As the major powers – particularly the cabal in DC – try to change the world and where we get the energy that is essential to progress, peace, prosperity, and much more, we see some disturbing trends.
It is not just that countries like Germany and France have allowed themselves to take sides in the Russian-Ukraine war and therefore opened themselves (and the rest of western Europe) to Russian sanctions on oil and gas. Thus creating shortages that have forced them to reverse their embrace of “green” power (wind, solar) and go back to nuclear and coal power. It is not the Biden regime’s crackdown and planned elimination of coal- and even gas-powered electrical production. Nor China’s growing (and justified) fear of losing the critical supplies of oil and gas which come from elsewhere.
Some of it is very basic.
Lies about pipelines in the past have had major impacts on the energy economy. A fairly recent example was the denial – at a cost of billions – of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and on south. Among the many lies that swung both popular opinion and the politicians’ actions were claims that the work camps were an excuse for sexual slavery of AmerInd women and would bring the drug war to the reservations and rural areas. But even more easily denied lies were claims that the Albertan oil had to be heated to such a high temperature as to cause the steel pipeline to melt, but that when the pipeline melted and burst, allowing a release of oil to the environment, that spilled oil would spread over dozens of square miles and seep into the ground water and surface water, polluting the land and water. (Why lies? First, the heated temperature of the oil was only a fraction of the melting point of steel – or for that matter aluminum! Secondly, any released oil would immediately begin cooling to the ambient temperature (somewhere between -30F and 110F, depending on season) and the oil would solidify. Thus a spill might create a few square yards of soil but would not flow into water.)
Lies about safety are what we want to discuss right now. Consider this chart, found at several sites on the worldwide web.
“Gee, it looks like the science is pretty clear, huh, Nathan? Coal and oil are evil, it’s clear. And that other fossil fuel, natural gas, isn’t really that much better, is it, Nathan? So why aren’t you, as an engineer and a safety and health trainer, supporting that good stuff at the bottom? Wind and solar is the future!”
We all know the adage: there are lies, d**ned lies, and statistics. In this case, it is what is and is not counted that turns charts like this into a big lie. The emissions and death rate in the chart are for operations and maintenance: mining and transporting the coal, drilling and producing and refining and transporting the oil and gas, planting and harvesting the biomass. The numbers do NOT include the costs of constructing the plants themselves – including the costs of mining the materials needed to produce the plants themselves: the rare earths, the copper, the other metals, the concrete and everything else. And of course, other environmental and social impacts are ignored.
As an engineer in the mining industry, I recognize that coal-fired power – from building the power stations to mining the coal, to dealing with the ash and other impacts – is dangerous, deadly, and costly. Since my college days, I’ve promoted alternatives and studied them. As both an environmental and a mining engineer, I have worked with many people to balance safety, health, and environmental issues and impacts. And I have long argued that nuclear power – not just fusion but fission – especially thorium – is the long-term solution to providing the energy needed to meet the rapidly growing demand for power caused by increasing population, production, prosperity, and yes, liberty and profits!
I’ve known for decades that coal-produced electrical power produces more radiation than nuclear-produced power. (Yes, even considering such things as Chernobyl and the Fukishima disasters.) But until we free nuclear power from the fear of nukes and the power politics (pun intended) of the last 80 years, coal is essential. Even without international sanctions. Wind and solar cannot, and will not, provide the power needed – not just in the future but now. The last several years of bitter experience in California and Texas, to name just two places, and what is feared for this winter in Western Europe, demonstrates that.
Another example of lies is the EPA push for the elimination of the Diesel-fueled truck, as discussed in this article published by Breitbart. The lies here are the supposed massive benefits (in dollars and lives) from putting the screws on the trucking industry.
The purpose of this commentary is not to discuss solutions – and many libertarians and others have provided such – but to point out that as long as lies are dominating the conversation, the hope of solving the problems of energy will be very low.
Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .