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A Rational Look at the "Settled Science"

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Fossil fuels are only profitable because the tab for the negative health, environmental, emissions and military costs are being picked up by the public.

Again - not true. If the costs were anything close to what you claim then we would not have the wealth to build the society we have (i.e. if your assertion had any merit then all the excess wealth would be spent cleaning up problems caused by fossil fuels but that is not necessary because the cost of cleaning up those problems is tiny compared to the value fossil fuels bring).

Fossil fuels are drain on society that we cannot afford. It's time to price in the real cost of fossil fuels and move on to cheaper, cleaner solutions.

When/if someone comes up with cheaper, cleaner solutions people will use them. So far, there is nothing remotely viable that does not come with its own problems. Edited by TimG

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.... Fossil fuels are drain on society that we cannot afford. It's time to price in the real cost of fossil fuels and move on to cheaper, cleaner solutions.

Nope...not going to happen. There are no cheaper solutions at the present time. Cheap energy is why "we" have a global, hydrocarbon based economy. Society will continue to pay all associated costs for a very long time. Fill 'er up !

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When/if someone comes up with cheaper, cleaner solutions people will use them. So far, there is nothing remotely viable that does not come with its own problems.

Nope...not going to happen. There are no cheaper solutions at the present time. Cheap energy is why "we" have a global, hydrocarbon based economy. Society will continue to pay all associated costs for a very long time. Fill 'er up !

When all costs are considered some renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Plus, fossil fuel use continually degrades our health and environment leading to increased costs. Renewables are already viable, clean, competitive and becoming cheaper all the time. Time to stop subsidizing the stuff that kills us and go with the stuff that doesn't.

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When all costs are considered some renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Plus, fossil fuel use continually degrades our health and environment leading to increased costs. Renewables are already viable, clean, competitive and becoming cheaper all the time. Time to stop subsidizing the stuff that kills us and go with the stuff that doesn't.

Nice to know.....but the energy market doesn't care until it is worth its while to care. Subsidized renewables also have external costs and risks.

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When all costs are considered some renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuels.

You mean when you make up imaginary numbers and tack them on to the price of fossil fuels. Sorry, the economy does not run on imaginary numbers. It runs based on real numbers and the real numbers mean renewables are not a viable source of power at this time. They can only exist because fossil fuels produce so much energy that we are able to waste some of excess trying to produce power with wind and solar.

Time to stop subsidizing the stuff that kills us and go with the stuff that doesn't.

Again with your false statements. Creationists claim the earth is 6000 years ago but repeating the claim does not make it true. The same is true of your claims of fossil fuel subsidies falsehood: they are not subsidized and once you include things like the gasoline tax and royalties they are net revenue generators in developed countries. Edited by TimG

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A total myth. In developed countries fossil fuels get no significant subsidies that are not offset by revenue streams like royalties or fuel taxes.

You are delusional. There are no subsidies that can be simply "redirected". Fossil fuels produce a net economic benefit (meaning the value they produce exceeds their cost) which is why they don't need subsidies and allow society to direct resources to other priorities.

First off you can claim that taxes and royalties offset subsidies. All businesses pay taxes whether they are subsidized or not and all mining companies pay fees or royalties.

Secondly... youre just flat out wrong. The Fossil Fuel industry is MASSIVELY subsidized all over the world.

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First off you can claim that taxes and royalties offset subsidies. All businesses pay taxes whether they are subsidized or not and all mining companies pay fees or royalties.

If the government gives an oil company a 'exploration tax credit' that results in a new well generating new royalties then the tax credit is an investment - not a subsidy. And when I talk about taxes I am talking about gasoline taxes which only apply to fossil fuels so they must be counted against any subsidies if you are interested in a fair accounting. In Canada fossil fuel only excise taxes generate $5 billion/year.

Secondly... youre just flat out wrong. The Fossil Fuel industry is MASSIVELY subsidized all over the world.

No you are wrong. I have looked into a few claims of subsidies and found the following:

1) Almost all of the direct subsidies are in the developing world. In developed countries like Canada direct subsidies are non-existent.

2) In cases where "tax subsidies" are claimed the bulk of these so called subsidies are simply tax rules that apply to all businesses and do not represent real subsidy. It is just a fiction created by people who want to believe untrue things.

Now if you want to provide a reference that includes details on how the so-called subsidies are calculated I would look at to see if it has anything new but I doubt it will change the fundamental conclusion: the idea that fossil fuels get significant subsidies in developed countries is a complete myth.

Edited by TimG

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If the government gives an oil company a 'exploration tax credit' that results in a new well generating new royalties then the tax credit is an investment - not a subsidy. And when I talk about taxes I am talking about gasoline taxes which only apply to fossil fuels so they must be counted against any subsidies if you are interested in a fair accounting. In Canada fossil fuel only excise taxes generate $5 billion/year.

No you are wrong. I have looked into a few claims of subsidies and found the following:

1) Almost all of the direct subsidies are in the developing world. In developed countries like Canada direct subsidies are non-existent.

2) In cases where "tax subsidies" are claimed the bulk of these so called subsidies are simply tax rules that apply to all businesses and do not represent real subsidy. It is just a fiction created by people who want to believe untrue things.

Now if you want to provide a reference that includes details on how the so-called subsidies are calculated I would look at to see if it has anything new but I doubt it will change the fundamental conclusion: the idea that fossil fuels get significant subsidies in developed countries is a complete myth.

Perhaps you may have heard of the National Energy Program. The one everybody hated Trudeau over. That was started 35 years ago and is just one example of how fossil fuel production has been heavily subsidized through history.

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Perhaps you may have heard of the National Energy Program. The one everybody hated Trudeau over. That was started 35 years ago and is just one example of how fossil fuel production has been heavily subsidized through history.

The NEP was snuffed in the 80's. If it had worked instead of being cocked-up by the way we practice politics, the NEP would be subsidizing us, but probably only if we'd hired Norway's national energy corporation to run it. It's pretty clear we would have just screwed it up no matter what we did.

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At one point cigarettes were not heavily taxed and smokers did not pay higher insurance premiums, hence the health and insurance costs were subsidized society. Now tobacco products come with hefty taxes and smokers pay higher premiums. I don't know if smokers completely cover their own health costs now, but it's closer.

Fossil fuels are like cigarettes in the past. They do receive some direct support ($550 Billion annually) but most of the subsidies are in the form of health and environmental costs covered by the public. The world pays $1.9 Trillion (place your little finger beside your mouth when you say it) annually to cover the negative costs of fossil fuel use.

Renewables currently receive 5.5 times fewer direct subsidies than fossil fuels and don't come with the massive negative costs. When all factors are considered they are already cheaper, cleaner and safer, plus they don't kill people like fossil fuels do.

At this point arguing in favour of fossil fuel use is like advocating for lead paint, asbestos or Thalidomide.

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And if we were a little smarter we might not be going through all this nonsense as the world oil price drops into the toilet, whilst not so long ago Exxon-Mobil was the richest corp. on the planet. I'll make a simple example for the young fellar's that don't get it but look, if we got energy from the sun for instance, we have a fairly reliable source. It comes up every day, or at least it has all my life. Collecting it and converting it to keep the lights on is a business oil company employees could handle so they wouldn't be out of work. We'd be able to control the bill you get each month without the nonsense everybody is freaking out about right now.

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...At this point arguing in favour of fossil fuel use is like advocating for lead paint, asbestos or Thalidomide.

There is no argument....fossil fuels have been and will be favoured for a very long time, unlike lead paint, asbestos, or Thalidomide (which continues to be used). The science and economics are settled...renewables cannot violate known laws of physics and thermodynamics.

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Fossil fuels are like cigarettes in the past. They do receive some direct support ($550 Billion annually) but most of the subsidies are in the form of health and environmental costs covered by the public. The world pays $1.9 Trillion (place your little finger beside your mouth when you say it) annually to cover the negative costs of fossil fuel use.

This figure is complete nonsense because it ONLY considers the harms of fossil fuels but ignores the benefits. i.e. how many lives are saved because hospitals have power or ambulances have gas? Without fossil fuels there would be none of those things.

Renewables currently receive 5.5 times fewer direct subsidies than fossil fuels

Again: complete BS because, first, fossil fuels are not subsidized in developed countries. No matter how many times you repeat the falsehood you do not make it true. Second, our society needs a lot of energy and what matters Joules/Dollar. Not dollars. Renewables receive massive subsidies per Joule of output - so large that our society would collapse if renewables were scaled up to the level necessary to replace fossil fuels (something which they are technically not capable of doing BTW).

At this point arguing in favour of fossil fuel use is like advocating for lead paint, asbestos or Thalidomide.

At this point arguing in favour of renewables is like advocating for leprechauns and unicorns. When someone invents a viable alternative people will use it. Until then we are going to use fossil fuels. Edited by TimG

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I'll make a simple example for the young fellar's that don't get it but look, if we got energy from the sun for instance, we have a fairly reliable source. It comes up every day, or at least it has all my life.

Except the sun does not shine in the evening when we need the power and there is no way to store electricity on the scale required. This brutal reality means solar can never be more than a bit player.

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Except the sun does not shine in the evening when we need the power and there is no way to store electricity on the scale required. This brutal reality means solar can never be more than a bit player.

Ummm, when is it the sun doesn't shine on earth? Let's start there.

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Ummm, when is it the sun doesn't shine on earth? Let's start there.

Most electricity is generated close to where it is consumed because it is simply not efficient to transport long distances. Transporting power across an ocean (the requirement for your fantasy) is not even remotely viable.

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Most electricity is generated close to where it is consumed because it is simply not efficient to transport long distances. Transporting power across an ocean (the requirement for your fantasy) is not even remotely viable.

Let's see now. my electricity comes from a hydro dam. It's a few hundred miles away from me. It's transported to us by copper wires. It doesn't have to cross the ocean. It could be produced by the heat from the sun. Now let's see, do you think the sun only shines on this side of the ocean?

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Let's see now. my electricity comes from a hydro dam. It's a few hundred miles away from me. It's transported to us by copper wires. It doesn't have to cross the ocean. It could be produced by the heat from the sun. Now let's see, do you think the sun only shines on this side of the ocean?

That is an awfully simplistic view of the power generation and transmission. You could have a system using only clean energy sources at astroniomical consumer cost and frequent outages, or a system using clean power with traditional backup, always on, dirty power for and even more astronomical cost, or we can wait for technological advancements that might allow for the mass storage of and or generation of a relaible always available clean energy. Thats all there is, these is no magic in it. If you want your light's to turn on without fail regarless of how windy or not, or how sunny or not, carbon, at least for now it's carbon, i'm not sure why people over complicate this simple fact.

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Let's see now. my electricity comes from a hydro dam. It's a few hundred miles away from me. It's transported to us by copper wires. It doesn't have to cross the ocean. It could be produced by the heat from the sun. Now let's see, do you think the sun only shines on this side of the ocean?

If it's dark, though, the part of the earth that is sunlit is (for most of the time) far far away, right ?

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Let's see now. my electricity comes from a hydro dam.

First, I am willing to bet that that dam that provides your power is either in the same timezone or in the time zones next to yours which means your silly suggestion that solar panels could be in the light while providing power to people in the dark would not work. You would need power to be transported across oceans for that scenario to work. More importantly hydro dams, unlike solar, are able to store power and only produce it when it is needed - even in the dark. Edited by TimG

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If it's dark, though, the part of the earth that is sunlit is (for most of the time) far far away, right ?

Of course, however it shouldn't be that hard to have solar power sections of the grid when sufficient wattage is available. Then of course the individual home can provide portions of it's own power. Yes there is an up front cost for solar cells, storage, etc. but at least it helps take the control out of the hands of OPEC et al.

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First, I am willing to bet that that dam that provides your power is either in the same timezone or in the time zones next to yours which means your silly suggestion that solar panels could be in the light while providing power to people in the dark would not work. You would need power to be transported across oceans for that scenario to work. More importantly hydro dams, unlike solar, are able to store power and only produce it when it is needed - even in the dark.

You've kind of got it backwards. Hydro electric dams do not store power, unless you want to call the water levels behind the dams as a type of stored energy, which in a way I guess it is. Solar power very much can store energy.

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Solar power very much can store energy.

Please enlighten with this amazing breakthrough that allows solar panels to store energy for use when it is dark.

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