Earth to Stasse: Nukes don’t need batteries!

The Ecomodernists recently debated Mike Stasse of “Damn the Matrix” fame. He believes in “Degrowth” – that is – as peak oil hits and fossil fuels decline – it is inevitable that everything’s going to collapse. There will be mobs in the streets and riots in the supermarkets as the trucks stop rolling in. Typical Doomer fair. Only, the Ecomodernists have a slightly more compassionate view they want to discuss. How about we NOT let all that happen – and look for more optimistic pathways ahead where we save civilisation and billions of lives, and still have nature thrive?

(Then Mike kept side-tracking to his Keto dietary theories. The hosts were a bit too patient with him here, it was way off topic and quite self-indulgent of him – so I won’t inflict that bit on you.)

Now, Ecomodernists of course love nuclear reactors. Especially incredibly efficient Breeder Reactors that ‘eat’ nuclear waste. They have a really high energy return (aka EROEI) which is in the thousands. When you can get 90 times the energy out of each bit of uranium already mined in the breeder process – the energy returned goes way up! Argonne Labs explains in 4 minutes.

But this was all too optimistic for a Doomer like Mike. He wants to shut this bright nuclear-powered future down, and fast! He’s sitting there, grabbing at Doomer straws.

And then he remembers! Metals! Simon Michaux! Maybe he can quote Michaux to get out of this awkward optimism.

Except – Simon Michaux is the guy who incorrectly insists a renewable grid needs 4 weeks grid storage in metal batteries. The concern Michaux want’s to harp on about is this would consume all the useful metals like lithium and copper etc. It’s a long story but contains some really bad strawman attacks, including one where he tries to pretend the whole world is shaped like Singapore – only 15 metres above sea level – see “Painting the world Singapore“. The whole paper is based on a lie. If you read normal renewables papers they recommend strategies like Overbuilding the grid to cope with winter, and then every city having about 2 days off-river pumped hydro storage. As that’s the norm I subtracted the “Batteries that ate the world” and Michaux’s own resource estimates show we’re fine, even with all renewables built and 1.4 billion EV’s!

So Mike is there, worrying how he’s going to dismiss this bright EcoModernist nuclear option.

So he throws Simon Michaux’s anti-renewables paper against nuclear! There aren’t enough metals to build… which one is it Mike? Because nuclear doesn’t NEED 4 weeks battery storage, does it?

The irony is Mike “pulls a Michaux” as he quotes Michaux, and rips Michaux’s study out of context. It’s so cringeworthy – I almost cannot look. Just click and enjoy for a few minutes. A Doomer at his best. It starts with this next line…

he’s not talking about nuclear here – but…”

This entry was posted in Doomers and Collapse, Materials & Metals, Storing energy. Bookmark the permalink.

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