Listening to politicians expound on the imminent dangers of that neologism “climate change” you wonder if any of these people could even pass a high school physics test. Maybe Rand Paul — he’s an ophthalmologist. He had to take some chemistry. But most of them?
Nevertheless, the Democratic Party at the moment seems to be in a knockdown, drag-out fight for who can be the greenest of the green and push us forward to a brave new world propelled exclusively by solar and wind energy. Only the strongest (i. e. most slavishly devoted to renewable energy at all costs) will survive.
Bernie and AOC are currently beating Joe Biden over the head about this. Poor Joe is frantically shoring up his “environmental” credentials.
If you don’t have a dog in this fight, it’s kind of funny, but the least these scientific illiterates might do is read a recent Forbes article (it doesn’t take a Ph.D.): “The Reason Renewables Can’t Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To.” (I know, many of them don’t care about “modern civilization,” at least until they have to catch a plane. But hear me out.) Michael Shellenberger writes:
Over the last decade, journalists have held up Germany’s renewables energy transition, the Energiewende, as an environmental model for the world.
“Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset,” thanks to the Energiewende, wrote a New York Times reporter in 2014.
With Germany as inspiration, the United Nations and World Bank poured billions into renewables like wind, solar, and hydro in developing nations like Kenya.
But then, last year, Germany was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and would not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments. It announced plans to bulldoze an ancient church and forest in order to get at the coal underneath it.
Oops. What the Germans discovered is that this stuff (renewable energy) doesn’t actually work to anywhere near the extent necessary. They tried it. I doubt this would mean much to true believers like Bernie and AOC, but the rest of us might pay attention. In fact, it’s worse:
Now comes a major article in the country’s largest newsweekly magazine, Der Spiegel, titled, “A Botched Job in Germany” (“Murks in Germany“). The magazine’s cover shows broken wind turbines and incomplete electrical transmission towers against a dark silhouette of Berlin.
Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually, and opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside.
Germany is one of the most technologically advanced countries, but despite their failure, this is where the Democrats want to lead us. It’s an act of faith, not science. They are effectively being anti-science, preaching their brand of environmentalism as a religion.
This has been evident for some time, but it is reaching a level that is actually deleterious to what they claim to desire. Intelligent, less apocalyptic, evaluations of climate, like that of Denmark’s Bjorn Lomborg, are snuffed out or ignored by a Democratic Party that seems to be engaged in a modern form of know-nothingism. Suffering most in this are our young people, who are discouraged from thinking for themselves (the actual scientific method).
But all is not lost. Guess who is leading the world in the direction of creating a healthy environment? (Again, don’t tell Bernie and AOC.)
According to Environmental Protection Agency data, greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States are dropping. Despite having a so-called climate-change denier in the White House along with a complicit Congress, the United States is leading the way in cutting greenhouse gases, which the bureaucrats at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say cause global warming.
How did this happen? (Forget for a moment whether greenhouse gases actually are that bad.) The free market, largely. Private companies figuring out how to make life better for us while — gasp! —making a profit. Doing something for themselves and us all at once, sort of like Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.
People of that sort — not bloviating politicians — will be the ones who invent the energy sources of the future.
And meanwhile, not to worry, despite what the Democratic Party and the enviro profiteers at the UN tell us, we have plenty of time. Back in 1982, the United Nations’ environment program’s executive director Mustafa Tolba warned: “…by the turn of the century, an environmental catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.”
Nostradamus, they’re not.
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media — is a novelist and a screenwriter.