The full court press is about climate chaos and renewable energy disasters. CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate event for Democratic presidential candidates. Every day brings more and more gloomy stories of absurd, often taxpayer-funded, pseudoscience reports of yet another natural event or alleged disaster, which alarmists insist are due to fossil fuels, which provide 80% of energy in the US and globally.
MSNBC has just hosted another two-day forum on Democratic presidential climate candidates at Georgetown University – where I spoke in a counter-program. Meanwhile, a major climatic march took place in New York City as protesters tried to block the streets of Washington, DC. They all launched the UN Global Climate Week in New York, presenting the Climate Summit and the UN General Assembly, where world leaders will demand "global action" to suggest that climate change could be halted. crisis.
Their standard solution is biofuels, solar, wind and battery. My recent article threw buckets of ice cold reality into several of these statements. They obviously need to be covered with a few more ice buckets.
To repeat: Wind and sun are free, renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. However, the lands and raw materials needed for technology to harness this widespread, periodic, time-dependent energy to benefit humanity are absolutely not. In fact, their environmental impact is monumental.
Democratic candidates and their supporters want to replace backup coal and gas power plants with batteries to ensure we have (much more expensive) electricity, even when wind and solar interrupters refuse to cooperate with our need for 24/7/365 power for our homes, schools, hospitals, factories, businesses, computers, social media and civilization.
So, suppose we fill the United States with enough wind and solar facilities on an industrial scale to replace the 3.9 billion megawatts of Americans used in 201
We will need something in the order of one billion 100-kilowatt lithium and cobalt batteries based on 1000 kilograms – similar to what Tesla uses in its electric vehicles. (This does not include the extra battery storage needed to charge cars, trucks and buses that we need to replace with EVs.)
All of these batteries would support millions and millions of Green New Deal solar panels and wind turbines. we will have to build and install. They will require huge amounts of iron, copper, rare earths, concrete and other raw materials. And each of these batteries, turbines and panels will need to be replaced far more often than coal, gas, nuclear or hydropower.
In fact, what are we going to do with all those worn out and broken turbines, panels and batteries? The International Renewable Energy Agency has said that discarding only worn-out solar panels that the UN wants to be erected worldwide by 2050, according to the Paris Climate Treaty's targets, could lead to twice the tonnage of the United States states' total plastic waste in 2017!
So another ice cold reality is this: all this "free, renewable, sustainable, environmentally friendly, ethical" energy will require the largest expansion in mining that the world has ever seen . But when was the last time an environmentalist or a Democrat supported the opening of a single mine in the US? They turn away from mining.
This brings us to the dirtiest pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable energy secret of all – one that these people absolutely do not want to talk about: slave and child labor .
Due to fierce opposition to the environment, the United States and Europe no longer allow much production within their borders. They just import minerals – many from China and Russia. And the same groups that praise the virtues of wind, solar and battery power are equally opposed to Western mining companies, which produce rare earth, lithium, cadmium, cobalt and other minerals almost anywhere on planet Earth – even in the face of rigorous western labor, safety, environment and reclamation rules.
This means that these materials are extracted and processed in places such as Baotou, Inner Mongolia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mainly under Chinese control. They have been excavated and processed by fathers, mothers and children – under horrifying, dangerous, inhumane conditions that few of us can even imagine … with almost nonexistent standards for labor, wages, health, safety and pollution.
This renewable energy, high-tech slaves receive a few hundred or dollars a day – while risking caves and constantly exposed to dirty, toxic, radioactive mud, dust, water and air. Mining areas are becoming huge toxic deserts where nothing grows and humans or wildlife cannot live.
Just for cobalt – let's say UNICEF and Amnesty International – over 40,000 Congolese children, four years of age, work in mines, from sunrise to sunset, six or even seven days a week. This is today Imagine how much it will take to service an "ethical green energy utopia".
Green New dealers require sustainable, ethical coffee, human rights-based sneakers, T-shirts, bags and diamonds. Child labor, sweating or toxic, contaminated workplace conditions are absolutely not allowed. But they have little or nothing for Chinese, Russian and other companies to do the horrible operations that provide their wind turbines, solar panels, smart grids – and batteries for their cell phones, Teslas, laptops and backup power.
I have never seen them make ethical wind turbines, solar panels and batteries. They have never protested outside the Chinese, Russian or Congolese embassy or corporate headquarters in Beijing, Moscow or Kinshasa. They probably don't want to be shot or sent to gulags.
And just a few weeks ago, California legislators voted on Assembly Bill 735. The bill simply said California would certify that zero-emission electric vehicles sold in the state should be free of any materials or components involving child labor. The issue is complicated, lawmakers said. It would be too difficult to impose. This would jeopardize the state's climate goals. And besides, many other industries are also using child labor … they explained.
As Milton Friedman said, there is no free lunch. Wind, solar, biofuels and battery are not free, clean, green, renewable or sustainable. America must not allow the delusion, dishonesty and ideology to guide public policies that will determine our future jobs, prosperity, standard of living, freedoms and civilization.
What the Green New Dealers are talking about has nothing to do with halting human-made climate change – or with real real sustainability, resource conservation or environmental protection. It has everything to do with taxpayer-funded activists, funded by more and more socialists, politicians, regulators and cumbersome capitalists who control people's lives; dictating our energy use, economic growth, job opportunities and standard of living; and become richer, more powerful, and more privileged in the process.
Meanwhile, the poor, minorities and working families are paying the price. And poor families in hungry, impoverished, deprived countries pay the highest price. China, India, Indonesia and Africa will not give up their determined efforts to take their deserved, God-given places among the healthy and prosperous people on Earth. They will not stop using fossil fuels to achieve their goals.
They will not allow anyone – including the UN, the EU, American Democrats and other eco-imperialists – to tell them that they can never enjoy these blessings. Or they will be allowed to improve their health and standard of living only within the limits, only to levels achievable with wind, solar and cow power.
Therefore, even as the United States cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 12% between 2000 and 2017, Indian fertilizer CO2 emissions increased by 140% and China jumped by 194% – further landscaping on planet Earth. In 2019 alone, China will only add more coal production capacity than that generated by all existing US power plants.
While all these countries continue to use more and more fossil fuels to improve their economy, health and standard of living – why in heaven's name would the US want to join Green New dealers and other crazies in an environment destroying fossil bans? – economic suicide packages?
Paul Drisen is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Constructive Tomorrow Committee (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate, environment and human rights.