Uber-left lunacy has launched climate hysteria and fossil fuel replacement fantasies to record stratospheric levels. Such clueless fictions are being trumpeted to advocate policies which would have disastrous consequences to our national economic and social well-being.
A growing public awakening to the transparent ignorance and socialist agendas driving this craziness make it both an opportune and urgent time to demand an objective investigation regarding the existence of any real scientific basis for climate alarm warranting extreme countermeasures.
Very encouragingly, the Trump White House plans to convene a long-overdue issue debate panel to do exactly that.
The group will be headed by Dr. Will Happer who serves as deputy assistant to the president and as the National Security Council’s senior director for emerging technologies. Will is a distinguished scientist and emeritus Princeton physics professor.
It’s also high time to put the record straight regarding puny capacities versus cost benefits of purportedly "renewable" fossil replacement alternatives. I’ll briefly highlight some major factual Green New Miss-dealings.
Reality Disconnects in Energy Consumption Sectors:
Wind and solar combined produce far less American energy than lobbies and other proponents have led you to imagine. According to 2017 Energy Information Administration data, these two sources combined provided less than 5 percent of the 38 percent of energy used by the electricity sector.
As for the "renewables" category which constitutes 17 percent of electricity, biomass accounted for 45 percent, hydropower provided 25 percent, and geothermal added another 2 percent. Wind (21 percent) and solar (6 percent) of renewables barely exceeded biomass . . . a CO2 generator just like fossils.
This piddling wind/solar contribution added next to nothing in supplying needs of three other highly fossil-reliant energy consumption sectors: transportation (29 percent of total energy); industrial (total 22 percent); and residential/commercial (total 11 percent).
The transportation sector relies on petroleum for 92 percent of its supply. Industrial consumption depends upon fossils for 83 percent (45 percent natural gas, 38 percent petroleum). Fossils supply 92 percent of all residential/commercial sector energy (76 percent natural gas, 16 percent petroleum).
Mythological Wind/Solar Expansion Capacities:
The Green New Deal proposes that wind and solar which together provide just slightly over three percent of America’s energy will eliminate a need for fossil sources which produce 78 percent.
This somehow includes replacing petroleum-fueled vehicles with plugged-in electric marvels that can be recharged when the wind isn’t blowing and sunshine isn’t available — nighttime, for example.
But what about the harsh reality that fossil fueled coal or natural gas power plants must still be kept online to provide a backup "spinning reserve" of uninterrupted electricity needed to keep the power grid balanced? This actually requires the availability of two different equal capacity sources to do the job of one.
Practical wind and solar sites are typically located far from high energy demand metropolitan population centers, resulting in large transmission losses and infrastructure costs. During 2013 alone, adding over 3,600 miles of right-of-way and lines to remote wind farms cost Texas taxpayers $7 billon.
Two recent papers published in the journals Environmental Research Letters and Joule by Harvard University researchers David Keith and Gordon McKay concluded that transitioning from wind or solar in the U.S. will require five to 20 times more land than conventionally thought.
Wind turbines also impact the health of people who have the misfortune of living near them. Common symptoms include headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, and ringing in ears resulting from prolonged exposure to inaudibly low "infrasound" frequencies that penetrate walls.
Prevalent "Not in My Backyard" (NIMBY) landowner lawsuit protests also arise regarding dominant visual impacts of turbines and transmission lines upon surrounding scenic vistas.
Abysmal Wind Power Life Cycle Costs:
A 2012 study of nearly 3,000 onshore U.K. wind turbines by Prof. Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University found that most continued to generate electricity efficiently for just 12 to 15 years. His findings contradicted energy industry and government calculations of 20 to 25 year lifespans.
Hughes, a former energy advisor to the World Bank, also concluded that a wind turbine will typically generate more than twice as much electricity in its first year than when it is 15 years old.
The "load factor" — the efficiency rating of a turbine based on the percentage of electricity it actually produces compared with its theoretical maximum — is reduced from 24 percent in the first 12 months of operation to just 11 percent after 15 years.
Hughes’ study of 30 offshore Danish wind farms shows an even more rapid decline with load factor reductions from 39 percent to 15 percent over only 10 years.
The limited lifespan of wind energy will reportedly require the State of Minnesota to spend $7 billion to repower existing systems by 2022 in addition to the $15 billion it invested merely 14 years earlier. This in spite of the fact that the state’s energy consumption has been essentially flat since 2006.
Nevertheless, the Green New Deal proposes that America must trade away our current fossil-fueled energy independence and prosperity for a green socialist paradise covered with vast fields of 400-foot-tall wind towers and blue seas of solar panels.
And never mind that unlike fossil and nuclear plants, they must be frequently and systematically replaced.
Socialist green dreamers argue that their new deal is worth any cost necessary to save the planet from climate-ravaging capitalism. Let’s finally put that nightmare of nonsense to honest debate.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), and "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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