Buckets of icy cold reality

To CNN’s hosts and the Green New Deal presidential candidates, “renewable” energy will just happen – like manna from Gaia, or beamed down from the Starship Enterprise.
– Paul Driessen

“CNN’s recent 7-hour climate bore-athon garnered pathetic viewership,” writes Paul Driessen. “But it revealed just how far into fantasyland CNN hosts and Democrat presidential candidates have traveled. They all simply assumed we are in the midst of a climate cataclysm – and proceeded in trying to outbid each other on how much taxpayer and consumer money they would spend, how many of our personal choices and living standards they would roll back how far, and how “renewable” energy can quickly and easily be commanded to replace fossil fuels.

“As this article explains, it is simply impossible for biofuel, solar, wind and battery power to replace the oil, natural gas and coal that provide over 80% of all US energy. The supposed alternatives are simply not clean, green, reliable, affordable, renewable, sustainable or eco-friendly. In fact, they would be tremendously destructive not just to our jobs, economy and living standards – but to our environment, scenery, habitats and wildlife.”

Buckets of icy cold reality

Democrat presidential candidates and Green New Dealers need to face some hard energy facts

Paul Driessen

CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate bore-athon. That climate cataclysms are real and already devastating our planet was not open to discussion. So host Wolf Blitzer and ten Democrat presidential contenders vied to make the most extravagant claims about how bad things are, and who would spend the most taxpayer money and impose the most Green New Deal rules to restrict our freedoms and transform our energy, economy, agriculture and transportation, in the name of preventing further cataclysms.

Cory Booker opened the bidding at $3 trillion. Kamala Harris and Julian Castro raised it to $10 trillion.  Bernie Sanders upped it to $16 trillion. Then they got down to the business of telling us which personal choices and living standards they intend to roll back the furthest. Among the proposals:

Ban all commercial air travel (ruling and privileged classes presumably excepted). Change our dietary guidelines or ban beef outright. “Massively” increase taxes. “Make polluters pay” for emitting greenhouse gases. Eliminate onshore drilling, offshore drilling, fracking, coal-fired power plants, internal combustion engines. No new pipelines. In short, ban the fossil fuels that provide 80% of America’s energy! No new nuclear power plants either. And then somehow, amid all that insanity, ensure “climate justice.”

They need to be doused with a few buckets of icy cold reality. The first bucket: We do not face a climate emergency. Computer models certainly predict all kinds of catastrophes. But both the models and the increasingly hysterical assertions of planetary chaos are completely out of touch with reality.

The second, even colder bucket of reality: Wind and sunshine may be free, renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly. But the technologies, lands and raw materials required to harness this widely dispersed, intermittent, weather-dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not. In fact, they cause far more environmental damage than any of the fossil fuel energy sources they would supposedly replace.

Biofuels. US ethanol quotas currently gobble up over 40% of America’s corn – grown on cropland nearly the size of Iowa, to displace about 10% of America’s gasoline. Corn ethanol also requires vast quantities of water, pesticides, fertilizers, natural gas, gasoline and diesel, to produce and transport a fuel that drives up food prices and thus adversely affects food aid and nutrition in poor nations, damages small engines, and gets one-third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.

Replacing 100% of US gasoline with ethanol would require some 360 million acres of corn. That’s more than twice the land area of Texas. But eliminating fossil fuel production means we’d also have to replace the oil and natural gas feed stocks required for pharmaceuticals, wind turbine blades, solar panel films, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, and plastics for cell phones, computers, eyeglasses, car bodies and countless other products. That would require growing corn on almost four times the area of Texas.

Solar power. Solar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate a minuscule 15 megawatts of electricity, about 40% of the year, from 72,000 panels on 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant generates 760 times more electricity, from less land, 90-95% of the time.

Generating Palo Verde’s electricity output using Nellis technology would require acreage ten times larger than Washington, DC. And the solar panels would still provide electricity only 40% of the year.

Generating the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours that Americans consumed in 2018 would mean we would have to completely blanket over twelve million acres – half of Virginia – with solar panels, and get the Sun to shine at high-noon summertime Arizona intensity 24/7/365, wherever we install those panels.

Wind power. Mandated, subsidized wind energy likewise requires millions of acres for turbines and new transmission lines, and billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals and fiberglass.

Like solar panels, wind turbines produce intermittent, unreliable electricity that costs much more than coal, gas or nuclear electricity – once subsidies are removed – and must be backed up by fossil fuel generators that have to go from standby to full-power many times a day, very inefficiently, every time the wind stops blowing. Turbine blades already kill raptors, other birds and bats – perhaps a million or more every year in the USA alone. Their light flicker and infrasonic noise impair human health.

Modern coal and gas-fired power plants can generate 600 megawatts some 95% of the time from less than 300 acres. Indiana’s Fowler Ridge wind farm also generates 600 megawatts – from 350 towering turbines, sprawling across more than 50,000 acres (much more than Washington, DC), less than 30% of the year.

Now let’s suppose we’re going to use wind power to replace those 3.9 billion megawatt-hours of US electricity consumption. Let’s also suppose we’re going to get rid of all those coal and gas-fired backup power plants, natural gas for home heating, coal and natural gas for factories, and gasoline-powered vehicles – and replace them all with wind-powered electricity. We’ll also use wind turbines to generate enough extra electricity every windy day to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days.

That would require a lot of wind turbines, as we are forced to go into lower and lower quality wind locations. Instead of generating full nameplate power maybe one-third of the year, on average, they will do so only around 16% of the year. Instead of the 58,000 turbines we have now, the United States would need some 14 million turbines, each one 400 feet tall, each one capable of generating 1.8 megawatts at full capacity, when the wind is blowing at the proper speed.

Assuming an inadequate 15 acres apiece, those monster turbines would require some 225 million acres! That’s well over twice the land area of California – without including transmission lines! Their bird-butchering blades would wipe out raptors, other birds and bats across vast stretches of America.

But every turbine really needs at least 50 acres of open space, and Fowler Ridge uses 120 acres per turbine. That works out to 750 million acres (ten times Arizona) – to 1,800 million acres (ten times Texas or nearly the entire Lower 48 United States)! Eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, geese and other high-flying birds and bats would virtually disappear from our skies. Insects and vermin would proliferate.

Manufacturing those wind turbines would require something on the order of 4 billion tons of steel, copper and alloys for the towers and turbines; 8 billion tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; 4 million tons of rare earth metals for motors, magnets and other components; 1 billion tons of petroleum-based composites for the nacelle covers and turbine blades; and massive quantities of rock and gravel for millions of miles of access roads to the turbines. Connecting our wind farms and cities with high-voltage transmission lines would require still more raw materials – and more millions of acres.

All these raw materials must be mined, processed, smelted, manufactured into finished products, and shipped all over the world. They would require removing hundreds of billions of tons of earth and rock overburden – and crushing tens of billions of tons of ore – at hundreds of new mines and quarries.

Every step in this entire process would require massive amounts of fossil fuels, because wind turbines and solar panels cannot operate earth moving and mining equipment – or produce consistently high enough heat to melt silica, iron, copper, rare earth or other materials.

Not once did CNN’s hosts or any of the Green New Deal presidential candidates so much as mention any of this. To them, “renewable” energy will just happen – like manna from Gaia, or beamed down from the Starship Enterprise.

They must no longer be allowed to dodge these issues, to go from assuming the climate is in crisis, to assuming “reliable, affordable, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly” alternatives to fossil fuel (and nuclear) energy will just magically appear, or can simply be willed or subsidized into existence.

Citizens, newscasters, debate hosts and legislators who are more firmly grounded in reality need to confront Green New Dealers with hard questions and icy cold facts – and keep repeating them until candidates provide real answers. No more dissembling, obfuscation or incantations permitted.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate, environmental and human rights issues.

29 thoughts on “Buckets of icy cold reality”

  1. One has to understand the purpose of AGW and the push to renewable energy. It has nothing at all to do with saving the planet and everything to do with destroying Western economic systems and culture. Don’t fail to notice that the Asian countries and the Third World countries are pretty much exempt from any restrictions.

    • Considering that even a “mini” ice age like the one we have been climbing out of is probably staring us in the face, you have to also realize that those that will be most affected are those that live in the northern hemisphere, where most of the land mass is that will be affected, and the poor nations that rely on the food produced in the northern hemisphere. Everyone keeps saying “economics, economics,” but this is not about economics or even “one world government,” which it is closer to, it is about killing off the populations of the northern hemisphere peoples. You can’t hope to survive in an all electric house without reliable electricity in the winter, thus millions would freeze to death the first winter under “unreliable, nonrenewable energy.” Non renewable because you can’t replace the panels and windmills without reliable, high density energy sources.

      • “killing off populations of the Northern Hemisphere” while the populations of the Southern Hemisphere multiplies. Does not make sense to me!

        • Much smaller populations.
          The real point is South America and possibly the High Plato of South Africa acquired Glacial regions during the last major Glacial Advance.
          Without the economics of the Northern Hemisphere the entire world economy collapses back into the Stone Age. But that is what the Greens want, they would remove all humans (including themselves) from the planet to “save it” from cyclic solar climate change.
          Green socialism is nothing more than a death cult.

  2. California’s massive Tehachappi wind project only puts out 15% of the power that was used to justify the bonds that built it. Already seeing busted turbine blades, and non functional turbines here and there. Meanwhile, the old Altamont pass project installed in the 80’s has about 1/3 of the turbines turning, so there basically is no maintenance done at that project. There are no “egg-beater” style units running at all, because they grind themselves up from torsional stress at the base bearings.

  3. Boiling water nuclear reactors are accidents waiting to happen. The Energy Department keeps granting extensions on the life of existing ones, reducing the life expectancy of those living near by.

  4. The elite want a feudal system of slave labor. The media, given the examples of the Soviet press, think they too will be in an exalted position in this new society — but not that many will be needed as the news will be limited to reporting only to the upper elites around the world. So, not as many as they think will be needed and thus live in that rarified air.

    If one looks at what makes for a great life, it is the pleasures of food, drink, travel and sex, not in that order for each person, of course.
    In a simplified society, maintaining those ‘needs’ would not be too difficult.

    Reduce the population of the planet to about a billion or so and all the necessary man and brainn power is there to build planes, boats and keep the energy rolling– for the elites only.

    1984 on steroids is what is coming, though one can only hope that the current interglacial ends sooner than later– it is due to– and reality, along with the cold takes a deep bite. This will be the great leveler. One can only hope that what comes out of this catastrophe will be for the better, a society that has learned from the past. Yeah, right!

  5. On Russia Today TV channel just now: Volkswagen CEO spoke out against electrical cars “replacing petrol-driven to coal driven cars”
    MP’s of AFD Party: “Renewals drive threatens Germany energy supply”.
    So the renewals drive is finally becoming a political issue in Germany. The USA, Brazil and Japan have already seen the light.

  6. Fifty years from Paul Ehrlich’s preposterous Population Bomb (1968), cited by AGW Catastrophists of both cold and warm persuasions, “global warming” has no objective, or even rational, support whatever. In particular, “fossil fuels” (in reality, complex hydrocarbons are no such thing) as anthropogenic “carbon footprint” CO2 emitters ignore Australian researcher Robert Holmes’ December 2017 equation to effect that any planet’s atmospheric surface-temperature (GAST) T = PM/Rp (qv), making despicable nonsense of any 420 parts-per-million (.042% PPM) “greenhouse gas” effect.

    Alarmists’ so-called “climate emergency” is based on nothing but hyper-partisan activists’ false-pretense imaginations, citing solipsistic computer-models while ignoring historic observations attesting that contemporary phenomena lie well within Earth’s normal temperature range– that models’ rudimentary linear extrapolations are conceptually meaningless.

    To hypsters’ great frustration, real-world instrumental records attest that, having ended Earth’s Holocene Interglacial Epoch with a 500-year Little Ice Age 670 years ago, our system is on the threshold of a Super-Grand Solar Minimum through c. AD 2110 (Zharkova). As solar magnetic fields diminishing, allowing cosmic rays to seed cloud-cover (Henrik Svensmark), our dustmote planet is entering a cyclical 102-kiloyear Pleistocene chill-phase, due to cover 60 – 70% of habitable-zone landmasses with ice-sheets two miles thick.

    Aside from hyping One World “Save the Planet” despotism, would-be commissars’ half-century climate scare derives solely from charlatans’ false-premises, making impossibly contingent forecasts regarding fossil fuels’ (sic) nugatory CO2 emissions. Isn’t it about time for Realists to take a hand?

  7. A frightening ‘conspiracy theory’ has just occurred to me:

    The world is over-populated, we’re all like too many rats in a small cage, and TPTB decided they had to do something about it (see Agendas 21 and 30). Now, suppose they realised back in he 70s that the talk then of a new ice age approaching was credible, suppose they then thought up this whole idea of Greenhouse Gases, Carbon Dioxide and AGW to make us get rid of as many fossil fuels as possible, replacing them with pretty useless and easily destroyed ‘renewables’. Then suppose the new ice age arrives pretty quickly, covering much of the northern hemisphere, what happens then?

    The people are not prepared for it. No energy to keep warm or to keep ‘civilisation’ going. No food. Survivors, and there may not be that many, will be herded into groups in order to survive (see Agendas 21 and 30).

    And who is organising it all? Well, as is said, China and the East aren’t complying with all AGW’s rules and regulations, are they, just opening more coal mines, etc.

    But of course, that’s only another conspiracy theory, isn’t it???

  8. Tide generators, underwater ocean current turbines. Just hook them up to the grid! Unlimited potential. The only draw back is the AGW already has already come out against current turbines, because they will slow the Earth’s rotation. This is what an Al Gore groupie told me with regards to the Puget Sound…Useful Idiots, all sleep in ignorance. Even my friend Maurene Morgan, the director of Mufon in the State of Wa. Was inflamed at this site. You are nazis and racists dont you know…so maybe the earth is flat!(sigh.)

    • Vance the oceans are a very inhospitable place for mechanical things. Tide generators and Ocean current turbines would require a huge amount of maintenance in order to keep them running.

  9. The first step in stopping this insanity is to get out of
    the communist/socialist United Nations, get it out of the United States, bulldoze the site and put a grave maker over the worst idea ever foisted on free men.

    • Don’t ever think the Europeans are our friends, They need and like us because it saves them a lots of money,
      Don’t ever think the Germans have forgotten they lost 2 wars….

  10. Please Mr. Driessen

    It is said that knowledge is power. I question this aphorism when only the low level dupes really believe the doctrine. The people behind AGW have something else in mind. This is hybrid war against world populations to obtain their destruction. No sensible person would take this trash seriously. Only easily manipulable fools of which their are a great many.

    That is the problem. Politicians of the Green revolution will piously claim they are saving the planet while voting for policies that will kill billions. It won’t matter to them because they figure they will be protected against the consequences of these policies. The idea is to get the fools to hold still for these policies for as long as possible.

    You won’t be able to talk or argue public decision makers out of their positions. These people are already owned by the true decision makers who lie behind this scheme. You must drive them from office by whatever means become available. This is now a game for practical politics in the service of reality. Essentially you are at war and must adapt the methods of hybrid war to the situation.

    These policies will be very expensive as you make clear to all dependent on the current energy infrastructures for jobs and, of course, energy. There should be vast constituencies to oppose the Greens in all fury. They should even now be screaming about all of this. Perhaps they believe, most of the dumber, which are the majority, that it all isn’t real. It is just empty politics. They need to be disabused of that notion. Why cannot your CFACT organization move them to take the AGW crowd’s inanity and insanity seriously as a threat? Answering that question is your true mission. More facts are a secondary consideration. The two parties should be running hard away from AGW, not towards it. Why not?

  11. It’s amazing how many people think that if they just preach the truth-ONE more time-to the choir, everything will change.

    Just how are we to confront anyone when the elite control the media?

    Might as well talk to them in a closet for all the effect it will have on real world events.

    Centralization of power has been the goal from day one. Now the technology exists to make it happen. That battle was lost in this country before the Civil War. Our history has been a progression of tighter and tighter control. Now it’s snowballing.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors. They gave us Trump because another one like Obama would have fired up a revolution. They give with one hand and take away with the other. Sorry folks, but if Trump were actually opposing the elite, he’d be dead by now.

    And while the majority are distracted, they continue their satanic agenda.

    Thank God He IS a higher power, but it’s going to be a real knock-down, drag-out battle before it’s over!

    Don’t expect magical results when you proclaim the truth. Most people don’t want to know the truth. That’s why the bad guys started the brainwashing in kindergarten. Now it’s paying off for them.

  12. The only way to the salvage the future is to free all the kids from government controlled schools for as long as possible.

    Read The only way to the salvage the future is to free all the kids from government controlled schools for as long as possible.

    Read John Taylor Gatto’s essays on those schools. Teacher of the Year in NY State. Jaime Escalante of Stand and Deliver fame quit the LA School District and returned to Bolivia, totally disgusted with the teachers’ unions. Students love to learn when given the chance, and caring educators. Not so many in government indoctrination centers.

  13. Lets build the right type of nuclear power plants; LFTR.
    The current uranium plants are an environmental problem. The only reason they exist is because decades ago, the military wanted plutonium for their bombs and a thorium reactor wouldn’t produce any; a uranium reactor would. Now, there’s an industry built around the uranium fuel cycle and there’s no incentive to change.
    The man who invented the uranium and the thorium fuel cycle, Alvin Weinberg, was fired when he pushed for a thorium based nuclear energy environment. He spent the rest of his life advocating thorium because he knew the pressurized reactors required by the uranium cycle, would eventually lead to a nuclear disaster. A thorium cycle reactor is self regulating and simply can’t cause a meltdown because of the physics involved.
    Thorium reactors are currently in development in China and India. The US has made it illegal to work on a thorium reactor. A thorium reactor can eat the deadly by products of a uranium reactor thereby producing electricity from what is today a nuclear waste problem. The thorium reactor, invented and thoroughly tested in the US, is now being implemented outside the US because the US legal system is too stupid to see the benefits.

  14. Green power, whether wind or solar, is basically intermittent and hardly produces 25% of its nominal capacity. Since there is no proven or projected method to store 75 % of the consumption, it is necessary to produce those 75% otherwise. This is what Greens are stubbornly refusing to recognize when they oppose nuclear energy. this reasoning is a dead end, as the dramatic german example demonstrates. Meanwhile, China is quietly building dozens of EPRs (new generation nuclear) to relay and replace their coal plants.

  15. Deon-It’s not the NH that is under attack, but democracy.

    In countries with a history of tight control over their populations-eg:Russia and China-they are admitting the ice age and preparing for it.

    Only in democratic countries do we see this twisted ploy by the Greenies to run us full speed into a brick wall, as David DuByne puts it.

    Western Europe, Canada, the US, and Australia (which is in the SH).

    Why, because the PTB WANT total control, and the only way to get it is to decimate our populations through starvation, lack of heat, and turning us against one another.

    We are approaching the bloodiest battle in this country since the Civil War. Every time they threaten to take away our guns, everyone buys more guns and ammo.

    The inner city gangs are just waiting for “the big one”, the time they will be unleashed and allowed to leave their ghettos and wreak havoc on the suburbs and the countryside.

    I hope I’m dead before that happens, but it may be sooner than we think.

    This scenario is being orchestrated by the Evil Weevils at the top, and ultimately by Satan himself.

    Just remember, when you are confronted by Evil personified, if there is a Devil, there must be a God.

    Then choose whom you will follow.
    “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

  16. I couldn’t argue against any of these comments, and the sentence in Deb’s comment ” This scenario is being orchestrated by the Evil Weevils at the top, and ultimately by Satan himself” prompts me to post this observation that I have already posted on a social media site.

    “I’ve been reading while recuperating after pneumonia, and came across this ebook by Fiona Barnett, “Eyes Wide Open” about her life as a Ritual Child Abuse victim and grooming as one selected to be the highest in one of the cults. Her escape from the programming and her naming of perpetrators throughout our society and at the highest levels is breathtaking. Names, locations, dates, fellow witnesses, references by her researcher on almost every page. MK Ultra (proof of existence by US Congress inquiry), CIA child and drug trafficking, politicians, police senior ranks. Details of her submissions to Inquiries into child abuse, baby trafficking by Institutions run by household names backed up by details and closure of these Institutions with no headlines. If you care about society, and an estimated 70% of society is run by these perps, download her free 455 page book from https://fionabarnett.org/. It may not be available for long, such are the revelations.”

    Her revelations explain how most of those in power are puppets controlled by blackmail or their own decent into satanic practices. Unfortunately, I have no answers, except perhaps the power of prayer.

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