Poll: Sixty-Eight Percent of Americans Would Not Be Willing To Pay $10 a Month To Combat Climate Change

For those of us worried about climate change and the Administration’s environmental policies, there is a disheartening poll this month about the disconnect between environmental aspirations and the willingness to sacrifice to achieve the needed progress. An AP-NORC survey found that 68% of Americans wouldn’t be willing to pay even $10 more a month in higher electric bills to combat climate change. It reflects the calculus of President Donald Trump that voters still prioritize jobs and financial concerns over countervailing environmental values.

There are a host of polls showing both Democratic and Republican voters alike want action on climate change. Indeed, many climate change skeptics in Congress now support action. A recent poll showed the number of people alarmed over climate change has doubled in the last five years.

However, the political profile changes when these abstract goals are placed against even a small concrete sacrifice.

The result may be the framing of the question as a direct payment. The same voters are likely to support a large revenue commitment by the government or changes in policies on fossil fuels. That should not be the case of course but the framing of such questions is critical to the results.  The fact is that proposals like the Green New Deal would necessarily cause rising costs since about 80% of all the energy in the United States comes from fossil fuels. However, the request for $120 more a year in utility bills is obviously a conversation stopper for many voters. There is also the added element of asking people to give more money to the utilities, which are generally viewed with some suspicion, if not open hostility.

The “Yellow Vest” protests in France are indicative of this problem. The effort to add a fuel tax to combat climate change sent Paris into a virtual shutdown. Green taxes are an obvious way to impact consumption while raising revenue. However, Western European countries are seeing a backlash even though their populations are viewed as the most educated and motivated on the issue.

When I speak on college campuses, I see this phenomenon first hand and use it to illustrate the problem with advocating for civil liberties. I ask students how many would sell me their free speech rights for $200,000. I used to say $2 million but that tended itself to be a bit too abstract. A sum of $200,000 is easy for students to put into real perspective. It is their student loans plus a downpayment on a house or car. Often the majority will raise their hands because free speech is largely an abstraction while $200,000 is not. They simply cannot remember when they really used their free speech rights. It is not that they do not value free speech. Yet, it remains an abstraction placed against a real value.

The same may be true in this poll, or at least I hope so.

304 thoughts on “Poll: Sixty-Eight Percent of Americans Would Not Be Willing To Pay $10 a Month To Combat Climate Change”



    Co-founder of environmental organization Greenpeace Patrick Moore said Tuesday that the climate change crisis driving much of liberal politics today “is not only fake news. It’s fake science.”

    1. “He doesn’t deny climate change. “Of course climate change is real: it’s been happening since the beginning of time but it’s not dangerous and it’s not created by people … a completely natural phenomenon.””


      it certainly will be dangerous to have warming, dangerous for people in coastal areas that will see sea levels rise. this will have a major impact on the third word especially places where huge numbers of pobrecitos live near the coast.

      they will head for the north, ie, America and Europe.
      that will not help either America nor Europe to have more poor illiterate folks coming here as refugees.

      So yes we should consider remediation of the chances that will occur due to an apparently clear warming trend. Some engineering projects are massive infrastructure updates that will require government leadership and guidance. Some public expense will be unavoidable, but, it needs to be handled in the responsible and lawful ways, and not just be an excuse for more Democrat tax and spend patronage programs.

      1. And of course, erosion and remediation of coastal development sites has been going on for millennia global and for centuries in America. Nothing new. Nothing to see here. Keep it moving, folks. You should see some of the work that has been done and is being done here on the Central Coast. It’s impressive.

  2. I liked it better years back when we were told how cold the earth was going o get.

    1. The consensus of scientific opinion in our lifetime has never been that the earth was cooling.

      Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s. The integrated enterprise embodied in the Nobel Prizewinning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change existed then as separate threads of research pursued by isolated groups of scientists. Atmospheric chemists and modelers grappled with the measurement of changes in carbon dioxide and atmospheric gases, and the changes in climate that might result. Meanwhile, geologists and paleoclimate researchers tried to understand when Earth slipped into and out of ice ages, and why. An enduring popular myth suggests that in the 1970s the climate science community was predicting “global cooling” and an “imminent” ice age, an observation frequently used by those who would undermine what climate scientists say today about the prospect of global warming. A review of the literature suggests that, on the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists’ thinking as being one of the most important forces shaping Earth’s climate on human time scales. More importantly than showing the falsehood of the myth, this review describes how scientists of the time built the foundation on which the cohesive enterprise of modern climate science now rests.”


      1. “Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s. ”

        Anon, I suspect the next abstract will read, ‘Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 2000’s and 2010′.’

          1. Actually Anon, not only do I read abstracts but I also read studies. What in that abstract makes you believe that my comment ” ‘Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 2000’s and 2010′. isn’t valid? What you are doing is parroting the idea that ‘the science of global warming is settled’. It most certainly isn’t and there will be changes in our understanding as time goes on. You prefer science to be static and take a secondary position to ideology. That is understandable but not smart. There is a half-life to facts.

              1. I see you have found an OPINION that matches your ideology. Whether you understand it or not doesn’t matter as you seem only able to cite a library list.

                Why is the correllation of rising CO2 and rising temperature lacking?

  3. I encourage anyone interested in the subject to review this article which lists worldwide scientific organizations which have endorsed the IPCC reports and the consensus on climate change – pretty much all of them – and notes those that oppose – none – and those which remain silent – American Petroleum Institute and some Geology associations.


    1. Anon writes: ”
      I encourage anyone interested in the subject to review this article which lists worldwide scientific organizations which have endorsed the IPCC reports”

      The endorsement of the IPCC reports becomes questionable if one listens to Pachauri the director of the IPCC that only recruited climatologists “convinced of the carbon-dioxide warming explanation, excluding all others.” The same happened at universities government grants and publishing houses. Can you explain to us why you would believe those that endorsed the IPCC reports when they would have been blacklisted had they not done so? Why do you trust people that are either preselected or have a gun at their heads?

      “In 2005, I [Judith Curry] had a conversation with Rajendra Pachauri, an Indian railway engineer, who remade himself into a climatologist and became director of the IPCC, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize under his tenure. Pachauri told me, without embarrassment, that, at the UN, he recruited only climatologists convinced of the carbon-dioxide warming explanation, excluding all others.”

      1. Alan, whatever you wrote here falls short of a convincing argument. The best minds in Science think Climate Change is playing out faster than predicted.

        The flight of migrants from Africa and Central America is caused in part by Climate Change. For security reasons alone we need to recognize the obvious.

        But guys like you, Alan, want to keep the argument going. And you’re probably at an age where you won’t be around for the brutal storms to come.

        1. “Alan, whatever you wrote here falls short of a convincing argument. ”

          Peter, do you know what your above sentence says? It says that you really didn’t read or understand what was written. That is why you used the word “whatever”. I’ll give you another chance but you really have to put some effort into this. You have too much trouble with things that disagree with what you are told to believe.

          Read this in its entirety and then comment without the use of pronouns. Instead use ideas like those presented by the writer and add your own. “Whatever was written” isn’t good enough.


  4. May 5, 2015

    25 Years Of Predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’

    For decades now, those concerned about global warming have been predicting the so-called “tipping point” — the point beyond which it’ll be too late to stave off catastrophic global warming.
    It seems like every year the “tipping point” is close to being reached, and that the world must get rid of fossil fuels to save the planet. That is, until we’ve passed that deadline and the next such “tipping point” is predicted.
    Would you believe it was eight years ago today that the United Nations predicted we only had “as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.” This failed prediction, however, has not stopped the U.N. from issuing more apocalyptic predictions since.
    To celebrate more than two decades of dire predictions, The Daily Caller News Foundation presents this list of some of the “greatest” predictions made by scientists, activists and politicians — most of which we’ve now passed.

    – 1. 2015 is the ‘last effective opportunity’ to stop catastrophic warming
    World leaders meeting at the Vatican last week issued a statement saying that 2015 was the “last effective opportunity to negotiate arrangements that keep human-induced warming below 2-degrees [Celsius].”
    Pope Francis wants to weigh in on global warming, and is expected to issue an encyclical saying basically the same thing. Francis will likely reiterate that 2015 is the last chance to stop massive warming.
    But what he should really say is that the U.N. conference this year is the “last” chance to cut a deal to stem global warming… since last year when the U.N. said basically the same thing about 2014’s climate summit.
    – 2. France’s foreign minister said we only have “500 days” to stop “climate chaos”
    When Laurent Fabius met with Secretary of State John Kerry on May 13, 2014 to talk about world issues he said “we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos.”
    Ironically at the time of Fabius’ comments, the U.N. had scheduled a climate summit to meet in Paris in December 2015 — some 565 days after his remarks. Looks like the U.N. is 65 days too late to save the world.
    – 3. President Barack Obama is the last chance to stop global warming
    When Obama made the campaign promise to “slow the rise of the oceans” some environmentalists may have taken him quite literally.
    In 2012, the United Nations Foundation President Tim Wirth told Climatewire that Obama’s second term was “the last window of opportunity” to impose policies to restrict fossil fuel use. Wirth said it’s “the last chance we have to get anything approaching 2 degrees Centigrade,” adding that if “we don’t do it now, we are committing the world to a drastically different place.”
    Even before that, then-National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center head James Hansen warned in 2009 that Obama only “has four years to save Earth.” I wonder what they now think about their predictions?
    – 4. Remember when we had “hours” to stop global warming?
    In 2009, world leaders met in Copenhagen, Denmark to potentially hash out another climate treaty. That same year, the head of Canada’s Green Party wrote that there was only “hours” left to stop global warming.
    “We have hours to act to avert a slow-motion tsunami that could destroy civilization as we know it,” Elizabeth May, leader of the Greens in Canada, wrote in 2009. “Earth has a long time. Humanity does not. We need to act urgently. We no longer have decades; we have hours. We mark that in Earth Hour on Saturday.”
    – 5. United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown said there was only 50 days left to save Earth
    2009 was a bad year for global warming predictions. That year Brown warned there was only “50 days to savethe world from global warming,” the BBC reported. According to Brown there was “no plan B.”
    Brown has been booted out of office since then. I wonder what he’d say about global warming today?
    – 6 Let’s not forget Prince Charles’s warning we only had 96 months to save the planet
    It’s only been about 70 months since Charles said in July 2009 that there would be “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.” So the world apparently only has 26 months left to stave off an utter catastrophe.
    – 7. The U.N.’s top climate scientist said in 2007 we only had four years to save the world
    Rajendra Pachauri, the former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 that if “there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late.”
    “What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment,” he said.
    Well, it’s 2015 and no new U.N. climate treaty has been presented. The only thing that’s changed since then is thatPachauri was forced to resign earlier this year amid accusations he sexually harassed multiple female coworkers.
    – 8. Environmentalists warned in 2002 the world had a decade to go green
    Environmentalist write George Monbiot wrote in the UK Guardian that within “as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.”
    In 2002, about 930 million people around the world were undernourished, according to U.N. data. by 2014, that number shrank to 805 million. Sorry, Monbiot.
    – 9. The “tipping point” warning first started in 1989
    In the late 1980s the U.N. was already claiming the world had only a decade to solve global warming or face the consequences.
    The San Jose Mercury News reported on June 30, 1989 that a “senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.”

  5. “However, Western European countries are seeing a backlash even though their populations are viewed as the most educated and motivated on the issue.”
    However, Western European countries are seeing a backlash ̷e̷v̷e̷n̷ ̷t̷h̷o̷u̷g̷h̷ ̷t̷h̷e̷i̷r̷ ̷p̷o̷p̷u̷l̷a̷t̷i̷o̷n̷s̷ ̷a̷r̷e̷ ̷v̷i̷e̷w̷e̷d̷ ̷a̷s̷ [as they are] the most educated and motivated on the issue.

    1. I guess the yellow vested Gauls still read Paine. Maybe we should:

      “Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us.”
      ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

  6. However, Western European countries are seeing a backlash even though their populations are viewed as the most educated and motivated on the issue.

    even though is progressive code for those idiots clearly haven’t the enlightened virtue that I have on climate change.

    The reality just may be the backlash is because they are the most educated and motivated on the issue, and they recognize a scam when they see one.

    Now if you want to trade $120 of my money for constitutional amendments creating congressional term limits, a balanced budget, voter ID and requirement for NO voting rights for anyone in this country illegally, then we might be onto a worthwhile conversation.

  7. The world will pay for climate change denial sooner then we think. What do people say when they get asked whether they would pay a tax on anything? They run for the hills yelling NO. Or you could just say what Trump said about our future debt and deficits,….. Who cares, I won’t be around.

    1. “The world will pay for climate change denial sooner then we think.”
      Yeah Gore said much the same thing: ” … within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return” and “a true planetary emergency” due to human-caused global warming.” He said it in 2006.

    2. “The world will pay for climate change denial sooner then we think.”

      I’ve been hearing that for years. Al Gore promised us Manhattan and Miami would be underwater by now. Perhaps the world will pay for climate change but I’m pretty sure it will be later than the scaremongers keep assuring us.


    After “Climategate” killed “global warming, the new “enemy” for communists is the new and improved version of global warming,

    “climate change.”

    “The latest release of 5,000 emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) reconfirms what the 2009’s “Climategate” files established: Global warming is more fiction than science.”

    – The Washington Times

    “Our results therefore support the notion that such politicians need enemies to maintain their political advantage and act so as to keep the enemy alive.”

    – “The Need For Enemies” – National Bureau of Economic Research.

  9. Pay $10 to line the pockets or cronies and projects with unreal expectations or total fraudulent?
    This is 100% politics, take money from people while gaining wealth and power
    When the rich and powerful wear the hair shirt, then rational people might listen
    I have yet see any proponent of the fraud give up wealth or change a lifestyle, exactly the opposite

  10. People will complain that they have to pay seventy-five cents for a parking meter in order to go on a shopping spree and spend hundreds on stuff they do not need.

    It’s all a matter of priority.

    1. 75 cents.

      Midtown Manhattan:

      ( taxes not included )




    For 40 years Republicans have positioned themselves as the Anti-Government Party. Republican candidates routinely demonize ‘big government’ to predictable applause from mostly White audiences. Those Whites tend to live in outer suburbs and small towns where the need for strong government is less apparent than big cities.

    Being anti-government is appealing to Whites with racist tendencies. People in that mindset imagine certain minorities are ‘getting fat on welfare’. So the concept is to ‘choke-off’ government by way of endless tax cuts. Republicans call it ‘Starving The Beast’. The idea seems to be that sabotaging government is actually an act of ‘patriotism’ that our ‘founding fathers would condone because ‘they were anti-government’. Hence the Tea Party brand.

    Therefore a party branding itself as Anti-Government / Pro Tax-Cut cannot possibly recognize the crisis potential of Climate Change. Such recognition would warrant strong planning by the Federal Government to prepare for Climate Change. A party branding itself as anti-government cannot possibly lend credence to ‘any’ crisis requiring strong federal planning. Denying Climate Change is the only option Republicans have, or so they imagine.

    Republicans have opted instead to mimic the tactics Big Tobacco used to discredit science regarding the dangers of cigarettes. The concept is to keep planting doubts to suggest that ‘science isn’t completely there’. Doubters seek to frame the issue as one of ‘personal freedom’ against the assault of ‘nanny state’ advocates’. When framed in those terms, a certain percentage of people choose ‘personal freedom’ as the ‘honorable cause’.

    Republican opposition to a national healthcare plan is motivated by the same ideological concerns as opposition to Climate Change recognition. If Republicans were to acknowledge the need for a national healthcare plan, they would be lending credence to a larger role for government. Here too they must deny or contradict 40 years of messaging.

    Republican opposition to infrastructure upgrades is motivated by the same ideological concerns. If Republicans acknowledge that infrastructure upgrades are necessary to keep the country modern and competitive, that would invite a stronger Federal role; an absolute non-starter for opponents of ‘big government’.

    Because Republicans must preserve their brand as Anti-Government / Pro Tax-Cut, the United States dickers hopelessly in the face of a mounting crisis. Climate Change is already unfolding in very real time. Yet America squanders this precious planning stage. Instead we keep arguing over settled science while Donald Trump distracts us with a mindless border wall.

    1. “‘science isn’t completely there’”
      What should the Earth’s temp be?

      1. Jim, 30 years ago the Arctic Ocean was frozen year-round. The concept of cargo ships using that ocean as a shortcut was the stuff of Science Fiction. It isn’t anymore.

        Obviously the earth’s climate is experiencing profound changes that not-so-coincidently correspond to the massive industrializations of China, India and Brazil. Therefore your question, “What should the Earth’s temp be”, is just a smarmy way of trivializing the greatest challenge our time.

        Jim, I suspect your question was crafted by someone in right-wing media. The question is calculated to ‘shut liberals up’. That’s all right-wing media is really concerned with: ‘shutting liberals up’. And it illustrates how right-wing media is dumbing-down America. Instead of discussing the effects of Climate Change, right-wing media is only concerned with squashing the debate.

        1. No, the question is to make you think about how dynamic the Earth is and that you nor do I know what the “ideal” temperature is. Your reply points this out. That fact that the question seems to to set you off should be a tell for you that you can’t answer it. If you were honest you would admit that you don’t even know if warming (if it is in fact happening) is bad.

          There really is something absolutely hilarious about your last paragraph though. I liberal accusing anyone of trying to shut up the other side is just really precious. No one has made an art form of ending dialog like a SJW liberal.

          1. Jim, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Climate Change is part of a ‘natural longterm trend’.

            Even if that’s the case, prudent planning would be wise. Our coastal cities need defenses against rising seas. We need to review the logic of constantly developing desert regions. Should 4 million people be living in Phoenix? Should 2 million people be living in Las Vegas?

            We need to transition to clean energies. Solar, Wind and even Wave Power are all viable technologies. There’s no logic in staying dependent on oil!

            But guys like you, Jim, seek only to cast doubts. That’s was the entire calculation of your question; ‘seeking to cast doubt’.

            1. Some of your points are true. But if you were truly interested in the best greenest power source, you would have included nuclear. Wind and solar are not the holly grail you wish they were. Look into Thorium reactors. It is where our research dollars should be going.

              1. Thorium isn’t there yet. The people who provide electricity are forced to live in the real world. Wind and solar don’t work on cloudy days if ever. If you want to run a utility go petition its board with your resume. Short of that, let’s leave it, without interference, to professionals and the PUC…or shut every human endeavor down and be perfectly safe, right?

                1. True, Thorium isn’t there yet, that’s why I wrote that is where our research dollars should go. Although salt reactors where working back in the day and it is how we should have gone. Maybe someday we will again if we can get Jane Fonda to stop making movies.

                  1. That’s where “your” research dollars should go.

                    Utilities use extant technologies.

                    Funding for research must be generated in the free markets of the private sector.

                    The Constitution provides Congress no power to tax for thorium or any other research.

                    Congress has the power to tax for the form of “…general Welfare…,” electricity, its generation and distribution.

              2. Jim, the green energy talk of Peter’s impoverishes us and impoverishment makes it more difficult to manage future natural problems that face all of mankind. Those problems require technology and MONEY.

            2. “Even if that’s the case, prudent planning would be wise. ”

              Prudent planning is making the world richer not poorer.


          Peter Shill makes all sorts of comments but all he does is talk, talk and talk. A lot of hot air is coming from him. Shutting Peter Shill up by itself would reduce global warming.

      2. We should wish it to remain close to where it is now, or several years prior, and that when it changes, it does so slowly enough for us to adjust without a mass kill off of our 7 billion fellow humans.

        1. Just curious how you came up with the optimum temperature to be several years prior.

          1. With ice melting in the artic, we might guess that a few years prior would be better than now, but I’m not climate scientist and don’t pretend to know these things.

            1. “A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

              The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

              Aug 2017

    2. P. Hill wrote, “Because Republicans must preserve their brand as Anti-Government / Pro Tax-Cut, the United States dickers hopelessly in the face of a mounting crisis. Climate Change is already unfolding in very real time. Yet America squanders this precious planning stage. Instead we keep arguing over settled science while Donald Trump distracts us with a mindless border wall.”

      Once again Mr. H gets it right. And, for the record, Mr. H, the entire post, from which I cited only the concluding paragraph, is right up there with the rest of your very finest work on this blawg to date.

  12. One problem with the poll is the value of $10 to those being polled. There are many people who live paycheck to paycheck, and others who live day to day. Neither of those groups can afford to think about the devastation of climate change because of the disaster in their own lives without that extra $10. As an example, the person who asked me for some change so she could eat some grits doesn’t care about climate change; she needs to eat. I am far from rich but taking her out for a meal that used up $10 was a much better use of my $10. Combating climate change something that requires a graduated payment system, like our income taxes used to be.

    1. If 32% are willing to pay $10, why not pony up $30 and save the world? You’ll be heroes.

  13. The lead question when polling about the climate issue should be:

    “Do people currently living on Earth have a responsibility to preserve its human habitability to hand off to future generations, in as good shape as we inherited it?”

    The question of responsibility must be broached before all others, because it is the driving issue. If you allow people to escape responsibility, they’ll take the exit every time.

    1. agree in concept, disagree in how to apply that
      we don’t control “people” and we barely control our own citizenry
      how do we presume to “control” the worldwide population

      and control the complex system which is climate?

      remediation should be the prime focus not chimerical plans to do the impossible, ie, reverse climate change. prepare for the coming disaster is my advice.

      the preventative stuff is just fantasy. all the preceeding geological climate change cataclysms had nothing to do with men. but they happen anyways. this one may come upon us regardless of CO2. a big eruption of radiation from the sun could toast the Earth like a marshmellow. this requires remedial focus not preventative. it probably isn’t preventable is what a lot of your climate scientists are saying right now.

      sorry, doom and gloom, but leftist plans to tax us so we have even less resources to adjust to the inevitable, are not going to help.

      1. I would say that the Earth is way more habitable since the use of fossil fuels.

        1. Indeed!

          Might be nice to save some for generations to come instead of driving a 3/4 ton F250 to the office every day.

          1. I don’t drive a 3/4 Ton F250. I do have a 69C-10 1/2 Ton that I drive two miles to work. Also have a 70 Mach1 and a 67 Vista Cruiser. See, I know how to recycle.

          2. Anon, before you were born there was this fear that the oil supply would run out. There are other technologies.

  14. When humans breathe, we exhale CO2. Will we be taxed on breathing now?
    Our farts also contain methane, CH4, which is also a greenhouse gas.
    Are we damaging the environment by being alive? I guess so!

    Tim K

    1. No. We are damaging the environment by putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that the plants and the plankton can remove from the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide that we are putting into the atmosphere had been previously sequestered in the carbon sinks known as fossil fuels.

  15. Without knowing the target audience, type of poll the rest of it especially the veracity of the poll… one can tell little but I would suggest the now long lived examples of duplicity have done their work.

    Which is not necessarily a good thing as their are at the very least pockets of disasters known as heat islands (metropolitan cities) that are responsible for dumping oil and garbage into the water systems, using the fine systems for garbage and sewage over flowing two of many examples that are regularly overlooked, phony legal remedies such as the carbon tax, and the true confessions from the original studies as to their real purpose; i.e.; more funds for more studies.

    Meanwhile as great deal of the country has been able to able to install needed changes .

    The latest example is the ‘fixed’ or ‘adjusted’ temperature changes which when readjusted to fix the blame on the real problem causers such as NY, SF, Seattle, Washington DC, etc. show the temperatures variance in as much as 95% has been one per cent or less and well within the normal weather cycles.

    Thus giving rise to a greater disbelief in the green movements dollar begging and mooching and comments such as “What temperature change? Where is the global warming when you really need it?

    Short term and unsupported Ocasio-nal only serves to divert money, energy, and credibility from the real problems until a state of “Why should I believfe you you 8used to be a reporter” exists.

  16. All Americans realize that the Left and the Climate “Change” agenda is a power grab and self-enrichment scheme concocted by Democrats (see Solyndra). We all understnad that humans must continue to create a clean environment, while balancing the welfare of the citizens. We can’t give credence or our money to this amorphous concept, when we know that climate “change” has existed for years and that humans have not “created” any of the warming or cooling trends that have occurred for the millenia. The Left and the Science Denying Climate Changers need to start talking about the issue realistically and demanding massive changes by OTHER countries (China, India, etc),. Americans might be are willing to make sacrifices for a clean environment but we don’t need greater taxation and control by government to do it.

  17. This just came in my email yesterday:

    Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.
    The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

    The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

    The older lady said that she was right — our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day. The older lady went on to explain:
    Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

    Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.
    We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

    But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

    Back then we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

    But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
    Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

    But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

    We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a r azor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

    But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

    Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the”green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

    But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

    Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

    We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.

    1. All true, but the fault on both sides is blaming it on “generations”. The younger generation did not invent the disposable economy. If anyone did, it was the older generations by their purchasing decisions.

      The best answer is realizing our common interest in passing on to the next generation the best earth we can within our limits.

      1. “The younger generation did not invent the disposable economy.”

        The younger generation is using the disposable economy and seems unable to do without. They are probably the biggest proponents of “climate change” PC hysteria, but I look at how people act not what they say.

        1. We raised them and we – through our spending habits – created the disposable economy which is the only reality they have ever known.

          1. PS As the ones who will still be here in 50 years – we hope – the “younger generation” has the most warranted interest in the future.

          2. “We raised them”

            They are now adults that can make choices but we don’t see them making the choices the older generation made. Of course you seem to believe government should be making the choices for everyone and that is the problem. Those in government are the same humans that live around you and me, but the nature of their work product is often quite different than that of an individual working in the marketplace.

            1. Allan says: March 11, 2019 at 10:45 AM

              That is a goofy argument. A KW saved can mean a company closes its doors and people lose their jobs.

              Allan says: March 11, 2019 at 10:30 AM

              We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.

              Let the record show that a 10:45 AM on March 11, 2019, Allan said that what Allan had said at 10:30 AM on March 11, 2019 (just fifteen minutes earlier), is “a goofy argument.” Because saving a Kilowatt/Hour of electricity by means of solar and wind power drying clothes on a line “can mean a company closes its doors and people lose their jobs.”

              1. Allan also said, “Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.”

                Let the record show that when Allan talks out of both sides of his mouth he owns all of the noise that came out of both sides of his mouth as his personal, private property to the exclusion of all other not name Allan.

                1. The Sole-Proprietor Of His Own Noise also said, “They [the “tattooed, multiple pierced smartasses”] are now adults that can make choices but we don’t see them making the choices the older generation made.”

                  Thusly does The Sole-Proprietor Of His Own Noise propose sending the tattooed, multiple-pierced smartasses of the younger generation back in time to a day and age when the crusty old geezers knew how to make the choice to dry clothes on a line by means of solar and wind power. And the crusty old geezers knew how to make those choices without the benefit of time travel to teach it to them.

                2. “Allan also said, “Please forward this on to another selfish old person”

                  Diane, I know you have a lot of lost thoughts swimming around in your brain but I don’t take credit for the “letter” I posted. As I stated right from the beginning “This just came in my email yesterday…”

                  As usual I don’t know what you are talking about. Your mutterings sound like you are hungover.

              2. “That is a goofy argument. A KW saved can mean a company closes its doors and people lose their jobs.”

                It is sought of goofy Diane the way you wrote it not I. Then again most of what you write is goofy. I will say that too much regulation can raise the price of doing business in the US so that business goes offshore especially to China where the pollution to produce the same item is multiples higher.

                AS far as your nutso quotes and referrals to prior posts: That wouldn’t be necessary if you quoted in full what I said instead of adding your own words. You can’t survive the light of full quotations. You have to make things up in order to survive.

    2. Hahahahahhahahahah!!!!! Bravo!!!!! And no, i won’t send $10 to the Utility company when they have NO PLAN, have FOUGHT OFF EVERY ATTEMPT to modernize, solarize and prevent toxic waste….but that does not mean I am not willing to contribute to a well thought out plan that isn’t going to waste my money and my time. We have enough foxes guarding the hen house and we don’t have time to allow them to think up a good way to make a profit before acting on the problem.

      1. Becka, your argument here is about as good as anyone’s. We don’t know the science and I doubt even the proponents of global warming know it well. What we do know is much of what you said.

        1. “What we do know is much of what you said.”

          – Allan

          Seriously? You just said that. Was that politically correct indulgence of an “untouchable,” born of fear of retribution, or was that just folly, plain and simple? The wind and solar industries exist solely on unconstitutional subsidies because they are not economically viable. Deliberate acts of property damage and bodily injury and actionable crimes.

          – “…i won’t send $10 to the Utility company when they have NO PLAN,…”

          The utility has a board, professional management and a professional staff which are all supervised by a public utilities commission. In the vast majority of cases, they know well and more than untrained, inexperienced, political detractors. The problem with utilities is the wackjob democrat frauds like this one, who pretend to know this or any other industry. They politically compel that which is not financially legitimate or viable like wind and solar power (neither of which function at all on cloudy days and dubiously the rest of the time). Unconstitutional “regulation” by power-hungry, communistic wackjobs has led to multiple and substantial problems at many utilities which would perform highly efficiently in its absence.

          PG&E was recently forced to fire its triple “Affirmative Action Privilege” CEO, Geisha Williams (female/Latin/Cuban) because of an overwhelming and absolute inability to perform or even function at all in that position at that level. Face it, the Greeks started democracy and they NEVER intended for women, slaves or caterwauling unassimilable foreign hyphenates to vote. Read your history. If you have wackjobs in control, you end up with wacky results. If you have “Affirmative Action Privilege” and “Generational Welfare” supporting you, you don’t need a generous measure of merit in your resume.

          1. George, I am not sure what your argument is. I didn’t say Becka’s argument was perfect only that it was about as good as anyone’s when we are ignorant of what we are dealing with.

            We all pay for electricity. If my electric company can find a way to reduce energy costs whether it be with green energy or not I am very interested. I don’t think a woman’s right to vote has anything directly to do with this limited discussion.

    1. Curry is a reputable climate scientist, but she is also one of very few among that group who doubt the cause and urgency of the problem.

      As layman, do we regularly attach ourselves to the outliers of experts on things we are in no position to weigh and judge ourselves? We might if as in this issue we have political or selfish reasons to do so, but neither is logical. We may all wish that Curry is right, but that doesn’t make her case superior. In the meantime, if the overwhelming consensus of climate scientist is right – and not Curry – we have lost time we can’t afford, waiting for unanimity.

      The clock is ticking. What are we going to do?



        usually that means mostly “civil engineering” like repairing and maintaining draining, dikes, waterways, etec; better urban planning; and “better disaster preparedness” …. not new taxation schemes

        1. No, but I’ve read her blog and other articles and arguments in the past. She has never denied change, but questions the urgency and even the cause.

          You can’t “civil engineer” mass dislocations due to changes in the locations of arable land or flooring of urban centers all over the world. With 7 billion people, refugee problems could be cataclysmic and eventually lead to wars.

          Are you feeling lucky?

      2. “Curry is a reputable climate scientist, but she is also one of very few among that group who doubt the cause and urgency of the problem.”

        How do you know the name Curry? Maybe you just learned it or you actually heard her name mentioned earlier. How do you know the names of people that are not quoted in the press, given grants and academic positions etc.? Peter Shill once made a similar statement and I provided him with a list and I think a blurb of what some of them said. He didn’t know any of them. We all know Al Gore who ‘invented the Internet’ and is ‘the leading climate scientist’ who can’t get his decimals straight. Remember his initial predictions? We have long past that time line and what did we see? New statements saying the same thing. …And when the models predictions are wrong there is an explanation, and when the “Climate Scientists” lie all is forgiven and forgotten.

        I don’t argue ths BS which none of us understand. I ask if you believe in anthropogenic global warming then surely you must know the percentage of warming due to humans vs the percentage due to natural phenomenon. What is that percentage? How much reduction would the Climate Accords bring our temperature down under the best of circumstances if what the “Climate Scientists” say is true is true?

      3. “if the overwhelming consensus of climate scientist is right”

        Same things was said about fat and cholesterol–there was a consensus. We have to act now to stop more Americans dying from heart disease! Then came Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories.

        What are all the variables affecting the climate/weather besides industrial/machinery-produced CO2? How are all/most of these additional variables going to be addressed? Climate/weather is a major system that will not be effectively addressed by focusing on one component.

        “We may all wish that Curry is right, but that doesn’t make her case superior.”
        I have not yet read or listened to Curry. However, her case may be superior because of what she has considered, her perspective may be more nuanced in the right ways.

        Peter Cleave and John Yudkin were both contrarian voices in the great debate over what caused people to get fat and what caused heart disease. They were shouted down and ignored; the merits and details of their perspectives were down-played or ballyhooed or outright dismissed. Their hypotheses that it was sugar/refined carbs that were primary causes of heart disease and obesity has been vindicated.

        Contrarian voices should be thoughtfully considered.

        “What are we going to do?”
        What do you think is a reasonable approach?

        1. We can hope the consensus of climate scientist is wrong, but we’d be foolish to act on that basis. Science has a pretty good record of producing results, from jet planes to medical advances. We’re not talking about a profession and system known for repeated failure and lack of progress.

          Maybe Curry is “more nuanced” or maybe not. her opinion is not ignored and unanswered

          I think we should assume the climate science consensus is correct, and do what is reasonable and within our abilities to mitigate climate change. What we do about it is where politics has a proper role and our opinion as layman carries weight.

          1. We can hope the consensus of climate scientist

            If there actually was a consensus, the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia wouldn’t be doctoring their data and insiders wouldn’t be corrupting the peer review process at the American Geophysical Union and other places. The forgeries intended to libel the Heartland Institute were another maraschino from this crew.

            1. “Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.[15] The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged by the end of the investigations.[16]”

              The article includes summaries of all 8 reports and a review of the charges.


              “National and international science academies and scientific societies have assessed current scientific opinion on global warming. These assessments are generally consistent with the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

              Some scientific bodies have recommended specific policies to governments, and science can play a role in informing an effective response to climate change. Policy decisions, however, may require value judgements and so are not included in the scientific opinion.[21][22]

              No scientific body of national or international standing maintains a formal opinion dissenting from any of these main points. The last national or international scientific body to drop dissent was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists,[23] which in 2007[24] updated its statement to its current non-committal position.[25] Some other organizations, primarily those focusing on geology, also hold non-committal positions.”

              The article goes on to list all the scientific associations and societies that endorse the consensus and their statements, and including all National Science Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, all relevant associations of scientists, with none dissenting.


              1. “The climate change debate went nuclear Sunday over a whistleblower’s explosive allegation that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association manipulated data to advance a political agenda by hiding the global warming “pause.”

                In an article on the Climate Etc. blog, John Bates, who retired last year as principal scientist of the National Climatic Data Center, accused the lead author of the 2015 NOAA “pausebuster” report of trying to “discredit” the hiatus through “flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards.”

                In addition, Mr. Bates told the Daily [U.K.] Mail that the report’s author, former NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information director Thomas Karl, did so by “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation.”
                ~Washington Times, 2/5/2017

                1. And somehow, this report in the Wash Times from the Climate, Etc “blog” – there’s some serious scientific sources right there – did not cause any of the above scientific associations and academies mentioned above – and listed in the article – to abandon the consensus on climate change.


          2. “We can hope the consensus of climate scientist is wrong ….”
            If they’re the grant receiving subset of scientists, I can think of no better government funding request than one that goes like this:

            𝘞𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘳. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘪𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘢 𝘯𝘰𝘸 — 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘢𝘺! 𝘐𝘧 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘥𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 30 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘦’𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘥. 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘯-𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘪𝘵. 𝘍𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘰𝘸.

            I think you end it with a picture of a puppy and the words: “𝙄𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝘽𝙪𝙙𝙙𝙮 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣, 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙘𝙠 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙣𝙤𝙬!”

          3. Bleeding was a way of treating disease. What was the proof? Should we have assumed the science was correct? That seems to be your opinion since the consensus was that bleeding the patient worked.

    2. so. she agrees there is a warming trendline.

      Understanding cause is important, but for policy, it’s is only relevant if you are trying to predict and prevent. but in the meantime there is a warming trendline. that is enough to allow for a necessity to immediately plan remediation of catastrophic warming if trendline continues.

      and yet the Leftists aren’t all that interested in remediation, even though that’s what’s most important to the living, how to adjust.

      which makes me suspect of the Leftists, and all there harping on the supposedly indubitable “anthropogenic” cause. Hey, maybe it’s sunspots.

      But the cause won’t matter if you get flooded out of house and home.

      “She also believes that, instead of wasting time on futile treaties and in sterile quarrels, we would do better to prepare ourselves for the consequences of climate change, whether it’s warming or something else.”


      1. Her position is based on her lack of conviction surrounding the urgency and cause of climate change,

        As to her proposals for remediation, she’s not an expert in that field, so while she is entitled to her opinion, it doesn’t necessarily carry more weight than yours or mine.

        PS Is it possible for you make an argument without referencing your team and it’s hated rival?

      2. “so. she agrees there is a warming trendline.”

        ““There is warming, but we don’t really understand its causes,” she says. “The human factor and carbon dioxide, in particular, contribute to warming, but how much is the subject of intense scientific debate.”

        Kurtz, it is a matter of the timeline. She can just as easily say there is cooling based on the two data points.”

        She goes further:

        “She tells me, for example, that between 1910 and 1940, the planet warmed during a climatic episode that resembles our own, down to the degree. The warming can’t be blamed on industry, she argues, because back then, most of the carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels were small. In fact, Curry says, “almost half of the warming observed in the twentieth century came about in the first half of the century, before carbon-dioxide emissions became large.” Natural factors thus had to be the cause. None of the climate models used by scientists now working for the United Nations can explain this older trend. Nor can these models explain why the climate suddenly cooled between 1950 and 1970, giving rise to widespread warnings about the onset of a new ice age. I recall magazine covers of the late 1960s or early 1970s depicting the planet in the grip of an annihilating deep freeze. According to a group of scientists, we faced an apocalyptic environmental scenario—but the opposite of the current one.”

    1. How does the planet save itself without the help or hindrance of mankind? Compare the ‘thinking’ species to humans. The animal kingdom adjusts to what is while humans try to adjust nature to what they want. Phoenix AZ and the Air Conditioner is a prime example. Not to pick on Phoenix but just as an example. Better is NYC or SF the latter which has gone full cycle of the animal system to the human system back to the animal system…. No Pun intended but it’s hard to tell in SF which is which.

    2. Thanks for the article. I wish the author had pointed out how spent nuclear fuel can also be reprocessed. Also, the research in LFTR nuclear reactors.

    3. fantastic one yes

      but many people don’t get physics and math do they?

    4. I used to think that dealing with climate change was going to be expensive. But I could no longer believe this after looking at Germany and France.

      Germany’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009, despite an investment of $580 billion by 2025 in a renewables-heavy electrical grid, a 50 percent rise in electricity cost.

      Meanwhile, France produces one-tenth the carbon emissions per unit of electricity as Germany and pays little more than half for its electricity. How? Through nuclear power.

      Then, under pressure from Germany, France spent $33 billion on renewables, over the last decade. What was the result? A rise in the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and higher electricity prices, too.

      What about all the headlines about expensive nuclear and cheap solar and wind? They are largely an illusion resulting from the fact that 70 to 80 percent of the costs of building nuclear plants are up-front, whereas the costs given for solar and wind don’t include the high cost of transmission lines, new dams, or other forms of battery.

      It’s reasonable to ask whether nuclear power is safe, and what happens with its waste.

      It turns out that scientists have studied the health and safety of different energy sources since the 1960s. Every major study, including a recent one by the British medical journal Lancet, finds the same thing: nuclear is the safest way to make reliable electricity.

      Strange as it sounds, nuclear power plants are so safe for the same reason nuclear weapons are so dangerous. The uranium used as fuel in power plants and as material for bombs can create one million times more heat per its mass than its fossil fuel and gunpowder equivalents.

      It’s not so much about the fuel as the process. We release more energy breaking atoms than breaking chemical bonds. What’s special about uranium atoms is that they are easy to split.

      Because nuclear plants produce heat without fire, they emit no air pollution in the form of smoke. By contrast, the smoke from burning fossil fuels and biomass results in the premature deaths of seven million people per year, according to the World Health Organization.

      Even during the worst accidents, nuclear plants release small amounts of radioactive particulate matter from the tiny quantities of uranium atoms split apart to make heat.

      Over an 80-year lifespan, fewer than 200 people will die from the radiation from the worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl, and zero will die from the small amounts of radiant particulate matter that escaped from Fukushima.

      As a result, the climate scientist James Hanson and a colleague found that nuclear plants have actually saved nearly two million lives to date that would have been lost to air pollution.

      Thanks to its energy density, nuclear plants require far less land than renewables. Even in sunny California, a solar farm requires 450 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a nuclear plant.

      Energy-dense nuclear requires far less in the way of materials, and produces far less in the way of waste compared to energy-dilute solar and wind.

      A single Coke can’s worth of uranium provides all of the energy that the most gluttonous American or Australian lifestyle requires. At the end of the process, the high-level radioactive waste that nuclear plants produce is the very same Coke can of (used) uranium fuel. The reason nuclear is the best energy from an environmental perspective is because it produces so little waste and none enters the environment as pollution.

      All of the waste fuel from 45 years of the Swiss nuclear program can fit, in canisters, on a basketball court-like warehouse, where like all spent nuclear fuel, it has never hurt a fly.

      By contrast, solar panels require 17 times more materials in the form of cement, glass, concrete, and steel than do nuclear plants, and create over 200 times more waste.

      We tend to think of solar panels as clean, but the truth is that there is no plan anywhere to deal with solar panels at the end of their 20 to 25 year lifespan.

      Experts fear solar panels will be shipped, along with other forms of electronic waste, to be disassembled—or, more often, smashed with hammers—by poor communities in Africa and Asia, whose residents will be exposed to the dust from toxic heavy metals including lead, cadmium, and chromium.

      Wherever I travel in the world I ask ordinary people what they think about nuclear and renewable energies. After saying they know next to nothing, they admit that nuclear is strong and renewables are weak. Their intuitions are correct. What most of us get wrong—understandably—is that weak energies are safer.

      But aren’t renewables safer? The answer is no. Wind turbines, surprisingly, kill more people than nuclear plants.

      In other words, the energy density of the fuel determines its environmental and health impacts. Spreading more mines and more equipment over larger areas of land is going to have larger environmental and human safety impacts.

      It’s true that you can stand next to a solar panel without much harm while if you stand next to a nuclear reactor at full power you’ll die.

      But when it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike.

      Our intuitive sense that sunlight is dilute sometimes shows up in films. That’s why nobody was shocked when the recent sequel of the dystopian sci-fi flick, “Blade Runner,” opened with a dystopian scene of California’s deserts paved with solar farms identical to the one that decimated desert tortoises.

      Over the last several hundred years, human beings have been moving away from matter-dense fuels towards energy-dense ones. First we move from renewable fuels like wood, dung, and windmills, and towards the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas, and eventually to uranium.

      Energy progress is overwhelmingly positive for people and nature. As we stop using wood for fuel we allow grasslands and forests to grow back, and the wildlife to return.

      As we stop burning wood and dung in our homes, we no longer must breathe toxic indoor smoke. And as we move from fossil fuels to uranium we clear the outdoor air of pollution, and reduce how much we’ll heat up the planet.

      Nuclear plants are thus a revolutionary technology—a grand historical break from fossil fuels as significant as the industrial transition from wood to fossil fuels before it.

      The problem with nuclear is that it is unpopular, a victim of a 50 year-long concerted effort by fossil fuel, renewable energy, anti-nuclear weapons campaigners, and misanthropic environmentalists to ban the technology.

      In response, the nuclear industry suffers battered wife syndrome, and constantly apologizes for its best attributes, from its waste to its safety.

      Lately, the nuclear industry has promoted the idea that, in order to deal with climate change, “we need a mix of clean energy sources,” including solar, wind and nuclear. It was something I used to believe, and say, in part because it’s what people want to hear. The problem is that it’s not true.

      France shows that moving from mostly nuclear electricity to a mix of nuclear and renewables results in more carbon emissions, due to using more natural gas, and higher prices, to the unreliability of solar and wind.

      Oil and gas investors know this, which is why they made a political alliance with renewables companies, and why oil and gas companies have been spending millions of dollars on advertisements promoting solar, and funneling millions of dollars to said environmental groups to provide public relations cover.

      What is to be done? The most important thing is for scientists and conservationists to start telling the truth about renewables and nuclear, and the relationship between energy density and environmental impact.

      Bat scientists recently warned that wind turbines are on the verge of making one species, the Hoary bat, a migratory bat species, go extinct.

      Another scientist who worked to build that gigantic solar farm in the California desert told High Country News, “Everybody knows that translocation of desert tortoises doesn’t work. When you’re walking in front of a bulldozer, crying, and moving animals, and cacti out of the way, it’s hard to think that the project is a good idea.”

      I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from an appeal-to-nature fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.

      Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?

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