The Future of Energy: Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation

Nuclear power plant with yellow field and big blue clouds


Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation

Nuclear power stations operate at high capacity factors and generate large amounts of CO2 – free electricity. They have enormous potential for achieving major reductions in emissions of CO2. Unlike intermittent and unreliable renewable sources, they do not need the inefficient, fossil-fuel burning, backup power stations to maintain output when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine. Statistics show convincingly that nuclear power is by far the safest form of large-scale electricity generation.

In contrast, coal-fired power stations are responsible for the deaths of thousands of miners worldwide each year and hydropower stations have also killed thousands of people.

At present, nuclear power is typically more expensive than gas or coal-fired power generation in the U.S. and Europe. This is due to the long construction times resulting from bureaucratic regulatory hurdles. Eventually, nuclear power stations will become the main source of clean, low-cost electricity; particularly in non-OECD countries.

Read more »

Photo of the Day

Sidney Stanfield in 1918.

Sidney Stanfield in 1918. Photo: courtesy Susan Paris

Wounded,Conflict, Casualties and Care

How battlefield surgeons treated shellshock, shrapnel and gas

And poor Jim was laying there cuddled up in a heap as men die. Don?t forget we was all young, we didn?t die easy. You don?t die at once, you?re not shot and killed stone dead. You don?t die at once. We were all fit and highly trained and of course we didn?t die easy, you see. You were slow to die and you?d find them huddled up in a heap like kids gone to sleep, you know, cuddled up dead.

Sidney George Stanfield (Stan) was born in Tinui, near Masterton, in 1900. He worked as a farmhand before sailing for war in 1916 with the Wellington Infantry Battalion. He saw action in France and Belgium and at the end of the war was still nearly two years under the age limit for service overseas.

On being a stretcher-bearer at Passchendaele 12?14 October 1917

It rained and rained and bloody rained, and rained and rained, see. Just like here in the autumn time, when it comes to rain and it was cold. And we were picking them up from a gathering point as a regimental aid post. Well there were hundreds of men laying out, around. You couldn?t get them inside, it was an old German concrete emplacement and you couldn’t get them all inside, but the doctors were working inside. And they were just laying around where they?d been dumped by the stretcher-bearers from off the field and at one period I believe there were 600 stretcher cases laying round the place in the wet and cold, just dying there where they were dumped off. They weren?t even laying on stretchers, just laying on the ground with an oil sheet tied over them if anyone thought to do that, or if one of their mates could do it. Just laying there, because the stretchers were used for picking up other men, you see, there couldn?t be a stretcher for every stretcher case. We just carried till you couldn?t carry more. You just went until you couldn?t walk really, you just went until you couldn?t walk.

On how infantrymen saw themselves at Passchendaele

An ordinary infantryman at Passchendaele was a pretty dumb beast. That?s how he?s treated, you see. He was only gun fodder and when all is said, and that?s what I feel. We were pretty dumb beasts you see, or we wouldn?t have been slapped, thrown into that sort of warfare, because it was hopeless before you started. We all knew that.

There was one place at Passchendaele ? where we heard a man crying at night out in front and went out and we couldn?t find him and we heard him crying part of the next day. Calling, you know, calling, sort of crying, not screaming or anything, crying out. We just knew there was a wounded man lying down under something you see. We never found that man. That’s the only thing that’s stuck in my memory. The others, I?ve seen them lay gasping and panting and scratching up the dirt with their fingernails on their face and all crawling around semi-delirious and all sorts of things.

Read more »

Yeah, nah from Cunliffe, another policy flip flop in hours from Labour


Earlier yesterday the Labour Party decided that blocking oil and gas exploration and production in Taranaki was a good idea to save 55 idiot dolphins too stupid to get out of the way of fisherman and nets.

They played along with the Green taliban?and their anti-progress ban everything attitude…until they realised that they would have to shut down all of the Taranaki gas production to achieve it.

Then they performed their very own reverse policy ferret after a shellacking in parliament about it…just hours later.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has had to perform a U-turn after this morning announcing Labour was against oil exploration in the Maui’s dolphin mammal sanctuary, when it actually approves.

National has jumped on the gaffe, saying Labour is hypocritical because it allowed 13 wells to be drilled in the area.

The Government has opened up 3000 square kilometres of a marine mammal sanctuary for oil exploration on the North Island’s west coast ? home to the Maui’s dolphin. The Green Party obtained documents revealing that last week.
This morning Labour came out opposed, aligning itself with the Greens.? Read more »

Science: A liquid that boils, freezes, boils, freezes… within seconds

Want to know more? ?Look up?triple point.


I just can’t stand the hypocrisy

We are all allowed our own world view. ?And political parties have different ways of trying to solve what is essentially the same problem. ?But protesting against oil, gas and mining while not actually being able to protest nor get the message out about your protest unless you use everything that resource extraction has given humanity is impossible.

The result? ? These hippy-crites truly believe they can fight for peace / fuck for virginity.

Gareth Hughes as the Arch Hypocrite of the New Zealand Green Taliban / Credit:

Gareth Hughes as the Arch Hypocrite of the New Zealand Green Taliban / Credit: