Alberto Cervantes and Katherine Blunt had a piece on this subject in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.
It’s a piece that I can only characterize as virtue-signaling. Their opening paragraph has this:
What does a lower-carbon home look like?… It uses heat pumps for heating and cooling, solar panels and batteries for electricity generation and storage, induction ranges for cooking and chargers for electric vehicles.
What they seem a pains to elide, though, are associated, unavoidable carbon footprints (as always, granting (which I do not, except arguendo) carbon footprints matter) and really nasty pollution.
What is the carbon footprint from the manufacture of heat pumps, solar panels, and batteries?
What is the carbon footprint from mining the raw materials? The carbon footprint from their transformation into the components for those heat pumps, solar panels, and batteries?
What is the carbon footprint from transporting materials from each prior stage of mining and manufacture to the next stage and ultimately to the end-use location?
What about the pollution from mining the ores necessary for these items’ components? The lithium, nickel, cadmium, and other battery metals are especially toxic to mine—and not only the metals, the mining tailings also are strongly polluting.
What about the toxic pollution from disposal of spent batteries—those toxic metals still are in those batteries that no longer work due to the simple nature of batteries aging and fading out of usefulness?
Energy efficiency always is a plus, if only from an economic perspective. But our goal should be energy efficiency, not limits on permitted energy.
See the section headlined “Renewables Are for Returning to a Past Before Sin and Guilt” here — https://michaelshellenberger.substack.com/p/german-emissions-from-electricity-674
In college, I fell for that crap. I grew up later.
The whole business also ignores the context of the matter, and so the question of why we should care about global warming or anything related to it. That context consists of these facts:
–Earth has been warming, on the whole, with lots of noise in the signal, for 4+ billion years–because the sun has been warming ever since it first lit off.
–11k years after the last Ice Age, we’re still cooler than that geologic warming trend line–noise and all
–We’re still cooler than the interim warming period of some 5k-7.5k years ago
–Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica–opposite ends of the planet–reaching back 400k years indicate that increases in atmospheric CO2 lags, not precedes, global warming
–Many times in our geologic past, Earth was warmer than today for 100s of thousands of years, and life was lush
–Many times in our geologic past, atmospheric CO2 was far higher than today, and life was lush
–Those periods of warmer temperatures and higher atmospheric CO2 do not correlate with each other at all.
It’s very curious that the climate panic-mongers so studiously ignore that context. It’s almost like the business is all about government funding for their climate “research.”
Pollution control and environment protection are one thing (OK, two things), climate “control” is an entirely separate thing.