The Promised Land
Rod Garland - Author of a "Canadianization" rewrite of the Ten reasons why Boris's green agenda is just plain wrong - Telegraph - Published by SAS Volunteer - November 22, 2020
The Promised Land
Hi, I’m with the Government and I’m here to help, whether you want me to or not.
Like Moses in the Exodus, but not quite with the same flowing beard as depicted in the classic Exodus movie, our fearless leader has descended from the mountain with his own set of commandments as part of a green industrial revolution to tell us what is needed to make our lives better.
At a cost of tens, or maybe hundreds of billions of dollars, he will have Canadians driving electric cars powered by wind turbines or solar cells and giving up their gas boilers to heat their homes to be replaced with ground-source heat pumps.
He will transition away from fossil fuels and invent zero-emission ships, trains, planes and automobiles. This is a vast enterprise with an aim to create hundreds of thousands of, so called new green jobs. He will likely expect adulation and applause from his peers and like-minded socialist elites in the United Nations and other socialist countries.
Ten points to consider with electrification and a green new deal
First, such an approach is counter to what is actually needed, sure jobs will be created to develop the new infrastructure required of a new all-encompassing electrical grid, but really it’s not jobs in the generation of energy that counts, but jobs that use it. Providing cheap, reliable energy enables the private sector itself to create jobs for free as far as the taxpayer is concerned.
Second, the presumption is that innovation will magically occur in the next 10 years. But if you could summon up innovations-to-order in any sector you want, such as electric planes and cheap ways of making hydrogen, just by spending money, then routine space travel, personal jetpacks and flying cars would already be a reality. Instead, we have flown and continue to fly in 747s and this has been the case for more than 50 years.
Third, there is a misunderstanding and a huge underestimation of the cost. The wind industry claims that its cost is coming down. But the accounts of wind energy companies show that both capital and operating expenditures of offshore and onshore wind farms, that have a very limited lifespan, continues to rise. Wind firms sign contracts to deliver cheap electricity, but the penalties for walking away from those contracts, demanding higher prices from a disparate grid in the future, are minimal and their investors know it. We should note that where this has been tried in Britain, Australia and Germany, electricity prices have gone through the roof due to the level of billions of dollars that electricity-bill payers have spent subsidizing the technology and the owners of the wind farms; raising them further will kill a lot more than 250,000 jobs.
Fourth, such policies will not significantly reduce greenhouse emissions in Canada, let alone those of the rest of the world. It takes a lot more emissions to make an electric car than a gas-powered car because of the battery. They are usually made, in whole, or in part with components from China. If the battery lasts for 150,000kms – which is optimistic – and the electricity with which it is recharged is made partly with gas, then there is only a miniscule saving in emissions over the lifetime of the car. There is also the extreme costs involved in replacing the battery and disposing of it when it no longer functions.
Fifth, such reliance on total electrification will make the electricity supply less reliable. Already across Europe, Australia and in California, all reliant on their own electricity grids, they have endured extended recurring power-cuts. These cuts will eventually bring the fleets of electric vehicles to a standstill. Backup diesel generators could provide some relief but would also come at a huge maintenance cost as a contingency system and would require the need to maintain a perpetual secondary traditional energy sector.
Sixth, impractical or untested technologies are inadequate. Ground-source heat pumps can work, though they deliver low-grade heat and can’t cope on a freezing night, which is pretty much half of the year in Canada. Air source heat pumps have not proved so far to be nearly as efficient as promised. They need electricity, make a lot of noise and take up outside space that is not available in a terrace of houses or multiplex high rise with a smaller land footprint. Requiring the use of compact fluorescent light bulbs, when LEDs were coming, proved a costly mistake.
Seventh, there is a lot of hype for blue or green hydrogen as a replacement energy of the future in Canada; it isn’t however a form of energy having first to be made, (using energy), then stored and transported. Making it from natural gas is expensive and generates emissions, but making it with electricity is vastly more expensive. Its minuscule molecules can slip through almost any kind of hole, so the natural gas pipe network is not suitable. Leaks will happen at hydrogen fueling stations, as one did in Norway in June last year, resulting in a massive explosion. Perhaps you have heard of the last flight of the “Hindenburg”, a hydrogen filled rigid airship that crashed and burned in 1937 and marked the end of an era for hydrogen use in this type of travel due to it being highly inflammable. ”Oh the Humanity”
Eighth, this industrial revolution is anything but green. For an example, to generate all of Britain’s electricity from wind in the North Sea, taking into account the increased demand for electricity for heat pumps, electric cars and hydrogen manufacture, would require a wall of turbines 20 miles wide stretching from the south-east tip of England to the north-east tip of Scotland, a distance of about 1000kms The effect on migratory birds would be disastrous. Imagine this now in Canada where the winds are less predictable especially inland and the distances between consumer cities much greater.
Ninth, Does Canada’s desire to be FIRST at something really make any sense with this? No matter what you are told, even by the self-administering signatories to the Paris Accord, the rest of the world are NOT on board. China has announced that its use of fossil fuels will not even peak till 2030. China has more coal-fired power now under development than the entire coal power capacity of the United States. It will use coal to make the turbines and cars and batteries we use, laughing all the way to the bank. The world still generates 93% of its energy from CO2-emitting combustion (coal, oil, gas and wood) and just 1.4% from wind and solar.
Tenth, while climate change is a real issue and has been a reality over the 4 billion year history of the planet are we not truly naïve to think that humans have the knowledge and technology to be able to successfully control global temperatures, sea levels and affect results in the time spans suggested, as in within decades. The threat of impending extinction if these folk’s viewpoint isn’t accepted without question is flat out absurd. There is no confirmed extinction of a species due to climate change, species have however evolved. Nor has global warming resulted in more or fiercer storms or droughts. The extremists’ claims otherwise simply ignore the scientific evidence. Emissions have so far increased crop yields and made all ecosystems greener, this is a good news story.
Yes, we would be better off funding research to bring down the cost of carbon capture, nuclear power and fusion. Nuclear is the one form of carbon-free energy that can generate reliable power from a tiny footprint of land. The reason nuclear electricity costs so much today is because we have made innovation in nuclear design all but impossible by devising a byzantine regulatory process of immense cost. Let’s reform that. Small, modular molten-salt reactors are an innovation within reach, unlike electric planes.
Governments are here to help alright, but not help you or me. They call being in politics a call to service, but the majority seem to service their own hunger for power and money first and care very little for the lot of the common man and then only as a means to get re-elected. I’m pretty certain it won’t be a politician of any stripe leading us to the “promised land”.