Whoever came up with the unscientific, fallacious idea of your “carbon footprint”? It was a lie to begin with because he or she was talking about how much carbon dioxide you created. As CO2 is what you exhale every minute and without it plants would not survive, they shortened it to “carbon” to make you think soot or coal dust. Yuck!
We are told your “carbon footprint” measures the impact of your existence on this planet, your damage to mother Earth, without which somehow the world would remain pristine and wonderful. Then you came along and ruined it. What the big black bear, the deer, or the squirrel does in nature is irrelevant to these people He is a bear, deer, or squirrel and he and all else in nature’s realm belongs. But not you.
Just by simply being here, walking the earth, breathing, we are supposedly damaging the Earth. Not enough people pay attention to the late, great Julian Simon who saw humans as having a primarily positive impact on our planet.
The human negative is a new idea manufactured by people who truly hate people. It has put dangerous roadblocks in the way of progress in so many areas and disciplines.
Carbon dioxide is a trace gas in the atmosphere, currently making up about 420 parts per million. So, are we polluting the environment simply by breathing? The people who are pushing this perverse idea purposely use the term “carbon pollution”. They never say carbon dioxide pollution because then people would pick up on its obvious non-harmful life-supporting side effects.
You want pollution, go to a third-world nation where environmental damage dwarfs most anything you have seen or imagined. These are the places that do not use large amounts of energy and they have often destroyed their environmental surroundings as a result. They have short life spans, a dirty existence, disease, and all of the maladies that we saw many decades ago in the western world. That world has now elevated itself out of the carbohydrate era, into the hydrocarbon era.
Eco-activists say, “Fossil fuels are bad!” Okay, what will take the place of these inexpensive, widely available energy sources? Fact check: There aren’t any.
In the well-known teen movie, “Back to the Future,” George McFly approaches a young lady in a malt shop and says “I am your density.” He misspoke (meaning to say “destiny”), but he was right on both counts. When it comes to energy, density is everything. And energy density has created our current destiny—a amazing modern world inconceivable to people who lived only a century ago.
It’s been calculated that the sunlight that hits the earth in only one hour could provide enough energy to power the entire world for a year. That could be true, but how are we going to harness large quantities of that energy resource? The sun’s light is highly diffuse. It doesn’t do anything for us (in the form of electricity) unless we can concentrate it. We can do this, but not on a scale required to reliably power our electrical system. We can only concentrate relatively small amounts of sunlight making small amounts of electricity—and then, only when the sun is shining.
In the popular sitcom “Big Bang Theory” guest star Bob Newhart powers a clock with a potato. It really can be done, but so what? The lovable, but not so bright Penny asks, “Couldn’t that solve the world’s energy crisis?” Newhart responds in his classic deadpan delivery, “NO”. Renewable technologies (primarily wind and solar) can only capture small amounts of the diffuse energy available. These technologies are no match for highly dense, prepacked fossil fuels—oil, natural gas, and coal. Uranium, made productive through a nuclear power plant, is even more dense. Density makes all the difference. Consequently, wind and solar technologies that capture diffuse energy are far more expensive when compared to oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium.
The other problem with renewables is that they are intermittent. On average they only produce power only about 25 to 35 percent of the time. Because the electric grid demands a constant, stable flow of electrons, there must be a reliable energy source to produce those electrons when wind and solar are taking one of their many unpredictable breaks. Natural gas is the primary energy source that fills in the gaps for unreliable wind and solar. Without it, the modern electrical grid could not function.
In the Texas freeze in February of 2021, the grid came within 4 minutes of completely crashing. It was saved by shutting off power to just enough users in order to balance what goes in with what goes out of the electric system. Four and a half million homes and businesses lost power, many of them for days. Hundreds of people died as the result of rolling blackouts. However, during that time natural gas increased its output by an astounding 450 percent! It did so while there was record usage of natural gas for home heating. Think of the many thousands of people who would have died in that frozen week if natural gas had not come to the rescue.
Unfortunately, many states (most notably Texas and California) have significantly increased the amount of unreliable wind and solar while not growing reliable baseload power sources—nuclear, coal, and natural gas. As a result, these states will be experiencing many more temporary blackouts in the years to come. The electric grid simply cannot function consistently with high levels of unreliable electricity generation that is not backed up by reliable sources.
We can best describe wind and solar as “supplemental electricity technologies”. Baseload power runs the grid and wind and solar are free riders. Natural gas is used to balance the system when wind and solar are not available. Keeping that backup power on standby raises the cost of electricity. The author of this article coined this as an electrical engineering rule of thumb with his writing partner Terigi Ciccone, the author of The Hitchhikers Journey Through Climate Change. The bottom line is that no wind or solar installation has ever displaced a conventional power plant.
Mark Mathis, in his documentary film “Fractured”, shows Germany’s effort to replace conventional power with wind, some of it offshore. This has been done throughout Europe and Australia, but they are all now backing off as electric prices have tripled. They bought the big lie that they could generate massive amounts of electricity with wind and solar power. But what they have purchased is much more expensive and less reliable electric grids. This is where the fraud of our dangerous carbon footprints are getting us.
NOTE: Portions of this article have been excerpted from the film FRACTURED with the permission of the producer and narrator Mark Mathis. It is simply the best 90 minutes one could spend to understand everything that is important about our energy resources. It is available at ClearEnergyAlliance.com.
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.