Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Tom Tamarkin
Elon Musk and his fellow barons of Climate Crisis, Inc. recently got a huge boost from Pope Francis. Musk et al. say fossil fuels are causing unprecedented warming and weather disasters. The Pope agrees and says Catholics must “ask God for a positive outcome” to negotiations over another UN climate treaty.
It matters not that the predicted calamities are not happening. There has been no warming in 19 years, no category 3-5 hurricanes making US landfall for a record 9-1/2 years, indeed none of the over-hyped climate disasters occurring in the real world outside the alarmists’ windows. In fact, poor nations support the treaty mostly because it promises some $100 billion per year in adaptation, mitigation and compensation money from FRCs: Formerly Rich Countries that have shackled their own job creation, economic growth and living standards in the name of stabilizing Earth’s perpetually fluctuating climate.
Any money that is transferred will end up in the pockets of governing elites. Poor families will get little or no cash – and will be told their dreams of better lives must be limited to jobs and living standards that can be supported by solar panels on their huts and a few wind turbines near their villages.
Simply put, the Musk-Obama-Pope-Climate Crisis schemes will save humanity from exaggerated and fabricated climate disasters decades from now – by impoverishing billions and killing millions tomorrow.
For the catechism of climate cataclysm coalition, the essential thing is that we believe the hysterical assertions and computer models – and support endless renewable energy mandates and subsidies.
Musk and his Tesla and SolarCity companies have already pocketed $4.9 billion in taxpayer-financed subsidies, and even long-elusive profitability has not ended the handouts. Now he claims a small “blue square” on a map represents the “very little” land required to “get rid of all fossil fuel electricity generation” in the USA and prevent a non-existent climate cataclysm. We just need rooftop solar panels linked to wall-mounted battery packs – a mere 160 million Tesla Powerwalls – to eliminate the need for all coal and natural gas electricity generation in the United States, he insists.
Hogwash (from pork barrel political pig farms). As a careful and extensive analysis demonstrates, even without considering the monumental electricity demand required to convert America’s vehicles to electric-battery versions, providing today’s baseload and peak demand electricity would require 29.3 billion one-square-meter solar panels. Assuming adequate yearlong daily sunlight, that’s 29,333 square kilometers of active solar panel surface area: 7.2 million acres – or nearly all of Maryland and Delaware!
The analysis is technical, beyond the ability of most voters, journalists, politicians and regulators to comprehend fully. Read it anyway, if only to understand that the enormity of financing, raw materials, mining and electricity required to manufacture the panels (some 40 million per year), battery packs and inverters (to convert low-voltage solar electricity to 120 or 240 Volt alternating current).
We are clearly dealing with an unprecedented green mirage and con job. It will drive average retail electricity prices from the 8-9 cents per kilowatt-hour in coal and gas-reliant states, to the 15-17 cents per kWh in California, Connecticut and New York – or even the 36-40 cents in Germany and Denmark, where unsubsidized rates are 70-80 cents per kWh! The impact of such prices on people’s jobs, living standards, health and welfare would be devastating. But Musk and his “clean” energy friends ignore this.
Musk has a BS in physics – and obviously holds advanced BS degrees in lobbying and con-artistry about climate disasters and renewable energy solutions, mandated by government decrees and financed by endless billions in subsidies. He has made numerous personal visits to legislative offices in Sacramento and Washington, to promote more such schemes, and aligns his efforts with those of Eric Schmidt, Nat Simons, Tom Steyer, Al Gore and members of the Clean Tech Syndicate: eleven secretive families with total wealth of over $60 billion, who want to get even richer off taxpayers and consumers.
They assume (demand) that bogus climate cataclysms will continue to bring them billions in climate cash payouts from Washington and state capitals, along with more exemptions from endangered species and environmental cleanup laws and regulations that are applied with a vengeance to fossil fuel projects.
Google scientists finally admitted that existing and near-term renewable energy technologies simply do not work as advertised and cannot meet their political or climate promises. The technologies are all hat, no cattle. However, the Climate Crisis and Clean Tech industries are determined to push ahead – using our money, risking little of their own, and getting reimbursed by us when their investments turn sour.
Google and NRG now want a $539-million federal grant to bail them out of $1.6 billion in taxpayer loans for the bird-roasting Ivanpah concentrated solar power project in California, because it does not work and needs so much natural gas to keep its water hot that it doesn’t meet state renewable energy standards. Other Obama “green” energy “investments” have also drowned in red ink, leaving taxpayers to pay the tab: Solyndra, Abound Solar, Solar Trust, Ener1, Beacon Power, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Musk is nevertheless lobbying for SB-350, which would require that 50% of California’s electricity be produced via “renewable” sources, such as wind, solar, biofuels and politicians’ hot air. Meanwhile, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s family and corporate foundations give millions to alarmist climate scientists, the ultra-green Energy Foundation, and rabid anti-fracking groups like the World Wildlife Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC also gets millions from EPA, to promote the agency’s anti-fossil fuel agenda and place 33 of its employees on 21 EPA “advisory” committees.
Schmidt and Warren Buffett also support the secretive far-left Tides Foundation, which has given millions to groups opposed to coal and hydraulic fracturing, the Keystone XL and Sandpiper pipeline projects, and countless other job-creating hydrocarbon programs. Canadian researcher Cory Morningstar accurately describes Tides as a “magical, money-funneling machine of epic proportions.”
Billionaire Nat Simons and his Sea Change Foundation spend tens of millions annually promoting and lobbying for “renewable” energy policies, mandates and subsidies; investing in wind, solar and biofuel companies; supporting environmentalist pressure groups; and contributing to Democrat politicians who perpetuate the crony corporatist arrangements. Simons, his wife and various Vladimir Putin cronies (via Klein, Ltd. and the shadowy Bermuda Wakefield Quin law firm) are the only contributors to Sea Change.
We often rail against Third World corruption. Our American (and European) environmental corruption is simply more subtle and sophisticated. It is legalized deception and theft – a massive wealth transfer from poor and middle class consumers and taxpayers to billionaires who are raking in still more billions, thanks to brilliantly crafted alarmist campaigns. And let’s not forget
Pressure groups and governing elites used to argue that we are running out of oil and natural gas. That ploy no longer works. While fossil fuels may eventually prove finite, fracking has given us vast new supplies of petroleum – and huge coal, oil and gas deposits have been placed off limits by government decree. That means we have at least a century to develop alternative energy sources that actually work – that actually create real jobs, actual revenues, lower energy prices and true prosperity – without the mandates, subsidies, deception, fraud and corruption that are the hallmark of “green” energy schemes.
No wonder the “clean tech” crowd is financing anti-hydrocarbon and climate chaos campaigns. But despite the Pope’s belated rescue attempt, the pseudo-science of “dangerous manmade global warming” is slowly succumbing to climate reality. And any new UN climate treaty will founder once poor nations realize the promised hundreds of billions a year will not materialize – and they should not do what rich countries are doing now that they are rich, but what rich countries did to become rich.