Wind & Solar ‘Industries’ Crushed By COVID-19

Endless subsidies for renewables losing priority for essential funding

By Ronald Stein

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California

The only good news about the COVID-19 social change impacts on our lifestyles is that the travel bans, and lockdowns have cleaned the globe flushing the murk from Venice’s canals and we have seen cleaner air worldwide.

Seeking to cash in on America’s response to the coronavirus crisis its wind and solar power outfits tried to snare $billions out of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid package. But to no avail. Congress is likely to continue to focus on injection of broad economic aid to workers and small businesses. The massive and endless subsidies for wind and solar electricity are likely to be put off until later legislation.

Far from being “essential”, heavily subsidized, and chaotically intermittent wind and solar, and the fleeting jobs those industries create, are starting to look like wasteful luxuries that mega economies like that in Germany, Australia, and America can ill afford.

We have seen a serious reduction in the usage of the transportation infrastructures of airlines and cruise ships, as well as automobiles and trucks, and their impact on the leisure and entertainment industries, all to avoid crowds.

Along with those transportation options available for society, we have virtually eliminated the billions of vehicle trips to and from airports, hotels, ports, and amusement parks that have been increasing each year. COVID-19 has shown us that society changes can reduce the demand of those growing numbers.

Yes, we may have been using fossil fuels too extensively for leisure and entertainment, but the developed world is where it is today, healthier and wealthier, because of all those products we get from those oil derivatives.

Despite the preaching’s about the renewable electricity saviors of wind and solar, it’s becoming obvious that due to their  intermittency and unreliability, and their inability to replace any of the derivatives from petroleum that account for the all the products in our daily lives, societies around the world may not be too thrilled about continuing the current social changes to live on just electricity from wind and solar.  Remember the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 in London, before fossil fuels?

Beyond the energy stability needed in hospital settings, the products produced from petroleum are what enables the heroic healthcare workforce. Products such as the critical medical equipment like ultrasound systems, ventilators, CT systems, and X-ray, personal protection equipment, medicines, masks, gloves, soap and hand sanitizers that we urgently need now would not be available without traditional fossil fuel energy and the derivatives from petroleum that provide thousands of products for our lifestyles.

The zero greenhouse gas emissions from industrial wind turbines and solar panels are ambitious goals for just electricity, but the economic and employment upheaval from shutting down traditional energy development is likely catastrophic financially. The climate solution proposals for wind and solar electricity are idealistic, unrealistic, and overly dependent on unproven technologies. This creates a fork in the road in terms of how we address our energy future. 

Before COVID-19, the airlines that did not exist before 1900, transported more than four billion passengers in 2017 around the world and were projecting 7.8 billion airline passengers by 2036. Cruise ships which also did not exist before 1900 moved 25 million passengers around the world every year.

To meet lower emission targets, we’ll need to continue to reduce the transportation demands of society and COVID-19 may be showing us how we’ll need to retract from our extravagant usage of the various transportation systems that did not exist before fossil fuels.

Before fossil fuels and the thousands of products made from petroleum derivatives, and electricity that followed the discovery of oil, the world was a zero-sum snake pit that was a war against one another scrounging for food, water, and shelter. In the 1800’s most people never traveled 100-200 miles from where they were born. Life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 20 and 30 years of age.

The social lifestyles before 1900 had no such transportation choices, as they had no autos, planes, or cruise ships for transportation. The inventions of the automobile, airplane, and the use of petroleum in the early 1900’s led us into the Industrial Revolution. Crude oil, natural gas, and coal changed – for the better – the lifestyles of every person living in developed countries such as, the U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

The concept of electricity alone, from wind and solar industries has been exposed by COVID-19 as they are unable to support militaries, aviation, and merchant ships, and all the transportation infrastructure that support commerce around the world. Our future existence may be less vacations and less business conferences. Additionally, reductions in the usage of the entertainment and hospitality industries, neither of which existed before fossil fuels, may also be necessitated.

As we continue to emphasize the need for conservation and great efficiencies as the world weans itself from overuse of fossil fuels, we will need to lower our demands for transportation infrastructures. COVID-19 has shown us the way and has communicated why the wind and solar industries for just electricity have been crushed by COVID-19.

Ronald Stein, P.E. Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure
www.energyliteracy.net  
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93 thoughts on “Wind & Solar ‘Industries’ Crushed By COVID-19

  1. “The only good news about the COVID-19 social change impacts on our lifestyles is that the travel bans, and lockdowns have cleaned the globe flushing the murk from Venice’s canals and we have seen cleaner air worldwide.” Correct, but not helping. This is proof that their approach works. And we’ve already conceded that “clean air” is an ultimate good.

    • Coach Springer, aren’t we all in favor of clean air? The CAGW crowd, socialist wannabes, wants low CO2 in the air. Our friends the green plants world breathes CO2 and gives off oxygen. Since oxygen is consumed by oxidation processes (like rust) we need to keep the green friends in good health.

      • Clean air is just a statement. What is needed is ambient air quality standards, which we have and mostly meet. When we exceed air quality standards, one has to find out why. In many cities, ambient natural hydrocarbons contribute much or all of the “pollutants” in the air. That and ambient dust which is counted as particulate matter even if natural. So one cannot just state that they want “Clean Air” They have to specify what they are talking about and quantify the statement. Most of the US has “clean air” and we should be proud of that fact.

        • I have read from multiple sources that most of the dust on Earth comes from the Sahara Desert. Given that, I sincerely doubt anyone can do anything about dust in the air unless someone figures out how to put a lid over the Sahara or, stop the wind from blowing.
          If the study linked to below is accurate, it would be a really bad thing for Earth if anyone even tried to stop dust from the Sahara from blowing around the world.
          Lets hope Bill Gates doesn’t get any bright ideas about putting blankets over the Sahara to reduce dust as he has about preventing sunshine from reaching Earth.
          Speaking of Bill Gates, does anyone know if he is still trying to block out the sun?

          Saharan Dust Helped Build the Bahamas https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/saharan-dust-helped-build-bahama-islands-180952173/#.Xq21jV7U3Vs.twitter

    • The reason fish are visible in Venice canals at the moment is the lack of turbulence.
      Fish were occasionally visible 25 years ago, early morning with no boats, but most canals are so shallow, prop wash and the boat passage stirs up enough sediment to stop the fish being visible.
      The water is no more or less cleaner, although with the lack of visitors, the city won’t be able to afford any more improvements.

      • A downside to the economic recession – far less air travel. Those long, white cloud thingies (which, may not be named) trailing high-flying aircraft have a significant cooling effect. Fewer thingies – more warming.

        • “Those long, white cloud thingies (which, may not be named) trailing high-flying aircraft have a significant cooling effect.”

          I thought it was the reverse!?

    • Visibility or not in Venice canals is due to turbulence.
      No boats and no proposal = clear water.
      25 years ago small fish were visible early morning before traffic started.
      The lack of visitors means the city Council will not be able to fund any more protection schemes for the city.

  2. “COVID-19 has shown us the way”

    It has NOT “shown us the way”. It has shown us that when you intentionally turn the economy down, you reduce the emission of substances that are harmful, but you also reduce the emissions of substances that are not harmful. Food is a prime example. Anyone who thinks that the shutdown is good, is simply daffy.

  3. No argument has yet convinced me that there is any need to reduce CO2 production.

    CO2 output is an indicator of health, wealth and standard of living.

    We are currently feeling what those effects will be on our lives if we are stupid enough to embrace this foolish notion,

    • If Mr. Stein were writing in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s he would be fully fixated on the manure crisis and the need to reduce miles ridden.

      And what is the big deal about the canals of Venice being murky? Mud puddles also become murky if stepped in or otherwise disturbed.

    • I vote for Ken Irwin

      Just because there are people who hate fossil fuels and carbon dioxide is no reason for us to hate them too.
      I think what happened is that the hippie movement against fossil fuel pollution was not satisfied with the solution because it includes fossil fuels.
      Climate change is the reincarnation of that movement where the real movement is climate action. Climate change just provides the reason why

      Pls see

      https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/23/anti-fossil-fuel-activism-disguised-as-climate-science/

      • chaanjamal,
        Very true. Patrick Moore saw this a long time ago.
        Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace provided an early warning of this covert socialist campaign in “Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement – The Rise of Eco-Extremism”, in 1994:

        “…Surprisingly enough, the second event that caused the environmental movement to veer to the left was the fall of the Berlin Wall. Suddenly the international peace movement had a lot less to do. Pro-Soviet groups in the West were discredited. Many of their members moved into the environmental movement bringing with them their eco-Marxism and pro-Sandinista sentiments.”
        http://ecosense.me/2012/12/30/key-environmental-issues-4/

  4. A rather silly “solution” when it should be obvious to every energy “expert” that the wayahead is MORE energy and that energy will be provided by molten salt small nuclear reactors, which are cheaper than practically every other generator technology – looking at 4cents per kWhr, levelized costs and complete safety and ability to build and install these reactors really fast. Nothing else comes close.

    • Molten salt reactors are so cheap that nobody can sell them for any profit. I wonder how expensive a title “Ambassador” is.

      • Molten salt reactors are so cheap that nobody can sell them for any profit.

        I wonder if you have noticed the total lack of logic in that statement?

        Or is it well disguised sarcasm?

    • Seriously Sommer, a platform for Josh Fox to talk about the Green New Deal and how very wrong Michael Moore is.

      Go away, we’ve been listening to that rubbish for too long!

    • I hope that everyone heard the most important point that this imbecile said. The Green New Deal will be run by the Government, which means a socialist economy.

      He is wrong on his fundamental premise that renewable works. It does not work without massive fossil fuel, reliable backup generation, because the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. To make renewable work without fossil fuel fuel back up means storage capacity for days, not hours, when renewable goes down because of weather events. No high capacity, low cost solution exists today. The levelized cost figures that show renewable power on par with fossil fuels leaves the cost of storage out.

      Renewable does not work in the Florida-Gulf Coast region because we get hurricanes that will flatten every windmill and destroy every solar panel. Fossil fuel power plants are robust to be able to withstand hurricanes. Transmission lines need to be repaired, usually within a few days, but the power source itself is still intact. What will we do when the power source of windmills and solar panels is destroyed? Replacement will take year, and the next year another hurricane will do the same thing all over again.

      One certainty in life is that socialism does not work. It has been tried through time and around the world and there is not one example of a socialist economy that works. If anything has been thoroughly tested in the real world and proved a failure, it is socialism. There are no examples of free market capitalist economies that have produced the misery of Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Cambodia etc. Socialism has been responsible for over 100 million people murdered by their own government. No such example exists for a free market economy.

      There is no example anywhere in time or space where people’s lives improved as a result of a transformation from free market economy to socialism. Socialist economies always improved because of a change from socialism to a free market economy, the Eastern European countries after the collapse of the USSR, Great Britain under Margaret Thatcher, and the Chinese economy as they have allowed some degree of free market reforms just to name a few.

      There is no example anywhere that a shift to renewable power has lowered energy costs. This asinine “ambassador” is advocating that regardless of Covid, we will not be able to travel and recreate as freely as we did in January of this year. In other words, he will lower your standard of living and take away your freedoms based on preferences of how you should live your life.

      All of this Climate Change, Green New Deal bull feathers boils down to a foreseeable result. Higher cost, less reliable energy, a greatly reduced standard of living for all US citizens, tremendous loss of freedom, and a master class of unelected bureaucrats to rule over us. We will be transformed from free people who can make our own choices in life, to people who are subservient to the diktats of unaccountable Government bureaucrats.

      From this clip, we all now know with clarity that the goal of the Green New Deal crowd is socialism with them in charge over the rest of us. Like all dictatorships, the rules will not apply to them. Al Gore and Obama will still own several luxury homes at sea level, and fly in private jets. It is the rest of us who will suffer.

      We know from historical and current examples what that future looks like. I prefer to take my chances that Climate Change will be less burdensome than that crowd lowering our standard of living and destroying our freedom.

      • Bravo, Bill!

        Adding to your excellent comment, here is a post by our beloved Willis on his blog and he is spitting mad at his county’s tyrants. As a famous man once said,
        “Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he’s a ruler”

        Groucho Marx
        The WhuWHOFlu is certainly proving Groucho correct.

        Enjoy this excerpt.

        A journal of diagonal parking in a parallel universe.
        https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/petty-tyrants/

        Petty Tyrants
        Willis Eschenbach

        …Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the so-called emergency. These pinche tiranos claim that their power comes from the corona “emergency”. Sonoma County is home to just under half a million people (494,000). We have had exactly two deaths from coronavirus.
        Two.
        What kind of a low-budget emergency is that?
        Grrrr … seems like its time we stopped listening to these tiranitos repinchitos and just declared the US open for business. Look, we can slow the virus without killing the economy. Protect the most vulnerable, quarantine the sick rather than the healthy, wash your hands (particularly after handling pangolins), wear masks, in social situations stay six feet (2 m) away from bats, and let’s move forward no matter what our self-proclaimed overlords have to say about the matter.
        My best to everyone, end the American Lockdown in whole and in part, and most particularly … stay well.

      • “He is wrong on his fundamental premise that renewable works. It does not work without massive fossil fuel, reliable backup generation, because the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. ”

        Woody biomass works without backup because in a power plant- it’s base load- not intermittent like wind and solar.

        • In the clip our aspiring tyrant was very critical of biomass being classified as renewable. It seems to be controversial among the renewable advocates.

          Biomass puts as much or more CO2 into the atmosphere as fossil fuel. Yes, I know the argument that that regrowing the trees burned in biomass pulls the CO2 out that was put in by combustion. Perhaps, but it is a long cycle. Regardless, we cannot run the energy needs of the US on biomass, much less the world.

        • Biomass leads to forests being chopped down and more CO2 emissions (if that’s your poison) and more pollutants emitted than coal and way more than natural gas.

          The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error
          Anthony Watts
          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/02/07/the-obvious-biomass-emissions-error/

          …But a 2011 opinion by the European Environment Agency described a “serious error” in greenhouse gas accounting. The carbon neutral assumption doesn’t account for CO2 absorbed by vegetation that grows naturally on land not used for biofuel production. In addition, forests cut down to provide wood chips for power plants immediately release large quantities of carbon dioxide, but decades of tree regrowth are required to reabsorb released CO2. Substitution of wood for coal in electrical power plants is actually increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

          • It does not take decades for trees to absorb c02, I plant young saplings they grow after the first year 500mm in hight and 20mm in girth a year, there planted in stages so theres a continuous crop growing,harvesting,and planting, that’s modern forestry for you,mixed species are planted that are never cut,with less dense planting undergrowth thrives,which again draws its share of c02 and adds nutrients back into the soil when die off happens in autumn, that’s the changing nature of forestry in the UK,no one can gain a felling licence without a condition to replant. The term biomass is misused , c02 emitted by man has little to no effect on the atmosphere, I surgest you learn something about forestry and dont lump all bio mass producers and users under the same banner.

          • B d The whole CAGW scenario revolves around CO2 causing rapidly rising global warming that is going to destroy the planet. Most regulars on this site know that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere might be going up, and mankind might be contributing to some of at too but it isn’t going to fry the planet.

            Try not to get defensive about biomass. People here raise it as an issue because of the hypocrisy of the ‘green movement’. The whole premise of CAGW is the (perceived) dangers of rising CO2 levels, yet they promote biomass. They are hypocrites!

          • B d Clark,

            Sorry, B d, you have drunk the Kool-Aid, I fear.

            Did you even read the article I posted to which you were responding? You response sounds like you did not.

            I suggest you read this to see what Scotland has done for windmills. I believe Scottland is part of the UK. Their destruction of forests is enormous. They, obviously, have not been replanted.

            National Wind Watch
Scottish Forestry
            SCOTLAND’S Net-Zero Forest
            16 January 2020
            https://bit.ly/39zwmJD

            A Scottish citizen made a freedom-of-information request, to which Scottish Forestry replied as follows:
            …You asked for:
            a) the number of trees felled for all onshore wind farm development in Scotland to date.
            b) the area of felled trees, in hectares, for all onshore wind farm development in Scotland to date.
            I enclose some of the information you requested.

            Specifically data covering renewable developments on Scotland’s national forests and lands, which is managed on behalf of Scottish Ministers by Forestry and Land Scotland. The area of felled trees in hectares, from 2000 (the date when the first scheme was developed, is 6,994 hectares [70 km², 17,283 acres]. Based on the average number of trees per hectare, of 2000, this gives an estimated total of 13.9M.
            _____

            Here is more on what your beloved biomass is doing to the world. It’s just two articles of many on what Europe and the UK is doing to the world’s forests.

          • I see you cant respond to what I wrote ,which was a response to your post, your completely wrong about c02 your completely wrong about trees absorbing c02, you dont know anything about it so you reply with a answer that has nothing to do with my post,, try reading and learning about the subject then you might get educated.
            Your whole justification in your first post was c02 destroying the atmosphere, your wrong.

          • First of all I dont see trees as a beloved I’m not a tree hugger that’s your first mistake, your second mistake is you
            Think 13.9 million trees on 17000 acres is a lot it’s not its tiny it’s a fraction of the amount of trees under Sfc
            Why are the trees a problem ? Your words, are you emplying thier in the way of wind generation your not making any sense! Your 3rd mistake is your assuming without understanding the various industries in bio mass lumping it all the same,you have no idea for instance what I do with my trees , you have no idea of what a state owned forest and a private forest do, you certainly use a green propaganda justification for c02 perhaps you would like to discuss the politics of UK forestry, let’s find out what you dont know.

          • Let me inform you a bit more ,the Scottish minister is not required to allow felling the SFC can grant thier own licence to fell, the only way to change use of this land after felling is permission from the relevant minister, I already told you a condition of a felling licence is you have to replant, these upland trees are a grown commercial crop there not some ancient hardwood forest, these trees are forced growth sitka spruce with a felling age of around 40 years, if there not felled in 40 years the industry cant handle them, after 40 years they get so big they blow over,their on a mountain which is why they put the turbines there, = there a densely planted crop with a meter spacing ,the trees are not taper root type there roots grow in a bowl that has no resistance to wind above a certain hight, plus the roots are intertwined, when one blows over the next ten go ,over,these trees were ready for harvesting the only difference is the minister allowed a change of use of the land. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing and you just demonstrated this, would you like to discuss the politics of UK forestry in the 5 regional quangos ?

          • B d,

            The UK’s forest management policy is of no importance to the burning of wood your Drax plants nor, to the burning of wood by the rest of Europe. As I pointed out, Scotland has cut down and not replaced 13.9 million acres of forests for windmills. Those forests are not being replaced.
            In addition, your voracious Drax Power plants is burning forests from all over the world, not from the UK. None of these are protected or affected by the UK’s forest policies. Besides doing this in Canada and the US (and then shipping the wood pellets to the UK by huge diesel powered boats, they are cutting down forests in the Amazon, Africa and in Asia.

            Coal saved what was left of the forests of Europe before they were all burned down for fuel. It looks like Europe is working on the same, pre-coal plan for the rest of the world now. This time, is not because it’s necessary but because they want to virtue-signal, meet the absurd and useless Paris Accord CO2 targets even if they all know they are faking it and, of course, the politicians are eager to repay the bribes they’ve taken from those who are making a fortune off of this lunacy.
            Green Shock: Entire Forests Being Murdered to Produce Wood Pellet Biomass

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/04/18/green-shock-entire-forests-being-murdered-to-produce-wood-pellet-biomass/

          • Really you think UK policy and politics is of 1 no interest to you and 2 it does not effect what happens at drax , I see you really dont want to know the truth , you insult the bio mass industry by drawing no distinction between the many different producers lumping us altogether like we all supply drax, you simply have no idea what your talking about ,you keep playing with the glamour green headlines because the reality of forestry is beyond your comprehension,

    • Fake Film
      Don’t Be Swayed By Faucets On Fire And Other Anti-Fracking Propaganda
      Dr. Michael Economides
      https://bit.ly/3fbMIfJ

      The Top 5 Lies About Fracking
      Explosions, poisons, pollution, cancer, and global warming all considered.
      Ronald Bailey7.5.2013

      [Excerpt]
      Falsehood 1: You can light your tap water on fire.
      This artfully constructed section of the letter wants readers to conclude that fracking caused the deaths of the Harpers. Yet the wells in question were conventional gas wells; no fracking was taking place. The Harpers were killed by negligence: The company had not made sure that the casings on the wells were properly sealed with cement. (Cement is poured down around the well’s steel piping to prevent gas or fluids from traveling upward and coming in contact with exposed rock along the borehole, where it can leach into drinking water aquifers.) Fracking technology had nothing to do with the tragedy, for which the Snyder Brothers made court-ordered restitution to the Harper family….

  5. wait till this gets more widely seen
    Im doing MY bit;-))))
    so all the loans repaying on solar installs +govvy handuts of 2k cash last yr etc to force solar uptake
    are now going to fall in a deep pile of doodoo as homeowners wont get the pittance paid either if theis happens
    hint it will as theyr also cutting another coal plant fairly soon ie harder working baseload for remaining gas/coal

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-30/grid-operator-looks-to-manage-solar-power-output-in-sa/12202004

    I told people smartmeter tech was NOT in their interest s costs soared for supply charges (over 300%)
    and it allowed household outside control of power use/supply
    but no I was the idiot luddite etc
    really? was I?
    roflmao now

    • Yes the AEMO have hit the unreliable dumpers with ‘Marginal Loss Factors’-
      https://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-confirms-big-de-ratings-for-wind-and-solar-farms-reprieve-for-some-89211/amp/
      ‘Marginal loss factors dictate how much of generator’s output – be it wind, solar, gas, thermal or hydro – is credited by the market operator. A factor of 0.75, for instance, means the wind farm will get payment for only 75 per cent of its output. A rating of more 1.0, means it will be credited with more than its nominal output.
      The issue over MLFs has been a controversial one in Australia, particularly in the last few years as many wind and solar farms – and other generators – suffered big de-ratings as a result of grid congestion, and the lack of local load to eat up the output.’

      It’s a fancy euphemistic name for the first steps in marching back these carpetbagger subsidy miners to the ultimate level playing field it always should have been from the very beginning. Namely every tenderer of electrons to the communal grid can only tender that amount they can reasonably guarantee 24/7/365 along with FCAS or keep them. The AEMO has only mildly derated them toward the bleeding obvious and they’re throwing in the towel going broke already so what does that tell about the real cost of unreliables? Burn you bastards burn.

    • Megs,

      Thanks for the link. The article didn’t mention who is going to remove and dispose of all those solar arrays companies have installed all over Australia, assuming no one else takes them over?
      Does anyone know if Aus. has included removal of wind farms and solar arrays if the contractor pulls out and can’t sell to someone else or, as they age and need to be replaced? What is going to be done with them and who pays? Removing and disposing of them is a very expensive project. Doing it safely is even more expensive, if even possible, in terms of safety in the areas where they are disposed of.

      • KcTaz I’m not sure what will happen to these solar plants. They have tried to treat the whole renewables industry as a one size fits all product. None of it was ever thought through, there should have been proper research and limited rollout to establish how well it would work. They knew that the marketing buzzwords ‘clean and green’ and ‘free wind and sun’ would sell this new form of power. They’ve pushed it through, and continue to do so without trial runs, and with almost non existent recycling. There is massive investment in renewables globally and it’s only recently becoming obvious that it’s not all it was promised to be. Greed is pushing it more than anything else now.

        Australia has more challenges for the renewables industry than most countries. We only have a population of 25 million people and most of them live near the coastal regions. You can travel hundreds of kilometers between towns once you move away from the coast and in the desert regions it’s just a road house between small distant townships. Australia covers as much area as the US excluding Alaska.

        We have almost no solar manufacturing in Australia (maybe one for a few rooftop panels), our large solar arrays are imported from China. Almost makes it sound easier that way but the down side is that it’s an area that we don’t profit from and you don’t have the same quality controls. I believe they call them ‘farms’ in other countries because the ‘farmers’ lease out the land. We seem to be happy to sell our land off to all and sundry. The 1,000 hectares of arable farmland 7 kilometers from us that has been proposed for use as a solar plant was sold to Koreans. Most of our developers are from overseas, once the solar plant is completed and fully commissioned the developers sell it, usually to overseas concerns.

        I don’t know who ever thought it was a good idea to market renewables in Australia, the government subsidies are going overseas, taxpayers money, our money and for what. There are very few permanent jobs to be had, even the construction workers that put up our 87mw solar plant were backpackers. They couldn’t find 150 laborers to do an 8 month stint, the locals have jobs, or they wouldn’t be here. Many more jobs will be lost as as a result of this infrastructure going in than they will ever replace.

        It’s the size of Australia, the small population, and the vast distances between towns that presents a major problem for wind and solar renewables. They are endeavoring to put the plants where the sun shines and the wind blows, and so the latte leftist city dwellers aren’t confronted by it. I’m sure they tell the developers that there are existing electricity substations and of course high tension wires in place too. The thing is that over these distances the existing infrastructure was never designed to cope with the instability that comes with renewables. On top of all that, power is lost over distance. When there is too much power there is no populace to send it to. The cost of beefing up the grid over long distances to cope with the problems associated with renewables is prohibitive. Therein lies the problem and no one wants to pay for it. The developers have paid to have the plant built and connected but they can’t have it fully commissioned until they’ve sorted the grid. They have five substantial and completed solar farms that have not yet been fully commissioned months after completion because they haven’t sorted how it’s going to affect the grid.

        The solar farm near us feeds Sydney, 300 kilometers away and since the drought has eased here and with cloudy weather since the end of January we’ve had four blackouts. We put a solar array on our shed before I knew what I know about renewables and the feed in tarrif has been reduced and our electricity cost has been increased! As I mentioned they are proposing an additional 1,000 hectare solar plant and they still haven’t got their act together with what we already have.

        No one could ever convince me that there is anything positive about wind and solar renewables. And in regard to removing the solar plants that companies have walked away from after loosing hundreds of millions of dollars before they are even commissioned, well that’s another problem.

        Someone would have to be willing to finance the substantial grid upgrade to cope with the distances and work out a way to stabilise it too. I believe that they still hope to find a way to make it work. There is very little in the way of full renewables recycling anywhere in the world. There is none in Australia. We have one company in South Australia that can legally call itself a renewables recycling company because it removes the aluminium frames and sends them ‘offsite’ to be recycled. What’s left of the panels are being stockpiled until they are fully operational, a very expensive recycling plant! Just how long is a piece of string? This same company has an agent in two other states available for collection and stockpiling, obviously at a cost. The thing is, in most states it has ‘not’ been declared illegal to send PV solar panels to landfill, that is the cheapest disposal method. My fear is that they will decay in situ and become large toxic waste dumps. The Minister for the Environment knows nothing about the toxic nature of damaged or broken solar panels. He hasn’t taken the time to be sure that there isn’t already toxic waste leaching into soils and waterways. He hasn’t asked how a solar fire is handled in the event of a bushfire, and we have many of those, every year. All the developer has to do is say ‘no problem’, and he will be believed.
        The minister hasn’t even thought about what happens to this technology at its end of life, likely if he did the developer said ‘not a problem, easy to recycle’.

        Non of this crap has been thought through.

        Clean and green! What a joke.

  6. I doubt that public transportation will ever recover. Autonomous cars plus Uber will rule the day (one day soon and maybe sooner now.) Suffuse the interior with UV-c light and you have an economical, touch-less alternative. And you’ll be able to work while waiting in all of the traffic that this creates!

  7. “The inventions of the automobile, airplane, and the use of petroleum in the early 1900’s led us into the Industrial Revolution.”

    Eh, no, not quite! The Industrial Revolution began in the UK about 150 years earlier. Watt, Newcomen and others designed the first steam engines (powered by coal) that kicked off the industrial revolution.

    • They were geniuses, but that was so long ago no one knows their names anymore.

      Look at Al Gore for example, everyone knows his name. He invented the internet.

      Obviously an intelectual giant!

      • “They were geniuses, but that was so long ago no one knows their names anymore.”

        Unfortunately our intellectual giants do occasionally-
        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-30/deputy-chief-health-officer-likens-coronavirus-to-captain-cook/12202502
        Perhaps she longs for the good old days of witch doctors and pointing the bone rather than the great legacy that put glasses on her nose to be able to see with among other trivialities. I’d suggest she use them more studiously to cure some of her Metoo nostalgia for the past-
        https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/bennelong-papers/2013/05/the-long-bloody-history-of-aboriginal-violence/
        That’s what masquerades as a Victorian Deputy Chief Health Minister nowadays.

        • Excellent links observa, particularly the second one.

          The first link is yet another public confirmation of more then half of societies problems, ignorance. Just like the CAGW scenario, facts don’t seem to matter, all you have to do is repeat the propaganda as though it’s true. Virtue signalling, say it like you care, at all levels of politics and society, rinse and repeat.

          The second link is something that everyone should read. Most people know absolutely nothing about Australian aboriginals, except the propaganda they are fed.

          Our camper trailer snapped in half on a bush trail about 100 kilometers outside of Alice Springs. We spent seven weeks in Alice, exploring and waiting for a replacement camper trailer. It’s beautiful country, I’m not religious but for me it had a spiritual feel about it.

          David and Bess Price are consultants on indigenous issues and language and gave talks at the campground we were staying at. We had the privilege of getting to know them and consider them friends. David had been a teacher, and amongst indigenous communities before he met Bess, a full blood Walpiri woman. He was so highly regarded by the indigenous people that he was given a kin name and became a part of their tribe. When he later met Bess they were only permitted to marry because they belonged to the same kin group. It wasn’t a matter of Bess marrying into white society, David was a part of the aboriginal culture. Bess is fluent in her own language, Walpiri, and speaks the language of a few neighboring tribes too. Bess is an educated women, she completed her university education and was a conservative politician in the Northern Territory. They are very much a part of the indigenous community. Bess and David are very outspoken about indigenous issues which has caused them grief. They have an extraordinary life story, they are extraordinary people.

          For some reason most city people of mixed Indigenous and European blood are leftist, they seem to be full of hate toward anyone who might try to tell them what they have discovered about indigenous Australians. I guess it’s just a leftist thing, just stick to your own story at all costs even if it may be wrong. The other peculiar thing is that refer to themselves simply as Indigenous, they do not acknowledge their European heritage. Even if their only claim to being Indigenous is a great grandmother they speak as though they are indigenous Aboriginals. In reality many of these people know very little about real indigenous culture and have never been to the Center and lived amongst full blood Aboriginals.

          I know that people overseas have been told that Australians treat their indigenous Aboriginals badly, pure ignorance. There is so much that people don’t know, even here in our own country. I won’t deny that there are serious problems in these remote communities. But the issues aren’t easily addressed. There are hundreds of different indigenous languages in Australia, they don’t simply ‘speak Aboriginal’. Many of the remote tribes don’t even speak English and there are more children that don’t go to school than do! Ignorant people say we won’t give them jobs. There are no jobs to be had in the places that many of them choose to live! It is really complicated, Australia is a huge country. Many of these tribes are still living with traditional laws, their punishment system is brutal.

          Enough said, the only connection I have to this thread is that leftists are consistently hateful.

          If there are readers who would like to know more about real Australian Aboriginal culture then start with observa’s second link above, I know it to be true.

    • More like 200 years earlier. Use of coked coal to smelt iron instead of charcoal started in England in 1709. An explosion of iron production followed and England became the world’s largest producer of iron. Iron was available and affordable in quantity for new uses such as bridges (1779) and rolled plates for ship hulls (1843). Watt’s rotary steam engine came along in 1781. A three-way synergy between coal, iron and steam quickly blossomed from that point.

      British iron production in 1700 was 12,000 metric tons a year. This rose to over two million by 1850. Although Darby is sometimes cited as the major innovator, it was Cort’s new methods which had the major effect and his principles are still used today. The location of the industry experienced as big a change as that of production and technology, as businesses were able to move to coalfields. But the effects of innovation in other industries on iron (and in coal and steam) cannot be overstated, and neither can the effect of iron developments on them.

      Wilde, Robert. “Iron in the Industrial Revolution.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/iron-in-the-industrial-revolution-1221637.

      Coal, iron and steam together kicked off the industrial age and each was essential to producing the others. But increased iron production from coal was the first; steam came along a bit later.

  8. Wishful thinking on my part, but hoping they are crushed into the ground, pulverized, turned to dust and blown away by the wind.

    GO reliable generation that doesn’t depend on the weather.

  9. Yes, we may have been using fossil fuels too extensively for leisure and entertainment …

    I won’t even give you that. There is the Paradox of Thrift. If everyone pulls on their hair shirt and acts like a responsible (as envisioned by socialists) citizen, then everyone will be much much worse off.

    A society that forswears luxuries soon finds itself in want of necessities.

  10. Ronald Stein cleverly exempts sustainability in his article.
    The current state is not sustainable.
    The current state can therefore not be used as template for the Green “Heaven”.

    As other commenters have noted, we rare currently running on reserves, including diverse food, and the bashed economy will not keep healthy enough to sustain a healthy society for long.In particular poor societies may sooner, rather than later, see a very hard time in front of them.

  11. “Wind & Solar ‘Industries’ Crushed By COVID-19”

    So I guess that means that the release of the Wuhan virus by China’s leaders will end up harming China’s wind and solar industries. A little justice in an unjust land.

  12. “To meet lower emission targets, ”

    To h*ll with them. They are unnecessary.

    “we’ll need to continue to reduce the transportation demands of society and COVID-19 may be showing us how we’ll need to retract from our extravagant usage of the various transportation systems that did not exist before fossil fuels.”

    NO just NO. Good luck with that anyway.

  13. “To meet lower emission targets, we’ll need to continue to reduce the transportation demands of society and COVID-19 may be showing us how we’ll need to retract from our extravagant usage of the various transportation systems that did not exist before fossil fuels.”

    This sounds a lot like Agenda 21 where the “authorities” herd everyone into big cities to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels used for transportation. Besides the fact that due to land use and other regulations, the “powers that be” in most large, urban areas have made living there unaffordable for the middle class and the worker bees, he ignores that COVID-19 has amply demonstrated that humans living in high density populations is very bad for our health.
    A major source of COVID-19 in NYC, it turns out, has come from the subways. Reducing subway schedules has put even more people into crowded conditions and, the homeless population has moved into the subways, making them even more unsafe and dangerous.
    I do wish these people would stop trying to run and rule everyone’s life, stop demonizing life-giving CO2 and stick to solving real problems. Well, maybe not. It’s seems like every problem they try to solve, they just make worse. Or, as this wise fellow said,
    “It is fascinating to watch politicians come up with ‘solutions’ to problems that are a direct result of their previous solutions. In many cases, the most efficient thing to do would be to repeal their previous solution and stop being so gung-ho for creating new solutions in the future. But, politically, that is the last thing they will do.” 
Thomas Sowell 


    • If the people being next to each other in the subway is the problem, how is the “stop Covid” smartphone Bluetooth app supposed to help? Should anyone in the same wagon one infected person, together for a few minutes, be told to self isolate and get tested?

      • niceguy,

        Good question. I don’t live in NYC. I live in a smallish town in a rural area. I suspect you are correct in your assumption. It sure seems that whole thing would get quite awkward, cumbersome and, in the end, quite unworkable. That is especially true since the homeless sure as heck aren’t going to abide by any quarantines. The Mayor can’t even seem to get them to quit living in the subway cars. Now that COVID has allowed them to discover a nice temperature controlled abode, will they ever leave?
        It would be quite amusing if they won’t and NYC uses all that fuel to drive subways around for people who aren’t going anywhere. It gives an all new meaning to “mobile home”.

  14. Help! I have recently returned to the Delaware, Maryland beaches to see they are planning huge windmill construction offshore. This is so awful! I live in Wyoming. It was a joke. How can I fight this? Am planning to organize.

    • cc, it hurts when you’re actually confronted by it doesn’t it, that’s when it really hits home. They have seen fit to roll out solar plants in beautiful countryside. We have a 300 hectare solar farm so far and 1,800 hectares are in the planning stages or have just been proposed. Our historic 1870’s
      Gold rush town has more than 130 buildings of historic significance and some are heritage listed. It’s like stepping back in time, but with the modern conveniences.

      If you’ve seen Planet of the Humans you’d have seen a future screen shot of our town. A ghost town.

      • I guess I don’t mind looking at them so much as knowing the idiocy of it all…..I want to know which politician’s friends are benefitting from this! I also want to know the profitabilaty of all this….I expect it is negative. I appreciate any help from the readers here.

        • CC

          check out your local social media see if theres any groups who are like minded, eg Facebook Twitter.

  15. The inventions of the automobile, airplane, and the use of petroleum in the early 1900’s led us into the Industrial Revolution.” nope the railways were moving goods a good 60 years before the 1900s and people ,18th cent railroads were in the UK moving minerals to power the industrial revolution, and before that canals,
    All the industrial technology came about from processing and moving minerals , when the machines they had were driven by water power, ask the Roman’s they started it, try sir hugh Middleton who in the 16th cent drained the east Anglican fens then moved to Wales to reopen a then old mine were he was surprised to find German engineering (pumps) abandoned underground some 80 years previously ,

    Commerce,trade , industry did not start in the 19th century it started with the bronze age celts moving minerals around Europe for trade , and probably other parts of the world as well. Shipbuilding is another ancient industry that facilitated trade.

  16. “To meet lower emission targets, we’ll need to continue to reduce the transportation demands of society and COVID-19 may be showing us how we’ll need to retract from our extravagant usage of the various transportation systems that did not exist before fossil fuels.”

    The problem with emission targets is it is increasingly been seen as a form of control ,we have already seen a big drop in emissions over the past 20 years, longer in the west because we Deindustrialised, which caused it’s own problems, some of us need to travel because we are based in more than one area in my case hundreds of miles between bases, public transport would never cut it because I move kit around ,which cant be loaded on a bus or train. And I personally dont like public transport. Millions of people need to travel nationally and internationally for families, in my case Europe, people will not be hearded into city cells with no freedom to travel at thier own convenience, what are you suggesting government issued passes to travel booked months in advance ,life for us all is not like that we cant plan when the next death ,birth or marriage is going to take place nor were ever that event is going to happen,

    Covid 19 is not showing us anything apart from how gullible we are , how frustrated we are, how poor some of us are becoming , we are not resigned to sitting at home waiting for the green light to go out, we are following the advise such as it is ,not to infect or be infected, there has been no suggestion from my government that after lockdown we will not be allowed to travel, a easing of restrictions as and when is what we are told.

    So what are you playing here, your writings of extravagance of travel surgest as with many left wing journalists and intellectuals ( I use the term as they imply it to themselves) that the new normal will mean severely restricted personal travel , I dont buy into it if we are surprised by this little bomb shell after lockdown there will be trouble big trouble mass civil uprising , taking advantage of nations while we have a pandemic on our hands.

  17. “Flushing the murk from Venice’s canals…..”?

    That’s a very harsh description of her royal highness Dame Emma Thompson. Curse her black heart…..

  18. This is the sort of informative article I enjoy on wattsupwiththat. This is why I come here and am frequently disappointed. Too much scientific jargon, and too many mathematical equations. Give me a straightforward viewpoint and explanation. I am not a scientist or mathematician and quickly switch off when I am bombarded with incomprehensible jargon. If I want the full scientific/mathematical explanation I would surely go to the appropriate journal or click on the attachment to find out. I am a simple mind, happy with climatechange101 and coronavirus101.

    • G. Bailey this site was originally set up for scientists and by a scientist as a forum to discuss science.

      I think it’s been going since 2007 and it’s actually us that are the interlopers. Many of us laymen return to the site on a regular basis to get some facts, to learn and to be involved in a relevant dialogue. I think we have been tolerated because we promote conversation and we spread the facts. The scientists on this site have been largely prevented from presenting science that does not gel with popular political opinion.

      Science has been politicised to such an extent that it has lost its way. The journals that you talk about may be nothing more than ‘consensus’ science. Scientists work won’t be published these days unless it aligns with the CAGW agenda. The ‘scientific method’, still practiced here on this site to an extent has been replaced with ‘consensus’ science. Consensus scientists are telling us what the politicians want us to know.

      If you want facts you’ll return here, and question things you don’t understand. If you want to believe anything you’re told then read the journals and wonder where the facts are.

      Occasionally there are posts that are purely for the scientists, full of maths and scientific equations. That’s them arguing their math and trying to prove their point in a scientific way, how else can they practice the ‘scientific method’. For them this is what this site is all about and there are great minds here.

      I am so happy to be involved in a site where you can have an intelligent interaction with people. There are plenty of posts on this site that give you the opportunity to get you opinion out there.

      • Well said, Meg.
        Most of my science is in the medical field. I frequently find myself lost here. However, I keep coming back for all of the information and the incredibly intelligent commenters. Even when something is over my head, I still learn from the give and take of the commenters and can usually get the gist even if I don’t understand all the details.
        It’s all the acronyms I hate the most. Most fields of study have and use them including medicine but they are specialty specific. I understand medical ones but they are a foreign language to others just as the ones used by the scientists here are a foreign language to the rest of us. I have learned a lot of them but it is difficult. That said, WUWT is pure gold.

        • KcTaz I find the acronyms a little frustrating too. Sometimes the comment has no context for me when I can’t figure out what they’re talking about. When the post is purely in the field of science, I understand none of it but I can tell that they are enjoying the debate, and I’ve come to learn when I’m out of my depth.

          I have to say that WUWT has been important for my mental health. We moved to the country in recent times and to be honest not everyone wants to talk about CAGW, or even know much of anything about it except for the propaganda. Which is frustrating given that so many solar plants are planned in addition to what is already here. They don’t like them and some say, you can’t stop progress. Most of them are too busy trying to get stock through the drought, fight fires and try and figure out whether it’s a good tome to sow the fields. Which is a fair call.

          I can be a little verbose at times and my comments verge on turning into a blog, but it’s so good to talk or even debate about what’s going on in the world with some really interesting people. Except for those that aren’t of course but that isn’t often.

  19. Stein article is interesting, but he could us a lesson in the proper use of the comma.

    • Maxbert,

      He could learn a lesson in not striving to be a totalitarian of the Socialist or, Commie style, too. I can forgive him for his comma issue long before I can forgive him for wanting to rule over us.

  20. “The only good news about the COVID-19 social change impacts on our lifestyles is that the travel bans, and lockdowns have cleaned the globe flushing the murk from Venice’s canals and we have seen cleaner air worldwide. “

    Indeed and if the air is that much cleaner then we should be able to more accurately see and measure the effects of all the particulates, aerosols and gasses that nature put into the atmosphere — from deserts, forests, agricultural land, oceans, volcanoes, etc. Maybe we’ll find that much of those so called man-made particulates, aerosols, and gasses are actually miscategorised and that nature has a bigger hand in their origination and dispersal. Or maybe not. Certainly it is a better time to validate some of the assumptions.

    • I think the number of units of Zyrtec (and other forms of cetirizine) sold will confirm that allergy season is still a thing, and doesn’t depend on the level of fine particulate pollution from cars.

  21. What a terrible writer. Hardly a sentence that hits the mark. What horse manure crisis?

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