Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mike Hosking: Like it or not, the world is still using fossil fuels


Another example of theory vs reality is playing out in front of our eyes. 

One of my favourite quotes of the week came from the head of a company called JBC Energy. He was commenting on the gas prices that are gripping Europe at the moment. 

Europe's green transition "has been management by chaos," he said. 

It’s a multi-layered mess. But the essence of what is going on globally right now in terms of material that makes the world run, like fuel, is the simple inability of various players to promise one thing while delivering another. 

Most have decided being carbon neutral is worth the exercise. Places like New Zealand have committed to being carbon zero by 2050. Just this week the Government has put out another of their famous discussion documents, seeking ideas as to how we might do this. 

I note Greenpeace calls it meaningless waffle. 

Australia is trying to sort out exactly what they are going to promise. Scott Morrison's Liberals are trying to get the rural led National Party across the line, given they are the party of farms and coal mines. 

COP26 is but weeks away, and really the whole thing is a mess. It's a mess to start with given none of the previous promises have been met. Not the Kyoto promises or the Paris promises. What makes COP26 worse is that good intention has run smack bang head on into reality. 

China, who is pledging to be carbon zero by 2060, has just told the Mongolian coal industry to extract like they have never extracted. They have ordered local governments to secure fuel at whatever cost. They can't keep their factories open. 

The world is realising that promising clean energy is one thing, actually doing it is another. 

Scott Morrison back in Australia has never sold more coal and the price has never been higher. Even this country is importing coal at record levels, because hydro doesn’t cut it, and we don't have a clean backup. 

The world either wants to work and produce things, or it doesn’t. It has decided it does. So, an open factory beats an empty promise. Always has, always will. 

There's nothing wrong with clean energy. We just haven't cracked that nut to a level where our lifestyle and expectation sits happily alongside how we produce it. 

Maybe the first step at COP26 or any of the other alarmist gatherings is to, at least, be honest. 

Love to do more, but right now not possible. That's your cold hard fossil fuelled reality.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.


DeeM said...

The truth is you can't run modern societies largely on unreliables...sorry, renewables.
They don't work all the time and they're inflexible to demand. They also cost a lot more than conventional fossil fuel generation and take up massive amounts of land and are entirely reliant on oil and coal, as well as iron ore, cement, heavy metals and rare-earth metals for their manufacture.
The World can't make enough batteries to store power from these sources for more than a day or so.

That's the reality, but most governments, including our bunch of woke muppets, and the UN refuse to accept it and continue to chase their "green" pipe-dream!

Doug Longmire said...

Dee, you have said it for me !!
It is a simple fact that all of benefits of modern industrial civilisation are based upon large supplies of affordable energy.
Currently - like it or not - that energy comes from "fossil fuels"
Do away with fossil fuels mean reducing human existence to a medieval standard of living.

As an aside - the IPCC has a track record of predicting apocalypse and doom, all caused by unceasing CO2 levels. These predictions never come true. (Remember the IPCC official prediction in 2005 that there would be "50 million climate refugees" by 2010? It never occurred. The was not ONE climate refugee.)

In fact, historically, our planet has for most of it's existence had CO2 levels 10 to 20 times higher than now. We are in a non-typical Ice Age, and in a situation of CO2 starvation.

Jigsaw said...

It has to happen eventually-sometime in New Zealand -the absurd ideas of the Greens have to come into direct competition with reality. Even with control of the media its impossible to hide the vast contradiction of having a climate emergency and burning a record amount of imported coal because nature will not play ball and provide more rain.
Jimmy can do and say what he likes in Glascow but he will still be mugged by reality eventually. Meanwhile China having handicapped the rest of world plans to surge forward.