The cause of corruption is power mongering by incompetent persons.
Why Renewable Energy Will Never Work
Social criticism gets more and more difficult, as the subject matter gets more and more unreal. Getting unreal is how criticism is evaded. The more unreal, the more impossible criticism becomes.
For this reason, social fantasies are going off the charts. A group of connected fantasies are being contrived around global warming, renewable energy, carbon free electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles and going to Mars.
To criticize such fantasies requires mowing down a lot of developed verbiage. Doing so is not allowed. All criticism must be superficial and trivial.
The problem is that the contrivers get by with it. Significant social criticism is not being allowed, while contrivers get more and more unreal.
The specific examples of how this works are very clear. Renewable energy is a contrived absurdity, as demonstrated in Europe, where Germany is building new coal plants, and England is building a new nuclear reactor, because their economies cannot survive more renewables. They have 25% renewables (15% solar and wind), while the price of their electricity is 8 to 10 times what it costs with coal.
Solar energy can never be relevant on a large scale for two major reasons. One: Solar will never be used on a significant scale outside southwestern US, where there is low overcast and bad weather. Two: Four hours per day of high intensity radiation will never be significant. Backup systems gain almost nothing but more expense from solar disruption for four hours per day.
Wind power has similar problems. Wind can stop blowing for days at a time. A backup system of 100% is required. Having that system sit around unused is extremely wasteful. Wind changes so fast that backup systems need to be always on.
Transmission lines are required for wind and utility-scale solar. Transmission lines generally cost as much or more than the production costs for the energy, and they lose energy along the lines.
For short lines, a minimum of 20% loss is built in; for longer lines it is 50%. The reason is because there is resistance in the metal which creates heat as a loss of energy. To reduce the resistance by half requires twice as much metal. To reduce loss from 20% to 10% would require two lines instead of one. To reduce loss on long lines from 50% to 25% would require two long lines instead of one.
This is why there is a shortage of transmission lines in the US. The distances that must be covered are too large. It's a losing battle between energy loss and massive lines. It doesn't pay. Explanations of Energy Efficiency
The metals which make transmission lines expensive are refined with coke, which comes from coal.
Energy storage systems which convert to other forms of energy lose about 60% transforming in, and another 60% transforming back to electricity. Salvaging 40% of 40% is 16% recoverable.
Environmental damage and human disturbance are usually unacceptable for both solar and wind energy, even on a small scale. Scaling up would be prohibitive.
Solar and wind run into a barrier around 15% of electrical power, because electrical systems cannot tolerate more than 15% fluctuations, and backup systems are not perfect enough to remove fluctuations. No one can get past the 15% barrier with solar and wind combined beyond obfuscation over numbers and diversions. The 36% wind energy in Iowa is not an exception. The lines are connected to a larger area which reduces the real average, while much of the energy goes into ethanol production.
Supposedly, electric vehicles are going to run on carbon free energy. Why then have normal electric light bulbs been outlawed? Why aren't they using carbon free energy? Electricity is a convenience tool for appliances and demanding industries, not a substitute for crude energy uses such as transportation.
Electricity loses 90% or more of its energy between the source and application, because handling electricity is that way. This loss was acceptable for special purposes, but it's no way to do transportation.
An electric vehicle requires about three times as much energy as a hydrocarbon vehicle due to inefficiencies in handling electricity. Autos and trucks run real well on natural gas, as some of them are doing. Why then use natural gas to generate electricity for electric automobiles?
Any time energy is touched, a large part is lost, and nowhere more so than in using electricity. An electric turbine will have about 40% efficiency, while a natural gas auto will have about 30% efficiency. But the electric system loses energy in many places. Transformers get 30-90% efficiency, and many are needed. High voltage transformers can get up to 90% efficiency when expensive designs are used, but low voltage (household level) transformers get 30-50% efficiency. Power lines lose 20-50% depending upon length. Applications of electricity (motors or brakes) get less than 40% efficiency.
It means electric autos would recover about 10% of the initial energy of natural gas, while burning natural gas in an engine would recover about 30% of the energy. It means electric autos are no way to conserve energy or remove CO2 from the air.
(The government web site says electric motors have 62% efficiency, but less than full load greatly reduces efficiency. They say internal combustion engines have 15-21% efficiency, but everyone else says it is 25-30% efficiency.)
Self-driving vehicles will never happen. They are fantasized by/for 1.) engineers having fun, 2.) companies glorifying in altruism, and 3.) idiots who don't know any better. When the real engineers got the sensors developed and saw the programing contradictions, they got out. An invariable social phenomenon is that when rational persons get out, idiots take over.
Sensors have some limits, but when is enough enough? Perfect sensors could not solve the problems of self-driving, because the social complexities cannot be programmed into the computers. Not all of the quirks along the roads can be identified, because they change too much. The social situations cannot be resolved, because artificial intelligence will always be too distant in the future. Programming every identifiable factor on every road and intersection is beyond the time and space available, even without a thinking process.
Every intersection must be programmed defining every element of the complexity. Even if it never changes, a computer's worth of information is needed to define an intersection. No one has the time to do it, even if the information could be stored and analyzed.
The problem is more than the number of complexities; it is the inability to understand and define the infinite variables. Self-driving vehicles cannot make a right turn properly, because each situation must be evaluated, and the infinite variables cannot be programmed.
Yet, the fantasizers pretend that self-driving already exists in Pittsburg and hesitantly in San Francisco. Self-driving means someone sitting at the wheel and taking over 20% of the time while following a predetermined path.
The Purpose of the Fantasizing
The purpose of the fantasizing is to monger power, and it is the reason why criticism is not allowed. Persons who want to get more out of life than they are worth resort to mongering power as a method of extracting what they cannot get through justifiable means.
The fantasies must be separate from objective reality, because rationality defeats them. The more unreal, the less exposure to rationality. Critics have to do a lot more spitting and chewing to counter more unreal fantasies. Overwhelming critics is the purpose, and it is the driving force for making fantasies less real.
More Ad Nauseum
Some opinions are needed here which go beyond the rock solid facts stated above. The propaganda being produced on the internet on this subject is so incredible and illogical that counter opinions based on the above logic are needed.
Whether windmills and solar should be produced as renewable energy regardless of removing carbon dioxide from the air depends upon the amount of energy output over the energy input in producing them. Estimates of this ratio vary wildly on the internet. It is commonly stated that windmills produce 18 times as much energy output as required in producing them. Sometimes the number is 36. Someone said it is 0.83. I find this last number to be more credible. Here is the logic:
Normally, the pretense is to apply facts and figures to this subject. But since doing so results in nothing but absurd propaganda, some logical generalizations are more reliable. If a small windmill costs $2 million, it will produce about $2 million worth of energy. This was the story 10 or 20 years ago. Since then, windmills have gotten much larger.
The first problem is that the output is based on "name plate" ratings. Under operating conditions, windmills get 15 to 20% of name plate output on average over time. This is due to variable winds. In western Texas, the yield is about 25% of name plate rating due to the consistently high wind velocity. This means most claims for output can be divided by five. You wouldn't expect propagandists to use the smaller number.
Transmission lines are always long for windmills, because the space and wind are never very close to the consumers. With moderate length transmission lines cost of putting the metal in place is as much as the cost of windmills, which reduces the output to input ratio in half on a cost bases. Short transmission lines lose 20% of their energy, and long lines, 50%. The Texas lines are not very short; say they lose 35%. Elsewhere? Probably longer, if an elsewhere can even be found. This means reducing the output to input ratio by one third to one half again.
Backup systems need to be 100% for windmills, because the wind can stop blowing for days at a time. Germany has the best coping system, where they tailor coal and petroleum plants for variable output, so they can adjust to variations in wind energy. Their plants can go down to 40% output as a coping mechanism. And still, they run into problems with 15% of their electricity coming from windmills. Those coping mechanisms are wasteful and expensive. They require more production potential (equal to the windmill potential) than would otherwise be needed. And they are not highly precise in starting up and slowing down, which means wasted energy.
Adding up the totals for expense and wasted energy, there would be something like a one to one ratio of energy output to energy input for small windmills. Large windmills are much more wasteful, and they keep getting larger all the time. Most of the cost of a windmill is in the stand. The larger the windmill, the larger the proportion in the stand. For large windmills, the stand can be 90% of the cost, and it takes more than a hundred truckloads of concrete at the base of large windmills.
The efficiency of windmills is inversely proportional to the size, because the the tip speed cannot go over about 200 miles per hour. That means, the larger the diameter, the lower the rpms (revolutions per minute). Lower rpms are less efficient, because more wind goes between the blades unused. A five blade system would eliminate some of that loss, but they would cost more, and none are more than three blade systems.
Yet windmills keep getting larger, because energy companies are getting paid by taxpayers and users on a cost-plus basis. The more wasteful the project, the more profit they make.
Shaping the Social Order
The energy output to input ratio determines what a society does. Modern societies are based on a ratio of about 30 to 50. That means at least 30 times as much social activity goes into something other than energy as goes into energy. If the ratio is small, a lot more social activity must go into producing energy, which means a lot less social activity for something else.
Modern transportation and industrial activity could not both exist with a ratio less than about 15. Yet, some propagandists say the ratio that is needed is 5.9 trying to make it look like something renewables could produce. The amount of energy that is used for what purpose depends upon who gets elected; and propagandists use a decimal point to pretend that it is a law of physics which they are solely qualified to evaluate.
Reducing the ratio from 30 to 15 would mean twice as much energy infrastructure. The cities with a coal plant on the edge of town would have two coal plants. The number of transmission lines running across the country would be doubled. The number of hydroelectric dams would be doubled. Except that it is supposed to be solar and wind that create the change. They don't produce an energy output to input ratio of 30. Even if it were a ratio of 10, three times as much solar and wind infrastructure would need to be added on top of what is already there. There isn't enough space; there aren't enough birds to kill on the blades. And the net output to input energy ratio for solar and wind is closer to one than ten.
The Problem of Poor Judgment
Science is a good format for explaining social corruption, because it is more objective and provable than other social subjects. The problem of judgment shows up with Al Gore and James Hansen. Al Gore has never studied an iota of science in his life, yet he is the public figure for representing the science of global warming, so much so that he teaches the kiddies in the schools through his movie. The poor judgment is not just in Al Gore's ignorance; it is in a society that assumes he should represent the science of the subject.
James Hansen promoted the alarmism of global warming at the social level pretending to represent the science of the subject without telling us what the science of the subject consists of. There is no scientific basis for the subject.
Poor judgment stems from a poorly developed reality base. Sometimes, it's too narrow of a focus without enough time spent on other subjects. A wide range of realities needs to be studied to get a proper perspective on a narrow subject. In other words, the context needed for proper judgment is very wide.
This problem is more extreme in science than people realize. It's easy to dabble in politics and form an opinion, because everything about it is related to everyday living. Therefore, similar assumptions are made about science, where the miss is a mile. There are huge amounts of detailed knowledge that have been derived in science, and only scientists are in contact with it.
Dabbling outside one's area of familiarity would be no problem, if suitable discipline were applied for proper evaluation. But it appears that very few persons have learned the discipline of proper evaluation.
The task is closely related to the standards of rationality. Rationality has complex demands, like flying a plane. For standards of rationality, there must first be a recognition that the social domain must be limited to objective reality. Subjectivity throws a wrench into social complexities and must therefore be limited to private concerns. Then a discipline is required to stay in the objective domain without resorting to subjectivity such as ad hominem attacks. Too many persons have not learned to acquire, evaluate and properly represent objective reality.
The global warming issue shows the problem is spades, since it is a science issue that has entered social concerns. When promoters of global warming fall on their faces, they resort to authority figures for justification. The problem is, you can find an authority to justify any corruption. Resorting to authority is no substitute for good judgment.
After turning to authority for justification, the promoters of global warming contrive falsehoods assuming authorities agree with them. An example is hurricanes. Scientists say hurricanes at this time are not being caused by global warming, the simple reason being that the number of hurricanes is at historical lows. Yet the promoters of global warming claim every hurricane is a product of global warming. In fact, every natural event has global warming tacked onto it now days, as if there were no such things occurring before human influences.
The discipline of staying objective is overwhelmed by a lack of developed objective reality. It's like running out of food and eating the furniture. You have to eat something. So contrivance fills in the void for undisciplined persons.
As the poor judgment on global warming develops, it expands into fantasies related to renewable energy, carbon free transportation, self-driving vehicles and space fantasies on going to the next planet. The problem is, those things cost a lot of money and disrupt more relevant concerns.
The only long-term solution to the energy problem is cheap and safe nuclear. When the power mongers can't handle nuclear energy constructively, it isn't China's fault.
The Impracticality of Renewable Energy
The most significant reason why renewable energy is unrealistic cannot be argued, because promoters of renewables (greens) will not accept the fact, and they produce false arguments by picking misrepresented numbers from the complexities. The problem is that the whole concept of renewable energy never will be economically or energetically possible.
The argument by promoters is that renewables keep getting cheaper. It's a false argument, because cheapness is not the problem. The main problem is that it takes more energy to produce renewables than they yield. For a short while, the net effect can be obfuscated in the complexities, but the truth shows up when the quantities get significant. At about 15% renewables (as solar and wind), the energy systems break down and can't go any farther. This limit has been reached in Germany and England, where coal and nuclear are being constructed to salvage the process.
Supposedly, cheapness means less energy required for production. Promoters can't really say so, because it is contrivance. The problem with solar is not the cheapness of the cells, which could cost nothing and have little effect on the problem. With free solar cells, the cost would be almost the same, as shown by Tesla's glass roof, which only the rich can afford, even after taxpayers pay one third of the cost.
The real significance is in the energetics. With sunlight only available for a few hours, a backup system has to turn off and on gradually during those few hours. The cost of hardware alone nullifies the process. Storage devices are so unrealistic on a significant scale that they aren't worth arguing.
These are not problems that chipping away are going to solve. No one is going to prevent overcast days from occurring for weeks at a time in most of the country.
The basic underlying problem is that the source of energy for renewables is very widely scattered and sporadic, cannot be concentrated in a practical way, and never will due to the energetics. It takes more energy to concentrate the energy than it yields.