Why does 350.org employ people to spout arithmetic defying sophistry about Germany?

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A simple fact. Germany shutting down 8 nuclear power plants in 2011 resulted in carbon emissions being higher than they otherwise would have been. This should not be a controversial point, to argue against it is to take a stand for rank stupidity and ignorance of arithmetic.

Yet, many environmentalists continue to take a stand against it. Here is what Melanie Mattauch  of 350.org has to say in the Ecologist this week:

Governments around the globe are keeping a close eye on how Germany is getting on with its Energiewende – its transition away from nuclear energy and fossil fuels.

So far, results are mixed. The rise in renewable energy led from the bottom-up is staggering.

Yet emissions have failed to drop sufficiently and even rose in 2012 and 2013 due to an increase in coal electricity generation.

Critics were quick to blame the nuclear phase-out for the increase in coal. But in fact, the increased generation from renewables filled the nuclear energy gap. So what happened?

What happened? I guess a lesson in arithmetic did not.

But perhaps she hints at an answer with this, “the increased generation from renewables filled the nuclear energy gap”. Does that not tell her why Germany’s emissions have not fallen sufficiently?

Could it be that keeping the 8 nuclear power plants running and letting renewables replace coal, not low carbon nuclear, would have resulted in much greater emissions cuts?

Stating why the factual reasons the nuclear phaseout resulted in higher emissions and then denying that it is takes a certain amount of chutzpah, self delusion or sophistry. But I can never figure out which it is.

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3 thoughts on “Why does 350.org employ people to spout arithmetic defying sophistry about Germany?

    kakatoa said:
    May 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Robert,

    We only shuttered about half of our nuclear generation capacity in CA a couple of years ago, so it was a bit easier to determine the effect on the CA grid. I think you already have this post (which links to a working paper at Hass):

    https://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/too-big-to-fail/

    …..”We find that the SONGS closure increased the cost of electricity generation by $370 million during the first twelve months. This is a large change, equivalent to a 15% increase in total generation costs. The SONGS closure also had important implications for the environment, increasing carbon dioxide emissions by 9.2 million tons over the same period. Valued at $35 per ton (IWG 2013), this is $330 million worth of emissions, the equivalent of putting more than 2 million additional cars on the road…..”

    The 15% increase in generation costs noted above rolled up to Southern California Edison and SD rate payers if memory serves me. My service provider in CA is PG&E who owns and operates the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility which provided 2285 +/-2 MU of power PER HOUR to the CA grid yesterday- http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20150524_DailyRenewablesWatch.txt

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    sadbutmadlad said:
    May 31, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    “Stating why the factual reasons the nuclear phaseout resulted in higher emissions and then denying that it is takes a certain amount of chutzpah, self delusion or sophistry.” Or it could be that #GreeniesAreStupid and 350 and others take advantage of that fact.

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      Robert Wilson said:
      May 31, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks for this trenchant analysis.

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