Everything else

 

To start with, there is just one item under this heading but that number should soon increase ..........

The case against wind power

 

 

It is not possible or appropriate to do more than touch on this huge subject which is itself just a small part of the wider argument about world energy. However, the world energy situation does not in my view provide any justification for wind power.

 

The background must be that over the last 10,000 years or so human civilisation has developed but without much use of fossil fuels and then only on a small scale. However, since the start of the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century with its huge use of coal, steam power and steel, the pace has quickened until we now have enormous use of fossil fuels: gas for heating, oil for transport and coal for electric power. Human inventiveness has gone hand in hand with this sudden ability to make use of these natural resources. Electricity is indeed the immensely important common denominator of energy without which it is not possible for any country to raise its living standards.

 

Since electric power is so crucial to everyone, it is worth noting what it enables: 

  1. All engines (steam, gas, petrol). No engines are immune because electricity is needed for their manufacture.
  2. All industries from heavy to light. Nothing can be made without a proper electrcity supply for power, light, heating. Heating cannot be provided without electricity to pump the gas and run the boilers.
  3. Hospitals, schools, road maintenance, the building industry.
  4. Transport by cars, aircraft and ships.
  5. Retailing including computers.
  6. Essential services including telephones, TV, water, gas, electricity of course, sewerage.

The reliance we all have on electricity is so great that it is hard to think of anything which does not need it. Unless that is one is prepared to return to the primitive tribal conditions of pre-history, conditions which still prevail in parts of the Third World.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that a reliable, reasonably cheap and flexible electricity supply is absolutely essential for prosperity and development. Fossil fuels have provided these needs for many years but are now under attack on the grounds that they cause runaway global warming, as renamed more recently, "climate change." This industry or "environmental movement" comprises green policies as supported by the UNFCC and the UN's IPCC and is well beyond the scope of my short note on wind power. However, I would mention that there is no evidence that global temperatures are increasing at a dangerous rate due to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel burning.

 

More important is that the trillions of public money already spent by the world on "tackling climate change" has had no discernible effect on its objective of curbing CO2 emissions. This is evidenced by the fact that CO2 continues to increase despite all the green policies designed to slow it down. The increase could well be due to natural factors anyway because these cause about 97% of CO2 emissions in the first place. If man's attempts to curb emissions are only acting upon the 3% of total emissions, it would be surprising if such attempts affected the outcome. 

 

It should be remembered that CO2 is not a pollutant but a benefit to the world and that the increase of this trace gas from 280 parts per million (ppm) in the nineteenth century to about 400 ppm today has done nothing but good. It has reportedly added the equivalent of another continent to the planet in terms of increased greenery and all that means for better crop yields to feed the world.

 

Yet even if the curbing idea is felt to be a good one, it is still a nonsense because the world is not actually curbing the emissions. We know this because the world emissions can be assessed by looking at the new sources of fossl fuel coming on stream every year. It is a steep graph line with China and India leading the way with hundreds of new coal-fired power stations. Why therefore should any country try to change over from effective fossil fuels to ineffective renewable energy if world CO2 emissions are continuing to climb steeply?

 

Wind power is ineffective because it:

  • costs about three times as much as conventionial electricity generated from fossil fuels
  • is unreliable often producing virtually NIL power when there is little wind over the whole country
  • cannot be ramped up to meet demand

 

If the world can spare trillions of public money, I think it better to do that relieving poverty, saving lives and enabling poorer countries to develop and improve their prosperity.

 

 

 

 

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