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Teachable Moments About Energy and National Security After the Disaster in Texas

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

Having ideologues run energy policy in the Biden administration that vows to “follow the science” is anathema to effective policy in several areas. As Texas recovers from the deep freeze, we will learn more about precisely what happened to their energy grid.  My colleague Bryan Preston detailed the storm and what we know right now about what happened. One thing is clear: wind power failed twice, according to the available graphs.

The fundamental problem with the “science” of the Green New Deal is that it ignores several essential things to the science of delivering energy in the amounts required for modern life. As climate activist and author of Apocalypse Never, Michael Shellenberger has pointed out several times, it’s simple physics. The primary energy sources that the Biden administration is pushing, wind and solar, are not meant to support high-energy societies.

Shellenberger says we’ve seen a 2% increase in solar power efficiency in the last ten years. This increase is not indicative of an energy source that can scale to meet a growing economy. Shellenberger also says the environmental impact of these renewables is immense. It takes 400 times more land to provide wind and solar power in the same amount that natural gas or a nuclear plant can. Simply put, he says lower-density energy eats more nature. He is an advocate of focusing on natural gas and nuclear as we seek to reduce carbon emissions.

As Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, points out, wind and solar are unreliable and subject to the whims of the very problem the climate cabal has waged war on – the weather. Sun and wind are variable. Even though the need for energy on a seasonal basis is relatively stable, these energy sources cannot flex for unprecedented needs, such as what Texas experienced during the recent winter storm.

However, in a recent interview with BlazeTV host Glenn Beck, Epstein pointed out something even more disturbing than Texas’s recent crisis. He summarized how the continued move to wind and solar emboldens China and impacts Americans’ security and prosperity. Most Americans aren’t aware that China uses five times the industrial electricity of the United States. The vast majority of this energy production comes from coal. Last year China had a five-year high in coal production and imported record levels of oil.

How is this connected to a push for renewable wind and solar in the Western world, including the U.S.? Epstein explains:

“A lot of that electricity is used to build unreliable solar panels and wind turbines for us. Of course, we don’t mostly build them here because they have to be built with cheap energy which means they have to be built with fossil fuels. They are not built with solar panels and wind turbines, obviously. So, you have China making this very strong strategic move to get us to unilaterally disempower and for them to empower.”

He mocks the Biden administration for praising China and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink for committing to get net-zero emissions by 2060. That gives the CCP nearly 40 years to use fossil fuels to dominate economically while useful idiots like President Biden and climate envoy John Kerry yammer about the green jobs program for those displaced in the fossil fuel industry that will never materialize. Further evidence that the U.S. will not manufacture significant solar and wind equipment is that China is already considering reducing the amount of rare-earth metals shipped to the United States. China is the largest producer and refiner of these materials, which solar and battery production require.

Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry agrees that the U.S. needs to focus on emerging technology like compact fusion reactors and nuclear and liquified natural gas. In an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, he said the push to green energy is reckless and not based on science:

“If this country is going to continue to grow, to have the type of economic base that is going to be competitive in the world we’ve got to have an energy supply that is diverse. A baseload that you know when you call on it, it’s going to be there.”

Shellenberger goes further, saying the focus on renewables is an anti-growth agenda that serves crony capitalism and a religious impulse in the committed ideologues. Republicans need to ramp up on the IPCC science and speak eloquently and factually about climate change and the environment. Shellenberger can tell you with certainty that if everyone in the world ate fake meat, as Bill Gates recently suggested we do in the West, it would reduce carbon emissions by a paltry 2-4%. Our leaders must evaluate the implications of all green initiatives through an understanding of their real-world benefits and consequences.

Epstein has provided an excellent resource for talking about energy and climate change. His website, Energy Talking Points, is a great place to get digestible facts to discuss in your community. Likewise, Shellenberger’s book is a fantastic resource. Republicans need to engage those talking in rational terms about energy policy and the environment to develop an active counter to the Green New Deal. We can remain energy-independent and environmentally responsible. Our children’s economic future and freedom depend on it.

WATCH or listen to the full interview with Michael Shellenberger: