We now generate 5% of our energy from wind and 1% from solar. It is a safe argument that once we quarry the cement required and mine and refine the steel and aluminum and mine the rare earths that every wind turbine requires, Industrial Wind Turbines can not even be considered green. Yet at least 23 states require that their electric utilities obtain some portion of the electricity they sell from renewable sources. In all cases in our nation they mean wind and solar farms. In most cases this energy costs at least three times more than conventional fossil fuel power plants. Were they not subsidized by the Federal government (your taxes) and often state subsidies, for these sources of power, they would cost 6 or 7 times more than natural gas and coal. When wind and solar costs are folded into your electricity bill, it is raised considerably for most Americans.

The argument in favor of these state enforced Renewable Energy Standards is that they encourage competition with fossil fuel power plants. This is actually the equivalent of forcing people to eat in an expensive restaurant when they could get a fine meal at a mid-priced family restaurant but the government will pick up part of the bill at the expensive restaurant making it only 50% more expensive instead of twice the price.

It is helpful to understand where America gets its energy. The United States Energy Information Agency is happy to oblige us with the data.

Natural gas plants supply 34% of our electricity, coal plants 30%, hydro-electric power plants supply 7%, nuclear power plants supply 20%, and as stated above 6% is from wind and solar installations. Where every single one of these installations exists energy to your home cost more than it would without it. The home-owner must pay the price for the governments belief that it is doing something beneficial for the environment or the Earth’s temperature.

Well speaking of competition, let’s assume that carbon dioxide does have a role in determining the temperature of our planet. Then let’s look at the other known factors that impact our planet’s temperature. They include, reflectivity of dark earth as compared to snow; evaporation of water; condensation; reflectivity of clouds; Infra-red Radiation by water; methane content of air; other greenhouse gases; gross movement of air; deep ocean currents; salinity of the oceans; deforestation; crop growth; cities; volcanoes; highways; strength of the Earth’s magnetic field; strength of the sun’s magnetic field; solar storms; solar ultra-violet light; cosmic rays; the solar wind; the location of the earth within our galaxy, the Milky Way; cloud cover leading to warmer nights. This is just a partial list. Do we have your attention yet?

Is there any doubt that all these factors are important? The real secret is that the best climatologists do not thoroughly understand them. Our government is willing to force you to pay more for your energy on their wrongheaded knowledge of a single variable, carbon dioxide. This writer believes it is not even remotely involved in the planet’s thermostat.

All of the increases in living expenses associated with renewable energy are a disproportionate toll on low-income families. The term ‘energy poor’ has arisen to describe households forced to spend more than 10% of their income to cover energy costs. In the US the government subsidizes all home solar installations so those who do not install them are paying their tax money to those who do.

The only winner in the renewable energy sweepstakes is BIG Government. Under the guise of ‘saving the planet’ governments are now in a position where they can micromanage entire economies.

The socialist movement paints a picture of a utopian future in which a benevolent and infallible government oversees all aspects of energy and the economy. Hopefully most of us will recognize the absurdity of such a failed political philosophy before it is too late.

Author

  • Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition. He has authored more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles and 36 books.