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Powerless

VOICES--The specter of 4’-11” Greta Thunberg (the alarmist environmental activist) casts a giant shadow in City Hall.

This shadow appears to have infected what is left of the City Council's common sense. Greta's brand of climate alarmism is causing the City Council to take actions that will make Los Angeles' electric grid as bad as Baghdad's. 

Los Angeles City officials are seeking to close the Valley Generating Station in Sun Valley due to a series of methane leaks. Which are fixed and the efficacy of these fixes have been tested and show that the emissions from the plant has been reduced 96 to 98%. To now more than typical background levels of methane. This plant generates 567 of megawatts and serves over 460,000 Angelenos. These and the 3 other gas-fired power plants on the coast are reasons why we have not had the same blackouts Northern California had, during the heat wave of August and September. So instead of fixing and improving these essential power plants the City Council best idea is to close the plant. With the extra caveat that they find reliable replacement power? Exactly where is that replacement power going to come from? As the DWP said it has no known replacement for this power. Battery technology is not up to the task of storing surplus solar and wind power. Which leave expensive out of state power. 

Solar farms require 300-400 times more land than a nuclear of natural gas plant. Solar farms destroy vegetation replace natural species. Solar farms after there 15 to 20-year useful life cycle produce plastic that is uneconomic to recycle. Solar panels produce 200 to 300x more waste that a nuclear plant according to Time Magazine “Hero of Environment and Green Book Award winner Michael Shellenberger. In our green-zeal to rid ourselves of CO2 it is important to note that During the last Ice Age, however, too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind During the last Ice age. CO2 levels were only about 180 parts per million in the atmosphere, compared to today’s 400 ppm. During that time most of the plants on earth died due to intense cold and the permanent drought that ensued due to having most of the water locked up in the Ice sheets that were several miles thick that covered most of the Northern Hemisphere. Grass turned to tundra which herbivores find less nourishing. Cambridge University suggested that only 100,000 Humans were left alive after before the warming cycle began again. 

The increase in CO2 has (shock) actually had beneficial effects. Globally new tree growth has exceeded trees lost for the last 35 years, by an area larger than the combined area of Texas and Alaska, according to the Food and Agricultural organization of the U.N.(FAO).

Part of the reason for this greening is that plants grow faster with greater CO@ in the atmosphere according to numerous scientific studies, published in peer reviewed scientific papers. Dennis Avery a well know author on environmental issues has called Carbon Dioxide “the gas of life.”

 Dennis went on to explain-the plants that feed us can’t live without inhaling the CO2, and then they breath out the oxygen that lets humans keep breathing too. 

Which has the potential to insure we will have blackouts just like Northern California had in the August and September of this year. In a fit of green hysteria worthy of the scare tactics of the extinction rebellion crowd our so-called leaders without doing a cost benefit analysis would rather we sit and fry in the dark on 110-degree days. 

How many people will die especially the elderly due to lack of air conditioning? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extreme heat now cause more deaths in U.S. Cities than all other weather event combined. Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat. What is the best solution for the problems that come from a Heat Wave? Find air conditioning. which is hard to due when your electric;ity is cut off. Heat waves are especially deadly when nighttime temperatures don’t cool enough to offer urban residents relief. The human body isn’t able to recover from the effects of extreme heat if air temperatures don’t dip below 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. This summer saw not only record-high temperatures, but record-high overnight lows in many parts of the country. 

That’s a bigger problem in cities, which retain their heat more than rural areas. The way cities are designed—using heat-absorbing hardscape materials and eliminating cooling greenspace—means that urban areas can be several degrees hotter than the surrounding region due to what’s known as heat island effect. This is why cities are prioritizing heat-related design changes in an effort to cool down cities.

healthy urban canopy is among the most effective ways for cities to combat extreme heat, so cities are finding creative ways to expand their tree-planting efforts. In Los Angeles, a recent study by the Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative found that an increase in tree canopy paired with programs to cover roofs and pavements with more reflective surfaces could reduce heat-related deaths citywide by more than 25 percent.

As we now have learned California’s investment in Clean Energy has been charitably a mixed blessing. Some might even say a fool’s errand. Today there are over 10,200 Coal fired power plants. More than half of these coal fire powered plants are in China and India. These 2 countries are not turning away from coal to power their energy needs. Currently they are in the process of building 634 new Coal fired power plants. So even if we Californians stopped burning hydrocarbons tomorrow it would make no difference to the perceived global climate change from burning fossil fuels. 

While it is laudable to want more clean and green energy like Governor Newsome and environmental activists want it is not possible to run a 21 Century economy on renewables.

We keep adding devices that soak up electricity, whether they are self-driving electric cars, smart phones, ring cameras, peloton bikes or the internet of things like connected refrigerators or ring cameras all add to increasing electric demand. We will need more servers farms to manage all that data and that does not come from shutting down power plants. 

We have come to see what the mal investment order by Gov. Newsom has done to norther Cal electrical reliability. Having order billions of dollars in Windmills (bird-shredders) and plastic solar panels that are too costly to recycle instead of repairing and fixing our ancient transmission grid PGE is forced to shut off electricity when the wind blows too much to prevent wild fires. The governor also might have found out that wind mills don’t produce wind when there is a heat wave without adequate wind to turn the turbines. So, when the 2020 heat wave we were already in a major electrical deficit, and due to the wide spread nature of the heat there was not a megawatt of extra power to buy. 

 The vagaries of out of out of state power and central planning. Will the Gavin Newsom regime buy enough power to keep the lights on in So Cal? Will the California Public Utility Commission (controlled by Newsom) make sure there is sufficient natural gas and nuclear plant generating resources to keep the lights and air condition on? Or will we keep pursuing polices that will cripple california’s 5th largest economy in the world making us all poorer. 

In a fit of green hysteria worthy of the scare tactics of the extinction rebellion crowd our so-called leaders. 

I am old enough to remember that Natural Gas was touted as a clean burning fuel.   

Why is it that our supposed liberal, woke and enlightened Council members always go for the solution that will harm the most people? 

Today there are over 10,200 coal-fired power plants in the world. More than half of these coal fire powered plants are in China and India. These two countries are not turning away from coal to power their energy needs. Currently, they are in the process of building 634 new coal-fired power plants. If Californians stopped burning hydrocarbons tomorrow, it would make no difference to the greenhouse gas emission problem. It is high time we stopped looking for lower density energy solutions (biomass, wind, and solar) and considered nuclear energy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects a 50% increase in world energy usage by 2050. New reactor designs may be the safest and most economical way to satisfy these demands. They could combat climate change, as well.  

So, when the 2020 heatwave struck, we were already in a significant electrical deficit. Due to the widespread and regional nature of the heat, there was no surplus power to buy. Our windmills couldn't help us because the winds driving the fires were blowing strongly, creating the risk of down powerlines and adding to the fire-storm—causing more blackouts due to the powerlines' ill-repair.

 

(Eliot Cohen is President of Homeowners of Encino. encinohome@home.com)