The Exorbitant Costs of 'Net Zero'

Many were surprised and angered when a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Richard Trumka Jr., floated the idea of phasing out new gas stoves and ovens. To many, it seemed random at the time.

The Biden Administration, for its part, withdrew the idea immediately, maintaining they were never planning to impose such a “no-gas-stove” regulatory mandate. This is hardly believable though coming from an administration that has shown a willingness to regulate dishwashers, toilets, showerheads and cars.

Thanks to massive public backlash, it appears this whole matter of a gas stove ban has been placed on the metaphorical back burner. But exaggerated or phony reasons to eradicate consumer products and rights are likely to keep on coming.

The same deceptions being used to justify them, all linked to tackling “climate change”, are still being wielded despite their impacts on our industrial base, economy, habitats and wildlife. It’s all part of an effort to move our energy production to something called “net-zero” – a fanciful notion that society should attempt to reach a goal of putting out “zero” greenhouse emissions to avert a climate catastrophe.

This would necessarily mean changing our production of electricity from coal and natural gas to wind and solar power. They argue this could be done in such a way as to actually boost the economy and move humanity forward to a more sustainable future.

But they’re being less than truthful. Families, schools, hospitals and industries cannot survive when everything is electric and powered by intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar – with electricity costing 30-40 cents per kilowatt-hour, instead of the 12-15 cents we’re paying now. Just the batteries needed to stabilize the increasingly fragile grid and provide backup power for every hour, day or week that wind and sunlight disappear would cost trillions of dollars. Green activists seem to have little clue how “net zero” can actually be achieved.

Basic questions they should be required to answer include: How many wind turbines and solar panels would be needed? How many millions of acres are torn up and in whose backyards should they be placed? How many millions of tons of raw materials are needed, and from which faraway countries will they be obtained because climate agitators bitterly oppose mining and processing in America? The answers aren’t likely to be pretty.

Just meeting New York State’s peak summertime electricity needs, for example, would require the full use of President Biden’s entire offshore wind program – all 30,000 megawatts and 2,500 turbines of it off the mid-Atlantic coast. The state’s battery backup power plan would meet just 0.2% of those electricity requirements, and would require some 300,000 Tesla long-range, half-ton 80-kilowatt-hour battery modules!

Providing metals and minerals for such batteries, as well as other wind and solar technologies would also mean putting aside the Administration’s efforts to address “eco-racism.” That’s because many of these minerals are being imported from developing countries that employ poverty-stricken African, Asian, and Latin American workers – including in some cases child and slave laborers.

Then there are the environmental considerations. Wind and solar wind installations blanket habitats and kill wildlife. Disposing of thousands of 350-foot-long, 60-ton, non-recyclable blades from these turbines requires landfills of unimaginable scales. Wind turbines already kill hundreds of thousands of raptors, other birds, and bats every year, including bald and golden eagles.

The Biden “green energy transition” might put the annual death toll into millions, because the best wind areas are also the best bird areas, along mountainous crests, seacoast, and the Central US Migratory Flyway. Humpback and right whales have been beaching and dying along our Atlantic coast in previously unheard numbers – and offshore wind projects are being investigated as responsible.

Experts say rapid-fire sonar guns used in offshore wind “site characterization” (ocean bottom) surveys frighten and harass whales and affect their communication and navigation abilities. Turbine vibration noise and infrasound from offshore wind installations can also interfere with whale and dolphin sonar and navigation, disorienting them and sending them onto beaches, where they often die.

Oddly, environmentalists who typically demand years of study for mine, pipeline, and drilling proposals are mum when it comes to renewable energy projects. Under glaring double standards, they seem to gloss over the eagle and whale deaths as being incidental, unintentional, and unfortunate – and perhaps a necessary price to be paid for the “greater cause” of stopping climate change and achieving net zero.

Unless the brakes are put on their efforts to push net zero, our planet will be truly endangered. Not from climate change, but from their actions taken to prevent climate change. 

Craig Rucker is president of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow


Image: Title: Wind Turbine


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