By Paul Homewood China is building 300 new coal power stations around the world, according to NPR(National Public Radio), who I gather are the US equivalent of the BBC: China, known as the world’s biggest polluter, has been taking dramatic steps to clean up and fight climate change. So why is it also […]
By Dr. Tim Ball, from his website. The consistent pattern of the IPCC reveals demonization and misrepresentations of CO2. Here are some basic facts about CO2 that illustrate the discrepancy between what the IPCC claim and what science knows. Natural levels of Carbon dioxide (CO2) are less than 0.04% of the total atmosphere; it is…
Guest essay by Eric Worrall While China publicly demands the USA fulfil Obama’s Paris Agreement pledges, and makes a big deal of their conversion to green energy, behind the scenes the Chinese Belt and Road initiative is starting to look like a gigantic coal plant construction exercise. Why Is China Placing A Global Bet On…
How Bad Science and Emotional Appeals Spread Disinformation.
In today’s world, there is more false and misleading “information” than there is good science that is based on facts and not emotions and mythical or wishful beliefs. Much of what you see is either false or overblown. How can you know what to believe? It’s easy for me to say “Do your own research,” but that is often asking too much of most people who do not have analytical minds which have a habit of using critical thinking, much less have training in interpretation of scientific testing and results. Today’s sensational and social media agenda are often driven by emotions, ideologies, politics, commercial aims or just plain stinking thinking. The image above can help you understand factors that are important to discern fact from fiction, speculation and mythology.
Anecdotal stories do not constitute facts. Correlation does not mean causation. The flawed reasoning goes something like this: John ate a lot of apples. John got heart disease or cancer. Therefore, apples (or some chemical on them) caused John to develop heart disease or cancer. More examples of people who ate apples and got heart disease or cancer do not constitute proof that they cause disease. Correlation does not mean causation. Maybe it is just two unrelated facts that are paired for sensational effect or to intentionally mislead you.
In humans, there are a lot of lifestyle and workplace differences between people, so one factor (apple) cannot be said to be a cause of anything without taking into consideration what else could contribute or cause the effect. Other factors such as obesity, alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, sleep habits, age, heredity, other risky behavior, etc. have to be ruled out in closely controlled studies. Small numbers of examples that seem to support the premise do not constitute “clinical trials” or proof. To be statistically significant, very large numbers must be included along with control groups that do not use the suspected substance, preferably in a double blind study. (double blind means neither the subject or the person giving the substance know which are real and which are placebo so their attitude cannot affect the result.) I’m sorry, but Reader’s Digest and Facebook “statistics” are often flawed and any conclusions must be questioned and examined closely, even if it seems to come from a reliable source or even your grandmother.
It is wise to consider the source. There are powerful advocacy groups pushing agendas having nothing to do with real science or caring for your safety, which they claim. These include anti-vaxx, organic anti-modern agriculture, anti-pesticide, anti-fossil fuel, in general anti-human progress groups that influence national and international agencies to act out of a preponderance of caution. The precautionary principle, used in the European Union, stops all progress in its tracks. If a substance with no presently known safety issues may possibly, conceivably cause some unforeseen harm in the future it cannot be used. It is also unscientific because it demands proving a negative.
Word to the wise: Be cautious and suspicious of any health claim you read or hear about. There is often an agenda driven ideology or money-making scheme behind it.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. —H. L. Menchen
First they came for the coal industry, now for oil and gas: West Australian EPA decides state must meet “Paris” alone, by Joanne Nova. Suddenly, with five minutes warning, Western Australia may be going it alone to meet Paris on behalf of Australia. Not because an elected government decided that, but because of five people […]
Can Wind and Solar Provide Reliable, Consistent Power or is it a Utopian dream?
Is it possible for wind and solar power to be reliable and consistent? Let’s look at the facts.
Wind power needs a narrow range of wind speeds. Too slow and no power is generated. Too fast and turbines could be damaged, so they must be shut down. Output is intermittent and variable.
Each wind turbine needs several hundred pounds of rare earth elements for super magnets needed to generate electricity.
Cables from each turbine are needed to connect all of them to the grid, unlike thermal, hydro and nuclear plants where the energy is generated in one location.
Wind power requires vast areas to be cleared, to provide the level of output needed for any one area. Wind farms disrupt the ecology of the environment, and produce annoying or harmful low and infra sound.
A wind turbine can last 15 to 20 years with regular maintenance by trained technicians.
Wind turbines create a vacuum behind their blades that pull birds and bats in to be killed by the blades. The insect population, normally kept in check by birds and bats, would necessarily increase as would crop damage and diseases carried by insects.
Solar power needs full sun to deliver optimum output. Clouds, rain, fog, dust and night block sunlight. Photovoltaic solar cells need to be aimed directly at the sun, so tracking mechanisms are needed for optimum output. Without tracking, less power is generated. Output is intermittent and variable.
The sun yields up to 1 Kilowatt or power per meter. Solar cells yield 15 to 30% output when directly aimed at the sun, but power output declines with angle away from vertical. At higher latitudes maximum output can never be reached because the sun is never directly overhead. As cells age, they lose about 1% per year of capacity.
Rare earth elements are needed for high output solar cells. Heat reduces output so cooling may be required.
Cables from each solar panel are needed to connect all of them to the grid, unlike thermal, hydro and nuclear plants where the energy is generated in one location.
Solar power requires vast areas to be cleared and covered by solar arrays, to provide the level of output needed for any one area. Solar arrays disrupt the ecology of the environment.
Solar panels last 10 to 20 years with regular cleaning of surfaces and maintenance of tracking and cooling systems by trained technicians.
Both solar and wind power have inconsistent, intermittant output that requires backup power in the form of fossil fuel thermal, geothermal, hydroelectric or nuclear plants. None of these sources can be switched on and off quickly on demand, and balancing output for consistency would be almost impossible. It would be necessary to run backup power plants constantly on standby, which is less efficient than running them consistently at optimum power.
Combined Wind and Solar
The sun is always shining somewhere in the world, so average output can be fairly consistent and constant.
The wind is always blowing at optimum speeds somewhere in the world, so average output can be fairly consistent and constant.
But for any one location or even one region, neither solar nor wind power are consistent and constant. The only way solar and wind could come close to providing constant, reliable power is by linking wind and solar plants all over the world into one huge distributed worldwide grid that would even out power levels.
This system would require many billions of miles of electrical transmission cables but would suffer from significant power losses over distance, even at very high voltages, and require constant maintenance. It is doubtful that such a system could actually share a worldwide grid due to transmission loses.
Such a grid, if possible, would require one worldwide government to regulate and run the system. All national and political barriers would have to be eliminated. We are talking about a communist/socialist top down Utopia, which requires iron fisted control of every aspect of life from the top.
A worldwide, distributed power grid is an unrealistic Communist/socialist Utopian dream that can never be accomplished in the real world.
Since constant and consistent power can never be accomplished with Solar and Wind systems, these systems should be abandoned except for solar panels for very local uses on single homes or as a supplement for single businesses.
The cleanest and greenest sources of reliable electrical power are hydroelectric, geothermal and nuclear. These systems can supply almost all of the power needed for a developing world. On the road to developing these sources in areas lacking infrastructure, it will be necessary to employ fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas until capacity is built up. Natural gas is the cleanest of these three. Without having to back up the intermittency of solar or wind, power plants can be run at optimum efficiency to minimize fuel consumption and maximize power output.
The ONLY justification for wind power – the massive subsidies upon which it entirely depends (see our post here); spiralling power prices (see our post here); and the suffering caused to neighbours by incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound (see our post here) – is the claim that it reduces CO2 emissions in the electricity sector.
STT has pointed out – just once or twice – that that claim is nothing more than a central, endlessly repeated lie.
Because wind power fails to deliver at all hundreds of times each year, 100% of its capacity has to be backed up 100% of the time by fossil fuel generation sources – which run constantly in the background to balance the grid and prevent blackouts when wind power output collapses – as it does on a routine, but unpredictable, basis (see our posts here and here and here and
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