How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?

They want to ban coal, oil and gas. Exactly how will they replace them? Who wins? Who loses?

Guest post by Paul Driessen

Berkeley, CA, Takoma Park, MD and other cities; California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and other states; Germany, England and other countries; the European Union – all plan to banish oil, natural gas and coal within 10, 20 or 30 years. A number of US states have joined Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives and proudly say We Are Still Inthe Paris climate treaty, no matter what President Trump says or does.

Forget the headlines and models, and look at hurricane, tornado, sea level and other historic records. There is no crisis, no unprecedented warming or weather events, certainly nothing that proves humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate changes and weather events.

But for now, let’s just examine their zero-carbon plans. How exactly will they make this happen? Where do they plan to get the turbines, panels and batteries? the raw materials to manufacture them? How do they plan to function as modern societies with pricey, erratic energy and frequent power disruptions?

How would they – or America, if the entire USA goes Green New Deal – handle a COVID-27 outbreak? How would they manufacture cars, airplanes, wind turbines, toilet paper, pharmaceuticals or much of anything else with intermittent energy? It hasn’t worked in Europe (see below), and it won’t work here.

Moreover, it’s not just replacing today’s coal and gas power plant megawatts. It’s doubling today’s electricity generation, because Green New Dealers want to replace all fossil fuel use: gasoline and diesel cars, trucks and buses, home and water heating, factory power, hospital emergency power, and more.

It’s tripling current megawatt generation, because they don’t like nuclear or hydroelectric power either, and they’ll need far more electricity to charge enough batteries to ensure backup power for all the fossil and other power they want to eliminate. That will require a lot of wind turbines, solar panels and batteries.

Where do they plan to put all of them? Some of those states and countries have lots of rural land, wildlife habitats and shallow waters off their coasts that they can turn into huge industrial energy zones. But what are those self-righteous cities going to do? Where within their city limits do they plan to put dozens of 650-foot tall turbines and tens of thousands of panels? Or do they plan to just impose those facilities on their rural neighbors? Or tap into regional power grids and use electricity that someone else is generating – with coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, and maybe wind or solar? How will they separate “good” and “bad” electrons?

All of these GND cities and states will have to deal with frustrated rural families who don’t want the ruined scenery, desecrated ridge lines, dead birds and bats, maddening light flicker and excruciating infrasound that towering turbines would bring. Don’t want millions of rural acres blanketed with solar panels. Don’t want hundreds of miles of new high voltage transmission lines crossing their backyards. Don’t want their lands seized via eminent domain, virtually at the point of a gun if they still resist.

They don’t want the 25-50-100% higher household electricity bills, the soaring price tags for products and services that go with soaring electricity costs for every business, farm, factory and hospital. They don’t want more good manufacturing jobs destroyed by skyrocketing energy prices – and sent overseas.

Do Green New Deal politicians have the foggiest idea how many turbines, panels, batteries and miles of transmission lines they will need to replace all fossil fuels? How few years those energy systems last before they have to be replaced? Do they have any idea what they’re going to do with the defunct turbine blades and solar panels that can’t be recycled or burned? How many cubic miles of landfills they will need? Will communities want those landfills? Will urban pols just employ more eminent domain?

It would take hundreds of 850-foot-tall 12-MW offshore turbines to supply the green new world electricity demands of a major city – or thousands of 2- or 3-MW onshore turbines. Tens of millions of solar panels. Millions of acres of former crop, scenic and wildlife habitat land would be impacted. They’d need millions of half-ton 85-kWh Tesla battery packs as backup for a week of windless or sunless days.

Where do they intend to get the millions of tons of steel, copper, cobalt, lithium, aluminum, rare earths, carbon-fiberglass-plastic composites, limestone and other raw materials to build all those electricity generation and storage systems, and all the new transmission lines? Will they now support opening more US lands to mining? How do they plan to mine and process the materials without fossil fuels?

If the mining is not to take place here in United States, under our tough laws and regulations – then where exactly will it be done? In China and Russia? or maybe in Africa and South America, where many mines are operated by Chinese and Russian companies that don’t give a tinker’s damn about child labor, slave labor, workplace safety, air and water pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, mined land reclamation – or the soaring rates of lung, heart, skin and intestinal diseases, osteoporosis, cancers and other maladies.

All these squalid places and horrific stories are far away – out of sight, out of mind. Environmentalists love to say: Think globally; act locally. This would be a good time to start practicing that ethical code.

The more honest politicians promoting a GND future admit it would eliminate a lot of oil, gas, coal, petrochemical, manufacturing and other high-paying jobs. But, they claim, their (pseudo-)renewable energy world would create millions of new jobs. A look behind The Great Oz’s curtain is very revealing.

Coal-fired power plants generate 7,745 megawatt-hours of electricity per mine and power plant worker; natural gas generates 3,812 MWh per oil and gas field and utility worker. That super high efficiency and resultant low-cost electricity sustain millions of jobs in manufacturing and countless other industries.

In stark contrast, wind turbines produce a measly 836 MWh for every employee, while solar panels generated an abysmal 98 MWh per worker. Put another way, it takes 79 solar workers to produce the same amount of electricity as one coal worker or two natural gas workers. Not only will this expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent electricity kill millions of good American jobs; the GND wind and solar jobs will mostly be lower-wage positions installing, maintaining, repairing and replacing turbines and panels, and hauling huge dilapidated blades, panels, hulks and concrete foundations to monster landfills.

Residential electricity prices are already outrageous in New York (17¢ a kilowatt-hour), California (19¢ per kWh), Connecticut (20¢) and Hawaii (31¢) – versus 9¢ a kWh in Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma. Going 50-100% wind and solar would send family rates skyrocketing to German levels: 37¢ per kWh.

At the 8¢ per kWh in 2019, Virginia’s Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1.6 million annually for electricity (based on typical hospital costs per square foot). At California’s (15¢ per kWh), or Germany’s business rate (22¢), Inova would have to shell out an extra $1.4-2.8 million a year for electricity. That would mean employee layoffs, higher medical bills, reduced patient care, more deaths.

How is the vaunted transition to wind and solar actually working in Europe and Britain? In 2017, German families and businesses were pummeled by 172,000 localized blackouts. Last year, some 350,000 German families had their electricity cut off because they couldn’t pay their power bills. In Britain, millions of elderly people have to choose between heating and eating decent food; many spend their days in libraries to keep warm; and more than 3,000 die every year because they cannot heat their homes properly, making them more likely to succumb to respiratory, heart, flu or other diseases.

Across Europe, 11 million jobs are “at risk” because of an EU “green deal” that many say is suicidal. Meanwhile, China and India are still building coal and gas power plants, making products for the USA and Europe, creating jobs, building airports, and sending billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

GND politicians have dodged these issues for years – while steering billions of taxpayer dollars to the green activist groups, crony capitalists and industrialist rent seekers that help keep them in office.

Even worse, they and their media allies neatly dodge the most glaring reality. The only way this energy and economic transformation will happen is through totalitarian government at the local, state and federal level: liberal urban voters and politicians against the rest of America. Those are the seeds of resentment, anger, societal division, endless litigation, and violence. We need to head that grim future off at the pass.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues.

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118 thoughts on “How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?

  1. Lurking in the back of most green minds is a belief that human population must be reduced to preserve the planet. Morally acceptable genocide?
    Eliminating fossil fuels might actually have that effect in developed countries. In less developed countries it may increase poverty or at least deny advancement.Since poverty as a threat seems to instill a tendency to produce more offspring (A natural biological response) it may have the opposite effect
    Beware of unforeseen consequences.

    • The Club of Rome hinted that the carrying capacity of the earth is around 5.4 billion. Obviously that depends on technology and government. And it is probably correct if Sanders and A.O-C have their way.
      Fortunately, recent research has show ways to overcome the Coulomb barrier without the enormous cost and temperatures of the I.N.T.E.R. (Wasteful Tokamak)
      This is just one of the hints at a new energy paradigm: https://aureon.ca/
      Timing? Say 3 to 5 years before it surfaces on a commercial basis.

        • Or, how about plain ol’ water, just separate the H2 from the O and Blamo!, you have fuel for your infernal combustion engine. Drive that through drought stricken Australia and the water vapour from the exhaust pipe will moisten the air.

          • Build nukes to provide electric power.

            Use electricity to separate H2 and CO2 from the ocean surface. Use 90 year old Fischer Tropsch tech to turn it into hydrocarbons. The burned fuel recycles into the ocean surface and is reused. You can even use this technique to make unnatural gas, so there’s no need to change things there either. Petroleum coke should deal with any requirement for solid fuel.

            The argument against this is that it’d be bloody expensive.

        • It works for me, Craig

          Perhaps try searching the wayback machine for the url part of the link?

          Is there somewhere I can save the excel file so it doesn’t get lost?

          • How do they plan to replace fossil fuels, Already have, they just need to eliminate that portion of the population which still uses it

    • Assuming that a genocide is not the plan, I have to conclude that the proponents have never been hungry. They don’t even know what hunger is.

    • This is a problem with many nuances. Yes, increased wealth tends to decrease family size (no need for SS of extra children for your old age, as more will survive). However, the consumption of earth’s limited resources are obviously greater, per capita, in Europe and USA than for less developed nations.

      The solution, if there is one, will be lower cost (and impact) energy.

    • A good article, thank you Paul Driessen.

      For the record, competent energy experts have known this since forever.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/28/why-this-new-meme-on-social-media-is-not-just-wrong-but-belittling/#comment-2536315

      Notes from an energy expert:

      Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal, and the rest is almost all hydro and nuclear. This 85% has not changed significantly in decades. Green energy is only about 2% and would be near-zero except for trillions of dollars in wasted subsidies and use mandates. Only a few places have enough hydro to provide their needs, and greens hate hydro. The only practical alternative is nuclear, and the greens hate nuclear too.

      Eliminate fossil fuels, and most people in the developed world would freeze or starve to death within a few months. This means you and your family. That is a Precautionary Principle that you can rely on.

      If anyone doubts this, try to live for ONE DAY with NO fossil fuels – that typically means no fuel for transportation, no electricity for your home, no food except what you can grow yourself, and no materials that require petroleum feedstocks (no plastics or metals) and fuel for transportation (everything). You will be sleeping under the sky in your back yard, freezing and starving. Enjoy!

      We wrote in our 2002 debate with the Pembina Institute:

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
      This statement is still clearly true today – 85% fossil fuels and holding…

      We also concluded in the same debate:
      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
      That statement is also true – all the observations point to a low climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 no greater than ~1C/(2xCO2). The IPCC’s climate computer models run far too hot, as they are designed to do to create false alarm.

      Global warming alarmism is promoted by scoundrels and believed in by imbeciles – it consists of highly destructive falsehoods that harm humanity and the environment.

  2. See “Hunger Games” to get a rough idea of the future the authoritarian globalist planners have in store for the paupers.

  3. Green New Deals are not be able to “make products and move things”. Wind turbines and solar panels cannot manufacture the thousands of products from petroleum derivatives that get manufactured from crude oil. In fact, all the parts for wind turbines and solar panels are made from those petroleum derivatives!

    Economies around the world, and all the infrastructures are increasing their demand and usage each year of those energy sources from deep earth minerals/fuels to make thousands of products, inclusive of but not limited to:
    • Medications and medical equipment for cures for most diseases
    • Electronics for worldwide communications
    • Fertilizers to help agriculture feed the world
    • Asphalt for all the roads
    • Tires for all vehicles
    • Steel for every building in the world
    • Wire for the worldwide electrical grid

  4. Of course theres nothing in place to replace fossil fuels, they know that you know that, they have legislated at least in the UK for coal derived energy to be banned by 2025, the UK budget has effectively out priced gas in favour of renewables,there even making it extremely difficult to burn wood domestically.

    Taking into consideration a cooling climate we have a recipe for a die off, CV.19 added to the mix it’s really not looking good, almost every country is signed up to the demise of fossil fuels with nothing like a energy replacement, transport to date eg planes ,trains are being crippled with no offer as yet frore surport by at least the UK government . If people dont think the current crisis mixed with the left green lobby is going to have a really serious effect on populations, they need their bumps feeling.

    • The die off ( killing ) is a feature, not a glitch.
      I say progressives, greens and stinky rebels first.
      Then we can ignore their pathetic nonsense.

    • The Green vision is that we all go back to the sort of life our ancestors enjoyed in the middle ages.

      We will live in tiny unheated homes – tiny because the of the massively thick insulation that will need to be applied to the inside of the existing housing, and unheated because energy will be far too expensive to waste on domestic heating. Forget lighting, and the internet will be a distant memory talked of only by society’s elderly (those over the age of 45)

      Transport will be available for the super rich only who will drive around in giant battery powered SUV’s. Ordinary folks won’t be able to afford an electric vehicle let alone the electricity to power it. The super rich will need to their oversize SUV’s as the roads will have decayed to rutted muddy tracks (think of downtown Kinshasa) without energy intensive super costly concrete and asphalt. Obviously there will be no trains or aircraft, ships will be equipped with organic linen sails for propulsion.

      I could go on …

      Our modern comfortable lifestyle is entirely dependant on cheap, abundant and readily available energy
      The only hope without fossil fuels is that we get the technology for Fusion really soon.

      • I dont think fusion is going to happen anytime soon, thorium salt reactors are possible now but all I see is excuses not to use them, were I live they have been pushing retro fit insulation for 30 years, for the last 40 years they have shut down the extraction / mining industries to such a extent they have all but obliterated evidence of such industries,( apart from sand and gravel) you cant even get a prospecting licence.

        At the same time the most comprehensive minerals location and quantity report was drawn up using such people as the geological survey,ect ect, even identifying bronze age workings with any likely reserves how ever small.

        Seems to me theres going to be a event as I said a mass die off, then back to normal for the surviving few.

        Tree planting vast forests for the surviving few,

        Looks to me there not saving the planet but mothballing the planet, for the few, i cant really come to any other conclusion, taking away through legislation the only power sources for the masses without alternatives in place is genocide ,the time frame for this to happen is getting shorter and shorter with no viable alternative in sight.

      • Martin,

        Those “rich folks” will die of starvation as agriculture returns to oxen and horses for power. No more fertilizer, no more powered irrigation. No more multi-blade moldboard plows, no more mechanical harvests, no more insecticides and fungicides. No more trainloads of food being sent into the cities from the rural countryside.

        Life, even for the rich, will become physically demanding, violent, and SHORT!

    • “Force”Is the operative word. If you want to be marched into serfdom at the point of a gun, vote Democrat.

      • Serfdom is the operative word, Mike. without FF we will need a far larger population to produce even a fraction of what FF allows us to produce. FF deniers have not heard of unintended consequences.

    • It’s also one of the most profitable ones. That’s what this is all about, blue collar producing class be damned.

  5. The inevitable advancement and commercialization of superconductive magnetic energy storage systems would enable the decentralization of the generation and distribution of electricity. When this happens, (and it will happen, the model is already operating in militaries) the efficiencies in producing and distributing electricity via hydrocarbon fuels will increase dramatically. Furthermore, this same decentralized model of generation, storage, on demand distribution using SCMES, will for the first time make solar, TEG, wind truly viable, (not just a tax boondoggle). So between the SCMES decentralized system empowering the truly viable of non-hydrocarbon fuel electrical generation and dramatically increasing the efficiency of using hydrocarbon fuels, the demand for those fuels is going to decrease dramatically. I think everyone is aware this is inevitable.. The inevitable decrease in demand and the immense over-supply of hydrocarbon fuel drives the world politque….. market and cartel control is everything. I am a climate denier but I am no friend of the American utilities (cartel and socialism at is worst) or the current stranglehold the energy cartels have on the world and it’s politics. I am tired of paying 8-9,000 dollars, (having to earn two to spend one due to taxes) on hydrocarbon fuel. I would prefer to generate my own electricity using a SCMES to store and distribute all my own electricity form solar, TEG and mirco- turbine power generators powered by natural gas. I could have so much cheap power that I could start a small family scale business (maybe America would be a land of family owned businesses again…local capitalism, local economies). Put a SCMES in my car, my tractor, etc…. it would simply blow away lithium ion batteries. I am not green, I just want more of my own green.

    • Even if superconductive magnetic energy storage is 100% efficient, you still have to produce the energy to store in it. And there will still be transmission and transforming losses.

    • Distributed energy generation and storage cannot work very far – tens of millions live in demnse housing, not hoes with a roof (pointed the right direction) for solar. Decentralizing is an inefficient and expensive method., regardless of those fantasy batteries.Batteries can only store energy, they cannot produce energy and therefore connectikon to the grid is required, which costs monet regardless of how often it is used. An efficnet and clean grid is around the corner inthe form of small module molten salt reactors fueled by Thorium or uranium. Levelized production costs will be roughly 4 cents per kWhr, which eliminates any trationale for decentralized power systems. A power grid is by far the most efficient means of providing power.

    • By model already operating in the military, I take it you mean distributed power generation and not operational SCMES.

      Personally, I’d like my own microturbine for power generation.

    • To Jeff Corbin:

      Superconductive magnetic energy storage? Most metals do not become superconductive except at extremely low temperatures (colder than liquid nitrogen), so that such a system would require extensive refrigeration (to keep out heat from the surroundings), probably in the form of several cascaded refrigerant loops. Refrigeration requires compression of the refrigerant, which requires input of power, which comes from where?

      Unless it can be demonstrated that the decrease in energy dissipation (by electrical resistance) using superconductors is greater than the energy required for refrigeration, superconductive energy storage will be a non-starter. This may be feasible on an industrial scale (hundreds or thousands of megawatts), but would probably not be feasible for a home system, due to the complexity of the refrigeration system (compressors, cryogenic heat exchangers, high-pressure insulated piping, etc.) required.

    • “Put a SCMES in my car, my tractor”

      Really? The refrigeration unit required would be larger than either your car or your tractor. Good luck on that!

    • I fail to see how better storage is the answer for lack of energy production. I guess I studied too much Thermodynamics.

  6. The whole idea of GND is to allow installation of a totalitarian government. They will reach for the gun and then force “Flyover Country” to eat cake. No protests allowed, you WILL move when we tell you to do so. It’s all for the “Greater Good.” Anytime someone uses that phrase, grab your wallet, and beat feet; they’re coming for YOU!

  7. so have they figured out how much more all of this is going to cost….
    ..when they drive the price up of all the materials they need to make it?

    • Cost! Don’t you just print more money and plenty more where that came from? Capitalism simply doesn’t print enough for everyone silly.

  8. How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?
    Plan? You think they’ve thought ahead?

    • ^^^^ This.

      I’m thinking it’s mostly talking points anyway. It sounds good to their really committed supporters – and they won’t really care if it’s not done as promised.

      But the folks who’ll really be affected will look at their statements and go “WTF? I’ve been a loyal voter for these clowns for years, and NOW you want to kick me in the yarbles? Sod THAT for a game of soldiers…” and they’ll vote for the opposition, whoever they might be, who isn’t promising to make them starve in the cold and dark.

    • They want to ban coal, oil and gas. Exactly how will they replace them?

      Pretty much the same question Bill Gates is asking above.

  9. Home heating and continuous electricity for the working and middle classes needs to be banned.
    The same for vehicles. That will enable the shift to green energy.

  10. If anyone had any doubt about the impact of coordinated world authority working in concert to project false risks and create fear that destroys capitalism, just look at the Covid crisis. They have demonstrated they can induce herd response across the whole world.
    Now they will be confident they can induce the same global response to Climate Alarm.
    This current power test run is not something we should ignore or treat lightly.

    • I agree 100%. Did you or anyone you know change their plans for SARS, for MERS, for Swine Flu or Zika or Ebola? Those plagues caused thousands upon thousands of deaths. Now we’ve been convinced to turn the world upside down. Will people die? Absolutely. That IS what people do. This so called crisis is no worse than Obama’s Swine Flu. He declared a National emergency only AFTER 1,000 Americans had died. We are being railroaded.

      • This COVID 19 article is a real life analysis of the Diamond Princess Petri Dish experiment for 3,711 folks crammed in a container and fed and watered from the same trough for many weeks onboard, with full testing and analysis so that the denominator has real meaning for the percentages, not just a wild guess of unreported cases out there due to lack of full population testing.

        The high level on it all is that of the 3711 folks immersed in the environment, 301 displayed symptoms, (and 318 others didn’t show any), making the infected total 619 all in, or 16.7%. The observed deaths in the sample were 7 total, of which 6 were in their 70’s and one in their 80’s. None below 70. That puts the death rate for the sample at 0.19%. So, hardly panic country versus the usual seasonal stuff by that sample.

        Here is a link to the analysis at the CMMIS Repository:

        https://bit.ly/2WhyWkK

          • Perhaps we’re not seeing the same level of fatality in some places as we are in others because there is more than one strain of the virus already?

            The differences in the mortality rate between one country and another can’t be entirely due to the response time and medical system in place, can it? Italy, for instance. That outbreak went from NADA to hundreds dead in a very short time. Might be due to the numbers of the most vulnerable who were exposed at the outset but, still, what are the chances there are multiple strains now?

            Max

          • Yes mutation of the virus is something we dont hear a lot about,yet these flue viruses are very good at mutating.

            Italy has a very large older population, north of Milan were I have relatives , people live in small and some large villages, the cultura is very gregarious particularly amongst the extended families, no doubt has played it’s part in spreading the virus.

          • Actually, the difference in result can be explained by differences in population and initial response to the disease.

        • You realize that about 100 million people die every year of old age, right ? 1.3 % per year if we live to 77….And CoVid19 selects the old…

      • Thousands and thousands of deaths?
        You’re history books don’t come even close to what’s in my history books. More like dozens to hundreds.

        And none of those spread the say Covid-19 is spreading.

        • During the pandemic, CDC provided estimates of the numbers of 2009 H1N1 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on seven different occasions. Final estimates were published in 2011. These final estimates were that from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010 approximately 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths

    • The only thing the Covid-19 crisis proves is that people, when presented with a real crisis, treat it as one.

  11. What is wrong with these proponents? Can they not read of the impossibilities, or can they not read, or can they not understand simple engineering and economics? Were we being governed, or about to be governed in USA, by economic illiterates, to even allow planning of these impossible things?
    I cannot understand this inability to reject impossible schemes. Does anyone have what motivates them, to share with us?

  12. We have two types of people campaigning against fossil fuels.

    1 – There are those who truly believe in CAGW. They think that, as long as we can do away with human caused CO2 emissions, the problem is solved. Bill Gates is one of those. WUWT For such people, nuclear power is the obvious solution.

    2 – There are the whatever-the-heck-they-are. They think humanity is a blight on the Earth. They don’t want us to replace fossil fuels. They want most of us to die. The renewable energy scam is just a ruse to keep us from realizing their true intent.

    Since the number twos won’t admit their real ambition, they have to pretend that getting rid of anthropogenic CO2 is the answer. They will grumble about nuclear but, given new nuclear technologies, most of their objections will ring hollow. They’re between a rock and a hard place.

    IMHO, the strategy is to push forward with nuclear until such time as Mother Nature makes it abundantly obvious that CO2 is a blessing, not a problem. Then it’s back to fossil fuels.

    • commieBob,

      You overlooked the primary category of people who accept the bogus claims of a climate catastrophe caused by CO2 emissions:

      Politics choose sides of controversial science where only one side can be correct. Fear and misinformation promulgated by the IPCC/UNFCCC drove the political left to choose wrong decades ago. As a result, they’ve become so vested in their error, the scientific truth has become too politically damaging to hear, much less accept.

    • “They want most of us to die.”

      And that about says it, commiebob. Evil people hijack decent people’s caring nature and move forward with evil plans. Bad actors subverting whole movements is the story of the left v. right conflict in a nutshell.

    • There’s a third type: Those who are looking to farm as many government subsidies as they can.

      • There’s a fourth type: people who don’t have the mental wherewithal to understand the implications of more expensive energy. Either because they lack cognitive ability or because they’re too lazy to do the necessary research… or because “rational ignorance” means the costs of aquiring the knowledge outweigh the benefits. If all your clueless friends despise people who aren’t on board with Extinction Rebellion and the Green New Deal, what’s in it for you to spend the hundreds of hours of research to even begin to understand why lukewarm ism is warranted, or why the GND will lead to impoverishment?

        They look around themselves and think our humming, thriving societies just “are”. That changing where we get the energy that underpins our economies is just a matter of government fiat.

        Most of them are Leftists, none of them have any qualifications in engineering, and they point to socialist “successes” like the UK’s NHS as examples of grand schemes that worked despite “right wingers” predicting they wouldn’t.

        It’s almost impossible to get through to them. They’re totally brainwashed and they really see no upside to doing the work necessary to change their minds.

        Once their utility bills double in price, along with everything they else they buy, they might start getting a clue… But most of them will just say it’s because we don’t tax the rich enough.

  13. How exactly do they plan…
    I don’t believe that they have a “plan”, certainly they even don’t know, what a plan ist. They have wet dreams and name that a plan 😀

    • Exactly – greenies are in their revolutionary stage – their only concern is the destruction of what is. Any thought of what might follow is blithe and vague – and really don’t add up to much more than a six-year old explaining how Santa might get down the chimney.

      When I ask any one of them, I get some ‘build windmills, or solar’ variation.

      And somehow they think they’re the one’s who are ‘woke’.

  14. “Meanwhile, China and India are still building coal and gas power plants,”

    Paul, an excellent article, even understated. The mining and processing side is simply impossible. It is a ten year or more evaluation and development job to bring a large project on stream. Moreover, even China, throwing all regulations out, would not be able to sustain the producion of neodymium (Nd) and dysprosium (Dy) at anywhere near what would be required for the windmill demand.

    Canada Australia and Africa could, perhaps in 30 -40yrs match China’s output, but it would require 5-10 times as many large hardrock mines as opposed to leaching easily mined “heavy rare earth element (HREE)” enriched clays.

    Hardrock deposits (carbonatites) are very large (100 million+tons ) and run generally 1-2% with unusual ones ~5% total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO). However, there are 17 metals (often Scandium and Yttrium are not included, so 15) that make up “REE” and they all occur together within discrete minerals. Thorium is a ubiquitous element in the mix.

    OK, although expensive, there is lots of REE resources, but here’s the kicker: Nd is only a few percent to 15% of the TREO bundle of REE and Dy is generally less than one hundreth of the Nd content! I did early metallurgical evaluation on one of the world’s largest ~250 million metric tons grading 1.46% TREO. The grade of the deposit in Nd oxide is 0.24% and Dy oxide is 0.0023% and recoveries are ~80% for Nd and ~est 60% for Dy. Costs are easily more than double Chinese costs. And what do you do with the massive surplus of the other REE. Lanthanum and Cerium, the most abundant REE make up 85%+ of the contained TREO. We certainly would be better off separating thorium (easily done right at the beginning of the process) and go for Th reactors!

    • “Costs are easily more than double Chinese costs.”

      You mean to tell me humans pick the low hanging fruit before climbing back up into the trees? Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!

  15. The only answer is … “more” of course.

    more nuclear
    more hydro
    more photovoltaic
    more wind
    more geothermal

    and

    more pumped-or-kinetic storage.

    There really would be no alternative to these bullet points. The “green new deal”, over a period of time, could actually be forced to work. There would be a zillion partial system failures, as the whole thing comes into maturity.

    But is still COULD BE DONE.
    Really.

    Its just also the case that … in so doing … the ‘Western World’ is deliciously ignoring the pod of gorillas in the operating theatre. China, India, Africa, Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, No-longer-really-Russia.

    Big pod of gorillas.

    Producing 70% or more of world CO₂, and guaranteed to have that number rise as the Birkenstock clad new-Hippie West clamors to make the Western Green Deal work. Sure… ‘we’ can get our CO₂ emissions down, down, down. We can retire almost all ICE cars, trucks, trains, busses, ships. We can.

    And C, I, A, SA, CA, SEAN will still grow, grow, grow.

    Who will take THEM to task? Ummm… without swords and embargoes, no one.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  16. At the begining of the article you mention the Paris Treaty. According to the US constitution, we were never part of a treaty, it was never presented to the Senate for ratification. It was a presidential agreement. That is why TRUMP! could undo it.

  17. I also wonder how our armed forces could operate without fossil fuel. The Navy has nuclear power on submarines and aircraft carriers but how about smaller craft? And servicing all of them with supplies. Can’t feed nuclear to the swabbies. Electric vehicles!
    ? How do you lubricate the gears and wheels? Air Force? Don’t make me laugh. They already tried nuclear in a large airplane. Nobody wanted the risk having it crash near populous areas. Etc etc.
    Maybe that was an intent all along,

    • “How do you lubricate the gears and wheels?”

      No problem. In the “good old days” they used butter to lubricate the masts on the sailing ships, so the sail rungs would glide smoothly. Drawback: You need CO₂ emitting cows and the butter gets to stink. An alternative is whale oil.

      • Butter gets thinner as it gets hot and it congeals as it gets colder. Exactly the opposite of what you want gear and motor oil to do.

  18. Exactly as Bloke down the pub says.
    Plan?
    Think?
    Gang Green Emotes.
    They would not be who they are if they actually thought,planned and considered other points of view.

    Fossil Fuels Bad.
    All modern conveniences manufactured using oil derived materials Good.
    Protest evil fossil fuel,while wearing fully synthetic garb,driving to and fro in an automobile, while clutching their cellphone.
    Beyond parody and immune to irony

    The disconnect is obvious.

    This always springs to mind
    ““The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.”

    ― P.J. O’Rourke, Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government”

    For membership in this Cult of Calamitous Climate requires a willful ignorance of science,history and weather.
    With those skills it is no wonder they make up the ranks of the useless and clueless.

    However this technological society we enjoy requires that energy be available.
    That we have skilled people to keep the infrastructure functional.

    Banishment is possibly the only option.
    Deprogramming these fools and bandits is an endless (thankless)task,far better they be given the opportunity to live according to their own words.
    In splendid isolation from this fossil fuel based luxury they so despise.

    For I remain fascinated by what a “Carbon Free” lifestyle might be.

  19. Even if they approve Nuclear power, how exactly is nuclear electric power going to power all our cars and especially trucks, along with everything else etc. ???

    JPP

      • The first conference on environmental pollution was held over the issue of horse manure. Seriously. Cities couldn’t keep up with removing the stuff from streets and were running out of places to put it. The conference ended basically saying that there wasn’t anything that could be done about the problem and be ready to see city sizes permanently limited to the amount of horse sh*t they could reasonably handle.

    • To Jon P Peterson:

      If there were enough nuclear power plants available (which are currently not available in the USA), it might be possible to replace a lot of truck traffic with freight trains powered by electric locomotives, although this would require stringing lots of high-tension wires over freight railroad lines (high capital cost!), most of which now work with diesel-powered locomotives (no wires needed). This has been done for the high-speed rail lines in France, where some passenger trains run at 180 mph (300 km/h), and France gets about 75% of its electricity from nuclear power.

      But it would be extremely difficult to replace fossil fuels for powering airplanes. Airplane engines need to be able to generate more lift than the weight of the plane and its payload (including passengers), and a nuclear reactor or massive electric storage batteries would be much too heavy for air travel, while jet engines are relatively light for the power delivered.

      The weight of an electric motor doesn’t matter much for a train locomotive (except where it crosses a bridge, which must be strong enough to support it), but the weight of the means of propulsion is critical for air travel, which rules out nuclear power or electric motors for airplanes.

      • And how exactly are these freight trains going to get to our local supermarkets ???
        You are still going to need trucks and double trucks – 18+ wheelers…

        JPP

      • Wise comment in general.

        ELECTRIC works for freight trucks too … if a completely standard ‘swappable battery’ is developed. Smaller in-city, in-town, delivery from warehouse trucks, might only have 3 or 4 of them. Cross-country freighters, 8 or 12.

        The weight doesn’t really much matter, given how light-weight kilowatt-hours are in lithium type batteries. Yes, it might take 20,000 lbs of batteries to power a long-haul freighter. So what. They already amass over 80,000 lbs nominal. Higher pressure tires covers that, easily.

        But your point is well made.

        Even the locomotives could benefit from competely-standardized rolling stock battery cars. Hook a honker up, go 1,000 miles. Unhook it and swap it… and go another.

        Its doable.
        Just quite different than today.

        And yes again … no realistic large-scale air traffic under electricity. Not until we beat 2 kWh/kg … installed weight.

        ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

        • Electric could work for long haul trucks, so long as you aren’t planning to haul much, other than the batteries.

          • LoL .. and after exhausting the range of it, have a diesel powered “tug truck” tow you to the nearest ‘super charge’ station.

  20. There is no “plan”. There’s only a belief that we have the technology today to make it happen. They believe that since we can produce “free” electricity from wind and the sun we can put it into batteries to power the world. The little snippet from Bill Gates says it all but who’s listening? Gates announced he’s out of the business world and will devote his time to solutions for Climate Change and philanthropy. If he truly is stuck on reducing CO2 I’m betting he comes to the conclusion that nuclear energy and better battery technology is the answer. We’re talking minimum 1/2 a century to come close to providing nuclear energy to the world if we started/funded it today. But he’s a smart person…. maybe he’ll actually question AGW and he’s someone that would receive press and be listened to.

  21. San Diego is on time of day electricity rate with the highest rate at $0.54 / kW-hr. Not sure where you got 0.19 from.

  22. How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?

    I have been searching for the PDF I once downloaded from the EU politburo, but can only find an image I extracted from the lost document:
    https://carl-fh.com/images/offsite/dk-integration-power-gas-heat.png
    The document the picture comes from is public domain.
    I will continue my search, but it look like there are very real plans, exempt from casual eyes – a bit like Agenda 21, which not everyone has read either.

  23. The following paragraph says it all for me!

    Forget the headlines and models, and look at hurricane, tornado, sea level and other historic records. There is no crisis, no unprecedented warming or weather events, certainly nothing that proves humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate changes and weather events.

  24. How will wheeled vehicles – cars, trucks, buses, trains, aircraft (landing gear) ,covered wagons, chariots operate without oil lubricants. Oil industry economics requires all of the crude to be utilised. Usefully using only the lube oil fraction and discarding the remainder would be ruinously impossible. Synthetic low friction alternatives from petrochemicals would still only utilise a fraction of the original crude

  25. Electric pushcarts sold by virtual salesmen at the virtual dealership

    The markups will still be real and so will the lobbying push for government subsidies.

  26. Paul,
    Mabe nit picking, but:-
    In your first paragraph you say “England”. Do you mean Gt. Britain? I am not aeware of a current sovereign state called England, although there was one prior to 1707AD.

    • Oldseadog,
      Scotland and Wales have their own talking shops, and politicians.
      The latter want to be seen to be cool – possibly ‘woke’ nowadays – and have their own timelines for getting rid of fossil fuels, hydro, and wood-burning stoves. But both are ‘by 2040’ or ‘2045’.
      And Scotland, which reaches to within 500 miles of the Arctic Circle, wants lots of lovely solar panels, as well as bird-choppers and wave-power ducks.
      The last appear, so far, not to work . . .

      Auto

      • Wales clean air act to be enacted after the 2021 Welsh elections ,closely following England.

  27. -How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?-
    Who exactly are “THEY ” and is there any place in the discussion for “WE”?

  28. How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?

    A lot of good questions there, the usual response is anger and abuse.

    • Chris, there is only one question: How to replace FF. Forget the anger and abuse, what’s your answer? I really would like to know what it is, because personally, I don’t see how the world could survive without them.

      • Harry I think you misinterpret my comment.
        The anger and abuse comes from anti-fossil fanatics when they are asked questions like those posed in the article, because they have no answers.

  29. The National Renewable Energy Lab study is one of the few demand side building, industry, commercial and transportation electrification studies available. They identify the high end electrification scenario requiring 6786 TWh of power by 2050. I ran the numbers for the transportation side and came up with similar numbers based on projected EV designs and battery power density. Currently on the supply side we only produce 4,126 TWh. The EIA estimates that by 2050 we will only supply some 5489 TWh. That is a too big gap between annual supply and demand. Things start to come apart so we will need a lot more power or we hobble along.
    https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy18osti/71500.pdf
    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=42635

  30. “A number of US states … proudly say We Are Still In … the Paris climate treaty, no matter what President Trump says or does.”

    Not that they find it relevant anymore because it is in a 240 year old document written by white slave owners, but the Constitution of the United states says:

    Art I Sec. 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation …

  31. “Do Green New Deal politicians have the foggiest idea how many turbines, panels, batteries and miles of transmission lines they will need to replace all fossil fuels?”

    Massachusetts is now planing on being carbon net zero by 2050. Not just electric power but all energy! I keep asking the state legislators who push for this to answer the above question. So far, I’ve gotten zero replies.

  32. There’ll still be plenty of energy, using fossil fuels – for the elites. Not for you peasants, though. Sorry. NOT.

  33. “Where do they intend to get the millions of tons of steel, copper, cobalt, lithium, aluminum, rare earths, carbon-fiberglass-plastic composites, limestone and other raw materials to build all those electricity generation and storage systems, and all the new transmission lines?”

    I agree, where will they get all the raw materials. But, it is not millions of tons, it is billions of tons!

    And, a more important point to make is that the manufacture of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels is only accomplished by using and increasing the use of Coal and Oil!

    To make more, that does much less, requires much more, pollution from the sources they claim they wish to eliminate. $100 trillion in Solar and Wind power requires a massive increase in Coal and Oil. I would wager that the largest part of the price tag purchases Coal and Oil required by Heavy Industry to increase it’s manufacturing.

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