The difference between Democrats and Republicans? The biggest difference is their view on Climate Change.

The latest Quinnipac University poll showed a remarkable difference in the answer to their greatest concern, especially between Democrats and Republicans. The Question was: In your opinion, what is the most urgent issue facing the country today: COVID-19, inflation, unemployment, climate change, health care, racial inequality, immigration, foreign policy, election laws, the Supreme Court, or crime?

The Democrats greatest concern was Climate Change, followed by Election Laws and Inflation. At the bottom of the list was the Supreme Court.

The Republicans greatest concern was Inflation, followed by Immigration and Crime. At the bottom of the list was Climate Change.

The Independents greatest concern was Inflation, followed by Immigration and COVID-19. At the bottom of the list was Unemployment.

For Blacks there was a tie between COVID-19 and Inflation as their greatest concern, followed by Racial Inequality. At the bottom of the list was the Supreme Court.

And for Hispanics the greatest concern was Inflation, followed by Climate change and COVID-19. At the bottom of the list was Supreme Court.

The biggest concern was Inflation for everybody but Democrats. Their biggest concern was Climate Change, but for Republicans that was the least of their worries.

Why is that?

Some Democrats believe with religious fervor that we have only limited time to solve the climate crisis before we reach the point of no return. Alexandra Occasio Cortez said in January 2019 that if we didn’t abolish fossil fuel asap the world will end in 12 years. There is now less than 9 years left. President Trump ended our part in the Paris accord, and President Biden rejoined it in 2021. If we fulfill all the Paris accord demands, the world temperature, according to the UN agency IPCC will rise 0.05 C cooler by 2030, and a whopping 0.17C less by 2100. See analysis here. Meanwhile, China is in negotiations to buy another 100 million metric tons of Coal from Russia. They consume half the world’s coal mining.

For other Democrats it is another method of gaining control of all production and consumption, the Venezuelan model.

Then there is the sustainability crowd, and they point out the obvious fact, that unless something is done, we will run out of Coal, Oil and Gas sometimes in the not too distant future. Their suggested solution is to build Wind Turbines with generators made in China and western Europe. Solar panels are mostly built in China. But that is not the worst part. To build these generators and solar panels we need rare earth metals, 80% of which come from China. Details here. The problem is what to do when the sun doesn’t shine, which is most of the time, and the wind doesn’t blow. Energy must then be produced by other means. For now it is generated by coal and natural gas plus some diesel generators. Battery technology is not there yet, and hydro-power storage is way inadequate for today’s need.

And then there is John Kerry, who’s greatest fear is that the war in Ukraine will distract us from our greatest threat, Climate Change. His latest concern on Migration: “Wait until you see 100 million people for whom the entire food production capacity has collapsed.”

Some Republicans thank God for the increased CO2 levels because thanks to that the world can now keep an additional 2 billion people from starving. It seems hard to believe, but as food yield increases in greenhouses when additional CO2 is added, so does the greenhouse called earth benefit from more CO2. Don’t believe me? Look at this map:

This means more roots for plants, less erosion, and more food for animals. The exception is desert areas.

Others have noticed that the dire predictions from IPCC, a UN Climate Change Panel, have always been way off base. The temperature increase, while real has always been way below what is predicted. It is predicted that the largest temperature increases occur at the poles, so this summer the South Pole had its coldest winter on record. A weather station at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station registered record cold winter temperatures this season (April – September), averaging at -61.1 °C (-77.9 °F) and breaking the previous record set in 1976 at -60.6 °C (-77 °F). Weather records date back to 1957. The North Pole on the other hand is experiencing a warmer trend, but only in the winter. The summers are marginally cooler, but that is because there is more now to melt. Yes, the Snow over the Arctic is increasing. See the chart from Rutgers Snow Lab:

These are but a few of the differences in opinion concerning Climate change. Let’s see where democrats and republicans live. If we look at the 2020 voting results the map looks nearly all Republican: (84% of the counties voted Republican)

Yet there were more Democrat votes cast than Republican. This is because the largest counties population wise vote Democrat and they experience Climate Change big time thanks to the so called Urban Heat Island effect:

This is late afternoon, somewhere in Urban USA.

People living in the rural America do not experience the Urban Heat Island effect, so they tend to dismiss the constant drumbeat from PBS, everything bad is because of climate change as just idle talk. What do they know; they are stuck in their asphalt jungle complaining about how bad things are. The rural people remember how their grandparents used to say it was much worse in the thirties, heatwave after heatwave and everything dried up. And dust storms and wildfires were much worse. Not to mention the winters, the Mississippi river froze all the way down to New Orleans. We have never has it so good as it is now. Poor Urban Heat Island dwellers.

The Democrats solution to Climate Change is: Eliminate CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and replace with wind and solar but not nuclear power. All cars trucks, trains and busses should be electric. This is impossible.

Republicans want to gradually lessen our dependency of fossil fuel and make electric production come from Nuclear power, preferably small modular Thorium reactors. They have many advantages explained here. There are immense environmental problems, it is not CO2 or even Methane, but water. The American South-west has too little water for its growing population and the east US has sometimes too much. One possible solution is described here.

Lake Oroville going dry, but why?

Once full was the Oroville Lake.

Now empty. How much does it take?

No pumped power galore

for the windmills to store.

Blame Climate change, not your mistake.

In 2016 then Governor Jerry Brown declared that California was in a permanent state of drought, so they might as well atart to prepare for water rationing.

The Lake Oroville Dam had a large crack in its spillway, and it was part of the regular maintenance to fix it, but since they were in a permanent drought the lake would never again be full, so there was no need, and certainly no hurry to fix it. Then in 1917 it started to rain again, the lake started to overflow, and instead of a less than 20 million maintenance task it became an over 1 Billion dollar rescue effort with helicopters trying to dump stones in the eroded parts of the dam

That was in early 2017. then in early 2019 it was full again, and with proper conservation measures there was enough water for 5 to 7 years with normal rainfalls from then on, so not to worry. Look where the lake levels are now:

Lake Oroville water level 8 8 639.67 feet

power. But that is not allSince today’s level is below the intake for hydro-power there will be no power from Oroville dam until spring melting season, thus depraving California about 440 MW of power. But that is not all, it also eliminates Oroville Dam of 117 MW power as a Hydro-power storage “battery” for excess wind power, so more wind turbines will have to be shut off when the wind is blowing since there are no customers for excess power. On the other hand, when the wind is not blowing it will have to be replaced by coal or natural gas, which are in insufficient supply. The future is full of brownouts, and rotating blackouts.

This is how the Oroville Lake looks now:

What is most galling is that of the water released in March of this year, before farmers really started to use water, 91% of the released water went into the San Francisco Bay to save the Delta Smelt, a totally useless fish, but protected. For the moment I can not think of a more inept way to run a water and energy business.

What is more precious? Babies, Eagles or fighting climate change?

When I was a little boy is Sweden my father had a dear old friend that was so in love with birds and they with him that he had a great horned owl that came down and sat on his shoulder when he called. I was only three years old at that time, but the sight of this giant bird coming down from the big spruce tree is a sight I will never forget. Since then I have always enjoyed watching birds, normally soaring hawks, but especially eagles, rare as they may be.

Later in life I got gloriously saved and started reading the Bible, and one verse from the prophet Isaiah stands out :Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I am now at the stage in my life where walk and not faint seems pretty good, but following what goes on in the world is still exciting, even watching the birds.

The big talk is fighting climate change, and the prevailing political belief is that rising CO2 levels is its major cause, so no expense is spared to find renewable energy in the form of wind power, but at what cost?

The Eagle has landed in aerie

on top of a windmill – that’s scary.

Doesn’t know she will die,

whacked right out of the sky

from rotating blades unawary.

The idea of wind farming is to create sustainable energy.

Will the population of eagles and other large birds be sustainable?

Image result for eagles and wind turbines

They like to build their aeries on top of wind turbines, the highest structure in their territory.

It is estimated that the total bird kill by the year 2030 is going to be 1 million three hundred thousand birds. And that is if the Green New Deal is not implemented.

Is the large bird population sustainable even now?

crane-killed-by-turbine

This is a crane killed by a wind turbine blade. In parts of Ohio they have forbidden the turbines to run at night to protect a rare bat.

The allowable yearly limit for killing bald eagles by wind turbines  was upped from 1100 to 4200 on Jan 17 2017, still under the Obama administration. The allowable limit for golden eagles is still 0. If the bird-kill exceeds the allowance, heavy fines are imposed, but that is just the price of producing clean energy. in 2013 Duke energy paid a 1.9 million dollar fine for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds.

If you as a person poaches an eagle egg, see this picture

And it takes energy to produce energy. The cost of de-icing the average airplane is $1500. And that is without the helicopter.

And I am not sure about the former.

But there are potentially better solutions: The vertical wind turbine:

low_cost_n6ujf

It has a somewhat lower efficiency than conventional wind turbines, but can produce electricity for about 4 c per kWh, so all is not lost. They do not kill birds, and can be made to function with wind speeds of up to 70 mph.

Duck, Duck, Go bankrupt, California’s energy policy.

Depend on renewable power

is chancy in sunshine or shower.

California’s surge

is becoming a scourge;

the losses add up every hour.

It started innocently enough. In 2012 the California power demand was nearly constant, with power varying 20% from maximum to minimum hourly demand.

Image result for duck curve california

Then California decided to have 50% of renewable energy by 2030, mostly by solar and wind, and passed it into law, but the hydroelectric capacity could not be increased due to “environmental concerns”.

The push for renewable energy has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, so the goal may be met in 2020, not 2030. There is one major problem.

What can be done when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine? The electric need must still be met. And therein lies the problem. The sun only shines during daytime, and there is already a surplus of energy in the middle of the day. This affects the prices for peak power, so mush so, that wind and sun generated energy has to pay to feed the grid. They are heavily subsidized, so as long as the amount they have to pay is less than the subsidy the grid will be fed, and the base generation will have to be lowered to stabilize the grid. The prices range from minus five cents/kWh to about 55 c/kWh. (The peak price has been as high as 98 c/kWh during peak demand.

Image result for duck curve california

Burt that is only part of the problem. The non-renewable electricity providers will have to double the electricity production every day between 5 and 8 p.m. every day. Using capacitors to even out the grid variations solves 0.3% of the problem.Some can be done by using the dams for power generation, but the grid is not built to handle the drastically increased demand, and environmental fights makes it impossible to build out the grid. In addition, the dams are far away from the areas that need the electricity, in other words, it is a mess.

And the consumer is left to pay the extra costs, and the taxpayer is left to pay the extra subsidies.

Talking about subsidies: Electric cars are subsidized to the tune of 2500 to 7500 dollars, and they are recharged when? They are driven mostly during daytime, and when people come home they are put in the charger – at 55 c/kWh to the utility.

Clean energy is not cheap, and it is not clean since the non renewable electric production capacity still has to be fully built up for the time when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.