“Combating The Climate Crisis and Pursuing Environmental Justice” is the title of the segment of the 2020 democratic platform that if ever implemented could send America back to the days before the industrial revolution. It’s nearly 3000 words opens with the following paragraph.
“Climate change is a global emergency. We have no time to waste in taking action to protect Americans’ lives and futures. The last four years have seen record-breaking storms, devastating wildfires, and historic floods. Urban and rural communities alike have suffered tens of billions dollars in economic losses. Dams have failed catastrophically in Michigan. Farmers’ crops have been drowned in their fields across the Midwest. Coastal communities from Florida to New Jersey are facing an existential crisis as a result of sea level rise and stronger storms. Thousands of Americans have died. And President Trump still callously and willfully denies the science that explains why so many are suffering.”
It goes on to describe how they will decarbonize the nation and bring all activities to zero emissions with power plants leading the way by 2035. Within five years they plan to install 500 million solar panels, 8 million solar roofs along with community solar grids, 60,000 wind turbines, and turn American ingenuity into jobs manufacturing renewable energy solutions.
This plan ignores what is one of the greatest scams in modern government. The billions of dollars Silicon Valley businesses and investors have been making off green energy subsidies for decades. Bad bets on renewable energy since the 1970s include direct subsidies, government loans, loan guarantees, tax preferences, lavish grants and regulatory mandates biased in favor of wind and solar power. Yet so called green energy, (it really isn’t) remains an inconsequential source of American energy despite more than $100 billion invested in it through the Bush and Obama administrations alone.
There are niche markets for wind and solar power, but the assumption that current renewable technologies can provide the same energy services that oil, coal and natural gas now provide defies reality. Without lavish subsidies renewable energy might actually find its niche markets.
America’s $18 trillion industrial economy, pre-virus, cannot be powered with windmills and solar paneling unless we can transcend the four laws of thermodynamics which put men on the moon, led to micro-processors, semiconductors, innumerable technological breakthroughs and an extension of our own lives.
The future of renewable energy is not much brighter than its dismal past. Even our Department of Energy forecasts its role being no more than ten percent in another decade. Even this small increase would depend on the multi-billion dollar federal subsidy described in the
Democratic platform which will not occur if the current administration gets an extension.
Europe’s pursuit of renewable energy began a decade earlier than ours and proved the need to increase subsidies and raise electric rates. This has been totally ignored in the Democratic platform referred to above.
Germany and England have learned that the more renewable energy they attach to their grids, the more coal they must burn to back up its intermittent generation. It is quite amazing that this fact is not recognized universally. If a country or company wants to depend on some amount of wind or solar capacity on their grids they must have an equal or greater amount of fossil fuel operating on standby at all times ready to take over during the periods of no sun or wind. In the new book A Hitchhikers Journey Through Climate Change, the authors recognize this as the Chiccone/Lehr rule of thumb.
A few years ago Google announced it would soon be powered solely renewable energy. Not long after they admitted it was a major miscalculation. They learned that transitioning to green power systems would take two to three times more generating capacity to provide the same amount of electricity as a coal or natural gas plant. In spite of this Amazon is claiming each day in TV ads that they will be all renewable within 5 years. The screen shows dozens of whirling wind turbines as the narrator tells this fib. It can’t be done.
Google also recognized that these structures require huge amounts of steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fiber, many rare earths and large amounts of energy to develop them.
The practice of fleecing American taxpayers to fund pipe dreams of alternate energy sources goes back to the late 1970s. The Carter administration spent billions of dollars on the Synthetic Fuels Corporation, one the biggest corporate welfare boondoggles in American history. The late F.A. Hayek called this the “fatal conceit”, thinking politicians know where the future is headed.
Perhaps the biggest delusion of all are the hundreds of thousands of jobs promised amidst the conversion to renewable energy. Despite President Obama’s promise of five million green jobs over a ten year period if he was elected, only a very small fraction materialized. A 2013 study by the Institute for Energy Research found that for the $26 billion committed to Department of Energy loan guarantee projects between 2009 and 2016, only 2298 permanent jobs were created. That comes to $11.45 million taxpayer dollars spent for each job.
The Department of Labors Office of Inspector General examined a $500 million grant to the Employment and Training Administration to prepare individuals for careers in “green jobs”. The report found that out of 80,000 participants, only 8,035 of those trained, found jobs and only 1,033 had retained employment for more than six months. Mr. Biden’s record, were he to win, will not likely be much better.
There is even more chicanery in the green job delusion which becomes evident when one sees the many jobs counted as green, which will make you laugh. They include EPA regulators, university ecology professors,, school bus drivers, bike repair shop clerks and even Washington DC lobbyists working on green funding.
It is fortunate for us that the democratic platform is completely transparent. If the public chooses to read it they will not have been fooled if they choose to support it.
Portions of this article were excerpted directly from the book “Fueling Freedom” with permission of the authors Steve Moore and Kathleen White. The book is recommended as the very best treatise on American energy yet to be written.