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by Basil Irwin

 

Kicking off his interminable campaign, President Barack Obama is running around the country flapping his lips that one answer to high gasoline prices is to spend money developing renewable energy sources.

Riiight. We’ll all drive windmill or solar powered cars. Obama would be more believable if he suddenly started wearing a cardigan sweater around the White House with a passel of “WIN” buttons pinned to its breast.

Wind and solar energy cost several times more per unit of energy than coal, oil, or natural gas. Not to mention that wind and solar don’t scale. As a university-trained and credentialed scientist, I calculated that to replace the current U.S. electrical energy produced by burning fossil fuels would take either 600,000 80-story-high windmills or paving about half of New Mexico with solar panels and access roads.

Of course, the sun only shines bright enough for solar panels to work about eight hours a day, and there are no batteries that can hold the 2.5 terrawatt-hours of  electricity our nation consumes for those other 16 hours every day of the year, so something else would have to be done when the sun don’t shine.

My calculations also show that those 600,000 80-story windmills would need to be spaced at about a mile apart to avoid eddy disturbances from their neighbors, and therefore they would have to occupy about 20 percent of the continental U.S. and of course would need to be sited in areas where it’s windy, which are not areas where most of us live. Thus, for both solar and wind, a massive new power grid would also need to be constructed to carry the power to where people actually use the energy.

And mind you, the above is just for current electricity production and says nothing about replacing fuel for heating our homes in winter or the fuel we burn for transportation, or gasp, the massive amount of new electricity that would need to be generated should we all suddenly start gliding about in  magic ‘lectric-bamamobiles.

Likewise, ethanol and its federal subsidies are a sick joke. We burn 40 percent of our corn crop for ethanol and then pretend we don’t know why food prices are skyrocketing. And the really sad thing is that even Al Gore admits that there is no gain from using ethanol compared to the conventional energy inputs used to produce it.

And it’s worse than even Gore admits. Conventional analysis never mentions that the net carbon output for ethanol production and usage is actually doubled compared to simply burning an equivalent amount of petroleum. No one ever counts the ton of CO2 those little yeasties emit for every ton of ethanol they produce.

People, “green” energy is a scam. It’s not cheaper, but more expensive, than conventional energy. And it can’t exist, even in its smallest form, without massive federal subsidies paid for with new deficit financing. Like ethanol, the sole purpose of wind and solar energy is to create a new constituency that’s totally dependent on federal subsidies, thereby creating a new way to buy votes for the U.S. Social Democrat Progressive Marxist Party. The only thing green about “green” energy is the color of your tax dollars being used to buy votes with.

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