Experts: renewable "fantasy" is to blame for accelerating changes in climate
- Dec 28, 2021 2:46 am GMT
In November Temperature Update and the 'Big Climate Short', climate scientists James Hansen, Makiko Sato, and Pushker Kharecha of Columbia University's Earth Institute level a withering attack on what's wrong with humanity's response to climate change - and why the frightening future they predicted decades ago may now be unavoidable.
"The underlying reason for the great overshoot of the 2°C scenario is failure of the world to develop a clean energy system for electricity. Instead, the West – or at least the liberal West – has adopted the fantasy of 100% renewable energy within decades, in which both nuclear power and fossil fuels are eliminated. Further, the West has instructed the developing world that it, too, must follow this fantasy. Consequently, President Clinton terminated research and development on nuclear power in the United States after his election in 1992. Germany, as the host nation for COP6 in Bonn in 2001, excluded nuclear power as a clean development mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. Now, financing for fossil fuel or nuclear power plants is being denied to developing countries, even though the West used those energies to raise its own standards of living and continues to use those energies as needed to maintain living standards.
The 100% renewables vision was spurred mainly by Amory Lovins, who correctly projected in the 1970s that energy efficiency would allow less energy use than predicted by the Energy Information Agency. However, his expectation that all fossil fuels, nuclear power and large hydro could be replaced by soft renewables is debunked by real world data. Real world utility experts conclude that renewable energies must be complemented by reliable baseload electricity generation available 24/7 – either fossil fuels or nuclear. For the sake of climate, the partner of renewables had better be nuclear power, not fossil fuels.
The Big Climate Short has been handed to young people. They are inheriting an energy and climate system in which large climate change is now unavoidable. The United Nations and government leaders pretend that global warming, now at 1.2°C, can be curtailed with little additional warming. Capable scientists with an understanding of climate and energy know that this is pure, unadulterated bulls**t. Politicians who claim paltry successes while ignoring the elephants in the room must be called out. We have sold our young people short."
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