Letter: Plan does not, in fact, address climate instability - The Buffalo News
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Letter: Plan does not, in fact, address climate instability

Plan does not, in fact, address climate instability

A recent letter from the coordinator of the Citizens Climate Lobby, the brainchild of a California shopping center developer, outlines yet another carbon tax plan like the one that drove the Somerset coal plant into bankruptcy.

The CCL’s plan to progressively tax all fossil fuel producers and users out of existence and use the proceeds to subsidize household electric bills combines the destruction of several vital American heartland industries with the equally pernicious scheme of providing a government check to keep the peasants at bay.

This plan, like others before, was prepared by people with no clue about how electricity is generated and dispatched. The idea that transient sources of electricity like solar and wind can replace fossil fuels or nuclear generation in any substantial way is an illusion.

Electricity must be used as it is generated or stored, therefore the grid operator must be able to dispatch energy quickly to avoid blackouts or brownouts on one hand or damaging power surges on the other. Solar and wind are impediments to this function and cannot replace fossil fuels for either base load or peaking power generation.

For these reasons solar and wind can never comprise more than about 25 percent of any stable grid. Accordingly, under the most optimistic scenario, fossil fuel use can only be reduced by less than a third, translating to an 11 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.

This is a drop in the global bucket, particularly since global temperatures have proved to be insensitive to the huge increase in CO2 emissions for the last 16 years.

Sadly, the middle class and upper middle class academics and other elitists who mostly comprise the CCL and Sierra Club are remote from those blue-collar workers whose jobs they would destroy, and seem indifferent to their plight.

Malcolm Vanderburgh


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