Diogenes searching for honest policies

Renewable energy is defective solution in search of a problem, money, and power

The Greek philosopher Diogenes reportedly carried an oil lamp during the daytime, the better to help him find an honest man. People everywhere should join Congress and the Trump Administration in search of honest energy and climate policies – as too many existing policies were devised by special interests seeking money and power, and often using imaginary problems to justify their quest.

The health and environmental impacts from fossil fuels are well documented, though often exaggerated or even fabricated by activists, politicians, bureaucrats, and companies with lofty agendas: securing climate research grants, and mandates and subsidies for renewable energy projects to replace fossil fuels; reducing economic growth and living standards in industrialized nations; and redistributing the world’s wealth, fundamentally transforming the global economy, and telling impoverished countries what kinds of energy and what level of economic development they will be permitted to have.

More often than not, proponents justify these agendas by insisting we must prevent dangerous manmade global warming and climate chaos, prevent unsustainable resource consumption, and safeguard people against purported technological risks. My multiple articles on the catechism of climate cataclysmsustainability realities, absurdities, and duplicities … and selective application of precautionary pabulum address the conceptual fallacies of these interchangeable, agenda-driving mantras.

All three are routinely defined, twisted, used, and abused to block technologies that activists despise, and to promote technologies and policies that advance their agendas and fill their coffers.

But beyond their glaring, often insurmountable conceptual problems are the practical issues. With what, exactly, will these agitators replace fossil fuels? Applying the same health and environmental standards they use against oil, natural gas, and coal – just how clean, green, Earth-friendly, sustainable, climate-stabilizing, healthy, and human rights/social justice-oriented are their renewable energy alternatives?

If their alternatives are so wondrous, why do they still need permanent mandates, renewable portfolio standards, investment tax credits, production tax credits, feed-in tariffs, myriad other subsidies, exemptions from endangered species and other regulations, and laws requiring that utility companies buy their electricity whenever it is produced (even if it is not needed)? Why must they build and run fossil fuel “backup” power plants for the 50% to 85% of the time that wind and solar are not producing?

The following brief examination will hopefully guide more rigorous analyses of the impacts of these “technologies of the future” – aka wind, solar, and biomass technologies that served mankind rather poorly for countless generations, until the fossil/nuclear era began, and now are supposed to serve us once again.

Probably the biggest single problem with any supposedly renewable, sustainable alternative is its horrendously low energy density: the amount of energy produced per acre. We can get far more electricity or fuel from a few dozens, hundreds, or thousand acres of oil, gas, or coal production operations than we can from millions or tens of millions of acres of renewable energy projects.

Moreover, fossil fuel operations can often be conducted in the middle of farm fields or wildlife habitats – or the land can be reclaimed and returned to those uses once the energy has been extracted. Offshore oil and gas platforms actually create thriving habitats for marine life. Most renewable energy operations displace food crops or destroy wildlife habitats – and must do so in perpetuity.

And so we have corn as high as an elephant’s eye, across an area the size of Iowa (36 million acres) to produce ethanol that replaces 10% of U.S. gasoline but also requires vast quantities of water, fertilizer, fuel, and pesticides to grow the corn and turn it into fuel – instead of feeding hungry people.

We find bright yellow canola fields across more millions of acres in Montana, Saskatchewan, Germany and elsewhere, to produce biodiesel – and still more acreage devoted to switchgrass for ethanol and algae ponds for “advanced biofuels.” In Brazil, it’s millions of acres of sugarcane for ethanol, and millions more for other biofuels from palm oil, from areas that once were rainforests, “the Earth’s lungs,” as environmentalist groups like to say. Once teeming with wildlife, they are now monoculture energy plantations – so that we don’t have to desecrate Mother Earth by drilling holes in the ground to produce oil and natural gas: nature’s own biofuels, created over millions of years and stored for mankind’s benefit.

Of course, when these expensive, environment-intensive alternatives are burned, they send more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the same as fossil fuels do – on top of the CO2 that was burned by fuels and released from soils and clear-cut trees to produce the “climate-friendly renewable” energy.

Meanwhile, American and Canadian companies are cutting down millions of acres of forest habitats, and turning millions of trees into wood pellets that they truck to coastal ports and transport on oil-fueled cargo ships to England – to be hauled by truck and burned in place of coal to generate electricity. The pellets cost more than coal (which Britain still has in abundance), so utility companies receive huge taxpayer subsidies to make up the difference. One power plant received £450 million ($553 million) in 2015.

The financially and environmentally unsustainable scheme is justified on the ground that trees are renewable; so the scam helps Britain meet its climate change and renewable fuel obligations under various laws and treaties. Even though the trees-to-pellets-to-power process emits more carbon dioxide and pollution than coal-based power generation, the “wood fool” arrangement is considered to be “carbon neutral,” because growing replacement trees over the next century or two will absorb CO2.

If this sounds freaking dishonest and insane, it’s because it is freaking dishonest and insane. Diogenes must be turning summersaults in his grave. But there’s more.

On top of all this biofuel lunacy, we also have tens of thousands of wind turbines towering above fields, lakes, oceans, and homes – butchering millions of birds and bats, and impairing the health of thousands of humans whose well-being is sacrificed to Big Wind profits. We’ve also got millions of solar panels sprawling across countless acres of desert and grassland habitats, to produce well under 1% of the world’s electricity. Their expensive, intermittent power reaches distant urban areas via thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. They all require greenhouse gas-emitting backup power plants.

Those turbines, panels, transmission lines, and backups require millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete, rare-earth and other exotic metals, fiberglass, and other materials – much of it produced under nonexistent health and environmental laws in faraway countries, where injury, illness, child labor, and death run rampant … and are ignored by local, national, and United Nations authorities and human rights activists.

Removing all these worn-out turbines and solar panels will cost billions of dollars that state and federal governments don’t have, and developers have rarely had to cover with bonds.

Finally, the energy produced from all these “planet-saving” enterprises is far more costly than what could be produced using fossil fuels. Poor families are hit hardest, as they must spend a much larger portion of their incomes on energy than middle class and wealthy families. Businesses, factories, hospitals, and schools also face rising energy costs, and must lay off workers, reduce services, or close their doors.

The impacts ricochet throughout communities and nations, adversely affecting living standards, nutrition, health, and life spans. We are reminded once again: Corporate fraud affects a limited number of customers; government and activist fraud affects every taxpayer, citizen, and consumer.

The essence of all these renewable fuel programs is embodied in the notion that we must capture methane from cow dung, to safeguard Earth’s climate from this “potent greenhouse gas.” The operable term is BS.

The U.S. Congress and Trump Administration could become world leaders in returning honesty and sanity to energy, climate, economic, and environmental discussions and policies. Let’s hope they do.

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About the Author: Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for CFACT and author of Cracking Big Green and Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death.

  • Nov 28, 2016 Weather is NOT Climate!

    No, weather is NOT climate even when it’s warm outside. But in case there’s a climate cultist in your life that insists otherwise, here are some facts about global warming and vaguely-defined “extreme” weather that you can use to talk some sense into them.

    https://youtu.be/sT4133vfTmk

  • DECEMBER 29, 2015 Climate Models Have Been Wrong About Global Warming For Six Decades

    Climate models used by scientists to predict how much human activities will warm the planet have been over-predicting global warming for the last six decades, according to a recent working paper by climate scientists.

    http://houstonenergyinsider.com/climate-models-have-been-wrong-about-global-warming-for-six-decades/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email

    • Dano2
      • efred1

        Your model is biased and incomplete; you are not showing global mean temperatures from the 60’s to the mid-eighties, when the “concensus” of scientists was that we were on the verge of “A New Ice Age”. And you did not include data from ’05 to ’16, when there was no “global warming”. You cannot pick and choose what data points to prove a point, unless you want to prove that after several years of cold, wet weather, we had several years of warm, dry weather.

        These are simply fluctuations in temperature over several years, like seasons within a year, except these seasons last for several years.

        By using your analogy, since the end of December, we’ve started gaining 1 1/2 minutes of daylight each day; today, we’re gaining about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes a day. It’s increasing exponentially. By October, we’ll have no nighttime at all, and it’s man-made! Something needs to be done! We need government regulation of lighting, light emissions and outdoor lighting to stop the sun from shining day and night, or make the earth stop wobbling.

        How stupid does that sound? No more stupid than man-made global warming from just a few years of data.

        My daughter is an actual meteorologist, who graduated at the top of her class from a respected meteorology program at a major university, and she said the data is ridiculously incomplete; there’s not enough data to make any conclusions other than from ’86 – ’05, there was a warming trend. Also, the data has been falsified by the Anglia University; I read many of those emails, and there was irrefutable evidence that they were manipulating data, by either omitting data or skewing data. The same weather models that are used for ‘proving’ global warming cannot predict the weather more than three days out, and they get even more inaccurate the further out they try to predict; there are too many variables and the programs are too crude and incomplete.

        The CO2 proof of global warming is also irrelevant: During many of the ages of dinosaurs, when the earth was tropically warm, according to ice borings, the O2 levels were much higher than now, evidenced by the immense size of insects.

        • Dano2

          The following statements are hilariously wrong, in error, or comical:

          o Your model
          Aside from it not being my model, the images cover the output of approximately 100 global climate models.

          o biased and incomplete You can’t show biased. All models are incomplete.

          o you are not showing global mean temperatures from the 60’s to the mid-eighties You can’t read charts.

          o the “concensus” of scientists was that we were on the verge of “A New Ice Age”. I’ve pre-bunked you ~10x on this site.

          o you did not include data from ’05 to ’16, You can’t read charts.

          o ’05 to ’16, when there was no “global warming”. You can’t show this is true.

          o By using your analogy, Strawman.

          o How stupid does that sound? It was, indeed, a stupid strawman.

          o the data (sic) has been falsified by the Anglia University (sic) You were duped. You can’t show this is true.

          o there was irrefutable evidence that they were manipulating data You must have missed the six refutations. Not surprising, given your comment here.

          And I’ll take those points on offer, too:

          o We can’t predict weather tomorrow, so nothing about climate is predictable [5 points]

          o CO2 much higher in past [10 points]

          https://www.facebook.com/ClimateDenialistTalkingPointGame

          Thanks for the LOLz!

          Best,

          D

          • efred1

            Did you read the emails? I did, and they clearly stated that they were falsifying data, and ignoring data points that didn’t support their goal/theory.

            And your debunked nothing; I was there in the 70’s, and remember the articles about “The New Ice Age”. You, apparently, weren’t even a twinkle in your daddy’s eye. And there WAS a ‘consensus’ of scientists, just like there are today. And they are still wrong.

            The global climate models have found to have errors in them; they cannot accurately predict the weather tomorrow, let alone 50 -100 years from now.

            Your weather temperature charts are wrong.

            Unlike you, my life and career is spent in the outdoors, and my livelihood is dependent on what the weather does; I look out my cab window and see for miles what the weather is doing all around me, and daily I examine the weather maps and try to predict what the weather is going to do. So I believe I’m more in tune with the environment than you.

            So, I pay no attention to the Chicken Littles who one minute the sky is falling, and the next, the earth is rising, and there needs to be governmental controls because it’s all man’s fault.

            I suggest that if you want to help the environment, stop buy Chinese stuff; they are by far the biggest polluters on the planet. Better yet, go to China, and make them stop polluting.

            • Dano2

              I’ll take these points on offer then:

              o Climategate showed X [20 points]

              o Cooling scare in the 1970s [10 points]

              o We can’t predict weather tomorrow, so nothing about climate is predictable [5 points]

              o Data are unreliable/siting/urban heat island [15 points]

              o AGW proponents don’t have all the information [2 points]

              o Accepting AGW means that you need to stop breathing, live in a cave, sell car, etc [25 points]

              https://www.facebook.com/ClimateDenialistTalkingPointGame

              Pretty good haul for one comment!

              best,

              D

              • Pam Dunn

                Dano the gullible left winger moron who sucks up global warming idiocy in wholesale amounts spews its idiocy over nad over. If Global warming is real, WHY did AlGore buy WATER FRONT PROPERTY in Miami FL? GO kiss his butt and ask about his pollution spewing jet aircraft, his pollution spewing SUVs and his many houses that suck up more energy than a whole community of tax payers. GO take a look at HOW RICH the so-called scientists have gotten off FAUX research conducted with government grants.
                Finally, go see a good surgeon and have him open the space between your ears and SEE if there is any sign of a brain cell.

                • Dano2

                  See? this is what I mean! You’re crushing the “try to act like a smartie-boots on them InterToobz: act! Killin it!

                  Best,

                  D

            • HL

              You’re dealing with failed urban planner Dan Staley who lives in suburban Denver in a very large single-family home in Aurora. It has a walk score of 8. Dan’s carbon footprint is massive. He’s a hypocrite who has nothing to do because he’s a failed planner who is unemployed a “consultant” and/or a local government commissioner. That’s how he has time to make more than 30 comments a day on Disqus alone. Luckily, his wife, who also suckles off the government teat, supports him, and he lives in his mother-in-law’s house.

              He’s a pathetic loser who goes online to get his narcissistic needs met and his self-esteem boosted

          • Pam Dunn

            More spew from Dano the willing dunce and idiot who sucks up the global warming bullshyte .

            • Dano2

              Smart people would refute the comment instead of asking their six-year -old to comment for them.

              Best,

              D

            • HL

              You’re dealing with failed urban planner Dan Staley who lives in suburban Denver in a very large single-family home in Aurora. It has a walk score of 8. Dan’s carbon footprint is massive. He’s a hypocrite who has nothing to do because he’s a failed planner who is unemployed a “consultant” and/or a local government commissioner. That’s how he has time to make more than 30 comments a day on Disqus alone. Luckily, his wife, who also suckles off the government teat, supports him, and he lives in his mother-in-law’s house.

              He’s a pathetic loser who goes online to get his narcissistic needs met and his self-esteem boosted.

      • Guest

        All of those charts are based upon the insane schizophrenic assumption that a miniscule “anomaly” of .4 or .5 to 1.0 to 2.0 degrees can be extrapolated over the equally miniscule time frames of 20 to 30 years as a projection of catastrophic climate warming. If you’re buying into that myopic arrested development you haven’t studied much applied science nor understand the First Law of Proof of Hypothesis.

        • Dano2

          Comment missed looking cogent by that much.

          Best,

          D

          • Pam Dunn

            Missed intelligence by a MILE , I feel so sorry for your mother and father Dano, Popped out a total moron and idiot.

            • Dano2

              Smart take, again. You’re crushing playing a smart person on the Internets.

              Best,

              D

          • Guest

            That’s because your perception isn’t necessarily reality. When I have time I’ll post you the “real” scientific data explaining the phenomena of “climate” stability within the framework of “change.”

            You’re playing with data that’s analogous with a flat chessboard when the truth is revealed in the intricacies of a 3 dimensional algorithm of that chessboard.

            Over 30 thousand scientist have petitioned to refute the false claims of the flat board climate alarmists, dispelling the duplicitous deception that has evolved from ignorant fear mongering of poorly understood and misinterpreted science. But when the reality of their errors manifested themselves the egos of the incompetent scientist’s drove them to manufacture data to support their failed hypothesis.’ And swept up by the paranoia half the gullible public buys into the nonsense propagated by the braindead susceptible media.

            The laughable claim of “settled” science by “97 percent” of the scientific community is as distorted and ignorant as the moron’s in media pushing that lie, persuaded by politicians and charlatans scheming to feed off the public largess.

            • Dano2

              Over 30 thousand scientist have petitioned to refute the false claims of the flat board climate alarmists,

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH

              I loveloveloveloveLOVELUBS me that joke! It’s my second-favorite denier derp of all time!

              I LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLz every time I see it!

              Best,

              D

              • Guest

                Is that your toddler response, or were you just born real slow on the uptake.

                Google Scientists that refute anthropogenic climate change and you’ll find your 95 to 97 percent is comprised of a select cartel of government affiliated (political) scientist’s that subscribe to the UN’s IPCC now debunked report.

                If you do a little research you’ll find dozens of unbiased reports from a variety of sources the prove the majority of scientist’s remain non committal because of a lack of data or the elite scientists that have connected the dots and flat out deny AWC as it’s being characterized today. Speaking of which, at one time the established minds of their era were convinced the world is flat.

                It’s not a matter of denial of climate change. The earth’s atmospheric covering has been changing since it’s creation and will likely go on changing for millions of years to come. The question is to what degree man has or can have any impact on the climate and under what time frames can this be measured by known factors of scientific research.
                So far the “chicken little’s” have failed to incorporate the critical “factors” of multiple disciplines that can project a definitive and reasonable analysis of the phenomena. Be patient. I’m in the process of revising a paper I wrote a few years back that provides an even clearer explanation of the original hypothesis I presented you with that went right over your head. “The phenomena of climate stability within the framework of change.” I would add the caveat that “stability identified within the parameters of seasonal anomalies” vs the epochal changes of massive terrestrial reformation.

                • Dano2

                  OISM is the most reliable indicator of the least-educated denialist.

                  And your weak flail the UN’s IPCC now debunked report makes your derpitude even worse.

                  Best,

                  D

                  • Guest

                    Your response shows a complete lack of elite scholarship or research. You can’t even comprehend basic grammar. I agree Climate is constantly changing but not how the “chicken little’s” characterize it. I even agree man can affect temperatures “locally” but not in the manner that apocalyptic “fear mongers” claim.

                    You’re trying to mitigate concepts way over your head, and the best you can do is cite a single report that offers only “laymans” terminology that is easy to attack with equally shallow theories of castotophic AGW. And offer an even weaker “flailing” at the evaporating support of the unscrupulous UN report.

                    Unless you’ve investigated all of the major applied science’s that affect climate that include Astrophysics, Paleo (climatology), Bio electrical chemistry (molecular), Biology, Geological history, and Oceanography, and their interrelated functions from the various space rays (X rays, ultraviolet, etc.) bombarding our solar system and their impact on the 7 layer’s of energy that envelop our planet (Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Magnetosphere, Exosphere, etc.) Then you don’t have a clue as to the real nature of climate and weather, how it functions now or in the past.

                    Climate alarmists grab onto one or two factors to support an oversimplified and naive theory of AGW, and ignore the dozens of other elements that go into the complex phenomena of climate change and weather patterns. If the establishment weather media were so astute then they wouldn’t be continually wrong even in the simple day to day forecasts. That’s because they’re relying on general information that the “least educated” weather person can comprehend and convey. Which is what you’re doing. The Galileo’s of today’s understanding of climate are not the one’s hung up in the orthodoxy of the pseudo science political hierarchy of charlatans. Whose vision and scope is nihilistic, distorted, deceptive and motivated by greed, thus nullifying any real truth to their theories. A simple epiphany describes your dilemma and those who buy into the “alarmists” credo. “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”

                    • Dano2

                      Prancing. OISM support is addled mental power.

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Guest

                      Your fixation on OISM is obviously an obsessive compulsive deflection and projection of your academic shortcomings I figured your scholarship didn’t extend beyond high school cut and paste propaganda. This last response confirms that. I’m just wasting my time trying to impart any superior concepts. Go back to school and learn the scientific methods for how to do real objective research, and not just be a puppet and parrot the conclusions of others that have also failed in their scholarship, but have deluded themselves and others.

                    • wally12

                      @Guest: I too, am a skeptic and I have attempted to convert Dano2. He is too locked into his beliefs and will never budge. I stopped answering him because he wouldn’t change his mind even if the earth actually began to freeze into another ice age. The “warmers” were somewhat clever when they stopped stating that it was AGW although they still believe that. They changed the name to climate change because many to most skeptics agree with the “warmers” that the earth has been warming since the ice age. It is a great new name since it applies to all things from local weather to floods, snow, dry conditions, tornadoes, etc. I once was somewhat of a believer during the early years when the propaganda appeared that CO2 was the driver of warming. Along came the “hockey stick” scandal that woke me up. Since then I began to investigate and read scientific views on this subject. numerous scientists convinced me that CO2 warming was a scam. Scientists such as Dyson Freeman who stated the climate scientists used “Fudge Factors” in their models in an attempt to account for the influence of clouds, water vapor, sun and solar activity on temperature. Yet, the actual observation of warming hasn’t been tied to increases of CO2. Other scientists have included Henrik Svensmark, Don Easterbrook and of course, Paul Driessen and others of Cfact etc.
                      One article that sealed my belief was the 307 year data collection and graph of the yearly ice breakup of the Tornio River in Finland. The graph of this breakup showed that the northern hemisphere has been warming on average from 1693 to 2000 with cycles of cooling and warming. Since the data and graph included the industrial era of 1940 to the present and didn’t reveal any significant additional warming,it meant to me that CO2 was getting a bad rap. Have a nice day and try to stay away from Dano2. He is a waste of time.

                    • Otter

                      You are wasting your time on dano, he’s totally sucked in by THE STUPID.

                    • Guest

                      You’ve got that right. Brainless troll.

                    • HL

                      You’re dealing with failed urban planner Dan Staley (Dano2) who lives in suburban Denver in a very large single-family home in Aurora. It has a walk score of 8. Dan’s carbon footprint is massive. He’s a hypocrite who has nothing to do because he’s a failed planner who is unemployed a “consultant” and/or a local government commissioner. That’s how he has time to make more than 30 comments a day on Disqus alone. Lucky for him, his wife, who also suckles off the government teat, supports him, and he lives in his mother-in-law’s house.

                      He’s a pathetic loser who goes online to get his narcissistic needs met and his self-esteem boosted

      • Pam Dunn

        a moron spews the propaganda of ADJUSTED data. Thanks idiot.

        • Dano2

          Smartie-boots can’t refute a single pixel of these charts, so barfs high-intelligence text.

          Best,

          D

  • MarcJ

    There were 196
    heads of state meeting in Paris in 2015 talking about saving the planet from
    the ongoing Climate Change disaster (not a word about those Muslim terrorists
    murdering the infidels by the hundreds in the same city of Paris). That coming
    disaster was renamed as the Climate Change hoax after 20 consecutive years of
    GLOBAL COOLING from the previous Global Warming scam. Those government-paid
    drones ($25 billion per year of taxpayer funds) worked overtime to
    “recalculate” their computer equations and “recalibrate” their instruments to
    “demonstrate” retroactively how it was still getting hotter instead of
    colder. The chant of the coming irreversible Planet Earth demise was led by our
    Marxist Muslim President from Kenya – B. Hussein Obama – who among many other
    idiotic statements also declared that fighting the Climate Change is the best
    way to fight the ISIS Sunni terrorists. I feel sorry for the citizens of Paris and
    Nice who are still having nightmares about the recent wave of jihadist mass
    murders there. To complete that tragi-comedy we just have to wait for the
    concluding speech by our Hussein shouting “Allahu akbar!” Of course – but only
    after bestowing several billion dollars to that socialist UN panel for their socialist
    propaganda.

    He refused to bomb
    ISIS oil fields and their oil-transporting trucks because of possible
    “environmental” damages. That ISIS oil then goes to the Turkish ports to be
    exported to the world markets; let us remember that Turkey is also ruled by the
    Sunni Muslim dictator Erdogan. The money earned this way then serves to buy
    more bombs for the ISIS terrorists – including those curved knives with which
    to cut Christian heads.

    • Dano2

      So much derp…how do I even score this derpitude…how…

      Best,

      D

      • HL

        With three glasses of Merlot, perhaps?

  • goldminor

    My first thought when looking at this on FB, ..”So what was it about that lamp that could aid his search in finding an honest man?”.