Being a person of god while fighting climate change

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Being a person of god while fighting climate change during these COVID times

With COVID comes many limitations, but still remaining true to god and being a good neighbor, which really means being kind to those who fall into our paths. Being a good human also includes getting involved and being a positive influence in the fight against the climate crisis. We look to educate as many on this topic and hope many see the importance of our current climate issue and help save what we have left.

Great Book to Get and Read

Michael Shellenberger

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I have been greatly enlightened by many books that give me a great perspective on issues.  I strongly recommend this book for its insights and analysis.  Written by a long time environmentalist who by research became aware that the current prescriptions for climate change are actually bad for the environment and humanity, this is a need to read.  

Here is a writeup about the book from the Environmental progress website.

Apocalypse Never may be the most important book on the environment ever written.”

— Tom Wigley, climate scientist, University of Adelaide, former senior scientist National Center for Atmospheric Research

Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions.

But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are going to die,” contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that, as a lifelong environmental activist, leading energy expert, and father of a teenage daughter, he needed to speak out to separate science from fiction.

Despite decades of news media attention, many remain ignorant of basic facts. Carbon emissions peaked and have been declining in most developed nations for over a decade. Deaths from extreme weather, even in poor nations, declined 80 percent over the last four decades. And the risk of Earth warming to very high temperatures is increasingly unlikely thanks to slowing population growth and abundant natural gas.

Curiously, the people who are the most alarmist about the problems also tend to oppose the obvious solutions. Those who raise the alarm about food shortages oppose the expansion of fertilizer, irrigation, and tractors in poor nations. Those who raise the alarm about deforestation oppose concentrating agriculture. And those who raise the alarm about climate change oppose the two technologies that have most reduced emissions, natural gas and nuclear.

What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.

Connect with Michael on Twitter @ShellenbergerMD

Misunderstanding of Climate Change and Bad Policies Being Proposed

Insights with David

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David talks about the misunderstanding of climate change and some of the bad policies being proposed

David Munson goes into detail and discusses the current climate crisis we’re facing. He also shares his concerns regarding the bad policies put in place, which David believes is due to the misunderstanding of the climate change issues.

Why California’s Climate Policies Are Causing Electricity Blackouts

California blackouts due to climate policy

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Millions of Californians were denied electrical power and thus air conditioning during a heatwave, raising the risk of heatstroke and death, particularly among the elderly and sick. 

The blackouts come at a time when people, particularly the elderly, are forced to remain indoors due to Covid-19.

At first, the state’s electrical grid operator last night asked customers to voluntarily reduce electricity use. But after power reserves fell to dangerous levels it declared a “Stage 3 emergency” cutting off power to people across the state at 6:30 pm.

The immediate reason for the black-outs was the failure of a 500-megawatt power plant and an out-of-service 750-megawatt unit not being available. “There is nothing nefarious going on here,” said a spokeswoman for California Independent System Operator (CAISO). “We are just trying to run the grid.” 

But the underlying reasons that California is experiencing rolling black-outs for the second time in less than a year stem from the state’s climate policies, which California policymakers have justified as necessary to prevent deaths from heatwaves. 

In October, Pacific Gas and Electric cut off power to homes across California to avoid starting forest fires. The utility and California’s leaders had over the previous decade diverted billions meant for grid maintenance to renewables. 

And yesterday, California had to impose rolling blackouts because it had failed to maintain sufficient reliable power from natural gas and nuclear plants, or pay in advance for enough guaranteed electricity imports from other states.

It may be that California’s utilities and their regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission, which is also controlled by Gov. Newsom, didn’t want to spend the extra money to guarantee the additional electricity out of fears of raising California’s electricity prices even more than they had already raised them.

California saw its electricity prices rise six times more than the rest of the United States from 2011 to 2019, due to its huge expansion of renewables. Republicans in the U.S. Congress point to that massive increase to challenge justifications by Democrats to spend $2 trillion on renewables in the name of climate change.

Even though the cost of solar panels declined dramatically between 2011 and 2019, their unreliable and weather-dependent nature meant that they imposed large new costs in the form of storage and transmission to keep electricity as reliable. California’s solar panels and farms were all turning off as the blackouts began, with no help available from the states to the East already in nightfall.

Electricity from solar goes away at the very moment when the demand for electricity rises. “The peak demand was steady in late hours,” said the spokesperson for CAISO, which is controlled by Gov. Gavin Newsom, “and we had thousands of megawatts of solar reducing their output as the sunset.”

The two blackouts in less than a year are strong evidence that the tens of billions that Californians have spent on renewables come with high human, economic, and environmental costs.

Last December, a report by done for PG&E concludedthat the utility’s customers could see blackouts double over the next 15 years and quadruple over the next 30.

California’s anti-nuclear policies also contributed to the blackouts. In 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown forced a nuclear power plant, San Onofre, in southern California to close.

Had San Onofre still been operating, there almost certainly would not have been blackouts on Friday as the reserve margin would have been significantly larger. The capacity of San Onofre was double that of the lost generation capacity that triggered the blackout.

California’s current and former large nuclear plants are located on the coast, which allows for their electricity to travel shorter distances, and through less-constrained transmission lines than the state’s industrial solar farms, to get to the coastal cities where electricity is in highest demand.

There has been very little electricity from wind during the summer heatwave in California and the broader western U.S., further driving up demand. In fact, the same weather pattern, a stable high-pressure bubble, is the cause of heatwaves, since it brought very low wind for days on end along with very high temperatures.

Things won’t be any better, and may be worse, in the winter, which produces far less solar electricity than the summer. Solar plus storage, an expensive attempt to fix problems like what led to this blackout, cannot help through long winters of low output.

California’s electricity prices will continue to rise if it continues to add more renewables to its grid, and goes forward with plans to shut down its last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, in 2025.

Had California spent an estimated $100 billion on nuclear instead of on wind and solar, it would have had enough energy to replace all fossil fuels in its in-state electricity mix.

To manage the increasingly unreliable grid, California will either need to keep its nuclear plant operating, build more natural gas plants, or pay ever more money annually to reserve emergency electricity supplies from its neighbors.

After the blackouts last October, Gov. Newsom attacked PG&E Corp. for “greed and mismanagement” and named a top aide, Ana Matosantos, to be his “energy czar.” 

“This is not the new normal, and this does not take 10 years to solve,” Newsom said. “The entire system needs to be reimagined.”

 

Source: Forbes