Myths About Solar Myths

So, I Google “solar power myths, and came across a few solar power apologists on the web.  Picking one I decided to check into the accuracy of their arguments.

The post in question was blog entry at Calfinder.com, a site that connects residential homeowners to solar power contractors.

7 Solar Power Myths Put to Shame
Written by Brittany Mauriss and Taylen Peterson

If there’s one thing green bloggers can’t stand, it’s a half-cracked solar misconception. So let’s get a few things straight. Here are the solar myths and the facts that put those myths to shame.

#1 – Myth: Solar systems only work in really hot areas of the world

Busted: Not only can solar systems work in most areas of the world, but Germany, the world leader in solar energy, lies farther north than most states in the EU. While solar panels will be able to gather more energy in super sunny areas, solar energy works even for people in Alaska, where the sky is crazy dark for months at a time. So whether you live in crispy Arizona or the cold, dark corners of the upper Midwest, solar power is always possible!

First, this all depends on the type of solar power you’re talking about.  Regardless, however, weather DOES play a factor when it comes to solar energy.  Photo voltaic systems are not as adversely effected as older solar systems that relay on the sun heating water.  The latter does not fare so well when it is two-degrees above zero outside.

However, the part I love about this “busted” myth is the comment about Germany.  According to the European Nuclear Society, In 2008 the annual power generation of photo voltaic systems was not even 1% of Germany’s total energy production.

If this is the “leader” in solar power, I’d start finding better leadership if I were them.

 

#2 – Myth: More pollution is generated manufacturing solar panels than can ever be offset by solar energy

Naysayers are really getting sneaky with this one. Studies show that the average PV system only takes one year to offset the pollution generated by its own production. So your 30 years of fruitful renewable energy will produce totally clean power for approximately 29 of those years. Not bad at all. Plus, think about all the dirty energy that you’re not producing with conventional fossil-fueled electricity. For each clean kilowatt of solar electricity you generate, that’s 9 grams of sulfuric oxide, 16 kilograms of nitrous oxide and 600-2,300 kilograms of carbon dioxide that you – just you – are not pumping into the atmosphere. I thank you, and my future babies thank you.

First, carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant.  As one climate scientist put it: “it’s plant food.”  Life on this earth depends on carbon dioxide being pumped into the air.

Furthermore, as many studies – even from the IPCC have shown – there is no direct correlation between an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the upper atmosphere, and alleged Man Made Global Warming. 

As far as pollutants, you average volcano dumps more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than ALL of the coal-fired power plants in the US.

My proof?  Well, if we use the numbers in the “myth” above to be true – 9 grams per KW – and using the only number I can find for the amount of energy produced in the US (350,000 MW) per year, that gives us:

315,000,000 KW x 9 g = 2,835,000,000 g, or 2,835 metric tonnes of sulfur dioxide pumped into the air every year from coal energy.  That might be slightly higher as the numbers I used for energy production come from 2001.

Now, consider the following:

Emission rates of SO2 from an active volcano range from <20 tonnes/day to >10 million tonnes/day according to the style of volcanic activity and type and volume of magma involved.

So, taking the lowest number (20 tonnes) over the course of a year:

20 metric tonnes x 365 days = 7,300 metric tonnes (minimum) of sulfur dioxide pumped into the air every year from a single volcano. 

There are about 20 active and potentially active volcanoes in the US.  You can do the rest of the math from there.  The amount of sulfur dioxide put into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants is miniscule by comparison.

 

#3 – Myth: Solar power is way too ridiculously expensive

Busted (sort-of): We’re not going to jerk you around on this one. While home solar power is still not as cheap or easy as sticking with the status quo, it does pay for itself with a little patience. Every time the industry sees another breakthrough in cell efficiency and a rise in consumer demand, solar inches that much closer to your front door. Quite the opposite holds true for traditional energy sources, however, as they will continue to increase in price and become harder and harder to come by. Think about it – with federal incentives and rebates available in every state, now is the time to get your hands on some hot photovoltaic action!

First, a federal rebate to pay for a photo voltaic system is basically taxing the producer to provide him a rebate.  Plus, with the national debt being the way it is, I find it really hard to believe that providing subsidies for solar power is a fiscally responsible thing.  Putting that aside, however, solar power is MASSIVELY more expensive.  You can buy a 200W solar kit at Home Depot for approximately $1,180.00, which puts that at approximately $60.00 per watt.  You pay pennies per kilowatt hour with standard coal-generated electricity.  But not only that, when the sun goes down, your solar energy production ceases.  Thus, you have to purchase a storage system, and a regulating system all of which means a HUGE increase in cost.  Then, there are batteries that wear out over time, the maintenance you’ll have to do in order to get peak efficiency (I mean, things like snow on your solar panels tends to block the sun), and so on.  The cost per watt is literally enormous.

In short, even with the latest 20W CF bulbs, the most you’ll be able to power is 10 lamps, maximum.  A refrigerator on top of that?  Fuggetabouit!

So, this isn’t “busted (sort-of).”  This is absolutely true.  Solar electricity is hugely expensive, especially for the average consumer.

 

#4 – Myth: Solar power cannot contribute enough energy to meet the nation’s needs

Busted: The good thing about our sun is that it’s really, really big. All parts of our country receive enough sunlight to power both commercial and residential electricity. But OK, OK, suppose that our pristine coal mining towns of Illinois refuse to besmirch their scenic countryside with unsightly solar panels. In such a case, we’ll need to take a half-step outside the box. Good thing that a 100-by-100-mile patch of land in Nevada could generate enough solar electricity to power the entire United States of America. And that ain’t no myth.

If that area were broken up by state, that’s still only 17-by-17-mile plots of land. That space is available today in every state via rooftops, parking lots and abandoned industrial sites across the country. Whichever way you slice it, solar power makes crystal clear common sense.

As I’ve pointed out, Germany – the professed “leader” in solar power – only generates about 0.7% of its power from solar.  While the notion of a 100 x 100 mile grid of solar cells sounds all nice and fine, I’m sure that number does not take into account transmission losses as the electricity is sent to New York.  There’s a reason why all electricity generation is regional, and that’s because of the amount of loss when that energy is moved overland.

It also doesn’t take into account tiny little things like maintenance, what happens when the sun goes down, and a energy storage system that doesn’t exist to capture and store energy produced from solar panels.

Theoretically, it all sounds nice and fine.  Practically, it is a total myth.

 

#5 – Myth: If covered with solar panels, the Sahara Desert could power all of Europe

Busted (sort-of): A long running rumor, this idea was mentioned by Arnulf Jaeger-Walden of the European Commission’s Institute for Energy. He stated that less than half of 1% of the desert would need to be covered in order to power all of Europe, showing that on the surface, this myth is possible. However, the odds of it happening are quite slim. Fighting back preservation groups, getting permission from one or more countries in Northern Africa (along with continued cooperation), securing a grid in place for bringing that energy across the Mediterranean Sea and between all the countries, and determining how to govern and use that energy across multiple sovereign countries are all roadblocks to this actually happening. Our prediction? Not happening anytime soon. Look for countries to continue supplying their own alternative energy.

I’m not even going to bother with this one.  It is a pointless discussion.  If the Europeans want to slit their own throats, that’s their business.

 

#6 – Myth: Solar power systems are simply unreliable

Busted: Check it out – solar electric systems run silently and contain no moving parts. Those two attributes alone give them a one-up on your sputtering old Chevy. Solar systems are rigorously tested and certified by various government and private organizations.

While you’re at it, consider motive. As part of the global green energy movement, major solar manufacturers build these systems to try to offset the (quite possibly irreversible) effects of global warming. They’re not out there to make a quick buck, seeing as parts and training are incredibly expensive. Talk to any solar installer about their work and they’ll share their passion for industry trends, exciting new developments and a love for actually educating homeowners about the intricacies of solar. It takes a special kind of contractor to care so much.

This one is utterly rich.  I guess Einstein here hasn’t figured out that the sun goes down every night.  Just like wind turbines are totally reliable so long as the wind blows.

As for these things running “silently”, you’re correct.  They don’t even produce enough electricity to power a stereo.  But unless you’re willing to ignore little things like the loss of production on overcast days, heat issues, loss issues, declining storage capacity due to battery wear, and the constant maintenance required to keep the panel as free from debris as possible (birds tend to take a dump wherever they deem fit), they are a maintenance nightmare.  This isn’t exactly what I call “reliable.”

But I guess when you live in Fantasyland, definitions are a tad more “fluid.”

Moreover, the notion that solar energy can dampen Man Made Global Warming comes up against one ugly little fact: there is no such thing as Man Made Global Warming.  Recently, Phil Jones – Global Warming scientist extraordinaire – admitted that there has been not statistically significant global warming from 1995 to the present day.  None.  It was all a hoax.

B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

So, if you’re relying on the notion that the world is warming to push solar, you have absolutely no justification now.

 

#7 – Myth: You can create your own solar panel through DIY websites

Busted: Theoretically, it is possible to create your own solar panels with the proper tools and skill sets. For the average handyman, however, these two things are mutually exclusive. In order to receive the proper training needed to complete these “step-by-step” guides and obtain the tools for the job, you will have spent as much, if not more, time and money than if you had just hired a professional solar installer in the first place.

It isn’t “theoretically” possible, you CAN make your own solar panels.  They won’t be as efficient as the mass-produced types, but then again mass-produced solar panels are so pathetic in their power generation, and are so costly, that you might do a better job making them yourself from junk.

 

In summation, solar rules all.

Pfft!  In your dreams!

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10 Responses to Myths About Solar Myths

  1. Taylen says:

    1) Um, you didn’t even bust it? You argue circles about how small the percentage of total production solar is. How is that busting the myth of it not working in cold climates? I’m from Minnesota originally and I’m pretty sure solar panels work well. The point of that “myth” was to point out that it does work in cold climates, not whether solar was a leading source of energy in the world. Taking a play straight out of Rush’s playbook, though, you divert attention from the actual argument (because you have no actual argument) and take a shot at something only slightly related to the main points. Good work.

    2) You are absolutely correct in saying that CO2 is not a pollutant…in small amounts. The fact is you can deny climate change all you want, but it’ll be your children and your children’s children will be the ones paying for your ignorance. Once again, you divert from the actual argument in order to deflect attention from the fact you are once again wrong.

    3) Of course solar is more expensive, I won’t deny that. How much have cell phones changed in the last 10 years, though? It’s just part of technology. Also there’s this small problem of “corporate welfare” that government seems to like to provide for the fossil fuel industry. Fiscally responsible? Bush 43, as you like to call him, won’t be remembered for his accounting. Not only did he expand government more than any other president, but he then cut taxes…? Let’s take in less money and then pay more people with the money we didn’t collect…? That makes zero sense, but once again, Bush 43 wasn’t known in college for being smart, was he? Pretty easy for those fossil fuels to only charge a few cents when the government is picking up the rest of the tab: http://jontaplin.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Energy_Subsidies_Black_Not_Green.jpg

    4) Did you even read the 2nd paragraph. I mean, I know three sentences is a lot for you to digest, but really? We mentioned breaking it down into smaller, local patches. Parking garages, tops of buildings, along highways, over-farmed land no longer able to produce ag, rooftops of those willing to install…ALL regional, all very very practical. There are always things that can go wrong with any energy sector. What happens when an oil rig blows up in the Gulf? What happens when a mine collapses in W. Virginia? People die, wildlife is killed, and environments are ruined. What happens when a solar panel fails? An electrical outage? A spark? As far as the “night” problem. There are actually panels that collect thermal power, taking care of your night problem. They also have energy storage and battery systems so they can collect the energy during the day and use it at night. It’s really quite simple.

    5) It actually is happening. Hope you enjoy being wrong…and the Europeans way ahead of the US in things like this. I’ll respond as such: If the Right Wind wants to keep pissing our energy independence down their leg, we’re f–ked.

    6) No I’m no Einstein, I’m Taylen. I’m not afraid to hide my identity, unlike other people across the internet…
    Anyway, as I’ve pointed out numerous times, solar still works on a cloudy day. It works even when the dense fog rolls in over San Francisco. It continues to work at night (through thermal collectors) and it works just as well as coal without blowing the top off mountains, drilling in places begging for disasters, or paying the Middle East for their oil.

    Yes global warming is real. If that quote is your “proof” that it’s not, you need to work on your comprehension. Phil says that while the data isn’t significant, it also isn’t a long enough sample period to determine a conclusive answer. Like any good scientist he will continue to test and test and test until it is proven beyond a doubt one way or the other. He said that it is just barely off what is needed for “significant levels” but it’s still a positive trend. Also, not sure if you’ve noticed, but a vast majority of the scientific community believes and feels there is significant evidence in man-made global warming.

    7) I will use your very own gem to defend this argument: “Theoretically, it all sounds nice and fine. Practically, it is a total myth.” Stop using data from 2000. Ask Steve Jobs how different computers or phones or even the entire tech industry is from 2000. Pretty sure he’ll agree you’re an idiot.

    Have a pleasant day.

  2. unknownconservative says:

    1) Um, you didn’t even bust it? You argue circles about how small the percentage of total production solar is. How is that busting the myth of it not working in cold climates? I’m from Minnesota originally and I’m pretty sure solar panels work well. The point of that “myth” was to point out that it does work in cold climates, not whether solar was a leading source of energy in the world. Taking a play straight out of Rush’s playbook, though, you divert attention from the actual argument (because you have no actual argument) and take a shot at something only slightly related to the main points. Good work.

    The original post made a big deal about a) how widespread solar power was in Germany , and b) how because Germany was cold, solar worked well.

    I pointed out that a) PHOTOVOLTAIC solar works OK in cold climes (using the word OK loosely) but THERMAL solar works dismally. Furthermore, I pointed out that Germany ‘s solar usage was so pathetically small, it was inconsequential.

    And yeah, solar works in cold climes. If, after you calculate in the fact that you have less sunlight due to shorter days, typically overcast days, a foot of snow on the panel that doesn’t melt for a week, and tie this to the crappy efficiency of solar panels under optimal, then yes you’re correct: solar works in cold climates. And if you believe that, then 5% efficiency is something to get really worked-up over.

    You want the “actual argument?” Well, the “actual argument” is that solar has been around since the 60s, and has a dismal performance record. That’s the “actual argument.”

    You obviously have the idiots at the Daily Kos giving you your talking points.

    2) You are absolutely correct in saying that CO2 is not a pollutant…in small amounts. The fact is you can deny climate change all you want, but it’ll be your children and your children’s children will be the ones paying for your ignorance. Once again, you divert from the actual argument in order to deflect attention from the fact you are once again wrong.

    The actual amount of human-produced CO2 is something like less than 1% (actually, somewhere in the 0.04% range). Water Vapor has WAY more impact on the climate than CO2.

    Which is the reason why those enviro-morons you follow so slavishly have to “hide the decline” when it comes to proving global warming. The fact is, despite all of this increased CO2 that allegedly resides in the upper atmosphere (which is debatable), there has been no global warming. Just like that ozone hole over the Antarctic, supposedly caused by human activity, had a specific natural cycle.

    Seriously, spare the rest of us the liberal, environmentalist brain-dead propaganda. It has been so completely discredited, it isn’t even worth arguing anymore.

    Or maybe what you’re telling us is that we need to start boiling the oceans to cool down the earth? What’s funny is that during the infancy of the industrial age, temperatures were much cooler in certain places, mainly because of air pollution. In fact, one of the quickest way to cool down the earth is to throw particulate matter into the air. So maybe you should advocate for that as well?

    But yeah, keep talking about my children, and my children’s children. In fact, when I was a child, they were talking about a coming Ice Age. So I figure that my children will have to worry about another Ice Age too. That’s apperantly how the cycle works.

    In short: you’re wrong. And you’re too stupid to figure that one out.

    3) Of course solar is more expensive, I won’t deny that. How much have cell phones changed in the last 10 years, though? It’s just part of technology. Also there’s this small problem of “corporate welfare” that government seems to like to provide for the fossil fuel industry. Fiscally responsible? Bush 43, as you like to call him, won’t be remembered for his accounting. Not only did he expand government more than any other president, but he then cut taxes…? Let’s take in less money and then pay more people with the money we didn’t collect…? That makes zero sense, but once again, Bush 43 wasn’t known in college for being smart, was he? Pretty easy for those fossil fuels to only charge a few cents when the government is picking up the rest of the tab: http://jontaplin.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Energy_Subsidies_Black_Not_Green.jpg

    First, Bush 43 has an MBA from an Ivy League school. The same Ivy League school, if I recall correctly, that John Kerry attended. I also think it was the same school Baby Doc Obama attended as well. So if Bush is an idiot, then the others are drooling morons as well.

    Then again, Al Gore failed seminary school, and he’s the messiah of enviro-nuts like you.

    First and foremost, tax breaks are not subsidies. That is income originally generated by the corporation, and absconded by the government. A subsidy is when dollars are handed out from the tax pool after they are absconded from the wealth generators. The only way a tax break can be considered a subsidy is if your basic premise is that all wealth is derived from the government – which is pure Marxism. So, your confusion on this matter is quite obvious. I am in agreement with you on various forms of “corporate welfare.” I’m in agreement that a corporation or a product should stand on its merits. Unfortunately for you, were it not for the tax breaks being provided for the purchase of solar panels, virtually no one would buy them.

    So whine all you like about the bad, evil oil companies. It doesn’t change the fact that solar panels still suck when it comes to producing energy in a cost-effective way.

    As for the rest of your “chart,” seeing that it is already drawn from a flawed premise, the rest of it is obviously skewed as well.

    Photovoltaic solar has pretty much been in production since the 1960s, with the creation of the first modern photovoltaic cell in 1954. It sucked then, and it still sucks now. At best, your average mass-produced solar panels are something like 16% efficient under optimal conditions. There’s lots of talk about new technologies to make them as much as 40% efficient, but at best this all pie-in-the-sky speculation. Until they start actually making these panels, and selling them with a defined price tag attached to each panel or system, they don’t exist.

    4) Did you even read the 2nd paragraph. I mean, I know three sentences is a lot for you to digest, but really? We mentioned breaking it down into smaller, local patches. Parking garages, tops of buildings, along highways, over-farmed land no longer able to produce ag, rooftops of those willing to install…ALL regional, all very very practical. There are always things that can go wrong with any energy sector. What happens when an oil rig blows up in the Gulf? What happens when a mine collapses in W. Virginia ? People die, wildlife is killed, and environments are ruined. What happens when a solar panel fails? An electrical outage? A spark? As far as the “night” problem. There are actually panels that collect thermal power, taking care of your night problem. They also have energy storage and battery systems so they can collect the energy during the day and use it at night. It’s really quite simple.

    Lord, where do I start with this idiocy?

    First and foremost, solar panels don’t grow on trees. Much of the stuff that makes them – especially that little known ore we call “copper” – has to be mined. This is also true with a lot of other components used to make solar cells, namely: gold, aluminum, cadmium, tin, nickel, silver, and yes…silicon.

    Stuff like cadmium telluride – also used in the making of solar cells – is highly toxic.

    Furthermore, the whole notion that you can break down solar collection into “smaller patches” is utterly laughable. Given the pathetically low efficiency of standard solar panels, and the amount of energy that your average office building requires, you probably wouldn’t be able to even to keep a corner office or two powered. You’re living in a land of delusion. Plus, in doing so what you’re essentially doing is virtually doubling the demand for copper, and now you’ll need more electronics to convert the photovoltaic DC into AC power, store the energy created (because the sun doesn’t shine at night…in case you didn’t figure that one out yet) and run the power back into the existing grid. Right now, power comes from large, centralized locations that generate massive amounts of electricity compared to the resources required to get it to the grid. So, that’s a whole lotta mining that’s gonna need to be done…

    As for “storing” the energy collected during the day for use at night: are you kidding? Or are you just plain high? First, there is virtually no way, at present, that you’re going to collect the amount of energy you’re going to need during the day (unless you live on the moon where they have no atmosphere) to expend at night. Furthermore, with the technology that’s presently available (and has been “evolving” for the last 40 years) you can barely generate the energy you need for daylight hours. Then there is storing it into this magical storage system that really doesn’t exist (and if it did exist, they’d be using it on wind power generators first, as even THEY do a better job of generating energy than solar panels). Now compare that to a coal-fired generator that runs pretty much 24×7, and has no real limitations on how much power it can produce at any specific time of the day…

    But – since you are taking us for walk through Fantasyland – let’s say that they make a solar panel that is 100% efficient. The problem is that no matter how efficient the panel is, there is nowhere near the amount of energy per cubic foot with solar when compared to something like coal. The photons are dispersed over such a wide area, and there numbers are subject to change based on the environmental conditions. Coal is essentially formed organic materials (it is believed that a single coal layer, less than an inch thick, takes about one-thousand years) that decompose and compress to the consistency of rock. The reason why coal is such a good fuel is because all of the energy and material taken over years, and years of organic growth and death is compressed into a solidified form. That means – in a roundabout way – coal formation condenses thousands of years of solar energy into a very compact and dense form.

    The same is true for virtually any hydrocarbon-based fuel you can think of. Oil? That’s made up from centuries of decayed flora, dead beasts, and dinosaur poop. Figuratively speaking, there are thousands of years of solar energy stored up in each drop of the stuff.

    But you seem to think that all that compressed energy can just be pulled out of the air…and at nighttime as well…

    But leave it to enviro-loons to think that by harvesting the sun, you can get something for nothing. And we’re still waiting for cold fusion to become a reality as well…

    5) It actually is happening. Hope you enjoy being wrong…and the Europeans way ahead of the US in things like this. I’ll respond as such: If the Right Wind wants to keep pissing our energy independence down their leg, we’re f–ked.

    Yeah.

    That 0.7% total solar generation output will make the big oil companies tremble. No, seriously…

    6) No I’m no Einstein, I’m Taylen. I’m not afraid to hide my identity, unlike other people across the internet…
    Anyway, as I’ve pointed out numerous times, solar still works on a cloudy day. It works even when the dense fog rolls in over San Francisco . It continues to work at night (through thermal collectors) and it works just as well as coal without blowing the top off mountains, drilling in places begging for disasters, or paying the Middle East for their oil.

    Yes, I am afraid, and thus I hide my identity. Then again, it isn’t conservative groups that try and blow up the pentagon. It isn’t conservative groups that throw blood on people wearing fur, it isn’t conservative groups that leave a path of destruction during every G8/G10/GXX summit, and it isn’t conservative groups beating up black people at TEA party gatherings.

    For every evangelical Christian you cite that blows up an abortion clinic, I can cite at least three different liberal Marxist terrorists blowing up something or someone.

    People like you – who are typically ignorant – are dangerous, mainly because you’re not in your right mind. Ergo, the caution.

    As far as solar “working as well as coal,” that is just a plain, flat-out lie. Solar, even in its wildest, wettest dream cannot generate the massive, consistent power output of coal-fired generators. In fact, even with Nanosolar dropping price per kilowatt down to about $0.30 (and I find that number somewhat dubious), that still is a far cry from the $0.07 that we pay for in Michigan.

    The fact is that if solar were so great, we would have changed to it a long time ago. It sucked then, and it still sucks today even after massive amounts of money have been invested into making it suck less.

    Yes global warming is real. If that quote is your “proof” that it’s not, you need to work on your comprehension. Phil says that while the data isn’t significant, it also isn’t a long enough sample period to determine a conclusive answer. Like any good scientist he will continue to test and test and test until it is proven beyond a doubt one way or the other. He said that it is just barely off what is needed for “significant levels” but it’s still a positive trend. Also, not sure if you’ve noticed, but a vast majority of the scientific community believes and feels there is significant evidence in man-made global warming.

    Oh this is frickin’ rich.

    At one time, the “scientific community,” was unanimous that Piltdown Man was authentic.

    At one time, the “scientific community” considered he ancient city of Troy to be a myth.

    At one time the “scientific community” (as early as the 1970s) claimed that we were headed towards a new Ice Age.

    You are obviously very easily impressed…or duped.

    Carbon dioxide isn’t even one-percent of the earth’s atmosphere. That major contributor to global warming and cooling is WATER VAPOR.

    Furthermore, even the IPCC had to conclude that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have not changed appreciably in the last 150 – 160 years. The total calculation of the amount of CO2 released into the air due to the burning of fossil fuels is something like 14%.

    Yeah. We’re really in danger alright.

    As for there not being a long enough sample period: correct. They only accurate data they have of global warming or cooling over the millions of years life has existed on this earth is a span of about 100 years, if that.

    If something isn’t “statistically significant,” that means that there isn’t enough deviation to make the trend line stand out. I mean, it was “statistically significant” when the trend line looked like a hockey stick…until that hockey stick turned out to be a total fraud.

    Furthermore, I’ve actually downloaded the code that they use to do their global warming modeling (it is – or was – available to the public). It is a frickin’ mess loaded with hacks and kludges used to manipulate and massage the raw data to eliminate “inconsistencies.” It has been worked on by people that I wouldn’t even hire to wash my car…and yes, I’ve interviewed a few of them.

    Plus, only an idiot – or someone who had something to hide – would dump the raw data for all of the extrapolations. That act just SCREAMS scientific fraud.

    You do NOT want to go there with me. You’re out of your league when it comes to this stuff.

    7) I will use your very own gem to defend this argument: “Theoretically, it all sounds nice and fine. Practically, it is a total myth.” Stop using data from 2000. Ask Steve Jobs how different computers or phones or even the entire tech industry is from 2000. Pretty sure he’ll agree you’re an idiot.

    Oh my God – you are such a crackpot.

    First, Steve Jobs is nothing more than an overblown salesman. Since the advent of Apple, he was nothing more than a saleman. He is no visonary, and has for decades been the face of a company driven by the ideas of others.

    Solar panels have been around for some 40 years. Their research has been heavily subsidized. The only way people will buy them – both past and present – is if the government will PAY a portion of the cost to have them installed. Plus, since the power they generate is so inconsistent, it takes a truckload of equipment to store the trickle of power they produce to a battery array, which isn’t cheap. In fact, for the last 40 years, the technology hasn’t changed much at all.

    Personal computers, cell phones, and a wide array of consumer devices have grown, evolved, and changed in shorter periods of time with virtually NO government subsidies involved, and with few if any government regulations. No bureaucrat has to FORCE the use of personal computers and cell phones on the general public. However, the federal government has to not only subsidize the development of solar panels, they also have to heavily regulate other forms of energy production in order to drive up energy costs to make these piece-of-crap solar panels look attractive, and STILL no one is buying them.

    I’ve been in the same sector that Steve Jobs has been banging around in for the last 20 years, and I’ve seen the technology evolve – you obviously haven’t. Computers are where they are today because they fill a need for the general public, and they do it at a relatively low cost…in fact, they do it at an exceptionally low cost. Back in the old days, before computers did things like billing and whatnot, there were numerous bodies that had to be employed to file stuff, tally stuff, and do all of those basic accounting tasks that could easily be replaced with a single IBM XT. That’s why people bought these computers in droves: they saved companies (and people) time and money. And they did it in a relatively short period of time.

    Solar panels have to be cost-justified over the span of decades. They don’t even produce a consistent output, or even save people money.

    It is obvious you’re spouting a bunch of made-up crap that has absolutely no basis in reality. So spare us all the mindless propaganda.

    Have a pleasant day.

    I will. I doubt that you’ll be able to say the same…

  3. Taylen says:

    I only have 3 responses to your oil-topia fantasy:
    1) Liberals can’t beat up black people at Tea Party gatherings because you’re too racist to allow them in your group. (Laughable that you claim it’s not the conservatives doing these things when, in fact, it’s your movement fighting against the constitution, not for it!)
    2) I agree with you. Steve Jobs is just amazing at marketing. But that being said, what makes him so good is that he knows that technology changes at lightning speed – which was the point I was making. Solar is getting more efficient and better every day. To ignore that is only further proof that you live in a dream world.
    3) http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/solar-information/debunking-debunker/ enjoy!

  4. […] You guys are gonna love this. Some “Unknown Conservative” blogger decided that an article Putting Solar Myths to Shame, written by CalFinder’s own Brittany Mauriss and Taylen Peterson, was fit for debunking. He or she (he from here on out—an educated guess) did so in perfect Rush Limbaugh fashion, full of coarse words, suspicious sound bites and skewed logic. While I’d often disregard such antics as the desperate pedantry of a dying breed, sometimes when you’re singled out, you have to fight back. So here it is: our response to one Climate Change denier. […]

  5. unknownconservative says:

    First, my “oil-topia fantasy” has been a reality since – oh – the 1920s. Your “solar-topia” has been nothing but a concept from its inception.

    Second, there is video of a white liberal SEIU member beating and kicking the crap out of a black TEA Party member, and it has been widely circulated. But if you want to debate what is and is not Constitutional with me, I’d kinda get a hoot out of that. It is pretty clear to me that you know less about that than you claim to know about solar power.

    Third, I’ve seen your “debunking” of my assertions, and have responded in kind (see the aptly named “Loon Alert!” post). I guess if you put aside things like physics, basic economics, and actually believe some of the numbers you put out (and, I might add, I used your own information sources to refute you) someome might even come to the conclusion that you’re correct. However, that’s only before that pesky “reality” starts sinking in.

    You know, when I can take your own data and beat you over the head with it, you’re not in good shape from the start. But please, keep thinking you’ve made some sort of progress. I enjoy watching gross stupidity in action.

    What is clear is that you are utterly delusional. And I mean that in a serious way. If anyone with a brain and five minutes of time to waste stared drilling down on the information sources you cited, they could leave your alternate solar reality on the flaming ashheap of history.

    Furthermore, you can always tell when someone is losing a debate when they pull out the Magical Technology Fairy tactic. There are LOTS of different technologies where their days have come and gone: phonographs, VCRs, Betamax, and so on. The reality is that these technologies were replaced with others that were far more desireable and efficient. And no amount of waiting for some egghead to come up with a “better” VCR was going to erase the fact that VCRs, and VHS tapes SUCK when compared to DVD. The technology may never vanish from the face of the earth, however, their day in the sun has come and gone.

    But you keep waiting for that overnight 2000% increase in efficiency. The rest of us are content to mock you for being the idiot you are in the process.

    Or, you can go live on Antarctica where they use solar panels, in conjunction with diesel generators for survival (because you ultimately cannot rely on solar for your power generation).

  6. Ken says:

    Those pennies you pay per watt of electricity? Those are artificially low. Those prices are kept down by some 70 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industries. Most of that money goes to oil, to keep gas prices artificially low (and oil companies profits artificially high).

    The subsidies for green energy are minuscule compared to the money this country is hemorrhaging into burning more hydrocarbons. Which is completely unnecessary since we can get all the power we need free from the sun.

  7. Nim says:

    Holy name-calling, Batman! Let’s stick to the basics here.

    It doesn’t matter if human-based emissions are low compared to volcanoes and whatnot. Why must we settle for producing power the way we’ve done it for a century or so, that pollutes too quickly for us to offset? Who cares if global warming is a reality or not; why not just have a cleaner product for grins? Or because it empowers the individual? Or to be responsible and considerate world inhabitants? Or a million other good reasons?

    From a consumer standpoint, we get to feel warm and fuzzy, be in control of producing our own power, be informed and empowered (pun intended) about it, and no longer would anyone need to live in a certain area to get power (or pay a premium for it). From a business standpoint, it’s a new technology to sell and upgrade us all to, offer us better panels every so often, offer maintenance, and offer their services to install on my sweet old grandmother’s roof. How often does that opportunity come along?

    We could all “win”, so why does the impetus matter? If the end result is power _and_ a cleaner place to live and breathe, even by 1.5% emissions, I’d say we’re doing something right.

  8. unknownconservative says:

    It doesn’t matter if human-based emissions are low compared to volcanoes and whatnot. Why must we settle for producing power the way we’ve done it for a century or so, that pollutes too quickly for us to offset? Who cares if global warming is a reality or not; why not just have a cleaner product for grins? Or because it empowers the individual? Or to be responsible and considerate world inhabitants? Or a million other good reasons?

    First, the assumption that we have to somehow “offset” the “pollution” we make (and I have an admission from a global warming kook that CO2 is not pollution) is bogus. Secondly, the emissions controls we have on power plants does eliminate a vast majority of those same “pollutants” already.

    And yes, if you want a “cleaner” product, then fine. If you call blasting the tops off of mountains and toxic waste from all of the mining that needs to be done to supply the components for all of those solar panels. The notion of “free, clean” power that’s cheap is up there with the concept of perpetual motion. In life, everything has a trade-off.

    If things like solar and wind power could be implemented cheaply, power producers would be dropping coal like a hot rock (pardon the pun). I’m sure there are a few delusional idiots out there who will claim that the “coal lobby” and “oil lobby” are keeping us tied to “outdated” technologies, which is utterly moronic. No government agency anywhere is mandating that so much power MUST be generated by coal – in fact the opposite is true. Here in Michigan, the state mandates that something like 20% of our energy must come from renewables. This is despite the fact that the energy producers – de facto state monopolies – have been trying things like wind power for about a decade now. The results? Poor. Which is why the state has to mandate more energy production.

    Not so coincidentally, Michigan is at the bottom of just about every economic ranking in the US.

    So, if you want to pay exorbitant prices to power your computer, furnace, refrigerator, and so on – for “grins” be my guest. I, however, do not want to pay dearly for your folly, thanks.

    From a consumer standpoint, we get to feel warm and fuzzy, be in control of producing our own power, be informed and empowered (pun intended) about it, and no longer would anyone need to live in a certain area to get power (or pay a premium for it). From a business standpoint, it’s a new technology to sell and upgrade us all to, offer us better panels every so often, offer maintenance, and offer their services to install on my sweet old grandmother’s roof. How often does that opportunity come along?

    Yes, a real “win-win” for us all, right?

    And I’m sure you could get that same warm-and-fuzzy feeling making your own clothes, spinning your own thread, and building your own computer from with a soldering iron, some wire, and a handful of sand. You’ll get the confidence knowing that you’re “self-sufficient.”

    While you’re at it, try raising your own beef and/or enough vegetables to make it through the winter. Good luck on purchasing the 150+ acres you’ll need to do all of that.

    Seriously, did you not read any of what I wrote? What part of “it is expensive and and takes decades to cost-justify” didn’t you quite get?

    And as for new technology: are you high? Solar panels have been around since the 1960s. Very little has changed since then. So where in God’s name that you’re getting the notion that this is all “new” technology is WAY beyond me.

    A prime example where stuff like solar leads you: Michigan. Since 2001 our illustrious leader – Jennifer Granholm – decided that we were going to be the “premier” state for alternative energies. We were going to be the leader in the green (bowel) movement. The result? Massive unemployment, skilled people fleeing the state, economic depression, and general misery.

    But hey, if that appeals to you be my guest. But you are not getting me to sink my hard-earned money in that obvious boondoggle.

    We could all “win”, so why does the impetus matter? If the end result is power _and_ a cleaner place to live and breathe, even by 1.5% emissions, I’d say we’re doing something right.

    Yes. Because people are dropping like flies in the US because we’re getting our power from coal.

    This is complete lunacy.

    Higher prices for energy can, in no way, shape, or form be called a “win” for everybody.

    Nice try. That kind of soft-sell crap may work on the ill informed, but it doesn’t wash here.

  9. Nim says:

    Again with the name-calling!

    I think at the heart of this is that you don’t consider yourself responsible to be a clean world citizen (“First, the assumption that we have to somehow “offset” the “pollution” we make … is bogus.”), good steward, or at worst polite neighbor.

    It would be easier to make a discussion of this if you rebutted with facts instead of terms like “delusional idiot” and “kook” and “lunacy”.

    As it is, you are merely an anonymous blusterer that is not reasonable and thus is not worth my time—which I do in fact use to sew my own clothes, knit my own hats, and grow my own food.

  10. unknownconservative says:

    Again with the name-calling!

    If you consider my previous response “name calling,” you’d better wear a helmet, or overcoat, or something. Life is going to be rough for you.

    I think at the heart of this is that you don’t consider yourself responsible to be a clean world citizen (“First, the assumption that we have to somehow “offset” the “pollution” we make … is bogus.”), good steward, or at worst polite neighbor.

    Responsible to be a “clean” world citizen?

    I’ll ask this again: are you high? Seriously, are you high? Ever been to Mexico City? Or how about China? Bombay, India? Russia? How about most of Europe?

    The US is ALREADY the cleanest world neighbor! European cars cannot even run on our roads because of their crappy emissions standards! In the urban areas of China, you have to wear a mask in order to breathe! Russia has environmental standards that would never pass muster in this country.

    Compared to how 95% of the world treats the environment, the United States is a virtual Garden of frickin’ Eden! It is also one of the reasons why so many people flock to this nation.

    And you whine about me not caring to be a “clean” global citizen? Holy crap! Read a frickin’ newspaper, for cripe’s sake! Do something other than writing this wholly uninformed, platitude-fueled drivel that you’re using with the assumption that you are somehow scoring points for your side.

    It is because of guys like me that your vehicles produce emissions that are minuscule when compared to ten years ago. That’s because I spend more time being productive, and bettering humanity’s future through technology than most of you hippie-frickin’-throwbacks.

    It would be easier to make a discussion of this if you rebutted with facts instead of terms like “delusional idiot” and “kook” and “lunacy”.

    I call you a delusional idiot because your arguments are both delusional, and idiotic. Mostly because I’ve twice disproved them in previous posts.

    Maybe I should have called you a totally uninformed idiot instead?

    I’ve already posted the facts. I’ve done the math. It is all there in black-and-white. It isn’t my problem that you just plain ignore them.

    As it is, you are merely an anonymous blusterer that is not reasonable and thus is not worth my time—which I do in fact use to sew my own clothes, knit my own hats, and grow my own food.

    Yes, discounting me when you have nothing to fall back on will really get you somewhere. Don’t let the door hit you in the a** on the way out.

    And I have no doubt that you grow all of your own food, make all of your own clothes, and so on. And if the rest of us followed your example, and didn’t have enough time to be productive doing things to better humanity, we’d all be very very happy…living in the Dark Ages.

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