FOSSIL FUELS ARE HERE TO STAY!
by John Spritzler
July 12, 2023
The URL of this article for sharing it is https://www.pdrboston.org/fossil-fuels-are-here-to-stay
[Please read "WHAT IF WE DON'T REDUCE C02 EMISSIONS?"]
[Please read "THE 97% CONSENSUS ON GLOBAL WARMING?"]
In 2020 a scientific journal article, titled "The Role of Hydrocarbons in the Global Energy Agenda: The Focus on Liquefied Natural Gas," made the point that despite lots of declarations by the leading world organizations and corporations to cut back on the use of fossil fuels, (even to achieve "net-zero" C02 emissions by 2050), it just ain't happening! (Read a recent example of this from the UK here.)
Here is what the article [go to it to see the figures and sources it refers to] reports:
"As a result of multiple environmental studies carried out in relation to the above concepts, it has been found that the energy sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions among all types of human activity . This fact has become one of the main reasons for combatting the already existing energy system , which is founded on hydrocarbon resources (HCR).
"Examples of this combatting are seen in the political arena, where it is openly declared that the era of hydrocarbons is over, and we need to switch to alternative energy sources as quickly as possible. This assertion can be found in the declarations of the G7, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and many other international corporations that restrict access of production and geological survey projects to the investment capital. An example of large-scale “anti-hydrocarbon” policy based on environmental taxes (Figure 1), can be seen in Europe, which has been continually criticized by the industry companies due to worsening investment climate and lower production profitability .
"It is remarkable that the real activities of these international corporations significantly differ from their declared policy, [my emphasis--J.S.] as shown, for instance in [10,11,12]. For example, despite declarations, they continue to provide financial support for hydrocarbon energy projects, although indirectly.
"An increase of oil production volumes in the United States of America (USA) by 8410 thous. bbl/day for the period of 2015–2018, which is twice as high as total global increase in production over the same period, is a clear example of such two-track policy (Figure 2). At the same time, a major part of USA production is shale oil, which is much more cost-intensive than conventional oil. Additionally, according to the data of the State Energy Department , the USA has been implementing an extensive program in support of gas hydrates studies, which is related to prospective HCR." [My bolding--J.S.]
In 2023 an article titled, "Big Oil’s Radical Proposal: Curtail Consumption, Not Production," by Irina Slav, a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry, originally published at OilPrice, reports this:
"The truth is that the world is not moving away from hydrocarbons. Demand for oil has hit 102 million barrels daily. Demand for gas is soaring, too, notably from transition poster continent Europe. U.S. oil consumption is also growing after a drop in 2020—the lockdown year."
Half the world's population lives by eating food grown with nitrogen fertilizer produced from natural gas (a fossil fuel) by a method that releases twice as much C02 by weight as the ammonia making the fertilizer. (Read about nitrogen [synthetic] fertilizer's huge importance here, and read about the limits of organic farming here and see * about the disaster that occurred when Sri Lanka tried to rely only on it.) Billions of people also need fossil fuel to obtain life-saving shelter and protection from storms and droughts and floods (for example read here how Vermont needs to change the course of rivers, which requires fossil fuels, to protect people from flooding.)
Some people nonetheless blithely say, "The safe thing to do is to eliminate the use of fossil fuel, just in case the global warming alarmists turn out to be correct." They say this even though there is not even a tiny consensus of climate scientists--never mind a 97% consensus--who think human-produced C02 is causing catastrophic (or even dangerous) global warming, as you can read about here. Such people are advocating, without realizing it, MASS MURDER. And they're advocating this in the name of "doing the safe thing"!
Note: I do not object to those who say there is a much better way to feed the world's population than the current giant fossil-fuel-based agri-business model now in use, as long as they propose a different way of feeding the world's population; what I object to is people who seem not to care about feeding the world's population and ONLY care about ending the use of fossil fuel regardless of the anti-people consequences.
If there were ever a serious attempt by the rich and powerful to stop using fossil fuel this anti-people way, it would amount to a death sentence for billions of people. Since hunger is one of the most powerful incentives to revolution, this elimination of fossil fuel use would dramatically increase the risk of revolution on a huge multi-national scale. This is something the rich and powerful definitely do not want!
Yes, there is lots of talk--only talk!--about the need to get to "net-zero" (which means adding zero C02 to the atmosphere, by hook or by crook) by 2050. For example, The Guardian reports that the Chinese government "has pledged to peak emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2060, and in 2021 the president, Xi Jinping, promised to stop building coal powered plants." That's the talk. The reality?
"China is approving new coal power projects at the equivalent of two plants every week, a rate energy watchdogs say is unsustainable if the country hopes to achieve its energy targets...But after regional power crunches in 2022, China started a spree of approving new projects and restarting suspended ones. In 2022 the government approved a record-breaking 86 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity. One gigawatt is the equivalent of a large coal power plant. This run of approvals is continuing, potentially on track to break last year’s record, according to analysis by the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, published on Tuesday."
Read here a local example of such talk by the town of Cambridge, Massachusetts: "Cambridge enacts ambitious building emissions reduction standards: The new mandates are some of the most stringent in the country, experts say." We read in this article that "BEUDERO, the final part of Cambridge’s three-fold Green New Deal policy bundle, is intended to put the city on track to meet its goal of using only renewable energy by 2035."
Typical of all such declarations of intent, they are ONLY declarations of intent; they avoid specifying HOW the lofty intended goal will actually be achieved. How come? Because there is no known way of actually keeping the billions of humans on earth alive and even moderately safe, not to mention happy, without continuing to use fossil fuels more and more (or to use nuclear energy, which I oppose for the reason I discuss here). To understand this fact, you might want to read a book-length explanation of it in this book.
So, why are the rich and powerful telling us that a) we need to reach net-zero C02 emissions by 2050 or else there will be catastrophic ("end of civilization") global warming (which is not true even according to the climate experts as you can read here), and that b) we will indeed reach net-zero C02 emissions by 2050?
The reason is not because there really is a persuasive threat of catastrophic global warming (as you can read more about here and here), and it is not that there is a genuine intent to reach net-zero by 2050. The reason is that the rich and powerful find it extremely useful, for controlling the have-nots of the world, to tell us that there is such a catastrophic global warming threat, and that we need to make do with much less, even zero, fossil fuel energy and the things that such energy make possible: human flourishing. Please read my detailed article providing enormous amounts of evidence for the assertions I just made in this paragraph. That article ends with the following paragraphs:
"Go ahead and believe this ruling class propaganda if you wish. I DON'T!!
"And when, in the name of doing what these Extinction Rebellion people are demanding, the ruling class ratchets up the attack on the working class (as the French government did recently by laying a tax on car fuel to make it too expensive for ordinary people to drive to work) and the working class rises up against the ruling class (as the Yellow Vests are doing) and the ruling class uses the Extinction Rebellion people AGAINST the working class and claims that it's only trying to prevent the extinction of the human race (and not, oh no!, certainly not trying to maintain the class inequality that the Rockefellers et al notoriously murdered countless people to maintain during the past centuries, oh no!), THEN you'll have to decide WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?
"Will you continue to believe (just because some "experts" on behalf on the ruling class say so, like the "experts" who have insisted for decades that "we can't afford good health care for all" and that Saddam Hussein had WMD) that C02 (plant food) is killing us? If so, you're going to be sitting right in the pocket of the ruling class! Your call."
* "Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa in April 2021 banned “the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordered the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic.”40 The result was disastrous. “Its rice production has dropped more than 50%, while domestic rice prices have increased more than 80%.”41 This is a real-life warning of the worldwide disaster that would result from eliminating fossil fuels." [from https://co2coalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Happer-Lindzen-EPA-Power-Plants-2023-07-19.pdf where the 40 and 41 references are to Helen Raleigh, Sri Lanka Crisis Shows the Damning Consequences of Western Elites Green Revolution, FEDERALIST (July 15, 2022)]