Monday, July 31, 2023

New York will ban single-use plastic silverware beginning Monday

I loved the heading above. NYC has plastic silver?

If you order takeout food, you might be accustomed to receiving a packet of plastic cutlery with your food to prevent you from needing to potentially needing to use your fingers or perhaps a comb to consume your food. However, if you live in New York City, you soon won't receive one unless you make it a point to ask for it.

New York City passed a "skip the stuff" law earlier this year that prohibited "restaurants, third-party food delivery services, and courier services from providing eating utensils, napkins, condiment packets, and extra food and beverage containers to customers with their take-out and delivery orders, unless specifically requested."

In explaining the decision the NYC City Council said, "More than 320 million tons of plastic are consumed each year globally, with 95% of plastic only used once and 14% for recycling. The “Skip the Stuff” legislation would decrease the amount of plastic in our waste stream, and it would reduce expenses for food service establishments."

The law takes effect on Monday, and restaurants who are found to have illegally provided plastic utensils to customers face potential fines ranging from $50 to $250. To soften the blow of the new law, the city has promised that restaurants will only be issued warnings for violating the law until July 1, 2024, when the fines will become mandatory.

The "skip the stuff" law is the latest salvo in New York City's war on takeout food packaging and accoutrements. In 2019, the city banned styrofoam containers for takeout food, and a ban on plastic straws went into effect in 2021.

The new law also places the onus on third-party delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash to ensure compliance with the law as well.


The UN’s climate alarmism has gone too far

Ross Clark

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has declared that ‘the era of global warming has ended, the era of global boiling has arrived’. As if that were not enough, Guterres declared that ‘the air is unbreathable, the heat is unbearable’.

Something is raging out of control but it isn’t the temperature: last week’s famous ‘heat domes’ have subsided, with only a few patches of southern Europe over 30ÂșC this afternoon. It is hyperbole over the climate.

What does Guterres – who appeared to be breathing normally as he delivered his speech – hope to achieve by using language that tries to make out that life on Earth is no longer sustainable?

We are in an arms race of extreme language, with everyone falling over each other to outdo each other. The world falls in on anyone who seeks to pooh-pooh the narrative around global warming – climate scepticism was one of the reasons Coutts cited for closing Nigel Farage’s bank account – yet no one ever seems to get into trouble for exaggeration.

Just as with Covid, there is a price to be paid for scaring people. For the past week, we have been shown footage of holidaymakers fleeing from fires on Rhodes, the impression given that the island has become permanently uninhabitable. Yet, as the island’s deputy mayor said today, actually only one hotel has been burned down. As it attempts to recover from the fire, Rhodes’s tourist industry has been greatly harmed, certainly for this season and possibly well beyond. Despite the apocalyptic language, as I wrote here the other day, wildfires are not on the rise globally, in spite of hotter and drier conditions in some places.

You might as well sit in a deckchair and listen to the band rather than seek a place in a lifeboat. That is the attitude that Guterres and his like are breeding

There is a wider point: if you are going to tell people they are effectively doomed, and a depressing number of children and young people appear to believe this. A 2021 poll by the University of Bath of 10,000 16 to 25-year-olds around the world found that 56 per cent of them agreed with the statement that humanity is doomed. What, then, is the incentive to do anything about it? You might as well sit in a deckchair and listen to the band rather than seek a place in a lifeboat. That is the attitude that Guterres and his like are breeding.

Three years ago, I wrote a satirical novel, The Denial, in which a future government kept renaming the Department of Climate Change so that it became, in turn, the Department of Climate Crisis, the Department of Climate Emergency, the Department of Climate Cataclysm, Department for the Climate Apocalypse, and the Department of the Climate Armageddon. (It also, incidentally, saw a character debanked for his views on climate change). Guterres has brought that hysterical world a little bit closer.


It's not climate change that's causing heat waves this summer but no one wants to explain why

Every summer, heat waves inevitably hit the U.S. and other parts of the world, causing climate alarmists and left-leaning media outlets to demand dramatic, disastrous changes to the global energy system. Unfortunately, this summer is no different.

On Tuesday, U.S. media outlets published a wave of stories about supposedly "historic" heat waves in Europe and North America. For example, The Washington Post published an article titled "Heat waves in U.S., Europe ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change, study finds."

Similarly, Axios published a story titled "Historic and enduring U.S. heat wave, by the numbers."

Although certain parts of the U.S. have undoubtedly experienced strong heat waves this summer, there’s no reason to believe these weather events are evidence that the world is hurtling toward a climate change catastrophe. In fact, the best available evidence suggests that heat waves recorded a century ago were more problematic than anything we’re seeing today.

Government researchers have been tracking heat waves for more than 100 years. According to data from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which is made available by the Environmental Protection Agency, the annual heat wave index for the contiguous 48 states was substantially higher in the 1930s than at any point in recent years. In some years in the 1930s, it was four times greater or even more.

Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a large database of daily temperatures that goes back to 1948. NOAA used 1,066 weather stations located across the U.S. to collect this data.

According to NOAA, huge swaths of the U.S. have experienced a significant decrease in abnormally hot days recorded since 1948, especially in the Midwest and northern and eastern Texas.

Although it’s true that some parts of the U.S. have seen the number of hotter-than-usual days increase over the past 70 years — including in California and the New York metropolitan area, both of which happen to be areas where a large number of media outlets are located — most weather stations have shown no meaningful changes or even declines.

Meteorologist Anthony Watts, who works with me as a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, analyzed NOAA’s data in detail and found that 81% of the weather stations used in NOAA’s database reported that since 1948 there has been "either a decrease or no change in the number of unusually hot days."

If the available data so clearly reveal that there is no heat-wave crisis, why are media outlets suggesting the opposite is true? The answer is sloppy, irresponsible media reporting, combined with cherry-picked data.

Anyone who wants to show a long-term warming or cooling trend can do so by selectively choosing starting and ending points in datasets that will provide the answer you’re looking for.

For instance, if you start your examination of historic temperatures with figures collected in the 1970s, when temperatures were unusually low compared to the rest of the century, then current temperatures look abnormally high.

United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry lashes out in House hearingVideo
If you start around 2010, then temperatures over the past decade appear to have dipped below "normal" and are only now recovering.

When many media outlets and left-wing politicians talk about climate change data, they almost always selectively choose a range that offers an incomplete picture of the larger available dataset. This makes it appear as though today’s temperatures are "historic" when they are actually well within normal historical ranges.

Another problem is that media outlets have been using temperature forecasts in their news reports as if those figures were actual temperature data. A forecast is, by definition, a guess, and some alarmist analysts have recently made a bad habit of incorrectly predicting insanely high temperatures that never come to fruition.

For example, the Telegraph, one of the largest papers in the U.K., published an article on July 18 in which the author claimed, "The European Space Agency said thermometers could tip 48C in Sardinia and Sicily, while the temperatures in Rome and Madrid could both reach the mid to high-40Cs. In drought-stricken Spain, temperatures were set to reach highs of 44C in Catalonia."

If the available data so clearly reveal that there is no heat-wave crisis, why are media outlets suggesting the opposite is true? The answer is sloppy, irresponsible media reporting, combined with cherry-picked data.

None of these predictions came true. In fact, some of them were off by several degrees or more.

Heat waves happen every year, but this isn’t evidence that Americans are facing a global warming crisis. When heat-wave data are put into their proper historical context, it’s clear that everything humans are experiencing today has been witnessed in the past.

The ugly truth behind climate alarmism is that much of it is driven by a radical ideological agenda that is seeking to transform the global economy and American society, not by science. The best way to fight back against it is to use cold, hard facts. And those facts plainly show that there is no reason to panic about our ever-changing climate.


Why Australia's energy transition needs a price tag

On the ABC’s 7.30 earlier this month, presenter Sarah Ferguson asked Energy Minister Chris Bowen to forecast a time when power prices would come down.

After name-checking the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bowen answered: “very clearly, the policy agenda indicates getting more renewables into the system, backed up by storage and by firming … (that) is the best way of seeing the cheapest possible energy prices”.

But is it? This is the multibillion-dollar question Australia’s future hinges on.

Bowen’s view that an ever-increasing share of renewables will lead to a reduction in power prices largely rests on one document: the CSIRO’s GenCost report. Updated on a yearly basis, this document is produced by a small team led by energy economist Paul Graham.

Although the document is treated as gospel by many, it has received surprisingly little scrutiny in the public arena. Given it is the most important document in Australia’s energy transition this lack of scrutiny may lead to policy disaster. One problem is that describing the problems with the report in accessible terms is no easy task.

Understanding the report requires a technical nous, and even those with industry expertise have found parts of it confounding.

Nevertheless, some experts do not hold back in their criticism. Stephen Wilson, from the School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland, told me in an email that the GenCost report is “inaccurate and misleading on total system costs”.

In a submission to Treasury earlier this year, energy economist David Carland points out that the report says nothing about the cost of “firming” of renewables and instead estimates the cost of “integrated” renewables from 2030 onwards – relying on the flawed assumption that firming has already taken place. But the most pointed criticism of GenCost has emerged this week from a Sydney-based data scientist.

Writing in the Fresh Economic Thinking publication, Aidan Morrison points out that the CSIRO’s claim that renewables are the “cheapest” form of energy rests almost entirely on a misapplication of the “sunk cost” assumption.

A “sunk cost” is economics jargon for money already spent. The sunk cost fallacy applies when you have already spent dollars and you try to recover them after they are gone. Say you buy a cake and put it in the fridge. You come to it later in the week but it has gone stale. You tell yourself you should eat it because you have spent money on it. In that situation – if you ate it – you would be committing the sunk cost fallacy. It would be better to just chuck it in the bin and reach for an apple.

In many situations, it makes sense to account for sunk costs. But the concept should always apply to money spent in the past, not in the future. By definition, costs that have not been incurred yet are avoidable, and are not yet sunk. This is common sense but, in the GenCost report, the CSIRO treats future spending on renewables as sunk – even before the spending has occurred – allowing the analysis to exclude this expenditure from the total cost of renewables.

This creative accounting method is how the GenCost report arrives at the conclusion that “integrated renewables” are the cheapest form of energy by 2030 onwards.

“By use of a bizarre ‘sunk-cost’ assumption in their modelling, CSIRO cleaves the cost of infrastructure built prior to 2030 (when we would supposedly already have reached over 50 per cent renewable penetration) from any solar and wind generators built thereafter that might depend on that infrastructure,” Morrison writes in Fresh Economic Thinking.

The CSIRO lists the projects that are written off as sunk: “Snowy 2.0 and the battery of the nation pumped hydro projects … various transmission expansion projects … New South Wales gas peaking plants at Kurri Kurri and Illawarra … The NSW target for an additional 2GW of at least eight hours duration storage is assumed to be met by 2030.” In response to this list, Morrison quips: “I’m losing count of the billions.”

“Every economist, politician, and policymaker relying on this report simply must hear about this,” he writes.

Morrison argues that a circular logic has taken root: “Politicians build transmission and storage because they think solar and wind are cheap because science says so. Science (ie, CSIRO) says solar and wind are cheap because high transmission and storage costs required to facilitate these renewable generators are an already built ‘sunk cost’ and ignored in their calculations.”

Of course, there may be good reasons why the CSIRO uses the sunk cost assumption for future and not past spending, and Morrison’s critique itself is worthy of scrutiny. But the problem is that we do not have a balanced conversation in this country about the true cost of our energy transition, and engineers who have expertise in alternative clean energy sources – such as nuclear – are frozen out of the conversation.

There is also a growing awareness internationally that when the full cost of firming renewables is incorporated into cost-of-generation metrics, the analysis looks rather different from what the CSIRO produces.

In a paper published in the journal Energy, German-American energy economist Robert Idel finds that when taking into account the full cost of renewables to an energy system, solar is 14 times more costly than nuclear energy, and wind is 4.7 times more costly.

In Texas, his methodology calculates that solar is 3.3 times more costly than nuclear, and wind is 2.3 times more costly. Such information is crucial for a balanced conversation about Australia’s energy transition. Especially in the context of power prices that just keep on rising.




Sunday, July 30, 2023

Cutting Through the Climate Fog

Of course, hot days in July and August are nothing new. Those of a certain age might recall growing up without air conditioning. True, our fond memories aren’t always accurate (we also remember walking miles to school, uphill both ways), yet somehow we lived through it and we loved summer anyway.

But today it seems that everything is controversial, and weather is no exception. And for context, I must also point out that the summer of 2023 is shaping up to be exceptionally hot, breaking records in many places. It is one more reminder (as if we needed reminding) that steadily warmer summers are a manifestation of climate change, a very real and serious matter.

We might be inclined to take that serious matter more seriously if media coverage were more balanced. Several off-balance examples caught my attention in the past couple of weeks:

A sub-headline on a Washington Post news article noting that this summer’s extreme heat has environmental policymakers very worried.

Political commentary to the effect that despite the record-shattering heat, Republicans still do not believe that climate change is real.

Widely covered pronouncement from the scientific community that three days last week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday) were the earth’s hottest days in 120,000 years. (Yes, 120,000 years!)

My immediate thoughts about worried policymakers: Mother Nature couldn’t care less about them or their policies. There is an enormous chasm between climate change policy (ours or the world’s) and the weather that shows up on our doorsteps — and in some cases, they’re not connected at all.

Despite the trillions of dollars spent or pledged to battle climate change, we’ve not even nudged the needle. That should be no surprise to anyone. Those massively complex computer analyses that have convinced us that man-caused emissions of greenhouse gases pose an existential threat to the planet also tell us that our very ambitious (and thus far unachievable) emission-reduction targets will produce, at best, a barely detectible decrease in global warming.

One example: Our government-mandated transition of the entire automobile industry and supporting infrastructure to electric vehicles may in fact lead to sweeping changes in Americans’ car choices, driving habits, and personal finances, but it’s unlikely to produce even slight changes in the occurrence of forest fires, the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, or summer temperatures anywhere. Our own analyses tell us so.

Regarding belief in climate change, just about everyone with a pulse (GOP included) acknowledges its reality. What some of us deny — with very good reason — is the efficacy of the climate change agenda advocated by the Left. It’s unaffordable, drives cost of electricity up and availability down, and achieves little or nothing in return.

And the recent scientific assertion that this summer’s high temperatures were the highest in 120,000 years is, in my view, an embarrassing — and very telling — indicator of the mind-numbing hubris of those upon whom we rely for guidance in environmental matters.

The point here is not to throw cold water on the climatological studies conducted by scientists around the world. Theirs is a necessary and challenging endeavor. But it’s hard to buy into precise assertions about daily temperatures more than a thousand centuries ago when produced by the same analytical methods that consistently fail to predict what will happen next year. Worse, my own skepticism hit the flashing red light zone when one of the leading proponents of the recent analysis asserted, “We know exactly what the problem is, we know exactly how to fix it, and we have all the solutions we need.”

No. Wrong on all counts. That kind of unwarranted confidence in computer analyses can get us in big trouble.

Here’s what we do know. We know that over its lifetime, our planet has gone through both extreme cooling and extreme warming cycles, at times becoming barely habitable; we know that man-made emissions, and particularly the combustion of fossil fuels, since the Industrial Revolution (only two centuries ago) has contributed to global warming; and we know as well that factors unrelated to greenhouse gas emissions, such as changes to earth’s orbit around the sun, have also caused global warming.

We know that there are now nearly eight billion inhabitants on this planet (that’s about 100,000 for each human who lived on the planet 120,000 years ago) consuming food, sharing our natural resources, and relying on electrical and other energy sources. We know that we must wean ourselves from reliance on fossil fuels — but at the same time we must find the energy and resources needed to support all eight billion people.

And we know that our long-term survival will hinge on our ingenuity, resilience, and capacity to adapt to whatever curveballs Mother Nature throws at us.



Depending on your outlook, the Net Zero movement could result in anything from the seven horses of the apocalypse riding across the sky to the delivery of some sort of Nirvana for humankind.

No matter what your view, some facts are clear and undisputed.

Fact one. It is going to cost a fortune and you will be paying the bill. Fact two. If investments in intermittent wind and solar didn’t provide significant returns, no one would invest in them. Fact three. Intermittent and unreliable generators will always deliver intermittent and unreliable electricity.

Which brings me to batteries…

The media seems to love the concept of batteries, storage of intermittent wind and solar-generated electricity, and a proposed end of coal and gas all hail this part of Nirvana. Unfortunately, pesky facts get in the way.

Batteries are storage devices, not some sort of perpetual motion machine that doesn’t abide by the laws of physics. They must be recharged after use, have fire risks that most people I think are unaware of, and are very, very expensive.

Storage first. In very simple terms a 2.4-kilowatt-hour battery could run your fast-boil kettle for an hour, or potentially your clothes dryer and your fast-boil kettle at the same time for 30 minutes. Assuming it was fully charged and could run until it’s completely exhausted. You see where this is going. If tomorrow it rains or isn’t windy, the likelihood of your battery system recharging fully while your intermittent generators hopefully provide electricity to your household is low. Imagine living in the north where the monsoon can set in for weeks.

Batteries, especially lithium-based batteries burn hot. Really hot. In fact they are so hot that emergency services around the country have special procedures regarding how to deal with them and they are worried. In an interview with the ABC in February this year, Electrochemistry Professor Paul Christensen, from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom said:

‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big, big fan of lithium-ion batteries. But I believe they’ve penetrated far faster at all levels of our society than our understanding of the risks.

‘What people had reported as being smoke was actually vapour cloud vented by the lithium-ion batteries, which is explosive as well as toxic. If that vapour cloud ignites immediately you get long, rocket-like flames, 1,000 degrees centigrade.’

You don’t have to look far to see emergency services and first responders have concerns and they are growing. Fire and Rescue New South Wales give this advice on its website for electric vehicles:

Keep clear of the vehicle and warn passers-by to keep at a safe distance (at least 30 metres), even if there is no visible smoke, vapours, or flames.

An electric vehicle that has been involved in a collision, a fire, or has been submerged, must be treated with caution as the high voltage battery pack may be compromised. Damaged EV batteries may ignite hours, days, or even weeks after the initial incident.

For household batteries Renew Magazine in March 2020 provided the following advice on home battery installation:

Batteries aren’t allowed in habitable rooms (bathrooms, laundries, pantries, hallways are not habitable rooms), in ceiling spaces or wall cavities, under stairways or access walkways, in an evacuation route or escape route, near combustible materials. Clear space must extend at least 600 mm to either side and 900 mm above the battery. Most likely the installer will add a thick cement sheet unless the wall is already made of cement sheet, brick or concrete. A battery in a garage may need a bollard to protect it from cars.

If its chemistry is lithium or it’s a powerful battery that can create a dangerous arc (arc flash) in the event of a short circuit.

If batteries at home and electric vehicles are your thing, if you can afford them, and if they suit your lifestyle, knock yourself out. But please make informed decisions. In my view it is only a matter of time before more onerous standards are put in place, especially to deal with fire risk. It is only a matter of time before enormous upgrades will be needed in the electricity network to deal with increased demand. It is only a matter of time before disposal becomes regulated and charges are put to the consumer. AEMO estimated that increased demand at peak times could be as much as 60 per cent to deal with electric vehicles alone. It is only a matter of time before there are more fires and injuries associated with this developing technology. While the electric Nirvana supporters continue to howl at the Net Zero moon, there are those out there who think physics, engineering, risk analysis, and minimising environmental impact are just as important.

And whether it is wind turbines, solar panels, lithium batteries, or electric vehicles they all have a design life and must be disposed of at end of life. What on earth do you do with it all?

Wind turbine blades are expected to create approximately 43 million tonnes of waste by 2050 around the world. Just the blades alone. Without counting the millions of solar panels and tens of thousands, growing into millions of batteries.

I’m often asked about the half-life of radioactive waste from nuclear reactors that are producing baseload electricity around the world. In America, generally using older nuclear technology, their nuclear fleet provides electricity to 70 million people a year. And produce enough waste to fill half an Olympic-sized swimming pool per year. Whatever the half-life of that waste is I can guarantee you it is less than the half-life of heavy metals, carbon fibre, lithium, and everything else that goes into what are incorrectly called renewable generators. Because the waste products from intermittent wind and solar last forever. ?


Supreme Court Issues Order Allowing Work to Resume on West Virginia Gas Pipe

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 27 allowed Equitrans Midstream Corp. to resume the building of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, granting what some described as a win for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) by lifting a lower-court order that blocked work on the project.

In a brief order (pdf), the high court suggested that it would possibly consider lawsuits issued by environmental groups. “Although the Court does not reach applicant’s suggestion that it treat the application as a petition for a writ of mandamus at this time, that determination is without prejudice to further consideration in light of subsequent developments,” it said.

“The application to vacate stays presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted,” the Supreme Court added. It didn’t provide any explanation of its decision.

The decision went against the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups that sought an injunction to halt construction. Those groups argued in court that the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction would negatively affect endangered species and said that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management violated environmental statutes by approving its construction.

Lawyers cited an 1871 Supreme Court ruling that found that Congress can’t prescribe the rule of decision in a particular case, as that would be an unconstitutional intrusion into the separate powers of the judiciary and would allow Congress “to pick winners and losers,” to quote the groups, in litigation before the federal courts.

Lawyers for the pipeline company said they needed quick Supreme Court action to keep plans on track to finish building the 300-mile pipeline and put it into service by the winter, when the need for natural gas for heating grows. Mountain Valley Pipeline said the work is largely complete, except for a 3-mile section that cuts through the Jefferson National Forest.

The $6.6 billion project is designed to meet growing energy demands in the South and Mid-Atlantic by transporting gas from the Marcellus and Utica fields in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The project has been delayed by a litany of court challenges. One challenge against the pipeline was upheld by the 4th Circuit of Appeals, which has often tossed out the pipeline’s permits over environmental concerns. The Supreme Court on July 27 ruled on two disputes, one brought by the Wilderness Society and one brought by 10 environmental groups.

Those groups wanted a review from the 4th Appeals Court of authorizations that were handed down earlier this year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service that allowed the pipeline segments in the Jefferson National Forest.

Officials Respond

It also comes as Mr. Manchin and several other lawmakers added items into the debt ceiling bill passed last month that sought to allow the pipeline to continue.

“The Supreme Court has spoken and this decision to let construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline move forward again is the correct one,” the West Virginia senator, who is up for reelection in 2024, said in a statement. “I am relieved that the highest court in the land has upheld the law Congress passed and the President signed.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, similarly praised the decision by saying that he is “pleased the Supreme Court recognized the importance of this project not only for West Virginia, but for the nation.” ?


Who Wears the Cost of Taking Down Wind Turbines Once They Expire?

Well in Australia, it could be the landholder or farmer.

Andrew Dyer, the country’s energy infrastructure commissioner says he has seen several “questionable agreements” between renewable companies and landholders that could leave the latter saddled with millions of dollars in decommissioning bills.

“Under the law, it will default to the landlord,” Mr. Dyer told a Senate Estimates hearing on May 23. “It’s up to the landlord to make sure that they have … a really good contract in place and you get the appropriate bond set-ups to cover the costs.

“It costs more money to pull a turbine down than it does to put it up, and that probably makes sense when you think about it. The costs of pulling down a turbine may exceed the revenue you get for 25 years. That’s not a good outcome.

“In the case of a turbine in Queensland where the bed plate cracked and you couldn’t go near the turbine because it could fall on your head, that cost millions of dollars to take down with robots and explosives. You could be stuck with some big bills.”

How Hard is it to Remove a Wind Turbine?

The average wind turbine has a lifespan of 25 years before it must be decommissioned and taken apart.

Yet the process of deconstructing and disposing of wind turbines is no simple feat.

“They have an in-ground lump of concrete that can be as much as 800 tons [to support a 200-metre high turbine] and could be left to the landowner or a farmer … to deconstruct what is effectively a giant Meccano [similar to Lego] set,” said federal Nationals MP Keith Pitt in an interview with The Epoch Times on July 28.

“This [net zero movement] is moving so fast that no one has the necessary regulations in place to protect the owners of the land, and potentially the future costs to the Australian taxpayer,” he added.

Mr. Pitt called for financial security or bonds to be made available, like how mining activity features similar arrangements for land rehabilitation once a project concludes.

“That should absolutely happen for intermittent wind and solar. Solar panels that will cover literally millions of hectares, and wind turbines that will dominate the skyline,” he said.

The energy infrastructure commissioner said some renewable energy providers would try to avoid a bond “because the landholder was ignorant to the risk.”

“We put out an updated guideline [pdf] in January this year to help landholders ask the right questions before they sign a document,” Mr. Dyer said.

“There are some questionable agreements out there that were not balanced, in our view, and so we’ve given the community and the landholders a helping hand.”

Mr. Dyer also suggested making bond provisions part of the licensing that goes into building renewable projects.

The march towards net zero has spurred a swathe of logistic, financial, engineering, and even security challenges.

According to the commissioner’s Energy Charter 2023, farmers have said the building of new infrastructure to support renewable energy could come at the cost of farmland.

“[About] 58 percent of surveyed landholders said that transmission infrastructure will result in a direct loss of farmable land or disruption to their land productivity,” the document states.

“Sixty percent also believe transmission infrastructure will impact their use of machinery or equipment. Some landholders also noted biodiversity impacts, which may diminish the natural features valued by the local community and aesthetics of the area.”

Federal MP Pitt said new transmission lines required easements, which need to be kept clear of regrowth to prevent future interference.

“That land generally can’t be farmed and can’t be utilised,” he said. “And it gets in the way of moving around your own property. Generally, no one wants a 200-metre strip of unusable land through the middle of prime agricultural land that impacts not only their operations but the value of their property.”




Friday, July 28, 2023

Ruining the world to ‘save the planet’

The late morning sun danced off the Mediterranean as I took a chair facing Al Gore on the rooftop terrace of the Hilton in Cannes. I was there to interview the ascending messiah, in the foothills of the apocalypse known as AGW. He was to receive awards and accolades for his 2006 film in which (as writer) he addressed An Inconvenient Truth, screened just before we met, at the world’s most prestigious film festival, the altar of cinema.

The West took the message and spread it with fervour, using the film as a platform. Ambassadors were recruited to help sell the gloom, touring schools with a full propaganda kit of slide shows with alarmist claims echoing the film. It was (is!) the first mass hypnosis on a near-global scale. China and Russia (and much of the Middle East) remained untouched by the alarmist onslaught. When your enemy is digging a hole, don’t interrupt…

It wasn’t long, October 2007, that an opposing alarm was sounded in Britain, when a high court judge highlighted what he said were ‘nine scientific errors’ in the film.

The judge made his remarks when assessing a case brought by a Kent school principal and a member of a political group, the New Party, opposed to a government plan to show the film in secondary schools.

The judge ruled that the film can still be shown in schools, as part of a climate change resources pack, but only if it is accompanied by fresh guidance notes to balance Gore’s ‘one-sided’ views. The ‘apocalyptic vision’ presented in the film was not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change, he said.

The mistakes identified mainly deal with the predicted impacts of climate change and include claims that a sea-level rise of up to 6m would be caused by melting in either west Antarctica or Greenland ‘in the near future’. The judge said: ‘This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore’s “wake-up call”.’ He accepted that melting of the ice would release this amount of water, ‘but only after, and over, millennia’.

Gore, famously within an inch of the US Presidency in 2000, was emphatic; the climate was threatening. ‘I know this about politics. The political system has one thing in common with the climate system: it too, is non-linear. It can appear to change only gradually. But it can cross a tipping point, beyond which it moves dramatically,’ he said.

Ironically, the film quotes Mark Twain’s wisecrack, ‘What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know, it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so,’ with the unquestioning confidence of the truly ignorant.

The salesman’s tricks in An Inconvenient Truth supercharged the already hyped scare campaign which had begun on June 23, 1988. To emphasise the ‘warming’ at the congressional session hosting NASA’s Jim Hansen as a guest speaker on the subject, Hansen’s Democrat ally Senator Tim Wirth scheduled the hearing on a day forecast to be the hottest in Washington that summer. In addition, Wirth sabotaged the air-conditioning the previous night, hoping to ensure the TV cameras could show everyone sweating in the heat. Wirth later told Deborah Amos (NPR News) how he did it:

‘What we did is that we went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right, so that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room. And so when the hearing occurred, there was not only bliss, which is television cameras and double figures, but it was really hot… The wonderful Jim Hansen was wiping his brow at the table at the hearing, at the witness table, and giving this remarkable testimony.’

Nobody questioned why it was NASA spreading the warming message, nor why it was in the political arena instead of a scientific setting.

Throughout the West, living standards, the economy, and yes, even the universally cherished environment itself, have been beaten down, throttled, and endangered by the still unproven theory (unproven theory correct!) that fossil fuel emissions drive warming and threaten the planet. Plants, of course, disagree.

But then, the message has always been borne on the wings of political activism, from Jim Hansen and Tim Wirth to Al Gore and latterly in Australia, the evangelical Chris Bowen. I use the word advisedly: climate change as a political movement is more like a secular religion, as has been noted many times before. It can also be described as ‘a cultural disease haunting Western society’, in the words of Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent. In his new book, The Grip of Culture, Andy West ‘overturns the existing literature, developing a powerful new model of public attitudes based on the interaction of traditional religion and a new culture – a new faith – of climate catastrophism, which is instinctively accepted or rejected. At its centre is a series of measurements of public opinion, culled from major international polls, which make a strong case that society is now in the grip of a major new religion’, according to the back cover synopsis.

It is a supreme irony that climate alarmists justify their activism by reference to ‘the science’ while steadfastly refusing to pay heed to scientific reports that challenge their beliefs, or to debate the subject with climate scientists – those not captured by the ruling orthodoxy. And there are a great many of them.

Nick Cater writes in his July 24, 2023, column in The Australian:

‘There are only 83,000 hectares of wet sclerophyll forest left in North Queensland. Ark Energy is just a ministerial tick away from ripping into a thousand to construct an industrial wind turbine development.’

Killing the environment to save the environment, eh?

In Struggle Street (pace Alan Jones), the energy bill hills have grown into mountains. Eat or heat? is the winter question. Small businesses face extinction.

Encouraged by the alarmism, zealous but disinformed protestors who want to Just Stop Oil rampage through cities and art galleries, disrupting city life, adding stress to urbanites (including this Urban).

The chaos of energy policies, here and elsewhere, is the direct result of attempts to ‘save the planet’ by alarmist scenarios that have children terrified, young couples refusing to have children, and corporates falling over themselves to turn from profit to politics, abandoning their purpose. Don’t they see they are helping politicians to be the useful idiots assisting China to ruin the world – weakening it on the way to controlling it? Without firing a shot; Sun Tzu would approve. ?


Germany’s Irrationality Against Fossil Fuels Has Made It More Dependent on Them

Governments around the West are currently scrambling toward adopting more and more renewable, environmentally healthy energy sources—with the notable and regrettable exception of nuclear energy—and to set a path for a world of zero emissions in the coming decades.

There is no doubt that the goal of reaching a greener and cleaner future is laudable and something conservatives and free marketeers should support. But the top-down, heavy-handed approach by governments is the wrong one and has already caused havoc.

Let’s look to Germany as an example. Europe’s largest economy hastily implemented its Energiewende, that is, its transition to green energy, a little more than over a decade ago.

It was done hastily since it was a sudden decision made by the country’s then-chancellor, Angela Merkel, who irrationally decided after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster that it was time to get rid of nuclear. Thus, the Energiewende toward a cleaner future started by abandoning what is perhaps one of the best energy sources for getting us to that future.

While this major government-led project was off to a suboptimal start then, it has hardly become better since. The catastrophic consequences, the back-and-forth in policy decision-making, and the economic and social damage of the Energiewende (for instance, the European Commission already estimated in 2014 that the transition would cost a staggering 137 billion euros) have been documented at other points already.

Instead, I would like to highlight the geopolitical effect of Germany having become more dependent on fossil fuels from other countries since the start of the transition. Or, put differently, rather than producing energy itself, Germany has opted to import fossil fuel-based energy from other countries—and Russia in particular.

As the news website Clean Energy Wire has shown, Germany imported 63.7% of its energy from Russia in 2020. Ever since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany had to completely outsource that to other countries, which has led to skyrocketing energy prices.

There would have been a way even after the invasion, of course, to slow down the increase in energy prices and to actually make Germany more independent again in its energy security. But the German government, which includes the Green Party, opted nevertheless to shut off all nuclear power plants in the spring of 2023. Energy security has thus been a practical impossibility.

To secure their energy supply at least to a minimum extent, certain states in Germany have started setting up new power plants based on natural gas.

For instance, Bavaria, the southern state in which most land is owned by farmers and that is nestled in mountains that are protected for their unique ecosystems (that is, not good places for windmills and solar panels farms), set up a new gas plant in 2021 to ensure a reliable energy supply after the federal government in Berlin had decided to shut down all of the state’s nuclear plants.

And after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the federal government ordered the restart of coal-fired power plants, too. Yet, still, the fuels for these gas and coal plants are coming from foreign suppliers.

Thus, in its irrationality against fossil fuel energy sources and in favor of forcing through an immediate transition to green energy, Germany has instead made itself more dependent on fossil fuels, but now from other countries in the world (and primarily from countries that could not be considered friends of the West).

It is merely one example of how government-led environmental policy has actually done very little for the environment but has hurt the people and businesses on the ground while also funding adversaries.

There is a different way, of course, and that is a more hands-off, pro-market approach toward protecting the environment. A regulatory approach will always be needed—it could be potentially disastrous if businesses simply set up nuclear plants without an already existing regulatory framework.

If the government wanted to truly help the environment, however, it would look to free enterprise to find solutions and use those resources that are abundantly available—for example, hydropower in the Alpine regions or the rivers.

In the end, it will always be environmental entrepreneurs—or enviropreneurs—who will truly help the environment. Industrial policy has never been effective. Until governments realize this, they will merely virtue-signal themselves into more and more disastrous policies.


Heating Up the Regulatory State

The Biden administration is going to “save” the planet and “save” Americans money by forcing us all to … spend more money. Get it? Neither do we, but according to Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, that’s “Bidenomics” for you.

The growing list of household appliances the Biden administration has unilaterally decided is under its purview is getting more ridiculous. Indeed, the administration cannot deny it anymore. So the excuse now is, Well, it’s not happening immediately.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said as much. Team Biden has gone after “gas stoves, air conditioning units with regulation, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, now water heaters,” a reporter said in an exchange with KJP. “How many more home appliances will Americans eventually have to replace, then, because of regulations?”

“So, just to be clear,” Jean-Pierre responded, “when it comes to water heaters — and it is — it is — it is proposed, what has been put forward, and if it is enacted, it would not take it into effect until 2029. So let’s not forget that.”

Why put off the regulation for another six years if climate change is such an imminent threat? If the world will end in X number of years, as we’ve been relentlessly told for decades, why wait?

The short answer is because it has nothing to do with the climate.

Likewise, the claim that “Bidenomics” is saving Americans money is just as vacuous.

While the DOE claims that the new regulations would produce $11 billion in annual savings for consumers, that claim quickly runs into a wall called “the real world.”

While these heat-pump systems may indeed be more energy efficient on their face, the real-life situations into which these units are placed have tremendous impact on their overall energy efficiency. Since these heat-pump water heaters take from the ambient warm air surrounding the unit, channeling it to heat the water, the temperature of the air around the unit will dictate its efficiency. Therefore, in hotter climates, this system works well, but in cooler climates, much of that energy efficiency is lost. And, of course, lost energy efficiency means lost savings.

Furthermore, there’s the problem of initial costs. These heat-pump water heaters cost an average of $2,800 more than a standard electric water heater on the market today. That’s no small potatoes for most Americans. On top of the price of the water heater are installation costs, which can run much higher than the installation of a standard water heater.

So, on balance, depending upon a variety of factors such as local climate, house size, and location within a house, the potential energy savings may end up being a complete wash due to the high upfront cost of these water heaters. But again, it’s not about saving money or saving the planet; it’s about empowering Washington’s bureaucratic state and giving excuses for unelected bureaucrats to impose ever more control over the American public.

Ben Lieberman, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, observes, “It seems that almost everything that plugs in or fires up around the house is either subject to a pending regulation or soon will be.” Exactly.

It is also deeply ironic that the party most concerned about democracy being threatened is the party most engaged in building a federal government that increasingly circumvents the democratic process.

If such powers are constitutional at all — which is a big “if” — Congress should be the only branch of the federal government looking to pass laws such as the DOE’s proposed regulations. It’s the only way for citizens to hold their elected representatives accountable. But of course, Congress doesn’t want to be held accountable, so elected lawmakers can hide behind the unelected bureaucratic state while asserting, It’s not our fault.


Australia: Victoria to ban all new homes from having a gas connection

Daniel Andrews' Labor government has taken the extraordinary step of banning the option of connecting natural gas to homes in a bid to halve carbon emissions by 2030.

Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio and Planning Minister Sonya Kilkenny announced the changes to energy supply on Friday morning, with the policy set to be introduced on January 1, 2024.

In addition to residential housing, any new public buildings which are yet to reach design stages by the cut off date - including schools, police stations and hospitals - must be entirely electric. Commercial properties will be exempt.

The move has prompted swift backlash from breakfast radio kingmakers Kyle and Jackie O.

Sandilands branded the Victorian Premier a 'wandering eyed flop' in a sensational blow up about the policy.

'I'm sick and tired of everyone thinking we're idiots,' he said. 'These laws are for idiots.'

'That government sucks ass. That wandering eyed flop down there can't have the Commonwealth Games because he can't budget, now he thinks ''I'll get the woke losers to vote for me by getting rid of gas''.

The change comes despite electricity power prices soaring by more than 50 per cent in just one year.

'The gas is getting eradicated yet eletricity is going through the roof and now we're forced to do that? This is some bulls**t,' Sandilands said.

The government hopes these new changes will shave up to $1,000 from household energy bills each year.

There is also a hope that there will be cash savings because households will no longer need a gas connection.

Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, told Daily Mail Australia the changes amounted to a 'direct attack on Victorian families who are facing the ever-increasing dilemma between whether to heat or eat'.

'Gas bills for Victorian families have increased by 50 per cent... This price rise is by far the largest increase of any state, and more than double the national average.'

Mr Wild said it would be 'misleading' to simply blame the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the price hikes - as the Victorian Energy Minister has done in the past.

'Her government has no one else to blame for out-of-control gas price rise but themselves, which has been more reckless than any other state in banning the development of this vital resource,' he said.

'Banning the use of gas is fundamentally out of step with community expectations and is another example of the ever-growing intrusion of the Victorian Government into the day-to-day lives of families.'

New data recently revealed struggling Victorians are increasingly relying on government energy bill relief grants amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

More than 86,000 of the grants have been distributed in nine months.

The Essential Services Commission revealed 67,413 residential customers required electricity bill assistance in March, the highest number since the relief scheme began in 2019.

Another 55,415 households had help to pay their gas bills over the course of the month.

Even still, a 25 per cent hike was brought in on July 1, spiking annual power bills again by $352 for residential customers and $752 for small businesses.

Prominent think tank the Grattan Institute suggested state and territory governments ban new natural gas connections to homes, shops and small businesses just last month.

Victoria is the first state to legislate such changes, and also partially funds the institute.

The Grattan report said Australia would fail to meet its net zero by 2050 carbon emissions target unless gas appliances were replaced with electric ones powered by renewable energy.




Thursday, July 27, 2023

Here's fun! Power Companies Could Remotely Switch Off EV Chargers to Reduce Grid Stress

Energy providers could have the option to switch off home EV charging stations remotely to reduce pressure on Queensland’s electricity grid.

The proposal is part of the Australian state’s Queensland Electricity Connection Manual (QECM), which provides a framework for the grid’s operation.

Section 8 of the QECM proposes that EV charging equipment may be limited or switched off by operators Ergon Energy and Energex (distributed network service providers or DNSPs) if it has an output of more than 20 amps—a standard domestic single-phase EV charger uses 32 amps.

The use of such “demand management” schemes is largely unique to Queensland and is also used on residential pool cleaning machines, hot water systems, and air conditioning units under the Peaksmart program.

Peaksmart gives households a cash rebate; in return, the operator can turn off air conditioners remotely during peak operating times (summer) to reduce pressure on the energy grid.

The large-scale roll-out of such programs has been earmarked as a potential catalyst to close down coal-fired power stations faster—amid the net zero push—and to, instead, adopt more intermittent renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and battery.

Federal Nationals MP Keith Pitt, himself an electrical engineer, says a proposal to use demand management on EV charging reveals that operators have little confidence the grid can handle the uptake of electric cars expected in the push towards net zero.

“EV take-up could increase peak demand by as much as 60 percent right across the National Electricity Market,” Mr. Pitt told The Epoch Times.

“That would mean you need a 60 percent increase in generating electricity capacity, transmission, and distribution. So that’s every substation, every cable, every supply point, every house—it will cost an absolute fortune.”

The federal Labor government has set a lofty goal of having 3.8 million EVs on the road by 2030—there are currently 83,000 in use.

Further, the government is also pushing to expand the charging network, aiming for 100,000 for businesses, 3.8 million chargers in households, and 1,800 publicly available fast chargers.

The initiative comes as part of a wider push towards net zero by 2050 and to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030. Further, the Labor government hopes to have 82 percent of the National Electricity Market powered by renewables.

Advocacy groups have argued against a demand management system saying it will dampen enthusiasm for EVs. “We know from surveys that average consumers aren’t particularly keen on mandated orchestration of their appliances,” says the Electric Vehicle Council in its submission on the QECM (pdf).

“The Peaksmart program enlists between 10,000 and 15,000 air conditioning units for orchestration each year … out of a total of about 300,000 that get installed. About 95 percent of consumers prefer retaining control of their air conditioning, overtaking the financial incentives on offer.”

Meanwhile, Melissa McAuliffe, acting director of energy services at Energy Consumers Australia, says it would erode consumer trust that the “energy system is working for them.”

“Our 2023 Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey finds that only 35 percent of households are confident that the energy industry and regulators are working in their long-term interests now,” she wrote in a submission (pdf).

“Further, such measures are unlikely to be completely effective for consumers or the system, as consumers may look to workarounds that circumvent giving DNSPs control. For example, through disincentivising the use of EV chargers, consumers may just use regular power points.”


Hot Weather Does Not Mean Climate Change

As Ambassador Rahm Emanuel once said as chief of staff to President Barack Obama, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Hillary Clinton is taking this to heart, using summer temperatures to justify Democrats’ profligate spending on green energy in the Inflation Reduction Act.

No matter that hot summer days in cities do not equate to climate change; that climate change models are poor predictors of warming; and that the incidence of hurricanes and tornadoes has not increased over time. A better use of funds would be to buy air conditioners to keep people cool during hot months.

The Sixth U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated that the “attribution of certain classes of extreme weather (e.g., tornadoes) is beyond current modelling and theoretical capabilities.”

It is well known that measures of warming are biased upward because temperature readings are taken in urban rather than rural areas and the world has seen increased urbanization over the past centuries. Solar activity also plays a role in warming.

Despite measurement problems, the “climate crisis” is the stated rationale for interfering with Americans’ choices of cars, appliances, and power generation sources. The “climate crisis” is why California aims to allow only battery-powered vehicles to be sold in the state starting in 2035 and why the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules that would require two-thirds of new passenger vehicle sales to be electric vehicles by 2032.

But what if we were not in a climate crisis after all, and trillions of dollars in planned tax credits and green energy expenditures are a misuse of taxpayer resources?

New York University professor Steven Koonin has presented data in his bestselling book, “Unsettled,” to show that the science is not as settled as many politicians would have us believe.

Koonin is a respected academic physicist. He was former undersecretary for science at the U.S. Department of Energy under President Barack Obama when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. His portfolio included the climate research program and energy technology. He has a bachelor of science in physics from Caltech and a doctorate in theoretical physics from MIT. Koonin taught for 30 years at Caltech and has published 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Koonin finds that daily record high temperatures have not increased over the past 100 years and daily record lows have become less common. This is directly at variance with media headlines.

Although wildfires made headlines this summer, global areas burned by wildfires have shown a downward, rather than an upward, trend. Tornado activity in the United States has declined since 1970.

The media covers climate change as though doomsday is approaching. Bad news sells, and well-funded organizations support the crisis message.

Take Covering Climate Now, founded by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation in 2019 with over 460 news and media partners, including Reuters, Bloomberg, CBS, NBC, and MSNBC. Covering Climate Now helps “to make climate a part of every beat in the newsroom.” It advises news outlets under its “best practices” to show photos of people frazzled in the heat rather than enjoying themselves in a pool. It states, “In the year 2023, there is simply no good-faith argument against climate science.”

“Consensus” on the “climate crisis” as presented by news outlets is not a scientific consensus at all. We need to follow scientific knowledge as it develops and carefully consider the costs and benefits of different alternatives.

This is particularly important for the transportation and energy sectors, which bear the brunt of costs for the “climate crisis.” People need these sectors to be highly reliable and cost effective. Making large changes to transportation and energy in a short period of time decreases reliability and increases prices dramatically.

Even if rising “greenhouse gas” emissions were affecting the climate, actions by the United States will not be helpful in the absence of changes by China and India, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. If the United States were to get rid of all fossil fuel emissions, this would only reduce global temperatures by 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

China, India, Africa, and Latin America are all increasing emissions, and President Xi Jinping announced last week that China has no plans to reduce emissions after 2030, contrary to the Paris Agreement that his nation signed on to.

In fact, American carbon emissions have declined by 1,000 million metric tons over the past 16 years while Chinese emissions have risen by 5,000 million metric tons. Further reductions in U.S. emissions, with their associated costs, will just be a drop in the global bucket. Polls show that many believe protecting the environment is less important to Americans than economic growth.

Additionally, the message that government can create more total jobs by requiring more costly technology is seductive but empty. Yes, some Americans might be employed building the technology, but others lose jobs due to more expensive energy causing businesses to cut back on production and transportation or causing them to cut jobs directly to pay for increasing energy costs.

The EPA’s proposed tailpipe and power plant regulations will reduce economic growth by raising energy prices. As well as reducing jobs in the auto industry—GM, Ford, and Stellantis are closing down traditional auto plants—EPA regulations will also discourage energy-intensive manufacturing.

Raising the cost of energy at any time is poor economic policy, but especially when economic growth is slow. U.S. annualized gross domestic product growth was 2% in the first quarter of 2023, with data for the second quarter expected on Thursday. It’s summer, but now is not the time for Democrats to use the excuse of climate change to slow the economy further with more regulations.


Gulf Stream current could collapse in 2025, plunging Earth into climate chaos

This is an old chestnut. Prophecies of doom about the Gulf Stream have been going on for decades now. The evident truth is that it cannot accurately be modelled

A vital ocean current system that helps regulate the Northern Hemisphere's climate could collapse anytime from 2025 and unleash climate chaos, a controversial new study warns.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which includes the Gulf Stream, governs the climate by bringing warm, tropical waters north and cold water south.

But researchers now say the AMOC may be veering toward total breakdown between 2025 and 2095, causing temperatures to plummet, ocean ecosystems to collapse and storms to proliferate around the world. However, some scientists have cautioned that the new research comes with some big caveats.

The AMOC can exist in two stable states: a stronger, faster one that we rely upon today, and another that is much slower and weaker. Previous estimates predicted that the current would probably switch to its weaker mode sometime in the next century.

But human-caused climate change may push the AMOC to a critical tipping point sooner rather than later, researchers predicted in a new study published Tuesday (July 25) in the journal Nature Communications.

"The expected tipping point — given that we continue business as usual with greenhouse gas emissions — is much earlier than we expected," co-author Susanne Ditlevsen, a professor of statistics and stochastic models in biology at the University of Copenhagen, told Live Science.

"It was not a result where we said: 'Oh, yeah, here we have it'. We were actually bewildered."

AMOC as a global conveyor belt

Atlantic Ocean currents work like an endless global conveyor belt moving oxygen, nutrients, carbon and heat around the globe. Warmer southerly waters, which are saltier and denser, flow north to cool and sink below waters at higher latitudes, releasing heat into the atmosphere.

Then, once it has sunk beneath the ocean, the water slowly drifts southward, heats up again, and the cycle repeats. But climate change is slowing this flow. Fresh water from melting ice sheets has made the water less dense and salty, and recent studies have shown that the current is at its weakest in more than 1,000 years.

The region near Greenland where the southerly waters sink (known as the North Atlantic subpolar gyre) borders a patch that is hitting record low temperatures, while the surrounding seas climb to all-time highs, forming an ever-expanding 'blob' of cold water.

The last time the AMOC switched modes during the most recent ice age, the climate near Greenland increased by 18 to 27 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius) within a decade. If it were to turn off, temperatures in Europe and North America could drop by as much as 9 F (5 C) in the same amount of time.

Direct data on the AMOC's strength has only been recorded since 2004, so to analyze changes to the current over longer timescales, the researchers turned to surface temperature readings of the subpolar gyre between the years of 1870 and 2020, a system which they argue provides a 'fingerprint' for the strength of AMOC’s circulation.

By feeding this information into a statistical model, the researchers gauged the diminishing strength and resilience of the ocean current by its growing year-on-year fluctuations.

The model's results alarmed the researchers — yet they say that checking them only reinforced their findings: The window for the system's collapse could begin as early as 2025, and it grows more likely as the 21st century continues.


Race to salvage sinking cargo ship carrying 3,000 vehicles including 350 Mercedes as it burns out of control in North Sea after fire 'caused by electric car'

The race is on to prevent the sinking of a cargo ship off the Dutch coast which is carrying almost 3,000 vehicles, including 350 Mercedes-Benz, as it burns out of control with an electric car believed to be behind the deadly fire.

At least one crew member died and others were injured after fire ripped through the Fremantle Highway, a 18,500-ton car-carrying vessel. Rescue helicopters and boats evacuated 23 crew members from the Panamanian-registered ship.

Officials have said there are 'many' wounded. Some suffered broken bones, burns and breathing problems and were taken to hospitals in the northern Netherlands, emergency officials said.

Seven crew members jumped overboard and were rescued from the water, while the rest were airlifted by helicopter. Dutch broadcaster NOS reported that all the crew were Indian.

This afternoon, the ship was said to be burning out of control in the North Sea and rescue vessels were working to save it from sinking close to one of the world's most important migratory bird habitats.

'Currently there are a lot of vessels on scene to monitor the situation and to see how to get the fire under control,' coast guard spokeswoman Lea Versteeg told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.

'But it's all depending on weather and the damage to the vessel, so we're currently working out how we can make sure that... the least bad situation is going to happen.'

Asked if it is possible the ship could sink, Ms Versteeg said: 'It's a scenario we're taking into account and we're preparing for all scenarios.'

Early this afternoon, two ships were alongside the freighter hosing down its sides in an attempt to cool them, the coast guard said, but firefighters were still unable to attempt to extinguish flames on the ship and smoke was billowing out of its hold.

The ship's Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, said it was working in cooperation with the local authorities of the Netherlands, a salvage company and a ship management company.




Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Turbine Failures and Plunging Stock Add to Growing Doubt Over Wind Industry

An increase in the failure of wind turbine components and the subsequent financial fallout are creating uncertainty about the true sustainability of an industry that’s campaigning for green energy.

Siemens Energy announced on June 22 that it would be withdrawing its profit assumptions and initiating a technical review of Siemens Gamesa’s onshore wind farm, which could cost more than $1.1 billion.

“This is a disappointing, bitter setback,” Siemens Gamesa CEO Jochen Eickholt said in a June conference call. “The quality problems go well beyond what had been known hitherto, in particular in the onshore area.”

The mechanical problems could affect 15 percent to 30 percent of the company’s wind turbine farms and take several years to repair.

The day after the announcement, Siemens Energy’s shares fell more than 37 percent.

The company said it expected challenges to “ramp up” offshore as well.

Siemens Energy is a subsidiary of the German conglomerate Siemens. Siemens Energy’s wind farm business, Siemens Gamesa, is a global company based in Spain that constructs onshore and offshore turbines in Europe and the United States.

The company began an investigation into a damaged turbine at the Santo Agostinho wind farm that French energy company Engie SA is building in the northeast of Brazil, Bloomberg reported.

The installation—which is part of Siemens Gamesa’s new 5.X model of onshore wind farms, with turbine blades as long as 262 feet—has faced numerous quality control issues and has been shut down for the investigation.

Since Siemens Gamesa’s announcement, a spokesperson confirmed to Recharge on July 5 that a blade had broken at the Santo Agostinho wind farm.

‘More Severe Than I Thought Possible’

Media outlets and spokespersons blame the issues on the increasing costs and decreasing availability of raw materials caused by the COVID pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has left competing companies with challenges in meeting deadlines while rattling the confidence of investors.

Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch said during a June conference call that the setback is “more severe than I thought possible.”

“Siemens Gamesa will incur high losses this year and will take longer to reach an appropriate level of profitability,” Mr. Bruch said. “We also have to see that we have an urgent requirement to fix the corporate culture. Too much has been swept under the carpet.”

In 2022, Siemens Gamesa announced a layoff of 2,900 employees, with further cuts predicted, EnergyWatch reported.

“It is never easy to make such a decision, but now is the time to take decisive and necessary actions to turn the company around and ensure a sustainable future,” Mr. Eickholt said. “We need to build a stronger and more competitive Siemens Gamesa to secure our position as a key player in the green energy transition.”

‘Uncharted Territory’

Nicholas Green, head of industrial technology at the global asset management firm AllianceBernstein, told CNBC that the rate of expansion has pushed wind energy into “uncharted territory” that has led to “an industry-wide issue.”

“It wasn’t that Siemens Gamesa is a bad operator, as such, it’s that actually some of the normal protocols and time in use, operational data in use, is relatively limited,” Mr. Green said.

In addition to the availability of materials, the rapid expansion is creating challenges not only for supply and demand, but also for engineering.

Christoph Zipf, a spokesman for WindEurope, told CNBC that 20 years ago, a normal wind turbine would have a capacity of 1 million watts, while today, they’re testing at 15 megawatts (15 million watts).

“This means that turbines have become bigger as well, posing challenges to components (quality, materials, longevity),” Mr. Zipf wrote in his statement....

During a visit to the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island in late May, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm praised America’s first offshore wind farm as a model that should be followed throughout the rest of the country, The Providence Journal reported.

“We want to replicate this, even bigger, all up and down the Atlantic seaboard, but also in the Pacific and in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Great Lakes,” Ms. Granholm said. “We want to be able to generate clean energy all across America.”

However, the Block Island Wind Farm, like other installations, has faced multiple problems.

Meghan Lapp, a representative for a commercial fishing company in Rhode Island who also works in fishery management, told The Epoch Times that the installation is “rarely working” and has frequent maintenance issues.

“A couple of years ago, 4 out of 5 of them went offline for months because they have stress fractures in the rotors,” Ms. Lapp said. “This year, one of them will be offline all summer for repair. It’s been one disaster after another.”


How to silence a climate change zealot

I’ve never understood the fascination dogs have with the wheels of cars which is demonstrated as they come running out to bark as you drive by, but there are few funnier things in life than watching what happens when the dog catches the car.

One time I was in a street looking for an address, and as I slowed, a dog came running out at me. About 100 metres down the road I found the address I was after and pulled over. As soon as this happened, the barking and snarling dog came to an abrupt halt. It stopped barking. A look of puzzlement came over its face, and it timidly turned and trotted away.

The same thing can happen with Climate Change zealots. I’ve worked out how to silence them, deflate them, and see them trot timidly away, hopefully with a few questions to ask themselves.

How do we do this? Well, we simply let the dog catch the car.

A while ago I wrote an article where I assessed the various approaches that can be taken to debunk the ‘climate change’ orthodoxy. In brief, our choices are:

The world isn’t warming.

If it is warming, we aren’t causing it.

If it is warming, it’s not a bad thing.

If it is warming, we can’t do anything about it anyway.

Most sceptics focus on one of the first two approaches. For years, I’ve been prosecuting the third one. In my article, I argued that we take a leaf out of Konstantin Kisin’s book and abandon these in favour of the last one.

That is, we say ‘What can we do about the climate crisis?’ We no longer argue against the existence of a ‘crisis’ and say ‘What can we do about it?’ Metaphorically, we let the dog catch the car. ‘There’s a crisis? Okay – what do we do about it?’

I’ve been pursuing this process on my Twitter account (@ThugRaffles) for a couple of months now, with fascinating results. In fact my pinned tweet says: ‘The question that, it seems, no one can answer is, “What do we do about the #climatecrisis #ClimateActionNow #ClimateAction #climatechange #ClimateEmergency”?’

At the time of writing it has been viewed about 400 times, and not a single reply. That is, it has been seen by people that make liberal use of these hashtags, but no one can answer it.

So I have taken a proactive approach and pursued it with various accounts that post using these hashtags. Mostly, I just get no reply. This, of course, puts you in a position where you can say, ‘I didn’t get a reply to my question. Do you really believe in action on climate change, or are you a denier?’

One account replied with a general tweet about climate change, to which I replied, ‘Do you acknowledge that there is a climate emergency?’ The response was, ‘I’m not here to discuss policy.’ My reply was, ‘I didn’t ask about policy – I just asked if there was a climate crisis. Do you acknowledge there is a climate crisis or are you a denier?’ After several more iterations, in which he continued to evade what ought to have been an easy question, he blocked me.

Another account said that we needed to reduce greenhouse gases, which led to the following exchange (paraphrased and summarised):

‘You mean CO2?’


‘Cool. So what’s the current level of CO2?’

‘I don’t think that’s the real issue.’

‘I don’t understand. Didn’t you say that CO2 was too high? I googled the result and came up with 0.0421 per cent. Is that right?’

‘That’s carbon, not CO2.’

‘Fair enough, what’s the real figure then?’


I haven’t kept track of how many times I’ve asked this question of people, but it’s now clear that the question will not be answered. I suspect the non-repliers fall into two categories. Firstly, there is Joe Public, who has vaguely heard that we need to ‘take action’ but has no idea what the consequences will be.

This ignorance extends to the level of CO2 in our atmosphere and the change that would ensue if we all went and lived in solar-powered caves. I saw a Senate enquiry in the US where some bureaucrats on a government committee regarding energy policy were asked, ‘How much CO2 is in the atmosphere?’ Amid all the puzzled looks, none of them had the slightest clue, with most people settling on ‘about 4 per cent’ which is out by a factor of 100.

In the second category are ‘climate’ scientists who know the answers to these questions, but keep quiet about it as they know that any changes made to human CO2 emissions will be a drop in the ocean.

At about this point, a serious sceptic will raise this issue – how can I, in good conscience, pretend to agree there is a climate crisis when I know there isn’t? It’s a fair question, but the good news is you don’t have to. There are essentially two ways around this:

When a person says that there is a climate crisis we simply abandon any attempt to contest the issue and say, ‘Okay, so what do we do about it?’ This question does not acknowledge the truth of what they are saying, but essentially asks them what we should do if it’s true.

If put on the spot by a believer, we simply tell the truth and say, ‘I’ve not seen any evidence of the climate crisis myself, but acknowledge that if it is true, we should do something. You say it’s true? Fair enough – what should we do about it?’

So this is a memo to Rowan Dean, Andrew Bolt, Jennifer Marohasy, Senator Malcolm Roberts, and Ian Plimer. Twenty years of trying to prove that either the world isn’t warming, or if it is, we aren’t doing it, or if we are, a warmer world isn’t a bad thing have failed. And not only failed, but failed spectacularly, with not a single journalist, scientific body, or major political figure straying from the orthodoxy. Not one.

As the saying goes, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. It ought to be obvious that if it hasn’t worked yet, it’s not going to suddenly start working now.

The only journalist prosecuting this case is Chris Kenny who has asked the very simple question, ‘How will the climate change as a result of Labor’s Net Zero policy?’

So let’s try something new – get in the Nicholas Reece’s of this world and put the question to them, very simply, about how we address climate change.

You will probably find most or all of the following are true:

They don’t know the atmospheric concentration of CO2 as a percentage. Some know it as ppm, but this doesn’t have the immediate significance of quoting it as a percentage.

They don’t know how much CO2 is man-made.

They don’t know how much man-made CO2 comes from Australia.

They don’t know by how much the atmospheric CO2 concentration will change if Australia went to Net Zero.

They are unable to say by how much the global temperature will change if these changes are made.

They are unable to say how the climate will change as a result of these changes.

And the point is this – anyone that says that we need to ‘take action’ ought to know these things. They ought to be able to tell us, in exact terms, exactly what this action should be and what effect it will have. They ought to be able to say, ‘Net Zero will reduce global CO2 to X, which will lower global temperatures by Y degrees. This will result in a Z per cent drop in cyclones etc.’

In other words, if they cannot rattle off these figures off the top of their heads, then they are fools to ask us to take action with unknown outcomes – and if they are being honest with themselves, they know it. The goal of the polemicist is to simply make them be honest with themselves.

The issue becomes not the figures themselves, but the fact that they don’t know them. We can say things like, ‘You don’t know how much CO2 is in the atmosphere? How do you know it’s too high then?’ Or, ‘You can’t say by how much CO2 will change if we go to Net Zero? Why not? Why are you calling for action when you don’t know what the outcome will be?’ And, ‘You can’t say by how much global temperatures will change if we go to Net Zero? Why not? Isn’t that the whole point of the exercise?’

In short, you put the onus on the believer to explain why they do not have this information at hand. And I’d be asking questions like, ‘Can you see that these are reasonable questions? Can you see that if you’re calling for a reduction in CO2 emissions you ought to be able to say what effect those emissions will have?’

This is such an obvious issue that I cannot but help think that in their mind a little voice will say… ‘Actually, he has a point – you should know the answers to these questions.’ They may walk sheepishly away as they start asking themselves some questions.

But let’s consider what happens if the discussion gets to the point where numbers are discussed. The latest figure I can find forCO2 levels is 421ppm. The point about this is that it is measured to three significant figures. That is, it is 421, and not 421.0 (four significant figures) or 421.00 (five significant figures).

To explain this concept, let’s say we measure a length of a running track at 100m. Strictly speaking this means only that it is between 99.5 (since by convention. 5 is rounded up) and 100.4. If we now say the running track is 100.0m, we are saying the length is between 99.95 and 100.04m and so on.

So that means that a CO2 concentration of 421ppm is between 420.5 and 421.4 ppm. Let’s now perform some calculations and see what numbers pop out.

Man-made CO2 is 3 per cent of the global budget, and 1.3 per cent of that comes from Australia. Thus, 421 x 0.03 x 0.013 is 0.16. If we subtract that from 421 we arrive at 420.84 ppm. As the original figure was only three significant figures, we can only quote this figure to three significant figures, which gives us a value of 421 ppm.

The three significant figures quoted for CO2 measurement would represent the LOD (limit of detection) of the measurement technology. This would be a handheld device (using a Wheatstone bridge) that would give you an on-the-spot reading to three significant figures.

Is greater sensitivity available? Yes, it is, with laboratory-based measurements. A GC-FID measurement will measure down to a further order of magnitude, to give us four significant figures. This means that only with the most sensitive measurements possible, it may be possible to measure at a level that would detect a change in global CO2.

Thus, we can say that as a result of Australia going to Net Zero, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 will change from 0.0421 per cent to 0.0421 per cent which is a change so small that it is undetectable by normal measuring technologies.

Of course the follow-up questions may be these:

How many coal-fired plants does Australia have?

How many coal-fired plants does China have?

At what rate are China building coal-fired plants?

How many weeks will it take for China to build more coal-fired plants than the total number in Australia?

Once again, if the goal of the exercise is reducing global CO2 levels, the Climate Change zealot ought to have these numbers to hand. And the answers make a mockery of any efforts of Australia to reduce CO2. In order, they are 14, about 1190, 2 per week, and 7 weeks.

In discussing this issue there is, however, a fascinating irony. This is that most people that say that they are taking an evidence-based approach to the climate issue do not practice what they preach.

Suppose that I said that I’d developed a device that would reduce the fuel consumption of your car by 10 per cent. You fit the device to the car, conduct extensive tests over 20 years, and conclude that it didn’t work. What manner of idiot, then, would say, ‘Oh but let’s keep trying it. It’ll work soon.’

And yet that’s what most climate sceptics do. They’ve spent twenty years prosecuting arguments that just haven’t worked! An entire generation of youth have now been indoctrinated with climate hysteria, and it’s the mantra of every mainstream media organisation and political party.

Not one, not a single individual has been persuaded by all the books, social media posts, and op-eds. Not one!!!

And yet, astonishingly, these people still keep trying to use arguments that haven’t worked. It brings to mind a classic scene from Blackadder Goes Forth. The grand plan of the British High Command is to make a frontal assault on the German lines. Rowan Atkinson says, ‘You mean the same thing that we’ve tried seventeen times previously and hasn’t worked?’ Regretfully, this satirical comment reflects the approach of most climate sceptics.

So why do these arguments persist? Because they are right! All these arguments are factually and scientifically correct. The world isn’t warming, CO2 is not driving the climate, and there is nothing bad about a warmer world. These are all true – but here is the point – people have been indoctrinated to believe the experts (who say what the government want them to say) and these arguments are simply never going to work.

So what do we do? We agree with the experts. We let the dog catch the car! Then we stand back and watch the fun as we say to the experts, ‘Okay, what do we do now…?’

The choice then is this. We can take the Blackadder approach, and try something different, or we can take the General Melchett approach and make a frontal assault on the German lines because, you know, this time it will work…


Electric Vehicles: Costly Virtue Signaling Forced on America by Left

The Left likes to treat skeptics of electrical cars as if they were Luddites. Truth is, making an existing product less efficient, but more expensive, doesn’t really meet the definition of innovation.

Even the purported amenities and technological advances EV makers like to brag about in their ads have been a regular feature of gas-powered vehicles going back generations. At best, EVs, if they fulfill their promise, are a lateral technology.

Which is why there is no real “emerging market” for EVs in the United States as much as there’s an industrial policy in place that props up EVs with government purchases, propaganda, state subsidies, cronyism, taxpayer-backed loans, and edicts. The green “revolution” is an elite-driven, top-down technocratic project.

And it’s increasingly clear that the only reason giant rent-seeking carmakers are so heavily invested in EV development is that government is promising to artificially limit the production of gas-powered cars.

In August 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to set a target for half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emission. California claims it is banning combustion engines in all new cars in about 10 years. So, carmakers adopt business models to deal with these distorted incentives and contrived theoretical markets of the future.

In today’s real-world economy, Ford projects it’s going to lose $3 billion on electric vehicles in 2023, bringing its EV losses to $5.1 billion over two years. In 2021, Ford reportedly lost $34,000 on every EV it made. This year, it was losing more than $58,000 on every EV. In a normal world, Ford would be dramatically scaling back EV production, not expanding it.

Remember that next time we need to bail out Detroit.

Then again, we’re already bailing them out, I suppose. Last week, the U.S. Energy Department lent Ford—again, a company that loses tens of thousands of dollars on every EV it sells—another $9.2 billion in taxpayer dollars for a South Korean battery project. One imagines no sane bank would do it. The cost of EV batteries has gone up, not down, over the past few years.

Ford says these upfront losses are part of a “start-up mentality.” We’re still pretending EVs are a new idea, rather than an inferior one. But scaremongering about climate and a misplaced romanticizing of “manufacturing” jobs have softened up the public for this kind of waste.

In the real world, there is Lordstown. In 2019, after General Motors—which also loses money on every EV sold—shut down a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, then-President Donald Trump made a big deal of publicly pressuring the auto giant to rectify the situation. CEO Mary Barra lent Lordstown Motors, a new EV outfit, $40 million to retrofit the plant. Ohio also gave GM an additional $60 million.

You may remember the widespread glowing coverage of Lordstown. After Biden signed his “Buy American” executive order, promising to replace the entire U.S. federal fleet with EVs, Lordstown’s stock shot up.

By the start of this year, Lordstown had manufactured 31 vehicles total. Six had been sold to actual consumers. (Most of them would be recalled.) The stock was trading at barely a dollar. Tech-funding giant Foxconn was pulling its $170 million. And this week, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Without massive state help, EVs are a niche market for rich virtue-signalers. And, come to think of it, that’s sort of what they are now, even with the help. A recent University of California at Berkeley study found that 90% of tax credits for EVs go to people in the top income strata. Most EVs are bought by high earners who like the look and feel of a Tesla. And that’s fine. I don’t want to stop anyone from owning the car they prefer. I just don’t want to help pay for it.

Really, why would a middle-class family shun a perfectly good gas-powered car that can be fueled (most of the time) cheaply and driven virtually any distance, in any environment, and any time of the year? We don’t need lithium. We have the most efficient, affordable, portable, and useful form of energy. We have centuries’ worth of it waiting in the ground.

Climate alarmists might believe EVs are necessary to save the planet. That’s fine. Using their standard, however, a bike is an innovation. Even on their terms, the usefulness of EVs is highly debatable. Most of the energy that powers them is derived from fossil fuels. The manufacturing of an EV has a negligible positive benefit for the environment, if any.

And the fact is that if EVs were more efficient and saved us money, as enviros and politicians claim, consumers wouldn’t have to be compelled into using them and companies wouldn’t have to be bribed into producing them.


Europe Demonstrates False Underlying Assumption of Mainstream Environmental Policy

A July 2022 International Monetary Fund working paper found that in Europe, within the prior year, “oil prices had doubled, coal prices tripled, and natural gas prices increased more than fivefold.”

Further, about half of all inflation could be linked to this increase in energy prices. And perhaps most importantly, the study noted: “Higher energy prices tend to be regressive: They typically hurt poorer households more than richer ones.”

Much could be said about why this energy calamity has occurred. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is undoubtedly the main component. But we should not forget—as politicians in Europe are fond of doing, perhaps for political expediency—that the invasion would not have had such a profoundly damaging effect had Europe, and Germany in particular, heeded the yearslong warnings not to make their economies all too dependent on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those warnings were ignored, especially by then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

What’s perhaps most remarkable, however, is that neither the German government nor the European Union has changed its tune since toward a more sensible energy policy.

The sensible thing would have been, at the very least, to leave the nuclear plants open, or even better, to expand nuclear energy.

Energy dependence would have been diminished had such a course of action been taken. Alas, with the Green Party being part of the German government, nuclear power is a boogeyman that needs to be destroyed by any means necessary—even if “the science” tells them that it could be a great boon for the energy transition that Germany has been so keen to pursue.

Thus, this spring, Germany shut down its remaining nuclear plants in the middle of an economic and energy crisis and soaring inflation.

The nuclear phaseout, in conjunction with soaring energy prices that hit poor households in particular, is just the tip of the iceberg of a major problem of environmental policy today around the world; namely, that to protect the environment, to save the planet, and to transition to a cleaner energy future, average people and the economy overall have to suffer. (And they had better stop complaining!)

Most of European environmental policy has followed this scheme over the past decades: To help the environment, the government determines an environmental problem and then does everything it can to eliminate it by limiting its supposed economic or industrial source.

Thus, the approach is largely regulatory and prohibitive.

It follows the precautionary principle that tries to eliminate any risks, but also eliminates any possibilities for innovation. That’s the case also when it comes to nuclear skepticism, in which massive opportunities for a cleaner environmental future are eliminated due to irrational fears of some activists—despite the support for nuclear among the general population.

“Verbotskultur,” as the Germans call it—“prohibition culture”—has been the name of the environmental game in Europe.

This need not be the case, however. In fact, by eliminating any opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation, governments are eliminating the most promising ways of solving what they see as a climate crisis.

As such, a rethinking of both environmental and energy policy is needed.

It would need to be a path in which government takes a step back and expands freedom for the participants of the market economy to do good. It would be an approach that empowers those environmental entrepreneurs by leaving room for them to improve the world.

That’s the proven way of free enterprise.

This isn’t mere theory. It has been reality for decades, and we can see it not only in individual cases of market environmentalist success stories, but economy-wide.

If one compares The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom with the Environmental Performance Index, one thing becomes abundantly clear: The more economic freedom there is, the cleaner an economy is.

The “science” is clear: Economic freedom and environmental quality go hand in hand. Thus, we can also say that economic growth (which is the result of economic freedom) goes hand in hand with a green future.

Three years ago, Christopher Barnard of the American Conservation Coalition and I presented more proof on this very point in our book “Green Market Revolution.” But unfortunately, current events in Europe prove that much more needs to happen to move environmental policymakers and activists away from the false dichotomy of economy versus the environment.

The false choice between growth and clean air is a dangerous delusion that we need to overcome as we work toward a future that is both pro-growth and pro-planet.