Al Gore on global warming

When I was a kid I learnt that the surface of the sun is around 6000 degrees celcius. And I also learnt that the centre of the earth was estimated to be of a similar temperature. However according to global warming expert Al Gore it seems that the temperature at the centre of the earth has risen by several million degrees since my childhood. Now that’s an extremely frightening variety of global warming because that would make the core of the earth hotter than the core of the sun.

Okay we all make bloopers from time to time. However if your selling yourself as an expert on global temperature and you wrote a book that promotes geothermal energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, then surely you ought to try and get such basics correct.

HT: Andrew Bolt.

19 thoughts on “Al Gore on global warming

  1. I was at a renewable energy panel discussion in Brisbane last night and the geothermal expert said that south-west QLD has some of the hottest granite in the world, and that DC transmission to Brisbane would be about 95% efficient (apparently it’s better than AC). I think he said the steam would be somewhere around 270 degrees C.

  2. Tinos – Those figures all sounds pretty close to correct. Did he mention whether it would work in practice?

    On the point about AC versus DC I’d agree that DC is superior for transmission. The power cable between Tasmania and the mainland and between the North and South islands of New Zealand are DC. However AC is superior for distribution because it is so easy to transform the voltage of an AC system up and down (ie transform the current down and up). AC transformers can be in service reliably for 50 years with almost zero maintenance.

  3. He was of the opinion that it would work and be competitive in the medium-term. Apparently there are a lot of companies working on it.

  4. Anything could be “competitive” in the medium term if you tax the competition so they are not competitive.

    The sad fact is, whenever you look at any $$$ for these plants, it would be cheap to make energy by buying and burning oil… thats how far from being economical they are. There was a mine in canada that found it was cheap to truck and store oil for burning the generators than it was to build any type of power plant – and we were talking big gigawatt amounts here to.

    The government should just stay out of it. When resources run low, it will be become competitive and people will build it.

  5. Agreed, KSecto. The government should only be stopping pollution, not trying to pick winners in the energy industry. But then all the companies involved want government funding.

    It seems a lot of people don’t understand how a free market works. I heard someone say, “they’ll just run out of uranium in 30 years anyway, it [nuclear power] is just stupid”.

  6. There is enough nuclear energy left in existing stockpiles of nuclear waste to power the planets electricity needs for 700 years so limited uranium reserves are not a big problem. Of course we would have to use fast breeder reactors like the Russian BN-600 reactor. Obviously it would be better to use a more modern design, the BN-600 has been in operation for nearly 30 years, but fast breeders are proven technology.

  7. If we’re talking about possible alternative energy sources, how about Thorium —

    And for an alternative to current transport fuels, electric cars —

    Speaking of alternative transport fuels, I went to a dinner hosted by Shell last night to talk about biofuels. Some interesting stuff, though I can’t see it playing a major role in alternative energy (except for air transport).

  8. The difficulty for Better Place will be manufacturer buy in and critical mass. Not insurmountable challenges but the economics of new technologies such as plug-in hybrids may knock them out of the game. I regard their approach as very high risk.

  9. Mark — so far there is no alternative for air transport besides liquid fuels. If oil prices start to go up then road transport may switch to electric cars… but the only current alternative for planes is biofuels.

  10. You mean, we’re running low on hurricanes? Set up a committee immediately! Must be plenty of research grants in that observation. And we wouldn’t want to run out of the ornery beasts, would we?

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