January 30, 2023 Francis Menton @ Manhattan Contrarian
The headline and cartoon come today from Dr. Benny Peiser’s newsletter for the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s New Zero Watch project. (If you don’t subscribe to this newsletter, you should. Go to this link to sign up. As with MC, there is no charge.) This latest newsletter contains a roundup of articles from just the last couple of days reporting on the ongoing disaster of the Net Zero fantasy. In this post, I’ll just cover some of the highlights.
But first, can somebody please let President Biden in on this news, or at least some of it? Even as the impossible dream of a wind/solar-powered economy collapses everywhere it is tried, the U.S. federal government blindly pushes forward with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to subsidize wind and solar generation and battery storage. It would be bad enough if those huge sums were merely wasted. But in fact, they will not just be wasted, but will also contribute to vast destruction of our functioning and inexpensive energy infrastructure, and they threaten to leave people impoverished and freezing in the dark. A government-wide crusade throughout the federal bureaucracy uses every regulatory trick in the book to hinder, hamper, and suppress the fossil fuel energy that actually keeps the heat running and the lights on. The world has gone completely mad.
With that, here is a sampling from today’s newsletter:
- From Reuters, today: “India to use emergency law to maximise coal power output.” With a population about double the U.S. and Europe combined, and continuing to grow while China is shrinking, India is Exhibit A among developing countries thumbing their noses at Net Zero nonsense. In this most recent news, it seems that some of India’s coal power plants using imported coal have been running at less than full capacity due to competition from other plants using cheaper domestic coal. That’s not OK with the Indian government, which wants all of its coal plants to run flat out in the upcoming peak demand summer season. An emergency law will be invoked to be sure that this occurs: “India plans to use an emergency law next month to force power plants that run on imported coal to maximise output, two government sources told Reuters on Monday, in preparation for expected record consumption this summer. . . . Federal power ministry officials will work with those involved in debt restructuring of financially stressed power plants to make them functional. . . .” That right there will likely wipe out any trivial decreases in emissions that the nut cases in California and New York may be able to achieve this year by impoverishing their citizens.
- Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that the annual BP Energy Outlook has just been published. The Telegraph notes a key takeaway: BP warns that no amount of investment in the intermittent renewables is going to eliminate the need for ongoing investment in fossil fuel production, at least within the 30 year time horizon of the Report. From the Telegraph: “Investment in oil and gas production will be needed for the next three decades if the world is to avoid more shortages and price swings, BP has warned.” Looking at the BP Report itself, that warning is surely there — along with plenty of fantasy about global carbon emissions suddenly turning around and starting to decrease any minute now. A chart from the “Overview” section shows past and projected future global carbon emissions from energy production: The gist is that over the last 20 years of strident and coercive government efforts to decrease use of fossil fuels, their use has only increased and emissions have only gone up (with a couple of tiny blips). But starting next year that’s all going to suddenly turn around. Sure!
- From a piece by Irwin Stelzer in the Sunday Times, January 29, “John Kerry and Al Gore know their beloved Paris is no more.” Excerpt: “They might not admit it, but they know their beloved Paris is no more. Kerry knows most corporations have no idea how to fulfil the pledges made by some 200 nations in the city's 2015 agreement on climate change. . . . Covid relief, the needs of Ukraine, and the unrelenting demands of the left for more social spending . . . No policy could survive all this, and climate policy surely has not.”
- And from yesterday’s Telegraph, “Britain's green economy in a nutshell: Wind farms could be paid more to switch off than to generate power.” Here we learn about the ridiculous intermittent renewable energy trap into which the UK has backed itself. While on calm days it scrambles to avoid blackouts, it has also overbuilt its wind facilities to the point where on many windy days it has excess electricity that must be curtailed. Under the subsidy contracts that the government geniuses have signed with some of the wind developers, the ratepayers must pay for power at market prices even when it is curtailed — the developers are paid not to produce. “A lack of grid storage and transmission infrastructure means that the UK is regularly producing more electricity from wind than it can use. At particularly windy times, the National Grid pays producers to switch off rather than overload the local system, with the costs passed on to household energy bills. Producers offer the price at which they are willing to switch off, which is normally around the market rate for electricity, currently at record highs because of the energy crisis. . . . By switching off, producers may therefore be able to make rates well above their fixed prices.” Yet the politicians are so clueless that they continue to build more wind and solar facilities, thinking that if they only build enough, Net Zero is around the corner.
There are thousands of data points out there to demonstrate that Net Zero is not happening now and is never going to happen. You could put together a collection of these every day if you want. Are our politicians — and voters — ever going to catch on?
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