Skip to main content

Ausubel on Renewables Gets Traction Online

A few days ago we pointed to some of the coverage that Rockefeller University fellow Jesse Ausubel was getting for his take on how renewable sources of energy actually have the potential to harm the environment.

Since then, we've seen plenty of other folks pick up on Ausubel's conclusions. Here's Steven Miloy at Fox News:
In a time when those who question the Green agenda are scurrilously defamed and routinely intimidated — just for the sin of expressing contrary opinions — the Green Ausubel should be applauded for having the courage to stand up and speak the truth: that renewable energy wasn’t, isn’t and ought not ever be.
For more, see Investor's Business Daily.

Comments

Anonymous said…
We're surprised that FOX picked up this story?

The pull-quote is absolutely ludicrous. Where's this evil pro-renewable cabal that's intimidating the poor nuclear underdogs?

Renewable energy ought "never be"? Is that NEI and the nuclear industry position?
Eric McErlain said…
No it is not. NEI's position has always been that the nation needs to have a balanced energy portfolio.

But what this does point out, however, is that many of the proponents of renewable sources of energy are guilty of overselling their potential benefits, such as those who continually claim that wind and solar can replace nuclear as a source of baseload generation.
Anonymous said…
Ewww, using Miloy to support your position is a mistake in my opinion. Besides being a paid hack, his "science" is just as bad as some of the anit's, For example:

"As photovoltaic cells are only 10 percent efficient and have seen no breakthroughs in 30 years..."

This is easily refuted by going to the NREL web page.

I also agree that using that quote is ludicrous. I've come to expect better from this site.
Eric McErlain said…
One more time: We don't have a problem with renewable sources of energy. What we do have a problem with is overselling the potential of any source of energy. When you do that, it engenders reactions much like you see above.

Remember, just because we link doesn't mean that we agree or endorse.
Ruth Sponsler said…
An email friend has found an error in Dr. Ausubel's paper at the bottom of p. 233 where he underestimated U.S. electricity production by a factor of 1,000.

I've added a note at the bottom of my blog post about the error.

The error actually lends strength to Dr. Ausubel's argument, which was about the requirements for land use by renewable energy to meet U.S. electrical needs.

However, there is some concern in the community that the arguments used to support our fave power source should be checked numerically.

I did not access the text of Dr. Ausubel's paper until late last night. Although the paper is interesting, it has some problems. In addition to the error cited above, the major problem is that Dr. Ausubel does not cite sources for many of the numbers he uses. The paper is an entertaining read.

I think the fundamental argument of Dr. Ausubel's paper is correct. I believe that another author would do well to write another paper, that cites figures in a more accurate manner, to make the argument in a stronger fashion.

I'm definitely not crazy about Steven Milloy, but I don't have any problem with linking to his stuff, as long as it's clear that there's no endorsement intended.
Anonymous said…
but you choose what quotes to highlight, like "renewables...should never be." That contradicts the stated position of saying they should be part of a "balanced" energy policy.
Anonymous said…
"The error actually lends strength to Dr. Ausubel's argument"

Maybe, as it turns out. But what does it say about his credibility and reliability as an energy researcher, that he's off by three orders of magnitude on a fundamental data point but didn't even notice before his work was published?

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …