I am a skeptic by nature, as should be all people who work in any science-related field. I am amused at how many people, who may have a degree and expertise in one field, make the quantum leap to speaking with authority on electric generation and climate science. What I see as I travel around Florida is there is climate change science and climate change religion, and the twain shall never meet!
I recently spoke at the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, where the state’s higher education Ph.D. students gather to research energy solutions for the state. There is much work being done. People caught up in the religion of their position seem to be quite clueless to the real science involved in inexpensive and reliable work of electric generation. The EPA is one more federal agency that is overreaching by mandating what states are required to do.
The mantra is, we live in the Sunshine State, and we need to blanket the state with solar electric generation. Unfortunately, blanketing the state is what would be required, and then all you would have is a highly expensive, very unreliable source of energy. The experts in the field know solar is not ready until there can be an inexpensive, highly productive, large volume means of energy storage. All the electricity we use is virtually being generated at the same time except for the limited storage available in the grid itself. Solar electricity is largely available during tanning hours — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is terribly inefficient at other times of the day and nonexistent at night or when cloudy.
The United States carbon has been steady or in decline over the last decade. The truth is no one can notice any effects of the small rise in the Earth’s average temperature that has taken place over the past 100 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the number of hurricanes hitting the U.S. has been fairly consistent for the past 150 years, and the number of deadly tornadoes has declined, though you’d never know it watching the news. The U.S. and Florida are converting many coal-fired electric generation plants to new higher-efficiency, cleaner, natural gas turbine generation.
Here is the real problem: The United States could sink in the ocean and produce absolutely zero carbon, and within three years, because of the developing nations of China, Russia, India and others’ carbon emissions, the world’s carbon levels without us would surpass what they are today in only three years. This is according to Richard Muller, a doctor of physics at UC Berkley. His solution: Bring the world’s 100 top engineers to the U.S. and teach them how to safely learn hydraulic fracturing and convert power plants to natural gas.
The recent article by Dr. Lynn Ringenberg (“Why I strongly support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan,” Other Views, July 28) was filled with climate change religion and huge leaps in the cause-and-effect nature of disease but showed little solid science, if any. She lists all these things caused by climate change when science says one-third of the world’s regions have cooled and no humans are capable of detecting climate change. The global temperature has risen 1-degree Celsius over the past 50 years, which has not caused any serious problems yet. The major concern is speculation over what happens if it continues or even rises at a greater pace.
The writer is a cerified energy manager (CEM) and a certified energy auditor (CEA).