Bob Stannard: It’s only a matter of time

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, a former lobbyist, who is still an author and musician. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner.

Two days ago I looked to the east and I could see my neighbor’s house. Overnight the leaves arrived and the view that I had become accustomed to over these long winter months vanished. I look to the south and I can see the greenery racing up the side of Equinox and Mother Myrick mountains. Within the next 24 to 48 hours my ability to be able to see two 200 yards into the forest will be reduced to 50 feet. I will be corralled by foliage.

I am grateful for the month of May, because it is this month that we are reminded of how quickly the world around us changes. We know that everything changes every day, but we forget. Oh yes, there are other reminders that help us to remember. Things like grandkids. At this stage of his life my grandson, Ernest, a.k.a. Ernie, is changing at the same speed as the forest’s leaves. One day he could only crawl; the next day he stood up on his own. A few days later he took his first step. A month later I can’t catch the little guy.

The warp speed of change is breathtaking yet for the most part we never see it happening. There are those who don’t want to see change and there are those who deny change is happening. Sadness fills my heart when I think of these folks, for it is the dynamic of change that presents us with opportunities. One day that cell in your body that you know is there, but can’t ever hope to see, may have become cancerous. That would be unwelcome change. Denying it has occurred might very well prove fatal. An opportunity exists to try to fix the problem.

Denial is not partisan, racial or secular. We are confronted with it every day.


The news last week of the rapid melting of the glaciers in West Antarctica is another example of how fast things are changing around us. When my father came home from World War II there was no worry of Earth losing its polar icecaps. A generation later (or was it just a couple of days?) we are losing our polar ice caps. According to the article, which makes it clear that man burning more fossil fuels is substantially to blame for the problem, the process of the ice melting is no longer reversible. Sometime back, maybe a few hours ago, we had a chance to reverse the process, but we didn’t see it happening. Or did we? Some saw what was happening and let it be known, but the rest of us opted to deny that change was occurring. Some change is too unthinkable to think about. Choosing to deny the problem and thus not working on solutions to deal with the change may prove fatal in the long run.

The verdict from scientists was that destabilization of the Antarctic ice could lead to the seas rising 10 to 20 feet. Remember when we were worried about the seas rising an inch or two, or did we choose to ignore that warning, too?

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Daily Kos showing how those in a position of power are reacting to the news of melting glaciers:

“The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission has found a solution to the political impasse posed by the conflict between science, which predicts the acceleration of sea level rise as the glaciers of western Antarctica collapse into the Southern Ocean, and money-driven politics tied to coastal development. The Coastal Commission voted to ignore long-term sea level rise. The Commission voted, with one lone dissent, to limit the period of consideration of sea level rise to 30 years. Keeping the period to 30 years allowed the Commission to avoid considering the consequences of the collapse of west Antarctic glaciers, the speed up of the melting of Greenland’s ice cap and the slowing of the Gulf Stream. This vote will end the conflict between the Republican dominated state legislature and the Commission that happened in 2010 when the Commission’s panel of experts predicted as much as 5 feet of sea level rise by 2100. The legislature rejected that report and prohibited state and local government offices from considering the possibility that sea level rise would accelerate.”

This is comparable to rejecting the word from your doctor that the tiny cell in your body that was fine yesterday is cancerous today. Sure, you can take the position that you are only going to look six months ahead and after that it’s someone else’s problem. The problem, of course, is that it’s still going to be your problem.

Denial is not partisan, racial or secular. We are confronted with it every day. Here in Vermont we have politicians in positions of influence who are not convinced that climate change is caused by man, but instead could be the result of some natural phenomenon.

And maybe I can deny that those green leaves that obstruct my long view through the forest behind my house don’t exist and I will have my view back, and that my once red beard is not really gray.

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  • Paul Lorenzini

    You have a great imagination Bob.

  • Kathy Nelson

    Have some cheese with that baloney, Bob. Sea level rise is DOWN by 30%:

    Twenty years of temperature averages:

    1994 0.1 increase
    1995 0.05 increase
    1996 0.05 increase
    1997 0.03 decrease
    1998 0.8 decrease
    1999 0.05 increase
    2000 0.01 decrease
    2001 0.1 decrease
    2002 0.1 decrease
    2003 0.09 decrease
    2004 0.02 decrease
    2005 0.07 decrease
    2006 0.005 increase
    2007 0.02 increase
    2008 0.09 increase
    2009 0.11 decrease
    2010 0.27 decrease
    2011 0.14 increase
    2012 0.07 increase

    The average global temperature is falling and sea level rise is decreasing. You didn’t provide a link to your Daily Kos story so it’s reference can’t be checked. The Daily Kos is kind of like a political offshoot of Infowars anyway.

    Did it ever occur to you, Bob, that ice can melt from the action of volcanic vents? Here’s something not from the Daily Kos:

    I’m sure you will try to find some way to blame the Republicans for the rise in global volcanic activity as well.

    Every planet in our solar system is experiencing drastic planetary changes. The changes on Earth have been minor in comparison, likely due to geo-engineering and chemical weather modifications that have done more harm than good. The current political policies are making it harder and harder for people to adapt to what is a natural process and that is the real crisis here. It is truly sad that you feel the need to add to that shameful agenda.

    • Bob Stannard

      Yup, I guess you’re right Kathy. We have nothing to worry about. Let’s halt all this renewable nonsense and get tapped in to the tar sands right away. Let’s just keep right on pouring tons and tons of CO2 into the sky, because it doesn’t make any difference compared to some volcano or other natural phenomena. 7 billion people aren’t doing a thing in regards to degrading the atmosphere, so let’s a fall in line behind you, look the other way and act like there’s nothing to see here.

      God, I hope you’re right. However, something tells me you might be full of ______. I’ll let you decide.

    • Bob Stannard

      NOAA seems to disagree, but that’s OK. Just stick with your conservative, right-wing material and you’ll be fine.

    • Kathy,
      You should not disconcert people with facts.

      They rather stick with their know-it-all mantras and notions, thus requiring no further thinking.

      • Paul Lorenzini

        All religions do Willem. But that being said, I do believe in higher powers, just don’t pretend to understand them or predict their intentions.

  • Vanessa Mills

    My view, Mr. Stannard, is not one of denial.
    So stop postulating and over-generalizing.
    Such stuff helps nothing.
    My view differs from yours. And I might even call you a denier of sorts, if I cared to battle with you. And I actually don’t. But I will state my view as you seem pleased with yourself that you can group people together here on the comment board.

    The crux is that there are drastically differing views on how to respond to climate change issues. There is the build-em (the ” ’em” being industrial power plants on sensitve ecosystems)-as-fast-as-we-can-mitigate-later-environmental-social-economical-repercussiuons-be-damned school of thought. And the primary issue I take with this is that the developemnt and destruction actually works against the valuable piece of the environemnt that will aide our sepcies resiliency, sir.) Then there is the conservation-and-preparedness school of thought. There is the school of thought that climate change is a hoax created by bigger, government-related and/or politically-connected entities. There is the it’s bigger-than-me-so-I’ll just-keep-on-my-own-way-thanks schoolof thought. And there are many other schools of thought unmentioned, of course, and too numerous to articulate.

    I belong, Mr.Stannard, to the ‘camp’ that believes in looking at what can be done about local food security, conservation of carbon sinks and protection of watersheds/water quality/erosion mitigation. These, to me, will be KEY in facing climate shift repercussions in a steadily approaching (even immediate) future. The fact that it’s “only a matter of time” doesn’t escape me at all, sir. Thanks.

    Now my lunch is done and I’m back to the garden and my hand tools. Good day to you.

    • Kathy Nelson

      Well said, Vanessa.

    • Bob Stannard

      I simply write an Op-Ed column twice a month. I don’t care to “battle” with anyone. I would note, however, that I do have my share of detractors who relish the thought of attacking my work..

      It’s their prerogative to do so. Back before “comments” folks had to write a Letter to the Editor. The editor would filter most of the letters and keep the LTE section under control. Those days are gone.

      Fortunately, I’ve never shied away from a good argument. I do respect the fact that you, at least, are attempting to be self-sufficient. Not everyone can do that.

  • Matt Fisken

    More sleepless nights in the Stannard household wondering if all is lost because some folks question the concept that Man and Man alone can change or correct the climate.

    As has been pointed out numerous times in Bob’s columns and elsewhere, the debate over whether the climate is changing (it is) and what is the most significant driver of change (a single volcanic eruption tomorrow could dwarf all the Industrial Age’s flatulence) are distractions from more important discussions. ie: What can we actually do about it in the long term?

    It’s no mystery that many who lambast the “deniers” are supporters of industrial-scaled electricity generation facilities which in some high-tech manner or another, capture energy and convert it into 60Hz power which is trickled onto the grid.

    In fact, it is quite easy to deny that the benefits in terms of carbon emissions outweigh the negative impacts in terms of mining, construction, dynamiting, concreting, maintenance, decommissioning, etc. involved with any large power plant, be it wind, solar, nuclear, or hydro.

    It is also reasonable to deny that the overall long-term effect on the climate by building these new facilities is greater than the immediate effect on the local climate surrounding the generators. In all likelihood, some of the people who have found themselves surrounded by health-damaging wind turbines in Vermont’s hinterlands knew, scientifically or instinctually, a long time ago that it would be wise to “head for the hills” rather than gamble that sea-level is static.

    I think the most easily denied assumption made by folks who believe “renewable” electricity is the only way to “fix the climate” is that the centralized power grid, onto which all these electrons are fed, has any chance of surviving in a world of fossil fuel depletion. Last I checked, VELCO and GMP’s trucks still run on diesel and gasoline, the wires which frequently need replacing are mined and manufactured using (yup, you guessed it) fossil fuels, and without a flush of natural gas, coal, fuel oil, and sometimes even jet fuel, the grid will not operate as seamlessly as we expect. You can distribute the generation sites all you want, but you’re still stuck with one massive grid which still requires to be juiced when the sun is down and there is no wind.

    It’s a bit of a cliché which gets inevitably gets thrown around by all sides of this debate, but given Mr. Stannard’s recent run of posts criticizing Senator Hartwell and his troupe of climate terrorists, it would be interesting to hear from Bob S. what he PERSONALLY has done to reduce his carbon emissions, lower his fossil fuel footprint and ease his dependence on gasoline, propane, fuel oil, jet fuel, electricity and imported goods. Even a redacted scan of his most recent power bill might help some of us believe that Bob is really putting his money where is mouth is.

    We know he doesn’t approve of those of us who question Vermont’s willy-nilly “90 by 50” RE plan and all the bric-à-brac infrastructure that would need to coat Vermont’s landscape for the plan to be realized, but aside from shooting the woodchucks, is there any useful bit of advice he can offer the average Vermonter who is genuinely concerned that the future will be less comfortable and easy than the past? Besides support RE and vote out the people he doesn’t like, what do we do?

    • Bob Stannard

      ….One more thing. For 41 years, probably longer than you’ve been alive, my primary heat source has been two heater woodstoves and a Glenwood cookstove. For many years I used Vt. Casting stoves. When it came time to replace them I switched to Jotel.

      For most of this time I cut, split and stacked my own wood. As of a few years ago I now have my wood guy drop it off cut and split. I have two heating seasons in reserve. For nearly all of my adult life I have used a renewable resource for heating and cooking.

      Thank you for asking.

      • Wendy wilton

        Doesn’t burning wood add a lot of carbon to the air?

      • Bob,

        The air pollution of biomass, i.e., wood, wood chips, wood pellets, etc., is about as bad as coal.

        The wood ash contains so much radioactive material, that if it had come from Vermont Yankee, it would have to be classified as radioactive waste, per NRC rules.

        Do not use wood ash on your kitchen vegetable garden!!!

        Regarding CO2, it would be a miracle, if the CO2 produced by harvesting wood, processing it, transporting it, combusting it, would be equal to sequestering it by growing NEW biomass, i.e., in the real world the A to Z process is not even close to being CO2 neutral.

        The A to Z electricity producing efficiency of biomass is about 20%, i.e., 17,075 Btu input to produce one kWh (3,413 Btu), and outrageous waste of biomass.

  • Bob Stannard

    I have recently re-insulated my home using both open and closed cell foam. I have insulated basement and garage slabs. In the ’70’s I had the first home energy auditing business, which included the first blower door for testing air exchanges per hour. In addition, I had the first Hughes Prob-Eye infra-red scanner that was used to discover leaks in homes. Mine was the first house that we tested and slowed the per-hour air exchanges down to a safe level.

    I have just added 30 solar panels to my roof. I have upgraded my heat source to a state-of-the-art efficient propane unit. I have replaced my ancient, inefficient CVPS hot water heater, with a new state-of-the-art hybrid hot water heater with an air-to-air heat exchanger.

    I am not at all worried about the planet in regards to climate change. The planet Earth, as it has always done, will correct itself. It’s man that I’m worried about.

    • Actually the planetary system isn’t some sentient life form that changes itself to survive. The planetary system is made up of processes of reaction to internal and external events and forces – there is nothing in our planet that indicates a preference for one state over another.

      The Earth will continue its’ path through the solar and greater system regardless whether the planet is a barren globe of sand and dust ala Mars, an overheated partially molten surfaced oven ala Venus, or the to us glorious Goldilocks planet capable of holding liquid water and life as we know it.

      It really is up to us as 7 billion and counting human beings to be careful what we do with and to our only source of food, water, air and shelter – aka the physical environment.

    • Carl Werth

      Bob, I appreciate that you worry about man, but do you seriously think you can stop or delay man from facing extinction?

  • Keith Stern

    That is commendable of you to conserve energy as well as saving you money.
    Peter Welch introduced an energy conservation bill in Vermont and in Washington, but as a wealthy lawyer with no real life experience he missed the point badly. To qualify for a government refund one must hire an energy star certified contractor which would greatly offset the refund. If he researched, something he seems to fail badly at, he could have found out that any competent contractor and many do it yourselfers could do energy saving upgrades and obtain the same energy effiency as the certified installers.
    But Peter Welch doesn’t live in the same world that we do and money for him is not much of an issue.
    That is why we need legislators who know what it’s like to walk in our shoes daily.

  • Wendy wilton

    300 million years ago the little place on earth we call VT was partly underwater and the other part formed the shore of an inland sea. What is now New England was sub-tropical climate as the fossil record indicates.

    Later, Ice Age glaciers reached the southern states and scoured our Green Mountains down to small mountains from their once lofty heights. No intervention by mankind or animals created this. The earth gradually swarmed and the glaciers receded.

    The earth is ever-changing. Mankind’s view is currently influenced by foggy memories of Currier & Ives prints, involving long New England winters, I think.

    • Bob Stannard

      Two things: yes burning wood does release CO2. Wood is considered by most to be a renewable resource. The CO2 in wood would be released as the wood decomposes.

      Yes as you note Earth has undergone many changes. However never in its history has there been this much CO2. Man is releasing more CO2 than ever before and it is having a deleterious affect on the planet. Those who choose not to believe what the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientist are telling had better be right.

      • Keith Stern

        There has been huge strides in reducing the carbon footprint over the decades. More efficient fuel burning devices, better emissions scrubbers, and energy conserving products. That will all continue to improve with time.
        To take the Chicken Little approach is nonsensical. Planting more CO2 absorbing forests makes much more sense than covering the planet with inefficient solar and wind projects. Trees work 24/7 where solar and wind doesn’t come close at all.

      • Glenn Thompson

        Bob Stannard states, “Yes as you note Earth has undergone many changes. However never in its history has there been this much CO2.”

        That’s not true…not true at all. This article is a good example!

        Then there is this one! Filled with informative information and highly technical. Your choice to believe or not?

    • Bob Stannard

      …in the meantime doesn’t make just a little bit of sense to hedge our bet and do whatever we possibly can to reduce our production of CO2?

      I guess if you, Wendy, believe what is happening is nothing more than a natural occurance then there’s little point in trying to convince you, and other deniers, of the reality.

  • Lance Hagen

    Bob, so you can rest easier at night, please read the article from Andrew Revkin. Seems that this so called ‘collapse’ is likely to begin in the next 200 to 1,000 years. This means sometime between 200 and 900 years from now the rate of ice loss from this glacier could reach a volume sufficient to raise sea levels about 4 INCHES (100 millimeters) a century.

    I don’t think your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren need to worry about having beach front property in Vermont!

    • Bob Stannard

      I’m rooting for you Mr. Hagen and do, most sincerely, hope you are correct. But what if the thousands of scientists who disagree with you are right. Think it might then be too late? Then what? Folks like you will just get to slither on back into the shadows like you never said a word.

  • Bob Stannard
    • Bob,

      “Germany is showing that it is still leading the world in renewable energy use with news that renewable energy sources were responsible for 74% of the country’s ENTIRE DEMAND during the middle of a day”.

      The 74% was less than ONE hour on ONE day.

      It only happened because it was a windy day with a lot of sunshine during the day; a very rare occurence in Germany. As a result it was big news.

      See graph in the URL

      Germany’s main problem is its lack of North-South transmission, already 10 years behind schedule. That is one of the reasons it has to INCREASINGLY rely (as variable RE increases) on foreign grids to do the balancing.

      As the article stated, more then 10 GW was exported for balancing to the Netherlands and other countries at very low, even negative prices.

      Germany paid at least 4 times as much for that energy than it received by selling to other countries or domestically.

      The RE was sold for about 0.0506 eurocent/kWh during 2013, but it cost 0.2047 eurocent/kWh to produce it, i.e., sold at 1/4 of the cost.

      How you think that is a good thing for the German economy is beyond me, especially with German CO2 emissions not declining anymore. The Netherlands economy, and others, get Germany’s low-cost energy, sometimes at near-zero prices.

      Here is a speech to a PV solar stakeholder convention in Germany by Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor, and Economics and Energy Minister, regarding the Germany’s Renewable Energy project, ENERGIEWENDE, verging on failure. The speech was likely approved by Chancellor Merkel.

      The audience was stunned to hear the unvarnished truth regarding RE.

      “The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity (and cost) of the Energiewende.”

      If it such a challenge for Germany, it would be even a greater challenge for less capable/less rich countries/states, including Vermont.

      “The complete exemption from paying feed-in tariffs is a model that is wonderful for you (PV stake holders and PV system owners) as a business model, but is one that is a problem for everyone else.”

      Well-off households with PV systems, and multi-millionaires with risk-free tax shelters owning SPEED PV solar projects receive subsidies, generous feed-in tariffs, and other benefits, whereas other households, 97+%, pay the costs; a gross societal inequity, including in Vermont.

      You should read these articles for a reality check.

      • John Greenberg

        Willem’s comment is a repeat, so I’ll just repeat my response from a comment on Ben Luce’s op-ed a few days ago.

        Willem’s comments about the German minister provoked my curiosity, so first, I followed his link. Willem’s source is not a newspaper; it’s a blog written by Pierre Gosselin, who characterizes himself as a climate skeptic: “I’ve always been a skeptic of the AGW hypothesis, and view myself as a mere spectator in the climate change debate and arena.”
        That made me even more curious, so I Googled for more information on the speech itself and found this completely opposite view about the speech: “Among other things, he describes distributed renewables and solar storage in particular as “absolute madness” (der helle Wahnsinn) and says the entire Energiewende project is “about to fail” (a report from German TV in German is here).
        The video and the statements have gone viral among non-German bloggers eager for the Energiewende to fail, but they misconstrue Gabriel’s statements as a “stunning admission.” In fact, Gabriel talks like this all the time. A spokesperson for SMA confirmed to me that the audience generally understood Gabriel as a politician trying to get support for his ideas by arguing that There is No Alternative, not as an insider spilling the beans about impending doom.”
        The article goes on to suggest: “Germans themselves hardly reacted to the comments. Berlin-based PV Magazine simply reported on the disagreement between Gabriel and the solar sector with no indication of any surprise; indeed, the dispute has been in the open for weeks. Likewise, PV-Tech stressed Gabriel’s possible “willingness to compromise” when it reported on Gabriel’s speech at SMA.”
        The article is here:

        • John,

          Germany has restructured the ENERGIEWENDE to be less costly by reducing feed-in tariffs.

          This has resulted in much less MW/yr of PV solar installations, and much howling by the PV solar businesses.

          The 2010, 2011, 2012 MW totals will not re-occur anytime soon.

          The PV business stakeholders in Germany were stunned by the recent speech of the Gabriel, Germany’s Vice chancellor, AND minister of Energy and Economics.

          After Chancellor Merkel, the second most important government person in Germany. Merkel likely approved of the speech.


          2014, est…….2000

      • Bob Stannard

        Mr. Post, I have to admire your hutzpah. You site your own blog posts as “reality checks”.

        I’ve followed you for some time now and if I’ve learned nothing I’ve learned that your conclusions are based on distorting facts and/or using misleading data. You’ve been called out many times yet I don’t seem to recall one time where you’ve defended your claims with accuracy.

        Although you spew out quite a bit of stuff every time you respond, which is altogether way too frequently, your credibility is questionable at best.

        Siting your own blog posts to shore up your own argument might be a personal best.

        • Bob,
          Here are some data directly from the VT-DPS website. This data also appears in this article:

          In all my articles are many URLs from which I get my information. These URLs are referenced.

          If you read my articles, you can verify the numbers. I know that would require some work. Engaging in unprofessional smearing and slurring is so much easier.


          Here are the production results for the SPEED Program, 2.2 megawatt or less:

          2010……..5,980,779 kWh……..0.1387 $/kWh; July – December
          2011……20,172,973 kWh……..0.1644 $/kWh
          2012……29,666,592 kWh……..0.1716 $/kWh
          2013……44,822,813 kWh……..0.1919 $/kWh

          Note the RISING trend, whereas RE promoters were claiming RE rates would decline. NE annual average grid prices are about 5 c/kWh.

          Such high RE energy costs will increase Vermont household electric rates, which already are the 4th highest in the US, right after Connecticut, Alaska, and Hawaii.

          Solar SPEED is compensated at an outrageously high 27 c/kWh for ALL energy fed into the grid, and non-SPEED, mostly roof-mounted solar systems, is compensated at the electric rate + 6 c/kWh, for all energy produced, in the GMP North service area. In the GMP South service area different, less generous, rules apply.

          NOTE: The SPEED value of 27 c/kWh is at least 10 c/kWh too high. According to David Hallquist, CEO of VEC, it should be 17 c/kWh for systems 1,000 kW and up. That value is of great benefit for the tax shelters of multi-millionaires, but excessively increases the electric rates of already-struggling households and businesses.

          In-state and out-of-state multi-millionaires with tax shelters, who put up “PSB-approved”, heavily-subsidized, $10 million (less tax credits, grants, depreciation), 2.2 MW solar systems in Vermont meadows, get compensated at an outrageous 2,200 kW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.14 = 2,698,080 kWh x 0.27 c/kWh = $728,482 per year for 25 years!!!

          * 0.27 average value was used for calculation purpose. The nominal value is 0.257.

          A gravy train, if ever there was one. That energy could be bought from the grid at 5 c/kWh, or $134,904 per year. The difference, $593,578, gets charged mostly to household electric bills. Multiply that by, say, 20 systems and we are talking real money.

          • Bob Stannard

            As much as I might like to, Mr. Post, I don’t feel compelled to read the work of one who has been proven on numerous occasions to either be wrong or misleading. I’m too busy doing things I enjoy doing.

        • Bob,

          I have made some additions to my earlier comment regarding the production and cost of the SPEED Program; 2.2 MW or less. The information is from the referenced VT-DPS websites.

          Speed Program; 2.2 MW projects or less.

          The program started generating energy in July 2010.

          Year……….Production………Cost…………..$/kWh…..% VT Use


          The above “Cost” column shows the amount paid mostly to the risk-free tax shelters of in-state and out-of-state multi-millionaires, who own the larger PV solar systems.

          Based on a NE annual average grid price of $0.054/kWh at which GMP, et al, could have bought the energy, the excess payments were:


          These excess payments were rolled into the electric rates of already-struggling households and businesses.

          As the above SPEED project build out proceeds to a goal of 333,270,000 kWh by the end of 2017, these payments will increase to about $60 million by 2017, because the PV solar feed-in tariff, set by the PSB, is an excessively high 25.7 c/kWh.

          NOTE: David Hallquist, CEO of VEC, has testified to the Legislature the VT production cost of field-mounted PV solar systems is about 17 c/kWh for systems 1,000 kW and larger!!

          The already-struggling households and businesses are:

          – Trying to make ends meet/hold their own, most of them with declining or stagnant real household incomes since about 2000,
          – In a near-zero-growth Vermont economy,
          – With a cost of living index 20% greater than the US COL,
          – With a government and quasi-government sector growing at a greater rate than the increasingly-hollowed-out private sector, and
          – With the fourth highest electric rates in the US, right after Hawaii, Alaska, and Connecticut, partially due to having to subsidize and finance expensive, ineffective wind energy and solar energy SPEED programs that produce variable, intermittent, i.e., junk, energy at 3-4 times NE grid prices. See URLs.

          Increased energy efficiency of buildings and vehicle would be soooooo much better and less costly.

    • Glenn Thompson

      And on the other side of the coin!

      The thinkprogress article is misleading since the overall % of power produced by ‘solar and wind’ over time is much less than what the article would have one believe!

      “In 2012, all renewable energy accounted for 21.9% of electricity, with wind turbines and photovoltaic providing 11.9% of the total.”

      • Glenn,
        Germany has restructured the ENERGIEWENDE to be less costly by reducing feed-in tariffs. This has resulted in much less MW/yr of PV solar installations, and much howling by the PV solar businesses.

        2014, est…….2000

        EEG-1 total cost was 387.4 billion euro, EEG-1 is estimated to be about 213.2 billion euro. All is explained in this article.

        EEG Capital and Surcharge Cost Summary:

        This section has an estimate of the capital and surcharge costs of the EEG-1 phase; start 2000 – end 2014 (15 years), and EEG-2 phase; start 2015 – end 2030 (16 years). The assumptions take into account the EEG surcharge build-up and wind-down periods of RE systems built during the phases. RE subsidies are for 20 years.

        EEG – 1

        The total EEG-1 surcharges on electric bills increased from zero at start of 2000 to about 24.5 b euro in 2014, will be decreasing to zero by end of 2034.

        Costs During the EEG-1 Build-up and Wind-down Period:

        Surcharge during build-up from start 2000 to end 2014, b euro…………………….111.6
        Surcharge during wind-down from start 2015 to end 2034, b eur…………………..275.8
        Total surcharge, b euro…………………………………………………………………………..387.4

        200.1 b euro capital cost to build the RE systems, which typically last only 20 to 25 years!!

        Costs, such as grid build-outs, capacity adequacy, balancing losses, etc., are not included.

        EEG – 2

        The total EEG-2 surcharges on electric bills increased from zero at start of 2015 to about 11.7 b euro in 2030, will be decreasing to zero by end of 2050.

        Costs During the EEG-2 Build-up and Wind-down Period:

        Surcharge during build-up from start 2015 to end 2030, b euro……………………….102.3
        Surcharge during wind-down from start 2031 to end 2050, b euro…………………….111.0
        Total surcharge, b euro……………………………………………………………………………..213.2

        243.0 b euro capital cost to build the RE systems, which typically last only 20 – 25 years!!

        Costs, such as grid build-outs, capacity adequacy, balancing losses, etc., are not included.

        – RE systems installed at the start of 2000 receive feed-in rates to the end of 2019, i.e., for 20 years, etc.
        – (EEG-1 + EEG-2) surcharge peaks at about 25.68 b euro during 2019, will be decreasing to zero by end of 2050.

      • Bob Stannard

        Some might see 22% and 12% as a positive contribution. Perhaps if we transferred the subsidies from oil, gas, coal and nuclear over to renewables than these percentages would increase. That should be seen as good thing….well unless you’re a support of oil, gas, coal and nuclear.

      • John Greenberg

        “In 2012, all renewable energy accounted for 21.9% of electricity, with wind turbines and photovoltaic providing 11.9% of the total.”

        In 2007, the figure corresponding to your 21.9% was 14%, so the increase in 5 years was more than 50%, which isn’t too shabby. Progress happens.

  • Bob Stannard

    Me. Post. No one has enough time to read all of the links you post. I believe this might be a strategy.

    • Bob,
      More slurring?

      • Willem:

        Slurring…. the province of bankrupt thinking and the last gasp before going under a sea of name calling and bashing.

        When you’ve been slurred by Bob, you know that you have won the argument.

  • Hi Bob, what’s your position on the Addison natural gas pipeline?

    Vermont Gas Pipeline Protester Arrested After Chaining Herself to HQ | Off Message | Seven Days | Vermont’s Independent Voice

    “Does today’s action represent an escalation in the fight against the Vermont Gas pipeline, slated to carry natural gas from Chittenden County south to Middlebury and potentially beyond?

    “Definitely,” said Brunner. “I don’t think it’s going to stop here. We’re saying, we’re not going to stop until you stop. People are pretty serious. The stakes are way too high with climate change and fossil fuels.”

  • Paul Richards

    “According to the article, which makes it clear that man burning more fossil fuels is substantially to blame for the problem, the process of the ice melting is no longer reversible.”
    “man burning fossil fuels is substantially to blame…” Prove it!
    Besides obama said in his acceptance speech; “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”. He is one powerful dude so I take that to heart and believe everything is all set. No need to worry.

    • Bob Stannard

      There is nothing I, or anyone, could say that would convince you of the reality. Whatever I say will simply result in you saying it’s not true. The climate’s not changing. There is no more CO2 now then there ever has been. The polar caps are not melting. The weather’s not changing.

      That’s your paradigm. Fine. It’s not mine. Let’s wait a few decades and see who’s right. If you’re right I’ll buy you dinner. If I’m right, then neither of us will be here and you’ll save the expensed of buying me dinner. I’m rooting for you.

      • Paul Richards

        Those are your words not mine. I think you missed the point. I agree that the climate is changing however; I do not agree that it’s settled science that “man burning fossil fuels is substantially to blame”.

  • Bob: did you read this piece by Rebecca Foster? It’s your bailiwick and there’s no comment from you! For the second time, what is your position on the Addison pipeline?

    Rebecca Foster: Speaking their minds, and their hearts – VTDigger

    • Bob Stannard

      you can feel free to ask me four or five more times if you like. I’m a columnist. I write columns expressing my opinion(s) on a variety of topics. You either like my writing or you don’t. I don’t particularly care either way. I’ve not taken a position on the pipeline and most likely won’t. I might, but I might not. Either way I don’t see as to where I’m under any obligation to respond to your requests.

      Why don’t you become a columnist and then you can write about it and have people complain about your work. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll learn not to care what others think.

      • Paul Lorenzini

        How much lobbying have you done on behalf of your belief in AGW Bob, and who were the senators and reps that drank your koolaid? The voters need to know.

  • Bob, thanks for responding.
    For a person who is a self-proclaimed true believer, a staunch advocate of renewable energy and equally opposed to fossil fuels, your tacit support of the Addison pipeline is surprising.
    Perhaps you are bound by loyalty to former clients, or have political/financial affiliations that would be compromised.
    It’s a pretty straightforward issue.
    If we want to reduce our oil/gas consumption yesterday, why build the infrastructure to facilitate continued dependence, especially given a percentage of the proposed gas is fracked, a practice banned in VT?
    I just can’t square all of your writings with your position, or lack of one which amounts to the same thing.
    I am against it for numerous reasons; the cavalier use of VT as a fossil fuel freeway and the despoilment of private property, to name a few. Unsurprisingly, this PSB approved project reeks of hypocrisy and corporate greed.

  • Bob Stannard

    Martine, let’s not put words in my mouth. I have plenty on my own. Not taking a position should not be construed as “tacit support”.

    To Mr. Lorenzini, I don’t believe I’ve ever lobbied on behalf of an AGW client.

    The all of the deniers here I would encourage you all to take four minutes and watch John Oliver’s take on you and your position:

    • Glenn Thompson

      Bob Stannard,

      “The all of the deniers here I would encourage you all to take four minutes and watch John Oliver’s take on you and your position:”

      I watched it. It’s a comedy skit. Should I be impressed?

      How do you define “deniers”? I’m no denier since I believe Climate Change is real but man can do nothing to control it.

      There lies the issue from my perspective….plus I’m learning from comments from others (one in particular here)…..Geological History from the past before man started using fossil fuels must be discounted from the argument the Earth has been evolving from a Climate Change perspective since the beginning of time ……which if factored in would ‘blow holes’ in many of the conclusions drawn by so-called experts in pushing the hysteria that if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels immediately…the world is going to end!

      • Bob Stannard

        Let’s hope you’re right, Mr. Thompson.

        RE: the “comedy skit”. I think that John Oliver was using comedy to drive home a very serious point, which is that the overwhelming number of credible scientists disagree with you.

        But hey, what do they know?

        • Glenn Thompson

          Except the 97% is a myth! This is a more accurate figure.

          Bottom line here is…..if the human race continues to multiply like rabbits….the time will come when Climate Change will be the least of our worries!

        • Matt Fisken

          Just to clarify, Bob, the 97% of scientists believe the climate is changing and that man-made emissions of greenhouse gasses are CONTRIBUTING to said change.

          Glenn just said he believes the climate is changing, which would appear to square him with the 97 (or whatever) % crowd which has NOT said man can CONTROL the climate.

          I’m not sure if you are intentionally antagonizing people for kicks or just misunderstanding that believing we have contributed to climate change is NOT THE SAME as believing we have the ability to control the climate.

          The irony of the video you posted is that if climate change is so irrefutable, why do you keep harping on the “deniers”? It seems that this issue (for some) has nothing to do with the health of the planet and the life on it, but about being right and making fun of anyone who disagrees with their position.

  • Paul Lorenzini

    Actually I already saw that guy on MSNBC, Yup, I watch both sides, born and raised on ETV, graduated to FOX on 9/11, and now I watch both. You?

    • Bob Stannard

      I don’t watch a lot of Fox News, because they spend a lot of time apologizing for the “errors” they make on an all too regular basis.

      • Paul Lutz

        Not sure about that Bob, but you may open your mind a little by watching something other than the propaganda from the other networks. Next time a story (tries) to break about something the Obama administration messed up, flip through all the news channels. When the latest VA scandal was really cooking, MSNBC and CNN where taking about…….. Bush. Ohh yes, the story was about events in 2007 or so. Hmmn, go figure.

        • Paul Lorenzini

          I LOVE information, the freedom of which allows me to decide.

          Force fed schooling makes me quiver with rage.

  • Paul Lorenzini

    CNN was talking about MH370, and MessNBc was talking about themselves.

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