Advertisements

MUST READ : China And India Will Watch The West Destroy Itself – OpEd


“Those who can make you believe absurdities,
can make you commit atrocities.”
– Voltaire

We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
we will be doing the right thing in terms of
economic and environmental policy.

– Timothy Wirth,
President of the UN Foundation

***

THOSE sceptical of the “Save The Planet” inspired, mad rush into supposedly ‘green’ energy sources by the climate change theory-obsessed West, leading to skyrocketing power prices, rampant energy poverty and an exodus of jobs and industry to China, will be keenly aware of the poignant and concerning realities expressed in this must read op-ed by  :

“Without having a basic understanding that every single wind turbine and solar panel is intermittent and has to be continually backed-up by fossil fuels, the west is committing environmental degradation, and putting itself at risk against China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Based on self-interest rightly understood, India will then choose aligning with countries hostile to western interests over environmental concerns.”

“Without energy you have nothing…”

READ it all …

*

China And India Will Watch The West Destroy Itself – OpEd

China and India will allow the west – led by the United States (US) and European Union (EU) – to destroythemselves through dysfunctional, domestic, and continent-wide politics. This isn’t a Donald Trump or EU issue, but electorates having a vague understanding of how societies function, particularly, when it comes to energy.

The “Green New Deal” is evident of that fact, which has no chance of ever working under current technology, taxpayer monies available, and the first “New Deal” was a failure. China and India will allow the US, EU, NATO and their Asian allies to:

“Muddle through endemic crises menacing to its very existence (e.g., economic stagnation, demographic decline, rising unassimilated Islamic populations in many EU democracies, high taxes, mounting debt and the fiscal unsustainability of Western European social democracy)”

Without energy you have nothing. China and India understand this better than the west since their citizenry and leaders view energy through the lens of what will help over two-billion-combined-citizens; join the prosperous, western, consumer-driven world. Most western, environmentally sensitive nations believe fossil fuels are evil. Instead, western countries strive for a renewable energy, carbon-free world. Even if the US were to cut its CO2 emissions, “100 percent it would not make a difference in abating global warming.”

China and India have never bought into that notion of energy, or economies based on supposedly carbon-free renewables that inspire their nations toward a cleaner world. I wish they would, but that isn’t reality. Both countries will continue importing, exporting, and excavating tankers full of coal, oil, and natural gas from countries that are authoritarian, human right abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Iraq, Nigeria, Angola and Algeria.

Furthermore, Chinese and Indian politics, and increasingly Africa, will never allow lack of pipelines, domestic politics, or sensitivity to western environmentalists keep them from first world status enjoyed by the US, EU, and Asian nations like South Korea and Japan.

Naïve-thinking, bordering on western suicide, believes China and India will stop using fossil fuels, led by coal. Each country understands coal is plentiful (“estimated 1.1 trillion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide that at current rates of production will last 150 years”), and it is scalable, reliable, cost-effective to the end user, and has the best energy density of all fossil fuels or renewables available.

China is currently building hundreds of new, coal-fired power plants. To counter China, “India has 589 coal-fired power plants, they are building 446 more, bringing their total to 1,036.” These figures are after both governments signed the Paris Climate Agreement, and touted their green credentials.

Since the US, Russia, China and India have the largest global coal reserves, and each country is vying for geopolitical dominance, they will continue using coal in record amounts. Energy is then a geopolitical weapon. Europe does not understand this fact.

Only Trump seems to have gained clarity on this issue, with the US using their newfound shale oil and natural gas power, to their geopolitical and global advantage. Daily global, media onslaughts, US Democrats, and Never-Trump Republicans constrain Trump at every turn, and facilitate the US’ waning power. China and India sit back and do nothing, knowing the west is too weak to come to the US or Trump’s rescue.

Renewable energy advocates can speak, write and publicly lobby that solar and wind-produced electricity is the same cost, or dropping compared to oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear. This claim is false. Renewables cost more to ratepayers and nations compared to fossil fuels or nuclear.

Without having a basic understanding that every single wind turbine and solar panel is intermittent and has to be continually backed-up by fossil fuels, the west is committing environmental degradation, and putting itself at risk against China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Based on self-interest rightly understood, India will then choose aligning with countries hostile to western interests over environmental concerns.

A great power struggle has broken out between the world’s largest democracy – India – and the world’s largest authoritarian state – China – and whichever country uses the most energy will win Asia for the rest of this century. National security and the competition between them over Asia are at the crutch of why they will watch the west destroy their economies over bad energy policies.

Sure, India and China will use natural gas, nuclear and oil, but coal is where each economy finds its basic energy resource. Horrible for world emissions, air pollution and global health, but how do westerners, the United Nations, and environmental organizations tell both, growing countries they cannot have access to the same energy opportunities and growth the west has now had for over seventy years?

It simply won’t happen; world health organizations, research universities, think tanks, and multinational corporations interested in global longevity and clean air should begin working towards clean coal technology.

All great nations, including China and India, view energy as a domain of power. The west already has their power, but no longer knows how to use it the way it did during the Cold War. Global warming, abortion, gay marriage, and renewables versus fossil fuels have overtaken realism in all facets of government, military strategy, economics and countering the global threats from China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

Raw, amoral geopolitics that will grow economies, engage realist strategies, house militaries and feed energy-hungry populations is the new Cold War. Social issues are important, but unless you are talking about the unintended consequences of abortion in the US and China, these issues have no valid correlation within energy geopolitics. Energy and electricity are at the forefront, of which ideological viewpoint, will win the 21st century.

Accessible energy becomes more important than ever, as the competition between China and India heats up. Unless something drastically changes the west will diminish significantly – ushering in the “Asian century” – with China and India biding their time to take over the US-led, liberal order that was created after World War II ended.

China And India Will Watch The West Destroy Itself – OpEd – Eurasia Review

H/t Not A Lot Of People Know That

•••

SEE also :

STATE Of The Climate Report :

IPCC Extreme Weather Report 2018 SR15 :

EXTREME WEATHER Related :

TEMPERATURE Related :

ORIGINS Of The Global Warming Scam :

•••

THE Climatism Tip Jar – Pls Help Keep The Good Fight Alive!

(Climate sceptics/rationalists still waitin’ for that “big oil” cheque to arrive in the mail!)

Help us to hit back against the bombardment of climate lies costing our communities, economies and livelihoods far, far too much.

Thanks to all those who have donated. Your support and faith in Climatism is highly motivating and greatly appreciated!

Citizen journalists can’t rely on mastheads, rather private donations and honest content. Every pledge helps!

Click link for more info…

Thank You! Jamie.

Donate with PayPal

•••

 

Advertisements

ENERGY POVERTY UPDATE : Wind & Solar Obsession Causing Skyrocketing Power Prices & Frozen Grannies

“ELDERLY people are dying in their cold homes or being rushed to hospital because they can’t afford to put the heater on.
MORE than 130 people were admitted to NSW emergency departments last winter with cold-related problems including hypothermia, a 34 per cent increase from 10 years ago.
Over the same period power prices have increased by 117 per cent.”

ENOUGH said.

WAKE-UP politicians, addicted to UNreliables to feather their ‘green’ credentials. Enough is enough. @sussanley

STOP THESE THINGS

Australia’s wind and solar obsession has driven power prices through the roof and the poor and elderly to early graves. Staying warm in the depth of winter is no longer just a matter of turning up the dial on the AC, for the poorest and most vulnerable it’s a daily battle for survival.

In the space of a decade, power prices have doubled and so too the number of households disconnected from the grid; because they can no longer afford to pay their bills.

A generation ago, Australians enjoyed the world’s cheapest power prices; thanks to its suicidal renewable energy policies, they now suffer among the highest.

That all of this was perfectly predictable, and perfectly avoidable, makes it all the more outrageous. Here’s Peta Credlin expressing just that.

‘What a joke’ that Australians are ‘too frightened to turn on appliances’
Sky news
Peta Credlin, Luke Grant and Jeremy Cordeaux

View original post 1,282 more words


WARREN BUFFETT Rejects All-Renewable Future With $10 Billion Bet on Oil & Gas

STOP THESE THINGS

Australian voters just shredded the notion that the proletariat is wedded to heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

Labor’s Bill Shorten sought to ram a 50% Renewable Energy Target down voter’s throats; a concept which the vast majority of them duly rejected.

Sure, there were plenty of other issues that sank the Green/Labor Alliance. However, it should be remembered that 2019 was billed as the ‘Climate Change Election’, with wind and solar pitched up as the only panacea to what has now become a ‘climate emergency’.

Pundits professed, with great certitude, the notion that the Australian public just can’t get enough intermittent, unreliable and unaffordable electricity. Well, that didn’t quite pan out. Bill Shorten slunk off the political stage, a wounded and embittered hero of renewable energy zealots and rent seekers, alike.

Another part of the meme was that the markets had already turned their back on fossil…

View original post 1,112 more words


DRACONIAN CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA : Back To The Medieval Green World


Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the
equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun
.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University/Royal Society fellow

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

***

GEOLOGIST Viv Forbes on what life would look like under the eco-totalitarian control of ‘zero-emissions’ zealots…

CAREFUL what you wish for!

*

MAY 10, 2019

via Friends of Science Calgary

Greens dream of a zero-emissions world without coal, oil and natural gas. They need to think what they wish for.

First there would be no mass production of steel without coke from coking coal to remove oxygen from iron ore. People could cut trees in forests for charcoal to produce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be exhausted. Coal saved the forests from this fate.

We could produce gold and silver without using mineral hydro-carbons and with ingenuity we could probably produce unrefined copper, lead and tin and alloys like brass and bronze. But making large quantities of nuclear fuels, cement, aluminium, refined metals, plastics, nylons, synthetics, petro-chemicals and poly pipes would be impossible.

Making wind turbines and solar panels would also be impossible without fossil fuels. A wind turbine needs lots of steel plus concrete, carbon fibre and glass polymers as well as many other refined metals – copper, aluminium, rare earths, zinc and molybdenum. Solar panels and batteries need high-purity ingredients – silicon, lead, lithium, nickel, cadmium, zinc, silver, manganese and graphite – all hard to make in backyard charcoal-fired furnaces. Transporting, erecting and maintaining wind and solar farms plus their roads and transmission lines needs many pieces of diesel-powered machinery.

Every machine on earth needs hydro-carbons for engine oil, gear oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, hydraulic oil and grease. We could of course use oils from, seals, beeswax and whales for lubrication – the discovery of petroleum saved the whales from this fate.

Roads would be a challenge without oil-based bitumen. The Romans made pretty good roads out of cobble-stones (this would ease unemployment). But hard labour would not sit well with aging baby-boomers or electronic-era Millenniums.

Cars, railways, motor launches, aeroplanes, I-Phones, TV and cat-scans would be out. Horses, oxen, sulkies, wooden rowing boats, sailing ships, herbal medicine and semaphore would have a huge revival. Some wood-burning steam tractors may still work and wood-gas generators may replace petrol in some old cars.

This is the return to the “zero-emissions” world that Green extremists have planned for us.

But modern life cannot not be supported by a pre-coal/oil economy. Without reliable electricity and diesel-powered farm machinery and transport trucks, cities are un-sustainable. In Green-topia 90% of us people will need to go.

But Greens should not expect us to go quietly.

(Climatism bolds and links)

***

MORE Viv Forbes :

SEE also : 

ENEGRY POVERTY Related :

STATE Of The Climate Report :

IPCC Extreme Weather Report 2018 SR15 :

EXTREME WEATHER Related :

TEMPERATURE Related :

ORIGINS Of The Global Warming Scam :

•••

THE Climatism Tip Jar – Pls Help Keep The Good Fight Alive!

(Climate sceptics/rationalists still waitin’ for that “big oil” cheque to arrive in the mail!)

Help us to hit back against the bombardment of climate lies costing our communities, economies and livelihoods far, far too much.

Thanks to all those who have donated. Your support and faith in Climatism is highly motivating and greatly appreciated!

Citizen journalists can’t rely on mastheads, rather private donations and honest content. Every pledge helps!

Click link for more info…

Thank You! Jamie.

Donate with PayPal

•••


SCIENCE : UNreliable Nature Of Solar And Wind Makes Electricity More Expensive, New Study Finds

UNreliables - CLIMATISM - Shellenberger.png


“REMEMBER when we paved the world with electronic waste
that chopped eagles and condors and made bats extinct
because we thought wind was natural and uranium evil?

– man that was a dark age!”
– Michael Shellenberger

***

ONE of the great falsehoods and dangerous myths pushed by reckless global warming climate change zealots and the mainstream media is that ‘renewable energy’ – wind and solar – is “clean, green and renewable”.

‘RENEWABLES’ are neither “clean, green, or renewable”. In fact, they are pure embodiments of fossil fuel technology, with oil and “dirty” coal derivatives required for :

SEE :

*

ANOTHER excellent article of reason and sanity written by man-made “global warming” believer and environmentalist, Michael Shellenberger.

POLITICIANS, please take note. Sanity and reason, that has given us so much ‘hope’, really does need needs to prevail, once again…

***

Via Forbes :

(Climatism bolds)

Unreliable Nature Of Solar And Wind Makes Electricity More Expensive, New Study Finds

UNreliables - CLIMATISM - Shellenberger

Wind turbines in Penonome, Panama. (Credit: Associated Press)

Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11% (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17% (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.

The study, which has yet to go through peer-review, was done by Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, and Ishan Nath. It compared states with and without an RPS. It did so using what the economists say is “the most comprehensive state-level dataset ever compiled” which covered 1990 to 2015.

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: “All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy,” they write.

Last year, I was the first journalist to report that solar and wind are making electricity more expensive in the United States — and for inherently physical reasons.

Solar and wind require that natural gas plants, hydro-electric dams, batteries or some other form of reliable power be ready at a moment’s notice to start churning out electricity when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, I noted.

And unreliability requires solar- and/or wind-heavy places like Germany, California, and Denmark to pay neighboring nations or states to take their solar and wind energy when they are producing too much of it.

My reporting was criticized — sort of — by those who claimed I hadn’t separated correlation from causation, but the new study by a top-notch team of economists, including an advisor to Barack Obama, proves I was right.

Previous studies were misleading, the economists note, because they didn’t “incorporate three key costs,” which are the unreliability of renewables, the large amounts of land they require, and the displacement of cheaper “baseload” energy sources like nuclear plants.

The higher cost of electricity reflects “the costs that renewables impose on the generation system,” the economists note, “including those associated with their intermittency, higher transmission costs, and any stranded asset costs assigned to ratepayers.”

But are renewables cost-effective climate policy? They are not. The economists write that “the cost per metric ton of CO2 abated exceeds $130 in all specifications and ranges up to $460, making it at least several times larger than conventional estimates of the social cost of carbon.”

The economists note that the Obama Administration’s core estimate of the social cost of carbon was $50 per ton in 2019 dollars, while the price of carbon is just $5 in the US northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and $15 in California’s cap-and-trade system.

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress. Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment.”

I am a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner, and President of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization. My writings have ap…

Read More

***

SEE also :

UNreliables related :

U.N. Energy Poverty / Climate Hoax related :

ENERGY POVERTY related :

STATE Of The Climate Report :

IPCC Extreme Weather Report 2018 SR15 :

EXTREME WEATHER Related :

TEMPERATURE Related :

ORIGINS Of The Global Warming Scam :

•••

THE Climatism Tip Jar – Pls Help Keep The Good Fight Alive!

(Climate sceptics/rationalists still waitin’ for that “big oil” cheque to arrive in the mail!)

Help us to hit back against the bombardment of climate lies costing our communities, economies and livelihoods far, far too much.

Thanks to all those who have donated. Your support and faith in Climatism is highly motivating and greatly appreciated!

Citizen journalists can’t rely on mastheads, rather private donations and honest content. Every pledge helps!

Click link for more info…

Thank You! Jamie.

Donate with PayPal

•••


NOW That We Know Renewables Can’t ‘Save The Planet’, Are We Really Going To Stand By And Let Them Destroy It?


“REMEMBER when we paved the world with electronic waste
that chopped eagles and condors and made bats extinct
because we thought wind was natural and uranium evil?

– man that was a dark age!”
– Michael Shellenberger

***

ONE of the great falsehoods and dangerous myths pushed by reckless global warming climate change zealots and the mainstream media is that ‘renewable energy’ – wind and solar – is “clean, green and renewable”.

‘RENEWABLES’ are neither “clean, green, or renewable”. In fact, they are pure embodiments of fossil fuel technology, with oil and coal derivatives required for :

SEE : WHAT I See When I See a Wind Turbine | Climatism

*

LAND INTENSITY

WIND and solar power are incredibly land intensive owing to the inherent low-energy density of their electrons. And, the small fact that the sun only shines and the wind only blows 10-40% of the time.

HOW much land and how many wind turbines would be needed just to supply the planets ‘new’ demand for energy?

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

WIND TURBINES Are Neither Clean Nor Green And They Provide Zero Global Energy | Climatism

*

NATURE LOVERS?

IF Greens love nature, why aren’t they more concerned about carpeting pristine landscapes with industrial wind turbines?

*

“SAVING THE PLANET”

IF ‘Greens’ were serious about “Saving The Planet”, they would be embracing (CO2-free) nuclear energy.

THE fact that they are not, says a lot about today’s New Green Climate Warrior – concerned more about totalitarian power and control than tangible care of the physical environment.

IMHO, ‘Climate Change’ has absolutely nothing to do with the environment or “Saving The Planet”. If it did, every global warming climate change bedwetter would be castigating China for unlimited emissions until 2030.

CLIMATE CHANGE activism has everything to do with economic, political and cultural power and control.

*

NUCLEAR POWER

THIS brilliant piece from (old-school) environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has been touring social and mainstream media in a big way, and rightly so, but wanted to pin it here for Climatism followers to enjoy and hopefully share with friends, family and their local energy/environment representative!

From Quillette :

Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet

When I was a boy, my parents would sometimes take my sister and me camping in the desert. A lot of people think deserts are empty, but my parents taught us to see the wildlife all around us, including hawks, eagles, and tortoises.

After college, I moved to California to work on environmental campaigns. I helped save the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocked a proposed radioactive waste repository set for the desert.

In 2002, shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate myself to addressing climate change. I was worried that global warming would end up destroying many of the natural environments that people had worked so hard to protect.

I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward: solar panels on every roof, electric cars in every driveway, etc. The main obstacles, I believed, were political. And so I helped organize a coalition of America’s largest labor unions and environmental groups. Our proposal was for a $300 billion dollar investment in renewables. We would not only prevent climate change but also create millions of new jobs in a fast-growing high-tech sector.

Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.

The first was around land use. Electricity from solar roofs costs about twice as much as electricity from solar farms, but solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, threatened local communities, and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.

Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.

Happily, there were a lot of people working on solutions. One solution was to convert California’s dams into big batteries. The idea was that, when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, you could pump water uphill, store it for later, and then run it over the turbines to make electricity when you needed it.

Other problems didn’t seem like such a big deal, on closer examination. For example, after I learned that house cats kill billions of birds every year it put into perspective the nearly one million birds killed by wind turbines.

It seemed to me that most, if not all, of the problems from scaling up solar and wind energies could be solved through more technological innovation.

But, as the years went by, the problems persisted and in some cases grew worse. For example, California is a world leader when it comes to renewables but we haven’t converted our dams into batteries, partly for geographic reasons. You need the right kind of dam and reservoirs, and even then it’s an expensive retrofit.

A bigger problem is that there are many other uses for the water that accumulates behind dams, namely irrigation and cities. And because the water in our rivers and reservoirs is scarce and unreliable, the water from dams for those other purposes is becoming ever-more precious.

Without large-scale ways to back-up solar energy California has had to block electricity coming from solar farms when it’s extremely sunny, or pay neighboring states to take it from us so we can avoid blowing-out our grid.

Despite what you’ve heard, there is no “battery revolution” on the way, for well-understood technical and economic reasons.

As for house cats, they don’t kill big, rare, threatened birds. What house cats kill are small, common birds, like sparrows, robins and jays. What kills big, threatened, and endangered birds—birds that could go extinct—like hawks, eagles, owls, and condors, are wind turbines.

In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with.

Solar farms have similarly large ecological impacts. Building a solar farm is a lot like building any other kind of farm. You have to clear the whole area of wildlife.

In order to build one of the biggest solar farms in California the developers hired biologists to pull threatened desert tortoises from their burrows, put them on the back of pickup trucks, transport them, and cage them in pens where many ended up dying.

As we were learning of these impacts, it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.

You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural.

Dealing with energy sources that are inherently unreliable, and require large amounts of land, comes at a high economic cost.

There’s been a lot of publicity about how solar panels and wind turbines have come down in cost. But those one-time cost savings from making them in big Chinese factories have been outweighed by the high cost of dealing with their unreliability.

Consider California. Between 2011–17 the cost of solar panels declined about 75 percent, and yet our electricity prices rose five times more than they did in the rest of the U.S. It’s the same story in Germany, the world leader in solar and wind energy. Its electricity prices increased 50 percent between 2006–17, as it scaled up renewables.

I used to think that dealing with climate change was going to be expensive. But I could no longer believe this after looking at Germany and France.

Germany’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009, despite an investment of $580 billion by 2025 in a renewables-heavy electrical grid, a 50 percent rise in electricity cost.

Climatism support :

SEE also : IF CO2’s Your Poison, Renewable Energy Is No Antidote | Climatism

*

Meanwhile, France produces one-tenth the carbon emissions per unit of electricity as Germany and pays little more than half for its electricity. How? Through nuclear power.

Then, under pressure from Germany, France spent $33 billion on renewables, over the last decade. What was the result? A rise in the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and higher electricity prices, too.

What about all the headlines about expensive nuclear and cheap solar and wind? They are largely an illusion resulting from the fact that 70 to 80 percent of the costs of building nuclear plants are up-front, whereas the costs given for solar and wind don’t include the high cost of transmission lines, new dams, or other forms of battery.

It’s reasonable to ask whether nuclear power is safe, and what happens with its waste.

It turns out that scientists have studied the health and safety of different energy sources since the 1960s. Every major study, including a recent one by the British medical journal Lancet, finds the same thing: nuclear is the safest way to make reliable electricity.

Strange as it sounds, nuclear power plants are so safe for the same reason nuclear weapons are so dangerous. The uranium used as fuel in power plants and as material for bombs can create one million times more heat per its mass than its fossil fuel and gunpowder equivalents.

It’s not so much about the fuel as the process. We release more energy breaking atoms than breaking chemical bonds. What’s special about uranium atoms is that they are easy to split.

Because nuclear plants produce heat without fire, they emit no air pollution in the form of smoke. By contrast, the smoke from burning fossil fuels and biomass results in the premature deaths of seven million people per year, according to the World Health Organization.

Even during the worst accidents, nuclear plants release small amounts of radioactive particulate matter from the tiny quantities of uranium atoms split apart to make heat.

Over an 80-year lifespan, fewer than 200 people will die from the radiation from the worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl, and zero will die from the small amounts of radiant particulate matter that escaped from Fukushima.

As a result, the climate scientist James Hanson and a colleague found that nuclear plants have actually saved nearly two million lives to date that would have been lost to air pollution.

Thanks to its energy density, nuclear plants require far less land than renewables. Even in sunny California, a solar farm requires 450 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a nuclear plant.

Energy-dense nuclear requires far less in the way of materials, and produces far less in the way of waste compared to energy-dilute solar and wind.

A single Coke cans worth of uranium provides all of the energy that the most gluttonous American or Australian lifestyle requires. At the end of the process, the high-level radioactive waste that nuclear plants produce is the very same Coke can of (used) uranium fuel. The reason nuclear is the best energy from an environmental perspective is because it produces so little waste and none enters the environment as pollution.

All of the waste fuel from 45 years of the Swiss nuclear program can fit, in canisters, on a basketball court-like wearhouse, where like all spent nuclear fuel, it has never hurt a fly.

By contrast, solar panels require 17 times more materials in the form of cement, glass, concrete, and steel than do nuclear plants, and create over 200 times more waste.

We tend to think of solar panels as clean, but the truth is that there is no plan anywhere to deal with solar panels at the end of their 20 to 25 year lifespan.

Experts fear solar panels will be shipped, along with other forms of electronic waste, to be disassembled—or, more often, smashed with hammers—by poor communities in Africa and Asia, whose residents will be exposed the dust from toxic including lead, cadmium, and chromium.

Wherever I travel in the world I ask ordinary people what they think about nuclear and renewable energies. After saying they know next to nothing, they admit that nuclear is strong and renewables are weak. Their intuitions are correct. What most of us get wrong—understandably — is that weak energies are safer.

But aren’t renewables safer? The answer is no. Wind turbines, surprisingly, kill more people than nuclear plants.

In other words, the energy density of the fuel determines its environmental and health impacts. Spreading more mines and more equipment over larger areas of land is going to have larger environmental and human safety impacts.

It’s true that you can stand next to a solar panel without much harm while if you stand next to a nuclear reactor at full power you’ll die.

But when it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike.

Our intuitive sense that sunlight is dilute sometimes shows up in films. That’s why nobody was shocked when the recent remake of the dystopian sci-fi flick, “Blade Runner,” opened with a dystopian scene of California’s deserts paved with solar farms identical to the one that decimated desert tortoises.

Over the last several hundred years, human beings have been moving away from what matter-dense fuels towards energy-dense ones. First we move from renewable fuels like wood, dung, and windmills, and towards the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas, and eventually to uranium.

Energy progress is overwhelmingly positive for people and nature. As we stop using wood for fuel we allow grasslands and forests to grow back, and the wildlife to return.

As we stop burning wood and dung in our homes, we no longer must breathe toxic indoor smoke. And as we move from fossil fuels to uranium we clear the outdoor air of pollution, and reduce how much we’ll heat up the planet.

Nuclear plants are thus a revolutionary technology—a grand historical break from fossil fuels as significant as the industrial transition from wood to fossil fuels before it.

The problem with nuclear is that it is unpopular, a victim of a 50 year-longconcerted effort by fossil fuel, renewable energy, anti-nuclear weapons campaigners, and misanthropic environmentalists to ban the technology.

In response, the nuclear industry suffers battered wife syndrome, and constantly apologizes for its best attributes, from its waste to its safety.

Lately, the nuclear industry has promoted the idea that, in order to deal with climate change, “we need a mix of clean energy sources,” including solar, wind and nuclear. It was something I used to believe, and say, in part because it’s what people want to hear. The problem is that it’s not true.

France shows that moving from mostly nuclear electricity to a mix of nuclear and renewables results in more carbon emissions, due to using more natural gas, and higher prices, to the unreliability of solar and wind.

Oil and gas investors know this, which is why they made a political alliance with renewables companies, and why oil and gas companies have been spending millions of dollars on advertisements promoting solar, and funneling millions of dollars to said environmental groups to provide public relations cover.

What is to be done? The most important thing is for scientists and conservationists to start telling the truth about renewables and nuclear, and the relationship between energy density and environmental impact.

Bat scientists recently warned that wind turbines are on the verge of making one species, the Hoary bat, a migratory bat species, go extinct.

Another scientist who worked to build that gigantic solar farm in the California desert told High Country News, “Everybody knows that translocation of desert tortoises doesn’t work. When you’re walking in front of a bulldozer, crying, and moving animals, and cacti out of the way, it’s hard to think that the project is a good idea.”

I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from a naturalistic fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.

Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organization. Follow him on Twitter @ShellenbergerMD

Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet – Quillette

•••

SHELLENBERGER Related :

SEE also :

Read the rest of this entry »


GRID-SCALE Electricity Storage Can’t Save Renewables

AMAZING how powerful ideology is to make otherwise intelligent people lose all sense of reason and common sense in the ruinous pursuit of windmills, solar panels and fairytale storage.

“You need storage to deal with lulls in wind generation that can last for several days, so the amount required would be impracticably large. And because this would only be required intermittently, its capital cost could probably never be recovered.

Wind and solar power are not available on demand and there are no technologies to make them so. Refusing to face these inconvenient facts poses a serious threat to our energy security”.

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Image credit: energy-storage.news
No surprise there, but the points made deserve emphasis. No amount of ideology can defeat the realities of engineering and economics.

Engineer pours cold water on battery and hydrogen technologies – GWPF press release.
– – –
A new briefing paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) dismisses the idea that grid-scale electricity storage can help bring about a UK renewables revolution.

View original post 237 more words