New Science Study Demonstrates Futility Of Soft Renewables

For Atmospheric CO2 Reduction

This is actually a pretty damning piece.  It is a study of the payback point for CO2 after adopting various electric generation technologies as opposed to traditional coal.  The study is an awful read because of the requisite dancing around the “elephant in the room”.  But, it gave us enough information to draw the reasonable conclusions.

I do wish to premise this article to state I don’t agree with their thoughts on the climate sensitivity (temps) to CO2.  I further believe that the life time CO2 is thought to be airborne is overstated.  But, on both of those issues, the authors relied on the IPCC.

As we’ve all known for some time, soft renewables such as wind mills have a large upfront CO2 emissions budget.  In fact, much more so than traditional energy plants.


A transition from the global system of coal-based electricity generation to low-greenhouse-gas-emission energy technologies is required to mitigate climate change in the long term. The use of current infrastructure to build this new low-emission system necessitates additional emissions of greenhouse gases, and the coal-based infrastructure will continue to emit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases as it is phased out.……., we estimate the global warming expected to occur as a result of build-outs of new energy technologies ranging from 100 GWe to 10 TWe in size and 1–100 yr in duration. We show that rapid deployment of low-emission energy systems can do little to diminish the climate impacts in the first half of this century. Conservation, wind, solar, nuclear power, and possibly carbon capture and storage appear to be able to achieve substantial climate benefits in the second half of this century; however, natural gas cannot.

From that it seems to be just another anti-fossil fuel piece, and it is.  For instance, their assumptions about coal with CSS seems out of balance.  But, because CSS is such an idiotic idea, I haven’t looked into how much carbon actually gets sequestered.  They seem to over state nuclear CO2 emissions as well, but, again, I’d have to look into before making a definitive statement.


Now, here is what I want the reader to notice.  Look at the “steps” indicated in the lower left graph for the soft renewables.  An explanation is stated in this manner……

For high estimates of life-cycle emissions, periodic replacement of aging plants produces pulses of emissions resulting in substantial, step-like change in atmospheric concentrations. However, in all cases except hydroelectric, continued electricity production results in increasing trends of atmospheric CO2(eq) concentrations.

This is a failure of the eco-nuts.  Most often, this is ignored.  In fact, this is the first peer-reviewed article I can recall acknowledging this fact.  If the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is anywhere near what they believe, then using the sources available today, we will never achieve a reduction in atmospheric CO2, regardless of the technology employed, with the exception of hydro.  The paper doesn’t specifically state how long they believe CO2 stays in the atmosphere, but depending upon how you read this, they seem to be implying  the half-life at about 40 years.  But they fail to put a specific time value on this.  You can read their strange logic here. (pdf)  Perhaps some industrious reader can elucidate further from that information.  I’m still working on my coffee.  They state it comes from The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

Conservation is thus equivalent to phasing out 1 TWe of coal power over 40 yr without any replacement technology. Even in this case, GHGs (particularly CO2) emitted by coal during the phaseout linger in the atmosphere for many years; in addition, ocean thermal inertia causes temperature changes to lag radiative forcing changes. Consequently, conservation takes 20 yr to achieve a 25% reduction in HGE warming and 40 yr to achieve a 50% reduction.

But, again, look at the steps.  According to this paper, we’re not reducing atmospheric CO2, we’re only slowing the curve increase.  And in about 80 years, even if we aggressively transition from coal to soft renewables, we will be emitting CO2 at the rate we will be in about 10 years.  And the emissions will continue to grow.

There is something else to discuss here as well.  In the introduction, the authors state, “Electricity generation accounts for approximately 39% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.”  But, here we see all things are compared to traditional coal replacement.  And, that would be legitimate, if all of our energy was provided by coal.  It isn’t.  Coal produced less than 35% of the world’s electricity in 2009.  It’s less than that now.

Continuing in the paper, section 4.

Figure 3(A) shows that, for fossil fuel plants, emissions from plant operation are the predominant source of life-cycle emissions, and they are responsible for the majority of the global temperature increase produced. Conservation yields the largest temperature reductions. In transitions to wind, solar, and nuclear technologies, temperature increases caused by emissions during plant construction exceed those due to plant operation; the resulting temperature increases are dwarfed, however, by those caused by emissions from coal plants as they are being phased out.

Predictably, the study states it’s worse than we thought, and that we need to do something fast!  What it doesn’t explicitly state but, is conferred by their own writings and calculations is that it is an entirely futile exercise!  If the source of increased atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, as all of the loons insist, then regardless of the strategies we employ, we are going to have atmospheric CO2 concentrations reach well beyond the magical 560 ppm.  Even in their own terms, this is truly a Quixotic exercise.

You can read the entire study here. (html)

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10 Responses to New Science Study Demonstrates Futility Of Soft Renewables

  1. Latitude says:

    They keep beating the drum…..

    Here’s the math I don’t get at all….
    ….of the few countries willing to do this, let’s say those few countries were actually able to
    Factor in what percentage of CO2 is actually man made, the percentage those few countries would actually reduce that percentage….and no one would even be able to measure the temperature difference

    • suyts says:

      Correct again! This is insane to pursuit such idiocy. They’re so scared of increased CO2 emissions, but, none of their solutions prevent increased CO2 emissions. They simply slow it down for a while. In the meantime, we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion in pursuit of this idiocy.

  2. Latitude says:

    Fleet of cars abandoned Miami-Dade County costs taxpayers millions

    Miami-Dade County bought six years ago hundreds of hybrid cars, police cars and vans – with zero miles! – In 2006, but 170 of them have never been used. Cost to taxpayers: $ 4 million.

    Now the case has become a scandalous political Pandora’s box.

    The president of the Miami Dade County Commission, Joe Martinez,-who is running for county mayor, announced Thursday the creation of a committee of investigation of mismanagement and corruption, following revelations that the vehicles remained parked in a building parking at 2100 41st Street Northwest, in the Earlington Heights for six years.

    Martinez said the committee shall consist of five commissioners to review all documentation related to the case.

    “It’s outrageous,” said Martinez. “These new vehicles were bought out of control package and were stationed in a building for years. This is not the first time it happens. So you have to investigate this case and determine exactly what happened so it does not happen again. ”

    The case was revealed Tuesday by News America newscast Channel 41 in Miami, after an eight-month investigation.

    In October, the news team found that 293 vehicles were “rusty” in the parking building. But seeing that the political storm was coming, the County put into circulation between 123 and 135 of them, depending on the officer to be interviewed.

  3. Latitude says:

    just sharing the news………..

    For Tea Party, Focus Turns to Senate and Shake-Up

    WASHINGTON — The primary victory of a Tea Party-blessed candidate in Indiana illustrates how closely Republican hopes for a majority in the Senate are tied to candidates who pledge to infuse the chamber with the deep-seated conservatism that has been the hallmark of the House since the Republicans gained control in 2010.

    Richard E. Mourdock, who last week defeated Senator Richard G. Lugar, a six-term incumbent, promises to bring an uncompromising ideology to Capitol Hill if he prevails in November. And he is not the only Senate candidate who contends that Senate Republicans are badly in need of new blood.

    In Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas, Republican Senate candidates are vying for the mantle of Tea Party outsider. A number of them say that they would seek to press an agenda that is generally to the right of the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and that they would demand a deeper policy role for the Senate’s growing circle of staunch conservatives.

  4. miked1947 says:

    I see you are reading the fairy tales again instead of the Sunday Funnies. The Sunday Funnies provide a more intellectual outlook.

  5. Pingback: The Stupefying Ignorance Of Climate Catastrophes | suyts space

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