CLIMATE - Nothing says I am concerned about the environment than taking 800+ private jets recently halfway around the world to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. So, you can chest thump about climate change. Private jets are five to 14 times more polluting than commercial flights. Of course, while doing so, it is du-rigor to dine on the finest beef, chicken, and imported champagne, all delivered by diesel. While the World Economic Forum suggests, we eat the bugs.
Why doesn't it matter that some of climate change's biggest stars have not had one prediction come true in 30+ years or longer? Some of the doozies that failed are Manhattan underwater in 2015 and predicted in 2005. In 2008 Climate "guru" Al Gore predicted an Ice-Free Artic by 2013. In 1989 rising sea levels will obliterate nations, and the Maldives Islands will be under water (there not). Melting Ice in Greenland will cause sea levels to rise a foot or more. Greenland's Ice is currently accumulating at a record pace.
Climate is change. Climate change is real, climate changes. Climate is the long-term pattern in a particular area made up of long-term observations of the daily weather. The climate has been changing on Earth for 4 billion years. Ice ages have lasted millions of years, and warm, tropical spells lasted equally long. There have been five major ice ages, according to scientists. The first one was 2 billion years ago. The current ice age started approximately 2.5 million years ago, and shock we are still in an ice age, despite what the mainstream media and bought and paid for scientists tell you. (They say follow the science, but the science follows the money.)
The planet does not need saving. To think that whatever carbon reduction California and the USA achieve will somehow make a difference to the overall climate is delusional. China and Europe are opening dirty old coal plants as fast as possible. China pumps out 27% of all greenhouse emissions and has 1110 coal-fired power plants. Compared to 240 in the United States. China plans to build another 43 coal-fired Power Plants adding 8.6 gigawatts of new power from king coal and at least 50 more nuclear plants. China will not be suffering high-cost unreliable solar and wind energy.
It is egoistical and narcissistic to think that humans burning hydrocarbons is somehow hurting the planet. I dislike the term fossil fuels because we are not burning up Dino to power our civilization. Fossil Fuels was a marketing term adopted to raise oil prices and scarcity value. For lack of a better description, the universe has put us here to use and enjoy the resources found on our good planet. We are currently in an interglacial period that started 11,700 years ago, giving rise to our current civilization. However, this warmth can and will end. The historical geologic record shows Earth has been cooling for the last 50 million years.
Consider this statistic: 1 year of all human energy use/output is 410 gigajoules. One hour of the Sun's input to Earth's biosphere equals 430 gigajoules. Therefore, what the Sun does is much more critical to Earth's climate than what comes out of my tailpipe. The Sun is far more responsible for the environment than CO2. The Sun is a dynamic and changing star. It is easy to think of the Sun as a giant 100-watt bulb in the sky that doesn't change, but that is far from accurate. Leading astronomers and scientists (not the bought-off variety) believe the Sun is going into a solar minimum. If the Sun puts out less energy, Earth cools down. Dr. Willie Soon, an Astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said, "the entire climate system is powered (99+%) by the sun's energy."
Despite the "we are burning up propagandists, the Earth is cooling. Yes, I know it was hot for too long in Los Angeles, that doesn't change the fact the total snow mass for the Northern Hemisphere continues to track significantly higher than in the last couple of decades. The National Snow Analysis from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center shows that the Continental US had more snow on the ground than at any time in the last ten years. That North America has had an early and powerful polar outbreak creating record-low temperatures in mid-November.
Carbon dioxide is an essential gas. Without adequate amounts of CO2, all life would cease to exist. Unfortunately, given that so few people have any science, math, or engineering background, carbon dioxide gas becomes a mighty bludgeon to beat the general population into submission. CO2 now stands at four parts per 1,000,000 molecules of air. To believe that something so rare, so dilute can trap heat shows an under appreciation of how minuscule this number is!
Many environmentalists are only concerned with a single aspect of energy. They have an oversized concern for CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and ignore all the benefits of burning hydrocarbons. To have a modern society, we need reliable, low-cost energy. As a society, we need to burn and use nuclear, gas, oil, and diesel. Solar and wind are not reliable enough to operate factories, smelters, railroads, ships, trucks, services, electronics, chemical factories, and fertilizers that make our current civilization possible. Without energy, there's no economy, and there's no civilization.
Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT considers it "absurd" to assume that the controlling factor for temperature changes in Earth's complex three-dimensional climate system is the small contribution of CO2. He notes the evidence from the Antarctica Vostok ice core that showed cooling preceded decreases in CO2 during the glaciation cycles of the last 700,000 years. Furthermore, the Paleoclimatic record, which goes back 600 million years, shows "no suggestion of any correlation with carbon dioxide at all." According to Lindzen, carbon dioxide is a "particularly ridiculous" choice as a pollutant because its primary role is as a fertilizer. Currently, "almost all plants are starved of CO2.” The consequences would be dire if we were to remove 60% of CO2 from the atmosphere. Not via a drop in the global temperature, as modern-day propaganda would have you believe, but rather from a mass dying of vegetation, leading to "death by starvation for all animal life."
Another reason to love CO2 and hydrocarbons is it takes away Chinese control of our energy future. China makes 99% of all solar wafers, 91% of solar cells, 90% of all polysilicon, and 85% of the modules that solar panels are assembled onto. The Chinese are very fond of using huge amounts of coal to produce solar cells and components for our windmills. China knows solar and wind are variable and unreliable. Chinese leadership knows that if we keep pushing the net zero agenda economy, we will ruin our economy and ability to react to strategic threats. This way, by 2050, Russia and China will be the sole superpowers. Of course, these alternative production facilities are mainly powered by hydrocarbons and slave labor. So, it should be hard to be green and virtuous when enslaved people make your woke climate change accessories.
Return on investment (ROI) it's a critical financial term. Windmills and solar panels give very little return for an invested dollar which is why the federal government so heavily subsidizes them. Oil has a vast advantage—oil stores about 5000% more energy per pound than lithium batteries. According to the New York Times, GE's renewable energy unit will likely record a $2 billion loss this year. Siemens Commissa renewable energy is reporting an annual loss of a billion euros. Vestas Wind Systems loses 8% on every wind turbine they sell. There is no offshore windmill that will ever give a return on investment. Too much energy and material are needed to be economical, so massive subsidizing is required.
According to Siemens Energy CEO, renewables like Windmills need ten times the materials compared to conventional technologies. Another problem with windmills is they kill birds, bats, and insects. Hundreds of Bald Eagles are killed by windmills every year. There are no penalties for windmills killing bald Eagles, but if you shot one, it would be stiff fines and two years in jail. The problem with renewables is that they take a lot of dirty old energy to produce and the return on investment in renewables is nil compared to gas, coal, and nuclear. The demonization of gasoline, diesel, propane, and methane it's done without thought. For the last 160 years, these hydrocarbons have created great leaps in civilization and our safety. To think a politician can say we are going all electric in 10 or 20 years without massive investment in new power plants and a trillion-dollar upgrade in the electric grid is folly bordering on criminal insanity. In California, how can we have 30 million electric vehicles when we can't charge 3 million electric cars when energy intensity goes up on hot summer days? The thing about the wind is it doesn't always blow. The Sun doesn't always shine; therefore, you need 100% backup capabilities, which can only come from carbon-based power plants. Elon Musk claims Tesla's autos have no emissions is merely moving emissions to the power plant, supplying your charge of electricity for these heavily polluting batteries. This means that you are charging your EV battery with a mixture of Coal, Natural-Gas, Oil, and on a good day, some alternative energy.
There's so much wrong with this save the planet net zero hype. The extinction rebellion is winning, and the hostility to fossil fuels that denies readily available cheap energy to the third world will cause hundreds of millions of deaths that are preventable due to the lack of use of fossil fuels. But our leaders are doubling down and creating a global energy crisis. We are not even remotely set up to do away with petroleum products. Electric trucks will not have the range of diesel trucks. Electric trucks must charge every 150 miles, which will take a couple of hours. How will our fragile supply lines fare with that? How will there be enough charging stations for 30 million plus electric vehicles or electricity if we keep shutting down power plants? Not to mention that there's not enough lithium or cobalt in the world to make 300 million electric vehicles. Or leaders have placed their citizens on a tree branch. They are furiously sawing that branch off the tree in the name of being holier than thou, throwing large swaths of the population into the abyss of unaffordable and expensive energy.
The climate is going to do what it does. The weather is driven by the Sun, the Moon's tidal flows, vulcanism, and cloud cover. If you research alternative news sites, you'll find that the Snowmass in the northern hemisphere is growing. You'll find that Antarctica had one of its coldest winters ever. Australia is without spring, and the glaciers are not disappearing. More people die in the cold than they do in the heat. If Earth is about to get warm due to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, our technology and our use of fossil fuels can undoubtedly mitigate the worst effects.
Modern society can't exist without these four critical ingredients from hydrocarbons, ammonia, which create fertilizers. Plastics which go into computers, healthcare products, consumer products, and iPhones. Oil-based fuels are needed for steel and cement. Unreliable solar and wind energy cannot power modern society. Unpredictable energy in the winter and summer will stress the population significantly and cause deaths. Net-Zero, carbon emissions policies are anti-prosperity, anti-industrial, and anti-human. People need cheap, abundant energy to live.
(Eliot Cohen Is president of a Homeowners Association in the San Fernando Valley and has served on citizen Advisory Committees for the City of LA.)