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2019-01-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 487 references Ignore this thread
Insanity On The Left
[Comments enabled]

Occasional Kotex has queefed forth an alleged Green New Deal plan, which is utterly stupid on its face.

But she's not alone; several apparent 2020 Presidential candidates have come out for part or all of her insanity.

A growing number of Democrats considering a presidential bid have signaled support for the sweeping "Green New Deal" pushed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other liberal lawmakers, underscoring how the 2020 field is being pulled further left by the influential progressive wing.

I've written many times on this general insanity before but stupidity bears underlining, so here we go again.

In no particular order:

  • "Green" energy is more expensive and environmentally disruptive.  It's not a little more expensive either; it's a lot more expensive, with few exceptions.  The biggest reason is that most "green" sources are intermittent -- that is, you can't rely on them.  Solar and wind are the two most-obvious examples.  In fact the only "green" energy source that tends to not be intermittent is hydroelectric, and the good places to obtain that are already in use.  Geothermal is one additional non-intermittent source but there are an insignificant number of places in the US where it is viable (this is not true in some other nations, such as Iceland.)

  • Intermittent energy sources must be fully backed up with non-intermittent ones or you get blackouts.  You must pay for the infrastructure of said backup source(s) and to man them so that when the intermittent event occurs you don't have to shut down electrical service.  The cost of this backup must be paid for whether it is in use or not and yet the green proponents never include that backup in their cost comparisons.

  • Green vehicles are a scam.  The batteries are both expensive and create a hellish amount of pollution and environmental damage in their production, they are range-limited which precludes trips of over 150 miles or so from home since that extends beyond their return range (there goes any sort of "road trip"), the batteries have a cycle life after which they must be replaced (at extreme cost, far beyond the cost of any internal combustion engine) and they involve multiple additional inefficiencies due to the power delivery and charge/discharge cycles.  Lithium cells are also entirely intolerant of below-freezing temperatures; they can discharge in such conditions but cannot be charged below 0C without critical damage that leads to fires being taken, so the in-car systems must prevent that from happening and away from "shore power" (a wall plug) the energy required to do so depletes the pack.  There is no economically-rational technology to recycle lithium batteries either, unlike traditional starting batteries for cars (lead/acid chemistry) which can be infinitely recycled at low cost.  Finally there are both partial hybrid and advanced ICE technologies available that make far more sense overall; the most-promising is the to-be-delivered-this-year Mazda HX (compression-ignition) engine that should return an honest 50mpg on the highway in a midsized car.

  • Forcing environmental controls on American homes sounds good but there's a reason few people do it now -- the net gain in expenditures on a discounted cash flow basis is smaller than the cost.  For example changing out windows does save energy.  However, the windows are expensive enough that it would be ten to twenty years before you saved enough to pay for them and by that time they'd be both worn out and the carrying cost of the debt would have doubled the expense.  On a discounted cash flow basis, in other words, it makes no sense whatsoever to do this.  Now if your windows are worn out and need replacement then the small additional expense of more energy-efficient models is worth the investment, since the extra cost is perhaps 10% of the total.  But ripping out perfectly-functional windows is another matter.  Home insulation is in the same category -- it's cheap and easy to add insulation to an unfinished attic.  It's extremely expensive to rip out the inside of all exterior walls and do the same thing for them, or to further insulate a finished attic space!  Putting solar panels and inverters in an existing home or mandating them for new homes will almost never pay for itself; both have a service life and again on a discounted cash flow basis the numbers do not work.

  • Eliminating "greenhouse gas emissions" from agriculture is virtually impossible.  Farm tractors, for example, typically run on diesel.  What are you going to replace those with?  Cows fart -- a lot.  Are we banning meat entirely?  It would appear so if the intent of this "proposal" is to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture!

  • The premise of eliminating "global warming" is a farce.  Not only is America 330 million people against some 7 billion in the rest of the world most of those people are in much earlier industrial stages of development.  They are not going to keep living in the proverbial straw hut.  We could cut US CO2 emissions to zero and it would not change a thing in terms of actual outcomes.  Of course cutting CO2 emissions to zero would be impossible other than by killing all the people, since we all expel it ourselves.  Those who are suggesting such a path may begin with themselves, and don't forget that you may not have any children either.  Of course this results in the extinction of the nation and thus is idiotic on its face, but nobody seems to be willing to point that out.

  • The entire premise that man causes warming through CO2 emissions is not proved; if trillions are spent and do nothing, either because we're not the cause or we can't get the rest of the world to go along then we've flat-out wasted the money.

These people obviously support something "green" all right: They've been smoking something green and a hell of a lot of it at that.

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