Total Bunkum: Why Running On 100% Wind & Solar Is 100% Impossible — STOP THESE THINGS

No country in the world is running on wind and solar power alone; no country ever will. Calm weather and sunset guarantee it. Every routine collapse in wind and solar power output (for the reasons above) requires the total capacity lost in consequence to come from somewhere, and that ‘somewhere’ is going to be a […]

Total Bunkum: Why Running On 100% Wind & Solar Is 100% Impossible — STOP THESE THINGS

Antihumanism, Communism, Environmentalism and the Overpopulation Myth

Countries by Poverty Rate – World Bank

The roots of environmentalism go back to the eighteenth century in the form of the overpopulation myth of Malthusianism, which was all about limiting the human population to prevent a predicted Malthusian Catastrophe, i.e. mass starvation, and for genetic purity, especially among supposedly genetically inferior groups e.g. certain races, cultures and the chronically poor. This is based on the progressive beliefs in materialism, (i.e. there is no spiritual side, only the material we can see and touch), and humanism, (i e. man is the measure of everything and determines morals to suit his circumstances).  From these progressive philosophies grew socialism, communism, fascism, the eugenics[1] movement and environmentalism, all of which are about control of the masses by an elite few, and all are basically anti-human, anti-development and anti-freedom.

In 1798 Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principles of Population[2]  in which he predicted future starvation based on the assumption that the rate of population growth would far surpass the growth rate of food supplies. Using this, he proposed draconian measures to “fix” an assumed overpopulation problem at a time when world population was below one billion.  Malthus made two major erroneous assumptions:

  1. Genetic inferiority and enhanced fertility of less accomplished peoples
  2. No improvement in crop yields per acre.

He assumed that the only way to grow more food was to increase the number of acres under cultivation, which limited the total “carrying capacity” of any region and indeed the world. We now know that yields have improved by orders of magnitude through things such as introduction of more prolific, disease resistant plant varieties and high yield hybrids, nitrogen and mineral fertilization, mechanization and control of insect and rodent pests. Nor did he foresee the natural reduction of family size that usually occurs when people are raised beyond near-starvation subsistence, and when diseases are controlled so that high childhood mortality is reduced.

Using these false assumptions as a “reason,” he advocated government measures to reduce population growth rates among the poor such as regulating marriage, educating for moral abstinence, as well as birth control and sterilization. However, he opposed nutritional relief and improved hospital access that would have reduced infant mortality and extended life spans among the poor.  In his opinion, helping the poor only made the supposed overpopulation problem worse.  He extended this same philosophy to Africa where he observed that the Tsetse fly and Malaria helped to keep human population numbers and lifespans low, which he saw as a good thing.

This same upside down philosophy persists today among progressives who only typically want to manage the poor while keeping them poor.  Malthus was pushing evolution and eugenics long before Charles Darwin[3] and Frances Galton[4].   In The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin assumed that the superior races (assumed to be white Europeans) would eventually cause the extinction of the inferior races (assumed to be black and brown peoples). Francis Galton coined the term eugenics for a theory about improving the human race through selective breeding and exclusion from reproduction of supposedly genetically inferior groups.

“At some future period, not very distant as measured in centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.

—Charles Darwin, Descent of Man

Because genetic inferiority of certain races, cultures and the poor has largely been rejected by more enlightened geneticists and the public in general, (but apparently not for powerful population control supporters), along with vastly improved food production rates, environmentalism is the latest cause celebre to cover brutal inhumanity to man in the form of forced or coerced population control in places like China, lndia and Africa.  The shift from eugenics or racial purity to environmentalism is based on the false assumption that the world is overpopulated, resulting in harm to the environment.  This makes environmentalism and population control a perfect match and a good fit for the progressive elite seeking control.

Is it true that the world is overpopulated? Only if agriculture had remained as it was in the eighteenth century.  However, the advances in crop yields are more than enough to feed the world.  There is more than enough food for all.  The reason for starvation and poor nutrition is usually political mismanagement or worse, such as well-meaning but misguided environmentalism and population control by philanthropic societies, NGOs, UN and local governments intentionally keeping the poorest in their disease ridden squalor without adequate infrastructure to provide for basic needs in order to control the people.  A healthy and educated population is much harder for a dictator to control and thereby remain in power.

The best way to stabilize population, if that is the goal, is to raise the standard of living by providing employment, transportation, electricity, medical care, education, clean water and adequate food. It is a well known fact that family size is naturally reduced when living standards are improved beyond the point where excess children are needed to insure replacement of those lost in early childhood to disease and malnutrition.  It can be argued that the population is too low in many areas to provide the cooperation and man power to provide better facilities without outside aid. Only cities are overpopulated, and that is usually by choice. As population numbers have grown, the world has seen an increase in the standard of living, as reflected in the global GDP per capita, due to division of labor and shared responsibility for both agriculture and developing infrastructure.  We should be doing all we can to raise the world’s poor out of poverty. Caring for the environment is the last thing on the minds of people who are having difficulty feeding their children.  Raising their standard of living is the best thing we could do to stabilize the population and protect the environment. Unfortunately, the progressives would rather do the opposite for ideological reasons.

I have seen the benefits of higher population and the negative side of low population myself. I grew up in an area of the Appalachian Mountains where population is low. Services that are available in the cities and towns a couple of hours away are not or only marginally available in these mountainous rural areas.  Even finding a plumber or electrician is difficult.  Although the situation is better now because of improvements in highways, many in the area still must travel to the cities for proper medical care.  Lower population means lower tax basis, fewer businesses, less opportunity. It has been difficult getting businesses, whether they are medical facilities, manufacturing, commercial or food and entertainment,  interested in locating in an area where the customer and workforce base are low.  It has been particularly difficult getting doctors to come and stay.  It hasn’t been that long since the first fast food restaurant came into the area.  I bring this up to illustrate the logic of raising the population to improve living standards.  Granted, this is a far cry from poor villages in other countries, but it still illustrates the point that higher population brings higher living standards.

[1] Eugenics is the “science” of improving the human race by selective breeding of genetically superior people and preventing supposedly genetically inferior people from reproducing.

[2] Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principles of Population, 1798, London

[3] Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species , 1858, London, The Descent of Man, 1871

[4] Francis Galton, 1865 article “Hereditary Talent and Character”, Hereditary Genius., 1869, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, 1883.

Keeping America Energized, Maybe 45Q will Help? — Dick Storm’s Thoughts on Energy, Education, Economic Prosperity & Environmental Blog

Recently I was interviewed by Peter Perri for his Podcast on “Energy Media”. We talked for about an hour and I expressed my opinion on America’s dismal… “Lack of a Rational Energy Transition Policy”. It is just a Decarbonization Policy without provisions for providing power generation until technology and build out of new nuclear catches […]

Keeping America Energized, Maybe 45Q will Help? — Dick Storm’s Thoughts on Energy, Education, Economic Prosperity & Environmental Blog

Why Hydrogen Is Not The Answer — NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood The Telegraph article, which I posted on yesterday, noted:   A Government spokesman said: “A low carbon hydrogen sector here in the UK will be critical to delivering energy security, economic growth, and our net zero ambitions. “We expect to have up to two gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen projects […]

Why Hydrogen Is Not The Answer — NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

Cutting-edge colonialism: “Hey Africa, we’ll take all that cobalt, but we decided your hydrocarbons have to stay in the ground” — Public Energy Number One

Here in North America, we’re becoming accustomed to powerful figures uttering utterly bonkers statements with respect to energy. We have President Biden in 2020 expressing an interest in throwing fossil fuel executives in jail for their crime of providing hydrocarbons, then currently admonishing those same executives for not producing enough oil/natural gas. We see European […]

Cutting-edge colonialism: “Hey Africa, we’ll take all that cobalt, but we decided your hydrocarbons have to stay in the ground” — Public Energy Number One

Small unit can supply farmers with Nitrogen fertillizer as needed

See text of article from Chemical & Engineering News below and reference to original Nature research report (paywalled)

Chemists make N₂ into NH₃ in most efficient electrochemical reaction ever

Electrochemical reaction with Li has higher yield and uses less energy than conventional methods

by Leigh Krietsch Boerner
August 4, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 27

Electrochemical device used to turn nitrogen gas into ammonia at nearly 100% efficiency.

Credit: Steven Morton/Monash University

Using this electrochemical device, researchers were able to convert nitrogen gas to ammonia with nearly 100% efficiency.

Ammonia is a crucial fertilizer for the world’s food production, and now scientists have figured out how to make it with nearly 100% efficiency, using nitrogen gas and electricity (Nature 2022, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05108-y). This new process could be a greener alternative to current NH3 production processes, which consume about 1% of the world’s total energy.

Most of the NH3 in the world is made by the Haber-Bosch process, which takes hydrogen gas made from fossil-fuel feedstocks, and ultimately combines it with N2 to make NH3. In 2010, the process dumped about 451 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, according to the Institute for Industrial Productivity.

Alexandr Simonov, Douglas MacFarlane, and coworkers from Monash University improved on an electrochemical, lithium-mediated N2 reduction reaction to make NH3 at a rate 100 times as high as the rates of previous attempts. Simonov says changing the electrolyte increased the efficiency of the reaction in two ways: by increasing how much N2 is converted to NH3 and by improving what’s called the faradic efficiency. “It essentially means how much current is converted to the target product,” Simonov says.

In Li-mediated N2 electroreduction, a significant portion of the current causes other reactions, including the deposition of Li metal onto the electrode inside the electrochemical device and the reductive degradation of the electrolytes, MacFarlane says. By switching to a bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide electrolyte, the team created a system that shut off unwanted side reactions with Li metal and spit out mainly NH3. “So this is a big deal in these two aspects, not only making the process more efficient, more effective, but also making it much more stable because there is no mechanism now for it to degrade,” MacFarlane says.

The device for turning N2 into NH3 is small and portable, he says, which makes it ideal for farmers to have on-site. “The device doesn’t have to be Haber-Bosch, chemical plant size and producing thousands of tons a day. It can produce kilograms of NH3 per day, which is exactly what farmers want,” MacFarlane says. In addition, scientists think NH3 can be a renewable alternative for carbon-based fuels, as well as a way to store and move energy from one place to another. This research will likely make a stable, practical process for sustainable NH3 production a reality.

“Reaching near 100% electron-based selectivity is something that has felt out of reach, but this study gets the field there,” says Karthish Manthiram, a chemical engineer at the California Institute of Technology. “This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.”


The headline of this story was updated on Aug. 9, 2022, to specify that the reaction is the most efficient electrochemical reaction for turning N₂ into NH₃ ever reported. The original headline was “Chemists make N₂ into NH₃ in most efficient reaction ever.”

Chemical & Engineering News

ISSN 0009-2347

Copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society

The Dangers of Low Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations — Watts Up With That?

Consequently, any reduction in the CO2 content of the atmosphere will negatively impact the current state of nature, reducing not only the growth of plants, but other benefits brought about by higher CO2 concentrations,

The Dangers of Low Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations — Watts Up With That?