Posted by: conservativecritic | June 3, 2011

The Environmentalist’s Enigma…

The dictionary defines enigma as “…a puzzling situation”.  Actually, the environmentalist’s problem is quite a bit worse than puzzling – it is a study in contradictions at best.

When we hear from environmentalists about the need to cut back or eliminate carbon-based fuel systems(coal, oil, gas), it is the environmentalist who says the only answer is solar or wind power.  When solar or wind powered energy systems are proposed, it is  the same environmentalist who says that they don’t want a wind generator in their backyard because it will spoil their view or kill birds that might accidentally fly thru the whirling blades of the generator.  

When solar powered arrays are proposed, it is once again this same radical environmentalist that says that the system will destroy the nesting place for the Kangaroo Rat or the Desert Tortoise.

The convoluted thinking of these environmentalists has been adopted by the  current Obama administration and billions of tax dollars are being thrown randomly at huge solar projects in California and these projects will be tied up in litigation over these poor rats and tortoises for the next dozen years.

One can easily recognize an environmentalists since they are individuals who have words coming out of both sides of their mouth – on one side decrying the current economic business model that has made the US the international powerhouse it is – and the other side badmouthing any attempts to implement the very alternatives that the environmentalists themselves have been promoting for years.

The other elephant in the environmentalist’s living room – that none of them want to talk about – is the gargantuan increase in energy costs to the average business and homeowner that would occur if indeed any of these alternative energy sources become mainstream.  

What is not even mentioned in local and state public forums when alternative energy is discussed is the very simple fact that any financial windfall to the community or state by way of additional jobs is more than wiped out by the additional energy costs to be borne by the community at large.

Alternative energy costs per kilowatt hour are many times the current rate charged by coal, nuclear or hydroelectric power generation systems.  Public hearings consider these financial implications as politically incorrect discussion items – and the race if off to see how many of the poor rats and turtles will have to move their nesting grounds a few hundred feet out of the path of incoming solar panels.

Another elephant that the environmentalist hopes is not discussed in public hearings is the fact that daily energy consumption profiles indicate that a hourly requirements for energy begin peaking as the sun begins to set.  This means that conventional power system(nuclear, coal, natural gas, etc.) need to be on line to pick up the ball when the solar system’s output fades to zero. 

One cannot simply turn a nuclear, coal, natural gas or hydro systems “on” and “off” on an hour to hour basis – therefore, while the contribution of solar power to the local grid may be significant during the daylight hours, the mainline power systems still have to function at their original output levels in order to be available when the solar system stops putting out any electrical power.  

This last fact alone entirely defeats any arguments that alternative energy proponents may put forward to reduce carbon output from conventional power systems.  Another Environmental Enigma…

Finally, since solar power currently provides only a couple percent of the total power needs of the United States,  the entirety of the Western United States would need to be covered with solar panels, and huge batteries, the size of Hoover Dam would need to be put in place to provide any measurable 24/7 contribution to the overall and growing power needs of the US.  Another Environmental Enigma.  

Ask the environmentalist if he wants a stack of batteries for energy storage in his back yard…

Ask him or her how alternative energy systems can keep up with the increasing global demand for more energy…ask for specific answers as to how and where such wind and solar systems would be located and how they would tie into the local power grid.  

For example, large wind power farms could be built in the middle of Wyoming and North Dakota – but who will pay for the power lines to carry this energy to large metropolitan or industrial areas where it is needed.  

Don’t hold your breath for the answers…

What do you think?  


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