Monday, December 31, 2007

Fiberglass ignites

I love following the nuclear plant news. For example, this article says a fiberglass blanket caught fire. That's neat, since physics outside a nuclear plant might indicate that fiberglass doesn't burn. But in nuclear plants, anything can happen!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What now for AECL research reactor?

A Happy New Year to everyone! As we go into the first few months of the new year, the most interesting story (in my space) will be about AECL and the CNSC.

As we recall, AECL has been branded incompetent, and the CNSC has been destroyed (seismically speaking). I was talking to some nuclear people, and they think Linda Keen grossly over-reacted when she effectively closed down the research reactor, knowing of the tremendous dependence on isotopes. They note that she doesn't have a speck of qualifications for the job, and was an appointed political hack of the Liberals. That said, she simply may have been following a staff position, but most likely, she was in a political game, since she and AECL both fight under one cabinet minister.

This puts me in the poor position of never making any money off seismic things. The utilities can now happily ignore seismic issues, and say Naaah Naah to the CNSC. Harper has ingrained the position of "If you can't see it, it doesn't exist!" This makes for a sad Harold. You are not going to see any nifty geophysics and geology for the next nuclear plants.

I hate waiting for the next earthquake. It's going to be such a mess, and there is no fun in saying "I told you so!". I'm just going to have a drink at New Years....

Areva's Pride and Joy delayed again

We really can't say that AECL is the only one that screws up. Areva must be a proud member of that club! Their flagship plant in Finland is delayed another big hunk. At the current rate of delays, it will never get built!

I don't think there are any companies left that don't have screw-ups, since most of the US companies have ties to Japan, and they haven't really built much recently. So, we really can't discriminate against the screw-ups, or we'll have nobody left!

Our big problem is that we want large plants, and there is not a lot of good experience in that regard. The old US light-water plants are too small, since they have origins in the US nuclear submarine business. Scaling up reactors is a tricky business, as we well know.

I'm still 100% for nuclear (Warning: Sound Bite!). GE should buy AECL, and we'll go with their nuclear plant, built by Bruce Nuclear at the Wesleyville site. Of course, that makes too much sense, so you know what we'll end up with.

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Japan nuclear plant delayed

Very weird news story. As we all know, a Tokyo Electric nuclear plant with a long name was blasted by a big earthquake, a while ago. I still can't find the peak velocities, but I suspect they were huge. This plant is still closed.

They are planning to build a new plant, but have delayed it for a year to incorporate 'new earthquake assessments', but no change to the design. This is designed to win back the locals, who are a bit wary, for some reason.

I wonder if that will work? Would anyone have faith in more Japanese 'earthquake people' looking at the design, and giving a nod? I don't even think they were fully open about the big quake. This will be interesting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fan-driven cooling towers are the latest thing

It looks like Ontario will get two new nuclear plants, one Candu design for OPG at Darlington, and one Areva (or other) light water design on the broken rock of Bruce.

The big question for both plants is whether they will use straight water cooling, or cooling towers. As this article shows, pass-through water cooling kills a lot of fish, and warms up the water. On the other hand, cooling towers probably aren't meant for Canada. Think of how a snow-maker works on a ski hill, and that's a cooling tower!

The new cooling towers don't look like something from the Simpsons. They are low and flat, and cover a football field. They still pump out a huge amount of water vapour, but they use fans instead of air convection. The Darlington site really doesn't have room for them, and the Bruce site has that cold Lake Huron water (what's left of it!).

I really hope there is some action next year on the nuclear front, to pull me out of my doldrums. The Bruce site will be interesting, since they are planning the riddle the rock underneath with a waste repository, while building a new nuclear plant! I can see all sorts of fights!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Badsiting - 4

Found this on an arrow embedded in my plastic 'Colour Changing LED' snowman.


When only the very bad will do.

For immediate shooting

Ottawa Valley: Other badness pales in comparison

Now, as we have seen, the Ottawa Valley would be pretty bad for a site, in any case. It is fractured down to the bottom of the crust, has had volcanoes run down it's length, and is on the edge of the Western Quebec seismic zone. What could be icing on this cake?

It turns out to be something that looks like icing, although sort of mucky and brown, and doesn't taste good. People might just call it dirt, but it's a very special dirt, extremely unusual in this world.

During the last glaciation, the whole area was pressed down by a giant ice thumb. When the ice melted, it didn't spring up right away, which allowed the ocean to come in quite far up the Ottawa Valley. All the ground-up rock from the glaciers, and the salt water from the ocean mixed up to form a delicious marine clay. Badsiting is too cheap to buy a map of this soil, but it's all over the place!

You would think this clay was bad enough, since it is a soft, jiggly mass that amplifies seismic ground motions by a factor of 10 to 100. But noooo, in the Ottawa Valley, it became something much worse. Groundwater attacked it, and replaced the sodium atoms with calcium. This made the clay super sensitive, so that you can have a very solid cube lump of it on a table, whack the table with a hammer, and the whole lump melts to ooze.

On the large scale, it makes goopy landslides like this.

So to find a truly bad site in the Ottawa Valley, we need to find the worst of two things:

-where the Ontario megathrusts intersect the valley (Timiskaming was one of them, but that huge earthquake happened already)

-where there are deep soil deposits

Surprise! Chalk River and the City of Ottawa come out on top! Unfortunately for Badsiting Inc., they already put some bathtub nuclear reactors at Chalk River, and Ottawa is all built on that nice goopy clay. There really isn't much to propose.

Therefore, we at Badsiting are closing up for Christmas, since we are plumb out of ideas. Perhaps something really stupid will come along (like Nuclear Waste!) that will get us going again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


A poem sent to me to cheer me up:

Why I love Ontario

It's winter in Ontario
And the gentle breezes blow,
70 miles per hour at 52 below!
Oh, how I love Ontario
When the snow's up to your butt.
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose is frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave Ontario,
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Primer: AECL Maple reactors, MDS, and the Positive Coefficient of Reaction

I was very interested in researching this story, and it has turned out to be most fascinating. I've gone through lots of articles, and scientific papers.

Having picked the Absolutely Worst Spot in the World for a nuclear reactor, AECL has gone on to pick the Absolutely Worst Design. How could they have hit two home runs in a row? It turns out that the original NRU and Candu designs were done by brilliant people brought together by the war. The successor designs were done by techno-bureaucrats, who followed in their place. The location for all this was also picked out by bureaucrats.

As mentioned in a previous primer, the NRU was a brilliant piece of simplicity, although somewhat unsuited for its seismic location. It was an open bathtub of heavy water, with a lattice of hanging fuel bundles, and control rods. Although controlled by the crudest relay buttons, this reactor was kind and stable. If it overheated, by say filling up too much, the heat would create steam voids, and water would evaporate. These pockets of steam could not moderate (slow down) neutrons, and the whole nuclear reaction would slow down. This is like flying a biplane with a stick.

But the AECL techno-bureaucrats wanted to build a fighter jet. They wanted something to generate enough isotopes to Control The world! (market).

They designed and built Maple I and II. So confident were they, that they totally built the thing on the swamp. So confident, they made the coolant in the reactor of light water, with a reflector of heavy water (to save money). So confident was MDS, that they bought these reactors for a few hundred million. Soon, the isotopes would be flowing!

Alas, such are the dreams of mice and men. The Maple reactor has one little thing wrong - A Positive Coefficient of Reaction (PCR), which meant that if the reactor had a power pulse, steam would form in the light water coolant. The light water is a very heavy killer of neutrons, steam is not. The surrounding reflector of heavy water (perfect slower of neutrons) would continue to do its job and send in 'perfect' neutrons. The reaction would run away, and only the brakes of the control rods could stop it.

Now, AECL could probably have overlooked this little quirk, and snuck it past the sleepy (and LIBERAL!) CNSC, except for one inconvenient thing - Chernobyl! That's right, this graphite reactor also had a nasty little problem with PCR, and when things started to blow, inserting the control rods made it worse (and you know what happened).

Poor MDS, stuck with the bag, they put in some few hundred million to try to fix things. They finally gave up, returned the reactors to AECL, receiving $60 million pocket change, and a firm monopoly of all isotopes from AECL in perpetuity.

AECL has now made countless presentations to the CNSC (on the web), saying how smart and wonderful they are, and how they can handle this tiger by the tail. Like an unstable modern fighter jet, they have tacked on 'fly by wire' controls, and other stuff to deal with PCR. The Koreans have one and it works by magic!

In the meantime, they have to operate a 50 year old corroded thing that was to have closed years ago. Thanks to the Beaming Face of Harper, we are assured that there will be no earthquakes in this region. MDS is still making its money, so it has no need to grease things along, but the followers of Harperology may send their offerings, so that He should also abolish the PCR! That way, we can make billions in isotopes, and be ready when the old reactor collapses under its own weight!

I love this story, it's like a movie or a soap opera! Will they tame the PCR? Will Harper ascend to the Heavens in lightning bolts? Will AECL last forever? Will MDS stockholders be happy? Stay tuned....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Badsiting - 3

Ok, the giant snowstorm stopped them from getting to my front door. This was tied to a brick that stopped my snowblower.


Where all good things go to bad.

For immediate throwing

What's so special about the Ottawa Valley?

You may not believe this, Virginia, but the Ottawa Valley and associated structures are some of the most significant and recent signs of rock destruction in Eastern North America (ENA). Sure those big megathrusts under Ontario are something, but that happened a billion years ago! So Yesterday, in geologic speak. What we have here is a giant tear through the entire crust, only some odd hundred millions years old.

It all starts with Wilson Cycles. This is the tendency for the earth to smash up all the continents together in one big pile-up, and then split them all apart again. It has to do with the fact that oceanic crust only wants to stay on top when it is young and hot. After a wild life of an odd hundred million years or so, it gets tired and wants to die, so it dives back into the earth.

Well on the cycle before the last one, the continents were all happy together, when they decided to split up. Wasn't really their decision alone, since they were responsible for true global warming right under their feet. They had blanketed a huge section of the globe with their bodies, which did not conduct heat well, and things started to warm up.

This upwelling of heat lifted and stretched the continents, ready to split. In the Ottawa area, a giant zit started to form, that extended out in a three-way. One big crack went up the Ottawa Valley, another down the St. Lawrence, and a third going down Lake Champlain. Later geologists would call it the Ottawa-Bonnechere Graben.

In cross-section it looks even more ferocious.

Anyway, all this action was for naught, the continents decided to separate along different lines, and all this split rock was called a failed rift.

But it's not a failure for us! After the continents split, things cooled down, and the rift valleys tightened up. The continents then started to smash together again, and we had the Appalachian Mountains. All would be peaceful for Ottawa, except for the fact that when things started to heat up again, a 'hotspot' formed somewhere north of Ottawa. As the continent moved and traveled over this hotspot, it had the effect of a key on a Rolls Royce, except the key was coming from underneath!

This mushed up the rock all over again, and gave us nice scenic spots such as Mount Royal in Montreal. Of course, the glaciation added an immense weight which crunched things up some more.

We now have the most wonderfully cracked up rock in ENA! The Ottawa Graben forms a boundary of the extremely seismically active Western Quebec Zone. As well, it is the terminator, of the Ontario megathrusts.

We can expect the most marvellous huge earthquakes at the intersections of these two fault systems, just like the 1935 Timiskaming earthquake. All in all, a most wonderful bad site! What makes it absolutely terrible, is discussed in the next 'flyer'.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A primer on the Canadian Nuclear path to glory

I realize that some people are making fun of this whole nuclear business in Canada, but other people can't laugh along unless they've had some serious background on the whole issue. So, now I put on my serious hat, and offer this to help others.

I've had something like 29 years in the nuclear business, so I think I'm as good as the Conservatives! The mere fact that my many alter egos find everything so ridiculous should not put me at a disadvantage compared to those who are totally humourless. I started my career as a Geotechnical Engineer, working on the foundations for two nuclear plants - Bruce B, and Darlington. I also helped review Pickering B. I was a bright young thing and learned everything about Candu, because the plant was going to sit on the foundation, draw water through tunnels, and put it's waste in the facilities I was helping to design.

I have recently re-researched the history of nuclear stuff in Canada. It is actually difficult sifting through all the AECL-generated fluff, or avoiding the nasty Greenpeece versions. Somewhere in middle is a very human story of people muddling along to try and help Canada.

The history of nuclear in Canada is very much tied up with the nuclear bomb. The first man-made nuclear reactor in the world was done by some crazy guys in Chicago, who shoved some enriched U235 together, until the Geiger Counters went wild, and their eyebrows tingled.

This was the critical concept. A small hunk of U235 all by itself spontaneously generated neutrons, but they just zoomed away and went into people. But U235 has a great property that it can latch onto a neutron travelling at just the right speed, vibrate a lot, and then split apart. When it splits, it generates more neutrons, and other radioactive stuff. We are lucky that sometimes it takes a while to split, which allows the reaction to be controllable.

Nevertheless, they soon realized that knocking together bits of Uranium with a screwdriver was not ideal, and set about to scale it up. The US used graphite in big piles of bricks (hence, 'nuclear pile'). Their attention was solely on the prize of producing Plutonium for bombs. Graphite was extremely dangerous (think Chernobyl!), but this was war!

The graphite acted as a 'moderator' which meant that the high-speed neutrons could be slowed down to just the right speed to split the Uranium. This was necessary for a controlled reaction. But there was another moderator - heavy water, which is a rare form of water with extra neutrons in the hydrogen. The world's only supply of heavy water had been purified in Norway, constantly being shipped ahead of the German advance. It finally made it to England, and then to Montreal.

So, at this point, the US was churning out Plutonium, and they thought it would be great if the Canadians did it a different way. They pumped a lot of money into Canada to create a super-secret installation disguised to look like a miltary base, right in the middle of a great big swamp north of Ottawa. This was Chalk River.

With their big supply of heavy water, the Canadians did it different. They had a big bathtub, and they hung uranium fuel rods like icicles. Then they pumped in the heavy water, and at a certain level, it became a 'hot tub', full of neutrons. If they filled it too much, it became super-hot (super-critical), which had a good chance of blowing up. If this happened, they had suspended control rods, which dropped down into the tub, absorbing neutrons, and killing the reaction.

Needless to say, these crazy guys had a lot of accidents, where people got majorly zapped with neutrons, and it never bothered anyone! I like to think that a good dose of neutrons counteracted the smoking.

All of this was ready, the day the war ended. The Americans no longer had any interest in the Canadians, and gave them this wonderful present. Now the Canadians had to figured out what to do with it! So, they cranked up the reactor and made neutrons! In 1957 they made the biggest reactor bathtub in the world, the famous NRU, of nuclear fiasco fame. This was no super-safe baby, they cranked it up for neutrons! If the water level went too high - poof! If it went too low - poof! And you were relying all the time on those rods dropping cleanly. Needless to say they had accidents, since this really was 'research reactor' run by absent-minded professors.

Since they had nothing better to do, they bombarded all sorts of things with neutrons to see what happened. They made Cobalt for the first cancer machines, and they made medical isotopes. Such a large bathtub could churn out lots of isotopes!

Needless to say, somebody figured out that having scientists monkey around with water levels, and floopy rods was no way to have a commercial reactor, where you wanted lots of power. They changed the design, still having a big bathtub, but shoving in the fuel sideways in pressure tubes. Thus began the great Candu era!

Over the years, they have realized that the original design was a bit too dependent on gravity behaving itself. And we all know that earthquakes can upset that assumption. The first and most important thing was building on a good foundation, not a swamp. The second was to make the control rods spring loaded, and able to insert under high lateral forces. As well, all the surrounding buildings were built for earthquakes.

Today the new Candu stations are pretty good for earthquakes. What about the old NRU? I can only shudder. The building is on ground that will amplify ground motions about 100 times. It is probably all brick and block walls. The bathtub can slosh out all the water, which makes the fuel rods explode. The control rods won't drop under violent shaking. The containment building won't hold. Still, most likely, the great big poof of radioactivity would spread over a fairly empty area, and flow down the Ottawa River, where it would be diluted. Not really that bad.

*All of this can be found by Google searching, and looking up Wikipedia. I left out all references, because I wanted to.

Badsiting - 2

Those people have nailed another notice to my door. Damn, I wish they'd learn to use tape!


We go one up on the Big Guys!

For immediate nailing

Badsiting Inc. continues it's efforts to find the worst sites in Ontario, for big nasty things such as nuclear research reactors. It's a constant struggle to compete with the Big Guys, since they have infinitely more money under the table.

Originally, Badsiting Inc. was going for a Hamilton site....

But now, with the Face of Harper beaming down on Ottawa, there's more money there.

First, why is the Ottawa Valley so interesting? It's an amazing fact, that in the last Nuclear Fiasco, nobody thought there are any earthquakes there. In fact, many comments were along the line of "We haven't heard of any incidents there for 50 years, so it's good for another 50 years". In fact, all the bitching that Geofish guy does about earthquakes in Southern Ontario, is a waste of breath compare to Ottawa. Here is a seismicity map...

Ha! Look at the red dots! One might argue that all the red dots are over in Quebec, and nobody gives a damn, but boundaries are very significant. In our next release, we opine on how the Ottawa Valley is one of the most significant seismic features in Eastern North America, even though nobody remembers an earthquake there.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

California's Hayward Fault

I caught this on the web, didn't see it in my journal yet. They are making a big deal out of this, but all of California is a big mish-mash of faults. The article has a very interesting map, though, and it shows how a lot of faults are interconnected.

In California, they make a big deal out of 'segments' in their faults. They like to feel that if an earthquake has terminated in the past at one point, it will always do so. And if they map a trivial one-mile gap in the fault, then it is significant. Boy, has Nature got a surprise for them!

In reality, this doesn't make much difference for the average bridge, or house. The big threat is always the earthquake right beneath you, and if it comes as a 500 km fault rupture, or a 50 km rupture, it still packs some velocity. As well, being on soft soft in a basin amplifies by about a factor of 100, so they will react to any earthquake. A big earthquake just affects a lot more people all at once, so this has an impact on recovery efforts.

In the end, I can look at a big long active fault, and not know whether the future holds one big, full length rupture, or a lot of in-betweens. As with the upcoming big Vancouver earthquake, it could be a big slip, or a decade of terror!

Badsiting Inc. is back!

Oh, look at that! Somebody has nailed this to my front door.


Our sites are so bad, they're good!

Our company's mission is to find the worst sites in Ontario for important things, such as nuclear waste, nuclear power plants, dangerous research reactors, refineries, etc. The difficulty in our challenge, is to find sites that are worse, than those actually chosen.

Our current project is to find a site on soft soil, along the Ottawa Valley. Further 'Nailing Notices' will go into the details, showing how you couldn't pick a worse site, even though everybody lives in a fool's paradise, because nothing much has happened in living memory.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nuclear isotopes: the fat lady sings

The shouting is over. The bill is passed, and let's see if AECL can get it started, even with this push. Meanwhile, the totally Liberal CNSC is doomed. I'm glad Harper relied on an old OPG buddy, Bob Strickert for all that advice, instead of me. :) I worked for Bob a long time ago when we did the environmental assessment for Pickering A. He invited the working stiffs to a success party, and I got a gift! Will never forget him, but God he must be OLD! And so busy with that Conservative Party stuff! And what he knows about seismic risk and hazard could fill a book! (am I thinking a big book here, folks?)

Oh well, on to the next crisis! At least this has inspired me to think evil thoughts....

Earthquakes and medical isotopes

That was fun watching the House shouting match on TV. So much shouting, so little brains. Here's what Harper should have said:

"I am neither God, nor a nuclear safety expert. I do know we have a serious problem balancing the immediate need of 10's of thousands of patients, versus the risk of something happening to the reactor. My personal seismic expert, Harold, assures me that the chance of a major earthquake, over a short time, is small. This "Time at Risk" argument has been used before when there are problems with backup systems at nuclear power plants.

I, therefore, put forward that we immediately start the reactor, with it's inadequate backup systems, on the proviso that we shut down and pack up the entire reactor in two years. Harold tells me the reactor is a piece of shit that could never pass a modern seismic walkdown, and it will most likely crap out in 2 years, throwing us back into the same situation.

This gives 2 years for the sleepy Medical Establishment to get their act together and find some alternatives. On my part, I am ordering the immediate sale of loser AECL, in the hope that some new brains can get the replacement reactors going."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reactor to start over Keen's dead body

Oh, well. Sometimes you have to stick your neck out, to see it chopped off. That's what is happening to the CNSC big boss, ever since Harper found out he was an expert on nuclear safety. Harper has expressed that he has 'lost confidence' in the poor lady, which is the next thing to the boot. And since she is a political appointee, she is only giving the CNSC staff opinion. Perhaps they should all be fired! And fire the damn guy who says that there's a heavy seismic hazard up there! (Oops, that's me! And they can't fire me, I quit!).

I now see the end of this great saga. Soon the creaky old reactor will start running again, waiting for an earthquake. It's upriver from Harper, so he'll be able to eat his own dogfood...

Harper promotes himself to God

Citing his immense God-like powers, Harper declares that there will be no earthquake under Chalk River, while he has any say in it. It's a good thing when people do not let reality choke their high opinion of themselves, just like Conrad Black!

These same powers will be needed when we have our expected big earthquake under Lake Ontario, some January. With all the nuclear plants shut down, and nobody having a clue what actually happened to them, it will require a declaration from God-Harper to start them up half-crippled, since everybody will be freezing to death. I'm glad he is sharpening up the old lightning bolts right now.

The truth is that this horrible old reactor should not be running -- period. The fact that it is vital to save lives, isn't my problem!

Gov't chooses isotopes over nuclear safety

The government has now put a lot of pressure on the CNSC to paper over their difficulties and get the reactor running again. This, despite the fact that AECL did a Conrad Black over required seismic safety upgrades.

If this were the States, we'd put AECL in jail, but we can't. The hospitals are now getting isotopes with these 'generators' which I gather are shielded boxes with a hot core (cobalt?). Probably these isotopes are now 10 times more expensive, because apparently the gov't wasn't paying AECL much for the cheap stuff.

This bottom line is that this is an old clapped-out reactor in a very active seismic zone. I bitch a lot about OPG and the province not doing a good job on seismic, but this reactor takes the cake! There is nothing worse than being right on an active old rift. And this reactor was built when they would have said: "Seismic, who?".

Again, we wouldn't have had this problem if AECL had the slightest clue on the fundamental physics of these reactors, especially heat and water flow. They built the new reactors and found a big surprise! The same thing happened for Darlington. You can only step on Mr. Physics for so long before he bites back!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Doctors want to run reactor until it blows up!

Damn that's a nice headline! This is right in my interest area of nuclear power and bureaucratic incompetence, and finally I have something to write about!

To twig the search engines (for greater audience!), this is about AECL, the CNSC, and the Canadian Government, Nuclear Medicine, blah, blah. The article has everybody yelling and screaming. Where were they when I said politics (such as AECL) destroys everything technical. Would the politicians say that? (No way!).

Now there will be a great political dance that happened all the time in OPG, that of casting blame, and deftly side-stepping it. It truly shows the finest skill of the political types that have infested all these organizations.

Should there have been a backup? Can't you just have a special control canister for an active nuclear plant, like they do with Cobalt? Or did they *want* to make this reactor so vital that it couldn't be shut down (with all the jobs?)? Rational people want to know, and we sure as shootin' aren't going to get it from the politicians.

Japan nuclear plant knew about deadly fault in 2003

At least that's what some headlines are saying. This article just says that they saw some horrifying evidence that the fault was a lot bigger than they thought, so they stomped on it. I would call it selective blindness, which is common in such organizations. They certainly wouldn't have ordered more investigations when faced with such a horrible thing...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Most vulnerable cites to earthquake

This is an interesting article, and I really like the pictures. For a lot of these cities, you really don't know the exact odds of a killer quake happening, and you certainly don't know if it is going to happen soon.

My general observation is that most earthquake cities settle down to the odds of 1% in 100 years (one in ten thousand per year), of having a super-disaster earthquake. That is because this is the level where things drop off the 'living memory radar', and people become slack. I include Toronto in that crowd. You only need a few hundred cities in that category, to have a big disaster every 10 years or so.

Usually after a big disaster earthquake, the city will close the barn door, and start building in a responsible manner. For poor countries, we are more worried about the buildings collapsing. For richer cities, such as Toronto, we are more worried about life-lines, and economic damage.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Choose your Global Warming book for Christmas

Ah, Christmas. Up here in Canada, they are predicting the coldest winter in a long time, due to that nasty sloshing of the Pacific Ocean. As I run my snowblower, I think "Bring on Global Warming!". However, there are poor dusty suckers in Australia that might not be of the same opinion.

So, this year you can choose your book as a Christmas gift. This article lists several that are either Goreishly Gloomy, or celebrating that coal in your stocking! With either type of book, it looks like things are warming up anyway, so it's just a matter of feeling guilty, or not.

My own feeling is that you should not be terrified of something that is out of your control. I've read a lot on the subject, and I would dismiss the doomiest-gloomiest vision of an exponential run-away reaction that turns us into a hellish Venus. Those guys are out to lunch! But at the same time, those damn Americans should pay a realistic price for gas, that includes all the externalities. But, we might not have to worry too much about them, as they go down into a carbon-saving recession.