Nutty Nuccitelli Utterly Fails In His Critique Of Spencer


Good heavens can these nutters get any more sophist than what they already are?

Catholic Online interviewed Roy Spencer last week.  Nuccitelli takes exception to a statement Spencer made.

“Current solar and wind technologies are too expensive, unreliable, and can only replace a small fraction of our energy needs. Since the economy runs on inexpensive energy, in order to grow the economy we will need to use fossil fuels to create that extra wealth. In other words, we will need to burn even more fossil fuels in order to find replacements for fossil fuels.”

That statement sent Nuccitelli on a trip to imbecile land.  I’m not sure why the lunatics keep embracing this bizarre equivocation.  I think they’re just too simple to understand basic economics and math, specifically, that one shouldn’t compare unlike things. 

As per usual warmist MO, Nuccitelli devolves into an irrational argument with imaginary statistics.  Here’s his response and proof that Spencer is wrong….

Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put together a report (PDF) quantifying global fossil fuel subsidies, including indirect costs from climate change damages. They estimated that $480 billion is spent annually on direct fossil fuel subsidies, mostly in developing countries, while an additional $1.4 trillion is spent on indirect subsidies. These include about $800 billion per year in climate change subsidies, and that may be a very conservative estimate.

Sigh.  Where to start?  Nuccitelli gets just about everything wrong here.  First of all, the $480 billion he quoted isn’t uniquely fossil fuels. 


Oh, $150 billion of that is electricity.  Hmm, now, I wonder what is getting the lion’s share of subsidies in electric generation?  Nuccitelli is actually including renewable subsidies in his $480 billion figure!  Stupid?  Dishonest?  You make the call.  For fun, please note the coal subsidy. 

The paper he quotes is also filled with idiotic sophist and statist assumptions and leaps.  For instance we see this in the paper.

For some products, such as coal, post-tax subsidies are substantial because prices are far below the levels needed to address negative environmental and health externalities. The fact that energy products are taxed much less than other products also contributes to the high level of post-tax subsidies. In MENA, for example, applying the same rate of VAT or sales taxes to energy products as other goods and services would generate ¾ percent of GDP.

Good heavens!!  Of course, this would be an IMF report.  Uhmm, no, you stupid, stupid twits.  (Not you Dana, you’re just a sophist climate nutter, you’re not suppose to know better.)

Hey, guess what?!  Increase costs of energy and fuels discourages use!  Now, even Dana knows this.  But, what the IMF should know, as the rest of the rational world knows is that energy and fuel use is what generates wealth.  No, really, its true!  Increase the cost of energy and fuel and your GDP will drop like a rock reducing your tax revenues.  

I won’t address the imaginary global warming costs other than to laugh at them.  There’s too many things to laugh at them about this.  It will take another post or two to adequately sort through their erroneous assumptions.  

Dana goes on to babble inanities about how some unique areas can sell electricity from renewable sources cheaper than from traditional.  He also quotes a debunked claim about Australia’s wind energy being cheaper than coal.  Which is funny.  These really sciency people are basing that claim from a Bloomberg press release.  (See here for the debunking.)

But, this brings us to these types of bizarre estimates of costs.  And Dana’s idiotic comparisons.   Where their thinking flies off the rails is in two places.  

Let’s address the first one.  They talk about costs, but pretend there are no benefits.  In other words, they’re only addressing one part of the equation and leaving out two more important parts.  As I stated earlier, we know fuel and energy use is essential to moving an economy, any economy.  What’s the cost of not using fuels and energy?  Well, let’s see…… there would be very little crops to grow, most of us would die.  But, not before an entire global economic collapse.  Our entire societal structure would break apart.  It wouldn’t matter because unless one works down the block from their home, no one could get to work to produce…. well, nothing because we wouldn’t be using fuels and energy!  If one is going to attempt to calculate externalities then you have to weigh them against the benefits.  None of the nutters have ever addressed this.  It’s as if the computers they’re using to write this idiocy just magically appeared and work without fossil fuel use.  What are the externalities of using renewables? Well, I’ll show just a small part of them directly.  But, the nutters have never addressed this.  Does Dana even know that wind turbines contain huge amounts of REE?  What is the process for getting REE, Dana?  Does that have any environmental costs?  Does Dana know these things and is intentionally not disclosing such, or is he unfathomably ignorant of the things he advocates? 

But, that brings us to the second error of such idiocy.  What is unstated but implied is that there is a viable alternative available to use.  Dana and the rest of the dolts blather on and on about oil and invariably in the very next breath they’ll spew some idiocy about wind and/or solar energy as if they are somehow related.  THEY’RE NOT!!!  You can plant all the whirlygigs and sun catchers you can dream about and not one jet will fly from that energy generated.  Not one boat will steam out of port.  Not one combine would be fired up to harvest our crops from that energy.  Dana, I’m with you man!!!  Gasoline costs way too much!!!  But, pretending there’s a viable alternative out there doesn’t help when people need to address reality.   

Now, let’s address electricity.  Here, we see that one cannot plant all the wind and solar plants they can dream upGermany has had to scale back their green utopia because of the intermittency of wind and solar energy.  I don’t expect Dana to know this because it’s likely he’s never worked with large scale electricity, but grids aren’t set up, and can’t be set up to handle such intermittency.  Wind and solar can only be used as an adjunctive to traditional energy until they solve the storage problem.  It doesn’t matter if the cost of generating is zero.  The cost of facilitating renewables is exorbitant.  I’ll trot out my handy picture comparison for the sophists….. Here’s a traditional view of a grid.


Here’s a grid with the idiotic notions of alternative energy sources…..


Even if one was stricken with the phobia of a CO2 molecule, none of this does anything tangible towards reducing CO2 levels.  All of this for an energy source which can not supplant traditional electric generation, much less replace natural gas or oil.  And Nuccitelli is going to blather about costs, pretending he knows anything about how to do a proper cost/benefit analysis. 

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21 Responses to Nutty Nuccitelli Utterly Fails In His Critique Of Spencer

  1. DirkH says:

    I wonder if Nuccitelli’s fugly mug can save the Guardian:

  2. Latitude says:

    What pisses me off……on one hand they are complaining that people are living too long and can’t afford health care…..and on the other, they are telling them all to go buy new cars

  3. HankH says:

    These left ideologists are incredibly myopic and ignore the obvious technical roadblocks to renewables being a viable solution any time soon. And they forget the Tarzan Principal. You don’t let go of the vine that is carrying you (fossil fuels) before you have the next vine firmly in grasp (fossil fuel replacement).

    And why do none of them see Nuclear energy as being on the table? It emits no CO2 and does not require an incredibly expensive wholesale transmission infrastructure redesign and is more cost effective than solar and wind.

    • DirkH says:

      They don’t operate with logic. Their goal is power. Arguing with them is a mistake.

      • HankH says:

        “Their goal is power.”

        LOL, a double entendre. 😉

        You’re right. There’s no point in arguing with them. It unreasonably assumes they have a mind to change.

  4. PhilJourdan says:

    Wind and solar cost more than any fossil fuels. Period. The “subsidies” are where the populace cannot even afford the lowest cost energy source. To imply that they cannot afford $1 fossil fuel, but can afford $20 Solar is simply stupid.

    And for the last time, the lack of confiscation by government is NOT a fu****g SUBSIDY. A Subsidy is defined as follows:
    1.a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.
    2.a sum paid, often in accordance with a treaty, by one government to another to secure some service in return.
    3.a grant or contribution of money.

    In every case, money is GIVEN to the body in order for it to be classified a subsidy. Not taking does not equal giving. A robber who takes $100 from you, but missed the $20 in your shoe has NOT given you $20.

    • suyts says:

      Yeh, I didn’t spend enough time on that.

    • DirkH says:

      Places like Iran subsidize gasoline. A liter is 10 cents over there. market price should be 40 to 50 cent without any taxes. Like Egypt subsidizes bread – otherwise, riots.

      • DirkH says:

        In other words, because Iran subsidizes the fuel for their populace Nuccitelly expects us to subsidize our solar tycoons.

        As I said, they don’t operate with logic. They just try to ram through what they want rammed through.

      • suyts says:

        Yeh, but, this is failing.

      • philjourdan says:

        Venezuela subsidizes gas as well – 19 cents/gallon. Since Venezuela is a net exporter (member of OPEC), no problem right? Wrong. They have rationing due to shortages. Just like Iran. You cannot hook a car (or truck or generator) up to an oil well and pump in the crude.

  5. Keitho says:

    Another, and far more relevant, way to look at subsidies/tax breaks would be to do so in terms of unit of energy delivered. If you look at things that way James it is obvious that the tax breaks/ feed in rates are at least an order of magnitude larger for “renewables” than it is for fossil fuels. Using 2008 figures and your figure of $150bn then it works out at $0.007/kWhr for fossil and nuke and hydro versus an average of around $0.10/ kWhr for renewables and that doesn’t even include capital write downs and subsidies for construction.

    Then look at the taxes raised from fossil fuels, Britain petrol prices are inflated by about 60% thanks to taxes as an example so oil would be seen as a tax revenue generator in most of the sane world.

    The rest of your points are well made but let’s make these zealots compare like with like.

  6. Keitho says:

    Oh, and it also needs to be said that the tax breaks the fossil boys get are asset depletion allowances which are mostly akin to the capital equipment write down allowances all other industries get. All mining operations have this form of tax allowance built in and it is not peculiar to the fossil fuel industry. It is nasty sophistry for these greens to portray asset depletion allowances as some evil conspiracy between government and industry.

    • philjourdan says:

      2 Reasons for that. The first is simply the meme of Obama and crew to try to gin up support for more taxes. And of course the second is to try to make fossil fuels appear more expensive so as to mitigate the disasters of throwing money away at green energy boondoggles.

  7. DirkH says:

    EV maker Coda dies after selling 100 vehicles.

    300 million capital destroyed, amongst the damaged investors Hank Paulson !
    The elite itself is really so stupid?
    They made the mistake of not applying for federal dough:

  8. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:

  9. gator69 says:

    There is a HUGE difference between allowing an oil company to keep some of its own money, and grabbing handfuls out of my pockets, for wind farmers.

    Tax breaks are not the same as subsidies. To say that they are, is leftist newspeak.

    • cdquarles says:

      It is also ignorance of history. Dem Congresses put those ‘loopholes’ into the code in the first place to: 1. help their friends, 2. hurt their enemies, and 3. lessen the adverse impact of high and steep ‘progressive’ tax rates.

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