Epstein Vs. Dessler: Should America Rapidly Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use to Prevent Climate Catastrophe.

Steamboat Institute

A debate at The Steamboat Institute Energy and Climate Summit, The Nexus of U.S. Energy Policy, Climate Science, Freedom and Prosperity featuring Alex Epstein, author of the New York Times bestseller The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and Andrew Dessler, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University; author of Introduction to Modern Climate Change, moderated by Dan Njegomir, Editorial Page Editor, Denver Gazette, held March 12, 2022 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

(one hour)

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March 14, 2022 10:07 pm

Divest from Green. Go black, organic, biodegradable, high-density, reliable, nutritious, and diverse other purposes. Follow the science, not the cargo cult, not the models that have demonstrated a lack of skill to forecast and hindcast.

Reply to  n.n
March 15, 2022 1:20 am

Liberals hate oil and coal because they are Black.

Reply to  TonyL
March 15, 2022 4:33 am

Black fuels are very important, i.e., they matter.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Scissor
March 15, 2022 5:07 am

There is a brilliant new slogan:
Black fuels matter

jeffery p
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
March 15, 2022 8:03 am

Wut color is natural gas? How ’bout nukular?

Reply to  jeffery p
March 15, 2022 8:37 am

Ask St. Greta – she has the ability to see gases that are invisible to the rest of us

W Browning
Reply to  Martin
March 21, 2022 6:32 pm

If it wasn’t for hydrocarbons, that little…girl, wouldn’t have been able to sail across the Atlantic in less than a month. The boat was made of resins derived from oil. The mast was made from aluminum, with bauxite mined using diesel powered equipment and heated by electricity, generated by hydrocarbons, the rope/lines, sails, electronics and a million little things on that boat including her clothes, were made from or formed using hydrocarbons.

To not be a total hypocrite she should have sailed in a wooden boat with canvas sails, using hemp ropes. Without OIL, the modern world does not exist or continue to thrive. Let’s Go Brandon, FJB!

Reply to  jeffery p
March 15, 2022 9:06 am

When I looked thru the viewing port on a nuclear sub the color was blue.

Bryan A
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
March 15, 2022 8:15 pm

America could completely eliminate it’s emissions overnight (by eliminating 90% of the population) and it would have ZERO effect on increasing global emissions and thereby the purported global climate change hypothesized to accompany said emissions growth.

Reply to  Bryan A
March 17, 2022 9:29 am

Sounds like a plan. To eliminate 90% of the US population, you would need to start with the biggest cities.

So two birds with one stone, excess population reduction and elimination of mostly leftist Democrat voters.

Huuum, I am starting to see a POSITIVE in their plan.

Just give me a little warning so that I can get my kids (conservatives all) and grandkids out of Las Vegas first. Most of the rest of my family already lives in more rural areas of the country.

Reply to  n.n
March 15, 2022 6:01 am

Tell me how to get the idea across to these very blind (to reality) people that the ONLY THING making the planet habitable right now IS the use of fossil fuels.

If they want to live in an ice-cold environment and scrounge the weed patches for food, because you really can’t grow a garden when it’s winter-cold, it’s fine by me. I want to find out just how they’d get along without access to preserved and/or fresh stuff, which they do take for granted. I want to know how they’d survive a beastly cold environment with no way to heat their dwellings or cook or preserve food, or even find it. (Remember, magic wind power comes & goes, as does sunshine, which shuts off at night.)

If someone would be so kind as to explain this to me – how these cosseted, unaware individuals might survive when the summer sunshine goes away, I’d appreciate it. We’re 18,000 years )more or less) into this warm pause and it could stop in the blink of an eye.

Just trying to understand the mentality that sees beneficial warm weather as a threat, when it is THE ONLY THING that allows us to exist.

Excuse me while I go feed the mammoth herd. They are SO impatient if I don’t show up with bananas and a truckload of apples.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 7:08 am

Dessler thinks warming is bad.

A major advantage of fossil fuels might be that they offer us the possibility to warm the planet, to possibly lessen the cooling that is certainly coming. In addition, they make plants more productive allowing us to reduce starvation. They make life easier.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Scissor
March 15, 2022 1:45 pm

Only fake science assumes fossil fuels warms the planet. Carbon dioxide like any gas has heat based on its mass and pressure. Carbon dioxide in the upper levels of the atmosphere absorb solar energy (not from the earth) but does not hold that energy as carbon dioxide is a emissive gas. When earth’s radiant flux emitted matches average solar radiant flux received (April and Oct) energy levels are normal. As the sun distance changes affecting radiant flux received +(Jan-July) – (July – Jan). As this is still the case no warming is validated. Only adjustment to past data at stations or selected stations where heat not in the past is now present. Example: urban heat island effect. As these represent a minute portion of earth’s area, it is insignificant to alter earth’s ability to regulate energy levels.

Reply to  Scissor
March 15, 2022 7:45 pm

Dessler says “global warming is obvious, just look out your window”….Honestly, I just don’t see it….snow is melting just like every Spring….the local golf course opens Easter weekend as per the last 30 years…

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 17, 2022 9:31 am

They haven’t moved up to St. Valentine’s Day weekend. I can’t believe it.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 8:55 am

True, otherwise nobody could live north of Georgia.

Brent Qually
Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 10:52 am

Dessler says he doesn’t care about Canada benefiting from a warmer climate, he is only concerned with San Antonio, Austin, etc. and the potential for higher air conditioning costs. Nice global perspective.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 5:05 pm

Debating people who accept a man as woman of the year is inherently pointless.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 6:39 pm

The Global Warming meme is so embedded in society, via unending scientifically unfounded media ranting that I have abandoned all efforts to educate those who accept it as real. The best I can offer is my flip response, “I completely agree that we’re all going to die. I suggest you return home and get your affairs in order.”

Old Man Winter
Reply to  n.n
March 15, 2022 8:00 am

In addition to hydro & geothermal, I recommend we go 100% solar power-
oil, coal & natty gas. These forms of solar energy even come with their own
storage device. No battery needed!!!!

Reply to  Old Man Winter
March 15, 2022 9:08 am

Natural gas is not solar formed nor a fossil fuel.

Reply to  mkelly
March 15, 2022 12:29 pm

The US Energy Information Administration disagrees with you:

“Natural gas is a fossil energy source that formed deep beneath the earth’s surface.”

Reply to  Old Man Winter
March 15, 2022 1:19 pm

Nuclear power is also a fossil fuel. The fuel was formed a very long time ago in the heart of an exploding star, which used the gravity of the explosion to fuse together elements of lower atomic weight/number to form fissionable uranium, thorium, and plutonium, plus some others, which are no longer with us. They are literally fossil elements.

It is also solar, because it came out of a star.

And endlessly renewable, as long as gravity continues to cause stars to collapse and explode, spreading more fissionable materials thruout the universe. I don’t think we will hit “peak gravity” in the universe for quite a long time.

And after the stars stop shining, and the solar panels cannot make any more power, thosee fissionable materials will still be drifting around an otherwise cold, dark universe…

John Pickens
March 14, 2022 10:19 pm

In furtherance of the imperative to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, the US Congress should pass a law REQUIRING that all solar PV panels, wind turbines, and electric utility battery backup systems be sourced SOLELY from companies using only solar and wind power to make their products. Surely, if the claims by advocates of these systems that they are cheaper than fossil fuels are true, then this legislation will serve to minimize the time needed to phase out fossil fuels!

Reply to  John Pickens
March 15, 2022 4:35 am

Unassailable logic.

tom hewitt
Reply to  John Pickens
March 15, 2022 5:51 am

In the same vein, the production of corn used to make motor fuel additive ethanol is done by machinery powered by diesel fuel.

Reply to  tom hewitt
March 15, 2022 7:23 pm

Survival demands we waste dense, effective fossil fuels to produce ineffective, undrinkable alcohol and reduce fuel efficiency.

Thank God center-pivot irritation is gravity-powered.

Randle Dewees
Reply to  John Pickens
March 15, 2022 8:20 am

Can you imagine the panic among the Green trough feeders at the mere thought of such a law?

paul courtney
Reply to  John Pickens
March 15, 2022 8:31 am

Mr. Pickens: Sounds right, but too many U.S. reps would grasp that the law would hurt the people they represent- the Chinese.

Reply to  paul courtney
March 17, 2022 9:35 am

So you said that while I was drinking coffee and some came out my nose. Your riming is impeccable.

March 14, 2022 10:21 pm

Andy quit science and went into show business some time ago. He loves the limelight. He won’t debate – he’ll perform. Better than a dancing bear (maybe)

March 14, 2022 10:38 pm

Well at least he won’t be riding in that clown car that is the net zero crew.

March 15, 2022 4:37 am

“One man in time plays many parts…”

dodgy geezer
March 14, 2022 10:55 pm

What Climate Catastrophe? We have been warned that the sky is falling in ever more hysterical tones, while the temperatures have failed to match the models and are now falling.

The whole theory is a heap of sh*t. It is completely wrong, and only survived by cancelling everyone who points this out. Let some sunlight into the model calculation s and close this sorry enterprise down.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 14, 2022 11:57 pm

But . . but . . but . . how then will my life find its great meaning if I’m not engaged in saving the whole world and just doing my regular job? We ever so high-minded want to know!

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Doc Chuck
March 15, 2022 12:36 am

Do not fear! There is always CRT and Transgenderism for you to worry about…


jeffery p
Reply to  Doc Chuck
March 15, 2022 8:06 am

You should try Scientology.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  jeffery p
March 16, 2022 1:19 am

Well, it certainly seems to work ok for the Greens!!!

Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 15, 2022 3:15 am

Geezer is correct. “The whole [climate catastrophe] theory is a heap of sh*t.

Specifically, there is NO catastrophic human-made global warming crisis. We published that correct conclusion twenty years ago in 2002. Done!

There is , however, a problem of cooling – told you that 20 years ago too.

March 14, 2022 Cap Allon
“We are in a food emergency situation like I don’t remember having lived through”, said Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa, president of CAP.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 4:42 am

Some of what Abdussamatov anticipates is consistent with observations such as this.


Reply to  Scissor
March 15, 2022 11:44 am

The Russians have been pretty good recently – your cited paper is from 2016.
More from 2020.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Scissor
March 15, 2022 3:52 pm

Abdussamatov is an astrophysicist at the Pulkovo Observatory (Russian Acad of Sci) who noted that the decline in Arctic ice extent was mirrored by shrinkage of the south polar cap on Mars! It was in Scientific American a decade back, although it may have been removed by the demogues. Here’s a different link.


Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 6:23 am

Just a question, Allan: is this erratic weather just weather or is it a signal, however minute, that something else is going on? Weather does go in cycles, and if the climate hysterics weren’t so dead set on pushing their agenda, I’d be less concerned that the possibility of a drought cycle might be underway.

We’ve had a cold but DRY winter where I live, but 30 miles north of me, they’ve gotten all the snow. That loss of winter precipitation here will affect how the marshes react this Spring and all through Summer into fall, ditto the prairie grassland areas. Without enough winter wet stuff, the water table drops, and even a slight drop can have an effect or plant growth, whether it’s crops or wild stuff. That all rolls downhill, because the nectar-seeking insects like butterflies, moths, halictid wasps, bees of all sorts depend on plants for food and frequently for a place to deposit eggs. No milkweed this year? Where do the monarch and emperor butterflies go to leave eggs? Not enough rain? Where are the leopard frogs and that old bullfrog female in the swamp supposed to deposit their eggs? It’s not that bugs and other critters aren’t resourceful, but they can depart as quickly as they show up.

Poor plant growth means loss of flowers, which means fewer bugs are going to visit them and spread pollen which starts production of seedheads, which affects the bird population, never mind what ends up on store shelves. And how does that affect our food resources? Those bugs also visit cultivated areas, not limited to orchards.

So back to my question: is it just erratic weather patterns, or is something else going on?

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 6:38 am

The critters will do what they’ve always done when droughts come, persist, or however long they last. When I was in wildlife class, they said droughts provided their own benefits to the ecosystem. Consolidate nutrients, expand emergent aguatic plants, winterkills in shallow lakes which benefit waterfowl, etc. Droughts are normal and necessary in ecosystems that evolved with them over time. It’s nothing new.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 7:24 am

Here are my statements from 2002 and 2013, predicting global cooling to start circa 2020. I believe it is a climate shift, not just weather.
Some call it a Grand Solar Minimum – I have not studied that, but I saw similar cold patterns at the end of SC23 circa 2009, and used that to refine our (with Dr Tim Patterson) 2002 cooling prediction from “2020-2030” to the end of SC24 circa ~2020. If I had to pick a month for cooling to start based on UAHLT temperatures, it would be Feb2020, but we had a huge crop failure across the Great Plains of North America in summer 2019. SC25 is also predicted to be weak, like SC24. More at CorrectPredictions.ca including a list of my previous papers.
Re droughts, across the Great Plains of North America I believe there is this correlation: Warmer is drier and colder is wetter – I have only done a small amount of work there, based on river flows of the North Saskatchewan River where we have good long terms data back to 1910 at Prince Albert.
Data Show Canadian Wildfires At Lowest Level In Decades – Watts Up With That?
We also have the history of the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s where hot equals dry.
Our problem is climate science has been so corrupted by CAGW falsehoods that only a few honest climate scientists were doing real decent work – most of them are woke “scoundrels and imbeciles” who have climbed on the government gravy train and produced nothing of value.
I would call your 30-mile local precip variation “just weather”.

Not sure where you live so this comment many be little help for you.
Best personal regards, Allan

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 1:35 pm

Thank you, Allan. In re: the Dust Bowl, a local weatherman (extremely accurate meteorologist) said some time back that the Dust Bowl had its origins in the failure of the monsoonal flow out of the Gulf of Mexico. Once it got started, it fed on itself. Bad farming practices made it worse.

I live in NE Illinois, not too far west of Lake Michigan. The weather seems to follow cyclical variability. The CME in 2008 had the weather forecasters concerned about what would follow, even thought it missed Earth. That winter was rather dry, almost no snow, but the winters that followed later were heavy enough to say “blizzard”, and 2011 had me snowed in until my neighbor dug out my front door.

You’re right: it goes in cycles, but is there anyway to find a regularity in it? I haven’t seen anything so far. I’m just askin’, knowing quite well that maybe it’s just HowTthe World Turns. (Pun intended.)

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 2:23 pm

Hi Sara,
See if you can find some long-term river flow data for your area.
There was a definite cyclicity in the North Saskatchewan River data.
The phony greens ignored the NS River data and used the shorter database of the Athabasca River to predict a water shortage for oil sands processing – the shorter database showed declining Ath River flows that corresponded to the modern warming period that I believe has ended. I debunked their falsehoods.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 6:13 pm

I will do that. Thanks for that heads up! The river that matters in my area is the Des Plaines River, which has its headwaters above the state line and flows toward the Mississippi River. It isn’t the only one in the watershed, so I should probably look at all of them.

They all contribute. I don’t know how much the volume is, but the volume seems to have dropped since May of 2020, when I took some photos of the Des Plaine River at full flood stage. That didn’t happen last year and hasn’t happened this year. The geese are landing in the areas below the shore line and standing in water that is shallower this year than it has been in the past two years.

There is also a marsh that has two large ponds south of that area and while both were quite shallow last year, they are both shallower this year. There are other areas I can go to, as well.

Granted, this is one small area and not an entire watershed, but is that the kind of thing I should be looking for? I just want to make sure I’m heading in the right direction.

Thanks for that tip and your feedback!!

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 2:15 pm

Clarification of my above post:
Some call it a Grand Solar Minimum – I have not studied that, but I saw similar cold patterns at the end of SC23 circa 2009, and used that to refine our (with Dr Tim Patterson) 2002 prediction OF COOLING STARTING from “2020-2030” to COOLING STARTING AT the end of SC24 circa ~2020. If I had to pick a month for cooling to start based on UAHLT temperatures, it would be Feb2020, but we had a huge crop failure across the Great Plains of North America in summer 2019. SC25 is also predicted to be weak, like SC24, SO i CAN SEE ANOTHER DECADE (OR MORE) OF COOLING. More at CorrectPredictions.ca including a list of my previous papers.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 6:23 pm

Thanks, Alan. Please see my response above. Not scientific, but simply observations of what happened.

I think I’m clumsily asking if cooling is reducing the overall amount of precipitation through the year, because before the drop in precipitation last year, we had heavy snows from Wisconsin south into the farmlands in central Illinois; the recreational fishing was in full swing; and locally, in the suburbs of Chicago south of me, the branches of the Chicago River were so flooded that fish were swimming on sidewalks. (Videos of them were on the news.) Neighborhood kids down there were catching them and taking them home to their mothers.

Since I moved up here, I seem to notice these changes more than I would if I were living down in Chicago. We seem to be hitting a dry spell, which is what worries me.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 9:22 am


In order to be concerned, someone needs to show you there have been no incidents in the past of no or minimal snow where you live. If it has happened before, it will happen again.

Reply to  wadesworld
March 15, 2022 1:35 pm

Yes, and thanks! It may seem like I’m fidgeting or looking for clues that aren’t there, but there seems to be no pattern in any of it. It’s just what it is.

Reply to  Sara
March 15, 2022 6:30 pm

I should have added that these patterns seem to go in cycles, which doesn’t get as much notice as it should.

jeffery p
Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 8:06 am

Global cooling? Just burn more fossil fuels.

Reply to  jeffery p
March 15, 2022 9:18 am

Burning more fossil fuels will not help because climate is insensitive to CO2.
The only net benefit to burning more fossil fuels is increased plant and crop yields, which is a good thing. 🙂

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 9:09 am

Don’t worry – the Climatistas will soon find a way of blaming Global Cooling on CO2.

Reply to  Graemethecat
March 15, 2022 11:14 am

I think they’ve already said that cooling equals warming.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 15, 2022 6:30 pm

Where’s the T-shirt that says they are nuts?

Alan the Brit
Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 16, 2022 1:18 am

Dodgy Geezer, please utilise the English language to the full, use other words like, Chaos, Breakdown, Disaster, Crisis, Armageddon, Emergency, I am sure the green-slime lobby can find a few other words to use to ramp up fears for the weak minded. I am still waiting for some evidence of any kind of Climate Catastrophe other than rain, snow, sleet, sunshine, wind, frosts, clouds, blue-skies, etc!!! It’s all very frightening to some I’m sure!!! UK Wet Office still claiming we’re going to get an Arctic blast, it always seems to be a few days away but never arrives!!!

March 15, 2022 12:04 am

I give credit to Dessler for showing up and giving his performance.
He blithely ignores several costs.
The huge footprint that the unreliable energy sources take up which adds to the transmission line costs besides the loss of all that real estate for human and animal habitat.
The engineering costs to harmonize unreliable and intermittent power to a stable source that we can use.
The replacement costs of the equipment that have a much shorter lifespan than conventional equipment.
I think Epstein crushed Dessler but, I may be biased because I try to live in the real world.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
March 15, 2022 12:28 am

There are additional costs to the ones you mention, which are generally not acknowledged. The ones you mention are financial. The social costs are incurred because it is not possible to make intermittent power generation technology deliver constant reliable supply.

Since its not possible to do, a society attempting it has to adapt to the fact that its electricity supply has become unreliable. You can see what this means if you check out the UK Net Zero project. In the consumer market it means installing smart meters, and then giving the power companies the power to turn off supply to match the demand with the fluctuating supply, or even draw back power through the EV battery charger.

Think concretely: it means your heat pump going off when it is coldest and darkest in the winter evenings. It means trying to use your car at 10pm and finding that its all out of charge, when you thought it had been charging since you plugged it in at 7. It means being tracked every mile you drive so that you can be charged by the mile, to make up the previous tax revenues that used to come from the tax on gasoline.

It also means passing the fluctuating spot market pricing to the consumer. The wind and solar generators are obliged to deliver, so when their generation source fluctuates in output they have to buy in on the sport market. Social adjustment here involves passing these costs on to the customer by varying pricing on a half hour basis.

This means that the cost of turning on your oven will be unpredictable in advance, because there will be a tariff which varies every half hour. So the first half hour of you roast chicken might be at standard rate, but the next hour might be at ten times that. And you have no idea in advance, any more than the supply company has any idea what output from wind will be and so how much they will have to buy on the spot market.

People will adapt and live with it, they always do, but the social costs of this will be very large.

Many businesses will not be able to. If they can, they will install local generation. If they cannot do this, and to save the planet it will probably be made illegal, they will close down or move out of the country.

Reply to  michel
March 15, 2022 4:45 am

Where does the Royal family sit on the priority list for having their power shut off?

Juan Slayton
Reply to  michel
March 15, 2022 5:59 am

….buy in on the sport market.

Good analogy. : > )

Reply to  michel
March 15, 2022 7:07 am

Currently no EVs have circuitry installed that will enable power companies to pull power out of the battery and put it back into the mains.
Adding this circuitry to future EVs will add both weight and cost to vehicles that are already heavier and more costly than ICE cars.
PS: You will have to keep the garage heated, otherwise you won’t be able to get a lot of power out of that battery when the power company needs it.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2022 7:38 am

And decrease reliability…

JimH in CA
Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2022 8:06 am

Plus, the utility company will require an automatic transfer switch be installed in the home, at substantial cost. This isolates the home power from trying to charge the grid when the grid power is down.

PG&E required this when I installed a propane backup generator.

Reply to  JimH in CA
March 17, 2022 9:42 am

The ATS for a BU generator is for safety. If your BU generator was connected to the grid when there is a downed power line, you would back feed through transformers to the transmission line voltage, 5000 volts or more, that could kill linemen that were working to repair the system.

That is why it is important for people who use portable generators to feed their main panel to TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKER. Some people do not understand that.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2022 8:40 am

Car batteries store electrical energy in DC form; electrical grids are universally based on AC form.

Therefore, considering
(a) ohmic heating in the battery itself during charge and discharge,
(b) inefficiencies assorted AC-DC and DC-AC converters,
(c) inefficiencies of battery self-discharge rates over weeks and months, and
(d) inefficiencies associated with battery thermal management systems that prevent the battery from becoming too hot or too cold (or “garaging” as MarkW points out),
one can reasonably conclude that any plan to use home-based EVs as a source to supply energy to the grid will end up wasting 25% or more of the energy being exchanged on a round-trip basis.

Thus such a system stands to be the largest source of wasted energy—which directly translates to heating of the environment—since the invention of the heated filament light bulb.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  michel
March 15, 2022 9:26 am

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee recently published a report on Achieving Net Zero and noted

“The Government has unveiled a plan without answers to key questions of how it will fund the transition to net zero, including how it will deliver policy on and replace income from taxes such as fuel duty…….The Government has no reliable estimate of what the process of implementing the net zero policy is actually likely to cost British consumers, households, businesses and government itself.”

They further noted that Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty, both of which EVs do not currently pay, brought in £37 billion in 2019-2020.

March 15, 2022 12:27 am

In the first place :

  • Why the hell should someone impose to the population something harmful to prevent a nonexistent problem ?

Isn’t that a psychopathic behavior ?

Steve Case
Reply to  Petit_Barde
March 15, 2022 1:23 am

Why the hell should someone impose to the population something harmful to prevent a nonexistent problem ?

The key word/phrase in that is, “…a nonexistent problem” Indeed, it’s not a problem, it’s a religion. The United States amended its constitution before it was ratified to say that the congress would neither prescribe nor proscribe in the matter of religious faith. There are a few juicy quotes from the ranks of the climate crusaders that indicate that “Climate Change” is indeed a religion. And not to put a fine point on it, the first amendment be damned, it is being jammed down our collective throats.

Chris Hanley
March 15, 2022 1:00 am

Dessler cites ‘peer-reviewed studies’ usually prepared and paid for by interested parties purporting to show renewables do and will cost less than legacy electricity generation i.e. mainly fossil fuels, rather than empirical data that clearly show the more wind and solar the higher the cost.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
March 15, 2022 7:10 am

Those “studies” get their results by ignoring most of the costs of wind and solar and by assuming lifespans for wind and solar that are much longer than they actually get in the field. They also assume lifespans for coal/gas/nuclear plants that are a decade or more shorter than have been the historical norms.

Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2022 9:45 am

And ignore the backup costs for unreliables.

Steve Case
March 15, 2022 1:33 am

Dessler said CO2 was up 40% since the industrial revolution began. I just looked, it’s 50%. NOAA’s Mauna Loa web page says it’s 419.29 ppm.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Steve Case
March 15, 2022 9:00 am

The “typical” value given for atmospheric CO2 concentration just prior to the Industrial Revolution is given as 280 ppm. [The IPCC defines “pre-industrial times” to be the period of 1850-1900. (Ref: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2018/12/SR15_FAQ_Low_Res.pdf ).]

If you really think NOAA’s reporting of atmospheric CO2 concentration in ppm to two decimal places (i.e., 419.29 ppm) is meaningful in terms of deriving an accurate percentage change, then you would likewise need to establish a similar level of precision of atmospheric CO2 concentration for the timespan of 1850-1900.

Good luck with that.

Steve Case
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 16, 2022 12:54 am

You’re right, the climate crusade has no understanding of the concept of significant figures. A favorite whipping boy is Colorado University and their Sea Level Research Group C-SLRG. They report sea level rise to be accelerating at a rate of 0.098 mm/yr²

Back to your point, the preindustrial value of CO2 is thought to be about 280 ppm and today’s value is about 420 ppm and the increase is about 50%. My unsaid point is Dr. Dessler came to the debate unprepared, he’s the so-called expert, but he hasn’t bothered to update his knowledge. What else is he behind on?

March 15, 2022 2:01 am

Once again, of course, the usual absurdity. The idea that if America does eliminate its fossil fuel use it will ‘prevent climate catastrophe’.

It will have no effect whatever on climate catastrophe. Its worth keeping on explaining why this is. Its not just because there is no pending climate catastrophe. Its because even if there is, America eliminating fossil fuels will have no effect on it.

America does about 5 billion tons a year of CO2 emissions. The world currently does around 37 billion. American emissions are falling, slowly. The non-Western world emissions are rising, and the leading emitters and fastest increasing countries have refused to lower them. In fact, if you read their pronouncements carefully, they are planning to increase them.

China, for instance, is planning on lowering emissions per unit of GDP while growing GDP at a rate which produces a net increase of emissions. India is installing coal generation and growing GDP as fast as it can, and has refused any limits or cuts on its emissions.

If America eliminates its 5 billion emissions in the next ten years (which is no way going to happen), and the rest of the world continues on its path as now, global emissions will probably be 40+ billion. If America continues on its present path they will be 45+ billion.

In alarmist theory, there is really no difference. In both scenarios we are doomed. In alarmist theory, emissions have to fall to around 10 billion tons a year, or on the more hysterical accounts, close to zero.

Whatever America does, this is not going to happen.

Every time someone comes up with some statement to the effect that America should Rapidly Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use to Prevent Climate Catastrophe we need to call it out, and keep on calling it out.
People must not be allowed to demand we do things which on their own theory can have no effect on the alleged problem without being immediately and vociferously challenged.

jeffery p
Reply to  michel
March 15, 2022 8:11 am

Assuming the whole climate catastrophe nonsense is true. America completely eliminating fossil fuels will do diddly squat to stop climate change. How do I know? Run the climate models with the inputs modified for America no longer using fossil fuels. The results before and after have no significant differences.

Ron Long
March 15, 2022 2:57 am

OK, I haven’t watched the video yet of the debate, but right now I totally reject the idea that an Institute based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is the Nexus of anything other than privileged spoiled rich and their liberal manifestos.

Reply to  Ron Long
March 15, 2022 4:54 am

One might jump to that conclusion but not that long ago Steamboat was a regional hub for ranchers, coal miners and other working class people. Entering from the east, one of the first big businesses one encounters is Walmart.

Yes, the spoiled rich liberals make their appearance there, but they are in some ways transients.

Reply to  Scissor
March 15, 2022 4:50 pm

Their effect on real estate values is far from transient.

March 15, 2022 3:15 am

Subsequent to  outbreak of war and Russia’s invasion of  the Ukraine, it is now clear that the whole of “GREEN THINKING” is the outcome of a long-term fifth column operation supported by Russia and promoting the damaging activities of Putin’s “useful idiots” in “environmental” organisations, in Western academia and in Governments throughout the Western world.

An excellent way to undermine Western economies has been to render their power generation unreliable and expensive.  

That objective of GREEN THINKING has been imposed by Green Government policies but with no popular mandate without any popular understanding throughout the Western world.  Western actions alone can never save the World from “Climate Change” but these actions have already done untold fruitless self-harm to Western economies and Western populations.

The productivity / capacity percentage of power Generation really matters. When the 2020 EIA cost estimates for Power generation are combined with their actual productivity, the power they actually produce over the year,  “Renewables are very expensive” 

Screenshot 2022-03-15 at 11.10.37.png
March 15, 2022 4:02 am

We should rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use if something better comes along, and people rapidly adopt the alternative because they are better off.

There was no need to force people to switch from horses to cars and tractors. Fossil fuels won out over steam and electric in the early 1900s. When someone starts selling Mr. Fusion powered cars at costs nearly the same or lower than ICEs, the switch will be rapid. A transporter would put paid to jet fuel.

The same goes for products that are made from fossil fuel feedstock. The first team to design a replicator will be $Trillionaires.

N.B. This is all assuming that civilization makes it through the next few years. Otherwise, it might be smart to learn flint knapping.

Tom Halla
March 15, 2022 5:06 am

Dessler is seriously into lying, even early in the debate. Wind and solar are emphatically not the cheapest source of reliable power.

Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 5:07 am

Dessler is a huge Liar, and paid lackey for the Great Green Power Machine. With only 7 minutes to spin his anti-fossil fuel narrative, I knew his lies would necessarily come fast and furious, so had my finger on the stop button in order to have time to write them down. I counted 6 in all, although the first one contained a second lie within it, so here are his lies:
1) We are on track for 5F warming by 2100.
1a) Huge economic costs for the above.
2) Fossil fuels poison the air, killing millions every year.
3) Fossil fuels create national security risks, causing wars, etc.
4) Electricity costs stay the same, unlike fossil fuels which can fluctuate wildly.
5) Wind and solar power are actually cheaper now than fossil fuel power, and will continue to get even cheaper.
6) Intermittency is simply a math and physics problem which can be resolved by having a mix of 75% renewables and 25% dispatchable.
I haven’t listened to his response yet, but I’m sure that Alex will have no problem swatting those lies down. Climate Liars sure make themselves easy targets.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 7:14 am

A few years ago, the lie was that a few batteries would be enough to make renewables reliable.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 12:42 pm

On point 3) what do you think is happening right now?

Reply to  griff
March 15, 2022 1:11 pm

The security risk in Ukraine is because of the EU’s lack of fossil fuels.

Russia has the whip, because they also hold the reins of gas supply.

Wake up, drone.

Reply to  griff
March 15, 2022 4:52 pm

Lets Go Brandon.

Michael in Dublin
March 15, 2022 5:12 am

Why is it that those with the loudest mouths opposing fossil fuels have the largest carbon footprint? I would challenge them to “put their money where their mouth is” and when they prove that unsubsidized renewables work consistently and reliably, I will consider investing in them.

very old white guy
March 15, 2022 5:16 am


Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 5:22 am

Right off the bat, Alex defers “the science” of “Global Warming” to Dessler. Big mistake #1. I think he thinks that because he isn’t a scientist that he can’t debate that aspect, a sort of reverse Argument From Authority. It is a sign of intellectual laziness on his part that he doesn’t educate himself about the huge problems with “the science”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 6:49 am

Deferring to a guy that gets so many things wrong about climate change. That doesn’t sound like a good idea, deferring to uninformed or misinformed people.

If a misinformed person sounds confident enough, that’s enough for some people to believe that person. I think a lot of that is going on.

AC Osborn
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 16, 2022 2:30 am

The other piece of mis-information he missed was the continued reference to Texas investment in 100GW of Solar to be added in the future.
Which results in 5GW to 30GW of PRODUCTION for 15 to 20 years, whereas 100GW of Nuclear produces 95GW of production for 50 years.

Peta of Newark
March 15, 2022 5:29 am

The First Rule for ‘An Englishman Travelling Abroad “….

.if the natives don’t understand you, repeat what you said, only louder.
Keep doing so until they do understand you.
They will eventually – they will have been beaten and intimidated in submission.
Enter Andrew Dessler.

Seemingly that was Ancel Keys, an extremely intimidating fellow who got into ‘respected science’ more by accident than design and then proceeded to bulldoze his own personal opinions (borne and propagated on the back of Magical Thinking), on the consumption/otherwise, of saturated fat.
His signature is now effectively on nearly 50 million death certificates annually

As someone in the youtube comments noted about Dessler – he contradicted himself.
(They noticed just one occurrence – the whole shebang is riddled) yet when called out on it, Dessler simply repeats his appeals to unknown authorities, ever louder and ever more angry.

what an ugly horrible mess

Richard Page
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 15, 2022 6:21 am

Ancel Keys ‘Seven Countries study’ should be held up as a warning to scientists everywhere and climate scientists in particular who seemingly use it as a blueprint on how to conduct research. Keys started off with a pet theory and data from over 20 countries; three quarters of the data flatly disagreed with his theory so he threw that away and went with only six or seven countries data that he drew a false correlation with between nutrition and heart disease. If he’d actually followed the data rather than his pet theory he would have made an actual scientific discovery that there is a causative link between latitude and vitamin D deficiency and between vitamin D deficiency and heart disease. Instead of doing that he shouted loudly, released the abstract and sat on the actual study for over 10 years – when the study was finally released it was criticised for the tenuous correlation but by then the damage was done. Ancel Keys was one of the first ‘anti-scientific’ researchers (or one of the more public) to receive recognition for a pile of rubbish that should have been rejected out of hand.

Reply to  Richard Page
March 15, 2022 9:22 am

when the study was finally released it was criticised for the tenuous correlation but by then the damage was done

And its findings are still held by the medical community as the standard for treatment. Decades later, it’s just barely beginning to be reconsidered. How many have suffered and d!ed as a result?

Coach Springer
March 15, 2022 6:07 am

“Should America Rapidly Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use to Prevent Climate Catastrophe.”?
Such a poorly formulated question. America cannot rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use. No climate catastrophe is imminent. America is not the majority source of anthropogenic CO2. What in H-E-double hockey sticks makes anyone think that climate can be halted by America. What makes anyone think that climate should be halted?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Coach Springer
March 15, 2022 6:53 am

All excellent questions, Coach.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Coach Springer
March 16, 2022 1:36 am

Simply because it is the largest Free-Enterprise nation on this planet, therefore it must be their fault, naturally!!! The Left don’t want to destroy the USA, they merely seek to manipulate & control it, as they do everything they dislike!!!

Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 6:39 am

How can you debate a Liar? You can’t, because they have their own set of “facts” and “truth”. Dessler just tells one lie after another, and then when challenged, simply doubles down on the lies. Tough to listen to.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 15, 2022 7:16 am

They can invent new facts faster than you can shoot them down.

joe x
March 15, 2022 6:42 am

did dessler answer even one of the questions from the audience?
he totaly side stepped the california question.
46:48 in the video. he doesn’t mention california once in his non answer. why?
good debate. but way to civil for my tastes.
dessler fail, i am still a denier.

David Elstrom
March 15, 2022 7:06 am

William F. Buckley, Jr. had a policy of not debating Communists. He reasoned the Communist would lie during the debate, leaving Buckley with the dilemma of ignoring the lie (making him complicit in it) or calling the Communist a liar (which he considered rude). So, for the same reasons, why bother debating members of the Weather Cult?

March 15, 2022 7:11 am

From Dan Scavino Jr, painfully hilarious mashup:


Reply to  yirgach
March 15, 2022 4:58 pm

Droughts, floods, warming, cats and dogs living together…

jeffery p
March 15, 2022 8:00 am

No, America should not rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use. It can’t be done.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume green energy works as advertised. In order to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use, we need to first build out a reliable green energy infrastructure that has enough capacity and storage to meet our needs. Then we can eliminate fossil fuel usage.

America cannot do it the other way around. These people have it backward. They want to throw away something that works without a viable replacement in place.

Many of us recognize green energy does not work as advertised. There are hard technical, engineering and economic limits on the wholesale rollout of green energy. Green energy is very expensive, far more expensive than advocates claim. Green energy requires a great amount of redundancy because it is so unreliable. Large-scale backup systems do not exist.

All of this ignores the fact there is no proven need to eliminate fossil fuels.

Reply to  jeffery p
March 15, 2022 9:11 pm

America is doing it exactly the other way around. Coal fired power plants are decommissioned and immediately destroyed. At a time like the present, when there are likely to be shortages of natural gas, that power generation infrastructure no longer exists to supplement potential shortages of gas-fired power generation. Blackouts and human suffering are inevitable.

Gordon A. Dressler
March 15, 2022 8:17 am

My simple answer to the strawman-based question given in the above article’s headline:

No, because there is not, nor will there be anytime in the foreseeable future, such a thing as a “climate catastrophe” that is caused by man’s use of fossil fuels. Period!

Objective evidence supporting my statement:
a) Paleoclimatology data indicates that life on Earth has survived, even flourished, under past atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 5,000 to 7,000 ppm, lasting for tens of millions of years (ref: the Cambrian Period “explosion”).
b) Paleoclimatology data indicates that average global surface temperatures then were around 25 °C, as compared to today’s average global temperature of around 15 °C.
c) It is obvious that Earth and its biosphere survived and recovered quite well from these conditions without any human intervention.

Mike G
March 15, 2022 8:27 am

Alex kicked Dessler’s butt imo!

March 15, 2022 8:53 am

The high cost of nuclear can be directly attributed to the long design and build cycle created by anti nuclear groups and their lawsuits. As of 2017, the cost per MW was $33.50 which is substantially lower than Solar and wind. Beyond this, the large land mass required for solar and wind generation is enormous. If Germany wanted to replace all their electric with solar, they would have to commandeer 20% of the landmass of Spain.

The one chart which Dressler presented showing cost of energy vs amount of renewable is really quite misleading. In Western WY, for example, the majority of energy comes off Columbia river hydro. Places like ND and SD, have a lot of windfarms that feed into the grid which is sold across the nation. Not a very good argument.

Also, the Almond farmers in CA are hurt due to the drought which is, amplified by the very poor choices CA has made regarding water resources and distribution…..CO2 dramatically improved drought performance of plants.


Reply to  dilbertwyoming
March 15, 2022 12:39 pm

Finland’s Oikiluto plant is just about to go live after starting construction in 2005…

Reply to  griff
March 15, 2022 1:14 pm

Are you saying that the development and build time is longer than the whole life of most wind turbines.

That is a travesty, wouldn’t you say.

Reply to  griff
March 15, 2022 10:11 pm

Correct spelling has an “L” not an “i”: Olkiluoto
FinnishOlkiluodon ydinvoimalaitos

Capacity factor is about 92.5% when they just used Unit 1 & 2.
They obviously were only changing output by large amounts when maintenance work affected a unit. Otherwise they run at almost constant output. Hydro etc. handle ups & downs. Their non-nuclear sources would be nowhere near that capacity factor. Now has greater capacity to help their neighbours & decrease fossil fuel use.
Delayed to wait for demand to increase sufficiently to justify construction cost.

March 15, 2022 8:58 am

BTW, you don’t ramp up nuclear plants over shot periods.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  dilbertwyoming
March 15, 2022 9:04 am

Well, I have been know to nurse a shot of whisky for several hours 🙂

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 15, 2022 6:23 pm

Your a better man than I. All the liquor in this house is endangered.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  roaddog
March 16, 2022 1:42 am

I frequently complain to my local supermarket that the quality of their liquor bottles is poor because the contents evaporates so quickly once opened!!!

March 15, 2022 9:39 am

The majority of solar panels are constructed in China. A large percentage of wind generation components are made in China. This is not disputable. If Solar and wind are the least expensive, then why is China building hundreds of coal plants and importing millions of tons of coal from the US? The Chinese are quite pragmatic and would not choose a more expensive alternative.

Reply to  dilbertwyoming
March 15, 2022 12:39 pm

The Chinese also install vast quantities of solar and wind…

How China’s giant solar farms are transforming world energy – BBC Future

China leads world’s biggest increase in wind power capacity | Energy industry | The Guardian

China also has 348 offshore wind farm projects of which 113 currently operating – how many does the US have?

Reply to  griff
March 15, 2022 1:18 pm

Coal Nuclear and Hydro are the bulk of all electricity supply for China.

Wind are solar are bit players.

Jeff corbin
March 15, 2022 10:53 am

If Putin is funding climate change propaganda to increase his grip on Europe’s hydrocarbon fuel market, what is stopping others from doing the same elsewhere. Nothing at all! The Green movement and it’s insanely massive and ubiquitous propaganda machine is evidence that it has been leveraged at every level to enrich and empower a few. The geopolitique is about controlling energy and food and non-food commodities markets both on supply and demand sides. You know the American people have been leveraged when the propaganda technique is drenching us similarly on the pandemic and climate change fronts. Wake up. The “we are the world” dream of pristine, peaceful globalism is now a dead duck. I am in favor of responsible stewardship of our resources and environment and of liberal open societies but the boundaries of truth have been shattered and our liberal open society is now as close to peril as it has been in 77 years. We need decentralized energy production and distribution on the Micro and Nano level. Local communities need working capital to build healthily economies,(not just hospitals, schools and chain restaurants but locally owned manufacturing, energy production storage and distribution systems that empower farming and food production so that we are not totally dependent on the global supply chain which is being leveraged and colluded to the ill of all.. Finally, we no longer need…. centrally orchestrated global crisis responses that unify the world in a hail storm of lies. We can take care of our selves thank you!

Jeff corbin
Reply to  Jeff corbin
March 15, 2022 11:19 am

At $2.43/GGE, Why can’t I buy CNG to heat my home in PA?. I am only a few miles from massive shale gas reserves. Why won’t some one deliver CNG to my home.? I could run all farm equipment off it. I could produce my own electricity with burning CNG through micro turbines while heating my home……. that is if there was an excellent Next Gen Battery available….which hasn’t happened yet….,,,,,and WHATS UP WITH THAT?. Why isn’t there a local economy of natural gas and CNG where I live like there is for fire wood? I can’t find coal anywhere and there are mountains full of it all around me. There is good fruit growing and dairy lands all around me. Yet most of the people use food stamps to buy food grown and shipped from around the world at the local supermarket… or food products from China made with grain grown down the road. WHATS UP WITH THAT?. Why am I burning gasoline from oil from Russia or anywhere else when my local economy has massive natural gas reserves. Why are the towns around me totally impoverished. We have been leveraged by the global politique which is run by global oligarchs and we all bought into and all their lies like obedient consumers.

Jeff corbin
Reply to  Jeff corbin
March 15, 2022 11:41 am

Please…. lets stop talking about solar panels and all other renewable energy sources as if they are nothing but swords in the hands of global propagandists and deluded politicians. We all know that renewables are not viable without tax dollar boondoggles or without an affordable, commercialized, excellent Next Gen Battery,,,, (or SCMES or some other viable storage and distribution system) The point is the capital that would make renewables truly viable is missing in the market place. And has been missing for 50 years. The reason this capital is missing is the same reason we are all forced to consume billions of dollars in climate change propaganda. This is the paradox that we all need to embrace before we become parochial in our thinking and politics. Bottom line. with a good storage system, renewables would be valuable as an adjunct to hydrocarbon fuels in local communities…especially unitized with TEGS. Decentralized electrical generation, storage and distribution using both renewables and hydrocarbon fuels would reduce the demand on hydrocarbon fuel by at least a factor of 5 due to greater efficiencies and alternative generation sources. The Next Gen battery, generators, micro turbine burners etc… and would provide the manufacturing demand that would empower the world with our products. This is the subtext of the global politique and the safe bet is China and Russia is fully aware.

Laws of Nature
March 15, 2022 12:05 pm

I like Epstein´s arguments and I think one way to interpret them is to learn from the present state what the future might bring.

And there you can state objectively that with the warming and raise of CO2 we are currently in a better place than 50 or 100 years ago and cheap energy from fossil fuel plays a dominating role in that!

By the way I believe that also is true for the two examples from Dessler,
We see more almond trees in California these days (and I wont even touch the question if the drought there is cause by a natural phenomena in the Pacific) beside a possible temporary setback which he overhypes,

He also said the sea wall in Houston would be worth it beside its price as Houston itself is far more valuable, but forgot to mention that cheap fossil energy is the biggest factor for the growth of that city (as for any other city anywhere on the globe)
Also we can expect more growth and prosperity in a future with more warming and cheap fossil energy (btw not debating that expected additional 3F warming is a huge win for the alarmist, there is no scientific base for it!)

March 15, 2022 12:28 pm

Remember, people who want to reduce your standard of living are not your friends.

March 15, 2022 2:00 pm

Dessler is God’s gift to the skeptics. Not particularily bright, but possessed of a colossal ego, he evidences significant cognitive dissonance, and unicorn thinking. Epstein carved him up.

stephen mcdonald
March 15, 2022 2:00 pm

When their actual goal is achieved which is a global dictatorship the term climate change will never be uttered again.

March 15, 2022 3:31 pm

The answer to one simple question really stops this silly debate;
Can open ocean surface temperature exceed 30C over any annual period?

The answer is NO. Once that is accepted then any notion of catastrophic global warming goes into history where it belongs.

The tropical ocean in the Nino 34 region has a declining temperature trend over the 40 year satellite era.

The Coral Sea was cooler in 2019 than in 1871 per attached. Up and down scientific voyage in first and third weeks of December compared with satellite readings from 2019.

Reply to  RickWill
March 15, 2022 3:35 pm

Anyone who thinks that atmospheric CO2 can warm Earth has no understanding of how the energy balance on Earth is achieved. It is the result of two temperature limiting processes over oceans – 30C upper limit and -1.8C lower limit.

Geoff Sherrington
March 15, 2022 4:44 pm

Epstein 90, Dessler 10.
Epstein factual, honest. Dessler vague romanticism, answered questions like a car salesman or politician would.
Jokes aside, this debate highlights again the real need for publicity about and better access to economic studies of “renewables” versus d1spatchables.

Hello to mods, can WUWT please consider an info page where such costs are briefly explained and then referenced so they become more tip-of-tongue? Geoff S

March 15, 2022 6:06 pm

Nice debate, and it runs well at 1.5x speed.

Epstein did a nice job countering many of Dessler’s misleading claims.
A recurring point of contention was the LCOE [levelized cost of energy]
for renewables. The 2 sources Dessler showed were studies from the
NREL & Netzero.org, both of which are renewable interest groups; both
have a clear bias.
From a Manhattan Institute article 3-2019: The LCOE calculated by the EIA
does NOT include backup generation, transmission costs, property taxes, or
utilities’ profits, and uses a 30 year depreciation schedule, which is far longer
than the lifespan of either solar or especially wind [actually 30 years is too
short for coal, gas or nuclear].

And I liked how Epstein hammered the moral case for energy. But he could have
mentioned the 2-3 million people who die each year from respiratory disease
from using wood or dung to cook &/or heat their homes due to energy poverty…

March 15, 2022 6:19 pm

Europe has summarily demonstrated that “rapid” eliminations of fossil fuels is not possible, via their failure to cease using petroleum products obtained from Russia. Hostages taken and held.

David Solan
March 15, 2022 7:17 pm

Alex Epstein opened his remarks by forfeiting his position against the war of
demonization against fossil fuels and CO2 from the git-go, effectively
conceding that he has no dispute with the climate “science” that Prof.
Dessler dispenses. He said he prefers “methodology”. What he means by this,
I suppose, is, after you assume everything the global warming people say is
true, you look for what they didn’t say and see if it balances out that truth
or even overwhelms it. So you are assuming these people are great scientists
and observers of the truth as far as it goes, but then somehow mess
everything up royally by leaving out crucial tidbits that prove them dead
wrong in a larger objective context in the long run. What Epstein doesn’t
realize is that the essence of coming up with scientific conclusions involves
scads of eliminating the false BEFORE you even begin to arrive at the true.
If you are so good at arriving at the truth then you also HAVE to be good at
eliminating the false beforehand and considering the full context of what you
are evaluating. And if you are not good at eliminating the false, you never
would have arrived at a truth for Epstein or anyone else to balance anything
against. Epstein’s position amounts to praising the global warming nutcakes
for being great scientists while decrying the fact that they never engaged in
the efforts necessary to be great scientists.

By doing this he really is ending the debate right there because even though
Dessler’s positions are logically preposterous (how can America not using
fossil fuels effect — at all — any worldwide reduction in fossil fuel
combustion in a network of trade and production which has caused and will
continue to cause atmospheric CO2 to rise — everywhere — dramatically — at
least until we run out of fossil fuels or the whole human race is wiped out)
and scientifically illiterate (there is no evidence that CO2 gas at 0.04% in
our atmosphere warms the earth to any appreciable extent nor to ANY extent
whatsoever through the “greenhouse effect” (which is, maybe, the absorption
and substantial blocking of far infrared energy leaving the Earth going
towards outer space such that the surface of the Earth is, somehow, thereby
warmed)), Epstein is ready to ignore all that, at first, and give him an
initial stamp of approval. If you have no dispute with this egregious junk
logic and junk science, then you have nothing to add to the debate. You are
as wrong-headed as the person you are, sort of, criticizing. You must be
more forthright in attacking whackos like Dessler or else … go away.

Here’s an example of attacking Dessler’s “science” — his original,
Arrhenius-motivated “science” of greenhouse gases (though this is not science
anymore; it has now become just religion, and a poor one at that). It is a
scientific fact that the infrared absorption / emission “spectrum” of air
changes drastically as the pressure goes up, let’s say, from 1/10,000 of an
atmosphere up to one atmosphere. At one atmosphere of pressure (ambient
temperatures), all gases will absorb / emit infrared due to many different
multi-atomic/molecular moieties quantum level transitions. And by all gases,
I mean nitrogen, oxygen, and even argon — yes, argon, monatomic argon. At
one atmosphere of pressure, even argon gas mixed in the air absorbs and emits
infrared radiation through the transient production of multi-body moieties
through collisions, even though the single atom has absolutely no quantum
transitions in the infrared.

It’s true you can go way up into the atmosphere to find a pressure where only
monomolecular processes predominate in infrared emission / absorption and
that is where greenhouse gases’ infrared properties will indeed affect
outgoing radiation from the Earth (and nitrogen, oxygen, argon won’t). But
at these high altitudes far above the earth, it doesn’t matter if greenhouse
gases effect any upward temperature changes or not because any such changes
will stay up there and eventually all leak into outer space, never making it
down to the surface of the earth where the weather (and climate) is. So the
effects of such greenhouse gases up there are utterly irrelevant for us
living down here. What’s relevant is what happens at one-atmosphere pressure
or maybe 3/4 of an atmosphere pressure where we humans are predominately
located and where our atmosphere is predominantly located and where we
experience what we call our weather or climate.

And what happens down here is that the heat of the earth gets transferred to
the atmosphere of the earth mainly NOT through radiation but rather through
conduction. And that conductive heat might or might not radiate thereafter
but its radiation, again, will not affect its transmission of heat nearly as
much as the convection of that air that has been so heated at the surface of
the earth rising to higher altitudes. So, as far as the warming of the earth
through this “backstroke” mechanism, as it were, where the warming comes not
directly from the Sun but from the heat put into the Earth by the Sun then
going back out into outer space, the atmosphere is much too insubstantial to
have any major effect, again, except through convection, and that latter has
nothing to do with the greenhouse effect.

This and many other things like it are what Epstein should be emphasizing. To
the extent he’s not, having “enemies” like him means Dessler and his minions
need no other friends.

David Solan

Reply to  David Solan
March 15, 2022 11:16 pm

There are probably over 200 points/claims/statements/hypothesis/model/result to argue about. Many are interconnected or follow a domino/tree sequence. It also crosses into many different scientific fields like meteorology, physics, chemistry, palaeontology, geology, geography, biology, astrophysics, historical records, statistics, economics, psychology, politics.

It could take 100 hours of debating over a year to explore all the different paths. Assume any opposing extreme views are false & the truth lies somewhere in the middle but maybe a lot closer to 1 than the other. Historically I see more blind faith, emotion & being selective from CAGW believers, while the opposition throws up a lot more questions & factors to consider like good scientists should. Both can be selective, misunderstand or misrepresent data.

I find it interesting that several scientists/writers with knowledge & experience have changed their view from AGW/CC to being labelled as skeptics because they dared to check facts for themselves instead of following groupthink. If you remove skeptics & debate, you have a religion not science.

March 15, 2022 8:57 pm

I tried so hard to watch this but couldn’t. My problem is Prof. Dessler’s statement that wind and solar are our cheapest choice for energy. On top of that he brings up subsidies but tells us he won’t discuss them. That is infuriating. What we need is for someone to lay out for us exactly what is a subsidy and what is a tax incentive or tax write off. In addition we need someone to lay out how much it costs the fossil fuel, nuclear and or hydro companies to stand ready to fill in for wind and solar when they fall short. In my view wind and solar can never be a cost effective stand alone power source. On the other hand if wind and solar magically disappeared tonight all it would do is make life easier for energy producers and customers.

Reply to  Bob
March 15, 2022 9:05 pm

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! – Mark Twain

March 15, 2022 9:39 pm

Having just a single energy source use power lines are less efficient than mixing sources & mixing demand.
Having solar & wind vary from 0% to 100% usage of transmission lines are not economical. The average 10 to 20% usage for solar & 30% usage for wind is much less than the average 50% to 75% used for coal/nuclear. Gas peaking can be placed closer to demand or supplement coal/nuclear.

The less of the transmission capacity you use on average, the higher cost per MWh that transmission line adds to the generator cost. This can be mitigated when collocating a mixture of generators/storage.
Better to have wind+solar+battery closely located to share the transmission lines & narrow the min&max range. Homes & daytime business demand look very different from each other so while daytime businesses & stay at home workers can largely use solar, the dawn & dusk power use in most seasons are far from matching wind+solar. Some refineries/factories can be run 24/7 so remain almost constant demand through the day & night ie. don’t follow wind+solar.

My local street transformer was designed for about 100 homes, maybe 700kW to 950kW RMS (750 to 1000kVA plus some peak capacity for 125% of nominal rating). This would support about 100 cars maximum at 7kW charging but only 5 to 7 cars if using the 125kW supercharging if built next to it & when no hotwater/cooking/heatpump/aircon are running. But you could trickle charge 600 cars each night if they only travelled the average 40-45km per day & you could remotely manage the loads. YMMV.

March 15, 2022 9:50 pm

“Look what they are installing now” – China, India Africa increasing fossil fuel production in the last 3 years & are still planning to increase fossil fuel use over the next decade.
How long have they been saying Wind & solar are the cheapest power? My guess is Solar for about 7 years, Wind for about 3 years.

Can nuclear power generators be ramped up & down?
“For example, the minimum stable output of a nuclear reactor changes over the course of the fuel irradiation cycle, and production can’t be ramped up or down too quickly without causing a strain on the nuclear fuel rods and the reactor itself.” Newer designs may allow for greater range & fast ramping up&down but this greater ability comes with greater costs. Running a nuclear power generator at lower average capacity (this increases the output range) doesn’t change the high capital & high per day cost but only reduces the denominator of the LCOE calculation ie. how many MWh are fed into the grid for the same cost RESULT= higher cost per MWh. Do they penalise the nuclear LCOE calculation or do they attribute that operational cost to the cause of that operation ie. Intermittent wind & solar?
It’s quite clear that states & countries with easy access to high capacity (instant & annual) hydro can cope with greater use of intermittent renewables. The claim that we can model the ideal 95% renewable grid for everyone is unscientific, the attributes of geography for every state & country is different & most cannot support the requirements of said models or averages. Reality does not follow averages. The conclusion would be to build 30% more renewables and they would be wasted most of the time either because of curtailment or battery/pumped-hydro/gravity/hydrogen conversion/storage/discharge cycle losses. The places with the lowest use of fossil fuels have the highest availability of cheap hydro/geothermal/nuclear. Wind+solar by themselves are not enough to meet per minute/hour/day/month/season/year demand.

French nuclear generation can vary +/-36% per month. Monthly consumption varies -21% to +40% across the year from long term average. French Renewable generation can easily vary +/-40% from the average in a day (9/3/2022 -38.5%, +38.2% of demand). French Renewable generation can also vary -34% to +38% from its average each month (% of demand).
Then, understand the limitations & economics of the various forms of storage to cope with the different timescales. Most sources can handle seconds. Batteries are good for seconds to hours. Hydro good for 30mins to hrs or days (if average output is lower) but can store some water from season/year to season/year. Nuclear & fossil fuels combined handle the 5% variations over short times and follow slow ramp ups/downs for day to day or longer time scales. Gas peaking (eg. OCGT) are good for minutes to hours. Nuclear & coal are better for +/-10% per 4hours most of the time. The distribution of generation vs consumption across a grid changes the % losses (amps^2 times distance, ontop of minimum for being energised).
Modelling grids & reality extremely difficult to cope with different weather conditions, unpredicted demand, offline for maintenance, unplanned faults. If all your neighbours are relying on the same intermittent/unscheduled generation, you cannot rely on being able to import or export enough to balance your grid. Previously grid interconnections were sized for 12% to 20% of average demand, next gen grids (conversion from fossil/nuclear) now need 35% to 50% capacity when everyone doesn’t have sufficient hydro+geothermal+biogen to cope with wind+solar generation or way too much to get rid of. Long term battery or similar are neither practical nor economical for the week to year time scales.
The assumption that a free market will always have sufficient power is a fallacy. You can’t charge $15’000/MWh for 4hours in a day and suddenly have extra renewables/fossil generation built during that day in time to meet demand. The most economic use of solar+wind is to never exceed demand otherwise they loose money or have to charge more for the other times. The spot price is not the actual cost of producing that energy: subsidies, tax credits, carbon credits/certificates, long-term contracts for minimum supply, payments for grid reliability capacity all affect the actual average cost of energy.

March 16, 2022 2:17 am

We have been told many times green energy is cheaper & will create more jobs. Those 2 outcomes are typically mutually exclusive. More jobs cost more money or each job will be paid less money from the same or smaller pot. If they can’t get simple maths of economics right, what else do they get wrong?
The only other option is the expectation that cheaper energy will increase demand so much that any reduction of jobs per MWh can be overcome by increasing demand. You can’t directly model that. Many renewable projects & investment are very sensitive to subsidies, other incentives & long term contracts with higher payments/MWh. Countries/states are still voting with their feet, look at the detail, there is currently not a green nevarna, So it remains to be seen. YMMV.

March 16, 2022 5:13 pm

Dessler is a dope. Blind to the obvious… Alex very clear thinking and articulate and more importantly much closer to the truth than Dessler. Climate changer is a religion and like all religions, you find evidence of your beliefs everywhere you look.

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