“Net Zero” will be not even a zero for humanity, but rather a large step backward. From Chris MacIntosh at internationalman.com:
Human beings — regardless of race, religion or culture — like to embrace any belief that is absolute. This is because absolute beliefs are simple, easy to comprehend, and false positives that offer us a false sense of security.
If we come to believe that a particular idea, place, or group of people are either all good or all bad, then we humans fool ourselves into thinking that we have got a piece of a particular equation all figured out.
Such a binary viewpoint is psychologically comforting, allowing us to feel assured and in control. The more control we feel the more assured we feel so there is a feedback loop here which takes hold.
Now, think of propaganda, which is, of course, a group reassuring another group of a particular narrative. Consider that if you have decided that a group of people are all bad, then all you have to do is stay away from them or keep them away from you. Life just got easier. If you decide that a group of people are your enemy, all you have to do is make war against them and once they are all gone, life would surely be better, right?
Life is going to be pretty bleak without fossil fuels. From Ronald Stein at lewrockwell.com:
America is in a fast pursuit toward achieving President Biden’s stated goal that “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels” to achieve the Green New Deal’s (GND) pursuit of wind turbines and solar panels to provide electricity to run the world, but WAIT, everything in our materialistic lives and economies cannot exist without crude oil, coal, and natural gas.
Everything that needs electricity, from lights, vehicles, iPhones, defibrillators, computers, telecommunications, etc., are all made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil.
The need for electricity will decrease over time without crude oil. With no new things to power, and the deterioration of current things made with oil derivatives over the next few decades and centuries, the existing items that need electricity will not have replacement parts and will ultimately become obsolete in the future and the need for electricity will diminish accordingly.
The Green New Deal proposal calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and focus on electricity from wind and solar, but why? What will there be to power in the future without fossil fuels?
When a situation is really screwed up, it’s a good bet that not just one but multiple bad decisions have been made. Germany’s dependence on Russian gas is certainly such an instance. From Jack Raines at youngmoney.co:
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
…You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.
We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
Climate change. The existential crisis that has filled every Gen-Zer with dread since they entered grade school. Politicians, CEOs, and other powerful figures fly their private jets to summits around the world each year to condemn the fossil fuel industry as a vile plague that must be destroyed at all costs.
Europe would have to deemphasize wind and solar, allow more development of oil and natural gas, and promote nuclear energy to get within field-goal range of energy independence. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:
Europe is not going to achieve a competitive energy transition with the current interventionist policies. Europe does not depend on Russian gas due to a coincidence, but because of a chain of mistaken policies. Banning nuclear in Germany, prohibiting the development of domestic natural gas resources throughout the European Union, added to a massive and expensive renewable roll-out without building a reliable back-up.
Solar and wind do not reduce dependency on Russian natural gas. They are necessary but volatile and intermittent. They need back-up for security of supply from nuclear, hydro, and natural gas. Dependency rises in periods of low wind and little sun, just when prices are highest.
“Solar goes to zero for twelve hours a day, and that is guaranteed. The wind blows sometimes, and sometimes it does not, also guaranteed. They both depend on weather, which is 100% out of human control. They are on their best day a supplement” wrote a Navy pilot follower.
Batteries are not an option either. It is impossible to build an industrial-size network of enormous batteries, the cost would be prohibitive and the dependency on China build them (lithium etc.) would be even more of a problem. At current prices, a battery storage system of Europe’s size would cost more than $2.5 trillion, according to an MIT Technology Review paper. Massively more expensive than any other alternative.
Just the added cost of a battery grid plus the distribution and transmission network would make household bills soar even further.
Inflation was already out of control in Europe before the invasion of Ukraine was even a risk. CPI in Spain was 7.6%, in Portugal it was 4.2% and in Germany, 5.1%. Euro area CPI was 5.8%.
International Man: Politicians, the media, and large corporations promote solar and wind energy as replacements for fossil fuels. Western governments are trying to pick winners and are subsidizing wind and solar energy to the tune of billions.
What’s going on here?
Doug Casey: Solar and wind energy can be useful. But generally only for special applications or remote locations where regular power is uneconomic or unavailable.
Wind and solar make no sense for mass power generation, however. They’re completely unsuitable for a complex industrial civilization. The Greens aren’t trying to solve a technological problem but make an ideological statement. Which is fine, except they’re doing it at the public’s expense. Meanwhile, the public has been so propagandized that they now feel it’s morally righteous to be hornswoggled.
No problem if someone feels that covering his rooftop with solar panels can cut his electricity bill and pay back the cost in 7 or 10 years—which is roughly the case today. It’s something else entirely if a government puts a society’s electrical grid at risk in order to virtue signal.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for alternative methods of generating energy. Geothermal can work in places like Iceland, where near-surface magma hotspots currently generate around 30% of their electricity. Tidal power works in certain locations. As does hydro, although it’s increasingly unpopular because dams inundate a lot of land, silt up, displace the locals, destroy existing fauna and flora, and eventually collapse.
It’s a fact solar tech has been improving for decades. For instance, there’s been an annual 3000KM race across Australia for solar cars since 1987. They’re still basically experimental toys, but they get faster every year. Still, it’s only possible in a place like the Australian desert where the sun is usable 12 hours a day, every day. Any kid who’s played in the sun with a magnifying glass can tell you solar power is real—but that doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for base-load power in an industrial civilization. Someday we may use gigantic collectors in high earth orbit to capture the sun’s power and beam it down to earth by microwave. But that’s for the future.
There are probably more than a few Europeans questioning policy makers devotion to renewable energy. From Alex Berenson at alexberenson.substack.com:
How the European obsession with decarbonization has driven energy and electricity prices through the roof and helped give Vladimir Putin license to do whatever he likes
Once again, Western political and media elites find themselves in the unfortunate position of denying reality obvious to anyone with eyes, or a wallet.
This time, they are lying about the economic and now political crises their “green” energy policies are causing, particularly in Europe. These lies may damage them even more than their Covid fantasies did, because they are even more obvious to people outside their bubble.
Anyone who drives is aware of the recent spike in oil prices, now nearly $100 a barrel – a rise due in part to Democratic efforts to discourage American oil production.
But Americans may not know about the catastrophe in Europe’s electricity and natural gas markets. That crisis is even more directly linked to broader efforts to “sustainable” fuels that so far have proven distinctly unsustainable.
Unlike the United States, Europe doesn’t have much oil or natural gas. For generations, it has used a mix of fuels – coal, nuclear, imported natural gas and a little oil, and renewables – to power its electric plants. That mix worked just fine.
But even before World Minister for Energy Policy Greta Thunberg banged her shoe against a desk at the United Nations in 2019, the Europeans were getting very worried about carbon dioxide.
Apparently Germany will be committing suicide by freezing this winter. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As nat gas prices surge in Europe, Germany is kicking off the new year by moving ahead with plans to shutter three of its six remaining nuclear power plants, making good on a commitment made in the aftermath of Japan’s disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The decision was championed especially vigorously by the Greens, who are now helping to rule as part of Germany’s new “stop sign” ruling coalition. But soaring natural gas prices across Europe mean this concession to the environmental lobby couldn’t come at a worse time.
It’s a decision that could have consequences for the US. As we have complained before, the AOC-backed “Green New Deal” mostly excluded nuclear, by far the most efficient and useful alternative to fossil fuels, instead choosing to rely solely on inadequate “renewables”. And as Reuters adds in its report, Germany’s decision to pull the plug represent an “irreversible” pivot away from an energy source deemed “clean and cheap by some.”
Germany has pulled the plug on three of its last six nuclear power stations as it moves towards completing its withdrawal from nuclear power as it turns its focus to renewables.
The government decided to speed up the phasing out of nuclear power following Japan’s Fukushima reactor meltdown in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami destroyed the coastal plant in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
The reactors of Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C, run by utilities E.ON and RWE shut down late on Friday after three and half decades in operation.
Green piety goes out the window when people are freezing. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“Extraordinary, isn’t it? I’ve been hearing all about COP,” said the queen to the duchess of Cornwall. “Still don’t know who is coming. … We only know about people who are not coming. … It’s really irritating when they talk but they don’t do.”
Queen Elizabeth II was expressing her exasperation at the possible number of no-shows at the U.K.’s coming climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
Among the absentees may be Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country generates more carbon dioxide than the U.S. and EU combined.
Behind the queen’s exasperation, however, lies a political reality.
Nations like China are discovering that meeting goals for cutting carbon emissions can stall economic growth to where the regime itself is at peril.
Forced to choose between what is best for the country now and what is better for mankind in some indeterminate future, leaders are putting the needs of the nation today over the call of the world of tomorrow.
As the countdown to Glasgow proceeds, China’s energy situation is described by The New York Times:
“China’s electricity shortage is rippling across factories and industries, testing the nation’s status as the world’s capital for reliable manufacturing. The shortage prompted the authorities to announce on Wednesday a national rush to mine and burn more coal, despite their previous pledges to curb emissions that cause climate change.
“Mines that were closed without authorization have been ordered to reopen. Coal mines and coal-fired power plants that were shut for repairs are also to be reopened. Tax incentives are being drafted for coal-fired power plants. … Local governments have been warned to be more cautious about limits on energy use that had been imposed partly in response to climate change concerns.”
It’s going to be a long time before the world or any appreciable part of it is going to make the green energy transition. Right now Europe is demonstrating the difficulty of doing so. From Israel Shamir at unz.com:
At the same time, the first blow of winter revealed the inability of green energy to heat our homes and energise industry. Nature proved its abilities: all of a sudden, Europe’s winds refused to move the turbines. An unusual calm settled in the North, as if the winds were confined by Aeolus in his bag. Energy prices skyrocketed. The excellent future planned for mankind, all digital, internet-based and free of fossil remains, failed to materialise. Instead of continuing our march towards the dreadful New Normal, we shifted back to our troublesome but familiar normality when things went awry. The cowboy hat of Big Tech was too large for its head. Mercifully, this misfortune occurred well before the whole of mankind had been railroaded into smart dwellings heated by the mischievous wind. Otherwise, last weekend could have been the end of Homo Sapiens: we would have frozen outside, unable even to pass through the smart doors.
An energy crisis combined with an Internet failure is very dangerous. Why don’t we encounter extra-terrestrials? Here’s a possible answer: every sapient civilisation destroys itself before it achieves the capability to venture to the stars. Intelligent creatures tend to overestimate their thinking abilities; instead of sticking to known technologies and implementing small improvements, they want to make a giant leap forward. The results are gloomy, as we learn now.
It’s perhaps not wise to throw out your existing hydrocarbon sources of energy until the new, green sources of energy are up to the job of replacing them. Especially when of your prime sources of hydrocarbons—Russia—doesn’t always have your best interests at heart. From Cyril Widdershoven at oilprice.com:
Europe’s energy crunch is continuing, as gas storage volumes have shrunk to 10-year lows. A possible harsh winter could lead to severe energy shortages and possible shutdowns of large parts of the economy.
While the main discussion is currently focused on the potential role of Russia in the energy crisis, a new narrative could soon make the headlines. In a surprise move, the Dutch government has indicated that in a severe supply crunch situation, the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest onshore gas field, could partially and temporarily be reopened. It seems that the term Dutch Disease could get a new meaning, from being the paradox of a rentier state suffering from plentiful resources to a show of Europe’s lack of realism when it comes to energy transition risks and current market powers. Dutch Minister Stef Blok has indicated that he is considering the potential reopening of the Groningen field, in particular five wells, especially the one at Slochteren, as indicated by Johan Attema, director of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), the operator of the Groningen field. The reopening of the field, even in the case of an emergency or an energy crisis, is politically controversial.
Until recently, the plan was that Groningen would be closed completely by 2023, ending the large-scale gas production and export by the Netherlands with a bang.
The Dutch media is speculating that minister Blok will be asking for a possible reopening of the Groningen field, a decision that must be made before October 1. If the Minister decides to change the current shutdown plans, the whole Groningen debacle, as some see it, will be prolonged. It is clear, looking at the current deplorable situation of the European energy sector, that Groningen is still needed. The ongoing energy crunch could have grave consequences for the economies and wellbeing of EU member states, changing the narratives in Brussels and the respective European capitals.
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