When listening to Al Gore’s numbers and figures, we really do need to worry that he may have completely lost his sense of reality. Otherwise we can only conclude that he is a stunningly unscrupulous fraud.
Image cropped from: Rush Limbaugh site.
In Gore’s self-imagined climate-crisis world, global temperatures are accelerating, the center of the earth is several million degrees, mankind has only a few months left to live, and the ocean will soon swallow ground zero, where the World Trade Center once stood. His latest wild exaggeration: Industrial country Germany is now getting 37% of its energy needs from wind and solar.
This and other claims made by Al Gore in a recent article in Rolling Stone Online, however, are completely false and totally foreign to reality. I know because I live in Germany and have written often about this topic. Gore’s portrayal of a German success is completely false. Moreover, Climate Depot here also brings up an interview where German renewable energy expert Steffen Henne calls Gore’s claims “journalistic fraud”.
Early in the Rolling Stone piece, Gore claims:
Germany, Europe’s industrial powerhouse, where renewable subsidies have been especially high, now generates 37 percent of its daily electricity from wind and solar; and analysts predict that number will rise to 50 percent by 2020. (Indeed, one day this year, renewables created 74 percent of the nation’s electricity!)
This is complete nonsense and it is obvious that Gore, or his researchers, never bothered to check the readily available facts. Just a quick look at Wikipedia here (hardly a shill for the fossil fuel industry) and we get the de-fantasized figures on the share of total power (2012) that wind and sun have in Germany:
Total wind and solar: 13.3%
Gore’s claim: 37%
Factor of exaggeration: 178%
In fact, all the renewable energies combined, i.e. solar, wind, biogas, hydroelectric, etc. amount only to 25% share of Germany’s total energy supplied as of 2012. Already leading officials concede there is little chance of reaching 40% total renewable energy by 2020, let alone 50% with only solar and wind.
Germany’s skyrocketing electricity prices
Far more significant is that Gore totally ignores the dark side of Germany’s renewable energy push: It has caused Germany’s electricity prices to soar, so much so that 600,000 German households were having their power cut off every year. Peter Altmaier, former environment minister under Angela Merkel, said Germany’s renewable energy obligations will cost consumers almost 1 trillion euros by 2030.
And Gore forgets to mention that almost every solar module manufacturer in Germany has gone bankrupt, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of “jobs for the future”.
Unstable power grid
In addition, the erratic feed-in of the constantly fluctuating supply of wind and sun is putting the stability of Germany’ power grid in serious jeopardy. Many industries that rely on stable source of electricity are thinking twice about investing in Germany and are increasingly considering moving operations to foreign locations.
Gore also fails to tell his rock-and-roll readers that Germany has brought on-line more coal power over the past years in an effort to stabilize its base power supply. German CO2 emissions are back on the rise.
He fails to mention that many of the generous renewable energy subsidies have since been scaled back in an effort to keep the exploding costs and power grid stability from careening completely out of control.
Gore forgets to mention that Germany’s biogas industry has turned a large part of the country’s landscape into a giant corn-field monoculture that has resulted in large-scale biodiversity genocide. Germany’s imports of palm oil from tropical countries has also led to the mass deforestation of once pristine rainforests abroad. These biotopes are now lost for a very long time, if not forever.
Already just the first few paragraphs of Gore’s Rolling Stone piece are so detached from reality and false that everything he writes thereafter is likely of the same quality. People should have stopped listening to Gore a long time ago.
PS: See “Frozen Wasteland” featuring Al Gore.