Climate change has come up in a couple Candidate Forums. Dave Wilson is pretty worried about it like President Obama. Dave favors some “Carbon Fee” scheme to encourage less energy use. According to Dave this “Carbon Fee” is not a tax since it will be rebated back to taxpayers. OK Dave. Just what we need, a fee that is not a tax that will require a bunch of new administrators.
Me, I’m not too worried about climate change.
It is called Climate Change now because global warming has taken a break since about 1998. The statement that there has been “No statistically significant warming since 1998” means just that to me. Search that phrase and get a plethora of conflicting articles. What I think it boils down to is that the slight warming computed over this period is within the error band of the data so you can’t really say if the world has warmed just little or cooled just a little. Also, I remember the mild panic in ’74 and ’75 when both Time and Newsweek had articles warning of a new ice age due to the slight cooling from 1940 to 1975 or so. Links Below.
CO2 is a very mild greenhouse gas. The climate models are very complex and assume that the slight warming caused by increasing CO2 will cause a rise in water vapor in the atmosphere. Since water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas, the CO2 warming will be magnified by a factor of 4 or more due to the increased water vapor. The increase in water vapor in the air, humidity, is assumed to be a positive feedback. On the other hand, increasing cloud cover due to more water vapor would produce negative feedback due to sunlight reflecting off the clouds back out to space. So, do the models have the effects of humidity and cloud cover exactly right? Probably not. There are lots of other factors in the models. Are they right? Probably not. How do you check? You try to check your model by inputing historical data and see how good the models predict outcomes. Then they tweak the models to make the result better. Call me a skeptic. There are too many people with too much personal credibility invested in Climate Change and there is no way to tell if they are right till long after they have left the scene.
We are making policy decisions on our CO2 emissions with serious economic consequences based on long range predictions from imperfect climate models.
Also, we do not appear to be considering that reducing our CO2 output by reducing our industrial output just transfers that industrial output to other countries, China mostly, that produce goods with a higher CO2 cost than we do.
I believe that the earth has been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age that lasted 500 years from about 1350 to 1850. The earth has warmed about 1.4 Degrees F since 1850. I don’t believe that CO2 is the cause of this warming. If I did believe that, then I would also believe that whatever CO2 reductions we made would be more than offset by increased energy usage in China, India and the developing world. People all over the world want to live well, like we do. That takes energy and they are going to use the cheapest energy source available, coal.
The scale of the increasing energy use of the 1.3 Billion people in China who have just enough freedom to expect to live better is amazing. Here are facts that make all our CO2 reduction plans a waste of time:
- China added 39 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity in 2014 — 3 gigawatts more than it added in 2013. That is equivalent to three 1,000 megawatt (1.3 Million HP) units every four weeks.[v]
- At the peak, from 2005 through 2011, China added about two 600-megawatt (800,000 HP) coal plants a week, for 7 straight years.
- China is expected to add the equivalent of a new 600-megawatt (800,000 HP) plant every 10 days for the next 10 years. These new coal plants that China is constructing are more efficient and cleaner than their old coal-fired plants.[vi]
- China consumes more than 4 billion tons of coal each year, compared to less than 1 billion tons in the United States and 600 million tons in the European Union.
- China surpassed the United States to become the largest global carbon dioxide emitter in 2007, and it is on track to double annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2017.
- By 2040, China’s coal power fleet is expected to be 50 percent larger than it is today and these power plants typically operate for 40 years or more.[vii]
- This stuff is from this link: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/as-u-s-shutters-coal-plants-china-and-japan-are-building-them/
PERSPECTIVE IS LACKING
In recorded history there have been several climate eras of generally warm periods and generally colder periods. We need to keep this in mind for proper perspective on our era.
- Roman Warm Period, about 650 years ending in 400 AD
- A 500 year colder period, with crop failures and famine corresponding to the Dark Ages, ending about 900 AD
- The Medieval warm period, 300 years ending about 1250
- The Little Ice age, 500 years ending about 1850
- Our era, since 1850, about 3 modern lifetimes, 165 years of gradual warming increased temperature about 1.4 Deg F.
I do not favor any of the current schemes to limit CO2 output because they will increase our energy costs and therefore hinder our economic growth. Clean Coal and CO2 sequestration schemes are also boondoggles to enrich cronies.
Wind and Solar power are largely boondoggles that would not exist but for subsidies and mandates. Like Solyndra, $500 Million Tax Payer dollars down the drain, that lined crony pockets. They might save a little fossil fuel energy when you add it all up, but it is not significant because you need a fossil fuel plant in hot running back up mode ready to pick up the load when the wind stops or the sun goes down. Hot running back up mode is a less than maximum efficiency mode of operation so some fuel energy is wasted.
Wind and solar are not solutions. WHY?
- You cannot store electricity on a utility scale except in the few places suitable for pumped hydro storage.
- Until we can store electricity on a utility scale, Renewable energy systems are boondoggles with a lot of crony’s making a lot of money. They would not exist without subsidies and mandates.
- Wind and solar have not allowed shutting down the first generator plant, because there has to be a source of electricity at night and when the wind is not blowing. Power plants have been shut down due to the expense of compliance with new EPA emissions requirements. This has removed needed redundancy in our power supply system, to the point that we are in danger of widespread blackouts if a few power plants are down for maintenance and a couple have simultaneous failures.
- Fossil fuel fired generating plants backing up wind and solar must be in a hot running back up mode ready, to pick up the load in a matter of a minute or two. In hot running back up mode they are not operating at optimal efficiency, so they are wasting some fuel energy.
Maybe you can check on this yourself. Talk to anyone you know Avista that is directly involved in producing electricity or scheduling production. Ask them what they think of the requirement that they buy wind power electricity, a state mandate. Ask them about the cost. Don’t talk to anyone in the PR department or upper management, who will toe the party line.
Feb. 28, 2013 Article in Popular Technology.net with links from numerous articles from 1970 through 1979 warning of a Global Cooling. The now famous TIME and NEWSWEEK articles are in the list of links. http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/02/the-1970s-global-cooling-alarmism.html