Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The L. A. Times reported that the California Assembly voted out a bill requiring that the states electricity will be 100% clean energy by the year 2045.
Additionally SB 100 would also require that renewable energy targets for California be raised from 50% to 60% by year 2030.
“California would set some of the nation’s strongest clean energy goals under legislation that cleared a key vote in the Assembly on Tuesday, bringing the state a step closer to ending its reliance on fossil fuels by phasing out their use to generate electricity.
The bill, which would require California to obtain 100% of its power from clean sources by 2045, has been debated by lawmakers for nearly two years as it faced cost and feasibility concerns. This week, high-profile state and national politicians gave the cause a push by arguing the plan would strengthen California’s leadership on the environment.”
The Times article notes that the lawmakers provided the following rational for supporting this absurd scheme:
“Lawmakers supporting the bill said it was important that the state continue its pioneering efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. A new state report released this week warned that California will face higher temperatures, more wildfires and sea- level rise in the coming decades due to climate change.”
“The damage will continue to be done as long as we refuse to act,” Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) said. “There are no more tomorrows left.”
These rational are completely erroneous since California emissions reductions are totally irrelevant compared to global emissions increases and since the new state “study” is based on inadequate climate model projections which are based on nothing but conjecture and speculation derived from these models.
From the global emissions perspective reductions in California emissions are overwhelmed by huge emissions growth in the developing nations particularly in Asia as demonstrated here:
“In the period 1990 to 2016 China’s growth of 7.7 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions per year compares to California’s AB 32 reduction of about 0.052 billion tons of CO2 per year (CO2 emissions represent about 80% of Ca. greenhouse gas emissions).”
Thus any action California takes to reduce emissions is clearly meaningless compared to global emissions growth.
Not all legislators were singing the praises of the climate alarmist propaganda banter being thrown around the Assembly as noted here:
“Some Democrats cast their votes against the policy. Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced opposed the proposal, saying that supporters were motivated to impress national progressives rather than poor residents in rural communities who would face higher electric bills as a result of the legislation.
“This is yet another in a laundry list of bills that are discriminatory to the people I represent,” Gray said.”
These negative impacts on the poor addressed by Gray are reflected in a recent article by Bjorn Lomborg who noted how the war on climate change slams the worlds poor.
In Lomborg’s article he notes that:
“Activist organizations like Worldwatch argue that higher temperatures will make more people hungry, so drastic carbon cuts are needed. But a comprehensive new study published in Nature Climate Change led by researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis has found that strong global climate action would cause far more hunger and food insecurity than climate change itself.
The scientists used eight global-agricultural models to analyze various scenarios between now and 2050. These models suggest, on average, that climate change could put an extra 24 million people at risk of hunger. But a global carbon tax would increase food prices and push 78 million more people into risk of hunger. The areas expected to be most vulnerable are sub-Saharan Africa and India.
Trying to help 24 million people by imperiling 78 million people’s lives is a very poor policy.”
Further Lomborg criticizes the high cost and negative impacts foisted upon on the poorest people yet the climate benefits claimed through such actions are nothing but minuscule.
“The EU’s climate policy under the Paris agreement, meanwhile, will realistically cost the bloc about $600 billion each year for the rest of the century, yet at best it delivers a trifling temperature reduction of just 0.09°F by the end of the century.”
The Assembly in its deliberations completely ignored and never addressed the renewable energy and emissions target failures now occurring in Germany which is the most outspoken leader of the EU efforts to reduce emissions levels yet the country has had to acknowledge its efforts will not be able to meet anything close to its highly touted year 2020 emissions reductions and renewable energy growth goals. Worse yet the even more aggressive goals for 2030 are now in shatters and the critics are howling.
“Merkel’s government has already faced criticism for abandoning emissions targets it had set itself for 2020 after concluding they were unachievable, while sticking to a target it had set itself for a decade later.”
A recent report addressing the German governments progress paints a grim picture.
“Germany is on course to miss its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a wide margin, according to new government estimates.
“It is to be expected that greenhouse gas emissions will decrease by around 32 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 with the measures implemented to date. This will lead to a gap of about 8 [percentage points],” says the Climate Protection Report approved by the cabinet on 13 June and previously seen by the Clean Energy Wire.”
“The report even warns that its emission forecasts “must be considered rather optimistic in light of the current climate protection trends.”
“Despite the drop in emissions in the power sector, coal-fired power generation remains the country’s single largest source of carbon emissions. The world’s fourth largest economy has been successful in rolling out renewables, which already cover more than a third of its electricity needs.”
The graph below depicts quite clearly the magnitude of Germany’s failure to be anywhere close to meeting its promised results in 2020 and 2030 which is enormously embarrassing for Merkel’s government.
An article in Bloomberg notes the combination of missed targets, electric grid reliability problems and economic damage worries now present in Merkel’s initiative.
“Germany’s states are upping pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to keep coal-fired power for as long as 30 years as the nation approaches a deadline for setting an exit date from the fossil fuel.
Merkel’s administration is committed to shuttering about 120 lignite and hard-coal plants to cut emissions and plans to set a final exit point in October. As the deadline nears, six states where coal power is concentrated have banded together to keep an extended lifeline for the stations.
“A 25- to 30-year time frame to close the chapter on coal power is realistic,” said Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer in an interview in Leipzig on Tuesday. “We need time to reset regional economies now dependent on coal.”
Merkel faces tough choices. Coal states run by the same parties that make up her federal coalition fret that a rapid reduction of fossil-fuel plants will leave a huge economic hole in their regions and threaten the security of power supplies. But hard coal and lignite push out about a third of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, which Merkel is committed to cutting.”
Another Bloomberg article vividly displays the reality of high economic costs and political damage which has occurred because of Germany’s renewable energy and emissions reductions targets failures.
The results are so bad that Merkel had to reject new emissions reductions targets recently proposed by the EU which would have increased the year 2020 goal to 45% reduction instead of 40% reduction.
“In 2014, the leaders of the 28 countries of the European Union came to a difficult compromise on combating climate change – agreeing to make greenhouse gas emissions 40% lower than 1990 levels by 2030.
Now, some of those countries say new data and Europe’s alarming heat wave this summer mean that target should be raised to 45%.”
The emissions reduction targets promised and proven completely unachievable by Germany were 40% reduction in 2020 and 55% reduction in 2030 at an estimated cost of more than 580 billion dollars and yet this entire effort is crumbling in defeat with Merkel hanging on and trying to survive this ever growing climate alarmist “Energiewende” political debacle.
Other countries are rapidly abandoning the climate alarmist propagandist pipe dreams of completely unrealistic emissions reductions and renewable energy growth targets which increase energy costs significantly while decreasing energy reliability. A few examples of these changes in emissions and energy policy are provided below.
California would be well advised to actually take a realistic look at what the climate alarmist propagandists in the legislature are really proposing for our state before committing to a costly, economically damaging and technically unachievable debacle replicating what is now occurring in Germany.