Condemn An Industry

I often condemn the tar sands oil industry as a communist owned, unethical, dirty mess that’s destroyed Canada’s reputation just for a quick (geological-time) buck.

There are engineers writing for Fox News that are condemning the green economy, and green jobs, because they are uncreative hacks responsible for depressing our economy further instead of building the solutions they claim can’t exist.

So let’s make a deal? If renewable power gets the same level of government subsidy that oil, gas, and coal get (& have had for over half a century), and comparable restrictions in production sites and waste disposal, and renewables still can’t compete on a dollar per watt basis, then I’ll shut up.

(http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/08/22/had-green-job/)
Had a look at that Fox article. Unsurprisingly, it’s garbage. That engineer is the least creative person I can imagine.

“I found no evidence that solar’s BOS costs would decrease meaningfully.”
So instead of doing her job and finding a way, or even reading the Internet to find out that others have, she condemns an industry. Of course, Faux News gives her a platform too.

“Nor did anyone have a solution to the problem that has plagued solar and wind energy since their inception: intermittency.”
Oops. Busted.
It’s in production, today (and tonight, while the sun doesn’t shine).

Finally there’s this:
“competitive advantages are government subsidies and forced limitations on competitors”
How many subsidies did the fossil fuel industries get last year, please remind me? How much for renewables. Compare, it’s your homework.

Renewable energy + subsidy = jobs + energy – air & water pollution
Fossil fuel energy + subsidy = air & water pollution + energy + jobs
I’ve chosen the equation that requires a little work to get there. A little work means more jobs too, doesn’t it? Who wants more jobs in Canada? Greens do.


Hat tip to Chevy J.

2 responses to “Condemn An Industry

  1. I agree with a few of your points:

    – Technological advancements can and will be made in manufacturing.
    – I totally disagree with subsidies for fossil fuel industries (they need it less than anyone).

    While they are working on energy storage, it is still very far away from efficient. Even your link states that they can only store it for an hour after production so it is not as though that solar energy is generating power all night. Even if the PS10 technology could generate 24/7, that is a very expensive project that generates a tiny amount of electricity and takes up a great deal of space. Also, it is only feasible in certain climates. They would likely have to increase efficiency by at least one order of magnitude to be of investment value, which is certainly possible over time. It is good to see that they are working on these problems and making progress though.

  2. Any engineer that says that any process cannot be made more efficient, right up to near the limits set by the laws of thermodynamics, is full of crap and should be thrown out the nearest window. I am far less impressed myself by solar than I am by wind, which is a mature and reliable technology in every sense, but the idea that today’s solar cells are the best we will ever have is ludicrous, quite apart from the reduction of collateral damage from carbon emissions.

    But isn’t this a mindset that some progressives buy into as well? The entire argument that we cannot have a continually improving standard of living is based on the assumption that improvements in quality will at some point be impossible (or on the crude misunderstanding that quality entails using larger quantities of limited resources). Likewise flawed is the argument that the whole world will never be able to enjoy a North American standard of living (when the truth is that they will never be able to enjoy a North American standard of living attained with the same inefficient resource and energy use that we have today, which is a whole other question). It seems that both sides have a failure of faith at ideologically convenient points.

    Before I’m charged with presenting a “both sides do it” argument, I should underline that the left-wing error is far less dangerous to humanity as a whole than the right-wing one, which is going to carbon-dioxide us off the whole planet if we aren’t careful. The truly deadly result of the left-wing error is that it gives the right a chance to “win” the argument on an emotional level. It covers the whole campaign against global climate change with an unnecessary level of “eat your granola” dour and sour, making it easier for people to kid themselves that the problem doesn’t exist or will go away by itself.

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