Average electricity prices around the world: $/kWh

Average electricity prices $/kWh

Australia and Germany each just had an election.  In both cases electricity prices were an election issue.  That seems fair enough given that in both countries they are paying significant more $/kWh than most countries

But now Nova Scotia is heading to the polls and electricity prices are a key issue because they have ‘rocketed’ to 0.15 $/kWh (Canadian).  That is indeed high by Canadian standards, but it is a bargain globally.

Out of curiosity I thought I’d crunch the numbers to see who really is paying a lot for their power.

Electricity prices around the world in $/kWh

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, people love to moan about the cost of electricity.

This begs the question, where is electricity actually expensive and where is it cheap.  Or better yet, is my electricity cheap or expensive?

To try and answer this question I’ve collected average electricity prices from 17 countries around the world, and converted them to $/kWh (US).  All the data is based on average prices and exchange rates for 2011, and I’ve graphed them in US cents/kWh to keep it tidy.Average electricity rates

Let’s start with the obvious.  Denmark, Germany and Spain have expensive electricity.  In fact in straight dollar terms Denmark is trumped only by small island countries dependent on imported diesel for power.

Canadian electricity is cheap at 10 US cents per kilowatt hour, which is reflected in their high average electricity usage. US electricity prices at 0.12 $/kWh are also quite cheap internationally.  In India and China they are very cheap.

I find this comparison pretty useful.  And the reasons behind the differences are quite diverse.  But there are two issues with this.  One, electricity prices are on the move in many places, South Africa, Australia and Nigeria come to mind.  And secondly, basic exchange rate conversions aren’t always the best measure of how expensive something really is.

The first is just something to be aware of.  And despite my best efforts I couldn’t gather consistent data for 2012.  The second however can be accounted for by considering purchasing power parities.

The relative price of electricity

Our initial comparison of electricity prices didn’t account for the fact that price levels vary a lot between countries.  For example a US dollar will go a lot further buying goods and services in relatively cheap India than it will in relatively expensive Australia.

If we look at the same average electricity prices for 2011 but this time adjust them to US dollars using purchasing power parity the picture look slightly different.

Relatively electricity prices

Once you adjust for the different price levels between countries Canadians have the cheapest electricity and Germans the most expensive.

Places like Nigeria and India have jumped up the list due to their lower price levels, while countries including Denmark, Australia and Japan have fallen because they are relatively expensive places to live.  In general accounting for purchasing power lessened the difference between countries, but significant differences remain.

Which brings me back to Nova Scotia.  Paying 12 US cents/kWh is expensive in Canada.

Just don’t moan about it abroad!

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  • Troy Kempton

    Outdated!!! The EU hadn’t even hit the wall yet on their nightmare and I suspect Germany’s rate is significantly higher given the number of articles regarding change of government because electrical rate are too high. your data is 2 years going on 3 old.

    • Lindsay Wilson

      To get an average price for 2011, you wait till the end of 2011. My data is less than two years old, and no homogeneous data was available for 2012, only OECD.

  • Laurence Webb

    Great post thanks Lindsay. Using purchasing power parities is an interesting way to compare energy prices around the world.

    • Lindsay Wilson

      Thanks Laurence. Still got yours on my list, got a bit waylaid by the IPCC stuff ;-)

  • Stacy Clarkson

    Forecasting the future of manufacturing is made simpler by this ,automation will be a big part of the future….And how much the electricity that powers that automation matters…..

  • Clare @ EcoFriendlyLink.com

    This is a most interesting article, and I particularly appreciate the extra insight into electricity prices relative to purchasing power – something which is often forgotten.
    I lived in South Africa for a few years – major transitions going on there – and sadly, much of the new electricity generation is coal-based, in common with many developing countries – it seems it is easier to get support / finance for fossil-fuel-based electricity than renewable energy. I find this very sad, especially in countries where sunlight is abundant, as is wind in some areas. It is the same where I live now (a tiny tropical island in the middle of nowhere).
    Development is all good and well but we are just repeating our mistakes by encouraging fossil fuel use.
    Cheap electricity, while very “nice” for us as consumers, has led to so much harm to the environment. House design rarely takes energy conservation into consideration because air-con will take care of non-passive design, manufacturing doesn’t need to consider other options when cheap electricity and waste disposal is readily available, relatively cheap electricity encourages higher usage (as you mention); the repercussions are everywhere.
    But I digress. I appreciate your insights, you always have an interesting way of looking at things!

    • Lindsay Wilson

      The South Africa prices are charging up over the next 5 years I think, as is the case in lots of areas of Africa. They try to keep the prices down for social reasons, but then can’t get the foreign investment and finance needed to improve the grid, so they are forced to raise them in a hurry. Happening in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda . . . Don’t you have lots of bagasse on that island?

      • Clare @ EcoFriendlyLink.com

        You’re extremely well-informed! Yes, we have bagasse, and some of the larger sugar cane companies use it to make themselves net carbon zero – or at least the crop harvesting. I understand it’s fairly inefficient in terms of energy output per volume but hey, it’s right there and would otherwise go to waste.

        • Lindsay Wilson

          Oh yes it is terrible, full of moisture and ash, but is all in one place so it is incredibly cheap. From memory if a sugarcane company gets modern tech they can produce double the electricity they use

        • AuldLochinvar

          I suspect that the claim of “net carbon zero” is exaggerated. I figure that even a herd of dairy cattle, fed on grass that is carefully fertilized by adroit management of the manure and daily electric fence allocation of new grass and clover pasture to the animals, even if we discount the energy for the milking machines (solar charged battery driven?), there still is a need to replenish the calcium, that is in the milk sold. Perhaps pastures underlain with chalk of limestone would deal with it.
          D’you see the difficulty of zero impact?

      • sirgareth

        They cant raise the priced enough to pay for wind and solar cells?

        That makes them just like Europe and the US doesn’t it

    • sirgareth

      I certainly hope you didn’t ride one of those
      carbon burning jets to get there.

    • sirgareth

      Burning stuff and using wheels to roll things rather than carrying them on our backs is all old hat now.

      How do you “know” that coal hurts God anyway?

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  • Anthony

    Hi, where did you get your data for electricity prices? I’m trying to find the price of electricity in China.

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  • Bruce


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  • James

    South Africa is 20c/Kwh like the UK and with the current energy crisis it will more likely than not be more expensive than Germany down the line.

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  • NorskeDiv

    As a result of this, Germans are switching to coal and wood furnaces to warm their houses. The uptake of electric vehicles has also been very slow.

    This is exactly why it’s a mistake to think making electricity expensive will reduce people’s carbon footprint. It will do exactly the opposite. Electricity can be generated cheaply with no direct carbon output using nuclear energy, and to some degree wind and in some regions solar. Switching the grid over to carbon free sources of electricity which can provide electricity as cheaply as possible ought to be the goal, this will encourage the entire economy to switch away from fossil fuels and towards the cleanly generated electricity.

    • firftrmark

      I after this brutal winter I will be putting in a wood burner and if I have to burn every last tree on my land it will be done.

      • sirgareth

        I hope you don’t plan on burning one of Al Gore’s trees.

        You know he planted them to absorb all the thousands of tons of carbon dioxide he uses to commute between his mansions in his Grumman Gulfstream jet.

        How did our trees find a way to get born without being planted by Al Gore? Does CO2 help them to get born to grow up into big sturdy trees.

        What happens to these trees when the die of old age or go up in flames in your fire place. Don’t all of Al Gore’s carbon sins get revisited upon the Earth?

  • Remy Bourreau

    Let’s face it, ALL the countries of the World are being screwed royally by a handful of monopolistic fossil fuel industries primarily vertically integrated. The ad campaign AGAINST Renewables in the US is so massive and intense that ad companies have been born and thrive solely on generating this propaganda. My home state of FL could benefit so greatly from Solar yet FL Power refuses to create grids allowing homeowners to generate and even sell their surplus electricity back to the grid as being done in the State of Washington and other states in the US.

    • Story

      No….. all countries are reaping a bounty from the oil companies. In America, an oil company makes about 2 -3 cents per gallon. The Federal government gets 18 cents for every gallon sold. It’s a government cash cow.

      • Jackson Wong

        The government itself is the biggest corporation of a nation. It is the mother corporation of all other corporations in its nation, and it actually behaves to benefit the interests of the oil oligopoly, with the intent of mutual profits. Notice that wars tend to be about robbing other nation’s resources. From WWII to the Iraqi wars, nations waged war on each other for resources.

        • Story

          There’s only one problem with your premise…. We threw lives and treasure away in Iraq, but didn’t reap any benefits in return. The oil contracts went to other nations.

          • Jackson Wong

            Corporations are multi-national in nature nowadays. As far as the corporate world is concerned, the whole idea of nation states is already obsolete.

            War is good for business, if you’re an arms supplier.

          • Story

            Tell the Egyptians the Muslim Brotherhood was only making a business investment. Tell those in Crimea and Ukraine that Russia is just a big, warm, cuddly Corporation. IIRC, the Iraqi oil contracts went to China. I don’t believe they do a whole lot with BP or Exxon/Mobile. I do know those Iraqi oil tankers aren’t lined up off the coast of California bringing in our spoils of war.

          • Jackson Wong

            Who do you think all corporations serve? Do you think their masters really care about which nation the corporations come from?

            As for those “underdog rebel forces” you refer to, well, how do you know they’re not backed in some way or another by those who benefit from the perpetuation of the enterprise of war?

            In the words of a former general: “War is a racket. I could have taught Al Capone a thing or 2.”

          • sirgareth

            I think corporations serve their own interests just like politicians, bureaucrats …and well even like you and me.

          • sirgareth

            What was war good for before there were corporations?
            I mean when was it ever unpopular

          • Jackson Wong

            How far back should we go?

            British Empire: East Indian Company.

            Roman Empire: Nothing like a free-flwoing supply of slaves and taxes to keep the entrpeneurs that the senate was comprised of happy.

          • sirgareth

            You appear to be railing against human nature. Perhaps you should have been born a mouse.

            Are mice “egalitarian?”

            Yes people who love security more then freedom will be enslaved one way or another by those who demand freedom of action for themselves.

            Today’s entrepreneurs are often found in senior political positions of the Democrat (really communist) Party.

            Look Clinton, was a nobody but when he wanted a woman he simply raped her. See what I mean…..he demanded complete freedom of action

            He is now one of the most admired politicians in the country. He entered government penniless and now holds 500 million. He has never invented or provided anything to any other human. He was a taker and you are his slave but only because you choose to be out of fear.

            You don’t think half of the responsibility for being a slave rests squarely on the shoulders of the slave?

          • Jackson Wong

            The only Human Nature we can actually be sure of is Humanity’s adaptability.

            Vegan zealots have claimed that eskimos can survive their high fat, almost pure meat and blubber diet better than the rest of humanity due to bigger liver, etc. (just a pile of unproven conjecture, actually). Yet very ordinary caucasians thrived and completed epic journeys after adapting and later thriving on the eskimo diet, even going so far as to credit the diet for their newfound stamina in the cold.

            If you went back to 200 years in time and asked a headhunter of Borneo: “What’s wrong with you? You have 15 shrunken heads in your house!”, He’ll probably say: “What’s wrong? My cousin has 21!”. Assuming that you got to learn his language and ask the question before he decides to add your skull to his personal collection to catch up with the cousin he’s falling behind.

            The real reason why humans have so much more potential than other creatures on earth is our ability to adapt and change. There is no such thing as a fixed human nature, and history has shown that most of what many assume to be “human nature” can be traced back to cultural upbringing.

            For instance, a rich spolied heiress in would assume that it’s “Human Nature” for every woman to desire a 5000$ handbag made with a cost of only 5$ by a sweatshop. I know quite a few well to do ladies NOT in the USA that will laugh their arses off at the notion of such an obviously stupid rip-off deal.

            By the way, I don’t live in the USA, so you’re barking up the wrong tree if you’re trying to play scare tactics on me with their politics.

            Of course, it’s always the slaves fault. Why did you CHOOSE to be born to slave parents? Stupid boy! Why don’t you run away and choose freedom? Oh wait, they’ll chase you down with their hunting dog packs and hunt you down like a fox just for the fun of it.

            So many unfounded assumptions you have. You remind me of the guy in “Office Space” who invented the “Jump to Conclusions Mat”. He made a killing selling this floor mat game on the open market in the movieverse.

            Please, for the good of humanity, stop trolling around the internet and calling anyone who disagrees with you in even the slightest way a “Communist”.

          • sirgareth

            What a ramble,

            The reason (some) people can adapt is because they actually learned a skill called “thinking” Thinking involves “problem solving” not mantra repetition. Notice that “learning” and “thinking are distinctly separate things.

            Learning often consists of repeating the mistakes of your indoctrinators; thinking gives one the ability to reject what one has been told must be true.

            What do you have against multinational corporations?

            Are you opposed to all international organizations or just international “corporations” How about international student exchange programs?

            Communism of course is a slave system that has been completely discredited, even among the dullest bulbs. The communists (slave masters) can’t really point to how lovely it is in North Korea so, of course, they have to make their attacks on capitalism (freedom) oblique.

            They use all sorts of verbage designed to short-circuit thinking. Carbon (the stuff all life is made of) is now “pollution” “Green” is now the central planning necessary to reject the stuff that actually makes the green areas of the earth actually “green” (carbon dioxide).
            “Sustainability” is suppose to be living in concert with nature, but if the green twits actually understood anything of nature (they always live in cities devoid of contact with real nature), they would quickly conclude that nothing in nature is “sustainable” In fact, one could most accurately describe natural as the force that despises “sustainability”

            So again just what is it about international corporations or associations of free people who associate for their own purposes rather than some “Master Planners” purpose that has your knickers in a twist.

            I take it from your idiom that you are a member of the UK island sheep farm. As such what did you think of the munitions corporations that prevented Hitler from rolling over your island and relegating you to the status of “sub-human” (if your surname accurately reflects your race)

          • Jackson Wong

            This is not even about railing against anyone, Historical economic facts are what they are, yet you interpret everything in us vs. them mentality. You are obviously misinterpreting what I said, seeing things through your own
            ideological filter, probably without being aware of it. The corporations are not being inherently evil, but are in fact just doing what game theory predicts them to do given the rules of the money and power game. If some course of
            action makes them the most money with the least risk, but will cost everyone else dearly, so be it. It’s just self-preservation. But if the optimally profitable path happens to coincidentally benefit many people along the way, so be it. Again, it’s only self-preservation in the monetary game at play.

            Never said I believed in the AGW scam, which I’ve yet to see any good proof myself. I guess that it’s just another money-making scam that
            is actually distracting us from the real issues, such as the need to stop toxic waste from being dumped around with reckless abandon. Ever been to China? They are free to pump out all the soot they want.

            Let’s face it, the universe will do as it wills, all we can do as the human race is to grow up, unite, focus on what really matters to all of us and maximize our survivability and prosperity.

            Again, you disappoint me with just how over-simplistic, narrow minded and bigoted you really are. Still playing up this dichotomy of either I’m in total agreement with you or I’m Communist, which in your dictionary probably equals evil satanic cult. The world isn’t black and white, cut and dry. Once you actually get to know people and happen to be as honest to
            yourself as your senses enable you to be, you will be forced to see that the universe as a complex, interconnected web, where nothing happens in a vacuum.

            I’ve spent many years in both east and west, having the opportunity to meet many sorts of cultures (Western, Middle Eastern, South-East Adian, East Asian, etc.). I feel lucky in the sense that I’m a product of failed indoctrination attempts, and my stubborn nature that makes me believe only what I observe and makes logical sense to me, not what others force me to believe. Though cost me much personal gain along the way, it has also freed my mind to see things closer to how they really are.

            I’m not even from the UK, by the way. First you assume I’m from the USA, now you’re insulting me as if I’m British. Since you are obviously incapable of just focusing on logically discussing topics and are in fact obsessed with labelling, name calling and other bullying tactics, this discussion is over.

          • sirgareth

            Re: seeing things through an ideological filter (my own). This is another way of accusing someone of thinking.

            Just who among us does not use an ideological scale when weighing alternatives? Ideology is just another way of evaluating right from wrong.

            Facts have little to do with history and corporations are simply associations of people driven by the same motives as all sane people. We all want to maximize our gains and minimize our loses. As long as some filthy politician or their bureaucrats with the power of law behind him doesn’t force the scales of economic justice, there is no harm in this. Its human nature. Corporations are not constituted to “do good” this makes them unlike government that has visited so much misery on the planet, they do not possess armies to force us to do it their way.

            As far as communism, I do not equate it with satanic cults. Its far far worse.

            No the world is not black and white but acts can be black or white; murder-rape is not nuanced.

            You seem to believe I’ve led some sheltered life but in fact I have worked extensively on all the continents but Antarctica and have expatriated to both Africa and Asia. I have outworked Chinamen under the table much to their amazement. I lived years in Tokyo as well.

            Challenging your ideas or your rhetoric is not “bullying you;” you step in the ring, put up your dukes and complain if you take a blow. Man up.

            Another name for labeling is “language”
            I do not need to try arsenic in my tea because is has a label.

            I take clues from language and rhetoric because I am a thinking reasoning person I make “judgments” ie “I am judgmental”

            People who are ready to believe and accept everything actually believe in nothing.

          • zsolmanz

            “Seeing things through an ideological filter” is not “thinking”.

            Humans struggle to be objective, we all assess our experiences based on things we’ve previously learnt.
            An extreme example could be religion, for instance. The Islamic ideological filter causes drawings of Muhammad to be offensive, the Christian filter causes “Jesus Christ” to be blasphemous in certain circumstances.
            Objectively, these things have no meaning – it is the ideological filter which results in their causing offense.

            Challenging ideas and rhetoric is not bullying (though some people take it as such), but implying someone is from a nation of people raised to follow doctrine without thought (“sheep farm”) is defamation of character. Which is bullying.
            It is acceptable to “take clues from language and rhetoric” to make judgements about people, but it is not acceptable to use those judgements in ad-hominem arguments. They can only be used to ensure that you frame your argument in a way that will be best understood by the other.

            You proselytize that capitalism equates to freedom, but this belief is ungrounded – or, at the very least, demonstrates a lack of understanding about the bottom rungs of that ladder.
            Those born into abject poverty are slaves. Economic slaves, but slaves none the less. Their freedom was stolen long before birth, their opportunity to rise through social mobility is no greater than the potential for a slave to gain what miniscule power they can by boot-licking their superiors at the cost of their peers.

            I do not seek to label you as ‘rich’ or ‘poor’, but I find it unlikely that a poor person would be so strong an advocate of pure capitalism.

            In other words, your ‘freedom’ and ‘thinking man’ rhetoric are a privilege instilled by fortune of birth (not being born with a fortune, but born above poverty). Communism may be inherently flawed, but capitalism is too, which is why the state is so important. It is the state that provides means for those born in poverty to have some of the freedom of the rich. It is the state that enables social mobility, and attempts to ensure that freedom and slavery are not inherited. It is the state that tries to equalise the voice and influence of each human, provided the state is a democracy.

            Which brings us to the Republican party. Whilst both parties are funded and influenced by businesses, it is the Republican party that is more renowned for less regulation and less government ‘intervention’ (read: assistance).
            But the businesses which are rich enough to influence politics are already powerful. Their voices do not need more influence through politics, their actions do not need more freedom to treat individuals poorly. The state, if voted in democratically, ought to represent the views of the majority of the population (for therein lies the peoples’ freedom) rather than aid the businesses which financially support it.

            For example:
            You might think it is wrong for people to be on welfare. Especially if they hold down two jobs – they should be well on their way to good financial standing, no?
            Not when businesses can hold their workers to ransom and pay an unlivable wage, which they will do to maximise profits. It is the state’s job to ensure that the minimum wage is acceptable, not to aid the companies’ profit margin.
            Job creation alone does not necessarily aid the population, so supporting businesses does not necessarily aid the population.

          • sirgareth

            The first three paragraphs of your response are non-controversial in my opinion and I support them.

            Here is where you go out into the weeds

            RE: “You proselytize that capitalism equates to freedom, but this belief is ungrounded – or, at the very least, demonstrates a lack of understanding about the bottom rungs of that ladder.”

            Capitalism has nothing to do with which rung one finds himself on the ladder. Human society and even the animal kingdom is inescapably hierarchical, therefore there is no escape from this ladder outside of the great equalizer called death. There was a bottom rung to the ladder among the court at Versailles as there is today in the slums of Caracas.

            When I speak of capitalism I am not speaking of the kind of “capitalism” that forces one to “invest” in some leader’s wet dream with no possible hope of improving their own condition (from Solyndra to Soylent Green) resulting from the theft of one’s own property. I’m speaking of real free (no force or coercion) market capitalism. This kind of capitalism can be practiced evenly at all levels of the ladder. All other forms of capitalism are misnamed.

            RE “Those born into abject poverty are slaves. Economic slaves, but slaves none the less.”

            All slavery is economic, the purpose of slavery is to extract one’s labor while denying him all of the fruits of his own labor. Even slaves get food and shelter in return for their labor; its just not of the quality that by any fair measure is equal to that which the slave actually earned. Some substantial portion of his wealth was siphoned off for the benefit of his masters whether they are privately organized or wear the false mask of beneficent government overseers.

            RE: “Their freedom was stolen long before birth, their opportunity to rise through social mobility is no greater than the potential for a slave to gain what miniscule power they can by boot-licking their superiors at the cost of their peers.”

            The future of a child born to a drunk or meth addict was stolen by his mother. The future of child whose mother chose to murder it before it passed the birth canal was similarly stolen. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with free market capitalism. Why do you insist on linking freedom as causative of crime?

            Slavery and poverty are emotion laden terms, so is boot-licking. No one born in the USA today was born into material poverty worse than my own. Yet I had two parents whose love was assumed and so I never felt impoverished wearing someone else’s shoes and clothing while eating bread and milk for dinner.

            To the extant that a hierarchy commands forces that require us all to hand over either part or all of our property to the disposal of others, we are all slaves by degree.

            I will dispense with a critique of all of your other references to class as predictable and repetitive.

            RE: “It is the state that provides means for those born in poverty to have some of the freedom of the rich.”

            Which state? Both Germany’s National Socialism and The USSR’s universal socialism addressed wealth inequality as their chief concern and here in the USA the most socialist regime we have yet endured has only increased wealth disparity. On the other hand Cuba and North Korea do a fair job of sharing misery equally among the governed; not so much so for the governors.

            RE: “It is the state that enables social mobility, and attempts to ensure that freedom and slavery are not inherited.”

            Which state does this? The oil fiefdom or Norway?

            This is not real state; its an oil rich family.

            RE” It is the state that tries to equalise the voice and influence of each human, provided the state is a democracy.”

            How so? I would like to have the public microphone but Obama isn’t giving his up. Please name the state that gives equal status to all voices.

            RE “Not when businesses can hold their workers to ransom and pay an unlivable wage, which they will do to maximise profits.”

            Ransom? Who is holding another against their will lawfully outside of the state itself?

            Profits? If you should sell something you worked dearly for, would you seek to make the most of your work by getting the price the market will pay or would you rather allow a third party to sell your house, your car or your labor at a price they thought was “fair” to all?

            Why should wages be “livable” My first job paid me 75 cents an hour at age 13. It was not “livable” but it allowed me to freely buy a few things I wanted; my first set of “new” shoes for instance. My job was not available if it required my employer to pay me what my dad earned which was barely “livable.” I would have to be content with shoes worn first by my brothers.

            By the way, my children were raised in fabulous luxury compared with the dearth of material goods of my childhood. They had their own rooms, own wardrobes, and traveled extensively across Europe, Asia, and Africa before they emerged from middle school.

            Methinks there are no locked doors on your “poverty prison”

          • joe foley

            you are a hoot! half the responsibility for being a slave

            rests squarely on the shoulders of the slave sure and those peasants rice farmers who were bombed and raped and murdered by the boys in uniform,of whatever political persuasion, were just begging for it to happen .. up yours you smug creep

          • sirgareth

            RE: “up yours you smug creep”

            The final argument of the obtuse and ignorant.

            No one has to accept slavery, The founders would not accept British slavery for themselves so they ended it and created their own freedom. They could have remained the tax slaves of their rulers but instead they took the risk of death in securing their economic freedom.

            Of course they were a distinct minority. The masses would rather accept their slavery than rock the boat. The progeny of the latter group became is the DNA of Democrats who of course supported their own form of enslavement of Blacks who would not similarly take the risk of death to secure their own freedom.

            This characteristic persists to this day. Democrats/Socialists/Communists/Progressives or whatever they like to call themselves are comfortable with enslavement. They think the government should take from others so they may have a portion of the loot.

            Democrats have always been comfortable with enslavement.

          • joe foley

            obtuse? what’s obtuse you are indeed smug and conceited but you are rather silly. Alright that clear enough? All that founding fathers crap and your bullshit revolution. The other European north American colony ie Canada didn’t need a revolution or a civil war and it appears to be far more civilized than the USof A.. May I ask do you have death before dishonour tattooed on your fore arms. Probably not because you most likely have some predatory job like Estate Agent or Bond Salesman

          • sirgareth

            Sorry you don’t know the meaning of the word, stick to your four letter potty terms, they’re not too impressive, but then neither are you.

            Apparently you are anti-US. Fine, it would only be pathetic if you were a citizen,

            As for revolutions, how is it you know so little of ours. Read some Thomas Paine and after that the Federalist Papers after you get beyond your toilet training phase. The USA is the oldest democracy in the world and is the only nation not defined by hereditary succession.

            No I don’t festoon my body with tattoos or body piercings which appear to be the sole outlet of leftest intellectualism and the aboriginals of New Guinea.

            “Civilized” does not mean what you think it means. It does not mean pacifist but your reliance on the use of potty language certainly would exclude you from being described by the term, let alone even perceiving it.

            No I have never been a salesman of any kind other than a salesman of myself, nor do I understand your revulsion at the idea of land ownership (real estate sales) nor the supply of capital through instruments of debt.

            Again these artifacts of “civilization” do not appear in North Korea or Cuba; nations which appear to be much closer to your liking.

            Just what is it that you find so objectionable to real estate and capital?

          • joe foley

            jeez and I thought that Greece had a slave owning democracy which was just slightly older than the slave owning democracy of the US..I am very happy to hear that the US is the only nation not defined by hereditary succession,can you please tell the Bush Clinton clans and all the other hereditary rich that “fact.”

            There is a great deal of economy of the truth when it comes to the American revolution, for example the “Boston Massacre” was a group throwing stones at soldiers and the soldiers opened fire. 5 people died not a great massacre that it is assumed to be. I have asked Americans and I get told up to 5000…The British had just fought an expensive war on the behalf of the colonies and they trying to recover some money by raising taxes I believe it was very small tax compared to the amount your present democracy charges.Perhaps you should have another revolution ..
            Anyway this was about the price of electricity but you have manged to insult everyone. My apologies for being so obtuse and ignorant.You believe what you want to believe. That is what everyone does clever or stupid. Just bend the facts to suit whatever.

            You are an obviously an educated man but you fairly drip with conceit, condescension and patronization. You talk about democracy but I cant see someone like you believing in democracy at all . I will resist the temptation to add the potty words.

          • sirgareth

            Do you think it a bit lame-brained to view the history of Greece or the American Colonies of Great Britain through the feminized pink lens of the current sad state of our nearly 100% dependent US “children” from ages 0 to 26?

            Slavery is a permanent institution of man, it is an institution born of weak-willed weak-minded humans who scream “take care of me” like infants do. Do you see yourself in this crowd? How about in the crowd of “occupiers”

            If you are trying to get me to defend the US in its rapidly devolving state of effeminate Obama-”care” I wont rise to take the bait.

            Of course all history is a form of myth and men live by myth, our science is likewise born of the myth that we are evolving toward an understanding of the universe instead of merely evolving toward a complete state of hubris.

            My thesis is simple, the superior man seeks the fulfillment of broad experience and does not seek the secure nipple of a governess. We now have “children” defined as 26 and under. Why not 60 and under?

          • joe foley

            superior man ? are you really ? pompous vain creature, what do you look like in your underpants?

          • sirgareth

            Return to your nipple now.

          • AuldLochinvar

            I wonder if he’s a Nazi. There’s a flavor of “master race” in some of his rantings.

          • SouthOhioGipper

            So? Scientific studies prove that smug and conceited people tend to succeed more than nice people. Go back to flipping burgers peasant, that is all you are entitled to. Being a prick gets you ahead. Nice guys like you finish last.

          • joe foley

            what makes you think I’a nice guy Mr Arsehole??

          • SouthOhioGipper

            Never met a leftwing radical who was willing to throw down for his principles. You would be an exception to the rule.

          • AuldLochinvar

            I believe that Europe took centuries to recover from the loss of the Roman Empire. Upper class people took baths in South Britain during the Roman occupation, but Elizabeth Tudor had one once a month whether she needed it or not.

          • robbie555

            Now they are ISIS’s

        • AuldLochinvar

          You’re thinking of the People’s Republic of China.

      • Phil Williamson

        I have a bridge for sale. You interested?

        In 2011, the major oil companies made $133 billion in profits.

        In 2011, the U.S (fed and state) took in $24 billion in fuel tax.

        • Story

          Maybe you’re just too stupid to know the difference between total profit and profit per gallon of fuel sold. Oil companies do far more than only produce gasoline, idiot. Do you know where plastics come from? Fertilizer we use to grow crops and feed the world? What a “by-product” even means? That’s why you bought your bridge in the first place..I think you can keep it.

          • Michael

            Fertilizer and plastic… as if THAT’S any good!

          • Story

            What are you? 14 or so? There is only one reason life expectancy has gone from 30 to 40 years up to 80, 90 or 100 years….. oil. It has revolutionized every industry including farming (that feeds your wasted ass), health care, construction, transportation, energy production and distribution (you seem to love insulated wiring that allows you to power your basement) and telecommunications/ IT. Let’s see you starve for a while and stop typing idiocy on your plastic keyboard and maybe, just maybe you will have a smaller understanding of all the befits of the oil companies. GFY.

          • AuldLochinvar

            “Oil” — well, really, you mean the Industrial Revolution.
            The point of this reply is that the correct successor to fossil solar (carbon AND oxygen) is not direct solar (sail powered navies, whale oil lamps) but nuclear, and it seems to be most successful when it is nationally owned and managed, as Electricite de France and Britain’s CEGB used to be.
            China and India have plans to do that, using technologies that the USA pioneered and threw away (IFR and LTFR).

          • Story

            No….oil. Many products around you are by products of oil, including plastics. Plastics have revolutionized modern medicine. Machines during the industrial revolution soon came to a stand still without lubrication (oil). Coal was the fuel of the day for furnaces and smelting. Coal transformed locomotives and now diesel. Every product on the shelf in every store is there because of oil. Many synthetics started as oil by-products even though they may be chemical today.

            I don’t have any issues with nuclear other than the waste and the NIMBY attitude of state and local governments toward its storage. I think the first step that should be taken is a switch to 100% LED lighting. Heating and cooling homes and businesses has it’s own hurdles, but higher efficiency equipment is being designed even as we speak.

          • AuldLochinvar

            I reckon that these uses of oil might be an independent reason AGAINST burning it.

          • Matthew Selz

            Areva is going bankrupt. Socialized nuclear is a terrible idea.

          • sirgareth

            This is why we refer to you socialists as Libtards. You have no idea how the world that feeds and cares for you actually works do you? Most of us left our infancy at age 2. With ignorance such as yours its impossible to believe that you are weaned from from the nipple

        • joe foley

          can you deliver the bridge ?

      • Steve Aplin

        oil has zero to do with electricity. Only a handful of remote communities in North America make electricity with oil (diesel).

        Most electricity in North America comes from coal, hydro, nuclear, and natural gas.

        • Story

          You should have replied to Remy Bourreau WAY up thread. He brought oil and oil companies into this discussion.
          But BTW- electricity kind of sucks without insulated wiring…. an oil by-product. I’m a master electrician and you can’t teach me a damned thing about electricity production, distribution, and practical knowledge and practices. And unless you’re using a full synthetic to lubricate all those bearings and moving parts….. Oh… another thing! There are LOTS of oil filled transformers out there….. oil is a great insulator. Anything else?

          • AuldLochinvar

            Surely Steve Aplin meant that the burning of oil is insignificant to electric energy production?

    • Bullfrog

      Actually the places in the world that use wind and solar are the ones getting screwed with the highest prices. Canada, using primarily fossil fuels and hydro, has the least expensive.

      Denmark is supposed to be a world leader in renewable energy. Germany also had very progressive renewable energy policies until they discovered it was a bad idea. Those two countries have electric prices 300-400% higher than the US and Canada. The people in those countries are the ones getting screwed. We (the fossil fuel users) have it pretty good, as shown by the graphics in this article.

      • Antoni L.

        For now..

        • Matthew Selz


    • AuldLochinvar

      I’ve been in Miami when it was pouring rain. Solar isn’t very productive on cloudy days. Germany occasionally has an oversupply of solar power, even although on the average it doesn’t have enough to slow down the CO2 emissions rate. Even in Florida, the intermittency of a solar power supply would be a migraine headache for anybody trying to match the supply to the demand.
      As for the oil company “bounty”, the cost in health and pollution wipes out any imaginable profit we derive.

      The alternative to the energy resources of the Industrial Revolution isn’t the solar resources, the weather-dependent energy, of the 18th century.
      It’s nuclear, which was discovered in the 20th.

      • Remy Bourreau

        And WHAT pray tell do countries do with the “spent” fuel rods that are deadly radioactive for 10′s of 1,000′s of years?? Or the Fukushimas and Chernobels?

        • AuldLochinvar

          That’s an easy question. France reprocesses them.
          If the USA did that, we’d have a hundred tons or less for the entire industry per year, and the longest half life is 30 years. Do you know the tenth power of a half?
          That is the actual waste, as distinct from fuel that is merely being., wasted, especially the plutonium.
          Plutonium 239 is about a thousandth as radioactive as the caesium.
          The correct thing to do with all water cooled graphite moderated reactors, the Chernobyl type, is to shut them down. That is about the only design with a seriously positive thermal coefficient of reactivity.
          As for Fukushima, the answer even to tsunami flooding the emergency cooling pump generators was demonstrated at the beginning of April 1986, the very month of the Chernobyl incident.
          Model EBR II of the Integral Fast Reactor project was designed to recognise and react by simple physics to excess temperature by shutting itself down.
          Its coolant is unpressurised liquid sodium, under a sealed argon atmosphere, which cools the mere radioactivity of the fission products passively by convection alone. Pumping the coolant is needed only when the reactor is running.
          The Fukushima reactors did in fact correctly shut down in response to the earthquake. Had there not been a tsunami as well, they’d even have survived.

          • joe foley

            thats great to know no problems then??

        • AuldLochinvar

          This is a good question, but the tone is typical of the innocent but appalling ignorance of so many opponents of the only “alternative” energy invented since the days of Darwin, Lyell, Huxley, Kelvin, and Maxwell.
          For a start, radioactivity that is intense is not long lived. 95% or more of the content of a “spent fuel” rod is unchanged from what was loaded into the reactor. perhaps 1% is Pu-239, which should be regarded as much more valuable than gold, and is almost inseparably mixed with Pu-240, an isotope that even in tiny quantities was able to make the plutonium bomb dropped upon Nagasaki far more complicated than the simple U-235 one dropped on Hiroshima.
          3% or 4% is fission products, the longest lived (and least radioactive) disappearing at the rate of half what’s left, every 30 years. So if you have a kilogram of radioactive caesium, there’ll be a gram of it left in 300 years A metric tonne of it will cost you far less than a cubic metre to store it.
          The answer depends upon simple arithmetic, i.e. the orders of magnitude of the waste from whatever t energy source you choose.
          What the USA does with the spent fuel rods (about 2400 tons a year) is in fact wrong, but not as wrong as permitting thousands of millions of tons of carbon dioxide, and tens of thousands of acidic poisonous gases.

          What should be done with the spent fuel rods is to reprocess them, and consume the uranium and plutonium in fast neutron reactors, which breed as much fissile plutonium from the uranium as hwat they consume. The fuel rods can only be considered “spent” by the myopic view of the Carter administration’s ban on reprocessing, and the Clinton administration’s cancelling of the IFR project, which was designed to be meltdown immune, and proved by deliberate test that it was so, with no auxiliary energy supply, at the beginning
          of the very month in 1986 when the Chernobyl stupidity occurred.

    • James

      You have it exactly BACKWARDS. The screwing is being done by the renewables companies. There is no such thing as a “monopolistic fossil fuel industry”. Renewables are fantastically expensive relative to fossil fuels.

      • Remy Bourreau

        Initially yes, but not over the long haul. FIVE Oil companies control ALL of the gasoline in America, and ALL are VERTICALLY INTEGRATED meaning they own the gas from when it comes out of the ground at their oil well to the gas coming out of the nozzle at their gas stations. I don’t know if you’re genuinely NAIVE or just playing STUPID? Fortunately there are those Americans like myself who not only know what’s going on, but will do their best to expose it EVERY opportunity they get. Check out what happened to the hydrogen engine in the US.

      • AuldLochinvar

        So-called “Renewables” are hopelessly intermittent compared with energy resources that do not depend upon the weather, whether it be this minute’s, yesterday’s, or last year’s. (wind and solar, hydro and biomass).
        But fossil carbon (and the fossil solar oxygen to burn it) seem to be managed by an oligopoly.
        There is however a hyper-fossil super-stellar store of energy that for a time in Britain and France was managed quit well in the name of the people, by their governments. It comes from the super-massive nuclei of certain elements, which were in the original dust cloud that gravitationally collapsed to form our Sun and its planets.
        Hence my word hyper-fossil.
        Per unit of energy, nuclear produces far less waste or even expense than any of the alternatives, and the USA pioneered two successful ways of using it sustainably.
        America’s lead might be deduced from the names of three of the four elements after plutonium in the periodic table:
        Americium, Curium, Californium, Berkelium. The second of these is derived from the married name of a brilliant woman of Polish birth.

    • AuldLochinvar

      Global Warming is a fact, not a hoax. But solar derived “renewablles” are a delusion of some, being scammed by others.
      Ordinary rush hour congestion, and people’s time being wasted by some fool’s fender bender, gets no coverage for fewer than four people killed.
      The continuing reliability of nuclear gets no coverage, and a fire at an oil processing station in California is ignored. But a leak in one pipe of a nuclear reactor at San Onofre, releasing a pint every minute of exceedingly short lived “radioactive water” into the secondary circuit, neither of these leaking to the outside, caused an epidemic of ignorant fear mongering. As for Fukushima, you;d think the reactors caused the earthquake.

    • T S

      So, if its the monopolistic fossil fuel companies creating the high prices, why is Germany whose goverment is force feeding solar power to the country and has the highest percentage of their electriciy being produced by solar by far the most expensive?


      • AuldLochinvar

        I suspect that the German government, and the EU, are heavily influenced by the owners of coal and of gas wells in the North Sea. Those people know that solar origin energy of the “renewable” sort is no threat to their business. They seem to have done a remarkable job of crippling France’s nuclear lead.

    • AuldLochinvar

      Not even in Florida is the sunshine steady enough to replace coal, and it is high time to eliminate coal entirely. Covering the Everglades with solar panels does not seem to me an environmentally sound act. I doubt that my own quite modest vehicular consumption of energy could be supplied by solar collection on my rooftop, and I live in the suburbs.
      Nuclear breeder reactors, which the USA successfully pioneered, before Chernobyl, are the way for replace coal and petro-hydrocarbons., which it is urgent that we do.

      • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

        Won’t happen! Get over it! Get a ‘green’ life (for real). The sun already is the ‘perfect’ fusion reactor. We can get all the power we want from it, for almost free with no sound, no birds killed and no radiation (thanks to our atmosphere). The sun and the earth have done all the hard work. All we have to do is to convert sunlight into electrical energy and store some of it for later use (not that hard)! If we increase solar cell conversion efficiency to 50%-60% , then this power will be even much cheaper than coal and far cheaper than your ‘dream reactor’. Face it, you really can’t compete with the sun! We don’t even have to build, fix, or maintain the sun and all it’s radioactive material is taken care of, for us! It’s really a ‘no brainer’ from a physics and engineering standpoint. But then, I guess you wouldn’t have a ‘cool new toy’ to play with! Is that the real problem here? You want something to ‘play with’ and justify your existence and education?

    • Matthew Selz

      Whoa there. You are blaming fossil fuels on a country like Germany’s energy prices. You need to check your facts before you start running your mouth. Germany’s energy crisis is precisely the opposite as what you stated. Their decision to go with solar and wind energy is the reason their energy costs are so high. Solar is a supplemental power source and wind is utterly useless. Leave the heavy lifting to nuclear.

  • sirgareth

    The greenhouse effect occurs in greenhouses. Greenhouses are small and have a glass roof thus they deny air escape the same way as a well sealed building.

    Nothing like this occurs in open air and trace gases in the atmosphere have nothing to do with controlling the climate. The sun does this.

    There are multi-billionaires are banking on the gulibilty of the average government educated (indoctrinated) dolt to rob them of their wealth. Goldman Sachs has bet the equivalent of the GNP of 90% of the nations in the UN that you will allow them to be the gate-keepers to pay for ther right to burn fuel

    I’m betting with Goldman Sachs and so far my stock has been riding higher than Moochelle Obama’s “carbon foot stomp”

    Have you noticed that no government agencies plot their own carbon footprint; do you think they know its a scam too?

    • OhRyanT

      This is the dumbest thing I have read in my entire life.

      • sirgareth

        Thanks for proving my point, just another illiterate uneducated dolt. Typical fodder for the “global warming” con-game.

        If you had an iota of intelligence you might have picked something I wrote and demonstrated why it’s wrong. You can’t do this you respond with the typical Neanderthal like comments of the far left; completely devoid of substance.

        Good show.

        • AuldLochinvar

          As a matter of fact, our culture, even considering the days of the Chinese empire, may very easily not last as many thousands of years as the Neanderthal culture. Shelley got the idea I’m alluding to, in Ozymandias: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair” — inscribed upon a ruin in the desert.

          • sirgareth

            Do you think that if the Neanderthal “culture” had listened more closely to what their “leaders” were telling them they would be thriving today or that it was simply that much like the dinosaurs, nature simply hand no more use of them?

            What a beautiful metaphor you cite. Shelly has captured the entire spirit of the natural universe: Nothing survives, nothing is “sustainable.”

            Try as you want to “sustain” the secure warmth of mothers breast in your secure nursery, this is not what nature has in store for you. You must struggle your entire life to wage war against the inexorable forces of change and not only you, but your culture and your species must die.

            Get used to it, the Neanderthals got along with their lives by simply accepting the the truth that every edifice constructed to sustain itself against the scourge of time and change must fail.

            I hope this teaches us all how foolishly and childishly naive the entire concept of “sustainability” truly is.

          • AuldLochinvar

            My whole point is that the Neanderthals had a sustainable culture, and we do not if we try to rely on either fossil or current solar power.
            And of course that a world population that doubles itself in less than fifty years is as doomed as the black rats of Mautam, that being the mass ripening every fifty years or so , of a bamboo with very large,very tough, nutritious seeds. Feeding upon this bounty, the rats multiply inordinately, to the great alarm of the local humans, and then neither rats nor humans have enough to eat. every plant that might be a competitor to the bamboo seedlings is wiped out too.

          • sirgareth

            RE: “My whole point is that the Neanderthals had a sustainable culture….”

            Then your whole point rests upon a fabrication unless you can show me where I can visit this “sustained” culture.

            RE: “And of course that a world population that doubles itself in less than fifty years is as doomed as the black rats of Mautam, that being the mass ripening every fifty years or so”

            Then so be it. Your “problem” is solved isn’t it?

            What exactly are you after?

            There is no utopia in which people who won’t strive, struggle, and eventually die in a futile effort to defeat nature’s grand design can instead live off mother’s milk forever.

      • Efreet

        yeah, the first two paragraphs are simply ridiculous.

    • Lindsay Wilson

      Without the greenhouse effect the earth would be an uninhabitable 33 C colder that it is. Fourier, Tyndall, Langley and Arrhenius understood this more than a century ago. There are plenty of questions about speed of the transient climate response, but I’m afraid the underlying physics are solid. Did you notice we just had the warmest May since records began? Just a coincidence, or an underlying warming trend with a brewing El Nino?

      • sirgareth

        Yes I know you have been told that and repeat it like a trained parrot, possibly for a good grade. You aren’t a bird brain simply squawking back whatever you hear or are you.

        Do you know how a greenhouse actually works. If you do please tell us why real greenhouses and the Earths atmosphere do not and cannot share the same heating/warming physics. Isnt it odd they refer to this theory with a structure that has nothing in common with a greenhouse. Truly educated people use their brains to actually “think” rather than merely sing the mindless mantras they have been taught

        And if you were not a trained parrot you would ask whoever told you this “how can you prove that?”

        Unproven theory is almost always wrong, there is a name for it. Its called conjecture and its still conjecture no mater how many sing the refrain. Like all of the Axis “scientists” whose theories on race were drilled into the little brown-shirted Hitler youth for good grades .

        You name some rather prominent 18th and 19th century scientists as your authority, missing the point that none of them decided the air was just like a greenhouse. Even if they did so what, does that make it true? Sir Isaac Newton devoted most of his scientific career to Alchemy…that must make it true?

        And no, I only “noticed” that we had one of the coolest springs and early summers on record. There is no “global temperature” and collection of constantly modified and manipulated numbers advertised as “historical data” purported to record it, is nothing but a farce. You do realize that many of the histoical climate records are fictions created by garbage in garbage out computer programs.

        If you are prepared to stop with the official state manta that you were trained to repeat I will discuss any of the aspects of what I have written. Its not for the skeptic to prove what you claim is wrong. It’s up to the skeptic to see if you really know what you are talking about.

        • Connor Meinert

          Here’s your answer to the how. Your freshman college chemistry class should have provided you with a proper background.
          We both seem to be repeating mantras, how well researched is yours?

          • sirgareth

            First let me state that I am well familiar with quantum mechanics and I support it as a useful (not necessarily correct) explanation for the behavior of electromagnetic radiation.

            I don’t deal in mantras of any kind. I try to think things through for myself and arrive at my own conclusions. You should try it, it’s the difference between education and indoctrination

            While I provisionally accept the precepts of quantum mechanics I would never hold it up as the last word. One day it will most likely be entirely replaced. I would not place unverifiable theories on the idea that its the very last word and the chapter is closed.

            Other than being told “it must be so” just how did YOU come to realize that CO2 works just like a greenhouse with a glass roof?

            I’m skeptical of this conjecture for several reasons:

            I don’t believe CO2 behaves like a physical barrier like the glass roof of a greenhouse.

            Does black powder burn or detonate? The answer rather depends on whether it’s confined or not doesn’t it? Likewise I don’t think its wise to attribute the chemical or physical behavior of a gas solely to its chemical makeup and not how it behaves in the larger open environment

            Secondly CO2 is a trace gas composing less than 4 molecules of roughly 8,000 nitrogen molecules, combine 2000 oxygen molecules. Its only so rare because life consumes it ravenously; that’s not entirely a bad thing. unless we should equally call crop fertilizers “pollution”

            Even wild conjectures about CO2′s role in atmospherics physics requires fanciful “positive feedbacks” (extremely rare in nature).

            Of course CO2 concentrations during the the Paleozoic were more than 10 times what they are today while at the same time average temperatures were approximately what they are today. The “positive feedback” conjecture is thus equally dis-proven unless we want to throw out our current understanding of the Earth’s paleozoic history in order to support the current version of the old climate hysteria’s mode du jure.

            Lastly the only theoretical association of CO2 with climate has been entirely dis-positive.

            Those projections now some 30 years old have all failed in the macro sense. The idea that a constantly manipulated data set purported to represent the earths”average” temperature to a tent of a degree or less is preposterous on its face for just too many reasons to itemize in a short response.

          • AuldLochinvar

            A trace gas. Get a laser pointer, and a glass of clear water, and shine a beam through the water. You won’t see it from the side. Add just a drop of milk, and you will.
            About positive feedback: You’re wrong. The GHG problem is that for every hour that the Earth receives radiation from the Sun, it has to get rid of it or get hotter.
            There IS a negative feedback mechanism, that’s why the Earth and especially the oceans are getting warmer. At some range of temperatures, not yet reached, the higher energies of the infrared photons will be able to penetrate the CO2 etc. and balance the radiation input. A very tiny change in that infrared transparency can make a huge difference to the energy retained, because so much is pouring in.

          • sirgareth

            Try this experiment. Take a teaspoon full of water and pour on your mommy’s finest white silk sofa…..wait a few hour and see if she notices. Next take some coal (evil carbon) and rub at all over her sofa….

            Next wait and watch your butt get warmed by mommy…this is just like the way carbon causes global warming…its “science”.

          • Efreet

            there’s no way that guy went to college.

          • sirgareth

            RE: “there’s no way that guy went to college.”

            As evidenced by his inability to echo a mindless mantra like a well trained parrot?

          • AuldLochinvar

            No, by his claim to understand quantum mechanics when he can’t understand the meaning of infrared transparency.

          • sirgareth

            OK champ, I read the little article but find that this science is really really hard for me to understand. I’m hoping that because it is so easy for you to understand that you can instruct me so I can become a true believer like you.

            So CO2 tends to absorb straight line infrared radiation but re-emits this energy in a random direction This infrared radiation is in the form of straight line radiation as reflected by the earths surface which would normally proceed back to outer space if it were not for the fact that CO2 absorbed the IR photons and re-emitted them in a random direction. at least part of those random photons might “re-radiate” downwards and this mechanism allows CO2 to “overheat” the earth.

            Do I have it correct so far?

            OK but since, unlike you, I find this science stuff really really hard I don’t yet understand why all these CO2 molecules don’t equally trap stright line incoming solar IR radiation and likewise scatter its photons in a random direction, some of which would, in this case, be reflected not back to earth but back to outer space thus sparing us from all that extra heat. I’m sure you can explain how this one way mirror action of CO2 works because, due to my ignorance I don’t understand how it does.

            This brings me to the subject of radiation and I seem to have a flawed understanding of how it works according to the laws of thermodynamics as I in my ignorance currently understand them.

            Please be patient with me here. I want to clap and dance against evil CO2 but have net yet seen the light. I’m hoping you can convert me in to a true believer like yourself.

            So as I understand it this CO2 is well mixed in the air and found in the upper atmosphere in nearly equal concentrations as it is in the lower atmosphere. Is this correct?

            As I also understand it, the temperature gradient of the atmosphere descends in an almost linear fashion with altitude.

            OK so here is my ignorance which I am sure you can correct. I don’t yet understand how radiant energy in the upper atmosphere moves downward from cooler regions where CO2 does some of its dastardly work to the relatively warmer regions of the lower atmosphere where will tend turn up the heat.

            So I’m sure you can tell us how radiant energy migrates from cooler bodies to warmer bodies.

            I have a luke warm cup of coffee in front of it which is about 120 degrees. I tried to warm it up by sticking my cooler finger (98.6 degrees ) in it hoping that it will transfer some of the IR radiation from my finger into the warmer coffee just like you say CO2 transfers its energy from the cooler upper air to the warmer lower air.

            My finger is getting warmer and the coffee is getting cooler so it isn’t working – I’m sure you can tell me why it isn’t working like global warming theory says it should.

          • Story

            Come on man…. it’s the same way that warm ocean surface water transfers the heat into the deep oceans. Or at least it was until even NASA had to admit the deep oceans aren’t warming. My bad.

          • AuldLochinvar

            Let me try to help. I have bottles of red wine, and of white wine. The red wine is red because it contains traces of molecules, or possibly ions but I don’t think so, that trap the green light photons but reflect back or transmit the red ones. These photons have differing energy levels, or as electromagnetic waves,differing frequencies/wavelengths. High energy radiation from the sun differs in exactly the same way from what warm water or even black road surface gives off. Greenhouse gases in effect have differing transparency to different “colours” of light

          • sirgareth

            It would appear to me that the bottles of wine you are looking at are both empty after being consumed before you began to pen your profound explanations. From my end of it appears as if the wine is doing all the talking.

            I fully understand how all that urban black road surface causes man man “global warming.” It simply absorbs more solar energy than it emits until an equilibrium is reached at which point the outgoing energy is balanced by incoming energy. Shall we ban black roads for doing this?

            My question, which the talking wine never answered, is how little Suzy, walking upon it barefoot, transfers the heat energy out of her 98.6 degree F footsies down into 140 degree F heat of the road surface, thus causing her feet to get colder and the road surface to get hotter. I know this is how the air aloft is supposed to re-radiate its energy downward to the warmer air below according to greenhouse gas hypothesis but the road surface analogy simply makes no sense to me. Have another bottle of wine and I’m sure it will for you.

          • AuldLochinvar

            Okay, it is time to put sirgareth under the Round Table I have tried to illustrate the phenomenon of differential response to differential wavelengths, but I’ll have to hope that other folk reading this have more understanding, Sirra Gareth.

        • Efreet

          are you really this stupid or are you just having a laugh with everyone?

          • sirgareth

            Actually I would really like to be stupid enough to make vacuous remarks such as yours. I find that my native intellect offers a severe handicap in this regard.

            Its like walking by one of those old-timey revival tents. I just can’t go inside to sing and clap with the rest the true believers.

            Can you tell me how you do it?

      • Bullfrog

        Did you happen to notice there has been no statistical warming for 17 years now, despite record levels of CO2 emissions over that period? Did you happen to notice that the IPCC global temperature prediction models failed outside their stated confidence interval — on the low side?

        Another thing to notice is that most of Earth’s history has been 8 to 15 degrees Celsius warmer than during our lifetimes. The future of Earth will be much, much warmer than today. It will also be much, much cooler than today.

        • Guest

          Lindsay, I found experimental thermodynamics excruciatingly difficult.
          But I would say, as a matter of simple data accounting, that the melting of huge chunks of polar and mountaintop ice counts as very serious evidence of warming on this planet. especially where it happens on mountaintops very distant from the warmth of the sea.

        • AuldLochinvar

          Bullfrog, surely you can recognise that the melting of polar and mountaintop ice, and its non-replacement, constitute significant statistics of warming?

      • AuldLochinvar

        Well put, Lindsay. I’m not going to argue with the idiot sirgareth any more. As a supplement to your comment on the underlying physics, the key to the apparent vagaries of the global warming is of course that the oceans receive and also store vast amounts of energy per degree Celsius. Hurricanes and typhoons are the planet’s way of getting rid of it, to the best it can.

    • Connor Meinert

      CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are our glass roof.
      This chap does a quick explanation on how CO2 actually absorbs and reflects infared radiation back on our planet, in case you were concerned that 97% of the world’s scientists just thought “hey let’s say this is why.” If you took a competent college intro to chemistry class it should make sense.
      Also, when you are dealing with the staggering amount so of emmisions released, a couple of jumbo jets doing round trips around the globe doesn’t add up to much. In order to prevent severe climate change we need to change our energy infastructure, producing our electricity from renewable energy.
      Also, once proper renewable energy becomes the norm, energy prices will drop sufficiently. Our solar panels are only operating at around 1/4 of their max efficiency and are already competing with gas and oil. This will lead to a severe drop in the cost of manufacturing, leading to more goods, more entrepaneurship and more money for both the rich and the poor. Renewable energy would make Carnegie shit himself in excitement.

      • Bullfrog

        Please tell us you don’t buy the “97% of scientists” propaganda still, even after being thoroughly debunked.

        In my experience as an environmental scientist who works on a daily and personal basis with many other scientists, its more like 60%. And almost all think the science is politicized and corrupted.

        BTW, your comment about electricity prices doesn’t jibe with this article or the reality of energy prices around the world. More renewables = higher energy prices, with the exception of hydroelectric. Solar is one of the worst price offenders.

      • AuldLochinvar

        The one thing that coal and hydrocarbons provide is independence of weather and time of day. Solar, wind, wave, and tidal do not. Even hydro and biofuels are dependent upon last year’s weather.
        The only thing that’s cleaner than fossil carbon (by a factor of up to a million) and equally dispatchable, is nuclear. California’s emissions went up substantially in 2012, when SCE shut down its San Onofre reactors on account of a trifling leak (75 gallons a day) of water containing the exceedingly radioactive, fantastically short-lived, isotope 16 of nitrogen. So it was easily detected at the point of the leak, from the reactor to the secondary pressurised water coolant, and it never got out at all.

    • AuldLochinvar

      sirgareth, you may reject the accusations that you are stupid. What you are is ignorant. The sky is blue because even oxygen and nitrogen, especially the molecule O3, are not equally transparent to all frequencies of visible light. CO2, NO, CH3 are like glass in being almost entirely transparent to visible light, but absorbent and retentive of low energy infrared, the wavelengths that warm land and water emit.
      It is not just air that cannot escape through glass.
      If you create a hollow concrete block, any size, and leave it out in the sun, the interior air will not get hot, even although it can’t escape.

    • AuldLochinvar

      I will take the challenge you issued to OhRyanT. He should have said “ignorant” not “dumb”.
      I will even give you credit for the suspicion that the subsidizing of immediate solar-origin energy sources is no cure, but the ignorance of which I write, which is widespread, is :
      “Nothing like this occurs in open air and trace gases in the atmosphere have nothing to do with controlling the climate.”

      There is one scintilla of knowledge in “The sun does this”, although the sun’s output is much more constant than what we do with the atmosphere.

      We are born with the instinctive impression that air is just there, and anything less than a gale, is not worth thinking about. Until Torricelli proved otherwise, more than half a century before the USA was invented, people thought that “Nature” abhorred a “vacuum”. Torricelli proved that air has weight.

      The previous paragraph is probably not news to you, but it gives some excuse for your ignorance.

      However, the proven fact is that a tiny amount of carbon dioxide, and far far less of methane, is enough to block the low energy photons of infrared radiation from surfaces that we consider merely warm. The planet has to get rid of the huge amount of energy that flows in from the Sun , in a day, or get warmer. Most of the heat is absorbed by the oceans, and that’s why the polar ice is melting.

      I suspect, having taken physics, applied mathematics, and organic chemistry in college, that Al Gore underestimates the seriousness of the problem. I suspect that like a great many people, you have noticed that the list of “renewable” sources of energy is manifestly inadequate to solve it.
      First of all, the USA had in the 1980s, and threw away in 1994, the solution to the problem. It was a reactor that extended the supply of fissile uranium, isotope 235, by manufacturing isotope 239 of plutonium from the huge bulk of uranium-238 which is almost 140 times as available as U-235, in the naturally occurring element.

      • sirgareth

        RE: I suspect, having taken physics, applied mathematics, and organic chemistry in college, that Al Gore underestimates the seriousness of the problem.”

        Your suspicions are completely unfounded. Al Gore was the spoiled child of a corrupt politician who was bought by occidental petroleum. He took no courses in any real science during his playtime in college, but attempted to pass a study course in theology which proved to difficult for his feeble mind. What a strange spokesperson for the new theology called global warming.

        RE: “I suspect that like a great many people, you have noticed that the list of “renewable” sources of energy is manifestly inadequate to solve it ”

        What you may not suspect is that I have no interest in “solving” problems that other people propose that I must somehow be vexed with. People who wear the mantle of “solving” the entire world’s “problems” do so only by solving their own problems of acquiring the means of wealth, power, and prodigious consumption.

        • AuldLochinvar

          The icecaps are melting, and do not refreeze. That is the problem, whether you care about it or not. I said that Al Gore, who got a Nobel Prize for his description of the problem, does not go far enough.
          You, my medieval friend, deny the existence of the problem, so I was not writing for your edification.

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  • AmarKanth

    Lindsay Wilson, is this per month calculation of electricity consumed in the first graph? The time axis doesn’t specify the duration (months, years, days).

    • Lindsay Wilson

      ?? It’s all prices normalized to USD

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  • RAKraemer

    Comparison of power prices on the basis of cents per kWh are meaningless unless all other price components such as connection charges are taken into account, and the electricity efficiency of households is considered. You should compare total annual household bills in relation to per-capita GDP and/or (disposal) household income.

    • Steve Aplin

      I think the OECD data originally referred to in the article above are all-in prices, i.e., connection charges etc. Whatever factors into a bill in that jurisdiction, divided by kWh over the billing period.

      As for “electricity efficiency of households,” who cares. It’s the price per kWh we’re comparing. A kWh is a kWh. What does it cost?

      Germans use less kWhs per capita than Ontarians, and dump many more millions of tons of carbon into the air in the process. That’s why CIPK — carbon intensity per kWh — is important, and applicable.

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  • Steve Aplin

    you should have also compared the carbon content per kWh of electricity. Once again, Germany and Denmark rank among the highest — Germany’s in 2010 was 468 grams per kWh, Denmark’s 385.

    Ontario’s right now (ten a.m. on Monday October 20) is 31.5 grams. See Table A1 at http://www.canadianenergyissues.com

    Germany’s electricity is nearly FIFTEEN TIMES as dirty as Ontario’s.

    Why is this important? Because Germany is paying ridiculously high prices to support all those windmills it has put into its power system. Wind is allegedly “clean” electricity.

    Unfortunately, it’s not clean. Those windmills have had the opposite effect. In 2012, German electricity was over 500 grams of carbon per kWh.

    I call that a giant size ripoff, and not by the fossil fuel industry but by the wind industry. Wind cannot and will not ever deliver on its proponents’ promise of clean energy.

    Germany is being ripped off.

    Sorry, that’s just the facts.

    • Lindsay Wilson

      There is a post on that elsewhere on the site. If you are going to talk about German you need to talk about relevant issue. Anywhere in the world with good hydro resources has low carbon electricity, that’s just geographical luck. The important issues in Germany are the nuclear faseout (which predates fukishima by many years) and the rising dependence on Qatari LNG at the margin (causing a switch back to coal) Those two things underpin the coal push more than the intermittency of the renewables, though that also effects gas plants negatively. Here are the other emissions posts:


      • Steve Aplin

        It’s more than just geography. It’s decisions. Sure, France has twice as much hydro as Germany. But that’s not why French electricity is six times cleaner than German (and half as expensive). The salient thing is where France gets by far most of its power from: nuclear reactors. Germany hasn’t the spine to stand up to Green imbeciles, hence its current policy on nuclear. BTW, Merkel had prior to Fukushima said she would rescind the phaseout.

        And respectfully, it is ALL about the intermittency of renewables. Renewables cannot replace baseload, because they are intermittent. And baseload is where the lion’s share of carbon emissions are coming from. You can only replace a baseload source with another baseload source.

        This is precisely why renewables are useless in cutting carbon. If they could help Germany do that, then Germany would not be dumping ever-greater amounts of carbon into our air as it replaces zero carbon nuclear generators with carbon-heavy fossil-fired ones.

        • Lindsay Wilson

          I didn’t know that about Merkel rescinding the phaseout, what a shame. Anyone who is serious about the climate was against the phaseout. But I can assure you sharp rise in gas prices has a lot more to do with Germany scrapping brand new gas plants that the indeterminacy of wind and solar. Renewables are useless at cutting carbon need some serious qualification. Especially if you are bigging up hydro? Solar makes total sense in places with high air con demand. Onshore wind is solid economics most places. Particularly with grid integration. Renewables are completely fine at their current low levels. When their capacity begins to exceed their level of indeterminacy then it is different. Then you need to start pricing the cost of their indeterminacy properly. These absolute statements about any technology make no sense to me. Look at the new nuclear in the UK. It’s the best bet of some pretty crappy options, thats the reality

  • ?????

    in algeria the price is 0.0379 for KW/h … i am thinking now of using this advantage … but how ??? Bit-coin miner !!

  • AuldLochinvar

    In Virginia, using the NRDC’s compilation of emissions data from the EIA, I find that I’m getting a bargain from Dominion power company, and I know why.
    I pay at a rate of 8 cents per kWh, plus taxes or whatever. The average energy production from nuclear in the USA is almost 20%. Dominion’s is 48%.
    Not only is it cheaper, there are only ten of the fifty largest electric energy producers that do it for fewer emissions per MWh than Dominion, which comes tenth in total annual energy production.
    If you count concrete bases of expired wind turbines, and solar panel materials when they’re worn out, as waste then even our wasteful two or three thousand tons of used nuclear fuel is trifling by comparison, and only about 100 tons of that is any different from the fuel that went in. It’s really just “wasted” nuclear fuel.

  • Voodude

    “Cheap” wind and solar power are driving the price of electricity (in Germany) down… REALLY?

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  • Mick

    India and Mexico’s electricity may seem cheap to us western nations but is expensive for them considering the average per capita is about $1626 and over half live on a couple dollars a day. Also India electricity is not reliable too.

  • AuldLochinvar

    Oh dear, people still have “doubts” about global warming. If the beer in your picnic basket’s icebox is still cold, and half the ice has melted, do you or do you not have Picnic Basket Warming? Now look at the records on the vast ice sheets there used to be on this planet.
    By the way, if we stopped ALL the industrial fossil carbon emissions tomorrow, the planet is still not hot enough to send all of the Sun’s present heat delivery back into space. It will continue to get warmer until it is. But continued carbon burning keeps pushing that target higher.

  • robbie555

    The utility companies are now charging to put residential solar electricity on their grid. Either way they will get their pound of flesh. Going off grid is the only way to get back at them for their price gouging, monopolizing ways. Also, during the summer, with in 15 days of a billing cycle, most in California are paying $.35 per KWH. They also charge you an add-on fee for going into that $.35 per KWH tier that can be over a $100 dollars added to a monthly bill. Its the fleecing of the American home and family. $1.4 billion penalty against Pacific Gas & Electric for the explosion in San Bruno, CA because of defective gas pipe welds is the reason for the gouging of its customers.

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  • Martin Venter

    Hi Lindsay,

    Where could I find an updated list of the above by country . Thanks in advance

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  • Frenchie

    In France the price of electricity has been going up since the beginning of the privatization. There is no benefit to gain anything other than giving more money to a group of people/corporations.

  • arthur123

    Reality check…. the integration of “Renewables” such as wind in particular ( a intermittent feckless source), has skyrocketed costs per kwh in Germany, Spain and Denmark. see