Moon Shot Miss — “The New Fire” (John Oman)

The following post was submitted by John Oman

On Sunday, September 6, 2015, CNN aired “Moonshots for the 21st Century: A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special” (Premiered December 27, 2014). A CNN promo states: “…a fascinating look at how harnessing the energy of nuclear fusion reactions may create a virtually limitless energy source, unlocking innovations in hypersonic flight, and revealing the power of the mind by mapping the brain.  Will astronauts reach Mars by the 2030s? Will it soon be possible to 3D-print human organs for life-saving transplants?…”

The following article is written in the form of an open letter to Fareed/GPS.

To: Fareed and the GPS Team, [email protected]

Subject: “Moonshots for the 21st Century: A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special” – A Critique

First let me state (IMHO) that the Global Public Square (GPS) is the best show of its kind and I frequently display my brilliance by mentioning it to others. Your topic selection and coverage are timely and comprehensive. Somehow I missed the earlier airing of the subject show and thank you for airing again.

That said, your ‘Moonshots’ show did not include the current technological breakthrough that will dwarf the significance of those you did mention, combined. In keeping with the analogy, your ‘Moonshots’ missed. Allow me to elaborate…

You did include the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Quoting several points from your piece:

  • “If it’s successful, it would be one of mankind’s most significant achievements ever.”
  • “A milestone that could change the world.”
  • “…exploiting a huge energy source.”
  • “…it would have a profound impact on our lives.”
  • “…wouldn’t produce any carbon emissions.”

I concur. The technology breakthrough I’m writing about is a cousin to the ITER.

The ITER utilizes the brute force of immense, complex machinery and ‘star like’ high temperatures and energies to crush the nuclei of two atoms together to a point where they fuse into a heavier nucleus/atom and release the desired energy. This high temperature/energy fusion technology has become known as ‘hot fusion.’

The cousin does not ‘outwardly’ require or generate these extreme high energy/temperature conditions and has become known as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) or ‘cold fusion.’ While ‘star like’ conditions may exist within the LENR reactor at the point of reaction, the reaction sites are of nano scale and contained within the crystalline lattice of a solid metal. LENR has also been referred to as “the new fire” in that it will supplant our burning of fossil fuels for energy.

My layman’s comparison of the status of the two technologies is provided in the table below:

High energy hot fusion research has been going on for 75 years funded primarily by governments. The US DOE Fiscal Year 2015 High Energy Physics budget is $766M and the FY2016 request is for $788M. The estimated cost of the experimental ITER under construction is 10 to 15 billion Euros. The LENR discovery was announced (pre-maturely) in 1989 by Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons at the University of Utah. They had difficulty replicating experiments and failed to convince a skeptical scientific community (with vested interests in hot fusion) of their claims. While Pons and Fleishmann went into self imposed exile, others have quietly continued to work leading to several world patents and a US patent with several more pending. Funding has been primarily by individuals and small companies.
ITER is not scheduled to be started up until 2020 (signs of gridlock; don’t hold your breath). Despite the years, effort and expenditures, hot fusion has not generate any usable surplus energy. (Not counting the destructive energy of the “H” bomb.) A 1MWatt LENR system is currently operating in an industrial environment in the US and closing in on the completion of a yearlong certification test. A growing number of successful LENR experiments and replications have been conducted in small laboratories around the world.
Hot fusion reactors are huge, high energy systems and inherently dangerous. LENR reactors can be made in small sizes, are inherently self limiting and no more dangerous than a traditional steam boiler.
The large cost, size and danger of hot fusion reactors necessitates that they be built, owned and/or controlled by governments and/or very large and monopolistic energy corporations. LENR systems can be built, purchased, installed and operated at low cost by small entities and individuals.
The large size and danger of hot fusion systems necessitates that they be located away from population centers. This requires utilities with expensive power distribution grids (which are inherently inefficient). The size, scalability and safety of LENR reactors allows them to be located on site where their energy is needed. There is no need for electrical utilities or expensive and inefficient electrical distribution grids.
The cost and complexity of hot fusion systems makes them unaffordable and impractical by/in most countries. The cost and simplicity of LENR systems makes them affordable and practical for use even in the most impoverished areas of the world.
The physics of hot fusion is well understood and agreed upon by the scientific community. The physics of LENR is not well understood though a number of theories are under debate. (Note that our ancestors utilized ‘the old fire’ for many thousands of years before discovering it was an oxidation process.)
Enormous cost, collaborative and technological hurdles remain to be solved before the experimental ITER can be switched on for the first time. LENR is operational. Technological improvements, reliability and ROI certifications are needed to market industrial systems. Additional regulatory certifications are needed before consumer products can be placed on the market.


So what’s my point?

TIME: Our continued reliance on fossil fuels is pushing us ever closer, potentially, to a global warming tipping point. Some argue that we are already there. While hot fusion systems such as the ITER may eventually be successful, they will clearly be expensive and will not be available for worldwide usage for decades, if ever.

COST: If the goal is to “…power humanity with fusion for millions of years…” as stated in your “Moonshots” piece, it must be affordable by and for humanity. Humanity is inclusive of many more than those residing in the richest countries. Many are already in desperate straits.

Can humanity afford to wait and see if ITER / hot fusion can solve the problem? My answer is No.

If a fraction of the hot fusion budgets had been directed to LENR research, it would already be providing a major percentage of the energy we consume today.

We (society) should be directing our attention toward the LENR / cold fusion technology and devoting a percentage of our public R&D resources to studying the underlying physics.

What say you?

Thank you for listening.


John Oman


Link to the original Premiere promo:

Link to a CNN site where the show can reportedly be viewed:

Link to a transcript of the show:

Link to Fareed Zakaria’s site:

Disclaimer: The above is offered for the purpose of discussion and to encourage others to look into LENR themselves. The statements reflect my impressions, understanding and opinions derived primarily from material found on the intranet.


  • Leonard Weinstein

    bachcole, I am a strong supporter of LENR and Rossi. However, the wide spread introduction of LENR will not be very short term, (few years), but likely gradually over decades. The technology is not going to replace much existing infrastructure, which has already been installed and paid for. It would more likely be slowly introduced in new infra-structure. The cost saving when it is installed also is yet to be determined (cost includes more than power cost, it includes system cost, installation and connection to existing systems, and operation cost. Most likely the saving would be long term power cost, but if the up front cost is too high, the conversion would be slow. Rossi’s idea of leasing and charging for delivered power is a solution for some large systems, but again the short term implementation would be limited. There is presently no practical LENR version shown for individual homes, and development and incorporation of these, in a large scale, is decades off at best. Use in autos, and other uses are still not shown, but likely will eventually happen. The result is that it would eventually gain wide use, but likely slowly over decades. These same decades are also the period that fossil fuel use would likely go down, even without LENR. Nuclear power, including small local plants, could do much of the job, and electric cars and other devices reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The final issue is how economical LENR can be made, and this is not determined yet.

  • Omega Z

    It could easily be designed for forced air heating or boiler heating.

    The problem is the nature of the start/stop periods of the E-cats.
    That makes it better suited to base heat merged into your conventional heating system that would kick in for peek periods. All automatic of course. Set it & forget it. This could be done as an add-on, but more economical if it were purpose built all in one completely new installation.

    There are several variables one will needs to keep in mind. What’s your current heating system. What’s you electrical costs. What’s the COP. AND, being a new product, Installers are going to charge a premium for some time.

    BUT, There is an up side even if it’s beyond your budget. The more people who install it, the cheaper energy costs will be.
    As an Example, There is a mere 2-3% surplus of Oil production today. Look at the devastation that has reeked on oil prices. It doesn’t take very much. You’ll benefit either way.

    • bachcole

      This is all extremely theoretical. I will not be able to take the conversion. Therefore I have to wait for some HVAC company near where I live to do it. Given the fact that 99.9% of every HVAC person has never even heard of LENR, I doubt if I will be seeing this for at least 7 years. By then, my furnace will be 22 years old, which is way older than it should be for it to be replaced. So, I can either risk dying of carbon monoxide poisoning or buy a new furnace.

      • Omega Z

        If I were your neighbor, I’d offer to help. I have the skills, however, I no longer have the health. We’d need some gofers.

        So you’re saying it’s about 15 years old. If it’s a high efficiency gas furnace, carbon monoxide shouldn’t be an issue. They had so many safeties built into them at that time, it should just not work if a problem develops. Unless of course someone unloaded an oldie on you to clear his storage room out. Sad, but I’ve seen some unscrupulous operators over the years. 🙁

        About the safeties at that time. They are considered fail proof. If the safety itself fails they shut down just as if something else malfunctioned.
        Now that I made you feel better, I have to admit, I’ve witnessed the impossible. A wood duck made it’s way through a 3 inch vent all the way to the furnace & another with 6 starlings made it all the way to & in the combustion blower. Yuck!

  • Alan DeAngelis

    The mainstream media is there to give us “junk food for thought”

    (first part of video)

  • Leonard Weinstein

    bachcole, you have not followed the comments from supporters of CAGW, including the president, former VP Gore, and much of the news media if you think skeptics are the castigators. Skeptics have been called terrible names and stated to be equivalent to nazi’s. The skeptics started out trying to debate the issue, and were shut out. For this reason, I and many skeptics are now stronger on our comeback that we would otherwise have been. However, it is clear that what I stated is the truth (the point about funding), so if the truth is offensive to you, that is your problem. If you did a valid examination of the facts (not just selected articles), you would be astonished on the giant mistake being made, and it’s likely long term negative effect on science in the near future. If you do the searches I mentioned in response to Roland, you might just get a notion of what is really going on.

  • Allan Kiik

    There is some relevance to cold fusion too – in both cases, theory predicts one thing and experiments/observations show completely different. And in both cases the theory is used to suppress theoretically impossible “measurement errors”. NASA/NOAA has extensively “adjusted” (mostly past) temperature records to comply with global warming theory. Is it not similar to MIT adjustments reported by Mallowe?

    • this is a strong pattern in science today.
      In Finance it was clear .

      anti-science scaremonger use similar tactics, opposing “precaution guess” to real measurements, and they win.

      we are at a new medieval age where religion control science. (worst in fact because of global market of science).

      if LENr scientists were doing the same “tweaking”, “cherry picking” as some do there, even us would call them crooks.

  • I think Lockheed Martin’s simplified microwave based hot fusion reactor design is a serious competitor to LENR, and that is a good thing. We want a price war. Lockheed Martin’s design is safe, possibly very low cost, and is very compact. It could be situated anywhere, even in the middle of big cities, or used to power large aircraft and commercial and military ships. It can never power automobiles, however.

    If LENR makes big news next year at the end of the Industrial Heat LLC factory test, what will that do to the debate over Iraq’s nuclear program? How could any nation consider building fission reactors if LENR can be shown to be so much cheaper and safer?

    I suggest those interested in LENR contact Donald Trump at:

    and Dr. Ben Carson at:

    • Axil Axil

      Utilities like very large reactors because the fixed costs of NRC licensing and inspection is totally born by the utilities using nuclear power generation. This is called economies of scale, the first requirement of utilities using nuclear power. Small reactors are not economic because of this. . It costs millions for this service that the NRC provides. This cost alone puts and neutron based power production out of the question compared to LENR.

      • You are assuming that the very same rules that apply to fission reactors will be applied to hot fusion reactors. I believe the rules will be changed to accommodate the new technologies. The safety concerns for small hot fusion reactors, such as the Lockheed Martin design, are minimal.

        • Axil Axil

          The small fusion reactor is not the only small reactor that has been invented. Many other small reactors have preceded it. The utilities have rejected these reactors because they lack economies of scale. The NRC rules have not changed in the past and they will not change in the future. This NRC control is why nuclear power is safe and non competitive.

          • No fusion reactor of any type or size as been invented yet that provably works economically. The Lockheed Martin concept sounds like a great idea, but it is still in the idea stage. There are no working fusion reactors that can produce electricity efficiently.

      • Omega Z

        I agree, even with LENR, there will be economies of scale.
        However, The temps that appear to be obtainable with LENR would tend to allow economies at a smaller scale then the system in use today.
        Instead of 500mW or Gigawatt plants, you may be able to achieve the same economies at 100mW.

        At this smaller scale, they could be located near point of use like at cities edge instead of 100 miles away. This would provide savings due to a smaller grid. There’s also the local greenhouses or manufacturing that could utilize the waste heat providing additional economic benefit.

        There is also another benefit of scaled grid verses individual generators. Instead of 100 people each having a 15kW output generator or a total of 1.5mW, a single 500kW generator could provide for all 100. That’s 1/3rd the the size & cost divided among 100 individuals. Actually, that scale will be more energy efficient & that savings offsets the cost of maintenance personnel that would be needed.

        The Bottom Line. It will be substantially cheaper then having you own private power plant and none of the concerns that involves. Cheap with convenience.

    • Omega Z

      Tom Darden has had business dealings with Trump & this was after Darden became aware of Rossi. So it’s possible Trump is already aware. Considering those elites who are aware, I would find it difficult to think that Trump isn’t aware.

      We know, Google, Bill Gates & many others are aware.
      It is my opinion that many are waiting for a test such as Rossi’s to be found conclusive before any of them talk about it publicly. All suffer from the P&F hangover.

      • It won’t hurt to write these two men and tell them about LENR. Carson still supports biofuel mandates and subsidies, so he obviously needs an energy policy education. Trump could talk to Darden and call the factory owner for his opinion on the E-Cat. If I were Trump I would try to be the first famous visitor to the E-Cat power plant, and I would visit the several simplified hot fusion laboratories to show interest in research. I would call for MODEST research funding, but promise to end all energy mandates and subsidies. I would make lowering food and energy costs a top priority. The American public wants lower food costs, and you cannot deliver that with an inefficient energy policy that lets politicians tell us that we cannot buy the highest quality product at the lowest possible price.

        • Omega Z

          If I were in charge, I would continue with the present trends as far as energy is concerned. It’s Don’t count your kittens until the birthing is done. Even if the pilot test is 100% positive(F9), it will be quite sometime before it produces electricity & longer before it’s scaled up to start replacing the current system.

          One thing I would do is at the instant a LENR Turbine generator fires up is order a world wide cease & desist order on any & all Nuclear plant construction regardless how far a long it is. If it hasn’t been fired up. It never should be.

          As to food cost. In time, LENR could reduce product production cost & the producer losses, but it wont bring down the consumer price. Those prices are strongly effected & linked to supply & demand. That wont change until the population peeks & stabilizes.

          Note: Greenhouse production can add to the supply, but even with LENR, it will always cost substantially more then farm grown food. If it weren’t for the tight supply conditions keeping prices up, most would go broke in 1 season.

          • Current suicidal and homicidal energy trends? Here is a list of questions I have for presidential candidates who support the biofuel crime against humanity.

            1) Why don’t you care about the cost of food? Biofuels have skyrocketed the cost of fertilizer, farmland, and food all over the world. Why do you want to make machines our competitors for food?

            2) Why don’t you care if our grandchildren have enough to eat? We cannot grow food without topsoil, and half of America’s prime Midwest topsoil has already been lost to erosion. In less than 100 years at current rates of loss the other half will be gone. Worldwide, more than 30% of all arable land has been destroyed by erosion. Biofuel farming needlessly accelerates erosion and loss of soil fertility. Should we continue to use up our finite supplies of phosphates needed for fertilizer by growing energy inefficient biofuel crops?

            3) Why do you support corporate welfare for the rich, which is what biofuel mandates and subsidies are all about. Why don’t you trust consumers to decide what energy products to buy based on the highest quality product at the lowest possible price? Ethanol contains 33% less energy per gallon than gasoline, is far more expensive, damages engines, and is worse for the environment than gasoline.

            Wind and solar are destructive corporate welfare programs for the Chinese companies that dominate the market. Most Americans are mentally incapable of understanding energy policy and that cost matters. They think in magical terms and pick energy systems because they are pretty, hip, poetic, or anything but actually useful.

            • Omega Z

              Your numbers on soil erosion are out dated. All throughout the Mississippi river valley zone, Erosion has been reduced below natural levels. The soil is actually improving & building up.

              I don’t have an issue with gasohol per se. It is a net plus. It’s also an octane booster that is far safer & less toxic then the chemical it replaces. Modern engines are designed for it. They last longer and burns cleaner. You will get the same mileage with gasoline as 10% gasohol. I know this first hand.

              If you burn straight Alcohol, it’s true you’ll get at least 25% less mpg. However, if you burn 95% Alcohol mixed with 5% water you will get more mpg then with straight gasoline. Probably this would destroy most cars today. Worked great 30 or more years ago in previous generation of engines.

              Gasoline wont mix with water. Alcohol will. Gasohol absorbs the moisture that can condense to water in your tank & burns it. No, Don’t add water to your tank. It has limitations as it still contains gasoline. It merely absorbs the small amount of condensate. They sell or used to sell small pint containers of additives to absorb water in your tank. It was nothing but denatured alcohol.
              Where I do find issues, the methods they use are very inefficient in quantity. They obtain about 2 gallons per bushel when they could get twice that. Doit yourself Farmers obtained 4 to 4.5 gallons per bushel. Corporations use direct energy & the net gain is only about 10% in energy gain. If these plants had been built near power plants, they could use waste heat with nearly 100% net gain & subsidies would not have been necessary. Point being they would have done it without them.

              After extracting alcohol from corn, you still have the full feed value for livestock. They claim this adds 25 cents to the cost per bushel of corn, but likely that’s because of increased demand. China buys it up by the ship load. It’s much cheaper to ship then kernel corn & has a higher protein value per pound. Point. China buys more corn product then they would otherwise. Increased demand…

              Idiotic ideas. Switchgrass in place of corn. You lost all food value. Utilizing the corn stocks. These should be left to decay back into the soil. This is stripping nutrients from the soil.

              Plain Idiotic. A 75 mile stretch of replacement highway along side the old. A 300 foot wide 75 mile long stretch left fallow. If not grain crops, At least it could be planted with hay for livestock feed(You know, the equivalent of grass feed & earn income from it.) But no, they let it grow weeds & pay to have it mowed. This is a nation wide phenomena. How many millions would that feed?

              • bachcole

                Really nice article, except, unfortunately, the subject matter is speeding towards the land of Moot.

              • Your comments are false from A to Z. You may have been reading propaganda from the biofuel industry. The idea that we could be gaining topsoil is ridiculous because that process is so incredibly slow, …300 to 1,000 years to create just 1 inch of it. Our Midwest topsoil is not stable and is being lost at an alarming rate. We are using topsoil, phosphates, water, and farmland we should be holding in reserve to grow food. Instead we are feeding machines with it. When machines became our competitors for food in a serious way, the world experienced a food crisis that is ongoing and worsening. The political instability in the Middle East we are seeing now was greatly aggravated by high food prices, and the worldwide bad economy is made worse by so much of our income going into food costs. A huge percentage of our population now needs food stamps to survive. The best thing to do is ban biofuels and then lower food stamp payments as food prices fall. Your comments about the efficiency of ethanol are also from Mars, not from reality. I cannot argue with someone so absurdly misinformed. It is a waste of time.

                • Omega Z

                  My knowledge predates all the political propaganda BS. Before anyone cared or had an opinion. They were known facts.

                  Much of the field corn isn’t even suitable for human consumption and only the premium is used for that purpose. What does make it to you is corn cereals, flours, corn oil & corn syrup. Field corns primary use is livestock feed. Don’t confuse this with the canned corn or corn on the cob in your super market. That’s a totally different corn. It’s not even in competition with field corn. It commands a premium price all by itself. Field corn is less profitable.

                  Do you understand the process. The sugars are extracted from the corn to make alcohol and the protein remains. The mash is dehydrated & sold as a high protein livestock feed. Livestock will gain the same weight from the remains of 1 bushel of distilled corn mash as non distilled corn.

                  Probably 5% of the U.S. corn crop isn’t even fit for feedstock. Corn on the bottom tends to toxify. The toxins will kill your livestock. But it’s fine for distillation for fuel. And the processed mash may be usable as feed stock. The alternative is to burn it as a fuel or landfill it. You may be surprised that I can go purchase a corn burner today. Complete with a grain hopper and automatic auger feeder. Yes, If the price is to low, some farmers burn it to heat their homes in the winter instead of burning wood.

                  If you don’t think gasohol burns cleaner, just take 2 engines apart, 1 used only gasohol, the other pure gasoline. The gasoline engine will have major carbon build up & usually have some burnt vales. I haven’t seen that with gasohol & little or no carbon build up.

                  HEET is a product name(It’s primarily alcohol. It is most commonly used to displace water in your fuel tank where condensation may occur. Never had a gas-line freeze up since gasohol. Prior to that, I always added some heat with every fill up in the winter. Being strand once at 10′ below zero was enough.

                  Moonshiners use to add alcohol to their cars for a reason. It gave them a power boost to get away from the revenuers. Those guys brought you the Indy 500. Note a few Farmers were the ones who started the gasohol trend & used the rements to feed their livestock. They used it for their own vehicles, home heating & generators. It merely required adjustment of the carburetor & having the proper rubber lines. Then Corporate ADM jumped in & coerced the subsidies from Uncle SAM.

                  And the 95% alcohol & 5% water will give better mileage in the older carbureted cars. Even today’s motors will. However, the fuel injection & all the electronic sensors likely would not. Thus the special multi-fuel E-85’s designed for it. Tho I doubt they would get better mileage either. It is the gas water ratio that makes it work with water being the key. 100% alcohol doesn’t burn so well even in the old cars & some of it will run out the tailpipe. Note, It was just straight 190 proof moonshine. It just happened to be the right mix. A serendipity.

                  Erosion is a natural process. About 4.5 tons per acre before man every farmed here in the Mississippi valley zone. What nature took away, it replaced for 1000’s of years(As long as there are mountains this will continue). Modern farming pushed that up to 5-8 tons per acre. This is unsustainable. But with nearly all the farmers practicing No-Till, That has been reduced to 3.5 to 4 tons per acre. It is actually replenishing. Note the process actually works with soil shifting from one acre to the next. It is what makes it to the river that is lost.

                  This is all good, but has created a new issue. The Mississippi delta has always increased(grown) from this erosion for eons creating small islands & the estuaries. Now they are starting to recede.

                • Read *The Renewable Energy Disaster* at for the scientific arguments.

                  Malnutrition is the world’s number one cause of premature death, not war or terrorism. Malnutrition is also the number one cause of avoidable mental retardation in children. You must have been asleep when the world entered a major food crisis soon after George W Bush increased biofuel output by law and got even worse when Obama increased it even more. You can sleep and dream all you want, but the global biofuel death toll has been staggering, far more than all wars and acts of terrorism combined over the last 20 years. On top of that, biofuels are inherently inefficient because if you add up all the costs they are far more expensive than using oil and worse for the environment. There would be no significant biofuel industry without mandates and subsidies. If consumers had free choice to buy the highest quality energy product at the lowest possible price, they would buy gasoline, not ethanol. If products have authentic value, people will buy them without coercion or bribes. Biofuels have no real value because they are a major net loss to human civilization.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Do you really think that the simplified microwave based hot fusion reactor design is a serious competitor to LENR? I think it’s just the same old wishful thinking we’ve been hearing about since 1951.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    The beauty of hot fusion is that it will be centralized.
    With hot fusion the senile necrophiliacs who run the planet will still be able to live in their castles and keep the rabble under their thumb until they can be properly disposed of. This decentralized LENR thing is nothing but trouble.

    Thank you CNN.

  • MasterBlaster7

    I applaud your efforts. But, You shouldn’t be holding your breath for a reply.

  • Leonard Weinstein


    You have covered the comparison between hot fusion and LENR well, but made a major mistake in your closing comments. It is now clear that human burning of fossil fuels has not been the main cause of the small warming of the last century, and the increase in temperature (mainly natural variation, with no further increase the last 18 years), and of CO2 levels (which is man driven and still rising, but of no bad effect), has only had good effects (increased crop production). The natural move away from fossil fuels will be driven by the finite resource becoming less available and then more expensive in the near future, so there is a need to replace it, but making the argument that global warming (and other problems) caused by use of the fossil fuel, is the problem, is just making a big mistake. Low cost and locally available inexpensive power is needed for a prosperous society, but don’t make the mistake of finger pointing when you are not aware of the facts. It actually turns out that about half or the worlds scientists do not support the global warming scam, and the other half only have a small number that are fully up to date on the data, that do support it. The rest are not sure, but tend to say they accept the position because most funding is directed to supporters, and money talks.

    • Leonard Weinstein

      I have a power point which is an update by me, from a presentation by Burt Rutan, on the human caused global warming issue. It can be accessed at:

    • Axil Axil

      Using up all the planet’s reachable fossil fuels would release thousands of gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere—far more than the 600 to 800 gigatonnes needed to make the West Antarctic ice sheet unstable, they write in a new study in Science Advances. The ice on the eastern part of the continent would likely break up and melt afterward. Eventually Antarctica would be nearly as bald as Michael Chiklis, as shown in the bottom-right graphic in this sequence of emissions models (brown areas represent exposed bedrock):

      • Allan Kiik

        There are predictions by climate models which assume too big sensitivity of CO2 change. All recent literature implies about 3-5 times smaller sensitivity and this is only the beginning, there are plausible arguments for zero sensitivity now when fossil fuel burning rate is at historical top level while global temperature standstill is nearing 19 years.
        Antarctica is a very good example , Dr. James Hansen from NASA GISS predicted in his 1984 article large sea ice loss in Ross sea, but what really has happened is continuous cooling of Antarctica and the ocean around it. Sea ice is growing and so are the glaciers, as expected when climate cools. It is the exact opposite to what was predicted and this is only one example, there are lot of other similar predictions.

      • Leonard Weinstein

        Axil Axil it is amazing that most main stream publications like Science Advances make such nonsense claims. This is the main reason the fear of human caused global warming has such deep roots. However if you did a due diligence in-depth exam of published data and comparison of skeptics arguments vs supporters of CAGW, you would come to the astonishing conclusion that a major error has been made. The problems with the article you quote are two fold:
        1) the sensitivity of temperature increase to CO2 increase is given by models (not data), which have been conclusively shown to have no skill, and which can never have skill beyond very short periods. The data totally refutes the models. If you had any real understanding of the complex non-linear equations involved (such as Navier-Stokes and radiation laws, and poor resolution boundary and initial conditions), you might start to understand that this is a bounded Chaos problem.
        2) The CO2 rate of release in the atmosphere is presently known, and the future rate (assuming no increase in Nucler, LENR, solar, or wind) is also narrowly restricted. The release of all of the Carbon would take several centuries, and the decreasing availability of reasonable priced Carbon would actually cause a decrease within this century. Since there will be increase in Nuclear, LENR, solar and wind, even less Carbon will be released. However, even if all the Carbon were released in the century, the increase in temperature would be small, based on present DATA evidence of the sensitivity. CO2 simply does not cause the problems stated.

        An additional point is that the last 3 interglacials had significantly higher temperatures than the present Holocene, and the Antarctic did not melt. The claims are nonsense.

    • Job001

      You seem to understand part of the issue, several subtle and not so subtle factors remain; First, Co2 is only slightly effective at increasing crop yield for certain plants all of which are limited by other factors such as fertility, water and rainfall variations, temperature extremes, sunlight, insects, viruses, and so forth.
      Secondly, a big often ignored anthropomorphic factor is the cutting down of forests, which can be described as “the lungs of the world”.
      Third, fertility related yield maximizes reasonably correlated with soil carbon which increases as one moves away from the equator, and this “best region” is narrowing and migrating toward the poles with a few weeks earlier springs and irritate falls.
      Most of climate scientists are fully on-board with the newer climate models, paid non-climate non-scientists shills have also been implicated as naysayers. This paid shill process appears to be like the tobacco study scams or the false scientist of part of the 40% of the pharmacy studies for new drugs which cannot get replicable results.
      Conclusion, while not a conspiracy, bad science does often results from “Funding biased” studies. Modern science does not have adequate controls for “Funding Biased” science at both the grant or publication review or blog discussion levels. It happens time and again and it has become a very big science or corruption of science issue.

      • Leonard Weinstein

        Job001, I was only referring to CO2 effects. I do think cutting forest is a problem. However, you are telling me nothing on the issue of plant growth, but you clearly do not have the facts on the net effect of increased CO2 on plant growth. I know there are many factors for crops, but you seem to not know that greenhouses add CO2 to about 1000 ppm to increase production. There are a very small number of losers, but far more winners with more CO2. However, your comment on paid shills is a red flag showing your ignorance. The funding for skeptical scientists is less than 1% the funding specifically to scientists to find CAGW effects. The best way to not get funding (at universities, or federal labs, or institutes) on the issue is to propose a real study on the true cause of the recent small warming. Also note that the oil companies, for example, are a major contributor to GREEN funding, and only a small contributor to skeptics (in an effort to find the truth). The vast majority of scientific skeptics are mainly those that did unfunded independent examination of the issue in depth (as I did). The major corruption of science now happens to be the supported position on human caused global warming.

        • Job001

          Good point on funding which illustrates “Funding Bias” against basic research. Anthropomorphic effects also include but are not limited to cutting or burning forests, GM foods, extensive biocide and herbicide use, other pollutions(like fluorocarbons), and extensive mono-crop plantings.
          Controlled greenhouse effects of which I’m fully aware of, are not uncontrolled ecosystems which typically limit plant growth by many other factors much more than sometimes beneficial CO2 does.
          We can disagree on what may best illustrate corrupt “Funding Biased” science since being right in the midst of it, a benefactor, and unable to see the “Forest for the trees” might be too tough to ask of anyone.

          • Omega Z

            No time for a major discussion, but GW is a distraction to keep you occupied so as not to see whats really going on.

            It’s like the guy who bumps into you on the street causing you to spill your coffee. You’re so upset about the spilled coffee on your suit, you don’t realize he’s walking on down the street with your wallet in hand. “There’s much in common here.”

    • Roland

      The simple version for dummies…

      Where are your ‘facts’ from, I’d love to see the sources for your views?

      • Leonard Weinstein

        Roland, I have so many facts that I can’t put them on line here. However, if you go to google and put in Leonard Weinstein, you can access many of the writeups, and sources. In particular, look at the writeups that were posted in 2009 on the “Air Vent” under my name as a start. Then go to google and put in Burt Rutan. At some of the sites, he has a power point with sources. Much of his ppt was derived from my 2009 post, and added specifics much better. A good discussion site in general is WUWT, which is the most widely followed scientific site on the issue in the world. You can also go to many of the sites shown at WUWT. In particular, Judith Curry (professor at GA tech), who was previously a supporter of the CAGW problem, decided to discuss the issue with skeptics to convince them of their error, and who was instead convinced the skeptics were likely closer to the truth. If this is not enough I have much more.

        • the fact that there is record years is normal if temperature is increasing slowly, or just stable.

          if you did the same trick in 1940 you would obtain the same statistices.
          earth is warming the same since the end of little ice age.

          the open question is if something changed arouns 1950, when regular warming with multidecadal oscilations added, stopped being natural to be artificial.

          note also that the quantity of corrections is increased each year , to warm recent period and cool older period.

          if we did the same for cold fusion experiments, they will call us crook.

          I cannot say if AGW is real or not, but what I see is crony science.
          climategate, like cold fusion story, proved that there is a huge influence by few authors to block dissenting papers.

          Judith curry report the same violence and bias in climate community, as Eugene mallove at MIT. both were insiders

          the climate model are clearly broke, according to the IPCC itself, while confidence in the result is increased in the executive summary.
          every report add many uncertainties, while confidence increase…

          there is clear violence agains the dissenters, wil billion of money is dumped on climate science, and witchhunt reports few k$ at best…

          it is the same witchhunt against GMO companies by activists.

          most oil company invest in green energy which increase CO2 as eny serious engineer could predict.

          I’m tired of that scam, when I heard our skeptics insulting rossi.
          all the red flag agains climate science are raised… increasing corrections of data, attacks agains dissenters, crony peer review, flawed models, divergence between datasources, growing funding and apeel to morality, even appeal to religion recently from bin Laden, from the Pope…

          maybe AGW is real, but not yet, and we have no credible evidence of it, since model is broken, ethic is broken, money flood a biased community, terror develop against dissenters, meta-disinformations tactics is employed at huge scale.

          LENR story , finance bubbles, Internet bubble, trained me painfully to recognize that… it is pseudo-science, funded by government, exploited by vested interest business and NGO, and even some malthusianists ideologies and neoreligious sects.

          anyway AGW real or not, is solved by LENR.
          peace to all, and please stop funding the green scam.
          Fund no-regret solution as Judith Curry says.
          LENR is no-regret.

  • colodude

    Nicely written, John. The comparative table for an interested reader is helpful.

    We worry about carbon-based excess heat: what would 13 ITER’s do to the atmosphere in terms of raw thermal input? I don’t have an answer, nor am I implying an adverse outcome as “settled” mathematics, but seriously, what’s going to cool those puppies down? Would a billion eCats have the same issue?

    • bachcole

      I remember years ago someone did the math, and the impact would be nanoscopic. But, it wouldn’t hurt to do the math again. Compare it to the total amount of energy in the form of sunshine hitting the Earth. And I would envision the number of eCats to be several billion. One for each family, etc.

      • J Storrs Hall

        The rule of thumb is that incoming sunlight (>1e17W) is 10,000 times total human energy production.

  • gdaigle

    You have to wonder if the large networks such as ABC, CNN, etc. will ever understand that for every “big science” project that they profile there are dozens of more discrete and less visually impressive efforts that will eventually make breakthroughs as important if not more. Hot fusion and NASA were imagined by our parent’s generation. We imagine breakthroughs at the nanoscale, molecular and cellular level.