On June 16, 2015, Pr. Dr. Istvan Marko of Université catholique de Louvain,
Laboratoire de Chimie Organique et Médicinale, sent a letter to Mr Maroš Šefčovič Vice President of the European Union Commission. He was concerned that Mr. Šefčovič had certain scientific shortcomings in the discussion of various details regarding the future actions of the EU on climate change. He received a perfunctory response and so has tried again, this time discussing Mr. Šefčovič’s visit to the province of Quebec in Canada. Professor Marko has asked us to post both letters so that the general public have an opportunity to review climate change commentary from a qualified scientist, and to know that this politician has been provided with such information. These are his personal opinions, based on his expert knowledge. Click on the link below for the original letter or view the small jpegs. The more recent letter of Nov. 7, 2015 follows.
Mr Maroš Šefčovič
Sometime ago, I sent you a letter concerning your keynote speech at the EU-Serbia High-level meeting on Climate Change in Belgrade, pointing out some of its shortcomings and attempting to explain in simple terms that EU was taking the wrong avenue as far as climate change and CO2 emission restrictions were concerned. As I expected, I received a kind of non-response from one of your underlings. Obviously, that person did neither properly read my letter, nor understood it, and he certainly did not inform you about its content since you repeated the same mistakes during your last visit in Canada, as the brief underneath, followed by the subsequent two tweets attest:
LESSONS FROM QUEBEC: There is plenty the EU can learn about renewables and energy efficiency from Canada. Maroš Šefčovič, the Commission’s energy union chief, was eager to learn how Quebec, one of the largest hydro power producers in the world, integrated renewables into the electricity grid and manages its energy efficiency investments. Both Canada and the EU now hope to revive a joint energy council format, originally set up in 2007. Šefčovič knows a thing or two about Canada having been posted as a diplomat in Ottawa years ago.
Maroš Šefčovič @MarosSefcovic
Congrat Quebec for being 4th largest hydropower producer in world. Gd exchange w @phcouillard on renewables,ETS+decarbonisation of transport
Maroš Šefčovič @MarosSefcovic
Conclud my visit to Canada with Quebec PM @phcouillard. Impressed to see Quebec’s commitment to fight climate change
Allow me to remind you a few things concerning ETS. As you may be aware, this is essentially a new financial tool whose sole purpose is dedicated at making money from the so-called “green” economy. In fact, we all know, you included, that this is just one more instrument devised to enable some big banks and international corporations to suck money from the population in the form of juicy state subsidies offered to support these non-renewable but intermittent energies. Obviously, this money has to come from somewhere and it originates from the citizens in the form of taxes. So much so for the social aspects of EU.
Being the Commission’s energy union chief, you are certainly aware that Interpol has recently released an important report in which they link carbon trading deals with white collars and organised crime. In several countries already, these ETS have served the sole purpose of laundering dirty money. I am not sure that I should bring up to you some sore memories, involving people such as Lakshmi Mittal, who requested by law that the Walloon government of Belgium pay him several million euros for some unspent carbon credits after he closed down steel factories in this country and move them elsewhere. I am not convinced that endorsing and praising a system that favours thieves and organised crime will make you particularly popular among European citizens.
As for the energy viewpoint, and since you are the Commission’s energy union chief, I would have thought that at least you would be able to make a difference between renewable energies and intermittent energies. Canada possesses a huge amount of hydroelectric plants that provide them with all the electricity they require in a controlled manner. Hydroelectric systems are truly renewable, after removing the damages done to nature by building the dams, and their electricity production can be modulated in a manner similar to that of nuclear power plants or gas-fired power plants. This has nothing to do with intermittent energies, such as solar and wind power, which depend solely upon the good will of the wind or the sun and the generous support of the States. These are clearly not renewable energies and such an answer from the part of any first year undergraduate student at any energy course examination would have resulted in a plain 0/20 mark.
To make it painfully clear, whilst the Western Canadian province of Alberta, which has very limited hydro resources and no public ownership of power, has no electricity debt – amazing, isn’t it? – Ontario, who decided against all odds and under duress from some French electric companies to move onto wind power, has one of the highest energy liabilities of the entire nation of Canada. In fact, it has the highest sub sovereign (non-country) debt in the entire world, double that of California, which has three times the population of Ontario. The move into intermittent energies plays certainly a big part in this fiasco, and Ontario now has a 44 Billion Canadian dollars power utility public debt, second only to Quebec’s 63.7 Billion. Alberta has none. Every single windmill constructed in Ontario makes this province poorer by the hour and forbids the humbler people to access vitally needed energy. There is a beautiful linear correlation between the percentage of intermittent energy per country and the cost of this energy per capita: the more intermittent, the higher the cost. You can find all the pertinent data in the report of Eurostat.
In addition, as you may recall, wind and solar energies being intermittent, they need gas-fired back-ups to supply energy when they are not producing it, which in fact happens most of the time. These supporting power plants go on and off constantly to compensate the fluctuating production of solar and wind and therefore overproduce CO2 and other gases. Any chemist can do a full life cycle analysis and demonstrate in a simple way that wind and solar energies actually increase the production of carbon dioxide. As an illustration, Ontario, with its current energy mix, produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions per kWh. Wind and solar energies, coupled with their natural-gas-fired backups, generate electricity at about 200 grams of CO2 emissions per kWh, 5 times more! Now that is a serious reduction in carbon dioxide production indeed!
As the EU Commission’s energy union chief, I am bemused that you ignore this important aspect of intermittent energy production and praise Canada for choosing the worth possible avenue in term of electricity generation and CO2 emissions reduction. Moreover, I would have thought that the current tragic failure of the German EnergieWende – they are returning to the worst possible kind of coal (lignite) and are increasing their CO2 emissions – coupled with the recent decision of Denmark to retain their coal and gas-fired power plants and to abandon their utopic target of 100% renewable by 2050 – they finally realized it was a complete nonsense and it was destroying their economy – would have opened your eyes. Seemingly, this is not the case. “There are no blinder people than those who refuse to see”, as the saying goes, unless the power of lobbies, the level of corruption and the rampant ecologism, akin to a new religion, have all perverted the EU management up to its highest levels.
How do provinces or nations arrive at such poor decisions? How can politicians be fooled into these unrealistic avenues? Could it have something to do with the IPCC reports? Here is an enlightening statement from AR5 WGIII Summary for Policy Makers 4.2.2.:
“Decarbonizing (i.e. reducing the carbon intensity of) electricity generation is a key component of cost-effective mitigation strategies in achieving low-stabilization levels (430–530 ppm CO2eq); in most integrated modelling scenarios, decarbonization happens more rapidly in electricity generation than in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors (medium evidence, high agreement)”.
In this passage, the reader is told that decarbonizing (getting rid of coal and natural gas) will be cost-effective, a blatant lie in view of the above. Though the rest of the paragraph suggests strongly that wind and solar would be suitable replacement strategies, it ends up by reminding the Policy Makers that these intermittent technologies still need direct and/or indirect support, in other words, taxpayers money. Obviously, some important organisations are eager to collect their dividends on the massive, tough foolish, investments made in intermittent energies.
In Canada, this notion caught the attention of some 70 scholars, who issued a report called “Acting on Climate Change” under the umbrella of the prestigious McGill/Trottier banner. They proposed to implement a national wind-hydro system only by 2035 for Canada, resting upon the IPCC report that says:
“The simulations, based on the greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios of the IPCC, show that immediate global actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would successfully limit temperature increases in Canada. Because renewable energy resources are plentiful, we believe that Canada could reach 100% reliance on low carbon electricity by 2035.”
This is an astonishing assumption. Even if such utopia were technically feasible, it would be impossible to acquire land rights and source materials for such a project within a 20 years time frame. Is this something you learned about while in Quebec? If so, be prepared to be sorely disappointed. Indeed, when this report was examined and evaluated by engineers working in the power generation business, the outcome proved to be shockingly negative. Not only is such a proposal deemed to be technically unrealistic, it would also cost hundreds of billions of dollars and would put Canada at risk of national blackouts –for no benefit at all.
Whilst IPCC does NOT make any recommendation on any topic, it issues reports written in such a shrewd way that other people will read them as recommendations and assume that they are based upon research performed at the highest possible level, the only one obviously suited to the World’s “leading authority on climate science.” The disillusion is truly painful.
With the advent of the COP21 in Paris, the position adopted by the EU probably places a heavy burden on your shoulders that does not allow you to adopt an honest opinion. However, it is incumbent upon you to make it clear to the general public that renewable intermittent energy is neither a magical nor a practical solution. As demonstrated by Google engineers, the physics are simply against wind and solar and various permutations of these. Intermittent energy cannot provide the power needed in our modern society and does not address climate change, its original objective.
In view of your position of power as the EU Commission’s energy union chief and your obligatory commitment towards the welfare of the European citizens (after all, we elected you somehow), you should be the first one to defend our interests, to stand up against intermittent energies, to ask for a ban on wind power and to launch a review on why the IPCC has been claiming that getting rid of fossil fuelled power generation in favour of intermittent energies is in anyway a “cost-effective” or workable energy strategy for our modern, industrialized societies.
Convinced that, once again, you will not read this letter and that one of your underlings will send me another non-response, I shall not wait for it and will make this letter directly public.
With best regards,
Pr. Dr. István E. Markó