Thongchai Thailand

Climate Action Business Model: Part-2

Posted on: April 26, 2020

IMAGES FROM THE VIDEO [LINK] 

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RELATED POSTS: [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]  

 

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A YOUTUBE VIDEO [LINK] ON THE VIABILITY OF RENEWABLES TO REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS. IT IS PRESENTED IN TWO PARTS. PART-1  IS A SUMMARY AND CRITICAL REVIEW IN LIGHT OF A RELATED POST ON THE SAME TOPIC. PART-2 IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO. 

 

 

PART-1: SUMMARY AND CRITICAL COMMENTARY

An evaluation of the renewable option in climate action is presented for the wind, solar, biofuel, and biomass options. The assessment is made not strictly in terms of cost and effectiveness but also in an overall context of environmentalism in which all impacts of human activity on nature are considered. Yet another extraneous variable in the evaluation is the involvement of powerful and wealthy capitalists in financing the operation and whether they were thus enriched with the assumption that projects that enrich capitalists are therefore not effective by definition or suspicious in other ways.

The evaluation finds that renewables are not a viable option and rejects the use of wind, solar, biofuel, and biomass as tools of climate action. In the case of biofuel and biomass, the destruction of trees and forests, either for harvesting trees (as in biomass projects) or for clearing land (as in biofuel projects) is cited from an environmentalism point of view as an unacceptable level of the destruction of nature just to keep humans supplied with an unreasonable amount of energy in view of what nature can withstand. An additional objection to these options is cited as the undesirable involvement of super rich capitalists if it is known that they financed and profited from the project.

For wind and solar, their downsides are found not only in terms of their environmental impact and involvement of capitalists but also in terms of their significant flaws described in a related post [LINK] . These are that they need a very large expanse of land that often needs to be cleared of trees and wildlife. The other serious concern with respect to wind and solar is that their power generation is intermittent and the amount of power they generate is variable. For these reasons these power generation devices are not reliable and must be backed up by fossil fueled power plants. Other considerations include useful life, regular maintenance, and fossil fuel consumption. Solar panels and wind turbines have a useful life of 10 to 20 years. They must therefore be regularly disposed of and replaced. Their disposal has environmental impact implications because of the enormous amount of material involved and the environmental impact of their replacement has cost and environmental considerations because of the very large quantities rare earths and metals needed from mines in Africa in an activity with serious health and environmental issues. It is also mentioned that thermal concentrated solar power plants consume natural gas and are often abandoned after a few years. In all cases, they are backed up by coal or natural gas plants.

The environmentalism expressed in the video is assumed to be an impact of human activity at the planetary level. The very first utterance of the video is “Have you ever wondered what would happen if a single species took over an entire planet?“. Although this kind of thinking is common among environmentalists, there is no real evidence that we have an impact at the planetary level, much less that we have taken over an entire planet. Here are some details on this issue. [LINK] . Yet another consideration in this regard is that an argument that begins with the assumption that humans, the industrial economy, and capitalism are bad, and perhaps even evil, cannot lead to a positive assessment of human civilization in the 21st century and therefore all negative conclusions therefrom are products of circular reasoning. The evil found is the evil that had been inserted. Also, that electric cars are charged from the grid that delivers fossil fueled electricity overlooks the need to start moving to electric cars in anticipation of a green grid.

The flaws in the analysis notwithstanding; for example the evaluation not from a climate science perspective but from an eco wacko environmentalism and anti-capitalism perspective, and failing to make the distinction between old carbon in fossil fuels and the current account of the carbon cycle; the work still makes a useful contribution in the evaluation of the climate action procedures proposed by climate science. An important contribution of the video is that it finds widespread cheating and lying in the renewable business that exposes an ugly side of the climate movement. This finding implies that climate science claims about their proposed climate action plans are not credible. 

A related post [LINK]  presents similar arguments to reject wind and solar renewables as a viable power generation technology. The analysis emphasizes the very large extent of real estate needed and the serious matter of intermittency with continued need for backup fossil fuel power anyway. Both of these studies find the inadequacy of battery capacity in the extreme such that the only real solution to intermittency is full scale fossil fuel backup power.  In the Gibbs/Moore video we find “When I looked up how much battery storage there is, it was less than 1/10th of 1% of what’s needed.” and in the related video we find a similar assessment in the image below.

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The analysis in the related post also rejects conventional nuclear power because of waste disposal issues and the possibility of weaponization of the uranium and proposes a novel traveling-wave nuclear reactor (TWR) that runs on depleted uranium. The video presented here may provide further incentive for this power generation technology. Ironically, an anti capitalism analysis of renewable Green Energy may be what makes some very wealthy capitalists even wealthier because it makes a case in support of their TerraPower climate action plan.

 

POSTSCRIPT TO THE SUMMARY

Climate scientists have objected loudly to this video and have called for its removal for what they see as an unjustified attack on their renewable energy climate action plans from a purely environmentalism perspective [LINK] . These objections raise even more serious issues about climate science than prior claims of skepticsClimate scientists had voluntarily appealed to environmentalists for support claiming to be environmental agents that will save the planet from the industrial economy of humans. What we see in the video is that this claim is not accurate. This collision between climate science and environmentalism reveals that climate scientists lied about their science in both directions by telling climate deniers that their science is bathed in the holy waters of environmentalism and now, blaming real environmentalists for holding them to that claim. These contradictions and conflicts further weaken the reliability and legitimacy of the climate movement. A more rational response might have been that “yes, we are of course aware of these issues in the renewable option and we are working on it and have made substantial advancements that are not included in the video”. Or simply that “we are aware of these problems with renewables and we have the solutions to those problems and some of those advancements are not included in the video. They are as follows: …..”. BUT NO SUCH SCIENTIFIC RESPONSE FROM CLIMATE SCIENCE IS FOUND. What we find instead is a childish name calling shouting match.

 

A REVIEW OF THE FILM ON AUSTRALIAN TV

 

 

PART-2: TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO 

 

PLANET OF THE HUMANS [LINK]

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a single species took over an entire planet? Maybe they’re cute, maybe they’re clever. But with lack of self-restraint. What if they go too far? What if they go way way way way way too far? How would they know when it’s their time to go?

Flashback to 1958: “Due to our release from factories and automobiles every year of more than 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide, our atmosphere seems to be getting warmer. This bad??? Well, it’s been calculated that a few degrees rise in the earth’s temperature will melt the polar ice caps – and if this happens, an inland sea will fill a good portion of the Mississippi valley. For the weather, we are not only dealing with forces of a far greater variety than even what the atomic physicists encountered, but with life itself”.

That was 1958. We’ve known about the dangers of climate change for 6 decades. Back then there was so much air pollution it could actually block out the sun. There was so much water pollution, rivers caught on fire. Forget throwing plastic bottles into the water, we tossed our cars in there. We also knew that someday we’d run out of oil. “For millions of Americans this may be the worst weekend they’ve ever faced for finding the gasoline to give them the automobile freedom they take as their due”.

I never doubted that humans would find a better way and I wanted to be part of it. A scientist sounded the alarm when the modern environmental movement was born – Rachel Carson, 1963 says “Unless we do bring these chemicals under better control we are certainly headed for disaster”.

Students all across the country organized the first Earth Day. Dennis Hayes speaks: “At that point in time it was very fashionable to talk about the environment but as of today we find very little concrete work b being done”

As for me, you might say I was an early environmentalist. When I was 9 years old, a bulldozer began knocking down the trees near my home. I retaliated by putting sand in his gas tank. When I grew up I became a tree hugger and moved to the wilds of Northern Michigan to build a sustainable homestead and commune with nature. I wired my cabin for solar panels and heated it with wood instead of fossil fuels. I wrote about sustainable living and environmental issues for the Mother Earth News and several other news outlets (His name is Jeff Gibbs). I travelled the country documenting the invasive species, eco system collapse, and species threatened with extinction.

I covered protests against destroying mountains for coal and was once even confronted by the BP police. Through all of this I kept wondering, “why are we still addicted to fossil fuels? So I decided to begin following the Green Energy Movement. What better place to check out how a Green Energy Revolution is coming along than a solar festival in the green mountain state of Vermont. The festival was powered by 100% solar energy. I was having fun and got a chance to ask about getting solar panels installed. But then, a little rain began to fall. My cameraman noticed some commotion behind the stage. They were installing biodiesel generators in case the solar panels lost their power source because of the rain. The man explained that the festival runs on solar energy primarily but they do need to bring some of this backup energy source just in case. We just want to make sure we have enough power, we’re not here to kill our fancy toys that we have lighting the stage. But the biofuel generator wasn’t enough so they wound up plugging into the electrical grid that we all use. That was disappointing. Maybe next time things will go better. Luckily for us, hope was on the way.

{Barack Obama speech}: “It’s been a long time coming but tonight, change has come to America”. Green activists across the country cheered when newly elected President Barack Obama rolled out a trillion dollar stimulus package with nearly $100 billion for Green Energy. Green was finally wrapping up and everyone wanted to be part of it. President Obama brought in environmental activist Rand Jones from the Apollo Alliance with ready projects.

Rand Jones speaks: “They’ve got to put up tens of thousands of windfarms, they’ve got to put up millions of solar panels”.

Former Vice President Al Gore, who a few years earlier had released an Oscar winning film “An Inconvenient Truth”, shared his ideal with President Obama. Obama speaks: “We have the opportunity now to create jobs all across this country in all 50 states, to re-power America’.

Al Gore had already encouraged billionaire airline owner Sir Richard Branson to invest big time in Green Energy. CNN: “Branson said he is spending future profits from his Airline to the tune of perhaps $ billion to fight global warming. CNN question for Branson: “Is Al Gore a prophet?”, Answer: “How do you spell profit?” Laughter.

Investors came forward. Investor Vinod Khosla, known as the father of the clean-tech revolution, has poured over a $1billion of his own money into some 50 energy start-ups. Major banks were eager to get involved. Goldman Sachs man speaks: “By 2020 renewables will require an investment steam of $395 billion per year on an annual basis.

Robert F Kennedy Jr, who serves on the boards of major environmental organizations, and was leading the Green Energy investment group, speaks: “We build wind farms, solar farms, why should ????. It’s free energy forever.

The Sierra Club received $50 million from billionaire and former New York city mayor Michael Bloomberg. Their mission: fight coal and promote clean energy. Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director speaks: “With the mayor’s gift, here’s what will happen. We will have a large and aggressive presence in 46 states”. Bloomberg speaks: “It is time for America to find a new energy path. One that takes up beyond coal.

Then Bill McKibben, one of the nation’s leading environmentalists and author of a breakthrough book called “The End of Nature”, formed an organization called 350.org with the mission of igniting a global climate movement. Bill McKibben shows his “350” tie and says that 350 is the most important number in the world, and the Green Energy Revolution was underway.  (note: the number represents the highest level of atmospheric CO2 the earth can tolerate).

Michigan has been hit hard by the great recession and hundreds of millions of dollars in Green Stimulus money was arriving. Now, to do their part for the new Green Economy, General Motors introduced a new line of electric vehicles. When the Chevy Volt was released I attended the press conference.

General Motors: “So these electric vehicles are ready for public consumption and we’re ready with the infrasrucure, with the rates, with the communications”

Another speaker: “I am extremely grateful to be here today and in fact this is a chance for me to say “thank you” formally. The Chevy Volt is upstairs. We’ll get a chance to look at it.

The recharge plug-in is demonstrated. Speaker explains: “The battery in this design is T-shaped right down the center and across the back seat area. Everybody thought we killed the electric vehicle but no, we didn’t.

Question: What is the energy source that re-charges these batteries?

Answer: The answer is that the energy comes from the Lansing city power supply grid. Not sure if it is coal, no wait, they’re heavy on natural gas, aren’t they? It is charging from our grid which is about 95% coal.

Question: How long do you think it will be before they are recharged from solar and wind power?

Answer: To suggest that all of the power used for these cars will be generated from wind and solar in the very near future will not be correct. In fact, the charging plan for these cars is an overnight procedure so there is no role for solar in that setup.

Second GM person: I don’t think coal is bad. It’s got lovely BTUs. High energy concentration. The issue is not whether to burn coal but how to burn it cleanly. Do you see natural gas getting bashed?

First GM person: We will be getting power based on natural gas very shortly. In that mix, we intend to use biofuels if we can.

Second GM person: Environmental groups are extremely supportive (of our electric car).

First GM person: We did install the world’s largest solar array at my company the board of water and light. It’s just down the street a few miles if you want to take a look at it. What outfit are you with?

Answer: I’m with New World Media. We are doing a segment on the renewable renewable energy.

I decided to take him up on his offer to visit his football field size solar array right down the street.

David Gard Michigan Environmental Council: What we’re trying to do with this kind of an array is get a sense of what they’ve already done as an indication of what we can do to push the envelope even further.

Jan Nelson, Lansing Board of Water and Light: We took a hard look at wind and determined that, you know around here there isn’t any good wind coming through all the time. That’s what we like about solar. You will get the power when you most needed it. {He passes around a solar panel} They are pliable – solar panels that bend – and they’re made in Michigan, that’s another good thing, although the efficiency of these panels is just under 8%. If you happen to be NASA and if you happen to have a Rover running around Mars, they have very efficient panels. But we can’t afford those at about a million dollars a square inch.

Question: How many homes would this array provide electricity for?

Answer: The standard answer to that question we tell everybody is that we are providing enough to meet peak requirements for existing homes. However, for most people who look at it a little bit closer, we generate about 63 or 64 kw-hours a year. Our average customer uses about 6,000 kw-hours a year and 64,000 over 6,000 is a little over ten. We can meet the energy requirements for ten homes over a year.

Question: Will that be an incentive to put more solar on?

Answer: Well, if you wanted to make all of the energy required for the city of Lansing over a year, it would require a solar array that was 3 miles by 5 miles. We’re not going to do that.

Narrator: My friend from the Sierra Club wanted him to be more positive (about the practicability of solar) but he was not interested. As a consequence of the big push for green energy, wind farms were rising around the nation, including near my home in Northern Michigan.

New interviewee: We’ve been doing coal and nuclear for years and we’ve been trying to get more into the renewable side. These are the largest in Michigan, 482-foot wind turbine poles . . .

Narrator: How many yards of concrete?

Answer: 800 yards of concrete in the base. Right around 180 tons of steel.

Narrator: What are the blades made of?

Answer: That’s all fiberglass and balsam. They’re about 36,000 pounds per blade. The tower weighs 800,000 pounds. Then the cell is 220,000 pounds, and the hub and rotor assembly is another 160,000 pounds. Pretty substantial. {total=1.2 million}.

Narrator: They were impressive machines. But is it possible for machines made by an industrial civilization to save us from industrial civilization?

Now in Lowell Mountain Vermont with Bill McKibben:

Narrator: In environmental leader Bill McKibben’s home state of Vermont, the Green Mountain State, a site was being cleared for the installation of wind turbines. A group of citizens were concerned about how the construction would affect the mountain they loved. I joined them for a tour.

Speaker: It’s going to be 21 turbines in this project. The estimate was maybe there would be 3 full time jobs. But the goal is to make Vermont a leader in climate change. I appreciate looking to the sky in the hopes that we can do that, but more importantly I’m looking at the ground thinking this is not the kind of legacy I want to leave for my kids. When I was a kid we’d go hiking in these woods, we’d be able to drink the water coming down the hill here – and now you have to question that.

Question: (lifespan of wind turbines) And how long is this power plant supposed to last?

Answer: About 20 something years.

Speaker: That’s a nanosecond in the time scale of energy.

Narrator: Is anybody concerned whether this mountain top is renewable for wind instead of coal? (reference: “coal mining destroys mountains”).

Speaker: Yah, and we’ve even had people say, if you can do mountain top removal in West Virginia and Kentucky for coal then it’s time that the rest of the country share in the mountain top removal too.

Speaker2: The thing is that you’ve got to have a fossil fueled power plant backing it up and idling 100% of the time because if you cycle up or cycle down as demand on the wind comes through, then you actually generate a bigger carbon footprint than if you just ran it straight.

Question: Do you ever encounter “that’s not true, we’re going to have a smart grid” ?

Answer: That doesn’t make any difference, you’ve still got to have it idling because, let’s just say the wind stopped right now, just stopped for an hour, you’ve got to have that power.

Question: What do you do?

Answer: I’m an environmental health and safety consultant. I usually work with businesses to help them do things but I’d never work with ??scum?? like that (pointing to the mountain top site for the wind project).

Speaker: Not being judgmental and not playing god, but we’ve got to deal with population growth and sustainable resources, we’ve all got to cut back. The energy from this project  going supposedly to heat a water park. That means that we can find unique and different ways to waste energy.

Speaker2: This is not a Vermont company. Green Mountain Power will be bought out by Gaz Metro and Gaz Metro is owned by Enbridge which is a big resource company in Canada which is exploiting the tar sands and wants to build the XL pipeline . . .  and still we don’t know the whole story.

Speaker3: Anything renewable is good. That’s what I hear people say.

At the Alberta Tar Sands Syncrude plant:

Narrator: I am in a strange position I’m against our addiction to fossil fuels and have long been a fan of Green Energy. But everywhere where I encountered green energy, it wasn’t what it seems.

Speaker points to battery under the hood of a fuel cell hydrogen car: “This is a perpetual energy battery.

Narrator: And where do you get the hydrogen from?

Answer: Hydrogen can be sourced from any hydrocarbon material. So you can get it from natural gas. You can get it from any petroleum oil based products.

The sign says “Zoo eyes elephant poo as energy source”.

Narrator: I read about a zoo that was said to be powered by elephant manure. But it turns out the elephants did not produce enough manure to heat the elephant bar.

Zoo-keeper: We don’t make enough and what we do have often couldn’t even do that. We would need a lot more. More elephants? Yup. More elephants, more manure.

Picture of ethanol fired power plant.

Narrator: Ethanol plants also seem to have a secret ingredient.

Speaker: This is the most productive farmland in the world and we’re not far from the biggest coal mine in the world. And so we can bring the two together in the ethanol fired power plant.

Narrator: So ethanol was reliant on two things. A giant fossil fuel based industrial agricultural system to produce corn and even more fossil fuels in the form of coal. All of this in the attempt to replace fossil fuels. It was enough to make my head explode.  I was getting the uneasy feeling that Green Energy was not going to save us. And I wasn’t the only one.

Richard Heinberg, author of “The End of Growth”: I encountered 25 different energy options so one would think that surely among all those options there are enough energy sources that could keep us living basically the way we are in perpetuity; but that’s not the reality. Currently we’re getting . . .  in some cases no energy from these potential options.

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON: Richard York of the University of Oregon published a study in the journal Nature in which he posed the question “Do alternative energy sources displace fossil fuels?”.

Richard York: What we implicitly assume often is that the substitute pushes out that for which it is a substitute. But we find that nations that add non-fossil energy sources do not achieve a particular suppression of fossil fuels.

Narrator: That’s pretty mind blowing. You’ve got billions of dollars being spent and green energy isn’t even replacing fossil fuels?

Answer: They don’t even know that that’s a question.

Nina Jablonski: Penn State University (there is no technological solution):  The stories that we’re in right now is “OK we’re in ecological hot water but there are technological fixes so that if we’re just creative enough, if we’re just ingenious enough, and if we just work had enough, we will triumph. Seeking technological fixes one after another is simply going to lead us to another level of catastrophe sooner rather than later.

Speaker: We want to believe that these things are going to be available for us so if we get a little worried and somebody comes up with a new thingy and promises that this will do it for us, we want to believe.

Narrator: Because we’re a little worried are we desperate enough to accept any idea that sounds alternative or green? Are we avoiding looking too closely because we don’t want to know the answer.

Narrator: Ozzie Zehner is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and Northwestern University was asking some of the same questions.

Ozzie Zehner: I had thought that solar and wind were a very good solution. It wasn’t even that long ago. One of the most dangerous things right now is the illusion that alternative technologies like wind and solar are somehow different from fossil fuels. What I hear a lot of times is that solar cells are made out of sand. In fact they are made out of a number of ingredients including mined quartz. You can’t use sand because it has too many impurities so you start with very high quality quartz and a very high quality coal. And then you put the two together in an electric arc furnace and you melt them. That produces silicon metal and carbon dioxide. The CO2 is vented to the atmosphere.

Narrator: So therefore, the use of solar does not replace coal or any fossil fuels and does not eliminate CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. But environmental groups continue to tell a different story.

Michael Brune, Sierra Club: We have already seen more than 25% of the US coal  ????  has either retired or is on a schedule to retire.

Section Narrator: Coal plants were closing but as Ozzie explained, well-meaning people are being misled.

Reid Gardner Power Plant, Nevada claims that they will go ahead and shut down the coal fired power plant and go with renewables. One of he largest solar plants will happen in an adjacent site in the desert.

Section Narrator:  In fact what they are doing is replacing the coal fired power plant with two natural gas powered power plants and natural gas is a fossil fuel.

Speaker: It’s Nevada’s biggest co-gen natural gas plant. This is one of the facilities that is replacing he coal plant that is being shut down. This is the Thumb-Peak generator facility, the second natural gas plant that will replace the coal plant.

The story in the media is: Instead of power generated by coal fired power plants, this solar farm will now avoid about 2.1 million pounds of carbon pollution.

Section Narrator: But then they are building a larger natural gas plant.

Speaker: This is a 650 megawatt natural gas plant – that’s 4 times more megawatts than the coal plant it replaces. And they are doing the same thing in North Carolina which was the subject of the “Years of Living Dangerously” series.

YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY: Ashville NC, Duke Energy

Duke Energy operates a coal plant just outside of Ashville but it’s the biggest source of climate solution in western North Carolina. And we are getting ready to retire that plant and replace it with clean energy.

Section Narrator: But what they don’t tell you is that they are also building a larger natural gas facility.

Duke Energy Rep: We’ll be retiring the 2-unit 376 megawatt coal plant. We will invest 750 million dollars to build a state of the art natural gas plant.

Section Narrator: When Mike Brune stands up and talks about clean energy he is talking about solar cells and wind turbines.

Michael Brune: It’s the new world. 100% clean energy.

Section Narrator: But when Michael Bloomberg talks about clean energy he is talking about natural gas.

Michael Bloomberg “Beyond Coal”: Create clean energy – solar, wind, and natural gas.

Section Narrator: The Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign 2010-2010 actually coincides with the largest expansion of fossil fueled production that we’ve ever pulled off – most of that being natural gas.

Original Narrator: Ozzie’s assertion that renewables were not replacing fossil fuels, if true, would upend all of our assumptions about Green Energy and what was going to save us. What would happen if I asked the same question to an industry insider – like where do solar panels come from? Answer: Well, you have to start with a mine.

Or, what’s preventing us from running on 100% solar and wind? Answer: Intermittency is one of the major challenges – the sun’s everywhere except when it’s not there. A lot of developers were flocking to California wanting to connect their solar farms and wind farms to the grid. The utilities turned to me and my team to look at what the impact on their grid would be.

Narrator: When we add solar cells or wind turbines to a grid do we get to shut off a coal plant? *

Answer: That is certainly the goal, but the problem is that renewables are intermittent. All of a sudden a cloud cover can drastically decrease your solar generation – and if you don’t have something else there to pick up that load then you’re going to have power outages.

New interview:

Narrator: So we don’t get to turn off the fossil fuel generator when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing?

Phillip Moeller, Federal Energy Regulatory Comissioner: Well it’s not that easy. We need to be able to back up that power to keep the system steady at all times so that it doesn’t collapse. Most likely that’s done through fast acting gas plants but also what we call the baseload plants, either nuclear or coal that ae on all the time but maybe can be dialed down during the day and dialed up when demand starts rising.

Narrator: Does it affect the efficiency to run fossil fueled power plants on and off?

Answer: Yes. They don’t like to be dialed up and down. That’s wear and tear for them.

The electrical engineer lady again: Turn them on turn them off, it’s energy lost, kind of like turning your car on and off. You have to maintain a baseload of some kind.

Narrator: What’s the solution, then?

Answer: Without storage, you can’t count on it. If you can store the energy that’s created from intermittent sources like solar and wind, you can reduce your need for a baseload.

Narrator: So will adding storage like batteries increase the carbon footprint?

Answer: Yes. Absolutely. In a big way. As to more energy storage gets on the grid it has mass scale implications.

Narrator: When I looked up how much battery storage there is, it was less than 1/10th of 1% of what’s needed.

In a couple of years, they begin to degrade and they need to be replaced a few years later.

Graphic: Global energy production = 546E6 Giga BTU, global battery capacity=51 Giga BTU

I learned that the solar panels don’t last forever either.

Speaker: Some solar panels are built to last only 10 years. I don’t know that it is THE solution.

Narrator: And so to overcome these profound limitations of solar and wind that are rarely discussed in the media, a new generation of technology was rising in the California desert described as THE FUTURE US SOLAR POWER.

Joseph Desmond: What we’re using is a field of mirrors to focus sunlight on to a tower. This power plant, at 377 megawatts, will be the largest of its kind in the world. Speech at the Ivanpah Power Plant site in the Mojave Desert: This will become the biggest solar plant in the world. Some people say if you look out on the desert you see miles and miles of emptiness. I see miles and miles of a gold mine.

Narrator: But this next generation solar technology also has a fossil fuel secret.

Speaker: This solar facility burns natural gas pretty much every morning in order to get it started up.

Narrator: How long do they have to burn it for?

Answer: Hours usually. This is the incoming natural gas pipeline for the facility. This plant does not work without natural gas. They have to file for an acid rain permit and permits for nitrous oxide emissions, they have to apply for a carbon offset permit. They are producing carbon dioxide here so they have to offset that. The whole thing is built using fossil fueled infrastructure from the concrete to the steel to the mirrors, to the backing on the mirrors. The sun is renewable, but the solar arrays are not. It takes an incredible amount of energy to mind and process the material used in the construction and operation of this renewable energy facility. This means that they use more fossil fuels to build and operate this renewable energy plant than you would need to provide power from a natural gas plant. They would be better off just burning the fossil fuels than having to go through this renewable energy charade.

Narrator: That Green Energy has nothing to do with fossil fuels is apparently is apparently a story only meant for you and me. Here is Robert F. Kennedy Jr speaking to oil and gas industry insiders. “It’s a combination solar-gas plant. The turbine that we just take from a gas plant, suspend it from a big scaffolding tower surrounded by giant mirrors. The plants that we’re building, the wind plants and the solar plants, are gas plants.

Narrator: What kind of game are we playing, I mean …

Speaker: Well, we are basically being fed a lie. For instance, you’ll hear that Germany is running on wind and solar. Speaker in first video: 35% right now, second video: 50% of their power.

Bill McKibben: There were days this past summer when the Germans were generating 80% of their power from the sun.

Speaker: But Germany is still Europe’s largest consumer of coal.

German speakers translated, “But if the most coal is extracted from this region, then this region must also be the largest source of CO2.

Speaker: Only a small fraction of their energy actually comes from wind and solar.

Graphic: German energy consumption: Solar 1.5%, Wind 3.1%. In fact Germany just built a large terminal to import natural gas from the United States.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, when he announced his gigafactory battery plant he said it would power itself with wind and solar energy.

Elon Musk: It’s a combination of geothermal, wind, and solar. It will produce all the energy that it needs.

Speaker: But in fact he has a line connected to the same grid that we’re all connected to.

Image: Gigafactory substation.

Speaker: Electric cars, wind turbines, and solar panels use rare earths. The rare earth mine is right up the street from here. {Image: Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine}. In mining these deep deposits, about 90% of what they dig up our of the ground contains uranium, thorium, and low levels of other radionuclide. So they have radioactive waste that must be disposed of somehow. So they turn it into a paste and spread it over the desert floor.

Narrator: It’s good for the desert, right? {laughter}

Speaker: Electric car bodies are made with Aluminum that takes 8 times as much energy to manufacture  than steel.

{Image: Lithium Ion batteries contain 10X more graphite than Lithium} and they use Lithium, which also relies on toxic mining, and more graphite which is a rare form of carbon. Tesla wanted to open several new graphite mines after Tesla announced the gigafactory.

Apple Claims to be 100% Renewable:

Apple Voice: “We never stop thinking about what’s best for the planet. We now run Apple on 100% renewable energy in all of our facilities worldwide. (loud cheers from the audience).

Narrator*: And they did cut down a forest to put in solar panels near their North Carolina plant but they didn’t disconnect from the grid – and they can’t!

Susan Goldenberg, The Guardian:  Energy hungry companies like Apple can never go entirely off the grid. Thomas Williams, Duke Energy: They’re still hooked up to our grid. Google Officially Hits 100% Renewable Target, General Motors Texas facility now 100% powered by wind. Chicago set to become first major US city to be powered by 100% renewable electricity. EON switches all UK customers to 100% renewable power. Malibu City facilities move to 100% renewable energy.

Narrator*: Despite all the claims, I haven’t found a single entity running on solar and wind alone.

Narrator*: It turns out that you don’t just need fossil fuels to run a place like the giant Ivanpah concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert. You need the devil himself – or in this case, themselves. {PHOTO OF THE KOCH BROTHERS DAVID AND CHARLES. All of the mirrors that you see in Ivanpah are made by the Koch Brothers in their Guardian Glass Industry, the company that they control. Then there is Koch Carbon LLC and Koch Glitsch. Koch Carbon manufactures much of the material that goes into solar facilities like Ivanpah. This includes the cement, the concrete, and steel; and Koch Glitsch builds the plants that manufacture polysilicon for solar cells. The Koch Brothers have their own line of solar cell products called Solar Molex. In every step of the process of solar energy, the Koch Brothers are there.

Narrator: But they are the evil ???

Narrator*: The funny part is that when you criticize solar plants like this you’re accused of working for the Koch Brothers. The idiocy in all of this. Solar plants like Ivanpah rely on the most toxic and industrial processes that we’ve ever created. (note: the solar industry is a creation of the industrial economy that we hate)

HOW SOLAR CELLS, WIND TURBINES, AND ELECTRIC CARS ARE MADE: High speed video of images shows mountain top explosions, mining machinery in action, poor black Africans and little black children with innocent and lovable faces working in mines under awful conditions, high temperature fires of blast furnaces, a large rare earth mining operation with mountains of black dirt, waste disposal from their processing plants, a giant coal mining operation, blast furnaces in steel manufacturing, giant mining machinery in a Nickel mine, underground explosions in mining operations, emissions of sulfur hexafluoride – a powerful greenhouse gas with label that says it is 23,000 times more potent than CO2, mine workers laboring under extremely polluted and toxic conditions, the use of explosives and heavy fossil fueled machinery in a copper mine, a large mining landscape that shows how the area has been dug up deep into the earth and dramatically altered, explosions in an open air concrete manufacturing plant and the reminder that concrete manufacture is the third leading source of CO2 emissions, a Lithium mine that has laid waste to a large area, heavy machinery in extremely dusty and smoky conditions, mining and transporting mined material, the mining and manufacture of tin, the mining and manufacturing of Phosphorus Oxychloride and Gallium Arsenide used in the manufacture of solar cells. This sequence continues with a laundry list of objectionable that includes Indium, Ammonium Fluoride, Cadmium, Lead, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Dysprosium, Chlorine, Hydrofluoric Acid, Petroleum, with images of ugly factories and mines and wasteland they had created with a detailed look at the Tesla Plant where electric cars are made. The ugliness and huge scale of these operations are highlighted. The sequence captures the horror of the industrial economy in the context of the 1960s Hippie revolt against pollution and unlimited and unregulated industrial growth; and bringing it all to bear on the enormous industrial scale of what goes into the building of solar and wind energy installations.

Speaker: The (faux) image of a solar facility, in particular this technology, is that it is environmentally benign (picture of deer wandering around the site is followed by huge, noisy, and destructive industrial machinery and vehicles removing plant growth from the site).

Narrator: I too had once thought that deserts could be sacrifice zones. {Images of the beauty of deserts}. I was wrong. Deserts are not dead. They are in fact, full of ancient life. (images of desert life including the Joshua tree, yucca, cactus, and desert palms.) In the desert, the Joshua Tree stands waiting. Waiting for the giant ground swan??? and the mammoth that shall never return. The Joshua tree depended on the giant mammals to reach up high and eat their seeds and thus disperse the Joshua Tree. But now, stranded in time and space, the Joshua Tree awaits to be sacrificed in the name of progress.

Speaker: Joshua Trees are torn down to make way for solar projects. A visit to the Mojave Desert: They’re not your usual tree. More like something from fiction but these Joshuas are causing quite an uproar. Local: They’re killing them off, killing them real quick, and now they’re grinding them up getting rid of ???. (images of machinery on the desert felling and grinding up Joshua trees to make way for a solar facility.

Narrator: Not far from Ivanpah Solar, Daggett, California was home to several generations of solar arrays including some of the first on the planet (images of solar arrays in Daggett). Ozzie and I took a trip to see where it all began. (images of decrepit homes in the desert in Daggett, CA).

Ozzie: This is one of the sunniest places on the planet, really. It’s the center of the solar industry. They’ve been building and dismantling and building arrays here for about 40 years. (since 1980),

Narrator: Then we happened to run into the mayor of Daggett. “And those solar plants out there, my husband back in 1983 1984 they were working out there building that solar plant. Everybody here worked. Question: How’d that hold up? Are those jobs still here? Answer: No. The jobs went bye bye. They have their normal people that run the plant, the operators stuff like that. Where that energy is going I don’t know. Question: Were you originally optimistic that the solar would bring more jobs in the development of people?  Answer: A lot of things come into town. They come and go. They go really fast.

Narrator: Then Ozzie and I discovered that the giant solar arrays have been razed to the ground. (images of a vast area of desert that used to be a solar array). Comment: OMG!

Narrator: It suddenly dawned on me what we were looking at – the solar dead zone! Look at the blowing sand! There are sand dunes forming in this area. Wow! (Image: flashback to Ivanpah). So after all that mining and all the fossil fuels, the toxins, the environmental destruction, this is what happens next. Only a few years after it was built, things at Ivanpah began to fall apart. The desert is littered with broken mirrors. (image of dead wind turbine in an abandoned wind facility). Yet these giant solar and wind installations may last only a few decades. Then tear it down and start all over again. If there is enough planet left. It was becoming clear that what we have been calling Green Renewable Energy and the Industrial civilization are the one and the same. Desperate measures, not to save the planet but to save our way of life. These are desperate measures rather than face the reality that humans are experiencing the planet’s limits all at once.

Steven Running, Ecologist, University of Montana (SREUM): Every different perspective I look at, and imagine well, we could do more of this or go to a larger area and use more of that, well, turns out there isn’t more.

Image: Global marine fish production peaked in 1996 at 95 million tons and has been steadily declining since.

SREUM: I looked at marine fish production and that peaked twenty years ago. More and more of that is from fish farming.

Image: Total land under agriculture peaked in the year 2000 and has been generally declining since.

Image: Dried out agricultural land with no groundwater.

SREUM: The current acres of actively farmed land, that has peaked also. The rivers are already being used for irrigation to the limits that they can sustain. The Colorado River doesn’t get to the ocean anymore. And then you start looking at groundwater. The Southern Great Plains. I think they can almost predict when they will run out of groundwater within a decade or two.

SREUM: Human vulnerability at the global scale that any one of them maybe we could compartmentalize but we’re seeing them propagating across topic after topic in society and the earth system, and I don’t think the people in charge are near nervous enough.

Narrator: So each of them take climate change seriously. Every expert I talked to wanted to bring my attention to the same underlying problem.

SREUM?: There are too many human beings using too much too fast.

Steven Churchill: Anthropologist: As a global community, we really have to start dealing with the issue of population.

Speakerx: Population growth continues to be, not the elephant in the room but a herd of elephants in the room.

Narrator: A single species has come to dominate an entire planet.

SREUM: … should be smart enough to voluntarily limit its own presence.

Narrator: Is there any precedence for that in nature?

SREUM: Wow! (great question).

Speakerx: We have to have our abilities to consume ??we need end??? Because we are not good at reining them in if there are seemingly unrestrained resources.

Speaker: Species hit the population wall a lot and then they crash. That’s a common story in biology. If it happens to us, in a way, it’s the natural order of things. And I don’t think we’ll find a way out of this one. I don’t!

Narrator: As a scientist, what do we do as a conclusion?

Speaker; Well, because right now a large percentage of that number is supported by industrial agriculture which is heavily subsidized by oil and it’s not sustainable. And there’s no going back. Without seeing some sort of major die off in population there is no turning back.

Narrator: What’s the thing that nobody every asked you and you want to say?

SREUM: Nobody’s ever asked me if I’m scared. And I am. I actually am scared. I actually lose sleep over all of this.

Narrator: It took the modern humans tens of thousands of years to reach a population of 700 million. And then we tapped into millions of years of stored energy known as fossil fuels. Our human population exploded. It increased by 10 times in a mere 200 years. Our consumption has also exploded, on average ten times per person. And many times more in the Western world. If you put the two together, the result is a total human impact that is 100 times greater than only 200 years ago. And that is the most terrifying realization I have ever had. We humans are poised for a fall from an unimaginable height. Not because of just one thing, not climate change alone, but all the human caused changes the planet is suffering from. So why are bankers, industrialists, and environmental leaders only focus on the narrow focus of green technology? Is it the profit motive? And why for most of my life have I fallen for the notion that Green Energy will save us?  Clearly, to answer this question, I needed professional help.

Speaker: I’ll just be up front with you about my dilemma. You can be my uh something called social psychologist. The right has religion, and they have a belief in infinite fossil fuels. Our side says, we’re going to have solar panels, we’re going to have wind power.  As soon as I heard you talk about our denial of death I felt a flash of insight. Could that be it? Could it just be that we can’t face our own mortality? Could we have a religion that we’re unaware of?

Sheldon Solomon: Absolutely! I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head – what differentiates people from all other forms of life is that we are not only here but that we know that we’re here. If you know that you’re here you recognize even dimly that you’ll not be here someday. And on top of that we don’t like the word “animals”. So we don’t like the fact that we’re going to die someday and we don’t like that if you walk outside you get hit by a fucking meteor. What human beings did back in yesteryear is too ??? of ourselves in culturally constructed belief systems. You can call them cultures you can call them world views, schemes of things, whatever you call them, every human community has that. Every culture has an account of the origin of the universe. Every culture has a prescription for how you’re supposed to behave while you’re here, and every culture offers a hope of immortality either literally or symbolically. Then the question is what happens when you bump into people who don’t share those beliefs. Whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not that is undermining the confidence with which you subscribe to your own beliefs; and exposing you to the anxiety that those beliefs were constructed to eradicate in the first place. If we’re to make progress, whatever that word means, or even to persist as a form of life we’ll need to radically overhaul our basic conception of who and what we are and what it is that we value. Because the people that you referred to earlier both on the left and the right that think we are going to be able to discover more oil or solar panel ourselves into the future where life will look pretty much like it does now, only cleaner and better either with more oil or cleaner or both. I think that’s just frankly delusional.

Speaker: What I am hearing is that if I haven’t come to grips with my own anxiety about death and life and I am presented with a reminder of that, I am highly likely to make some tragic decisions for the community.

Sheldon Solomon; Yes. The only solution is principle. As Albert Camus put it. He said that there is only one liberty. Just come to terms with death. Thereafter anything is possible. I find that downright inspiring.

That’s where our environmental leaders would weld their comfortable illusions. How tragic a decision were they capable of making? ….

Narrator: I was about to find out.

McNeil Biomass Power Plant, Burlington, Vermont. Image: piles of felled trees that serve as fuel for the biomass power plant.

Speaker; Biomass power plants burn whole trees, as you can see by this pile that’s stacked right outside of the facility, these are trees.

Narrator: It turns out that the biggest source of green energy in Vermont is something called biomass. It means burning trees to create electricity.

Josh Schlossberg: This is definitely not the way. As the first step we can look at our lifestyle on how we can reduce our energy consumption. The environmental impacts of the facility on the surrounding forest incudes the effect of metals and thermal radiation on the grass and the trees.

Plant security person with flashlight: You’re in forbidden territory here.

Josh: Are we?

Security guy: May I ask both of you to come up to our office … conversation skipped.

Josh: You’ve got everything here. You have the number one polluter in the state that that people claim makes magical fairy drops from the smoke stack. The reality is that what you have is a facility that burns 400,000 tons a year of trees. Now this facility burns 30 cords of wood per hour.

Narrator: That’s a hell of a lot of wood.

Josh: And on top of that it actually burns natural gas as well.

Narrator: And to think that you need ten of these to replace one coal fired power plant. It’s just not going to work.

Josh: It takes a great deal of fossil fuels to cut down all these trees and to truck them in to use the big machinery to dump the woodchips. So the idea that this is not anything to do with fossil fuels doesn’t make any sense. It couldn’t happen without fossil fuels.

Narrator: How did the environmental groups get sucked into this?

Josh: The main factor is delusion. A lot of these environmental groups have been saying that all we have to do is to switch power from the fossil fuel economy over to solar panels and windmills and we can continue our normal industrial lifestyle. In fact, some of the environmental groups have for years been touting facilities like this saying that #1 it’s carbon neutral. That this will actually help us fend off climate change because there are no CO2 emissions. But in fact it emits over 400,000 tons a year of carbon dioxide. But they say, “oh but they will grow back”. They will grow back over a period of decades or centuries. IF WE CUT EVERY TREE IN THE UNITED STATES WE CAN POWER THE COUNTRY FOR A YEAR.

Le Anse, Michigan.

Narrator: I discovered biomass plants were not always really biomass plants.

Catherine Andrews: This is actually a solid waste incinerator that is posing as a biomass plant. The impact in this community is severe. The plant is right next to the Head-Start school for pre-school kids. Then there is Green Hill Manor, an assisted living community for seniors. And there is also a Catholic elementary school right next door.

Narrator: How do you know they are polluting. Can you see it?

Catherine Andrews: We can see it. The snow at the elementary school at the pre-school is covered with black soot. We just had it analyzed and it shows that the soot came from burning of tire chips. They have to add tire derived fuel to raise the temperature of the fire because anybody who tried to burn green wood or wet wood know that it doesn’t burn very well.

Narrator: This biomass plant has yet another surprise.

Catherine Andrews: They admit that they burn 20.1 tons per hour of hardwood used for railroad ties. Besides that, they are allowed to burn 500 pounds per hour of PCP treated railroad ties. These are shipped in from Canada. It’s not green, it’s not renewable, it’s not carbon neutral. It is not anything that they claim it to be. Yet, they got $11.5 million grant because of its classification as renewable energy. The plant’s owner told us that they were having trouble getting enough wood chips and he even asked us if we had any scrap wood.

Narrator: Were not talking about some old industrial site. We are next to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Catherine Andrews: We are next to Lake Superior and right next to Kiwana Bay. Our lake! A very sacred place.

A horse drawn carriage and many bicyclists at a Michigan State University climate change rally.in Lansing, Michigan. SIGN: 100% CLEAN

Narrator: Michigan State University students inspired by 350.org are holding a rally for the clean energy future they’ve been promised.

Student speaker: Imagine when I found out that it is the largest coal plant in the nation. The goal is to get the whole world moving beyond fossil fuels.

Narrator: As it turned out Michigan State had a form of green energy in mind that the students did not support.

Adam Liter, student: The university contracted with an energy contracting company and they put together like a modeling tool, first for the 3 or 4 months the steering committee was using this modeling tool it didn’t contain wind or solar… The permit that is currently being considered by the state is a permit for 24,000 tons of biomass per year. To do that they need 4 boilers. Unfortunately, the steering committee considers biomass renewable at the moment which we are not happy with.

Narrator: Adam told me they were planning on substituting coal burning with biomass burning. Michigan State wasn’t the only university to go green with biomass.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus speech: I am happy to announce that the University of North Carolina will be going beyond coal in the next decade. Now as we begin to wean ourselves from coal, we re about to try another alternative energy source, biomass.

Narrator: And who is here to help the University of North Carolina from burning coal to burning trees?

Bruce Nilles, Director Sierra Club Beyond Coal.: It’s a great pleasure to be here today. To celebrate the remarkable step the university is taking.

Image: Tree harvesting machines cutting and slicing trees for biomass plants.

Narrator: A remarkable step indeed. So the Sierra Club is here to do their part in getting out of bed with coal companies and get into bed with logging companies? Where did the idea of colleges going green by burning trees come from anyway? It came from a little college called Middlebury in the heart of Vermont.

Image: Middlebury College campus event: Welcome to the celebration of the opening of Middlebury’s new biomass gasification system. Now it’s my great pleasure to introduce this afternoon’s speaker Bill McKibben.

Bill McKibben: What powers a learning community? And as of this afternoon, the easy answer to that is woodchips. It’s incredibly beautiful. To stand over there and to see that big bunker full of woodchips. You can put any kind of wood in, oak, willow, whatever you want. Pretty much anything that burns if you can chip it down to the right size. There are very few similar cases anywhere in this country of that kind of change over that scale. And it shows that it could happen and that it should happen and in fact it must happen everywhere.

Narrator: That must happen everywhere. And now it’s time for a nature break. (image of two men walking through a cleared section of a forest). Enjoying our sustainably managed Michigan forests.

Walking man: You walk through here and there is virtually nothing growing. A little bit of grass occasionally

Narrator: And it seems that biomass plants indeed were suddenly everywhere. Like this one in Cadillac, Michigan. (A rough barren hillside with trucks driving downhill). In Detroit, an incinerator that burned garbage ws considered green. Image: A sign says “Detroit Renewable Power”.

“Causing a Stink” Presenter: The Detroit Incinerator is known to emit horrible smells and pollutants that neighbors say make them feel sick and put their health at risk.

Sign: Detroit incinerator exceeds pollution limits but is rarely fined by the state. Speaker: It’s a stink. It’s a horrendous stink.

Sign says: MASCOMA: Narrator: A proposed biofuel plant for the upper peninsula of Michigan which consumes trees from tens of thousands of square miles.

Pat Egan local Timberland owner. In order to create 40 million gallons of ethanol, they will have to use up over a million tons of green wood. We pointed out that they were going to use more natural gas than they are going to be creating ethanol. If you continue to do this you will be fertilizing the park.

Narrator: Fertilizing parks. Made from natural gas. Then came a ballot proposal backed by Bill McKibben and by every major environmental group requiring Michigan to get 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025.

Voice: This year Michigan voters have a choice; keep burning dirty coal and oil or move to clean renewable energy like wind and solar. Vote yes on Proposal 3.

Narrator: Surprisingly, Proposal 23, also known as 25×25 was the brainchild of an organization billed as 100% biofuels and biomass.

Read Smith: The law in America’s farms, ranches, and forest lands can be active participants in contributing to America’s energy future.

Image: Map of the USA with green markers for locations of biofuel and biomass plants blanket the nation.

Narrator: These are the biomass and biofuel plants across the US. How did this happen? And it wasn’t just the USA. It was all around the world. Woodchips which is just a euphemism for trees are being exported to Europe from America, British Columbia, Brazil, and Indonesia. Wherever they can get them from. Biomass, especially when you include biofuel, is by far the largest portion of green energy around the world at about 70% of the green energy market even in Germany thought to be a solar miracle. So maybe I was missing something. Maybe I had it all wrong.

Image: A huge street protest against fossil fuels.

Narrator: I decided to ask people protesting fossil fuels what they thought about biomass and biofuels as green energy. Sign says: “No to dirty energy. Stop the climate crisis”. The protesters were opposed to biomass and biofuels as a green replacement for fossil fuels. But what about environmental leaders like McKibben? At times they have promoted biomass but at other times they are against biomass. {Image: Sierra Club deeply concerned about wood to energy for native forests}. And a statement signed by 75 environmentalists that burning forests for energy will destroy one of our best defenses against climate change. And yet, there are loopholes in the language supporting biomass. The NRDC says you must use only the right kind of biomass. The Dogwood Platform says that only small scale use of wood waste and residues should be used. But the Sierra Club flat out says “biomass can be sustainable”. Which side are they really on?

An anti fracking protest in Harrisburg Pennsylvania:

Speaker: We’re here to tell a story about what the forests of this state mean to us.

Narrator: Does your organization have a stand on the biomass issue? Answer: I am not sure I would say I would support it as much as we can wrap our heads around it. We’ve almost made a peace with the timber industry.

Second interview: What is your group’s stand on the use of forests for biomass? Answer: Biomass is renewable and biomass is sustainable.

Third interview: answer: And I’m with clean water action. We don’t really have a stand on it. If the director of the Sierra Club were here she’d be able to talk your ear off about it.

Fourth answer: (The Director): I am the Director for the Sierra Club in Pennsylvania

Narrator: Does the Sierra Club support or not support biomass? Answer: I am not totally prepared to talk about our policy on biomass. Today our position is … ??

A 350.org member: Narrator: So you’re with 350? Answer: I am. Question: What’s your position on biomass? Answer: I can’t really speak for 350. Do you personally have an opinion? No. I don’t have an opinion on that.

Interview with Van Jones: He does not have a position on that.

Bill McKibben is at the protest and he is asked; Answer: He doesn’t know.

Narrator: I found only one environmental leader willing to reject biomass and biofuels (Vandana Shiva, a lady from India). Answer: The old oil economy is trying to maintain itself. Now there’s another raw material. The only reason corn and soy have been planted for biofuel in this country. The subsidies make it profitable. I think the big crisis of our time is that our minds are being manipulated to give power to illusions. They’re shifting American growth not in terms of how life is enriched but in terms of how life is destroyed.

Narrator: Her honesty was refreshing but as for the rest of them, I wondered “what are they hiding and why are they hiding it? Is it their ignorance? Or is it something else? What if they themselves had become misguided? What if they had made some kind of deal that they shouldn’t have made and are leading us all off the cliff?

Narrator: It’s long past time for me to come to grips with the other elephant in the living room – the profit motive. The only reason we’ve been force fed this story climate change + renewables = we’re saved, is that billionaires, bankers, and corporations profit from it. And the reason we’re not talking about over-population, consumption, and the suicide of economic growth, is that would be bad for business. Especially the cancerous form of capitalism that rules the world. And now hiding under a cover of green.

Michael Bloomberg Speech: to announce a new investment of $30 million in the beyond coal campaign. We have more. I am glad to say that more than a dozen additional funders have committed to match that $30 million.

Narrator: And who were these new partners? One of them was Jeremy Grantham, a billionaire and the world’s leading timber investment adviser. They were not investing in trees to turn them into nature preserves. Which might answer another riddle. {image: Sierra Club tax return}. Why is this name redacted in the Sierra Club tax return? The redacted name is Jeremy Grantham. Would they be embarrassed to take $3million from a man who made a living selling the forests of the world?

Bloomberg, bringing a timber investment billionaire to the party was no coincidence. Bloomberg sponsored a UN climate session to discuss wrapping up biomass and biofuel projects around the world. Billionaires were in love with the idea of turning what was left of nature into green profits.

Remember when Al Gore had gotten Richard Branson to invest billions into saving the planet?

Image: flying airliner, Voice: Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic, powered a Boeing 747 from London to Amsterdam on a coconut oil mixture to highlight the potential of this amazing oil, a clean energy biofuel. Image: coconuts.

Narrator: Branson has actually invested in biofuels. He was attempting to replace the jet fuel that damages the planet with biofuels that require the consumption of the living planet. And it was “GAME ON” for the airline industry.

Image: A meeting in Missoula: Voice: Dozens of researchers from all over the Northwest gathered in Missoula, Montana in the past few days to explore the idea of converting the idea of converting the region’s massive reserves of wood into jet fuel. Specially with the demand for aircraft fuel expected to grow by a billion gallons in the Northwest alone.

Image: A bio jet fuel manufacture facility. Voice: United Airlines will buy a $30 million stake in a biofuel company called Green Bio Energy. The airline used 3.9 billion gallons of fuel last year.

Image: Vinod Khosla: Narrator: What technology was Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla hoping to profit from?

Vinod Khosla: Image: biofuel plant with woodchips on conveyer belts: Nature takes a million years to produce our crude oil. KiOR can produce it in seconds.

Voice: The (KiOR) company took over this old paper mill where logs are picked up by a giant claw, dropped into a shredder, and pulverized into wood chips.

Image: Lesley Stahl: holds up a jar of biofuel that looks like water and say “Clean gasoline”!

Vinod Khosla: Clean Green Gasoline! Lesley Stahl: There must be a down side. Vinod Khosla: There is no downside.

Narrator: The bank that crashed the economy and ruined millions of lives but left their tentacles on the levers of power os Goldman Sachs. And what is THEIR favorite form of Green Energy?

Man from Goldman Sachs: David Blood: One of the very interesting markets that we deal with is Brazil. It is unlike any other market in that today, alternative energy isn’t really alternative energy, it’s part of the fabric in the energy market. Brazil began to utilize its vast resources of sugarcane to produce ethanol. Image: Highway packed with cars.

Narrator: There was a man from Goldman Sachs who was particularly in love with turning forests into profits.

Image: David Blood, Senior Partner, Generation Investment Management, Chair of New Forests Pty Ltd.

Video of meeting: David Blood: Has everybody got enough coffee? You might want to get some more.

Narrator: Meet David Blood, former CEO of asset management for Goldman Sachs. How much money did Mr Blood believe should be invested in Green Energy?

David Blood: A natural alignment for something in the order of $40 to $50 trillion of capital.

Narrator: $40 to $50 trillion. And who was going to help the man from Goldman Sachs to raise that astronomical amount of money?

Bill McKibben: It’s entirely dependent on what kind of political will we can muster and if we do not get this done very fast, then we’re not going to get it done.

Narrator: And so Bill McKibben went forth to generate the political will for trillions of dollars in Green investments.

Video#1: EAARTH – BILL MCKIBBEN. Speaker: Our next guest has been called our leading environmentalist.

Interviewer to Bill McKibben: You are in fact the grand poohbah of the environmental movement

Video#2: My guest tonight is on a global crusade

Bill McKibben: We must commit to divesting from fossil fuels. We can’t justify investing our money in companies that are essentially running genesis backwards.

Interviewer: So when you divest from fossil fuels and invest in Green funds, what are you investing in?

Image: United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Shareholder report from Green Century Funds.

Narrator: I took a deep dive into the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings to find out.

Image: GREEN CENTURY FUND <—> 350.ORG

Narrator: For instance, in the Green Century Fund recommended by 350.org and Bill McKibben, I found less than 1% solar and wind and more than 99% of things like mining, oil and gas infrastructure companies including tar sands, McDonalds – a company driving meat consumption across the planet, Archer Daniels Midland – one of the world’s largest producers of biofuel, Coca Cola – the largest creator of plastic pollution on earth, logging and paper companies – including one that brags about biomass burning, and banks – lots of banks – including Black Rock, Inc – the largest financer of de-forestation on earth.

Anti Black Rock protester speaks: The business they are engaged in is actually destroying our life support system

Image: Protesters holding up a sign that says: “YOU’RE BURNING OUR FUTURE”.

Narrator: The Sierra Club also partners with the Green Fund in a venture called “Aspiration”. The Aspiration Fund holds shares in dozens of companies profiting from the destruction of the planet including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Chesapeake Energy, the Russian gas giant Gazprom, and in perhaps the most bizarre twist of all, the Sierra Club Green Fund’s biggest holding is in Viva, the world’s largest consumer of forest that produces woodchips to be incinerate in Green Energy biomass plants. Of course, one investment option is a Green Fund run by Bill McKibben’s buddy David Blood. And who is the chairman of this fund?

Al Gore and David Blood partnered to form a company called “Generation Investment Management”.

Image: Form shows Al Gore signature on Limited Liability Partnership form.

Within this fund, Blood and Gore designated a special investment category targeting $650 million in biomass and biofuel investments. The form shows that the date of this partnership, 21 July 2004, pre-dates the Gore film “Inconvenient Truth”. {scenes from the movie} Was that movie just about climate change? Or was it something else?

Chesapeake Energy Spokesperson: In order to maximize the production potential of the well, the shale formation will be hydraulically fractured”, Gazprom spokesperson: Gazprom has the world’s largest gas reserve, 36 trillion cubic meters.

Al Gore’s “Gold Bar” speech: On one side we have gold bars Mmmm Mmmm. Mmmm! Don’t they look good! I’d just like to have some of those gold bars. On the other side of the scale is the entire planet.

Narrator: And when it came time for Al Gore to choose between “the entire planet” and getting him some of them gold bars, what choice did he make?

In his speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Al Gore lobbied Congress on behalf of the sugarcane ethanol industry while pretending to care for the rainforest.

Senator Dodd: “Any comment on the Brazilian effort here with the issue of possibly expanding into the Amazon River Basin with further deforestation to produce more ethanol out of sugarcane is a worry. Probably you’re not as concerned about that.

Al Gore answers: No, no, I am. (I simply forgot). What’s been going on there is very troubling and with your permission I’ll show you a very quick example of it over a period of 25 years. It is important to note that the exploitation of the sugarcane growing areas in Brazil does not have to inevitable have the knock on consequence of causing disruption in the Amazon.

Image: Low flying helicopters over Amazonia scares little native children. Amazonia natives: “We are human beings. All we want is to survive

Video: men with guns in the Amazon: Voice: The invasion of sugar cane of the cultures in the region clashes with the indigenous people’s rights to their land. These are images of a last ditch attempt by the warani-kaiowa to resist eviction.

Video: A fire in the Amazon burning off the tops of the sugarcane plants to facilitate the harvest. Voice: Sugarcane fields are burning. They are set alight before the harvest to eliminate the leaves and tops of the sugarcane plants which makes cutting more efficient. Environmentalists claim that the seemingly endless sugarcane fields cause air and water pollution on an epic scale and along with deforestation, the threat it poses to the environment is becoming clear. {video; Indigenous thatched roof shacks on fire while  and indigenous man stands and watches the shacks burn down} Once the indigenous families were expelled, the landowners set their homes on fire.

Narrator: Is there anything too terrible to qualify as green energy?

Video: Richard Branson: Thank you very much sir and thanks to the US Navy for inviting me to speak with you today. The navy’s work to help those in the ???? industry is invaluable. Voice: The US Navy has a special message this year. It is time to turn green. Joining the vessels is what the US Navy calls its great green fleet of warships powered from fuel from renewable sources like algae, grass, and animal fat.

Narrator: Animal fat!

Video of “animal fat rendering plant” where live cattle, horses, lamb, and goats are tossed into a machine that grinds them up for the fat extraction furnace.

Video on “Alternative Fuels”: The next time you fill up at your neighborhood gas station you might find yourself pumping a little alligator into your tank. That’s right, UL Lafayette research has developed alligator fat as a renewable source for biofuel.

Narrator: And one we run through the animals, what’s next?

Image: GE Alstom Nuclear Systems, Your technology partner for nuclear power plants.

Narrator: GE, who brings you nuclear energy AND wind turbines, is ready with a plan.

Image: ECOMAGINATION: Speaker: I believe that liquid fuels are eventually going to have to be made from sustainable raw materials. We believe that seaweed is one of the most attractive opportunities.

Video: Underwater scene of tall leafy seaweeds with seaweed ecosystem of seahorses and shoals of fish.

You might ask yourself how could men destroy what remains of nature to enrich themselves? Well, that’s why they are billionaires and you’re not. THE TAKEOVER OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT BY CAPITALISM IS NOW COMPLETE. Environmentalists are no longer resisting them with a profit motivebut collaborating with them.

Image: “The Nature Conservancy Protecting Nature, Preserving Life

Narrator: The Nature Conservancy is now the logging conservancy.

Michael Carr, Executive Director  JPMorgan Chase & Co: We will capture the most important pieces biologically and there will be another large block sold to timber vested groups.

Narrator: The Union of Concerned Scientists has become the Union of Concerned Salesmen. Having taken millions, not for science, but to create markets for electric cars. The Sierra Club sells electric cars and solar panels right from their website.

Sierra club salesman: The best thing about Sungevity is that they make it easy for you. All you have to do is to say “yes”.

Narrator: The New York Times partners with ExxonMobil to promote biofuels. Treehugger.com, which claims to be the largest single source of environmental news, was founded and funded by Georgian Pacific, a logging company – and in fact their offices are across the street from each other in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Pacific is owned by our friends the Koch Brothers who are possibly the largest beneficiaries of green energy subsidies in the United States. Yes, the merger of environmentalism and capitalism is now complete. But maybe it’s always been complete.

Climate Challenge. Karyn Strickler: How is 350.org funded?

Bill McKibben: Well, not very well.

Karyn Strickler: Ha Ha. Who are your funders?

Bill McKibben: To the degree that we have any money at all, it comes from a few foundations.

Karyn Strickler: Which ones?

Bill McKibben: There is a foundation in Sweden called the Rasmussen Foundation. I think they’re our biggest funder.

You don’t get money from Pew or Rockefeller or any of those big funding sources?

Rockefeller Brothers gave us some money right when we were starting out. That’s been useful too.

But they no longer fund you?

I don’t know. I don’t have funders sitting in front of me.

Really?

Rockefellers has been one of the, a great ally in this fight.

 

Al Gore Interview:

Interviewer: You just built your TV network through Al Jazeera,

Right

And that government is basically nuts and butter and oil for you.

Yes, mainly in oil.

Your take on that about $100 million pre tax from a country that bases its wealth on fossil fuels. Isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy in that?

Well, I get the criticism. I just disagree with it. I’m proud of the transaction.

You couldn’t find for your business a more sustainable choice?

What is not sustainable about it?

Because it is backed by fossil fuel money.

I get it I get it …

Narrator: And so, if you’ve got yourself an environmental movement, as environmental movement, as environmental leaders why not buy the holy day itself.

Image: Huge earth day crowd. Voice: Happy Earth Da, Rock and roll music and dance,

Speech: Dennis Hayes, Founder of Earth Day. Now we are facing the greatest sets of issues that we’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s time now for a new generation to jump up on the stage and create a habitable country, a habitable planet, that we can all enjoy. Are you that generation? (yes). I need to thank Building Energy which provided so much solar power that we could power the entire event with solar energy.

Narrator: But when I went backstage to see what was really going on.

A speaker: They ain’t running the whole thing on that, Jack, I can tell you that. A toaster is 1200 watts. Those solar panels there could run a toaster but not much more.

Narrator: I found the installer. Are they running the festival on these solar panels?

Answer: The concert is run by a diesel generator.

An image of the planet earth from space.

Narrator: Now I know this all might seem overwhelming. It’s the kind of thing we don’t normally try and think about, but by not thinking about it, it stands a good chance of doing us in. I truly believe that the path to change comes from awareness, but awareness alone can’t begin to create the transformation. There is a way out of this. We humans must accept that infinite growth on a finite planet is suicide. We must accept that our human presence is far beyond sustainability – and all that that implies. We must take control of our environmental movement and our future from the billionaires and their permanent war on planet earth. They are not our friends. Less must be the new more. And instead of climate change, we must at long last accept that it’s not the carbon dioxide molecule that is destroying this planet. It’s us. It’s not one thing but everything we humans are doing. A human caused apocalypse. If we get ourselves under control, all things are possible, and If we don’t, (video: men felling timber. The trees fall and bounce helplessly in death)

Image: the emptiness of a clear cut forest with haunting music – – – and then an orang utan on a lone tree – – – more haunting music. Image: A forest burnt down to the ground by man perhaps to plant palm oil in Indonesia – – – more haunting music. More forest creatures and orang utans in desperate and pitiful conditions now that their forest is gone. More haunting music.

 

8 Responses to "Climate Action Business Model: Part-2"

Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

Thank you uwe. I transcribed the whole video. All 100 minutes of it. Took me two days to do it.

Thank you too. WOW.😍😍😍

Many thanks for your hard work transcribing Chaamjamal – I have added links from my blog.

Thank you sir. Appreciate the links.

Very well done, Chaamjamal. Personally, I prefer to read subjects to do with AGW than watch videos, so I haven’t watched Michael Moore’s video yet. But now, thanks to your hard work, I can read about it and find out what all the fuss was about.

I am like you. Prefer to read. Thank you for your kind comment.

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