Energy and Environmental News: When Will We Ever Learn?

One of the main blessings of accurately understanding history, is that it gives us an unprecedented opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others — for free!  What sense does it make to repeatedly go down a path likely to fail?

If we look back at government policy decisions, it’s abundantly clear that good intentions + time and effort lots of money does NOT assure a successful outcome. Indeed, after all of these, the way-too-often actual result is:

a) the costs turn out to be enormously more than projected, and
b) the benefits are significantly less than promised, and
c) the negative “unintended” consequences are crippling, and
d) the guilty legislative parties are long gone when the results are in.

So how do we avoid this groundhog day (Russian Doll) repetition? Genuinely learn from history… Separate the wheat from the chaff… On technical issues: take the route of Real Science, not political science.

With those objectives, I’ve drafted reports on never-been-done-before perspectives about two of the pre-eminent issues of our time: climate change and wind energy.

Report #1: Climate Change

Let’s say we are having a polite, serious discussion with a legislator, scientist, environmentalist, journalist or citizen who is a climate change believer. We ask them to explain the rationale behind their position.

Inevitably the justification for their concern will be based on one or more of four different arguments (which I’m calling the four pillars). That’s fine, but the question is: do each of these pillars actually hold up to closethoroughobjective scrutiny? 

That’s what the first Report analyzes — and the answer is NO. (Although this is a complex complex matter, I’ve tried to keep it understandable to most citizens.)

CONCLUSION: This analysis is NOT proof that the climate change hypothesis is false. Rather it is conclusive evidence that the main arguments of climate change believers are amazingly weak.

That realization should be a red flag that we are again heading down a policy path that history is telling us will likely not be productive… For genuinely altruistic individuals there are many more serious proven problems that we would be better off spending our limited time, money and efforts on.

Report #2: Industrial Wind Energy

Again let’s start with the assumption that we are having a courteous, in-depth conversation with a legislator, scientist, environmentalist, journalist or citizen who is an industrial wind energy supporter. We ask them to explain the rationale behind their beliefs.

Inevitably a primary justification for their support will be that wind energy is a critically necessary component to effectively deal with climate change. The question is: does that claim hold up to comprehensive, objective, in-depth scrutiny? 

The second Report assesses that question — and the answer is NO. (Although this is a technical topic, I’ve again tried to keep this understandable to most citizens.)

CONCLUSION: This analysis is NOT proof that wind energy has zero climate change benefits. Rather it is conclusive evidence that the main justification for legislative support for wind energy is likely false.

Technical note: in almost every state, a wind project must be approved by that state’s utility commission. The number one criteria in essentially all states, is that the wind developer needs to prove to this commission that there is a “public need” for their proposed project. The main “public need” justification presented by almost all wind developers is that their wind project is necessary to meaningfully address the climate change crisis. This Report shows that such a claim has little scientific basis.

The realization of this major disconnect should be a red flag that we are again going down a policy path that history is warning us will almost certainly not be productive. If climate change is an emergency (see Report #1), we have proven solutions (e.g. nuclear power) that do substantially reduce CO2. There is no legitimate “public need” for wind energy, from any perspective.

My hope is that these two unique Reports will assist well-intentioned scientists, legislators, journalists and citizens to avoid the ditch and stick to higher-yield policy paths (with human flourishing as the objective).

If you have any constructive suggestions to improve on either of these Reports, please send me the details. I’ll update them as warranted.

Thank you for your support.

PS — Neither of these has been formally published yet. If you have connections with a major media outlet that might be interested, please let me know.

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: Originally this was a monthly Newsletter. However, as pertinent material proliferated, it has been issued more frequently. As a guideline, once we collect a hundred worthwhile articles, a new Newsletter will be issued on the following Monday. Recently this has resulted in a once every three weeks frequency — and occasionally once every two weeks.

Note 3: To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles, we’ve put together detailed archives — where you can search by year, or over the ten+ years of the Newsletter.

Note 4: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy, environmental and education issues… If you want to know our perspective on current events, please read the Big Picture New Year/New Decade commentary.

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Note 6: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, (For wind warriors, the most important page there is the Winning page.)

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1 reply
  1. Adrienne McGuire
    Adrienne McGuire says:

    Thanks for this interesting article on up-to-date environmental news. We appreciate having reliable information at our fingertips. Keep up the good work!


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