Brief Notes on “Clean Break”

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A new brief account of Germany’s Energy Revolution has just been published. Written by Osha Grey Davidson it’ll take about an hour of your time. The low price is unfortunate, as I believe they should have increased it just enough so that they could include a complimentary Kool Aid.

The book is short, so I’ll be short and just highlight two passages that show the author’s lack of understanding of his subject matter. About half way through the book the author states that:

For all practical purposes, coal and nuclear power have only two settings: off and on.

The author appears to believe that coal plants are too inflexible to provide back up to renewables, and gas, not coal, will fit this role. It’s a great shame then that Germany appears to disagree with the author and has already built rather large coal plants to do exactly what he claims they cannot do. This fact is well known to casual observers of the German energy scene, and it is striking that the author is ignorant of it.

A few pages later the author boasts that almost half of new global electricity capacity is renewable. Based on the tone of the paragraph Davidson appears unaware that 1 GW of wind or solar provides a lot less power than 1 GW of coal. Now, maybe he does know the difference. However, if this is true then he is actively trying to fool the uniformed reader.

Overall, the book is just another example of the wishful thinking on energy that currently pervades environmentalism. We must stop listening to this line of thought, and instead start listening to those who will confront reality in the face.

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7 thoughts on “Brief Notes on “Clean Break”

    Germany’s Lost Decade | Carbon Counter said:
    November 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    […] closing nuclear power plants, and building new coal power plants. The first two are much praised by those who drink the Energiewende Kool Aid, while the third is often treated as some kind of myth by the same people. Germany’s […]

    […] recent book Clean Break on Germany’s Energiewande made the following […]

    […] nuclear power plants, and building new coal power plants. The first two are much praised by those who drink the Energiewende Kool Aid, while the third is often treated as some kind of myth by the same people. Germany’s Environment […]

    Germany’s Lost Decade | Socialist Agenda Webzine said:
    December 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    […] closing nuclear power plants, and building new coal power plants. The first two are much praised by those who drink the Energiewende Kool Aid, while the third is often treated as some kind of myth by the same people. Germany’s […]

    […] I believe it was Christopher Hitchens who suggested that you should always start the day with one thing that will annoy you as a check on whether you still have a pulse. For me, this is reading the Huffington Post. Today’s pleasure was finding them declaring the book Clean Break the Green Book of the year. An award that doesn’t exactly fill me with delight. […]

    […] I have my own problems with Clean Break, but let’s focus in on what McKibben says here. Munich getting half of its energy from solar […]

    […] I have my own problems with Clean Break, but let’s focus in on what McKibben says here. Munich getting half of its energy from solar […]

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