An Open Letter to Mr. Thom Hartmann (Meandering Essay)

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An Open Letter to Mr. Thom Hartmann (Meandering Essay)

Post by Red » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:13 pm

There’s a liberal political commentator by the name of Thom Hartmann, who made a lot of statements against nuclear energy in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_1dPMz08dQ
You all may be unfamiliar with him, as he isn’t too prevalent in the mainstream, but he still retains a high platform with thousands of listeners. I’ve been watching clips from the channel that takes bits from Thom’s show, and I’ve enjoyed watching a few of them, but he seems to subscribe to a lot of liberal pseudoscience, such as being anti-GMO if a comment on this video is to be believed, and of course, as the topic title suggests, anti-nuclear energy (so yeah, he’s kind of a moonbat).

I have a few problems with Thom, other than a couple of political disagreements; I’ve noticed, several times, that whenever talking with a caller who is making a point he is disagreeing with, he tends to talk over them in an attempt to gish gallop, (which is something I’ve seen a lot with some conservative radio hosts), and that transgression isn’t absent in this clip. Things always seem to be one sided, if you know what I mean.

Now, there’s a .000078% chance that Thom will read this, but since I’m becoming more interested in the topic of nuclear energy, and that I am planning on making a video about it sometime in the future on my channel, I think this will serve as good practice, refuting a few anti-nuclear arguments.

Feel free to correct me whenever I fuck up, I’m not an expert just yet, and also feel free to add more details in areas you feel are lacking.

So, let’s get started shall we?

It’s tedious to go back and forth to type down every word he’s saying verbatim, so I’m gonna be using timestamps. If you don’t have the time to watch the video (only 4 minutes), you may or may not have to just figure out what the argument was, based on my rebuttals.

0:44-1:30 I’m not sure where you’re getting all this information from (or any information in this clip for that matter), since you don’t provide any evidence for these claims (which is understandable, you’re being put in the spotlight and must answer off the fly, (but it does seem as though you’ve memorized your arguments for a lot of things) and it’s not like you can cite sources as if it’s on a piece of paper), but I assume you get it from a propaganda site such as Greenpeace.

Anyway, the lady you were speaking to said that there are cleaner ways to get concrete (something you ignore), and overall, for those things, using nuclear energy to have nuclear energy is probably the cleanest way to establish nuclear energy plants and getting uranium and such. Here’s a good article about uranium mining:
http://www.world-nuclear.org/informatio ... rview.aspx

I’m not too well versed in this area, but what you’re saying is very, very dubious. Maybe other members will be able to help out here.

1:30-2:00 This is pure, Grade-A liberal bullshit. No, Thom, we cannot power our entire planet ‘at scale’ with just solar and wind. Thom, are you aware of all of the technicalities behind all this?

Let’s start with Wind; aside from being ridiculously expensive, and taking an abundance of resources and time to build (One 7-megawatt turbine is, on average, 650 Feet tall, taller than Lady Liberty, who stands at 305 feet), and needlessly killing thousands of birds, wind isn’t effective with giving energy to general populaces.

Taller wind turbines at higher altitudes are more effective at garnering energy, but again, this would again take a lot of resources and time (now you mention storage, but we’ll get to that), and secondly, this wouldn’t help out the people living in lower altitude areas. While motherfuckers living in California (West Coast) or the New York Islands (East Coast) will be enjoying the fruits of actually practical wind energy, everyone living lower density states, such as Tennessee, Virginia, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, both Dakotas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and a few others will either get semi-okay wind speeds needed for energy or complete shit. I mean, the U.S. is a pretty damn big country (Thanks Polk), and a lot of people live in those middle states. If you want to actually take the energy from the better off areas to the not-so-better-off areas, you can probably do that, though it would be pretty energy consuming, and would require a grid that wastes about 7% of the energy, and would require an extravagant financial project to make more practical, unless you’re willing to cut a few social programs.

As for solar, I agree that solar is cool and shit for putting on your roof, save everyone and yourself a little trouble, but it is not good for powering cities (let alone the world, as you’d say). Remember, like wind, solar is situational. It’s useless during nighttime, and loses much use during Fall and Winter when there are less hours of sun.

And of course, solar isn’t cheap; granted, it’s becoming increasingly cheap as more innovations are being made, however installation and maintenance fees aren’t going down much, if at all. As of right now, our best solar panels convert about 42% of energy into electricity. Not too shabby, right? Hell, a mile of solar panels can be as effective as a coal or nuclear energy plant,. But again, the issue of lack of sunlight is something to consider. And of course, efficacy and resources are important. As I mentioned, it would take a whole mile of solar panels to match the energy efficiency of a single nuclear power plant. Which would be more cost effective?

As for the Germans, it’s great that they’re producing so much energy with solar, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a good thing for the rest of the world to take part in. It’s important to note that the average German uses releases about half of the CO2 emissions as the average American, not to mention that Germany has a much smaller population (less than a third), so while it may help power the more frugal peoples of Germany, it may not power the indulgent peoples of The United States. And what about China? The peoples themselves generally don’t use much electricity (not that they could if they wanted to), but the country itself uses lots of energy (most CO2 emissions of any other country); will solar or wind alone be able to power China?

And it’s terrible that Germany is planning on becoming Solar-only in a few years, and will completely ditch nuclear energy; as I mentioned, building and maintaining those solar panels is expensive and resource consuming, an issue that can be easily solved by just building nuclear plants. They probably aren’t helping our global climate change issue by ditching one of our only hopes, and let’s just hope other developed countries don’t take note.

It’s all about cost effectiveness. Well, mostly. Unless you’re interested in making more money, but that’s counterproductive.

2:00-3:42 Oh yeah, so simple. Just store it, right?

Granted, lots of research and advances have been made in this field, but storing all that energy, especially if you’re considering doing this globally, would be ridiculously expensive (even the Forbes Top 10 combined probably wouldn’t be able to afford this), and require massive amounts of manpower as of right now. More research must be done before we actually go through with this.

We can store power via batteries, which is probably the most practical option for storing energy as far as I know, but that shit still ain’t cheap. You probably can do it in small doses, but dude, it isn’t as easy as you’re making it out to be.

3:43-3:59 Do you honestly believe this myth? I thought you were more intelligent than this Thom. You don’t spend a lot of time on this point, so I won’t either.

To put the process simply, the nuclear waste is locked up in containers and have very strong security. They undergo a cooling process to clear the waste of any radioactive elements that remain. It undergoes this process for a few years until all elements are gone, which does take a while, but doesn’t pose as a danger to anyone. So it’s not ‘dangerous’ for a million years, and that’s probably the most asinine thing you said in this whole clip. Without cooling, the radioactivity sticks around for about 20 thousand or so years.

So Thom, if you are by some crazy chance reading this, I’d like you to take everything I (and other forum members) said into account, and respond if you can. If not, then you can just suck my big fat hairy nuts, considering this took me 3 days to write and research.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:40 pm

Not sure what the clips say. Maybe you should make this a video?

He probably doesn't understand EROEI. As long as the energy returned is MORE than the energy invested to get it, you have net positive energy.
You can use nuclear to refine fuel for nuclear plants, that's not some kind of impossible circular logic as long as you have one nuclear plant already running to get it started. You can also use solar panels to make solar panels, but the EROEI isn't as good there so it's a slower process.

Reprocessing for fuel is another good option with waste; we just store it now because it's more expensive to do that than it's worth since we have plenty of uranium on hand.
It's also worth noting that there are only a few chemical elements in waste that are legitimately dangerous, and we could concentrate those if we really wanted to (But why? It would cost more money and current storage is perfectly fine).

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Post by Red » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:21 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:40 pm
Not sure what the clips say. Maybe you should make this a video?
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Not really planning on making my channel one that makes responses. I might pull a clip from somewhere to address a point if you know what I mean though.

I'm planning on having something written out today or tomorrow, maybe you and others can offer some advice.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:40 pm
He probably doesn't understand EROEI. As long as the energy returned is MORE than the energy invested to get it, you have net positive energy.
You can use nuclear to refine fuel for nuclear plants, that's not some kind of impossible circular logic as long as you have one nuclear plant already running to get it started. You can also use solar panels to make solar panels, but the EROEI isn't as good there so it's a slower process.
I don't remember verbatim what he said, but he said that it emits a lot of CO2 getting uranium, building the plant, etc., and claimed that nuclear energy plants don't emit clean energy until the 10th year because of that.

Since, you know, he has obviously read up on this.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:40 pm
Reprocessing for fuel is another good option with waste; we just store it now because it's more expensive to do that than it's worth since we have plenty of uranium on hand.
It's also worth noting that there are only a few chemical elements in waste that are legitimately dangerous, and we could concentrate those if we really wanted to (But why? It would cost more money and current storage is perfectly fine).
Should we be concerned about uranium supply anyway? It'll last us about 9000 years, and there are other things we can use if we run out, such as thorium (though that likely won't be necessary, we will hopefully have fusion power by then).

But honestly, is the overall content of my response good?
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:47 pm

Red wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:21 pm
I don't remember verbatim what he said, but he said that it emits a lot of CO2 getting uranium, building the plant, etc., and claimed that nuclear energy plants don't emit clean energy until the 10th year because of that.
You can say the same for solar, worse actually because solar has a worse EROEI. You should talk about that concept and go into the numbers there.
Red wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:21 pm
Should we be concerned about uranium supply anyway? It'll last us about 9000 years, and there are other things we can use if we run out, such as thorium (though that likely won't be necessary, we will hopefully have fusion power by then).
I don't think it's something to worry about, no. And maybe in a thousand years we can develop better solar panels if we really need to.
Red wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:21 pm
But honestly, is the overall content of my response good?
Sure, I would just talk about EROEI more.

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Post by Red » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:42 pm

Huh, turns out Mr. Hartmann is also a 9-11 Truther. :roll:
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Thom_Hart ... 11_truther

I think it's because he's so dogmatically liberal and hated Bush Jr. so much he just has to find any plausible thing to hate about him?
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:53 am

These things often come together.

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