atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4493: The weather outside is GLOOMY

It's been like this for three days--heavy, low cloud cover, but approximately springlike temperatures. Yesterday it was so dark outside that even at 1:30 PM I had to turn on lights inside the house to be able to see anything.

The fat insulating layer of water vapor has served to keep things warm, though. Tomorrow the high temperature is predicted to be fifteen or so degrees colder, but it's going to be sunny.

I don't expect a white Christmas this year, either. We got lucky the last few and had some snow on the ground, but it doesn't look like it's in the cards this time. Well, them's the breaks.

* * *

Borepatch talks about Germany's headlong rush to return to the seventeenth century.

Germany's attempt to reduce its CO2 emissions to 40% of 1990 levels has resulted in an energy policy which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. As an industrial nation Germany needs power in industrial quantities, and you simply cannot run heavy industry on solar and wind power. Furthermore, the only way to reduce demand for electricity is to ruin your economy, because every unit of economic output requires a unit of energy input.

You cannot conserve your way to prosperity. That is thermodynamically impossible.

The most logical alternative--for nations interested in reducing carbon emissions but retaining a large industrial base--is nuclear power, in a economic and political environment that fosters "too cheap to meter" electrical generation. The low cost of such electricity, even if it never reaches the ideal of being so inexpensive that metering it is a waste of money, would result in a massive switch to using electrical power for a great many things that fossil fuels are currently the favored energy sources. (It would also require hefty upgrades to the power grid, for the same reasons.)

Germany has already, as the article contends, "firmly shut and welded tight" the door to nuclear power. This leaves "renewable" sources such as wind and solar, and fossil fuels.

The result is the second-highest electrical rates in Europe, and a electrical industry which has given up on conventional energy sources and is looking to unload its coal plants, thus freeing itself from the crushing regulatory burden laid upon it by the German government.

If your only interest is to reduce your country's carbon emissions--and all other factors be dammed--then forcing people to rely on wind and solar is probably the way to do it. But most of your country will be out of work, and freezing in the dark, and your tax base (and the ability to pay for all that fancy socialism) will wither.

You cannot run an industrial economy on wishful thinking.
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