Green New Deal = Pointless Posturing: Joe Biden’s Trillion Dollar Wind & Solar Boondoggle

The only obvious point to Biden’s ‘Green’ New Deal is lining the pockets of crony capitalists and keeping lobbying rent seekers happy.

Hundreds of $billions more are set to be squandered on utterly pointless wind and solar. A point which ought to be pretty obvious to Americans, after millions experienced the mass blackouts suffered across Texas and the American Midwest back in February. Blackouts that occurred when millions of solar panels were plastered in snow and ice, thousands of wind turbines were left frozen solid and breathless, frigid weather meant that those that weren’t frozen stiff, produced no power at all.

With the climate industrial complex’s crony capitalists once again driving America’s energy agenda, we’ll take a timely look at what’s in store for Americans.

Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he co-directs an Institute on Manufacturing Science and Innovation. Mark recently spoke with City Journal associate editor Daniel Kennelly about the Biden agenda on energy and the environment.

Green Dreams
City Journal
Mark Mills and Daniel Kennelly
20 March 2021

Mark Mills: What impact will Biden’s energy policies have on global climate?

Daniel Kennelly: The short answer: none. The key issue is unrelated to anyone’s opinion about global warming. What matters is whether the kinds of efforts proposed can arithmetically make any meaningful difference in world energy use. I emphasize “world.” Cancelling the Keystone Pipeline, for example, didn’t eliminate oil use. It just shifted where it’s shipped to, and how it’s shipped—somewhere else, and more expensively. And even if efforts to strangle Keystone’s output were successful, eliminating that much oil use wouldn’t change anything in the global context. For example, China plans to build more coal power plants that will, in carbon terms, equal about 20 Keystone Pipelines. And about one-third of those new coal plants are already under construction. That’s just China. Similar plans for more coal, and more oil, and more natural gas use are afoot in South Asia and the rest of the world.

Mark Mills: The administration has proposed spending $2 trillion on its climate programs. Does this represent the true cost of “decarbonizing” energy production in the U.S.?

Daniel Kennelly: That’s not even close to the true cost, either directly or indirectly in terms of overall economic consequences. Looking just at the electric grid, which accounts for about one-third of America’s energy use, it would cost at least $5 trillion to build enough wind, solar, and battery systems to replace all the power plants that currently burn natural gas and coal. And, in broad economic terms, all that money will have been spent to produce the same quantity of the same product—kilowatt-hours. That kind of spending is the polar opposite of improving society’s productivity. This matters because increasing productivity is, as all economists know, the key to increasing society’s overall wealth. Even if such programs create jobs, and they would, we’d be putting more labor into producing the same output which, ultimately, is negative for economic growth.

Mark Mills: How will these policies affect cities?

Daniel Kennelly: If they’re implemented as envisioned, it will mean both more expensive and less reliable electricity. A realiable grid is more important in our increasingly everything-digital age, and also as more electricity is used for transportation. Roughly speaking, we’ll nearly have to double the grid to replace all the oil used on the roads.

Mark Mills: What lessons should we take away from last month’s cold snap and rolling blackouts in Texas?

Daniel Kennelly: Eventually, after all the finger-pointing and green-spinning, we’ll find out that there were multiple relevant factors in the domino of events that happened. That’s always the case with big disasters. But all disasters start with a trigger. In Texas, it began with a near total loss of output from the state’s huge wind farms. Put differently, there wouldn’t have been an outage if just a fraction of the Texas wind capacity had instead been the kind of power plants that grid operators can call on when they’re needed. And those would be things like winterized natural gas turbines. At the center of the debate about how to prevent a next time—and there’s always a next time with weather events—there’s a simple truism: the hallmark of all critical infrastructure is reserve capabilities that are available when needed. I know that some people are seriously proposing that batteries can do that job for wind. Texas is planning to build the world’s second biggest battery-storage system for a “next time.” For perspective, that planned, huge storage system will be able to store just three minutes of the electricity produced by Texas wind farms.

Mark Mills: What recent books would you recommend on energy and the environment?

Daniel Kennelly: For confirmation that there are no global-scale solutions to changing world energy supply or demand, there’s Bill Gates’s new book, How to Avoid A Climate Disaster. Gates, of course, starts from the premise that we need to do something. For sobering perspective on the consequences of green-energy technologies, I just started reading The World For Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources. The title is self-explanatory. As I’ve written often, the shift from oil and gas to wind, solar, and batteries is a shift from liquids and gases to using solids and mining for energy minerals. That shift entails an enormous—about ten-fold—increase in the total quantities of materials used for each unit of energy delivered. And it means a shift in the places where we get critical energy materials; from domestic production to imports. Those shifts will be consequential.
City Journal

Not cool: never reliable & hopeless in icy winter weather.

3 thoughts on “Green New Deal = Pointless Posturing: Joe Biden’s Trillion Dollar Wind & Solar Boondoggle

  1. RE is the biggest con job since royalty claimed a God given right to rule.
    It was easier to tell the goodies from the baddies when they wore white and black hats.
    In 1931 Lord Bertrand Russell wrote, “The scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities, probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the remedies of psychoanalysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play. All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called ‘cooperative’; i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children; insubordination without punishment will be scientifically trained out of them.”
    He then went on to say of his 1950 Congress for Cultural Freedom established in 35 countries along with CIA involvement, ‘if we only get children to believe that snow is grey, we have done our job’.
    Anyone who wants to know how snow jobs are perpetrated need only watch the online documentary Unlawful Killing Princess Diana.

    Joe Biden, like Barack Obama, is such a royalty crawler he might lend Prince Harry Air Force 1 for his Blighty trip.
    USA is so anti its established purpose (Alexander Hamilton, et al.) they might just as well sell the Statue of Liberty for scrap. Biden is more suited to have come from one of the southern slave states, as neither he nor Obama, a constitutional lawyer, seem to understand what the Second Amendment means by “A well regulated Militia”. In such a lawless land he may be scared of getting shot.

    Compulsory education teaches people to read only as fast as they can speak (subvocalisation); my words not Jim Kwik’s, otherwise they may amass and retain knowledge that would jeopardise politicians’ ability to do the will of the minority money class. The masses may wake up to the fact they will never be rich enough to need a tax haven or the other dodge of family trusts.

    There’s a global semiconductor shortage and Biden wants to add $US50bn to the $bns companies are already going to invest. Free enterprise? Go figure. If they want government out of private industry, tell it to spend in the public sector.
    Plenty of money for useless RE but not enough to put into more fusion research. So it has to be true that cheap, reliable, safe, on demand, electricity, even modular fission plants, is not what society controllers want. Just like they don’t want a large educated population, that would give royalty and its ilk the boot. Problems, like crime, is a top down process; dumbed down folk have to get their ideas from somewhere.

  2. Disappointed that Daniel Kennelly did not mention Meredith Angwin’s “Shorting the Grid” which pretty much predicted the outages before they happened.

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