Bill McKibben: Towns, Cities Going 100% Renewable Will Defeat Washington And Big Oil

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

For once Bill McKibben is right – if all the towns and cities in the world went 100% renewable, big oil would be crushed, and Washington’s bipartisan infatuation with Fossil Fuels would be defeated. The only problem with this plan: renewables are expensive, and they are not a viable replacement for fossil fuels.

We can battle climate change without Washington DC. Here’s how

Bill McKibben

Global warming is an immediate battle with enormous consequences. We dare not wait for Washington to return to sanity – nor do we have to

The most telling item in Donald Trump’s State of the Union address may have been what wasn’t there: any mention of climate change, the greatest problem the world faces. And just as telling was the fact that official Washington seemed barely to notice.

Even if Democrats manage to take back the House and Senate in the midterm elections, they wouldn’t be able to get meaningful legislation past Trump – and there’s nothing much to suggest they’d try very hard.

New York City is not as big as the federal government, but it’s big enough: it’s got lawyers aplenty, and the resources to do real damage. And it won’t be alone. We’ve just launched a huge Fossil Free US campaign, designed to make sure there are a thousand New Yorks working on a thousand fronts.

It has three main components.

The first – joining in work pioneered by groups like the Sierra Club – is to persuade towns, cities, counties, and states to pledge to make the transition to 100% renewable energy. This is now easy and affordable enough that it doesn’t scare politicians – cities from San Diego to Atlanta have joined in, and they will help maintain the momentum towards clean energy that the Trump administration is trying so hard to blunt.

Read more:

Activists like Bill McKibben genuinely believe that renewables are an inexpensive replacement for fossil fuels. They believe the reason fossil fuels haven’t been replaced by renewables is that fossil fuel interests are fighting to prevent the rise of renewables, to protect their own interests.

This view is a fantasy.

I’m sure fossil fuel interests do a lot of lobbying, but the truth is there is nothing, not a single thing that fossil fuel companies could do to prevent the rise of a better energy solution.

The problem with renewables is that they are not a better energy solution.

History is littered with rapid shifts to new energy technology. Kerosene replaced whale oil in just a few decades. Natural gas replaced kerosene lighting on a similar timescale. Electric lighting rapidly replaced natural gas.

Famous inventor and business tycoon Thomas Edison once tried really hard to prevent the rise of a superior energy technology. Edison failed. George Westinghouse’s AC electricity grid displaced Thomas Edison’s DC electricity, because at the time AC was easier to transport over long distances.

Nobody has to make pledges or campaign for the adoption of better energy solutions. The evidence from history is that people embrace better energy solutions of their own free will, without any need for government intervention or noisy activist campaigns.

If renewables were any good, the renewable revolution would be rapid and uncontroversial. The strongest evidence that renewables are inferior is the fact that the renewable revolution has been, is and for the foreseeable future will continue to be an utter failure.

Correction (EW): h/t rogercaiazza The gas used for lighting was not natural gas, at least not initially.

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NW sage
February 1, 2018 6:07 pm

Be interesting to see what happens to these “100% renewable” towns when they figure out that China no longer accepts many forms of renewables – including plastics and paper – and these WILL go into the land fill or burned because no one else will take them either. ref: GCaptain article on not shipping waste to China

Reply to  NW sage
February 1, 2018 7:11 pm

That stuff will be processed in the US like it was before being shipped to China. The reason it went to China in the first place is because it was cheaper to ship it there than some place like Chicago. The trade deficit made it more profitable for Chinese shipping companies to offer really low shipping rates on the return trip to China than to send a ship back empty. 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Reply to  icisil
February 1, 2018 8:50 pm

Most of it cannot be processed in the US. The labor costs alone would make it very unprofitable. Add in the environmental and safety regulations that are absent in China, and the incinerator or landfill become the only options. The Loadstar article (in gCaptain) mentioned above has a link to Dominique Mosbergen’s HuffPo article on the mess recycling has become. Yes, many shipping containers previously returned to Asia with a large chunk of the first world’s waste, but most of those will now just back-haul empty.

Les Francis
Reply to  icisil
February 2, 2018 2:50 am

Windsong, – Not just the U.S. All of the Western countries who were exporting their “renewable waste” to China are feeling the pain. Some city councils in my country have told their resident rate payers to stop using the renewables wheelie bins. Taxes and rates are going to rise to enable this waste to be either incinerated in the same country or stored.
My city has had a fire in a “renewable waste” storage facility – the fire burned for two weeks – it’s still smouldering months later.
Articles are being published even now condemning the “Throw away society”. Surely we will soon see legislation banning throw away consumerism. i.e. cheap products from China.

Reply to  icisil
February 2, 2018 6:44 am

Things stored in landfills are merely waiting for a time when it becomes profitable to extract them again.
Landfills can be thought of as being the mines of tomorrow.

Richard G
Reply to  icisil
February 2, 2018 4:10 pm

10-15 years ago we would ship container loads of plastic to China. Some of the plastic grades (#4 maybe) the U.S. recyclers did not have the machines to grind it and would have gone into the landfill if not sent to China.
Waste Management recently took away the recycle containers and told customers to put recyclables in the waste container. It became too costly to sort and recycle.

Eric Stevens
Reply to  NW sage
February 1, 2018 7:23 pm

The most sensible thing to do with waste is to burn it and use the heat to generate power. Waste in landfill will decompose and give rise to large quantities of CO2 and Methane as well as other gases. Leaving it there to rot will not diminish the need for power and with present technology it means that coal, oil or gas will have to be burned instead. Sending waste to landfill means that we still get the greenhouse gases while not getting the power.
Of course non-combustibles have to be sorted out and noxious combustion products need to be removed by high-temperature combustion. However the technology is available and has been used for this purpose.
Perhaps the ideal combination is the burning of waste for power in conjunction with a cement kiln.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 12:26 am

Even better would be the use of a plasma torch to avoid most combustion by-products and handle unsorted waste. Its slag can be used for various piurposes. It’s described in the book, “Prescription for the Planet”.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 5:10 am

Isn’t the issue with ‘plasma torch’ tech (thermal depolymerization – like CWT’s ‘turkey guts to oil plant in Missouri) that it costs more to employ the technology than you can sell the end product for?

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 5:38 am

slight negative there,
landfill gas (methane) is captured and stored in sufficient quantities and used for power generation across UK, check out BMI reports, it even makes it visible in the UK energy mix graph,
CO2, very little if any given off from landfill.
the best sensible solution is find a universal solvent for `plastics` and recycle all plastics back to H/C chain at a local level (just like EPS can be)

Dick Kahle
Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 6:27 am

The option of sorting and burning waste was looked at in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. It was adopted in only a few locations because the cost was too high. Today, the cost would likely be even higher due to more restrictive air emission standards. Landfills today are largely sealed to contain methane produced. Also, some of that methane is captured for power production.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 6:45 am

Many landfills are capturing the methane and burning it for power.
PS: If you burn the stuff that goes into landfills, it still generates CO2, just over a much shorter period of time.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 6:47 am

PS: Most plastics, if you don’t burn them at a really high temperature, you get lots of nasty combustion byproducts.

Bob Burban
Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 7:30 am

“Perhaps the ideal combination is the burning of waste for power in conjunction with a cement kiln.”
This has been tried and the problem was that the waste accumulated faster than the kilns could burn it. The result was that drums of toxic liquids (at the bottom of the waste pile) burst and the contents ended up in the groundwater.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 8:23 am

Dick Kahle is right. I recall Baltimore opening such a plant to much hooting, hollering, back-slapping, and all sorts of general all around self congratulating. Turns out that lots of people discard combustibles – some quite energetic. Turns out burning the waste wasn’t nearly as good an idea as everyone had supposed.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 8:55 am

“Waste in landfill will decompose and give rise to large quantities of CO2 and Methane as well as other gases.” Even worst the metals and chemicals that are buried end up in the water table. Landfill are the worst way to get rid garbage. We take metals out of the earth to the most part they are oxides, metal oxides are most stable difficult for plants and animals to take up. We refine the metals so we can use them in that state plants and animals can easily take them up, in that state a great many are toxic. When we bury them they remain as metal and are denied oxygen so the remain unstable. On the surface they would oxidize and become stable. The same is true for oil base produces buried they are free to leach into the water table, on the surface bacteria will consume most if not all after oil is carbon and a very free carbon. Separating out the metals for recycling and burning the rest would make more sense and cause far less problem in the future, it may be more costly that burying them just cover up the problem it does not get rid of it, in a lot of ways it makes the problem worst.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 9:09 am

Land fills have been sealed so that leachate can’t reach the water table for almost 100 years now.
BTW, if water can reach the metals, than so can oxygen.

Rod Doherty
Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 1:39 pm

Plasma Waste Recycling is a proven technology and can be rampted up to dispose of municipal waste in PWR plants that produce electricity from Syngas and have minimal residue. ZERO waste to landfill should be vision.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
February 2, 2018 3:06 pm

Big expense to get rid of something that isn’t a problem.

Reply to  NW sage
February 1, 2018 10:31 pm

“100% renewable” towns will freeze their butts off and have very little electricity.

Reply to  Wally
February 2, 2018 4:10 am

Yep. Going ‘green’ is affordable as long as you’re rich. When the next crisis hits nobody can pay just the maintenance of this infrastructure. America can’t even maintain its bridges.

Reply to  Wally
February 2, 2018 5:45 am

I just watched a feature film on the 100% renewable, solar powered airplane that flew around the world. It had a passenger carrying capacity of zero and looked like it was moving at around 40 miles per hours as the seagulls flew past it. Quaint. Then I had a vision of an airbus flying by at 500 MPH with a payload of 500 passengers. You sort of get the picture of the problem with renewables from this contrast. It’s called energy density.

Reply to  Wally
February 2, 2018 10:33 am

They won’t freeze … they just do a little creative work on the ledger and maybe change some key definitions.

Reply to  Wally
February 2, 2018 11:41 am

They’ll just officially record it as death by heat stroke – – – –

Another Ian
Reply to  Wally
February 2, 2018 1:08 pm

February 2, 2018 at 11:41 am
They’ll just officially record it as death by heat stroke – – – –
Well it is, just with a minus sign and what’s an omitted minus among statistics?
As in a refrigerator being called a negative heat exchanger

Lee L
Reply to  NW sage
February 1, 2018 11:31 pm

Change of outlook…
A mine is a place where useful and precious materials exist in concentrations that make it economical to extract them. A mine is place that feeds smeltering or purification processes.
A mine is also accessible so as to transport the materials to those processes economically.
Siberia is full of precious materials, but not full of mines.
What is the concentration of precious metals, plastics, organic materials etc. in a landfill? … much much more concentrated than any hardrock mine other than coal mines.
Landfills are storage lockers and nines.

Lee L
Reply to  Lee L
February 1, 2018 11:32 pm

Landfills are mines.

James Bull
Reply to  Lee L
February 2, 2018 1:14 am

Here’s a bit from the UK Telegraph a gold source.
Back in Victorian London there were people who went into the sewers to find anything of value that might have been dropped down a drain or flushed.
To find out more about London’s water supply and drains this is an excellent place to start.
James Bull

Reply to  NW sage
February 2, 2018 9:04 am

Shouldn’t the title to this article be something more like “Cities and Towns Who try to rely on 100% renewables will be putting themselves even deeper into the dark?”

Reply to  thomasjk
February 2, 2018 1:00 pm

Like the 1,000 MW “extension” cord from Quebec to New York City to furnish base-load power?
Cities and towns expect to get their electricity via “extension” cords from elsewhere?

Reply to  thomasjk
February 2, 2018 1:19 pm

‘The New York Energy Highway’
Report: May 30, 2012
Plan for cable from Quebec to NYC information.
This project began 2008-2010 and there are many FERC documents about this project which now has a Presidential Permit.

Reply to  thomasjk
February 2, 2018 2:22 pm

Champlain Hudson Power Express, Inc. / CHPE, project.
Presidential Permits – Canada
PP-362, Issued 10/06/14
Click on for more project information.

Reply to  thomasjk
February 2, 2018 6:14 pm

Wikipedia: Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE)
According to Wikipedia:
Being developed by Transmission Developers Inc.(TDI) a Blackstone Group, LP portfolio group.
More information on this project on the Internet.

Reply to  thomasjk
February 2, 2018 7:50 pm

Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI), Albany, N.Y.
Board of Directors
Hon. David Peterson (Ontario), Chair.

Jane Stackhouse
Reply to  NW sage
February 4, 2018 6:00 pm

I think you confused the word ‘renewable’ with the word ‘recyclable’. China is in full support of renewable energy and we should be too. We also need to recycle and create less plastic.

John Garrett
February 1, 2018 6:18 pm

(this is a repetition of an earlier comment that I made on 31 January: )
I just had the misfortune of wasting an hour of my life watching C-Span’s broadcast of “The Climate State of The Union” conducted by Bill McKibben and Bernie Sanders.
I subjected myself to this torture because I had never previously seen McKibben speak and I wished to form an opinion of him. Now I know; the man is a genuine nutcase.
At least he was honest enough to admit that the sum total of his background and education qualifying him to be an expert on energy, physics, chemistry, computer modeling, mathematics, economics and climate is that he is a writer.
Perhaps WUWT should organize a fundraiser to purchase a custom-fitted strait-jacket for the delusional buffoon.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  John Garrett
February 1, 2018 6:58 pm

Thanks for taking that bullet, John. I could tell that McKibben is missing a few screws by the picture above. No need to spend time listening to him.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 2, 2018 4:42 pm

TDI-New England
New England Clean Power Link project.
Quebec to Vermont, 1,000 MW power line link.
Presidential Permits – Canada
Presidential Permit: PP-400 issued 12/05/16
Click on for more project information.
Base-load hydro-power from Quebec to Vermont.

Reply to  John Garrett
February 1, 2018 7:05 pm

Absolutely, big mouth, brain not so much. Human prosperity parasite, global leader.
He would come on here occasionally, and I did have the opportunity to point out to him directly that 350 ppm being the perfect CO2 level and ~400 ppm (at the time) was an environmental disaster was the thinking of a genuine f-wit.
F-wittery is as f-wittery does (for money).

Reply to  philincalifornia
February 1, 2018 7:16 pm

They have brains, but they are visceral thinkers.

“The scientific approach to life is not really appropriate to states of visceral anguish” ( Anthony Burgess).

Reply to  philincalifornia
February 1, 2018 7:54 pm

Yes indeed icisil, there was an old and very popular saying once, and whether or not you are an atheist or a religious person it’s understandable “There but for the grace of God go I”. I pity the man and his genetic background and upbringing. There but for the grace of God go I.

Reply to  philincalifornia
February 1, 2018 8:17 pm

phil: Use of the brain God gave you keeps you from going there. It is a choice.

Reply to  John Garrett
February 1, 2018 7:25 pm

I say let these states and cities do what they decide.
No need to involve federal government.
When they run out of money and resources, so long as the Federal Government does not bail them out, they will learn fairly quickly.
Go for it McKibben, just hope you learn the lesson before you starve.
Of course in the case of New York, they should wait until such time the UN find the need to move out of their building. 🙂

Reply to  rogerthesurf
February 3, 2018 3:07 pm

The problem with this is that so long as there is a nanny state to bail these lunatics out at the end of the day they will never stop. They must be cut off and allowed to die.

Reply to  John Garrett
February 2, 2018 12:54 am

I’m tempted to say that Mckibben is a Canute. But Canutes are useful, do Mckibben is not a Canute.

Reply to  John Garrett
February 2, 2018 8:54 am

Isn’t it just bizarre how many really strange seemingly human beings this CAGW claptrap has brought and continues to being out of the woods and weeds to expose them unprepared to beacons of truth and reality? And to no avail?

Reply to  John Garrett
February 4, 2018 12:27 pm

McKibben’s group 350 is nothing but a cult. Lots of them around here (Missoula, MT).

Jane Stackhouse
Reply to  John Garrett
February 4, 2018 6:08 pm

Being a writer is not the same as being a science writer in that one must research and learn the science. I see your article is clearly of the science fiction variety. Never mind, you will still benefit when the government stops subsidizing fossil fuels and the consumers all opt in for renewable energy. Don’t hold gear shift too tightly, change is coming.

Phil Rae
February 1, 2018 6:20 pm

Ha! Ha! Ha! A fossil fuel free USA – what a joke! The most important, cheapest, highest energy-density resources on the planet demonized by somebody who has clearly lost the plot! What is it with these people who enjoy all the benefits of modern society while simultaneously trying to tear the whole edifice down? Or does this guy just like the sounds of his own voice too much?

Reply to  Phil Rae
February 2, 2018 8:57 am

He lives in the echo box that is created by such scientific luminaries as politicians and journalists.

Bill Powers
Reply to  thomasjk
February 2, 2018 11:46 am

And THEIR shining city on a hill is powered with 100% Renewable Energy. At least Science Fictions writers acknowledge that we are doomed without nuclear energy or some magical as yet unknown power source for transportation and flight. Flux Capacitor anyone?

February 1, 2018 6:22 pm

I agree that the problem with renewables is that they are not a better energy solution.
One little quibble is when you say “Natural gas replaced kerosene lighting on a similar timescale. Electric lighting rapidly replaced natural gas.” I don’t think it was natural gas that was used for lighting. Instead it was coal gas or manufactured gas that was used.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  rogercaiazza
February 1, 2018 6:56 pm

They usually called it town gas. But, you are correct. Natural gas is a twentieth century innovation that displaced coal and fuel oil in home heating and cooking.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  rogercaiazza
February 1, 2018 7:02 pm

Yes, often called “town gas”, it was a mixture of H2 and CO.

Another Ian
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
February 2, 2018 1:36 am

A few more in there as well

Reply to  rogercaiazza
February 1, 2018 7:22 pm

candles, whale oil, kerosene, coal gas or manufactured gas, natural gas, then electricity, according to
“1846: The Year We Hit Peak Sperm Whale Oil”

Reply to  Toto
February 2, 2018 3:43 am

Side note: The infamous Gowanus Canal still contains the waste material left over from all the coal gas produced up to the early fifties. This waste material is a formidable challenge for anyone wishing to clean up the canal.

Another Ian
Reply to  rogercaiazza
February 1, 2018 11:17 pm

IIRC one of the by-products of coal gas was coke – which has a few uses

Reply to  Another Ian
February 2, 2018 1:20 am

Coke is used commercially for smelting iron and it is great in a good potbelly stove and burns hot with minimal particulates.
These are two very excellent uses!

Reply to  rogercaiazza
February 2, 2018 1:36 am

rogercaiazza February 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm
Right on Roger!
It was John D. Rockefeller who ‘Saved the Whales’, killing the whaling industry with his kerosene lamp oil product ‘Standard Oil’. Thomas Edison et al. almost put ESSO (Standard Oil NJ) out of business when lamps went electric… but was saved by Henry Ford and the OTTO cycle gasoline/petrol engine.
No doubt something sooner or later will replace (kill) fossil fuels but not McKibben et. al. Besides, without fossil fuel feedstock where will all the plastics (poly-this-that-n-the-other) come from?
..and we’d have to go back to renewables like whale oil to keep those Airbuses in flying…

Pop Piasa
February 1, 2018 6:23 pm

Yes, the claims are abundant of “100 mpg carburetors” and “free energy generation” being quashed by fossil fuel interests in collusion with the government. Bill is ‘way out there’ with all those claims on this one. All he needs is some local public money and a lot of luck convincing the constituents to cough it up.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 1, 2018 8:20 pm

Yet there are millions of people who actually emote along the directions of government conspiracy, fossil fuel conspiracy, etc. I read them everyday in comment sections and conspiracy blogs. The “free energy” and so forth sell quite well. People are drawn to the insanity of “someone big and powerful made this happen or kept this from happening” because then they don’t have to look at their own miserable failure.

Another Ian
Reply to  Sheri
February 1, 2018 11:27 pm

I’ve lately been in a discussion where there was sarcastic mention of the “100 mpg carburettor”. One reply was to the effect that he had one but so far it was “only 30 % efficient”. Upgrades were promised real soon now.
Which lead to the joke here that was current back when there were bodaceous ads for miracle fuel efficiency improvers involving magic pills and magets etc.
Which was about the bloke who fitted them all and got pulled over by a policeman because his fuel tank was overflowing on to the road.

Reply to  Sheri
February 2, 2018 2:10 pm

Another Ian
magic – no screen this time, though!
Plus lots

Reply to  Sheri
February 2, 2018 5:01 pm

Another Ian – that is genius! I never thought of it that way!
I have to share your genius with some friends. I’ll give you credit.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 2, 2018 1:14 am

How about 3,587 mpg! link
How about a lightly modified Honda CRX that gets 118 mpg on public roads! link
How about a practical vehicle that gets 84 mpg on the highway, coming real soon! link

Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2018 6:59 am

Lightly modified is a stretch.
Practical is in the eye of the beholder.

Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2018 8:07 am

Here’s the problem, a combination of EPA rules and safety standards kill fuel mileage. Then there’s the whole “I wont drive that!” which kills a lot of prototypes.
-The contest vehicle will never be manufactured as it’s just an expensive proof of concept testing how far one can get on a gallon of fuel.
-The Honda CRX, built in the 80’s, would not pass current safety and EPA standards if it was introduced as a new vehicle today. This car is actually my favorite example to use when explaining to people how current regulations kill MPG. A car that got 50 mpg back in the 80’s when today they consider a car that gets 35 mpg an “econo box”. We regressed 15 mpg in efficiency over 30 years…Another favorite example is they sell 80 mpg diesel vehicles in Europe that can’t be imported to the US, they don’t pass our safety and EPA standards…
-The Elio, first heard of them at least 5 years ago and they still are not in production. Anyway these are bypassing our safety and EPA standards (for now). Why you ask? Because they are considered a motorcycle and motorcycles don’t have to meet the same standards. As soon as motor cycle “cars” become popular enough that will change as regulators will start getting more involved.

Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2018 9:11 am

Darrin, how much motorcycle driving have you done? Any in all nasty weather or heavy traffic?
Motorcycles’, while very fuel efficient, lack of mass (and that is what makes the difference) places the vehicles at a huge disadvantage to other vehicles on the road when it comes to collisions and safety. When large semi-trailers and SUVs are out and about being operated by less than vigilant drivers, safety rules are prudent to protect the passengers of such vehicles.
As you probably would agree passenger safety belts are a good idea, but where do you draw the line at other safety features? Are side impact structural members (door beams) too much? How about impact bumpers and crumple zones? Too much as well? As you can imagine all these safety features add mass to the vehicle and also permit it to absorb much of the inertia imparted by more massive vehicles.
Have you every seen the aftermath of a motorcycle collision with a tree? The tree doesn’t lose.

Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2018 11:50 am

Back in 1974-75 I owned a Honda Civic CVCC. It would get 50+ mpg when I kept my foot out of the gas and drove the 55 mph speed limit. I tried a couple of times to see just how good a mpg I could get and made it to 58 mpg. That car could not be built new today in the USA because of safety and ironically pollution control regulations making that car a thousand pounds heavier. CVCC met all the pollution standards at the time without the heavy equipment being used by other manufacturers. I would imagine with a modern designed more efficient engine in the same car one could easily get 100 mpg.

Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2018 12:39 pm

Lack of mass makes a difference for motorcycles, however lack of aerodynamics makes a bigger difference.

Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2018 3:08 pm

The trunk space is designed to be 27 × 14 × 10 inches, enough for an airline carry-on bag or a golf bag with the rear seat down (47+ inches).[6]
Oh! Spiffing.

February 1, 2018 6:27 pm

All the residence of those cities can simply move not to South Australia or Venezuela.

February 1, 2018 6:34 pm

In the modern definition, economic victory means massive debt and high unemployment.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Richard
February 1, 2018 6:45 pm

That’s more accurately the post-modern definition as touted by the progressive movement.
Every step backward for humanity is a step forward toward preserving Mother Gaia’s virginity

Another Ian
Reply to  Richard
February 1, 2018 11:28 pm

“To save the country we had to destroy it” comes to mind

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Another Ian
February 2, 2018 2:12 pm

I’ll meet you halfway…
“To save the planet we had to destroy civilization, and most of Humanity with it.”

Pop Piasa
February 1, 2018 6:35 pm

I think McKibben would have better luck pushing trash-to-power projects when it comes to civil investments in power generation. He just can’t get over his CO2 paranoia.

February 1, 2018 6:37 pm

Bill McKibben thinks that so-called ‘renewables’ are an inexpensive replacement for fossil fuels. They are in fact a prohibitively expensive, impractical and anti-environmental answer to a non-problem. CO2 is a benefit, not a problem and the more we have of it the better. Fossil fuels haven’t been replaced by so-called ‘renewables’ as fossil fuel is cheap, safe, popular, environmentally friendly, runs 24/7, is low-tech and people can afford it all over the World.
Bill McKibben is just pushing his own market-barrow.

February 1, 2018 6:39 pm

The energy sources you used as examples didn’t have the Deep State bureaucracy to contend with. Look at what’s happened with nuclear.

February 1, 2018 6:39 pm

The problem with poor sods like this bloke is that they fixate on “Big Oil” = “Fossil Fuels”. Even if collectively we were able to generate some significant percentage of energy from “renewables”, Big Oil will always be there providing the petrochemical feedstocks, lubricants, plastics, etc upon which modern civilisation depends. There is no chance that petrochemical resources will ever be “stranded” assets.

Reply to  AussieBear
February 1, 2018 9:52 pm

The “Greens” have been fanticizing on becoming as big and important as Big Oil , ever since they can remember. The only problem is that they cannot deliver the density and scale of energy that fossil fuel and nuclear can. Hydro runs into it’s own Enviro problems with fish and the like.
It has become a Political match for control of Energy for the Planet. HE who controls EVERYONE’S Power , controls the future of the Planet. That is why they take these issues to every Despot, and 3rd world country, who have voices in the UN, with promises of more Internal Power and riches from countries like ourselves. Every failure of Renewable power, is met with never ending taxes and more money, to “make it right”, arguments. By the end of it, we will be burning actual currency in the furnaces. Also, the MSM only reproduces articles like the above, and rarely any rebuttals . It was estimated that Hillary received over $ 1 billion free advertising dollars from mentions in the MSM, prior and into the Elections. I would like to see an approximation of how much money the MSM gives, in Free Advertising, to the Greens. You know they are trying to hitch their horses in front of the Winning wagons, and Hillary’s defeat cost them dearly. They are now doubling down , on what was suppose to be a cakewalk… The Steyers, Musks, WWF, GreenPeace, and the major Enviro NGOs have formed a de Facto World Government, based on draining World Governments of Treasury monies, to support their causes, and to fund elections of THEIR Representatives.(Think California, Brown, et al.) Agenda 21, now 31 , and the UN directives are only one faction of this..Encourage people to read up, or be an effect, not cause, of the future..

February 1, 2018 6:43 pm

If by “renewables” he includes hydro-electric and nuclear generated electricity, it might be a possibility. But that would mean that all transportation and HVAC will have to use this electricity as well, so Elon and his ilk will be fabulously wealthy. Oops, the Green Blob hates hydro and nukes, so… never mind.

John Reistroffer
February 1, 2018 6:44 pm

I bet property prices would go up if all available land was to be covered with windmills and solar panels.
I guess they could use spit to lubricate all of the moving parts on all of those windmills, and make those ginormous propellors out of the redwood trees they cut down to make room for the windmills.
Que cosa tan seria!

Another Ian
Reply to  John Reistroffer
February 1, 2018 11:32 pm

Spit? No way!
There was a reference on a machinery blog of ONE windfarm in SE Colorado that got a semi load of Mobil 1 every fortnight.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Another Ian
February 2, 2018 3:31 pm

Maybe that’s why it costs so much at the farm and home supply?

Don Forcash
February 1, 2018 6:49 pm

I have a good friend who is an Engineer for our regional power company. Here’s 2 points he makes that many may not be aware of….
Renewable energy cannot be relied on as a generation source in many parts of the US. (The sun is useless regionally in the dark, when it is highly cloudy, and when the panels are snow-covered in regions that have snow. Wind power is not in play on calm days.) Hydro is better, but sources are fully tapped already.
Therefore, power companies must have capacity to provide full power when all sun and wind renewables are not producing. Purchasing and maintaining generation equipment and the ancillary things that go with it when usage is only intermittent is very expensive. All users pay for this redundancy. This redundancy (and its cost) will increase as localities move toward 100% renewable. Therefore, not only are renewables expensive to start with, their cost must include the cost of sustaining 100% reserve conventional power generation.

Reply to  Don Forcash
February 1, 2018 8:24 pm

The producers don’t seem to care. They get very, very, very generous tax breaks that make the installation of useless pinwheels and panels great for them. My power company BRAGS how smart and good they are for killing eagles, ripping up prairies and making billions for Buffet. Virtue signalling, great tax breaks—who cares about customers and having the lights on? It’s about government handouts, entirely.

Reply to  Don Forcash
February 2, 2018 7:06 am

Here’s a third point for your friend.
It takes time to fire up those back up sources, so you need to buy massive batteries in order to power the grid while that happens.
So you end up paying three times.
1) Enough fossil capacity to power your town.
2) Enough renewable capacity to power your town (given the vagaries of wind and sunlight, you need faceplate ratings at least 2 to 3 times greater than your town’s needs)
3) Enough batteries to tide you over from 2 to 1.

Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2018 7:10 am

Wind farms actually consume electricity when the wind isn’t blowing.
They have motors that keep the blades turning (albeit slowly) in order to prevent flat spots from forming on the bearings.

Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2018 7:16 am

Idle question
Wind farms shut down when the winds get too strong.
Given this need to keep the blades turning to avoid damaging the bearings, how do they do this during high winds?
Do the feather to blades completely and use the same system they would use for no wind?
Do the not quite completely feather the blades, and use the power of the wind to keep the blades turning, but keep the rotation rate at 10 to 15 revolutions per hour?

Extreme Hiatus
February 1, 2018 6:50 pm

“This does not mean that SJWs do not appear empathetic. Quite the opposite. Most narcissists and sociopaths are highly adept at hiding their aberrant character flaws behind causes, platitudes and virtue signaling. They have to believe that the things they do and the ideals they seek to enforce are grounded in moral soil, even though the consequences of these ideals are usually destructive. When confronted with reality, that they are the villains rather than the heroes they imagine themselves to be, they can become erratic and violent.
SJWs have effectively turned sociopathy and narcissism into a civil rights movement.”

Reply to  Extreme Hiatus
February 2, 2018 5:52 am

A very insightful comment EH, that adequately describes the most notorious killers of the 20th Century.
As I wrote recently:
Marxism made simple!
The Groucho Marxists are the leaders – they want power for its own sake at any cost, and typically are sociopaths or psychopaths. The great killers of recent history, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot. etc. were of this odious ilk – first they get power, then they implement their crazy schemes that do not work and too often kill everyone who opposes them.
The Harpo Marxists are the followers – the “sheeple” – these are people of less-than-average intelligence who are easily duped and follow the Groucho’s until it is too late, their rights are lost and their society destroyed. They are attracted to simplistic concepts that “feel good” but rarely “do good”.
George Carlin said: “You know how stupid the average person is, right? Well, half of them are stupider than that!”
One can easily identify many members of these two groups in the global warming debate – and none of them are ”climate skeptics”.

Reply to  Extreme Hiatus
February 2, 2018 2:08 pm

People can certainly come to be true believers of their own BS. I seen this as an observer in a nasty divorce dispute. One of the parties lied so much and so often that it became a truth to part of them. The remaining part of them that still knew it was all lies was completely suppressed.

February 1, 2018 6:55 pm

From the article: “New York City is not as big as the federal government, but it’s big enough: it’s got lawyers aplenty, and the resources to do real damage.”
Who is McKibben proposing to damage?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  TA
February 2, 2018 9:02 am

Hmm… Lawyers do more fiscal damage than anything else so I guess he wants the local residents to pay that too. It’s always easier to solve things when others pay the price.

Jimmy Haigh
February 1, 2018 7:01 pm

They are in for a shock.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
February 1, 2018 7:13 pm

Sticker shock

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
February 1, 2018 8:25 pm

Not when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Sheri
February 2, 2018 6:14 am


Tom Gelsthorpe
February 1, 2018 7:06 pm

Bill McKibben is a textbook case of Winston Churchill’s definition of a fanatic: “Someone who can’t change his mind, and won’t change the subject.”
Harping on the notions that “global warming is an immediate battle with enormous consequences,” and that a “huge, Fossil Free U.S. campaign,” can do avert it, overlooks several key facts, besides the ones mentioned in the article and previous posts.
1. China passed the U.S. in CO2 emissions 20 years ago, and has added more coal-burning capacity in the last 15 years than the U.S. has in total. If the U.S. ceased to exist, all its industries vanished, and all 320 million people committed suicide, it would not return the world to the CO2 status quo ante of the year 2000. Nothing’s going to happen until China does it. The U.S. is not the big kid on the block anymore, and hasn’t been for almost a generation. Two weirdos from Vermont are fly specks compared to the U.S. as a whole. Luddites have been around since before the word was coined in 1805, and persist only as destructive curiosities. If the U.S. commits suicide either bodily or economically, the territory would be colonized by people less weird and blinkered.
2. “Renewables” aren’t fossil fuel free. It takes fuel to manufacture the components, ship them here from China or Europe, and require motorized commuters to go to the sites for operation and maintenance. Windmill technicians aren’t going to drive to work in ox carts. Plus, renewables wear out (like everything else) and must be replaced. Solar panels in particular are nearly impossible to recycle. That’s a lot of junk to pile up somewhere.
3. Fat chance New York, or any other major municipality are going to go 100% cold turkey on fossil fuels any time soon. What are they going to do? Ban trucks? Steel? Concrete? Food? Hospitals and all the sophisticated instruments they require? They need fossil fuels to manufacture and transport. Any city that bans those things will turn into a ghost town, and prove nothing, except that McKibben is nuts.
4. The last time the world was “fossil free,” was about 1700 (except China, which has been burning coal for a thousand years.) The pre-industrial world supported 1/15th the current population, at a much lower standard of living, with life expectancies around 40 among rich and poor alike. Anyone who wants to return to that benighted state is free to do so. No one’s buying. There are still regions in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and remote islands like New Guinea that live that way, more-or-less. They attract few immigrants, and provide even fewer technological models.
This is just for starters. I’m sure other posters can elaborate.

Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
February 2, 2018 5:43 am

Tom wrote:
“This is just for starters. I’m sure other posters can elaborate.”
No need to elaborate further, Tom. You’ve pretty much nailed it.
Best, Allan
Post script:
I was talking with my friend Dr. Dave last night on this topic, and I said
“Renewables like wind and solar power will not likely improve any time soon, because there is no practical ‘super-battery’ to store power and solve their intermittency problem”.
Dr. Dave said
“Sure there is, it works like this: Plants and small animals store solar energy, then they decay, compress, metamorphose into coal and oil over millions of years, then we recover them from the Earth, and then we burn them, Voila! There’s your super-battery!”
Surprising logic, coming from a medical specialist. Usually, it’s earth scientists like me who speak in terms of geologic time – the rest of the population rarely has that much patience. 🙂

February 2, 2018 8:24 am

This is exactly how I’ve been “brainwashing” my kids for years. Even had my son do a science project on true “solar” power describing exactly this. Why in the world wouldn’t we use the energy that our planet and the sun have so conveniently placed for us just beneath the surface? Especially when doing so returns the raw materials (carbon) back in to circulation for use later. Seriously, this is basic stuff! And all the fears about it being “unprecedented” or, as our own Nick Stokes likes to point out, an unnatural forcing (my paraphrasing of his typical position), is just fluff and nonsense.
All this carbon, whether in the form of CO2 or just C, was at one time already in circulation. All we’re doing is harvesting the (essentially) free energy out of it before returning it for additional circulation.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
February 2, 2018 6:19 am

I think you’ve covered the bases fairly well!

Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
February 2, 2018 6:19 am

I had dinner during the Obama administration with my friend, a senior US government energy official and one of his advisors. On the subject of intermittency, the advisor waved off the intermittency problem with the statement “we’ll solve that with storage”. I did not bother to reply – I was confident that my friend, who is quite competent, knew as I did that “storage” was impractical at this time (and will probably remain so for a long time).
But this is how halfwits like Bill McKibben think – they just throw out some nonsense and then are prepared to defend it to the death. We have known about the intermittency problem of wind and solar power since forever – I even suggested a possible solution circa 2012 or earlier, but it probably won’t work very well – see below.
Regards, Allan
Sabastian says: February 18, 2012 at 7:14 am
RE: Allan MacRae: If we ever develop a “super-battery”
The “Super battery” like fusion is a fanciful illusion. Batteries have been around for 150 years. Plot watts per pound and watts per dollar, and you will discover that the rate of technical progress is very slow. Because of huge demand for mobile devices (not including autos), the rate of progress has moved up recently. But extrapolation of the plot shows it will be many decades before an electric car has the range and price point of a gas vehicle.
Sebastian, your comment seems inappropriate in tone and context, as if I were a big fan of wind power (I’m not) and had great hopes for a “super-battery” (I don’t).
Furthermore, you say: “But extrapolation of the plot shows it will be many decades before an electric car has the range and price point of a gas vehicle.”
Electric cars are now appearing in the marketplace, and they may succeed or fail, but there is no need for them to have the same range as a gas vehicle – most people seldom use the full range of their gasoline vehicles, instead using their cars almost exclusively for short daily commutes to and from work.
The key to using all these electric cars in a collective ‘super-battery” is that this application is essentially free (secondary use of the resource), which means that your economic argument about the high cost of batteries does not have much traction.
I still see great practical obstacles for the “super-battery” concept, and I use the term broadly, to include batteries, capacitors, recycled hydroelectric power, or whatever, and I doubt that a super-battery will become a practical reality in the next twenty years.
In conclusion:
Wind power is still an energy dog. I wrote this conclusion, with confidence, in newspaper articles in 2002 and 2003. A decade later, this energy dog still has fleas. Even if we overcome the fatal flaws of wind power’s highly intermittent power generation profile through the use of a “super-battery”, there is still the serious problem of bird and bat kill.
Grid-connected wind power is uneconomic and anti-environmental.
Let me repeat yet again, for those who missed it:
“Wind power – it doesn’t just blow – it sucks!”

A C Osborn
February 2, 2018 7:29 am

You forgot the other minor little problem, the cost of Renewables + Batteries, even super batterires make it uneconomic.
Not that it would stop Governments wasting Tax Payers money on them.

Jim Gorman
February 2, 2018 9:13 am

“The key to using all these electric cars in a collective ‘super-battery” is that this application is essentially free (secondary use of the resource), which means that your economic argument about the high cost of batteries does not have much traction.”
1. So I drive to work on a cloudy day, plug in my vehicle to charge, and lo and behold your “super-battery” begins to discharge my battery. Then when I come out to drive home, crap, I can’t leave because my battery is dead.
2. My partner works second shift and expects a charged battery when she leaves. But guess what? Your “super battery” has drained the battery and she can’t get to work.
3. Now it’s night and where does the power come from to charge all these dead batteries for the next day?

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 2, 2018 9:30 am

Jim Gorman, Allan McCrae:
Notice that “I” am forced by taxpayer subsidy to pay for Jim’s expensive daily-commute-to-a-government building parking lot electric car recharge stations, and the electricity that is dispensed to the government-subsidized electric cars for the government workers who are “allowed” to recharge their government-tax creditted electric cars …

February 2, 2018 11:46 am

“Electric cars are now appearing in the marketplace, and they may succeed or fail, but there is no need for them to have the same range as a gas vehicle – most people seldom use the full range of their gasoline vehicles, instead using their cars almost exclusively for short daily commutes to and from work.”
No need to have the same range? “Most” does not equal “all”. “Seldom” does not equal never.” “Almost” does not equal all. We do not make major purchases that merely meet our minimum requirements, but to meet all of our needs. I can get a range of 500-600 miles in a fossil-fueled vehicle, and refill the gas tank in less than fifteen minutes. That gives me some confidence that I can get to a sick relative nine hundred miles away reasonably quickly, out of the way of a hurricane or wildfire, or continue driving for several weeks in the event of a power failure or fuel shortage. It also means I won’t be spending a large fraction of my driving vacation through the mid-west waiting for a battery to charge.
The present ev’s are fine for as a second (third, fourth, fifth) car for the wealthy, or for a single SJW who never leaves his city, but for a significant number of us, with places to go and families to carry, they are non-starters.

February 2, 2018 12:41 pm

How many people can afford one vehicle for commuting to work, and another vehicle for everything else?

February 2, 2018 1:24 pm

Thank you all for your comments, with which I have already agreed, when I wrote above:
“I still see great practical obstacles for the “super-battery” concept, and I use the term broadly, to include batteries, capacitors, recycled hydroelectric power, or whatever, and I doubt that a super-battery will become a practical reality in the next twenty years.”
Reminiscent of Willis’s standard request:
Please do read what I have written before you agree (or disagree) with me, especially when you do so in the “first person accusatory” tense. 🙂

February 2, 2018 1:34 pm

Jim – If that is your situation, you would not plug it into the super-battery. Alternatively, you would program your car to be fully charged for your afternoon departure time.
It is obvious that the grid needs a large proportion of 24/7 dispatchable power, which relegates wind and solar power to minority status, even in the presence of a (hypothetical) practical and economic super-battery.

Roy Mc
Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
February 2, 2018 6:55 am

The world was nothing like fossil free in 1700. The ports of Newcastle and Sunderland were shipping about 650,000 tons of coal per year at that time.
By comparison, that is roughly a quarter of the total UK coal production today, though a tiny amount compared to the peak production of 287 million tons per year in 1913.

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  Roy Mc
February 2, 2018 11:07 am

Thanks for the corrections.

February 1, 2018 7:28 pm

EV have a 1% market share. Why aren’t climate change believers buying them? Reportedly 30% of the population are true believers. What am I missing?

Reply to  Charles A Hart
February 2, 2018 5:19 am

Good question.
I always wonder why socialists don’t just make a society of socialists, where they would live according to their standard (as Amish do, for instance) without forcefully including non-believers (as Communists states did and still do), but the fact is, they don’t. Actually some did : Phalanstère, Kibbutz, … but despite the will and faith of participants, it always fails more than it spawns new replacement, so the scheme must have more flaws than virtues.
Never got an answer, just a big fat silence and let’s talk about something else
I think they just believe in “just talk about it” more than in “just do it”

Reply to  Charles A Hart
February 2, 2018 7:20 am

A lot of the ones I’ve talked to proclaim that their schemes can’t work unless everyone is participating.

Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2018 11:51 am

There is no excuse not to deploy Socialism on a university level, an essentially ‘closed’ society. Students do their work and get paid with grades. Let everyone do the work they wish to do, a share the average grade that work produces. Let’s see what happens.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2018 4:29 pm

But wait, jtom, there will be those in each class who are political or financial legacies at the institution. They will require full credit and lauriate status, despite the homogenization of the bourgeois’ academic performance.

Reply to  MarkW
February 5, 2018 1:07 am

” their schemes can’t work unless everyone is participating” is just another way to say it can’t work if people are allowed to escape. Which is just the point.

Rick C PE
February 1, 2018 8:06 pm

There are already many towns in the US that use virtually no fossil fuel energy. Any towns or cities that eliminate fossil fuel energy are likely to join them.

Reply to  Rick C PE
February 1, 2018 8:26 pm


Roger Knights
Reply to  Rick C PE
February 2, 2018 12:39 am

Tyhyv got the grid for backup, though, don’t they?

February 1, 2018 8:13 pm
Wind power is intermittent and non-dispatchable and therefore should be valued much lower than the reliable, dispatchable power typically available from conventional electric power sources such as fossil fuels, hydro and nuclear.
In practice, one should assume the need for almost 100% conventional backup for wind power (in the absence of a hypothetical grid-scale “super-battery”, which does not exist in practical reality). When wind dies, typically on very hot or very cold days, the amount of wind power generated approaches zero.
Capacity Factor equals {total actual power output)/(total rated capacity assuming 100% utilization). The Capacity Factor of wind power in Germany equals about 28%*. However, Capacity Factor is not a true measure of actual usefulness of grid-connected wind power. The following paragraph explains why:
Current government regulations typically force wind power into the grid ahead of conventional power, and pay the wind power producer equal of greater sums for wind power versus conventional power, which artificially makes wind power appear more economic. This practice typically requires spinning backup of conventional power to be instantly available, since wind power fluctuates wildly, reportedly at the cube of the wind speed. The cost of this spinning backup is typically not deducted from the price paid to the wind power producer.
The true factor that reflects the intermittency of wind power Is the Substitution Capacity*, which is about 5% in Germany (and declining) – a large grid with a large wind power component. Substitution Capacity is the amount of dispatchable (conventional) power you can permanently retire when you add more wind power to the grid. In Germany they have to add ~20 units of wind power to replace 1 unit of dispatchable power. This is extremely uneconomic.
I SUGGEST THAT THE SUBSTITUTION CAPACITY OF ~5% IS A REASONABLE FIRST APPROXIMATION FOR WHAT WIND POWER IS REALLY WORTH – that is 1/20th of the value of reliable, dispatchable power from conventional sources. Anything above that 5% requires spinning conventional backup, which makes the remaining wind power redundant and essentially worthless.
This is a before-coffee first-approximation of the subject. Improvements are welcomed, provided they are well-researched and logical.
Regards, Allan
* Reference:
“E.On Netz excellent Wind Report 2005” at

Retired Kit P
February 1, 2018 9:24 pm

Allan, please stop referencing and 10 year old report and ignoring all the evidence since then.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 1, 2018 11:38 pm

Kit – you are a know-nothing or just a bullsh!tter.
Nothing has changed in this report – it is basic physics.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 4:01 am

Does this mean I should quit referencing Einstein’s 1905 papers on physics because those papers are now over a century old?

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 4:38 am

The last time I looked, Newton’s Laws had not changed.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 7:21 am

Kit, since you are so knowledgeable, perhaps you can detail what has changed since then.

February 2, 2018 1:55 am

Here is a graph of German wind production 2015, 2016 calculated at 5% nameplate intervals..
As you can see, in 2015, 2016 it was below 16% of nameplate 50% of the time.
And rarely got to 40%comment image

Joe Shaw
Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 4:57 am

That is a very informative graph. Do you have a link to the source data?

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 12:27 pm

U.K. National Grid Status
France National Grid Status
Performance of Photovoltaics (PV) in Germany

AGW is not Science
February 2, 2018 6:24 am

Agreed, Allen – “renewables” need to fetch a price reflective of their actual (minuscule) worth – AND should receive no “preference” or subsidy of any kind. That would end the needless construction of windmills and solar panels faster than anything.

February 1, 2018 8:19 pm

Wait until the “100% Renewable City” gets a power failure during a cold snap, when the wind dies and the Sun sets.
We have experienced several of these in Canada during severe ice storms. It’s not much fun. Everything stops, Some people die. Just how delusional do you have to be to willingly put yourself in this situation?
Bill? I’m talking to you.

February 1, 2018 8:19 pm

“Bill McKibben genuinely believe that renewables are an inexpensive replacement for fossil fuels.”
And on that point alone he is wrong, and either is ignorant of the reality that renewables are a huge economic cost, and that by themselves renewables can not be sustained. Or is he just willfully trying to make a name for himself by this political campaigning (on this single issue), pulling the wool over the eyes of the innocent bystander who’s ignorant of the technical issues, and are unaware of Bill McKibben’s probable underlying motive is to destroy America’s economic base.
I wonder what financial benefit does Bill McKibben get for this and from who?

Reply to  tom0mason
February 1, 2018 8:30 pm

It probably doesn’t matter one way or another to him. He’s a socialist, probably communist, and his only goal is to make everyone poor and miserable, except himself, of course, and Bernie and the other gods of global warming. If selling oil and gas could lead to socialism and dicatatorships in the US, Bill would out there pushing oil and gas and how sharing is caring and whatever else his brain could turn into a slogan for destroying freedom and lifestyles. The end is all that matter—the means are irrelevant.

Another Ian
Reply to  Sheri
February 1, 2018 11:49 pm

A poor reader of history then. He’d likely be in the first consignment of useful idiots to go.

Reply to  tom0mason
February 1, 2018 9:10 pm

Bill McKibben is a true believer. He believes that God has given us a stewardship over the earth. He truly believes he is preventing the earth from being destroyed by doing this.

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  Rhys
February 1, 2018 9:41 pm

Rhys – No he doesn’t. Note what I posted at 6:50 PM.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  tom0mason
February 1, 2018 9:31 pm

Can you put a number on ‘huge’ relative to society?
I only ask because I am in Lost Wages, Nevada. The cost of Casinos and new football stadium is huge.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 5:19 am

Retired Kit P,
Much expensive than many, many, many, many,many,many,many…
(get the message?) than society should pay when COAL, Gas, Oil, and Nuclear are the cheaper options that operate 24/7 for many decades..
Between the actual cost of manufacture, installation, and maintenance of those unreliables, then the required grid re-engineering to allow the unreliable to operate on the grid.
Huge as in it’s cost in productive agricultural turned into industrial blight, cost in making the grid less reliable, cost as in $ubsidies to keep the boondoggle going. Huge as it never being able to show a return on investment over their lifetime without all that tax-payer funds as $ubsidies. While the $ubsidies continue the true cost is incalculable, just a bottomless pit of expense. (get the message?)

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 5:36 am

“huge” means just that.
The cost of Casinos and football stadium ARE huge, indeed, but people are willing to pay for them. People also pay bigly for an endless list of stuff they do them no good, and even harms. As long as this is their choice, well, fair enough.
The same applies to renewable energy: just fine as long as you are willing to pay the price (and by price, understand not just money, but also the fact that you won’t have energy when you will, but when wind and sun allows),

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 7:23 am

If people are willing to pay for football stadiums, why do we usually have to get government to do it?

High Treason
February 1, 2018 8:29 pm

End the oil industry and the world will come to a grinding halt. Literally. Why? Because there will be no lubricants for machines, including bird munchers. Plant based lubricants only go so far.
You have to wonder how much thought they put in to their Fabian Utopia/ post energy era world.
I suspect Bill McKibben’s closest living relative is a dung beetle. ONLY dung beetles and some humans have a limitless appetite for swallowing bullshit.

Reply to  High Treason
February 1, 2018 9:32 pm

H T, I made this point earlier. There is A LOT of things the Oil Industry will/must continue to provide regardless how much energy renewables do or do not provide…

Reply to  AussieBear
February 1, 2018 10:06 pm

I absolutely refuse to fly on an airliner with windmills on its wings, rather than jet fuel engines , or a cruise ship with 300K solar panels over hanging the deck, and that is only for powering the lights.
I would surmise that either Davos or the Paris Accord Conferences would have ANY attendees without fossil fuel transportation. I have yet to see an Amphibious Prious …

A C Osborn
Reply to  AussieBear
February 2, 2018 7:36 am

Bill quotes the Sierra Club, so we are talking about Agenda 21 and everything after it.
So I don’t think he believes any of it it for 1 minute.
What he believes in is the “New World Order”, as he thinks he qould be one of them.

Another Ian
Reply to  High Treason
February 1, 2018 11:51 pm

They could bring back sailing ships and give the whales another tuneup

Reply to  Another Ian
February 6, 2018 1:40 am

The morally superior tell us that the stone age didn’t end because they ran out of rock and the oil age won’t end when we run out of oil.
But the whale oil industry was about to run out of whales. We only have them to save today because mineral oil made them redundant. That sounds like a green tick to me. 🙂

Reply to  High Treason
February 2, 2018 7:03 am

Windmills are full of copper windings which are coated in plastics to prevent shorting. Ending the fossil fuel industry by default will end windmills.

February 1, 2018 8:33 pm

It is simply about money and who writes their paychecks. Just like it is for the climate pseudoscientists.
Bill McKibben and his theirs funds and paychecks from the likes of Soros and Steyer. They continue to keep their hands in those pockets doing their bidding while carniaval barking, as agood laps dogs.
Socialism. Pure and simple, activist socialism.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 2, 2018 7:39 am

Not quite, it is a new world order they want, they are trying to destroy capatalism, which they made their money from and they want to shut off the spigot so no one else can do the same to challenge them.

February 1, 2018 8:39 pm

People can move from town to town and state to state in the USA. That’s exactly what people will do, unless Bill wants to build a mini Berlin Wall around each city as they go green. On that note, I suggest every sane person still in Kalifornia get out while you still can with more than just the shirt on your back.

Reply to  KT66
February 2, 2018 1:11 am

California is becoming a real sh*thole, if ever there was one, all thanks to Jerry.

A C Osborn
Reply to  KT66
February 2, 2018 7:41 am

The walled enclaves is one of the aims of Agenda 21 and it’s later derivatives.

February 1, 2018 8:48 pm

Here’s the rub Bill from The Australian 29/1/2018-
‘Battery plants will remain too ­expensive to meet long-term urban power storage needs, Nobel laureate and Obama adminis­tration energy secretary Steven Chu has warned.
Professor Chu said the huge lithium-ion battery built in South Australia by Tesla boss Elon Musk had cost about 40 times as much as an equivalent power plant using an existing hydro-electric dam. He said while the costs of building battery plants were likely to halve over the next decade, the approach would never be cheap enough to accommodate the big seasonal shifts in renewable power production.
He said batteries could prove viable for storing power produced during the day for use during night hours, and “maybe” up to a week later, but not over seasonal time­frames. “You need other new technologies to convert cheap re­new­able energy into chemical fuel when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing,” he told The Australian.’
Now Professor Chu is no doubter of CO2 being a problem and after poo-pooing the battery fan club goes on to promote hydrogen as an alternative-
“If you make really cheap hydrogen from renewables and store it underground, then you have something very different.”
Well in the absence of pumped hydro in a dry flat state like South Australia and molten salt storage not making any headway he would have to think hydrogen now wouldn’t he? Even more over the horizon stuff as the true believers with some brains still in gear grapple with the problem of unreliables and the cost of making them equivalent to traditional thermal power. Do keep up Bill Nye and Co.

Reply to  observa
February 2, 2018 5:46 am

“If you make really cheap hydrogen from renewables and store it underground, then you have something very different.”
Huge quantities of hydrogen are manufactured and used already. Out of fossil fuel, not renewable. For a reason (guess what).
And even if some miracle hydrogen source appeared, you can bet the first thing we would do with it would be to turn it into … liquid fuel.

Retired Kit P
February 1, 2018 9:16 pm

Another self proclaimed ‘environmentalist’ with a cause and no solutions. It is about the drama of the cause not doing the hard work of spending time in a classroom learningf how to identify and solve the problems.
If you look at all the dramas, there is always another sillier than the last.
This is why I am in favor of modest mandates. Proof of concept or proof of failure.
Failure of renewables is an option.

February 1, 2018 9:25 pm

I’d have to add that any town or city that goes 100% renewable (unless of course it is a very small town and most of the residents heat with wood – if the greens consider firewood to be a renewable….) will end up very quickly defeating itself! For larger cities, what you will have is Detroit on steroids. Large areas of residential and commercial land will be abandoned because (of course) reliable on demand 24/7 energy will be a thing of the past!

February 1, 2018 9:44 pm

Followed by the millions out of work, empty store shelves and the collapse of the pension plans would be recipe war. To which a lot of people would be looking forward to get their revenge.

February 1, 2018 10:02 pm

As an aside here’s an interesting determination for those eager US burghers wanting to sue Exxon, Shell, BP, etc for not cease and desist apparently and note the defence the Court accepted-
That’s one Constitutional Right the US founding fathers didn’t forsee, namely the right to not be hounded or prosecuted retrospectively for epidemiological risk with 20/20 hindsight. In other words any entity or individual is free to actively promote, supply, sell and trade any good or service until such time as the community decides otherwise legislatively.

February 1, 2018 10:08 pm

Activists like Bill McKibben genuinely believe that renewables are an inexpensive replacement for fossil fuels.
It would be easier to convince me that CAGW is an actual threat than it would be to convince me that McKibben believes his own rhetoric.

Retired Kit P
February 1, 2018 10:13 pm

The city of Seattle claims to be 100% renewable. It is all smoke and mirrors. They sold the coal plant instead of closing it down.
Think about every thing we need. Tires for example. Not made in a renewable city but they get the food to town and haul the garbage to the dump.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2018 10:28 pm

Suggestion for Bill McKibben and others: Make the next climate conference 100% renewable. Not with carbon credit indulgences, but with actual real renewable power – for everything. Lighting, AV equipment, wireless APs, elevators, kitchens, transportation. Everything excepting emergency lighting. Not enough renewable power? Then the conference participants get to lead by example and get together and decide what to shut down. Maybe they can talk Elon Musk into loaning them a super battery to give them more time to meet — after all climate conferences are used to days of arguing over minor resolution wording changes, so making critical decisions in 5 minutes or less will likely be unfamiliar to them.
If it really would be easy for major cities like New York to go 100% renewable permanently, it should be much easier to get one convention site somewhere to go 100% renewable for a week.
Even a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step. Until I see somebody take that first step, I will remain skeptical on the possibility of the longer journey.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 2, 2018 7:49 am

And go there in a renewable way. No flying or trains. Tall ships and horses.

Reply to  Curious George
February 2, 2018 2:47 pm

And pogo-sticks.
I can – close your eyes if sensitive – visualise The Great Algoreithm pogoing down from DC . . . .
Apologies if the jelly-flapping offends!

February 1, 2018 11:30 pm

You may be interested to know that in the 1970’s I had presented a proposal to the Ontario government in Canada to construct a rotary kiln power plant fueled by municipal garbage. It would have taken up to a half of Toronto’s landfilled waste and produced electricity, steam, recovered metal and glass.
As part of this project, I proposed to build adjacent to this power plant a high rise vegetable garden in which vegetables would be grown year round for the Toronto market. It would have been heated and powered by this power plant.
However, the “environmentalists” opposed this project for all the usual reasons, and it died in its embryonic stage.

Robert B
February 1, 2018 11:32 pm

How does it go? The stone age didn’t end because they ran out of stones … and big quarry wasn’t defeated, either.

February 2, 2018 12:55 am

I was recently in Acre in Israel and visited a museum showing the traditional utensils used by people – some of these were kerosene lamps (I believe the name comes from the original Swedish manufacturer) which replaced whale oil.
Just as inevitably, renewable energies will steadily replace – although not completely – fossil fuels as the costs of the technologies decrease over time – this is already being witnessed in countries like China and Saudi Arabia that are investing very large sums of money in solar, wind etc.
I agree with fossil fuel advocates that renewables alone will not be sufficient to power the world’s energy needs. However, where I disagree is what the back up will be. I am pro nucleur and believe that this technology is much cleaner and efficient than fossil fuels.

Reply to  ivankinsman
February 2, 2018 1:18 am

“Just as inevitably, renewable energies will steadily replace “
Fantasy-land again, ivan?
Just as inevitably, renewables will CRASH and leave behind a load of decaying husks and toxins when subsidies and feed-in mandates are removed, once this anti-science, anti-CO2, AGW FARCE is relegated to the sewer from whence it came.

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 1:28 am

Don’t skewer the argument and the facts. You know as well as I do that fossil fuels get as much subsidies as renewables. Stop the absurd lie that one does and the other doesn’t.
Also don’t just put renewables in the context of the climate change debate. There is a strong economic argument for their usage with energy prices coming down year on year.

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 1:56 am

“Don’t skewer the argument and the facts.”
I’ll leave the bs’ing up to you, ivan… you are so much more practiced at it.

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 1:58 am

“There is a strong economic argument”
There absolutely ZERO economic argument for them , because need a complete extra system to back them up when they don’t deliver.

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 6:40 am

” You know as well as I do that fossil fuels get as much subsidies as renewables.”
Oh. You do KNOW that? No you don’t,
You never would want to be “subsidized” the way fossil fuels are, as you claim.
A) the Saudi subsidies:
I own oil, that I can sell $60/bbl to any people on Earth. But I decide to sell it to citizens of the country only $10/bbl. I can afford, actually I still earn money since production cost are even lower, close to 8$. But, still, this is a $50 (60-10) subsidy (so they say).
B) the tax man subsidies
I tax oil. Big tax, and make huge money on it. All sort of taxes, for all sort of oil and usage, to extract as much money as I can. However, people complain, and sometimes, they even lobby successfully to get some tax reduction; some other times, the tax is so great it would just yield zero as people would stop using the taxed product, so I compensate.
So, sometimes, some oil product are taxed $50 instead of $100. Another $50 subsidy.
Which one of the fossil fuels subsidies do you want, Ivan? I can provide a substitute. Yes, I can.
For the A subsidies, just pay me $60 every time you buy 42 gallons of gas, and I’ll subsidies you $50, no question asked.
For the B subsidies, just pay me $100 every time you buy 42 gallons of gas, and I’ll subsidies you $50, no question asked.
C) the renewables subsidies
Unfortunately I cannot provide C subsidy to you. It would cost me money (as opposed to my A and B subsidies to you, where YOU are the one to lose money)

AGW is not Science
Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 6:40 am

Couldn’t have said it better myself. LOL
Maybe these people really need to live in this utopia they envision for a year, and see why their point of view is so incredibly wrong.

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 7:27 am

ivan, you haven’t presented any facts, and it is a lie that fossil fuel gets subsidies.
That’s only true if you take the insane notion that any tax less than 100% is a subsidy.

Reply to  AndyG55
February 2, 2018 5:03 pm

“You know as well as I do that fossil fuels get as much subsidies as renewables.”
No we don’t.
Stop making stuff up.

Reply to  ivankinsman
February 2, 2018 1:18 am

which replaced whale oil. you do know that the lamps and source of fuel are two different things don’t you , i.e the same lamps that run on kerosene would run on whale oil.
And as for China and renewable, well take out hydro , and the greens do not included this , then the biggest investment they are making in in manufacturing solar panels for suckers in the west to waste their money .
Meanwhile, it coal , coal and yet more coal .

Reply to  knr
February 2, 2018 1:24 am

Don’t be absurd. The US manufactured renewable technologies and uses them as well on a huge scale so stop talking about ‘China’ and ‘suckers in this context. The coal industry is steadily shrinking as investors do not want to put their money into a dying industry, however much Trump wants to support it.

Reply to  knr
February 2, 2018 2:00 am

The U.S. invested $57 billion in 2016, making it the world’s second biggest backer of renewables. Developers channeled 1 percent more capital into clean energy than the previous year even though Trump worked to gut emissions rules governing power plants.

Reply to  knr
February 2, 2018 6:54 am

“The U.S. invested $57 billion in 2016,”
“invested”, really?
An investment is something you get money out of, because you earn more money or cut some spending (and any combination thereof), more than you invested.
As far as you told us, this is not an investment, this is just a SPENDING.
To justify your using the “invested” word, tell us how much this will allow US to earn or save.
Good luck with that.

Reply to  ivankinsman
February 2, 2018 1:34 am

Sorry Ivan. The cost of renewable energy has a floor. beyond which it cannot reduce and that cots is above that of nuclear power, if punitive restrictions are removed from that technology.
The reason is very simple. Sunlight wind and wave and tide are very diffuse., They require massive amounts of structure, and the energy cost of those structures is a significant fraction if not in excess, of the energy that is derived over the lifetime of the constructed plant. Only hydroelectric, where Nature has done most of the construction for you, is a cost effective renewable.,
Unless you are using cheap fossil or nuclear power to create the structures – cement for concrete is made by burning gas typically – you will bankrupt yourself as renewables will not generate enough energy to reproduce themselves.
Beyond fossil there is only nuclear.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 2, 2018 1:45 am

“and the energy cost of those structures is a significant fraction if not in excess, of the energy that is derived over the lifetime of the constructed plant”
Sorry, but this statement is complete c**p. These are examples of projects that completely negate your argument. This high level of investment would not be made if the ROI was insufficient:
Saudi Arabia touts US$500 billion wind and solar powered investment zone:
Indian solar power prices hit record low, undercutting fossil fuels:
China’s Solar Boom Boosts Clean Energy Funding Near Record
About $333.5 billion poured into renewable energy and cutting-edge power technologies, up 3 percent from 2016 and 7 percent short of the record set in 2015, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Almost half went to solar projects, and China’s investment accounted for 40 percent of the total

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 2, 2018 5:17 am

Look into the financials of those projects, and show me where they factored the cost of the required backup. And all of those projects need backup, most within 24 hours of turning on the switch. What’s that? You can’t find that cost in those financial analyses…?

A C Osborn
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 2, 2018 7:53 am

Another cost not built in. it all needs replacing in 15 to 20 years, unlike the mature FF & Nuclear Industry where 60 years is common..

Richard G
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 2, 2018 6:17 pm

The money is pouring into renewables alright—–right down the rat hole.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 3, 2018 2:25 am

ivan.., your gullibility is magnificent. “This high level of investment” is and are not really made now, they are only pondered resp. talked about – like one Mr. Musk taking mental refuge on Mars when he despairs about everyday management problems.
Why do the fans of sun-kings and wind-barons always cluck about eggs unlayed?
There are many reasons why one could seem be willing to spend other people’s money on uneconomic projects – later subsidies, letters of CO2-indulgence, etc..
“US$500 billion wind and solar powered investment zone” – what a mischievous way to put it.
Do you know, by the way, that that laying-concrete-in-the-desert is thought for the palestinians in Gaza, and the green coat of colour serves to make the project palatable to the leftist opinion-makers.

Reply to  ivankinsman
February 2, 2018 7:26 am

kerosene replaced whale oil
therefor renewables will replace fossil fuels.
Please tell me that this is not the best you can do.

Reply to  ivankinsman
February 2, 2018 7:29 am

Has anyone ever seen both ivan and Bill McKibben at the same time?

February 2, 2018 1:11 am

Activists like Bill McKibben genuinely believe that renewables are an inexpensive replacement for fossil fuels
But note not in their personal lives , now why would that be !

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2018 1:22 am

Perhaps there is a city somewhere in the US which would volunteer to have its supply of gas and petrol cut off at some agreed time in the near future? I’m sure Bill knows such a place?

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2018 8:19 am

I nominate Washington D.C. – it can become the first Electric City and showcase how splendidly it works. It’s going to take a lot of infrastructure work to make the transition, so we’ll allow fossil fuels to be used for that transition. Also, the generation of power by renewables is problematic, so we’ll allow for the transition to first leverage electric power generated by West Virginia coal. Once the entire city is consuming electric power in lieu of fossil fuels, the work can being to build the renewable energy production infrastructure. Of course building those structures will also require fossil fuel use. It will be a lengthy transition, completely dependent upon fossil fuels. But, once complete they can showcase how marvelous it functions. One caveat, energy production from both wind and solar is a function of land surface area so it will be interesting to see where they’re able to make these installations within the city limits.
What’s the reason for doing this all again? Because we’re concerned that we’ve been inadvertently increasing the base of the food chain for life by emitting CO2 from burning fossil fuels?

February 2, 2018 1:26 am

I calculated that an all renewable grid without any storage would put electricity at around $16 a kwh wholesale, and would leave nowhere for people to live or crops to grow, all land area being devoted to windmills and solar panels
The most renewable ridden nation on earth – Germany – will miss its emissions targets…
If you look anywhere its totally obvious that renewables dont work. Its been obvious for years….
And yet the propaganda continues unabated.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 2, 2018 7:55 am

Not only will they not meet their emission targets, they have not reduced their Coal use in 40 Years, even after spending Billions on renewables.

Mihaly Malzenicky
February 2, 2018 1:27 am

Even in this year, cold fusion procedures can be introduced at industrial scale. This can bring energy prices to the tithes and make absolutely pure energy. However, it will not be a simple process. This also shows that mainstream media do not seem to know the thing.

Reply to  Mihaly Malzenicky
February 2, 2018 1:36 am

Well cold fusion doesn’t exist, and if it did, what’s the point? if its cold it didn’t make any energy.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 2, 2018 7:30 am

Cold is a relative term. It’s cold compared to the temperatures needed to make traditional fusion work.

Reply to  Mihaly Malzenicky
February 2, 2018 2:53 am

I will happly give you 1000-1 that should that ever get cold fusion working, the Greens will oppose it tooth and nail .

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Mihaly Malzenicky
February 2, 2018 7:24 am

Sorry Mihaly Malzenicky, but as of this moment the claims of the cold fusion crowd have less credibility than those of the renewable energy crowd. At least the RE people can point to some working wind and solar facilities which actually do produce power. Ditto Eric Worrall above: show me I’m wrong and I’ll admit it and issue an apology.

Reply to  Mihaly Malzenicky
February 2, 2018 9:58 am

Go post your cold fusion crud elsewhere.
Cold fusion never existed and never will.
It is as stupid as the idea we can run a prosperous world on “renewables” or believe Area 51 has et artifacts and bodies.
Those who promote either cold fusion or 100% “renewables” or UFOs are equally deceptive or deceived.

February 2, 2018 2:07 am

Renewables suffer from the second law of Thermodynamics, in that it requires an outside source of energy to raise energy at a low “State” (say low temperature) to that of a high and useful “State”. Fossil fuels come already in an high “state” of concentrated energy; but renewables need to be harvested and also raised to a sufficiently high “State” to be useful, which takes a lot of energy – A major problem.
OK; you can use some of these harvested renewables to raise some of the rest ; but perhaps one can see the problem when comparing the usefulness of this energy with that of fossil sources where nature has already sorted the problem.
Indeed there is a niche market for renewable energy; but that is where it should remain – a niche market .
PS: As an aside: If you want to warm the planet; plaster it with Solar Panels, for that is what they are designed to do.

February 2, 2018 2:25 am

Bill has the look of a fanatic.

Reply to  Jules
February 2, 2018 2:51 am

Yeb , the type who are first to light the fires under books or people , to save their soles .

Reply to  knr
February 2, 2018 7:32 am

We had to burn their shoes in order to save them.

Reply to  knr
February 2, 2018 8:07 am

…..or a RONCO TV salesman with kitchen knives.

February 2, 2018 3:32 am

Eric, you missed that the previous shifts in energy have been driven by free markets, capitalism. Not by neo-communism and corrupted, politicized science. To quote Christiana Figueres:
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,”

A C Osborn
Reply to  phaedo
February 2, 2018 7:57 am

Spot on.

February 2, 2018 3:32 am

McKibben obviously included to attack on “big oil” from habit. Big oil, of course, is not affected by any changes in power generation – oil is not use to make any significant amounts of power these days – far too expensive. Oil executives must laugh at McKibben’s utter ignorance,. Meanwhile, oil companies (like Royal Dutch Shell) are buying up electric car charging companies and replacing gas pumps with chargers. I assume the commanded renewable power only refers to the power used by the town or city itself, not its population. If so, that doesn’t really amount to much.
Perhaps it’s time to warn these low carbon folks to NOT reduce atmospheric CO2 levels to any great extent. The less the CO2 , the less sustaining the planet becomes.

February 2, 2018 3:34 am

You know, McKibben even looks exactly like he acts – crazed and quite ugly. Ugly people produce ugly ideas.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  arthur4563
February 2, 2018 8:51 am

Hateful people produce ugly ideas .
Wife of a Chief on the boat was so facially ….deficient … that she was know as “The Sea Hag”
But she was one of the kindest and nicest persons you could ever meet .

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 2, 2018 9:59 am

He is ugly on the inside.

Harry Passfield
February 2, 2018 3:49 am

Seriously, this guy is certifiable. I’m sure many on here have said as much. My worry is that our young think he is right. I mourn for their future if is ever based on people like McKibben and their incredible claims. A few hundred years ago he would have been a touring snake-oil salesman or alchemist claiming all sorts of benefits from his elixirs. He’s to old to be a ‘snowflake’; now he’s just a fake.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Harry Passfield
February 2, 2018 7:57 am

Tablets!! Too old….

February 2, 2018 5:30 am

How will those towns and cities going 100% renewable know they defeated Washington and big oil? They’ll be in the dark, literally.

February 2, 2018 6:02 am

Does anyone really think that intelligent information disseminators don’t know that wind turbines and solar panels can never replace coal-fired power generation in a month of Sundays? Get real; this is a no-brainer for pre-schoolers, let alone pretentious wannabe-scientists. This ilk sell their souls to “The Program”, while pensioners freeze in their beds as collateral damage.

michael hart
February 2, 2018 6:28 am

Same old same old twaddle. What Bill McKibben needs to defeat is not big oil, but the population’s economic need for petroleum products. And that is just what they cannot do for at least many decades. If he really means what he says then he should go retrain as a nuclear engineer.
People who genuine wish to, say, cure cancer will train as an oncologist or biomedical researcher. What they will not do is try and pass new laws that make cancer illegal. Simply won’t work.
McKibben and his cities are deluded fools. What do they think they are going to do? Buy everyone a free Tesla? No. If they ban the internal combustion engine and fossil-fuel related electricity they will end up with emptied-out shells of cities far far worse than Detroit. Industry and people will flee like rats abandoning a sinking ship.

February 2, 2018 6:42 am

If renewables were as superior as the activists claim, it wouldn’t need the subsidies and mandates they demand.

Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2018 7:03 am

simple answer:
1) big oil conspiracy.
2) THEY know, but common people are so stupid they stick to their old dirty habits, so you need to subsidies and mandates to TEACH them.

AGW is not Science
February 2, 2018 6:57 am

If NYC is actually stupid enough to swallow the “climate change” Kool-Aid, fine. Let’s cut off all connections to the grid, including blocking of any cell towers (since the internet they access is fossil fuel powered – can’t allow THAT cheat!), and prohibit any fossil fuel powered vehicles to enter or exit the city. They can build all the windmills and solar panels they like. Then, after they find themselves freezing to death in the dark (winter) or dying of heat stroke in the dark (summer), WALKING up to their high-rise apartments, and have to employ horses to pull the subway trains (if they can find them in the dark), all while having nothing to eat and garbage piling up all around them (unless they can take it to a willing recipient by sailboat!), we’ll see who they are going to “defeat.”
Meanwhile, the rest of us can stand on the Jersey side of the Hudson, pointing and laughing.

Reply to  AGW is not Science
February 6, 2018 1:50 am

You must be thinking of ways to promote Calexit then.

February 2, 2018 7:04 am

Just a question, and you’ll probably think that the answer is obvious, but I believe it adds to the discussion if I ask it. Okay, more than one question, really, but:
Do these so-called ‘greenies’ like McKibben understand anything at all about biological systems?
Do they even vaguely understand that plants require CO2 to exist?
Do they even have a teensy weensy clue that plants outnumber animals (inlcuding humans) by a huge amount, that they communicate with each other, and that they can wipe us out in a heartbeat if they sense that as a necessity for survival?
Seriously, we’re just plant food, you know. When animals (including us) die, the electromagnetic force that holds us in coherent lumps of matter (insects included) shuts off and we ALL revert to minerals and become mostly fertilizer.
Does McKibben understand any of these basic biological concepts? Do any of those people get that?
Just asking. I’m concerned that this basic concept escapes these people, and McKibben comes off as some sort of nutball who needs counseling. He’s rather rabid, in my view.
I’m going to go make soup now. Chicken soup, made with celeray, carrots, onion, chicken, chicken broth, and some fat noodles.

Reply to  Sara
February 2, 2018 8:08 am

Haha, why is that every time you post, Sara, I find myself craving some sort of food dish or another? We might need to invoke the mods to keep you to just the science…everything else is just too darn distracting! 🙂

Reply to  ripshin
February 2, 2018 9:28 am

My pleasure, ripshin.

David S
February 2, 2018 7:36 am

Seems like a good idea to me. The folks in New York can adopt renewable energy without inflicting their ideas on the rest of us. While they are shivering in the dark the rest of us will be watching the Superbowl on a big screen TV in the cozy warmth of our living rooms.

February 2, 2018 8:06 am

You could easily substitute the words LEED-certified buildings for renewables and still get the same 2x cost increase. It just requires turning off the fact-checking genes in the brain and use of the same climate bible revivals and evangelicals like McKibben.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 2, 2018 8:59 am Presents: Great Moments in Renewable Energy: Transportation
So much planet-destroying greenhouse gasses result from our transportation system that many people think we can’t get around without burning fossil fuels. This is simply not true: people used to get around just fine using only renewable energy, but Big Oil doesn’t want you to know that. Want to go from New York to San Francisco without guilt over rising oceans and bleached corals? You can do it!
In 1853 the clipper ship Flying Cloud set the record for the anchor-to-anchor trip from New York to San Francisco: 89 days, 8 hours using only renewable energy. This beat her own previous record from 1851 by 13 hours. That record stood for 136 years until 1989 when the sloop Thursday’s Child did the same run in 80 days, 20 hours. Since then the record has been broken again in 2008 by the racing yacht Gitana 13 with a time of 43 days, 38 minutes.
While all three craft use sail for motive power, only the Flying Cloud was totally renewable (oil lamps, no electricity, no bottled gas for cooking), and made from 100% renewable materials. She was also a commercial ship carrying paying passengers and cargo rather than a rich man’s glory toy.
For perspective, 89 days is roughly half a US baseball season. Or about one quarter of the US presidential election cycle. So think of all the insipid blather you could miss by taking passage on a clipper ship with no WiFi or cell service. Meal service during the voyage uses only 100% organic non-GMO ingredients, and scurvy is generally optional.
What we need is an investment in renewable transportation on the same scale we’re currently putting into roads and refineries, and some leadership. We hope to see Leonardo DiCaprio charter a clipper ship for his next Soccer World Cup party. We’re sure we can make this happen, as soon as we can find a crew of at least 40 who can work the sails while looking good in bikinis. We’re not only supporting fossil-fuel-free transportation; we’re creating green jobs!
Bathing facilities would be limited, but complemented by large stores of Old Spice products, featuring the Flying Cloud image on the bottles (sample here).
This has been another example of Great Moments in Renewable Energy, brought to you by — “Dedicated to Making You Live The Way We think You Ought to”.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 2, 2018 9:16 am

What they don’t mention is that this record is for sailing ships.
They also don’t mention that non-sailing ships usually go through the Panama Canal.
Finally, they seem to think that getting 40 people to do a job that is normally done by half a dozen, is an improvement.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 2, 2018 9:27 am

As early as the 1820’s and 1830’s, the British, American, and Canadian shipping firms began replacing their “successful” thousands-of-years experience sailing ships with the unproven and tremendously expensive steam-powered paddlewheel packet boats.
Note ALSO that ALL of these shipping companies and ship builders and ship designers – also began fighting each other and their foreign government competitors – to get subsidies, construction tax breaks and funding, and operations subsidies for the (very expensive to operate!) inefficient steam packet ships!
But the reliability of cross-Atlantic shipping for mail, for passengers, for freight, and for small consumer goods DEMANDED that steam replace sailing ships even then! Without steam, you simply could not schedule cross-Atlantic ships during the 4-5 months of winter. They simply were not reliable. Now, the sailing ships that did attempt winter crossings did not all sink of course, but they could not predict when they were going to arrive in port, when they could leave port, and how long the crossing would take.
As soon as steam was available – even as early as the mid-1830’s – the shipping companies could schedule twice-a-month reliable deliveries. Shortly thereafter, with the Suez Canal, coaling stations around Africa and Asia, and in mid-islands of the Pacific, trans-Pacific routes started.
And, by the way, the need for those coaling stations (and later oil supplies) greatly rewarded and provided the need for the British, French, German, Russian, Japanese, American and Italian colonial efforts from 1840 through 1920.

February 2, 2018 9:02 am

So, it’s the artificial green blight vs the organic black blob.
Where green implies renewable, sustainable, intermittent drivers, and globally outsourced, environmentally unfriendly, low productivity technologies.
Choice with a lower-case ‘c’, but perhaps with an upper case ‘C’, too.

Pop Piasa
February 2, 2018 9:10 am

Eric, I would like to suggest a theme song for
It’s by another rather eccentric fellow from CA.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 2, 2018 9:49 am

When I think of McKibben, I think this song is more appropriate:

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: “How can I miss you when you won’t go away?.”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 2, 2018 9:51 am

frame link messed up. 2nd try:

Michael Jankowski
February 2, 2018 9:13 am

“…Global warming is an immediate battle…”
It’s not a “battle.” Freaking zealots with their war imagery.
“… We dare not wait for Washington to return to sanity…”
When has Washington ever been sane? When has McKibben?
“…The first – joining in work pioneered by groups like the Sierra Club – is to persuade towns, cities, counties, and states to pledge to make the transition to 100% renewable energy. This is now easy and affordable enough that it doesn’t scare politicians…”
Of course it Is “easy and affordable.” Politicians pledge stuff all of the time easily and with no financial consequences. As usual, the bill (if ever paid) would be footed by a future generation and administration.

February 2, 2018 9:20 am

The vast majority of “so called” renewable energy comes from burning wood and dung. Wind and solar combined constitue less than 1% of global energy production from what I read in one of the last IEA reports. Has Bill done a gap analysis yet?

February 2, 2018 9:27 am

This article provides lots of wake-up-call insight for those who would take but a moment to ponder it.
To my knowledge, there was never a mass social movement to get rid of horses as primary means of transportation. The transition to fossil-fuel-powered transportation happened because of OBVIOUS, REAL advantages over horses, I think.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 2, 2018 9:38 am

Hey, don’t knock horses. I grew up on the back of a horse. Ask the Amish! I think they still use draft horses for threshing grain – not sure about that, but they do give demos at farm shows.
Horses only require water, grain, bedding, a decent stable where the Greebean grooms can sleep in the loft, and a Greenbean or CAGWer to muck out the stalls. They tend to be emotional creatures, however, and demanding, too. If you’re eating an apple or carrots, they will snatch that right out of your hands. And beer. They like beer. Don’t let the horses smell the beer!
As an aside, if you remember the Teamsters Union and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, the teamsters started as the people who drove draft horses bringing cargo into cities or delivering from the docks to merchants. The last remnants of teamsters in the true sense are the people who take their draft horses to stone boat pulling contests at county fairs and the drivers in the Budweiser commercials.

February 2, 2018 9:50 am

McKibben is suffering from delusions, not illusions.
He is profoundly evil, projecting his self loathing onto the world.
The assault on our lives by the faux green NGOs needs to be vigorously pushed back.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  hunter
February 2, 2018 2:56 pm

Are you alluding to his delusions brought upon by the illusion of reason.

Bruce Cobb
February 2, 2018 9:56 am

Great Greenie Delusional Dreams:
In Greenie World, both CO2 and “fossil fuels” are evil/bad/the enemy of man, when the opposite is true.
In Greenie World, “Renewables” are not only “good for the planet”, but they are “affordable”, when the opposite is true.
In Greenie World, they are “winning” the Climate Wars, when the truth is that they’ve already lost.
The more they lose, the more they double-down on the lies, the virtue-signaling, and the delusional thinking.

February 2, 2018 1:01 pm

I wonder why you waste space on daft schemes like this, but can’t bring yourself to post an article on LENR – that actually woks and will replace most fossil fuel See:

Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 1:46 pm

MarkW, Allan. Et al
“Kit, since you are so knowledgeable, perhaps you can detail what has changed since then.”
For example before 2005 there was less 100 MWe of wind capacity in the Pacific Northwest but that experience indicated that the PNW could add wind because of existing hydro, nuclear and fossil steam plants. BPA had concerns about integration of wind. Here are the results:
No problem!
Allan premise is that a problem one place is a problem everyplace and a problem at one point of time is a problem forever.
I suspect Allan is not very good at physics. I have a huge amount of experience with modern physics (E=MC^2) and Newtonian physics using wind to power our sailboat against the current of the the Columbia River.
Allan is an example of someone with an agenda who does research to support his agenda. He is guilty of confirmation bias.
Aside from watching wind go from zero to several thousand MWe, I have the same interest in wind as other power sources since I have worked at power plants. I do not need to make up stuff to be against something.
I sure enjoy using the power.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 2, 2018 3:11 pm

I see nothing in here that refutes what Allan wrote.
I just see you pontificating and proclaiming that since a little bit of wind power could be handled by throttling other plants, more could easily be handled.
Heck with economics.

Robert of Ottawa
February 2, 2018 2:54 pm

Cities gong 100% rebewable will certainly create climate refugees as people leave to seek air conditoning, hating, transport and jobs.

February 2, 2018 3:10 pm

I look forward to hearing on the grape vine that Bill McK has gone off grid, off the internet, off fossil cars, planes, trains and buses, and grows his own food.

February 2, 2018 4:12 pm

“Big Green” is just “Big Oil” in another guise. But “Big Green” is worse in many ways. At least Big Oil can earn it’s profits, pay for it’s operations, and it’s people with it’s own revenue. Big Green, however, relies on the state to compel the people to provide it’s revenue, via subsidies, or regulations removing Big Oil as a competitor. The ironic thing is that Big Green and it’s energy systems are no less disruptive or destructive to the environment than conventional energy. If people could open their eyes and look over or around man-made political and ideological dogma, and see things in simple economic terms (known as “follow the money”), we would all be better off.

Reply to  JPGuthrie
February 3, 2018 7:43 am

I do not see any evidence to support the claim that fossil fuels are disruptive to the environment.
As to your conspiracy theory, put a sock in it.

Mickey Reno
February 2, 2018 4:44 pm

Weepy Bill, make sure you’re not pulling a Danny Trevathan and celebrating a touchdown before you’re actually in the end zone.

Gunga Din
February 2, 2018 5:27 pm

We’ve just launched a huge Fossil Free US campaign,

Does he mean that he and all the “climate science” fossils are going to retire or that their “green” has been retired by the US voters?

Patrick MJD
February 2, 2018 6:12 pm

Not a town but a large solar array to be built in Sydney. Look at what it will power and note the individual use meters.

February 2, 2018 8:38 pm

“..New York City is not as big as the federal government, but it’s big enough: it’s got lawyers aplenty, and the resources to do real damage….” Now there’s a real bipartisan statement. Let’s let all the states that want to commit climate suicide go right ahead. The only consolation I would demand is those people that don’t want to join the madness don’t have to. Purely voluntary participation.

tom s
February 3, 2018 10:31 am

Bill McKibben
Global warming is an immediate battle with enormous consequences. We dare not wait for Washington to return to sanity – nor do we have to…
YOU, SIR….are an idiot.

February 3, 2018 1:59 pm

The whole “transition” thing is a nonsense. The only transition I can see is going independently off grid if you are either wealthy enough or willing to live a more minimal lifestyle. For the average consumer, forget it, a working grid is required.
A town in my State claims to be going totally renewable by 2022, four years away. When you ask them what the plan is to get there, they instantly attack and accuse you of being negative. When simply asking about reality is negative, you really have to wonder.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  yarpos
February 3, 2018 7:45 pm

I do not think the average person has the skill to go off grid.
We spend a certain amount of time off grid. In the summer it is the Pacific ocean and the winter in might be in Texas along the Gulf of Mexico.
Our motor homes have had $10K Onan generators. Push a button and presto you have 120 vac to charge the batteries and run two A/C. In theory that is. The generator on a first motor home was gasoline and not properly maintained. Let me count the ways I hate carburetors.
Our second motor home uses propane for the generator. Our 20 year old generator has three electronic black boxes. A control board, an electronic governor, and an electronic voltage regulator.
Onan will charge you $1000 to trouble shoot, $600 for the new piece of electrons, and $400 to install.
Some of you will see the problem here.
There is a after market for either rebuilding or new electronic parts. If you are handy with a DVM to figure out what you need than you cam fix it yourself.
Our generator is again running fine after replacing the voltage regulator for under $300.
Off course propane is not renewable. Gasifiers were used during WWII. Another example of a practical renewable energy source that is way harder than fossil fuel.
That is if you like way harder.

February 4, 2018 12:52 am

You don’t have to be wealthy or have much skill with batteries and solar it seems. Just hang about for election time and Labor will reward its base with what ordinary taxpayers and power users can’t afford-
You can see how Mr Musk and Mr Weatherill are made for each other.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  observa
February 5, 2018 10:15 am

It takes more skill when idiots like Musk and the government are paying for things.
First off you have to fix the cheap junk they provide. My system is top drawer. Aside from the voltage regulator, I had to troubleshoot the inverter. Sending back to the factory is another $1000 to take the cover off. Cheap compared the cost of a new one.
Also replaced a solenoid to connect the batteries. Surprised it lasted so long since it was 6v rather than 12v. The scorecard so far is two relays and three pieces of electronics, a bunch of fuses, and a lot my time.
You have to have skill to manage your loads. Just bought a higher rated power meter because when I load tested the generator, it stalled when both A/Cs tried to start at the same time. Off course I was intentionally not managing loads by putting as much as load as I could.
So what can you do with batteries and the inverter. Not very much. My system will not even try to run A/C or the hot water heater on 120 vac. The fridge suck the batteries down in a few hours if you forget to switch it to propane.
In the morning, you can not make coffee, toast, or use the microwave because 1000+ watt loads trip the inverter on low battery voltage.
This how I manage off grid (boat or motorhome) and still enjoy the convenience of 120 vac. Two battery banks that each can start an ICE off propane or diesel to generate electricity. A third gasoline generator with a pull rope to start. That is three sources of fossil fuel.
I do have solar panels to maintain batteries when not inuse. Inverters must be isolated even when they are not inverting. It is 50 watts on the motorhome.
You are not really ‘offgrid’ until you need a shortwave radio to call for help.