Those of us who reject the idea that mankind controls Earth’s thermostat do so for many reasons. As yet there exists no physical evidence to link the steady growth of carbon dioxide beginning in the 1950s with the erratic atmospheric temperature record which goes back to the 1850s. Nor has there been any acceleration in the historical record of storm frequencies or intensities, droughts, floods, wildfires, species extinctions, and all the rest of unsupported propaganda announced daily in the media. The oceans are rising, but at a constant leisurely 7 inches per century.

It is more logical to assume Earth’s temperatures are a result of natural causes, as has been the case for all time even before man or animals walked the Earth. We know we are rebounding from a Little Ice Age that ended around the time Washington was fighting near Valley Forge. This warming has caused the release of carbon dioxide from the oceans, which is responsible for the greening of the Earth in recent decades. For the record the total warming of the atmosphere since 1880 has been about one degree centigrade, in contrast with predictions of a 3-4 degree rise by the United Nations supported computer models.

The obvious reason the distorted ideas mentioned above are so prevalent is that more than a billion dollars a day is spent world wide promoting efforts to stop climate change regardless of man’s inability to do so. Much of that money is spent attempting to stop the use of fossil fuels which if ever achieved would destroy civilization as it is known today except in the most impoverished nations.

Major reasons why Earth’s climate has continued changing through billions of years are: variations in radiation coming from the sun, variations in Earth’s orbit and tilt, variations in cloud cover, ocean current oscillations, volcanism, drifting of the continents and many other poorly understood variable factors. It is incredulous that our government spends $billions of your taxes trying to pin down the earth’s thermostat with a few minor variables fed into mathematical computer models that never have nor ever will give sensible answers.

Prior to the industrial revolution which began in the early 1800s the temperature was as erratic as today with many periods in the past 12,000 years warmer than today. Alternating cold periods really made life most difficult with life expectancies below 30 years until fossil fuels came along to lessen man’s burden. Now in all parts of the world lifespan has risen above 70 years regardless of climate. Instead of terrible catastrophes predicted by environmental activists, humanity prospers.

The soaring global warming that was predicted never occurred, so it was renamed climate change where the activists could never go wrong as the climate and weather are always changing. They were terribly wrong about the warming. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency, the warmest decade on record was the 1930s. NOAA records show that 23 state high-temp-erature records were set in the 1930s while only two state high-temperature records were set in the past 20 years.

And yet the real apocalypse is not global warming, it is the elimination of fossil fuels and nuclear power, which must be avoided at all cost or we will have to give up our very way of life. Without these fuels modern agriculture and food delivery services will no longer be able to feed the world’s people. Neither wind turbines nor solar panels, nor the enormous batteries required to back up these intermittent sources, nor anything made of concrete or steel or many other materials, can be manufactured without fossil fuels.

But fear not about vital materials or processes playing out as a result of environmental zealots or political wrong-headedness. Realistically the effect of any significant cut-back of fossil fuels will be much higher energy costs followed by soaring prices for all products we use including food, water, transportation, and housing. Any administration attempting such cutbacks will be faced with protests from the entire population wishing to have their comfortable lives restored. These inevitable effects have already occurred in several European countries and Australia as they attempted to cut back on fossil and nuclear fuels. Few of us desire to live without our I-Phones or Amazon deliveries, so it will be amusing to watch environ-mentalists boast about operating without carbon-based fuels in the coming decades as their lives come crashing down around them.

In reality, worldwide, a wind or a solar power plant has never and can never replace a coal or gas fired electrical generation plant, but always must remain a parasitic appendage to the electric grid. Because of intermittency, wind or solar plants create only erratic bursts of electricity, thereby placing stress on the grid, a grid that must maintain rock steady voltage and fre-quency even on cloudy and windless days. This can only be accomplished by supplementing the intermittent wind or solar power with electrical power from fossil fuel sources capable of changing power rapidly.

A further insanity regarding wind and solar are the areas they require to produce the same 1000 megawatts derived from a typical fossil fuel power plant taking up less than one square mile of land. A comparable wind farm consists of over 3000 turbines and requires over 200 square miles of land area. An equivalent solar farm would require millions of panels covering about half that amount of land.

Renewable energy zealots claim that industrial-scale batteries will solve the intermittency problems by storing power from the wind and solar farms, and then returning a steady stream of electricity as needed. Batteries with sufficient capacity to do this are now and will always be unaffordable. This includes even Elon Musk’s Tesla batteries which are planned for a huge solar facility near Las Vegas. Some such batteries are already being installed by electrical utilities around the country on a smaller scale. Keep your eyes peeled for future brownouts and blackouts resulting from these questionable projects.

We ran some numbers on Colorado’s desire to be an all renewable state, requiring shuttering all coal and gas fired power plants. With a population of 6 million Colorado would require 5.6 megawatt hours of battery storage costing over one trillion dollars or about $167,000 per person. Assuming battery storage for a family of four, using Tesla battery packs needing replacement every ten years, the cost of batteries alone would approach that of a mortgage on a $2 million home. Solar energy supplements with government subsides can reduce the cost of energy for some homeowners in some areas, but being totally off the grid is either expensive or without many amenities.

One of the main factors affecting rising electricity prices and higher utility bills, is the increased use of subsidized renewable energy. Operating costs for coal and nuclear power has traditionally been between 2 and 3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and natural gas has been between 3 and 10 cents a kWh, while wind power with government subsidies is between 15 and 25 cents a kilowatt hour.

Since Germany became largely dependent upon wind and solar sources, average energy rates have risen to above 35 cents per kWh, compared with U.S. rates of 10 to 13 cents. Unless free markets are again allowed to govern our energy industries we can expect our energy prices to also double and triple in coming years under any federal administration that promotes renewable energy.

Today 29 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have renewable Energy Mandates designed to force utilities to purchase certain specified percentages of their electricity from renewable energy sources. This is anything but a free market in energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the states with renewable mandates have electricity prices that average 26% higher than those without. How much more would we pay if renewable sources became the sole source of our electricity?

Coal, oil and natural gas have been the overwhelming choices of fuels particularly for developing countries. Worldwide fossil fuel usage doubled during the period from 1980 through 2015 and expanded by more than a factor of five in both China and India. Meanwhile instead of the predicted terrible climate disasters, life expectancy grew by 15% (from 65 to 75 years) in China and by 34% (from 49 to 66 years) in India; monthly income increased by 1500% in China and 400% in India. Infant mortality rates decreased by 70% in China and by 58% in India, and malnutrition plummeted by 40% in both countries during that same 35year period of increased use of abundant and affordable fossil fuels.

Surprise, surprise all major measures of U.S. air and water pollution decreased during this period. All these beneficial numbers relate directly to the availability of inexpensive energy from carbonbased fuel. Carbon dioxide continued to increase this entire period, increasing the growth rates of our forests and food crops while having absolutely no negative bearing on our planet. There is more! Over the period we are discussing, climate related deaths declined 98% to near zero. Why? Again, more available inexpensive energy enabled more people to be rescued and saved from fires, floods, and storms, etc., and hospitals have become steadily more effective. Sadly, if Mr. Biden claims the Presidency of the United States, the nation probably will begin to move backward in time just as Europe appears to have done.

The example of Europe is pertinent. In June 2000, the European Union (EU) launched the European Climate Change Programme which promoted the buildout of wind and solar capacity. Feed-in tariffs established artificially high prices for electricity from wind and solar sources, while mandates established priorities for the renewables over conventional sources.

Wind turbines were constructed and installed by the thousands and rooftop solar panels by the millions, costing the various governments more than a trillion dollars between 2000 and 2016. Residential electricity prices soared across Europe, approaching 40 cents per kWh in both Germany and Denmark. Large subsidies are now required for both renewable and conventional energy in order to keep the lights on. California is headed down this road regardless of who claims the Whitehouse in November, and several other states are also flirting with these disastrous anti-fossil-fuel policies. These are crazy times when brilliant German engineers stoop down to shoot themselves in the foot. Can we be far behind?


  • CFACT Ed

    CFACT -- We're freedom people.

  • Dr. Jay Lehr

    CFACT Senior Science Analyst Jay Lehr has authored more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles and 36 books. Jay’s new book A Hitchhikers Journey Through Climate Change written with Teri Ciccone is now available on Kindle and Amazon.

  • Carl Langner

    Carl Langner is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received his Ph.D from the University of Florida in 1973. Carl worked as an Offshore Pipeline Engineer from 1966 to 1999 and a consulting engineer in Texas from 2000 to 2015. He currently resides in Colorado.