as well as cordless products.

There are a variety of different battery technologies competing for whatever replaces current versions. Ford and Purdue are working on a charging process that will charge a car in 5 minutes using existing battery technology. I would call it a tsunami of changes coming our way.

Where government(s) fit into this would be the upgrades needed in power generation. There are already a number of nuclear power plant designs based around the concept of automatic shut downs independent of human input or outside influences. They simply need to be fast tracked.

(Bolding mine)
If new plastic can be produced cheaper than recycling old plastic, then free market pressure will make any plastic single-use.

We own an EV and an ICE vehicle. We pay no taxes towards roads/infrastructure on the EV car, because these taxes come from taxing gasoline. Pretty sure Government regulations / taxes will be coming soon

Government oversight is also needed to make EV batteries recyclable. Right now they are not :

Current EV batteries “are really not designed to be recycled,” says Thompson, a research fellow at the Faraday Institution, a research center focused on battery issues in the United Kingdom.

Wherever the concept of “Concentrated Benefits, and Diffused Costs” comes into play, I think Government has a role to play. Whether it be EV battery recycling or Nuclear fuel mining environmental pollution, Government will have a role going forward.

When I google lithium batter recycling I get plenty of hits including companies that buy them.

I was talking about EV - Electric Vehicles and here is a cite for my claim:

“Currently, globally, it’s very hard to get detailed figures for what percentage of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, but the value everyone quotes is about 5%,” says Dr Anderson. “In some parts of the world it’s considerably less.”

And where do you think a thousand lb battery goes if it’s not recycled?

I don’t know. Do you know ?

It was a rhetorical question.

Tesla claims that all of their batteries that come out of service are recycled.
“None of our scrapped lithium-ion batteries go to landfilling, and 100% are recycled.”

Reports are that they can reclaim about 92% of the material in the battery, and it is fed back into production to make new batteries. There have also been reports that defective batteries may be deconstructed and good cells or modules reused in other applications.

I’ve seen the articles that claim things like “EV batteries aren’t designed to be recycled,” yet Tesla, the largest EV manufacturer, seems to be recycling fine, or completely lying about it.

Not lying, just creative misleading.

100% of the batteries are sold to recycler for recycling. The recycler may actually recycle only 5% of the battery (the profitable part)

There is a huge difference between “can reclaim about 92%” and “can economically reclaim about 92%”. At current technology maturity, and market conditions, the 92% level does not work.

It doesn’t have to be profitable to reclaim it.

So like we use fossil fuels to make fertilizers, then clear out forests to make corn fields, use more fossil fuels to transport and distill corn products, to finally make some ethanol to put in fossil fuels.

Sure, it doesn’t need to make economic or environmental sense. That’s greenwashing in a nutshell.

It’s hyperbole to say we clear out forests to make corn fields but you could say we subsidize farming.

It makes environmental sense to capture some of the CO2 back for corn instead of releasing it from fossil fuels. Otherwise there would be no point.

But getting back to the battery issue. They’re hazardous waste. They are going to be recovered in a structured system instead of just chucking them into a pit. So there is already structure to the process. Maybe there will be a need for more oversight on the process but the process exists and it doesn’t have to be profitable.