Carbon Cult Gets Free Passes on Unintended Consequences – Why?

Russ Steele

SOLAR Unintended Consequences (The Daily Bell) 

Solar Cells Linked to Greenhouse Gases Over 23,000 Times Worse than Carbon Dioxide According to New Book, Green Illusions … Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use in the United States according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner.

Green Illusions explains how the solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These three potent greenhouse gases, used by solar cell fabricators, make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless.

Wind Turbine Unintended Consequences (WSJ)

For years, the wind energy industry has had a license to kill golden eagles and lots of other migratory birds. It’s not an official license, mind you.

But as the bird carcasses pile up—two more dead golden eagles were recently found at the Pine Tree wind project in Southern California’s Kern County, bringing the number of eagle carcasses at that site to eight—the wind industry’s unofficial license to kill wildlife is finally getting some serious scrutiny.

Some 77 organizations—led by the American Bird Conservancy, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Endangered Species Coalition and numerous chapters of the Audubon Society—are petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to toughen the rules for the siting, permitting and operation of large-scale wind projects.

It’s about time. Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act.

But the Obama administration—like the Bush administration before it—has never prosecuted the wind industry despite myriad examples of widespread, unpermitted bird kills by turbines. A violation of either law can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for two years.

The Church of Climatology can kill 70 Golden Eagles every year in the Altamont Pass and fill the air with exotic greenhouse gases and still get a free pass from the EPA, CEPA and CARB.  Why are the Climate Cults not responsible for the unintended consequences of their  actions? Why have government agencies not responded to these ecological violations?  They go after oil, gas and power companies, why not solar and wind companies?   Why, because most citizens do not give a damn.

The COPs and CARB

Russ Steele

This is what happens when legislators give bureaucrats unlimited power and remove them from voter oversight.  The CalWatchDog has the story by Katy Grimes

CARB’s Clean truck month

Nichols then talked about how successful the new diesel regulations have been in forcing truck owners to replace their diesel engines with new ones at a cost of $50,000 to $60,000 each. Truck owner-operators who could not afford to do this have gone out of business.

However, the diesel regulations imposed by CARB were doctored, as I have written about extensively. Even with this information, CARB forged ahead with the program and killed a great many small businesses.

CARB’s enforcement arm

CARB has now “partnered” with law enforcement to ensure compliance. The California Highway Patrol has been ordered to pull truck drivers over to run tests on their engines to see if they are complying with CARB’s diesel regulations.

CARB calls this their “full commitment to compliance.” There was a great deal of talk at the meeting about enforcement and penalties.

Last month, enforcement activities were conducted at CHP inspection stations, border crossings, truck stops, roadside locations, rest stops and port facilities.

Additionally, there was a well-coordinated media campaign orchestrated by CARB. Board members and staff bragged about the 37 news stories done by television news. They even showed clips of a few news stories. These were not public service announcements.

So now we have the California Air Resources Board writing the news, and compliant media reporting it as if it is spontaneous.

The end result is that taxpayer and rate payers pick up the bill for this stupidity.  Our only solution is to remove the legislator that create the bureaucracies and reign in the bureaucrats hiding in their concrete caves.

Insight Worth Noting from the Economist

Russ Steele

“The entire renewables sector, Mr Helm argues, has become an orgy of rent-seeking”

The system therefore relies on a panoply of subsidies which, as night follows day, has produced an enormous industry to compete for them—wind and solar firms, lobbyists, NGOs and politicians. The entire renewables sector, Mr Helm argues, has become an orgy of rent-seeking.

An CARB is more than willing to drag the tax and rate payers of California into this rent seeking orgy.

Prop 23 Update: Current Gas Prices a Test Run for Cap and Trade – The Impact?

Russ Steele

If you think that gas prices are high now wait until AB-32 Cap and Trade kicks in, starting in January 2013.

Wayne Lusvardi writing at the CalWatchDog has some details:

Under Cap and Trade, gas prices are expected to increase from $0.26 to $1.61 per gallon. One study concluded that, if all the provisions of Cap and Trade were loaded into the price of gasoline, it would reflect about a $2.70 per gallon gasoline price increase above prices as they were before the current surge.  In other words, California’s current gas price bump may be a pimple of what is to come in three months when Cap and Trade kicks in on Jan. 1.

Average gasoline prices in California shot up 50 cents per gallon in the last two weeks from $4.11 to $4.61 per gallon, according Reuters.  The price difference between Jackson, Miss. at $3.43 per gallon and California at $4.61 was $1.18 higher. That’s about a 34 percent price spread.  Many independent gas stations were reportedly shutting down — not because of lack of supply of gas, but due to the jump in price that reduced profit margins to zero.

The question is what will be the long term impact on the local economy as fuel, gas and diesel, prices stay well above $4.00 a gallon? Potential tourist income will not be going up to compensate for higher fuel prices.  Their budget are being challenges by higher food prices due to increased transportation and agricultural costs.  All these cost increases will result in less disposable income. Income familes might invest in a day or vacation trip to Nevada County.  Some families will be making the choice between food or fuel.  Those decisions will impact our local economy.

Prop 23 Update: Where are the Green Jobs?

Russ Steele

Remember how we were told by the local left that the full implementation of AB-32 and the Federal Stimulus would create lots of green job in the US and in California?   Here are some details from Master of Engineering Blog on where those jobs are not and how much the ones that were created cost the taxpayers.  My comments in [ ]s 

The 2009 stimulus directed around $90 billion toward green initiatives, including loan guarantees for green energy firms, money to weatherize homes, green jobs training grants, and many other projects. [Romney mention the $90 billion in his debate with Obama, who had no answers, and this is the reason why.]

In an audit released in September, the Department of Labor’s inspector general found that a $500 million program for training people with so-called green skills has so far produced only 1,336 jobs that have lasted over 6 months, with $163 million already spent. This amounts to $121,856 per successful green trainee.

The Obama administration had an idea that would solve the jobs crisis and our environmental woes in one fell swoop. They gave loans and grants to green energy and research companies in order to move the market forward and enable the companies to hire more employees.

- SunPower, after receiving $1.5 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.

- First Solar, after receiving $1.46 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.

- Solyndra, after receiving $535 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Ener1, after receiving $118.5 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Evergreen Solar, after receiving millions of dollars from the state of Massachusetts, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- SpectraWatt, backed by Intel and Goldman Sachs, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Beacon Power, after receiving $43 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Abound Solar, after receiving $400 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Amonix, after receiving $5.9 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Babcock & Brown (an Australian company), after receiving $178 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- A123 Systems, after receiving $279 million from DOE, shipped some bad batteries and is barely operating. It cut jobs.

- Solar Trust for America, after receiving a $2.1-billion loan guarantee from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Nevada Geothermal, after receiving $98.5 million from DOE, warns of potential defaults in new SEC filings.

So, now you know that  Green Jobs was a major failure in both the production of jobs and in the ability to produce green energy. Obama green job myth has exploded in his face and the tax and rate payer have to pay for this failure.  We cannot stand 4 more years of this kind of failure. And we hear nothing but crickets from our local lefties who were promoting AB-32 and the Green Stimulus.  Tell us where are the green jobs?  

Prop 23 Update: Global Warming is Killing Electric Cars?

Russ Steele

We were suppose to be buying electric cars to save planet from global warming. But, it appears that global warming is damaging if not killing electric cars.  Details HERE.

Leaf owners in Phoenix noticed that upon full battery charge, their dashboard charge indicator showed a decreasing capacity. According to hybridCARS website range per battery charge has dropped from the advertised 100 miles to as low as 44 miles.

At first Nissan claimed it was a fault of the dashboard gauge, but that proved not to be the case. The lithium ion battery was actually losing charging capacity over time. (See here for a detailed discussion on the physical and chemical processes which cause battery capacity reduction.) Tests show that the battery “ages” more than twice as fast in hot climates compared to cool climates.

Why would anyone buy an electric car?  It seems to be a question that many buyers are asking them selves and not coming up with a buying answer.  US electric car battery plants are sitting idle, after Obama invested billions to create a battery industry in the US.  Why, auto customers are not interested in buying electric cars. Especially electric cars that can only go 44 miles, which will soon be cut in half again to 22 miles per charge as the UN IPCC/GISS global temperatures continue to increase.  Heh!

Prop 23 Update: Al Gore Bails On Solar Investment Strategy

Russ Steele

Al Gore’s “Green” Investment Company has exited the solar business. After taking an economic hair cut on their “go green” solar investments his company has exited the solar investment business according to SEC Filings.

If you are thinking about green energy for your portfolio, Al Gore has a few words of advice: “Don’t do it.”

“Of course he does not say that in public,” says Bill Gunderson, president of Gunderson Capital Management. “Gore’s company still talks about how alternative energy is a good investment. How companies are adopting it, governments are subsidizing it and people are using it.”

But SEC filings from Gore’s company, Generation Investment, tell a different story, says Gunderson, who hosts a nationally syndicated financial talk radio program and writes for MarketWatch and

“Generation Investment says it is all about climate change, but it is just a typical investment fund with typical stocks,” Gunderson said.<

You can read more HERE:

In the summer of 2010, Generation Investment bought about 440,000 shares of First Solar, worth almost $65 million

Gore bought near the peak.

As the price of First Solar plunged from $141 in 2010 to $30 in the first quarter of 2012, Gore’s company kept throwing good money after bad, buying more and more stock until its investment in early 2012 totaled about 1.12 million shares worth about $28 million dollars.

Generation Investment sold it soon after, SEC records show.

Generation Investment also has private investments and investments in other alternative energy companies that it is not required to disclose to the SEC.

Among the companies listed in the “private and confidential client update” from Generation Investment are SMA Solar, the largest solar company in Germany. Its value has gone down 57 percent over the last year.

In China, Generation Investment said it had an investment in the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, SunTech. The stock has gone down 82 percent over the last year.

Also in the portfolio are EcoSynthetix, Landi Renzo and Meyer Burger, which have lost 60 percent, 25 percent and 49.6 percent respectively over the last year

In Gunderson’s newsletter and on his radio shows, he told his listeners and clients to “sell everything under the sun” and he was shorting First Solar at $121 in May 2011. Gunderson repeated this to the Toronto Globe in December 2011.

“I don’t blame Gore for getting out of alternative energy,” Gunderson said, “even if he did it too late in the case of First Solar.

“But when is he going to tell people that alternative energy is a lousy investment?”

If the high priest of the AGW global warming cult has exited the solar business, it must not be a real solution to the nation energy needs.

Prop 23 Update: Renewables costing ME money, jobs – CA cannot escape

Russ Steele

Maine was ahead of California in implementing a Renewable Portfolio Standard, and now we can observe the results. How will CARB and environmental wacko politicians in Sacramento keep that from happening in CA? They can’t! AB-32 will suck us into the renewable black hole along with the residence of Maine.  [Maine/New Hampshire was second on our retirement location list.]

New Study Finds RPS Standards Hurting Maine’s Economy
Governor LePage advocates for reforms in Maine’s energy laws

AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul LePage released the following statement in regards to the study, The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, conducted by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research:
“By 2017, this study predicts energy prices will increase by $145 million for consumers, costing the State of Maine about 1,000 jobs. We already pay a statewide total of approximately $220 million more per year for electricity than the national average. This study shows that special interests are hurting Maine’s economy and costing us jobs. We can no longer embrace the status quo.

“Unfortunately, low cost, reliable, and green renewables, such as hydro power, are discriminated against in Augusta. Instead, those with powerful political connections have forced higher cost renewables onto the backs of Maine ratepayers. Common sense dictates that cost must be a factor when evaluating all new energy sources.

“Reforming our laws to optimize our renewable energy production will put more money in the pockets of Mainers, bring more jobs to our state, and improve our quality of life. I encourage the people of Maine to tell their legislators that we need to lower the cost of energy.”

For the full study, please visit:

H/T to WUWT for the tip and link to the study.



Prop 23 Reality Check — Phantasmagorical Cap and Trade


‘Cap-and-trade is in fact a parody of a market, since it involves buying & selling a phantasmagorical non-commodity created by bureaucratic fiat’  ‘…and is thus open to infinite corruption and abuse. The EU trading system is in a shambles’

You can Read the Full Article,

Remember this phrase “phantasmagorical non-commodity” as CARB races to auction of the first round on this product in November. We will all be buying small shares as the price of products soar to cover the cost of companies forced to buy this “phantasmagorical non-commodity.”

The California economy is in the tank and we are all forces to buy phantasmagorical crap.   We are living in the worlds largest insane asylum!

McClintock: The adult in the room

Russ Steele

I would like to draw your attention to an article by Katy Grimes at the CalWatchDog, which is based on interviews with Congressman Tom McClintock, focusing on governance in California.

Article in part that should be on interest to us all:

“A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged,” McClintock said. ”Prior to the 2006 passage of AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s unemployment rate began a steady upward convergence with the national unemployment rates.” After passage of AB 32, California’s unemployment shot up much more dramatically than the national unemployment rate, he said. ”California politicians can’t blame the national economy for that.”

Everything touched by AB 32 has been hurt. “Agriculture, cargo, passenger and transportation travel, construction, the wine industry, cement making — all are impacted negatively by AB 32,” said McClintock. “Entire sectors of the state’s economy have been hurt.”

As for the wind and solar scam, McClintock said there is nothing new. “In the 170 years since wind power was invented, technical advancements have not yet been able to figure out more a more expensive way to produce energy,” said McClintock. “Wind is more expensive than oil and gas.”

“The biggest problem with wind and solar is that we must have and maintain an equal amount of natural gas energy in order to back up the entire energy grid on a moment’s notice. We are paying not only for the most expensive forms of energy now; we are paying to back it up when it fails.”

Solar and wind also take up massive amounts of real estate, McClintock said. “Long transmission lines are needed from the power source to the energy grid. But because the solar output is so low, we can’t use the existing transmission lines — we need a whole new system to transmit solar power.”

California residents are paying three times as much for energy as is needed because of AB 32 and the Renewable Portfolio Standard that was passed in 2012. The standard requires that 33 percent of our electricity come from renewable energy sources.

The full article is HERE. It concludes:

Of California’s diminished ranking from the fifth largest economy in the world to the ninth and the state’s other problems, McClintock summed it up: “Those who blame the recession for California’s budget crisis profoundly misunderstand the nature of that crisis. Even before California’s revenue began to shrink, the state government was running a chronic $10 billion deficit and piling up unprecedented debt. The recession is merely the catalyst; the underlying cause is rampant mismanagement of the state’s resources.”

The question is what do we do about the mismanagement in Sacramento?  Your thoughts?

Prop 23 Update: I told you this would happen

Russ Steele

Joel Anderson, California State Senator, has the details in a Fox and Hounds article:

As Californians have come to learn, promises and assurances don’t seem to matter much under the Capitol Dome.

There was some loose talk a few months ago from Governor Jerry Brown that he’d like to see the anticipated AB 32 fees get diverted to pay for his beloved High Speed Rail system.

But why stop there?

Ignoring the assurances of then-Speaker Fabian Núñez, current Assembly Speaker John Perez has taken Brown’s lead and introduced AB 32 amendments (AB 1532) for the purpose of removing language restricting how AB 32 proceeds are spent.

If the governor signs it into law, the AB 32 monies would simply be dumped into the state treasury and could be used for anything from paying old debts to buying more unused trucks to sit in some CalTrans service yard.

Gone are the promises of using AB 32 fees to fund reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Gone are the hopes of funding new investments in new carbon-reduced energy technologies.

In fact, with fees taken by Perez and AB 1532, all that’s left of AB 32 is the hope that somehow, mandating a massive cut in greenhouse gasses will magically inspire new technologies and innovation, even though no government mandate or regulation, ever, at any time, has led to an economic boon.

AB 32 was delivered with certain set of promises. But in the six years since it passed, efforts to reduce its potential to something that amounts to nothing more than a massive new limitless tax on nearly every aspect of our lives are everywhere.

Plans to use the funds for everything from transportation, housing, and food to job creating industries circle the capitol like vultures.  Proceeds from the tax, instead of going to alternative energy research and development, will now be tossed into the bottomless pit of state government spending.

Remember how our local left assured us this would not happen during the Prop 23 debates.  Now all we hear is the crickets.

Union Publisher Speaks – Our role is to inform, not to influence

Russ Steele

As readers know, over the years I have written columns for The Union, but stopped when the Publisher/Editor was unwilling to publish my views on climate changes as a Columnist for The Union. Thus, I stopped writing for The Union and focused more on blogging, which does not provide as many gates to jump before my words become public.

Now we have a new Publisher, Dave Schmall, who has published his views on the role of The Union in the community HERE.

I’ll cut to the chase: I truly believe the best service a local newspaper can provide its citizens is a balanced delivery of the issues and challenges facing our community and a stream of updates, opinions and proposed solutions, then to let the public decide. Our job is to inform, not to influence or persuade. As the dominant medium in town, we could probably sway lots of votes and that, in my mind, would be a crime. That’s not our role in the community. Ours is to foster positive change by providing accurate information so residents can make better, more informed decisions.

I will be watching to see how they address the climate change issues.  The US CO2 emissions are declining as the economy goes into the tank down to the 1992 levels, but the global CO2 levels continues to increase. However, the temperatures continue to slowly decline over the past 16 years. It is becoming harder and harder for intelligent people to make the mental connection between the rise in CO2 and the decline in global temperature. We will have to wait and see what “accurate information” will be provided to the Union’s readers on the climate change as we start tithing our Cap and Trade taxes to solve an non-existing problem.  Any guesses?

#greenfail: WaPo GM’s vaunted Volt is on the road to nowhere fast

Russ Steele

 I have written about this before, but how the Washington Post has some thoughts on the Chevy Volt:

 No matter how you slice it, the American taxpayer has gotten precious little for the administration’s investment in battery-powered vehicles, in terms of permanent jobs or lower carbon dioxide emissions. There is no market, or not much of one, for vehicles that are less convenient and cost thousands of dollars more than similar-sized gas-powered alternatives — but do not save enough fuel to compensate. The basic theory of the Obama push for electric vehicles — if you build them, customers will come — was a myth. And an expensive one, at that.

Now what is the Governor and CARB going to do?  Here is an excerpt from the Governors Executive Order B-16-2012

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that these entities establish benchmarks to help achieve by 2025:

  • Over 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles will be on California roads and their market share will be expanding; and
  • Californians will have easy access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure; and
  • The zero-emission vehicle industry will be a strong and sustainable part of California’s economy; and
  • California’s clean, efficient vehicles will annually displace at least 1.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuels.

Customers are not interested in buying GM electric vehicles.  Only in California is it possible to command that we buy electric vehicles!

Prop 23 Update: AB32 Green Slush Fund Bills Pass

Russ Steele

It has been the position of this blog that AB-32 was nothing more than opportunity for the politicians in Sacramento to create a giant slush fund using our tax dollars. There was never any scientific justification for a Cap and Trade program to reduce human generated CO2. With no science behind AB-32 it had to be all politics. Now that the auction in November will be creating the slush in the fund, all the pigs are bellying up to the billion dollar trough.

The CalWatchDog has the details.  [My comments are in brackets.]

Naturally, everyone wants a piece of that billion-dollar green pie. The Chamber is most concerned about three bills passed on the last day of the legislative session – SB 535, AB 1186 and AB 1532 – that slice up the pie.

SB 535 dishes a quarter of it to “disadvantaged” communities. [Vote buying and stop the law suits]

AB 1532 allows the money to be thrown at a smorgasbord of projects, including biofuels, electric vehicles, land conservation, public transportation, sustainable housing and recycling. [ NGO funding and more vote buying.]

AB 1186 slates money for energy efficiency projects in public schools; but a late amendment removed the connection to Cap and Trade funds, according to the bill’s author. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. [ So if this is not connected to the Cap and Trade slush fund, where are the funds going to come from?]

As your will remember the original AB-32 bill designated the funds for CO2 reduction. So way are our political leaders using these funds to buy votes? Has the need for CO2 reduction passed? If so, why do we still need AB-32?

Heads Up California – We are Next (Amended)

Russ Steele

We have often heard President Obama claim that the Danes receive 20% of their power via the wind. The truth is much different. Danish experts came to Washington this week to set the record straight.

WASHINGTON – President Obama has frequently cited Denmark as an example to be followed in the field of wind power generation, stating on several occasions that the Danes satisfy “20 percent of their electricity through wind power.” The findings of a new study released this week cast serious doubt on the accuracy of that statement. The report finds that in 2006 scarcely five percent of the nation’s electricity demand was met by wind. And over the past five years, the average is less than 10 percent — despite Denmark having ‘carpeted’ its land with the machines. More details HERE.

In California we are carpeting the state with these wind machines, and CARB is planning to get 33% of the states energy from wind and solar. If wind and only provides less than 10%, that means that solar has to make up the difference. It is highly unlikely that solar can provide the additional 23%, since is only operates 50% of the time when the sun is shining.

Next door in Germany the solar industry is in total collapse. P. Gosslin has the details from German:

The European Institute for Climate and Energy here (EIKE) sums up the bad news in Germany’s energy industry, all brought on by failed green energy policies. What a mess! And things are set to get a lot worse.

Bad news have been rolling in from all fronts over the last months and weeks. The green energy generals are now in their bunkers with trembling hands. Oh the agony when reality turns out to be the opposite of what the models projected. Countries contemplating Germany’s green, centrally planned energy path really need to rethink!

On the bankruptcy of solar company Sovello, 1000 employees are getting a pink slip. Earlier, RWE announced 2400 would lose their jobs. That mans the number of layoffs at RWE is now up to a whopping 10,400.  More details HERE.

Yet, CARB and the environmental wackos in Sacramento continue to plunge forward demanding that 33% of the States power come from wind and solar. We are in more trouble than we can ever imagine. We will soon have brown out and black outs when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine after sundown.  We have our generator, and I am looking for a large diesel storage tank.  What are business going to do that depend on stable reliable electrical power? Leave the state?

First they should vote for Romney, he has an Energy Plan –  Drill Baby Drill in proven gas and oil reserves.  Where as, the Obama’s plan is to throw more money at failed, and failing, solar and wind companies.  Either way, we are screwed in California as long as the environmental wackos are in charge in Sacramento, especially with the federal renewable subsidies drying up.  Even if Romney is elected and approves drilling, it will never happen in California.

Addendum ( 08-23-12, 21:00) A report from the field on why wind and solar will fail, unless we are forces to use it by Cap and Trade.

I Had a Green Job

In 2008 I completed my Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford and took a “Green Job” with a solar company. Excitingly, it seemed to match the green rhetoric–to have potential to create the incredible value of cleaner, cheaper energy.

Unfortunately, the more I learned about my job and industry, the more I realized they were fundamentally flawed.

Management said we would be competitive with oil and gas once we manufactured panels for $1.00/watt. But as a mechanical engineer, I learned most of solar’s cost is not panels themselves but “balance of system” (BOS) components like DC to AC converters, wiring, and structural mounting, adding about $3.00/watt for a best-case total of $4.00/watt. Coal and hydroelectric systems cost as low as $2.10/watt and $1.00/watt, respectively. Ifound no evidence that solar’s BOS costs would decrease meaningfully.

Nor did anyone have a solution to the problem that has plagued solar and wind energy since their inception: intermittency. Solar and wind energy come intermittently, with no means to store it for later use that wouldn’t add considerably to their already-high cost. Thus, the idea of a large scale solar and wind economy is farcical.

If the industry was fundamentally unproductive, so were my colleagues and I. We were wasting a tragic amount of time, talent–and other people’s money–making a far inferior form of power when we could have been creating real advances in other, legitimate kinds of energy.

Just as disturbing was what these “jobs” did to people’s spirits. Every high-ranking person in solar or wind must eventually figure out, as I did, that he cannot compete in the market, that his competitive advantages are government subsidies and forced limitations on competitors.

Whatever technical advances we made didn’t solve the intractable problems, so our real victories came in forms such as the Cap and Trade Bill. I learned of the bill’s passage in the House of Representatives while driving home from a day spent on an interesting technical project. I knew my work was trivial in comparison. Our true means of revenue-generation was forcibly limiting carbon emissions, to force consumers into using energy sources like ours. [My emphasis]

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