Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Brittany Raymer.
Rolling blackouts are expected throughout Europe this winter and may result in the deaths over 100,000 people due to the cold. This outcome was decades in the making and completely preventable. Europe's reliance on the unstable and notoriously fickle green energy sources like solar and wind, while quietly supplementing its energy needs with massive amounts of Russian natural gas, has resulted in catastrophe. Will the U.S. learn from this disaster or head down the same path?
What happens if there's no wind to push the turbines or if the sun is hiding for days on end? In Europe, this means darkness, cold and a realization that perhaps green isn't necessarily the way of the future.
Over the last several decades, and especially under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord agreement, Europe has decided to shut down all of its coal power plants and much of its nuclear energy to invest in solar and wind. The problem is that it didn't actually power itself based on those sources of power. Instead, Europe utilized cheap Russian natural gas to keep the lights on, while proclaiming its green superiority to the world.
And, as it turns out, that hubris has a price.
The Economist is reporting that the cold, caused by expected rolling blackouts and sky-high energy prices this winter, could cause the death of 100,000 people. If Europe experiences its coldest winter since 2000, the death toll could potentially even reach 185,000. An insane loss of life of life, and incredibly ironic as well.
Despite being one of the most advanced civilizations on earth, it's as if Europe is stuck back between the 14th and 19th centuries, when a Little Ice Age struck killing millions. The devastating harvests and frigid temperatures had a great social and political impact but were also completely unavoidable for the people at the time. There was no electricity, so no way to effectively heat homes and palaces. Apparently, it was so cold that the beard of the king of France froze in his sleep.
Now that's less likely to happen to Emmanuel Macron, because he obviously doesn't have a beard, but the idea that people will die the is winter from something completely preventable is crazy to consider.
The situation is so bad, that the U.K. is trying to get some of its coal power plants back online and is essentially bribing people with prizes and cash to minimalize their energy usage.
This could have been entirely avoidable if instead of following ideologs like Greta Thunberg, Europe had based its energy policy on science, which shows that natural gas, coal, nuclear and other more traditional energy sources are more reliable and stable than anything wind and solar can offer.
So, given all the evidence that Europe is going to freeze this winter, why is President Biden and his administration foolishly following the same path?
The U.S. is jumping headlong into the mass development of solar and wind power, while knowing the only way it can end is in disaster.
Hundreds of people died in Texas just last year after the wind turbines froze and the power grid failed after a massive storm and following cold snap.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper is looking to build a wind turbine farm off the coast of Wilmington. Given the deep freeze coming this week, is there any plan of what to do if the turbines freeze, break or fail in the event of a storm in the future? No.
At this point, the only reliable "green energy"
source is the one that Europe is trying desperately to get back online, and that's nuclear. Instead of jumping onto reliance on the unpredictable nature of, well, nature, North Carolinians should demand that all nuclear options are pursued before resorting to destroying the coastline for the sake of turbines that may stand useless if the wind isn't blowing.
Let's take the lessons of Europe and invest in real power, not the wishful thinking of climate change activists.