A Winning Trifecta for Climate Science and Rationality

silhouette of man standing in a field at sunset

Reposted from American Thinker

By Charles Battig

First there was Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans, then came Bjorn Lomborg’s False Alarm, and now Michael Schellenberger’s Apocalypse Never.  All three authors sound the common theme that the  hyper-green environmental activists who have captured, politicized, and monetized  the concern for the environment have, as Lomborg explains, created  a false climate  alarm  which has “costs us trillions, hurts the poor, and fails to fix the planet.”  To varying degrees, all three authors come from a strong environmental activist background, which observation makes their public revelations even more noteworthy.

Planet of the Humans, the recent film produced by Michael Moore, caused consternation and a considerable backlash from the green activists and their allied backers by pointing out how traditional energy companies had co-opted the environmental movement by donning a green alter-ego and embracing renewable energy.  By doing so, the corporations gained access to government funding/subsidies for wind turbine and commercial solar power installations and created a public relations victory for their vociferous eco-shareholders.  Moore’s revelation that the reality of needing to provide 24/7 reliable electricity to consumers ensures that fossil fuel plants will remain the primary energy sources because of the failure of wind or solar to provide power if there is no wind or sufficient sun.  Renewables do not displace reliable fossil-fuel power plants.  Consumers energy bills do not go down, but go up, when renewables are imposed.

Moore also documented that renewables require large amounts of rare earths, cement, and fossil fuel energy in their production.  They are both notoriously inefficient in land use, and impose destruction of large areas of native habitats.  Further environmental destruction is due to the fact that the best wind or solar location is often remote from the most needed consumer base, thereby requiring the construction  of massive electric transmission lines.  “Factories claiming to have gone ‘beyond coal’ again and again turn out to be relying on natural gas.”

The film notes that biomass/wood chip power plants in England now rely on American forests.  Rather than just using lumber waste as was first proposed, this has now turned into a major sub-set of the logging industry.  Our southern forests are leveled and the trees turned into wood chips.  The whole process of logging, processing, and trans-Atlantic shipping is all powered by fossil fuels.  The basic premise of using “renewable” lumber as a bio-fuel is that the carbon dioxide released upon its burning will become fertilizer for a new generation of trees and thus the cycle is carbon neutral. The basic fallacy of it is that the time scale of new tree growth greatly exceeds the day-to-day weather cycle.  No matter. Just imagine, American lumber keeping England eco-green — a country well versed in cutting down its own forests. 

With his recent book, False Alarm, Bjorn Lomborg continues to straddle the fence on global warming, aka climate change.  As the original “skeptical environmentalist,” Bjorn has argued that there are more productive ways to aid humanity than spending billions trying to influence climate change. He has argued for improving sanitation, clean water supplies, basic nutrition, and providing paths out of poverty for the millions living in underdeveloped countries.  In this book, he continues to press for a concerted effort to alleviate these ills, rather than accepting the decades of panic driven calls for “fixing the climate.”

He provides numerous references to substantiate his claims that climate change is real but is not the apocalyptic threat so widely advertised.  Science, he says, “shows that landfalling hurricanes in the US are not more frequent than in the past.  Droughts here have actually become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller area.  Seventeen times more people currently die from cold than heat, and these people will benefit from moderate warming.  In fact, global climate related deaths are an all-time low.”

He claims:

…the projections of Earth’s imminent demise are based on bad science and even worse economics.  In a politicized panic, world leaders have committed to wildly expensive, but largely ineffective policies, that hamper growth and crowd out other pressing investments in a better world, from immunization to education.

And yet, a schizophrenic-like mindset co-inhabits this rational evaluation of climate change and related issues.  Section 1 of the book is titled “Climate of Fear,” and evokes memories of Michael Crichton’s 2004 “State of Fear.”  A few pages into his introduction, Lomborg states, “Climate change is real, it is caused predominantly by carbon emissions from humans burning fossil fuels….”  No question that climate change is real; however, he gives no reference for this unsubstantiated claim of human causation, which is the basic UN position, and the foundation for much green eco-activism.  A few lines later, he seems to criticize the same UN:

After a 2019 UN climate science report led to over-the-top claims by activists, one of the scientists wrote: “We risk turning off the public with extremist talk that is not carefully supported by the science.” Media reports that we have to act by 2030 to solve the problem of climate change is the media defining what the science is.

Lomborg points out that this is indeed not science, but “what politics tells us.”  He does not clarify what the “problem” is with the climate, though his chapter 6 is titled “You Can’t Fix Climate Change,” and chapter 11 offers “Carbon Tax: The Market-Based Solution.”  Chapter 14 “Geoengineering: A Backup Plan” is recognized as “entering uncharted territory,” but “could play a role if we found that we needed fast action to avoid a looming catastrophe.”  After calling for consideration of this back-up plan, the chapter continues with an extended discussion of the pluses and minuses of actually implementing it. 

The reader will have to evaluate this recent book to get the full import of Lomborg’s latest effort.  His most basic premise remains that there are better ways to alleviate human misery than spending taxpayer subsidies than on panic-driven, political non-solutions to a changing climate.  Few would argue with that goal.

Michael Shellenberger has green activist credentials going back to his high school years.  Yet over the ensuing years, he has had an environmental reality epiphany which now has manifested itself most clearly in his recent book “Apocalypse Never,” and with his starting the ecomodernism movement. The subtitle of the book, “Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All,” echoes the similar conclusions of Moore and Lomborg. 

Schellenberger had a few road bumps on the way to his current reality check.  Notable was his 2002 support of the “New Apollo Project,” which called for a major global science and economics research program to make carbon-free baseload electricity less costly than electricity from coal by the year 2025 at an expenditure of $150 billion over a decade. The Obama administration adopted many of the renewable energy proposals, but Schellenberger documents that much of the money went to “companies that enriched donors to the Obama campaign” but failed to produce the promised renewable energy advances.

Disillusionment gave way to reality, and in 2017, Shellenberger told The Australian: “Like most people, I started out pretty anti-nuclear. I changed my mind as I realized you can’t power a modern economy on solar and wind….  All they do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide greenwash for fossil fuels.”  He has made numerous efforts to support nuclear power.

His current book skewers many of the claims of eco-environmentalists, including mass extinctions, saving of the whales by Greenpeace, waste plastic fouling the ocean for thousands of years, and increases in extreme weather events.

He reflects upon his early devotion to environmentalism as a manifestation of an “underlying anxiety and unhappiness in my own life that had little to do with climate change or the state of the natural environment.” It became a quasi-religion offering “emotional relief” and “spiritual satisfaction” for those, like him, who may have lost the guidance of traditional spiritual faiths.

Schellenberg concludes with the observation that “the trouble with the new environmental religion is that it has become increasingly apocalyptic, destructive, and self-defeating.” 

So here are three environmentalists with different degrees of eco-activism in their past, but all now willing to speak out against the incessant climate propaganda of human-related guilt, the purveyors of anxiety, and the poisoners of childhood joy and wonder.  Climate change is the norm; it is not mankind’s original sin.  The readers here are encouraged to read the works of these climate realists.

Charles Battig is a retired physician and graduate engineer, policy advisor  to the Heartland Institute, and member of the CO2Coalition. His website is http://www.climateis.com
Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/06/a_winning_trifecta_for_climate_science_and_rationality_.html#ixzz6QcBGOnpW
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80 thoughts on “A Winning Trifecta for Climate Science and Rationality

  1. As a young child I remember looking out the window at school and thinking- thank goodness we have outgrown the days of superstitious nonsense. We’re not stupid like the Germans, we wouldn’t fall for the rise of the Nazis. At the same time I remember thinking how strange it was that the Germans, with their renown for scientific and engineering prowess could have fallen for the propaganda.
    Future generations will look at us and laugh- a society with the technology to send up satelites in to orbit and beyond our own planet could fall for such an absurdity that the 3% of CO2 increase that was from humans was the driving force that was going to make the planet burn in flames- hand over trillions of dollars or the world gets it.
    We will deserve that ridicule.

    • This ‘Darwin Award’ human behaviour has previously been written about in 1841 by Charles Mackay –
      “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”

      The more things change, . . .

    • Global warming hysteria is only a part of it. If you don’t believe an official line, you will be arrested. Or at least fired, like the guy who flew a White Lives Matter sign over a soccer stadium.

      • I don’t remember the college, somewhere in the northeast. However a job offer was rescinded when someone found a tweet from the professor that not all cops were bad.

    • Unfortunately we do deserve the damage to our economy from the absurd unfounded fear of global warming/climate change. Worse still is confusion between VIR-19 “cases” and “exposures”. We’re going to have millions of “exposures” (miss-labeled as cases) most of which will be mild doses readily contained by our immune systems. Young healthy adults will be able to withstand even heavier doses. Just as the planet response to changing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere our bodies have the ability to adapt to the dozens of virus all around us, including VIR-19 IMHO.

      • Re COVID. Did you whistle that tune as you walked by the refrigerated trailers storing the bodies outside New York’s hospitals?

  2. If you believe that say, flooding in your area is going to be a problem, whether due to climate or not, you should spend your money on civil engineering and earthworks. Pressing the “donate” button on enviro websites isn’t going to achieve anywhere near the same level of success.
    Lomborg is good at pointing out these truisms.

    • DMac

      The problem is people are lazy. They would rather accept some threatening argument, have a brief emotional connection to some vague solution, donate, then move on satisfied that they have “contributed to the solution”. Daily if necessary.

      Like the largest problem facing Americans – racism – the ecological damage requirement is that of a deliberate, persistent and heart-felt effort to create behavioural changes in society. Desirable changes do not have to be loud, violent, destructive or forced. Consultation and sharing, honest and frank in nature, beneficial in intent, is an alternative and much softer path.

      One of the similarities in the two books is “calm reassessment”. There is no need to find and fight demons, dwell on past cheats, frauds and exploitations, or present all progress as dragon-killing acts of bravado. Just get on with it and be the change you want to see. Start today.

      A common denominator is that coal is finite, hydro power is limited and we need far more power than that to run our planet sensibly. Some form of nuclear energy, probably new and as yet unimagined, is required.

      The conspiracy on all sides to make nuclear as expensive as possible should be exposed. Some “greens” hate even the name “nuclear” while others realise it is the way forward but want it on their terms. Construtors want cost plus 15% so the more it costs the better. Regulators and inspectors want lifetime employment so the more difficult and dangerousit is, the better for them.

      It seems the worst enemy of all the vested interests is a simple, relable and safe method of generating a concentrated, dispatchable and non-polluting form of power generation. Tough! We have an ever-advancing civilisation and we deserve to keep it moving forward.

      • “It seems the worst enemy of all the vested interests is a simple, relable and safe method of generating a concentrated, dispatchable and non-polluting form of power generation..”

        We have that already in the form of hydrocarbon fuels. Irony.

      • Racism isn’t that big of a problem. Socialists lying about how much racism there is, is the problem.
        Beyond that, racism exists in all races, despite the lies of the socialists that it’s only a white person problem.

  3. I don’t think the argument about the lag between use and regrowth for biomass is right. With energy crops a lag of a decade is neither here nor there, remembering we’re worrying about the climate not the weather.

    • I’m more concerned with clearing a complex forest and replacing it with a fast growing monoculture.

    • The problem with biomass, is that its a defuse, low energy density, damp resource, that requires transporting, and then drying, all of which requires energy, before relinquishing the relatively meager amount of energy it contains. Its an economics problem, and it never stacks up, except in the very limited situations of utilizing a waste product of other processes.

  4. I wonder when Cliff Mass will achieve similar enlightenment to Michael Moore, Bjorn Lomborg, and Michael Schellenberger?

    • Well, they all believe CO2 is a problem, so from my perspective, they’re still awaiting enlightenment.

  5. Scott Adams has been talking about coming giant red pills. link At some point there will be a tipping point where a significant proportion of the thought leaders realize that windmills and solar panels can’t possibly work. Moore, Lomborg, and Shellenberger may be the first signs of the avalanche.

    I keep hearing more and more people talking about nuclear energy as a green alternative. It actually stands a chance of working. As far as I can tell, that trend is irreversible.

    Lomborg makes the point that ‘green’ policies are bad for the developing world and poor people in general. Based on reviews, because the book isn’t actually out yet, Shellenberger makes the further point that prosperity is good for the environment. Somehow the green activists manage to ignore the fact that most of us in developed countries are living in something like an earthly paradise right now. The view out my windows is verdant. I think there’s more wildlife in my back yard than in the nearby forest. Prosperous people can care about the environment and take care of it. If I needed wood to heat my house and cook, my yard would look completely different.

    I used to work with a Lebanese guy who was raised in Lebanon during the worst part of their troubles. I think he was amazed to see unattended cats wandering the streets. His comment was something like, “In Lebanon, no animal walks alone.” True, if I were starving, there would be no squirrels or rabbits, etc. anywhere near my house. Prosperity is indeed good for the environment.

    • “I keep hearing more and more people talking about nuclear energy as a green alternative. It actually stands a chance of working. As far as I can tell, that trend is irreversible.”

      Here’s a breakthrough on the high-level waste problem:
      ————–

      Nuclear power offers an abundant supply of low-carbon energy. But what to do with the deadly radioactive waste?
      The race is on to develop new strategies for permanently storing some of the most dangerous materials on the planet.
      Ensia Aug 16, 2019 · 11 min read
      Originally published at ensia.com on July 31, 2019.

      Skip forward to Cameron, Texas, on January 16, 2019. This was a nerve-wracking day for Liz Muller, co-founder of California startup technology company Deep Isolation and her father, Richard Muller, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and now chief technology officer at Deep Isolation.

      The father-daughter team had invited 40 nuclear scientists, U.S. Department of Energy officials, oil and gas professionals, and environmentalists to witness the first-ever attempt to test whether the latest oil-fracking technology could be used to permanently dispose of the most dangerous nuclear waste.

      At 11:30 a.m., the crew of oil workers used a wire cable to lower a 30-inch (80-centimeter)-long, 8-inch (20-centimeter)-wide 140-pound (64-kilogram) canister — filled with steel rather than radioactive waste — down a previously drilled borehole. Then, using a tool called a “tractor” invented by the industry to reach horizontally into mile-deep oil reservoirs, they pushed it 400 feet (120 meters) farther away from the borehole through the rock.

      Five hours later, the crew used the tractor to relocate and collect the canister, attach it to the cable and pull it back to the surface — to the cheers of the workers. Until then, few people in the nuclear industry believed this could be done.

      By avoiding the need to excavate large, expensive tunnels to store waste below ground, the Deep Isolation team believes it has found a solution to one of the world’s most intractable environmental problems — how to permanently dispose of and potentially retrieve the hundreds of thousands of tons of nuclear waste presently being stored at nuclear power plants and research and military stations around the world.

      “We showed it could be done,” Elizabeth Muller says. “Horizontal, directional drilling has come a long way recently. This is now an off-the-shelf technology. Using larger canisters, we think about 300 boreholes with tunnels up to 2 miles (3 kilometers) long would be able to take much of the U.S.’s high-level nuclear waste. We think we can reduce by two-thirds the cost of permanent storage.”

      https://medium.com/ensia/nuclear-power-offers-an-abundant-supply-of-low-carbon-energy-5bfe066e7568

      • I thought that Bill Gates and TerraPower used nuclear waste in their reactor? We really need to push a bit more money at the real renewables rather than pie in the sky wind and solar

        • There’s waste & then there’s waste!
          The useful stuff, fuel-wise & then the crap like Strontium 90 & Caesium 137. The latter with c 30 year half lived need safe disposal.

      • We already have a perfectly good repository for nuclear waste in Nevada. I believe it took 20 years to dig the hole and Obama shut it down. That was really smart because now we must store all the waste on sites all over the country. Yucca Mtn. nuclear waste facility can be seen on Google Earth.

    • Dear commie BOB
      how true your comment. Only the prosperous can afford the sometimes radical and often illogical tactics to “save the earth”. The poor worldwide just need to survive. Squirrels taste ok I hear….🤪

  6. Covid. BLM. Socialism. All the same kind of hoax. Mr. Schellenberger reveals the root of the hoax: “He reflects upon his early devotion to environmentalism as a manifestation of an “’underlying anxiety and unhappiness in my own life that had little to do with climate change or the state of the natural environment.’” It became a quasi-religion offering “’emotional relief’” and “’spiritual satisfaction’”.

    • No. People have died of Covid 19. It is really nasty. My nephew who lives in London says he personally knows of three or four . Out here in the sticks I juts had a brutal 2 month cough.

      I will say it again – just because the Left has found it politically convenient to support draconian measures by central governments doesn’t mean that there was no reason..

      • Bollox! I will say it again, bollox. Yes, people have died of COVID-19 however over 90% were elderly with comorbidity issues. So I will say it again, BOLLOX!

        • Comorbidities does not mean that they were on deaths door. Robbing people of 10 to 20 years of life is not nothing.

          • When you are over 80, as is the case with 90% of the COVID deaths, in Australia at least, 10-20 years of frailty and aged care facility “living”, I am sure many would welcome death by natural causes.

            I certainly do not want to spend 10 – 20 years having someone bathe me, wipe my arse or feed me baby goop food. If this and death are my only two options, I will take death gladly.

          • Being in a long term care facility doesn’t mean that you are on death’s door, just that you are no longer able to fully independent. Short term care facilities are for those who are temporarily unable to fully care for themselves.

            You actually believe that everyone in a long or short term care facility has to be bathed by others?

            Regardless of whether that would be the life style you would choose, it doesn’t change the fact that having a “comorbidity” not evidence that one is on death’s door as you have been claiming.

          • Patrick MJD -Not Bollocks(NB) at all Where did you get your 90% from?
            In Australia the 60 to 69 age group were 17% of those infected ,and 13 % of those who died from Covid -19
            At the mid -point of that cohort IE Age 65 according to life expectancy tables, they had 18 years ( Males) and 20 years (Females ) of life to look forward to but snuffed out by the virus
            For the 70-79 year old cohort the infection percentage of total infections was 11%, the death rate 32 % of the total deaths from the virus ,with years of life ahead from mid point age 65 were 11 years for Males and 13 years for females
            That’s a total of 28% of infections, 45% of deaths and loss of years of life between 11 to 20 years depending on the age group and gender

            The 80-99 age cohorts had 2 % of infections but 42 % (not 90% ) of deaths from the virus

    • No hoax with Covid-19, as you Yanks are finding out. BLM, is based upon truth. The horrendous ignorance of chunks of your population towards coloured people, combined with your toxic politics of the Right’s “War on (insert whatever)” & the Left’s victim culture, combined with the stupidity of having a population with easy access to military grade weapons.

      • Not using proportional representation has resulted in the present two-party country with severe polarisation that paints the political opposition as “enemy”. Enemy thinking leads to civil war.

        • Hans- I think you are wrong. Both the major parties in the US have lots of members of all races. Both try very hard to stay in front of the band wagon when it comes to race, sex, poverty, and other issues.
          The main reason there seems to be so much dissension is the major political problems have been solved, particularly racism and poverty. Republicans have worked on racism since shortly after the Civil War. Racism was a major issue with segregation, separate but “equal” schools and many other pseudo solutions from the Democrats. Pres. Lyndon John finally found the right formulae of subsidy, child support, and rules to make sure both black and white people in poverty had just enough services, payments, and regulations to destroy poor families by making it financially advantageous for a poor woman to have multiple different fathers for multiple children. The regulations forced then to NOT have a father in the home to get benefits. If helping people in distress was a major issue this was THE major impediment.
          Enemy thinking has been a large factor for the Democratic party an numerous other groups.

      • “The horrendous ignorance of chunks of your population towards coloured people, combined with your toxic politics of the Right’s “War on (insert whatever)” & the Left’s victim culture, combined with the stupidity of having a population with easy access to military grade weapons.”

        Oddly enough, the most successful immigrants in terms of median income and representation in the professions are Nigerians, who have recently overtaken even the Koreans. The US is not racist at all, contrary to your sneering, ill-informed rant.

      • “a population with easy access to military grade weapons.”

        Can you name one “military grade weapon” that Americans have easy access to.

      • BLM is based on lies. The systemic racism that they protest doesn’t exist.
        The only person displaying horrendous ignorance are people like Adam who live on lies.
        Speaking of industrial level stupidity, anyone who believes that people in the US have easy access to military grade weapons, has shown that in spades.

      • I am sorry Adam, but you don’t know what you are talking about. BLM is BS. There is no systemic racism in the USA. This country is a mixture of almost every race, ethnic group and religious group that exists on this planet. We work side-by-side and for one another without problems almost everywhere in this nation. There are problem areas in the large cities, those are poverty and drug driven, not race. We have a left leaning media and higher education and a Democrat Political Party that exists by creating imaginary victim groups. However, the majority do not believe the crap coming from those groups. We do not have access to military grade weapons even though our constitution says that we have the right to have them. Death by firearms in this country is so far below the other causes of death that it is not even worth a mention. However the Left always wants to make it an issue. There goal is to disarm us, so that we can’t stop them when they go to far.

      • So the 9 year old black girl, while studying, that was shot by a black guy, her life didn’t matter? That was a hoax?

  7. I would really like to know a more detailed account of each of their (Moore’s, Lomborg’s, & Schellenberger’s) realizations of reality regarding energy and climate. What was it that skeptics have been saying that finally broke through?

    • At least for Lomborg, it started with what he thought would be an easy debunking of Julian Simon’s ideas behind The Ultimate Resource. The experience from that is what led to The Skeptical Environmentalist.

      • Lomborg was an accomplished statistician working for Greenpeace when he ran into an economist that explained what his numbers actually meant. A voyage of discovery followed. The Skeptical Environmentalist should be updated and made compulsory reading in grade school.

        Cheers, Speed

  8. I think it’s very rude to call luke-warner Lomborg a scizophrenic, as he uses the same arguments as Roy Spencer.

    • Indeed – Professor Lomborg may be a luke-warmer, gay, vegan socialist, but yet I’ve got a lot of time for him and his writing. He comes across as a rather pleasant chap.

      It’s important to be able to understand a different perspective, even if none of it has the slightest appeal on a personal level.

      He’s also far more likely to be heard (read: not censored) than we ‘swivel-eyed loons’.

  9. I have always questioned the rationale of lowering interest rates in order to spur the economy and the concomitant taxation of economic activity because presumably deleterious to the environment.

    Lowering interest rates not only pulls forward in time production and consumption but it also divest the many to benefit the finance industry.

    In one fell swoop, monetary policy has impoverished many, enriched few and fuelled climate alarmism seeking greater fiscal intervention thus reinforcing economic inequality with well documented negative repercussions on the environment.

    Stop manipulating interest rates artificially and watch a swathe of econo/ecolo/social issues dissipate.

    • It doesn’t just pull economic activity from the future. Some economic is unprofitable at a given interest rate. It’s unprofitable today, tomorrow, or even 5 years from now.
      Reducing the interest rate can make this activity economical.

  10. It still boggles the mind how they can be so rational and clear-eyed in some respects, yet irrational and blind in others. But, good news nonetheless. The climate religion is unraveling.

  11. “The film notes that biomass/wood chip power plants in England now rely on American forests. Rather than just using lumber waste as was first proposed, this has now turned into a major sub-set of the logging industry. Our southern forests are leveled and the trees turned into wood chips. The whole process of logging, processing, and trans-Atlantic shipping is all powered by fossil fuels. The basic premise of using “renewable” lumber as a bio-fuel is that the carbon dioxide released upon its burning will become fertilizer for a new generation of trees and thus the cycle is carbon neutral. The basic fallacy of it is that the time scale of new tree growth greatly exceeds the day-to-day weather cycle. No matter. Just imagine, American lumber keeping England eco-green — a country well versed in cutting down its own forests. ”

    That’s the one thing that everyone has wrong about renewables- woody biomass has nothing in common with wind and solar. It is indeed renewable- and it can provide dependable base load power. It’s a *&^%$ lie that “southern forests are leveled”- the fact is that about 3% of the wood cut in the south goes to energy- mostly pellets. The rest is cut because the south is the “wood basket” of the world. Those southern forests aren’t “cut down”- they are managed. Most of that land was once cotton fields and now it’s mostly well managed forests- that stay green- unlike former forests and fields that are converted into solar and wind “farms”. As for the time scale- that’s wrong too- because while some trees are cut in any year- many more are growing- so, what counts is the overall carbon on the land. The forests in the south are increasing their carbon content over time, not decreasing it. It’s true that forestry gets subsidies but so doesn’t just about every industry in America in one way or the other. What’s also false is that the “greenies” love biomass as they love wind and solar. FALSE. They hate it- because burning wood for energy does release carbon- so the greenies consider woody biomass as bad as fossil fuels. In fact, their mantra now is “biomass is worse than coal”. (http://pfpi.net/) There was a big battle here in New England over biomass. Governor Patrick of Mass. hired the Manomet Institute to study the subject and he wanted them to declare biomass a terrible thing because he was afraid that the greenies here would oppose him when he ran for reelection (I think in 2012). So the Manomet Institute came up with the idea that burning wood for energy creates a “carbon debt”- which is true only if you focus on the lost carbon the acre that just got cut- and ignored the landscape perspective- that the forests of Massachusetts are growing 4 times faster than being cut- so overall, the forests are a carbon sink. And, even more important, most of the forests of the northeast were butchered in the past- “high graded” where they cut the best and left the rest- and, the forests are overwhelmed with pests and diseases. The only way to manage them to improve them is to remove the poorest quality trees and the only viable market is for energy. Much of this low value wood once went to the pulp market- especially in northern New England and upstate NY- but most of that market is in serious decline. If the forests are managed better- by removing that low value wood- the forests will be more valuable over time- economically and ecologically. And if that happens- forest owners are more likely to retain the forests and forests and not cut them down to build shopping centers and wind and solar “farms”.

    So, it’s a huge mistake to put woody biomass in with wind and solar. It can provide baseload power- it will result in improved forests- it can provide jobs- far more than wind and solar- which eventually have to be dismantled- while the forests can be cut over and over again and if done right- really does improve the forests.

    So, Moore and the rest got that part of the story wrong.
    Joe Zorzin
    https://www.youtube.com/user/JoeZorzin?feature=mhee
    “forester for 47 years”

    • Except that in order for trees for biomass to be even remotely profitable, you have to clear-cut. In addition to not making sense from a “carbon” point of view due to the fact that it requires huge expenditures of fossil fuels to harvest and transport it, it isn’t exactly environmentally friendly to lay waste to an entire landscape. The fact that it is being done in the name of “saving the planet” is nothing but a monsterous lie.

      • Bruce, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been a forester for 47 years so I know what I’m talking about. You DON’T have to clearcut. I’ve managed timber sales since Nixon was in the White House and never clearcut. Clearcutting is common in some regions but not all regions. If you don’t have forestry- you won’t be able to live in a wood home with wood furniture and paper products. Have you given them up? There is a lot of “bad forestry”- the solution is not to end forestry to but to make sure it’s done right. And, once again- you don’t have a clue- NOBODY IS SAYING IT’S TO SAVE THE PLANET. That’s what the *&^%$ idiots who love solar and wind farms say. Forestry people say SOME wood should be used for energy IN ORDER to properly manage the forests so YOU can live in a wood home with wood furniture and paper products. Before people rant about an industry they ought to do their homework. It’s one thing when the greenies rant against forestry- and they do because they want to lock up all the forests- but I don’t expect people with more common sense who live in wood homes with wood furniture and paper products to rant against PROPER forestry.

        • Wrong. Some may. Ever heard of Enviva? And now, coal plants are switching to burning wood pellets, in the name of “clean energy”.

          • As to whether or not it’s “clean energy” is a complicated issue. Forestry people seldom if ever call it “clean energy” because that’s the term used by the wind and solar people who sanctify wind and solar because of low carbon emissions (ignoring emissions to produce wind and solar facilities). But wind and solar farms destroy fields and forests- so they are not so clean and green. A 20 acre solar farm behind my ‘hood utterly destroyed a forest and even removed all the topsoil because the owner owns several gravel pits- and that was allowed by the state of Mass. which in most respects in ever so politically correct- because they want to promote wind and solar. But since biomass comes from well managed forests- the forests remain- so in that sense, biomass is clean and green.

        • Some does- especially in the south. In the north- it comes from all kinds of forests including tree farms, private forests not in official “tree farms”, industrial land, state land, town land, etc.

          But what’s your point regarding whether it comes from tree farms? In the south- some of those “tree farms” might be monoculture, very intensively managed forests- which I don’t care for and which are non existent in the north. That’s how they manage much of the southern forests because it works economically.

          The essay at the top- talks about lumber going to Britain. It ain’t lumber. It’s very low quality trees with no other market. Lumber is the stuff you build houses and other “wood products” with. We foresters in the north call such low value trees, “junk wood”- which we are happy to rid the forest of- mostly damaged/degraded/diseased/worthless trees.

  12. It is not “renewable energy” in totality, it is only renewable “electricity”, and intermittent electricity at best.

    Wind and solar CANNOT manufacture the derivatives from oil that are used in more than 6,000 products used in our daily lives. In facts, all the parts of wind and solar are made from those petroleum derivatives!

  13. Unfortunately we do deserve the damage to our economy from the absurd unfounded fear of global warming/climate change. Worse still is confusion between VIR-19 “cases” and “exposures”. We’re going to have millions of “exposures” (miss-labeled as cases) most of which will be mild doses readily contained by our immune systems. Young healthy adults will be able to withstand even heavier doses. Just as the planet response to changing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere our bodies have the ability to adapt to the dozens of virus all around us, including VIR-19 IMHO.

  14. If the chief objection to woody biomass fuel is that it requires clear-cutting, that’s not much of an objection. As a midwestern forester, I’m surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of corn, soybeans and other crops that get clear-cut every year—and plowed, disked and cultivated as well—yet few rational people regard farming as an environmental atrocity which must be stopped at all costs. Tree crops, by contrast, are harvested on rotations of decades; and clear-cutting, which minimizes site disturbance by limiting frequency of entry into the timber stand, is a sounder practice than “selective” cutting, which in any case is often shorthand for “taking the best and leaving the rest.” The prejudice against clear-cutting is an Earth Day-era misconception that should have been outgrown by now.

  15. About a year ago i realized that renewable energy was a failed solution to a problem that may not exist. Furthermore the impracticability of renewable energy was the primary reason why I was a skeptic. CO2 without any feedback positive or negative has an effect on temperature that approximates the historical record. This will eventually lead to some sea level rise but I doubt its catastrophic.

    Renewable energy is not cost effective because you need to add in storage. For daily storage you need batteries. for long term term storage either massive dams or refineries. This easily triples the cost of renewable energy compared to fossil fuels. If this is a catastrophic problem a much cheaper solution would be a Manhattan project to mass produce Gen 4 reactors.

    When you really look at the problem the only concern is sea level rise. All the extreme weather events we can design and build around them. As far as species extinction why didn’t the 5 degree centigrade rise in 50 years before the younger dryas drive a massive extinction event but a two degree rise now over a couple hundred years or longer is going to cause a massive extinction event? Finally the idea were doing this for the poor. If there is sea level rise the people who will hurt are the people who own water front. These are not the poor. Instead the renewable climate solution falls unfairly on people whose primary expenses are energy and food. You can think of renewable energy as a reversed robin hood strategy. Take from the poor and give to the rich.

  16. If you listen closely you can hear Mikey Mann trembling in rage. He should probably be being watched, I think he might come unglued.

  17. Great.
    The more of these articles and books of this ilk that get published the better. Would love to produce one myself ; but am a bit past my sell date and very lazy these days. Will just stick to squeaking in the comments sections. Meanwhile I just flail the air observing all the stupidity cluttering up the airwaves, squashing common sense.

  18. The only difficulty is that governments will have to find new ways to spend the taxes they collect. One way was to kill their economies with the ‘COVID-19 crisis’ giving the world economy a recession it had to have to prevent the dying from dying from natural causes. Now the rhetoric to spend more money on defence is being turned up to help with the economic recovery. What’s next?

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