Net Zero or Good Enough?

by Russell Schussler and Roger Caiazza

This good enough plan may get you to net zero before the more ambitious ones.  It is likely to have less carbon emissions than the more aggressive plans over time.  It certainly will be more reliable and affordable.

Electric generation plans need to be well crafted and carefully considered. Because of concerns around  climate change many politicians have become galvanized to hastily enact legislation to target  net-zero anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  The authors argue that the more seriously you take climate change, the more important it becomes that you have a good plan for electric generation in the near and midterm planning arena.  Taking foolish actions in the near to mid-range time periods will not help with CO2 reductions or climate change and may be far worse than doing nothing.  Maybe we all could compromise and find a less grand strategy that has more likely benefits with far fewer threats to reliability, affordability, and overall environmental impacts.

The authors have both been writing about the proposed net-zero transition by 2050 for years.  Schussler (aka the Planning Engineer) has been writing about the challenges of “green energy” since 2014 at the Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. blog.  Caiazza has focused on New York energy and environmental issues at Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York blog since 2017.  Since the original proposal for New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) in 2019, he has written over 280 articles about that plan to transition to net zero by 2050.

Traditional Generation Planning

Utilities used to look at 30-year time periods in developing their generation expansion plans.  This was not because they believed anyone could forecast what might happen 30 years into the future, but rather because of the recognition of the futility of such efforts. Decisions were made about the next ten years or so, but the later years tested the flexibility of the plans.  Because power plants have a long life, many different scenarios were studied in the additional 20 years or so after the plant addition.  Commercial technologies were supported by more dependable cost and performance estimates than what could be obtained for newer technologies, but it was recognized that all parameters could change across any technologies.  Scenarios would vary fuel prices and availability, potential environmental requirements, as well as other varying system requirements. Back then, no one had the hubris to say this is what the system would, or should look like 20 or 30 years from now.  Planners sought to make decisions that would be flexible enough to work well across a variety of future potential scenarios. The hope was for this plan to work with and adapt to the emerging future.

Some jurisdictions have made commitments to completely transform their electric generating systems in less than 30 years.  Rather than intending to be flexible in the mid to long term, these plans are often overly prescriptive. This post addresses the potential consequences and suggests a less risky approach.

New York Climate Act

New York’s Climate Act is a good example of prescriptive net-zero legislation.  Implementation to meet the following inflexible targets has begun:

  • Reduce GHG emissions to 60 percent of 1990 emissions levels by 2030;
  • Zero GHG emissions from electricity production by 2040; and
  • Reduce GHG emissions to less than 15 percent of 1990 emissions levels by 2050, with offsets to reduce net emissions to zero.

New York passed the Climate Act in 2019, effective 1/1/2020.  The legislation established a Climate Action Council to prepare the Scoping Plan that outlines how to “achieve the State’s bold clean energy and climate agenda.”  In brief, that plan is to electrify everything possible and power the electric grid with zero-emissions generating resources by 2040.  The Integration Analysis prepared by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and its consultants quantified the impact of the electrification strategies.  The Final Scoping Plan was completed at the end of 2022.  In 2023 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Legislature are supposed to promulgate the necessary regulations and legislation to fulfill the recommendations in the Scoping Plan.

There are deep flaws in the New York implementation process.  The Scoping Plan is just an outline list of control strategies that NYSERDA claims will reduce emissions as needed and provide reliable electricity.  NYSERDA, New York State Independent System Operator (NYISO), and New York State Reliability Council (NYSRC) have not done a consolidated feasibility analysis that addresses the fundamental question: will it work?  There are significant differences between the Final Scoping Plan and NYISO 2021-2040 System & Resource Outlook.  The following figure from the Resource Outlook summarizes the key findings that are applicable to any net-zero by 2050 initiative.  Our biggest concern is that both resource projections rely on untested technology.  The Resource Outlook notes:

“By 2040, all existing fossil generators are assumed to be retired to achieve the Climate Act target for a zero-emission grid and are replaced by Dispatchable Emission-Free Resources (DEFRs). These resources represent a proxy technology that will meet the flexibility and emissions-free energy needs of the future system but are not yet mature technologies that are commercially available (some examples include hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and small modular nuclear reactors).”

Screen Shot 2023-02-09 at 6.33.20 PM

What are the characteristics of Good Plans versus Bad Plans?

In this section we consider the characteristic and provide commentary in italics relative to the New York Scoping Plan.

Bad plans assume that critical elements of the future are all known.  Bad plans are narrowly constructed to a specified future. They risk not allowing the flexibility to adapt when things turn out differently than planned.  Good plans look at their impacts or current decisions across a wide variety of potential futures.  Good plans provide flexibility and nimbleness for when future conditions change. 

The NY Climate Act electrifies as much as possible to decarbonize and presumes all the elements necessary to accomplish the transition are known.  The critical element of future expected load must be well known to determine generation resource requirements.  Future net-zero load is a function of increased electricity for heating, cooking, water, and electric vehicles at the same time there is increased emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation.  Projections in this instance are anything but well known.

Good plans understand that the power supply system and power grid are very complicated systems requiring careful design, construction, and operation.  Great consideration is given to the architecture of the system and how it will work.  A poor plan leaves the power system and grid as an unplanned afterthought.  It specifies some goals and ingredients but ignores the greater system.

The basis of the Climate Act electric grid transition plan is the wind, water, and solar (WWS) approach championed by Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson.  The approach had outsized influence on the members of the Climate Action Council but there are issues with this work.  Advocates of this particular transition approach have overstated its findings, it does not put appropriate emphasis on the high load and low renewable resource problem, and understates the challenges of a quick transition to a zero-emissions electrical grid.

Bad plans are one-size fits all.  They employ a presumption of what is best and fail to take in the particular specific considerations that can vary across time and place.  Good plans recognize that what works in one area, may be less appropriate in another. Good plans seek to capitalize on differing advantages wherever and whenever they may occur.

The New York electrical grid is pretty much two different grids.  There is a traditional grid Upstate but there are unique problems in New York City.  Experience has shown that sufficient in-city generation must be available to account for the loss of a transmission line into the New York City load pocket or blackouts can occur.  The Scoping Plan does not adequately address these differences in their on-size fits all plan.

Good generation plans recognize how people prefer to use electricity.  If behavior needs to be changed, they are sensitive to the capabilities and limits of incentives.  Depending on the generation mix the value of electricity will likely vary considerably across hours, days, months, and seasons.  Good plans will seek to provide value.  Bad plans tend not to differentiate between when and how energy might be supplied.  Plans crafted based on just average use and average costs will likely not have good results.  Traditionally generation planning recognized baseload, intermediate and peaking needs. While many seem to forget these distinctions when comparing alternatives, their importance has not diminished. 

The New York plan presumes that net-zero transition to net-zero required changes to personal energy choice preferences will be universally accepted.  The behavioral changes required by the Scoping Plan are massive (e.g., type of vehicles, heating your home, and cooking your food). Furthermore, there may be limits on the timing of electric usage.  Modeling assumptions on the effects of these changes to personal habits are important for planning but also very uncertain if people do not make the changes expected.   It is highly unlikely that load shifting and energy conservation will prevent a markedly higher electric load peak in winter mornings.  The Scoping Plan compounds these issues because it does not adequately address the baseload, intermediate and peaking requirements naively arguing that “smart” planning will mitigate issues associated with them.

Good plans look at major environmental impacts across the production and lifetime of a resource.  Bad plans tend to look only at marginal impacts when the facilities are operating.  Tremendous resources and costs are incurred just getting a generating resource in place. Generally, the longer that resource can operate, the better its average environmental impact might be.  Good plans should consider the realistic lifetime of potential resource.  Many “green” resources projected to last 30 years fall far shy of 20 years.  Conventional resources typically are capable of lasting many years beyond the thirty-year study life. 

The Climate Act takes this concern to a higher level.  Many life-cycle environmental impacts of fossil generating resources are considered.  None of the life-cycle environmental impacts of wind, solar, and  energy storage are considered.  The Integration Analysis assumes that all wind, solar, and energy storage resources keep operating from the present until 2050.  Furthermore, the Climate Action Council has tried to appease climate justice advocates who fervently believe that the risks of fossil-fired generating resources are so great that existing resources must be shut down as soon as possible.  Their concern is at odds with consideration of environmental impacts across the production and lifetime of all resources.

Good plans rely on proven technology that can fulfill the specific requirements.  For example, providing power for periods of peak load is required for reliable power when it is needed most.  Peak loads are typically associated with the hottest and coldest periods of the year when electricity is used for cooling and heating.  Typically, those periods occur less than 5% of the time so a technology should be as low cost as possible to keep the price of electricity down during peak loads.  A good plan would make the sensible decision to keep an old fossil fired plant around to help the system meet peak loads.  Fossil-fired steam boiler electric generating units are a proven technology that can be used to meet this need.

For many years New York City peak load requirements were met with simple-cycle gas turbines installed in the early 1970’s.  However, those units were old, inefficient, and had unacceptably high emission rates so, after a multi-year process of reliability planning the State has instituted a regulation to phase them out.  After the regulation was promulgated the Environmental Justice (EJ) community glommed on to the issue of peaking power plants: “Fossil peaker plants in New York City are perhaps the most egregious energy-related example of what environmental injustice means today”.  Even though the poorly controlled peaking turbines are being phased out, the issue remains a point of contention.  Now the EJ organizations are demanding that all fossil-fired power plants in New York City be shut down including the remaining steam boilers even though they meet all emission limits and do not contribute to the alleged health benefits in disadvantaged communities near the facilities.  The proposed solution to use renewable energy and energy storage replaces proven technology with one that has not been proven on the scale necessary to keep the lights on in New York City.

Bad plans presume that a new technology can fulfill specific needs.  A necessary component of any future system is dependable emergency capacity.  For example, a system might need emergency capacity once every five years due to extreme weather either causing very high loads, an unexpected long-term outage of existing resources, or because of an extended drought of wind and solar resources.  A bad plan proposes a new technology for this emergency requirement. In order to provide capacity in a zero-emissions electric system a new category of generating resources called Dispatchable Emissions-Free Resources (DEFR) has been suggested to keep the lights on during periods of extended low wind and solar resource availability.

In Wyoming, PacifiCorp’s 2021 integrated resource plan (IRP) includes a resource labelled as “non-emitting peaker plants” that is unexplained but appears to be the same as DEFR. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)  2021-2040 System Resource Outlook states:

“DEFRs that provide sustained on-demand power and system stability will be essential to meeting policy objectives while maintaining a reliable electric grid. While essential to the grid of the future, such DEFR technologies are not commercially viable today. DEFRs will require committed public and private investment in research and development efforts to identify the most efficient and cost-effective technologies with a view towards the development and eventual adoption of commercially viable resources. The development and construction lead times necessary for these technologies may extend beyond policy target dates.”

In both instances, no specific technology has been specified.  The New York Scoping Plan DEFR placeholder is producing and storing “green” hydrogen for use when needed.

This is the fatal flaw of the New York Scoping Plan.  The NYISO 2021-2040 System & Resource Outlook states that “To achieve an emission-free grid, Dispatchable Emission-Free Resources (DEFRs) must be developed and deployed”.  This magical resource does not exist!  The Scoping Plan uses “Green” hydrogen as a placeholder for the technology and predicts that it will be used on average around 3% of the time.   The fantasy of the Scoping Plan is that developing the infrastructure to produce hydrogen, store it, and then produce electricity in hydrogen fuel cells can provide affordable and reliable energy to keep the lights on.  The costs will be astronomical for a resource used so little presuming that the technological issues can be overcome.

What are the ingredients of a compromise plan?

As mentioned above, good plans recognize how people prefer to use electricity.  Electricity usage across a region rarely drops to zero, but at times demand peaks for limited periods of time.  It may make sense to build high fixed cost, low variable cost resources (Nuclear, Coal and Combined Cycle) to meet the baseload needs of system.  If the plant can run all the time with low variable cost, the higher investment cost can be justified.  It does not make sense to put in such facilities to serve load levels that only occur rarely. For this component of the load it makes more sense to put in low cost infrastructure that might have higher marginal costs.  Between these two conditions there are loads levels that may be present for a few hours a day.  To meet these loads, it is usually better to put in plants with moderate costs and moderate marginal costs.  This is the thinking behind traditional utility planning which looked at peaking, intermediate and baseload needs in terms of generation fitted for those specific characteristics. There is one other type of generation: intermittent.  Intermittent typically was low-cost generation that although it could not be counted on, it could be used to back off generation using higher priced fuels.  In looking at the ingredients below it will helpful to consider where they may be most appropriate.

Wind, Solar and Batteries can work to displace fossil fuel generation.  With backup from batteries, the energy provided can be made to have more value.  Unexpected and innovative changes in the capabilities of batteries could be a game changer, but it is too soon to count on timing in this arena.  The narrative that these “zero-emissions” resources have zero downsides is false.  The construction of wind and solar takes a lot of resources; their construction has a lot of environmental consequences; and fabrication uses a lot of energy that will be difficult to displace away from fossil fuels (making steel for example).

Nuclear power works well to meet baseload needs.  It also supports the transmission system by providing needed electrical characteristics commonly called Essential Reliability Services.   Nuclear plants can be planned and operated to provide some ramping and load following capabilities.  Nuclear offers the best opportunity to reduce dependence upon fossil fuels for electric generation because it is the only proven technology with no emissions that can be scaled up in the immediate future.

Hydro expansion is very unlikely.  Environmental considerations make it unlikely that additional locations for hydro generation could be developed.  Similarly, there are limited opportunities for additional pumped storage, but there may be some areas where such might be pursued.  Finally, geothermal plants when feasible are a good resource, but opportunities for exploiting this resource are limited.

Natural Gas combustion turbines and combined cycle are best suited to fill in the gaps when reliable and functional generation additions are needed. As more environmentally desirable units become capable of doing the job, eventually new construction should be halted and  existing units phased out as they age.  Keep in mind the US through fracking reduced CO2 more effectively than Germany did with their massive expenditures on “clean” resources.

Existing resources such as coal- and oil-fired boilers should not be ignored for future plans.  It is extremely unlikely that new plants burning those fuels will be built in the US in the foreseeable future.  Clean coal was on the table a few years back, but highly visible failures coupled with environmental concerns have closed this door for a while.  The cost differential between oil and natural gas as well as the efficiency relative to a combined cycle combustion turbine precludes construction of oil-fired boilers.  However, the existing fleet of these plants could be kept around for limited peaking power needs, emergency power, and long-term temporary system needs.

Other potential ingredients for a future plan include technologies currently on the drawing board.  Examples include tidal energy, biofuels, fusion, big HVDC ties and so on.  These new technologies will have to prove themselves before they are employed as anchoring technologies in good plans.  Most new technologies will not prove themselves in the next 10 to 20 years if history is a guide.  But some might.  While we can’t dependably plan on unproven technology, we must be ready to jump on anything valuable that works.  Such technology will likely be available and workable in niche applications many years before they can be deployed more broadly in long term plans.

Smart Grids have also been touted as a component of future electric systems.  This is a favorite approach of visionary academics, to concerns about observed and emerging grid problems.  In the New York net-zero transition planning process, many issues were dismissed with a call for “Smart Grids” as if that would magically solve everything.  Modern grids are “smart” but as  with any “smart” technology there are all kinds of applications that could be adopted, so of course it is not a panacea for future grid plans.

Energy Efficiency is another favorite future grid resource for the naïve.  When concerns about peak loads and the necessary infrastructure are raised, the response is to double down on energy efficiency and energy conservation programs to flatten the peak loads.  Of course, if the goal is to decarbonize by electrifying everything, then the load will have to increase to cover building heating, cooking, and hot water.  Add in battery electric vehicles and this approach can only hope to reduce the peak but it will never eliminate the need for a peaking power generation resource.

A Good Enough Plan

Assuming the plan is a compromise between net zero and a working power system, the biggest step would be to commit to getting as much nuclear power as possible into the mix as soon as possible.  This best supports the grid and reduces CO2.  We need to figure out how to get plants built more efficiently and quickly. Adding nuclear must be the centerpiece and driver for meeting emerging generation needs.  Under reasonable regulations, it is the only zero-emissions technology that can be scaled up and provide reliable and dispatchable power.

The continued massive ramp up of wind and solar does not make sense currently.  There are major reliability concerns which would emerge with the introduction of high level of intermittent asynchronous wind and solar power.  Such programs distract from the needed focus upon nuclear programs.  As technology improves and better resource choice emerges, large scale existing wind and solar that requires some sort of dispatchable emissions-free resource are likely to become dinosaurs.

At this time, it appears that plans for the addition of fossil-fired plants would center around the gaps where new nuclear power cannot be made available or meeting peak demand levels not met by current resource plans.  Natural gas plants will be a good compromise.  Lower cost combustion turbines will have long term value to aid with ramping, meeting peaking needs and providing emergency power.  Higher cost and more efficient combined cycle plants will make sense the longer the delay for nuclear development.  They can serve variable load levels that occur regularly but vary considerably day to day.

The potential for additional hydro is low, but any ability to effectively exploit remaining opportunities should be considered.  Additionally, some areas may offer the potential for the addition of  pumped storage hydro or geothermal power  Hopefully battery technology will improve and its ability to support energy needs and the grid can be expanded and amplified.

The authors have recognized for years that the economics, even without all the environmental and regulatory considerations, will not support building a new steam boiler plant in the US.  Gas is just too cheap in the US compared to coal or oil.  New coal is a non-starter given the need for elaborate and expensive pollution controls.  However, this does not mean it makes sense to retire functioning coal, gas, and oil plants. In many cases they will be the best emergency back resource available across the board when considering economics, environmental impact, and reliability.

There is another economics aspect of our ‘good enough’ plan that needs to be stressed.  The plan does not require the development and deployment of the magical dispatchable emissions-free resource that is a necessary component in a electric system that relies on wind, solar, and energy storage.  Eliminating the cost of a brand-new resource to fulfill a very limited role will make this approach cheaper than any net-zero alternative.

There is a segment of society that is invested in the need to do “something” about climate change by mitigating emissions.  A good enough plan would support R&D on clean technologies for future generation, energy storage, and transmission system support.  Currently, these clean technologies are simply not ready to provide reliable and affordable energy.  The developing world will not use zero-emission technologies until they can provide electricity cheaper than existing resources so this R&D is necessary for a global solution.   In addition, if the full life-cycle impacts of those technologies are considered, then they are not nearly as “clean” as commonly portrayed.


The proposed ‘good enough’ plan provides direction but is not overly constraining. It’s hard to know the future, but it’s a safe bet that any plan will not anticipate some critical twists that will emerge down the road. This plan would lay a strong foundation.   A major shift to the nuclear plants that are the obvious best choice for baseload power, supplemented with natural gas units, and retention of on the ground facilities should be the framework of a good enough plan.  Good enough plans are also flexible so integration of newer technologies when and as warranted is a reasonable attainable path without major downsides. This good enough plan may get you to net zero before the more ambitious ones.  It is likely to have less carbon emissions than the more aggressive plans over time.  It certainly will be more reliable and affordable.

110 responses to “Net Zero or Good Enough?

  1. Good comprehensive recommendations for a sensible plan. Unless I missed it, CCUS is missing? The technology is proven what is lacking is scaling to bring down costs.

  2. Great content but lousy title for your plan. Instead of “a good enough plan”, how about “a plan that will work.”

    • aplanningengineer

      I didn’t think of it, so I can say I think it’s good title. There are many differences in folks expectation as to what an “ideal plan” is. Many don’t have a clue as to “plans that may work”. Thinking in terms of Venn Diagrams the intersection of “Ideal Plans” and “Plans that work” may be the empty set. Hopefully the “Good Enough Plan” could arrive at the thin intersection of
      “plans that work” and “plans that possibly could possibly gain concensus”.

  3. Great idea to ramp up nuclear power. Its a win-win deal. Zero carbon emissions and we can use the uranium for more weapons. The old START treaty lapsed last year and all the joint weapons inspections have stopped. “Trust but Verify” is already dead.

  4. I like this plan but do question the political risk of trying to go ahead. I doubt politicians in the US will have the courage and long term vision to propose and fund large additional nuclear capacity no matter how much sense it makes.

    • Certainly the Biden administration, one of the most corrupt and ideological in American history will never support this. My prediction is that it will bumble and stumble and mumble disjointed semi-sentences and do what Obama tried to do with wind and solar. These investments were failures of course, but they are good virtue signaling devices and show that the woke “care” (about lining their own pockets).

      It is critical to realize that Biden is a confused and weak old man incapable of doing more than repeating in broken English what his advisors tell him. Even in his prime, Biden was a corrupt double digit IQ politician with a history of supporting segregation and being mentored by a former Kleagle of the KKK.

    • Politicians will “get the courage” when voters start firing up the torches and mustering the pitchforks. They will do anything to keep their cushy power trip, even to the point of throwing the “greens” to the dogs.

  5. Great proposal, but I agree with George Sharpe that the title needs to be modified to give it a stronger PR punch. Also, if fast nuclear reactors could part or all of the nuclear component we could utilize the “spent” fuel currently being stored. While “spent” for use in slow nuclear reactors, about 90% of the potential is still available to power fast reactors. Once completely used in fast reactors the volume is reduced to about 1.5% of the original volume and the half-life to just a few hundred years. This solves two problems at once and negates the need to mine more uranium.

    • From a technical, economic, and operational standpoint, fast reactors are vastly more trouble than they are worth. Realistically, there is zero chance of deploying such reactors in New York State.

  6. From a pragmatic standpoint, it probably does not matter what New York intends by way of their Climate Act.
    The state is well on it’s way to economic oblivion and irrelevancy as a direct result of New York politicians running out of other peoples money.
    While absentee rich foreigners may own glamorous New York City high-rise apartments, the bulk of the state’s working middle-class will have fled, leaving the poor, illegal immigrants, and indigent unable to escape the crime infested hellhole of New York City. The politicians will not be able to use the largely empty rest of the state to bankroll increasing their own personal wealth.
    Under the above scenario, importing electrical energy from Canada using existing transmission lines will likely work just fine because demand will be relatively inconsequential. No need to make irrelevant and out-of-touch-with-reality plans.

    • The current trajectory of NYC will produce blackouts at some point, and these will not be easily soluble. That’s when the feces hit the fan because the network ninnies will be inconvenienced.

  7. Why “net zero” when “half CO2” would be good enough?
    The new paper “Global Carbon Budget 2022”
    shows in Figure 3 that half of the emitted CO2 is absorbed by the Land Sink and the Ocean Sink. If this is correct, it would be sufficient to halve the current amount of global emissions to stop climate change.

    • Wolfgang:

      The purpose of Net Zero is to restrict the amount of anthropogenic CO2 emissions into our atmosphere in order to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5-2.0 deg. C above pre-industrial levels.

      Here is the abstract from a recent paper of mine:

      “Historically, warm eras such as the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, and the Medieval Warm Period were all eras where there was very little volcanic activity, with the result that their atmospheres were normally free of dimming volcanic SO2 aerosol emissions. This allowed world-wide temperatures to rise 2 t0 4 degrees C. above current temperatures, causing droughts, famines, and the demise of earlier cultures around the world.

      Current Net-Zero activities banning the burning of fossil fuels and their SO2 aerosol emissions will have the unintended consequence of causing temperatures to rise to those of the earlier eras.”

      Unless halted, Net Zero will be a catastrophe of our own making!

  8. Pingback: Net Zero or Good Enough? - Climate-

  9. thecliffclavenoffinance

    The Planning Engineer is the best writer on this website and Roger is the authority for New York State Nut Zero, I did recommend this article among 24 other recommendations this morning at my climate science and energy blog:

    But I sure wish every Nut Zero article would say Nut Zero is not needed and every windmill and solar panel added to a grid is “overbuilding”. There is no climate crisis now, or coming, and therefore no need for Nut Zero The electric grids were not broken and do not need to be “fixed”.

    Nut Zero is a total waste of money. Nuclear power plants to replace coal power plants after their useful life makes sense. France figured that out in the 1970s. But that is grid engineering common sense, not Nut Zero claptrap

  10. Recently I’ve been studying the CA blackouts of 8/14-15/20. It is truly amazing to me that the lessons to be learned from that incident (and those since) haven’t dented the consciousness of even the densest “green.” Sadly, the reports to the Governor from CAISO, CPUC and CEC were couched in politically correct language.
    The blackouts are perfect examples of what happens when Mother Nature choosing to act in a way that brings the “high load and low renewable resource problem” front and center meets getting rid of conventional resources.

    • Those CA blackout were a glimpse into the future. What is the battle cry of progress? ‘Never let a crisis go to waste!’.

      “Tesla Powerwall owners made up to $500 in the first year of the virtual power plant
      “This new version of the Virtual Power Plant actually compensates Powerwall owners $2 per kWh that they contribute to the grid during emergency load reduction events. Homeowners are expected to get between $10 and $60 per event.”

      There Texas grid has just started their VPP program with support of the PUC and ERCOT.

    • joe - the non climate scientist

      Same issue with the Texas / Ercot freeze of Feb 2021.

      There is no question that the gas fueled electric generation plants failed during that freeze losing approx 40% of production during those 2 days.

      At the same time, the wind / solar electric generation dropped 90% for 2 days and 60-70% for another 7 days. The greens response is that we know that renewables performed as expected since weather forecasts showed that there would be little or no wind during those 9 days. Thus wind and solar did not fail!

      Further since wind and solar did not fail, therefore the solution is to build more wind and solar that wont fail during the next freeze when there is no wind and sun.

      • If the plants had been properly designed for really cold weather, it would not have been a problem. Most likely reasons lie with Owners unwilling to spend the money and designers unfamiliar with impact of really cold and windy weather. The needed cost is relatively minor. – basically more insulation, heat tracing piping, and protective enclosures to minimize the impact of cold winds which are a key cause of the problems

        Wind turbines blades ice up and and the equipment in the nacelles must be heated. Solar does not work in snow storms and cloudy conditions. Incoming solar energy in winter is also small.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Mike the problem with the wind turbines during the Texas Freeze was the near complete lack of wind. Approx 5% of the turbines froze, approx 5% of the turbines near the gulf coast had production and the other 80-90% had no wind. The lack of wind was a problem accross the entire north american continent. The southwest region of the US had no wind for nearly 9 days including Texas , while the rest of the north american continent had no wind for approx 4 days.

        JC made a comment several months ago that these Polar vortex’s have complete wind doldrums usually lasting 3-4 days. (my apologies if I am mischaracterizing the typical weather event JC described a few months ago).

        Another point mentioned on other blogs is that during the winter north of 46-47th parallel, there is very little wind from 4am till 9am during a typical winter day. Solar doesnt produce any electricity until approx 10-11am during the winter and then for only 4-5 hours. There simply isnt enough power that can be generated without building out 15-20x the average power needs or having 8hours of backup , but then you dont have any spare power to recharge the battery backup.

      • Mike,
        Joe is right about gas distribution networks. I would add that most of those lost pumps and valves were because those operators didn’t file a ‘critical infrastructure’ form as require by the Texas Railroad Commission. When ERCOT started shedding load they had no idea they were actually making the situation worse because they didn’t have the info to know which power lines to keep energized to keep the field equipment running. I think ERCOT could have avoided the worst effects of the crisis if they had used their 99% deployment of smartmeters to do rolling 4 hr. meter by meter disconnects. Could have saved a lot of lives and freeze damage. I hope they learned the right lessons from this tragedy.

  11. I would hate to be a manufacturer in NY or a NY economic development admin trying to convince a manufacturer to come into the state. If India, China and the Asian tigers are using fossil fuel power generation we can’t raise the price of electricity without triggering economic problems that will go far beyond just the price of electricity itself. There needs to be built in flexibilities that consider global uncertainty.

  12. Natural emissions of CO2 from warm oceans are at least 20 times greater than from burning fossil fuels and these emission rates have been increasing as the tropical oceans have been warming since the little ice age. The IPCC correctly assumes there is no accumulation of natural emissions beyond a year because cold rain and cold polar waters absorb it out of the atmosphere. These sinks do not just absorb natural emissions and leave anthro emissions to accumulate in the atmosphere. Even if we could stop burning fossil fuels completely, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 would continue to rise with the rise in temperature of tropical SSTs.

  13. The entire Net Zero meme is a delusional solution to a non- existent problem . A natural Millennial Solar Activity peak was reached in 1991/2 and because of the thermal inertia of the Oceans the correlative global temperaure peak was at 2003/4.. Earth will be in a cooling trend until 2700 +/- .See Figs 1,2,and 3 at

    This is not a difficult concept but the the IPCC and UNFCCC post modern science establishment’s “Consensus” scientists and Judith seem unable to grasp the idea.In addition there is too little CO2 in the atmosphere to make any measurable difference to global temperature . Here are some quotes from the above link.:

    “The IPCC and UNFCCC post modern science establishment’s “consensus” is that a modelled future increase in CO2 levels is the main threat to human civilization. This is an egregious error of scientific judgement. A Millennial Solar ” Activity” Peak in 1991 correlates with the Millennial Temperature Peak at 2003/4 with a 12/13 year delay because of the thermal inertia of the oceans. Earth has now entered a general cooling trend which will last for the next 700+/- years.
    Because of the areal distribution and variability in the energy density of energy resources and the varying per capita use of energy in different countries, international power relationships have been transformed. The global free trade system and global supply chains have been disrupted.

    Additionally, the worlds richest and most easily accessible key mineral deposits were mined first and the lower quality resources which remain in the 21st century are distributed without regard to national boundaries and demand. As population grows,inflation inevitably skyrockets. War between states and violent conflicts between tribes and religious groups within states are multiplying.

    2 The Millennial Temperature Cycle Peak.
    Latest Data (1)

    Global Temp Data 2003/12 Anomaly +0.26 : 2023/01 Anomaly -0.04 Net cooling for 19 years

    NH Temp Data 2004/01 Anomaly +0.37 : 2023/01 Anomaly +0.05 Net cooling for 19 years

    SH Temp Data 2003/11 Anomaly +0.21: 2023/01 Anomaly -0.14 Net cooling for 19 years

    Tropics Temp Data 2004/01 Anomaly +0.22 : 2023/01 Anomaly – 0.38 Net cooling for 19 years.

    USA 48 Temp Data 2004/03 Anomaly +1.32 : 2023/01 Anomaly + 0.12 Net cooling for 19 years.

    Arctic Temp Data 2003/10 Anomaly +0.93 : 2023/01 Anomaly – 0.72 Net cooling for 19 years

    Australia Temp Data 2004/02 Anomaly +0.80 : 2023/01 Anomaly – 0.50 Net cooling for 19 years

    Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between the phases of natural cyclic processes of varying wavelengths and amplitudes. At all scales, including the scale of the solar planetary system, sub-sets of oscillating systems develop synchronous behaviors which then produce changing patterns of periodicities in time and space in the emergent temperature data. The periodicities pertinent to current estimates of future global temperature change fall into two main categories:

    a) The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity, obliquity and precession cycles. These control the glacial and interglacial periodicities and the amplitudes of the corresponding global temperature cycles.
    b) Solar activity cycles with multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.

    The most prominent solar activity and temperature cycles are : Schwab-11+/-years ; Hale-22 +/-years ; 3 x the Jupiter/Saturn lap cycle 60 years +/- :; Gleissberg 88+/- ; de Vries – 210 years+/-; Millennial- 960-1020 +/-. (2)

    The Oulu Galactic Ray Count is used in this paper as the “solar activity ” proxy which integrates changes in Solar Magnetic field strength, Total Solar Insolation , Extreme Ultra Violet radiation, Interplanetary Magnetic Field strength, Solar Wind density and velocity, Coronal Mass Ejections, proton events, ozone levels and the geomagnetic Bz sign. Changes in the GCR neutron count proxy source causes concomitant modulations in cloud cover and thus albedo. (Iris effect)
    Eschenbach 2010 (3) introduced “The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis – how Clouds and Thunderstorms Control the Earth’s Temperature”.
    Eschenbach 2020(4) in uses empirical data from the inter- tropical buoy system to provide a description of this system of self-organized criticality. Energy flow from the sun into and then out of the ocean- water interface in the Intertropical Convergence Zone results in a convective water vapor buoyancy effect and a large increase in OLR This begins when ocean temperatures surpass the locally critical sea surface temperature to produce Rayleigh – Bernard convective heat transfer.
    Short term deviations from the solar activity and temperature cycles are driven by ENSO events and volcanic activity……………

    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is .058% by weight. That is one 1,720th of the whole. It is inconceivable thermodynamically that such a tiny tail could wag so big a dog. (13)
    Stallinga 2020 (14) concludes: ” The atmosphere is close to thermodynamic equilibrium and based on that we……… find that the alleged greenhouse effect cannot explain the empirical data—orders of magnitude are missing. ……Henry’s Law—outgassing of oceans—easily can explain all observed phenomena.” CO2 levels follow temperature changes. CO2 is the dependent variable and there is no calculable consistent relationship between the two. The uncertainties and wide range of out-comes of model calculations of climate radiative forcing (RF) arise from the improbable basic assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is the major controller of global temperatures.
    Miskolczi 2014 (15) in “The greenhouse effect and the Infrared Radiative Structure of the Earth’s Atmosphere “says “The stability and natural fluctuations of the global average surface temperature of the heterogeneous system are ultimately determined by the phase changes of water.”
    Also See AleksandrZhitomirskiy2022 Absorption of heat and the greenhouse gas effect. (16) which says:
    “The molar heat capacities of the main greenhouse and non-greenhouse gases are of the same order of magnitude. Given the low concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, their contribution to temperature change is below the measurement error. It seems that the role of various gases in the absorption of heat by the atmosphere is determined not by the ability of the gas to absorb infrared radiation, but by its heat capacity and concentration. ”

    Zaichun Zhul et al 2016 (17) in Greening of the Earth and its drivers report “a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated Leaf Area Index (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area from 1982 – 2009. ………. C02 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend.”
    Policies which limit CO2 emissions or even worse sequester CO2 in quixotic CCS green-washing schemes would decrease agricultural food production and are antithetical to the goals of feeding the increasing population and bringing people out of poverty.”

  14. There is a scientific consensus on the matter.
    It claims that glaciers grow during the colder periods and retreat during the warmer periods.

    Do you agree, or do you disagree with the scientific consensus which claims that glaciers grow during the colder periods and retreat during the warmer periods?


  15. Pingback: Net Zero or Good Enough? | Watts Up With That?

  16. Pingback: Net Zero or Good Enough? - Lead Right News

  17. Pingback: Net Zero or Good Enough? - USA weather forecast

  18. Pingback: Net Zero or Good Enough? - News7g

  19. Jeeze,the very thought that any part of the Gubermint of New York State could “plan” anything more complicated than an escape from a wet paper grocery bag (Google Paper Grocery Bag) is hilarious,,,,

    This State (I’m a resident for a few more years) did not even muster enough brain power to equip their Emergency Responders around Buffalo New York with a few dozen snowmobiles on standby to be able to transport anything during a blizzard….

    Back in the “Blizzard of 77” my relatives used their personal snowmobiles to “get er done”…..

    The State of NY had to bring in “State Troopers” with their personal snowmobiles to be at all effective… Days after the latest storm hit…

    The thought that anyone associated with the Gubermint of New York State can control the temperature in New York State 50 years from now is enough to cause side splitting spasms of laughter….

    I am currently receiving “gentle reminders” every month from my electricity supplier” asking me to “PLEASE USE LESS ELECTRICITY” and at the same time the NY State Gubermint” is telling me to “ONLY USE ELECTRICITY FOR YOU ENERGY NEEDS”…

    Stupid is as Gubermint does…..

  20. ‘Keep in mind the US through fracking reduced CO2 more effectively than Germany did with their massive expenditures on “clean” resources.’

    In as much as it is in arguable that this fact was well known, the Left obviously has ulterior motives… undoubtedly rooted in anti-Americanism.

  21. Russell and Roger …

    Just want to say that I appreciate all you do. Your strategy seems to be to work within the Net Zero 2050 guidelines, offering a way to potentially realize the goals while maintaining reliability.

    > This good enough plan may get you to net zero before the more ambitious ones. It is likely to have less carbon emissions than the more aggressive plans over time. It certainly will be more reliable and affordable.

    And I think you do have a good argument to approach those who support Net Zero. The problem is that the playing field has been delineated by them strictly and for so long. It’s as if we have been reduced to Trojan Horse methods to assault the city. For some reason, we’ve deemed the walls are too strong.

    All walls have a foundation. Erode the foundation and the wall comes down. That foundation is the unwavering conviction that CO2, and only CO2, is responsible for catastrophic warming.

    I realize that fight/strategy is not your strength. I am grateful for what you bring to the fight. It just stinks that the scientific community hasn’t been able/willing to mount a successful attack that would bring the walls down. There needs to be a sustained, frontal assault on CO2 as the control knob. Efforts that claim reductions of CO2 only seem to affirm the foundational myth.

    Again, thank you for your efforts, without which we’d surely be worse off.

    • Bill Fabrizio::

      You say that there needs to be a sustained frontal assault on CO2 as the control knob.’

      Here are 4 papers which prove that CO2 is not the control knob: /10.30574/wjarr.2023.17.1.0124

      • Thanks, Burl. I’ll read them. But if only CNN would read them.

      • Bill:

        The last link is correct, but it doesn’t lead to the paper.

        Here it us again. Perhaps it will work this time.:

      • I’m not a scientist, Burl. But it seems you are saying that:

        > ALL cooling events during solar minimums were associated with volcanic eruptions.

        I can see the connection with SO2, and you have shown some data interpretations from 200 years of the LIA. But I would think that what is required would be that past ice ages, that lasted for tens of thousands of years, would have needed incredible numbers of volcanic irruptions. Is there any evidence of that in the paleo-geologic record that would support your theory?

      • Bill:Fabrizo:

        No, you would not need a lot of eruptions, if there were scattered VEI6-8 eruptions, or chains of VEI4-5 eruptions. All that is required is that the snowfall from the previous year did not melt away during the following summer.

        Their may be proxy data from some ice ages, where a weaker sun has been inferred, but which more probably would have been due to an atmosphere loaded with dimming volcanic SO2 aerosol emissions..


      • Burl … thank you for your replies. The only observation I can give you from the peanut gallery is that it seems you’re doing the same thing as the CO2 advocates … putting your eggs all in one basket. You’ve convinced me that SO2 plays a role, but not the only variable.

      • Bill:Fabrizio:

        Thanks for your comments, but you are indeed a tough one to convince!

        I haven’t seen ANY evidence that anything other than SO2 aerosols have any effect upon our climate, including solar..

        I find that every nuance of our climate can be explained by changing levels of SO2 in our atmosphere. But I would be interested in knowing what other effects you believe also do affect our climate..

        I have another paper ” A Graphical Explanation of Climate Change” available on Google Scholar, which you might want to read. Just search my name..

      • No little ice age winters were caused by volcanic eruptions because they have a positive influence on the North Atlantic Oscillation for a year or two. The stratospheric aerosols cause El Nino conditions not La Nina conditions.

      • Ulrich Lyons::

        I don’t know where you came up with such complete misinformation, but you are 100% wrong!

        Here is the abstract of a paper that I have written:

        “Analysis of the Central England Instrumental Temperatures Data Set (1659-present) has provided the answer as to the cause of the decreased temperatures during the Little Ice Age (LIA), (and undoubtedly, also the cause of all other Ice Ages).

        The decreased temperatures were caused by the injection of
        reflective (dimming) Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) aerosols into the stratosphere from extensive occurrences of VEI4-VEI7 volcanic eruptions.”

        Every temperature decrease coincided with a volcanic eruption!.

      • burlhenry says “Every temperature decrease coincided with a volcanic eruption!”

        The LIA, the CADP, the ~300bce collapse, the ~1225bce (The Year Civilization Collapsed – Eric Cline), the 4K2 event, and several other before, all have been paced by the Eddy cycle -at roots-.
        Civilisations peaked at Eddy peak.

        Volcanic events were likely a secondary collateral. They also occur at other times. Krakatoa 1883 was large, but temp anomaly were already picking up (ice cores Vostok and Kilimanjaro).

      • Melitamegalithic:

        The Instrumental Temperature Record shows a 12 year period during the LIA, between 1727 and 1739, where there were no volcanic eruptions, and no cold temperatures.

        This clearly was not due to a 1,000 year ‘Eddy Cycle”, but was clearly due to an absence of volcanic eruptions and their dimming SO2 aerosol emissions.. The “Eddy Cycle” and its ilk, are pieces of fiction that in no way have effect upon our climate, whose Control Knob is simply the amount of SO2 aerosols circulating in our atmosphere, of either volcanic or Industrial origin..

      • burlhenry:

        Have a look at this link:

        Go to the times around 2345bce, a time of great change, Eddy root. It had been quite active volcanically, yet it was one of the warmest periods during the holocene.

      • Melitamegalithic:

        Within the 2,400 year Minoan Warm Period (3500-1100 BCE), there was very little volcanic activity, with an average of only 5 reported VEI4-VEI6 eruptions per century, only enough to provide some momentary (~5 years, or less, per eruption, of cooling, in a climate of elevated temperatures)..

        Between 1425 and 1225,BCE, there were only 8 eruptions, 4 per century, so that, again, temperatures were uniformly hot.most of the time. .

        The collapse of the Minoan civilization in 1225 BCE was reportedly due to a severe drought, (caused by a lack of volcanic eruptions), rather than to a 1,000 year “Eddy Cycle”.

      • You have come up with the complete misinformation, you are 100% wrong.

        “Large volcanic eruptions influence climate on both annual and decadal time scales due to dynamical interactions of different climate components in the Earth’s system. It is well established that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) tends to shift towards its positive phase during the winter season in the first 1-2 years after large tropical volcanic eruptions, causing warming over Europe.”

      • melitamegalithic, the Eddy cycle is too long, the Lyons cycle at a mean 863 years renders it redundant. Grand solar minima series began from 2225 BC (4.2 kyr event), 1365 BC (the second GSM in this series 1250-1195 BC collapsed nine or ten civilisations including the Minoans), 500 BC, 350 AD (Early Antique LIA), 1215 AD (LIA), and with the next series from 2095 AD.

        “Volcanic events were likely a secondary collateral. They also occur at other times.”

        True, many occur right after extreme cold boreal winter episodes, which can happen in any period.

        Burl, 1727 to 1739 was one of several very warm European periods which occurred between the LIA centennial solar minima. That’s about the Sun and not a lack of volcanic eruptions.

      • Ulrich Lyons:

        The 1727- 1739 warm period was TOTALLY due to the lack of volcanic eruptions. Temperatures ALWAYS rise when there is an interval of 3-5 years between VEI4, or larger volcanic eruptions.

        You mention several other very warm periods during the LIA.

        They should be on this list of when there were no eruptions:

        1280-1290, 1290-1300, 1300-1310, 1315-1330, 1330-1340, 1340,-1350, 1370-1380, 1380-1390, 1390-1400, 1400-1416, 1421-1430, 1441-1450, 1453-1471, 1482-1500, 1510-1529, 1540-1550, 1550-1560, 1570-1580, 1612-1622, 1694-1707, 1727-1739, 1800-1809, 1835-1845.

        Any matches?

        Regarding the solar minima, temperatures waxed and waned during those times, impossible if the sunspots had any effect on the climate, which should have been uniformly cold..

      • Those dates are a big fail, eight of them are during centennial solar minima, including the coldest parts of the Sporer and Dalton minimums.

        1727- 1739 had diddly squat to do with a lack of eruptions.

        Weaker solar wind states cause negative North Atlantic Oscillation anomalies, not fewer sunspots.

      • Ulric Lyons.

        The fact that 8 of the warm episodes were during what you say were the coldest parts of the Sporer and Dalton minimums PROVES that the minimums had no climatic effect.

        If the minimums actually caused a cooler sun, warming episodes could not occur.within those minimums.

      • burl
        The fact that you call cold periods warm periods proves that you have no legitimate argument.

        The occurrence of warm or hot seasons and years during centennial solar minima is perfectly normal, the Sun discretely drives those heatwaves as well as the cold waves, at weekly scales. Like with warmth of 1686 in the Maunder Minimum, that has heliocentric analogues in 1727, 1934, 1949, 1976, 2003, and 2018.

      • Ulric Lyons:

        You said “The fact that you call cold periods warm periods proves that you have no legitimate argument”.

        That is NOT what I said. I said that the fact there were warm periods within solar minimums proved proved that solar minimums had no climatic effect. How can a cool sun, due to “low sunspot activity” drive heat waves? You CAN’T have it both ways!.

        You also speak of the warmth of 1686. This was because of a 6 year interval between volcanic eruptions, Tongkoko, in 1680 to 1686.; for 1727, there was also a 6 year interval, Katia in 1721 to 1727; for 1976 and 2003, they were both warmer El Nino years: I don’t;have data for 1949, or 2018, as yet, but the warming of at least 4 of the 6 “heliocentric analogues” that you mentioned were due to decreased levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, which always causes warming, and not to solar effects..

      • burl, warm episodes within solar minimums are NORMAL, they are actually proof of solar forcing at the scale of weather. 1684 was the coldest CET winter since at least 1659, that was also caused by solar variability at the scale of seasonal weather, but not sunspot numbers.
        ENSO does not cause major European heatwaves, and by the time that El Nino conditions developed in late 1976, the heat had gone.

      • Ulric:

        I don’t understand :your comment about 1684 being the coldest winter since at least 1659. According to the CET Data set,1675 was colder than 1659, and even a bit colder than 1684.

        Regarding your comments about the British Heat wave of June 23-Aug 27, 1976, you must understand that any solar heating uniformly affects the whole planet. If there are any warmer areas, something other than just the sun must be causing temperatures to rise within those areas.

        What actually happened to Britain in 1976 was that it was within a stalled high pressure weather system, which is characterized by clear, cloudless skies, low wind velocities, and an absence of precipitation.

        If such a system becomes stalled for more than 4-5 days, temperatures ALWAYS rise, often to record levels. The reason for this is that .the atmospheric SO2 aerosols within the stalled area settle out, cleansing the atmosphere, and allowing sunshine to strike the Earth’s surface with much greater intensity.

        Thus, the higher temperatures had NOTHING to do with solar variability It was simply due to the removal of a dimming layer of SO2 aerosols…

        See:: .

      • Ulrich:

        The correct link to the paper is

      • burl, that is obfuscation, the annual mean temperature is not the mean winter temperature!

        You must understand that Joule heating by the solar wind is confined to the polar regions, and drives regional heatwaves via the Northern Annular Mode.

        The 1976 heatwave could not have occurred without its discrete solar forcing. And in fact the highest UK near surface temperatures occur when there are higher levels of air pollution.

      • Ulric:

        You say “The 1976 heatwave could not have occurred without its discrete solar forcing”

        Specifically, what discrete solar forcing are you talking about?

        “The highest UK surface temperatures occur when there are higher levels of air pollution”

        Nonsense! The highest temperatures occur during stalled weather systems, when the atmosphere is cleanest. High levels of pollution cause temperatures to decrease, since they dim the sun’s rays..

      • Burl, another case of your armchair speculation against my scrutiny of the data. UK July 19th 2022, most of England didn’t get above 37°C, except for the east where there were high air pollution levels and it reached 40°C. UK 24-27 Feb 2019 and Easter 2011, record high daily maximum temperatures during heavy air pollution which had drifted over from Europe. Central England, the fourth hottest July on record, while the UK was engulfed in dense dust and fumes from the Laki eruption. Moscow 2010 record summer heatwave, while the city was choked with forest fire smoke.

      • Central England 1783, the fourth hottest July on record….

      • There is another factor with the heatwaves, exactly where the highest maximum temperatures where, also had the lowest relative humidity. UK relative humidity, July 19th 2022:

      • Ulric:

        Nice chart

      • Ulric:

        Stalled high pressure weather systems are characterized by clear cloudless skies, high temperatures, an absence of precipitation, low wind velocity, and LOW HUMIDITY.

        Your chart strongly suggests that it is an area of high temperatures and high pressure.

        Are such carts available showing temperatures, and pressure isobars?

  22. The irony is that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Here’s why: The energy absorbed by CO2 is redirected wrt wavenumber to replenish the energy radiated to space by water vapor molecules.
    All of the climate change attributable to human activity since before 1900 can be accounted for by the increase in water vapor. Water vapor has increased substantially more than possible from just feedback from planet warming. Investigation of the sources of the increased water vapor is at Sect 6 of

  23. The irony is that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Here’s why: The energy absorbed by CO2 is redirected wrt wavenumber to replenish the energy radiated to space by water vapor molecules.

  24. The irony is that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Here’s why: The energy absorbed by CO2 is redirected wrt wavenumber to replenish the energy radiated to space by water vapor molecules.

  25. The energy absorbed by CO2 is redirected wrt wavenumber to replenish the energy radiated to space by water vapor molecules.

  26. All of the climate change attributable to human activity since before 1900 can be accounted for by the increase in water vapor. Water vapor has increased substantially more than possible from just feedback from planet warming. Investigation of the sources of the increased water vapor is at Sect 6 of

    What’s Going Wrong in Particle Physics? (This is why I lost faith in science.)

    Sabine Hossenfelder

    The video will go into how models are mis-used. To me, just like global climate models.

    And she suggests particle physics is dead. You’ll see what I mean.
    Climate Science is going to die or they’re going to have figure out what they’re doing is wrong and of little value.

    • Rags …

      Sabine is the queen of ‘gotcha’. It’s almost as if she aspires to be the new ‘science gal’. Here’s her take on GHGs:

      She performs her gotcha on ‘the deniers’, rearranging the radiation arrows, finally with a sabinexplanation proclaiming the earth in equilibrium. I guess for purposes of video production there wasn’t any time left to assess how energy might leave the planet through other natural means and how that might vary. Maybe someone ought to send her a copy of Javier’s book?

  28. Here’s the result of one prescriptive global warming mitigation plan, courtesy of the Climate Doomers.

    Sealing Drafty UK Homes to Save Energy Raises a £19 Billion Tab

    New tenancies need a minimum efficiency rating by April 2025
    Average upgrade of £8,000 may fuel massive rent increases

  29. OPEC’s top official urged countries to invest much more in oil to meet the world’s future energy needs and said climate policies need to be more “balanced and fair.”

    “It is imperative that all parties involved in the ongoing climate negotiations pause for a moment; look at the big picture,” Haitham Al-Ghais, secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said Sunday at an energy conference in Cairo. They must “work towards an energy transition that is orderly, inclusive and helps ensure energy security for all.”

  30. Not mentioned in this article is talk of using the blockchain to track motion of goods through the supply chain. First, sourcing goods based on ESG will make them more expensive. Second, the very act of tracking this will add cost to the goods. Everywhere you look, initiatives pushed by the Climate Doomers are causing soaring costs. It’s just not sustainable.

    The dark side of ESG investing has the potential to undermine a whole generation of clean-tech strategies.

    Adam Matthews, chief responsible investment officer at the Church of England Pensions Board, said the risks posed to the renewables boom via the mining industry aren’t getting nearly enough attention. The upshot, according to the 47-year-old, is that portfolios intended to uphold environmental, social or good governance principles may end up being exposed to human-rights abuses and environmental damage via supply chains.

  31. I see there’s a link to Mark Jacobson’s famous infamous 2009 Scientific American 100% renewable energy plan for the whole world. I remember being gobsmacked when someone linked to it in the comments of Michael Shermer’s old Skepticblog. If you look at the early Wayback Machine captures (they go back to 2014) you can see that the comments back then were just as derisive as the responses in the threads of Jacobson’s Twitter feed are today.

    In 2017, Watts Up With That did a satirical post accusing Scientific American of being taken in by a Sokal style hoax. I think this is a real classic and I like to post links to it in appropriate Twitter energy thread:

    By Howard “Cork” Hayden,

    A few years ago, I learned of an article by Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi in the November 2009 issue of Scientific American called “A Path to Sustainable Energy.” My first impression was, “These guys must be joking.” My second impression was, “Yes, they are joking, and the joke is on Scientific American.” Jacobson and Delucchi wrote a spoof to show what tomfoolery can be published in Scientific American, rather like Alan Sokal’s spoof of post-modernist jargon in Social Text. They did manage to squeeze in some calculations that detail what is really involved in a carbon-free economy, but avoided all precautionary words, lest the editors reject the manuscript. It’s a laugh a minute.

    The authors have humorously gone way beyond Al Gore’s challenge to “to repower America with 100 percent carbon-free electricity within 10 years.” They have a plan “to determine how 100 percent of the world’s energy, for all purposes, could be supplied by wind, water and solar [WWS] resources, by as early as 2030.”

    I particularly liked the take on the obliviousness to scale:

    It is extremely easy to solve problems if there are no constraints. A good example is in an ancient joke. “How do you get four elephants into a VW?” “Easy. Two in the front, two in the back.”

    J&D joke: “How do you get all of the world’s energy from wind, water and solar?” “Easy. 490,000 tidal turbines, 5,350 geothermal plants, 900 hydroelectric plants, 3,800,000 5-MW wind turbines, 720,000 wave converters, 1,700,000,000 3-kW rooftop solar PV systems, 49,000 concentrated solar power plants, and 40,000 300-MW solar PV power plants.”

  32. good

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  34. Net “constant” IS good enough. Such a scenario always comes to a temperature equilibrium (ie, the atmosphere naturally washes CO2 out of the atmosphere at an increasing rate as concentrations move away from natural equilibrium).

  35. So maybe they can talk God into getting rid of the corrupt and criminal governments. I’m not seeing what they will be able to do about this, other than shoot “net zero” in the head.

    Adam Matthews, chief responsible investment officer at the Church of England Pensions Board, said the risks posed to the renewables boom via the mining industry aren’t getting nearly enough attention. The upshot, according to the 47-year-old, is that portfolios intended to uphold environmental, social or good governance principles may end up being exposed to human-rights abuses and environmental damage via supply chains.
    Adam MatthewsPhotographer: Betty Laura Zapata/Bloomberg

    It’s an issue that led Matthews and other investors to recently form an alliance, with a view to shining spotlight on the topic to make it much harder for fund managers to plead ignorance. The Global Investor Commission on Mining 2030, which is being advised by the United Nations, plans to expose and fight what it calls the systemic risks that stem from the link between mining and the clean-energy industry.

    “The auto sector is massively exposed, as are wind turbine manufacturers,” Matthews said in an interview. There’s also “huge demand” for minerals such as copper and lithium, which are “enormously important to low-carbon technology.”

    But “we should be under no illusion” regarding the fact that such minerals and metals often come from areas in which “unstable government structures” are the norm, and where the dynamics around mining “play a role in conflict,” he said. The renewables boom that’s now under way risks “inflaming and exacerbating” such instability, he said.

  36. And then there is the copper problem. Climate Doomers don’t make very good planners, do they?

    A copper deficit is set to inundate global markets throughout 2023 — and one analyst predicts the shortfall could potentially extend throughout the rest of the decade.

    The world is currently facing a global copper shortage, fueled by increasingly challenging supply streams in South America and higher demand pressures.

    Copper is a leading pulse check for economic health due to its incorporation in various uses such as electrical equipment and industrial machinery.

    A copper squeeze could be an indicator that global inflationary pressures will worsen, and subsequently compel central banks to maintain their hawkish stance for longer.

  37. 1. Earth’s Without-Atmosphere Mean Surface Temperature Calculation.

    R = 1 AU, is the Earth’s distance from the sun in astronomical units
    Earth’s albedo: aearth = 0,306
    Earth is a smooth rocky planet, Earth’s surface solar irradiation accepting factor Φearth = 0,47

    β = 150 days*gr*oC/rotation*cal – is the Rotating Planet Surface Solar Irradiation INTERACTING-Emitting Universal Law constant.
    N = 1 rotation /per day, is Earth’s rotational spin in reference to the sun. Earth’s day equals 24 hours= 1 earthen day. = 1 cal/gr*oC, it is because Earth has a vast ocean. Generally speaking almost the whole Earth’s surface is wet.
    We can call Earth a Planet Ocean.

    σ = 5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴, the Stefan-Boltzmann constant
    So = 1.361 W/m² (So is the Solar constant)

    Earth’s Without-Atmosphere Mean Surface Temperature Equation is: = [ Φ (1-a) So (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ /4σ ]¹∕ ⁴

    Τ = [ 0,47(1-0,306)1.361 W/m²(150 days*gr*oC/rotation*cal *1rotations/day*1 cal/gr*oC)¹∕ ⁴ /4*5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴ ]¹∕ ⁴ =
    Τ = [ 0,47(1-0,306)1.361 W/m²(150*1*1)¹∕ ⁴ /4*5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴ ]¹∕ ⁴ =
    Τ = ( 6.854.905.906,50 )¹∕ ⁴ = = 287,74 Κ
    And we compare it with the = 288 K, measured by satellites.

    These two temperatures, the calculated one, and the measured by satellites are almost identical.


  38. I would call this the “declare victory and move on to something else” plan.
    Governments will need it. After blowing billions on windmills and solar panels they have nothing but more expensive electricity and “climate science” mumbling that, in fact, climate change is nowhere near the “crisis” they tried to sell it as.
    They now need a way to backpeddle and make everyone except the fringe happy.
    By 2040 there will be more nuclear, less coal, more natural gas and the grid in western nations will have much lower emissions than it did in 1990. Modular nuclear will be making cities in India, South America, Africa, and Asia far cleaner than now.
    EVs will be about 10-15% of vehicles.
    At that level of global CO2 output “climate change” will be the topic people hear and think- “oh yeah, that, wasn’t that something people got all hyped about like 20 years ago or something?”

  39. Multiple turbines that are taller than 750 feet are collapsing across the world, with the tallest—784 feet in stature—falling in Germany in September 2021. To put it in perspective, those turbines are taller than both the Space Needle in Seattle and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Even smaller turbines that recently took a tumble in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Wales, and Colorado were about the height of the Statue of Liberty.

    Turbines are falling for the three largest players in the industry: General Electric, Vestas, and Siemens Gamesa. Why? “It takes time to stabilize production and quality on these new products,” Larry Culp, GE CEO, said last October on an earning call, according to Bloomberg. “Rapid innovation strains manufacturing and the broader supply chain.”

    • Joe - the non climate scientist

      I suspect the collapsing of the turbines is the inherent instability of the structure vs production flaws. Even with zero production flaws and/or installation flaws, there is tremendous stress, torque with the turbine structure inherent in the basic design.

      another point of concern is maintenance on the turbines, unlike a traditional fossil fuel generation plant, the ability to access the moving parts is a very complex exercise. Which raises the question – after the normal maintenance failure (due to normal wear and tear) is the cost of repair/maintenance greater than the value of future electric generation?

      • They are probably getting beat up due to all the bird collisions. Once the bird population is diminished, it won’t be such a problem.

      • Raul Homewood has done an occasional series on the cost of operating windfarms from their published accounts. He found costs go up and output goes down.
        IER found a very high cost to decommission,
        so likely many old plants are losing money because they don’t want to pay dismantling costs

      • From my friend Dr. Lars Schernikau: 🤔
        #wind and #solar increase TOTAL electricity costs in the system. The more variable “#renewables” we have, the more expensive it will get. Why? Let me quote two sentences directly from the OECD – OCDE 2018 report on Full Costs of Electricity. They may say it clearer than I could and probably with more authority…

        FYI, variable renewable = #wind and #solar

        “𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘷𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴 (𝘝𝘙𝘌𝘴) 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮, … , 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘴, 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬” (𝘖𝘌𝘊𝘋 𝘕𝘌𝘈 2018, 𝘱39).

        “𝘍𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘰𝘳𝘺, 𝘷𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴 (𝘝𝘙𝘌𝘴) 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘭𝘶𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘴 [𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘷𝘦] 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵.” (𝘖𝘌𝘊𝘋 𝘕𝘌𝘈 2018, 𝘱39).

        Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE, a marginal cost, not full cost measure) doesn’t cover any integration costs, nor backup or storage costs of wind and solar… therefore it cannot be used to compare their cost to coal, gas, nuclear, or hydro.

        #Journalists and #consultants have a responsibility to inform politicians and the public about this, as unpopular as it may be.

        So far, most of the press and consultant reports you read – that claim that “renewables” are now the cheapest and will save the world money – rely exactly on this misleading LCOE measurement. Let’s be honest to ourselves and then we can make the best decisions to reduce the environmental impact of our energy systems.

        by the way, the same is confirmed by International Energy Agency (IEA), the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan – IEEJ and many more if you read carefully their reports.

    • From jim2 link, quote “Turbines are growing larger as quality control plans get smaller.”

      A familiar experience; disturbing – even today some two decades later. It is not limited to ‘Wind’. It was the constant experience, then in all fields of fossil plant, whether its design, quality control and execution. And it is widespread.

  40. Here is a very sobering analysis of the mining and refining demand that will be created by an attempted green revolution. Hint: it takes a lot of energy to mine and refine. Guess which country planned 20 years ago to dominate refining and control mines worldwide.

    • Excellent presentation. The best one about this specific topic.

      The 16 year lead time to start a new copper mine is sobering. I just looked up futures for copper and a huge jump in the last 20 years. I suspect that climb is not over. Probably the same for lithium and others involved.

      Regardless of price, some times some things are not doable. This transition in the envisaged timeframes might be one of those times.

      The discussion about copper reminded me that the Panic of 1907 was precipitated by a failed short squeeze on a copper company stock.

      I hope there are some comments about his points. Especially if there is disagreement with his premise.

      • Yes, it is the best one we’ve seen so far concerning this topic.

        For this reason and several others, the Net Zero transition for power generation sector in the United States won’t come close to replacing the baseload capacity now handled by coal-fired and gas-fired generation.

        So the larger questions remain, will climate activists in government continue pursuing the early retirement of America’s coal-fired and gas-fired power plants; will they be successful at it; and if so, on what kind of fast-track closure schedule will it be done?

        My prediction remains that the climate activists in government will go forward with Net Zero regardless of the many adverse consequences for the reliability of the power grid.

  41. Party on, Nuclear!

    Fortum Oyj said Thursday that it has been granted a new operating license until the end of 2050 for both units at its Loviisa nuclear power plant.

    The Loviisa power plant’s two units produce around 10% of Finland’s total electricity production and the operating licenses were due to expire at the end of 2027 and 2030.

    The Finnish energy group said that over the past five years it has already invested around 300 million euros ($320.6 million) in refurbishing the plant. When it confirmed its decision to apply for a new operating license last year, it estimated that investments related to continuing the operations and the lifetime extension would amount to around EUR1 billion until 2050.

  42. One more proposed concept for your plan, Russell and Roger:
    “Dispatchable Demand”
    DEFR is a fantasy as you well note, but that is because it attempts to function via the existing paradigm of utility/grid management – which is to say, the controls lie entirely on the supply side.
    What I have been working on is a technology which is economic even if on only about 2 hours a week; a technology which produces a core modern industrial product used for both fertilizer and explosives and which can supplant a significant fraction of the existing natural gas use case.
    The idea is that since these plants can function as “dispatchable demand” – they give the grid planning and operations engineers another tool in addition to supply cutoffs during curtailment periods.
    I am more and more firmly of the view that this type of manufacturing capacity is going to be necessary given the existing and future overbuild of intermittent electricity generation coupled with ever more pronounced duck curve variability. It seems clear that the edge cases on demand vs supply curves are going to blow out on both ends: high demand and low demand vs. the respective opposite in intermittent generation – and the increasing periods of zero to negative power pool pricing does not bode well economically for non-fantasy dispatchable peaker power.

  43. Burl

    Dr Phil jones wrote of the warm decade ending in 1740 and believed it was due to natural variability, not volcanic activity

    • Climatereason:

      Whenever there is an interval of at least 3-4 years between VEI4 and higher volcanic eruptions, temperatures always rise (takes time for all of their SO2 aerosol emissions to fully settle out of the atmosphere).

      The warmth of the decade was clearly due to the absence of volcanic activity, but I suppose that one could claim that volcanic eruptions are natural variability??..

  44. Burl

    Phil jones reference is under 3 .5 of this link. Phil jones did not mention volcanoes

    • Climatereason:


      You pointed out :”Phil Jones did not mention volcanoes”

      A surprising error, on his part!

      You have probably seen my paper “The Definitive Cause of Little Ice Temperatures” (or on Google Scholar)

      Every temperature decrease shown on the Central England Instrumental Temperatures Data Set, 1659 -1850 was coincident with a volcanic eruption somewhere around the world. Most of them were VEI4 eruptions (50/65), with all of them causing temperature decreases. .

      For a VEI4 eruption that produces a La Nina, it takes an average of 17 months for its maximum cooling effect to appear (based upon .such eruptions between 1950-2020), so their global cooling effect is not immediately apparent .

    • Good afternoon Tony (UTC),

      I’m not sure as yet quite what it has to do with “Net Zero”, but I’d love to know which VEI-4+ eruption caused “the warm decade ending in 1740”.

      Perhaps Burl can enlighten us?

      • Jim Hunt:

        The volcanic eruption was Fuego, Aug 27, 1727, but it did NOT cause the warm period that ended with the eruption. of Shikotsu Aug 19, 1739.

        The warmth occurred because there were no other VEI4 or greater eruptions to pollute the atmosphere with SO2 aerosols during that time period.

      • Good evening Burl (UTC),

        According to the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program Fuego erupted on August 27th 1717 and then again on August 27th 1737:

        Are you perhaps thinking of Öræfajökull?

      • Jim Hunt:

        I have been using “Volcanoes of the World” , 3rd Edition (2010) as my reference..

        I have made Excel listings of all VEI4-VEI7 volcanic eruptions, for easy reference,.but I see that a made a typo on the Fuego 1737 listing ,typing 1727 instead of 1737

        You are correct, it should be Oraefajokull for the 1727 eruption, not Fuego. Fortunately, same month and year.. . ,

        Thank you for pointing out my mistake!. .. .