Harm Caused by Net Zero Carbon Policy

Harm Caused by Net Zero Carbon Policy

It’s the policy of the current administration to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

But, is net “zero carbon”, i.e., net zero CO2, good for the United States and all Americans?

Or is the United States committing economic suicide by adopting a zero carbon strategy, which includes transitioning to battery powered vehicles, and to wind and solar for power generation?

The previous two articles, Should America’s Future Rely on BEVs? Part 1, and Part2, established the following:

  • Hybrid Electric and ICE vehicles have CO2 emissions similar to BEVs unless BEVs use green electricity.
  • An economy destroying $7.5 trillion cost, repeated every twenty years, is required to produce the green electricity for BEVs.
  • The United States will transition from being energy independent, to being dependent on China for the materials used in batteries, wind turbines and solar panels.

Will the United States leadership position in key technologies also become irrelevant?

The United States is the technology leader in the following major industries.

  • Jet engines
  • Natural gas power plants
  • Oil exploration and production
  • Natural gas exploration and production
  • Low cost, reliable electricity
  • Equipment for the Armed Forces
  • Mining equipment

The United States, at a minimum, has technology equal to others in these major industries:

  • LNG exports
  • Airplane design and manufacturing
  • Automobile design and manufacturing
  • Chip design and manufacturing
  • Pharma
  • Nuclear power
  • Communications

The United States is a laggard in the following important industries.

  • Battery manufacturing
  • Mining

The highlighted italicized areas, where the United States is a technology leader, will either become irrelevant, or of diminished importance if fossil fuels are eliminated.

Equipment for the Armed Forces relies heavily on fossil fuels, e.g., diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, which are essential to the safe and effective operation of a wide variety of equipment, including, tanks, ships and aircraft. Biofuels cannot replace these fuels: There are insufficient source materials, such as grease and trees, to produce sufficient quantities of biofuels. In addition, the infrastructure to deliver bio-fuels to America’s forces operating in multiple locations, thousands of miles from the continental United States, do not exist.

The electric grid cannot operate reliably without fossil fuels or nuclear power.

Wind and solar require storage for several days, not just a few hours. There is no battery in existence that can supply enough electricity for several days. Without long term storage, there will be widespread blackouts if fossil fuels and nuclear are abandoned. 

  • Energy Secretary, Moniz, an Obama appointee, said, “Batteries will never be the solution [for long term storage].” 
  • Hydrogen, as an alternative to natural gas, is a fantasy. See, Special Report, Hydrogen and Climate Change.

While not immediately obvious, the United States, a major manufacturing country, has some of the lowest cost energy and most reliable electricity, essential for chip manufacturing, in the world, which is an important competitive advantage. 

(A few countries may have low cost energy, but lack manufacturing prowess. A good example is Norway, which has low cost electricity from hydro and cheap oil from the North Sea, but lacks broad manufacturing capabilities because of its small population.)

Is the United States committed to the false god of zero carbon emissions?

It’s important to remember that 80% of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels, i.e., coal, oil and natural gas. 

Left scale: Exajoules (EJ). From, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Source: Bithas and Kalimeris, 2016, Figure 2.1, p. 8. Biofuels (blue), are predominantly wood.

Will other countries abandon fossil fuels and forego the increased economic prosperity that fossil fuels offer?

  • The United States emits only 14% of the world’s CO2 emissions, while China emits 29%. The EU emits 10%, which means the rest of the world, mostly developing countries, emit over 40%.

Is it even possible to maintain our standard of living if we eliminate the use of fossil fuels?

Examining process flow charts and material lists for manufacturing and the processing of materials will identify thousands of situations where fossil fuels are essential, and probably impossible to replace. One product that quickly comes to mind is power transformers, which use oil for insulation and cooling. Another is oil lubricated bearings used in rotating equipment of every kind.

These, and thousands of other real world situations, cannot be blithely brushed aside.

Summary

By adopting a zero carbon strategy, the United States loses its competitive advantages. With the elimination of fossil fuels, the United States becomes dependent on the whims and wishes of other countries.

  • The United States will no longer be energy independent, and instead, will be dependent on Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  • The United States electric grid will become unreliable, endangering all Americans.
  • The United States will be dependent on other countries, primarily China, for the minerals to make batteries.
  • The United States military will lack the competitive advantage it now has, which relies heavily on fossil fuels.
  • America’s high standard of living will disappear if fossil fuels are abandoned.

In the final analysis, the United States becomes weak, and unable to defend itself against its enemies. 

Is this the underlying reason why America’s enemies support a net zero carbon strategy at the UNFCCC, and at the COP meetings it holds every year?

. . .

 

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5 Replies to “Harm Caused by Net Zero Carbon Policy”

  1. You should be working for the EPA — great article. If we stop using fossil fuels the human race will become fossils.

  2. Thank you for opening up the eyes of everyone who reads this. I forgot about how our military is so dependent on fossil fuels especially the fuel and lubricants

  3. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #462 – Watts Up With That?

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