To the GOP and the Pope: Forcing Higher Energy Prices on the Poor is Immoral

January 20th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’m seeing a flurry of news articles lately casting conservatives as closet believers in human-caused climate change who are struggling to formulate a global warming policy that is smart, but without looking like Liberals in the process.

Also, Pope Francis, after being advised by a committee of the most left-leaning global warming “experts” one could find, has decided to write an encyclical on global warming and the environment to be released later this year.

This all resonates with under-informed voters who think we already have the infrastructure to sustainably collect and distribute methane emissions from unicorn herds, and who believe solar freakin’ roadways are a good idea.

OK, maybe that was too snarky. I’m referring to those who believe that wind and solar really do provide reasonably priced, large scale alternatives to fossil fuels.

Except that solar and wind do not accomplish this. On an equalized basis, the cost of wind and solar is many times (as much as 10x to 30x) higher than fossil fuels, and we can’t get enough of those renewables to meet a substantial fraction of global energy demand anyway.

Remember, energy isn’t just needed for transportation and home heating/cooling and powering our lights and electronic devices. It’s needed for everything humans do, and when you make it much more expensive, life becomes harder for everyone. Call it trickle-down poverty.

I really don’t know what the underlying motivation of the GOP and the Pope is, but if they really care about the poor, they won’t force them further into poverty – and kill millions unnecessarily – by following a pipe dream which only enriches the renewable snake oil salesmen.

Yes, fossil fuels are a finite resource which will eventually need to be supplanted by other energy sources. But without widespread embrace of nuclear power, those energy sources do not yet exist in abundance or at low cost.

And if there one thing we know that kills poor people, its poverty. The Pope claims he is merely following biblical teaching to help the poor. But the bible teaches us to help to those who cannot help themselves. It doesn’t say to institute government regulations that make poverty even worse.

And in order to share our wealth with the poor, that wealth has to be generated in the first place.

First, do no harm. It’s really not rocket science. The GOP should not (nor should anyone else) accept the premise and narrative dictated to it by journalism majors.

Expensive energy kills people. UNICEF estimates 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. In contrast, no one is known to have ever died due to human-induced climate change. I predict that modest warming (whatever its cause) and more CO2 will turn out to be better for life on Earth.

Now, GOP, go grow a pair, and spread the word. The moral high ground is yours for the taking.


169 Responses to “To the GOP and the Pope: Forcing Higher Energy Prices on the Poor is Immoral”

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  1. Willywolfe says:

    Amen Dr. Spencer. it deeply troubles me as a Catholic and more importantly a Christian to see that our Pontiff is blindly accepting the dogma he is handed by the left. It clearly calls into question in my mind the legitimacy of the Holy See. If this Pope is so flawed that he can be led down an evil path to a strategy that will kill millions of the poor whom Jesus fought so hard to protect, then what validity does the Roman Catholic Church retain? I hope and pray that he will see the light before it is too late, but clearly he has been duped by a well funded and highly orchestrated hoax. If he follows through with his endorsement of this dark plan I will definitely have to reconsider my status as a member of his church.

    • Paul F Davis says:

      I too am Catholic but I am comforted that he is not speaking “Ex Cathedra” on this so it is not dogma. Similarly I get all manner of emails from Diocese asking me to email my congressman on voting for more illegal immigration or to not vote against Obama executive actions. I promptly email them back my dissent. It is sad though that the Pope has bought into these shallow analyses.

      • Manfred says:

        It was a cause of astonishment to me that as Jesuit and a rigorously educated man, The Pontiff would apparently acquiesce so quickly to group-think without an examination of the counter arguments and propositions including an invitation for discourse extended to leading scientists who are not in agreement with the unproved hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming or catastrophic feedback. The Roman Church missed an important opportunity.

    • pochas says:

      Catholicism has changed lives, replacing brutality and barbarism throughout the world. Don’t let one man’s errors change anything for you. The transformation is still not complete.

    • Ernest Bush says:

      The real evil here is that he is speaking out in the political realm. I cannot conceive that those who follow the Catholic faith can agree with what is clearly a political agenda of the left. There is nothing but evil in the progressivist agenda, which includes abortion, eugenics, total control of the world’s population, and Agenda 21.

      If the Pope continues supporting that agenda, he may turn around to find the Church is not behind him.

    • David Appell says:

      Ernst: Calling climate science a “political agenda” does not make it so. I’ve never met a climate scientist who wasn’t trying hard to do the best science they can, come what may.

      That you need to use a phrase like “political agenda” shows you can’t win the science, but are trying to bypass it by other means.

      • Planetphysik says:

        Well you’ve met one in yourself David Appell, because the scientific method is to observe facts (like water vapor cools) then put up an hypothesis that (unlike AGW) is based on the laws of physics, and then to test that hypothesis against whatever relevant data is available, such as temperature data on other planets as well as Earth. That has been done on the “Evidence” page at http://climate-change-theory.

        In that you have not in any way shape or form proved anything at all incorrect in what is stated on this our group’s website and in that you have not presented any proof of the radiative forcing “greenhouse” hypothesis (and failed to disprove refutation thereof) then I suggest you are far from “doing the best science” you can. So too is Roy Spencer, Joe Postma, Pierre Latour, Anthony Watts and of course the AGW crowd.

        • David Appell says:

          Doug Cotton: And when will your paper be appearing in a real peer revieded journal?

        • David Appell says:

          “So too is Roy Spencer, Joe Postma, Pierre Latour, Anthony Watts and of course the AGW crowd.”

          Postma is a fake — he censors any dissenting opinions on his blog. I can’t take him seriously.

          Watts also censors. People who want to discuss science don’t censor ideas they don’t like. They are fake.

          I have no idea who Pierre Latour is.

  2. Gary says:

    It may be partly about bravery with the GOP, but not completely. They are the Stupid Party ™, constantly tricked by their opponents into doing things antithetical to their success and survival. After repeated lessons that “bi-partisanship” and “cooperation” only backfire on them, they again commit the same errors of judgement. In the puzzle of politics they are maze-dumb. They pay their consultants loads of money for the same bad advice. If it weren’t so pitiful and damaging, it would be funny.

  3. Scott Scarborough says:

    Hey Roy,

    On a different note. The people running the surface data sets say that they are 38 and 48 percent sure that 2014 was the warmest year on record. What does your data set say i.e. with what confidence can you say that the year 2014 WAS NOT the warmest year on your record.

    • Hmmm. Interesting question. I’ll ask John Christy for his opinion on that.

      • Peter Hartley says:

        This is 1 minus the probability that this year’s average is the highest. To calculate that order statistic, however, you need to take a stand on the probability model governing the annual averages. The easiest thing is to assume they are independently and identically distributed (iid), but that sort of starts by ruling out AGW. (Hmmm — I wonder if that is how Gavin derived his probability — which would be ironic if it were true…) Other models, such as that the annual temperatures are following a linear trend, or are iid after regressing on annual CO2, would lead to more complicated calculations.

      • David Appell says:

        Every time I’ve asked Roy for the error bars on his results, monthly or annual, he’s ignored me.

        NOAA and NASA provide error bars.

        • Sensible people ignore you because you spend your entire life on forums preaching the climate apocalypse. Get a job, or go to the gym, or do something productive.

          • Can the personal insults, OK.

            I’m simply asking for the error bars. I was taught they are a basic aspect of any science.

            So why is this so threatening?

          • It’s not threatening. It’s just a waste of time answering your questions. Might as well answer Doug Cotton’s question. He’ll just come up with something stupid too.

          • Planetphysik says:

            Yes well in terms of the measurements of incident solar radiation at TOA and outgoing radiation at TOA, the error bars are very hard to find in any AGW publication. However I did once find something that indicated they were about 1%. Now, in that the difference of these two measurements thus has a potential error of 2%, and yet that difference is rarely outside the range ±0.5% then I suggest there is no convincing evidence of the so called “missing heat” in the oceans or wherever because we don’t know whether the difference is positive or negative.

            In any event, imbalance at TOA is the result of natural warming or cooling which happens in cycles quite beyond the control of mankind and fully explains the rise at the end of last century and the current slight cooling which will continue till at least 2027 as I predicted in a statement archived in August 2011.

          • Error bars are hardly a waste of time.

            I’ve been asking for awhile now. I’ll keep at it until I get an answer.

          • Error bars aren’t a waste of time, you are.

          • David Appell says:

            Will Nitschke says:
            “It’s just a waste of time answering your questions.”

            Then stop. I couldn’t care less.

  4. Tom Anderson says:

    The prohibitive cost of renewable energy is only part of the problem, and likely not the worst of it. A team of apparently well qualified engineers employed by Google made a 4 or 5 year attempt at a cost-benefit analysis of renewable energy for replacing conventional power. The engineers based it on technology beyond today’s cutting edge, and concluded that renewables just would not work. The return wouldn’t justify the cost. So who these days is fooling whom, and why are people buying into it?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/22/shocker-top-google-engineers-say-renewable-energy-simply-wont-work/

    To my knowledge no mainstream news medium picked up the Google story. It only brings to my mind someone’s observation that in the past people who claimed the end of the world was nigh were dismissed as eccentrics but now they control the media and run the schools.

    • David Appell says:

      Unless you include the negative externalities of fossil fuels (and renewables, too), such analysis is useless, right off the bat.

      • People who want to preach about “negative externalities” never want to talk about the positive externalities, because they massively outweight the negative. Hence they pretend only the negative exist.

        • They certainly do calculate the positive externalities. Like this economic study:

          “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy,” Nicholas Z. Muller, Robert Mendelsohn, and William Nordhaus, American Economic Review, 101(5): 1649–75 (2011).
          http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.1649

          Summarizing that paper’s findings: for every $1 in value that comes from coal-generated electricity, it creates $2.20 in damages.

          Total damages: $70 billion per year (in 2012 dollars).

          Petroleum-generated electricity is even worse: $5.13 in damages for $1 in value.

          • 80% of science these days is, unfortunately, junk. Then there are entire fields of junk science, like the stuff that the various Homoeopathic (Medical) Associations produce, or the psychoanalytic associations and journals. Or the garbage that is tossed out by “environmental economists”. Cranks love their junk science links. The more authoritative sounding the nonsense, all the better.

          • Planetphysik says:

            Maybe, but water vapor cools, as empirical evidence shows us.

            The IPCC wants you to believe the sensitivity to water vapor is at least 10 to 15 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere, because a mean of less than 2% of water vapor in the atmosphere is supposed to do most of that “33 degrees of warming.”

            So, David Appell, are you gullible enough or not to believe that rain forests (with, say, 4% WV) are about 40 degrees hotter than dry regions (with 1%) – yes or no, David Appell? Are you gullible enough or not to believe that – yes or no?

          • Bart says:

            From which it clearly proceeds that the industrial revolution was a mass hallucinatory experience which could never have gotten off the ground.

          • Yes according to Appell because fossil fuel use has more negatives than positives, the industrial revolution never happened because everyone went broke. Or the environment collapsed. Or something.

          • “80% of science these days is, unfortunately, junk.”

            What is the evidence for the “80%” number?

          • Bart says:
            “January 21, 2015 at 8:55 PM
            From which it clearly proceeds that the industrial revolution was a mass hallucinatory experience which could never have gotten off the ground.”

            That is absolutely NOT what the NAS study says.

          • If I provide you authoritative links from highly qualified PhD’s working in the field of psychoanalytics that you suffer from penis envy do you believe it because they are the experts and you aren’t qualified to judge their high quality work? Or not?

          • David Appell says:

            “80% of science these days is, unfortunately, junk.”

            So what is the evidence for this “80%” number?

          • Do you suffer from penis envy or not?

            It’s pretty hilarious. You’re so married to your beliefs in junk science you cannot admit any science whatsoever is junk, so long as it has the veneer of authority.

  5. Scott Scarborough says:

    Forgot the ? mark at the end.

  6. RW says:

    “Closet believers in human caused climate change” That’s an interesting new thing.

    • Ernest Bush says:

      To be really conservative is to believe in limiting the authority of the federal government. This belief generates a natural skepticism about all things the government wants to regulate. The supposed government’s need to regulate our lives because of CAGW generates a ton of skepticism.

      There are a lot of political liberals who believe that man is causing a change in climate in only a small way. Most conservatives support that same belief. That there might be a significant number of closet Warmists among conservatives is only wishful thinking on the part of the far left.

      LOL

      • David Appell says:

        If you don’t like government regulations — though its cap-n-trade program for SO2 and N2O is a success — then propose solutions that don’t require goverenment interference. A few Republicans are beginning to do this — like the R Street Institute — but if you ignore the issue, you’ll get stuck with the solutions proposed by the other side.

        What’s wrong with revenue neutral carbon tax? Or a tax-and-dividend carbon tax that gives everything collected back on an equal per capita basis? That would see 60% of Americans getting more of a dividend than they pay in (carbon) taxes.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          David, by now i know that YOU know that carbon growth tracks with temperature. Unless the carbon tax produces draconian cuts in emissions, it will not affect carbon growth. It may well be that even kyoto (1990 emissions levels) won’t even affect carbon growth. What is needed is a serious wholesale government effort (like putting a man on the moon was) to even begin seeing a reduction in carbon growth. Piddling around with non solutions won’t do any good what so ever and may even back fire when the general public realizes that they’re not working…

          • David Appell says:

            All of that can be done by adjusting the $/tonne_CO2 level of the tax.

          • Lewis says:

            David,

            There is no problem, so why do we need a solution?

            Personally, I don’t have a problem with a tax on energy but, as Dr. Spencer points out, raising the price of energy will cause poor people more problems than the imagined reduction in atmospheric CO2.

            So, taking into account the problems any ‘solution’ will cause, what exactly do you propose to change which will not harm the poor?

          • Lewis says:
            “There is no problem, so why do we need a solution?”

            Your question makes no sense at all.

          • Lewis: Read better. A carbon tax-and-dividend would help ALLEVIATE poverty. 60% of Americans would get back more in dividends than they pay in taxes.

            The rich pay for their profligate travel and their 2nd homes (and 3rd, 4th, etc).

            What’s not to like?

          • It’s like magic. Increase costs. Increase taxes. Everyone ends up wealthier because we can pay those taxes back to ourselves.

            The guy is an economic genius.

          • Lewis says:

            David,

            Do you really believe taxing one group to give to another will help either group? It may hurt one group and subsidize another but the only people it helps are those in government who skim their part.

            Generally, it will hurt everyone.

        • There is no need to propose “solutions” to imaginary problems.

        • Planetphysik says:

          Solutions to what David? I’m still waiting for you to pinpoint fault in the physics at http://climate-change-theory.com if you think your understanding in thermodynamics is a match for mine that is based on about 50 years of helping undergraduates to understand such.

          There’s no problem regarding carbon dioxide that mankind needs to resolve, because one molecule in every 2,500 other air molecules holds only 0.04% of the thermal energy (“heat” to you if you’re not a physicist) and it does not warm the planet, because there is no valid physics which can be used to prove that it could.

  7. Planetary Physics says:

    Roy

    I agree with you about the fact that this is costing lives and enforcing poverty even upon many families in developed countries. I’ve said that many times. Australia has just diverted $200 million from humanitarian aid to carbon dioxide aid – just as I predicted would happen years ago.

    So why is it Roy that you don’t seem prepared to study the real thermodynamics which clearly shows why water vapor and carbon dioxide cool rather than warm? Our group (now with four men all having physics degrees) all agree with the fact that there is downward convective heat transfer that is carrying out the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. (The “hot to cold” corollary of the Second Law only applies if potential energy does not change and thus alter entropy.)

    Now that it is explained in English and German on our new group’s website (being visited by over 1,000 a week) you don’t even have to buy the book. My old domain name climate-change-theory dot com is also redirected to the new site.

    Roy, the Sun’s direct solar radiation cannot raise the mean temperature of Earth’s surface to existing levels. The surface receives a mean of only about 168W/m^2 as per NASA energy diagrams. That could only heat a black body to -40C.

    There are rocks exposed at the top of Mount Everest where, in mid summer at noon the surface probably receives over 1100W/m^2, but how hot does it get there? The surface is not a black body because it loses energy by non-radiative processes.

    Hence all the garbage about Earth’s surface receiving 390W/m^2 (mostly back radiation) to get to 288K is a travesty of physics. Why do you support such a travesty that claims back radiation can help the Sun to raise temperatures?

    You have to understand the thermodynamics that operate in all planetary tropospheres.

    I have explained the major breakthrough in physics which does give the right temperatures and explains the required energy flows throughout the Solar System and no doubt beyond. You only have to study two pages on our website.

    • John F. Hultquist says:

      Doug,
      Your repeated attempts to promote your ideas appear on all the sites that still allow you to post. This suggests you are not having much success. Thus, I provide this sub-title of an old book:
      “The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success”
      Why not have a go at getting a copy and reading it. Take a break from posting. Sit back, relax, let a little of your stress go. You will feel better. And you can thank me later.
      Cheers.

    • Doug, I apparently stick to the travesty because I just love that word. Travesty. TRAVESTY! Oh, how I love the sound of it!

      • Plan.Physics says:

        Well Roy, there are experienced physicists here in Australia who know why empirical data proves that the greenhouse gas water vapor cools. Do you seriously believe it does 25 to 30 degrees of that “33 degrees of warming” and so rain forests are at least 20 degrees hotter than dry regions at similar latitude and altitude? The evidence is against you Roy. And you still can’t explain the energy flows that cause the base of the nominal troposphere of the planet Uranus to be hotter than Earth’s surface.

        I can explain those energy flows. You can’t.

        My hypothesis gels with all Solar System data. The radiative greenhouse hypothesis does not because it is pseudo science.

        Sorry, Roy, but my physics is correct.

      • Ernest Bush says:

        BRAVO! I personally hate to listen to people who have to preach their theory of whatever at every opportunity. Even if Mr. Planetary Physics is proven right at some point, I will still hate to read his posts.

        Recently I terminated a budding friendship with a very intelligent man because he always had to win an argument at all costs. It wasn’t that I hated to lose that I literally walked away. It was because I suddenly understood that he had no respect for my thoughts on any matter, and, therefore, did not respect me and probably any other man.

        • Lewis says:

          Ernest, I’m sorry about your de-budded friendship.

          With people that argue (for whatever reason) I find them of two basic types – those who need to be right and those who want to be right.

          Cheers

    • David Appell says:

      “I agree with you about the fact that this is costing lives and enforcing poverty even upon many families in developed countries.”

      Let’s see some quantative evidence.

      My guess is you don’t have any.

      • Only to the religious fanatic do you have to “prove” that fossil fuels are superior to burning dung.

        • Lewis says:

          David,

          If you want proof, it is easily available. Do a little research, read more widely. Something easy to do, although time consuming, would be to correlate energy use with death rates.

          You will find that the countries consuming the most energy also have the lowest death rates or, more exactly, the longest life spans.

          Is there a statistical relationship? When you find out, if your predetermined mindset lets you, tell us all.

          • Note you wrote “the most energy,” not “the most energy created by burning fossil fuels.”

            We need energy. That doesn’t mean it must come from fossil fuels, which also cause a lot of damages….

          • Lewis you are wasting your time arguing with cranks. He just makes it up as he goes along. His latest “tactic” is to make some outrageous claim and then demand “proof” that the position everyone else excepts is “true”. It’s just a huge time waste on a nitwit.

          • Lewis says:

            David, you’re avoiding the question by trying to distort it to suit yourself.

            Look it up. Find out how wrong you are.

      • Planetphysik says:

        Quantitative evidence? Corn being used for ethanol instead of food. The Australian Government announcing that $200 million will be taken out of their humanitarian aid budget and wasted on carbon dioxide aid. The US government wasting $22 billion a year, which could have built and operated quite a few hospitals in developing countries, etc etc. But you have to start with the facts, David Appell, and the correct thermodynamics which explains all temperature data in tropospheres, surfaces, crusts, mantle and cores in all planets and satellite moons in our Solar System and no doubt beyond.

        The evidence and the physics are here:
        http://climate-change-theory.com
        and my evidence is that, out of over 2,550 visitors in the last fortnight, quite a few have been readers from this blog – almost half as many as from WUWT.

  8. Moe Lavigne says:

    The high cost of solar and wind energy equals the sum total of energy previously used to mine and concentrate the minerals, followed by smelting and refining the contained metals. This includes the cost of the metals in the machinery that make up this huge industry and the cost of moving these materials in between each stage.Then we add the cost of fabrication of components, then more transportation, and finally, assembly. In the end we measure this cost in dollars, which is in fact a proxy for the amount of energy we have already expended.

    • Bart says:

      There are additional external costs as well, but they are out of sight in China, so out of mind.

      • David Appell says:

        What is the estimated damage from this lake’s pollution?
        How does it compare to the damage costs of fossil fuels?

        And why are the Chinese letting people live next to it??

        • Bart says:

          Bad.
          Bad.
          Letting?

        • David Appell says:

          Yes, letting.

          I can understand why some poor people in America live adimst environmental hard — the US government, and state governments, care far more about corpoate profits than the health of poor people.

          Is it the same in China?

          The broader point is that, yes, renewable energies also have some negative externalities.

          How do they compare to the negative externalities from fossil fuels?

          • Having relatives that Westerners would consider “poor” in South American countries, I can assure you they have little interest in your personal obsessions, and much interest in cost of living pressures and finding employment.

          • And it’s likely your poor relatives contribute far, far less towards global warming that westerners do.

          • They don’t care about global warming. To them it’s either completely off their radar or some obsession of a minority of obese Western cranks such as yourself.

          • David Appell says:

            I’m sure they don’t care. But then, their carbon footprint is no doubt much smaller than your’s. And their countriy’s is much less than that of the US, today and in cumulative emissions.

            That’s why the US had a moral obligation to lead the way to a solution.

          • If the US has any sort of moral obligation it’s to help them raise their standard of living and increase their CO2 output as a consequence. They are worried about food on their plates, being able to fix their homes when their roofs leak, etc. They don’t give a rats about your bizarre climate apocalypse delusions. If you had relatives over there, you would understand. You pretend to speak for them because you speak out of your arse.

          • Lewis says:

            Will, are you doing what you told me not to? It is fun though isn’t it: arguing with someone who refuses to do anything but spout platitudes.

            David,

            Do you walk only? Do you eat only food you grow? How about your clothes, or computer, do you refuse to use them because of their carbon footprint? Why are you wasting energy, probably causing CO2 to be added to the atmosphere, arguing with people who don’t listen?

            Very honestly, I don’t care about CO2 and the theory of CAGW except to hope it continues to get warmer, which doesn’t seem likely. Seriously, do you really wish for more snow and ice? Why do you want more glaciers? Why do you want northern farm lands to become ice fields? Or do you imagine we can adjust the climate to that particular place where you wish it to be?

            Warmer is better!

          • Well Lewis I was only making the point that you shouldn’t waste your time on *time consuming careful argumentation.* As soon as you rebut one of his claims, he slithers around, changing the topic and suddenly he is claiming he said something somewhat different. He is a master of changing the topic. He is about as sleazy intellectually as they get. Next day he is on some other forum somewhere, making the same claims that have been refuted a thousand times before.

  9. Steve says:

    1. Solar and wind do not cost 20-30x more than fossil fuels. You’d have to be quite credulous to believe such an analysis.

    2. People who die of poverty often live in parts of the world that simply don’t have any energy infrastructure at all. Fossil fuels without any existing transmission/distribution infrastructure in place don’t compete very well against renewables. Much easier to power remote areas with small scale solar than to build transmission and distribution infrastructure: that’s why there is high penetration of solar in off-grid areas of even developed countries like the US and Australia. In parts of Australia, you could pay $15k to get a PV system + batteries etc, or you could pay >$50k to get a grid extension.

    • Curious George says:

      Steve – please supply hard data on the cost of solar and wind.

      • Steve says:

        Some Australian numbers for you, curious george:

        The majority of electricity in Australian comes from burning coal. The Aus. National electricity market wholesale power price = about AU$30/MWh (note that the price can spike considerably higher than this at times of high demand)
        http://www.energymatters.com.au/energy-efficiency/electricity-demand-price/

        Wind farms have been built in Australia, presumably because – with subsidy – they are economically viable.

        The subsidy that wind farms in Australia receive is in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates. RECs are priced at around AU$30-$40/MWh
        http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/For-Industry/Emissions-Intensive-Trade-Exposed/Volume-Weighted-Average-Market-Price/market-price

        This suggests that wind farms cost about AU$30-$40/MWh generated more than conventional power generation in Australia. That is, double the cost of coal, not 20x the cost.

        By the way, gas-fired generation Australia is more expensive than coal, and is used primarily as peaking plant, and operates mainly at times of higher price and demand. So wind is less than twice the cost of gas-fired power generation in Australia, they are probably close to being on par.

        Don’t have solar numbers at hand quickly, but especially given the plummeting cost of PV panels in the last decade, there is no way that it would be 20-30x the cost of fossil fuel.

        • Ernest Bush says:

          The problem is that if you need 2.5 kw/h you will need a solar panel system rated at many times that and an expensive battery system to keep electricity available as needed. You only get the rated output for a few hours a day and then only under perfect conditions. In places where it really gets hot the efficiency falls off during the time you may need the electricity the most, as happens to most electronic devices.

          • Ernest Bush says:

            The cost of a solar system is still high enough that you could buy an excellent generator and fuel to run it for a long time, instead. I was involved in testing equipment out in the Colorado Desert heat for many years. We used 45 kw generators that were quiet and good for ten years or more to power up test equipment. Neighbors could share the cost of a generator that size.

          • Steve says:

            I think you are underestimating the massive cost reductions solar has seen even in the last 6 or so years.

            You are also assuming that it is somehow a “problem” that a remote area solar power system needs batteries, or that solar panel efficiency decreases very slightly as temperature increases etc. It is actually very well understood what is required to meet a particular load in a particular climate using solar panels, batteries etc. There is no “problem”, there is only the cost. And that cost isn’t 20-30x the cost of fossil fuels.

            You are also assuming the cost of reliability transporting fuel without disruption to a remote area in the US is comparable to the cost of transporting fuel reliably without disruption to a remote location in a developing country.

            In any case, what you say doesn’t change the fact that renewables are not 20-30x the cost of fossil fuels.

          • Now Steve things he can power a city on batteries overnight. What a genius.

    • Plan.Physics says:

      “People who die of poverty often live in parts of the world that simply don’t have any energy infrastructure at all.”

      Yes well, if humanitarian aid money were not diverted to carbon dioxide aid, then there would be funds for that infrastructure. How much would $100,000,000,000 a year buy world-wide?

      I haven’t noticed a high penetration in Australia in terms of percentage of the population, and I’ve driven plenty of outback roads, excluding those solar systems excessively subsidized by the taxpayers.

      Grid extensions could easily be funded with some of the wasted money spent on the hoax. That hoax is explained here http://climate-change-theory.com

  10. Curious George says:

    The GOP and The Pope .. I fail to get the connection. Aren’t Kennedys a Catholic family? And what’s wrong in accepting an advice from St. Naomi, undoubtedly a practicing Catholic and (not only a) climate expert?

  11. Phyte On says:

    As Dennis Prager say…the religion of leftism is the most dominant, dynamic, and successful world religion in modern life.

  12. Planetary Physics says:

    Well Roy, there are experienced physicists here in Australia who know why empirical data proves that the greenhouse gas water vapor cools. Do you seriously believe it does 25 to 30 degrees of that “33 degrees of warming” and so rain forests are at least 20 degrees hotter than dry regions at similar latitude and altitude? The evidence is against you Roy. And you still can’t explain the energy flows that cause the base of the nominal troposphere of the planet Uranus to be hotter than Earth’s surface.

    I can explain those energy flows. You can’t.

    My hypothesis gels with all Solar System data. The radiative greenhouse hypothesis does not because it is pseudo science.

    Sorry, Roy, but my physics is correct.

  13. sergeiMK says:

    Roy,
    I’ve asked before, you did not answer, so I’ll try again.

    How will the poor afford fridges, cookers, heaters?.
    How will the poor pay for the energy they use?

    Oil is not free, coal is not free, electricity is not free. Food is not free!

    If you try providing electricity from a centralised power station you then need to provide high voltage grid, transformers to convert to local user voltage. You then need to police these lines.
    The poor cannot pay much for their electricity so all this infrastructure is provided at a loss – who pays?

    Give the poor an efficient cooker (wood burner), Give them a solar panel and battery and they can cook efficiently, see at night, charge mobiles and laptops. all for 1/1000th the cost of a grid. And the energy is just about free.

    • Ernest Bush says:

      In Africa burning wood for cooking is helping deforest the areas around villages and poses health problems for women and children. What they really need are solar cookers, adapted to tribal life and cheap plastic water pasteurizers. There are some small scale projects using solar cookers. Small scale solar panel chargers are being installed on a small scale, also. You are right about the foolishness of putting in grid systems, yet this is the kind of aid Western countries insist on giving.

    • David Appell says:

      They very poor will never afford a centralized power station burning coal, oil or natural gas. They’ll have enough solar cells atop their homes to generate the power they need. They will leap from fossil fuels and their infrastructure, just as some have leapfrogged land lines for cellular phones.

    • Lewis says:

      Serge, if I’m reading you correctly, you dismiss centralized power and distribution because the poor need ‘free’ transmission etc. But then you say – give them a cooker etc. Is that not of the same problem as giving them a free transmission line? And who, please tell us, will repair that cooker and where are they going to get the wood.

      I can tell you this, wood is not cheap. It takes much labor and expensive tools to make gathering efficient. Or is wood just a fun idea for you?

  14. StuartL says:

    I worked for 35yrs in the power generation industry, solar and wind for more than a small percentage is not only useless it is damaging, electrical grids have to maintain a balance of supply and demand and control voltage, frequency and power factor, this is done by continuously altering load (some by free govenor action)the more inflexible solar and wind that is added, the more the proportion of load control falls on the shoulders of conventional generation, to the point of destabilization, Germany is already beginning to experience this, the number of interventions being needed to maintain safe supply is excalating.

  15. donb says:

    Even if human-caused global warming is true, that does not justify a rush away from using fossil fuels. There is an old saying about jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

  16. boris says:

    Roy,

    I recently watched a documentary on pivot TV about the financial crisis which was clearly from a left leaning perspective titled “Inside Job” narrated by Matt Damon. Clearly not something most conservatives would think would be interesting but it was!

    They outlined how the people at high levels in the financial industry, academia,and the institutions designed to regulate them were effectively interchangeable not withstanding party affiliation. Democrats and Republicans hired the same people to oversee and advise regulation or the lack there of and they all came from the industry they were meant to regulate.

    $100’s of billions of dollars of government funds perhaps trillions. $100 of millions perhaps billions in documented bonuses and consulting fees. AND…far down the food chain embarrassing interviews with academic justifiers at Harvard, Wharton, Standard and Poor, Moody’s.

    As I said there was a “feel” to the program that it was from a left perspective but they didn’t hold back on Democratic responsibility in the corruption and never promoted any particular notion other than our citizenry needs to understand what’s going on at this level.

    I’d suggest such a documentary on “global warming” Perhaps someone like Tom Selleck could narrate. I have seen plenty of level headed commentary on the issue there just needs to be a producer who can pull it all together as a cogent document (without promoting a whole list of other issues) One could submit questions to Al Gore asking him to appear and explain his financial stake in this; when he doesn’t you cite the facts and say that he has declined to be interviewed for this documentary. Catch a few of these prominent environmentalists who are willing to say that the world needs to have less people NOW and explain how they can’t be talking about birth control only.

    Then fund raise and buy the air time.

    I have to say I enjoy your blog on the scientific issues though sometimes the comments seem to miss the point and folks think that the minutia of what wasn’t taken into consideration is more important than the overall issue. Oh, and write a letter to the Pope. I will reminding him of the Vatican’s previous blunders over the centuries and there are some Papal terms that Catholics would as soon forget. It may not work; Saint Francis of Assisi whom the Pope chose to name himself for was something of an environmentalist. Be a shame if such a popular Pope took a position on Global Warming that he couldn’t crab walk to supporting real development of modern standards of living in the world.

  17. Ted says:

    Since gas prices in the US are half of what they were six months ago, are you saying, Dr Spencer, that the oil companies were killing many more poor people last year as they are now?

    It seems that you’re perfectly okay with high energy prices if they’re the result of the free market.

  18. Planetenphysik says:

     
    Roy

    Just a word of advice, or you may find yourself very red faced one day. Firstly, the study of thermodynamics has been my specialty for years and I know my stuff – far better than yourself, who appears to think that the Second Law is only about “hot to cold” whereas that is not the case and that is only a corollary for which a prerequisite is that gravitational potential energy does not vary. In other words, “hot to cold” strictly only applies in a horizontal plane, strange though that may seem. That’s fact, Roy. If I were wrong, then the surface of Venus would be hundreds of degrees colder.

    Now in all honesty Roy, we both have a common motive to quell the hoax. You just don’t realize that it’s a bigger hoax and totally incorrect regarding any claimed warming by CO2 and water vapor. Frankly I don’t know how anyone could believe water vapor warms the surface and yet at the same time props up the upper end of the temperature profile even more than it supposedly warms the surface, so as to make the temperature gradient less steep.

    What would happen to radiative balance if that could happen, Roy?

    Radiative imbalance at TOA is rarely more than ±0.5% and it is the result of natural climate cycles, not the cause.
     
    Any “trapped energy” just “pools” a little in the temperature “valley” around the tropopause, without affecting the surface temperature one iota. For the surface temperature to rise the whole troposphere, the oceans and all the subsurface regions (including the mantle) would have to rise in order to maintain the same gravitationally induced state of thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated temperature gradients. That would require a lot of energy and, above all, a higher level of insolation. The Sun controls climate, and the planetary orbits regulate natural cycles in the Sun.

    • Planetenphysik says:

      The comment is continued here. Please study it all carefully, Roy, because it’s correct and in accord with the “Evidence” page therein. Just since January 8th over 2,450 have visited that website for our group, which is posting on English and German climate blogs worldwide.

      • Martin C says:

        . .holy cow, Doug, just give it a rest . . .

        • Planetenphysik says:

          How about you give it a relevant response based on valid physics, after reading the website text now agreed upon by our group of persons suitably qualified in physics.

          Or are you one of the gullible people who believe the IPCC implication that rain forests (with 4% water vapor) are about 30 degrees hotter than dry regions with 1% water vapor? I have done a study of data from this real world which proves the “greenhouse gas” water vapor cools. Prove me wrong.

          <b?There's a $5,000 reward still on the table for the first to prove the physics and the study in my book to be substantially wrong.

          I have proved Roy wrong in his “Misunderstandings” post where he claimed there would be isothermal conditions in the absence of GHG. That is incorrect because the Second Law tells us that the state of thermodynamic equilibrium will have no unbalanced energy potentials (ie maximum entropy) and thus (PE+KE)=constant and there is a temperature gradient.

          So Roy was wrong and he won’t admit it. I will not tolerate invalid physics that is promulgated on any blog. Get it? The hoax has gone far enough. Climate will not warm in the long run, and will cool after the year 2059.

          • David Appell says:

            Publish a paper somewhere decent, or stop the misinformation, Doug.

          • Planetphysik says:

            David

            No – Pal review means nothing. “Decent” journals (which all have an agenda anyway) mean nothing.

            You PROVE it “misinformation” using the laws of physics.

            I’m throwing down the gauntlet to you to read the website (or my book) and pinpoint precisely where in the logical physics presented therein you consider there to be any fallacy.

            Are inland rain forests hotter than inland dry regions at similar latitude and longitude? Yes or no, David. Prove your point with some study of temperature data.

            In short, put up or shut up David Appell.

             

          • Doug: Which journals have you submitted to?

          • Ball4 says:

            Planetphysik 8:11pm: “..pinpoint precisely where in the logical physics presented therein you consider there to be any fallacy.”

            I’ve precisely pinpointed Doug’s physics fallacy in calculating column water vapor effects on desert and non-desert surface temperatures here in the past complete with a specific reference. See Bohren 1998 Sec. 7.1 pp. 365-6 for the correct “logical physics”. Doug following those well founded physics with water vapor pressures correctly converted to densities as shown will force a change in Doug’s conclusions.

          • Thanks Ball, but it won’t make a difference to Doug Cotton.

          • Planetphysik says:

            No Ball4. I have refuted that paper with valid physics. Besides, empirical evidence proves otherwise as you could check yourself with a study similar to that I published proving water vapor cools.

            So I ask you also Ball4: Are you gullible enough to believe the IPCC implication that water vapor warms by at least 10 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere? Yes or No Ball4?

          • Ball4 says:

            Planetphysik 2:20am: “I have refuted that paper with valid physics.”

            Paper? No Doug, Bohren 1998 is a text book which proves you haven’t read up. Your weak attempt at its refutation did not succeed; I pointed out precisely where your calculations go wrong & do not agree with meteorological observations concerning effects of precipitable water in a column. Your conclusions remain erroneous. Do please keep trying, your misguided efforts to help the GOP & Pope are certainly entertaining. Maybe you can succeed some day if you keep trying & if so, I’ll let you know.

            “Are you gullible enough…?”

            No.

  19. Milton Hathaway says:

    I find it interesting that the CAGW crowd create immensely complex computer models to convince the world what they believe the effects of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will be, but one hears no mention of computer models designed to predict the consequences of applying their proposed solutions. Do such models even exist?

    For example, how many people in developing countries can be expected to perish for each 1% net reduction in productivity in developed countries?

    I strongly suspect that one primary reason for this discrepancy is that a non-negligible portion of the CAGW crowd believe that the world has too many people now, and the population needs to be thinned to be sustainable.

    Can you imagine how different the reaction from the developing world would be when presented with the output of a computer model that realistically predicted the effects of the CAGW remedial proposals?

    Some in the CAGW crowd seem to understand the consequences of the remedial actions, and propose transfer payments to offset the catastrophic affects. But such payments would only exasperate the downward spiral in productivity by draining the wealth needed for investments to maintain productivity.

    The CAGW crowd would insist I’ve got this all wrong. To which I would answer “show me your model”.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Milton Hathaway,

      You state:

      “I find it interesting that the CAGW crowd create immensely complex computer models to convince the world what they believe the effects of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will be, but one hears no mention of computer models designed to predict the consequences of applying their proposed solutions.”

      That is because they already Know the proposed solutions (Kyoto Protocol, carbon taxes, etc.) will do little if anything to reduce the rate of carbon growth let alone absolute carbon levels and thus by their logic can have little if any effect on temperature. Atmospheric CO2 levels have shown increase since first measured in the late 19th century. Anyone have a plan as to how we induce 7 billion people on this industrialized planet to reduce carbon output to levels not seen since their great-great grandparents roamed the earth, population fell at about 1.3 billion and only the U.S., German and Britain proved only partially industrialized? Yeah well, no one else has either.

      Have a great day!

  20. David Appell says:

    Yes, the poor need cheap energy. That doesn’t mean EVERYONE does, or that most of the people on these comments can’t afford clean energy.

    Let’s stop using the world’s poor as an excuse for the GHG emissions of the rich.

    The US is the richest country in the history of the world. If we can’t afford clean energy now, then when?

    BTW, I buy 100% clean offset from my electric company. Cost averages $2.13/month. I also pay towards the development of 500 kWh/month of clean energy. Cost is $5/month.

    Burning fossil fuels has benefits, and also costs. This study

    “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use”
    National Research Council, 2010
    http://books.nap.edu/catalog/12794.html

    found the cost from damages due to fossil fuel use to be $120B for 2005 (in 2007 dollars), a number that does not include climate change and that the study’s authors considered a “substantial underestimate.

    By now that’s about $200 B/yr — about $625/person/yr. The oil, gas and coal companies keep the profits; you pay the cost of the damages. Sweet deal if you can get it.

    • 120B is a very good deal if the benefits reach into the trillions, which they do. So this sort of argument favours Dr Roy Spencer’s position, not yours.

      For example, they claim that energy use involves a “risk to national security”. I’m sure it does. Although if your air force, navy and army don’t have fuel for their mechanized forces, the risk to national security is a little more serious, don’t you think?

      The only reason why you beat this dead horse is because you’re a fantastic who believes we’re all going to suffer from some bizarre climate apocalypse. And you also hope that people who listen to your arguments are so stupid, that they will only pay attention to the negatives and pretend the positives aren’t there.

      • “120B is a very good deal if the benefits reach into the trillions.”

        Trillions?

        No.

        Americans spend about $475 B/yr for electricity

        http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/

        • So you’re attempting to make the ludicrous claim that if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow it would not cost the world economy trillions? US GDP is 17.5 trillion annually. Without fossil fuels the economy would instantly collapse. That’s 17.5 trillion right there.

          You’re trying to claim something so utterly stupid, it boggles the mind. I guess you have to do this, because you alternative claims are just as stupid as this one.

        • “Without fossil fuels the economy would instantly collapse.”

          Nope.

          Without ENERGY the economy would collapse.

          The value of electricity is no more than what people are paying for it — an average of 12.58 cents/kWh, as of 10/2014:

          http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/

          If and when a cheaper alternative comes (unfortunately, probably without considering negative externalities), people will pay for that.

          But 12.58 cents/kWh is what people are willing to pay now for electicity, according to the market. Hence, that’s its value.

          • So you truly believe that the world could run on solar, hydro and wind power tomorrow, and the world economy would not collapse tomorrow? (E.g., there would be no transport system. Maybe a few tens of thousands of electric cars that couldn’t be adequately charged anyway).

            I want to be careful what I say here. I’m not sure if you are suffering from some sort of mental illness now. I don’t say this fallaciously. I know Doug Cotton is not well, mentally. Best that people leave him to his own devices rather than encourage him or “debate” him. You’re certainly claiming things that aren’t possible in the real world either. Good luck, and get well.

          • David Appell says:

            “80% of science these days is, unfortunately, junk.”

            WAgain, what is the evidence for the “80%” number?

          • Again, if you were told by highly qualified PhD academics that you suffered from penis envy would you accept their claims as true or not?

            There is a vast academic literature on this topic, published in highly prestigious psychoanalytic journals.*

            *Well, prestigious to specialists in psychoanalytics.

          • Here is the study anyway –

            http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

            Which is a statistical analysis of the quality of research in very well understood research fields. For deeply uncertain research fields (i.e., climate science) it would be much worse. Probably closer to 90%.

            All irrelevant to you, because you’re a crank. No doubt you’ve been given this study hundreds of times in the past since you spend so much time on the internet. Next week you’ll ask the same question again to someone else.

          • David Appell says:

            “Here is the study anyway -”

            What a convenient paper! — it saves you from having to read and understand anything, becauwe you think 4 of 5 papers are wrong.

            Life is so easy, isn’t it?

          • What a nitwit. It means rational people have to think harder and more critically about every paper, because there are so many mistakes being constantly published. You obviously despise the reality because it makes it harder for you to sell the junk research you use to justify your unthinking beliefs.

        • “So you’re attempting to make the ludicrous claim that if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow it would not cost the world economy trillions?”

          The value of energy generated by fossil fuels is the amount we pay for it.

          For electricity, that comes to a little less than $500 B/yr — about $1500 per capita.

        • “Without fossil fuels the economy would instantly collapse. That’s 17.5 trillion right there.”

          Nope. If for some reason fossil fuels suddenly vanished — which will never happen, of course — people would get **VERY** very busy installing wind power and solar power.

          The economy would recover — and of course, your scenario is completely unrealistic. It’s a transition, and it’s coming soon (given the ever declining cost of solar power).

          • Damage to the world economy would be catastrophic. There would be no solar energy at night. And no power at day or night when the wind didn’t blow. This would basically destroy the world economy. And nobody would even have the money to buy extra solar panels anyway.

          • David Appell says:

            There are batteries, and hydroelectric dams that serve as batteries. If we had to (we won’t), we’d get v. busy on that. We’d store electricity in car batteries during the day, and draw on it at night. We’d put out lots of nuclear energy.

            Best we do this now, instead of waiting until FFs do ruin the climate for good.

          • BTW, even a dopey person can understand a hypothetical question. Nobody is talking about fossil fuels disappearing tomorrow. (My head hurts.) The reason why I asked is to point out the direct benefits of fossil fuels and what would happen if they were taken away. Even if you found viable replacements (which don’t exist) the direct benefits we’re experiencing right now from them *don’t go away.*

            That’s the thing about your crank ideas I’m pointing out. You want to point your finger at negative externalities but wish to pretend that the positive externalities (which overwhelmingly out weigh the negative) don’t exist.

          • Bryan says:

            “Nope. If for some reason fossil fuels suddenly vanished — which will never happen, of course — people would get **VERY** very busy installing wind power and solar power.”

            Where would they get the energy to produce the windmills and solar panels? From other windmills and solar panels? It doesn’t work.

            This is one of the main lessons from the aforementioned study by the Google engineers. Wind and solar equipment has to run for a long time to produce enough energy to compensate for the energy used to produce that equipment. A tremendous amount of energy (supplied by fossil fuels) goes into producing those huge wind turbines. It turns out that the wind turbines don’t really produce free energy. They first must return the energy over a period of years that was put into their production. Then after that you get some additional energy.

            For such a scheme to work you need gobs of windmills to produce the energy to make the windmills that produce energy for everything else. Then of course you need even more to windmills so you have energy to make those gobs of windmills. Eventually perhaps you could get enough of them in place to make it work, but the cost would be unimaginable.

            I would encourage anyone who thinks it could work to read the article:

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/22/shocker-top-google-engineers-say-renewable-energy-simply-wont-work/

          • David Appell says:

            “Where would they get the energy to produce the windmills and solar panels?”

            From windmills, solar panels, nuclear energy, wave energy, tidal energy.

            Where did the Dutch get all the energy needed to build all those windmills before the Industrial Revolution?

          • David Appell says:

            Bryan says:
            “A tremendous amount of energy (supplied by fossil fuels) goes into producing those huge wind turbines.”

            How much? Say, per MW of windmill-produced power?

          • David Appell says:

            Bryan wrote:
            “For such a scheme to work you need gobs of windmills to produce the energy to make the windmills that produce energy for everything else.”

            What is a “gob?”

            In, say, Joules.

            And why can’t it come from nuclear energy?

    • Planetphysik says:

       

      We all know the AGW blurb, David, probably better than you. I spent thousands of hours studying it and discussing it on-line. There’s really no need for you to keep promulgating the hoax as the whole process is getting close to fraud and people are going to have to answer charges I predict. If you’re not careful we might get the impression that you have a vested interest in maintaining the hoax.

      Go and read books like “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” or “Climate Change The Facts 2014” or watch any of the hundreds of videos on youtube when you search “climate hoax” or similar. Better still read http://climate-change-theory.com for the real physics and watch my 10 minute video.

      I ask you again David Appell: Are you gullible enough to believe water vapor warms by at least 10 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere? Yes or No?
       

  21. JohnKl says:

    Dave stated:

    “And it’s likely your poor relatives contribute far, far less towards global warming that westerners do.”

    Too bad. We all need to do our part to end the ice-age!

    Have a great day!

  22. Norman says:

    Dave Appell,

    I am a laab tech at a power plant. The major problem with wind is its total unreliable nature. When man had to rely upon it they did the best they could. Why did humans go away from the “free” energy of the giant sailing ships of the past? No doubt a shipper caught, in no wind conditions, with their load of goods had to watch helplessly as the new steam ships passed them by to port. In our regional area of wind and fossil plants you can see that one day the wind is producing 11,000 megawatts of power (equal to 12 large coal plant production). The following day it drops to 1000 megawatts. You could never sustain an economy with this much variablility. The most promising storage for energy would be some type of water reservoir to tap into on low wind days. The cost of getting enough storage to run our nation on wind would be in the multiple trillions and if you build several thousand more windmills they could easily start to empact weaather patterns.

    From your comments on the poor and having now fossil fuel infrastructure. Couldn’t that explain why they are in poverty? They have no energy to run an adavanced system. If the human race wants to find new energy sources the only really promising one at this time would be some type of fusion system. The global expenditure on fusion is very small. I wonder how soon we could see fusion as a real energy source if they would take all the money they are spending on subsidizing wind energy and put that money into a more reliable energy source for the future where the poor countries could develop and use this form of energy and advance rapidly. Wind is a boondogle that I wish intelligent people could see! It is the road to nowhere.

    • David Appell says:

      If the human race wants to find new energy sources the only really promising one at this time would be some type of fusion system. The global expenditure on fusion is very small.

      OK, but it’s far from clear that more research money means fusion will prove out. It’s always been 20 years in the future. Why do we expect this to change?

  23. David Appell says:

    “From your comments on the poor and having now fossil fuel infrastructure. Couldn’t that explain why they are in poverty?”

    I don’t know what this means.

    By all means, build nuclear power — fission or fusion — to get off fossil fuels. Then, later, get rid of the nuclear erergy, whose waste last for millnnia (but now as long at CO2 waste).

  24. Norman says:

    David Appell,

    You may not have to wait 20 years into the future for fusion.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1406.0133v1.pdf

    You are highly convinced the science of AGW is correct. Do you have a source of actual measurements to prove Carbon Dioxide is the cause of the recent warming? Does anyone have proof that cloud cover has not changed over the past couple decades allowing more solar energy to be absorbed by the oceans causing a slight global increase in temperature? Do you have any proof that several thousand wind mills won’t cause more climate change than slight global warming? Wind is caused by pressure differences trying to equalize. Slowing the air flow with massive wind farms will alter pressure patterns with unknown consequences. If 0.8 C in a century is enough to totally disrupt weather patterns why wouldn’t altering wind patterns result in the same?

  25. JohnKl says:

    David hilariously states:

    “The value of electricity is no more than what people are paying for it — an average of 12.58 cents/kWh, as of 10/2014:

    http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/

    If and when a cheaper alternative comes (unfortunately, probably without considering negative externalities), people will pay for that.

    But 12.58 cents/kWh is what people are willing to pay now for electicity, according to the market. Hence, that’s its value.”

    After simply and credulously accepting government fed data and regurgitating it as fact he further states in answer to a question:

    ““Where would they get the energy to produce the windmills and solar panels?”

    From windmills, solar panels, nuclear energy, wave energy, tidal energy.

    Where did the Dutch get all the energy needed to build all those windmills before the Industrial Revolution?”

    Really? How many windmills, solar panels, nuclear energy plants, wave and tidal energy plants/generators will be required to substitute the current energy equivalent of hydrocarbons? Where will you obtain the energy to build, construct, locate, etc. the satisfactory number of these energy generating devices needed to replace and eventually exceed the current energy output prior to them being built? How will you handle the massive externalities involved with these alternatives? Where will you build the nuclear energy plants? How much will you compensate the public for agreeing to allow them near their homes? After Fukushima in which 2 years after a tsunami struck the plant the Japanese still have not regained control of the facility, how can you expect this to be a low-cost alternative? How much will you compensate victims of these supposedly eco-friendly alternatives? Or will you simply ignore the cost, pretend they don’t exist, claim the costs are exaggerated in order to bolster a nuclear power structure currently facing enormous cost problems? Which kind of nuclear power will you rely on? Hopefully not conventional water reactors, personally I recommend molten salt reactors (flourine) but they’re no panacea. How will you handle the nuclear waste? From what I’ve read the French accept nuclear waste from around the world to re-process. Much of it gets sent to Russia where it sits in compounds without proper safeguards rather than being properly processed and re-used. In California where I reside many windmills sit idle due to mechanical failures waiting for repair personnel to correct the many problems that plague any mechanical device operated over a period of time. When these systems fail as they commonly do where will you obtain energy? Since many externalities plague all forms of energy why not allow individuals to choose the lowest cost alternatives? Or are you afraid they may choose more efficient alternatives than you could ever arrive at and the government confiscated money that would normally flow to climate researchers and assorted government dependent alarmists as a result of carbon paranoia may instead get biopsied from the body politic?

    Of course many further questions can be asked but since you haven’t addressed even obvious ones I hope these will help spur a seemingly credulous mind. The inherent irrationality if not complete break with reality required to imagine that a group of political hacks can compose and/or craft some legislation to manipulate markets and human activity into some kind of environmental balance appears to me at best utopian and delusional. From Hitler’s re-wilding schemes through the endless stream of pseudo-science quackery forced on compliant and enslaved ages of the past we now of have carbon panic! Thanks but no thanks for phantom fears and psedo-science nightmares. I think I’ll pass.

    Have a great day!

  26. JohnKl says:

    Will Nitschke states:

    “You want to point your finger at negative externalities but wish to pretend that the positive externalities (which overwhelmingly out weigh the negative) don’t exist.”

    Fine as regards hydrocarbon fuels, but what about the positive externalities of WARMING itself? Why do so many assume current atmospheric temperatures to be for unknown reasons superior to warmer ones? A few obvious facts remain:

    1. No one has any clear idea of what global temperatures are let alone what they should be. Conflicting temperature data between sources like satellite and ground thermometers reveal this frequently. Even the absurd bickering over what the hottest year proves imbecilic on a moments reflection.

    2. The only historical evidence of mass extinction and/or harm to life on our planet as a result of climate change in the geological record resulted from THE ICE AGE! No evidence exists of mass extinction due to heat stroke. On the contrary warmer periods in which today’s permafrost and likely polar ice-caps did not exist exhibited much greater abundance and diversity of life. Why so many seem paranoid about leaving current ice-age conditions seems strange at best.

    3. The claim that today’s climate change proves more rapid than all previous periods lacks rational foundation. The onset of the ice-age arrived much faster than todays apparently tenths of a degree centigrade per decade warming. Just ask the Russian ivory traders.

    4. No one has any clue as to how the climate can be manipulated in any case. Please will some climate alarmist with an IQ above single digits, should they prove to exist, please state their plan as to precisely what global temperature the planet should seek, how they plan to get there (delineated in scientific detail), assumption free scientific evidence that if their plan is executed the supposed global temperatures will result and precisely who will pay what costs to achieve each objective sought and precisely how that will result in the objective sought. A mind is only as good as the precision of it’s concepts and the alarmists appear sharp as billiard balls.

    Not that any rational individual expects objective answers from climate alarmists but it would prove entertaining should one of them make the attempt. We can have a few belly laughs while our country and the planet descends into primitive climate superstition, imbecilic credulity and in the end universal slavery.

    Have a great day anyways!

  27. Planetphysik says:

    And, Ball4, I responded to yourself and others on The Air Vent thread here.

  28. Chris brandow says:

    Once you see the unsubsidized price it becomes much more obvious. Like this recent project — http://cleantechnica.com/2015/01/22/acwa-power-defends-financial-viability-worlds-lowest-solar-pv-bid/

  29. Thanks, Dr, Spencer. Well said!

  30. Steve says:

    Dr. Spencer – Only recently heard about you from one of your loyal followers. I am interested in your thoughts on hydrogen fuel cells and their ability to produce clean(er) energy on a large scale to supplement the grid. Are they a viable option for large power plants, and how come it seems to be taking a long time for it to really take off?