California’s Energy Scorecard Fails On The World Stage – OpEd
By Ronald Stein
California, with 0.5 percent of the world’s population (40 million vs 8 billion) professes to be the leader of everything and through its dysfunctional energy policies imports more electricity than any other state – currently at 32 percent from the Northwest and Southwest – and has forced California to be the only state in contiguous America thatimports most of its crude oil energy demands from foreign country suppliers to meet the energy demands of the state.
State energy policies have made California electricity and fuel prices among the highest in the nation which have been contributory to the rapid growth of “energy poverty” for the 18 million (45 percent of the 40 million Californians) that represent the Hispanic and African American populations of the state.
Access to electricity is now an afterthought in most parts of the world, so it may come as a surprise to learn that 16 percent of the world’s population — an estimated 1.2 billion people — are still living without this basic necessity. Lack of access to electricity, or “energy poverty”, is the ultimate economic hindrance as it prevents people from participating in the modern economy.
Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80 percent of humanity, or almost 6 billion, lives on less than $10 a day. Other nations and continents living in abject poverty without electricity realize California, and large parts of the U.S. buying into green new deals, renewable futures, and zero-carbon societies are left with the dystopic reality of mass homelessness, filth and rampant inequality that increasingly characterize the GND core values.
Today, the current world population of 7.8 billion is projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.
Over the last 100 years, climate-related deaths in developed countries have decreased by 95 percent, mostly attributable to the use of fossil fuels and the products made from petroleum derivatives, that have lifted more than a billion people out of poverty in just the past twenty-five years. We can thank fossil fuels and capitalism for that and more.
Currently, underdeveloped countries, mostly from energy starved countries, are experiencing about 11,000,000 child deaths every year of which more than 70 per cent are attributable to six causes: diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth. About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, mainly from preventable causes.
When you include fatalities of “other than children” the world numbers get even worse…
- More than 8,000,000 world cancer deaths per year.
- 5,000,000 tobacco related deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8,000,000 deaths annually by 2030.
- 3,800,000 deaths every year as a result of household exposure to smoke from dirty cook stoves and fuels.
- 2,300,000 women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year per.
- 1,230,000 world traffic deaths per year.
- 270,000 pedestrians killed on roads each year.
- 585,900 premature deaths caused by drugs per year.
After that slice of morbidity I’d like to present a tad of relatively good news as to why the world is looking at the safety of nuclear power reactors. The worldwide total of nuclear deaths – not annually, but from inception of nuclear – including Three Mile Island (March 1979), Chernobyl (April 1986) and Fukushima (March 2011) are LESS than 200.
As a result of safety and ability to provide continuous uninterruptable zero emission electricity, today there are about 440 nuclear reactors operating in 30 countries around the world with 50 more under construction. Significant further capacity is being created by plant upgrading of existing reactors. Additionally, there are 140 nuclear powered ships that have accumulated 12,000 reactor years of “safe” marine operation.
Even China, with thousands of coal-fired power plants, already has 46 nuclear reactors in operation and 11 more under construction to provide continuous uninterruptible zero-emission electricity.
- California’s goal is ZERO nuclear power plants to generate zero emission electricity.
In 2016, natural gas-fired generators accounted for 42% of the operating electricity generating capacity in the United States with 200 more set to open.
- California’s goal is ZERO natural gas power plants to generate continuous uninterruptable electricity.
- California’s green goals are to only rely on intermittent electricity from wind and solar and hope that the Northwestern and Southwestern states can generate enough extra power to meet the electricity demands of the 5th largest economy in the world.
With countries around the world and other American states focused on providing continuous uninterruptable electricity, and the more than 6,000 products made from petroleum derivatives for use in the daily lives of their residents, we must give California a FAILING GRADE on the world stage for its energy policies.
If we continue to deny the growing poor populations the benefits of electricity, medicines, heating and countless other developments made possible by deep earth minerals and fuels, to ever achieve the lifestyle benefits afforded the climate activists, then we need to justify our reasoning for allowing those millions of preventable deaths from occurring every year in third world countries.