134 Comments

It is clear from your piece that these "oh, so smart" billionaires and their beggar nation activists are bent on destruction. They simply can't be this dumb. They know their nihilistic approach is boosting the cost of energy without any so-called climate benefit. It's all tied to their "fundamental transformation" agenda, and they are so blinded by it that they refuse to acknowledge that their massive wealth came from capitalism, not Marxism or even European socialism. They are a scourge to average Americans who simply want to live their lives in peace and tranquility. Instead, they have to do battle with elite liberal know-it-alls.

Expand full comment

Modern NG appliances lose about 15% of the input energy up the flue at point of use.

That’s entropy.

Converting NG to electricity at a typical power plant loses abut 15% up the stack and 50% to the cooling towers, 65% of the input energy lost before it even leaves the site.

Brayton & Rankine.

That’s really^4 dumb!!

Expand full comment

288 K w GHE – 255 K wo GHE = 33 C cooler & -18 C Earth.

Just flat wrong.

Calculated 396 up/333 “back”/2nd net 63 GHE unreal perpetual “extra” energy loop.

Just flat wrong.

Earth radiating 396 W/m^2 as a 16 C BB.

Just flat wrong.

GHE

Just flat wrong.

CAGW

Just flat wrong.

Expand full comment

November 2nd, 2022 - Here is my prediction at age 84. In the end, it won't matter if 80% of the world's population plus a few dictators want electricity only from wind and solar. They can try all they want to make it happen.

But it won't happen. Why? Because social scientists, politicians, lawyers, judges, religious leaders, and the media including citizen's social media can't do the job. Engineers, miners, and construction workers will be called upon. And despite how green they may become for money or cultural reasons, they can't avoid the physics and thermodynamics. Scientific laws of nature will make their great efforts result in failure despite some useful discoveries and inventions along the way.

Remaining questions are how much economic damage will be done in trying? How much poorer will succeeding generations be? And how much uglier will the Earth become in the process?

William H. Pound, PhD

Bozeman Montana

Expand full comment

There is a lot of baloney being written about climate change. One writer in particular cheeses me off. I confess that Robert Bryce sets me off. Who is he? Well, you can look at his capsule bio here on Substack, but here is another way to think of him, which is as a fossil fuel shill. Here’s my response to this piece of Bryce’s: https://davidguenette.com/wow-i-never-meta-hypocrisy-i-didnt-like-or-who-is-robert-bryce-and-why-does-he-write-such-s/

Expand full comment

David: I'm pro-climate change mitigation, but I do not find Bryce's views inconsistent with my own. I can see that his approach to the subject pisses off some people, but I still think he makes a valuable contribution to the discussion. So I find it unfair to suggest that we should think of Bryce as a fossil fuel shill. I also find it unfair of you to imply, as you do in your writeup, that Bryce is somehow denying the science behind global warming. He is not.

Like Bryce, I find the whole idea of mitigating climate change by shutting down new sources of fossil fuels to be ill-conceived and even dangerous. Purposely causing energy shortfalls will drive up energy prices. I know may environmentalists think this a good idea since high prices will drive down energy consumption. But the reality is that it will also kill the political will to mitigate climate change while putting the biggest burden on those with the least resources. (Hence the class argument.) A far better approach is to drive down fossil fuel use by making low-carbon energy sources far more abundant and affordable.

As Bryce has also pointed out, these NGOs keep trying to kill nuclear power--insane given they supposedly think climate change is an existential crisis. These NGOs tried to shut down Diablo Canyon here in California (where I live) 20-to-40 years early, even though it is CA's largest source of low-carbon energy in the state. And they have also worked to shut down other plants as well (with NRDC crowing about shutting down Indian Point early, which has driven up GHG emissions in that area for many years to come).

As for natural gas: so far it has been a big win for the climate in terms of displacing coal, oil and biomass burning--much more potent sources of GHGs. I would be thrilled if natural gas replaced as much coal, oil and biomass burning as possible ASAP while we ramp up sources of energy that have even lower GHG footprints. And, yes, forcing people to stop using natural gas for cooking is a loss for climate mitigation and will continue to be for quite some time due to lower efficiency of electricity generation. It is a foolish area to focus on right now for political reasons too.

By the way, EROI correlates with energy density. There is simply no way that wind and solar can have more reasonable EROIs. That's one of the reasons nuclear is so important. As the IPCC models show, we need to increase nuclear by as much as 5x by 2050. That will greatly reduce the amount of wasted overbuild (and associated GHG emissions) of wind and solar and batteries needed to cover for intermittency. If only we could get the NGOs to get on the side of the IPCC and the climate instead their feel-good posturing.

Expand full comment

Characterizing fossil fuel as a supply side problem is ridiculous... it's insanity if we all go down that road unthinkingly. We will be sawing off the branch we are sitting on. There is no solution at the moment. None of the "replacements" will scale to the task and the only contender that can shoulder the greatest burden of decarbonization is nuclear power, and I'm afraid that the crowd promulgating the evil supply side narrative are equally opposed to nuclear power.

Money is not a guarantor of rational action.

Expand full comment

Let's not forget the massive damage done to the environment by solar and wind. And the cost has to include rebuilding 1,000's if not 10's of thousands of substations and neighborhood transformers. Probably, trillions of dollars, making the already more expensive electricity, even more expensive..

Expand full comment

Grid extension is the externalized cost that *should* be placed in the solar/wind columns of the ledger... and it isn't trivial. I haven't researched this beyond a few minutes on Google, but that little bit of inquiry tells me that transmission, distribution and transformation may account for 30% of "grid" asset expense. It also accounts for a huge maintenance cost and responsibility... just ask California.

Expand full comment

So this is how you do it. Make, or marry, BILLIONS with some business, like financial information or technology, that uses copious amounts of what you want to get rid of. Then buy a media outlet like the Washington Post or the Atlantic to preach the gospel of your religion. Give a pile of money to activist groups who spend a lot of time quoting EACH OTHER to substantiate their claims. Live the life of an epic climate sinner while demanding climate righteousness from the masses, all while positioning yourself to scoop up another fortune in taxpayer "investment" dollars in your righteous, but much more expensive, energy that you have influenced politicians, and often unelected and therefore unaccountable commissioners, to force upon us all....except for your beautiful, righteous, ultra-wealthy self, of course.

God,.... save us from the Billionaires.

Expand full comment

thanks for the recap. I'm a late-year subscriber so missed the one about the billionaires.

Expand full comment

The whole idea of “offsets” is hypocrisy of the highest order. Translating: “Someone else lowered their carbon footprint so I don’t have to because I’m rich.” So why can’t I buy offsets for my gas stove? It would cost a minuscule fraction of what Bezos pays for one trip. Be consistent. Either allow offsets to be purchased for a gas stove, or ban private jets.

Expand full comment

Don’t carbon offsets sound like Midevil sin indulgence. The rich pay for their ‘sins’ to be absolved while the poor cannot

Expand full comment

It seems useful to pause and consider what they are buying for $1.5B. If the regulatory and policy wonks already believe in the urgency of making the change, there seems no need to ‘sell the idea’ to the masses since the rules are already being written. I avoid mass media whenever possible, so I have no visibility on ads or other means to ‘message’ us except for the many articles in The Atlantic and other such channels filled with misinformation as discussed in other comments. So how much can it cost to have a dozen young journalists to grind out 2,000 words on tear jerking articles about suffering children? Since Bezos and Ms. Jobs are on board, no money needs to be spent gaining access to publication there, and even at that $100K buys a great full page ad here and there to generate echos in other news channels. So what is the money actually for? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Expand full comment

How should one understand the difference between the two DOE sources linked? On a per BTU basis, the cost of electricity is 3.5x that of natural gas. The table linked in the second report shows a range of costs per fuel sources predicted this winter by DOE. Electricity costs are forecast to be 1.77x natural gas. Not direct comparison on a per unit basis. Really useful reports btw and not something widely discussed in RW (renewable world)

Expand full comment

One of the largest ruses in this entire 'climate crisis' debacle is the hypocrisy of the billionaire class touting their penance paid in 'carbon offsets'. Really? And where exactly does that money go? I would surmise that it just goes back into their pot to amplify their messaging regarding the 'existential crisis' that is climate change. These gasbags are really the single largest source of carbon emissions.

Expand full comment

Last I saw, they were doing primate testing. I thought I saw that last year. I just sent a request for an update.

I remember Taylor and his work from when he and I worked in the same division at JPL. A couple of members of his team asked me if I had an idea on dispersing the encapsulation material. Also, his ground support team borrowed a unique piece of equipment from me when he was doing his micro-gravity experiments on the space shuttle.

I will let you know when/if I get a response. I will let you know either way.

Thank you.

Expand full comment

While i agree with the author, I wouldnt be so quick to assume that all these anti-gas people have nafarious motives of keeping poor people poor. Id say some really believe they are doing good but are perhaps unaware of the reality that normal people live in since they have been seperated from that reality for decades or perhaps since birth

Expand full comment

Yes, and the Hitler Youth knew not what they would be doing in the future. What a pile of BS. Someone always excuses 'the rich for their behaviour'. Yes, the rich. This is obvious. I cannot understand how anyone could actually write this comment.

Expand full comment