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Nevada goes solar. (Photo: Shutterstock)

OPINION: The Bizarre Cult Of Green Energy Takes Nevada

Bizarre cults survive because dissent is suppressed

By Norm Rogers, August 22, 2022 10:41 am

Every now and then, bizarre cults sweep across cultures and countries. 

For example, in many places in the U.S., medical establishments are castrating young children in the name of gender affirming care based on the theory that children have hidden, true genders that should be supported by life-altering surgery and drugs. What used to be mayhem and child abuse, is now a therapeutic activity.

Bizarre cults survive because dissent is suppressed. Those who would dare to contradict authority are fired or cancelled according to current slang. Ideology trumps common sense and humanity.

Climate change, formerly known as global warming, is certainly a cult. But it is difficult to argue against it due to the technical complexity of the theories predicting the apocalypse. Complexity and ideology are enemies of clear thinking. Like in most cults, those who dissent from the climate apocalypse are attacked and marginalized. The climate change cult has staying power because there are rivers of money flowing from Washington for climate research.  We are subsidizing craziness.

Green energy is a child of the global warming cult. Green energy, mainly wind and solar electricity, is promoted on the basis that it doesn’t emit carbon dioxide–the alleged cause of global warming. But the cult of green energy is polluted by ideas extraneous to the CO2 reduction goal. 

Even though hydroelectric electricity does not emit CO2, it is largely not accepted as green because environmental organizations don’t like dams. Nuclear electricity does not emit CO2 either, but the environmental movement has profited from many hysterical anti-nuke campaigns. They can’t accept nuclear as green given their past positions. 

Nevada’s democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, has a background in telemarketing, the business of selling things to people that they don’t need at a high price. That perfectly encapsulates his “climate strategy” that aims to saturate Nevada with solar electricity. Sisolak is a member in good standing of the green energy cult.

(Photo provided by artist)

Because solar electricity is dependent on weather and absent at night, it must be backed up by another source of electricity. Although the advocates of solar blather about batteries and pumped storage for storing electricity, there is no practical method of storing electricity at acceptable cost. 

Solar will be backed up by natural gas generating plants. Natural gas is Nevada’s current main source of electricity. Solar cannot replace natural gas because at times solar isn’t generating anything. A complete system of natural gas plants must be retained, kept staffed and be ready to generate electricity on short notice. As the population of Nevada increases, the natural gas backup system has to increase in size proportionally. Dual electrical systems are not an efficient scheme for generating electricity. Solar electricity costs roughly five times more than traditional sources of electricity. Much of the cost is hidden in subsidies and mandates.

Solar electricity, when flowing, displaces natural gas electricity and thus reduces CO2 emissions. This scheme of solar farms, with natural gas backup, starts running into trouble when the portion of solar electricity approaches 20 percent. The problem is that solar output peaks at midday but electricity demand peaks in the early evening. The result is that the solar electricity has to be curtailed in the middle of the day, that is to say never generated. 

The Gemini solar plant to be built north of Las Vegas will use lithium batteries to attempt to solve the problem of too much electricity when it is not needed and not enough electricity when it is needed. At midday, excessive electricity is stored in the batteries, and then for about 4 hours in the early evening, this electricity is released.

The batteries greatly increase the cost of solar electricity. The Gemini battery system will cost $500 million. The batteries wear out approximately every 5 years. The $500 million only buys four hours of storage and does not eliminate the need for natural gas backup. It only helps adjust the timing of electricity production over one day.

The hottest weather in Las Vegas is in July and August. Generating plants closed for most of the year are activated for the summer air conditioning load.  Summer is also the time of monsoons when tropical moist air enters the desert and creates clouds and storms. Recently the sun has been extensively blocked by clouds in Las Vegas as shown by sunshine measurements complied at the University of Nevada.

Data from the University of Nevada Las Vegas

Perhaps the most convincing evidence of the futility of green energy comes from the scientist advocates of global warming. It is a clash of cults. Many of the climate scientists promoting CO2 caused global warming, are true believers in their own faulty theories. They want to reduce CO2 emissions and, being educated scientists, they recognize that green energy is a fool’s errand that will accomplish almost nothing.

James Hansen, formerly the head of a government climate lab, is himself a cult figure. He is the most important and well-spoken advocate for global warming catastrophe. He thinks that green energy is like the “tooth fairy” or the “Easter bunny.” His solution is nuclear energy. The organization of Climate Scientists for Nuclear features many important climate scientists supporting nuclear energy. 

Many experts and reporters that know perfectly well that green energy is a fraud but are afraid to say so because they have a well-founded fear of being cancelled. 

The Nevada governor touts the green energy cult on his campaign website, but his opponent, Republican Sheriff Joe Lombardo, replies with silence.  Lombardo doesn’t say anything about energy or climate change, even though the governor’s plan will greatly increase the cost of electricity and likely cause rolling blackouts because the backup system will probably be shortchanged.

One reason Republicans lose elections against Democrats advocating radical or silly policies is that they are unwilling to directly take on cult ideology. Arguing with cults exposes one to vicious counter attacks. Many Republican politicians would rather appeal to the voters as vanilla nice guys. But they come across as wimps with no particular plan or beliefs.

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