Everyone needs to read the article “Energy Solution Hinges on New Technology” which appeared in The Weekend Australian, Saturday June 15th 2019 by Dr Bjorn Lomborg, president of the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Centre. He has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. I have reproduced it below in an amended form.
The reality is, today, solar and wind energy together deliver only about 1 per cent of global energy. The International Energy Agency estimates that even by 2040 these will cover a little more than 4 per cent of global energy.
The idea that we already have the needed technology to phase out quickly from fossil fuels is nonsense, so before we can establish what the solution to climate change really looks like, we first need to dismantle the faulty idea that we have the solution already.
One of the world’s leading energy researchers, Czech-Canadian Vaclav Smil, has said:
“The great hope for a quick and sweeping transition to renewable energy is wishful thinking.”
Former US vice-president Al Gore’s chief scientific adviser, Jim Hansen, who put global warming on the agenda back in 1988, agreed, saying:
“Suggesting that renewable’s will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
The recent “hoo-ha” or “brouhaha” by climate change activists, involving thousands of children skipping school to be involved in street protests in Australia, over the Adani Coal Mine, demonstrates that the belief that we already have the solutions is a delusion on a planetary scale. It may be comforting to tell ourselves that global warming is effectively solved. It’s dangerous because it leads to us taking at face value promises and vows that have no chance of being enacted. And it is reckless because it stops us from focusing on what we need to do instead.
If we do care to fix climate, we need to change course. This was clearly shown by 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel laureates who looked at the whole gamut of climate solutions for Copenhagen Consensus.
If we keep doing what we’ve done so far and make more promises to cut carbon in ineffective ways such as subsidising wind and solar, each dollar spent will avoid only 3c of climate damage.
Recently, the 10-year, $US10 billion public investment into shale gas in the US proved to be a great way to cut carbon. While it wasn’t intended as climate policy, it led the way for a surge in production of cheap gas, which out competed a significant part of US coal consumption. Because gas emits about half the CO2 of coal, the US has reduced emissions more than any other country in the past 10 years.
France has an extremely low level of carbon dioxide emissions per capita from electricity generation since over 90% of its electricity is nuclear (58 nuclear reactors) or hydro. Why isn’t nuclear on the table in other countries, particularly Australia with some of the biggest reserves of uranium ore?
Politicians across the world happily promise to emit net zero CO2 by 2050, knowing they will be long retired from politics when those vows are broken. Achieving this will be almost impossibly expensive, likely provoking “yellow vest” street riots long before their conclusion.
After New Zealand made its 2050 zero emissions promise, the government commissioned a report on the costs. The report found that achieving this goal in the most cost-effective manner would cost more than last year’s entire national budget on social security, welfare, health, education, police, courts, defence, environment and every other part of government combined. Each and every year.
UN Losing Credibility:
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres is inviting all heads of state to New York next September to promise jointly to cut global emissions to zero by 2050. To see exactly how unrealistic this is, look at the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s five policy scenarios for the 21st century. The most optimistic “sustainable” scenario puts on green-tinted glasses to envisage a world in which the rich countries happily accept having their energy availability cut in half and people in the poor world accept they will never catch up even to half of rich-world energy availability.
We have a world in crisis with politicians living in “Lalaland”. To quote again, former US vice-president Al Gore’s chief scientific adviser, Jim Hansen “suggesting that renewable s will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
Surely, for the Bible believing Christian, this is further evidence we are living in the prophesied end times prior to Jesus return to rule with a rod of iron for one thousand years, as revealed in Revelation 20.