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COP27, Elites, and Engineers

By November 15, 2022Energy Rant

I have run enough marathons to have lost count, most of them in the last ten years, with the total approaching 20. Why would you do that, Jeff? I like the grind, double, especially when I can run negative splits and pass people the entire race rather than being passed the whole race. I’ve done both about equally.

I guessed that winning marathon times had not changed much in forty years. Wikipedia confirms this with finishing times at the NYC marathon. Americans Bill Rogers and Alberto Salazar finished with the same times back in the 1970s and early 1980s as the Africans finish them today – around two hours and eight minutes.

Checks No One Can Cash

As the diplomatic and celebrity elites meet in Egypt for COP27, I think these ignorant goofballs are committing to CO2 emissions targets, and they might as well be committing their fellow citizens to run a 1:50 marathon. Oh yeah? My guy will run a 1:49.30. Pffft! My guy will run a 1:39. Take that!

I get climate emails from The Wall Street Journal[1]. Saturday’s edition reports sobering (maybe they’re learning something) news, “A recent United Nations report warned that based on countries’ current climate plans, even 1.8 degrees doesn’t look credible.” For trash news, the UK Daily Mail reports 400 private jets transported elites to the event.

Climate change is a massive science and engineering problem to solve. In our course, Three-Legged Stool of Decarbonization (affordable, clean, reliable), we study the macro engineering challenges: all types of generation, thermal and electric storage, transmission systems, transmission system operators, wholesale markets, greenhouse gas sources and potency, emissions by sector, including nature, and so on. We provide typical costs for elements of solutions. Participants quickly learn this is damn hard.

I was recently told that governors, politicians, and environmentalists should read the Rant. They, including public service commission staff and commissioners, also need to know the three-legged stool.

Where are the Engineers?

So how many engineers are at COP27? The Guardian lists one engineering background, not to be confused with practicing engineers, among the top 15 who’s who, attendees. It’s a mob of elites bumping their gums, making promises and deals on engineering problems in complete ignorance.

To demonstrate, the Journal email reports that carbon credits, the net zero con, are considered greenwashing. “Carbon credits that companies buy to compensate for their emissions are often criticized as greenwashing, partly because of how hard it is to account for the climate benefit.[2]” Greta Thunberg goes further, calling COP27 negotiations, in their entirety, greenwashing. This is what you get from ignorance – a shell game of puffery.

Like nuclear power, I’ll take these political elites seriously when the conference is packed with engineers who understand the immensity and complexity of the problem.

Some Words on Elections

Thursday, 10NOV22, an email from E&E News landed in my inbox. The topic: E&E News Briefing: Midterm election impact on energy and environment policy. My first reaction was, huh? The election results won’t be known until February. We once had election day, and people could stay up until midnight, central, watch one of the three broadcast networks, and go to bed knowing the results. Election season is now longer than the NFL season. It starts in September and ends sometime in January or February with the playoffs.

I worked several local elections in La Crosse, including the recent midterms. We are DONE counting by about 8:30 PM on election day, a half hour after polls close. The rest is clearing up a few scraps of notetaking, securely packing ballots, and so on. We were out of there by 9:45. Other states are a disaster, led by, you guessed it, California. As of Thursday night, less than half the votes were counted. What could possibly go wrong during the weeks-long playoff that is akin to Major League Baseball playoffs? A game is featured daily.

Our election team is scrupulous, thorough, and fair. Everything is done by the book for issues like remaking ballots[3], voter intent, signatures, and tampered absentee envelopes[4]. We have a team handling absentee ballots all day while others are voting. We registered hordes of new voters at the same time. Why are some states so incompetent?

[1] WSJ Climate & Energy

[2] The Wall Street Journal email, WSJ Climate & Energy.

[3] For Xs rather than filling in the oval, etc.,

[4] Was it tampered with or damaged in the postal system?

Jeff Ihnen

Author Jeff Ihnen

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