Coal, There’s Just No Alternative

Posted: September 14, 2014 by tchannon in Analysis, Energy, Incompetence, Politics

Tony Thomas mentions he has an opinion piece up on Quadrant about the reality of electricity and human wealth in all the ways not so obvious, but also right on the past cries of environmentalists deeming the undeveloped world must not get wealth.

Thomas discusses US author and energy specialist Robert Bryce

Bryce didn’t discuss the merits of the catastrophic human-caused global-warming hypothesis. He just delineated the irrationality of draconian global and national targets to cut CO2 emissions, given the developing world’s determination to use electricity to lift its people from poverty:

“I’m a resolute agnostic about the climate issue. Tell me CO2 is good, tell me it’s bad. I’m bored with the nastiness.

“The question that too few people are willing to ask is this one: where, how, will we find the energy equivalent of 27 Saudi Arabias and have it all be carbon-free?”

Oh yes, nastiness, a hallmark of forcing others to do your bidding…

Posted by Tim

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    Well there is one known alternative, but! Ecoloons hate it even more then coal.

    Intelligent people know that dependable inexpensive energy is the only solution to poverty and environmental degradation.

    The solution has been known for over 50 years but educated Liberal Progressives must try every non-solution that they can dream up for their Utopia. A utopia built and paid for but, not populated by, common people. pg

  2. tallbloke says:

    Lolz. When green bullshitters fall out: Naomi Klein lambasts Dick Branson in the Grauniad.

    Richard Branson has failed to deliver on his much-vaunted pledge to spend $3bn (£1.8bn) over a decade to develop a low carbon fuel.

    Seven years into the pledge, Branson has paid out only a small fraction of the promised money – “well under $300m” – according to a new book by the writer and activist, Naomi Klein.

    The British entrepreneur famously promised to divert a share of the profits from his Virgin airlines empire to find a cleaner fuel, after a 2006 private meeting with Al Gore.

    Branson went on to found a $25m Earth prize for a technology that could safely suck 1bn tons of carbon a year from the atmosphere. In 2009, he set up the Carbon War Room, an NGO which works on business solutions for climate change.

    But by Klein’s estimate, Branson’s “firm commitment” of $3bn failed to materialise.

    “So the sceptics might be right: Branson’s various climate adventures may indeed prove to have all been a spectacle, a Virgin production, with everyone’s favourite bearded billionaire playing the part of planetary saviour to build his brand, land on late night TV, fend off regulators, and feel good about doing bad

    Branson routed a first pay-out of his $3bn commitment, about $130m, through a new Virgin investment company into corn ethanol.

    The fuel has now been widely discredited as a greener alternative to fossil fuels, because of its climate change impacts and for driving up the cost of food.

    Virgin went on to look at other biofuels, at one point exploring a project to develop jet fuel from eucalyptus trees.

  3. bit chilly says:

    oh we will all be aware of the alternative in the uk this winter. it will be measured in candle power.

  4. ferdberple says:

    I’m skeptical that solar prices have come down as much as advertised. I bought 50 watt panels from Arco solar in 1984 for $200 US. 30 years later similar panels are $90.

    A 50 watt solar panel is a hopelessly small amount of power as compared to what you use in a home, given the relatively few hours a day the panels are producing maximum power. A 50 watt panel produces about the same amount of energy as 1 gallon of gasoline, but it take 100 days of sunshine to produce this energy!

    Your $90 panel will generate at best $12 worth of energy, but you still need to add batteries and converters to actually use this energy. And the batteries are the expense. They can be cycled at most 1000 times, which is about 3 years. Then they need to be replaced.

  5. ferdberple says:

    $12 worth of energy per year.

  6. p.g.sharrow says:

    Over the last 30 years I have created several solar energy systems. The ROA is always near or less then “0” if all the costs are figured in, only tax credits and incentives make things positive. Panels are, now, fairly cheap but everything else is expensive! Batteries for a stand alone are the real sticker. pg

  7. Richard111 says:

    This seems to be very much an oopsei…

    Is this problem solved on UK off shore wind farms?

  8. Richard111 says:

    Aaah, just read the comments and it seems UK uses a different system. Wonders never cease.