Joe Biden, or whoever writes his stuff, announced that “Climate Change” will be the #1 issue for his administration. What does this mean and portend? There are a number of articles in “Asia Times” that discuss this. I ran across this series at an Australian blog I read ever day, Catallexy Files
In his January 27 “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” US President Joseph Biden declares that his administration aims at “putting the climate crisis at the center of United States foreign policy and National Security.”
Taken literally, this statement – as I think any sober observer of today’s situation in the US and internationally will agree – is a piece of insanity. Joe, please tell us you don’t mean it.
Whatever one might believe about an oncoming climate apocalypse, the urgent domestic and international problems the Biden administration will face in the immediate months ahead have little or nothing to do with the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. They include the likelihood of crises that might decide between war and peace on a short time-horizon.
I am reading the articles, there are 6 so far. I think they are worth a read. The author is a PhD in Math at age 22 from UC Berkeley
BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest investment management company with about 8 trillion dollars of managed assets, plays a singular role in US President Joe Biden’s climate policy. Indeed, it looks like BlackRock and the Biden administration are married to each other.
The marriage was consumated, one might say, with the appointments and nominations of prominent BlackRock executives to high posts in the administration. All of them are typical of the “revolving door” phenomenon of leading personnel shifting back and forth between government and big finance.
Most importantly: Given sufficient support for research and development in the context of large-scale infrastructure investment worldwide, ending the era of dependence on fossil fuels could be accomplished without austerity and with a minimum of coercive measures by governments. The major drivers would be higher efficiency, lower costs, competitive advantages.
This would be a natural process if guided by rationality rather than quasi-religious belief in a coming “climate apocalypse.”
The only available alternative to large-scale nuclear power would be to scale up wind and solar energy to cover 80% or more of total electricity generation. Other sources, such as hydroelectric power, geothermal, biomass (with replanting), could hardly be expected to cover more than about 20% of total US consumption.
A vast infrastructure would be needed to support such a heavy reliance upon wind and solar, which are intermittent, land- and resource-intensive energy sources. That includes restructuring the whole US electricity grid and creating gigantic amounts of electricity storage capacity.
If the magnitude of financial and physical resources that would need to be invested are taken into account, it is clear that this scenario will never be carried through to the end.
California is supposed to be showcase of the Democratic Party’s environmental policies. The state has been solidly in Democratic hands since the election of environmentalist Governor Jerry Brown in 2011. Vice President Kamala Harris and powerful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are leading California Democrats. California also has vast financial and economic resources. If California were a country, it would be one of the six richest nations in the world, with a nominal GDP of $2.6 trillion.
SO why is this state not able to provide its citizens with reliable and affordable electric power? Throughout October last year, millions of Californians suffered from a constant series of “rolling blackouts” in which electricity supply was cut off to various regions of the state on a rotating basis.
The rolling blackouts were provoked by a severe heat and dry spell, but were made possible by the desolate state of the state’s ancient electric power grid. Sparking from its overland power lines had long been a main trigger of California’s frequent forest fires.
The series is worth reading and, I hope, is a forecast that will not come to be.