Climate Crisis, Inc.

$1.5 trillion and Larry Bell book explain how profiteers of climate doom keep the money flowing

Guest Essay Paul Driessen


No warming in 18 years, no category 3-5 hurricane hitting the USA in ten years, seas rising at barely six inches a century: computer models and hysteria are consistently contradicted by Real World experiences.

So how do White House, EPA, UN, EU, Big Green, Big Wind, liberal media, and even Google, GE and Defense Department officials justify their fixation on climate change as the greatest crisis facing humanity? How do they excuse saying government must control our energy system, our economy and nearly every aspect of our lives – deciding which jobs will be protected and which ones destroyed, even who will live and who will die – in the name of saving the planet? What drives their intense ideology?

The answer is simple. The Climate Crisis & Renewable Energy Industry has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year business! That’s equal to the annual economic activity generated by the entire US nonprofit sector, or all savings over the past ten years from consumers switching to generic drugs. By comparison, annual revenues for much-vilified Koch Industries are about $115 billion, for ExxonMobil around $365 billion.

According to a 200-page analysis by the Climate Change Business Journal, this Climate Industrial Complex can be divided into nine segments: low carbon and renewable power; carbon capture and storage; energy storage, like batteries; energy efficiency; green buildings; transportation; carbon trading; climate change adaptation; and consulting and research. Consulting is a $27-billion-per-year industry that handles “reputation management” for companies and tries to link weather events, food shortages and other problems to climate change. Research includes engineering R&D and climate studies.

The $1.5-trillion price tag appears to exclude most of the Big Green environmentalism industry, a $13.4-billion-per-year business in the USA alone. The MacArthur Foundation just gave another $50 million to global warming alarmist groups. Ex-NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club $105 million to wage war on coal (shortly before the Club began waging war on natural gas and Chesapeake Energy, in what some see as poetic justice). Warren Buffett, numerous “progressive” foundations, Vladimir Putin cronies and countless companies also give endless millions to Big Green.

Our hard-earned tax dollars are likewise only partially included in the CCBJ tally. As professor, author and columnist Larry Bell notes in his new book, Scared Witless: Prophets and profits of climate doom, the U.S. government spent over $185 billion between 2003 and 2010 on climate change items – and this wild spending spree has gotten even worse in the ensuing Obama years. We are paying for questionable to fraudulent global warming studies, climate-related technology research, loans and tax breaks for Solyndra and other companies that go bankrupt, “climate adaptation” foreign aid to poor countries, and much more.

Also not included: the salaries and pensions of thousands of EPA, NOAA, Interior, Energy and other federal bureaucrats who devote endless hours to devising and imposing regulations for Clean Power Plans, drilling and coal mining bans, renewable energy installations, and countless Climate Crisis, Inc. handouts. A significant part of the $1.9 trillion per year that American businesses and families pay to comply with mountains of federal regulations is also based on climate chaos claims.

Add in the state and local equivalents of these federal programs, bureaucrats, regulations and restrictions, and we’re talking serious money. There are also consumer costs, including the far higher electricity prices families and businesses must pay, especially in states that want to prove their climate credentials.

The impacts on companies and jobs outside the Climate Crisis Industry are enormous, and growing. For every job created in the climate and renewable sectors, two to four jobs are eliminated in other parts of the economy, studies in Spain, Scotland and other countries have found. The effects on people’s health and welfare, and on overall environmental quality, are likewise huge and widespread.

But all these adverse effects are studiously ignored by Climate Crisis profiteers – and by the false prophets of planetary doom who manipulate data, exaggerate and fabricate looming catastrophes, and create the pseudo-scientific basis for regulating carbon-based energy and industries into oblivion. Meanwhile, the regulators blatantly ignore laws that might penalize their favored constituencies.

In one glaring example, a person who merely possesses a single bald eagle feather can be fined up to $100,000 and jailed for a year. But operators of the wind turbine that killed the eagle get off scot-free. Even worse, the US Fish & Wildlife Service actively helps Big Wind hide and minimize its slaughter of millions of raptors, other birds and bats every year. It has given industrial wind operators a five-year blanket exemption from the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Birds Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act. The FWS even proposed giving Big Wind a 30-year exemption.

Thankfully, the US District Court in San Jose, CA recently ruled that the FWS and Interior Department violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws, when they issued regulations granting these companies a 30-year license to kill bald and golden eagles. But the death tolls continue to climb.

Professor Bell’s perceptive, provocative, extensively researched book reviews the attempted power grab by Big Green, Big Government and Climate Crisis, Inc. In 19 short chapters, he examines the phony scientific consensus on global warming, the secretive and speculative science and computer models used to “prove” we face a cataclysm, ongoing collusion and deceit by regulators and activists, carbon tax mania, and many of the most prominent but phony climate crises: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, disappearing species and declining biodiversity. His articles and essays do likewise.

Scared Witless also lays bare the real reasons for climate fanaticism, aside from lining pockets. As one prominent politician and UN or EPA bureaucrat after another has proudly and openly said, their “true ambition” is to institute “a new global order” … “ global governance” … “redistribution of the world’s resources” … an end to “hegemonic” capitalism … and “a profound transformation” of “attitudes and lifestyles,” energy systems and “the global economic development model.”

In other words, these unelected, unaccountable US, EU and UN bureaucrats want complete control over our industries; over everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do; and over every aspect of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties. And they intend to “ride the global warming issue” all the way to this complete control, “even if the theory of global warming is wrong” … “even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect” … “even if the science of global warming is all phony.”

If millions of people lose their jobs in the process, if millions of retirees die from hypothermia because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly, if millions of Africans and Asians die because they are denied access to reliable, affordable carbon-based electricity – so be it. Climate Crisis, Inc. doesn’t care.

Free market principles do not apply, and free marketers need not apply. The global warming industry survives and thrives only because of secretive, fraudulent climate science; constant collusion between regulators and pressure groups; and a steady stream of government policies, regulations, preferences, subsidies and mandates – plus taxes and penalties on its competitors. CCI gives lavishly to politicians who keep the gravy train on track, while its attack dogs respond quickly, aggressively and viciously to anyone who dares to challenge its orthodoxies, perks, power and funding.

Climate change has been “real” throughout Earth and human history – periodically significant, sometimes sudden, sometimes destructive. It is driven by the sun and other powerful, complex, interacting natural forces that we still do not fully understand … and certainly cannot control. It has little or nothing to do with the carbon dioxide that makes plants grow faster and better, and is emitted as a result of using fossil fuels that have brought countless, wondrous improvements to our environment and human condition.

Climate Crisis, Inc. is a wealthy, nasty behemoth. But it is a house of cards. Become informed. Get involved. Fight back. And elect representatives – and a president – who also have the backbone to do so.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

Scared Witless: Prophets and profits of climate doom is available on Amazon here

71 thoughts on “Climate Crisis, Inc.

  1. The whole thing with biodiversity is just another tine on the same pitchfork and until I did a little research on it yesterday I had no idea whole big a deal it is. Lovejoy has launched one of the biggest projects in biology in the world with not a theory in biology but the wedding of biology with social sciences. That whole group needs to be included in with the rest of Larry Bell’s rascals.

  2. At $1.5 billion this industry is getting too big to shut down. Think of the unemployment! Think of all those unemployable climate scaremongers begging and busking on the streets…..

    Oh, Josh…. I have an idea for you….

      • Whoops – Thanks MJ. I’m old. I still thing Billion is a big number. Haven’t started to really digest the Trillion thing yet.

        Gosh that is a whole horde of disappointed and disenfranchised scaremongers on the street then MJ. About a thousand times as many out of work, busted flat scaremongers, well say 100 times ‘cos they are on pretty good money you know.

        Will we be safe to walk the streets?

        Will our children be safe?

      • To get a handle on what a billion really means:
        If someone put a dollar in your pocket every second of the day, you’d reach a billion dollars in roughly 30 years time. By the time I’ve finished writing this comment I’d have 120 dollars in my pocket.
        Correct me if I’m wrong, but a trillion would mean 1000 dollars in your pocket for every second for the next 30 years…

    • Too Big To Fail, just like the Investment banking failure of 2008 (asset backed paper). Big Green corporate America, lots of socialism to subsidize big green, and “Main St.” pays for the corporate socialism.

  3. “No warming in 18 years, no category 3-5 hurricane hitting the USA in ten years, seas rising at barely six inches a century: computer models and hysteria are consistently contradicted by Real World experiences.”

    Yeah, so?

    I’m being sarcastic, of course, but this is the primary battle we are waging: How to turn the tide of global warming hysteria against so much misinformation that so many people accept as rational thought with no question.

    • “How to turn the tide of global warming hysteria against so much misinformation that so many people accept as rational thought with no question.”

      The tide won’t turn until it breaks beneath it’s own weight. But like the financial crisis, they all will probably end up getting bailed out which is probably what their end game is in the long run…

  4. Who to believe, because the Royal Society and NAS tells us there is zero we can do to change temp or co2 levels for thousands of year. Why do these scientists deliver such a different message? Essentially they are telling us that the mitigation of their so called CAGW is total BS.
    And the authors of the report comprise 5 lead authors from the IPCC. Here’s the link.

    20. If emissions of greenhouse gases were stopped, would the climate return to the conditions of 200 years ago?

    No. Even if emissions of greenhouse gases were to suddenly stop, Earth’s surface temperature would not cool and return to the level in the pre-industrial era for thousands of years.

    fig9-smallFigure 9. If global emissions were to suddenly stop, it would take a long time for surface air temperatures and the ocean to begin to cool, because the excess CO2 in the atmosphere would remain there for a long time and would continue to exert a warming effect. Model projections show how atmospheric CO2 concentration (a), surface air temperature (b), and ocean thermal expansion (c) would respond following a scenario of business-as-usual emissions ceasing in 2300 (red), a scenario of aggressive emission reductions, falling close to zero 50 years from now (orange), and two intermediate emissions scenarios (green and blue). The small downward tick in temperature at 2300 is caused by the elimination of emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, including methane. Source: Zickfeld et al., 2013 (larger version)

    If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels due to its very slow transfer to the deep ocean and ultimate burial in ocean sediments. Surface temperatures would stay elevated for at least a thousand years, implying extremely long-term commitment to a warmer planet due to past and current emissions, and sea level would likely continue to rise for many centuries even after temperature stopped increasing (see Figure 9). Significant cooling would be required to reverse melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, which formed during past cold climates. The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales. The amount and rate of further warming will depend almost entirely on how much more CO2 humankind emits.

    • I could have added that they want to return us to the wonderful climate of the LIA. Incredible fantasies peddled by these brainy scientists NOT.

    • What proof using the accepted Scientific Method is there that there is such a thing as “greenhouse gasses?”

    • Neville writes:
      If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels …

      People should not just make stuff up.
      Still, I wonder what the level should be?
      Plants need a certain amount so let’s not go below that.

    • The Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 level drops about 6 ppm in about 5 months EVERY YEAR.

      In the whole of the arctic, it drops 18 to 20 ppm in the same five months.

      Rain droplets, when they form, start at a very small diameter, they have a huge ratio of surface area to volume, compared to the earth’s oceans, so they must very rapidly soak up their Henry’s law share of CO2 from the atmosphere, and continue to do so, as they grow and eventually fall.

      The notion that CO2 in the atmosphere has anything like a 40 to 70 year decay time constant, based on 3 or 5 time constants lifetime, (to decay to 5% or 1% of excess), is absurd. And likely by a factor of ten.

      If ALL of the human caused CO2 emissions were shut off, the excess 120 ppm (over 280), would be removed in something more like five to seven years; maybe ten at the most.


  5. I don’t have a clue how this will end (in tears I suppose) but I can’t see the everyday Joe citizen standing back and watching these brazen thieves loot your home while you are inside. Eventually, everyday Joe citizen will rise and fight to take down these muppets, however, an apathetic attitude, generally, is the inertia the skeptics need to overcome.

    • Cede authority unanswerable to “Joe citizen” and eventually we end up where we are today…and even worse.
      They say it’s for “the children” but what are their plans for “the children”? Freedom and prosperity?
      I don’t think so.

  6. Jeff Imelt reckonized some years ago (publicly in a GM meeting) that he is sucking up to the powers that be to get government lucre. It IS a scam.

  7. Finally somebody appears to have put a critique nearly all together. Don’t expect to see the book in stores or to find reviews in MSM.

  8. The destruction of the economy is not a bug. It is a feature. Sucking out trillions, that could be used to propel the economy, to turn into waist heat is a deliberate part of the plan.

  9. If an alien ever came and mingled with our society undetected he would ask himself, what the hell is wrong with these primitive morons?

  10. Guantanamo will be empty soon. Perhaps we need a Climate Court. Yes, Gents, bring all of your work and supporting data to court when you come.

  11. $1.5tr would employ minimum 15m people – a lot more if they’re based in the 3rd world. It’s the entire GDP of Australia.

    That suggests 30-60m real jobs could be created just from ending this impost and defunding everything “green.” (Of course, people would be free to continue building EVs and windmills, and conducting climate “research” – provided they pay for it themselves.)

    Is there any other simple policy initiative with the potential to eliminate unemployment in the US and EU? There are 8.3m unemployed in the US and 18m in the EU.

  12. Thank you for that article Paul Driessen.

    Many years ago I was introduced to the historical concept, non sexist, of Priests, Warriors and Bureaucrats.

    First The Priests worked out a concept of the equivalent of ‘life, the universe and everything’;

    Second, the Warriors, upon hearing the Priest message, thought “that is cool” and went out and dug ditches, made dams, tamed animals, created buildings, fought each other, and generally got on with life.

    Third, Priests and Warriors thought they needed some mechanism to arbiter between themselves so they created Bureaucracy.

    All well and good in an organic type of way.

    But now we have a fourth layer called ? tulip bulbs?

    As far as I am concerned the sooner Africa/ME moves to Europe or Mexico move to the US the sooner I can go and live in some peace. And make some money.

    • You would not say that if you knew anything about illegal immigration and the horrors it brings to the USA.

      • Dear @ Leonard Lane

        No disparagement intended

        In fact I would carry a short gun and a long gun. And a lot of ammunition for both.

        It was more a comment that if ‘folk’ want to come to established places, built with the help of science, then that is okay.

        But I want the right to go into their county, use science, and control whatever section I choose.

  13. Recently I came across Langmuir’s laws of bad science that seem made for warming research:

    1.The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.

    2. The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the low level of significance of the results.

    3. There are claims of great accuracy.

    4. Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.

    5. Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.

    6. The ratio of supporters to critics rises to somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to zero.

  14. I have written here before about how my sister, my older sister, owns a dog called a Cavalier King Charles. A Cavalier King Charles is what I call a fufu dog. A fufu dog is what happens when you take a noble carnivore such as a wolf and turn it into this thing that you wanna’ put ribbons and bows and little booties on it so it doesn’t get its pawy wawies cold when there’s a quarter inch of snow on the ground.

    However, there’s a problem when you transform a once majestic creature into something that whines if you don’t tickle its tummy when it lays on its back to have its tummy whummy tickled. It tries to retain at least some of those previous ferocious qualities that made you respect its ancestors. However, since its been completely turned around from what it was it takes those ferocious qualities and turns them around too: from its fanged mouth over to its anus. Its anus actually becomes something rather ferocious despite the fact there’s no fangs at that end. In fact fangs would instantly dissolve in that environment anyway.

    Now, a fufu dog turns its anus into something ferocious through the use of glands. These glands are somewhat akin to the glands on a skunk. Except on steroids. These glands take the normal, stinky bodily wastes and super duper supercharges them into the most foul smelling, lung melting, rancid, sewage possible. Flies and maggots actually flee in a panic.

    And a Cavalier King Charles being the fufiest of fufu dogs has the triple stage rocket version of these glands. And, if they don’t get cleaned out from time to time you’re looking at an explosion that would make Krakatoa look like a wet match. Now, if the owner doesn’t clean them out, and of course my sister doesn’t, then the dog will attempt to clean them out. Anybody who’s ever had a dog has seen what they do when they’ve got an itch in their behind. They raise their tail so it’s outta’ the way, drop their behind with their rear legs spread, and drag their behind along the ground by pulling themself with their front paws. Well, that’s how a Cavalier King Charles tries to clean out those glands on its own.

    Where am I going with all of this. Well picture our climate saviors as being fufu versions of past warriors. They really really like the glamorous idea of an international world war kind of thing but they don’t have the ferocity (thankfully) to pull that off. So instead, their ferociousness is relegated to where the sun don’t shine. In other words, all they can produce is a bunch of ferocious cr..p. It may be ferocious but it’s still cr..p.

    • I have one better. My two dogs are not fufu dogs. They are both bred from working breeds (blue heeler, border collie, etc). And they eat deer droppings. It’s like dog candy and they are addicted to the stuff! Unfortunately, this delicacy creates emissions worse than toxic mustard gas. In fact, I think the military weapons development program is missing the boat on this. A stink bomb made of this toxic mix of deer chemicals combined with dog intestine bacteria could easily down the most ardent extreme jihadist in less than a second.

      • My sister had a Blue Heeler. The Blue Heeler put her into rehab. She replaced it with the fufu dog. Beware.

  15. I think it’s a slight overstatement to claim that no Category 3-5 hurricane hit the USA in 10 years, when the 10th anniversary of Wilma landfalling Florida as a Cat-3 is slightly over 2 months from now.

  16. The sea ice/sheets/caps on Antarctica/the Arctic/Greenland/Iceland are shrinking/growing yes/no/maybe depends on who’s counting.

    Polar bears and penguins are endangered/having a hard time/pretty much as usual yes/no/maybe depends on who’s counting.

    The sea levels are rising, land is subsiding yes/no/maybe depends on who’s counting.

    The global temperatures are rising/falling/flat lining based on satellite/tropospheric/sea surface/land surface with or without UHI/TOB/homogenization/adjustments/bald faced lying yes/no/maybe depends on who’s counting.

    Nothing but sound and fury, tales told by people missing the point, signifying nothing. The only meaningful question is what does CO2 have to do with any of this? How are these contentious topics connected to CO2?
    IPCC’s dire predictions for the earth’s climate are based entirely on computer models, models which have yet to match reality. The projections began with a 4 C increase by 2100 which has since been adjusted down to 1.5 C.

    The heated discussions mentioned above attempt to retroactively validate or refute those models, models driven by the radiative forcing/feedback of CO2 and other GHGs. IPCC AR5 TS.6 says that the magnitude of the radiative forcing/feedback of CO2 “…remains uncertain.” (Google “Climate Change in 12 Minutes.”) Implying that IPCC was also uncertain in AR4, 3, 2, 1.

    IPCC is not uncertain about one issue, though, redistribution of wealth and energy from developed countries to the underdeveloped ones to achieve IPCC’s goal of all countries enjoying above average standards of living.

    Besides, the greatest threat to mankind isn’t CO2, it’s poverty & hot lead.

  17. As long as people get unlimited free money to twist the truth about global climate and public is asleep at the switch being more interested in watching football and baseball every night rather than monitoring how their tax dollars are spent , this nonsense will continue. .

  18. Believing numbers like this $1.5 trillion requires the same credulity as believing that we are going to get 10 C of warming this century. Strange how readily all the “skeptics” here accept it.

    • MIKE M
      Suggest that you do your homework better before making a negative comment like yours. There was by 2013, 500 GW of installed wind and solar world wide . If you cost this out it will come to about $1 trillion . Add to this 2013-2015 installations and those for the future under construction plus all cost not associated with construction ,$ 1.5 trillion is not out of line at all. .

  19. The ultimate in pyramid schemes. And at the bottom, sending their dollars up the chain, are tax payers. Who sits at the top? Political candidates who have promised to continue the ruse.

    I would love to see the side by side comparison between, on the one hand, the budget used to fight terrorism, and on the other hand, the money spent on the CO2 ruse to lift the people of their hard earned cash and freedoms. It seems the left hand is fighting one kind of terrorism (and not very well in my opinion), and the right hand is creating another kind of terrorism.

    Sometimes, the enemy is us, based on the observation that we the people are continuing to allow this malevolent, masked as benevolent, domestic CO2 terrorism to continue, while not calling to task the current administration’s milk toast attempt to stop foreign terrorism.

    I have an idea, bring those young men back here (the ones that went after the train shooter and took him down), and vote them into office.

    • Pamela Gray,

      “Who sits at the top? Political candidates who have promised to continue the ruse.”

      Right idea, but it is the crony capitalists with their snouts in the trough at the top. The candidates serve them in exchange for crumbs.

      “Sometimes, the enemy is us, based on the observation that we the people are continuing to allow this ”

      So true. So sad.

  20. One of the key tools that the alarmists use is to present to the public misinformation about the levelized cost of electricity that show that renewable energies like wind turbines are now at par with fossil fuels or even lower. This is false. as the study by IER below shows

    The INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY RESEARCH in their report called HARD FACTS state

    The American Tradition Institute conducted a study
    to calculate wind’s “hidden costs” They found
    that when the hidden costs were taken into account,

    • the cost of fossil fuel power as back-up
    when the wind is dormant,

    • the additional cost of transmission that frequently occurs with wind farms
    due to the inaccessibility of the best wind resources,

    • the cost of wind’s favorable tax benefits in
    ‘accelerated depreciation’,

    • and a shorter estimated life of a wind turbine of 20 years (versus 30 years
    assumed in most cost estimates)

    • the cost of wind power is if natural gas is used to back-up the wind
    energy or 19.2 cents per kilowatt hour if coal is used as the back-up fuel

    then the costs are 1.7 to 2.2 times the 8.66 cents per kilowatt hour estimate the
    EIA is using for generating electricity from wind in its models

    • herkimer,

      Wow. Someone who likes facts and backs them up. I like it.

      When I see a title like “American Tradition Institute” I suspect an agenda. But the report you cite seems very fair, even bending over backwards at times.

  21. All this is invented, and is related to climate change and global warming, as a consequence of human factors, it is nothing more than idiottajkunizam those people, world powers and scientists who have no idea about science and natural laws.
    Use unawareness of the broad masses and on the basis that impose various theories that scare people and it needs to pay for the ignorance of those who know it well and convincingly lie and deceive people. More and more of those who raise their standard of killing the innocent and unconscious. One of močih method of this kind of mass genocide and modern Holocaust is a fabrication and that people are themselves to blame for the climate like change, but they themselves have no idea that this could not be the human factor. The figures listed above are evidence of who those who want to destroy almost all of humanity to make them any better. But they’re so poor, they are not aware of what they and their offspring are waiting in the near future. They are aware of these mistakes, they all gotten their fair share money threatened, rather than lead people to death and they enjoy it.
    Let them be what they deserve.

  22. Obama said about his CLEAN AIR PLAN which is supposed to raise the renewable electricity levels to 28% from their current 13 % level in United States
    “Save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020-2030; “

    If one reads the IER report called WHAT IS THE TRUE COST OF ELECTRICITY( see source below)

    Electricity from New Wind Three Times More Costly than Existing Coal

    WASHINGTON – Today, the Institute for Energy Research released a first-of-its-kind study calculating the levelized cost of electricity from existing generation sources. Our study shows that on average, electricity from new wind resources is nearly four times more expensive than from existing nuclear and nearly three times more expensive than from existing coal. These are dramatic increases in the cost of generating electricity. This means that the premature closures of existing plants will unavoidably increase electricity rates for American families.

    The conclusions of this study are borne out by the German , Danish and Spanish experience where the electricity rates did not show savings but where the rates went up to $ 0.30 to $ 0.40 /kwh or three times those of United States

  23. One of the things that impresses me about renewable energy systems is: THEY DO SEEM TO BREAK DOWN A LOT. The energy may be renewable, but the hardware is expensive, uses a lot of resources to build, and I suspect that at least part of the high price of renewable electricity is due to maintenance and replacement costs.

    When you drive by a wind farm, count the number of turbines that aren’t turning. Last weekend I drove by a solar farm, and at least half of the panels were lying flat, i.e. either the orienting machinery wasn’t working or the whole panel was idle.

    (this is in Ontario where we still get moderately priced electricity thanks to three big nukes and lots of hydro, to offset the renewable experiments supposed to replace the coal-burners that our government has promised to close in the name of fighting AGW).

    One forms the impression that these things were thrown together to earn either direct subsidies, or subsidised prices for their power output, rather than being carefully planned, designed and costed projects; and that serious engineering has been skipped along the way.

    You don’t often see thermal (coal/oil/gas/nuclear) or hydro-electric power stations broken down, though.

    Maybe renewables will get more reliable and more efficient with time? Perhaps if they had to compete on a level playing field basis? After all, the first fossil fuel machines (Newcomen steam engines) were so colossally inefficient that they could only be used to dewater coal mines, where the fuel was readily available. Then they got to the point that they could dewater tin mines and run small factories, and the then they evolved to a much higher energy flux and higher efficiency and so mobile steam engines became the basis of transportation systems that allowed ordinary people and ordinary goods to travel across countries and ultimately oceans, for business or pleasure. Then came internal combustion, and so on and so on. This is how technology evolves in a free world.

    Face it, regardless of spurious concerns about AGW, fossil fuels are finite, they will not last for ever, and ultimately, alternative energy sources will have to appear. They won’t be nuclear as we know it, because there’s barely enough uranium to feed existing reactors (unless they change the once-through rule, allow fast breeders reactors and start developing thorium reactors), and there just isn’t enough hydro power to make a difference. Maybe it will be nuclear fusion, maybe some new variety of wind and/or solar based on sound design and sound economics. When a genuine need arises (as opposed to an artificially created and taxpayer-nurtured need) technology WILL provide the solution.

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