Afro_Vacancy wrote: ↑
1 year ago
Your calculation is incomplete. What you're doing is tabulating the costs of reducing climate change and ignoring the costs of ignoring climate change. Naturally, since you're adding up the costs on one side and not on the other, you get that the first side is the more expensive option. But it's not an impressive argument and you should know better.
Here's a partial rundown of the costs of carbon-based energy:
- The eventual refugee crisis from rising sea levels. I remind you that the world could not even deal with 1,000,000 Syrians. Try 200,000,000 southeast Asians and let me know how that goes.
- The eventual cost of having oil reserves be an input in foreign policy. To quote the former chairman of the US federal reserve, Alan Greenspan, "everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil"
. That is a war that killed ~1 million dollars and has cost ~3 trillion dollars in damages and counting (conservative estimate).
- The eventual cost of letting China take control of solar and wind power technology. Within the long-term, solar and wind have greater potential and that can be understood by an elementary school students. There is simply far more energy in solar than there is in carbon, the net differential offset is a factor of ~100,000. The costs are dropping as an exponential decay, they're at approximate price parity now, and whoever owns this technology should own energy in the 21st century. It would be silly for the Western countries to abandon their lead as you are advocating.
Research into renewables is subsidised, creating renewable inputs into the grid are subsidised, the energy that they bid into the grid is subsidised. I'm yet to see a single example of a major Western country lower prices without gigantic subsidies in the industry, effectively looting the taxpayer pocket and pretending they've cut costs at the other end. This isn't the same in any sense for the fossil fuels industry, at least in Australia who can't even get financing for minerals exploration and under no circumstances financing for a new coal plant. Despite the brainwashed and and illegitimate points about China you constantly mention on this issue, CHINA ARE PLANNING OR CONSTRUCTING 700 NEW COAL PLANTS.
The other MAJOR point which you and every single person on this issue avoids is how an energy market actually operates. In Australia energy is bid in at 30 minute intervals, renewables have minimal or zero marginal costs and are paid an amount to output zero emissions energy into the grid also. Coal absolutely cannot compete as it has fixed marginal costs and will in all circumstances fail to provide energy at the same low rate as renewables at peak output, effectively meaning less of their output can be utilised during peak renewables hours and making it significantly less profitable. In turn they ultimately have to increase costs, but it also means there is zero incentive to create new fossil fuels generation in the country which creates the supply/demand problem which raised prices to begin with. Who would invest in a coal plant with zero subsidies as opposed to wind farms, 10x more difficult regulatory issues to overcome and create costs, and a spot market system that lends itself to renewables that have low marginal costs? This is what creates the main pricing problem due to supply, which no one has managed to address yet.
Well the fucking problem that you and others don't understand is that renewables have absolutely no means of running consistently in output at all times of the day, which is what a first world nation requires. It's not a simplistic idea of renewables being cheaper because of fucking course they will be cheaper due to lack of marginal costs, the question is whether it is useful in running a society and economy on through a full transition as a replacement to fossil fuels baseload energy, and supply individuals and entities on an individual basis at a lower cost (spoiler, it isn't even close). SA has the largest battery system IN THE WORLD and can ultimately only provide power to 50000 homes for about 30 minutes. The technology to run baseload energy to an economy through purely renewables DOES.NOT. EXIST. PERIOD. A system where it makes sense to utilise both baseload fossil fuels and renewables also doesn't exist due to the nature of energy spot markets, made worse by the subsidies. I'm not against innovation like you suggest, nor that Western nations should abandon their lead, but taxpayers shouldn't be forking out money to experiment on frankenstein approaches that they, and you clearly have absolutely no understanding of by quoting figures without understanding context and skewing others like in regards to China.
The kicker is that despite the massive subsidies in Australia, the giant increase in renewables penetration and an energy market that is fundamentally not set up to benefit fossil fuels, we have failed to cut emissions AT ALL, decreased supply with many fossil fuel plants at the end of their lifespan, and virtually doubled prices in a decade. That is with all the gigantic force of government to support the transition and billions of dollars they spent, on top of creating a less stable grid without required supply and with higher prices. If we had canned every last renewables investment in this country including the subsidies and regulatory boundaries to coal and nuclear and simply built a modern fleet of coal plants, we would have cut prices instead of doubling them, and actually succeeded in cutting emissions, rather than succeeding in virtue signalling like you're more interested in.
The idea "renewables are cheaper" that you claim is simply moronic and shows you don't actually understand how the system works. On top of this "The costs are dropping as an exponential decay, " is just an outright lie and you're not stupid enough to not know what exponential means, your constant mention of China in relationship to this issue is braindead considering they're planning 700 new coal plants and even under Paris targets are expected to triple emissions potentially by 2030. The claims about China taking control of the renewables industry is completely absurd, no one is saying that investing in technology or science should be banned, simply that if its such a fruitful area of investment you don't need to pickpocket citizens and force this on them through regulation and subsidies. It's not just some moral issue either like whether or not every person should be entitled to healthcare, objectively costs have soared and emissions have increased despite the massive input of government, because ultimately failing at fixing problems through intervention and increased taxes on their citizens is what government does best.