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Published on November 1, 2007

Author: lusi

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Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center for Scientific Culture Pontificia Academia Scientiarum Session on Planetary Emergencies, Rome, December 2006 Energy Crisis or Environment Crisis? Richard Wilson Harvard University:  Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center for Scientific Culture Pontificia Academia Scientiarum Session on Planetary Emergencies, Rome, December 2006 Energy Crisis or Environment Crisis? Richard Wilson Harvard University 1972 Boston APS meeting Talks on: Coal Oil supply Nuclear risks Nuclear Future Solar Global climate change:  1972 Boston APS meeting Talks on: Coal Oil supply Nuclear risks Nuclear Future Solar Global climate change 1977, 1978,1979, 1981? Amman and Wilson School on Energetics in Erice All emphasized the coming of Nuclear Energy One of our books emphasized efficient use:  1977, 1978,1979, 1981? Amman and Wilson School on Energetics in Erice All emphasized the coming of Nuclear Energy One of our books emphasized efficient use Plenty of Coal: probably for 1000 years Australia China India Russia USA:  Plenty of Coal: probably for 1000 years Australia China India Russia USA Even now, enough oil at present rates for 100 years can `easily handle 30% increase over 2006 rates (OPAEC reports, BP, Middle East Economic Suvey etc) But distribution forces political issues :  Even now, enough oil at present rates for 100 years can `easily handle 30% increase over 2006 rates (OPAEC reports, BP, Middle East Economic Suvey etc) But distribution forces political issues The issue is not the availability of resouces but the willingness to use them. The Crisis is Environmental Coal burning: particulates, mercury Carbon burning: CO2 concentrations, global warming potential Nuclear: Bombs,Bad press:  The issue is not the availability of resouces but the willingness to use them. The Crisis is Environmental Coal burning: particulates, mercury Carbon burning: CO2 concentrations, global warming potential Nuclear: Bombs,Bad press In 1970s environmentalists talkedabout conservation of energy; Physicists had proved it 150 years before. The only controversy was how to pronounce the name of the Scotsman, Joule:  In 1970s environmentalists talkedabout conservation of energy; Physicists had proved it 150 years before. The only controversy was how to pronounce the name of the Scotsman, Joule Scientists have had one major success! Environmentalists now say Energy Efficiency. Electricity generation efficiency (1st law): 1908 8% 1970 33%-40% 2000 up to 60% End use efficiency improving: But please! Turn down the thermostat!:  Scientists have had one major success! Environmentalists now say Energy Efficiency. Electricity generation efficiency (1st law): 1908 8% 1970 33%-40% 2000 up to 60% End use efficiency improving: But please! Turn down the thermostat! 1:  1 E need a rate ten times greater. US managed that in 1970s and France in 1980s. Why not everyone else? That is a question of public acceptance :  E need a rate ten times greater. US managed that in 1970s and France in 1980s. Why not everyone else? That is a question of public acceptance Problem for environmental movement: Which do you like least? Nuclear Power? or Global Climate Change? If 1970 nuclear momentum continued: USA 80% electricity - nuclear Plus nuclear process heat or hydrogen generation over 5 X effect of Kyoto! Founder of GREENPEACE says nuclear.:  Problem for environmental movement: Which do you like least? Nuclear Power? or Global Climate Change? If 1970 nuclear momentum continued: USA 80% electricity - nuclear Plus nuclear process heat or hydrogen generation over 5 X effect of Kyoto! Founder of GREENPEACE says nuclear. Fuels for transportion: Ethanol/methanol no big change in infrastructure from coal/oil/corn/cellulose ONLY CELLULOSE REDUCES CO2 in USA subsidy for Archer Daniels Midland! hydrogen from fossil fuels/nuclear:  Fuels for transportion: Ethanol/methanol no big change in infrastructure from coal/oil/corn/cellulose ONLY CELLULOSE REDUCES CO2 in USA subsidy for Archer Daniels Midland! hydrogen from fossil fuels/nuclear BATAVIA ILLINOIS The Windmill city More windmills made than any other city (before 1970) Now no windmills only FERMILAB :  BATAVIA ILLINOIS The Windmill city More windmills made than any other city (before 1970) Now no windmills only FERMILAB Erice meetings constantly urge a return to nuclear power. The list of initiatives listed in 2006 Stern report - proposals or tokenism Germany and now UK 20% renewable electricity: wind 50% more expensive than coal or nuclear:  Erice meetings constantly urge a return to nuclear power. The list of initiatives listed in 2006 Stern report - proposals or tokenism Germany and now UK 20% renewable electricity: wind 50% more expensive than coal or nuclear But: German experience ( Birkhofer at Erice in 2005) Wind about 50% more expensive that coal US subsidy 2 cents per kwh :  But: German experience ( Birkhofer at Erice in 2005) Wind about 50% more expensive that coal US subsidy 2 cents per kwh Carbon sequestration Cesare Marchetti talked about it in 1979 Near Gibralter and off South Sea Islands deep and shallow oceans mix we all laughed TOO SOON! In oil wells (secondary recovery) In deep oceans In mineral deposits under Venice to raise the city! :  Carbon sequestration Cesare Marchetti talked about it in 1979 Near Gibralter and off South Sea Islands deep and shallow oceans mix we all laughed TOO SOON! In oil wells (secondary recovery) In deep oceans In mineral deposits under Venice to raise the city! There is talk of a gas tax. Or carbon tax It should be a general tax with no exceptions. Scientists have to inform the economists: Apply control, or tax when carbon leaves the ground and enters the surface pool . Only a “few” places oil wells, mines, ports etc.:  There is talk of a gas tax. Or carbon tax It should be a general tax with no exceptions. Scientists have to inform the economists: Apply control, or tax when carbon leaves the ground and enters the surface pool . Only a “few” places oil wells, mines, ports etc. We must NOT forget the long term: 100 years +:  We must NOT forget the long term: 100 years + Erice in 2004 Prof. Abul Barkat of University of Dhaka showed that: rural electrification reduces the gap between rich and poor Electrification 50%+ complete in Bangladesh 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Professor Yunus of Grameen Bank Add Science Then their work for poor people, will be enhanced:  Erice in 2004 Prof. Abul Barkat of University of Dhaka showed that: rural electrification reduces the gap between rich and poor Electrification 50%+ complete in Bangladesh 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Professor Yunus of Grameen Bank Add Science Then their work for poor people, will be enhanced A DIGRESSION I have been working in Bangladesh with a fine surgeon Dr Quasi Quamruzzaman (Zaman) on the right in the following photograph:  A DIGRESSION I have been working in Bangladesh with a fine surgeon Dr Quasi Quamruzzaman (Zaman) on the right in the following photograph 35 Years ago the Pakistani Army went on a rampage in East Pakistan: Zaman picked up a gun - he was a terrorist He began to win - he was a Freedom Fighter He won - he was a statesman 34 years later there was an earthquake in NW Pakistan so within a week: Zaman with a dozen nurses and physicians set up a field hospital with his former enemy Zaman never changed - the world changed:  35 Years ago the Pakistani Army went on a rampage in East Pakistan: Zaman picked up a gun - he was a terrorist He began to win - he was a Freedom Fighter He won - he was a statesman 34 years later there was an earthquake in NW Pakistan so within a week: Zaman with a dozen nurses and physicians set up a field hospital with his former enemy Zaman never changed - the world changed INDIA :  INDIA Over 700 million people in villages do not use commercial energy. About 80% of their energy consumption comes from non-commercial energy ; mainly biomass resources Only 43.5% of rural households use electricity; energy service is unreliable and a poor quality Majority of villages that remain to be electrified are remote; extension of centralised grid would be uneconomical (Source : Government of India) Therefore, we recommend that multinational and national agencies develop the capability of efficiently funding micro projects. This might be done through private intermediaries such as the Grameen Bank. Long-term loans should be on a par with loans for large-scale projects but with practices and conditions appropriate for very small-scale investments.  Further, it is recommended that an element of subsidy support initially be linked to such investments. This support could take the form of low return equity or an interest subsidy that is part of the financial package. In this, national or international equity support should be forthcoming to match any community or other local investment.:  Therefore, we recommend that multinational and national agencies develop the capability of efficiently funding micro projects. This might be done through private intermediaries such as the Grameen Bank. Long-term loans should be on a par with loans for large-scale projects but with practices and conditions appropriate for very small-scale investments.  Further, it is recommended that an element of subsidy support initially be linked to such investments. This support could take the form of low return equity or an interest subsidy that is part of the financial package. In this, national or international equity support should be forthcoming to match any community or other local investment.

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