Why Wind and Solar Energy Are Doomed to Failure

Wind and solar energy are both essentially obsolete technologies. There is a reason why only the very rich or the very adventurous sail across oceans: the wind is unreliable, and at best produces relatively little energy. Nevertheless, liberals have concocted fantasies whereby all of our electricity, or perhaps our entire economy, will be powered by those fickle sources.

There are a number of reasons why this will never happen, but a paper published last week by Center of the American Experiment argues that land use constraints are the most basic reason why wind and solar are inexorably destined to fail. The paper, titled Not In Our Backyard, is authored by internationally recognized energy expert Robert Bryce, producer of the terrific documentary Juice: How Electricity Explains The World and the book A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations

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Because wind and solar produce so little energy per square mile, an enormous amount of land would have to be devoted to panels and turbines if we seriously tried to get all of our present electricity needs from those weak sources:

Miller and Keith determined that “meeting present-day U.S. electricity consumption, for example, would require 12 percent of the continental U.S. land area for wind.” A bit of math reveals what that 12 percent figure means. The land area of the continental U.S. is about 2.9 million square miles, or 7.6 million square kilometers. Twelve percent of that area would be about 350,000 square miles or 912,000 square kilometers. Therefore, merely meeting America’s current electricity needs with wind energy would require a territory more than two times the size of California.

Suffice to say that this just isn’t going to happen.

For one thing, no one places wind farms in Washington, D.C. or midtown Manhattan. Nor are wind projects slated for Long Island, Marin County, or near any valuable suburban developments. It is rural America that bears the burden of many square miles of wind and solar installations.

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“Green” energy holds political sway, which has made a relative handful of people (largely non-Americans and lobbyists) immensely wealthy, while impoverishing utility rate payers and taxpayers–that is to say, the rest of us. This insanity will continue until voters wise up, or–more likely, I am afraid–until the laws of physics, along with land use and raw materials constraints, make it blindingly obvious that the “green dream” is just that. A nightmare.

Source: Why Wind and Solar Energy Are Doomed to Failure

How a Physicist Became a Climate Truth Teller

After a stint at the Obama Energy Department, Steven Koonin reclaims the science of a warming planet from the propaganda peddlers.

Barack Obama is one of many who have declared an “epistemological crisis,” in which our society is losing its handle on something called truth.

Thus an interesting experiment will be his and other Democrats’ response to a book by Steven Koonin, who was chief scientist of the Obama Energy Department. Mr. Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false.

This is not an altogether innocent drifting, he points out in a videoconference interview from his home in Cold Spring, N.Y. In 2019 a report by the presidents of the National Academies of Sciences claimed the “magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing.” The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is deemed to compile the best science, says all such claims should be treated with “low confidence.”

In 2017 the U.S. government’s Climate Science Special Report claimed that, in the lower 48 states, the “number of high temperature records set in the past two decades far exceeds the number of low temperature records.” On closer inspection, that’s because there’s been no increase in the rate of new record highs since 1900, only a decline in the number of new lows.

Mr. Koonin, 69, and I are of one mind on 2018’s U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, issued in Donald Trump’s second year, which relied on such overegged worst-case emissions and temperature projections that even climate activists were abashed (a revoltcontinues to this day). “The report was written more to persuade than to inform,” he says. “It masquerades as objective science but was written as—all right, I’ll use the word—propaganda.”

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For the record, Mr. Koonin agrees that the world has warmed by 1 degree Celsius since 1900 and will warm by another degree this century, placing him near the middle of the consensus. Neither he nor most economic studies have seen anything in the offing that would justify the rapid and wholesale abandoning of fossil fuels, even if China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and others could be dissuaded from pursuing prosperity.

He’s a fan of advanced nuclear power eventually to provide carbon free base-load power. He sees a bright future for electric passenger vehicles. “The main reason isn’t emissions. They’re just shifted to the power grid, and transportation anyway is only about 15% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. There are other advantages: Local pollution is much less and noise pollution is less. You’re sitting in a traffic jam and all of these six- or four-cylinder engines are throbbing up and down burning fuel and just doing no good at all.”

But these are changes it makes no economic sense to force. Let technology and markets work at their own pace. The climate might continue to change, at a pace that’s hard to perceive, but societies will adapt. “As a species, we’re very good at adapting.”

The public now believes CO2 is something that can be turned up and down, but about 40% of the CO2 emitted a century ago remains in the atmosphere. Any warming it causes emerges slowly, so any benefit of reducing emissions would be small and distant. Everything Mr. Koonin and others see in the science suggests a slow, modest effect, not a runaway warming. If they’re wrong, we don’t have tools to apply yet anyway. Decades from now, we might have carbon capture—removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere at a manageable cost.

Source: How a Physicist Became a Climate Truth Teller

The real problem is minorities refusing the vaccine

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, white people make up 60% of the U.S. population. Also according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, white people make up 65% of the vaccine takers. So why is the Biden administration pushing the narrative that white Trump supporters are refusing to take the vaccine when the problem is minority Biden supporters?

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Those statistics raise another question: Why are black and Hispanic people not taking precautions to avoid the spread of covid 19?

When a group of people are 40% of the population and 47% of the deaths (as Hispanics are in California) then that group is doing something wrong.

When a group is 46% of the population and 69% of the deaths (as black people are in DC) then that group is doing something wrong.

The lower vaccination rates indicate a lack of interest in stopping the spread of covid 19.

It is nice to have NASCAR and Country Music TV run “Get Vaccinated, Honkies” PSAs, that ignores the deadlier problem of convincing Biden supporters to get vaccinated.

Kamala Harris is part of the problem.

Last September, she said would not trust a Trump vaccine, as CNN put it.

That anti-vaxxer message did not expire on Election Day because she tainted the entire development of the three vaccines that President Trump brought forth.

Source: The real problem is minorities refusing the vaccine

Good News From CDC

The paranoia about scrubbing every surface with alcohol seems to make little sense.  4/5/21 CDC:

Findings of these studies suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection 7, 8, 9.
So even if the surface is contaminated the risk is extremely low.  And unless someone with COVID has touched or coughed on that surface there is no risk at all.
The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. It is possible for people to be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), but the risk is generally considered to be low.

Source: Good News From CDC

Beyond COVID

“You could ultimately use mRNA to express any protein and perhaps treat almost any disease,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge told Chemical & Engineering News in September 2018. “It is almost limitless what it can do.” The messenger RNA (mRNA) technology that is at the heart of the first COVID-19 vaccines to be approved is now being aimed at many other infectious diseases for which there are no currently effective inoculations.

Source: Beyond COVID

Why Is Everyone In Texas Not Dead?

Cases and deaths attributed to Covid are, like everywhere else, falling dramatically.

If you pay attention only to the media fear campaigns, you would find this confusing. More than two weeks ago, the governor of Texas completely reversed his devastating lockdown policies and repealed all his emergency powers, along with the egregious attacks on rights and liberties.

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After nearly a year of nonsense, on March 2, 2021, the governor finally said enough is enough and repealed it all. Towns and cities can still engage in Covid-related mischief but at least they are no longer getting cover from the governor’s office.

At that moment, a friend remarked to me that this would be the test we have been waiting for. A complete repeal of restrictions would lead to mass death, they said. Would it? Did the lockdowns really control the virus? We would soon find out, he theorized.

I knew better. The “test” of whether and to what extent lockdowns control the virus or “suppress outbreaks” (in Anthony Fauci’s words) has been tried all over the world. Every serious empirical examination has shown that the answer is no.

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The lockdown lobby was out in full force. And yet what do we see now more than two weeks out (and arguably the lockdowns died on March 2, when the government announced the decision)?

Here are the data.

The CDC has a very helpful tool that allows anyone to compare open vs closed states. The results are devastating for those who believe that lockdowns are the way to control a virus. In this chart we compare closed states Massachusetts and California with open states Georgia, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina.

What can we conclude from such a visualization? It suggests that the lockdowns have had no statistically observable effect on the virus trajectory and resulting severe outcomes. The open states have generally performed better, perhaps not because they are open but simply for reasons of demographics and seasonality. The closed states seem not to have achieved anything in terms of mitigation.

Source: AIER

UBI Science?

Some problems with a study on Universal Basic Income…

Yet now liberals want a UBI not to replace welfare programs, but to supplement them. Congress’s pandemic checks and potpourri of refundable tax credits, including $3,600 for each child under age 6, are essentially a UBI. Democrats want to make these handouts permanent, and in support they’re touting a recent study of a small privately funded experiment in Stockton. “Study: Employment rose among those in free money experiment,” an AP headline declared.

Not quite. The study randomly selected 125 Stockton residents from low-income neighborhoods and gave them $500 a month on a prepaid debit card. Another 200 residents served as the control group. Asian/Pacific Islanders and homeowners comprised a larger share of the debit-card recipients than of the control group , which could have biased the results.

The study’s small sample and reliance on self-reported outcomes are bigger problems. It’s difficult to assess a statistically significant effect on employment among such a small group over a one-year period—from Feb. 2019 to Feb. 2020—especially given high labor-market turnover among lower earners.

Full-time employment rose in both groups but was slightly lower among the free-cash recipients at the beginning and slightly higher at the end. Hence the study cagily concludes: “Unconditional cash enabled recipients to find full-time employment” (our emphasis)—not that it actually increased employment. Most media ignored this nuance.

Students of incentives might also point out that people receiving free cash might be more likely to claim they are working even if they’re not. In any case, the unconditional Stockton cash grants are temporary, and there’s a graver risk that recipients would drop out of the labor force if the grants were made permanent.

The study says free-cash recipients were virtuous, and “less than 1% of tracked purchases were for tobacco and alcohol.” But about 40% of the money loaded onto their prepaid debit cards was either transferred to a pre-existing bank account or withdrawn as cash. Researchers don’t know how this money was spent.

The researchers were promoting UBI on their Twitter feeds less than halfway through the experiment. One claimed “it’s embarrassingly straightforward, without #guaranteedincome, you get a guaranteed recession.” Their progressive bias is transparent.

They conclude that even UBI is “not nearly enough,” and they also want a higher minimum wage, universal child care, and rental assistance, among other income transfers. The left wants to obliterate Congress’s 1996 bipartisan reform that linked welfare to work, and they’re well on their way.

Do Masks Work?

At American Thinker, Spike Hampson applies a simple test. He compares the combined covid death rates of the ten states that have never had mask mandates with the combined death rates of the 40 states that do have mask mandates. The result:

States with a mask mandate: 13.0 deaths per 10,000 population.

States with no mask mandate: 12.6 deaths per 10,000 population.

But maybe the problem is that some states waited too long to impose a mask mandate. So Hampson tried another test: the ten states that have never had mask mandates vs. the ten states that imposed such mandates the earliest. The result:

[T]he “bottom ten” outperform the “top ten” by a small but noteworthy margin (12.6 deaths per 10,000 versus 13.3 deaths per 10,000).

Do masks kill people? Probably not, but they certainly don’t appear to do any good. Of course, mask advocates could argue that the states that imposed mandates did so because they had more covid than the states that didn’t, and their numbers would be even worse but for the wearing of masks. That hypothesis could be tested, but given the pretty much universal spread of the Wuhan virus, it lacks any plausibility.

The best we can say for masks is that they probably don’t do much harm. Shutdowns are worse–equally ineffective, but with catastrophic consequences, especially for our young people. Other than Operation Warp Speed, our entire response to the covid epidemic has been a fiasco.

Source: Do Masks Work?

Some Covid Links

“The crew at the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) have done an analysis of excess mortality for 2020 across 32 countries to get a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns. They used excess mortality instead of “Covid deaths”, they explain, to avoid problems with recording and classification of deaths and include any impact of anti-Covid measures. They used age-adjusted mortality to take into account differences in the average age of populations. They compared 2020’s figures to the average of the previous five years to give a percentage increase or excess during the pandemic year (they have made the tool they used to analyse the data publicly available).” – More here.

And here’s a screenshot of the data:

From the Cafe Hayek comments section:

Michael Wolf writes-
The biggest knock against those who denounce Sweden is that, according to them, Sweden should be nothing less than a disaster zone. The whole case for lockdowns – the honest one – isn’t that they marginally help. It’s that they’re worth the MASSIVE devastation and destruction because without them, there’d be bodies stacked in the streets. If Sweden isn’t by far the worst performing country on the planet – and it isn’t even close to the worst – then their whole case crumbles. They obfuscate this by myopically focusing solely on covid (and even there, their case isn’t very strong as Sweden is better than the UK and in line with EU averages). But looking at the big picture of mental health, medical procedures and screenings canceled, and all the rest – Sweden obviously shows that the lockdowns weren’t worth it.

Source: Some Covid Links

Censorship Kills: The Shunning of a Covid Therapeutic

For centuries, doctors have addressed emerging health threats by prescribing existing drugs for new uses, observing the results, and communicating to their peers and the public what seems to work. In a pandemic, precious time and lives can be lost by an insistence on excessive data and review. But in the current crisis, many in positions of authority have done just that, stubbornly refusing to allow any repurposed treatments. This departure from traditional medical practice risks catastrophe. When doctors on the front lines try to bring awareness of and use such medicines, they get silenced.

I’ve experienced such censorship firsthand. Early in the pandemic, my research led me to testify in the Senate that corticosteroids were life-saving against COVID-19, when all national and international health care agencies recommended against them. My recommendations were criticized, ignored and resisted such that I felt forced to resign my faculty position. Only later did a large study from Oxford University find they were indeed life-saving. Overnight, they became the standard of care worldwide. More recently, we identified through dozens of trials that the drug ivermectin leads to large reductions in transmission, mortality, and time to clinical recovery. After testifying to this fact in a second Senate appearance — the video of which was removed by YouTube after garnering over 8 million views — I was forced to leave another position.

I was delighted when our paper on ivermectin passed a rigorous peer review and was accepted by Frontiers in Pharmacology. The abstract was viewed over 102,000 times by people hungry for answers. Six weeks later, the journal suddenly rejected the paper, based on an unnamed “external expert” who stated that “our conclusions were unsupported,” contradicting the four senior, expert peer reviewers who had earlier accepted them. I can’t help but interpret this in context as censorship.

The science shows that ivermectin works. Over 40 randomized trials and observational studies from around the world attest to its efficacy against the novel coronavirus. Meta-analyses by four separate research groups, including ours, found an average reduction in mortality of between 68%-75%. And 10 of 13 randomized controlled trials found statistically significant reductions in time to viral clearance, an effect not associated with any other COVID-19 therapeutic. Furthermore, ivermectin has an unparalleled safety record and low cost, which should negate any fears or resistance to immediate adoption.

Source: Censorship Kills: The Shunning of a Covid Therapeutic