Rumination XVIII – R.I.P. Coal; Long Live the Dictatorship (Secui Duos)

(Those who might be sensitive about some of the things that the RT writes please take note. The “unfriend” and “unfollow” links are always available and close at hand. Thank you in advance.)

OK, so where did we leave off yesterday? Ah, yes … control.

Know one thing: all politics is about money or power … or both. And each is simply a different form of control. One is control over other peoples’ property, while the other is control over other people themselves.

So when our government starts implementing policies to save polar bears, rest assured that somewhere, obscured behind the curtain, it’s really about money or power … it’s really about control. And, when in doubt, follow the money trail.

For example, take a look at Al Gore, the inventor of the Internet. A few years ago, he was traveling all over the world, (leaving a HUGE, hypocritical carbon footprint in the process) telling the world that the sky was falling, saying that the only way to save us was to switch to alternative forms of energy.

OK … and in what has Al Gore invested huge amounts of his money? Alternative forms of energy. So he stands to profit handsomely from forcing the rest of the world away from traditional forms of energy and to the technologies he bankrolls. Doesn’t make him the most credible spokesman for the cause, now does it? Just makes him another greedy politician after other people’s money.

As I mentioned before, just follow the money.

This whole “carbon pollution” thing is just about control. Ultimately, it’s about controlling what forms of energy you have access to, how much you will pay for them, and how much you can use. Never mind the free market concepts on which this country was built.

It’s about setting limits on CO2 emissions (remember that you, Dear Reader, are an emitter of CO2) so extreme, so severe, that existing coal-fired power plants (and ultimately all fossil-fuel plants) must eventually be retired and replaced with something else. No individual choice, no open market, no local decision-making, little or no electric industry expertise – just federal mandates to stop using the fuel that could actually help the United States achieve the long-stated goal of energy independence (after all, we are the “Saudi Arabia of coal”), and replace it with something more expensive.

So what would we be forced to replace it with? Here are a few insights for you, straight from your industry insider, the RT. Here’s how environmentalists view the various types of generation:

  • Nuclear plants are bad. Yea, even badder than bad. Why? They … they … they’re just bad. They have nuclear things happening inside. And, of course, all nuclear things lead to Hiroshima. And what to do with the spent fuel? Never mind that Jimmy Carter killed the breeder reactor program decades ago, a technology that converts spent nuclear fuel back into usable nuclear fuel. Oh, and Harry Reid has for years stood in the way of opening DOE’s Yucca Mountain nuclear disposal site, where spent fuel would be buried thousands of feet under the Nevada wasteland, where it could not possibly pose a risk to anything or anybody, but the RT digresses. So nukes are not an option in the environmentalists’ eyes.
  • We’ve already touched on coal plants. They emit “carbon pollution” (CO2). So do all animals, volcanoes, rotting vegetation, oceans, Cokes, Perrier, Al Gore, etc., but then we covered that yesterday. Hence the Sierra Club’s “War on Coal”. Yet, the stack gas from coal plants these days is so clean that you can’t even see it. All those giant plumes of “smoke” that they always show on the news when they talk about “carbon pollution”? Those are plumes of steam (100% pure H2O – purer than what comes out of your kitchen faucet) from the cooling towers. The next thing on the environmentalists’ list will undoubtedly be “H2O pollution”. And somehow the Administration has decided that their efforts to limit CO2 emissions will save an estimated 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,500 heart attacks each year. OK … so … the concentration of CO2 in the gas mixture you exhale has a concentration of CO2 MUCH higher than the atmosphere. So why don’t we all have asthma attacks and heart attacks every time we breathe? Oh, please do pardon me. I’m trying to use logic and reason to understand the Administration’s policies. My bad. So coal plants are not an option.
  • How about hydroelectric plants? The fuel is free, and they don’t emit pollutants, so they ought to be golden. Oh, no, Dear Reader. Hydro plants dam waterways, and we all know how bad that is. That creates lakes and reservoirs that provide us opportunities to fish, ski, and play in the water. Or to water crops, or give cattle a drink, or raise fish for food. No, no. Dams are bad. And hydro plants are even worse because they kill fish – fish that your federal government has decided are worth $3 each. So, if a technology to save fish costs less than $3 times the number of fish saved, you must implement it. But the environmentalists would rather that you didn’t, so they can simply shut you down. No option here.
  • OK, so there’s wind power. That’s good, right? The fuel is free, and it doesn’t hurt anything. Well, again you’d be wrong, Dear Reader. You see, they cause “sight pollution”. Environmentalists don’t like the way they look against the backdrop of the wide open spaces where they are most effective. And they certainly don’t want them offshore near Nantucket. Why? Well, because those people are rich Northeasterners who can’t be bothered by such “sight pollution”. Oh, and the vibrations given off by the rotating blades attract bats, who fly into those blades and are killed. And migratory birds like to fly into the rotors, as well. Bad, bad, bad. So there’s no option here.
  • Solar power to the rescue! Well, not exactly. You see, the sun only shines during the daytime, Dear Reader – a fact that most of us learned in kindergarten. So you must have some method of storing energy produced during the day, so that it can be used at night (after all, the most exciting this about electricity to my 85-year-old father was that, when they brought electricity to the farm in the ‘40s, he could study at night without a kerosene lantern). You can probably guess environmentalists’ reaction, but they don’t like lead, or cadmium, or nickel, or virtually anything else you might use to make a battery. Nor do they like any of the other options that currently exist for energy storage. Then there’s the fact the level of power output from a solar panel is directionally proportional to the angle at which the sun’s rays strike the panel (have I mentioned that the RT is a physicist?). So you must either have panels that track the sun’s movement, or settle for peak output from the panel for only a few minutes each day, and very little at other times. And have I mentioned that a cloud, even the tiniest wisp of one, between the sun and the panel causes the power output to fall to near zero? Solar may work during the daytime in Arizona, but it’s not going to work well in Alaska or on the Gulf Coast, where clouds pop up every afternoon and obscure the sun.
  • So what do we have left? Well, there’s natural gas. That’s being touted by the Administration and the EPA as the answer to all of our problems. Admittedly, burning it results in only 60% of the CO2 that is produced from burning coal, so I guess that’s a good thing – if you believe that CO2 is actually a problem to start with (which the RT does not, in case you haven’t figured that out). And natural gas is plentiful – at least for now – and the price is lower than in recent history. BTW, do you know how natural gas became so plentiful and affordable? One word: “FRACKING” Guess what environmentalists thing about fracking … BAD! So it’s just a matter of time before they find a politician after money and/or power willing to restrict natural gas production. Oh, and what happens to the price of natural gas when we eliminate coal from the equation, and all of the demand for fuel to run power plants shifts to gas? Well, in Econ 101, the RT learned that an increase in demand for a commodity invariably results in an increase in the price of same. So, the cheap fuel that the Administration is touting, which, according to them, will mitigate the cost impact of their policies, will begin to escalate in price the instant that those policies go into the rule book. Not when they take effect, mind you, but the day they become regulation. Why? Because speculators know that the demand for gas will increase in the long haul and they’ll start speculating immediately, which will drive up today’s price. Oh, and did I mention that the Sierra Club has already said that once the “War on Coal” is won, they’ll begin the “War on Natural Gas”?

OK, so where are the options that will make the environmentalists and the current Administration happy? Well, there don’t seem to be any. Which only serves to further convince the RT that this is about control. If this moves forward, we’ll suddenly have energy shortages, and folks’ ability to move freely, or produce, or simply do what they want, will diminish.

It appears to the RT that all of those who support these policies want America – the Greatest Republic that has ever existed on earth – to become a third-world country. That’s what we’ll become when our ability to obtain and consume energy freely is taken away from us.

Call me a conspiracy theorist … and I’ll thank you for it.

In the next installment, we’ll talk more about the details of how the current path of the Administration and the EPA will inevitably and significantly increase the cost of electricity, and destroy the US economy in the process.

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