A little ‘refer’ would not be madness … no, not that kind

Were I the editor of the morning paper, I would’ve been sorely tempted to insert a “refer” in the 4A story about Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling  for nearly half a trillion dollars in subsidies to replace internal combustion engine vehicles with electric ones.

No, not that kind. In the newspaper biz a “refer” is a reference to another section or page on a related topic — like the one on today’s front page directing readers to a story inside related to the one about the dental board.

The Schumer news story simply cried out for a reference to today’s lede editorial about the futility of trying to reduce carbon emissions by coercing and bribing more people into electric cars.

The news story by the AP quotes Schumer as saying the “proposal to bring clean cars to all of America” would be a key part of climate legislation by Senate Democrats that “could position the U.S. to lead the world in clean auto manufacturing.”

The editorial on the other hand points out the huge carbon footprint created by the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries and the fact the electric cars are charged largely by fossil-fuel-burning power plants.

The editorial correctly explains the error of the Senate Democrats’ ways:

The lithium batteries that power electric cars have to come from somewhere. China produces 60 percent of the world’s supply, notwithstanding Northern Nevada’s Tesla plant. To produce a battery able to store as much energy as is contained in a barrel of oil, it requires the equivalent of 100 barrels of oil. That’s according to Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark P. Mills.

“Importing batteries manufactured on Asia’s coal-heavy grid means that consumers are just exporting carbon-dioxide emissions,” Mr. Mills wrote recently in City Journal.

The Wall Street Journal reported in April on a German study finding that, given the country’s energy makeup, “the carbon emissions of battery-electric vehicles there, are, in the best case, ‘slightly higher than those of a diesel engine.’ ”

The carbon emissions don’t stop once the car is produced. Electric cars are charged on the grid. Coal and natural gas — both fossil fuels — produced 63 percent of that power in 2018. Almost 20 percent comes from nuclear power and 7 percent is from hydropower. Despite decades of hype and subsidies, wind and solar produced just a bit more than 8 percent. Solar and wind generation will likely increase in the coming decades, but absent an embrace of nuclear power, fossil fuels will be necessary to balance out the grid.

The factual opinion piece concludes by pointing out that electric cars merely exchange carbon emissions you can see for those you can’t — something the climate alarmists fail to grasp.

But since news and opinion are to be kept at arm’s length, I probably would have resisted inserting the “refer,” though it would’ve been a service to the reader and hardly madness.

Electric vehicle being charged. Photo accompanies R-J editorial online. (R-J file pix)

25 comments on “A little ‘refer’ would not be madness … no, not that kind

  1. Steve says:

    Read. The left is beginning to see their errors.

    Too bad they never gave a whit about conservatives when they bring up the VERY SAME THINGS!

    I do not agree with their main conclusion, but they are right that W/O serious rethinking, the future is not bright for all life on the planet. I have been solidly and repetitively saying atmospheric carbon capture for use in manufacturing synthetic gasoline and diesel while retaining enough to really and measurably remove carbon from the atmosphere, is the answer.


    Check this, Hawaii makes SNG (synthetic natural gas)

    Real solutions exist, if moneyed interests can be shown the value of investing and if the politically driven scienyists and politicians will get out of the way.

    Too bad most people insist on pulling their own wool over their own eyes.

  2. Steve says:

    ooohh I have to fire my proofreader.

    this should be scientists…..politically driven scientists are the worst of the worst. They drive politicians to make claims of “12 years left”.

  3. Rincon says:

    The Sierra Club says: “The NRDC reviewed five studies on the subject, and concluded that electric vehicles reduce air pollution by between 28 to 53 percent compared to conventional vehicles—including emissions from manufacturing and electricity generation.” This is based on present averages of electricity generation in the United States, which will improve unless Conservatives run things. But you and just about any other of the Trump loving Conservative minions insist that electric cars make more CO2 than an oil powered vehicle. So who’s right?

    Your figure about how much carbon dioxide is produced in the production of a lithium ion battery is quite convenient, but unfortunately, should never be expressed as a specific figure, but rather a range. According to the Economist, a lithium ion battery for a mid sized car manufactured in Poland generates about 8,000 lbs of CO2, while one produced in Sweden produces about 750 – a greater than tenfold difference!

    And how about the carbon footprint of something Conservatives never bother to even think about — the carbon footprint of extracting and refining the oil and delivering the gasoline? That runs from 3.3-6.7 lbs per gallon. A car getting 22 mpg running for say, 11,500 miles a year at an average of 5 lbs of CO2/gallon is responsible for 2163 pounds of CO2 every year NOT COUNTING the burning of the gasoline itself. Considering the Polish maximum of 8,000 lbs of CO2 for making a battery, and an average auto’s lifetime of probably greater than 10 years, suddenly gasoline doesn’t look as attractive as you aver.

    Calculating a carbon footprint is devilishly complex in the first place. So complex that someone can arrive at just about any figure and claim to be honest. What is the carbon footprint, for example, of company executives who fly for business purposes – and do we count only the fuel used by the plane or that used in the production of the plane? And what about the heating of offices, the production of office supplies, the carbon footprint of deliveries and maintenance and the construction of the buildings? How about the carbon produced by employees commuting? One can calculate it to death, and arrive at any figure you damn well please.

    Unless they show their work, there is no way to tell how useful these kinds of figures are. A fossil fuel tax and elimination of all other subsidies would be the best way to make the right decision, but Conservatives will never allow it. They prefer to tax human labor and subsidize fossil fuels instead.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done Rincon!

  5. Steve says:

    Oh, indeed. Keep swallowing the Sierra Club. They own you. Thing is all this supposed “green” actually ADDS to the use of fossil fuels because building the “green” will not stop requiring
    energy and cannot produce enough to sustain use let alone add to it’s own capacity.

    Read my link. (unless you suddenly hate Moore for his departure from doctrine)

    “Even more importantly, according to the filmmakers, the development of “alternative energy” sources like wind, solar and biomass has not, in fact, led to a reduction in consumption of fossil fuels.

    “Building out an electric car and solar and wind infrastructure and the biomass, biofuel infrastructure, is going to run us off the cliff faster,” Gibbs declares. “Because it’s an additional round of mining and destruction that does not replace the one [fossil fuels] that’s already destroying the planet!”

    The green energy movement, in fact, has proven counter-productive, Gibbs argues.”

    “It’s a giant profit center, unfortunately, for environmental groups [that support these ‘green illusions’], for corporations, for the people mining and destroying the planet,” Gibbs maintains. “The people that produce our fossil fuels love [the green energy movement] because it still uses fossil fuels and it’s not a threat to fossil fuels. All the car companies love the electric car.”

    “In Planet of the Humans, Gibbs aims harsh criticism at supposed environmental stewards, including the Sierra Club. He says they’ve been bought off by corporate interests that have realized there’s lots of money to be made in green energy.”

    “Environmental groups have been collaborating on the lie of growth by helping us pretend that there will be ‘green growth.’ As if you can have wealth or stuff that doesn’t destroy the planet. News flash: that’s an impossibility of physics and biology,” the director tells me. “There is nothing you will ever have in your life that’s not an extraction from the planet earth. And so we’ve all lost touch with that.”

  6. Rincon says:

    “Oh, indeed. Keep swallowing the Sierra Club. They own you.”

    The Sierra Club is a radical group and I don’t base my reality on the ravings of radical groups. I quoted them to demonstrate that it’s easy to massage such figures. Funny though, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you question the offal that comes from say, the Heartland Institute, but you’re not biased, are you? Why, what would ever give me that idea?

    As for your link, I cannot imagine why you would scoff at the potential for solar and wind power while totally embracing pie in the sky ideas that are in their infancy like making gasoline out of air. Why not tout fusion instead? It’s a perfect answer – except that it doesn’t work.

    “Even more importantly, according to the filmmakers, the development of “alternative energy” sources like wind, solar and biomass has not, in fact, led to a reduction in consumption of fossil fuels.” Seems unlikely since the energy used per dollar of GDP (inflation adjusted) has dropped substantially. Evidence please.

    I read the article about Gibbs to the end. Did you? The entire Sierra Club is not to be trusted (we agree on that), but you buy lines from some schmuck that makes a film? This is especially unwise when he says things like:

    “Why aren’t we sharing our resources here with those people that don’t have enough so they don’t have to chop down a tree to live?… We need to change the laws in this country and the world so that corporations are not allowed to be addicted to infinite growth. We run the planet, there’s no reason they should be allowed to do whatever they want.”

    He argues for urgent development of “high speed rail that will get us away from those cars. When are we going to build some ships that we can go across the ocean and not have to fly, that are comfortable and not these cruise ships? So if you were really worried about climate change you’d be demanding that we have an interstate bus system and an interstate rail system that would plummet our carbon footprint, not more individual electric cars.”

    Regarding population control, I asked Gibbs if he were not concerned people might accuse him of advocating the killing of 4 or 5 billion people.

    “By not dealing with this you are going to kill off 4 or 5 billion people. And it’s going to be in somebody who’s now alive’s lifetime. I don’t want to be part of that world and I don’t want to be responsible for abdicating our responsibility. Species collapse – and we’re on the leading edge of that right now – in an uncontrolled collapse the human population could drop to zero.”

    So you really buy what this guy says? Steve, I never knew you were such a flaming liberal environmentalist! I can’t say I share that view, but it’s a lot wiser than being a flaming Conservative.

  7. Steve says:

    Just because I don’t get vocal about an org doesn’t mean I don’t check the veracity.

    I said I don’t agree with their conclusions but their facts are spot on.

    And I know you absolutely love solar and wind even in clear light they are not at all capable of delivering on the dream.

    It is clear another way is needed. It exists and ( in one example, Hawaii) I showed it is true.

  8. Steve says:

    It’s happening now. Gasoline from air
    And, given the age of the process, it’s way less costly than solar and wind were at the same stage in their development.
    Moreover, no changes in current infrastructure is needed.
    Another plus, we get to stop paving over vast tracks of land with panels and windmills that will never live up to the dream.


  9. Rincon says:

    So you say that solar and wind power is not feasible, but it takes massive amounts of energy to create gasoline from CO2. Where do you propose to get that energy?

  10. Steve says:

    Citation…your citation is missing.
    That tech is totally new. As it ramps up, those costs come way down and the process becomes much more efficient.

    Which hasn’t happened with wind and solar. Those costs are still very high, they are being masked by government tax incentives. Also, PV Solar is some 70 years old and wind more than nearly 200 years old. Both have never become viable at grid scales. (Which is very different from saying they are “not feasible” both work quite well in very small demand applications)

  11. Rincon says:

    Citation? Sorry, I thought you had read your own article. Here’s a quote from, it: “Then, it relies on a renewable energy source, such as solar power, to make hydrogen by electrolyzing water (H2O). The hydrogen splits off from the water and is free to combine with carbon dioxide. Next, the process combines the carbon dioxide with hydrogen during a proprietary chemical process, and carbon-neutral liquid fuels like gasoline, jet fuel, or diesel are born.”

    Basic chemistry, Steve. Splitting (burning) hydrocarbons such as fossil fuels into CO2 and water releases energy. The only way to turn the CO2 and water back into the same hydrocarbon is to put back at least as much energy as what the burning of the fuel released in the first place. This technology may indeed turn out to be better than electric cars because it provides a reasonable way to bring the energy from the renewable source to the vehicles, but it generates no new energy on its own.

  12. Steve says:

    It’s called recycling, Rincon.

    You said So you say that solar and wind power is not feasible, but it takes massive amounts of energy to create gasoline from CO2. Where do you propose to get that energy?”

    Your claim “massive amounts of energy” is still not cited.
    But my facts stand.

    Audi has been making synthetic fuel since 2015. Last year, they used hydro electricity (exclusively) for production.
    “Like all Audi e-fuels, the new fuel has many advantages. It isn’t dependent on crude oil, it is compatible with the existing infrastructure and it offers the prospect of a closed carbon cycle,”


    You do understand what a closed carbon cycle is, right?
    Reality is coming to take away the solar fields and denuded mountaintops.
    Open your eyes, more importantly, your mind.

  13. Steve says:

    And, from Canada, Carbon Engineering…again.

    “The aviation industry is going to be one of the toughest sectors to decarbonize,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of CE. “Developing affordable and scalable solutions for sustainable jet fuel is therefore going to be key to achieving greater greenhouse gas emissions reductions and to meeting climate change targets. At CE, we’ve developed a home-grown Canadian solution for jet fuel that is scalable, green, cost competitive, and feasible, and we are very much looking forward to presenting this solution in the Sky’s the Limit Challenge.”


    It’s coming. Sooner than you think. It really wasn’t that long ago shale oil was considered too expensive for extraction. Now, you (Rincon) are insisting synthetic fuels are too expensive and will never become reality.

    But, over the last 70 and some 200 years (respectively) Solar PV and Wind have proven they cannot, at any price, produce enough electricity for grid scale use.

  14. Steve says:

    “Depending on the feedstock and the business environment, synthetic fuels can cost between $20 to $250 per barrel.”
    Now, we have a baseline.
    Moreover, it turns out synth fuels have been in use since WW1. The only addition is carbon extraction from the atmosphere. Which is being done by Carbon Engineering.

    The Fool.

  15. Rincon says:

    Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Burning fossil fuels releases energy. So far as we know the laws of physics, the ONLY way to turn the released C02 and water back into fossil fuel is to replace the energy released, which is stated fairly clearly in your own link. Take a chemistry class.

  16. Steve says:

    Pay attention. We know what the make up of hydrocarbons are. We know how to make synth fuels from biomass. This has been going on since WW1. The costs were higher then and higher now compared to extracting fossil fuels, but synth fuels are a reality. They work and they do not require being replaced back into the ground. The history is clear.
    The new challenge is to take the carbon from the air instead of biomass.

    Read the whole context instead of cherry picking only that which supports your bias, Rincon.

    Horizontal drilling was too expensive before it became relatively cheap.

    Solar and wind consistently prove they cannot meet demand.

    Germany relied on synth fuels in their war effort, which almost won them the world.

    And I gave you more than one link. Do a search, “my” links are 3 out of many.

    Synth fuels will work again because they worked in the past.

    You have resorted to attacking the message instead of looking at it’s many merits.
    Opinion is opinion, but facts remain facts.
    Solar and wind have proven themselves futile.

  17. Rincon says:

    Synthetic fuels do work – because their feedstocks already have energy within their chemical bonds. Switchgrass, for example, creates cellulose, out of CO2 and water only by adding solar energy. The cellulose contains a great deal of this locked up solar energy in the form of chemical bonds, which can be broken down into alcohol. C02 however, in this context, contains no usable energy.
    Evolution never found a way to use C02 as an energy source, and neither will man, because CO2 has a low potential energy.

    “Glucose is a high potential energy molecule. Carbon dioxide on the other hand is a very stable, low potential energy molecule. When a glucose molecule is converted to carbon dioxide and water during cellular respiration, energy is released and stored in high potential energy ATP molecules.”

    Click to access respiration%20overview.glycolysis.citric%20acid%20cycle%20answer%20key.pdf

    To obtain glucose or any other hydrocarbon from C02, one must convert molecules with low potential energy into ones of high potential energy. At this time, the laws of physics say the only way to accomplish this is to add energy – at least as much as that released when the hydrocarbon was reduced to CO2 in the first place.

  18. Steve says:

    Yada yada, Rincon.
    This is about new, out of the box, thinking.
    Stop being so closed minded.

  19. Steve says:

    wow…just slapped me upside the head, this did.
    “Evolution never found a way to use C02 as an energy source…..”

    Photosynthesis….doesn’t work?

    Nevertheless, open your mind to out of the box thinking. Chemistry has advanced beyond your negativity, Rincon. Resistance, is futile.

  20. Rincon says:

    So your claim is that photosynthesis uses CO2 as an energy source. As any 7th grader who paid attention in class will tell you, SUNLIGHT is the energy source for photosynthesis. Converting C02 into organic compounds is endothermic. That energy input from the sun is harvested when we burn or metabolize a plant. Try growing a plant in the dark and let me know when you succeed.

    New or old, technology still cannot violate the laws of physics and chemistry.

  21. Steve says:


    Nevertheless, synthetic fuels ARE being made from carbon extracted from the atmosphere right now…and at costs only a bit higher than current pricing for refined fossil fuels.

    Get over it, you are on the rawng side of the windmill. Ask Audi. Ask Carbon Engineering.

    OH, I showed you their reality, you choose to ignore reality. All you continue to do is yell “if man were meant to fly had have been born with wings!!!” Enjoy your fantasy solar wind world. You wingless person, you.

  22. Rincon says:

    News flash: “Fungi, like animals do not carry out photosynthesis.” https://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/reihmanm/kingdom_fungi.htm

    Mushrooms are fungi. Please don’t argue that too! It’s unbecoming.

  23. Steve says:

    Made you look.

    Too bad you don’t look at the real stuff.

  24. Rincon says:

    Being unable to admit you’re wrong, even in a detail is very Presidential these days, but it isn’t very becoming.

  25. Steve says:

    Being a Masshole means never having to say I’m sorry.

    Now go read the links I posted. Because you are wrong about how chemistry works.

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