Skip to comments.Fossil Fuel Restriction Dam Starting To Break
Posted on 12/05/2021 4:37:49 AM PST by MtnClimber
Somewhere a couple of decades or so ago, the rich parts of the world embarked on a program of replacing energy from fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) with energy from intermittent “renewables” (mainly wind and solar). In trendy academic, journalistic, and otherwise progressive circles, the idea took hold that this was the way to “save the planet.” This program was undertaken without any detailed engineering study of how or whether it might actually work, or how much it might cost to fully implement. In the trendy circles, there took hold a blind faith in the complete ability of the government, by dispensing taxpayer funds, to order up whatever innovation might be needed to move us forward to this energy utopia.
The latest UN-orchestrated effort to implement the renewable energy program, known as COP 26, has just broken up. To read the verbiage emanating from the affair, all is on track, if a bit slower than one might have hoped.
But I have long predicted that this program would come to an end when (absent some miraculous innovation that nobody has yet conceived) the usage of the renewables got to a sufficient level that their costs and unworkability could not be covered up any longer. Until very recently the pressure of elite groupthink has been able to maintain a united front of lip service to the cause. But consider a few developments from the past few weeks, just since the end of COP 26:
Japan tends to keep its head down in international affairs, and at COP 26 signed on to the happy talk group communiqués without raising any particular issues. But there is no getting around that Japan has the third largest economy in the world — after the U.S. and China, and larger than any European country — so its actions in energy policy are inherently significant. Also, Japan has relatively little energy production of its own, is heavily dependent on imports, has harsh winters, and has a growing Chinese military and economic threat right on its doorstep. Is Japan really going to trust its fate to intermittent wind and solar energy?
On December 1 Bloomberg reported: “Japan Is Backing Oil and Gas Even After COP26 Climate Talks.” It seems that this rather significant country may be seriously re-thinking the move away from fossil fuels. Excerpt:
Government officials have been quietly urging trading houses, refiners and utilities to slow down their move away from fossil fuels, and even encouraging new investments in oil-and-gas projects, according to people within the Japanese government and industry, who requested anonymity as the talks are private.
What is motivating Japan to break from the world groupthink? According to the Bloomberg piece, the main motivator is security of energy supply — which wind and solar obviously cannot provide:
The officials are concerned about the long-term supply of traditional fuels as the world doubles down on renewable energy, the people said. The import-dependent nation wants to avoid a potential shortage of fuel this winter, as well as during future cold spells, after a deficit last year sparked fears of nationwide blackouts. . . . Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry declined to comment directly on whether it is encouraging industries to boost investment in upstream energy supply, and instead pointed to a strategic energy plan approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet on October 22. That plan says “no compromise is acceptable to ensure energy security, and it is the obligation of a nation to continue securing necessary resources.”
(Emphasis added.). Well, if “no compromise is acceptable” on “energy security,” that pretty much rules out principal reliance on wind and solar for powering the Japanese economy, at least until some magical new inventions come along.
In the U.S., Republicans have only very gradually caught on to the idea that fossil fuel restrictions in the name of “climate” are becoming a political liability for the Democrats. Up to now, there have been some politicians willing to speak out in opposition to such restrictions, but little in the way of concrete steps taken in opposition. Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to move forward with initiatives at the SEC, Treasury Department and Federal Reserve to pressure banks and other financial institutions to reduce their participation in the fossil fuel industries.
So this is a big development: On November 22, a coalition of state treasurers sent a letter to large financial institutions threatening to end relationships, including the deposit of state and pension funds, with institutions that cut off financing for the coal, oil and natural gas industries. National Review reports in a November 22 piece headlined “Fifteen States Respond to ‘Woke Capitalism,’ Threaten to Cut Off Banks That Refuse to Service Coal, Oil Industries.” Excerpt:
A coalition of financial officers from 15 states sent a letter to the U.S. banking industry on Monday warning they plan to take “collective action” against banks that adopt corporate policies to cut off financing for the coal, oil, and natural gas industries. . . . The letter puts the financial institutions that have “adopted policies aimed at diminishing a large portion of our states’ revenue” on notice, saying the banks have “a major conflict of interest against holding, maintaining, or managing those funds.”
According to the NR piece, the state treasurers signing on to the letter include those from West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Alabama, Texas and Kentucky. Recipients of the letter included JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the states’ own accounts and their pension funds, the amounts at issue would be well into the multiple hundreds of billions of dollars, if not approaching a trillion.
Meanwhile, over in Europe . . .
Another Bloomberg piece, this one from November 28, describes the sense of impending doom hanging over Europe with the combination of low natural gas supplies, price spikes, and complete inability to coax more production out of proliferating and essentially useless wind and solar generators. The headline is “Europe’s energy crisis is about to get worse as winter arrives.” Excerpt:
The situation is already so dire this early in the winter season because of a blistering rally in natural gas prices. Stores of the fuel, used to heat homes and to generate electricity, are lower than usual and are being depleted quickly. Analysts have warned that gas stores could drop to zero this winter if cold weather boosts demand. Rolling blackouts are a possibility, warned Jeremy Weir, chief executive officer of Trafigura Group, a Swiss commodity trading house on Nov. 16.
And then there’s this comment:
“If the weather gets cold in Europe there’s not going to be an easy supply solution, it’s going to need a demand solution,” said Adam Lewis, partner at trading house Hartree Partners LP.
I think that a “demand solution” means some combination of either blackouts or intentionally cutting people off and, I guess, leaving them to freeze. The “supply solution” mentioned by Lewis would be allowing fracking in the extensive shale formations underlying Western Europe. Such fracking is currently banned. Even if those bans were lifted today, it would be way too late for this winter.
Predicting the date when the Europeans will wake up to their ridiculous energy folly is a lot like predicting the date of the demise of the regimes in North Korea or Venezuela. You know that it has to happen eventually, but this can go on for a long time. But enough blackouts and heat cutoffs could turn things around fairly quickly.
The error of the left is that it believes that government is god. It certainly is not. It is not even the best and brightest among mortals. It seems to have a large number of scheming, manipulative sociopaths that rise to the top. To trust them could be fatal.
I’m waiting for all the electric ambulances, fire trucks, snow plows, and police cars to be immobilized because of dead batteries and no more coal or gas fired power plants.
You forgot School Buses. That will be an especially egregious (and ruinously expensive) iteration. Maybe that’s the point.
“Leftists believe in replacing what works, with what sounds good”
I think this is a profoundly tragic example of his axiom in action. I recall hearing about some idiot bantering back and forth about this. Facts, logic, and reason aren’t enough. Keep in mind illiteracy is bad enough - but the inability to perform simple Arithmetic is also a huge problem (never mind Math).
After being patiently informed about the utter unworkability of the schemes envisioned, he just said something like “Well, fossil fuel is 100 year old technology. Isn’t it time to move on?”
This is the mentality we’re dealing with. Get rid of something before there is a viable replacement. That icky old stuff, it just ain’t stylish enough you know. They have no idea of the actual technical aspects, they don’t understand energy density, and they don’t have to pay for anything.
That’s how modern America gets a “transportation secretary” who declares that buying an electric car means “you won’t have to worry about gasoline prices ever again”. That is Weapons Grade Stupidity right there. He might not be that stupid himself, but his intended audience, and the newsreaders, and supposed academics most certainly are.
My flabber is gasted that those states are the ones pushing;
“Fifteen States Respond to ‘Woke Capitalism,’ Threaten to Cut Off Banks That Refuse to Service Coal, Oil Industries.”
If that group of folks have bought in to the woke banking idea all is lost.
Yup. And we’ll all end up burning wood to stay warm. I do that anyway.
Talk is cheap. Being cold or in the dark are show-stoppers.
The author forgot to mention Germany is cutting over 4,000 megawatts of power generation this winter.
In the face of a cold winter, will they continue the shutdown and continue to schedule the shutdown of another 4,000 megawatts next winter?
Uhhuummm wild guess ... yep, they will continue the shut down. Else the Germanic She-Troll will start screaming at them. No one wants that horror. Freezing is preferable.
Marxists think that advancing the cause represents a higher morality than telling the truth. Who still believes them? They do!
The book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay, 1841 deserves attention. Simply responding to the title, some would see this an argument for socialism.
If crowds go crazy, the tonic could be government decision making. However, surveying the contents of the book shows that many of the crowds that had gone mad were in to be found in parliament, or the King’s court. In other words, government crowds gone mad were the problem.
What if government was guided by an expert? Wouldn’t that provide the protection we need from madness? I suspect that in many cases, the mad government crowds were just following an expert uncritically. Calling Dr. Fauci.
Today we need to ban CO2 production lest it lead to global warming or climate change. An example of global warming would be a very mild winter for Chicago. If Chicago gets a colder winter than usual, EXTREEMLY cold, that would be climate change. We have a firm prediction of warmer or colder. Based on this we are supposed to turn our world upside down? Madness in deed, but Dr. Gore made a movie.
I seem to remember that ten or fifteen years ago there was a school superintendent in RI that zeroed out the snowplowing budget because global warming meant they wouldn’t need it. Then they had one of the snowiest winters in history. We live in the real world and the ones that run things live in Neverland
Exxon et al should engage in the war against big oil and destroy the enemy’s troops in the field. Big oil should cease gasoline sales in California.
No announcement, no fanfare....... just stop
My thermo class in college was taught by a legitimate scientist. He had us work through the total cost and output of every possible “energy saving” scheme. None of them made sense even with the most generous assumptions.
My personal pet peeve is electric cars. The material for the battery is mined in dirt poor countries using child labor and water cannons. After the land is mined out it looks like the lunar surface and can barely support bacteria. The people went from poor to probably dead. When you figure the cost to the environment for the mining, transportation, the energy and environmental cost of refining and production, and disposal, the few nickels you save while driving the car are inconsequential. Then, there’s the fact that at the end of three, four, or even ten years, the cost of a replacement battery far out paces the value of the car and it gets junked years or decades before it would otherwise be junked if it was a “polluting” gas car. Then there’s the inconvenience of waiting for it to charge, finding a charge station and the possible rolling blackouts as the other unicorn poop planet saving technologies take long and unpredictable naps.
That’s the problem with these ecoenergy nuts. They think solar and wind power can charge all the EV batteries, run all the lights and A/C for their homes, heat their homes and still save the economy. This isn’t Star Trek and the Federation of the future. What they actually are future practicing Luddites because that’s the world they’re attempting to create inadvertently.
> “Leftists believe in replacing what works, with what sounds good” Thomas Sowell <
And unfortunately, those “sounds good” projects mean misery for everyone involved (except for the elites, of course).
None of which drive the economy....while blissfully ignoring the heavier energy needs of revenue producing endeavors.
I think you mistook what the author meant by woke capitalism. The author was referring to the nonsensical blending of POLICY driven capitalism as opposed to market driven. The market is responding via it's DULY elected representatives, not the deep state driven halls of power in DC.
... to say nothing of electric tanks, fighters, bombers, attack helicopters, and, of course, missiles.
I can say, with certainty, that in the Northeast the grid is not prepared for that amount of load increase. Many lines are old and many areas are wooded and remote. There are nowhere near enough linemen, designers, and engineers to accomplish this work.
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