Saturday, May 01, 2021

Economy-destroying climate plans target nonexistent 'crisis'

Proposals to fight global warming are unavoidably expensive and freedom-suppressing. Requiring American households and the economy to operate on expensive, diffuse, unreliable energy sources like wind and solar can only harm—and cannot help—American productivity and living standards.

If we were truly facing an imminent climate catastrophe, dramatic action would be justified. In the absence of an imminent climate emergency, however, radical climate policies are not warranted.

Adhering to the scientific method requires objectively testing theories and predictions using real-world observations and evidence. Measurable scientific facts and evidence should trump speculative future climate predictions, agenda-driven climate activism, and deceptive claims about a supposed “scientific consensus.”

Make no mistake, measurable scientific evidence makes it clear that global warming is not going to cause the world to end in 10 years, 100 years, or 1,000 years. In fact, a warmer world has always been a better world for human health and welfare, and this is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

The notion of an imminent climate crisis is a carefully crafted delusion, plain and simple. The more that objective science has debunked alarmist climate claims, the more that climate activists and their media allies have ratcheted up their rhetoric and sought to deflect attention away from real scientific evidence. Here are a few important scientific facts:

During most of the period since the dawn of human civilization, global temperatures have been significantly higher than they are today. And even without modern technologies, humans survived and thrived in those warmer conditions.

Colder climate periods have typically been associated with more famines, plagues, and severe extreme weather events, as well as with reduced crop yields and declining human populations.

Warmer climate periods have typically resulted in comparatively fewer famines, plagues, and extreme weather events. They also usually have higher crop yields and are more likely to produce golden ages of higher human population numbers and living standards.

The benefits of a warmer planet have held true throughout the past century. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization documents that crop yields globally and in most nations are enjoying long-term, mid-term, and short-term growth, resulting in new records for crop yields being set on a near-annual basis.

NASA satellites have documented a dramatic greening of the earth in recent decades, as more atmospheric carbon dioxide substantially assists plant growth. NASA satellites have also documented that wildfires are burning fewer acres of land as the earth’s atmosphere modestly warms. Health experts report that 20 times more people die as a result of colder temperatures as those who die of warm or hot temperatures. The evidence shows, as a result, the global warming humans have been experiencing in recent decades is saving many thousands of lives.

The data show alarmists’ doomsday predictions have consistently failed to materialize. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization dedicated to spreading climate change alarmism, admits it has low confidence that climate change is having any measurable negative global impacts regarding hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters. More importantly, the actual scientific data similarly show little or no real-world negative impacts.

Predictions of future climate catastrophes are no more credible than past predictions that failed to materialize. Instead of being viewed as near certainties, doomsday predictions should be viewed as highly speculative and dubious. If the earth warms modestly over the next 50 or 100 years, that warming will be no more likely to create a climate catastrophe than it did during the past 100 years.

Members of Congress, media, teachers, students, and the general public should look at facts and evidence, not questionable predictions and agenda-driven propaganda, to form their opinions on climate change. To facilitate a factual and fair examination of the evidence, The Heartland Institute has launched two important websites containing concise and compelling facts regarding climate change.

Climate at a Glance ( provides one- and two-page summaries of climate topics from a scientifically realist perspective. A sampling of topics includes hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, tornadoes, and coral reefs. Each topical summary begins with a few bullet points summarizing key points, followed by a concise summary of the science and its meaning. Most summaries contain a visual graphic to illustrate one or more key points.

Climate Realism ( is a website that examines each day’s media-promoted climate scares and provides a short summary of the scientific facts that debunk the scares. Now, when you see a media report hyping a global warming scare, you can go to Climate Realism and see what the scientific evidence truly says. New articles are added on a daily basis, with two or more articles often added in a given day.

Of course, global warming will not make all hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other natural catastrophes suddenly stop occurring. However, the objective scientific evidence shows they are not getting worse because of warming. In fact, many are becoming less severe.

After millennia of relatively lower temperatures harming human health and welfare, and warmer temperatures benefiting the human condition, there is no reason to believe the situation has suddenly changed.

Policymakers should resist the urge to fix a “problem” that doesn’t need fixing, especially when it involves government policies that will inevitably cause more harm than good.


Former Obama Administration Scientist Trashes Biden's Climate 'Hysteria'

To listen to the climate change alarmists, we only have a few years left to change the course of “man-made climate change” before the damage to our planet is irreversible, yada, yada, yada, we’re all going to die unless we pay billions of dollars to other countries.

Dr. Steven Koonin, the former undersecretary for the Department of Energy under President Obama, is calling out the Biden administration for its position on the “climate crisis” and says the data doesn’t support the “hysteria.”

“What I realized, is that, although you hear people talking about ‘we’re going to believe in the science, the science is settled, we’ve got an existential crisis’ – when you actually read the science, it doesn’t support that kind of hysteria at all,” he said in an interview with Fox News last week.

Koonin explained that according to the data in the assessment reports from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S.’s National Climate Assessment, there is no justification for radical measures proposed by Joe Biden’s climate agenda.

Joe Biden’s plan, announced during a two-day climate summit that began on Earth Day, calls for the slashing of carbon emissions by over half in less than ten years, and the United States becoming a zero-emissions economy by 2050.

“Eventually we will probably need to do something about this, but the scope and scale of what the Biden administration proposed for the U.S., I think is just not there in the data,” he said, adding, “It’s not there in the science.”

“For example, both research literature and government reports state clearly that heatwaves in the US are now no more common than they were in 1900, and that the warmest temperatures in the US have not risen in the past fifty years,” Koonin wrote in the New York Post last week. “When I tell people this, most are incredulous. Some gasp. And some get downright hostile.”

Koonin also noted that humans have had “no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century,” that “Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was 80 years ago,” and that the “global area burned by wildfires has declined more than 25 percent since 2003 and 2020 was one of the lowest years on record.”

“Trillion-dollar decisions about reducing human influences on the climate should be informed by an accurate understanding of scientific certainties and uncertainties,” says Koonin. He also called much of the public portrayal of climate science “an effort to persuade rather than inform, and the information presented withholds either essential context or what doesn’t ‘fit.”


China’s strange endorsement of ‘net zero’

The Chinese path to supposed decarbonization starts with a lot more coal

Duggan Flanakin

You have to hand it to Xi Jinping. The Chinese “president for life” schmoozed United Nations royalty last September with his unexpected pledge that his country aims “to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality (Net Zero) before 2060.”

Xi also urged other nations “to pursue innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all” through rapid deployment of new technologies, to “achieve a green recovery of the world economy in the post-COVID era and thus create a powerful force driving sustainable development.”

Confident that the mantle of world leadership was passing from the United States to him and China, Mr. Xi concluded by saying: “The baton of history has been passed to our generation, and we must make the right choice, a choice worthy of the people's trust and of our times. Let us join hands to uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom shared by all of us and build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. Together, we can make the world a better place for everyone.”

Just how is China preparing itself for Net Zero?

The London-based energy and climate research group Ember reports that China generated 53% of the world’s total coal-fired power in 2020, a jump of 9 percent from 2015, while adding 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power installations in 2020 alone. China is also financing billions of dollars’ worth of coal-fired power plants in African, Asian and other “developing” nations.

In 2020 China also added a record 71.7 GW of wind power and 48.2 GW of solar, while setting a goal of 70 GW of installed nuclear energy by 2025. But “progress is nowhere near fast enough,” says Ember power analyst Dave Jones, who insists “coal power needs to collapse by 80% by 2030 to avoid dangerous levels of warming.” Or so he and President Biden believe.

A joint analysis by Climate Analytics and the Asia Society Policy Institute concludes that, to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal limiting the global industrial era (post Little Ice Age) temperature rise to of 1.5o C, China would have to reach peak CO2 emissions by 2025 and reduce them rapidly thereafter, with a total phase-out of coal-fired power by 2040. Highly unlikely.

However, a typical coal-fired power plant has a 40-year lifespan. Would China throw away massive investments just to kowtow to the UN? Draworld Environment Research Center chief economist Zhang Shuwei says Chinese coal may have to absorb over $300 billion in stranded assets if the nation follows through and undertakes a “cliff fall of coal power generation after 2030.” Also highly unlikely.

Indeed, says the New York Post, China’s betrayal of its commitment to Hong Kong, its duplicity over the COVID pandemic and its dissembling on treatment of Uighurs suggest the Middle Kingdom cannot be trusted to keep its word. It shows there is no point negotiating with the Chinese Communist Party on issues like climate change, the Post added.

Agence France-Presse reported in March that China’s latest five-year plan increases investment in coal and omits any cap on total energy consumption. Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air analyst Lauri Myllyvirta also compares Xi’s words with China’s deeds, concluding “the central contradiction between expanding the smokestack economy and promoting green growth appears unresolved.”

Japanese journalists also questioned China’s commitment to any “green” economy. They contrasted China to supposedly “excellent” efforts by Japan and its Western allies to ramp up wind and solar – while failing to mention that new Japanese coal plants exceeded retirements in 2020, or that India and many other nations are also beefing up coal mining and power generation.

Other journalists are equally offended by China’s apparent duplicity. “Despite pledges to cut emissions, China goes on a coal spree,” a Yale Environment360 headline proclaimed. In the article, China-based free-lancer Michael Standaert argued that there is a “real and figurative haze about how strong its climate ambitions really are and how quickly the country can wean itself from … coal.” Mother Jones reposted the article under the headline “China is bingeing on coal.”

Vox correspondent Lili Pike provides a backstory excuse for China’s seemingly contradictory behavior. China’s provinces, she notes, have authority to approve new power plants on their own and see new coal plants as a way to boost their GDP and provide jobs. The economic slowdowns linked to COVID provided extra incentives for them to do so.

Perhaps Vox thinks the provinces will recognize their ill-considered investments and shutter their coal plants once their economies are again rolling along. Perhaps pigs will fly.

China’s “slouching towards Net Zero” approach belies the panicked warnings of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who insists “the climate emergency” is the defining crisis of our time and is happening even more quickly than we feared. It “is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win,” he says.

Guterres made a toothless plea to China last July to stop building new coal plants, but he giddily applauded Xi’s rhetoric in September. Xi has also won praise from mega-billionaire Bill Gates, who gushed over China’s “determination” to prioritize the climate and its contributions to carbon reduction.

Said Gates: “It's great that President Xi is making climate a priority and wants to work with other countries on this…. Without the contributions of China, many of the key ingredients [in fighting climate change], like batteries and solar power, wouldn’t be so affordable." [We’re on the same team, babee!]

In the real world, not every environmental disaster prediction has come true. Actually, hardly any of them have. For example, Paul Ehrlich’s best-selling book, The Population Bomb, opened with this frightful assertion: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

The greatest famine since Stalin and Mao deliberately starved tens of millions to death never happened.

More recently, Ehrlich’s ideological offspring Greta Thunberg proclaimed: “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don't address climate change…. Around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.” Criticizing China for detaining a young Chinese “climate striker,” Thunberg added: “Billions of people will die, and children will die while parents lose their jobs!”

Of course people are far more likely to lose their jobs or die if countries are forced to exist on minimalist, weather-dependent wind and solar power – under racist, carbon-colonialist restrictions imposed on them by woke climate alarmist banks, bureaucrats, pressure groups and ill-educated teenagers.

Perhaps Xi Jinping knows it’s too late to save the planet – so why not just “binge” on coal, keep his carefully watched subjects happy, and keep playing President Biden and other Western leaders like a piano. Perhaps he’s read the tea leaves, or the astronomical charts, and knows another killer asteroid is heading toward Earth – so why worry about death by fossil-fuel-driven climate change.

Or maybe he figures that by 2030 the whole world will be under his control – since his economy and military are growing, Beijing owns or controls supply lines and manufacturing for the entire panoply of pretend-renewable energy technologies, it steals intellectual property rights with impunity, and no foreign country will dare to take China on, for all those reasons.

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CA electric power chief says serious problems lie ahead

The head of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recently gave a revealing interview, in an obscure outlet he probably figured would not travel. It is “Yale Insights” published by the Yale School of Management. Elliot Mainzer, President and CEO of CAISO is a Yalie, so he gave something back.

Actually he gave a lot out, if you read the poli-speak correctly. Serious problems lie ahead. Below are some interesting insights, with translation where needed.

First, Mainzer explains his job: “CAISO operates the high-voltage transmission system and the energy market for about 80% of California and a small portion of Nevada. We’re the entity that matches the real-time supply of electricity with demand and is responsible for efficiently integrating the next generation of clean energy resources into the grid. In addition to our fundamental responsibility as a primarily single-state independent system operator, increasingly we’re taking on broader functions across the western United States. Those include monitoring reliability and operating an energy imbalance market that lets us buy and sell energy with the Northwest, the Intermountain West, and the desert Southwest.”

So CASIO’s job is to keep the lights on, just like ERCOT in Texas. It is a little scary to learn that California is also operating the energy imbalance market for the entire Western Interconnection, which is the western grid covering about a third of contiguous America. So if California goes black, which is increasingly likely, maybe the western grid goes with it!

As for last summer’s blackouts, Mainzer of course blames climate change. But he then goes on to finger solar power, saying this:

“California hadn’t planned for enough capacity to be available in the net peak period to ride out a super heating event effectively. As people are coming home in the evening, turning on appliances, ramping up air conditioners to cool down their houses, that’s the maximum point of stress on the system. That net peak, just after sunset, is also when over 10,000 megawatts of solar power stop generating. For most of the day, solar effectively acts like negative load, reducing demand for electricity from other resources. As the sun sets, those other resources have to ramp up rapidly to meet the load on the system. California just did not have enough dispatchable capacity available to meet demand. The resource adequacy planning and procurement standards hadn’t quite kept up.” (Emphasis added.)

So they failed to notice that the sun goes down. Sounds about right for California. I think his “hadn’t quite kept up” is wildly understated poli-speak.

Along the way Mainzer actually admits that the intermittency of renewables is the fundamental problem. Here is how he puts it, referring again to last year’s blackouts:

“The wind and solar energy resources performed largely as anticipated. But they are fuel-displacement resources that provide carbon-free energy to the system. We know they don’t provide dispatchable capacity, so we need to pair them with other resources. Certainly, the changes that are underway in the power system were contributing factors to what happened in August in California. Clearly, we need to accelerate and get better at that pairing. It’s going to be the critical factor over time in maintaining reliability.”

Of course his dispatchable “other resources” are future technologies that do not exist, rather than the obvious nuclear, coal and gas resources that California is busy shutting down. This is wishful thinking, not power planning.

Here is the so-called plan: “It’s going to take a portfolio approach, opening up new fuels, new storage technologies, investments in energy efficiency, and demand response. California is starting to look at off-shore wind. We’re exploring new energy-storage technologies that can supply power for longer durations compared to the four-hour duration of lithium ion batteries.”

The principle is clear however. Renewables must be paired with dispatchable power.

As for the coming hot summer, Mainzer is justifiably worried. He points out that there is almost no new dispatchable capacity compared to last year:

“We’re not expecting a ton of new capacity to be coming online between now and the summer; it’s too tight a timeframe. But the incremental dispatchable capacity resource that is coming on the grid is roughly 2,000 megawatts of lithium ion batteries, which can discharge electricity into the grid during that net peak period of maximum strain on the system, just after sunset on hot summer nights.”

Note that 2000 MW of storage does not make up for the 10,000 MW of solar lost when the sun goes down. Moreover, that 2000 MW is just the battery discharge rate, not the storage amount, which is measured in MWh. If 10,000 MW of solar are lost for 16 hours, which is standard, that is 160,000 MWh of juice. The batteries are only good for 4 hours, which is a mere 8,000 MWh or almost nothing compared to the lost solar. Batteries are a joke in cases like this.

As for the long term transition, electrification is a major issue. He notes that:

“We will also need additional capacity to support the electrification of the vehicle fleet and to take the place of fossil fuel systems that are coming offline. The California Public Utilities Commission is making sure that the utilities have the incentives and cost-recovery mechanisms to buy expanded capacity. CAISO and the big transmission owners in California need to make sure that the grid, substations, and transmission lines are updated, expanded, and modernized at a pace that will ensure that as new resources come online, they can be physically connected to the system. The people I work with are incredibly dedicated. It’s really challenging, but it’s also inspiring to be part of this clean energy transition.“

No word on what all this huge dispatchable new capacity, that is neither fossil or nuclear, will be. Wind is also not dispatchable. It must be magic! There is nothing left but magic.

And of course all this new magical capacity and a beefed up grid to handle it will cost a huge fortune. Here Mainzer’s talent for politically correct gross understatement really shows up. He simply says this: “The rate increases needed to accomplish this clean energy transition could get unwieldy if it’s not managed very effectively.”

Unwieldy? How about crushing, or punitive? We are talking about potentially trillions of dollars.

He does manage to squeeze in a good poke at the free riding rooftop solar buyers: “There are also concerns about equity. People who are purchasing rooftop solar and batteries are leaving behind significant fixed costs to be paid for by a shrinking pool of consumers. Many of those consumers can’t afford to buy their way off the grid.“

In true California style, CAISO President Mainzer even manages to finish up with a howling contradiction: “The state is full speed ahead towards meeting its clean energy objectives while understanding that energy rates and equity are critical variables that need to be addressed.“

There is no affordable way to power an electrified California without fossil fuels and nuclear power. In fact it is physically impossible at any price. The CAISO should be saying this, loudly and often. But at least they quietly admit there are problems.




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