A couple of points. In general, a lot is made of the environmental impacts of oil and gas and the assumed negative externalities with little mention of the benefits we have received from them, while wind and solar are assumed to be clean and green with virtually no negative externalities. When doing a complete apples to apples comparison, all externnalities and benefits need to be considered. For example, petroleum is used in well over 6000 products used in everyday life. Without the power we get from oil, gas, and coal, we would not be able to purify the water delivered to our homes. Hydrocarbons are 100% self-sufficient, wind and solar both need backup power since they are weather dependent, intermittent and unreliable making them far more expensive than hydrocarbons. In addition, the amount of mining required to extract the raw materials needed to produce wind turbines and solar panels is roughly 10 times what is required for hydrocarbons per unit of energy produced (see https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/mines-minerals-green-energy-reality-checkMM.pdf and https://manhattan.institute/article/the-energy-transition-delusion by Mark Mills).

And lastly for now, wind, solar and batteries are 100% dependent on fossil fuels from cradle to grave. The can't produce the energy needed to power the machinery used in their production for the mining and processing of the massive amounts of raw materials using a lot of very heavy FF powered machinery, to transport (to/from the manufacturing facility), to the energy intensive manufacturing process, site prep, life cycle maintenance, and ultimate decommissioning and disposal. And, because their life span is far shorter than hydrocarbon or nuclear power plants, they must be replaced more frequently.

The net is, there is a far greater negative environmental impact to wind and solar than there is to simply using fossil fuels and the benefits to fossil fuels are far greater than the use of wind and solar. Wind and solar are parasitic. Everywhere they have been deployed in an significant amount has resulted in higher energy costs, grid degradation, and more frequent brown/black outs. Had we invested in nuclear what has been invested in wind and solar, our grid would be far more robust and resilient than it is now and we would be preserving more hydrocarbons for other uses. Instead, we have wasted $trillions pursuing a non-solution to a non problem.

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Thanks for the comment and the links Barnes. I agree that we dropped the ball on nuclear. If you haven't yet, consider subscribing (for free). https://briefedbydata.substack.com/ I'll be mentioning other issues with wind and solar in today's post that will come out later.

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