A Free-Market Energy Blog

Field Notes on the Futile Climate Crusade

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 27, 2021

” … there can be no near term CO2 solution without changes to the Chinese plan. It will only get worse, while we impose increasingly harsh penalties on others with diminishing returns.”

“Thanks captain obvious on the China data point. What’s your beef? Tariffs? Counter-veiling duties? Unequal market access? Pretending to be middle income country? Human rights? Corruption? Market manipulation? Disdain for property rights? Closed-competition? State-control. Or, something else? What exactly are you getting at?”

Imagine if you could listen in to what the climate alarmists/forced energy transformationists are really thinking. Behind closed doors, with their hopes and fears in the open, one commiserating with the other. Some lifting up others. And trying to prevent defections to a lost cause amid a sea of ecological tradeoffs and contradictions.

It is not easy being green.

Such a conservation occurred on LinkedIn in regard to the United Nations’ COP26 coming up in November–an event beset by … a global tripartite boom in fossil fuels: oil, natural gas/LNG, and coal …. greenwashing galore…. concern over wind and solar issues … and holdouts from the really large players in the aforementioned boom.

In the exchange below, remember that the Paris agreement was doomed from the start. James Hansen, father of the climate alarm, stated back in 2015 that the accord “a fraud really, a fake … just worthless words.”

Here is the LinkedIn exchange with just last names and some corrected typos. It all began with the angry, emotional Tim Williamson (see yesterday).

Williamson: Reminder, not enough for climate to just stop building new coal plants. Over 2,059,358 MW of existing coal plants have to go away by 2030, too.

Houseman: ..Which means building 12,870,987 MW of solar PV on 64,354,937 acres of land globally.

2020 the world built 107,000 MW of solar PV. At that rate it will take 120 YEARS to replace the energy (not capacity) for the coal plants. If the world wants to turn off the coal use, we need to go a LOT faster on renewables and even faster on storage.

Williamson: Doug, maybe consider 4 acres/MW or even 3 acres/MW for PV. New larger, 400+ watt PV panels allow for tighter fits in ground mount systems. Vertical mount PV system even tighter still. Both types are just too heavy for av. 40 psf-rated roof systems?

Elahi: So what do you suggest is the practical solution is Doug?

Houseman: We need to get serious about storage first and PV second. If we have no place to put the energy until it is needed, we waste the PV system. Right now California curtails a massive amount. The only way to fix this is to storage it – I don’t care how.

Then we need to follow it with renewables. At a speed that will mean a WWII type mobilization. To do that may mean radical restructuring of the industry and strict limits in profitability on the industries involved. Else massive profiteering.

Someone in power is going to bite the bubble – this is not, repeat not, business as usual. If someone says this is easy, and no problem, slap them with a wet fish.

Rönnqvist: I would add that locations with big demand for energy and large investments have been made in renewables in an unbalanced way like California, are in a situation that needs hard efforts to be corrected afterwards.

An energy system that consists of a large amount of renewables has to be designed with very different parameters than a base load type. As a reward of an appropriately designed renewables energy system, it will be cheaper than all competing systems AND have smaller LCA emissions. So the ONLY reasons for new investments into other types of power systems in my view is corruption or ignorance or both.


Houseman: Until we use no energy? 🙂

Thompson: It would be ridiculous to use no energy at all. Balance and cost effectiveness are more than good enough. Efficiency first. Then thermal and electricity storage, combined with cheap renewables, demand response and load shifting will keep us all busy replacing carbon intensive incumbent energy systems for years to come.

Dewis: Tim, that will be tough given China’s Paris Accord handout. An agreement that has contributed to a massive transfer of wealth, leveraged by relocating the point source, without any global reduction. A game of chess and the West is losing!

Krushner: Yep. China and India given 10 extra years. When asked about that on an open mic a top official said it’s all about wealth redistribution.

Dewis: and so blatantly obvious. Hiding in plain sight.

Williamson: It is not true. China picked 2060 to stall for time. No other country has officially considered 2060 as their net-zero emissions due date. No one’s giving away technology. There’s no gigantic master plan for wealth redistribution. So, please consider broadening your sources of reading a little to get a more accurate, less politically charged view to inform your opinion.

Williamson: Frank, what are you doing? Whataboutism on Covid, used as false equivalence for China bashing on climate? You, I, we don’t need false equivalences brought into the climate debate. Or, for that matter as another tool to bash China for playing chicken with human existence. It’s tough enough to get heads wrapped around the numbers, as is, without unproven junk thrown in.

Also, dragging out million-times debunked Lord Monckton dirt from 8 years ago, and discussions that occurred at UNFCCC Doha round of talks that went nowhere, is counter-productive. Read more. Watch less TV. Stick to facts as they exist today, and read up on current events, for your two best predicters for tomorrow.

Kushner: Ok I deleted comment on China lies – just wish the world would put more pressure on China to spend much more on both CO2 and methane reduction.

My original post on their CO2 emissions stands – China as much as G7 in last decade and keeps going up while entire G7 is going down.

Williamson:  I agree with your comments and conclusion. Data provided at eurekalert, and Reddit link chart seems accurate.

Dewis: the reality is, there can be no near term CO2 solution without changes to the Chinese plan. It will only get worse, while we impose increasingly harsh penalties on others with deminishing returns.

Williamson: Thanks captain obvious on the China data point. What’s your beef? Tariffs? Counter-veiling duties? Unequal market access? Pretending to be middle income country? Human rights? Corruption? Market manipulation? Disdain for property rights? Closed-competition? State-control. Or, something else? What exactly are you getting at?

Dewis: We in the West should all be very concerned at the rapidity of our reliance on China. It started in the 1970’s when corporations realized the profitable side of outsourcing. The CO2 impact on energy in the West has only reinforced this and made energy-intensive manufacturing difficult to compete.

So yes I am not happy with the current situation. I am no politician but what I can tell you is that just like in mechanical engineering large masses have inertia. China is still accelerating and the West is in decline.

Call it protectionism. I call it survival. It possibly won’t be our generation that suffers. But think about our children.

Williamson: Have a little faith, David. Good news is, the West has a plan to counter the rise of CCP/CPC party zealots, and Chinese autocracy built around SG XI. It requires everyone’s support.

Also, China is clearly holding back to see how big U.S. American Jobs and Families Plans (Build-Back-Better), and whether EU-27’s Fit for 55% reaches consensus in the Fall, before pulling hard a-starboard on China’s economy. As you say, Newton’s third law of motion. No sense in altering China’s course on it’s perceived manifest destiny to rule the world by any means, if EU goes forward on climate action, but U.S. somehow doesn’t.

So, I figure U.S. has a central role to play in the global shindig for years to come. China will ascend to global leadership, or not, as the case may be. Or, it can send itself back into the 15th century from whence it came, by starting a war. No slight on China’s specular rise in modern times. Astonishing. However, China’s economy today is all vapor without a global integrated market. My 2 cents.

Dewis: always good to hear counter arguments. Since we don’t have a crystal ball best to keep doing our bit to push us forward. China at this point has a lot to loose but I don’t expect them to act rational. JMHO


One Comment for “Field Notes on the Futile Climate Crusade”

  1. Richard Greene  

    More bandwidth wasted on the words of climate alarmists.

    They are not intelligent people on the subjects of climate science and energy.
    They are religious people who believe in a coming climate crisis.

    No data can falsify their belief. That is a religion, not science.

    Leftists have no awareness of the ACTUAL global warming in the past 45 years, which was beneficial for our planet.

    Mild and harmless, if you are a pessimist. They are also not very bright on the subject of politics.

    Communist China is using coal energy and slave labor to sell cheap solar panels to western nations, at prices they can’t match. Considering the air pollution in China, they should be leading the world in reducing the use of coal — but they are actually leading the world in increasing the use of coal.

    Even if you believe the predictions of climate doom, with FUTURE global warming at double or triple the ACTUAL warming rate in the past 45 years, and you believe that only CO2 levels control the global average temperature:

    — Consider that fast growing economies of Asian, African and South American nations are not interested in Net Zero.

    — And for nations that are interested, except for the United States, none are meeting their “+1.5 degree C. target”.

    — So there has been no change in the global growth of CO2 emissions, despite the many climate treaties since the 1980s.

    –Global use of fossil fuels for energy in 2009 was almost identical to 2019 (80.3% versus 80.2%).

    The spending on CO2 emissions reductions has had no measurable effect, on the CO2 emissions growth rate, because the obvious solution (to a non-existent climate problem) is nuclear power.
    Nuclear power, assuming you follow the science, which leftists rarely do.

    They do follow climate junk science.


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