Pessimistic Outlook for Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa

Wall Street Journal 
October 25, 2011

The Post-Global Warming World: Moving on From Climate Virtue.

Next month, the 17th annual United Nations conference on climate change will convene in Durban, South Africa. While the outlook certainly isn’t bright for any progress on an international climate agreement, the global prospects aren’t as bleak as the Wall Street Journal would suggest. Nor are renewable technologies as “failure-prone,” as this article suggests. “Wind power may emit zero carbon, but windmills need up to 90% of their capacity backed up to prevent blackouts—usually with coal and gas plants.” Really? Wind turbines today have capacity factors in the mid-30s, and their cost is competitive with traditional thermal sources in many regions of the country. And in many parts of the country, such as the Pacific Northwest, wind is backed up with clean and cheap hydropower, not “coal and gas plants.” Another priceless quote from the article: “The science on climate change and man’s influence on it is far from settled.” Really? The author must be relying on the same sources read by Rick Perry. I wonder if the author feels the same way about evolution.