Green New Deal

Green New Deal Will Try Anything Except Nukes, Hydro, Markets…

Using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.

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Some 600 organizations have sent a letter to Congress outlining their vision of a Green New Deal. The letter asserts that "we must act aggressively and quickly" to address the problem of man-made climate change, which the letter declares to be the "gravest environmental crisis humanity has ever faced." Surely you'd think that this coalition would advocate doing whatever it takes to ameliorate the "urgent threat" posed by global warming, but you'd be wrong.

The letter's signatories demand that Congress pass legislation mandating that the U.S. shift to 100 percent renewable electric power generation by 2035 or earlier. In addition, Congress must adopt legislation "encouraging public and community ownership over power infrastructure and electricity choice" and also make sure that our "distributed energy systems…are democratically governed."

The letter's signatories then, however, insist that "any definition of renewable energy must also exclude all combustion-based power generation, nuclear, biomass energy, large scale hydro and waste-to-energy technologies." Furthermore, the coalition opposes "market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy." Basically, the only acceptable energy is electricity produced by wind or solar power.

A tweet by University of Colorado political scientist Roger Pielke Jr. sums up the self-defeating irrationality of their demands well.

Pielketweet

Let's focus on nuclear power. In Science last week, the team of researchers behind the recent MIT report, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, pointed out that the most effective and least costly path toward the sort of massive cuts in carbon dioxide emissions being advocated by Green New Dealers is a combination of variable renewable energy technologies and nuclear power.

"Nuclear energy is one low-carbon dispatchable option that is virtually unlimited and available now," the MIT researchers argue. "Excluding nuclear power could double or triple the average cost of electricity for deep decarbonization scenarios because of the enormous overcapacity of solar energy, wind energy, and batteries that would be required to meet demand in the absence of a dispatchable low-carbon energy source."

They recognize that the costs of nuclear power plants have escalated, but suggest that there are ways to rein in costs in the future.

Cynics among us might suspect that the Green New Dealers, by excluding market mechanisms and nuclear power as part of the portfolio of options for addressing the problem of global warming, are not irrational, but are using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.

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76 responses to “Green New Deal Will Try Anything Except Nukes, Hydro, Markets…

  1. Basically, the only acceptable energy is electricity produced by wind or solar power

    Don’t forget the socialism.

    1. They fail to acknowledge the carbon footprint of batteries.

      1. They fail to acknowledge the environmental footprint of a solar plant.

        The yellow square in this image is the size of a concentrating solar plant that would be needed to power the US if you built it in a desert region (it’s as big as Arizona). You might be able to reduce the size by factors of a few with more optimistic efficiency numbers, but it’s hard to get around needing a roughly state-sized region to power the US. Do you honestly think any environmental group would get behind that????

        A quick Google search indicates that rooftop area might be equivalent to the land area of Ohio. Of course, not all those roof tops are suitable due to direction, pitch angle, and weather conditions. So maybe with major gains in efficiency, if you covered every rooftop in America, you might get a large fraction of the way there just in terms of raw available power. But good luck getting the technical innovations you will need at affordable price without market forces.

        1. Not to mention the footprint of a wind energy plan. The wife and I were in Germany in late September. We went all over the country – Berlin to Oberwesel to Munich to Rotenburg, out through Passau on the way to Vienna, and then back from Poland to Berlin. Mostly train with a little bit of flying.

          Outside of the cities, there was almost nowhere you could be in the country without having a cluster of those big assed wind turbines in your field of vision. It was remarkable. And ugly.

          Of course, the authors of this letter won’t have to worry about that in their homes in NYC or SF or Seattle. It’ll be those flyover assholes who have to bear that burden.

          1. The first time I travelled west of the Mississippi was in 2012. ATL to Truth and Consequences, NM to LA. Drove through Texas on I-10. One of the most striking things to me were (was?) the fields of windmills visible from the highway. Like forests they were. At night, in the distance, those forests stared back with ominous red eyes.
            Made me think of War of the Worlds

          2. There isn’t enough energy density in wind for it to really be viable.

        2. They fail to acknowledge basic economic facts, that the infrastructure necessary to go full green by 2035 cannot be built by 2035, and much of it hasn’t even been invented yet.

          But that’s the standard socialist fare. So let it be written, so let it be done. King Canute was a cuck.

          1. Have you ever even thought about socialism or green ideas? They are not one and the same and have historically often been at odds.

    2. I’ve not forgotten it. The more I read this website, the more attracted I am to socialist ideas.

      1. From my perspective that is unfortunate. Can you tell me why?

  2. Sure, technological innovations which come up against the laws of physics can be solved by the government decreeing “Make it so!”

    These people are hustlers and fools who will impoverish and kill people if we allow them to impose their vision on us.

    1. “These people are hustlers and fools who will impoverish and kill people if we allow them to impose their vision on us.”

      And claim to be doing it for the best intentions.

  3. Doesn’t solar power have albedo concerns?

    1. It fries birds right out of the sky!

      1. I believe that is a problem with Solar-thermal; ie generation systems that collect and concentrate sunlight to produce the high temperature heat needed to heat rater to produce steam which is converted into mechanical energy in a turbine, which powers a generator to produce electricity. Essentially the birds are flying into a furnace. A furnace that may be close to a mile across.

        I’m pretty sure that that is not a problem with photovoltaic power generation. The main problem with that is, as mentioned above, the footprint. Greenies who are beside themselves with anxiety over a foot ball sizes drilling sit in the middle of thousands of square miles of otherwise undisturbed Alaskan tundra are blissfully unconcerned with defoliating and levelling thousands of square miles of pristine habitat for all kinds of desert flora and fauna.

      2. I believe that that is only a concern with Solar thermal power (electricity) generation systems which collect and concentrate sunlight to produce the high temperature heat needed to needed to produce steam which is converted into mechanical energy in a turbine, which powers a generator to produce electricity. Essentially, the birds are flying into a furnace. A furnace several miles across.

        Ass mentioned above, the problem with photovoltaic generation is the footprint. Greenies who are beside themselves with despair over a football field sized drilling site in the middle of thousands of square miles of Alaskan tundra are blissfully unconcerned with the defoliation and levelling of thousands of square miles of pristine habitat for all kinds of desert flora and fauna.

        1. Shakes fist at the sky and silently curses the squirrels. When I first posted my comment it disappeared into Reason limbo only to reappear with my second attempt..

      3. “It fries birds right out of the sky!”

        So it would be like fried chicken falling from the sky? Count me in!

    2. I could see large-scale solar having an impact on local climate, and if big enough (see comment above), regional climate. I’m honestly not sure if the land area required would be enough to impact global energy budgets (in the physical sense) significantly. My guess would be that the impact would be minor to moderate.

      1. Well then all they have to do is put them underground!

      2. “I could see large-scale solar having an impact on local climate”. Could you? Do you have even a sliver of evidence for your vision?

        1. Yes, cities. Man-made structures on large enough scales can impact local climate by changing the energy balance, leading to warmer or cooler conditions as the case may be. A solar plant on the scale of the scale of an eastern state could plausibly have an impact.

  4. It is interesting how transparent it is that they are not actually interested in any of their proposed concerns, but really just want an excuse for an enormous power grab. Equally interesting is that despite doing very little to hide how vile and self-centered it all is, left-wingers and pundits just lap it up.

  5. Nuclear and hydro don’t fatten the pockets of Al Gore, Tom Steyer, and all their friends

  6. The Republican Party should be making these arguments, not pot-smoking libertarians.

  7. “Furthermore, the coalition opposes “market-based mechanisms and technology options…”

    Nothing like admitting you have an inferior product before insisting the the government back it for you.

  8. So, they’ll try anything unless it has a chance to be effective.

    1. Well, magic wands weren’t on the list.

  9. A quick perusal of this puts a *generous* estimate of the deaths caused by nuclear power (via release of radiation) in the neighbourhood of 68,000 over 73 years, and it could be as low as around 4,000 or so. But let’s take the high-end estimate – that is still under 1,000 deaths per year on average.

    If you discount shitty Soviet era plants it is more like 100 deaths over the last 73 years. Even if you scale that by 7 to account for 100% of world energy being produced by nuclear (currently 14%), and multiply that by 100 to account for increased energy production to bring the rest of the world up to US levels, you still get fewer than 1,000 deaths per year.

    Given the crowd pushing this stuff, maybe it’s not crazy to think everything will be built to Soviet standards, but otherwise it seems like the potential death toll is worth accepting if the alternative is mass extinction (as the signatories no doubt believe).

    In other words, they and anyone else who takes nuclear off the table is either lying or delusional.

  10. What did social democrats communists use to light their homes before candles?

  11. and also make sure that our “distributed energy systems…are democratically governed.”

    As an electrical engineer, I’d just like to say…WTF??

    1. Translation: Nobody should make a profit. It’s evil.

    2. Clearly, you haven’t thought much about this. At the moment, energy systems in most countries are controlled by privately-owned entities, none of which have any democratic control by the users a.k.a. customers, and all of which are, mistakenly, run for the benefit of their shareholders. Is it really so objectionable to consider democratic control over something we all need?

  12. Nuclear Power has saved millions of lives. 7 million a year die from issues caused by air pollution, etc. There was a good ted talk on this by a hippie who changed his mind on it.

    People act like solar is ‘green’…. well a basic understanding of reality is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Same with solar… the batteries, inputs, etc, are 300x more polluting than nuclear power.

    Crickets from the eco frauds

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciStnd9Y2ak

    1. ” the batteries, inputs, etc, are 300x more polluting than nuclear power.”

      You need to consider the whole fuel cycle, from surveying, to mining, milling, transporting and sequestration. Focusing on only one section of the nuclear fuel cycle is dishonest.

      1. Please don’t expect a reasoned response on this site. From what I read here, most of the contributors are extremist libertarians who seem unwilling or incapable of using evidence or discussion.

        While the use of nuclear power is, from what I can see, relatively clean, there are much dirtier parts of the cycle which are enormously polluting and almost unimaginably expensive to deal with. I’d include links to the science but this site doesn’t allow them.

        1. You are an idiot. Shut the fuck up.

  13. Climate is the latest and greatest scam to redistribute the excess wealth all the evil people world have received in an immoral and in a criminal fashion.
    Giving more of our money will demonstrate to the world we are serious about socialism, Big Government and most importantly, inflating the bank accounts of our oppressive socialist slavers in power as well as all their cronies.
    We do not need all the money we obtain through nefarious deeds such as hard work, extra effort and out-thinking our competition.
    All we need is the love we covet so much from our ruling elites so we can go about our meaningless lives and live in a state of nature as we were intended.
    We don’t need grocery stores. We can just graze off the fields nature provided us, drink the water from the streams from mountains and rivers, wear leaves conveniently provided for us by the trees that also give us oxygen, and use mouse droppings, moss, snowflakes and unicorn hair as currency as we all live happily ever after in a commune filled with diseases, starvation, brutality and despair.
    Won’t life be wonderful?

  14. And this article doesn’t even mention the last point in their letter – “Uphold Indigenous Rights”. Because, you know, the indigenous are the only social group that must be protected at all costs. Until, that is, we jam 10,000 wind turbines up their collective ass.

    This isn’t serious energy policy. It’s the proletariat trying to strike a blow against the bourgeoisie. Or having a blow struck on their behalf, because even the majority of the proles in the US oppose this stupidity.

    1. It’s the proletariat bourgeoisie trying to strike a blow against the bourgeoisie proletariat. Or having a blow struck on their behalf, because even the majority of the proles in the US oppose this stupidity.

      FTFY

      1. Yeah, it’s hard to tell who is who here, ain’t it?

    2. Proletariat? That’s a laugh.

  15. They want a one-world socialist government that controls and redistributes wealth. Climate alarmism is a key vehicle, ending U.S. preeminence is a precondition. Get the U.S. and the West to hamstring their own economies with carbon restrictions through alarmism and white guilt. When global recession hits, populist socialists will gain power.

    1. Climate alarmism? It seems that you must know better than pretty much everyone involved in climate science. Perhaps you might share your special knowledge. If not, keep quiet and listen a lot more. There is more than enough in the most recent science to make anyone alarmed. This site is merely one more of the American deniers like your president, saying in the face of overwhelming evidence, “I don’t believe it. No, no, no.”

      1. “There is more than enough in the most recent science to make anyone alarmed. ”

        True. I am alarmed that global warming models pass for science. Not to mention the data manipulation, data cherry-picking, and terrible extrapolation employed by the warmists, to say nothing of the alarmism and apocalyptic predictions. Science has suffered decades of degradation by these charlatans.

  16. They want a one-world government that controls and redistributes wealth. Climate alarmism is a key vehicle. First they need to end U.S. preeminence. Get the U.S. and the West to hamstring their own economies with carbon restrictions through alarmism and white guilt.

  17. Cynics among us might suspect that the Green New Dealers, by excluding market mechanisms and nuclear power as part of the portfolio of options for addressing the problem of global warming, are not irrational, but are using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.

    Gee…

    1. “Cynics among us might suspect that the Green New Dealers, by excluding market mechanisms and nuclear power as part of the portfolio of options for addressing the problem of global warming, are not irrational, but are using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.”

      Someone misspelled “realists”.

    2. “Cynics among us might suspect that the Green New Dealers, by excluding market mechanisms and nuclear power as part of the portfolio of options for addressing the problem of global warming, are not irrational, but are using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.”

      Someone misspelled “realists”.

    3. “Cynics among us might suspect that the Green New Dealers, by excluding market mechanisms and nuclear power as part of the portfolio of options for addressing the problem of global warming, are not irrational, but are using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.”

      Someone misspelled “Realists”

      1. Is a .410 appropriate as a squirrel gun?

        1. A .22 would be a better choice. I’m not really sure what a .410 is good for, other than shooting “shotgun shells” in your S&W Governor. Which is a stupid gun.

  18. There is something that the Green New Dealers don’t realize or maybe they don’t want to recognize is that to get the Green New Deal going the current form of energy based upon carbon will have to be taxed both at the source where it is created and at the consumer level. Then the tax will need to be doubled each year. This would greatly encourage the manufacturers of these energy efficient items to come to market much faster. Also forceable shut down all coal production and close all nuclear power plants at the end of their life and not allow any new ones.

    1. “Then the tax will need to be doubled each year.”

      So if there was a $1 tax the first year there’d be $512 tax the tenth year, a $524,288 tax the twentieth year, a $536,870,912 tax the thirtieth year… After a century the tax would be $633,825,300,114,115,000,000,000,000,000, multiplied by the number of entities paying that tax. At that point we could afford to build a Dyson Sphere and get 100% of our energy from solar.

      See? Solar is viable.

  19. In semi related news, PG&E (California’s largest utility) is declaring bankruptcy as a result of lawsuits from it’s equipment starting wild fires.

    “PG&E is likely to default on solar and wind projects and write down the value of others. For example, Moody’s downgraded debt held by Topaz Solar to a junk rating in January because of PG&E’s troubles. The company has contracts to buy six gigawatts of wind and solar power that will also be affected by bankruptcy proceedings.”

    1. “In semi related news, PG&E (California’s largest utility) is declaring bankruptcy as a result of lawsuits from it’s equipment starting wild fires.”

      It’s hard to find a good guy in this mess.
      CA mis-managed the forests to pretty much guarantee some really fine kindling (and that scumbag moonbeam claims it’s all a result of climate change rather than his pathetic job as Guv). The residents luv nature so much, quite a few of them invited that kindling to grow right up to the house. And you’ll have to work hard to find someone who considers PG&E as a sympathetic character.
      But for all that, I haven’t read a word about PG&E actually *causing* any of the fires this year, just that they represent some deep pockets.

  20. There is no question that Econazis really do mean “act aggressively” in their initiation of force against electricity. Petr Beckmann articles in Reason archives reveal that nuclear power saves lives by replacing other generating capacity. Every such plant delayed or shut down decreased the life expectancy of the affected neighborhood. THAT is the definition of a health hazard.

  21. I say we just go back to human sacrifice.
    Gaia was perfectly content with that for thousands of years, but now that we’ve stopped she’s getting pissed off.
    Give the gal her ritual back and then we can keep going about our business

    1. Problem is, when they tried to arrange the Parade of the Virgins this year, the one they found refused to march alone…

      1. Well that was awfully rude of you.

  22. Cars will be illegal.

    The people will be fitter as they bike, run, and walk to work and various errands.

    And they will thank the comrades of the New Green Deal when they look in the mirror and see their six pack abs.

  23. Roger Pielke Jr. isn’t quite right. The Green Manifesto advocates suicide to prevent disease.

  24. “Cynics among us …”

    Occam’s Razor, my friend. A little bit of strontium 90 will kill you. A lot quicker than a whole pile of CO2.

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  26. All we need to do is to gather the world’s greatest minds and open source develop the molten salt nuclear reactor.

    1. Why? Is there something wrong with the reactors in use today?

  27. Love the sparkly unicorn ponies, Ron!
    With rainbows!

  28. ” but are using climate change as an excuse to pursue other social and economic goals.”

    Watermelons

  29. “legislation mandating that the U.S. shift to 100 percent renewable electric power generation by 2035 ”

    Be ready for rolling blackouts. Buy your generator and plenty of fuel soon, while you still can.

    F those ignorant watermelons!!!

  30. You can make all the power you want with wind and solar, but until you find some way to store it for when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun shining, you got a problem. Solve that, and then get back to me about 100% renewable with no nukes or hydro, etc.

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  32. Idiots gon’ idiot.

  33. There is no such thing as Zero CO2 emission power. Life cycle CO2 emissions from wind mills are about equal to a 40 year nuclear plant and about 1.5 times that of an 80 year nuclear plant. Solar cell life cycle emissions are even worse, 4 time that of wind and 40 year nuclear plant. So going to all “renewables” will not be no CO2 emissions.

  34. Well, unless you can get them all together and can use a bomb. Hmmm, sayyyy, are there are any places you can think of where central planners are collected together?

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