Green power: a broken cause 3

Here are a couple of picks from an article  in Canada Free Press, by Dr. Karl L.E. Kaiser, on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recently held in Durban, South Africa. We’re glad to say it fizzled out with no result to please the delegates other than an agreement to meet and try again to scare the world into enriching the UN.

First, here are some figures to startle and amuse. The first column of figures may be overlooked; not only because they’re uncertain, but the heading is nonsense – not every country, certainly not every little island, has a “federal government”. The second and third columns taken together have the flavor.

Table 1. Official pre-registrants at the Durban conference (COP17).

Country Federal Government participants *) Population [millions] Government Reps. / million population
Tuvalu 8 0.01 800
Palau 5 0.02 250
Marshall Islands 11 0.06 183
Seychelles 16 0.09 178
Maldives 12 0.3 40
France 87 62 1.4
Mali 15 12 1.3
Canada 40 35 1.2
Germany 60 83 0.7
Britain 43 61 0.7
USA 72 302 0.2
China 86 1325 0.06
India 35 1125 0.03

*) Data from unfccc.int; some registrants’ government affiliations are uncertain.

Clearly there are groups which were represented at extraordinarily high levels on a per capita basis. Without fail, they are the ones who feel that much (or any) of the “green” dollars to be funded (by other countries on this table) are owed to them. To underline the need and claim, the myths about “drowning in a rising sea” are perpetuated. Unfortunately, for them, the facts are somewhat different. Rather than becoming de-populated as we are told, and just prior to the last ocean wave sloshing over the remaining few square miles of land, their populations are doing the opposite. They are expanding in size and “happily living thereafter”. All of the ocean island nations claiming to be inundated by rising seas have had growing populations in recent years, without exception. If you really want to see what is happening, just look, for example, at a Google Earth picture of the Maldives’ main island Male at the coordinates 4° 10’ N, 73° 30’ E. You’ll see luxury yachts at the moorings, hotels, buildings, and residences from shore to shore.

Next, here is news, funny or sad depending on your point of view. (Sad anyway about the birds.)

One of the great green developments touted were thousands of wind mills, sorry, wind turbines, installed in California. Under various state governments, generous tax-subsidized handouts were given to manufacturers and buyers of such. But now, some 14,000 of such turbines are cluttering the landscape of the western US, without producing any power whatsoever. Their gear boxes are broken and they just keep on flailing without generating anything. (But they still keep shredding any bird getting into their path). As the tax subsidies have disappeared, it is not even profitable to repair them any longer, even with the existing (and generous) “feed-in” tariffs. Of course, the groups which were early in the game and have all left the game since, were the real winners. Who cares about any electricity actually being produced?

Dr. Kaiser concludes that “the green bubble has burst”.

We hope he’s right.

  • TyS

    This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – it reads like a who’s who of welfare states.

  • Harold

    Having looked a bit further, the 14,000 abandoned turbine claim is made up.  There are 14,000 turbines in California, some of which are abandoned, and this somehow seems to have been conflated into 14,000 abandoned turbines.  This is the problem with unscourced data, untruths keep getting an airing.

  • Harold

    A real nit-pick here – but the  third column is just the ratio of the first two, so technically, if the first column can be overlooked, then the same applies to the third.  However, I don’t think that is a serious problem.

    A more substantive point, we must be clear what the evidence presented shows, and what it doesn’t.  The passage says “To underline the need and claim, the myths about “drowning in a rising sea” are perpetuated”.  It does not say exactly what myth, or by whom.  The next part only makes sense if the “myth” being perpetuated is that rising sea levels have already caused depopulation.  This is not a claim made by IPCC or climate scientists – they claim that the problems will arise over the next 50 years or so.  So it is a meaningless point really, I think we call this a straw man.

    The wind turbine part  is different – I don’t know where the claim comes from (no reference), so it difficult to verify or put into perspective – maybe 14,000 is a tiny fraction of the generators, or maybe they are the old ones and would contribute a tiny fraction of the power from wind.  However, the claim could well be true.  Again, it is important to understand what this means.  It is quite likely that Govt. has made some bad choices about how to combat climate change.  It has probably given subsidies to its pals to make money out of whilst it says politically that it is in order to  save the environment.  Not  all “green” measures are effective, and many are definitely not cost-effective.  This is why I maintain that there is a debate to be had over what actions should be taken.  But a key point is that the abandoned turbines say nothing about the reality of global warming.