Duke University just published the results of a survey of beliefs about climate change in America. The findings are a mixed bag. On the positive side, the percentages of people who think climate change is occurring (84%) and human activities are the primary cause (54%) have reached the highest levels ever recorded. Most also favor regulations capping emissions and clean energy, but support for pricing carbon through cap-and-trade and taxes is low.
As you might also guess, there is a large partisan divide with Republicans much more likely to reject climate science than Democrats and Independents. However, even among Republicans, a slim majority accept that the climate is changing, greenhouse gas emissions should be regulated, and clean energy needs to be promoted.
Also not surprising was that watching Fox News is associated with ignorance and loyalty to fossil fuels. That ignorance is not a coincidence. Another recent survey found that News Corp. broadcast and print media provide a constant diet of misinformation about the climate crisis.
News Corp. must be concerned that too many conservatives think clean energy is a good idea. They have ramped up the stupid. Did you know that solar energy cannot work in America? It is because we are too stupid to make it work here and we get less sun than European countries like Germany.
It is clear that there were three objectives in the Fox News report: (1) bash Obama, (2) bash incentives for solar power, and (3) promote natural gas.
The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory pointed out the cow chips on the Fox News couches. As noted by senior scientist at the NREL, Germany's solar resources are equal to that of Alaska, the state with the least amount of direct solar energy over the course of the year. Facts, smacks.
In the Washington Post, Brad Plumer explains the real difference between solar power initiatives in the US and Germany.
Yet despite those limitations, Germany has still managed to be the world leader in solar power. At the end of 2012, the country had installed about 30 gigawatts of solar capacity, providing between 3 percent and 10 percent of its electricity. The United States, by contrast, has somewhere around 6.4 gigawatts of solar capacity.Sometimes I cannot tell the difference between Fox News and the Onion. Well, both take ridiculous to absurd new levels, but only the Onion is amusing.
Why the difference? Policy is the big factor. The German government has heavily subsidized renewable energy for years through a variety of measures. Perhaps most crucially, the country’s “feed-in tariffs” allow ordinary people to install solar panels on their rooftops and sell the power to the grid at favorable rates. (The costs are then shared by all electricity users.)
Solar installations are also much cheaper in Germany — about half as cheap as they are in the United States. Partly that’s because the industry is bigger. But a recent report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered a bunch of smaller factors, too. Permitting is easier in Germany. And German solar installers spend less on marketing, inspections, and grid-connection fees. That all adds up.
WASHINGTON—Sources have reported that following a long night of carousing at a series of D.C. watering holes, Energy Secretary Steven Chu awoke Thursday morning to find himself sleeping next to a giant solar panel he had met the previous evening. “Oh, Christ, what the hell did I do last night?” Chu is said to have muttered to himself while clutching his aching head and grimacing at the partially blanketed 18-square-foot photovoltaic solar module whose manufacturer he was reportedly unable to recall. “This is bad. I really need to stop doing this. I’ve got to get this thing out of here before my wife gets home.” According to sources, Chu’s encounter with the crystalline-silicon solar receptor was his most regrettable dalliance since 2009, when an extended fling with a 90-foot wind turbine nearly ended his marriage.Get fracked, Fox.