Republicans are more concerned about the real well being of the Earth than the Democrats, but are not fooled by the myth of Gaia, a theory that the Earth has run out of room to regulate itself because of rising CO2 levels, and the only chance we have to survive is to eliminate fossil fuels, and fast.
Republicans realize that the cost of eliminate fossil fuels before the technology is ready is draconian. Below is the experience from the European union of retail cost of electricity in all member nations from the year 2019, the last year to make any meaningful analysis, Covid and the Ukraine war has made worthless any newer analysis.
This slide tells it best. The real cost for Solar and Wind electricity is 5.7 times that of coal, gas, nuclear and hydro-electric. The real reason is that you still need all the generating power for when the wind doesn’t blow enough or too much, and the sun doesn’t shine, which is most of the time.
The solution is simple: Do not buy any more solar panels from China! Let them use them themselves, they may then only have to build 1135 new dirty lignite coal fired power plants instead of 1171 between now and 2030
Secondly, do not buy any new windmill generators from China. Let them use them themself to generate electricity at 5,7 times the cost of coal. Besides, wind turbines kill birds, especially bald and golden eagles. The eagles like to build their aeries on top of the generators, and sooner or later, wham, they are whacked dead by the blades. This way China could further reduce their need for additional coal fired plants to below 1100 between now and 2030.
The so called inflation reduction act mandates installing solar and wind power at 5.7 times the real cost of providing electricity with conventional means, such as coal, gas and nuclear. There are better ways to spend over 300 billion dollars.
What should we do instead? China used to have a 90+ percent share of mining and refining of rare earth metals. We need to re-develop our own capability to refine rare earth metals. Thorium is among the metals mined together with rare earth metals, and when Thorium, about as radioactive as background radiation was declared a source material, it became unprofitable to mine and refine rare earth metals in the U.S. Thorium should not be a source material, only Uranium. This is important for our national security. See more here.
We live in only one world. As a concerned citizen I realize we have immense environmental challenges before us, with water pollution; from plastics in the ocean, excess fertilizer in the rivers, poison from all kinds of chemicals, including antibiotics, birth control and other medicines flushed down the toilet after going through our bodies, animals fed antibiotics, pest control, weed control and so on. Increasing CO2 is not one of the problems, it will in fact help with erosion control, and allow us to feed more people on less agricultural land with proper management, and require less fertilizer and water to do so. In fact, proper water management is a larger problem, with some rivers no longer even reaching the ocean. All water is already spoken for, especially in the 10 to 40 degrees latitude, where most people live.
In the atmosphere the two most important greenhouse gases are water vapor and CO2 with methane a distant third. Water vapor is much more of a greenhouse gas everywhere except near the tropopause high above the high clouds and near the poles when the temperature is below 0 F, way below freezing. A chart shows the relationship between CO2 and water vapor:
Of particular interest are the round dots representing the South Pole. We have really good global data for over 60 years. The Amundsen Scott – South Pole weather station, the average temperature of Winter season 2021 (April 2021 – September 2021) reached only -61,0°C / -78°F, and at this temperature CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas by more than a factor of ten more important than water vapor. We have reliable measurements for the temperature change at the South Pole since 1957. During this time CO2 gas increased 31% to 413ppm, Methane increased 16% to 1.85 ppm and Nitrous oxide decreased, but this is a gas mostly confined to urban areas, and is now below 0.05 ppm worldwide. With CO2 increasing by 31% and water vapor negligible one would expect a temperature rise over 64 years of 0.65 C, or one degree Celsius warmer per century according to extrapolated lab measurements. This is the observed trend:
At the South Pole snowfall is negligible in the winter, and for the whole year it is only 1.3 inches. No model would have predicted the cooling trend, so there must be other factors that are are more important, since real measurements beat models every time.
Even in Barrow, Alaska water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. Only at the South Pole (And North Pole) does CO2 dominate (but only in the winter).
All Climate models take this into account, and that is why they all predict that the major temperature increase will occur in the polar regions with melting icecaps and other dire consequences. But they also predict a uniform temperature rise from the increased forcing from CO2 and the additional water vapor resulting from the increased temperature.
This is wrong on two accounts. First, CO2 and H2O gas are nor orthogonal, that means they both absorb in the same frequency bands. There are three bands where CO2 absorbs more than H2O in the far infrared band, but other than that H2O is the main absorber. If H2O is 80 times as common as CO2 as it is around the equator, water vapor is still the dominant absorber, and the amount of CO2 is irrelevant.
Secondly gases cannot absorb more than 100% of the energy available in any given energy wavelength! So if H2O did absorb 80% of the energy and CO2 absorbed 50%, the sum is not 130%, only 90%. (0.8 + 0.5×0,2 or 0.5 + 0.8×0.5). In this example CO2 only adds one quarter of what the models predict.
How do I know this is true? Lucky for us we can measure what increasing CO2 in the atmosphere has already accomplished. For a model to have credibility it must be tested with measurements, and pass the test. There is important evidence suggesting the basic theory is wrong. All greenhouse gases work by affecting the lapse rate in the tropics. They thus create a “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere. The theorized “hot spot” is shown in the early IPCC publications. (Fig A)
Fig. B shows observations. The hotspot is not there. If the hotspot is not there, the models must be wrong. So what is wrong with the models? This was reported in 2008 and the models still assume the additive nature of greenhouse gases, even to the point when more than 100% of the energy in a given band is absorbed.
How about Methane? Do not worry, it absorbs nearly exclusively in the same bands as water vapor and has no measurable influence on the climate.
But it will get warmer at the poles. That will cause melting of the ice-caps? Not so fast. When temperature rises the atmosphere can hold more water vapor, so it will snow more at higher latitudes. While winter temperatures will be higher with more snowfall, this will lower the summer temperatures until the extra snow has melted. And that is what is happening in the Arctics
As we can see from this picture, the winters were about 5 degrees warmer, but starting from mid April through mid August temperatures were lower. It takes time to melt all the extra snow that fell because of the less cold air, able to contain more water vapor.
These are my suggestions
- Do not worry about increasing CO2 levels. The major temperature stabilizer is clouds, and they will keep the earth from overheating by reflecting back into space a large amount of incoming solar radiation. Always did, and always will, even when the CO2 concentration was more than 10,000 ppm millions of years ago. Ice ages will still come, and this is the next major climate change, the long term cooling trend is one degree C cooling per 2000 years. Do not buy any more solar panels from China! China is by far the world’s largest polluter of real air and water pollution.
- Clean up rivers, lakes and oceans from pollution. This is a priority.
- Limit Wind turbine electric energy to areas not populated by large birds to save the birds. Already over 1.3 million birds a year are killed by wind turbines, including the bald and Golden Eagles that like to build their aeries on top of wind turbines. Above all, do not import any more wind generators motors from China. They have severed all climate change cooperation with the U.S. Let them build a few less very polluting coal fired electric plants between now and 2030. China was planning to build 1171 additional coal plants.
- Do not build large solar concentration farms. They too kill birds.
- Solar panels are o.k. not in large farms, but distributed on roofs to provide small scale backup power. They should be produced in the U.S. after the capacity to again refine rare earth metals has been established.
- Exploit geothermal energy only in geologically stable areas.
- Where ever possible add peak power generation and storage capacity to existing hydroelectric power plants by pumping back water into the dams during excess capacity.
- Add peak power storage dams, even in wildlife preserves. The birds and animals don’t mind.
- Develop Thorium based Nuclear Power. Russia, China, Australia and India are ahead of us in this. Streamline permit processes. remove Thorium as source metal. Prioritize Thorium nuclear research. This should be our number one priority, for when the next ice age starts we will need all the CO2 in the air to sustain life..
- Put fusion power as important for the future but do not rush it, let the research and development be scientifically determined. However, hybrid Fusion -Thorium power generation should be developed.
- When Thorium power is built up and has replaced coal and gas fired power plants, then is the time to promote electric cars, not before. Let the early adopters buy the exciting electric cars, but do not subsidize them.
- Standard Nuclear Power plants should be replaced by Thorium powered nuclear plants, since they have only 0,01% of the really bad long term nuclear waste. For the time being do not decommission any nuclear plants before their time of obsolescence
- Start thinking about recovering CO2 directly from the air tp produce aviation fuel. This should be done when Thorium power has replaced coal and gas fired power plants.
- But most important, reverse real climate change, the desertification of the American Southwest. This can only be done by adding Thorium small modular reactors to the electric energy mix. Wind and solar will not do it, since they only provide power when the wind blows and the sun shines, not according to the electricity demand. My proposal is
- https://lenbilen.com/2022/04/09/the-transcontinental-aqueduct-a-realistic-way-to-save-lake-mead-and-reverse-the-desertification-of-the-american-southwest/ This aqueduct will cost about 350 Billion dollars, and solve the water needs for the lower American Southwest, triple the hydroelectric power storage capacity for the nation and go a long way to save the rapidly depleting aquifers. If this is not done American Southwest will become a desert in the not too distant future.
- When the Transcontinental aqueduct has begun to provide water to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Mexico it is time to build the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. The Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct will save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west. This solution is expensive, but when all costs are included, it can deliver 3.6 to 6 Million acre-feet / year at a cost of $2,290 per acre-feet, check the calculations here. This is the solution that can be done in the shortest time.
- To help save the upper Ogallala aquifer and provide water to the thirsty Platte river watershed it is time to build a South Platte River aquifer. The river is drying up. The water will be taken from the Missouri river. This is a recent picture of the bone dry Platte River near Columbus Nebraska:
Something must be done. The wet areas are getting wetter because of pollution of land, air and rivers, and the dry areas are getting hotter and drier because of desertification. The beauty of these projects is that the Mississippi river is now cleaned up enough so that it can be done, the water supply is unlimited. The Mississippi River is our main barge transport river, and as such is already well regulated. The addition of these aqueducts will force the whole Mississippi River watershed community to more closely enforce water quality standards, and so lower the pollution in the Mexican Gulf.