Long Road to Run: Fossil Fuels Powering the Planet Now & For Generations To Come

Renewable energy rent seekers have turned the ‘it’s a climate catastrophe’ dial all the way to 11 in an effort to convince us that our only salvation is an all sun and wind powered future.

At the top end of town where bank executives and institutional investors roam, the propaganda is directed at convincing ‘the money’ that the only safe bets in town are heavily subsidised windmills and solar panels. Investors are told that conventional base-load generators, coal, nuclear and gas are already redundant and that only a lunatic would invest in meaningful power generation from here on.

One well beat up myth used in an attempt to spook sensible investors is that China has already snubbed coal-fired power generation in favour of wind and solar. Except that the Chinese have done just the reverse.

Instead of worshipping nature’s wonder fuels, China is flat out building hundreds of high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired plant, in a concerted effort to drag itself out of the grinding agrarian poverty which, not so long ago, gripped the country fast. If costly and chaotic wind and solar were ever in favour in the People’s Republic, they’ve clearly fallen out of favour now: Full-Steam Ahead: China & Japan Snub Intermittent Wind & Solar to Build Hundreds of New-Age Coal-Fired Plants

Of course, there’s a pretty fair chance that anyone pushing the ‘fossil fuels are history’ line is themselves heavily invested in wind and/or solar, eager to cash in on a seemingly endless stream of massive government mandated subsidies: Born Lucky: Stars Align Perfectly for PM’s Son with Mammoth Bet on Wind Power Outfit Infigen

One of those is Mark Carney, the outgoing governor of the Bank of England. As Dr John Constable details below, Carney is yet another climate doomsdayer primed to profit handsomely from the destruction of our once reliable and affordable power supplies.

The burden of proof rests on Mark Carney, and he hasn’t made his case against fossil fuels
Business Financial Post
John Constable
10 January 2020

Mark Carney is using his final days as governor of the Bank of England to intimidate institutional financial managers by suggesting that investments in conventional energy are high-risk adventures requiring special justification.

However, consideration of the state of the global energy supply over the past 30 years suggests that if anyone has some explaining to do it is Carney himself. Climate policy failure followed by distressed correction seems more probable than other outcomes, and if any investments are likely to be stranded, it is those such as wind and solar that are in effect wagers on the success of current carbon-reduction strategies.

Carney, who becomes the UN’s special envoy on climate action and finance later this year, seems intent on causing an investment market panic and a consequent stampede out of conventional energy and into renewables. Asked point-blank in a recent interview whether he supported “divestment” from fossil fuels he tactfully evaded the question but nevertheless asserted that coal, oil and gas were insecure assets. He said any institutional decision-maker preferring to bet on oil, for example, is engaged in a high-risk adventure and must therefore offer special justification for their position.

This pre-emptive strike means that Carney’s own wager on certain low-carbon technologies escapes examination. That is the wrong way around. Fossil fuels are known quantities; their physical and thermodynamic properties are manifestly favourable. They also as a matter of historical record delivered human wishes for centuries, and still continue to do so at low cost in the present.

What we know about modern renewables, on the other hand, is, to say the least, much less certain. The burden of proof, then, must be on those who believe, as Carney apparently does, not only that low-carbon policies will persist for decades to come but also that modern renewables are now competitive and pose a real threat to conventional sources of energy.

We can gain some insight into the likely strength of his position by looking at the growth in global total primary energy supply since 1990.

According to the International Energy Agency, nearly all the growth in global energy consumption over the period is accounted for by growth in fossil fuels. Renewable energy in total, including traditional biomass in the developing world, made up 13 per cent of total primary energy in 1990 and 14 per cent in 2017. Renewables have grown by 72 per cent over that period, from a low base, but fossil fuels have grown by 59 per cent from a substantial base, and consequently, they continue to dominate world energy.

Perhaps most striking of all, the proportion of low-carbon energy, that is nuclear and renewables together stands today at 19 per cent of global TPE just as it did in 1990, before intense coercive policies supporting renewables were introduced.

Given the policy pressures applied to the world’s economies since the year 2000 that is an extraordinary failure.

On what grounds, therefore, does Carney believe that institutional investors in fossil fuels “have to explain the judgment, justify that to the people whose money it ultimately is?” The IEA data clearly suggests that fossil fuel investments require no justification as investments.

On the contrary, the questions should be directed at Carney. On what grounds does a person of his prominence take to the headlines to prophesy that fossil investments are at risk?

The answer appears to be that Carney is less concerned with empirical data than with the virtual reality of Policy World, a group hallucination in which a “fact” can be conjured out of the air, first by nominating a target and then by reinforcing that target with legislation, or to use the term widely employed by journalists, by “enshrining” it in law.

Thus, the ambitions of policy become pseudo-concrete legal realities that can be used to intimidate the public. What we want to happen becomes what is going to happen.
Business Financial Post

Full steam ahead: China flat out building coal-fired future.

3 thoughts on “Long Road to Run: Fossil Fuels Powering the Planet Now & For Generations To Come

  1. Thank you STT for this very important background information!

    “Carney, who becomes the UN’s special envoy on climate action and finance later this year….”
    Now the connection to the UN is crystal clear.

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