Climate Policies Increase Risk of Blackouts

Electricity pylon - power outage

Electricity pylon – power outage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warm and well fed, or hungry in the dark?

Guest post by Viv Forbes

Which is worse – gradual man-made global warming or sudden electricity blackout?

Alarmists try to scare us by claiming that man’s activities are causing global warming. Whether and when we may see new man-made warming is disputed and uncertain. If it does appear, the world will be slightly warmer, with more evaporation and rainfall; plants will grow better and colonise some areas currently too cold or too dry; fewer old people will die in winter and sea levels may continue the gradual rise we have seen since the end of the last ice age. There may even be a bit more “green” in Greenland. There is no evidence that man’s production of carbon dioxide is causing more extreme weather events. Any change caused by man will be gradual and there will be plenty of time to adapt, as humans have always done. Most people will hardly notice it.

What is certain, however, is that global warming policies are greatly increasing the chances of electricity blackouts, and here the effects can be predicted confidently – they will be sudden and severe.

Localised short-term blackouts can be caused by cyclones, storms, fires, floods, accidents, equipment failure or overloading. People will cope with them. The more widespread blackouts, caused for example by network collapse or insufficient generating capacity, will have severe effects.

All modern human activities are heavily dependent on electricity. Blackouts will stop lifts, trains, traffic lights, tools, appliances, factories, mines, refineries, communications and pumps for fuel, water and sewerage. People will be trapped or stranded in trains, ports, airports, lifts, hotels, hospitals and traffic jams. ATM’s, credit cards and supermarket checkouts will not work. Cash, cheques, IOU’s and pocket calculators will be required to buy anything.

Immediately a blackout occurs, those with emergency generators, fuel or batteries will start using them.

But within a very few days, batteries will run flat, emergency fuel supplies will be exhausted, food supplies will disappear from stores and pumped water will not be available. Intensive dairies, hatcheries, piggeries and feedlots will all face critical problems in keeping their animals alive and cared for.

If the blackout is extensive and prolonged, looting will infect the big cities and then spread to country areas. People who are old, sick, incapacitated or alone will be forgotten as able-bodied people focus on feeding and protecting their own.

The real threat to humanity today is not the theoretical dangers from gradual man-made global warming. A far bigger real danger is the growing threat to reliable electricity supplies from deep-green climate policies.

The most reliable electricity supplies come from coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, geothermal or oil. Misguided politicians and uncompromising nature are conspiring to ensure that few of these will be available to generate Australia’s future electricity.

The carbon tax and renewable energy targets threaten the financial viability of using coal, gas or oil to generate electricity. Banks and investors will not risk their capital on new carbon-powered stations dependent on an unstable and polarised political environment. And the declining profitability of existing stations under the carbon tax and mandated market sharing makes it risky and uneconomic to spend money maintaining existing aging stations.

The same green zealots who plot to destroy carbon energy will also work to prevent the construction of new nuclear or hydro plants in Australia. And Australia’s geothermal resources, being generally deep and remote, are unlikely to provide significant electricity for decades.

We are thus being forced to rely on fickle breezes and peek-a-boo sunbeams to generate expensive and intermittent electricity. And it will not be economic to continue building backup gas plants that are run below capacity or sit idle, earning insufficient income as they try to fill the unpredictable production gaps in the supply of green energy. The margin of supply safety will disappear.

Therefore, if we continue to allow green zealots to dictate our electricity generation, blackouts are inevitable. Britain and Germany already face this grim prospect.

All actions have consequences. We cannot continue pouring billions of dollars of community savings down the climate-change sink-hole, without starving our essential infrastructure. We cannot keep adding taxes and political risk to traditional electricity generators without reducing new investment in real base-load generating capacity. And we cannot keep adding unstable solar and wind elements to our electricity network without adding greatly to electricity costs and the risks of network failure.

When the lights fail, and the supermarket shelves are cleaned out, we will return, at great cost and after much misery, to cheap reliable continuous electricity using coal, gas or nuclear fuels.

Gaia worshippers will find that “Earth Hour” will not be such fun when it becomes “Earth Week”.

(772 words)

Viv Forbes,
Rosewood Qld Australia
forbes@carbon-sense.com

More Reading for those interested:


A real story of life in a Megacity during an extended Blackout:
http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/living-the-green-dream-in-megacity.pdf

What Happens during a Blackout – an assessment of the consequences of a prolonged and wide-ranging Power Outage in Germany:

http://carbon-sense.com/2013/03/30/blackout-dangers-in-germany/

Germany facing Blackouts:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9609777/Germany-facing-power-blackouts.html

Rolling Blackouts loom in UK:
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/energy_and_environment/article1206396.ece
Rolling Blackouts force Texas to Import Power from Mexico:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2011/02/03/rolling-blackouts-force-texas-to-import-power-from-mexico/

Wind Power fails Britain:

http://carbon-sense.com/2011/10/21/wind-power-fails-britain/

Why Wind Won’t Work:

http://carbon-sense.com/2011/02/08/why-wind-wont-work/

It’s the cold, not global warming, that is the danger:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html

A Lesson on Renewable Energy from a Canny Scot:
http://carbon-sense.com/2011/12/01/miller-to-salmond-letter/

Wind Farm Performance:
http://stopthesethings.com/2013/03/29/the-wind-industrys-lies-dissected/

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65 Responses to Climate Policies Increase Risk of Blackouts

  1. Rob Dawg says:

    If we are expected to rely increasingly on fickle sources such as solar and wind then the push should be for additional investment in east-west TIE lines. I personally look forward to the clashes as the sustainable energy crowd clashes headlong with the environmentalists opposing transmission corridors.

  2. GlynnMhor says:

    It’s panic-stricken carbon strangulation policies that need to be re-examined in the absence of any ‘climate crisis’ or other justification for the panic.

  3. tz2026 says:

    There are places with nearly constant sun and wind. The environmentalists don’t want solar panels to cover the former, nor windmills near the latter.

    Sort of like Monty Python’s Scott of the Sahara (it was to be the Antarctic except there are no lions to kill “with the blood spurting in slow motion”).

  4. Mark Bofill says:

    Absolutely. There are arguments to be had regarding the scientific question of AGW, but the policy questions are much simpler.

  5. dbstealey says:

    Very good article, thanks for posting.

    And today being what it is, here is a genuinely disturbing article.

  6. Chris Edwards says:

    I remember the rolling blackouts the unions caused in England Under Heath not funny!

  7. To the left of centre says:

    This all seems a little alarmist.

  8. vboring says:

    Probably just dramatically more expensive power.

    Wind has very low firm peak demand coincident output, but with enough plants spread over enough territory the firm output isn’t zero. In Texas, for example, the regulatory (ERCOT) body considers 7% of rated wind plant output to be available to meet peak demand. By this estimate, if you want 100% wind power all the time with zero storage and zero demand response you need to build about 100/7 = 14 times as much rated wind plant capacity as you have peak load. And you plan on throwing away a lot of wind energy.

    In real life, you just use gas plants to back up wind output and you probably only need something on the order of 2-3x as much wind plants as you have peak load. So, electricity rates can only be expected to rise to 5-6x where they are today – roughly in line with the cost of energy in the expensive parts of Europe.

    But we probably won’t have many outages caused directly by renewables. We have enough regulatory bodies and extensive utility planning departments to prevent that. Germany might if it follows its nuclear phase out plan to the letter, though.

  9. David A. Evans says:

    Been without heating for 2 days now.
    Floor price of £16/ton came in today too. £10 lasted less than 3 days & I only have gas heating. If I cooked by gas, I’d be struggling to eat.
    µwave works a treat though.

    DaveE.

  10. coeruleus says:

    The alarmism in this post makes me wonder whether this is an April Fools Day joke.

  11. Viv Forbes:

    Exactly! Well said. Thankyou.

    Richard

  12. jc says:

    The core problem is that this is driven by people who have no meaningful connection to reality. Rather, their reality is based entirely on the relationship between humans and the physical world having been developed to a point that sustains their existence well before they were around, or it occurs “out of their sight” and is undertaken by people they have no connection with.

    They are actually a parasite class who exist entirely on the historical and on-going efforts of other people, other sensibilities, and actions that are foreign to them. They disdain these things and consider themselves to have a superior understanding of life. They would protest the exact opposite but they are the ultimate consumers, not producers.

    In the abstract, they can probably see the relationship between their existence and material underpinnings. But it is beyond their imagination that any alteration in conditions could effect THEM. Surrealy given their claims to association, they are DENATURED.

  13. Stephen Richards says:

    Watch the UK. They will be the first country to suffer sudden blackouts and then, the first to leave the EU and start building coal and gas stations while fraking for gas and oil.

  14. clipe says:

    Oops, Synopsis of James Burke video.

    “The Trigger Effect” details the world’s present dependence on complex technological networks through a detailed narrative of New York City and the power blackout of 1965. Agricultural technology is traced to its origins in ancient Egypt and the invention of the plow. The segment ends in Kuwait where, because of oil, society leapt from traditional patterns to advanced technology in a period of only about 30 years.

  15. Joe Public says:

    “Green” policies were implemented as a ‘precaution’.

    I wonder what precautions politicians are taking in the event that that those “green” policies are unnecessary?

  16. arthur4563 says:

    After doing some calculations, I arrived at the amount of land a solar farm would need in order to produce the same amount of electricity over its practical lifespan as one modern nuclear power plant. The solar farm would have to be 80,000 acres,or 125 square miles. A large geographical
    footprint, I would say. I wonder what the average air temperature in such a solar farm would be?

  17. Gunga Din says:

    Which is worse – gradual man-made global warming or sudden electricity blackout?

    ===================================================================
    May I suggest, “Which is worse – gradual man-made global warming or sudden man-made electricity blackout?”

  18. DaveG says:

    Unfortunately the watermelon crowd don’t care and would welcome blackouts!

  19. J Martin says:

    I rather suspect that the UK will have to learn that lesson the hard way.

  20. Peter Miller says:

    When the blackouts arrive – the UK will probably be first in line – there will be at least two benefits:

    1. No more greenie nonsense for at least a generation.

    2. Thousands of unemployed ‘climate scientists’. No one is going to tolerate their BS once the blackouts start.

  21. vukcevic says:

    OT
    SIDC non-smoothed Sunspot Count for March is 57.9 (Feb = 38).

  22. H.R. says:

    From the article:
    ” Misguided politicians and uncompromising nature are conspiring to ensure that few of these will be available to generate Australia’s future electricity.”

    Misguided?!?? Are you sure about that or are you just being polite?

    Excellent piece, Viv Forbes, and it applies worldwide except where they already live with little or no electricity. After a collapse, those people will be the ones to pick over the bones of all the highly specialized people who are unable and unprepared to cope with a long-term disruption to electrical supplies. When reduced to the primitive, the experienced ‘primitives’ will prevail.

  23. ShrNfr says:

    Ironically, I installed my solar system with 100 KWH of lead acid to protect me against crap like this from the grid. I can muddle for a long time. including pulling water from my well and heating my house with my pellet stove. Alternatively, since i would have power to my boiler, the regular circulating hot water should be ok so long as the ng pressure is. After that, cooking will be over an open fire, but I don’t mind. My wife and I are fairly vegan.

    I cringe when I hear the words “smart grid”. As a PhD engineer in EE, I have come to realize that such terms are usually used to describe systems that are about as robust as a bunch of sewing needles balanced end to end.

    Hopefully, the rollover of the AMO and what not will kill the AGW folks before they can make life fragile for millions. For myself I just hedge as hard as possible.

  24. When humanity is starving and shivering in the dark, the warmunists can congratulate themselves on having “won”.

  25. cui bono says:

    Increase risk of blackouts? With our climate policy I feel like fainting dead away.

  26. Sean says:

    There are already thousands of deaths per year due to energy poverty in the UK, and it does not concern either the government or the media. They do not care. They have an agenda and they are sticking with it. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead….

  27. JamesS says:

    jc says:
    April 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    The core problem is that this is driven by people who have no meaningful connection to reality. Rather, their reality is based entirely on the relationship between humans and the physical world having been developed to a point that sustains their existence well before they were around, or it occurs “out of their sight” and is undertaken by people they have no connection with.

    The Eloi are here already?

  28. Sparks says:

    As every WUWT reader knows, we are and have been going through a cool period, In the past two weeks I have seen 20-30 foot snow drifts and I have experienced 7 blackouts. During the warm period that was blamed on anthropogenic climate change I experienced none that’s 7-0, its clear that heavy snow has away of bringing down power lines, causing widespread havoc while killing thousands of people and animals in the process. I’m not being alarmist about cold weather, I am, like everyone else with a bit of commonsense left, saying; don’t take chances when it comes to cold winters. Political propaganda on the Issue has now changed/morphed from Man made warming will cause warmer seasons to man made warming causes the Arctic to melt which somehow causes Colder seasons. Man Made Climate Change is now Null and void, Remember Cold Weather Kills.

    Anthropogenic Climate Change Proponents, are now officially the dumbest looking people on the planet.

  29. ntesdorf says:

    Thanks to Viv Forbes for a great article. As usual, no one will take the slightest notice as it is the truth and mankind prefers to learn its lessons from bitter experience that could have been foreseen and avoided rather than reading the truth.

  30. A.D. Everard says:

    Peter Miller says:
    April 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    When the blackouts arrive – the UK will probably be first in line – there will be at least two benefits:

    1. No more greenie nonsense for at least a generation.

    2. Thousands of unemployed ‘climate scientists’. No one is going to tolerate their BS once the blackouts start.

    *

    I’m waiting for both of these to happen. Pity the world will have to suffer the blackouts first.

    **

    Viv paints a very scary and very accurate picture. We think of blackouts in terms of personal heating and appliances. When we see the bigger picture – banks and petrol pumps, water pumps, supermarkets and farming – it makes the whole “It pays to be sure” green cr@p totally intolerable.

    For those few thinking Viv’s message is “alarmist”, you are clearly not paying attention to what the CAGW crowd have been up to for years. They’ve been ranting, raving, screaming, demanding, manipulating and emotionally blackmailing non-stop. Pointing out the real consequences of deep-green policy is hardly “alarmist”. Perhaps you feel all those people dying of cold across Europe are showing poor form and that when the lights do go out, no one will suffer. Wake up already. Green policy is killing us.

  31. Ian W says:

    To the left of centre says:
    April 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    This all seems a little alarmist.

    coeruleus says:
    April 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm
    The alarmism in this post makes me wonder whether this is an April Fools Day joke.

    I think it is actually more realist.

    The energy generating companies in UK have actually warned the politicians to expect rolling blackouts. UK is in the process of decommissioning perfectly serviceable coal fired power generation sites just because of ‘carbon’ rules from the EU. They envisage more close downs. They are building windmills (as the politicians are getting kickbacks from that) but not the gas fired backup systems for when the wind is not sufficient.

    I was in the UK for the programmed rolling black outs of the Heath government. I still have the oil lamps to prove it. These came in useful as I was under the series of hurricanes in 2004 that crossed Florida. A couple of these resulted in 3 – 5 day total power failures. It is amazing how quickly communications with the outside world go down. The last being telephones and cell phones. Florida is used to hurricanes so people keep ‘hurricane stores’ of food, cooking supplies, water purification etc. It is apparent from Irene and Sandy that the same is not the case in other states.

    Most supermarkets only hold 3 days supply of food.

    A 5 day power out in a major conurbation would not be pleasant.

    You may wish to remain unprepared because being prepared is alarmist Aesops fable of the ant and the grasshopper come to mind.

  32. Bob Diaz says:

    I wish the article would end with, “April Fools”, but sadly this isn’t a joke and the outcome is the logical end to where we are being pushed to.

  33. Skiphil says:

    BREAKING (h/t Tom Nelson):

    Climate Alarmist Jim Hansen leaving NASA on Wed. to devote himself to legal and political activism:

    Hansen retiring from NASA to press legal and activist efforts

    At the same time, retirement will allow Dr. Hansen to press his cause in court. He plans to take a more active role in lawsuits challenging the federal and state governments over their failure to limit emissions, for instance, as well as in fighting the development in Canada of a particularly dirty form of oil extracted from tar sands.

    “As a government employee, you can’t testify against the government,” he said in an interview.

  34. Eric Worrall says:

    You forgot the blackout people impose on themselves, as they struggle to pay renewables inflated power bills.

    Poor people freezing to death, because they couldn’t afford heating, is a growing scandal in “green” Europe.

  35. Jimbo says:

    I love your post, to the point and no BS. However, I do think you are being too dramatic about empty supermarket shelves. The reason I say so is because before then people would have had enough and booted out the relevant political fools. The UK came very close with gas running out over the past 10 days. Scotland was forced to import French nuclear electricity a few years back when its windmills failed.

    A WUWT post earlier this year should focus minds about the benefits of fossil fuels.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/07/life-after-energy-what-if-fossil-fuels-disappeared-tommorrow/

  36. Jimbo says:

    PS I have had many experiences with electrical blackouts. So have over 1 billion people to participate in Earth Hour EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR.

  37. I did not take time to read all of the comments,so if
    someone has said this,sorry.
    Smart meters,smart meters. They turn mine off, leave
    others on. I am not saying this is a bad thing???? Help
    Alfred

  38. Jimbo says:

    Next time a Warmist complains about fossil fuels ask them to kindly get off the grid and use their pv panels and windpower.

  39. Nancy Green says:

    Sean says:
    April 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm
    There are already thousands of deaths per year due to energy poverty in the UK, and it does not concern either the government or the media. They do not care.
    ============
    dead pensioners can’t vote out the government that killed them.

  40. MattS says:

    “Which is worse – gradual man-made global warming or sudden electricity blackout?”

    The answer is obvious. Since an objective look at the genuinely empirical evidence on warming impacts indicates that warmer is better. Better for life in general and humanity in particular.

  41. Chuck Nolan says:

    A.D. Everard says:
    April 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm
    Peter Miller says:
    April 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    ………………………………………. We think of blackouts in terms of personal heating and appliances. When we see the bigger picture – banks and petrol pumps, water pumps, supermarkets and farming – it makes the whole “It pays to be sure” green cr@p totally intolerable.
    ——————————–
    You need not worry about that…..That’s what the smart meters are for.
    To make sure they open the right circuit to stop power as they see fit.
    cn

  42. Chuck Nolan says:

    Dang, I forgot to call Lew before posting.
    cn

  43. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Spot on article. UK nearly made it a few months back. The tragedy is that people only seem to come into reality when it hits their pockets. $. Or when they go to the power point switch in their homes to discover nothing happens when they flick the switch. Black out. Then reality will hit home. What a terrible man made disaster!!! Oh for common sense and reality!

  44. Max Hugoson says:

    There are a variety of “structural factors” that make this sort of disruption a little less likely in the USA (yes, I worked for two Utilities for 20 years, and have some pretty good insights. Our “peaking plants” in the USA, which can run primarily on CH4, can spool up about 25% of total capacity if the need to, for example.)

    BUT, as you’ve noted the “green policies” are going to come home to rooste in Germany and England and a couple other European nation states. RUSSIA and FRANCE, meanwhile, will probably fair quite well. (I’m thinking Sweden and Denmark here for another couple of “greenie wennies who might hurt.)

    All in all, considering the mechanisms of the British and the Germans in dragging us into two world wars (and, by the way, the Brits almost “reverse action” of Lincoln’s, “With malice towards none, and charity towards all…” i.e., the “with complete and punitive malice towards Germany, and NO Christian charity or forgiveness at ALL…”, really set the stage for ‘Dolf and WWII. SO, Brits and Krauts, having to suffer…hum, I’m struggling with this. “Sins of the Fathers, visited on the Sons, etc.” In the Swede’s case, what I find is a SMUG, “Socialist” society, that worked VERY WELL when everyone WAS a Swede, and they were not “diverse”. Now that they have “opened the doors”, and run to that point where 27% of the population is supporting the other 73%….I’m finding the concept of “compounded misery” because of the Green Dragon, to be perhaps a fitting reward for “smugness”.

    SO…Mr. Forbes: A “toast” to your work. But, don’t plan on doing it with an electric toaster.

  45. u.k.(us) says:

    To the left of centre says:

    April 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    This all seems a little alarmist.
    ==============
    Yep, but you gotta set the first bar high.
    Then the walk back appears to be a return to sanity/voter preference.
    Obviously, those days are long past.

  46. Dr T G Watkins says:

    Spot on, Viv. Your posts are always illuminating.
    Economically suicidal energy policies in UK and Aus. will produce serious social unrest.
    Letters from the ‘big blogs’ signed by everyone with or without ‘letters’ after their names is an urgent priority.

  47. Mike Rossander says:

    While there will be some consequences to blackouts, this article overstates the risk. Using the US Northeast Blackout of 2003 as a case study (a blackout that lasted just under a week and affected about double the population of Australia), yes there were business shutdowns, shortages, people trapped in elevators and even some deaths – mostly due to auto accidents because the traffic lights were out. But there was little looting and no “old, sick, incapacitated or alone … forgotten as able-bodied people focus[ed] on feeding and protecting their own.”

    Participants at this site rail against the hyperbole of the AGW crowd. It is even more important to be disciplined against the hyperbole of your friends.

  48. William McClenney says:

    The following is rated “M”, for mature audiences

    After thinking about this for some years now, the only conclusion I can come to is that gorebull wurming seems to result in earlier onset of adolescence while also extending or arresting onset of further maturity.

    Applied in this instance it can be readily recognized in a minimum of two significant synaptic prunings associated only with the generation of wind and solar power. (“The pruning that is associated with learning is known as small-scale axon terminal arbor pruning”. – Wikipedia). The first is energy density. Neither have very much. This requires at the very least cognition that land requirements for generation of both are dramatically larger than for any other form of modern energy generation, and frequently must therefore be located in transmission remote locales (transmission lines and grid integration are left for the more mature). The second large one consists of the requirements for rare earth elements, the majority mining of which is presently being done in countries without significant health and environmental oversight. The political, economic and strategic ramifications of this boggle the mind, but I progress……

    An undesirable synaptic connection, such as recognition that storage is presently the third rail of renewable energy as it is presently deployed, can be a challenge at such a developmental stage. No particularly efficient methods of renewable energy storage on the scale required for modern industry yet exist. The technology itself is immature in this regard.

    Even more glial cells are needed to process the obvious results. If you can’t store enough of it, you must have an alternate supply, or compliant industry, workforce and therefore economic system. And right now alternate supply means lesser efficient simple-cycle gas turbines (not combined-cycle) or, at best, at least 40% efficient pumped water storage reservoirs (which have water enough to do this without beaching everything downstream while “charging”, or washing it away when turned on). Without a viable storage buffer, the fastest power-generation is opening the battery known as dams, next comes single-cycle inefficient gas turbines. Longer booting industrial/residential sources such as combined-cycle gas, coal, nuclear etc. would have to stay booted-up, negating any benefits attributable to synaptic immaturity.

    No one really knows what the optimum number/ratio etc. of glial cells et al is (from Wikipedia, and no, I do not like quoting this source at all):

    “In terms of humans, synaptic pruning has been observed through the inference of differences in the estimated numbers of glial cells and neurons between children and adults, which differs greatly in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus.

    “In a study conducted in 2007 by Oxford University, researchers compared 8 newborn human brains with those of 8 adults using estimates based upon size and evidence gathered from stereological fractionation. They showed that, on average, estimates of adult neuron populations were 41% lower than those of the newborns in the region they measured, the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus.[6]”

    “However, in terms of glial cells, adults had far larger estimates than those in newborns; 36.3 million on average in adult brains, compared to 10.6 million in the newborn samples.”

    When you stop and think about it, isn’t this somewhat akin to single versus multi-variable processing?

    In terms of speciation, we took our first steps about 2.8 million years ago when as H. habilis we learned how to fashion a cutting edge on a rock. A million years later we fashioned a second edge on even better rocks and set off the Acheulean tool period. A second variable? Something like 5,000 years ago we learned how to cook metals out of rocks and things progressed somewhat rapidly to alloys and semi-conductors. Lots of variables now. More than any one of us can really profess to know.

    At this half-precession cycle old (and change) extreme interglacial, I find myself wondering just how many synapses does it really take to comprehend when we live and what we are thinking about and/or are doing.

    And then something like this flits across my event horizon some weeks ago…….

    http://americansecurityproject.org/featured-items/2013/white-paper-fusion-power-a-10-year-plan-to-energy-security/

    ……and I wonder again if we, H. sapiens, are really wise enough to contemplate the possibility that every penny not spent on fusion research might turn out to be a penny wasted.

    Great piece Viv. Apologies for the long comment, but it was indeed thought-provoking.

  49. Chad Wozniak says:

    @vboring -
    To expand on your comments, the “firming” power to fill gaps can only be generated by the more inefficient type of gas-fired generation (simple cycle), which use twice as much fuel per megawatt-hour generated as the more efficient type (combined cycle). Thi is because combined-cycle generation cannot ramp up and down as fast as needed to respond when the wind stops oir starts. And so that means the 93 percent of power that must be supplied to make up for wind intermittency ccan burn upt to almoist twice as much fuel, and emit almoist twice as much CO2 as combuined-cycle baseload generation that does not have to allow for a wind component in the mix. At the very least, this doubling of emissions would apply to the 23 percent (30 percent of rated capacity – 7 percent of actual load factor), still a huge increase in CO2 emissions attributable to wind power – and cojuld be even more than this..

    Another perfect example of the fallacy that “green” energy reduces emissions. Which nis irrelevant in any event, sibnce CO2 emissions do not do what the alarmies claim anyway.

    And of course this doesn’t consider the horrific environmental damage done by wind generation – the bird kills (how many endangered species are being killed by the turbines?), the disruption of habitats, the noise of the turbines with its effect on animal life in their vicinity, the toxic chemicals used to operate the turbines, and the despoliation of beautiful landscapes a(nd seascapes, for that matter).

    Wind power is faux environmentalism (and so is green generally).

  50. Agoy Prayoga says:

    I hope more of our society realize this urgent situation

  51. tobias says:

    @Agoy,
    Not at you personally, but I hope they don’t, we need culling

  52. tobias:

    At April 2, 2013 at 1:30 am you say

    we need culling

    OK. I accept that is your view.
    Please don’t start with anybody except yourself.

    Richard

  53. johnmarshall says:

    I do not know who is the more deluded the UK government or that of Australia. certainly the Welsh Wizard, Australian PM, is probably the most deluded woman outside the US EPA. Ed Davey, a guaranteed old woman, runs a close second

  54. Last Saturday wind supplied less than 2% of UK electricity.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/grown-ups-v-babies/

    And in January we had 35 hours of sunshine in the whole month.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/why-solar-is-not-the-answer/

  55. ralfellis says:

    .
    I have been saying this for years. As have others. See this video by Michael Burke, which was made some 40 years ago when the BBC could be trusted. It details the problems we would face, if electrical power failed.

    Or do a web search for the US North East blackout (in the ’90s), and see how much the region regressed back into the Dark Ages in just two days without power.

    Some have said here that this article is alarmism, but it is only too real. Our modern world comes to a halt without electricity.

    .

  56. Steve Hill from Ky says:

    Read the bible and get ready for Jesus, the rest is futile.

  57. Bruce Cobb says:

    During blackouts, people will fire up backup generators, producing far more of that nasty carbon, aka C02 than if they received their power from a power plant, as well as producing other noxious, and even potentially deadly fumes. Of course, those who can’t afford generators and the fuel to run them will just shiver in the dark. And, if some have to die because of fuel poverty, oh well, too bad. As long as the “greater good” of “saving the planet” has been achieved.

  58. phlogiston says:

    The green movement really needs to be named the KHMER VERT. It is exactly the same as Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge in the murderous intensity of its desire to destroy technological civilization and most people, and to return to a stone age, where the unpleasant (to them) egalitarianism brought about by technology and energy are banished forever.

  59. DirkH says:

    tobias says:
    April 2, 2013 at 1:30 am
    “@Agoy,
    Not at you personally, but I hope they don’t, we need culling”

    Are you a German Green?

  60. RobRoy says:

    “Culling” is the point. When all of the poor have perished, then this AGW policy stuff will all workout.

  61. dmacleo says:

    To the left of centre says:
    April 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    This all seems a little alarmist.

    let me know next time you go a night w/o power in -9 deg F (-35 F wind chill) like I do often due to unreliable electricity.

  62. ann r says:

    When an earthquake left us without power for an extended period, I realized I no longer had the right tools to deal with life on a more primitive level. Oil lamps, camping water purifier, wash tub, camp stoves, AAA battery powered clip on reading lamps for reading real books, games one can play with a low light level, fountain pen and a couple of bottles of ink, manual typewriter, heavy goose down comforter for winter, etc. makes life a lot more comfortable. If you have enough food in the pantry, it’s even fun, for awhile. Easy enough to have stuff on hand, just in case.

  63. Grey Lensman says:

    Arthur4563

    How did you arrive at your figures of 80,000 acres of solar panels to generate igw. Much appreciate your reply

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