Cultural motivations for wind and solar renewables deployment

by Andy West

“For me the question now is, now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?”. – Michael Schellenberger

Introduction

There have been many technical analyses of Wind and Solar energy, covering a raft of issues from energy density and efficiency, through subsidies and land usage, to maintenance, grid impacts, intermittency and more. The angle examined here is in no way intended to replace such necessary views, whether they lean to the pessimistic or the optimistic or anywhere in-between. Rather, a complementary view is provided regarding an aspect that such technical analyses cannot address, albeit it often features in the conclusions and questions these analyses raise at the end. Right here at Climate Etc, the first of the excellent analyses by ‘Planning Engineer’ (on his retirement revealed to be Russ Schussler, ex-VP of Transmission Planning at Georgia Transmission Corporations), laudably highlighted the limitation of technical analyses with his very first line: “Power System Planners do not have the expertise or knowledge to say whether or not the benefits of reducing carbon emissions are worth the costs. However they should be respected as experts for obtaining a better understanding of what the implications and costs of such programs are.

So, who does have this critical knowledge and expertise regarding ultimate cost / benefit? The answer is highly likely to be no one at all, because not only is this issue deeply disputed, it is culturally (as well as technically) disputed. Indeed, to the extent that the overwhelming public and authority narrative about climate change contradicts mainstream science let alone any skeptical science, which also means that, especially in some nations such as the US, there are cultural counter-narratives too. Hence debates about policy, including renewables deployment, aren’t legitimately resolved, because the potent cultural angle corrupts or polarizes or simply overrides any such debate.

Schussler acknowledges this cultural dispute, saying in the line following the above quote: “Unfortunately many non-experts, driven by fear of AGW, have done much to cloud, distort and ignore critical issues around the cost and capabilities of renewable energy and the realities relating to the provision of electrical power.” He also returns to this theme at the very end of his post: “…I believe most planners and utilities recognize that the overall impacts to society (unless needed to aver environmental disaster) would be extremely harmful in the net analysis. I hope that the voices of concerned utility experts are not drowned out by the noise of ‘true believers’ or disbelieved because of false accusations of self-interest.” For sure ‘true belief’ is a cultural feature and may often prompt ‘false accusations’. Plus that caveat of ‘unless needed’, or more subtly ‘how much needed’, is a major issue within the dispute above. An apparent need, could be partly or wholly the result of emotive belief, of which ‘fear of [C]AGW’ is a major component.

Schussler’s title, ‘Myths and realities of renewable energy’, emphasis mine, is inclusive of the element that technical analysis cannot ultimately probe regarding character and impact, because myths are cultural phenomena. Others cite myth as Renewables motivation, and David Archibald goes further in directly framing this element as ‘religious’ in nature (religions being just one brand of cultural entities). In a recent article on renewables (and focusing on hydrogen) at Jo Nova’s, he employs religiously orientated terms such as ‘believers’ and ‘government encyclicals’:

Briefly, the only reason solar and wind get a look-in is because solar panels and wind turbines are made using energy from coal at $0.04 per kWh and turn out power at $0.20 per kWh… …You can’t use solar and wind power to make solar and wind power equipment; as such they are neither renewable nor sustainable. And they certainly won’t be replacing fossil fuels when the fossil fuels run out.

            Even some lefties are figuring this out and thus the documentary Planet of the Humans. So the global warming clerisy, headed by Alan Finkel in this country [Australia], needs to keep coming up with new content to satisfy their simple-minded believers… …Vast sums are to be spent on hydrogen. The language of the Government encyclicals suggests that hydrogen is a new source of energy that just has to be tapped to guarantee a wonderful future.

Needless to say, Archibald views this ‘religious’ influence as overwhelmingly negative, adding as part of his conclusion: “Global warming doesn’t build orphanages or hospitals. As a religion it doesn’t do any good at all.” And others claim a cultish / ‘religious’ motivation too. Yet whether viewing culture as only a clouding / distorting influence, or as an overwhelmingly negative force, technical analyses critical of renewables inevitably falter or get speculative when it comes demonstrating cultural sway (for example, across nations invested in renewables). An alternate approach is needed to progress this.

There are less critical / more optimistic analyses of Solar or Wind ‘renewables’, which nevertheless tend to justify some amount of pain in achieving rosier end-scenarios, upon the premise that this is needed to avoid an otherwise inevitable and imminent global catastrophe (apart from the most wildly optimistic, in which all changes are apparently painless). Yet mainstream science says such a justification is unfounded (notwithstanding the cultural dispute above).

Meanwhile the implementation of Solar and Wind is surging ahead, and has done so for decades in some countries. So, is this global implementation largely due to pragmatic considerations that are consistent with mainstream science? After all, these things do actually produce power. Or instead, largely due to cultural motivation that spreads solar-panels and wind-turbines as merely icons for the ‘secular religion’ of certain and catastrophic climate change? And no matter the costs, fiscal or environmental. This question is resolvable, as hard social data on the cultural attitudes of many nations to climate-change, allows national motivations to be mapped to Renewables deployment.

Cultural attitudes to climate-change across national publics

Prior posts here, show that supportive attitudes to climate-change (CC) across national publics, have a dual and systemic strong relationship with religiosity. CC supportive public responses to unconstrained climate survey questions correlate with national religiosity, while oppositely, CC supportive responses to reality-constrained questions anti-correlate with national religiosity. [Reality-constrained questions force survey participants to consider and compare other reality issues in relation to climate change, typically by asking them to nominate the X ‘most important’ from a larger list of Y issues, of which one represents a climate-change issue, or literally just ‘climate-change’. Unconstrained questions don’t force such a comparative choice]. Using some data-series from the prior posts, Chart 1 below summarizes this dual relationship. For many nations and plotted against national religiosity, it shows the CC supportive public responses measured (and for the dashed lines, intuited) for different strengths of both unconstrained and reality-constrained survey questions.

Strength for the unconstrained questions (blue lines) reflects how aligned these are to the emotive and existential values of catastrophic climate change culture (CCCC), plus how much this is targeted at the personal. Another way of thinking about this strength, is how biased the questions are towards CCCC, emotive content being a feature of bias and not of rationality. Strength for reality-constrained questions (orange lines) reflects the tightness of the constraint. Picking the ‘most important’ single issue of 12, for example, is a stronger reality-constraint, a stronger clash with the other issues, than say picking the top 3 of 12, which is stronger in turn than the top 5 of 12. Table 1 at the end of this post, shows which actual climate-change survey questions generated the data-series each line represents (each is depicted as just the stand-alone trendline), along with the related r/r2/p values.

The most important conclusion to draw from these trends is that, as revealed by their strong relationships with religiosity (an entirely cultural phenomenon), attitudes to climate-change across nations are likewise cultural. In fact, they’re the net result of interaction between 2 cultures, i.e. CCCC and religion. So, this means they are not due to rationality (cultural attitudes are emotively driven), or anything physical such as the characteristics of the climate-system, or indeed the particular climates or climate exposures of nations, or likewise any views on same as expressed by mainstream (or any) climate science.

With the exception of one historical coincidence (annual sunshine duration – see later) no matters encompassed by these categories would exhibit a systemic relationship with religiosity. And for sure none can exhibit both correlation and anti-correlation simultaneously, depending only upon the type of question asked; yet such is certainly possible for cultural responses. This duality raises apparent contradictions. For instance, maximum climate concerns (RH ends of blue trends in Chart 1) occur in the same nations as minimum support for climate action / priority (RH ends of orange trends). But such apparent contradictions aren’t unusual for cultural causation. From the prior series here at Climate Etc, see : Apparent Paradoxes in the relationship of Climate ‘Concerns, Skepticism, Activism, and Priority’ explained by Religiosity.

In fact, the full situation is more complex than depicted by Chart 1. See the Summary File linked below (and especially Chart 2 in there, not in the main post) for more explanation, visualized via more series plus features added to the above Chart 1. However, the conclusion remains that climate-change attitudes across nations are mainly cultural, so not from either rationality or physical factors. [Note: the attached summary is more distilled and easier going than the 3 prior posts linked above. Regarding the US, see the note at the very end of this post].

Probing motivations for Renewables Commitment

If a particular domain is dominated by cultural attitudes, spending and policy support within the domain should ultimately be rooted in those attitudes. Hence, armed with the above cultural attitudes to climate-change, we now need to explore the relationship across nations, between these and actual Renewables deployment. It isn’t that mass publics rush out and purchase Wind Turbines with their credit cards, in proportion to their national attitudes. The actual commitment works via elites who enact policy. Yet the limits on such policy should still be in proportion to the national public attitudes (which doesn’t mean alignment in an absolute sense).

Culture works to this end whether or not a nation is a democracy, or in the latter case whether or not democratic processes are actually involved (e.g. in the UK, ‘net-zero by 2050’ was nodded through without a parliamentary vote, and with essentially no costing or scrutiny or meaningful opposition). As per the Introduction above, the primary justification for Renewables is indeed climate-change. So, if culture does rule the roost for this particular policy area, Renewables deployment per nation should be governed by its (cultural) attitudes to climate-change. In which case, we must see a very strong correlation between these two aspects.

But which of the above attitudes to climate-change are relevant, when comparing on a national basis with renewables commitment? As there is at least some reality-constraint on deploying renewables (because all nations have budgets and competition for same), if indeed the expression of renewables policy is mainly cultural, this ought to align with a reality-constrained (orange) trend, not an unconstrained (blue) trend. Plus, because public and also elite / authority knowledge about renewables is likely very poor on average, this makes the constraint weak at best (if the downsides of deployment were better understood, then the constraint would be stronger).

So, we should be looking at a comparison with the attitude data from the ‘WC’ series in Chart 1. This comes from an enormous UN survey on policy priorities in many nations, the vote share for ‘action on climate-change’ forming the series Y-values. Nations can be matched from this series to those with major Solar deployment (40 nations), Wind turbine deployment (also 40, with 5 nations different to the Solar list), plus a common set (of 35) deploying both.

Looking at the combined commitment for Wind and Solar should produce a more reliable result, as each may have technology / policy idiosyncrasies that could buck the trend in some way, but which are more likely to average out over the combination of both (though we can start by examining each type in turn). In practice, there’s highly unlikely to be zero or full correlation. Policy decisions are very rarely 100% free of cultural factors, yet they’d rarely be wholly cultural either. So, we can set reasonable thresholds for the test. If ‘r’ for the correlation of renewables commitment with weakly-constrained climate attitudes is say ~0.33 or less, then we can say culture (per above inherent in those attitudes) doesn’t dominate. But if r~0.66 or above, then we can say that cultural motivation does dominate renewables commitment. If the value lands in-between, I guess we’d have to see where and think more about dual modes.

Commitment for Wind Turbines across 40 nations

Preamble: 1] Due to various impacts on very long-term social development, it is well-known that with some exceptions (which aren’t an issue here) GDP-per-capita across nations strongly negatively correlates with religiosity (see Chart F1 in Xcel datafile). 2] Hence if above this, deploying Wind Turbine capacity is indeed motivated by a ‘WC’ type climate-attitude, which itself negatively correlates with religiosity (see Chart 1), then national religiosity plotted against each nation’s Wind Turbine capacity per-capita, should yield a power type function. It does (see Chart F2 in Xcel datafile). 3] Power functions are more difficult to deal with or apply our test thresholds for ‘r’ to (based on linear).

So, normalizing the Wind Turbine capacity per-capita wrt to GDP per-capita (I used Spain’s GDP as the arbitrary standard), will remove the long-term effect of religiosity upon societies and any unequal fulfillment of motivation (the same motivation, so ~fraction of GDP, will purchase more Wind Turbines if the GDP is bigger). So, this resets our expectation back to a linear function…

The plot: Across the 40 nations, UN vote share for ‘action on climate change’ (from ‘WC’ data), versus GDP-per-Capita-normalised Wind Turbine Capacity / Population (to 2018), shows a +ve correlation. This suggests that Wind Turbines are significantly motivated by a ‘WC’ type cultural climate-change attitude:

An ‘r’ of 0.64 just misses our test threshold for dominance; but this is only half the story so far. And it looks like there are idiosyncrasies regarding individual national policies for Wind deployment. E.g. the Czech Republic has very little despite a high vote for ‘action on climate-change’. And with a vote share that is a little lower, Portugal nevertheless seems to have a huge Wind capacity. In summary it seems that as motivation rises towards the right, especially beyond the green line, the range of expression in Wind Turbines, grows. This likely reflects larger and more targeted Renewable Energy policies, which hence spread from gung-ho for Wind Turbines right down to minimal deployment, because other Renewables are or aren’t more prioritized instead (e.g. Solar, Biomass, etc). So, to better insulate against the effects of targeted policies, we can add into the mix the identical analysis for Solar deployment.

Commitment for Solar Power across 40 nations

Preamble: 1] The equivalent charts for F1 and F2 in the Wind Turbine case, are F3 and F4 (see the Excel datafile). 2] However, there’s an extra issue for Solar Power, which is that we need to adjust the MW that each nation has deployed, according to its annual sunshine hours. Otherwise the same spend (where spend corresponds to motivation), hence the label MW, will produce different actual power per year in different nations. So in Chart 4, Solar Capacity deployed is normalized (to Spain) for Annual-Sunshine-DurationP1.

The plot: Across the 40 nations (5 different to the Wind Turbine set) UN vote share for ‘action on climate change’ (from ‘WC’ data), versus GDP-per-Capita-normalised Annual-Sunshine-Adjusted Solar Capacity / Population (to 2018), shows a +ve correlation. See Chart F7 in the Excel datafile. This chart is very similar to Chart 2 above, with a greater range of expression in Solar Power to the right of the green line. However, different nations than for Chart 2 are either high and low within this expression, because the idiosyncrasies associated with Solar Power are different to those for Wind Turbines.

An ‘r’ of 0.48 is somewhat lower than the case for Wind Turbines alone; much of the reduction appears to stem from Japan going nuts on Solar despite only middling climate concerns, while Sweden has very modest Solar despite very high climate concerns. But this is only half the story too. Combining the results for both the technologies, will give us a more robust picture for Renewables motivation overall.

Commitment for combined Wind / Solar Renewables across 35 (common) nations

Across 35 nations, Chart 3 below shows UN vote share for ‘action on climate change’ (from ‘WC’ data), versus GDP-per-Capita-normalised Combined Renewables Commitment / Population (to 2018). The +ve correlation has improved. Surpassing the upper test threshold with some to spare, ‘r’ is now at 0.73.

The greater range of spread of nations at the RHS has considerably reduced (excepting for Germany), this being consistent with expected total renewables motivation, which nevertheless may express much more in Wind Turbines than Solar for any particular single nation, or vice versa. The lens we used to see in the first place that attitudes to climate-change are cultural, i.e. the religiosity of nations, is color-coded onto Chart 3. This falls from left to right, albeit fuzzily because aside from some random noise, there’s a minor secondary variable at play which impacts religiosity as seen in this view (see Postscript 2).

Discussion

Notwithstanding some utility, the main motivation for Wind and Solar Renewables is cultural. Thus, their installations are more akin to churches than to power-stations. This also means that, just like the cultural attitude it is rooted in, Renewables deployment per nation directly anti-correlates with religiosity; see Postscript 2.

While it seems highly intuitive that national attitudes for action on climate-change would align with the corresponding renewables deployments, going straight for the jugular might not result in understanding exactly how to compare (or at least, there’d be more chance of making a mistake in so doing), or indeed what the result actually means. For instance, without the benefit of the big picture in Chart 1 and what this is about in cultural terms, we wouldn’t have known that those attitudes are not due to rationality. Plus, we may have ended up comparing the attitudes from an unconstrained climate survey question, and still be wondering why more Renewables correlates with dramatically less concern about climate-change. And the steps in the above preambles, usefully confirm the roles of GDP-per-capita and sunshine duration.

Note: widespread public knowledge of Renewables issues would increase constraints on policy, likely collapsing motivation from the ‘WC’ line in Chart1, to the ‘FC’ line. Note: This post says nothing about actual physical climate change, nor about the mainstream science of same (which the CCCC narratives contradict). It’s only about public attitudes and their expression in Renewables policy.

Michael Shellenberger, the environmentalist who tirelessly advocates for Nuclear Power as a solution to our energy needs, says this of Renewables (and he’s talking largely about Solar and Wind deployments): “For me the question now is, now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?” An insight consistent with the fact that the ‘purpose’ of cultural narratives is to gain emotive commitment, in turn only to hold the cultural group together; it’s irrelevant to this actual purpose that the resulting actions may undermine or even reverse their stated purpose; this happens.

In the blurb for his book ‘Apocalypse Never’ Shellenberger also speaks about the character of modern environmentalism, the motivation beneath it, which along with much else drives Renewables deployment (and also a net resistance to Nuclear Power as a ‘solution’): “What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.” Emphasis mine.

Shellenberger rightly identifies the overall motivation as cultural. He uses the term ‘religion’, as indeed do many others, simply because this is the most familiar example of a bounded cultural entity that people tend to have. Regarding a ‘climate catastrophe’ generally, the social data completely agrees with him, as shown in Chart 1 (and more fully elsewhere, see the Summary File below). And as demonstrated above, this is exactly the case too for the specific motivation behind Renewables deployment.

However, I believe Shellenberger has one thing wrong. Catastrophic climate culture is so pervasive exactly because it does satisfy deep psychological needs, which needs stem from signaling in-group identification via emotive, and preferentially existential, narratives. These in turn activate deep mental mechanisms which bypass our rationality, be that the advice of Planning Engineer or any other mere reason, via whatever expertise, experience or analysis. Anyone or any group that contradicts or even questions in-group narratives, is automatically out-group, and so passionately resisted.

Postscript 1: Historical accident and irony regarding Solar Deployment

Via the historical accident of atheism spreading outwards from NW Europe, and hence from mostly very cloudy (annually averaged) countries towards typically sunnier climes, the annual sunshine duration of countries has a pretty decent linear correlation with national religiosity, albeit some major individual exceptions. See Chart F5 in the datafile, ‘r’ is 0.56. Note: annual sunshine duration per country is derived from the average measurements for between 2 cities (smaller countries) and 5 cities (larger countries, excepting 10 for Russia); see the Excel datafile for tables of same, plus original sources. So, if national sunshine hours are substituted as a proxy for national religiosity in Chart F4, this still shows a power type function, see Chart F6 in the datafile. Similarly to above, we can then normalize this wrt GDP-per-capita, thereby removing the simple effect of spending power (and too its long-term relationship to religiosity). This reveals the relative priority of Solar deployment (and so relative motivation) for each of the nations.

The result of this operation, shown in Chart 4 below, demonstrates a significant irony that stems from the cultural motivation behind Renewables. Which is that, as the annual sunshine hours experienced by nations reduces, then more nations choose to deploy more Solar MW per capita – i.e. within exactly those geographies it is least useful.

 

The increasing spread of nations right to left in the green triangle, represents the same increasing range of expression in Solar that is also seen in F7 (see datafile), and likewise for Wind Turbines in Chart 2 above, which in both cases is more obvious to the right of the green lines. That increasing range is due to an increasing cultural motivation for Renewables, coupled with targeted policies which for particular nations may preference other Renewables options over Solar, to some degree.

Postscript 2: Renewables Commitment versus Religiosity

Religiosity is used as a ‘lens’ in Chart 1, which allows us to ‘see’ that national climate-change attitudes are indeed cultural. The two strong cultures interact to produce the various trends, and in particular the correlation with religiosity of climate-change supportive answers to unconstrained questions, yet also anti-correlation with religiosity of climate-change supportive answers to reality-constrained questions, for sure is extremely hard to explain any other way. One wouldn’t expect this lens or proxy itself to have quite such a robust correlation with national Renewables Commitment as the ‘WC’ climate attitude, but it’s a useful ‘parity check’ to graph this and demonstrate that it should still be pretty strong. Chart F9 in the Excel datafile shows this. ‘r’ is ~0.65 against ranked Renewables Commitment (compresses some of the outliers a bit, especially Germany), and ~0.6 against actual values. In practice, there is more than just extra randomity via looking through this proxy.

The series of ‘weaker strengths’ in Chart 1 (so ‘WC’ and ‘WA’) have some systemic variability about trend, due to the GDP-per-Capita of each nation relative to its religio-regional group. This variability is faithfully reflected in Chart F9, and is color-coded onto the chart. See also Chart F10 and F11, which show the consistency of the religio-regional-GDP-per-Capita group averages between the ‘WC’ and Renewables Commitment series. See the Summary File for a full explanation, plus some ‘weaker strength’ climate attitude series as full-data visualizations, to better see the raw effect. For a version of ‘WC’ using the same 35 nations as in Chart 3, with hi / lo Renewables commitment and hi / lo GDP-per-religio-regional-group both encoded, see Chart F8 in the Datafile.

Note: Norway is excluded from above charts as policy bias to immense amounts of natural hydro-power available, denudes Solar and Wind Turbine motivations. This could be accommodated by the inclusion of a third renewables string across all nations for hydro-power, but there’d be little value for this extra effort.

  1. Climate Survey Data-source: International 2019 YouGov climate-change attitudes survey.
  2. Climate Survey Data-source: European Perceptions of Climate Change (EPCC) 2016 survey.
  3. Climate Survey Data-source: UK government 2015 public attitudes tracker.
  4. Climate Survey Data-source: YouGov ‘What the world thinks’ (2016), composite with ‘Special Eurobarometer 459’ (2017).
  5. Climate Survey Data-source: The huge 2015 UN ‘My World’ poll with ~10 million participants across many nations.
  6. Climate Survey Data-source: Climate questions in the Reuters / University of Oxford ‘Digital News Report 2020’ survey.
  7. Original Excel chart: ‘3xy’ here (24 nations, x/y reversed, raw X scale, delete US & Vietnam rows).
  8. Original Excel chart: ‘1yx’ here (22 nations, debiased X scale), ‘2xy’ here (24 nations, x/y reversed, raw X scale, delete US & Vietnam rows).
  9. Original Excel chart: ‘F1yx’ here (22 nations, debiased X scale), ‘4xy’ here (24 nations, x/y reversed, raw X scale, delete US & Vietnam rows).
  10. Original Excel chart: See ‘3yx’ here (red crosses, and just left of chart, column G and J for data).
  11. Original Excel chart: See ‘F6’ here (and superimposed on other series, chart 3yx just to the left).
  12. Original Excel chart: See ‘4yx’ and ‘5yx’ here (4yx faith color-coded, 5yx religio-regional color-coded).
  13. Original Excel chart: Not on the Internet yet, see Footnote 9 in the attached Summary File below.

Link to Summary File regarding the generic relationship between national religiosities and attitudes to climate change: [SUMMARY Religiosity Predicts CC Beliefs 2]

Note: the above file includes a short separate section on the situation in the US, where there is a 4-way cultural dance (the extra dancers being Rep / Con and Dem / Lib cultures). See Footnote 14 in the file. In the other 59 nations covered, there is a simpler 2-way cultural dance (i.e. religious faith and catastrophic climate-change culture). The same basic principles apply, however, which allows the framework derived from the 59 nations to produce some insight on the US situation. I may expand on this in a future post. Outside of the US, religiosity as a predictor of national climate-change attitudes dwarfs any net political considerations. (And incidentally within nations on this issue, polarization due to political affiliation is much less than in the US; various literature cites the US situation as exceptional).

Link to Excel Datafile: [Wind and Solar motivations Data]

 

290 responses to “Cultural motivations for wind and solar renewables deployment

  1. There is a sense in the climate activism arena that since the world came together and solved the ozone crisis with the montreal protocol, it can happen again with the climate crisis.

    All we need is a montreal protocol for the climate. The montreal protocol is the evidence that global environmentalism works.

    Pls see

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/18/climate-alarms-of-11-18-2020/

    • Very interesting, thanks. Your comment must have been “waiting for for moderation” because it’s only just become visible.

      I remember being a young teenager and a friend was into the ‘ozone layer & CFCs’.. I got a smattering of the urgency and what it was about.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      Camaljaamal
      The hole (thinning) of the ozone layer over the Antarctica never endangered humans, since so few humans live there.
      In addition, the thin area (aka “hole”) was unusually large in October 2020 — probably a 15 year record – which suggests the thinning was always a harmless cyclical variation. … That is debatable.

      What is not debatable is that the intermittent, mild global warming since the 1690s has been pleasant, and not harmful to anyone. THERE IS NO CLIMATE CRISIS. Only gullible leftists believe that. The current climate is the best it has been for humans, animals and plants, in hundreds of years, since the Little Ice Age centuries. We should be enjoying it, not using scary climate fairy tales to scare children and other gullible people, like you. Warmer winter nights in Alaska are not the definition of an (imaginary) existential climate crisis. But then I live in reality. Not the alternate universe of always wrong wild guesses of the future climate, favored by the climate howlers. Always bad news. The future climate can never get better, in their wild, depressing imaginations, only worse … even though the actual climate has been getting better for about 325 years, but the climate howlers are not bright enough to have noticed that.

      • Thank you for this very detailed and interesting respone.

      • “In addition, the thin area (aka “hole”) was unusually large in October 2020 — probably a 15 year record – which suggests the thinning was always a harmless cyclical variation. … That is debatable.”

        That’s an interesting take with the ozone hole being a natural cyclical variation. You’re probably right. Excellent point and very relevant to today’s climate crusaders. I immediately thought of the sunspot solar cycle, due to it being attributable to other phenomena.

      • You are awfully emotional about this. How does it hurt you for people to strive for less emissions? You know there’s always going to be pushback from your political side to slow it down, keeping that fossil fuels PAC money flowing in.

        Fisheries are changing year after year with warming waters, sea levels are rising, weather patterns are appreciably altered for more drought and intense precip cycles, hurricanes and tropical storms are more frequent and intense. Greenhouse gas effects are easily tested and the scientific community are conclusive, albeit not unanimous, on the implications. There is a positive feedback loop we are triggering with arctic ice and permafrost that will accelerate the process.

        Consider your point debatable.

      • Playdoh, you asked “How does it hurt you for people to strive for less emissions?”

        The answer is that empirical evidence suggests global warming is probably beneficial. Therefore, we should not be trying to reduce it. The economic costs of the policies to reduce global warming and the reduced economic growth are substantial. See sections 4.7, 4.8 and Conclusions here https://doi.org/10.3390/en12183575


        Figure 15. FUND3.9 projected global sectoral economic impact of climate change as a function of GMST change from 2000. Total* is of all impact sectors except energy.

        “With energy impacts excluded, FUND projects the global impacts to be +0.2% of GDP at 3 °C GMST increase from year 2000. With the energy impact functions misspecifications corrected, and all other impacts are as projected, the projected total economic impact may be more positive.

        The conclusion that 3 °C of global warming may be beneficial for the global economy depends, in part, on the total of the non-energy impact projections being correct, or more positive. Whether this is the case needs to be tested.”

      • “Fisheries are changing year after year with warming waters..” – Playdoh

        I agree climate is changing but believe in tidal forcing as opposed to manmade CO2 emissions. This has the effect of increasing bottom water currents and so uplifts nutrients to the upper water column. This is expected to be an overall benefit to fish stocks, which is often reported.

      • Peter Lang says here, quote “– The conclusion that 3 °C of global warming may be beneficial for the global economy–“. That has a major drawback.

        3deg air temp rise, or sea water (the sink temp), has a negative effect on power generation. Since most depend on the Rankine cycle of the steam turbine, even in nuclear, this result in a drop in overall efficiency. In older designs it may result in windage losses rather than power generation in the last blade row.
        In the Med a ~3deg rise was noted over a period of some 20 years (in 1995). Couple to a design meant for a higher latitude meant a complete new design approach.

      • “That has a major drawback.
        3deg air temp rise, or sea water (the sink temp), has a negative effect on power generation. ”

        Wrong. It is an infinitesimally small negative impact. If you think otherwise, then please provide the impact on global economic growth in % of global GDP at +3C GMST, and explain how you calculated the figure.

      • Hi Peter; you are making me dig up old memories.

        See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankine_cycle#/media/File:Rankine_cycle_with_reheat.jpg The stages in that are about 39. 6.4 deg as a guesstimate for last row, at the widest part of the cycle. The loss in that is not infinitesimal. Or this more realistic https://miro.medium.com/max/622/0*fk7h9RpjQMd8yB0C.png
        See https://www.nuclear-power.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Thermodynamic-Cycles-min.png where the highest temp is quite low.
        It also means the heat that is rejected increases.
        If it is in a bay or river the change is higher. If demand also increases in one spot, then there is further temp increase. Then add increased bio growth and fouling in the cooling systems, which reduces further the efficiency which means more rejected heat.
        I also suspect manufacturers had standardised their designs based on data of 30 years ago (60 for some with licenses).

      • melitamegalithic,

        As I said, the costs are miniscule. They have virtually zero impact on GDP growth rates.

    • There are dozens of ways to cost effectively reduce CO2-e emissions. Including finally and completely phasing out CFC’s still present in old and inefficient refrigeration. Innovation and efficiency – and responsible land management – are the keys to farm and business productivity in concert with environmental conservation. Innovative even disruptive technology – energy included – is a future that no one can afford to neglect.

      Australia’s most recent carbon auction was in September 2020.

  2. Andy West, Thank you for the article.

    Here are some facts on the health impacts of the various electricity generation technologies, the costs of the health externality and suggestions regarding what should be done to level the playing field:

    Nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity

    Nuclear power is and always has been the safest way to generate electricity. In the USA and Europe electricity generation with coal causes 150,000 more deaths per TWh than nuclear, natural gas 40,000 more and wind 1,500 more (see Table 1 below).

    Nuclear could become the cheapest way to generate electricity. Were it not for the unwarranted fear of this technology that was generated by the anti-nuclear power protest movement starting in the 1960’s [1] (Section 3.6), nuclear power could now be around 10% of its current cost [1] (Table 3 bottom panel).

    The cost of nuclear power can be reduced by removing regulatory impediments. Internalising the externality costs of all energy technologies would further increase nuclear’s competitiveness and, therefore, its deployment rate and rate of cost reduction.

    The negative externalities of energy technologies can be largely internalised by taxing or subsidising them in proportion to their health impacts. The health impacts of electricity generation technologies can be internalised by either taxing technologies in proportion to their health impacts or subsidising those with lower impacts in proportion to the impacts of the technologies with the highest health impacts.

    A rough calculation suggests that, to internalise the cost of deaths attributable to electricity generation technologies in the US, generators should be required to pay compensation for the deaths caused by each technology. Table 1 presents estimates of the number of deaths per TWh attributable to electricity generation technologies, the cost per MWh and the total cost to the economy. The calculations use US$9.6 million Value of Statistical Life (VSL) [2], deaths per TWh for each technology [3,4] and US electricity generation per technology in 2019 [5].

    Table 1: Health impact of deaths attributable to electricity generation technologies in the US: deaths per TWh, cost of deaths in US$/MWh at Value of a Statistical Life, electricity generation per technology (GWh/a) and total cost of deaths per technology (US$bn).

    Technology Deaths/TWh US$/MWh GWh/a Total, US$bn
    Coal 15 144 966,148 139.13
    Oil 36 346 18,567 6.42
    Natural Gas 4 38 1,581,815 60.74
    Biofuel/biomass 12 115 58,412 6.73
    Solar (rooftop) 0.44 4.2 72,234 0.31
    Wind 0.15 1.4 300,071 0.43
    Hydro 0.010 0.096 273,707 0.026
    Nuclear 0.0001 0.001 809,409 0.001

    If each technology was required to pay compensation for the annual cost of the deaths it causes in the US, the estimated amounts each would have to pay per MWh are:

    Technology US$/MWh
    Coal 144
    Oil 346
    Natural Gas 38
    Biofuel/biomass 115
    Solar (rooftop) 4.2
    Wind 1.4
    Hydro 0.048
    Nuclear 0.001

    References:

    1. Lang, P. Nuclear Power Learning and Deployment Rates; Disruption and Global Benefits Forgone. 2017. https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122169
    2. U.S. Department of Transportation. Revised Departmental Guidance on Valuation of a Statistical Life in Economic Analysis. 2016. https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/revised-departmental-guidance-on-valuation-of-a-statistical-life-in-economic-analysis.
    3. Wang, B. Deaths by Energy Source in Forbes. http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html
    4. Conca, J. How Deadly Is Your Kilowatt? We Rank The Killer Energy Sources. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid
    5. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Total Energy, Data, Electricity, Table 7.2a Electricity Net Generation: Total (All Sectors). https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/browser/index.php?tbl=T07.02A#/

    • References on the impacts of, and how best to respond to, major nuclear accidents:

      Thomas, P.; May, J. Coping after a big nuclear accident. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2017, 112, 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2017.09.013

      Thomas, P.J. Quantitative guidance on how best to respond to a big nuclear accident. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2017, 112, 4-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2017.07.026

      Waddington, I.; Thomas, P.; Taylor, R.; Vaughan, G. J-value assessment of relocation measures following the nuclear power plant accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2017, 112, 16-49.
      https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2017.03.012

      Waddington, I.; Thomas, P.; Taylor, R.; Vaughan, G. J-value assessment of remediation measures following the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accidents. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2017, 112, 16-49.
      https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2017.07.003

      Yumashev, D.; Johnson, P.; Thomas, P. Economically optimal strategies for medium-term recovery after a major nuclear reactor accident. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2017, 112, 63-76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2017.08.022

      • Just to clarify, the deaths/TWh figures quoted in my first post are for the life full life cycle – that is, they are all deaths from mining to decommissioning and waste disposal, including from power plant accidents.

      • Chernobyl Accident 1986
        (Updated April 2020)
        • The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.
        • The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the environment, with the deposition of radioactive materials in many parts of Europe.
        • Two Chernobyl plant workers died due to the explosion on the night of the accident, and a further 28 people died within a few weeks as a result of acute radiation syndrome.
        • The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation has concluded that, apart from some 6500 thyroid cancers (resulting in 15 fatalities), “there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident.”
        • Some 350,000 people were evacuated as a result of the accident, but resettlement of areas from which people were relocated is ongoing.

        The conclusions of this 2005 Chernobyl Forum study (revised version published 2006) are in line with earlier expert studies, notably the UNSCEAR 2000 report which said that “apart from this [thyroid cancer] increase, there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 14 years after the accident. There is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality or in non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure.” There is little evidence of any increase in leukaemia, even among clean-up workers where it might be most expected. Radiation-induced leukemia has a latency period of 5-7 years, so any potential leukemia cases due to the accident would already have developed. A low number of the clean-up workers, who received the highest doses, may have a slightly increased risk of developing solid cancers in the long term. To date, however, there is no evidence of any such cancers having developed. Apart from these, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) said: “The great majority of the population is not likely to experience serious health consequences as a result of radiation from the Chernobyl accident. Many other health problems have been noted in the populations that are not related to radiation exposure.”
        https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/chernobyl-accident.aspx

        Video: ‘Experts talk about the health effects of Chernobyl’

        Deaths
        2 during the explosion
        28 in the 30 days following the accident
        15 thyroid cancers since the accident
        19 more emergency workers died 1987–2004
        64 total

        WHO – ‘Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes Report of the UN Chernobyl Forum Expert Group “Health”

        Click to access WHO%20Report%20on%20Chernobyl%20Health%20Effects%20July%2006.pdf

    • I guess nuclear figures should have far greater error bars simply because a ‘nuclear accident’ is very rare but if it ever happens, deaths may be considerable and long-term effects (like thyroid cancers) may go on for several decades. Just look at Chernobyl as an example. Who knows what Fukushima will eventually show up?

      Now I am not going to comment on US nuclear plants, as I am not an expert. But you should certainly include the risks of foreign actors triggering a nuclear meltdown using destructive technologies when costing something up….

      What I would ask you to factor in into nuclear costs are the lifetime costs of decommissioning, which may need sites sealed for thousands of years at a cost we simply cannot estimate accurately.

      Nuclear should certainly remain on the table, but calling it the failsafe solution is in my opinion a bit too optimistic for my liking…

      • rtj1211,

        “I guess nuclear figures should have far greater error bars simply because a ‘nuclear accident’ is very rare but if it ever happens, deaths may be considerable and long-term effects (like thyroid cancers) may go on for several decades. Just look at Chernobyl as an example. Who knows what Fukushima will eventually show up?”

        That is incorrect. Please read my comments at the start of this thread and the included links on the impact of nuclear accidents.

    • Appreciated Peter, and thanks for the info.

    • What would wind and solar look like if you included full cycle health costs – those rare earths being processed in China are highly toxic.

  3. Regarding the Linear no threshold hypothesis

    A-Bombs, Bears and Corrupted Science; Reassessing radiation safety

    Precaution and Assumption and the Deceits of Corrupted Science

    Introduction

    The adoption of the so-called ‘linear no-threshold assumption’ (hereafter LNT), which is used to estimate cancer risks in the low-dose zone, was due to a series of difficult-to-comprehend errors, deceptions and purposeful scientific misconduct by a relatively small group of strategically placed scientific elites in the United States. These individuals included Nobel Prize winners and other high achievers in the field of radiation genetics, who not only thought they were saving humanity from the harmful consequences of all things nuclear, but were equally concerned with ensuring that grant funding to support their research would never end. While their duplicitous actions have been hidden from view for 70 years, their story has unravelled in recent years in a series of painstaking investigations of newly uncovered scientific reports, personal letters, internal memos and other materials.

    These factual errors and misrepresentations were enveloped and advanced by the error making experts to ensure the LNT assumption’s adoption across the globe. Regulators then never looked back, never thought they might be wrong or considered that they might have been misled.

    The LNT assumption subsequently led to the wholesale overregulation of the nuclear industry, playing as it did on fears that permeated society at all levels. These fears lead to vast protests, delays in plant construction, massive cost increases, cancellation of newly proposed plants, and the rather rapid strangulation of the nuclear industry, despite ever growing societal energy needs and emerging political, regulatory and scientific concerns over increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The story I tell will show that the LNT theory lacked a proper scientific foundation, that science needs to be self-correcting and that it is time to reconsider nuclear regulation.

    Calabrese, E.J.P., Mikko. A-Bombs, Bears and Corrupted Science; Reassessing radiation safety. Global Warming Policy Foundation: UK, 2020; p 28. https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/06/Calabrese-Paunio-2020.pdf.

    • The threshold vs LNT showdown: Dose rate findings exposed flaws in the LNT model part 1. The Russell-Muller debate

      Abstract
      This paper assesses the discovery of the dose-rate effect in radiation genetics and how it challenged fundamental tenets of the linear non-threshold (LNT) dose response model, including the assumptions that all mutational damage is cumulative and irreversible and that the dose-response is linear at low doses. Newly uncovered historical information also describes how a key 1964 report by the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP) addressed the effects of dose rate in the assessment of genetic risk. This unique story involves assessments by two leading radiation geneticists, Hermann J. Muller and William L. Russell, who independently argued that the report’s Genetic Summary Section on dose rate was incorrect while simultaneously offering vastly different views as to what the report’s summary should have contained. This paper reveals occurrences of scientific disagreements, how conflicts were resolved, which view(s) prevailed and why. During this process the Nobel Laureate, Muller, provided incorrect information to the ICRP in what appears to have been an attempt to manipulate the decision-making process and to prevent the dose-rate concept from being adopted into risk assessment practices.

      Calabrese, E.J. The threshold vs LNT showdown: Dose rate findings exposed flaws in the LNT model part 1. The Russell-Muller debate. Environmental Research 2017, 154, 435-451. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935116309331

    • The threshold vs LNT showdown: Dose rate findings exposed flaws in the LNT model part 2. How a mistake led BEIR I to adopt LNT

      Abstract
      This paper reveals that nearly 25 years after the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) I Committee (1972) used Russell’s dose-rate data to support the adoption of the linear-no-threshold (LNT) dose response model for genetic and cancer risk assessment, Russell acknowledged a significant under-reporting of the mutation rate of the historical control group. This error, which was unknown to BEIR I, had profound implications, leading it to incorrectly adopt the LNT model, which was a decision that profoundly changed the course of risk assessment for radiation and chemicals to the present.

      Calabrese, E.J. The threshold vs LNT showdown: Dose rate findings exposed flaws in the LNT model part 2. How a mistake led BEIR I to adopt LNT. Environmental research 2017, 154, 452-458. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935116309343

    • Are We Approaching the End of the Linear No-Threshold Era?

      Abstract:
      “The linear no-threshold (LNT) model for radiation-induced cancer was adopted by national and international advisory bodies in the 1950s and has guided radiation protection policies worldwide since then. The resulting strict regulations have increased the compliance costs for the various uses of radiation, including nuclear medicine. The concerns about low levels of radiation due to the absence of a threshold have also resulted in adverse consequences. Justification of the LNT model was based on the concept that low levels of radiation increase mutations and that increased mutations imply increased cancers. This concept may not be valid. Low-dose radiation boosts defenses such as antioxidants and DNA repair enzymes. The boosted defenses would reduce the endogenous DNA damage that would have occurred in the subsequent period, and so the result would be reduced DNA damage and mutations. Whereas mutations are necessary for causing cancer, they are not sufficient since the immune system eliminates cancer cells or keeps them under control. The immune system plays an extremely important role in preventing cancer, as indicated by the substantially increased cancer risk in immune-suppressed patients. Hence, since low-dose radiation enhances the immune system, it would reduce cancers, resulting in a phenomenon known as radiation hormesis. There is considerable evidence for radiation hormesis and against the LNT model, including studies of atomic bomb survivors, background radiation, environmental radiation, cancer patients, medical radiation, and occupational exposures. Though Commentary 27 published by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements concluded that recent epidemiologic studies broadly support the LNT model, a critical examination of the studies has shown that they do not. Another deficiency of Commentary 27 is that it did not consider the vast available evidence for radiation hormesis. Other advisory body reports that have supported the LNT model have similar deficiencies. Advisory bodies are urged to critically evaluate the evidence supporting both sides and arrive at an objective conclusion on the validity of the LNT model. Considering the strength of the evidence against the LNT model and the weakness of the evidence for it, the present analysis indicates that advisory bodies would be compelled to reject the LNT model. Hence, we may be approaching the end of the LNT model era.”

      Doss, M. Are We Approaching the End of the Linear No-Threshold Era? Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2018, 59, 1786-1793. http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/59/12/1786.long

    • I am a Fellow and Life Member of the Australasian Radiation Protection Society (ARPS) and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. I have a PhD in Chemical Engineering and I was a Senior Specialist in nuclear safety assessment when I retired after 30 years’ working for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

      My thoughts on LNT are encapsulated in the 2019 Boyce Worthley Oration:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1raQz-s_wUOrPvNgCYY91iwg6tbEQQd4U/view?usp=sharing
      which I was invited to present to the joint conference of ARPS with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP 2019 International Conference), held in Adelaide last November. The Boyce Worthley Oration is a keynote presentation on the first day of every ARPS annual conference.

      The publication reference is:
      Higson, D.J., “A controversy that needs to be resolved”; The Boyce Worthley Oration 2019. Radiation Protection in Australasia; The Journal of the Australasian Radiation Protection Society, May 2020, Vol.37, No.1, pp. 29-36.
      Summary

      The atomic bombing of Japan that ended WWII was the first public demonstration of nuclear power; and the Life Span Study of the Japanese bomb survivors has provided us with most of the data that we have on the risks of long term health effects of radiation exposure, viz:
      • Doses greater than 500 mSv certainly caused significantly increased risk of cancer;
      • Doses less than 100 mSv did not cause any discernible risk but this may be because the risks (if they exist) are too small to be statistically significant;
      • However, it has been claimed that there is also evidence of reduced incidences of cancer at low doses. This is sometimes called “radiation hormesis”.

      Data from other sources, particularly animal experiments but also human exposures, show that there are beneficial health effects such as reduction of cancer mortality from doses up to at least 100 mSv. Protracted exposures up to at least 100 mSv per year have either no discernible physical health effect or beneficial effects.

      This is actually what might be expected. The human race, indeed all life on earth, has evolved in an environment that is full of potentially harmful agents – including natural radiation that ranges around the world from less than 1 to more than 100 mSv per year – and we have adapted to them. Many, perhaps all, are necessary for normal life and health; deficiencies being harmful.

      However, a controversy has developed as to whether the risk from high levels of exposure to radiation should be extrapolated to low levels of exposure, in accordance with the “linear no-threshold (LNT)” assumption. Unfortunately, well informed opinions are strongly divided on the matter.

      This controversy needs to be resolved and there are four essential questions to be answered:
      1. How can a commitment to LNT be reconciled with scientific evidence of benefits to health from low levels of exposure to radiation (“radiation hormesis”)?
      2. Why should radiation that causes no perceptible harm be feared?
      3. Should protection be afforded against radiation at levels that cause no perceptible harm and is more likely to be beneficial than harmful?
      4. Should the use of the LNT calculation model be curtailed in the best interest of society?”

      Donald Higson
      26 November 2020

      • Dr Don Higson,

        Thank you for your comment and for posting the link to you 2019 Boyce Worthley Oration on the LNT hypothesis

      • Dr. Higson, thanks for you contribution. An off-topic comment related to your “Boyce Worthley Oration” anecdote about the V-1 doodle-bugs overshooting.

        I have read that the Germans relied on their agent network in the UK for targeting correction. But that network was controlled by British Intelligence, and was feeding back that the V-2’s (that were hitting London) were actually falling short. The intent of this deception was to get the Germans to over-shoot, thus missing the most heavily populated area.

      • “In order to quantify the risk of low dose radiation, large epidemiological studies are needed to get a useful degree of precision. For example, if excess cancer death cases have been recorded in sample size of 500 persons in response to 1,000 mSv dose exposure, then sample size of 50,000 would be needed for documenting the carcinogenic effect of 100 mSv, and ≈5 million for 10 mSv dose. In other words, the sample size should increase as the inverse square of the dose in order to maintain the statistical precision and power [5].” https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphy.2020.00234/full

        There is quite obviously a diversity of opinion. And there is already quite enough natural and novel radiation sources around us. “ALARA stands for “as low as reasonably achievable”. This principle means that even if it is a small dose, if receiving that dose has no direct benefit, you should try to avoid it. To do this, you can use three basic protective measures in radiation safety: time, distance, and shielding.” https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/alara.html

        For nuclear energy it means passive safety, isolating cores and closing the fuel cycle with advanced designs.

  4. Thank you Andy for the interesting subject and appreciation of Michael Shellenberger.

    I read recently that Europe is investing more in wave and tidal renewables as opposed to solar & wind:

    “IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) estimates the potential of wave energy at around 29,500 TWh per year. This means wave energy alone could theoretically meet all global demand for energy, says Franceso La Camera.”

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/interview/irena-chief-europe-is-the-frontrunner-on-tidal-and-wave-energy/

  5. Yet another issue is that our energy infrastructure is not a given but a work in progress that has evolved with innovation and competition im the market for energy without the use of fear based activism against the competition. If renewables have an advantage over coal they should simply compete in the marketplace. This mechanism for the evolution of energy has been corrupted in the climate era by fear based activism.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/08/18/energy-storage/

    • ChamalJamal
      Your November 20, 12:06am comment makes too much sense. You are hereby banned from the internet for one week.
      We can’t have people here who know what they are talking about. The internet was designed by Al Gore to promote anonymous arguments between people not very familiar with the subjects they are arguing about. You have violated the prime directive. … Very concise too. Not like that blabber-mouth commenter Peter Lang, who blathers on and on and on (like the original article).

  6. Why make it all so complicated? People either accept that CO2 emissions are a risk to climate, with all the consequent impacts, or they don’t. If the latter then technologies to limit the problem are of no interest to them. If the former they might be interested in the competing claims and attractions of renewables, nuclear, etc. That’s where things get technical. It’s obvious that most folk love sun and wind and it’s obvious why – they seem natural and people-friendly while nuclear is all big heavy machinery with associations with weapons and war. It’s a laydown misere as we say in Australia. So there’s only one issue, and unfortunately it’s technical. Can renewables do the job? Can nuclear do the job? Are the associated beliefs ‘religious’ in any sense? I say no. It’s all maths and science. In the end, nuclear can, renewables can’t. Forget religiosity. Forget everything else. Just decide which technology can get rid of CO2 emissions and stick to it.

    • “People either accept that CO2 emissions are a risk to climate, with all the consequent impacts, or they don’t. If the latter then technologies to limit the problem are of no interest to them.” – Tom

      No. I’m convinced tidal forcing is responsible for at least 50% of climate change but I also have a keen interest in future energy technology because fossil fuels are a finite resource. Wave technology seems the best way forward out of the options for renewables imo

    • Thanks Tom. “It’s all maths and science.” If only it were. The point is that all the maths and science and indeed engineering, are sucked into what is a essentially a cultural conflict, not a mostly rational debate. And they don’t make it intact out the other side. Many folks are aware of this, including Shellenberger and others I link to. However, without proof it’s easy for this aspect to be dismissed as merely a (fringe) opinion. But when hard social data is shown, as here, that backs up the obvious cultural nature of actual Renewables deployment, never mind just debate about same, it’s far harder to dismiss the fact that policy on Renewables has indeed been culturally hi-jacked.

      • “..it’s far harder to dismiss the fact that policy on Renewables has indeed been culturally hi-jacked.” – Andy West

        Indeed. It’s also hard to dismiss the fact that the *cause* of climate change has been culturally hi-jacked.

  7. The best response to local emissions from coal generation plants of pollutants is to reduce them by 99.9%. Deaths from global emissions of CO2 may be something else entirely.

    Wind and solar are safer than nuclear in this accounting. But some skepticism is warranted.

    “The last decade has introduced a new era of low-dose radiation epidemiology. Record linkage studies have suggested for the first time that pediatric CT scans may increase cancer risk, and that natural background radiation may contribute to childhood leukemia. Large pooling projects of occupational cohorts have provided additional insights into the risks from protracted radiation exposure, and also raised questions about the risk of other stochastic effects after low-dose exposures including cardiovascular disease and cataracts.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40572-015-0055-y

    Nuclear may be made safe – but arguing that it is and that you may safely sit out a ‘major nuclear accident’ is insanity. This is another review – among dozens I have linked over the years – of low dose ionizing radiation epidemiological studies. The problems of conventional nuclear reactors include waste, weapons proliferation, safety and cost.

    “Generally, modern small reactors for power generation, and especially SMRs, are expected to have greater simplicity of design, economy of series production largely in factories, short construction times, and reduced siting costs. Most are also designed for a high level of passive or inherent safety in the event of malfunction. Also many are designed to be emplaced below ground level, giving a high resistance to terrorist threats. A 2010 report by a special committee convened by the American Nuclear Society showed that many safety provisions necessary, or at least prudent, in large reactors are not necessary in the small designs forthcoming. This is largely due to their higher surface area to volume (and core heat) ratio compared with large units. It means that a lot of the engineering for safety including heat removal in large reactors is not needed in the small reactors. Since small reactors are envisaged as replacing fossil fuel plants in many situations, the emergency planning zone required is designed to be no more than about 300 m radius.” https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/small-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx

    Andy West – again – takes a curmudgeon talking point and bends it beyond breaking point. Most people are neither one thing or the other. The overwhelming majority of people believe in God. Since the reformation – it is a personal God. And being stewards of God’s creation is still the duty. Is that to change because of a few pig-headed curmudgeons?

    The problem I have with wind, solar and batteries is that they are not remotely energy dense enough to power the future. Although if the LCOE is low enough – and that rules out batteries at this stage – there may indeed be a commercial – that’s my religion – role.

    I’d replace the batteries with a General Atomics EM2 and provide industrial heat as well as electricity. With that we can make hydrogen and combine it with carbon from air to produce fuels and plastics. They will start churning out of a factory this decade.

  8. This is a huge complicated mess. the simple facts,
    Occam Razor simple facts, are better than all of this.
    When the oceans warm, polar sea ice thaws, it snows more and accumulates sequestered ice until the heavy ice sheets and glaciers dump ice into turbulent salt water and chills it to below the freezing temperature of sea ice and the thermostat setting and thermostat control, forms sea ice again, stops snowfall until the ice runs out and cooling is needed again.

    Understanding this is simple and it is all that is necessary to explain warm and cold climate cycles.

    Simple is not welcomed by any who get paid big bucks to study and make things complicated and hard to understand.

    Fear is the weapon and people must be frightened in order that they may be taxed and controlled. A climate system that is operating as it always has, with self correcting natural cycles in normal bounds is a major threat to the alarmist takeover.

    All this complicated stuff you all write, may well be somewhat, or mostly right, or not, but no one really can understand it and it only makes the alarmists more successful.

    It snows more when oceans are warm and thawed and it gets cold after that. It snows less when oceans are cold and covered with sea ice and the sequestered ice thaws and runs out and it gets warm after that.

    This is simple understandable facts, supported by history and data, especially ice core data.

    The basic truths about self correcting climate, alternating cold and warm, cycles are Occam Razor Simple.

    • “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Albert Einstein

      Climate has limit’s – but they are extreme and transitions abrupt.

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EIxTIeJWsAALbFN?format=png

    • “Understanding this is simple and it is all that is necessary to explain warm and cold climate cycles.” – Herman

      No. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is a climate cycle which is in the spotlight due to it being heavily associated with recent and upcoming dramatic weather phenomena. Vast upwellings of the Pacific Cold Tongue as well as Indian Cold Tongue are *exactly* on the line of the equator, yet the driving mechanism is supposedly increased easterly winds. When I searched for the data, I found the exact opposite. From a very reputable source I read that “The wind speed is always fairly low at the equator, especially in the east” (!)

      http://www.met.reading.ac.uk – The Influence Winds Have On Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Surface Height

      A tidal forcing mechanism is a good fit for ENSO as well as the overall broadening of the tropics. It should be taken seriously by the mainstream community.

      If the mainstream is so confident in manmade global warming & sea level rise, why don’t they rule out increasing solid body earth tides which could be a component?

      “The Earth tide encompasses the entire body of the Earth and is unhindered by the thin crust and land masses of the surface, on scales that make the rigidity of rock irrelevant.”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_tide

    • Quote H Pope “Understanding this is simple and it is all that is necessary to explain warm and cold climate cycles.”
      and
      Qoute REI: “Climate has limit’s – but they are extreme and transitions abrupt.”
      The first quote misses the ‘Obliquity’ factor’. It has not been evident after 2345bce, but was before. In the Holocene Max that was the case, and where the second quote is very precise.

    • “Understanding this is simple and it is all that is necessary to explain warm and cold climate cycles.”
      It can be simpler, ocean temperature controls global average surface temperature.
      The glaciation and interglaciation periods are aspects of our Ice Age.
      We in an Ice Age, because the ocean is cold.
      Or Earth during periods of time, has not been in Ice Age in which planet’s Earth ocean has been much warmer.
      What caused our ocean to be cold and whereby cause us, to be in an Ice Age.
      And do we want to be in an Ice Age?
      Do we have choice and do make such a choice, if we had it?
      Or our average ocean temperature is about 3.5 C.
      And we would have “larger climate changes” if ocean was to become about 3 C rather than 3.5 C. Same applies if Ocean was 4 C.
      Ocean temperature is control knob. Ocean temperature is closer to global average temperature as compared the average global surface air temperature of about 15 C.
      The ocean has warmed over last couple centuries, less than .5 C and before this {the Little ice Age} the ocean cooled {but cooled less than .5 C}. Or ocean of 3 C is far more climate change that we had with the Little Ice Age. And ocean of 4 C ocean would be far more global climate change than we had in last few centuries.
      Or in terms of last 100 years we had ocean thermal expansion equal to about 2″ of sea level rise and going from about 3.5 C to 4 C is about 12″ rise in sea level due to thermal expansion.
      One can say we are recovering from the Little Ice Age, and if had somehow continued to cool the ocean, as we did during LIA, we probably would not yet of ocean near 3 C, but by +2100 AD perhaps we could had ocean around 3 C, but it could remained around 3.3 C, and required more than thousand years to cool to 3 C. Likewise we could get ocean which 4 C within centuries, or it could take more than 1000 years.
      It seems rather clear to me, that ocean of 3 C is not desirable, nor is much cooler than about 3.5 C.
      And debate is do we want ocean of 4 C or warmer.
      I think if we want a greened Sahara Desert, that would be in the direction of 4 C or warmer, ocean.

    • Re: greening Sahara Desert.
      It seems Africans have a means of having a large effect upon upon global climate. And if greened Sahara desert, it would involve lowering sea level.
      Or other than thermal expansion of ocean, one increases sea level by removing land ground water. And to green Sahara, it seems it would be hard not to add ground water to the Sahara desert region. And key to this, could largely involve Egypt. Ie, Qattara Depression Project.

      So, rather than “we” it might be mostly choice of Africa.

  9. I would very much like to know what the energy industry would look like if ALL political assistance for ALL energy sources was scrapped.

    • Punksta,

      I can provide a few points.

      First, let’s assume that its not just political assistance that is scrapped. Also scrapped are all subsidies and all penalties, including the enormous regulatory costs.

      Then, investment in renewables would cease almost immediately. I envisage that, over time, nuclear development and rollout would accelerate and replace all fossil fuels. Transport fuels (petrol/gasolene, diesel, jet fuels etc) would be produced from seawater by electricity and hydrogen from high temperature nuclear reactors.

      If all the impediments to nuclear are removed, the rates of development and roll out could accelerate (over decades) to much faster than they were from 1950 to 1967 – when costs reduced at ~25% per capacity doubling.

      Figure 1. Overnight construction cost (in 2010 US $/kW) plotted against cumulative global capacity (GW), based on construction start dates, of nuclear power reactors for seven countries, including regression lines for US before and after 32 GW cumulative global capacity.


      Figure 5. Annual global capacity of construction starts and commercial operation starts, 1954–2015.


      Figure 6. (Top) Cumulative global capacity of construction starts and of commercial operation starts (sorted by construction start date); (Bottom) Cumulative global capacity of construction starts (red and green data points); accelerating projection of 1960–1976 data points (dotted green line); Linear and Accelerating projections of capacity in commercial operation (dashed pink and green lines).

      Source: https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122169

    • Thank you. Yes I should have said political penalties/hindrances as well as privileges/help (not only open subsidies, but hidden ones like forced purchases, grid stabilising and other costs due to one source shifted to others, … ? ). And maybe a simpler starting point here would be to simply _list_ the penalties and privileges by energy source type (and country).

      > If all the impediments to nuclear are removed
      It may well be that safety standard are needlessly high, but there must surely still be _some_.

      • Punksta,

        “If all the impediments to nuclear are removed
        It may well be that safety standard are needlessly high, but there must surely still be _some_.”

        Well next to none – see my first comment on this thread. In short:
        “Nuclear power is and always has been the safest way to generate electricity. In the USA and Europe electricity generation with coal causes 150,000 more deaths per TWh than nuclear, natural gas 40,000 more and wind 1,500 more”

    • Punksta,

      In my reply to you I said:
      “Transport fuels (petrol/gasolene, diesel, jet fuels etc) would be produced from seawater by electricity and hydrogen from high temperature nuclear reactors.”

      I should have mentioned that the production cost using current technology is around $3 to $6 per US gallon using hydrogen produced by electrolysis of sea water. However, if the hydrogen is produced in high temperature nuclear reactors the production cost would be approximately halved, to about $1.5 to $3 per US gallon.

      As production ramps up these costs would reduce rapidly.

      https://www.nrl.navy.mil/news/releases/fueling-fleet-navy-looks-seas

      http://www.defensetech.org/2012/10/02/converting-sea-water-to-navy-jet-fuel/

      http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2015/04/30/is-audis-carbon-neutral-diesel-a-game-changer/

      https://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.4719723

  10. The FAILURE to recognize the ignorance and hatred of Believers towards nonbelievers of every faith that Believes in the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

    COVID-19 is the test to which he was never to be put ~ that S/He exists and cares for the “Chosen Ones” more than her Creation, planet Earth. Have you seen any signs of that, rather than those of COVID-19 and the 6th Mass Extinction’s increasingly obvious global consequences. Survival of both is extremely unlikely.

    • I’m in agreement that terrible losses to ecosystems are occurring at an alarming rate and something needs to be done about it… but the term “sixth mass extinction” is apparently scientifically incorrect:

      “Surely our Anthropocene extinction can confidently take its place next to the juggernauts of deep time—the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic and Cretaceous extinctions.

      Erwin says no. He thinks it’s junk science.

      “Many of those making facile comparisons between the current situation and past mass extinctions don’t have a clue about the difference in the nature of the data, much less how truly awful the mass extinctions recorded in the marine fossil record actually were,” he wrote me in an email. “It is absolutely critical to recognize that I am NOT claiming that humans haven’t done great damage to marine and terrestrial [ecosystems], nor that many extinctions have not occurred and more will certainly occur in the near future. But I do think that as scientists we have a responsibility to be accurate about such comparisons.”

      https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/the-ends-of-the-world/529545/

      • The populations of many 1000’s of species have crashed globally since the 1970’s. There are many more that we don’t know about. The world is on the leading edge of an extinction event caused by humans.

  11. A Theory of Everything which unites a new gravity theory with quantum mechanics, being irreconcilable with Einstein, would accelerate Nuclear Fusion technology and others that are currently unthought of:

    • A theory of large and small reconciles the continuous, deterministic cosmos of Einstein with the quantum effects of for instance quantum entanglement. Smooth versus chunky. No one knows the answer – let alone Alan Lowey. It will take technology in new directions – but what those are can’t be known before the answer is.

      • “No one knows the answer – let alone Alan Lowey.” – Robert I. Ellison

        Robert, you are the modern day equivalent of King Canute, the Danish King who took the English throne in 1016 and famously ‘sat in his throne upon the beach to show his inability to halt the rising tides’:

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Canute_and_the_tide

        This is literally truer than most people would believe. The Medieval Warm Period, which started around 950CE, would have been associated with a rapidly increasing tidal range, of unknown cause to the noblemen of the time. A thousand years later, we now have the ability to show our piety to the higher powers that rule our world.

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/medieval-warm-period

      • You conflate dark matter speculation with the millennial band in climate. And drag along your hobby horse like some befuddled Morris dancer.

      • Robert – try to remember to give the source link for your data and don’t solely post schematics/graphs with the assumption that they support your few sentences before them.

      • The millennial cycle is a pervasive prominent feature in the global data but doesn’t have a satisfactory mechanism to explain it. Dark matter closer to home is a leftfield yet serious contender ahead of the mainstream.

      • It’s the original Moys 2002 chart that everyone knows about – and that you saw in another comment I made – and asked about then. The millennial climate shift is related to the Pacific state – shown in the Fourier spectral decomposition described in the text under the graph. That I linked yesterday to solar intensity and high latitude zonal winds near both poles. The bifurcation at around 5500BP – argues against your exotic matter thought bubble. Try not to have the attention span of a goldfish.

    • “Dark matter, the invisible stuff whose gravity is thought to hold galaxies together, may be the least satisfying concept in physics. But if you want to get rid of it, a new study finds, you’ll need to replace it with something even more bizarre: a force of gravity that, at some distances, pulls massive objects together and, at other distances, pushes them apart. The analysis underscores how hard it is to explain away dark matter.

      Concocting such a theory of gravity “is so complicated that it seems very unlikely that anyone could come up with a scenario that would work,” says Scott Dodelson, a theoretical physicist at Carnegie Mellon University, who wasn’t involved in the new work. Still, some theorists say it may be possible to pass the test.”

      https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/11/explain-away-dark-matter-gravity-would-have-be-really-weird-cosmologists-say

      • Skordis’s and Złosnik’s paper is “very exciting,” Pardo says. But he notes that in some sense it merely replaces one mysterious thing—dark matter—with another—a carefully tuned scalar field. Given the complications, Pardo says, “dark matter is kind of the easier explanation.

        You throw something arbitrarily into the mix as if it has some relevance.

    • Sorry to bore everyone but these latest findings about the stellar core composition, age and orbit relative to the galactic plane lends itself to the exotic core hypothesis and orbital inclination tidal forcing hypothesis for climate change:

      https://www.sciencealert.com/fossil-stars-are-moving-in-unexpected-ways-in-the-milky-way/amp

      • “The low |Z𝑚𝑎𝑥|, low eccentricity stars with retrograde orbits are likely accreted, while the low |Z𝑚𝑎𝑥|, high eccentricity pro- and retrograde stars
        are plausibly associated with the Gaia Sausage system. We find that a small fraction of our sample (∼4% of the total) is likely escaping from the Galaxy, and postulate that these stars have gained energy from gravitational interactions that occur when infalling dwarf galaxies
        are tidally disrupted.” https://academic.oup.com/mnras/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/mnras/staa3417/5955458

        No it doesn’t.

      • “Large sky surveys of our galaxy are certain to revolutionize our understanding of the Milky Way. As even these early results show, it is clear we still have much to learn.”

        This is an understatement that people like Robert I. Ellison simply fail to comprehend in it’s enormity:

        “Visible matter constitutes only 16% of the universe’s total mass. Little is known about the nature of the rest of that mass, which referred to as dark matter. Even more surprising is the fact that the universe’s total mass accounts for only 30% of its energy. The rest is dark energy, which is totally unknown but is responsible for the universe’s accelerated expansion.”

        https://phys.org/news/2020-11-dark-universe-primordial-galaxy-formation.amp

      • Dark matter is a mystery to be solved and not something to pontificate dogmatically and simplistically on. Nor has it been demonstrably shown to be the cause of climate change. We have only Alan’s assurances about that.

        https://www.livescience.com/64113-dark-matter-mysteries.html

      • “Nor has it been demonstrably shown to be the cause of climate change.” – Robert I. Ellison

        If you are so confident about the scale of manmade global warming why don’t you advocate the experiment to test whether solid body Earth tides are actually increasing? It could then be ruled out as a contributing factor and sea-level rise would be confirmed to be a result of ocean volume increase and not being confused with the increasing bulge of the Earth itself.

      • Thermal expansion is calculable, temperature is measured along with terrestrial mass change, water levels and eustatic rebound. You imagine with your artistic temperament that solid Earth tides are changing due to the moon’s inclination and ‘exotic matter’ at its core. You do an experiment. No one else is interested.

      • “You do an experiment. No one else is interested.” – Robert I. Ellison

        curmudgeon meaning – a bad-tempered person, especially an old one.

      • The difference is that I apply the term generically to a cultural grouping. The problem is that you self identify.

      • No hard feelings Robert – I like you.

    • “It will take technology in new directions – but what those are can’t be known before the answer is.” – Robert

      So at least you admit there is an answer to the dynamics of matter and forces, the unification of the quantum world with gravity theory?

      “To explain away dark matter, gravity would have to be really weird, cosmologists say… you’ll need to replace it with something even more bizarre: a force of gravity that, at some distances, pulls massive objects together and, at other distances, pushes them apart.” 

      A graviton imagery as a spinning helical corkscrew particle solves the problem of being an attractive force and a force of repulsion on the scale of galaxies.

      A corkscrew graviton which travels around a hypersphere will appear to act as a force of repulsion relative to it’s point of emission.

      This may sound complicated to a layman but someone with an artistic imagination will find this insight awe inspiring and epiphanising.

      Someone who is more mathematically minded will instantly scoff at such a suggestion because it goes against what they have been taught as the theory of gravity.

      https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/11/explain-away-dark-matter-gravity-would-have-be-really-weird-cosmologists-say

      • Einstein made a mistake by going back on his original reaction to the ‘rubber sheet’ analogy of gravity & space-time as being “useless”:

        “When he wrote his theory of special relativity, Einstein did not use the notion of space-time. This concept, of a four-dimensional continuum that includes both space and time, is down to Hermann Minkowski, who used it to rewrite Einstein’s theory.

        When Einstein became aware of what Minkowski had done, he maintained that it was merely a useless mathematical complication of his theory – only to change his opinion completely shortly afterwards, and use precisely the concept of space-time in order to write the theory of general relativity.”

        https://inews.co.uk/news/science/carlo-rovelli-making-mistakes-sign-of-intelligence-einsteins-errors-757427

      • String theory over decades was the great hope of unification of a continuous, deterministic cosmos and the chunky indeterminacy of quanta.

        Lets wait until these guys with their competing speculations provide some evidence before getting too excited. And I hate to tell you – but a corkscrew graviton has quite a ways to go.

      • When I first read Special Relativity in the 70’s – the space/time continuum was part of popular culture. But time dilation pops out of the Lorentz contractions.

        The rest of that article is equally pointless, pettifogging nonsense. If you had any training you would know the necessity of comparing and contrasting sources. And at least occasionally bypassing popular science and going to the original paper.

      • “The rest of that article is equally pointless, pettifogging nonsense.” – Robert

        The author of the excellent article is someone with a lot more depth of insight than yourself:

        “Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist and writer who has worked in Italy, the United States and since 2000, in France. His work is mainly in the field of quantum gravity, where he is among the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory.

        He has also worked in the history and philosophy of science. He collaborates with several Italian newspapers, in particular the cultural supplements of the Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore and La Repubblica. His popular science book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics has been translated in 41 languages and has sold over a million copies worldwide.

        In 2019 he has been included by the Foreign Policy magazine in the list of the 100 most influential global thinkers.”

        http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/~rovelli/

      • It is poorly written popular science. Just the thing to appeal to you. But it remains the case that time dilation pops out of the math of special relativity – and general relativity explains the interaction of matter and space-time at the cosmic scale. As for quanta – there are fundamental mysteries. Wave- particle duality and quantum entanglement.

        As Richard Feynman famously quipped, wave-particle duality is the “mystery that cannot go away.” Unless Alan Lowey has resolved it? There are many physical mysteries Alan. Learn to respect them instead of filling voids with empty chatter.

      • Wow..

        “As Richard Feynman famously quipped, wave-particle duality is the “mystery that cannot go away.” Unless Alan Lowey has resolved it?” – Robert I. Ellison

        You are lacking the good spirit of enquiry in combination with an open active imagination.

        The spinning corkscrew graviton is both a wave *and* a particle.

        See the dynamics in motion of the Archimedes Screw (the red ball can be considered to represent the force of attraction applied to matter via the wave/particle):

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes%27_screw

      • No – I am just not leaping to unsupported and rubbishy conclusions.

      • “No – I am just not leaping to unsupported and rubbishy conclusions.” – Robert I. Ellison

        Yet you’re a fan of Greta Thunberg??

      • Understandably Greta is not my go to source for climate science. I do find you less mature – and you a grumpy old contrarian opinionated curmudgeon.

      • Lol!!! That lifted my spirits Richard and made me laugh out loud!

  12. I am convinced the carbon dioxide emissions do not affect the Earth’s surface temperatures.
    What I am concerned about is that the fossil fuels will be completely depleted, and the fossil fuels will be in great demand for the future generations.
    We consider the usage of different sources of energy in a pure technical terms. It is science.

    There is, nevertheless, a major parameter we do not take in consideration.
    We do not take it in consideration, but when we discuss technical issues this major parameter cannot be neglected. This parameter is the human’s the very existence live span on the Planet Earth.

    This major parameter is decisive for the distribution of the Planet’s resources over the entire human’s the very existence live span on the Planet Earth.

    Well, I myself consider human’s the very existence live span on the Planet Earth is forever.

    http://www.cristos-vournas.com

  13. Just a quick note to all; the chart in Postscript 1 is mistakenly a repeat of Chart 3, instead of the Chart 4 that it should be (which chart also is very interesting!) Hopefully Judith will fix this soon.

  14. I have always regarded that our progress as a species has been via the development of ideas that worked, could be improved upon and eventually replaced with better ideas. The technology for both solar and wind power were available and known in the 19th C when electricity was being developed as a practical source of energy of unknown potential. Eventually through trial and error we were able to reliably generate power to supply a grid that could connect every home and business.

    Solar and wind played no part in that grid simply because they could not be relied upon. Why have we chosen to ignore or forget that knowledge when we have had nuclear capability for eight decades but side-lined it for fear that it could cause catastrophe? Do you combat one potential catastrophe (possible GHG warming) with technology that is known to be unreliable rather than with a reliable source of power that has a good safety record in spite of Chernobyl, Fukushima etc.?

    Science will not standstill going down the nuclear route. It can and will be further developed alongside the many alternative sources of energy currently being investigated. Nuclear can be relied upon for baseload reasonably cheaply and effectively until we come up with something better. It also provides us with an opportunity to test out GHG theory if we considerably reduce the amounts of fossil fuel we burn. Solar and wind will do none of that.

    • “Why have we chosen to ignore or forget that knowledge when we have had nuclear capability for eight decades…”

      The premise of the post, says that this is because valid science / engineering questions are subsumed within a cultural conflict. And demonstrates this via hard social data, which shows that the *actual deployment* of Renewables (so not just an isolated debate about same), is culturally determined.

      • UK-Weather Lass

        Thanks for the further explanation Andy but to my mind the promise of monetary gain and security of employment are the very simple drivers and significators of our current descent into consensus and bad decision making.

        They have been observable factors in society (certainly within the UK) for at least four decades but are seldom as successful as they have been now. It is what happens when weak minds are given power, IMO, and it is going to get worse unless strong minds fight back.

      • UK-Weather Lass – remember the infamous “hockystick” graph presented by Al Gore? The perfect example.

      • “Thus, it came as quite a surprise when Mann et al. (1998), on the basis of a single tree-ring study, concluded that neither the Medieval Warm Period nor the Little Ice Age actually happened and that assertion became the official position of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)…

        “Our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this. Today’s climate pattern has existed throughout the entire history of human civilization” (Gore, 2007).”

      • UK-Weather-Lass, “…to my mind the promise of monetary gain and security of employment are the very simple drivers and significators of our current descent into consensus and bad decision making.”

        I’m not saying these aren’t factors. But the climate consensus that really matters is the huge one within the public domain regarding certainty of catastrophe, that disagrees even with mainstream science / IPCC let alone anything skeptical. This has followers in the hundreds of millions and is driving the action. The vast majority are not scientists, and neither are they gaining any direct reward from their support; but they are passionate and emotive believers. And a vast range of authority individuals and orgs believe the narratives too; mostly, they are not acting in bad faith (which would be a much easier problem to address), but in good faith. So it’s far harder to persuade them we aren’t going to fry, or that asking questions about the efficacy or downsides of emissions policy isn’t immoral.

        Cultures are emergent, so can arise in all parts of society at once, which can then feed into each other. Biased science has played a critical part, but that bias is continuing and indeed has increased over the decades exactly because of the massive pressure from a public / authority cultural narrative that has gotten way out of control a long time ago now.

        However, I accept that one needs more than casual observation, but hard data, to verify that this is what’s going on. Hence posts such as this, which in this case shows that the actual deployment of Renewables across many nations, so huge money and infra-structure, is determined by a cultural attitude. And so indeed, per Chart F9 in the Excel datafile, the deployment directly and strongly anti-correlates with national religiosity too. This would not be the case if the policy were mainly a function of biased science or monetary gain in isolation. There’s no reason why these things would have a strong relationship with national religiosity, except within a much larger context via cultural interaction; unless you can think of one 0:

        If the public and authorities simply accepted the mainstream / orthodox science position, i.e. the IPCC technical papers (not the PR from their upper echelons, nor even their SPRs constructed with minimal science input), then there wouldn’t be a problem. Notwithstanding many think the science itself to be way off and soaked in group-think (culture writ small), it says CC is a problem not an apocalypse, and one that can be addressed with little more muscle than a big recession, yet having a much longer timescale to do it in. At that point, everyone would lose interest. It’s the massive and emotive cultural narratives of catastrophe that escaped the science and went wild decades ago, that push the action. Lindzen has been making essentially this point for many years, i.e. that both skeptical and mainstream scientists agree there isn’t certainty of global catastrophe; yet this is still the dominant narrative.

      • “It’s the massive and emotive cultural narratives of catastrophe that escaped the science and went wild decades ago, that push the action. Lindzen has been making essentially this point for many years, i.e. that both skeptical and mainstream scientists agree there isn’t certainty of global catastrophe; yet this is still the dominant narrative.” – Andy West

        You make an excellent case for mainstream non-alarmists and sceptics alike. So where do we go from here?

        What is your personal opinion on the so-called ‘feedback’ & ‘tipping point’ of Arctic methane release for example?? Alarmists would use this to justify an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels, wouldn’t they?

      • “Lindzen has been making essentially this point for many years..” – Andy West

        Perhaps we should *all* start using the term “climate contrarian” as opposed to “climate skeptic” as used in this article to describe Professor of atmospheric science Richard Lindzen?

        https://insideclimatenews.org/news/06032017/climate-change-denial-scientists-richard-lindzen-mit-donald-trump

      • Alan: So where do we go from here?

        “What is your personal opinion on the so-called ‘feedback’ & ‘tipping point’ of Arctic methane release for example?? Alarmists would use this to justify an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels, wouldn’t they?”

        I don’t really support or oppose any of the physical science positions. This gets in the way of objectivity when trying to measure the cultural effects. My main concern is that the cultural effects are way dominating the action, whatever various science positions argue between themselves. However, per previous posts here, I note that the actual climate scientists who are tipping point catastrophists, while having a huge share of voice due to being in harmony with the cultural wave, are a tiny minority. And they attack the IPCC for being ‘too conservative’, supressing them, or being otherwise ‘politically motivated’ / biased. So any messaging which says skeptics should be ignored for being a tiny minority objecting to the big bulk of science, should take the same tack with this camp. But at any rate this doesn’t alter the fact that the IPCC tech papers (and the vast majority of the scientists producing same) agree with skeptics regarding the fact that the cultural narrative is wrong.

        “So where do we go from here?”

        I don’t know. I’m too busy trying to expose the cultural nature of what is happening. But opposing a culture is a very different activity than arguing against a scientific position / theory. Yet the former is what must be done, considering that this indeed controls the main action, as shown here for the limited aspect of Renewables Deployment.

      • The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

        Change is perpetual, often extreme and always abrupt. It is known as Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics. Dynamical complexity is the dominant scientific paradigm of Earth systems behaviour. It is inconsistent with skeptic narrative and cognitive dissonance rules.

      • Does that not ignore what appears to be correlated with if not caused by ~ the excessive
        presence of man-made CO2 in our spaceship’s biosphere? The air we’ve no choice but to inhale; the increasing disappearance of our food chains and water resources; the existential threats of the coronavirus pandemic (not man-made) and the “Poisoning of the Planet,” aka, the Sixth Mass Extinction’s global consequences (man-made))

      • Don Graham – the phrase “sixth mass extinction” is scientifically incorrect according to this article:

        “Surely our Anthropocene extinction can confidently take its place next to the juggernauts of deep time—the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic and Cretaceous extinctions.

        Erwin says no. He thinks it’s junk science.

        “Many of those making facile comparisons between the current situation and past mass extinctions don’t have a clue about the difference in the nature of the data, much less how truly awful the mass extinctions recorded in the marine fossil record actually were,” he wrote me in an email. “It is absolutely critical to recognize that I am NOT claiming that humans haven’t done great damage to marine and terrestrial [ecosystems], nor that many extinctions have not occurred and more will certainly occur in the near future. But I do think that as scientists we have a responsibility to be accurate about such comparisons.”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/the-ends-of-the-world/529545/

      • Populations of 1000’s of species crashing around the planet. We are on the brink of a great catastrophe.

      • “—the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic and Cretaceous extinctions.”
        Alan, those events took tens of thousands, even millions of years to unfold We’re only two hundred into this one.

      • Loydo – I’m in complete agreement that the rapid loss of ecosystems is a travesty and needs to be stopped as soon as possible – but let’s keep the emotions at bay and keep to the science as much as we can. That way, more clarity and unity will be achieved by those who wish for a more natural environment in which to live.

  15. This is interesting work.
    I would point out, however, that there are other explanations for the dichotomies than religiousity: specifically, a class/socio-economic divide – in particular, the PMC (professional, managerial class) in Western countries vs. the rest of the population.
    PMCs are much wealthier on average – these are the doctors, lawyers, government officials, tenured university professors, managers, consultants etc who are on salary and whose incomes are multiples of national averages, but who are not ultra-wealthy.
    For this class, the vagaries and increasing cost of energy is not a significant factor.
    They can afford to buy electric vehicles (for increasing gas prices) which are – not coincidentally – significantly subsidized by tax policy.
    They can afford to “prepay” electricity in the form of – again – heavily subsidized personal solar and/or wind installations on their above-average homes.
    The same can be said for any number of other PMC fads such as organic foods.
    And note: there’s nothing wrong with any individual or group to make such choices.
    The problem is that this group also has the power to try to force these choices upon everyone else – whom in turn can not so easily afford them.
    It is a class “let them eat cake”…

  16. Thank you, Wolf1. “I would point out, however, that there are other explanations for the dichotomies than religiousity: specifically, a class/socio-economic divide – in particular, the PMC (professional, managerial class) in Western countries vs. the rest of the population.”

    I wouldn’t rule out other explanations. But all the trends in Chart 1 (of which ‘WC’ is the one to use for looking at the reality-constraint of Renewables deployment), are robust across different subsets of 59 nations. And so this includes different ethnicities, different political regimes and systems, different main Faiths, wildly different economy types and economic size, etc. And the dramatic switch between the nature of climate-change supportive responses to (blue) unconstrained questions, and (orange) unconstrained questions, matches expectations for the interaction between mainstream religious cultures and catastrophic climate-change culture, as set out within the linked Summary file. It’s an extremely high bar for anything else to satisfy this simultaneous correlation plus anti-correlation (with national religiosity) of CC supportive attitudes.

  17. “Notwithstanding some utility, the main motivation for Wind and Solar Renewables is cultural.”

    True, true a fascination with sailing for example might lead to many things from studying and practicing the art as a hobby or avocation to a lifetime interest and gainful employment but those who know and understand the most about it would never be confused about it’s limitations as a viable option in the modern world as a primary means of, e.g., transporting goods, travel, moving troops and guarding coastlines from Marauders, commercial activities like catching crabs and tuna…

    • “Notwithstanding some utility, the main motivation for Wind and Solar Renewables is cultural.”
      No it’s technology creating a new reality and you can’t go backwards.
      The wind, waves and photons are free. It scales along with the technology that makes it. Everything is recyclable when you reach equilibrium with your environment. Synthetic hydrocarbons will provide cleaner energy dense fuels for the transition from fossil fuels.

      • Jack, whether the technical characteristics are good, bad, or indifferent (as noted in the Introduction, I leave technical assessments to others), the social data as charted above unambiguously shows that the Renewables deployment (Solar + Wind) across many nations, is *culturally* determined.

      • Turning wind and solar into something useful is hardly free. Astounding I’ll-informed statement on your prart.

      • I think *culturally* determined is also highly correlated with *technically advanced* nations.
        China just bought Mexico’s largest RE developer and another in S. America.
        https://www.jwnenergy.com/article/2020/11/19/china-power-giant-makes-foray-into-mexican-renewab/

      • Jack: “I think *culturally* determined is also highly correlated with *technically advanced* nations.”

        It isn’t. Look at Chart 3. Is Belgium more technically advanced than France or Canada? Are Portugal and Greece more technically advanced than Australia? Is Spain more technically advanced than Japan? Is Chile more technically advanced than Poland or Turkey? Is Denmark more technically advanced than Great Britain? There is some variance around the trend, obviously, but these figures are already normalised for GDP-per-Capita, which will have some (loose and with exceptions) relation to technical advancement. Plus… look at Chart 1 detailing all the cultural attitudes to climate-change. Nothing physical can strongly and simultaneously correlate and anti-correlate (blue modes and orange modes) with national religiosity. But cultural causation can do this. This rules out the climate or climate exposures of nations, relationship with climate science or energy pragmatics, and indeed the technical status of nations.

      • How about international patents? Pretty much defines who is technically advanced (and where technology is advancing the fastest)..
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators

        The list of the top countries is almost the same as the list of countries deploying the most RE.

      • Jack…shhhhhhh. Don’t mention confounding variables. Too inconvenient to fit a pre-ordained narrative.

      • Jack: These patent lists do not resemble the Renewables Deployment (RD). The US is excluded because of its unique 4-way cultural dance, which requires different processing, see the note at the very end of this post. But regarding some others… Japan 3rd/ 2nd on the patent lists, but much further down the RD list on Chart 3. India, a nuclear power and within the top 10 on two of the patent lists, but behind about 20 of 35 nations for RD (not to mention that Pakistan, also a nuclear nation, is nevertheless bumping near the bottom for RD, behind Morocco even). Denmark, second only to Germany for RD, nowhere on two of the patent lists and 8th on the other two. South Korea, occupies 3rd, 4th and 2 x 1st on the different patent lists, is back at somewhere around 27th for RD. Bulgaria beats Australia for RD, yet the former is 10th and 8th in two of the patent lists. Where is Bulgaria? Come to that, Spain, Greece, Portugal and even Romania beat Australia too, but none of these appear on the patent lists. And indeed Belgium isn’t on the patent lists either, but is about 4th for RD. Italy is around joint 7th for RD but only 18th on one patent list, and nowhere on the others. And so on. If you really that think this is better correlation, draw up the chart; by eye it looks like a very much weaker case indeed. Plus, as noted above, technical prowess nor any physical attribute can explain the simultaneous correlation plus anti-correlation in Chart 1, from which comes the ‘WC’ trend that correlates with RD. But cultural causation can do this.

      • J: Jack’s comment’s re potential alternate causation are most welcome, and as noted above at 8:31am I do not rule out alternate causes. However, suggestions have to look viable, which does not appear to be the case here from simple comparison. So from this, plus too the issue of needing to explain from Chart 1 both the unconstrained and reality-constrained supportive responses to CC, it does not look like a runner. But if anyone really thinks it is, they can make it run :)

      • Andy,
        You have made numerous references to deaths per KW and by extension implying the safety of nuclear power. But is it really a selling point? I think one of the interesting insights to our western culture is how quickly we have embraced the rising death toll from COVID-19. As Trump noted “It it what it is.”
        I would like to see this CCCC category broken down a little more to see where the break points are. Very few humans contemplate a future beyond one generation and the one that do usually fall into either We’re Doomed cohort or the Technology Will Save Us camp. I’m in the latter group.

      • “You have made numerous references to deaths per KW and by extension implying the safety of nuclear power”.

        Jack, I’m afraid you’ve mistaken me for someone else. I’ve made no such references. Per the Introduction above, I don’t not get involved in the technical analyses of Renewables. This post highlights from the charted social data only that Renewables Deployment across nations, whether technically good, bad, or indifferent, corresponds to their *cultural* attitudes on climate-change. And so not, say, the climate or climate exposures of nations, or climate science or energy pragmatics or whatever.

        The post has quotes from Shellenberger and Planning Engineer and others, which while included for their mentions of cultural aspects, may include (or lead to, from links) technical issues and indeed very much from nuclear in Shellenberger’s case. But these are not my comments, and I neither endorse or oppose them; only the content related to talking about cultural motivations is relevant to my own points, and I agree with this part of the quoted content.

      • Andy –

        An apology is in order. I was unfair. As much as I might think you lean into causal mechanisms that you prefer, I’ve never known you to avoid justifying your choices.

      • No technology will surpass the density limits of solar, wind and batteries. You lose to density. Nuclear and fossil fuels have density.
        It is technology to build coal power plants in Africa. It is technology to give them solar panels, but just not as much technology to improve their lives. It’s the technology of a survivalist. You might want to do better.

  18. Is wind & solar renewables really viable in places like Vladivostok?

  19. Speaking of the complexity of the renewables issue, this just out:

    The structure of complex issues
    by David Wojick

    “We live in a world of complex issues, which can be very frustrating. I have been doing research on the generic structure of issues for a long time. There is an underlying pattern that might be helpful to know about. I call it the issue tree. What follows is necessarily simplified to fit into a short article, but it is still a big step forward.

    By a complex issue I mean one that generates a lot of discussion. Policy issues are a good example, as these can involve hundreds or even thousands of articles and comments. The issue tree explains how this happens.”

    The rest is here: https://www.cfact.org/2020/11/17/the-structure-of-complex-issues/

    Also here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/17/the-structure-of-complex-issues/

  20. Andy West, thank you for the essay.

  21. I’d forgotten how wind and solar are anathema to the church of curmudgeon skepticism. Solar and wind subsidies will disappear. I have currently a rebate available of $520/kW. That winds down progressively to zero at 2030. My electricity costs $0.23/kWh. If I had solar I could sell any excess for $0.08/kWh. A couple of Australian states provide incentives for people on government pensions. The cost of subsidies amounts to about 10% of my bill. A bigger cost impact has been the price of natural gas and a gold plated grid. The latter going down for a week in the last cyclone.

    Some 7% of electricity is provided by wind and solar – balanced by some peaking gas and about 7% hydro. Supply is easily, precisely and instantly synchronized with the addition of minor amounts of battery storage. There is expertise in these systems – and it doesn’t necessarily come from a VP of a distribution network.

    Still – the future system will evolve primarily from cost considerations. A cost of less than $1000/kW is hard to beat – and no fuel costs. It is not difficult to imagine niche applications where a daytime supply of electricity is useful – schools, shopping centres, office buildings, etc.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EIxTIeJWsAALbFN?format=png

    Subsidies for sunrise industries have alway been a part of industrial life. This is the most promising path to a nuclear future. Forget taxes – the populace are revolting. It needs to be cost competitive. In the US this is only when natural gas prices increase to a level where EM2 is a commercial option. But it needs some $1B from government for first of a kind costs.

    “This reactor design is a new concept, of which the technologies have been built from the legacy of gas-cooled reactor development at General Atomics (GA) including the High Temperature Gas-Cooled reactor (HTGR), Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (GCFR) and Gas-Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR), with a projected earliest deployment (start of construction) time of 2030.”

    The appeal of energy from nuclear fission is that the technology to unleash it safely is now available and the resource is abundant. With abundant energy anything is possible.

  22. Skeptical curmudgeons – and I use the term to distinguish it from rational skepticism – believe that tipping points can’t exist in Earth systems. That belief in such is confined to a modern day millennialist cult. It is more like cultural ignorance on their part.

    “By the 20th century, scientists had rejected old tales of world catastrophe, and were convinced that global climate could change only gradually over many tens of thousands of years. But in the 1950s, a few scientists found evidence that some changes in the past had taken only a few thousand years. During the 1960s and 1970s other data, supported by new theories and new attitudes about human influences, reduced the time a change might require to hundreds of years. Many doubted that such a rapid shift could have befallen the planet as a whole. The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift radically within a century — perhaps even within a decade. And there seemed to be feedbacks that could make warming self-sustaining. Scientists could not rule out possible “tipping points” for an irreversible and catastrophic climate change if greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise.” https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

  23. They say everything in Texas is bigger ya know :)
    Largest PV project in America (for now) is this1.3 Gigawatts (nameplate) solar farm. It should generate a nominal output of about 1 GW (more if they use solar trackers). Impressive they can do it so fast and that it’s deployed in sections avoiding single point of failures (assuming grid availability).
    11/20/2020
    https://electrek.co/2020/11/20/texas-largest-solar-project-us-samson/
    Invenergy, a Chicago-based global developer and operator of green energy generation and storage, announced a 1,310-megawatt solar farm in northeastern Texas on Wednesday. It will be the largest in the US upon completion.

    The solar farm is currently under construction. The Samson Solar Energy Center, as it’s called, will support five major consumer brands and supply power to three Texas municipalities:
    AT&T: 500 MW
    Honda: 200 MW
    McDonald’s: 160 MW
    Google: 100 MW
    The Home Depot: 50 MW
    City of Bryan, TX: 150 MW
    City of Denton, TX: 75 MW
    City of Garland, TX: 25 MW
    Located in Lamar, Red River, and Franklin counties, Samson Solar is a $1.6 billion capital investment and will support up to 600 jobs over the course of the 36-month construction period. Additionally, the project will bring more than $250 million in landowner payments and support local communities through nearly $200 million in property tax payments over the life of the project.

    Samson Solar will be constructed in five phases over the next three years, with each phase commencing operation upon completion. The full project will be operational in 2023. When complete, it will produce enough energy to power nearly 300,000 American homes.

  24. There is a correlation between the number of Americans who believe in God – 90%) and these numbers.

  25. Politicising and cultural hijacking of scientific quandary has never been so successful as that of the “hockey stick” graph by Al Gore:

    “Evidence that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was a global event is so widespread that one wonders why Mann et al. (1998) ignored it. Over a period of many decades, several thousand papers were published establishing the MWP from about 900 AD to 1300 AD. Thus, it came as quite a surprise when Mann et al. (1998), on the basis of a single tree-ring study, concluded that neither the MWP nor the Little Ice Age actually happened and that assertion became the official position of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    The IPCC 3rd report (Climate Change, 2001) totally ignored the several 1000 publications detailing the global climate changes during the MWP and the LIA and used the Mann et al. single tree-ring study as the basis for the now-famous assertion that “Our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this. Today’s climate pattern has existed throughout the entire history of human civilization” (Gore, 2007).

    This claim was used as the main evidence that increasing atmospheric CO2 was causing global warming, and so, as revealed in the “Climategate” scandal, advocates of the CO2 warming theory were very concerned about the strength of data showing that the MWP was warmer than the 20th century and had occurred naturally, long before atmospheric CO2 began to increase.

    The Mann et al. “hockey stick” temperature curve was at so at odds with thousands of published papers, one can only wonder how a single tree-ring study could purport to prevail over such a huge amount of data.”

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/medieval-warm-period

  26. Maybe there are cultural motivations but the data do not show that atmospheric composition is responsive to fossil fuel emissions. Without that relationship we don’t really have anything.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/21/the-case-against-fossil-fuels/

    • That’s the point of the article, I believe. Decisions aren’t made by people who think like ourselves but made by the cultural narrative of catastrophe.

      The way we are governed needs to change.

    • chaamjamal, the point about cultural motivations, if rampant enough in the public domain, is that they will drive the action and steamroller any rational considerations / debate in the process. So including all the many more rationally argued positions from all sides based upon actual data, such as orthodox, luke-warmer and skeptic alike. For instance, Lindzen has argued for many years that most orthodox scientists actually agree with skeptics that there isn’t going to be a global CC catastrophe. Yet this is still the dominant narrative driving responses. And indeed this post shows that one of those responses, Renewables Deployment (RD) that involves huge money and infra-structure, is driven mainly by a cultural attitude to CC. And hence, per Chart F9 in the Excel datafile, RD also directly and strongly anti-correlates with Religiosity, an entirely cultural phenomenon! So it isn’t that the science arguments are invalid (I do not have the expertise to comment on those, and indeed there are many positions including your own, which are split to more than two sides), but that they are all eclipsed when it comes to actual policy. By a cultural narrative that escaped any science of any kind many years ago, and now exists / grows through emotive cultural mechanisms. This suggests that, even if you win your science argument with some opposite numbers of the orthodox camp, say, it won’t make a blind bit of difference to policy 0:

    • “..but the data do not show that atmospheric composition is responsive to fossil fuel emissions.” – chaamjamal

      I agree. Would you call yourself a “climate contrarian” like atmospheric scientist Professor Lindzen?

      I’m also a “gravity contrarian” I suppose and link the two.

      Robert I. Emisson would be a “climate alarmist” because he’s a proponent of ‘tipping points’ but I’m guessing he wouldn’t like that term. What term would you like to use to describe yourself Robert?

      So what term best describes your viewpoint Andy??

      I find the subtlety of language and the use of micro-persuasion a fascinating and little discussed topic of the climate change debate.

      • I think Andy’s point is that the emotional momentum can take over in environmentalism to the point where the data don’t matter. It’s a good point. A brilliant point. It’s one of those reality sucks moments.

        https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/15/the-bambi-principle/

      • Alan: “So what term best describes your viewpoint Andy??”

        I’m not sure that there is one. I’m not a climate skeptic (or contrarian), or indeed an orthodox or alarmist or luke-warmer either. Because I neither support nor oppose the physical climate science theories of any of these camps. I’m highlighting that the climate domain is dominated by culture.

      • “I don’t really support or oppose any of the physical science positions.” – Andy West

        Perhaps the term “climate neutral” best describes that position on climate science?

      • “It’s one of those reality sucks moments.” – chaamjamal

        Yes, it is a bit disheartening.. we can only do what we can do..

        The moment will pass.. I’m going to walk in the countryside and pick up a four-pack of beer for this evening and forget about the worries of the world for a while.. :)

      • > I think Andy’s point is that the emotional momentum can take over in environmentalism to the point where the data don’t matter.

        “In environmentalism” as opposed to…..?

      • Joshua: “In environmentalism” as opposed to…..?

        It’s an inclusionary statement, not an oppositional or exclusionary statement. Environmentalists are among the people who can be carried beyond rational beliefs by … . They should not be thought of people who are, so to speak, always rational.

      • > Environmentalists are among the people who can be carried beyond rational beliefs by … .

        It’s an infinite set. So why is it noteworthy?

      • In- and out-group homogeneity are highly over-rated.

      • Joshua … “It’s an infinite set. So why is it noteworthy?”

        Because this part of the infinite set (like many others) doesn’t think they are in it.

      • Bill –

        > Because this part of the infinite set (like many others) doesn’t think they are in it.

        I suggest another reason. Because those who identify with another group gain some measure of satisfaction from isolating a group to which they don’t identify and feasting on a smug sense of superiority.

        When in fact the group to which they do belong engages in the exact behaviors they find so offensive in “others.”

        And that’s exactly what “motivated reasoning” would predict. And what’s funny is that Andy knows that.

      • Joshua … I think you are correct that motivated reasoning is a way of explaining religious cultural attitudes, beliefs, artifacts, etc. Yet, Alan, by focusing on the religious aspect, has given us a specific look at thinking in catastrophic tendencies. Think Armageddon, or the flood, which is repeated in many forms in many religions. And although many of us are ‘non-religious’, particularly scientists, the religious artifacts are still working in our culture. Even the Big Bang is supported by religious views. Andy has been very careful not to get over his skis. I think he realizes that the word itself, religion, has … irritating(?) … tendencies with a group (or subset, if you choose) like this. Once past that irritation, those may find he’s spot on.

      • J: I I thought you were building up to point, but I can’t see one yet.

        It’s not an infinite set, otherwise everything that humanity does would be both directly and overwhelmingly determined by cultural affinity, which is not the case.

        That the underlying behaviours of cultural groups are the same, no matter what narratives the group believes in, is I guess maybe not quite common knowledge yet. But it’s likely known by quite a few million people, as well as myself.

        So especially wrt to the post topic (I hope), what point are you steering at from here?

      • BillF: “Andy has been very careful not to get over his skis”

        Thank you :)

      • Andy –

        No big trajectory. My points are quite basic and I think I’ve already made them.

      • J: I must’ve missed it, I’ll re-read.

      • J: Okay, so you think chaamjamal and Alan and others here who’ve acknowledged the cultural nature of Renewables Deployment that the post points out (hence including me), and / or the wider attitudes per Chart 1 also as cultural, find this ‘noteworthy’ mainly because they feel inherent smugness as part of a(nother) cultural group, that the result turns out to be this way? Have I read this right? Do you really think this?

      • > J: Okay, so you think chaamjamal and Alan and others here who’ve acknowledged the cultural nature of Renewables Deployment that the post points out (hence including me), and / or the wider attitudes per Chart 1 also as cultural, find this ‘noteworthy’ mainly because they feel inherent smugness as part of a(nother) cultural group, that the result turns out to be this way? Have I read this right? Do you really think this?

        Avoiding personalizing the discussion as much as possible…

        I think that differentiating “environmentalists” or supporters of using renewables on the basis of some kind of broadly applied, emotive, or personality, or attitudinal, or cognitive, or psychological attribute requires a very high bar of evidence, just as it would with “skeptics” or engineers or ditch diggers. And I think that there is a certain natural tendency among people who are emotionally and/or ideologically identified with a particular group – such as you are, and such as we all pretty much are – to favorably distribute characteristics of in-group homogeneity and out-group homogeneity in a way such as to favor their in-group and disfavor their out-groups.

        I think that life is quite complicated. and in reality people fall far less into the neat little categories we like to create in our heads and confab about in blog comment sections. I think there is often much more diversity within groups than there is when comparing means of characteristics across groups, even though we like to believe otherwise.

        I think that the theory of “motivated reasoning” works pretty well to describe much of that, as well as give us a tool to predict how people will look at extremely complex social phenomena and sort them into a kind of organizing taxonomy.

        Of course, it’s entirely possible that social phenomena really do fit into nice little categories whereby we can favorably distribute attributes to a group we favor and unfavorably distribute attributes to groups we disfavor – but my baseline default there is skepticism and it takes a really solid assemblage of evidence to convince me otherwise. Admittedly, I am probably biased against such a distributing process, particularly if the balance in the distribution doesn’t work work out favorably for groups I favor.

        Perhaps if I had an easier time reading what you write it would convince me to get past my skepticism (whether it’s rooted in some innate skepticism or some motivated reasoning on my own part – although please note I am not advocating for a particular distribution in my own right, just a skepticism that your proposed distribution reflects reality). But as I’ve explained to you before, I tend to have a tough time getting through your writing for some reason and from that perspective I’ll remain unconvinced.

        So if you want to single out environmentalists, or particular environmentalists, or particular beliefs of environmentalists, or particular beliefs of particular environmentalists, and characterize them in some unique way as distinguished from other groups, and confab about that difference with other ideologically aligned compatriots, that’s fine. You may be right. But from where I sit, particularly given that I can’t really parse the precise mechanics of your logic, evidence, and reasoning, I’d say chances are much greater that what you’re doing falls into the more general pattern of motivated reasoning.

      • J:
        >Avoiding personalizing the discussion as much as possible…

        But you didn’t, because you aimed at the actual individuals who had acknowledged the post’s point and said this was noteworthy, and you cannot possibly know why they think this. In fact, given that for non-US scenarios most of the literature doesn’t think this is the case, makes the cultural result highly noteworthy for anyone.

        > I think that differentiating “environmentalists” or supporters of using renewables…

        Environmentalists is a broad camp, agreed. But regarding Renewables the actual end result, installed infra-structure, is clearly dominated by cultural attitudes. Hence by definition its support *must* be, however it organises itself. or that simply could not happen. And Chart 1 shows a wide range of climate-change attitudes across very many nations, that due to the (dual) nature of these responses wrt national religiosity, can only be cultural. This is not vague opinion, it is data; but if you want to critique the data or can present alternate data / explanations, then please do. Ultimately we are allowed to base statements on the data, unless indeed someone can improve / challenge it sufficiently.

        Yes, navigating stuff is complex. But it is unacceptable to use cultural group theory to deduce anything whatsoever about individuals. Would you want folks to think of you as merely a fixed tribal puppet based upon peak-curve Dem/Lib cultural values, simply because they’ve perceived (and via their fallible opinions) that you’ve expressed some aligned views? Not to mention that no individual member will have the same characteristics as the group as a whole anyhow. Yet you did aim your comment at specific individuals.

        > But as I’ve explained to you before, I tend to have a tough time getting through your writing for some reason and from that perspective I’ll remain unconvinced.

        You’ve happily read much more complex stuff than mine, Kahan for instance. So despite my expression is no doubt sub-optimal, I’m not inclined to be sympathetic to this. Anyhow, maths and data avoid this issue of expression. Just look at the charts and the Excel data. Then if you draw different conclusions, by all means present them here.

        >So if you want to single out…

        You singled out individuals, for which no group data can possibly inform. I have data pointing to groups, including a wide range of climate attitudes across nations; this may indeed not be one-to-one for ‘environmentalism’, because, for example, because someone can very much care for the environment yet not think climate-change is a big deal regarding same. But it does demonstrate (non-US) climate culture.

      • > But you didn’t, because you aimed at the actual individuals who had acknowledged the post’s point and said this was noteworthy, and you cannot possibly know why they think this. 

        >> You singled out individuals, for which no group data can possibly inform.

        Not sure how this has happened. I wasn’t meaning to aim or single or any individuals. Didn’t think I was in anything I said.

      • “Not sure how this has happened. I wasn’t meaning to aim or single or any individuals.”

        You did not challenge an arbitrary group of persons whom you had defined, you challenged individuals who thought the post’s conclusion to be noteworthy. Then later supplied your own answer to that challenge, i.e. a cultural motivation. I accept it was inadvertent, however this still means more care would be advisable.

      • Andy –

        > Environmentalists are among the people who can be carried beyond rational beliefs by … .

        I didn’t challenge that statement. I asked why it was noteworthy (given that (1) the group is vaguely defined and (2) there’s no particular reason to think that they’re different than any other group, especially one likewise vaguely defined).

        > I think Andy’s point is that the emotional momentum can take over in environmentalism to the point where the data don’t matter.

        See above.

        I don’t think of that as “challenging” them as I didn’t really question their conclusions.

        Are environmentalists among people who X, Y, Z….? Sure. Pretty much all people are among people who X, Y, Z…

        Can emotional momentum “take over” (whatever that means) in “environmentalism?” Sure. Emotional momentum can “take over” in pretty much any “ism.”

      • J: “I asked why it was noteworthy”

        A leading question, as it turns out, because a challenge to which you later supplied your own answer upon their behalf, i.e. a cultural motivation. As I said, if this is inadvertent, then no problem, just take care in the future. If you are claiming this isn’t using cultural theory to inappropriately attribute motivations to individuals, then I don’t buy that.

      • Andy –

        > A leading question, as it turns out, because a challenge to which you later supplied your own answer upon their behalf, i.e. a cultural motivation.

        Upon their behalf? This may be where the misunderstanding lies. If I understand you correctly, no, I made no assumption or assertion about the mechanism behind their reasoning. None. Whatsoever.

        I was describing a general phenomenon: that motivated reasoning provides a viable explanation for why more generally, in-groups like to identify and then characterize out-groups.

      • J: “If I understand you correctly, no, I made no assumption or assertion about the mechanism behind their reasoning. None. Whatsoever.”

        This would require me to believe that there was no connection between the question asked of specific individuals, and the later self-supplied answer to the same question. I can quite believe that the connection was inadvertent, but it remains.

      • Andy –

        If you or they made that connection, I could certainly understand why. I thsr case I’m happy to clarify and eliminate any misunderstanding.

        There wasn’t a link in my conceptualization nor certainly my intent.

        I don’t know them. I have no idea to what groups they might or might not belong. I have no idea of the mechanisms behind their conclusions.

        It’s like when I point out to “skeptics” that (1) there is a striking correlation between political ideology and views in climate change and (2) motivated training is a powerful theory… and they tell me they’re a “liberal” or that they are only motivated by a quest for pure science, etc.

        They may be accurately describing themselves (I wouldn’t know) but (1) that doesn’t negate the general pattern and (2) the tendency to generalize to the public from one’s own perception of oneself is highly problematic.

      • J: “I don’t know them. I have no idea to what groups they might or might not belong. I have no idea of the mechanisms behind their conclusions.”

        Exactly.

        “If you or they made that connection, I could certainly understand why. I thsr case I’m happy to clarify and eliminate any misunderstanding.”

        You said it’s inadvertent. That’s enough. There’s none of us don’t make mistakes.

      • Andy –

        Last on this:

        > You said it’s inadvertent. That’s enough.

        Actually, I said more than that. I said it wasn’t even a part of my conceptualization. Words can be misinterpreted. You seem to be assuming it was there in my conceptualization but not intended to be communicated?

        > There’s none of us don’t make mistakes.

        There was no “mistake.” There was a misinterpretation. You misinterpreted my meaning. Maybe I was unclear. Maybe you read into what I said because of what was in your brain. In the end it doesn’t matter.

      • J: I disagree. Read it while imagining yourself in their position. Whatever your conceptualisation, tell me how they couldn’t very easily indeed interpret your supplied answer as applying to them. That’s a mistake, because one’s text should be bounded enough such that misinterpretation is not way likely, but rather an unlikely exception. If you’d made the explicit caveats you’ve made since, for instance, no problem. I believe that you’re acting in good faith, that it’s a mistake; we all make mistakes.

      • Andy –

        Well, the convo has moved a bit so one more response and then that’s it.

        > I believe that you’re acting in good faith, that it’s a mistake; we all make mistakes

        “we all make mistakes” is a useless platitude here, imo.

        It relies on a binary framework for communication but communication is always a process. It involves exploration, interrogation, clarification. Words are by their nature imprecise to some degree. Then we add in the biases of perception coming from both directions. The notion of “mistake” vs. “non-mistake” is a simplistic and counterproductive superimposition of an artificial framework, imo. The overall processes is necessarily organic. In the end, sure, it is my responsibility if someone misinterprets what I write – up to a point. But characterizing it as a “mistake” is, imo, again, falsely binary, and a static characterization of a complex and dynamical interaction.

        You stated your rather binary interpretation of what I said. I interrogated your statement because it didn’t jibe with my perceptions. I explored the nuances You again repeated a rather binary and blaming or adversarial characterization. I again explored the nuance, sought out and offered clarification and nuance. I believe that in the end, a better mutual understanding was achieved because I wasn’t satisfied with your binary and simplistic framing.

        But if you want to stick with that, it’s fine with me.

      • By way of analogy, just so happens I just ran across this:

        > B. Good question. Let me think. I think it’s the way one sees how science makes progress. One way of viewing thinking about it is: We keep testing and rejecting hypotheses. These tests would guide us toward some ultimate truth (or an approximation of it) by accumulating loosely related facts. Another is: We keep updating our view of the world (or phenomena of interest). That is, we make scientific progress by exploring, selecting, comparing, evaluating, updating our models.

        >> When you think in terms of models, you have to acknowledge the underlying assumptions, the variables of interest, the parameters, the constants, the model structure… It’s a complete picture. In a lot of hypothesis-centric literature, you cannot find a single assumption explicitly acknowledged. It’s obscure, underdetermined, underspecified, and not quite theoretically motivated. At least in the part of social science I am familiar with, which may not generalize outside. It seems to focus too much on binary outcomes and doesn’t talk much about how they relate to the phenomena. And doesn’t quite explain what’s going on. That was wordy and not very clear, I’m afraid but I’m not writing a paper so I’ll cut myself some slack 🙂

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2020/11/23/berna-s-boat/

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: It’s an infinite set. So why is it noteworthy?

        The claim about environmentalists is true. It is noteworthy because of the people, like yourself, who want to avoid admitting that it is true.

      • Matthew –

        > The claim about environmentalists is true. It is noteworthy *because of the people, like yourself, who want to avoid admitting that it is true.*

        Lol. Perfect! Thanks for reinforcing my point.

        The fact that I avoided NOTHING notwithstanding, you state that the importance is, in itself, the self-reinforcing mechanism of in-group/out-group identity protective cognition.

      • J: “But if you want to stick with that, it’s fine with me.”

        I will.

  27. This interview highlights that climate scientists daren’t speak out against impulsive government climate action:

  28. “And indeed this post shows that one of those responses, Renewables Deployment (RD) that involves huge money and infra-structure, is driven mainly by a cultural attitude to CC.”

    I don’t think so. What we have in the Renewables Deployment is pure rent-seeking by crony- capitalists. Governments created opportunities by selling licenses which were used as financial resources, changed the normal costings for electrical-generation so that renewables took precedence and loaded all the costs onto the ultimate consumer. Given the chance to make shedloads of money with little risk, the world’s financial industry grabbed it with both hands.

    As for culture, surely the last few months have shown just how easy it is to manipulate peoples beliefs.

    • Billb: “I don’t think so. What we have in the Renewables Deployment is pure rent-seeking by crony- capitalists.”

      But if this was the ultimate cause, there would be no reason why RD would conform to the public cultural attitude in Chart 3. Or indeed also, directly and strongly anti-correlate with national religiosity (a purely cultural phenomena), per Chart F9 in the Excel datafile.

      “As for culture, surely the last few months have shown just how easy it is to manipulate peoples beliefs.”

      While they may share emotive mechanisms, the behaviours associated with a wave of fear are not the same as those of an entrenched culture such as a main religion or indeed catastrophic climate-change culture. Given the very similar actions of governments of all stripes and systems around the world (and very swift initial onset), likely the common factor of fear from their own populations are driving these governments, not the other way around. Polls show in some countries (only seen a few) show big majorities for lockdown / strictness, notwithstanding minority and growing resistance. A poll in the UK recently, even saw a majority who would support mandatory vaccination! Their governments deliberately didn’t ‘make’ them feel this way, albeit along with the media their actions in running with the fear themselves (along with fear of getting slammed if bodies pile up) has amplified the whole problem.

      • Andy … great piece. Don’t you think billb’s point of crony capitalists, which has merit, is better explained as manipulation of cultural attitudes? Same with government? What you’ve identified is easily manipulated as any good holy man, politician or advertising/pr executive knows all too well. Fear sells.

      • Bill F: “Andy … great piece. Don’t you think billb’s point of crony capitalists, which has merit, is better explained as manipulation of cultural attitudes? Same with government? What you’ve identified is easily manipulated as any good holy man, politician or advertising/pr executive knows all too well. Fear sells.

        Thanks. Cultural motivations provide plenty of opportunity for capitalism, whether the crony kind, the standard kind, or in-between. But culture is emergent, not top down. Populations and governments can simultaneously believe in it, and encourage each other so to do. ‘Holy men’ on the whole (no pun intended!) are not manipulating their populations, but also believing. In fact, generally believing more so. There are no doubt some bad apple priests, but largely they are believing, not lying. And therefore they’re not deliberately / consciously manipulating their flock. Neither do we (generally) accuse most priests of lying or manipulating, we look upon them as *well* motivated, even if we think their narrative is nonsense.

        Ultimately, while many mechanisms are involved, including crony capitalism, hundreds of millions of people do not believe in catastrophic climate-change change because they’ve been nefariously manipulated in the interests of crony capitalism. While much material (in schools say), is indeed ideology, it spreads in its own right and does not depend on capitalist motives or anything else (just like religions spread on their own). And actual Renewables Deployment reflects the cultural attitudes of the hundreds of millions across many nations, and also (because of the interaction of the two cultural types), is in proportion to religiosity across nations too. So whatever crony capitalism occurs, is symptom not cause, and so is also proportion to the ultimate motivator of all those people, which is cultural belief.

        Crony capitalism is a very weak force compared to the kind of belief that can sustain a religion over 2 millennia and more. Nor would its effect be robust across all ethnicities, all faith types, very different government systems and regimes, and wildly different economy types and sizes. But per the chart, the cultural dependence of RD *is* robust across all of these.

      • What’s interesting is that my comment was taken to be negative towards holy men, crony capitalists, etc. LOL!!! Which sort of proves the point. I didn’t mean it that way, but certain constructions, particularly in social media have laden meanings. Funny how culture works that way. I agree that there are many kinds, shapes, types of opportunities via cultural motivations.
        Thanks for your reply.

      • Bill F: “What’s interesting is that my comment was taken to be negative towards holy men, crony capitalists, etc.”

        Sorry, you’ve lost me. My comment is not negative at all in terms of holy men. Cultures do what they do, and we are all subject to some forms of cultural belief. And I specifically pointed out that we *don’t* accuse priests of bad things simply because they are spreading culture. The point being it’s correct not to do so because they are neither lying or deliberately manipulating. I have no particular opinion on crony capitalism, but it is not a culture in its own right; it may find opportunity in cultures, whether the climate culture or many others, but I’ve made no judgement call on this activity. Likely, sometimes that is good and sometimes bad. My point was only that crony capitalism is not causal in respect of Renewables Deployment; this would not produce charts like Chart 3 and Chart F9, which are robust across all ethnicities, all faith types, very different government systems and regimes, and indeed wildly different economy types and sizes. Yet a cultural dependence of RD can be robust across all of these. Hence to the extent that its involved, this is secondary. I used ‘nefariously’ above specifically because if it had indeed manipulated hundreds of millions of people across most countries, very deliberately, just to sell windmills and solar panels (rather than merely finding opportunity in such beliefs), then it would cross a line that indeed makes it very negative; but I don’t think it has, or is capable of, any such thing.

      • “I agree that there are many kinds, shapes, types of opportunities via cultural motivations.”

        Indeed!

      • Andy West ” ‘Holy men’ on the whole (no pun intended!) are not manipulating their populations, but also believing.” One should take a good look at history, starting with Constantine the Great.

        In any ‘Team’ there is no such thing as Equality. Most times the team is dominated by one leader and the majority are dumb followers. A good example is the Boardroom table. Only one sits at the head. The next important one usually sits at 8 o’clock. The rest are chosen ‘yes’ men.

      • Mm: Boardrooms, assuming they are operating properly and not corrupted by cultural bias, are very different to emergent cultural entities, such as a main religion. That they have superficial similarities, such as a leadership heirarchy, does not mean they’re supported upon the same mechanisms. There is ‘team spirit’ (hopefully!) in a functioning boardroom, but these simply do not work via the kind of mechanisms that can achieve a billion emotive followers and span two millennia. Nor would the vast majority of priests be on the board. This doesn’t mean there is ‘equality’ in main religions either, yet they sustain themselves via emotive belief, which is therefore not deliberately lying or manipulating, including for the great majority of said priests. That such massive and long-lived entities provide ample opportunity for corruption, from the Borgias to the scandals of modern priests with kids, does not mean this is what sustains the entity; rather, this is parasitical on it, and in the case of some cultures can cause its demise.

      • Andy,
        ‘… yet they sustain themselves via emotive belief, …’ Yes, this is how cultural elites (religious, scientific, political, economic, etc) all maintain themselves in control. And, yes again, that while the particular elites come and go the culture remains.

        ‘But culture is emergent, not top down. Populations and governments can simultaneously believe in it, and encourage each other so to do. ‘Holy men’ on the whole (no pun intended!) are not manipulating their populations, but also believing.’ When you say ‘not top down’ I take you to mean not solely, for culture can emerge from any source, from any direction. And this is understandably where you would like to leave it, as per your excellent presentation.

        Some of us have added in the mechanism of cultural manipulation, which can have profound effect on aspects of culture. Manipulation should not be taken as negative, more a mechanism, which is always in operation. For me, a positive example would be African American jazz (give me some license here), or even all music and all art. Ditto for science. Although I can’t speak for them, maybe billb, Wolf1 and melitamegalithic see elite manipulation as, at times, negative. And they wouldn’t be incorrect.

        You’ve acknowledged that there’s culture and then there’s social structure. It’s just dam hard not to make the jump.

        Thanks for your piece and thoughtful replies.

      • Good thoughts, BillF. In the context of keeping ’emergent’ and ‘at all levels’, I think I agree. I’m maybe wrapped around the axle a bit on ‘manipulation’, because as you note this word tends automatically to have negative interpretation. Whether it’s actually negative or not depends on our moral judgement of the culture, which in turn depends on our own cultural views, so can only have ultimate objectivity from a long distance (in time, say, or with no obvious connections to self). How I’ve generally seen this talked about in some literature is that some people or elites are stronger cultural transmitters, which I think loses some of the negative vibe, and implies that while indeed they’re using conscious strategies to transmit, they are doing this because they are believers / performers in the culture, so not because they’re unbelievers who are cynically co-opting the culture for manipulative gain (which can happen too, but is parasitical / minority). Without careful caveat, ‘manipulation’ can lead as default to the latter interpretation.

      • …and we can of course still see a heavy transmitter of a negative culture as negative, even if their true and blind belief was the genuine motivator of their negative actions / influence. To the worst extent, say, that they could still be prosecuted for war crimes.

      • Absolutely! Elon Musk is a strong transmitter, with whom one could have differing interpretations.

  29. “Global environmental change challenges humanity because of its broad scale, long-lasting, and potentially irreversible consequences. Key to an effective response is to use an appropriate scientific lens to peer through the mist of uncertainty that threatens timely and appropriate decisions surrounding these complex issues. Identifying such corridors of clarity could help understanding critical phenomena or causal pathways sufficiently well to justify taking policy action. To this end, we suggest four principles: Follow the strongest and most direct path between policy decisions on outcomes, focus on finding sufficient evidence for policy purpose, prioritize no-regrets policies by avoiding options with controversial, uncertain, or immeasurable benefits, aim for getting the big picture roughly right rather than focusing on details.” https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biaa115/5936130

    Change in Earth systems is perpetual, commonly extreme and always abrupt. With people in the 21st century pushing at planetary boundaries – the world is in great peril. Part of the solution is agriculture. Carbon sequestration in soils has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement and steel manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

    Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce the health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions. A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology.

    Iriai is a Japanese word meaning to enter into the joint use of resources. There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment. There is a stark choice in which narratives of catastrophe and economic, environmental and social collapse have no place. Which future is for you and your children? Economic collapse, civil strife, war – or prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes?

  30. “We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.” https://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

    “An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible! And that’s what I got at the conference, a bunch of pompous fools, and I got very upset.” Richard Feynman

    I am of course a catastrophist in the sense of Rene Thom.

  31. “Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.” https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement/nationally-determined-contributions-ndcs

    “War Is Peace; Freedom Is Slavery; Ignorance Is Strength.” Classic doublethink – the growth in energy – and energy emissions – is an outcome of Paris country commitments. The developing world is on a coal powered trajectory for decades. The only way around that is cheap and abundant power alternatives. Still somewhere down the track. In the interim?

    “The joint report by World Coal Association and ACE is a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of climate and energy policies, and of sustainable development opportunities that cleaner coal technologies provide to a region that is looking to coal to fuel its growing economy. The joint report was launched in Jakarta on 17 May 2017.” https://aseanenergy.org/aseans-energy-equation/

  32. Robert & Greta aren’t going to be happy with the 🎶song 🎶 at the end of this: Sweden has *net zero* temperature change over last 70 years:

      • The ocean tidal range is increasing in Sweden, just like everywhere else. The push of warmer equatorial waters to higher latitudes leads to increased precipitation, which falls as snow in Scandinavia. This is the basis of the ice age theory due to the tidal forcing hypothesis.

        Thank you for raising that point Robert.

    • “It is shown that, consistent with the presence of polar synchronization, the time series of the most representative abrupt climate events of the last glaciation recorded in Greenland and Antarctica can be transformed into one another by a π/2 phase shift, with Antarctica temperature variations leading Greenland’s. This, plus the fact that remarkable close simulations of the time series are obtained with a model consisting of a few nonlinear differential equations suggest the intriguing possibility that there are simple rules governing the complex behavior of global paleoclimate.” https://www.ajsonline.org/content/312/4/417.short

      There may be simple rules but simple minded rules are a thought bubble too far.

      • Quote “– with Antarctica temperature variations leading Greenland’s”. That has recently been called into question, due to different chronological methods used.
        Wiki here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum shows Vostok leading Gisp2 by near 1100 yrs. Other data, over long periods show both as sync. The other important factor to note is that temp change of both are opposite to Kilimanjaro (equatorial), besides being abrupt. Kilimanjaro is shown in sync but opposite to Vostok.
        If the three temp curves are correlated at the end on the YD at the abrupt change (near 11,500 BP) (which should be the case), then the abrupt changes correlate to the Eddy cycle roots, from the 8k2 event at every step to the LIA.

      • melitamegalithic – thank you for debunking Robert’s bogus claims..

      • Jose Rial would be devastated by Alan’s claims of bogicity. The authors’ concerns were quite on another plane entirely.

        “Synchronization of chaos is a phenomenon that may occur when two, or more, dissipative chaotic systems are coupled.

        Because of the exponential divergence of the nearby trajectories of chaotic systems, having two chaotic systems evolving in synchrony might appear surprising. However, synchronization of coupled or driven chaotic oscillators is a phenomenon well established experimentally and reasonably well-understood theoretically.” Wikipedia

        “As a working hypothesis, polar synchronization brings new insights into the dynamic processes that link Greenland’s Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) abrupt temperature fluctuations to Antarctic temperature variability. It is shown that, consistent with the presence of polar synchronization, the time series of the most representative abrupt climate events of the last glaciation recorded in Greenland and Antarctica can be transformed into one another by a π/2 phase shift, with Antarctica temperature variations leading Greenland’s.”

        And I am sure I can’t discern what leads what from the Holocene Optimum graph in Wikipedia.

        Rial et al 2013 Synchronization of the climate system to eccentricity
        forcing and the 100,000-year problem

        Rial et al 2004 NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM

      • Robert – you’re getting confused with the so-called bipolar seesaw in the glacial data, which the orbital tidal hypothesis predicts due to reversing of the orbital inclination. That’s precisely why the Northern hemisphere is warming more than the Southern hemisphere and why it’s receiving much more snowfall.

        How is CO2 forced global warming going to account for the forecast extreme cold and snow events in the N.hemisphere?

      • Robert – that’s poor. It’s not going to explain the severity of what’s coming. Deep down, you know it won’t.

      • It starts in the ‘polar vortex’.

      • It’s already started in China (!):

      • Re ” – Greenland and Antarctica can be transformed into one another by a π/2 phase shift, –“. This site below discusses the Greenland chronology but the graphs are now missing (I still have a copy of the page). What is evident is the near 1000 yrs delay at the YD between sources. The graphs show a chronological discrepancy at the YD ending.
        Link: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/18/global-versus-greenland-holocene-temperatures/

        My specific interest was to compare both polar to equatorial, and to do that the same chronological datum had to apply to all three. The YD fast temp change was global, and as such a good ‘fixed’ point to align all. The above link provides evidence that the graph used by wiki has the anomalous time datum for Gisp2/Greenland. Once corrected Greenland and Antarctica align precisely at critical points, that from various other sources/proxies, indicated abrupt change.

    • Occam suggests that modest increases in HAT is the result of modest increases in MSL. As you know – there is no evidence of changes in solid Earth tides as a result of exotic matter at the core of the moon and a fatal flaw in Einstein’s general relativity. Every child knows that the moon is made of green cheese.

      • “There is no evidence of changes in solid Earth tides as a result of exotic matter at the core of the moon.” – Robert I. Ellison

        Because it hasn’t been tested for!! It’s not even on the radar of NASA mission planning… it’s only a matter of time because tidal flooding in the US is going to get a lot worse this winter & beyond due to La Niña increased tidal forcing of Grand Solar Minimum.

      • The launch of Sentinel-6, which is going to measure the rise in sea-level in “unprecendented detail”… oops… apart from increasing solid body Earth tides which haven’t been accounted for:

      • I am not sure how he thinks it isn’t accounted for. And he forgot to include in the comment he quoted the mention of his related crowning glory. Debunking general relativity.


        https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/147436/taking-a-measure-of-sea-level-rise-land-motion

      • “I am not sure how he thinks it isn’t accounted for.” – Robert

        The NASA overview you posted doesn’t mention solid body Earth tides. It doesn’t mention that the current theory of gravity is open to debate. It doesn’t mention that there’s a crisis in physics that has been going on for over 40 years..

      • His proudest achievement is debunking general relativity. That I have ridiculed yet again in this thread.

  33. Cull the flock – Pandemic exploits ignorance of religious cult members to restructure leadership.
    Associated Press
    November 22, 2020 at 7:21 a.m. CST
    BELGRADE, Serbia — Thousands of people on Sunday attended the funeral of Serbian Patriarch Irinej who died after contracting the coronavirus, many ignoring preventive measures against the pandemic.

    Many mourners and most priests holding the funeral service in the massive St. Sava Temple in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, didn’t wear masks or adhere to social distancing inside the church, kissing the glass shield covering Irinej’s remains and even using a single spoon during Holy Communion.

    Irinej, 90, died on Friday, three weeks after attending the funeral of another cleric in neighboring Montenegro in which mourners kissed his remains lying in an open casket although he also died from COVID-19 complications.

    • I’d appreciate please if we didn’t divert this post to covid; there’s plenty of covid posts 0:

      • Point taken.
        Have you considered the relevance of the Behavioral Sink syndrome and CCCC?

      • No. But the immediate problem with this, notwithstanding there are always some social troubles in the world and indeed it’s generally 2 steps forward, 1 step back, is that the human world has pretty much never been in better condition (as averaged across the globe and over a decade, say). Lower child mortality, less deaths by war, less general civil violence and death, less illness, less poverty, more wealth, even more happiness, longer life, less poverty, and so on. You can see a lot of this in Max Roser’s data, and it’s all pretty much the opposite of the effects predicted for a Behavioural Sink. Plus… the underlying behaviours associated with CCCC have occurred endlessly throughout history, in some other secular cultures but mostly within religions (of which humanity has experienced about 100,000 apparently). Hence this is not a feature or our particular times, or our population density, or even our particular modes of communication (and the early phase of CCCC predated mass internet / social-media usage anyhow).

  34. “We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.” https://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

    Chaos has been at the heart of climate science since Hurst’s analysis of Nile River data – and Kolmogorov’s observations of turbulence – in the first half of the last century. It was identified as a new paradigm in ‘Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises’ by the NAS in 2002. The paradigm – little understood by denizens – explains the behaviour of geophysical series of persistent states followed by abrupt shifts to a new state space now known as Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics.

    “In addition to the warming from rising CO2 levels, this instability triggers a surface warming of about 8 K globally and 10 K in the subtropics. Once the stratocumulus decks have broken up, they only re-form once CO2 concentrations drop substantially below the level at which the instability first occurred. Climate transitions that arise from this instability may have contributed importantly to hothouse climates and abrupt climate changes in the geological past. Such transitions to a much warmer climate may also occur in the future if CO2 levels continue to rise.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0310-1

    Andy ‘believes’ that science does not support the idea of catastrophic change as we push the planet into new territory in the 21st century. Not remotely true. But tipping points don’t pass the skeptical curmudgeon cognitively dissonant smell test. It can’t possibly be so as then their world view implodes. The mere mention reveals an alarmist and a fellow traveller of Greta who can be pilloried as such by ignorant trolls.

    The thesis here laboriously defines an other who can be dismissed because of their irrational millennialist religiosity. This is a core of skeptical curmudgeon groupthink – that they cannot of course recognize. .

    • “Andy ‘believes’ that science does not support the idea of catastrophic change as we push the planet into new territory in the 21st century.”

      I believe no such thing, as noted in repeated replies to you in the past. Please don’t engage in further gaslighting by expressing such falsehoods again. As noted elsewhere in these comments, I neither support nor oppose any of the 4 main positions of physical climate science (orthodox, skeptic, luke-warmer, catastrophist). The post here presents social data showing that Renewables Deployment across many nations is due to cultural attitudes. These attitudes are not rational and are independent of *any* of the science and its disputes, so including all the 4 camps, whichever of them turns out to be true (or false). If you seriously want to propose that RD is indeed due to support of the catastrophist science position, this would have the unfortunate consequence of demonstrating that this camp must be irrational. Fortunately for your own favoured science, this proposition is false.

      • It is something you have been saying for years – including repeatedly here. That the IPCC and mainstream science do not support the idea of climate catastrophe. Dissimulating now is simply bad faith. And rather than my ‘favorite science’ I’d venture that Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics is the dominant scientific paradigm de jour. As opposed to the fringe categories you now say that you give equal weight to. It better explains the behaviour of climate series – on this usual criteria it is thus better science. And even if one of these other fringe views were correct – the potential for abrupt climate change can only be irrationally dismissed at this time.

        Surprises are inevitable as our undoubtedly nonlinear planet is pushed into new states. “Some of these may take the form of natural hazards, the scale and nature of which are beyond our present comprehension. The sooner we depart from the present strategy, which overstates an ability to both extract useful information from and incrementally improve a class of models that are structurally ill suited to the challenge, the sooner we will be on the way to anticipating surprises, quantifying risks, and addressing the very real challenge that climate change poses for science.” https://www.pnas.org/content/116/49/24390

        Renewables deployment is indeed a response to quite valid fears of climate catastrophe. The rational response is acknowledge risk and devise and communicate pragmatic ways to reduce risk. You are not even at that starting line – preferring to perennially indulge in groupthink pigeonholing of the other as irrational.

        “By the 20th century, scientists had rejected old tales of world catastrophe, and were convinced that global climate could change only gradually over many tens of thousands of years. But in the 1950s, a few scientists found evidence that some changes in the past had taken only a few thousand years. During the 1960s and 1970s other data, supported by new theories and new attitudes about human influences, reduced the time a change might require to hundreds of years. Many doubted that such a rapid shift could have befallen the planet as a whole. The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift radically within a century — perhaps even within a decade. And there seemed to be feedbacks that could make warming self-sustaining. Scientists could not rule out possible “tipping points” for an irreversible and catastrophic climate change if greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise.” https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

      • Robert: “It is something you have been saying for years – including repeatedly here. That the IPCC and mainstream science do not support the idea of climate catastrophe.”

        So indeed what you claimed in the comment above is absolutely *not* what I have said here ever, it is a gross misrepresentation, and hence neither is there any dissemination. You have altered your claim to make it seem so. Please do not engage in such a disingenuous manner. I have always said I do not support or oppose any of the 4 science camps. Per your latest, I have also *never* said that the IPCC ‘does not support the idea’ of catastrophe. This is another misrepresentation. I have said that the *the IPCC* (and incidentally not me per your original claim), no way no how supports a *certainty* of *imminent* global climate catastrophe, because indeed the IPCC AR5 tech papers do not. Which contradicts an irrational *cultural* public narrative that is not sustained upon *any* of these science camps. And indeed in the past you have *agreed* that the IPCC does not support this ‘nonsense narrative’, in your very own words. That they *do* include literature on tipping points and so discuss at least possibilistic if not actually probablisitic scenarios, does not impact the above, and I’ve never said that it does. Neither does the fact that some scientists in the catastrophist camp claim the IPCC is too conservative in respect of such scenarios. In fact I’ve explicitly pointed out all this to you before. So please now take these straightforward comments onboard at last; these are not complex distinctions. And I would greatly appreciate you not misrepresenting me again, on this issue or on anything else. If people cannot trust you to represent here honestly, all of your comments become worthless.

      • …bother, not ‘dissemination’, ‘dissimulation’.

      • “The decisions aren’t even made by those who support mainstream science either, which per the IPCC tech papers likewise does not support the dominant narrative of catastrophe.”

        Andy ‘believes’ that science does not support the idea of catastrophic change as we push the planet into new territory in the 21st century. Not remotely true.

        I interpret words in the way of ordinary English usage. You justify your refusal to live with the plain English interpretation by belatedly adding qualifiers. And ignore the many and well supported related facts. It is a game I am not playing. Your entire thesis is and always has been to laboriously construct a characterization of the groupthink other as irrational. A pointless deadend obsession.

      • “If people cannot trust you to represent here honestly, all of your comments become worthless.” – Andy

        Robert I. Ellison won’t change.

      • Dunning-Kruger doesn’t begin to cover the breathtaking scope of Alan’s debunking of general relativity in which neutron star matter collects at the center of every celestial body. Which is where dark matter is hiding. And which is the source of climate change. Nor is he a skeptical curmudgeonly groupthinker of course. Only weak minded sloppy thinkers like Greta and I am. Careful of the birds you flock with.

      • Christos Vournas

        Robert:

        “Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics is the dominant scientific paradigm de jour.” :)

      • Nice one Christos :)

      • Well it ain’t the lone voices one debunking general relativity and the other discovering a physical constant of planetary spin. Both the actual source of global warming of course. Neither with that sine qua non of science of experimental proof. The world of these skeptic curmudgeons is somewhere beyond eccentricity.

        https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1623/hysj.48.1.3.43481
        https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18373/abrupt-impacts-of-climate-change-anticipating-surprises

      • Robert: the “dominant narrative of catastrophe” in the public domain, as you well know from very many of our exchanges, to be ‘a certainty of imminent catastrophe’, absent dramatic action, exactly as I have always represented.

        Warning to denizens: Robert continues to completely misrepresent me. You can draw your own conclusions about what this may mean for his other comments.

      • We have had one far too long and tedious exchanges focussed far too much on trivialities like this. Surprises are inevitable in our nonlinear world as I argue cogently in well supported comments. If you want to now pretend that you meant imminent catastrophe… But even then – the catastrophe in Earth systems is on us already. Apparent in so much of science that is far too easily dismissed with what amounts to arm waving.

      • Warning to denizens: Robert continues to gaslight and to completely misrepresent me. You can draw your own conclusions about what this may mean for his other comments.

    • Part quote from RIE in the above: “The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift radically within a century — perhaps even within a decade.”

      That statement is a quarter century out of date. Change ‘within a decade’ to ‘possibly overnight’. The Akkadian sources were more precise “at the end of the lunar month, on the darkest night of the month when the moon is invisible”. The only solid evidence there is, -post 2015- is that JF Dodwell insight was correct. This site has inadvertently provided additional critical data. The reality is that ”if” , there is little one can do, but developing resilience is key. Covid has shown that that required resilience presently is a fading mirage.

      • The quote was in a recounting by the American Institute of Physics of historical investigations. Not quite as historical as the Akkadian Empire from some 2,500 BC.

      • The Akkadian empire lived through the events.
        3200bce is a major event. The Akkadian, along with the Sumerian, rose post that and peaked around 2700bce. Collapse post 2345bce, the 4k2BP event. ~3k2bce and ~2k3 are Eddy roots. Eddy peak 2k7bce.
        Next peak is 2100CE.
        History is a good teacher.

      • “Next peak is 2100CE.
        History is a good teacher.” – mm

        I make the start of the next peak ~2400CE based on the orbital 1,470-year millennial cycle of abrupt climate change. The last warm period started around 950CE, pushing warm air up into the polar vortex, which becomes trapped and emits cold snaps hundreds of years later.

        This is when the lunar contribution adds to the 100kyr cycle according to the inclination hypothesis.

    • Andy ‘believes’ that science does not support the idea of immanent catastrophic change as we push the planet into new territory in the 21st century. Not remotely true. But tipping points don’t pass the skeptical curmudgeon cognitively dissonant smell test. It can’t possibly be so as then their world view implodes. The mere mention reveals an alarmist and a fellow traveller of Greta who can be pilloried as such by ignorant trolls.

  35. CCCC is now BBBB (Biden Build Back Better)
    America has selected John Kerry to be our climate czar. Our RD will be massive and our culture ubiquitous. All must offer tithings and kneel to the future our technology creates.

  36. Joe - the non climate scientist

    A few thoughts on Renewables
    A) through the course of human history, tools / machines etc, have become smaller and more powerful. The shift to renewables is just the opposite, bigger footprint, producing less. Is that really progress
    B) Renewables are promoted as being cheaper than fossil fuels, yet Electricity costs increase proportionately to the amount renewables in the system.
    Do the promotors ignore most of the costs to advocated that renewables are cheaper. Did the promotors forget Arithmetic?

  37. A) One thing to like. Renewable energy technology is designed to extract energy directly from the ambient environment. No middle man.
    B) Electric utilities are quasi-regulated monopolies that are guarantied a profit margin.
    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/ohio-puc-chairman-samuel-randazzo-abruptly-resigns-four-days-after-fbi-sear/589494/
    The FBI raided Randazzo’s Columbus home early Monday morning with a sealed search warrant thought to be connected to an ongoing investigation into political corruption and the bailout of two Ohio nuclear power plants.

    • ” Electric utilities are quasi-regulated monopolies that are guarantied a profit margin.”

      They’re guaranteed a profit and society gets a reliable supply of electricity. With nuclear power, society pays a little more and gets a small footprint, low polluting, and low CO2 (a prudent measure) supply of electricity. I think that’s a bargain.

      • Don’t get me wrong Mike, greed and corruption is a feature not a bug in America. It’s so omnipresent some people say it’s cultural attribute. In accounting terms they call it overhead.
        Nuclear would be a hands down winner if there was a carbon tax too.

      • Curious George

        Jack – you are right. Capitalism expects greed and corruption. Socialism does not, that’s why it fails.

      • Mike- I reject your claim that capitalism ‘expects’ greed and corruption.
        Nothing wrong with capitalism but there are some philosophical arguments that you can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet. I suspect capitalism would still work just fine if we reformed patent law and dynastic wealth accumulation shielded by rigged inheritance tax law. I’d like to try that for while and see if it improves the human condition.

    • But if it was energy pragmatic, so to speak, its deployment across many nations would not very strongly correlate with a *cultural* attitude, and indeed (see Chart F9 in the Excel file), national religiosities too!

  38. [Re post on intended thread]

    Nine articles regarding renewables and green policies in Europe
    https://mailchi.mp/2ff1be44966c/europes-green-deal-in-limbo-as-poland-demands-further-cost-analysis-179378

    Europe’s Green Deal in limbo as Poland demands ‘further cost analysis’

    Boris’s green jobs for China

    1) Europe’s Green Deal in limbo as Poland demands ‘further cost analysis’
    EurActiv, 20 November 2020

    2) Europe’s largest employer’s association questions EU climate policy cost modelling
    EurActiv, 23 November 2020

    3) Germany’s climate consensus cracks as costs mount
    Bloomberg, 21 November 2020

    4) Germany plans ‘turbine-free zones’
    EurActiv, 22 November 2020

    5) Boris’s green jobs for China
    The Times, 23 November 2020

    6) From Hyundai to Tesla and BMW, battery fires turn the heat on electric cars
    Reuters, 19 November 2020

    7) Matt Ridley: Ten reasons why Boris’s green agenda is just plain wrong
    The Sunday Telegraph, 22 November 2020

    8) Michael Kelly: Boris’s green industrial revolution is doomed to fail
    The Spectator, 21 November 2020

    9) Neil Collins: This green fantasy will bankrupt us
    Neil Collins XXX, 21 November 2020 ”

  39. This deleted scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind is where we’re headed:

    • All that fuss, and it was only ‘power lines’. Wait for when the rotors are about to go through the roof. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

      Years ago in my early days, in one such incident, it dawned on me why the holy picture holding a burning hearth always had a candle lit in front of it, not a light bulb. I still wonder how reassuring that was. One thing was sure; you could – no read might- still see your colleagues’ wide eyeballs in candle light.

  40. So it was a climate model that tipped China to set 2060 as the date they will be carbon neutral. Or was it??
    https://phys.org/news/2020-11-secret-china-year-carbon-emissions.html
    “The secret drive for China’s 2060 target took shape inside Tsinghua University, where climate scientists had quietly spent more than a year modeling different pathways to reach net zero. Xie Zhenhua, a former environmental bureaucrat and veteran diplomat, oversaw the work from his threadbare office as head of the college’s Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

    “When you first start, it’s just a job,” Xie says. “But after some time, when you see the impact you could bring to the country, the people, and the world, it is no longer just a job. It has become a cause, a higher calling.”

  41. One major sticking point with unreliables is that they do not generate sufficient energy to power the processes required to reproduce themselves, from the mining of the necessary raw materials, transport, manufacture, assembly, life cycle maintenance, and ultimately, disposal – plus there are significant environmental impacts in all parts of the process that are largely ignored from an environmental and cost perspective. Each step of the lifecycle process is energy intensive and the end product is not capable of reproducing itself, let alone, power an industrialized economy. Plus, ridding ourselves of fossil fuels means ridding ourselves of virtually all the components that go into the manufacturing of unreliables.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+making+of+a+wind+turbine&docid=608024853971468318&mid=228995B88D3D26F31FA3228995B88D3D26F31FA3&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

    https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/the-dark-side-of-renewable-electricity

    • Can you tell me exactly how many KWh would be needed to generated to balance out the mining+manufacturing+transportation+installation+recycling costs of a typical 330w solar panel with a lifespan of 30 years?

      I have been running my own experiment for the last 9 years and my (28) 240w panels that have generated a total of 86.37 MWh for a average of 3.08 MWh per panel. Just for reference I have used about 72 MWh of the 86 MWh and the rest was exported back to the grid. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. residential customer uses approximately 909 kWh per month of energy, or around 10,909 kWh per year.

      Didn’t think much of the Heartland article. They mixed all the different types of solar panel chemistry when the actual market is very segmented. Also they ignore the exponential growth of efficiency, improved manufacturing technologies and the rise of international programs to regulate the recycling of renewable energy components.
      See these articles published last month for a better overview of the state of recycling of RE systems.
      https://blog.ucsusa.org/tag/energy-recycling

      • Thanks for the response and reading materials Jack. I don’t have ready answers to your questions, but will see what I can figure out even though you may already know. While I may disagree with you in general re: the real usefulness of unreliables, I respect what you have done with your house and think what you are doing has merit. But I am skeptical that what you are doing would be achievable across all living arrangements, e.g. apartment buildings, other multi-family units, etc. for a variety of reasons. One being that you alone have control over how much energy you yourself use. When applying your model to an industrial application, there are a lot more variables that need to be controlled as well as dealing with peak demand schedules and 24×7 production requirements. I don’t think it takes a Phd in electrical engineering to determine that scaling solar/wind turbine capacity to meet the manufacturing energy requirements along with the additional energy needed to charge sufficient battery backup capacity to keep the manufacturing process moving when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow would be exceedingly expensive.

        As for the articles from the Union of Concerned Scientists – I probably view them in the same light as you view the Heartland Institute, but I will read and bookmark them regardless. As to the overall ability to move to a fossil free world (impossible if for no other reason than the number of products that are petroleum based) see https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/09/30/net-zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions-by-2050-requires-a-new-nuclear-power-plant-every-day/?sh=262ab03935f7

        As to exponential growth in efficiency, according to this article: https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

        “Solar technologies have improved greatly and will continue to become cheaper and more efficient. But the era of 10-fold gains is over. The physics boundary for silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, the Shockley-Queisser Limit, is a maximum conversion of 34% of photons into electrons; the best commercial PV technology today exceeds 26%.

        Likewise for Wind: “Wind power technology has also improved greatly, but here, too, no 10-fold gains are left. The physics boundary for a wind turbine, the Betz Limit, is a maximum capture of 60% of kinetic energy in moving air; commercial turbines today exceed 40%.”

        As to overall costs, there are several reports now on the real life costs imposed by attempting to go green.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/18/excess-costs-of-uk-weather-dependent-renewable-energy-2020/

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/08/the-excess-costs-of-weather-dependent-renewable-power-generation-in-the-eu28-2020/

        https://us-issues.com/2020/08/25/the-excess-costs-of-weather-dependent-renewable-power-generation-in-the-usa/

      • Thanks for your comments.
        I have read about the limits of PV cells re: Shockley-Queisser Limit but the same thing is said about the limits of thermal power conversion re: the Carnot Cycle.
        One thing is common across all types of energy research – they just keep getting better the more we push the technology (and rules are made to be broken). Take that Shockley-Queisser Limit of 34%. Here a new types of solar cell that can almost beat that theoretical 34%.
        From a story in NewAtlas.com earlier this year:
        “The device is what’s known as a six-junction III-V solar cell, meaning it’s made up of six different types of photoactive layer. Each of these is comprised of various III-V materials, named after their positions on the periodic table, which collect energy from different parts of the light spectrum. In total there are around 140 layers, packed into a solar cell that’s thinner than a human hair.

        It’s also worth noting that the record was broken under light focused to be about 143 times stronger than natural sunlight. While the efficiency of this design is obviously going to drop in real-world uses, the team says that the device could be built with a mirror to focus the sunlight onto the cell.

        The team also tested a variation of this cell under light equivalent to one Sun, and it still achieved an efficiency record of 39.2 percent.”

        But I yield to the argument that wind and solar are not 24/7 energy sources until long term storage issues are solved. If I had to guess I would expect the rapid increase in EVs will spur development of micro and nano grids that use bi-directional inverters that will use the car’s battery as virtual power plants (V2G).
        Forbes covered the topic recently:
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercastenson/2020/11/24/virtual-power-plants-and-the-future-ubiquity-of-energy-creation/?sh=387e42191107

        It has been a long standing assumption that when long duration storage drops below $20/KWh(a 10 fold reduction from current prices) the transition will begin. My personal experience tells me I will need at least a 100KWh battery to cover up to 7 days of inclement weather which is slightly larger than the top of the line EVs have now.

  42. Pingback: Cultural motivations for wind and solar renewables deployment |

  43. The results of the election are in. Climate activist politicians who push wind and solar and the dangers of climate change are in the driver’s seat.

    The voters were given a clear choice between climate activism and a more measured slow-go type of approach to climate policy. The voters went with the climate activists, the most prominent example being Pennsylvania. They went for Joe Biden even though he will put an end to fracking in their state.

    But, more importantly as a bellweather indicator for the future of climate activism in America, the voters knowingly chose politicians who would continue and even expand the COVID-19 lockdowns which have destroyed millions of American jobs and which have devastated the economies of a number of states.

    Earlier this week, I posted a comment on WUWT describing what I call the Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan (SSCECP). Earlier versions of this plan have been posted on WUWT and on Climate Etc. This latest version identifies Joe Biden as 2020’s President Elect.

    The plan uses the coercive power of the federal government to create and enforce an artificial shortage of fossil fuels. It directly raises the price of all carbon fuels while directly reducing their future supply and availability, doing so through a process of imposing increasingly severe restrictions on their extraction, import, production, and distribution.

    In COVID-19 terms, the SSCECP can be accurately described as a fossil fuel lockdown lasting as long as thirty years. The stated goal of the plan is to achieve an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2050, using 2005’s emissions as the baseline standard of comparison. It’s the same goal President Obama articulated in 2012. By the year 2050, every American would be consuming roughly half as much energy on a per-capita basis as we do today in the year 2020.

    The Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan is completely legal and constitutional. Under current law, it can be implemented unilaterally by the Executive Branch using its existing environmental protection and national security authorities. Not another word of new legislation is needed from Congress either to enable the plan legally or to fund its operation.

    But the obvious question here is this. Would imposing a highly coercive fast-track carbon reduction plan on the American people — one which demands that every American accept significant personal and economic sacrifice — would such a plan produce enough political blowback to endanger the careers of the professional politicians who created and enforced it?

    The election of a climate activist president, and the success of those politicians who imposed and enforced the COVID-19 lockdowns, strongly suggest that the American public would in fact accept the sacrifices and the hardships which go with reaching an 80% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

    • I just hope they don’t take your advice, but am certain AOC types would. When it all goes bad, they would likely still blame Trump and with the support of the MSM, there would likely be enough people whose ignorance is exceeded only by their arrogance to go along with the charade.

  44. Pingback: Cultural motivations for wind and solar renewables deployment | ajmarciniak

  45. Pingback: Renewables Can’t Save the Planet, So Why Let Wind & Solar Industries Keep Destroying It? – STOP THESE THINGS

  46. Pingback: Renewables Can’t Save the Planet, So Why Let Wind & Solar Industries Keep Destroying It? | ajmarciniak

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