As the US continues to be more successful in reducing CO2 emissions than the parties to the Paris Climate Accord, those who would do the St. Vitus dance on the grave of the domestic oil and gas industry should consider the risks posed by the alternatives. Here are thoughts from some who know better than I (Read the sources yourself for details):
It won’t help.
Dutch economist Bjorn Lomborg agrees that climate change is real, man-made, and something to be dealt with smartly. He contends that California forest fires are not caused by climate change, but rather by bad state fires supression policy. Any realistic climate solution will achieve next to nothing. Even if the entire United States were to cut all of its emissions tomorrow and for the rest of the century, temperatures would still climb just 3/10ths of 1°F.
And China added 40 gigawats of coal-fired energy in 2019.
At the risk of being redundant, it won’t help.
Solar is costly.
According to a pro-solar site, Electricity from solar energy is five to 11 times more expensive to produce than from coal, hydro and nuclear sources. The problems are cost of technology, lack of efficiency of solar cells, and installation and maintenance costs. Technological advances could overcome these limitations but it will take decades.
Wind energy generates waste and other disadvantages …
It will cost $24 billion to dispose of 60,000 turbines currently used in the United States. Over the next 20 years the US alone could have to dispose of 720,000 tons of blade waste material. And enormous air and water pollution will occur in faraway countries where the mining, processing and manufacturing are done.
… and is toxic
According to Principia Scientific, Toxic and useless wind turbine blades can’t be recycled, and the volume will quadruple over the next 15 years as blades reach their 15-to-20 year lifespan. Wherever it goes, we know it won’t be to West Coast and Northeast metropolises.
The burden will fall on rural and poor communities.
Despite promises that the permitting process is not stacked against rural communities, a 340 MW wind project was okayed in western New York despite objections from the three counties that will be affected. The project will include 117 turbines each standing 600 feet high and will gobble up 30,000 acres. So says Robert Bryce in Forbes. I say get used to it.
Hydrogen is not the answer.
For a number of reasons, its physical properties are incompatible with the requirements of the energy market. (Warning: This Watts Up WIth That! piece begins as a political rant but mellows out into a discussion of science.)
China will win, children will lose.
According to Jude Clemente in Forbes, the US is fully dependent on foreign countries for 14 of the 35 rare earth minerals the Administration considers to be critical to alternative energy development. This will result in the transfer of trillions of dollars of wealth to China and further increase US dependence on the Chinese.
It won’t be a sustainable utopia.
Tilak Doshi in Forbes asserts that rigorous economic analyses of the hidden costs of solar and wind counter claims that wind and solar power are already competitive with gas and coal power plants.
RIP HOF’ers Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver …