America's Hydrocarbon Shield
In the scheme of things, human beings are fragile. Out in the cold, cruel world we would die. Many believe the earth was created, then plants and animals, and finally humankind. The earth was then gifted to mankind by the Creator with the requirement to be a good steward of the gift. Others believe the earth and everything else just happened. It doesn’t really matter which belief you have — if you ignore individual spirituality and the hereafter. So, let’s consider the Earth. It is a hostile environment for living things, period.
In his new book, Fossil Future, Alex Epstein provides sound counter arguments to those professing that humanity is a blight on the planet and that our use of fossil fuels is a major contributing factor. Their philosophy is anti-human. According to Epstein, our Knowledge System has been corrupted to conform with this foolishness. The supposed “experts” want to eliminate any source of energy beneficial to humankind, not just fossil fuels. Very foolish people have been elevated to positions of high acclaim with nonsensical claims that we must “go green, minimize our environmental impact, and save the planet.” (Epstein, 2022, p. 81)
Their ultimate goal is to reduce the impact of humanity on Earth by eliminating humanity. “Saving the Planet” is just sugar-coating the ultimate goal without telling the “frog in the pot” that they are planning to alter its environment by turning up the heat. Now that would work if they did it gradually, but that’s not the plan. The plan is to be “net zero” by 2050, perhaps sooner. But it doesn’t include increasing nuclear, hydroelectric or even solar panels and wind farms. To this anti-human faction, all energy that helps humans is bad. They have shown that philosophy time after time. But the public is way past the point of discernment and appears willing to commit suicide.
Perhaps a dose of reality would help. In Fossil Future, Alex Epstein provides Figure 4.1 The Hydrocarbons and Human Flourishing Hockey Sticks on page 118. The data is from The Gilfillan, Marland, Boden, Andrea (2020) World Bank Data; Maddison Project Database. It is clear from those graphs that increases in CO2 emissions correlate with an immense improvement in the human condition. Of course, the actual correlation is the use of fossil fuels as a major component of industrialization. With apologies to Alex and the World Bank, my simplistic view of this data is presented in the following figure:
Planet Earth is not habitable for many species including humans. To survive each species must develop countermeasures to contend with Nature’s continuous autoimmune response to living things, in particular human living things. A countermeasure takes time and energy to produce. This can be explained by just examining what it takes to provide a sufficient amount of food to not just survive, but to have a sufficient surplus to help others and free up time for other productive work. It is this free time to think and innovate that advances civilization. Humans can barely survive without the help of machines to speed up production or provide the machine strength that is beyond the capabilities of the human body, or even the capabilities of that body augmented with animal power (horses, oxen etc.) And machines require low-cost, available and reliable energy sources.
When I wrote Why the Green New Deal is a Bad Deal for America, I predicted that this Al Gore-derived/AOC insanity would lead to rapidly increasing energy costs starting with gasoline and diesel. This would be followed by increased food and commodity costs, then shortages of staples, reduced travel and rampant inflation. I thought there was little chance this absurd policy would take hold with rational government leadership. My belief was that Common Sense would prevail. I was wrong about that. But I am not wrong about the stupidity of this “Saving the Planet” garbage.
There are many “experts” calling for de-carbonization and carbon taxes. Banks are following Environmental Social Governance rules to eliminate capital investment in petroleum exploration, production and refining. At the same time coal and nuclear power plants are being shut down and hydroelectric projects are on the chopping block. So where is the electricity to power the Nation going to come from?
Consider the fact that CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a necessary component of the natural processes of life. It isn’t Carbon, it is Carbon Dioxide so even “de-carbonization” is a stupid term. These experts think that increasing fossil fuel prices with carbon taxes will reduce fossil fuel consumption. It won’t. The consumption will just take place in China, India and developing nations.
We must continue to use fossil fuels or return to a pre-Industrial era type of low-quality existence, or worse. And that’s about all I have to say about that.