Why America Is Going Green

by | Sep 25, 2023 | Environment

America is replacing fossil energy with green energy, but not to save the planet.

America is replacing fossil energy with green energy, but not to save the planet.

America Is Going Green

President Biden has repeatedly assured Americans that the continued use of fossil fuels is an “existential” threat to humanity and has vowed to “end fossil fuel.” So, the Biden Administration and some states are committed to replacing fossil energy with wind and solar (green) energy in the US. The green energy agenda mainly means coercing the “electrification” of US energy: (1) requiring and subsidizing US electric utilities to replace their reliable, controllable fossil-fueled generation with unreliable, uncontrollable wind and solar (“green”) generation and (2) forcing energy consumers to replace fossil-fueled vehicles, furnaces, cooking appliances and water heaters with expensive electric vehicles, furnaces and appliances. Electrification (going green), in short, means the coerced and subsidized replacement of affordable, convenient and reliable fossil energy with costly, inconvenient and unreliable green energy. Ostensibly to save humanity.

For example, in 2022, Congress and the President enacted the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to authorize about $369 billion (original government estimate) to subsidize the green energy industry in the US and abroad. The green energy industry includes investors, developers and manufacturers of equipment, vehicles and facilities to produce and consume green electric energy. Subsidies transfer American taxpayer income to qualifying members of the green energy industry.

The Bidenomics of Going Green

Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg advised, “If you plug [IRA’s] predicted emissions decline into the climate model used for all major United Nations climate reports, it turns out the global temperature will be cut by only 0.0009 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.” [1] So the IRA’s impact on climate is obviously insignificant.

Some people insist that costs like the IRA are the price we must pay to save the planet from a climate crisis. So let’s estimate the ultimate price we must pay to cut warming by 1°C (= 1.8°F) by extrapolating the cost rate of the IRA ($369 billion for a 0.0009°F temperature reduction):

$369 billion x 1.8°F / 0.0009°F = $73,800 billion = $73.8 trillion (per 1°C).

For perspective, $73.8 trillion compares to a global GDP of about 112.8 trillion. If that seems unaffordable, consider that climate activists claim that Earth may warm by several degrees C unless the green energy industry is further enriched to replace more fossil energy. Breathtaking.

Since green (solar and wind) electric generation can unexpectedly decline to zero, green electric generation needs a 100% firm backup. At this time, firm backup is primarily provided by existing fossil-fueled power plants. But as fossil generation is replaced by green generation, utilities will need to install 100% firm battery backup. For one day of firm backup, the world would need about 460 million MWh of battery storage. At the present pricing for Tesla (utility-scale) Megapacks, the initial cost would be about $190 trillion [2]for only a single day of global backup. But a seasonal backup requirement could easily be for over a hundred days of storage. Unbearable.

Of course, there will also be significant expenses to consumers and businesses to pay for replacing their fossil-fueled transportation and heating with electric transportation and heating.

So the total cost of going green is beyond our ability to reasonably predict. Perhaps the unpredictable, but clearly unbearable, cost explains why most other nations have declined to join the US in going green to end fossil energy. Not to mention our increasingly unreliable electric grids.

The Utter Futility of Going Green

If global warming is caused by global fossil fuel emissions, then fossil energy needs to be ended globally to be effective in reducing warming and climate change. But global isn’t happening.

World government leaders have experienced the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Accord and 27 UN Conferences of Principles. Presidents Obama and Biden have both met with world leaders to persuade them to end fossil energy to end global emissions. But three decades of lobbying world leaders has failed to persuade other nations to even reduce fossil energy and emissions.

In 2021, the International Energy Agency reported [3] that “Despite many pledges and efforts by governments to tackle the causes of global warming, CO2 emissions from energy and industry have increased by 60% since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [aka the UNFCC or the Kyoto Protocol] was signed in 1992.” And the Wall Street Journal confirmed [4] that only 18 of 196 nations have reduced emissions for a decade or more.

According to the UN, [5] the world needs to decrease fossil fuel use by 60% between 2020 and 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C or well below 2°C, as the 2015 Paris Agreement requires. “Countries are instead planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2%, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5°C limit.”

US Climate Ambassador John Kerry explained the futility of the US zero emissions goal: “We could go to zero [emissions] tomorrow and the problem [global warming] isn’t solved.[6] So if ending US fossil emissions doesn’t solve the problem, why is America ending fossil energy?

The Real Purpose of Going Green

In celebrating his green energy “achievements” during his reelection campaign, the President emphasizes the green energy jobs created – without revealing the insignificant impact on climate and the absurd cost of replacing fossil energy with green energy. Nor does the President admit his repeated failure to persuade other nations to join the US in abandoning fossil energy.

There is overwhelming and indisputable evidence that most of the world is not reducing fossil fuel consumption. Most likely that’s because other nations understand how unbearably expensive it is to replace fossil energy with green energy. So global warming will not stop. And that means that ending fossil energy in the US is futile – creating unbearable economic pain with no benefit.

The President and his allies are certainly aware of the futility of ending US fossil fuels. That implies that their true purpose is to enrich the green energy industry at the expense of the American public. Perhaps election campaigns will also benefit.

Americans should realize that the effects of global warming have been exaggerated for political purposes. And that there are proven, cost-effective alternatives to manage the effects of extreme weather. So let’s end the futile and unbearably expensive green energy electrification agenda.

Climate Worry?

Worry not. There are proven, cost-effective alternatives to manage the effects of extreme weather if that is necessary. Read about them at Will California’s Green Energy Policies “Save Planet Earth”? Capitalism Magazine in the section entitled “Cost-Effective Policies to Manage Climate Danger.” Learn even more by reading Fossil Future, a book by Alex Epstein.

It’s Easy to Be Proactive

Shouldn’t all Americans learn about the cynical purpose of the green energy agenda to the American public? If you find this article to be important and persuasive, consider forwarding this article to influential individuals in the media, government and industry.

 

End Notes – Sources of Cited Facts

[1] Value of IRA Subsidieshttps://www.wsj.com/articles/the-inflation-reduction-act-does-little-to-reduce-climate-change-global-warming-carbon-emissions-legislation-temperatures-11661288454  Danish born Bjørn Lomborg is the president of the environmental think tank, Copenhagen Consensus Center and the former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute.

[2] Cost of Battery Storage: Global primary energy consumption in 2022 was 604.04 EJ or about 460 TWh (= 460,000,000 MWh) per day. https://www.statista.com/statistics/265598/consumption-of-primary-energy-worldwide/   Tesla Megapacks cost about $413,000 per MWh. Alex Epstein, Energy Talking Points and https://www.tesla.com/megapack/design?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

[3] 2% More Annually: Net Zero by 2050 – Analysis – IEA https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050

[4] Only 18 nations: Renewables Are Key to Cutting Emissions Over Next Decade, U.N. Panel Says – WSJ  https://www.wsj.com/articles/emissions-cuts-in-next-decade-are-crucial-to-meet-paris-targets-u-n-panel-says-11649085009

[5] Rising Future Emissions: The Production Gap Executive Summary   https://productiongap.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PGR2020_ExecSum_web.pdf  Published by the Stockholm Environment Institute, UN Environment Programme and others.

[6] Ambassador Kerry: Zero emissions won’t make difference in climate change (nypost.com) https://nypost.com/2021/01/27/kerry-zero-emissions-wont-make-difference-in-climate-change/

 

Richard Batey received a Bachelor of Science degree (Physics) from Texas A&M University and enjoyed a lengthy career in the electric utility power generation and transmission industry. Rich receives no compensation or other benefits from any employers or sponsors.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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