If there’s any point to writing about energy, it’s to perhaps try to pull together disparate bits of information that the average citizen is too busy to notice, the sort of random and arcane stats and events that only genuine weirdos devote their spare hours to. Truffle pigs find the truffles.
People learning about energy from the daily news hour is like learning about anatomy by watching Jackass. To get the real story, follow the nerds.
If someone hears an activist and/or federal cabinet minister in the news talking about the linear path towards Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 because of their wondrous policies, and said person thinks this to be true, it’s worth checking in with data rats. They amalgamate and quietly haul out not-widely-disseminated statistics such as how the real story is that India and China (and Germany) are returning to coal usage, and that any net-zero plan starts there.
Energy nerds wade through all this stuff and find threads about how things are going in the world and (usually) bring it forward into the world on Substack and ask for fifty bucks a year. Others do it just because they can’t help themselves.
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A great many people are doing this sort of thing, to great effect, helping the world understand energy better than the misdirected and ill-informed crap that the mainstream media dotes on.
But every single energy analyst worth their salt is stopped dead in their tracks by the energy lunacy Western leaders have orchestrated. Some things can’t be analyzed or identified other than to say, “Something is decomposing over there, and I can’t tell what it is.”
Politicians have abandoned the literary and logical framework by which we exist. It’s like they declare a new law that, in order to save the planet, all concrete will be replaced with tofu, effective immediately. How would you interpret that change into the well-being of the world?
Thanks to the quality of our politicians, spectacularly definitive statements as unhinged as that example aren’t hard to find. The other day, United States President Joe Biden proudly declared that, this fiscal year, the federal deficit would fall by $1.7 trillion, “the largest reduction in history.”
If you go nuts and run your credit card up to the $30,000 max, 10 times your normal debt, then make a $15,000 payment, your largest ever – is that the point at which boasting begins?
Biden’s comment is just random political bragging, though, with no consequence. The real problem is that politicians don’t seem to realize that when they’re bringing their gibberish into physical reality, such nonsense can be deadly on a very large scale.
The U.S. has promised to increase LNG to Europe, meaning building more liquefied natural gas export infrastructure and presumably increasing production to meet that need. Then there’s Biden’s previous promise to slow U.S. hydrocarbon production by suspending oil and gas leasing (“We’ve already waited too long to deal with the climate crisis. We cannot wait any longer”). That led him to implement ever-crazier hurdles to building any new oil/gas infrastructure.
Biden’s politically-useful but vapid messaging has company. He (like most Western leaders) has promised two things to the populace that can’t exist together: abundant, reliable and clean energy and phasing out the hydrocarbon industry as soon as possible. You can’t have both. It’s impossible.
There will be an energy transition, but only if the hydrocarbon industry is recognized and treated as the bedrock of society, and if its full arsenal of talent and infrastructure is utilized to the maximum.
If Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the European Union and others follow on their polarizing path and continue to refuse to think, there will be global chaos, food shortages, fuel shortages, heating fuel shortages, and a mass reversion back to coal.
Voters have to decide. Some of you have elected those who, metaphorically speaking, are willing to burn down all your houses because it’s an opportunity to build back better and create a lot of construction jobs.
What’s left of the industry is producing something the world needs so desperately that prices will be increasing for the foreseeable future to ridiculous levels. Any further arrows sent toward the hydrocarbon industry will only further limit supply and drive prices up, and those companies will make even more profit.
Our choice, as voters, is to save life as we have come to know it or to keep electing energy idiots.
Terry Etam is a columnist with the BOE Report, a leading energy industry newsletter based in Calgary. He’s the author of The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity. This column was submitted by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
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