Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bill Gates on the utter stupidity of the Environmentalists

Physicist Luboš Motls finds an interview where Bill Gates illustrates why it's simply not possible to provide 100% (or even close) electric power from solar and wind.  He starts with a quote from Gates' embedded video interview and then expands on the math calculations:
Here’s Tokyo, 27 million people, you have three days of a cyclone every year. It’s 23 GW of electricity for three days. Tell me what battery solution is going sit there and provide that power.
Exactly. Just check the numbers, roughly. They talk about some metropolitan area around Tokyo so lots of people are involved. 27 million sounds fine. And each of them needs almost a kilowatt of power at each moment – most of it is not "personal energy consumption", however. 3 days is 72 hours, 72 times 23 is 1656. We need 1656 gigawatthours. Solar doesn't work, the weather is bad. The wind turbines should better be stopped and protected because the cyclone could break them. OK, you need a prepared charged battery with 1656 gigawatthours for those nice three days (or some really long and good cables from another part of the world with generous inhabitants who are willing to share a half of their energy). 
One kilowatthour of Tesla-like battery used to cost $1,000 but the price went below $200 in a recent year or two and the Tesla CEO dreams about $100. Great. Let's use $200 per kilowatthour. 1656 gigawatthours is 1656 million kilowatthours which would cost 1656 million times 200 which is some $330 billion for those batteries whose only purpose is to satisfy some brainwashed morons' view that renewable energy should rule the world (and they probably reject nuclear energy as well because Greenpeace told them to do so). And it's just one Tokyo metropolitan area, some 1/300 of the world population.
But he's not done with the math.  He discusses how many lithium batteries you would need to provide everyone in the world with the same 3 day's electric storage that we're talking about for Tokyo, and how this would take ten times more than the world's entire lithium reserves.  Then he switches to a discussion of how you create the steel needed for all the wind turbines - most of the power for making steel comes from direct coal burning at the steel furnace.  If you don't use coal, where does that power come from?  He closes with a key point:
The production of steel and cement and the operation of airplanes requires a lot of concentrated and reliable energy that is delivered in real time. If there exists no viable alternative physical scheme where the concentrated energy comes from, then no financial schemes or Ponzi schemes can successfully replace the bulk of the existing system with an equally viable but would-be "cleaner" alternative.
Let me elaborate on this point.  The perceived legitimacy of government and social institutions (such as environmentalism) has been collapsing over the last 20-30 years.  That trajectory has a very clear landing point:

This is how you get Donald Trump.

Now it is unlikely in the extreme that environmentalists will stop to reconsider their agenda just because it strengthens Donald Trump, but they should at least be smart enough to understand this is what they are doing.

But they're not smart, even a little bit.  They can't do basic math, and quite frankly they don't care.  This is all about upper middle class virtue signaling to other upper middle class types that they're not the horrible declassé Deplorables.  It has a very Ancien Régime vibe to it.  They really don't care about what's happening outside of their sale des miroirs because what really matters is whether they get the proper deference from the Comte de Lyon.  After all, the peasants are revolting, n'est-ce pas?

And so the reaction.  Trump is merely the American manifestation of a world wide rejection of a grotesquely out of touch and clearly stupid "elite".  Doug Ford in Canada, Nigel Farage and Brexit in the UK, the yellow vests in France, the collapse of Angela Merkel in Germany, the unlikely alliance of left wing and right wing parties in the Italian government, and the alliance of Eastern European governments against the EU are all expressions of a rejection of the old norms.

Nothing illustrates the stupidity of the old order more than this obsession with "renewable" energy.  Australia - the most aggressive in implementing a Green New Deal - has the highest electricity rates in the world and spent a billion dollars for a single day's power in a single state because that power simply failed.  A new term has emerged in the European Press - "energy poverty" - describing how escalating electricity rates due to their Green New Deal forces people to choose whether to eat or heat their house in winter.  We've seen where this ends up, and it's not pretty for the "elite".

Quite frankly, the best outcome of a Green New Deal is more Donald Trump.  At worst, the tumbrels will roll again, the better to feed Madame Guillotine.

Image par la Wik
I guess that this is what we should expect from a failed education system that no longer teaches the great sweep of history, an "elite" that doesn't require any actual real world success to qualify for membership, and a hermetically sealed intellectual bubble that rejects facts in favor of status-seeking feelings.  Looking at these idiots, it's impossible to forget Tallyrand's comment about the Bourbons restored to the French Throne after the fall of Napoleon: they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.


SiGraybeard said...

I admit I haven't been paying much attention to Gates lately. When he sort of stepped away from Microsoft and went fully into his foundation work, he became less relevant.

This is refreshing, though. It shows some understanding of reality that we don't hear much of when this topic comes up.

Pistachio Kotex said, "we need to invent things that haven't been invented yet". Implementing their Green New Deal energy policies before an energy replacement is invented, tested, refined and ready is suicidal. It would be like jumping out of a plane before anyone knows what a parachute is, hoping someone invents something to save you before you hit the ground.

drjim said...

They can't do basic math, and quite frankly they don't care.

And there you have it.....

Kristophr said...

If you want carbon neutral energy, you have to go nuclear. Period.

McChuck said...

The Greens aren't stupid. They're evil. They know exactly what they're doing, and think that reducing the human population by 90% is a great good thing.

Ken said...

What McChuck said. Whomever is responsible for the Georgia Guidestones said it in plain(ish) language.

Someone else did too, elliptically, not that long ago, when they claimed that renewables would provide a no-loss-of-standard-of-living energy budget for the global population in 2050, if the right policy proposals were adopted. There was an envelope sitting on the desk, so I grabbed it, did some rough calculations, and found that sure enough, the math checked out...

...for a population about 5-10% of the contemporary figure.