Better to do nothing than try to reach UN climate targets

economics-literature-does-not-support-1.5c-climate-goal

Lorrie Goldstein writes a review of a new Fraser Institute study by McKitrick and Murphy.  The study is Off Target: The Economics Literature Does Not Support the 1.5C Climate Ceiling.  Excerpts from Goldstein’s article in italics with my bolds.

Trying to achieve the United Nations’ target of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels will do more social and economic harm than good, says a new study by the Fraser Institute released Tuesday.

“Although advocacy of aggressive climate-change policies is often draped with the mantel of science … the popular 1.5C policy target will pose costs that far exceed the benefits,” the study says.

“Emission reductions flowing from strict adherence to the 1.5C target would be worse for the world than doing nothing at all.”

Study authors Ross McKitrick and Robert P. Murphy argue in Off Target: The Economics Literature Does Not Support the 1.5C Climate Ceiling, that the 1.5C target “did not arise … from formal cost-benefit analysis.”

In fact, a 2018 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that argued there would be net societal benefits to achieving the 1.5C target — used by Canada and other countries to justify the public cost of lowering greenhouse gas emissions — “expressly stated” it did not do a cost-benefit analysis.

The 2018 UN study, Global Warming of 1.5°C — An IPCC Special Report, said because the calculations were so complex, “standard cost–benefit analyses become difficult to justify and are not used as an assessment tool in this report.”

Instead, the UN report cited a range of studies that have estimated the global cost of carbon pricing (expressed here in current Canadian dollars) to meet the UN’s target of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

They went from a low of $170 per tonne of emissions, to a high of $6,900 per tonne by 2030; $307 per tonne to $16,300 per tonne by 2050; $527 to $21,955 by 2070 and $865 to $33,873 by 2100.  Given such numbers, Murphy argues in the Fraser report, “it would be better if governments did nothing at all about climate change than to try to achieve the 1.5C target because the costs so outweigh the estimated benefits.

(Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current carbon price is $40 per tonne of emissions, rising to $170 per tonne in 2030.)

In the real world, no government is going to impose a carbon tax/price of up to $6,900 per tonne of emissions by 2030 — with more hikes after that — because it would be political and economic suicide.

No one knows what global temperatures are going to be in 2100, nor what the global carbon price on emissions would have to be by then to meet the UN’s target of limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

What we do know for a fact today is that global emissions are steadily rising. The only exceptions in the modern era occurred in 2008-09 and 2020, when they fell dramatically not because of carbon pricing, but because of global recessions, before resuming their upward climb the following year.

We also know that as of 2021, we are so far behind the UN’s target of reducing emissions to 45% below 2010 levels by 2030, that achieving that goal would require lowering emissions globally by 7.6% annually every year between now and 2030.

And finally, we know that, since almost all goods and services consume fossil fuel energy, a 7.6% annual reduction in emissions every year from now until 2030, would provoke an unprecedented global recession in which the social and economic costs would far outweigh the benefits.

economics-literature-does-not-support-1.5c-climate-ceiling-infographic

Four Blunders in EU Climate Plan

theherculeantaskofkeepingco2emissionsdown_800x533_l_1626765909

Pieter Cleppe writes at Real Clear Energy Four Flaws With the EU’s New Climate Plans Excerpts in italics wtih my bolds and images.

Last week, the European Commission presented its so-called Fit for 55 proposals, a raft of legislative initiatives intended to adapt EU law to the 2030 target of reducing CO2 emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels. The idea is to adapt legislation originally intended to achieve a 40% reduction.

This undertaking, however, is marked by serious shortcomings. Herewith, I summarize what’s wrong with it, listing four main flaws.

  1.  The European Commission is employing a top-down approach, riddled with taxes and spending

The European Commission seems to take former U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s characterization of “government’s view of the economy” as a manual, rather than as a warning. As Reagan summarized government’s approach: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

2615928-milton-friedman-quote-the-big-problem-for-a-democratic-government

Most remarkable here is the Commission’s intention to impose a de facto ban on gasoline and diesel cars by 2035, even if France seems keen to extend this until 2040. When even France is less restrictive, you’re not in a good place. Feeling the need to resort to outright prohibition, the Commission is clearly not putting great trust in innovation to come up with economically efficient, CO2-neutral cars.

A notable change is the expansion of the EU’s cap and trade scheme, which puts a price on emitting CO2 but allows companies to buy and sell their right to do so. The Commission wants to expand this so-called Emissions Trading System (ETS) – set up 16 years ago and covering power plants, intra-EU aviation, and energy-intensive industries – to include buildings, road transport, and shipping. The expansion would start gradually in 2023 and be phased in over three years, as the emission-rights regime for aviation is being tightened up and sectors not covered by ETS are made subject to emission-reduction targets, with binding targets per member state. EU minimum excise-duty rates on various energy sources, like motor or heating fuel, would also need to be increased, and a jet-fuel tax would need to be introduced on intra-EU flights, on top of a tax on maritime fuel.

taxcartoon

Opponents of the proposals, which still need to be approved by both EU member states and the European Parliament, include the shipping industry, which hasn’t exactly welcomed its inclusion into the ETS system. The International Chamber of Shipping described the proposal as “an ideological revenue raising exercise, which will greatly upset the EU’s trading partners,” as it would involve “non-EU shipping companies to be forced to pay billions of euros to support EU economic recovery plans.”

This doesn’t even account for another part of Fit for 55, whereby the Commission intends to create the world’s first carbon border tariff, to be levied on imports of goods including steel, cement, and aluminum, to be phased in from 2026. This step is deemed necessary because two-thirds of CO₂-emissions are likely to continue, only now outside of the EU, causing “carbon leakage” – a phenomenon notably hard to estimate, although we know that China has long outpaced the U.S. and the EU in terms of carbon emission.

border-carbon-taxes

In response, Belgian employer federation VBO-FEB issued a warning about this “carbon border adjustment mechanism,” stating that “policy makers must be careful that (…) this will not cause other countries to impose countermeasures or cause supply chain distortions, leading us to import more finished products than raw resources.” The question remains as to whether this is not a protectionist measure in violation of the WTO agreement – especially when certain European producers would be exempt. In any case, it will unleash lots of extra bureaucracy, especially for small companies.

Also in line with Reagan’s description of government thinking is the European Commission’s plan to spend billions of euros to compensate for the damage done by its own measures – such as its proposal for a new “social climate fund” “to prevent fuel poverty,” using one-fifth of ETS revenue, on top of another fund, the €100 billion Just Transition Mechanism to help coal-dependent countries like Poland make the transition away from coal. Combined with the Commission’s demand to get at least 50% of the income derived from the new ETS transport and buildings revenue, this would mean that the ETS system would morph into an outright EU tax – a dream eurocrats have been pursuing for years.

2.  The proposed measures disproportionately hurt the poor

The European Commission itself has admitted that measures like putting a carbon price on heating fuels “will not affect households equally, but would likely have a regressive impact on disposable income, as low-income households tend to spend a greater proportion of their income on heating.” It is testimony to how divided opinion is even within the Commission, where many are questioning the rather extreme approach of EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans.

fuel_poverty

The predicted hardship for the poor then serves as yet another excuse to spend money – now to alleviate the damage done by the measures. The Commission is seemingly unaware that to finance spending, taxes are needed, and even corporate taxes are ultimately disproportionately borne by low-skilled workers. There is no free lunch, even when paying tribute to the Climate Gods.

Over the last few years, as exemptions for the CO2 emission-trading system have been reduced, this scheme has put upward pressure on energy prices, so it can be feared that this will cause more damage to the economy, particularly hurting the poor. The Commission thinks that CO2 prices in Europe will increase by 50 percent by 2030 if its plans are implemented – but some hedge funds already project an increase of almost 100% by the end of this year, with the more modest current arrangement in place.

france3

Pascal Canfin, chair of the European parliament’s environment committee, who started his career with the greens but is now a key ally of French president Emmanuel Macron, has called the plan to create an emissions trading system (ETS) for transport and buildings “politically suicidal” and “a huge political mistake.” He stated: “It’s a very bad idea,” adding that the Commission was “going to trap” lower middle-class families, noting that those hit the hardest would be people in regions with poor public transport and residents who could not pay for energy-efficiency upgrades to their homes. This follows the French government’s experience with the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) protesters, who managed to get Macron to abandon a fuel-tax hike in 2018.

France will take over the EU’s rotating presidency in 2022; let’s see how much then remains of the European Commission’s grand plans.

473193-14713695863266695_origin

Germany’s automobile industry has also warned that the proposed measures may have a “substantial” impact on jobs at auto suppliers – so even if the greens form part of the new German government, this may not all sail through so smoothly.

3.  The European Commission is not respecting the idea of “tech neutrality”

It’s one thing to impose a target to reduce CO2 emissions. It is quite another to try to micromanage how this can be achieved. Nevertheless, that is what the European Commission is doing with its so-called “EU taxonomy for sustainable activities,” a classification system meant to clarify which investments are environmentally sustainable, in the context of the “European Green Deal,” of which Fit for 55 forms a part.

5595539040_f33f4eb050_b

Several MEPs (mainly Greens) hold up anti-nuclear posters at the debate.

Despite all the evidence that nuclear power is CO2 neutral, the Commission refuses to acknowledge this reality. This denialism is the result of pressure by Germany, which decided to shut down all its nuclear plants, a policy that has driven energy prices in that country to record levels while also supporting the coal-energy sector. Germany thereby goes against the in-house scientific body of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre, which declared earlier this year that nuclear power is a safe and climate-friendly energy source and should be considered as “green” under the EU’s classification system.

To add insult to injury, the Commission considers biomass a renewable energy – despite the fact that burning wood for energy, which is what biomass is ultimately all about, typically emits 1.5 times more CO2 than coal and three times more than natural gas. The EU is the world’s largest net importer of wood pellets; the main net exporters are the United States, Canada, and Russia.

MoS2 Template Master

Green campaigners have been complaining about EU member states like Estonia that allow intensive clear-cutting of trees in forests protected under EU Natura 2000 rules. One NGO, the Estonian Fund for Nature, has also pointed out there is a direct connection between the subsidized growth in the biomass industry and EU renewable-energy policies.

More than 500 scientists have urged the EU to stop treating biomass as carbon-neutral. Even if one disagrees, and believes that biomass can be sustainable and renewable, it still doesn’t make sense to privilege biomass over nuclear power.

Biomass represents almost 60% of renewable-energy consumption in the EU, so the implications of no longer considering it as renewable energy would be grave: wind and solar power contribute only marginally to the EU’s energy provision, irrespective of their environmental downsides. Changing biomass’s renewable status would make it almost unavoidable to recognize nuclear power, which would be embarrassing for the likes of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been putting so much political capital into defending Germany’s nuclear exit.

4.  The EU’s grand plans may not do that much for climate change

At the end of the day, the goal of all this is to counter CO2 emissions in a bid to halt climate change.

Here, an interesting contrarian view comes from Danish economist Bjørn Lomborg, author of the bestseller “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”

Lomborg has highlighted UN Climate Panel estimates that the negative impact of climate change in the 2070s would be equivalent to reducing the average income between 0.2% and 2% – meaning that global incomes would increase only by 356% by then, and not by 362%. He then contrasts this with the enormous cost of EU climate policies, which would “quadruple electricity wholesale prices in just a decade,” and he cites academic studies showing the real costs of EU climate policies to be four times higher than optimistic EU estimates, ultimately amounting to a whopping €4 trillion to €5 trillion.

Lomborg estimates that the new EU target of 55% carbon-emission reduction will reduce the global temperature by the end of the century by an immeasurable 0.004°C – “equivalent to postponing global warming by six weeks in 2100.”

Surely we can agree that it is hard for both proponents and skeptics of expensive climate policies to provide hard proof that they are right in their arguments. But these estimates should make even the most committed EU Commission climate fanatic pause for reflection.

msfig7-1

screenshot-2019-09-24-09.03.15-768x266-1

Global warming is in our mental models.

Gruesome Climate Crisis Talk at Davos

the-great-reset-by-the-world-economic-forum-prism-ua-world-economic-forum-great-resetMichelle Stirling explains what is terribly wrong about their train of thinking in the video below.  For those who prefer reading a transcript, I have provided one below, in italics with my bolds along with some images.

Davos climate crisis talk is disturbing and inaccurate

Hi, I’m Michelle Stirling for Friends of Science Society. I love life, I enjoy this beautiful world and I think being alive is a wonderful gift. That’s why it’s so disturbing to read some of the comments from the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. The conference concluded leaving some commentators concerned about depopulation talk from high profile individuals like Jane Goodall and misinterpreted IPCC SR 1.5 findings by Greta Thunberg, and talk of doomsday battles by Al Gore.

MSfig-2

Goodell’s statement shocked many people when she said all these environmental things we talk about wouldn’t be a problem if there was the size of population that there was 500 years ago. The world’s population is estimated to have been about 500 million people then, or 6.7 billion less than today. Depopulation notions stem from apocalyptic climate visions but Roger Pielke jr. explains in a January 2nd, 2020, article in forbes that climate science has been corrupted by the influential risky business report of 2014. This report was funded by green billionaires and proliferated into the media and scientific domains by powerful environmental groups. Pielke jr. says the report misattributes the proposed pathways, focusing on the most extreme scenario called the representative concentrated Pathway 8.5, something that is far from a business-as-usual case relevant to the Davos set of bankers and billionaires.

MSfig0

Mark Carney’s infamous speech to Lloyd’s of London of 2015 breaking the tragedy of the horizon that Also invoked the risky business report that Pielke jr. says has corrupted climate Science. RCP 8.5 is used in an influential graph on page 105 in the IPCC SR 1.5 report that Greta Thunberg refers to in her speeches at Davos. Greta referred to a table on page 108 of theIPCC SR 1.5 report for her crisis comments, but most of the scientific papers referred to in that table were published in or before 2013. And in 2013 the IPCC AR 5 report in box 9.2 chapter 9 stated there had been a hiatus in warming since before Kyoto. That’s like 15 years despite a dramatic rise in carbon dioxide concentration from human industry and activity.

MSfig2

Dr Judith Curry testified to the US Senate on January 16, 2014, that based on that IPCC AR-5 evidence, carbon dioxide is not the control knob that can fine-tune climate. Curry noted that the science of climate change is not settled and evidence reported by the IPCC AR-5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change.

Nevertheless well-known climate scientists like professor Katherine Hayhoe continue to present proposed mitigation pathways as she did at the University of Calgary wherein she stated that she considered China to be a leader in climate mitigation.

MSfig1

We are just starting now to curve off the higher scenario if you notice here we’re almost here we’re just starting to curve off the higher scenario. When I say we I actually mean it’s mostly, get this, it’s mostly good in China. China has more wind and solar energy than any other country in the world. And you know I’m not a hundred percent confident in their emission estimates, so keep this with a bit of a grain of salt. But at least what we’re working with in the global level suggests that we’re starting to peel off the higher scenario, but not fast enough to get down to a lower scenario or meet the pair of targets. That’s absurd: a month of China’s emissions equal a whole year of emissions by Canada.

MSfig3

World Primary Energy consumed in 2020 was 567 Exajoules (BP Statistics)

Hayhoe advocated for rapid decarbonization referring to the RCP 8.5 versus a lower RCP. But a chart from the original report from Van Viren et al shows that no RCP scenario is fossil fuel free, debunking the notion that net zero 2050 should even be part of public policy or that rapid decarbonization is necessary. Roger Pielke jr. says these RCP models cannot be compared to each other, and even the RCP authors state they’re not meant to be used in this way. For instance all the RCP pathways other than 8.5 represent a world with billions fewer people.

MSfig-1

Another highlight at Davos was Al Gore’s fear-infested closing as noted by Hans Rosling and family in their book Factfulness. In 2009 Rosling met Al Gore who told him then we have to create fear, an approach that that medical doctor and international public health policy expert Rosling rejected. Rosling wrote that fear plus urgency makes for stupid drastic decisions with unpredictable side effects. And contrary to the doom and gloom of Davos, Factfulness shows how the world is improving for all people despite certain inequities, contrary to the doom and gloom of Davos. A decade later Al Gore continues with his apocalyptic approach, and at Davos he claimed the climate crisis was equivalent to historic wars even invoking 9 /11 again.

MSfig4

As Roger Pielke jr. notes in an earlier Forbes article, this is nothing but climate porn and is not supported by the scientific evidence in IPCC reports But fortunately there is a global pushback on this damaging depopulation and doom and gloom fear-mongering. CLINTEL, the climate intelligence organization based in the Netherlands, representing more than 800 global scientists, sent a letter to the World Economic Forum stating there’s no climate emergency and insisting that we do have time.

MSfig6

And pointing out the uncertainties of climate models that Greta and Al Gore use for their apocalyptic statements. A commentary has been posted on CFACT that summarizes the CLINTEL manifesto and Friends of Science Society. We’ve published the CLINTEL document and videos on our blog.

It is deeply disturbing that depopulation talk has become part of mainstream climate policy discussions with even a Quebec politician suggesting that medically assisted suicide could be available to those who want to die to save the planet. We were given this gift of life in a beautiful world, one that has problems, but I believe we are up to the challenge. There’s no climate emergency so let us live with hope and joy.

For Friends of Science Society, I’m Michelle Stirling

MSfig7

My Summary

Clearly, the 1% are fearful of losing their planetary playground because the other 99% of us consume too much.  So they want there to be fewer of us and to constrain our personal mobility and choices.  Not so long ago, Romanians has strict quotas for their daily calorie intake.  Several countries plan to scrap gasoline autos and affordable air travel. This is the driving force behind the Great Reset.  Who knows how this mindset translates into actions on the ground?

jimbob 15M people

See also Resist the Great Reset

gdundvquwzb21

Climate Kool-Aid

Climate Kool-Aid

Johnathan DuHamel has another fine article at his blog Wry Heat  The Biden Administration Has Swallowed the Climate Kool-Aid.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some images.

The Biden administration thinks they can stop global warming (aka climate change) by eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and switching electrical generation to wind and solar installations. Biden says “follow the science.” If he did follow the science he would realize that there is no physical evidence that carbon dioxide plays a significant role in controlling global temperature (see posts at the end of this article).

Biden wants 80% hydrocarbon-free electricity generation by 2030, 100% by 2035 and elimination of fossil fuels from all sectors of the U.S. economy by 2050.

According to Paul Driessen (senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow), “ this would send the nation’s annual electricity requirement soaring from about 2.7 billion megawatt-hours (the fossil fuel portion of total U.S. electricity) to almost 7.5 billion MWh per year by 2050. Substantial additional generation would be required to constantly recharge backup batteries for windless, sunless days, to safeguard society against blackouts, cyberattacks and wholesale collapse. Generating all that electricity without new nuclear and hydroelectric plants would require tens of thousands of 850-foot-tall offshore wind turbines, hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of somewhat smaller onshore turbines, and billions of photovoltaic solar panels. All these turbines, panels, batteries and power lines would require tens of billions of tons of non-renewable iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt, lithium, rare earth elements, plastics, limestone and other materials. That would necessitate mining, crushing, processing, refining and transporting tens of billions of tons of ores – from thousands of mines and quarries, using gigantic gasoline and diesel equipment – followed by smelting and manufacturing, all with fossil fuels.

None of this is clean, green or sustainable.”

So, how is “global warming” doing. We can consult with Dr. Roy Spencer who manages the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. This satellite system measures global atmospheric temperature daily. The latest results are seen here:

uah_lt_1979_thru_june_2021_v6


You should notice that global atmospheric temperatures in April, May, and June, 2021, were below the 1991-2020 average and similar to temperatures in 1983. According to the Global Monitoring Laboratory of NOAA at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, atmospheric carbon dioxide was about 340ppm in 1983 versus about 418ppm now. Although there has been deviation from the average due to things like the El Nino-La Nina cycles, there has not been any overall warming in spite of the increase in carbon dioxide.

uah-global-1995to202104-w-co2-overlay

Biden and other climate alarmists have swallowed the climate “Kool-Aid” and claim that reducing just one, small, insignificant factor will be the panacea in controlling global temperature, but it’s not that simple:

“The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change.” — James Hansen, “Climate forcings in the Industrial era”, PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758, October 27, 1998.

“In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible.” — Final chapter,Third Assessment Report, IPCC 2000.

While controlling CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels may have some beneficial effects on air quality, it will have no measurable effect on climate, but great detrimental effects on the economy and our standard of living. The greatest danger of climate change is that politicians think they can stop it. But the climate has always been in a state of flux. In my opinion, the debate over global warming is truly a scam designed to control (and tax) production and use of energy from fossil fuels.

The alleged “climate crisis” is just a scam perpetrated for political gain.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” —H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

(Note to younger readers: The term “Kool-Aid” used in this context refers to cult leader Jim Jones who, on November 18, 1978, instructed all members living in the Jonestown, Guyana compound to commit an act of “revolutionary suicide,” by drinking poisoned punch. Link )

For the real science, see these articles from my blog

See also Biden Climate Agenda Heads into Perfect Storm

gang-green

Green Energy Failures Redux

I was going to end the title of this post with “Deja Vu”, but then changed it to “Redux”, because in this case the return of the past is not an illusion, but an actual imitation of failed policies.  David Blackmon writes in Forbes Biden Seems Determined To Replay Obama Era Green Energy Failures.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

mrz041312dapr20120413044622

Over the last few weeks, President Joe Biden and members of his administration have mounted a focused effort to sell massive new green energy spending to the American people.

Former Obama-era EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, now the Biden White House climate adviser, is pushing Congress to include a federal clean electricity standard (CES) to drive investment in renewable energy and billions in subsidies to incentivize changeover further. Secretary of Energy Jenifer Granholm is doing the same.

wind-energy-myth

The fact McCarthy, and an official like Granholm who has a track record of failed green energy subsidies — are leading this effort makes this massive push all the more frustrating. These officials, well-meaning though they may be, should know by now that government energy subsidies overwhelmingly end up financing the well-connected rather than the most innovative, a concern I wrote about in a recent piece. The end result is wasted funds and harm to the sector that the government wants to help.

The trial that Elon Musk’s SolarCity has found itself in this week serves as a timely reminder of just how poorly the Obama-Biden green energy agenda went last time around. Beyond the regulatory and quality assurance issues his space company SpaceX and car company Tesla currently face, including recently violating an FAA launch license, Musk is now actively tangled in a legal battle from the solar panel manufacturer’s merger with Tesla. The billionaire stands accused of defrauding investors by not disclosing that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and that it was highly risky for Tesla — itself a struggling company at the time — to take on SolarCity’s debt.

cg546ac53103664

SolarCity’s struggles were containable partly because it was awarded federal subsidies and nearly $500 million in Treasury grants. The Obama-Biden administration ended up wasting billions of taxpayer dollars with companies like SolarCity and Solyndra going broke or facing significant trouble soon after receiving the helping hand.

To give you an idea of the program’s effectiveness, the fact that SolarCity still technically exists despite its near-bankruptcy and $29 million settlement with the Department of Justice over the fraud case makes it one of the success stories.

Even when investments turn into actual infrastructure, consumers will be unlikely to reap the benefits. Many have championed the “progress” green energy has made over the last decade in providing a more competitive product, but the facilities are still failing, and the progress has been de minimis in terms of capturing global energy market share.

1l-image-17

Just last year, the Department of Energy watched as Tonopah Solar Energy LLC in Nevada declared bankruptcy after receiving a $737 million loan from one of their green energy programs. If you can’t make solar panels work in present-day Nevada, how do you expect them to fuel the energy needs of places like Colorado, where Sec. Granholm and Senator John Hickenlooper recently toured a solar garden?

4l-image-9

Utility companies that stand to receive billions in subsidies to upgrade their infrastructure support the measure because it will raise rates on consumers while reducing operating costs. Green energy is less efficient and less reliable, so the cost of operations will undoubtedly go up. But with the government covering the costs of setup and repair, it means more revenue with fewer expenses. This will help stockholders far more than working people.

But the calls from the climate change lobby for action are growing louder. Despite not making it into last month’s bipartisan infrastructure deal, many Democrats hope billions of dollars in green subsidies will find their way into a second infrastructure bill that party officials plan to pass through reconciliation. In fact, some Democrats are threatening to withhold their votes for the bipartisan bill unless they receive guarantees of energy provisions.

energy67_05

Tehachapi’s dead turbines

Democrats have to pass these measures by party-line vote not because Republicans hate the environment (the GOP has a climate change caucus) but due to the fact that their plan is so costly and ill-advised that even moderate Republicans like Susan Collins and Mitt Romney can’t devise a rationale to reasonably offer support. The hard truth is that renewable energy technology isn’t currently capable of handling America’s growing energy demands and remains unlikely to do so in the future.

While the idea of renewable energy remains appealing, the reality is that fossil fuels, natural gas, and nuclear power will all be necessary to power our nation for decades to come.

Everyone should support innovation in the energy sector, but the subsidy-heavy plan that Democrats continue to push will only lead to wasted dollars and public backlash against a policy of failed projects. Congress has been down this road before. When the Green New Deal first came up, the bill was seen as so ridiculous that Speaker Pelosi wouldn’t even bring it up for a vote. Congressional Democrats should stick to that past wisdom and avoid falling back into this green subsidy trap.

As REN21, an advocacy group consisting of actors from science, governments, NGOs and industry, recently reported, this is a strategy that, from 2009 through 2019, produced virtually no real gain in overall green energy market share despite trillions of dollars in global targeted subsidies. A replaying of this same failed Obama-era strategy, managed by some of the very same officials, promises only to produce similarly failed results, albeit on an even grander scale.

Footnote Q & A:

Q:  What is the difference between Golf and Government?

A:  In Government you can always improve your lie.

–Anonymous Source

greenjobs

2021 Update: Fossil Fuels ≠ Global Warming

gas in hands

Previous posts addressed the claim that fossil fuels are driving global warming. This post updates that analysis with the latest (2020) numbers from BP Statistics and compares World Fossil Fuel Consumption (WFFC) with three estimates of Global Mean Temperature (GMT). More on both these variables below.

WFFC

2020 statistics are now available from BP for international consumption of Primary Energy sources. 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy. 

The reporting categories are:
Oil
Natural Gas
Coal
Nuclear
Hydro
Renewables (other than hydro)

Note:  British Petroleum (BP) now uses Exajoules to replace MToe (Million Tonnes of oil equivalents.) It is logical to use an energy metric which is independent of the fuel source. OTOH renewable advocates have no doubt pressured BP to stop using oil as the baseline since their dream is a world without fossil fuel energy.

From BP conversion table 1 exajoule (EJ) = 1 quintillion joules (1 x 10^18). Oil products vary from 41.6 to 49.4 tonnes per gigajoule (10^9 joules).  Comparing this annual report with previous years shows that global Primary Energy (PE) in MToe is roughly 24 times the same amount in Exajoules.  The conversion factor at the macro level varies from year to year depending on the fuel mix. The graphs below use the new metric.

This analysis combines the first three, Oil, Gas, and Coal for total fossil fuel consumption world wide (WFFC).  The chart below shows the patterns for WFFC compared to world consumption of Primary Energy from 1965 through 2020.

WFFC 2020

The graph shows that global Primary Energy (PE) consumption from all sources has grown continuously over 5 decades. Since 1965  oil, gas and coal (FF, sometimes termed “Thermal”) averaged 89% of PE consumed, ranging from 94% in 1965 to 84% in 2019.  Note that last year, 2020, PE dropped 25 EJ (4%) slightly below 2017 consumption.  WFFC for 2020 dropped 27 EJ (6%), 83% of PE and matching 2013 WFFC consumption. For the 55 year period, the net changes were:

Oil 168%
Gas 506%
Coal 161%
WFFC 218%
PE 259%
Global Mean Temperatures

Everyone acknowledges that GMT is a fiction since temperature is an intrinsic property of objects, and varies dramatically over time and over the surface of the earth. No place on earth determines “average” temperature for the globe. Yet for the purpose of detecting change in temperature, major climate data sets estimate GMT and report anomalies from it.

UAH record consists of satellite era global temperature estimates for the lower troposphere, a layer of air from 0 to 4km above the surface. HadSST estimates sea surface temperatures from oceans covering 71% of the planet. HADCRUT combines HadSST estimates with records from land stations whose elevations range up to 6km above sea level.

Both GISS LOTI (land and ocean) and HADCRUT4 (land and ocean) use 14.0 Celsius as the climate normal, so I will add that number back into the anomalies. This is done not claiming any validity other than to achieve a reasonable measure of magnitude regarding the observed fluctuations.

No doubt global sea surface temperatures are typically higher than 14C, more like 17 or 18C, and of course warmer in the tropics and colder at higher latitudes. Likewise, the lapse rate in the atmosphere means that air temperatures both from satellites and elevated land stations will range colder than 14C. Still, that climate normal is a generally accepted indicator of GMT.

Correlations of GMT and WFFC

The next graph compares WFFC to GMT estimates over the five decades from 1965 to 2020 from HADCRUT4, which includes HadSST3.

WFFC and Hadcrut 2020

Since 1965 the increase in fossil fuel consumption is dramatic and monotonic, steadily increasing by 218% from 146 to 463 exajoules.  Meanwhile the GMT record from Hadcrut shows multiple ups and downs with an accumulated rise of 0.9C over 55 years, 7% of the starting value.

The graph below compares WFFC to GMT estimates from UAH6, and HadSST3 for the satellite era from 1980 to 2020, a period of 40 years.

WFFC and UAH HadSST 2020

In the satellite era WFFC has increased at a compounded rate of nearly 2% per year, for a total increase of 82% since 1979. At the same time, SST warming amounted to 0.52C, or 3.7% of the starting value.  UAH warming was 0.7C, or 5% up from 1979.  The temperature compounded rate of change is 0.1% per year, an order of magnitude less than WFFC.  Even more obvious is the 1998 El Nino peak and flat GMT since.

Summary

The climate alarmist/activist claim is straight forward: Burning fossil fuels makes measured temperatures warmer. The Paris Accord further asserts that by reducing human use of fossil fuels, further warming can be prevented.  Those claims do not bear up under scrutiny.

It is enough for simple minds to see that two time series are both rising and to think that one must be causing the other. But both scientific and legal methods assert causation only when the two variables are both strongly and consistently aligned. The above shows a weak and inconsistent linkage between WFFC and GMT.

Going further back in history shows even weaker correlation between fossil fuels consumption and global temperature estimates:

wfc-vs-sat

Figure 5.1. Comparative dynamics of the World Fuel Consumption (WFC) and Global Surface Air Temperature Anomaly (ΔT), 1861-2000. The thin dashed line represents annual ΔT, the bold line—its 13-year smoothing, and the line constructed from rectangles—WFC (in millions of tons of nominal fuel) (Klyashtorin and Lyubushin, 2003). Source: Frolov et al. 2009

In legal terms, as long as there is another equally or more likely explanation for the set of facts, the claimed causation is unproven. The more likely explanation is that global temperatures vary due to oceanic and solar cycles. The proof is clearly and thoroughly set forward in the post Quantifying Natural Climate Change.

Background context for today’s post is at Claim: Fossil Fuels Cause Global Warming.

Alex Epstein on Energizing Puerto Rico

The video covers Alex Epstein’s full Congressional testimony on energy in Puerto Rico — including Q&A.  For those who prefer reading text, I provide below a transcript of most of it, with light editing transposing a spoken presentation into a written one.

Thank you for the honor of testifying before this committee.  What I say today will shock many of you. My views on energy are indeed unconventional, but I hope you hear me out with an open mind since we share the same goal: which is a flourishing and prosperous Puerto Rico.

I want to make the case that the one thing that will most help the people of Puerto Rico lift themselves out of crushing poverty is the thing many of you believe should be eliminated; and that’s low-cost reliable fossil fuel energy.

For just a brief moment I’d like to ask all of you to close your eyes. I’d like you to imagine an ambitious young Puerto Rican woman. I’ll call her Mia. Mia studied hard at the Emilio Delgado high school in Corusol. Mia’s passion is artificial intelligence, and she dreams of working at a high-tech startup. Sadly opportunities are sparse because many companies have fled Puerto Rico, and many more avoid it due to high cost and unreliable energy. So Mia applies for a remote job at a silicon valley tech incubator. But during her interview the electricity suddenly cuts out. The screen goes blank; she hopes it comes back quickly but hours go by with no internet as she waits in the sweltering heat with no AC. Think of Mia’s despair in those moments. Think of how much low-cost reliable energy could have helped her when she needed it most.

I know that every member of this committee shares the same goal I do: A healthy, prosperous and flourishing Puerto Rico. In order to help millions of talented and passionate people like Mia, we must look carefully at the full context of facts about Puerto Rico’s energy options. Here are three crucial facts that i almost never hear discussed about Puerto Rico and I want to highlight them.

First, the percentage of Puerto Ricans currently living in poverty is 43 percent.

Second, the cost of energy in Puerto Rico versus the states is up to three times higher

Third, the per capita income in Puerto Rico is $13, 000.

Honorable members does it strike you as fair that someone earning $13,000 per year should be paying three times what you and I pay for the energy that powers our homes? I don’t think that’s fair and I’m guessing you don’t think so either.

So what’s the solution? While we’re told that solar and wind can provide low-cost reliable energy, nothing could be further from the truth. Because solar and wind are unreliable; they don’t replace reliable power plants, they add to the cost of reliable power plants. The more wind and solar that grids use, the higher their electricity prices. German households have seen prices double in 20 years due to wasteful unreliable solar and wind infrastructure. Their electricity prices are three times ours, which are already too high due to solar and wind.

The only way for Puerto Rico to get low-cost reliable electricity anytime soon is using low-cost reliable fossil fuel energy sources like natural gas and coal, along with some massive regulatory reforms. I discuss in my written testimony actions such as scrapping the Jones act. We owe it to the people of Puerto Rico to give them the full context: The benefits and drawbacks of all their options. This includes recognizing any real coal ash problems, but also recognizing that there are many solutions to coal ash used around the world that don’t require shutting down power plants. Giving Puerto Ricans the full context also includes recognizing that fossil fuels CO2 emissions do impact climate. But it also includes being precise not hysterical about that impact. As I explain in my written testimony there is climate change, but not a climate crisis; and certainly not one that justifies condemning generations of Puerto Ricans to endless poverty by denying them low-cost reliable fossil fuel energy.

The stakes could not be higher. I think about Ellaria Davila who was breathing with the help of a mechanical ventilator. During prolonged blackouts her ventilator shut down and tragically she died. Her autopsy noted plainly that a ventilator “does not work without power.” Ladies and gentlemen: Nothing works without power, not the ventilators, not incubators, not farms nor schools. Not the millions of brave and passionate people who want to provide for their families and live lives of dignity and opportunity. You have it in your power today to help Puerto Ricans gain the power, the low-cost reliable power they need to escape crushing poverty.

I hope that any of you who are interested in this mission will join me on a fact-finding trip to Puerto Rico in the coming weeks. We will have an honest open discussion with Puerto Rican energy experts who are all too often left out of important policy discussions like this one. I would be honored to work with all of your offices, Democrat and Republican, to help the people of Puerto Rico flourish. I look forward to your questions and thank you again for the opportunity to share my perspective with you,

Q: Can you describe the benefits that affordable reliable energy has for communities in general?
A: Sure. Energy is the industry that powers every other industry; the lower cost and more reliable energy is the lower cost and more reliable everything is and vice versa. I just want to stress that Puerto Rico’s energy situation is terrible, and one of the reasons I want to testify today is because nobody is talking about that. They’re talking about, How do we maintain the status quo? The status quo is terrible in Puerto Rico. They desperately need more low-cost reliable energy.

And just a further comment. It doesn’t seem that people here know the facts and the percentages I noted about Puerto Ricans’ situation. For instance, I’m really disappointed that representative Ocasio-Cortez talks about shutting down the coal plant tomorrow. I don’t know if anyone knows what percentage of renewables the whole island has. So its’ 2.5%.

This is so disappointing that we’re talking about this so unseriously, when we really need to highlight the value of low-cost reliable energy and really talk about why Puerto Rico needs much more of it.

Q: In your opinion how will the Biden energy policies impact Puerto Rico?
A: It seems they’re going to make the rest of the US like Puerto Rico. I’m in California, and we’re already seeing this. In my work, I had two projects disrupted last year by blackouts.

We’re also seeing it in Texas. I don’t mean to pick on Representative Ocasio-cCortez, but she tweeted the infrastructures failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you don’t pursue a green new deal. No, in fact plenty of places around the world can deal with hot and cold when they have enough reliable resilient electricity. Texas defunded reliable resilient electricity including winterization to pay tens of billions of dollars for unreliable solar and wind that don’t work when you need them the most. This energy policy is really the existential threat to talk about. It’s a threat to the US and to make Puerto Rico into a truly and consistently third world county.

Q: Mr Epstein in your testimony you noted that the most promising step that can be taken to lower emissions long term is the development of nuclear. Can you explain a little bit further why you believe nuclear energy Is more effective as a good alternative energy choice?

A: Sure.  It is so wrong that when we talk about potential alternatives to fossil fuels that nuclear is ruled out. You saw with the proposal of the green new deal there was anti-nuclear insistence on renewables which in practice means solar and wind. Renewable mandates usually exclude hydro as well.

This is totally the wrong approach if you’re looking for low carbon alternatives you have to be open to everything. And unfortunately the world is so anti-nuclear today that we’re shutting down record amounts of nuclear capacity this year, even though everyone claims to care about CO2 emissions.  In fact, nuclear provides extremely reliable on-demand power. Every grid in the world that works has on-demand power backing up solar and wind, since batteries do not exist anywhere.

If you’re concerned about coal ash, first of all you need to do real scientific studies that are systematic not just anecdotes and correlations. But if there’s a real problem we know how to solve coal ash problems. There are lots of ways to do that and if you don’t want to use coal in a given location, use natural gas or use nuclear. But the idea of mandating these unreliable solar and wind farms that make energy more expensive wherever they’re used, and then just manipulating data to ignore that fact, that policy is just absolutely devastating for Puerto Rico and anywhere else it’s applied.

In my testimony I noted this is being encouraged around the world by the US. We’re telling India to do this, and Indonesia to do this, places in Africa to do this to try to eliminate fossil fuels when that’s what they need to make their lives better. I think that’s really shameful and and I hope it stops.

Q: Mr. Epstein, you mentioned the need to consider the full context as we assess Puerto Rico’s energy generation. What what are the factors we should consider to understand the full context of the consequences that would stem from closing the AES coal plant?

A: Well, in general we just need to recognize that fossil fuels are the only way for them to get low-cost reliable energy for the foreseeable future. They need far more of it and there are very clear well-documented ways of using fossil fuels in a clean and responsible way. So the fact that there may be a problem with this particular plant, and again that needs to be scientifically studied so you come with a solution. It doesn’t mean we should shut it down; it means we should deal with the problems.

But more broadly, get rid of all the bad regulations and limitations that are preventing Puerto Rico from having low-cost reliable energy and flourishing.

Q: Are these things mutually exclusive? Can there be affordable and reliable energy today relying completely on renewable energy? 

A: I approach it a little bit differently because I think the world just undervalues low-cost reliable energy. Again this is fundamental to human flourishing, and this is something desperately needed around the world. Without low-cost reliable energy from fossil fuels people here can’t claim to care about life expectancy and health. These energy sources have driven down the rate of extreme poverty from over 40 percent people making less than two dollars a day to less than 10% in my lifetime. Access to energy is so important, yet billions of people still lack it. Four and a half billion people are living on less than ten dollars a day.

So my view is the world needs way more energy, and yes, we fortunately have modern technology that can produce it more and more cleanly. But to just look at the side effects of fossil fuels and not look at the benefits, you are condemning people to poverty, to suffering, condemning them to danger.

And I want to just remind everyone: A natural environment is not a good environment. Nature doesn’t give us a clean healthy environment, it gives us a very dirty and unhealthy environment. We need low-cost reliable energy to make the world a very livable place, and those of us who benefit from that in the US should really have sympathy for those in Puerto Rico, let alone the rest of the world that’s really really poor. And we should be doing nothing to impede them from using the most cost effective energy they can.

In conclusion, I would really welcome going on a fact-finding mission with many of you to look into the different energy realities. I think that we can see a way to move forward with cleaner coal, natural gas and nuclear instead of having this crazy dogma that we must rely on unreliable renewables. We should use the most cost-effective energy, and Puerto Rico needs far more of it not less.

Exposing Net-Zero Doublethink

george-orwell-quote-about-doublethink-from-1984-2a2134

Bjorn Lomberg exposes the doublethink rhetoric around the “Net-Zero” carbon emissions notion in his Financial Post article Enough with the net-zero doublethink Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

When John Kerry and many other politicians insist that climate policies mean no sacrifice, they are clearly dissembling.

Our current climate conversation embodies two blatantly contradictory claims. On one side, experts warn that promised climate policies will be economically crippling. In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that achieving net-zero in 2050 will likely be “the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.” That is a high bar, surpassing the Second World War, the black plague and COVID.

mrz042921dapr20210429054509

On the other side, hand-waving politicians sell net-zero climate schemes as a near-utopia that every nation will rush to embrace. As U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told world leaders gathered at President Biden’s climate summit in April: “No one is being asked for a sacrifice.”

Both claims can’t be true. Yet, they are often espoused by the same climate campaigners in different parts of their publicity cycle. The tough talk aims to shake us into action, and the promise of rainbows hides the political peril when the bills come due.

George Orwell called this willingness to espouse contradictory claims doublethink. It is politically expedient and gets climate-alarmed politicians reelected. But if we want to fix climate change, we need honesty. Currently promised climate policies will be incredibly expensive. While they will deliver some benefits, their costs will be much higher.

cg5b5e89d87e5cd

Yes, climate change is real and man-made, and we should be smart in fixing it. But we don’t because climate impacts are often vastly exaggerated, leaving us panicked. The UN Climate Panel estimates that if we do nothing, climate damages in 2100 will be equivalent to 2.6 per cent of global GDP. That is a problem but not the end of the world.

Because climate news only reports the worst outcomes most people think the damage will be much greater. Remember how we were repeatedly told 2020’s Atlantic hurricane season was the worst ever? The reporting ignored that almost everywhere else, hurricane intensity was feeble, making 2020 one of the globally weakest in satellite history. And even within the Atlantic, 2020 ranked thirteenth.

When John Kerry and many other politicians insist that climate policies mean no sacrifice, they are clearly dissembling. In the UN Climate Panel’s overview, all climate policies have real costs. Why else would we need recurrent climate summits to arm-twist unwilling politicians to ever-greater promises?

The IEA’s new net-zero report contains plenty of concrete examples of sacrifices. By 2050, we will have to live with much lower energy consumption than today. Despite being richer, the average global person will be allowed less energy than today’s average poor. We will all be allowed less energy than the average Albanian used in the 1980s. We will also have to accept shivering in winter at 19°C and sweltering in summer at 26°C, lower highway speeds and fewer people being allowed to fly.

sk090919dapr20190906084511

But climate policy sacrifices could still make sense if their costs were lower than the achieved climate benefits. If we could avoid the 2.6 per cent climate damage for, say, one per cent sacrifice, that would be a good outcome. This is common sense and the core logic of the world’s only climate economist to win the Nobel Prize (2018 laureate William Nordhaus of Yale). Smart climate policy costs little and reduces climate damages a lot.

Unfortunately, our current doublethink delivers the reverse outcome. One new peer-reviewed study finds the cost of net-zero just after 2060 — much later than most politicians promise — will cost us more than four per cent of GDP by 2040, or about $5 trillion annually. And this assumes globally coordinated carbon taxes. Otherwise, costs will more than double. Paying eight per cent or more to avoid part of 2.6 per cent damages half a century later is just bad economics.

cb020621dapc20210206014624

It is also implausible politics. Just for China, the cost of going net-zero exceeds seven to 14 per cent of its GDP. Instead, China uses green rhetoric to placate westerners but aims for development with 247 new coal-fired power plants. China now emits more greenhouse gases than the entire rich world.  Most other poorer countries are hoping to follow China’s rapid ascendance. At a recent climate conference, where dozens of high-level delegates dutifully lauded net-zero, India went off-script. As other participants squirmed, power minister Raj Kumar Singh inconveniently blurted out the truth: net-zero “is just pie-in-the-sky.” He added that developing countries will want to use more and more fossil fuels and “you can’t stop them.”

If we push on with our climate doublethink, rich people will likely continue to wring their hands and aim for net-zero, even at considerable costs to their own societies. But three-quarters of future emissions come from poorer countries pursuing what they regard as the more important development priorities of avoiding poverty, hunger and disease.

Like most great challenges humanity has faced, we solve them not by pushing for endless sacrifices but through innovation. COVID is fixed with vaccines, not unending lockdowns. To tackle climate, we need to ramp up our investments in green energy innovation. Increasing green energy currently requires massive subsidies, but if we could innovate its future price down to below that of fossil fuels, everyone would switch. Innovation is the most sustainable climate solution. It is dramatically cheaper than current policies and demands fewer sacrifices while delivering benefits for most of the world’s population.

Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus, is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.”

mrz042521dapr20210424034508

 

 

 

Activists Attack Energy Companies, State-owned Producers Benefit

20141206_ldp001_0-1

A previous post reprinted at the bottom warned that the ESG movement is a threat to the free world, as well as endangering supply of cost-effective energy.  Part of the issue is the way private sector energy companies are being undermined by regulations and ESG priorities, and shaming, which shifts market advantage to national producers like Russia and Saudi Arabia, among others.  Tyler Durden explains in his zerohedge article Fossil Fuels Aren’t Dying, They’re Shifting To National And State Backed Companies.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Despite the activist shareholder battles, calls for ESG changes and just outright negative press about fossil fuels, it looks like rumors of oil’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Fossil fuels aren’t dying – rather, their output is just being shifted to national and state owned companies.

Even as the supermajor oil companies shrink in size and adhere to incessant criticism, fossil-fuel demand holds strong, according to Yahoo Finance. Activists have been the busiest they have been in years…

Recent weeks saw Exxon and Chevron rebuked by their own shareholders over climate concerns, while Shell lost a lawsuit in the Hague over the pace of its shift away from oil and gas. . . .and this has been a tailwind for national oil companies (NOCs) and state owned players who aren’t under the same pressure to play ball with activists. The report notes that “Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. are spending billions to boost their respective output capacities”, as is Qatar Petroleum.

NOC’s share of global oil output is expected to rise to 65%, from about 50% today, by 2050. Companies like Exxon and Chevron are keeping output at lows and curtailing future investment in traditional oil and gas infrastructure.

Patrick Heller, an adviser at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, told Yahoo Finance: “We hear government officials and NOC officials say, ‘We look at the divestment of international oil companies from some projects as an opportunity for us to grow. And I do think that’s potentially really risky.”

ffoss

Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, thinks that the shift to government owners could wind up doing just the opposite of what activists are intending on doing.

“A shift in production to major nationally owned companies — such as in Latin America or the Gulf or Russia — carries geopolitical supply risks, while smaller independents have often demonstrated poorer safety and environmental practices,” he said.

Amrita Sen from consultancy Energy Aspects said: “Oil and gas demand is far from peaking and supplies will be needed, but international oil companies will not be allowed to invest in this environment, meaning national oil companies have to step in.”

The Saudis, meanwhile, don’t seem quite as alarmed by the issue of climate change. When The International Energy Agency issued guidance last month to scrap all new oil and gas developments, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman responded by stating:

“It (the IEA report) is a sequel of the La La Land movie. Why should I take it seriously? We (Saudi Arabia) are … producing oil and gas at low cost and producing renewables. I urge the world to accept this as a reality: that we’re going to be winners of all of these activities.”

A spokesperson from Gazprom jabbed: “It looks like the West will have to rely more on what it calls ‘hostile regimes’ for its supply”.

“Western oil majors like Shell have dramatically expanded in the last 50 years” as a result of the West trying to cut reliance on Middle Eastern and Russian oil, Reuters notes. Now these producers must balance a growing chorus of criticisms about climate change with continued output.

Nick Stansbury at Legal & General, which manages $1.8 trillion, said: “It is vital that the global oil industry aligns its production to the Paris goals. But that must be done in step with policy, changes to the demand side, and the rebuilding of the world’s energy system. Forcing one company to do so in the courts may (if it is effective at all) only result in higher prices and foregone profits.”

While Saudi Arabia claims to have targets to cut carbon emissions, it isn’t beholden to U.N.-backed targets or activist investors like Western companies are. Gazprom has indicated a shift to natural gas to try and manage its carbon emissions.

Western names account for about 15% of all output globally, while Russia and OPEC make up about 40%. At the same time, global oil consumption has risen to 100 million barrels per day from 65 million barrels per day in 1990.

“The same oil and gas will still be produced. Just with lower ESG standards,” one Middle Eastern oil executive concluded.

Background from Previous Post ESG Movement Threatens Us All

ESG smoke and mirrors

Alex Epstein puts out a stern warning in a twitter thread reprinted below with my headers.

What ESG Really Means

Over the last 5-10 years, “ESG”–standing for Environmental Social Governance–has gone from an acronym that virtually no one knew or cared about, to a cultishly-embraced top priority of financial regulators, markets, and institutions around the world.

The preposterous financial pretense of “ESG investing” is that the promoters of it have so accurately identified universal norms of long-term value creation–Environmental norms, Social norms, and Governance norms–that imposing those norms on every company is justified.

In reality, ESG was a movement cooked up at the UN–not exactly a leading expert in profitable investment–to impose moral and political agendas, largely left-wing ones, on institutions that would not adopt them if left to their own devices.

The number one practical meaning of ESG today is: divest from fossil fuels in every way possible, and associate yourself with “renewable” solar and wind in every way possible. That’s why I call it the “ESG divestment movement.”

Modern ESG’s obsession with unreliable “renewable” solar and wind, reflects its political nature. Any serious concern about CO2 emissions means embracing the only proven, reliable, globally scalable source of non-carbon energy: nuclear. But most ESG does not embrace nuclear.

Divesting from Fossil Fuels is Immoral

Divesting from fossil fuels is immoral because:
1. The world needs much more energy.
2. Fossil fuels are the only way to provide most of that energy for the foreseeable future.
3. Any problems associated with CO2 pale in comparison to problems of energy deprivation.

The world needs much more energy

Low-cost, reliable energy enables billions of people to enjoy the miracle of modern machines that make us productive and prosperous. Yet 800M people have no electricity and 2.6B people are still using wood or dung for heating and cooking.

Fossil fuels are indispensable

Only fossil fuels provide low-cost, reliable, versatile, global-scale energy.
Unreliable solar and wind can’t come close. That’s why fossil fuels continue to grow in the developing world; China and India have 100s of coal plants in development.

CO2 levels matter much less than energy availability.

CO2 emissions have contributed to the warming of the last 170 years, but that warming has been minor and manageable—1 degree C, mostly in cold parts of the world. And life on Earth thrived when CO2 levels were >5X today’s.

Fossil fuels have made climate far safer by powering a highly resilient civilization. That’s why climate disaster deaths—from extreme temps, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods—have decreased 98% over the last century.

ESG Perpetuates Poverty by Denying Capital for Cost-effective Energy Projects

A moral financial movement would do everything it could to increase capital for all cost-effective energy, including fossil fuels. And including nuclear, which is by far the most promising form of low-carbon energy. Instead, ESG is starving cost-effective energy of capital.

By starving cost-effective energy of capital, the ESG movement is engaging in a fundamental act of mass destruction. Energy is the industry that powers every other industry. By making energy more expensive, ESG makes everything more expensive–hurting the poorest people most.

The most egregious immorality of the ESG movement, led by Larry Fink’s Blackrock, is its effort to destroy vital fossil fuel projects in poor places that desperately need them. This effort is guaranteed to perpetuate poverty.

Example of ESG poverty perpetuation: South Korea canceled new coal plants in South Africa and the Philippines after “Global investors including Blackrock…warned the South Korean utility to drop coal power projects.”

Another example of ESG poverty perpetuation: “International investors are increasingly restricting support to companies involved in extracting or consuming coal, yet nearly 70% of India’s electricity comes from coal plants, and demand for power is set to rise…”

ESG poverty perpetuation is getting worse as activist “investors” with increasing influence on large financial institutions try to stop all fossil fuel projects in poor places.
E.g., HSBC was attacked when it decided to fund 6 new coal power plants in Indonesia and Vietnam.

ESG defunding fossil fuel projects in the poorest parts of the world will mean: more babies die for lack of incubators and other medical equipment, more deaths from lack of water treatment plants and modern sanitation, more deaths from lack of heating and air-conditioning.

Every leading ESG institution should be called out for their genocidal policies toward the poorest parts of the world. They should be shamed for placing their own virtue-signaling above billions of actual human lives. They should lose all moral authority in the realm of energy.

ESG Movement Threatens Free World Security

The ESG movement is also an enormous threat to the security of the free world, because by depriving free countries and poor countries of low-cost, reliable energy, it furthers Communist China’s ambitions to become the world’s superpower using low-cost, reliable fossil fuels.

China has a clear strategy of running its economy on fossil fuels, while encouraging others to run on inferior, unreliable solar and wind — that is made using Chinese fossil fuels, which produce 85% of Chinese energy. China has 247 GW of coal plants (3 TX’s worth) in development.

China dominates the mining and processing of “renewable” materials to a staggering degree. The US does little mining or processing of the needed materials, largely because of “green” regulations. Our dependence on China for “renewables” dwarfs past Mideast oil dependence.

Energy security is national security. When hostile foreign powers can meaningfully cut off our access to energy they can manipulate us politically. Examples: US appeasement of Saudi Arabia and European appeasement of Russia.

Energy security is national security, above all in wartime. War requires continuous high-energy manufacturing and continuous fueling of high-energy mobile machines such as planes and aircraft carriers. Both world wars were won by the side with the most oil, the fuel of mobility.

What does the modern ESG movement do about the danger of an energy-dominant China? Deny reality and serve as “useful idiots.”

Example: Larry Fink’s sole mention of China in his influential letter to CEOs was to praise China’s “historic commitments to achieve net zero emissions”!

Renounce ESG and Commit to Long Term Cost-effective Energy

The ESG divestment movement should be publicly shamed as a virtue-signaling, financially idiotic, and most importantly immoral movement that perpetuates poverty and threatens freedom. All legal pressures to adopt it should be eliminated. ESG should be boycotted wherever possible.

The anti-energy, anti-freedom ESG movement should be replaced with a voluntary *long-term value creation movement*. Creating sustained value for companies’ owners requires a long-term perspective. But a long-term perspective means valuing cost-effective energy, not destroying it

 

ESG Movement Threatens Us All

ESG smoke and mirrors

Alex Epstein puts out a stern warning in a twitter thread reprinted below with my headers.

What ESG Really Means

Over the last 5-10 years, “ESG”–standing for Environmental Social Governance–has gone from an acronym that virtually no one knew or cared about, to a cultishly-embraced top priority of financial regulators, markets, and institutions around the world.

The preposterous financial pretense of “ESG investing” is that the promoters of it have so accurately identified universal norms of long-term value creation–Environmental norms, Social norms, and Governance norms–that imposing those norms on every company is justified.

In reality, ESG was a movement cooked up at the UN–not exactly a leading expert in profitable investment–to impose moral and political agendas, largely left-wing ones, on institutions that would not adopt them if left to their own devices.

The number one practical meaning of ESG today is: divest from fossil fuels in every way possible, and associate yourself with “renewable” solar and wind in every way possible. That’s why I call it the “ESG divestment movement.”

Modern ESG’s obsession with unreliable “renewable” solar and wind, reflects its political nature. Any serious concern about CO2 emissions means embracing the only proven, reliable, globally scalable source of non-carbon energy: nuclear. But most ESG does not embrace nuclear.

Divesting from Fossil Fuels is Immoral

Divesting from fossil fuels is immoral because:
1. The world needs much more energy.
2. Fossil fuels are the only way to provide most of that energy for the foreseeable future.
3. Any problems associated with CO2 pale in comparison to problems of energy deprivation.

The world needs much more energy

Low-cost, reliable energy enables billions of people to enjoy the miracle of modern machines that make us productive and prosperous. Yet 800M people have no electricity and 2.6B people are still using wood or dung for heating and cooking.

Fossil fuels are indispensable

Only fossil fuels provide low-cost, reliable, versatile, global-scale energy.
Unreliable solar and wind can’t come close. That’s why fossil fuels continue to grow in the developing world; China and India have 100s of coal plants in development.

CO2 levels matter much less than energy availability.

CO2 emissions have contributed to the warming of the last 170 years, but that warming has been minor and manageable—1 degree C, mostly in cold parts of the world. And life on Earth thrived when CO2 levels were >5X today’s.

Fossil fuels have made climate far safer by powering a highly resilient civilization. That’s why climate disaster deaths—from extreme temps, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods—have decreased 98% over the last century.

ESG Perpetuates Poverty by Denying Capital for Cost-effective Energy Projects

A moral financial movement would do everything it could to increase capital for all cost-effective energy, including fossil fuels. And including nuclear, which is by far the most promising form of low-carbon energy. Instead, ESG is starving cost-effective energy of capital.

By starving cost-effective energy of capital, the ESG movement is engaging in a fundamental act of mass destruction. Energy is the industry that powers every other industry. By making energy more expensive, ESG makes everything more expensive–hurting the poorest people most.

The most egregious immorality of the ESG movement, led by Larry Fink’s Blackrock, is its effort to destroy vital fossil fuel projects in poor places that desperately need them. This effort is guaranteed to perpetuate poverty.

Example of ESG poverty perpetuation: South Korea canceled new coal plants in South Africa and the Philippines after “Global investors including Blackrock…warned the South Korean utility to drop coal power projects.”

Another example of ESG poverty perpetuation: “International investors are increasingly restricting support to companies involved in extracting or consuming coal, yet nearly 70% of India’s electricity comes from coal plants, and demand for power is set to rise…”

ESG poverty perpetuation is getting worse as activist “investors” with increasing influence on large financial institutions try to stop all fossil fuel projects in poor places.
E.g., HSBC was attacked when it decided to fund 6 new coal power plants in Indonesia and Vietnam.

ESG defunding fossil fuel projects in the poorest parts of the world will mean: more babies die for lack of incubators and other medical equipment, more deaths from lack of water treatment plants and modern sanitation, more deaths from lack of heating and air-conditioning.

Every leading ESG institution should be called out for their genocidal policies toward the poorest parts of the world. They should be shamed for placing their own virtue-signaling above billions of actual human lives. They should lose all moral authority in the realm of energy.

ESG Movement Threatens Free World Security

The ESG movement is also an enormous threat to the security of the free world, because by depriving free countries and poor countries of low-cost, reliable energy, it furthers Communist China’s ambitions to become the world’s superpower using low-cost, reliable fossil fuels.

China has a clear strategy of running its economy on fossil fuels, while encouraging others to run on inferior, unreliable solar and wind — that is made using Chinese fossil fuels, which produce 85% of Chinese energy. China has 247 GW of coal plants (3 TX’s worth) in development.

China dominates the mining and processing of “renewable” materials to a staggering degree. The US does little mining or processing of the needed materials, largely because of “green” regulations. Our dependence on China for “renewables” dwarfs past Mideast oil dependence.

Energy security is national security. When hostile foreign powers can meaningfully cut off our access to energy they can manipulate us politically. Examples: US appeasement of Saudi Arabia and European appeasement of Russia.

Energy security is national security, above all in wartime. War requires continuous high-energy manufacturing and continuous fueling of high-energy mobile machines such as planes and aircraft carriers. Both world wars were won by the side with the most oil, the fuel of mobility.

What does the modern ESG movement do about the danger of an energy-dominant China? Deny reality and serve as “useful idiots.”

Example: Larry Fink’s sole mention of China in his influential letter to CEOs was to praise China’s “historic commitments to achieve net zero emissions”!

Renounce ESG and Commit to Long Term Cost-effective Energy

The ESG divestment movement should be publicly shamed as a virtue-signaling, financially idiotic, and most importantly immoral movement that perpetuates poverty and threatens freedom. All legal pressures to adopt it should be eliminated. ESG should be boycotted wherever possible.

The anti-energy, anti-freedom ESG movement should be replaced with a voluntary *long-term value creation movement*. Creating sustained value for companies’ owners requires a long-term perspective. But a long-term perspective means valuing cost-effective energy, not destroying it