I joked about global warming a few days ago, which probably angered some people. I believe that the Earth is warming, most likely because of the actions of humans. At the same time, I would like to ask questions about what I find to be incomprehensible truths.

My daughter once asked me, how can we ignore what is happening? My answer was that “if we have the brightest scientists who are most-likely to solve the problems, and if our actions are neglible, is it smart to destroy OUR economy? Would that make the eventual solution more or less likely?

Some truths, and the questions they raise from me if the questions are not already obvious. I do not want to express opinion; only facts that are easily verified in dozens of places:

  • China and most countries in Africa have stated, clearly and recently, that they want to benefit from fossil fuels just like Europe and the USA have. They are not interested in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Annual carbon emissions by country: China: 10.4 trillion tons, 7 tons per capita, 30% of global emissions. USA: 5 trillion tons (and falling), 15 tons per capita, 14% of global emissions. India 2.5 trillion tons (and rising), 1.9 tons per capita, 14% global emissions. Other factoids: highest per capita carbon emissions in order from top down: Qatar, Montenegro, Kuwait, Trinidad and Tobago, UAE, Oman, and then CANADA. Apparently AC and furnaces require energy. Who figured.
  • Question: since we are only 14% of emissions and already falling, and China and India make up 44% of carbon emissions and are not reducing emissions, should we go nuts here, now?
  • Factoid: China is currently constructing more coal-powered power plants that the rest of the world, combined.
  • Our oil spiked in price after the Russian invasion of Ukraine mostly because our refineries lost the finished good from Russia used in production of gasoline. Russia stopped flow of oil to Europe in the Nordstream pipelines ‘indefinitely’ and now sells that oil to China on the cheap. Europe is scrambling to find power from older plants that use coal and natural gas (which they don’t have). Their green initiatives are not close to enough power. We continue to anger Russia by selling weapons to Ukraine, and we anger China by visiting and selling weapons to Taiwan.
  • Question: In today’s world, are we more vulnerable than we should be to aggression by other countries?
  • Oil leases are hard to analyze because some play out and some don’t. But acres leased by US President: Kennedy 3.4 million acres. Johnson 1.8 million. Nixon 1.87 million. Ford 10 million. Carter 12 million. Reagan 47 million. GHW Bush 17 million. Clinton 9 million. GW Bush 13 million. Obama 7 million. Trump 4 million. Biden: 0.13 million. Biden, a few weeks ago, reinstated a lease sale that his administration had cancelled – Lease 257, which freed up 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, part of the ‘inflation reduction bill’ signed into law. That sale was blocked by a judge in response to a suit by the Sierra Club and the Biden administration decided not to appeal – but it was inserted into the recent bill and supported by enough Democrats to make it into the final law. Who gets credit? You decide.
  • Production of oil by the US has increased over the past 2 years but is still shy of our production pre-COVID.
  • Gas prices have gone down because of releases by the President from our ‘Strategic Petroleum Reserve’ since prices peaked. The law setting up those reserves calls for use during national emergencies like during wars. Presidents of both parties have released oil from those reserves, but not this much. So far over 2/3 of those reserves have been released, over several months, and our reserves are currently at the lowest level since 1984.
Strategic Oil Reserve lowered gas prices over the summer
  • I was recently in California when they asked their population to avoid charging EV’s (electric vehicles) between 4 PM and 9 PM. They lead the country in EV sales, mostly Teslas. California has 425,000 EV’s registered – 42% of the EVs in the US. Per 1000 residents, there are 80 EVs in Norway (the highest), and 5 EVs in the US. China’s %EV numbers are growing the fastest in the world; the US close behind. Europe EV percentages are falling, in part because the cost of electricity has skyrocked since the war and it now costs about the same to frive and EV as to buy gas (in Europe where gas is very expensive). California paused the shutdown of one of it’s remaining 2 nuclear plants. They recently annouced that people should expect rolling blackouts every September for 3-4 yrs.
  • Question: Will people die when the AC is off in CA, as they do in WI each year even WITH AC? Elderly; people on antipsychotics; infants…. are all more vulnerable to high temps. Will someone keep track of those deaths?
  • Question: Since only 5% of US cars are EV’s, are we ready to ban diesel in CA in 2030, 7-8 yrs from now – when they have been ‘upgrading their power grids’ for decades?
  • Current EV batteries take 3 times more carbon, and large amounts of lithium, graphite, and trace metals. We do not mine significant amounts of those metals in the US, and get most from China and African countries. Those countries dig huge holes in the ground (the NYT has warned about their environmantal impact including local toxins). They dig using old bulldozers and other equipment that burn oil and diesel very inefficiently. These numbers are hard to find, but many experts claim that factoring that into the carbon emissions, the total emissions by EVs and IC vehicles are about the same.
  • Question: I love the zip of an EV, but is the excitement about electricity warranted? Where will all of the electricity come from, even if we ‘fix the grids’, since renewables currently meet 12% of our needs?
  • I have driven my daughter back and forth to/from Wisconsin to Arizona over the last few years. We drive because she owns a dog and two cats. Some Teslas can go 267 miles on a full charge; the ‘extended range’ vehicles can go 375 miles. The trip is 1800 miles and takes 27 hours. That means in the best Tesla, I will have to charge 5 times in our 3 – day trip. In a regular Tesla I will have to charge 7 times. I don’t even like stopping for food because the pets struggle with being in the car so long. But I will need to stop and recharge 7 times, each for 45 minutes if there is no line? I might find a hotel with a charge station but not in 2022 or 2023, at least not until I get to Colorado!
  • Electricity cannot be sent by wire from AZ to Wisconsin. We have so many wind turbines in WI, but wind and solar make up about 3% of our energy usage in WI. In California wind and solar make up 25%. Where should the rest come from?
  • New refineries take 10 yrs and cost tens of millions of dollars or more. Who would build one in the current political environment?
  • New technologies are being developed, such as giant batteries that store energy as heat. Many of those new companies are based in California. Will rolling blackouts and a recession impact the development of those new technologies?

You probably get my point by now. If you disagree with something. feel free to comment, even anonymously. Please don’t swear at the curious person though.

Finally, a request: I would like to write about a lot of things. Recovery, MAT, psychiatry, the environment, the stock market (inflation higher than expected today). Should I start a new blog? What should it be called? Anonymous comments welcome!


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