More rational policies in our future?

“President Trump’s bold decision underscores the ill-informed science, economics, ethics and energy politics that have driven climate cataclysm caterwauling for decades.” – Paul Driessen

“Al Gore says President Trump’s Exit Paris decision will bring “a global weather apocalypse.” Coal-billionaire Tom Steyer called the action “a traitorous act of war.”

“Please. What would really impact our planet’s habitats, wildlife and scenic vistas are the millions of wind turbines and solar panels the world would need to generate expensive, intermittent electricity – if we abandoned the oil, natural gas and coal that still provide 80% of America’s and the world’s energy. And for all that, at best we would get an undetectable 0.2 degrees C (0.3 F) less warming by 2100 … IF plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide actually does drive climate change and extreme weather.

“Generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 185,000 1.5-MW turbines, up to 18 million acres of land, and 245 million tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth metals. Multiply that times global needs, and you get the picture.”

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More rational policies in our future?

Trump’s Paris decision challenges bad science, economics and energy politics behind treaty

By Paul Driessen

In the wake of President Trump’s exit from the Paris climate treaty, reactions from other quarters were predictably swift, nasty, sanctimonious and hypocritical.

Al Gore paused near one of the private jets he takes to hector lesser mortals to say the action will bring “a global weather apocalypse.” Billionaire Tom Steyer got rich selling coal but called the President’s action “a traitorous act of war.” Actor-activist Mark Ruffalo railed that Trump has “the death of whole nations on his hands.” Michael Moore said the action was “a crime against humanity.” Former President Obama said it threatened “the one planet we’ve got” (to say nothing of what’s left of his executive orders legacy).

Widespread green energy poverty

In truth, President Trump’s bold decision underscores the ill-informed science, economics, ethics and energy politics that have driven climate cataclysm caterwauling for decades. His exit decision, his insistence that NATO members pay their agreed dues for defending Europe, the impacts of widespread green energy poverty, and the hard economic and environmental realities of wind, solar and biofuel “alternatives” to fossil fuels will likely awaken other leaders – and persuade other nations to Exit Paris.

Of the 28 NATO members, only the US, UK, Poland, Estonia and Greece have met their defense spending commitments, leaving a shortfall of $134 billion a year and compelling the United States to shoulder over 65% of the alliance’s total defense spending. Germany and some other members have now grudgingly agreed to increase their payments, in response to President Trump’s request, Russia’s actions in Crimea, Georgia and elsewhere – and growing threats of Islamist terrorism.

Ludicrous to claim supposedly manmade climate change is the world’s biggest worry

In the wake of London, Manchester, Brussels, Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Twin Towers and countless other attacks, it is ludicrous to claim supposedly manmade, allegedly dangerous climate change is the world’s biggest worry. It’s totally unrealistic to imagine that NATO members can pay their fair share for defending Europe and then pay what the Paris Treaty expects for the Green Climate Fund, while shackling their economies with job-killing renewable energy policies, and spending billions on welfare for unemployed workers and migrant families from the Middle East.

The Paris climate formula provides that GCF payments are to start at $100 billion per year, of which the US share would have been $23.5 billion. Former UN Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Christiana Figueres has suggested that $450 billion a year by 2030 would be appropriate, Competitive Enterprise Institute energy and climate director Myron Ebell points out.

Replacing free enterprise with global governance

Ms. Figueres has also said the UN has “given itself” the task of replacing the free enterprise capitalism economic model with a global governance system. Her colleague Ottmar Edenhofer bluntly stated that the real goal of UN climate policies is redistributing the world’s wealth – in $450-billion-a-year increments.

Developing Countries and kleptocratic leaders demanded this windfall to join Paris. Their enthusiasm over staying in Paris is likely to reflect now-rich nation declining excitement about paying into the Fund, even though the treaty does not obligate DCs to reduce fossil fuel use or emissions until at least 2030.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gamely said she will now work “more than ever” to “save our planet.” A number of US cities and states pledged to remain committed to treaty obligations. How exactly will they do that? Will they pay billions into the Fund – and blanket their lands with enough wind, solar and biofuel installations to be completely renewable in three decades? Build more of the only CO2-free electricity sources that are reliable and affordable: nuclear and hydroelectric facilities?

Most of these national, state and local leaders oppose nuclear and hydroelectric as strongly as they detest fossil fuels – and the states and cities are already burdened by soaring electricity prices and government debt. Virtually none have considered the gargantuan costs of this “energy transition” – or the fact that total global adherence to the Paris Treaty would prevent an undetectable 0.2 degrees C (0.3 F) of warming by 2100. Their own self-aggrandizing efforts would prevent perhaps 0.01 degrees. (And that assumes carbon dioxide is the primary factor in climate change, instead of changes in solar energy output, cosmic rays, ocean circulation and numerous other natural forces that actually control Earth’s climate.)

The United States and world still depend on oil, natural gas and coal for 80% of their total energy needs. More than 53,000 US wind turbines still supply only 2% of the nation’s total energy; thousands of acres of photovoltaic solar panels supply barely 0.3% of US energy; corn ethanol from 40 million acres (equal to Iowa or to Austria and the Czech Republic combined) supplies just 5% of its transportation fuels.

Land and raw material requirements for wind turbines underscore the true impacts of renewable energy.

Between 2010 and 2015, global electricity consumption grew by more than 2 billion megawatt-hours (2,000 terawatt-hours). Meeting just this demand growth of 400 million mWh per year (not total global electricity demand) solely with wind energy would require installing some 100,000 new turbines every year (generating electricity 25% of the time), as nations continue to electrify their far-flung communities.

Thankfully, African and Asian countries are actually doing so by building “mere” hundreds of new coal- and natural gas-fueled power plants, to generate abundant, reliable, affordable electricity for their people. Converting the entire planet to constantly fluctuating, unreliable, expensive, subsidized wind power would require trillions of dollars, hundreds of millions of acres, and incalculable raw materials.

To call this “clean” energy, “sustainable” power or “environmental justice” is simply perverse.

Industry and other data suggest that generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 185,000 1.5-MW turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, up to 18 million acres, and 245 million tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths – plus fossil-fuel back-up generators for the 75% of the year that the wind is barely blowing and the turbines are not producing electricity.

Now consider where all these raw materials must come from, how they must be extracted from the Earth and turned into finished products, and how much (mostly fossil fuel) energy that requires. Concrete is made from limestone, silica, alumina, iron, clay, fly ash, gypsum and gravel. Steel requires iron, nickel, chromium, manganese, carbon and molybdenum. Fiberglass is composed of silica, other minerals and petroleum. These materials and copper are mined in countries all across the planet.

Nearly all rare earth metals come from Mongolia, and lithium for batteries (to store the turbines’ electrical output) from the Democratic Republic of Congo, under horrid to nonexistent environmental, health and child labor standards. Their toxic and radioactive wastes are turning vast areas into desolate wastelands.

Those are enormous impacts – and wind turbines require some 100-200 times more raw materials per megawatt of electricity actually generated than modern hypercritical coal or combined cycle gas turbine generators. Total energy inputs to manufacture, transport and install wind turbine components are also lopsided. Just imagine the land and resource needs if all electricity were wind-generated and all cars were electric. To call this “clean” energy, “sustainable” power or “environmental justice” is simply perverse.

Think back on the incredible energy technology advances since 1917 – from wood and coal in primitive stoves, furnaces and factories a century ago … to the coal and gas turbine generators, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants, high-tech transmission grids of today. Ponder the amazing advancements in medical, computer, communication and other technologies during the past century.

Wealth redistribution

Imagine what wonders our Ultimate Resource – our creative intellects – could invent over next century, if we have the freedom and capital to do so. If misguided climate change, wealth redistribution, renewable energy and global governance demands do not shackle those opportunities. If we’d stop giving decision-making authority to people who have never been in factories or on farms (much less worked there), and think food comes from grocery stores, electricity from wall sockets, “clean energy” from magic.

President Trump has been vilified for challenging “accepted wisdom” on NATO, terrorism, climate change, and the ability of wind and solar to power job creation and economic rejuvenation in the USA and other industrialized nations – and to enable poor families worldwide to take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people. History will prove him right.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.


16 thoughts on “More rational policies in our future?”

  1. Electricity pricing in South Australia rose by 18% last Saturday, and we supposedly have more green energy than the other states. Welcome to the future where only the rich can afford electricity where green energy is concerned. I know of pensioners who can’t afford it now.

    • Tina,

      Its worse than we thought, wind mills do not create spinning inertia ergo you cannot control grid frequency which caused the state wide blackout.

      The new new plan proposed by all parties yesterday will make it impossible to operate or more importantly build another coal or gas plant. A super critical coal plant like the one they are building in Indonesia will exceed proposed emission levels. The mythical CCS plants they carp on about will not be able to be built…..which is a good thing.

  2. I have no confidence in the existing oligarchic Marxist -Democratic system as it has and is leading mankind to ruin through its criminal immorality and greed plus its ultimate un-accountability to anyone but itself in the real world. One other thing; there is far too much disrespect for the truth not just among the public but more ominously in government, the media and the world of finance. This is of course nothing new but it is something that indicates that society and its leadership is on the wrong path and heading for disaster.

  3. This is too funny.

    Reality, the cost of new power from solar and wind is cheaper than the cost of new power from coal. China is building solar and wind, retired 106 coal power plants last year. It doesn’t matter what Trump says or does, the world is “going green,” you don’t have to like it, it will happen. Toyota, Honda, GM, have hydrogen fuel cell cars on the market, in 30 years you may not be able to buy a new car that runs on gasoline or diesel, they won’t be in production anymore.

    Gas and oil are finite resources, logic says we must evolve to renewables before we begin to exhaust our supply of economically recoverable gas and oil.

  4. I appreciate President Trump’s backbone. Facing the tide is hard but the only thing to do when you stand up for your beliefs. EVERYONE should be proud of our President; reguardless of their political view, just for standing up.
    ITS ABOUT TIME SOMEBODY DID!

  5. This current version of alternative energy is a huge productivity loss for economies which must result in lower wages, there is just no getting away from that.

  6. Paul has made a mistake by asserting corn based ethanol “supplies just 5% of its transportation fuels”.

    If one ceases using oil based petroleum then corn based ethanol would supply exactly 0% of its transportation fuels !!!

    This is because ethanol does NOT fuel internal combustion engines at all – it is merely an expensive additive designed to satisfy a powerful lobby group who have had tough times.

    We have the same scheme here to prop up sugar cane farmers.

    Ethanol is not reducing emissions at all – it is increasing them because it cannot replace petroleum and has forced design changes in internal combustion engines that produce zero benefits.

  7. Am I wrong or is the agreement that $100 billion per YEAR is to be paid to the Green Climate Fund ?

    To date they boast a commitment of $10.1 billion after 18 months – a mere $89.9 billion shy of ONE years contributions or a mere $134.85 billion shy of 18 months contributions !

    “As of June 2017, the Green Climate Fund has raised USD 10.3 billion equivalent in pledges from 43 state governments. The objective is for all pledges to be converted into contribution agreements within one year from the time at which they are made. ”

    If you understand “Bureauspeak” – often described as gobbledygook – perhaps you can tell me if they actually have any money at all ?

    Because to me it sounds like they have “pledges” that they expect will turn into money next year !

    Are they planning legal action against defaulters ?

    Come on – does any rational person think this is ever going to fly ?

    Only an idiot would sign up to a deal like this – looks like we all had the lunatics in charge of the asylum !

    The people who will really suffer if this insanity continues will be the poor undernourished of the world as the money to support famine relief will be transferred to this BS !

    So congrats to Trump – I was beginning to despair he may be persuaded to back down.

    If he wants to shut up the idiot climate alarmists in the media he should increase US food and humanitarian aid and state the climate money is paying for it !

    I’d like to see the media scum try to justify leaving people to starve in order to fund climate shysters !

  8. I have real concerns when I see that close to the majority (if not more) of citizens in the US appear to support IRRATIONAL notions. How anyone could consider voting for Hillary or Sanders is beyond me! And consider:

    1) all the very good examples mentioned in the article

    2) so called “feminists” who support Sharia law and other nonsense including all the extremely repressive ideals stemming from a belief in Islam.

    3) so called “environmentalists” who waste God knows how much fossil fuel buzzing around the planet attending lavish parties at taxpayer expense

    4) people who support “sanctuary” cities, states, etc. where millions of people surge illegally across our nearly wide-open border making threats, demanding we support them and and their children, bring with them high crime rates, gangs including horrible drug cartels … and many people whose sole intent is to destroy the US and “take back” land that was “stolen” (at a cost of around $18 million paid to Mexico… to the drunk bum and gambler-in-chief Maxmillian) and turn it into the fantasy-land Atzlan.

    5) White people who support the criminal activities of “Black Live Matter” and support ideals like destruction of “whiteness”

    The real risk is that so many, including the vast majority of our young people are so delusional after decades of “public school” education that intends to destroy our country, our economy and our way of life. Sooner or later, unless some miracle happens… those hoards will outvote those of us who are rational.

    I support Trump still and do think he has amazing backbone, but I am less optimistic for the future. I can see how all those weird and bizarre activists and their persistent hostility may end up pushing him into giving up out of sheer exhaustion (I know I would) and the extent of the constant hostility towards his family.

  9. Correction, I stated that the South Australian desalination plant had not been used but it was run sporadically from 2011 to 2012 producing a small amount of water and again from 2015 to 2016 until money was raised for a make work programme to run it permanently at its minimum speed currently cleaning river water into the Happy Valley reservoir.

  10. The unused desalination plant is in neighbouring Victoria built in 2012 for 5.7 billion though a proposal was put forward in 2015 to run it there was no water produced for public use until March this year.

  11. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-15/solar-power-will-kill-coal-sooner-than-you-think

    BLOOMBER 2017 ENERGY OUTLOOK (JUNE 15)

    Projects that the market share for Coal will be down 51% by 2040, Gas up 22% by 2040, Solar and Wind market share up 169% by 2040.

    This is because the cost of building solar and wind has come down 30% in the last decade, and is projected to come down 70% by 2040, while storage technology develops enabling large public utility-scale energy storage.

    I don’t think humans burning fossil fuels have much or anything to do with climate change, the climate has always been changing for hundreds of millions of years.

    But technology is evolving, solar and wind are becoming the cheapest sources of energy, and that’s where the world is going to go, before the end of the century solar and wind will be our primary energy sources.

    I’m looking around the new housing construction here in the Sacramento area, everywhere I look every new house is solar panels installed by the builder. A friend who is an electrical contractor says they can’t keep up with the demand for solar installation.

    Every new technology has its teething troubles, in 1905 nobody thought airplanes would ever fly except a couple of brothers with a bicycle shop in Ohio and some loony toon dreamer in France.

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