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We can and must adjust to climate change – and not kill billions

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Paul Driessen and Ronald Stein

The futures of poor developing countries hinge on their ability to harness foundational elements: fuels, electricity, minerals and feed stocks made from fossil fuels and other materials that are the basis for all buildings, infrastructures and other technologies in industrialized countries.

We’ve always done so and have no right to tell others they can’t have modern living standards.

Earth’s climate has changed many times over four billion years, and 99.999% of those changes occurred before humans were on this planet. During that short time, humans adjusted their housing, clothing and agriculture in response to climate changes. Can we now control the climate?

Except for decades-long droughts or massive volcanic explosions that ended some civilizations, humanity generally adjusted successfully – through a Pleistocene Ice Age, a Little Ice Age, a Dust Bowl and other natural crises. Numerous state high temperature records were set in Dust Bowl years.

After putting our current “microsecond” on Earth into its proper perspective, we might therefore ask:

* With today’s vastly superior technologies, why would humanity possibly be unable to adjust to even a few-degrees temperature increase, especially with more atmospheric carbon dioxide helping plants grow faster and better, providing more food for animals and people?

* How dare the political, bureaucratic, academic and media ruling elites – who propagate GIGO computer predictions, calculated myths and outright disinformation – tell us we must implement their “green” policies immediately and universally … or humanity won’t survive manmade climate influences that are minuscule compared to the planetary, solar and galactic forces that really control Earth’s climate?

* How dare those elites tell Earth’s poorest people and nations they have no right to seek energy, health and living standards akin to what developed countries already enjoy?

Scientists, geophysicists and engineers have yet to explain or prove what caused the slight change in global temperatures we are experiencing today – much less the huge fluctuations that brought five successive mile-high continental glaciers, and sea levels that plunged 400 feet each time (because seawater was turned to ice), interspersed with warm inter-glacial periods like the one we’re in now.

Moreover, none of the dire predictions of cataclysmic temperature increases, sea level rise, and more frequent and intense storms have actually occurred, despite decades of climate chaos fearmongering.

Earth continues to experience climate changes, from natural forces and/or human activity. However, adjusting to small temperature, sea level and precipitation changes would inflict far less harm on our planet’s eight billion people than would ridding the world of fossil fuels that provide 80% of our energy and myriad products that helped to nearly double human life expectancy over the past 200 years.

Today, with fuels, products, housing and infrastructures that didn’t even exist one or two centuries ago, we can adjust to almost anything.

When it’s cold, we heat insulated homes and wear appropriate winter clothing; when it’s hot, we use air conditioning and wear lighter clothing. When it rains, we remain dry inside or with umbrellas; when it snows, we stay warm indoors or ski, bobsled and build snowmen.

Climate changes may impact us in many ways. But eliminating coal, oil and natural gas – with no 24/7/365 substitutes to replace them – would be immoral and evil. It would bring extreme shortages of reliable, affordable, essential energy, and of over 6,000 essential products derived from fossil fuels.

It would inflict billions of needless deaths from diseases, malnutrition, extreme heat and cold, and wild weather – on a planet where the human population has grown from 1 billion to 8 billion since Col. Edwin Drake drilled the first oilwell in 1859.

Weather-related fatalities have virtually disappeared, thanks to accurate forecasting, storm warnings, modern buildings, and medicines and other petroleum-based products that weren’t available even 100 years ago.

* Fossil fuels for huge long-range jets and merchant ships move people, products, food and medications to support global trade, mobility, health and lifestyle choices. Indeed, more than 50,000 merchant ships20,000 commercial aircraft and 50,000 military aircraft use fuels manufactured from crude oil.

* Food to feed Americans and humanity would be far less abundant and affordable without the fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and tractor and transportation fuels that come from oil and natural gas.

* Everything powered by electricity utilizes petroleum-based derivatives: wind turbine blades and nacelle covers, wire insulation, iPhone and computer housings, defibrillators, myriad EV components and more.

Petroleum industry history demonstrates that crude oil was virtually useless until it could be transformed in refineries and chemical plants into derivatives that are the foundation for plastics, solvents, medications and other products that support industries, health and living standards. The same is true for everything else that comes out of holes in the ground.

Plants and rocks, metals and minerals have no inherent value unless we learn how to cook them, extract metals from them, bend and shape them, or otherwise convert them into something we can use.

Similarly, the futures of poor developing countries hinge on their ability to harness foundational elements: fuels, electricity, minerals and feed stocks made from fossil fuels and other materials that are the basis for all buildings, infrastructures and other technologies in industrialized countries.

For the 80% of humanity in Africa, Asia and Latin America who still live on less than $10 a day – and the billions who still have little to no access to electricity – life is severely complicated and compromised by the hypocritical “green” agendas of wealthy country elites who have benefited so tremendously from fossil fuels since the modern industrial era began around 1850. Before that:

* Life spans were around 40 years, and people seldom travelled more than 100 miles from their birthplaces.

* There was no electricity, since generating, transmitting and utilizing this amazing energy resource requires technologies made from oil and natural gas derivatives.

* That meant the world had no modern transportation, hospitals, medicines and medical equipment, kitchen and laundry appliances, radio and other electronics, cell phones and other telecommunications, air and space travel, central heating and air conditioning, or year-round shipping and preservation of meats, fruits and vegetables, to name just a few things most of us just take for granted.

There are no silver-bullet solutions to save people from natural or man-made climate changes. However, adjusting to those fluctuations is the only solution that minimizes fatalities which would be caused by the callous or unthinking elimination of the petroleum fuels and building blocks that truly make life possible and enjoyable, instead of nasty, brutish and short. The late Steven Lyazi explained it perfectly:

“Wind and solar are … short-term solutions …. to meet basic needs until [faraway Ugandan villages] can be connected to transmission lines and a grid. Only in that way can we have modern homes, heating, lighting, cooking, refrigeration, offices, factories, schools, shops and hospitals – so that we can enjoy the same living standards people in industrialized countries do (and think is their right). We deserve the same rights and lives.

“What is an extra degree, or even two degrees, of warming in places like Africa? It’s already incredibly hot here, and people are used to it. What we Africans worry about and need to fix are malnutrition and starvation, the absence of electricity, and killer diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and HIV/AIDS…. We just need to be set free to [get the job done].”

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of articles and books on environmental, climate and human rights issues.

Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for the Heartland Institute and CFACT, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”

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Economy

Trump’s Promise Of American Abundance, Fueled By ‘Liquid Gold’

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JAMES P. PINKERTON

 

One of the brightest nuggets of policy in Donald Trump’s July 18 acceptance speech to the Republican convention in Milwaukee was his ode to “liquid gold.” That is, oil.

As part of his inflation-fighting plan, Trump offered a gleaming solution: increase energy production, thereby decreasing energy prices. “By slashing energy costs,” Trump declared, “we will in turn reduce the cost of transportation, manufacturing and all household goods.”

He continued: “We have more liquid gold under our feet than any other country by far. We are a nation that has the opportunity to make an absolute fortune with its energy.”

Indeed. According to the Institute for Energy Research (IER) technically recoverable oil resources in the U.S. total 2.136 trillion barrels. At the current price of around $80 a barrel, that’s some $171 trillion. And so, Trump concluded, “we will reduce our debt, $36 trillion.”

As former Alaska governor Sarah Palin would say, “You betcha.” In Palin’s Alaska, oil is so abundant, relative to the population, that everyone gets a check from the state. Last year, it was $1,312. For a family of four, that’s more than $5000. Our goal should be that every American gets such an energy dividend.

Moreover, the abundance of America’s carbon fuels is not limited to oil. According to IER, we have 3.391 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s worth $165 trillion.

To be sure, these staggering dollar totals can’t be counted directly against the national debt—or in support of some future tax cut. Yet every dollar of our energy assets would contribute to the economy, and if even 10  percent of the humongous total could be available to the public, we could, in fact, pay off the national debt.

Moreover, thanks to fracking and other enhanced recovery techniques, we keep finding more energy: Human ingenuity has upended old beliefs about energy shortages, ushering in an almost Moore’s Law-ish surge in production.

Indeed, there’s so much oil and gas (and coal) that an emerging school of thought holds that carbon fuels aren’t “fossil” at all, but rather, the product of earth’s vulcanism. The core of this earth, after all, is the same temperature as the surface of the sun. Perhaps all that heat is cooking something.

In any case, we keep finding more oil, and not just in the U.S.

So how, exactly, do we take advantage of this planetary cornucopia? As Palin said, as Trump said, and as the convention crowd chanted, “drill, baby, drill.”

Okay, but what about climate change? Most Republicans don’t worry too much about that, but if Democrats do, they should be reassured that we can capture the carbon and so take it out of the atmosphere. Trees and other green vegetation have been capturing carbon for eons; the element is, in fact, vital to their very existence. Similarly, the human body is 18 percent carbon. Yes, all of us ourselves are carbon sinks.

So we, being smart, can capture vastly more carbon — capturing it in everything from wood to cement, from plastics to nanotubes. These in turn can be landfill, construction materials — maybe even a space elevator.

We can, in fact, establish a a circular carbon economy: carbon fuels extracted, burned, and then recycled back into feedstocks. By this reckoning, carbon fuels are renewable. Such creative thinking can power all those energy-hungry data centers on which Big Tech and AI depend. So there’s the makings of a bipartisan “Grand Carbon Bargain,” uniting mostly blue-state tech with mostly red-state energy. More energy + more tech = more wealth for all.

In Milwaukee, Trump spoke of American “energy dominance,” and that’s great. But with all the energy we can produce and consume, we can speak of economic abundance — and that’s even greater.

James P. Pinkerton served in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He is the author, most recently, of “The Secret of Directional Investing: Making Money Amidst the Red-Blue Rumble.”

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Energy

The Flood Of Energy Absurdities Never Slows

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By DAVID BLACKMON

 

I often write about absurdities in the energy space, the kinds of stories in which nothing seems to make sense and which result in the wasting of massive amounts of money on rank boondoggles.

Indeed, I maintain an entire Substack focused on what is an amazingly target-rich environment.

Despite enjoying such a wealth of absurd potential content, I found myself suffering from a bit of writer’s block Tuesday morning — thanks in large part to all the breaking news about debates and attempted assassinations  permeating our society in recent days. But that was before two gloriously absurd stories popped into my in-box.

The first of these absurdities comes to us from the ritzy Massachusetts island of Nantucket, where debris from one of President Joe Biden’s vaunted offshore wind monstrosities — speaking of rank boondoggles — was found littering the beaches in recent days. The Nantucket Current reports that the debris, apparently hard fiberglass material from a broken blade, originates from the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore project, whose first ten massive turbines were activated less than a month ago.

So much for that advertised 30-year life, huh?

The operators of Vineyard Wind said the debris is the result of an “offshore incident” in which a blade suffered damage. The company also characterized the debris as “non-toxic fiberglass fragments,” adding that they are “not hazardous to people or the environment.”

No word from the company on the nature of this “incident,” or on how frequently Nantucket residents can expect such litter from their 62 government-subsidized, 850-feet-tall turbines (almost the height of the Eiffel Tower) and blades to wash up on their beaches. But the fact that the first “incident” came during the first month of operations was not exactly encouraging.

Then the story got even worse for Vineyard Wind: Boston.com reported Tuesday that Nantucket officials made the decision to close the beaches to public access due to dangers from what they called “floating debris and sharp fiberglass shards” that were part of the debris. Worse still, the Federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced late Tuesday the development’s operations have been “shut down until further notice” due to the safety hazards to the public.

Despite the inconvenience and potential hazards caused by Biden’s offshore wind boondoggles, we can be sure that Nantucket residents will enjoy paying their future power bills that are being inflated by the power-provision guarantees deftly negotiated by their state leaders. It is, after all, a small price to pay for such a glorious virtue signaling opportunity.

The next story comes to us from a report at LiveScience.com detailing a new study predicting that earthquakes will now be caused by the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-causing, all-powerful boogeyman we refer to as “climate change.” No, really, I swear I’m not making that up. Promise.

It is a real report, headlined, “Will we have more earthquakes because of climate change?”

Naturally, the story suggests this will be the case. What else would a good climate alarmist say? It is a requirement for researchers to blame literally every bad thing in our lives on climate change because, if you don’t, you won’t get that next government grant, now, will you?

That is the game. It has been the game for 30 years now, and many believe the net effect has been the increasing corruption of what we call “science.” The raising of outlandish claims such as this in glaring headlines or by hyperventilating weather people on our local news channels is exactly why a constantly rising percentage of the population holds the field of climate “science” in contempt.

One X user who tweeted this story out said: “I miss the days when we used to blame witches.” That is really funny. I wish I had thought of it first.

I know this frustrates all the alarmists out there, but I am just the messenger here. If you want the winds of public attitudes to ever shift in your direction, you are going to have to stop spreading ridiculous nonsense like this. All your cynical efforts to raise alarm are backfiring, and it could not happen to a more deserving bunch of people.

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

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