Archive for the ‘Renewables’ Category

Renewables are part of the problem

September 1, 2019

This was a comment to Facebook. I’ve reproduced it here, because I think it encapsulates everything about the problems we face (and have thoughtlessly brought down upon ourselves).

“Renewables are part of the problem unless combined with Degrowth.


1. The growth economy (with or without renewables) is a death sentence for the planet. Continuous growth on a finite planet is impossible.
2. The growth economy is fueled by three things; fossil fuel, our consumer culture, and extraction industries – timber, minerals, fish, topsoil (destroyed by industrial agriculture or paved over). Removing one alone is not enough.
3. Renewables offer false hope. They divert attention from the fact that we cannot continue the growth economy. Many well meaning people think that renewables, EVs and recycling is all we need to save the planet. People don’t realize renewables are being used to continue the growth economy.
4. There is insufficient time to tackle FFs first then tackle the growth economy sometime later.
5. There is insufficient time to scale up the use of renewables before collapse.
6. Fossil fuels are used in the mining for, and manufacture and construction of renewables.
7. Moving to 100% renewables would use a large chunk of our carbon budget to remain below 1.5ºC i.e. not enough left for transport, manufacturing, food production, etc.
8. Renewables require enormous areas of land, much of which comes at the expense of farms or natural areas.
9. Renewables will do nothing to reduce Deforestation, Water scarcity, Topsoil loss, Biodiversity loss, Species extinction, damaged Phosphorus and Nitrogen cycles, Plastic pollution, Mining pollution (some of which is for renewables), and other Pollution.
10. Renewables will do nothing to reduce child and slave labour, some of which is for mining minerals for renewables.
11. Renewables will do nothing to reduce mineral scarcity, eg some rare earth minerals needed to maintain a modern lifestyle. In fact renewables are depleting some minerals.
12. We tend to focus just on our lives and those like us in the developed world. Billions of others have every right to aspire to a better life, but the planet can’t support everyone living our lifestyle, with or without renewables.
13. Convergence is necessary as our consumption decreases while that of developing countries increases. If every house on the planet had enough renewable energy for one reading light per person, a battery charger, a small fridge and not much else then there would probably be more people moving up the lifestyle ladder than down.”

Renewables will not save us

April 11, 2019

Energy expert Pedro Prieto. Brief and to the point :