Monday, May 09, 2022

How many of the world's 8 billion will survive without fossil fuels?

The economic and technological advances over the last 200 years have transformed how we produce and consume energy. From the 1800’s, the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas now support more than 80 percent of the world’s energy supply to meet the world’s population demands for more than 6,000 products in our daily lives, made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of crude oil, that did not exist before the 1900’s, and the fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 jets and more than 50,000 merchant ships, and the military and space programs. To the left is a pictorial history of these energy transitions over the years.

Recent outlooks published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Energy Information Administration (EIA) paint a clear picture that global energy needs are going to rise significantly in the decades to come, reflecting population growth, more nations progressing out of poverty, and the expansion of transportation and technology systems worldwide. Products derived from crude oil will continue to satisfy a significant share of this growing demand.

As expected, during the recent Earth Day celebration, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Fonda, Matt Damon and more of the biggest celebrities leading the charge on climate change were demanding the elimination of crude oil from society. One would think that those movie stars have the intelligence to know that crude oil is virtually useless unless it is manufactured into something usable, to meet their personal demands and the demands of society, via refineries. The hydrocarbon processing industry, i.e., those refineries, have a rich history of discovery, challenges, breakthroughs, trial and error, collaboration, and success.

Looking back a little more than 100 years, it’s easy to see how civilization has benefited from more than 250 leading-edge, hydrocarbon processing licensed refining technologies used by the more than 700 refineries worldwide that supply oil products to meet the demands of the 8 billion living on earth with more than 6,000 products made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of raw crude oil at refineries. None of these products and subsequent infrastructures were available to society before 1900.

Wind turbines and solar panels may be able to generate intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine, but they cannot manufacture anything. By the way, all the products needed to make the parts for vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, planes, ships, medical supplies, tires, asphalt, and fertilizer are made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. Getting rid of crude oil will eliminate virtually everything in our daily lives and economies.

After coal, oil, and natural gas, we created various modes of transportation, a medical industry, and electronics and communications systems. Oil reduced infant mortality, extended life longevity from 40+ to more than 80+, and gave the public the ability to move anywhere in the world via planes, trains, ships, and vehicles, and virtually eliminated deaths from most diseases and from all forms of weather, All of that apparent “progress” can all be attributable to the introduction of coal, oil, and natural gas into society.

World leaders and the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement that are setting policies to rid the world of fossil fuels, have short memories of petrochemical products and human ingenuity being the reasons for the world populating from 1 to 8 billion in less than two hundred years shown clearly in the United Nations graph below.

The climate is changing, as it has been for 4 billion years, and will continue to change, and yes, there will be fatalities from the coming climate changes, but those fatalities will be small in comparison to a world without fossil fuels, that revert to its decarbonized status in the early 1800’s and before.

Climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, between 2030 and 2050, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress, but efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion, and may result in billions, not millions, of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths trying to live without the fossil fuels that are benefiting society.

Just a few hundred years ago, before oil, the world was unspoiled, decarbonized, and dominated by mother nature and the wild animal kingdom. There was no coal fired power plants, nor natural gas power plants, and the Beverly Hillbillies had not yet discovered oil. There were fewer humans competing with the animals due to humanity’s limited ability to survive what mother nature provided. Before oil, life was hard and dirty, with many weather and disease related deaths.

There are now eight billion of us, with most people living much longer and more prosperous lives than the one billion people who were around when fossil fuels use took off after the mid 1800’s. Moreover, the richer we are, the greener most parts of the planet become.

Pundits and future historians will debate the effect of longer lifespans for decades to come. The world population has increased dramatically after the introduction of fossil fuels and the populations has become dependent on that same fossil fuels to feed the world by transporting food and products worldwide to feed those eight billion on this increasingly resource-stretched and crowded earth.

To comprehend the “pristine” world before the introduction of oil, we can easily observe the world’s poorest countries to see what lifestyles are like with just mother nature and the animal kingdom to contend with. Those developing countries are living in a decarbonized environment and have yet to enter an industrialized revolution.

Today, to continue to support the eight billion on earth, we need the more than 53,000 merchant ships that move those 6,000 products throughout the world, and the 50,000 jets that now move four billion people around the world.

With no backup plan for a replacement for the products manufactured from oil, the Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Fonda, Matt Damon, and President Joe Biden’s efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization, not climate change. Ridding the world of fossil fuels, could result in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths. Imagine the cold, misery, and loss of life under a scenario where today’s eight billion try to live in the decarbonized world in the early 1800’s without today’s products and transportation fuels?


Misleading Headline Aside, Market Watch Reveals Some Wildfire Truths

Market Watch published a story implying climate change is causing earlier, more intense wildfires in the desert Southwest. The story provides no evidence that climate change responsible for earlier, particularly severe, wildfires, because such evidence is lacking. Indeed, despite the misleading slant of the story, trying to link wildfires a human caused climate crisis, the scientist interviewed in the story discusses a number of contributing factors for the wildfires currently scorching parts of Arizona and New Mexico—climate change is not prominent among them.

The Market Watch story, titled “The Southwest is on fire — climate change is one reason why those wildfires are earlier and more intense,” consists of an interview with Molly Hunter, an associate research professor in environment and natural resources at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Although Hunter initially asserts climate change is to blame for earlier wildfire seasons across the desert Southwest, she actually provides no evidence to support this claim. Instead, she describes a list of non-climate change related natural and anthropogenic factors driving the fires.

“Historically, fire season in the Southwest didn’t ramp up until late May or June, because fuels that carry fires – primarily woody debris, leaf litter and dead grasses – didn’t fully dry out until then,” Hunter told Market Watch. “Now, the Southwest is seeing more fires start much earlier in the year. The earlier fire season is partly due to the warming climate.”

Hunter cites no evidence either for her claim that fire seasons are coming unusually early or her assertion that a warming climate is to blame, and available data refutes both contentions.

As discussed in Climate Realism here, data from New Mexico show this year’s wildfires are hardly unique. Between 1996 and 2013 alone New Mexico experienced 12 wildfires of greater than 40 km2 in size spanning 7 separate years in April and nine wildfires occurring in three separate years which started in March. Also one of Arizona’s largest wildfires in recent decades, the 1996 Lone Fire, also began in April.

Data show wildfires have declined across the U.S. and globally during the past 100 years. As presented in Climate at a Glance: Wildfires, data on wildfires from the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center from as far back as 1926 show current acres burned in the United States, are approximately 1/4th to 1/5th of the amount burned annually in the 1930s.

What is true of the United States is true for the world in general. For instance scientists reported in a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, analyzing global wildfires back to the year 1901, “a notable declining rate of burned area globally.” In addition, NASA satellites have documented a global long-term decline in wildfires. NASA reports satellites have measured a 25-percent decrease in global lands burned since 2003.

Although the amount of acreage burned in recent wildfires remains well below historic records, there has been a slight uptick in recent years. Interestingly, Hunter lists a number of reasons for this, none of them having to do with climate change. Hunter says:

This year we also have a lot of fuel to burn. Last summer, in 2021, the Southwest had an exceptional monsoon season that left green hillsides and lots of vegetation. By now the grasses and forbs that established during the monsoon have dried out, leaving a lot of biomass that can carry a fire. Often in the Southwest, our biggest fire years come when we have a wet period followed by a dry period, like the La NiƱa conditions we’re experiencing now.

La Nina conditions, good rains in 2021, and “pretty typical [strong] winds for spring, are fueling and driving this year’s wildfires.”

Another factor Hunter discusses as fueling wildfires is invasive grasses. Hunter says, “… invasive grasses like buffelgrass and red brome that spread quickly and burn easily … are now fueling really big fires in the desert, like Arizona’s Telegraph Fire in 2021.” Climate Realism also noted the contributing role invasive grasses are playing in wildfires across the Western United States, reporting, “early germinating, fast spreading, very flammable invasive cheatgrass across the American West. This invasive grass germinates earlier in the year than native grasses do, then dries out and becomes highly flammable. Environments with cheatgrass have been found to be twice as likely to burn as those without the invasive grass.”

The spark? Increasingly, as Hunter acknowledges, humans are the ignition source for these wildfires.

“[S]tates are also seeing more fires caused by human activities, such as fireworks, sparks from vehicles or equipment, and power lines,” Hunter told Market Watch. “More people are moving out into areas that are fire-prone, creating more opportunities for human-caused ignition.”

Examining a list of Arizona’s wildfires in recent history, one is appalled to find how many are caused by human negligence or, as vile as it is, started intentionally by arsonists. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that as many of 85 percent of wildfires in recent decades have been sparked by human ignitions.

Since data show neither droughts nor heatwaves have increased in the United States during the recent period of modest warming, it is unclear on what basis Hunter and Market Watch contend climate change is effecting wildfire trends in the desert Southwest. Hunter, herself, lists a variety of factors responsible for 2022’s early start to the wildfire season in Arizona and New Mexico: La Nina conditions, lush vegetation from the previous plentiful seasonal rains which dried out as hot spring conditions returned, seasonal high winds, invasive grasses, and a human negligence and arson. Climate change is not among these factors, and thus shouldn’t have been listed as such as part of the story.


Real Threats to Biodiversity and Humanity

References to climate change almost guarantee funding, even for research topics of little interest beyond academia and eco-activists. Polls reveal that most people worry most about energy and food prices, crime, living standards, Putin’s war on Ukraine, and increasing efforts to control their lives.

A recent study by Rutgers University scientists sought to determine how much diversity is required among bee species to sustain wild plant populations. They concluded that ecosystems rely on many bee species to flourish – and “biodiversity is key to sustaining life on Earth,” especially with many species “rapidly going extinct due to climate change and human development.”

US Geological Survey wildlife biologist Sam Droege says wild bees are generally “doing fine.” However, they definitely face challenges, primarily due to habitat loss, disease, and competition from managed honeybees and bumblebees – not to pesticides, since most wild bee species don’t pollinate crops.

That brings us to one of Wokedom’s favorite topics: intersectionality – in this case, actual connections among bees, climate change, habitat losses, and threats to our energy, living standards and freedoms.

Simply put, the gravest threat to wildlife habitats and biodiversity (and to people’s rights, needs and living standards) is not climate change. It is policies and programs created, implemented and imposed in the name of preventing climate change.

Let’s examine habitat and biodiversity threats – without asking whether any climate changes today or in the future are still primarily natural, or are now driven by fossil fuels. Let’s just look at what purported solutions to the alleged “climate crisis” would likely do to the planet and creatures we love. In reality:

The most intensive land use – and thus greatest habitat destruction – is from programs most beloved, advocated and demanded by rabid greens: wind, solar, biofuel and battery energy, and organic farming.

Team Biden is still intent on getting 100% hydrocarbon-free electricity by 2035. It wants to eliminate fossil fuels throughout the US economy by 2050: no coal or natural gas for electricity generation; no gasoline or diesel for vehicles; no natural gas for manufacturing, heating, cooking or other needs.

America’s electricity demand would soar from 2.7 billion megawatt-hours per year (the fossil fuel portion of total US electricity) to almost 7.5 billion MWh by 2050. Substantial additional generation would be required to constantly recharge backup batteries for windless, sunless periods. Corn-based ethanol demand would disappear, but biofuel crops would have to replace petrochemical feed stocks for paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cell phones, wind turbine blades and countless other products.

This is just for the USA. Extrapolate these demands to the rest of a fossil-fuel-free developed world … to China and India … and to poor countries determined to take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people – and “clean, green” energy requirements become monumental, incomprehensible.

We’re certainly looking at tens of thousands of offshore wind turbines, millions of onshore turbines, billions of photovoltaic solar panels, billions of vehicle and backup battery modules, and tens of thousands of miles of new transmission lines. Hundreds of millions of acres of US farmland, scenic areas and wildlife habitats would be affected – blanketed with enormous industrial facilities, biofuel operations and power lines.

Add in the enormous and unprecedented mining, processing and manufacturing required to make all these energy-inefficient technologies – mostly outside the United States – and the land use, habitat loss and toxic pollution would gravely threaten people, wildlife and planet.

Let’s take a closer look, now just from a US perspective, but knowing these are global concerns.

Solar power. 72,000 high-tech sun-tracking solar panels at Nevada’s sunny Nellis Air Force Base cover 140 acres but generate only 32,000 MWh per year. That’s 33% of rated capacity; 0.0004% of 2050 US electricity needs. Low-tech stationary panels have far lower efficiency and generating capacity, especially in more northern latitudes. Meeting 2050 US electricity needs would require Nevada sunshine and nearly 235,000 Nellis systems on 33,000,000 acres (equal to Alabama).

Triple that acreage for low-tech stationary panels in less sunny areas. For reference, Dominion Energy alone is planning 490 square miles of panels (8 times Washington, DC) just in Virginia, just for Virginia. Then add all the transmission lines.

Wind power. 355 turbines at Indiana’s Fowler Ridge industrial wind facility cover 50,000 acres (120 acres/turbine) and generate electricity just over 25% of the time. Even at just 50 acres per turbine, meeting 2050 US power needs would require 2 million 1.8-MW wind turbines, on 99,000,000 acres (equal to California), if they generate electricity 25% of the year.

But the more turbines (or solar panels) we need, the more we have to put them in sub-optimal areas, where they might work 15% of the year. The more we install, the more they reduce wind flow for the others. And some of the best US wind zones are along the Canada-to-Texas flyway for migrating birds – which would mean massive, unsustainable slaughter of cranes, raptors, other birds and bats.

Go offshore, and even President Biden’s call for 30,000 MW of electricity (2,500 monster 12-MW turbines) wouldn’t meet New York State’s peak summertime electricity needs.

Biofuels and wood pellets. America already grows corn on an area larger than Iowa, to meet current ethanol quotas. Keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground lobbyists need to calculate how many acres of soybeans, canola and other biofuel crops would be needed to replace today’s petrochemical feed stocks; how much water, fertilizer, labor and fuel would be needed to grow harvest and process them; and how much acreage would have to be taken from food production or converted from bee and wildlife habitat.

Climate activists also approve of cutting down thousands of acres of North American hardwood forests – nearly 300,000,000 trees per year – and turning them into wood pellets, which are hauled by truck and cargo ship to England’s Drax Power Plant. There they are burned to generate electricity, so that the UK can “meet its renewable fuel targets.” And that’s just one “carbon-neutral” power plant. That’s one year to slash and burn the fuel, and fifty years to regrow replacement trees. This is not green, sustainable energy.

Organic farming. Environmentalists dream of converting all US (and even all global) agriculture to 100% organic. That would further reduce wildlife habitats – dramatically – especially if we are to simultaneously eliminate world hunger … and replace petrochemicals organically.

Organic farms require up to 30% more land to achieve the same yields as conventional agriculture, and most of the land needed to make that happen is now forests, wildflower fields and grasslands. Organic farmers (and consumers) also reject synthetic fertilizers, which means more land would have to be devoted to raising animals for their manure, unless human wastes are used. More lost wildlife habitat.

They reject modern chemical pesticides that prevent billions of tons of food from being eaten or ruined, but utilize toxic copper, sulfur and nicotine-based pesticides. They even reject biotechnology (genetic engineering) that creates crops that are blight-resistant, require less water, permit no-till farming, need fewer pesticide treatments, and bring much higher yields per acre. Translation: even less wildlife habitat

There are alternatives, of course. Government mandates and overseers could require that “average” American families live in 640-square-foot apartments, slash their energy use, ride only bicycles or public transportation, and fly only once every few years. They could also switch us to “no-obesity” diets.

Indeed, “scientists” are again saying we “common folks” could “reduce our carbon footprints” by eating less beef and chicken, and more insect protein, ground-up bugs – or roasted bumblebees. Or we could just reduce the number of “cancerous, parasitic” humans. (Perhaps beginning with wannabe overseers?)


Australia: It's time to vote for change from the Greenie paralysis

Viv Forbes

Politics has drifted a long way left since the days of Menzies and Fadden. Starting with Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Don Chipp, and Bob Brown, there has developed a monotonous uniformity in mainstream Australian politics.

Over the years, a green slime has infected all major parties – they now differ in details, but not in principle. This greening of politics has reached the stage when a politician like Malcolm Turnbull has trouble deciding whether to join the Greens, the ALP, or the Leafy-green Liberals.

The green revolution started with support for preserving cuddly wildlife, then progressed to ‘No-Dams’, ‘Lock-the Gate’, and ‘Save-the Reef’.

Then they added ‘global warming’ to their political agenda. When global temperatures did not obey their scary narrative, they changed to ‘climate alarm’ and added ‘wild weather’ to support their ‘kill coal, cars and cattle’ agenda. Then came Saint Greta and her Extinction Rebellion. All these scares were designed to panic people into supporting a deep-green anti-industry mindset. Even their ‘Build-Back-Better’ means ‘Build-Back-Green’.

Then the Covid scare created a Brave New World controlled by a National Cabinet armed with never-ending jabs and a lock-down/track-and-trace mentality. They have learned that most people can be locked down, spied upon, and rationed. Climate and energy lockdowns are now discussed behind green doors. There is now little difference in principle between Liberals, Labor, and Greens – they all promote emissions targets, climate alarm, and endless green slogans.

Bowing continually to United Nations dictates and constant ABC/Greens/Climate Council propaganda, their Net Zero policies have multiplied electricity costs, harmed processing and manufacturing industries while defacing our grasslands, farms, and forests with wind towers, solar ‘farms’, access tracks and spider webs of power lines that carry no power for much of the time. Now they propose to pollute our coastal waters with these unnecessary and unreliable industrial monstrosities.

It is time to vote for real change – use the power of preferential voting to break Liberal/Labor/Green Power by ranking all parties and candidates and put the greenest last.

Check out Topher Field on how to use Preferential Voting to get the best candidate elected:

Libs and ALP are both on the nose. It looks unlikely that either of them will hold a majority of seats. But if voters are not disciplined in how they vote, a bunch of deep greens posing as independents will grab seats and hold the balance of power. They will naturally support a radical Green/ALP coalition.

With thoughtful and disciplined behaviour at the ballot box (for both Senate and House of Reps) we can stop this green revolution.

First job – identify the worst candidates and parties. Preference them last on both House of Reps and Senate ballot papers when you vote.

The most dangerous candidates in this election are The Sneaky Greens – they pose as ‘independents’ but are being supported by climate crazy millionaires and, if elected, will reappear in their deep green uniforms. Unless you know better, put all ‘independents’, Climate 200, and GetUp! supported candidates last.

Have a look here and here to see what they plan.

Just above them put the declared Greens and their allies in the ALP. Then select all Liberals above all of the Green/ALP alliance.

Then focus on who should get your top votes. Choose your numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 etc candidates from the Freedom-Friendly-Minor-Parties giving preference to whoever you like from the parties below:

Campbell Newman, Topher Field, and the Liberal Democrats
Pauline Hanson, George Christensen, and the PHON Candidates
Clive Palmer, Craig Kelly, and United Australia Candidates
Bob Katter and Katter Australia Party
Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan, and National Party Candidates
Number every square all the way down to Unknowns and the climate crazy ‘independents’.

For the Senate (which may have a large complicated white ballot paper) it is safer and easier to number every square above the line, using the same party ranking rules as above.

It requires discipline to save Australia at this late stage.




No comments: