Pessimist or a Realist? Our Present Situation – Part 4, by The Lone Canadian

(Continued from Part 3.)

The Real Energy Crisis

Energy is the lifeblood of progress and industrialization. We don’t refer to countries as Second World or Third Worldworld anymore, that’s not politically correct. Now we call them “emerging markets.” And for them to “emerge” from Third World, or Second World status to take their place at the “big boys” table internationally takes energy. “Developing Nations” need energy to develop – pretty simple. And not just energy, but a stable supply of relatively cheap energy. The more they develop, the more energy they need to continue to develop. We may have hit peak oil on the production side, but demand will continue to be steady as more and more countries struggle to develop stable economies and meet the needs of their populations.

So now we have an energy crisis because we shut down much of our own production, while depending on other nations, that aren’t necessarily friendly to us, to supply our needs. We enacted sanctions against Russia in an attempt to hinder their financial ability to wage war against Ukraine, knowing full well that it could cripple the European economy, and we couldn’t supply them. China and many other nations will not be suffering the same energy crisis. Why? Because they’ll buy oil and gas from whoever will sell it to them. They don’t care about our green agenda, or our high and mighty unworkable ideals. They just want to supply their country with power and heat. Maybe we need to start looking at oil and gas as just oil and gas, rather than trying to politicize them, our use them as an international club to beat recalcitrant “children” back into line.

And just to touch on the stupidity aspect. We know that solar and wind power can’t produce all of the energy we need. We know that we are going to have to keep using, if not coal, at least natural gas to generate the electrical power that we need. Somehow, people have convinced themselves that as long as we don’t produce the coal and natural gas that it’s okay. If we get oil and natural gas from another country, then somehow the pollution doesn’t happen. This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard! We shut down our own production, and pretty much try and destroy the energy industry so that we can import what we need from other countries. We’re still using fossil fuels! No matter where they come from.

Climate Change Zealots

I guess now is the time to talk about the “new religion” that I mentioned earlier. It seems to fit here because it deals with energy in general. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a climate change denier. The climate is indeed definitely changing. Heck, ten years ago I’d never even heard of a ‘Bomb Cyclone’ or an ‘Atmospheric River’. My question has always been whether mankind is making an appreciable difference in it, or if it is mostly just a natural progression? And on the flip side of this, is it only mankind’s overinflated ego that makes us think that we can stop it or even reverse it? I remember reading an article years ago that basically said that one volcanic eruption could put more CO2 in the atmosphere that the United States will produce in 10 years. (I can’t remember the exact numbers, but again I’m pretty sure I’m not far off, and I guess it would depend on the size of the volcano) Figures like that make me wonder what the actual accumulated impact of our modern society on the climate is?

Let’s face it, we can do some pretty amazing things, but I don’t know that anybody has come up with a way to stop a volcano. If we are heading into a geologic period of increased volcanic activity will our efforts, no matter how herculean, be in vain? Have the scientists that are taking all these CO2 samples talked with volcanologists to see if the increased CO2 in the atmosphere might coincide with increased volcanic activity? Or are they simply noting and increase? See that – overlaying intelligence. Bet you figured I’d forgotten about it.

I understand that even small changes in temperature can have global impacts, but that is also the nature of our planet – it’s continually changing. We have had times when much of the planet was tropical. We have had ice ages. Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.14° Fahrenheit per decade since 1880, but the rate of warming since 1981 is more than twice that: 0.32° F per decade. So, in the last 140 years the global temperature has increased by about 2.68° F. This may not seem like a lot, but it is enough on a global scale to cause changes to what we consider normal. The increase since 1980 may also be a cause for alarm, but have we firmly established that this is not the result of a natural phenomenon, or did we simply look to the most convenient culprit – mankind? It’s hard for us to believe but that small temperature change has been responsible for major upheavals. It has affected our ocean currents and played hell with the jet stream. Once it affected the jet stream we started to see increased, and more ferocious storm activity. We have seen droughts and floods, and once-in-a century storms almost yearly. I would have to be blind or stupid not to acknowledge that the climate is changing.

What does that mean for us? That’s actually a good question. What it means is that at our present rate that the temperature will rise by another 2.56° by the end of the century – 80 years from now. This seems to have climate change proponents in a panic, and really, who can blame them given the changes that we have witnessed since 1980, when our rate of warming doubled. If our present conditions are the result of the climate warming by 1.28° since 1980 then what will a further 2.56° do to the world? The truth is that we don’t know. We simply don’t know what the future holds.

By the end of the 21st century, we may have the technology to negate the effects of global warming, or we might all be wiped out by an asteroid strike before then…we just don’t know. We do need to continue to develop new technologies to lessen our impact on the world, always with an eye to the future. We need to strive for a better future, without destroying our present. And this is where I diverge from the “true believers” that pursue their agenda with the single-minded fervor of a zealot. If we wind up killing off half the population of the world in pursuit of a possibly unattainable goal, is it worth it? If we have to sacrifice billions in an attempt to satisfy our own ego’s have we actually saved ourselves? That’s something that I never see climate change proponents mention – the cost in the here and now. (Other than the fact that it’s going to cost more and more of your tax dollars.) They only talk about what the dire results will be in a future that they can’t predict. And I have never been able to find any correlation between increasing our taxes in the western world, and China burning less coal to produce electricity. It’s a strange dichotomy where our politicians seem to think that taxing us more and more will somehow solve a global problem that they really have little, if any, control over.

Then there is “The Green New Deal.” Again, I am not against green energy or alternative energy. It just has to make sense. Logical sense backed up by facts, not feelings disguised as science. Do we need an alternative to fossil fuels? Definitely. They are a non-renewable energy source and will eventually be depleted. That just makes sense. If you are eventually going to run out of something, especially something that is the very cornerstone of modern civilization, you might want to think about finding a replacement for it. But are they trying? It doesn’t seem like it.

We pay more and more taxes every year, and governments manage to fritter away more and more every year, but they don’t ever seem to be willing to commit the money or resources to the big problems to get any results. At this time we have not seen any alternative sources of energy that could replace fossil fuels. Nuclear energy could possibly generate a good percentage of our electricity, but it’s on the “bad boy” list with fossil fuels. Unfortunately, wind and solar have not advanced enough to be able to provide a dependable energy source in the amounts that we require. So instead of putting our tax dollars to work to try and fix this problem, our governments are more concerned with financing sensitivity training for west African warlords and studying the mating habits of the south American Ju-Ju bird. Like I say, it doesn’t even seem like they’re trying.

In the meantime, they are more than happy to stand up on their podiums and tell us what we need to do, and what we need to give up – not them of course, just us common folk. We all need to buy electric cars! Yahoo! Oh, but we still need to produce electricity for those cars with nasty old fossil fuels. Oh, and another small issue – our present electrical grid couldn’t handle it if even 50% of us started driving electric cars. Well, you’re going to have to make it work, because we are going to outlaw gas-powered vehicles by 2035! That’s nice. How about the fact that we still need trucks to deliver goods, and trains to transport them, and tractors to grow food. The technology to replace those is still years away. They’ve come up with an answer to the problem based on feelings and ideals, rather than facts.

The Paris Climate Accord is all a part of this. World leaders agreed on what needed to be done to fight climate change. They had their greatest scientific minds tell them what needed to be done, and the goals that we had to meet. That sounds great. Except that they didn’t overlay the intelligence! They didn’t talk to experts in other fields. They completely ignored the fact that if they were to meet these goals in the time frame stipulated that it would crash their economies, or cause global food shortages. In their single-minded quest to stop climate change they got the answers that they needed, but what they didn’t get were answers that were workable without destroying the civilization that they were ostensibly trying to save.

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 5.)