Monday, January 02, 2023

European green energy fiasco is a terrifying warning for US this winter

Europe’s climate-consciousness is hardly paying off for European families who face startling energy blackouts this winter amid a dangerous energy crisis. The energy shortage is largely due to an over reliance on solar and wind generated power made worse by Europe’s 2015 Paris Climate Accord agreement, which mandated the closing of coal-fired power plants and replacing them with less reliable wind and solar power alternatives.

There is no doubt that unpredictable energy sources such as these cause unnecessary suffering, financial strain and even illness among the most vulnerable. Americans should take heed from Europe’s misguided energy strategy and misplaced reliance on wind and solar power, or else watch many regions of the United States endure lengthy power shortages.

As the colder months roll in, Europe could soon face temporary cuts in cell phone and internet service, school closures from a lack of lighting and heating and even traffic jams from underpowered traffic lights. In Germany, a country heavily dependent on Russian gas due to its shuttered nuclear power plants, candle sales have skyrocketed in anticipation of power blackouts. In fact, electric car owners in Finland are being told not to heat their vehicles on frigid mornings to avoid straining the electrical grid.

In the United Kingdom, energy companies have made a game of saving energy during peak usage times by bribing participants to sit in the dark in exchange for prizes and monetary savings. The message from the UK is clear: you might suffer this winter, but you will suffer with a savings and a smile. The truth is that alternative energy sources proposed by Europe are far from a smart investment for families suffering from low energy production.

When it comes to relying on wind power, sometimes the wind 3just doesn’t blow. Europe experienced this phenomenon in 2021 when a drastic reduction in wind caused a decrease in energy generation by wind turbines. Just recently, wind power production in the UK fell from 28% of overall energy production to just 3%.

Due to a lack of wind power, the UK’s reliance on coal for energy outperformed wind and solar even though the country has nearly banned its coal production entirely. The reliability of coal is so obvious that the nation is beginning to reinvest in coal mines to keep the plants open for business. Still, it’s doubtful such reinvestment will spur an uptick in reliable energy in time to protect its citizens from frigid winter temperatures.

Solar energy, on the other hand, has proven to be just as unpredictable in its output, despite Europe’s aggressive commitment to the source. Since Russia cut gas supplies after Europe’s sanctions over the war in Ukraine, there has been a sharp increase in demand for natural gas, forcing prices to rise higher and higher as a result. But this is a bad omen for elderly, lower-income Europeans ill-equipped to deal with the consequences of supply chain issues.

Ordinarily, Europe sees an increase in winter deaths but over 100,000 Europeans could die from high energy prices this winter, according to a study by The Economist magazine. If each country experiences its coldest winter since 2000, the death toll could rise to 185,000. But even if the temperatures remain at usual levels, 147,000 more people could die from cold-related illnesses than if the electricity costs stayed at 2015-2019 averages.

In the United States, European-style energy policies likewise cause tragic consequences with little benefit to Americans. Due to the Biden administration’s inflationary policies, U.S. electricity prices have more than doubled. Oil and natural gas prices have done the same. Hundreds of people in Texas died in February 2021 after frozen wind turbines triggered blackouts. Meanwhile, the administration plans to replace fossil fuel power with wind and solar by wrapping up $369 billion in climate spending in the Inflation Reduction Act.

If energy policymakers don’t stop soon, they risk turning the United States into a European "green" energy nightmare. That’s the last thing Americans want or deserve. Congressional leaders on both sides of the political aisle should take heed of the clear European warning signs before it’s too late and American citizens are left in the dark. ?


NY: Brace yourself for mountains of pain and misery under Gov. Hochul’s zero-emissions fantasy plan

With the start of the new year, New Yorkers are set to have their worlds turned upside down — and all for a fanciful green-dream plan that comes with sky-high costs and mountains of other pain yet is almost certain to fail, and won’t even do much good if successful.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers triggered the nightmare back in 2019 with their delusional Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, setting wholly unrealistic “mandatory” milestones to force the state off fossil-fuel energy and dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Gov. Kathy Hochul eagerly picked up the ball, and in December, a panel stacked with rubber-stampers pushed through a plan they preposterously claim will enable the state to meet those goals. Hochul’s agencies will now spit out specific rules and regulations based on the plan.

It’s pure delusion. Consider: By 2030, just seven years from now, the law requires a 40% cut in emissions over 1990 levels, and 85% by 2050. Yet as of 2019, emissions had dropped only 7% despite years of effort.

The law also requires a shift to renewable energy for electricity, with 70% online by 2030 and 100% just a decade later. Yet that will mean ramping up juice for wind- and solar-energy resources several times over, a herculean (and expensive) undertaking.

(And too bad for communities that don’t want towering windmills or massive solar-panel farms in their backyards.)

In total, the state will need as much as 124 gigawatts of power by 2040, per the New York State Independent System Operator, which oversees the electricity market — though it warns “even that might not be sufficient.” Which means tripling the state’s current generating power by adding 83 GWs in new capacity, plus making up for plants that close, all in just 18 years. For context, the state built just 12.9 GWs over the past 23 years.

The shift to wind and solar also means other new zero-emissions power sources will be needed for when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun won’t shine. Yet get this: There are no such commercial sources available at the moment. The plan itself admits a projected shortfall in electric supplies “will require identifying and developing solutions for dispatchable technologies.” Imagine planning the state’s energy future on a hope that some new technology will be discovered.

No wonder critics doubt the state can meet even its 2030 goals, let alone those beyond. Gavin Donohue, who heads the Independent Power Producers of New York, says it’ll take pure “magic” to make the plan work. And if it fails, and supplies run short, New York faces crippling blackouts, which could cost lives and property damage, as Empire Center energy expert James Hanley notes. That could cascade even to areas outside the state.

Meanwhile, all New Yorkers will personally have to make big-time sacrifices — and not just because of the skyrocketing energy bills they’ll face. As the plan states bluntly: “Every sector [of the economy] will see significant transformation over the next decade and beyond.”

Prefer gas-powered cars to zero-emission ones? Forget about buying one in New York after 2035. Indeed, in just seven years, the plan projects 3 million electric vehicles on New York’s roads.

It also wants New Yorkers to switch to heat pumps, with up to 2 million to be installed by 2030; buildings will have to phase out fossil-fuel sources for heating. Manufacturers will also need to shift to new technologies, with steep costs passed to the public.

And that’s just the start: As Hanley put it, the plan dictates “what types of consumer products New Yorkers will be able to buy . . . how much workers in the green economy will be paid” — those who work on renewable-energy projects get a union-rate premium — “how quickly reliable sources of electricity will shut down and what types of businesses will be bribed to set up shop in the state.”

And if, by some miracle, the plan does work, what do New Yorkers get for all that pain and expense? A reduction in global emissions by the state’s share: all of 0.4% — though, as Hanley also points out, that benefit will be enjoyed by the entire world, not just New Yorkers.

In the meantime, nations like China and India will be boosting emissions, wiping out any gains by New York. Greenies in the state will feel great about their contributions, though they’ll do virtually nothing to tame rising temps.

It’s absolute madness — putting New Yorkers through a risky, painful exercise with virtually nothing to be gained. And here’s the kicker: The entire justification is based on the myth that humans face catastrophe unless warming is slowed.

Yes, temperatures are rising. But as Bjorn Lomborg observes, citing UN figures, unchecked climate change means the average person in 2100 will be “only” 434% better off, instead 450% without climate change. “That is not a disaster,” he quips.

Hochul’s push to go through with this folly is certain to spell pain and misery for the state. The only way out is for New Yorkers to convince her and lawmakers to ditch the plan and start from scratch.


Heat kills. Cold kills more

by Jeff Jacoby

IF ANY CITY in America knows how to handle itself in snow and freezing weather it is Buffalo, N.Y., which is notorious for its brutal winters and massive, lake-effect blizzards. Yet the city took a blow to the solar plexus from the Christmas weekend storm that struck much of the United States. Dozens of people were killed in the Buffalo area — at least 38 so far, with more deaths expected to be uncovered as National Guard teams and emergency crews go door-to-door to check on residents and search for victims. And while Buffalo bore the brunt of the blizzard, there were dozens of additional fatalities across the country.

Some of those who died were caught outdoors and froze to death. Several had heart attacks while shoveling snow. Some died in homes that had no heat. Others faced medical emergencies that turned lethal when impassable roads kept ambulances from reaching them. The circumstances varied, but the underlying killer was the cold winter weather.

And deaths from cold, even if many people don't realize it, are far more numerous than deaths from heat.

"Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has consistently shown that excessive cold presents a greater threat to life than excessive heat," reported The Washington Post in 2016. During one five-year period analyzed by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, about 31 percent of weather-related deaths in the United States were attributed to "excessive natural heat, heat stroke, [or] sun stroke" but more than twice as many — 63 percent — were attributed to exposure to "excessive natural cold [or] hypothermia."

What is true for the United States — hypothermia ends more lives than hyperthermia — is no less true worldwide. According to one study published last year in The Lancet, the British medical journal, cold weather killed more people than hot weather "in all countries for which data were available." In South Africa, for example, there were 453 deaths from excessive heat in 2019 vs. 8,372 deaths from excessive cold. In New Zealand, there were just two heat-connected deaths but 1,191 deaths related to cold. The number of heat deaths in China was an appalling 46,224. But that amounted to only one-tenth of China's death toll from cold: 455,735.

Deaths caused by blizzards and cold snaps generally draw less attention because they are less sudden, suggests the Danish scholar Bjorn Lomborg, who notes that too much heat is apt to kill within a few days, whereas cold is more likely to kill over weeks. The physiological processes that lead to death from heat and cold are not mirror images of each other. During brutal heat waves, which have grown more frequent as the global climate shifts, people die when their body temperature gets too high, triggering a quick collapse of the internal regulating system that keeps heart and brain functional. Death from cold is a slower process. During cold weather, the body restricts blood flow to the skin, boosting blood pressure, steadily lowering resistance to disease, and inviting respiratory infection.

There is a reason why far more people prefer to live in warmer places than colder ones.

Doubtless climate change will affect these patterns to some extent. As the planet warms, heat deaths are likely to increase. But that cloud has a significant silver lining: Deaths from cold — a much greater threat to human life — will decrease.

There is a temptation in many quarters these days to treat climate change as a morality tale of good against evil. But the evidence doesn't fit such a simplistic pattern. If global warming continues as expected, weather during the summer months will become hotter and more humid, while winter weather will gradually grow less frigid and dry. On balance, and even considering other effects of climate change, that suggests fatalities from temperature extremes will fall.

Fans of "The Twilight Zone" may remember a 1961 episode set in New York City amid seemingly unstoppable worldwide warming. The Earth's orbit has shifted somehow, and the planet is moving inexorably toward the sun. The story centers on several desperate residents struggling to survive the murderous heat. As the temperature climbs, social order crumbles. Finally Norma, the main character, screams and passes out. Then comes the Rod Serling twist: Norma wakes up and it's snowing outside. She had been having a nightmare. The Earth isn't plunging toward the sun — it is hurtling away from it. The threat to humankind isn't remorseless heat, but a deathly deep freeze. Fade to credits.

In real life, climate doesn't operate like a "Twilight Zone" episode. Our world isn't ending in fire or in ice. Changes in global temperatures will bring changes in the number of weather-related deaths, but we can assume that the total of those deaths will be lower. After all, over the past 50 years, the number of deaths tied to weather and climate disasters has dropped by two-thirds. There is no reason they can't go lower still.


How Australian eco warriors fuel hypocrisy

If the radical parties pushing climate alarmism believed in their own messaging, they would lead by example, not by marketing novelty merchandise destined for landfills, shipped from Bangladeshi factories to Port Botany on polluting mega-carriers.

However, Climate 200 and the Greens were flogging novelty trinkets, such as shirts and water bottles, hoping recipients would parade them at their local gym to show how enlightened they are.

All the while, the Teals were bringing in a Bill to rush changes in Australian fuel standards which would see the end of cheap E10 as we know it, for highly refined European-standard fuel, capable of working only in hi-tech engines and which relies on a chemical so foul that it is illegal on our shores.

Climate 200’s North Sydney MP Kylea Tinks’ fuel Bill proposes keeping Australian standards in lock-step with Europe’s madness in perpetuity.

What does it matter to her if people can barely afford the rising living costs, let alone new cars with engines fitted with technology to use European-standard fuel by 2024 and the additional cost of refining imported crude oil to service them?

She doesn’t have to pay for fuel or her car — the taxpayer covers it for her.

The Bill wants to copy Europe. The problem is that European fuel uses a chemical, MTBE, which is banned in Australia. MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) may reduce pollution emissions in fuel, but it is highly pollutant in water, fouling it so it is unpalatable.

You would think so-called environmentalists from the second-driest continent on Earth after Antarctica would be across that.

Tink’s Bill claims there would be no financial impact, but every driver who doesn’t own an engine that can cope with European-standard fuel would need a new car to use it – and manufacturers still make cars that don’t. Flogging ill-considered proposals stands to drive people further into poverty and fails to address the big emitters.

Shipping emits three times as much as our entire country. So why are Australians who are just trying to get to school, the doctors and shops the focus for Climate 200?

These enormous ships are already taking Greens and, presumably, Climate 200 merch, along with 99 per cent of our trade, to Australia, creating three times the emissions our entire country does.

Instead of telling people to buy new cars, why not push for enormous cargo ships to adopt nuclear instead of heavy fuel oil? Nuclear on ocean vessels is not new. It’s already on submarines and naval ships.

Tink’s Bill stands to kick a massive own goal, forcing pensioners and families into unaffordable debt to take on a Climate 200-approved car.

The reality of this policy will be that people hold on to their old second-hand vehicles for longer because a new Mercedes is slightly out of their reach.

The coming safeguard mechanism will put more pressure on our last two oil refineries. If they shut down, we will rely entirely on imported fuel.

If our trade routes were shut down, our entire fleet would be zero-emission because none of them would be able to go anywhere.

Why not focus on expanding our Australian-made biofuel industry instead of vehicles that can only run on refined crude oil imported from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and shipped through waters with an expanding Chinese military presence?

If you want to have any conversation about fuel, we should be brutally honest about how exposed we are.

We cannot only see this issue through the prism of European cleanliness when we have our own homegrown opportunities, such as the biofuels industry — worth just 1.1 per cent of our national pool but worth $3.5 billion to the US and booming in South American nations.

Is total reliance on imports where you want to be? Europe is paying the price for outsourcing its energy sources to other countries.

We could have less international dependence if we grew our biofuel industry – which is recyclable and renewable.

You would think the Climate 200-funded independents who campaigned on reducing emissions would want to actually reduce emissions.

Yet for Climate 200, their “happy holidays” message centred on urging its donors to purchase merch in the form of gift cards to spend on “last-minute Teal coloured gifts”, including water bottles, T-shirts, and other paraphernalia that didn’t grow on trees.

This is the disconnect between Teals, who campaign against fossil fuel use, mining and exploration, yet use fossil fuels to manufacture and ship merchandise to foster the consumerist need to acquire more material possessions.

Teal voters will again fall prey to a marketing machine — and not even an original one. Their key shirt slogan, “A woman’s place is in the House”, takes directly from an Australian Greens Party shirt with the same etching of Parliament House with: “A woman’s place is in the House. And the Senate. And the Cabinet.”

Funny, they don’t think Senator Jacinta Price’s place is in the House.

Why is Climate 200 merchandise unnecessary waste serving no real purpose but to temporarily satisfy a desire for novelty from a community which wishes to be seen as environmental warriors while contributing to the ecological degradation they profess to rail against?

The Greens’ merch bearing slogans such as “This is a Climate Emergency” and “Big Green Power” are made in a part of Bangladesh powered by heavy fuel oil and doubling its coal-fired power stations to feed our desire for cheap clothes.

It is then shipped on a cargo carrier with more heavy fuel oil.

If you want to campaign for the environment, get Queensland to lift its uranium mining ban, refit massive transport ships with their own nuclear propulsion, and address the need for an Australian-made alternative to crude oil.




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