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Solving the shortage by prolonging it and vice versa

26 Oct 2022 | News Roundup

Frustrating as it is to concede, the fact that an attitude strikes us as stupid does not mean it is not widespread including among people who would pass an IQ test. As the BBC reports, Britain’s Labour Party is determined to meet the energy shortage by preventing fracking in the UK and some members of the governing Tory party are keen to help them do it, which sounds like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving to us. Meanwhile McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, seeking to burn more natural gas in order to burn less of it just sounds like turkeys. But again, the problem here isn’t the deviousness, it’s the sincerity.

Thus in covering the Ukraine war as a positive for the world’s energy future, Euronews.green insists that “Although some countries have quickly turned to fossil fuels to meet surging demand, rising prices have also made renewable energies like solar, wind and hydrothermal more competitive in the energy marketplace.” Which sounds like an admission that renewables are more expensive. And even still they’re not competitive at higher prices because they can’t provide reliable power when it is needed. And just as Margaret Thatcher famously said that “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money” so the problem with the energy transition is that you eventually run out of other people’s energy… and their money.

When we use the term “watermelons” to describe people who are green on the outside and red on the inside, we do not for one second mean to imply that their environmentalism is insincere, a rhetorical cover for a plot to expand government and restrict private choice and property. On the contrary, we draw attention to the fact that for a great many people, whatever crisis currently seems to be happening requires an enlightened elite to which they happen to belong to acquire sufficient power to save the hapless masses from themselves and from those who would mislead and betray them.

For those with a taste for political philosophy, we draw particular attention to Thomas Sowell’s lucid and profound monograph A Conflict of Visions on the intellectual predispositions that lead people to gravitate toward, or flee from, this approach. For the rest, we again repeat that the fact that most climate alarmists are also fans of big government isn’t proof of insincerity but on the contrary part of a coherent world-view or “ideology” (in the non-pejorative sense).

Now let’s go to those other turkeys, so to speak. We refer here to the people at McMaster who, we state without irony, must be fairly intelligent to be clustered at a significant university. But like many tools, intelligence is a blessing or a curse depending on the uses to which it is put. And to say that not everyone grasps basic economics, especially that it is not some social construct designed to oppress but a mapping of the laws of physics onto the study of human well-being, is an understatement.

Thus administrators at McMaster are, illustratively, planning to add four natural-gas generators if the city will allow it, in order to reduce GHG emissions by increasing them. Yes, you read that right. “McMaster’s Net Zero Carbon Roadmap states that using the generators will lower electricity costs at peak times, and eventually allow the university to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.” How? Ahh-bracadabra: “The Net Zero Carbon Roadmap states that although the goal is to reduce emissions by switching from natural gas to electricity, McMaster needs to reduce electricity costs in order to achieve those reductions.”

Does your head hurt yet? Are they saying gas is cheap so we should use it? No. They’re much more subtle. See:

“‘Much of the reduction of (greenhouse gas) emissions on the McMaster campus involves fuel switching from natural gas to electricity as an energy source. In order to achieve this transition without significant increases in utility costs, the campus needs to reduce the electrical rate it pays,’ the report states.”

Now does your head hurt? If so it won’t help to encounter this sort of deep thought from those opposed to the idea:

“McMaster University biology professor Jim Quinn chairs MacGreenInvest, a faculty group supporting fossil fuel divestment and green reinvestment by the institution. He said it will campaign against the generator project. Quinn said the group will point out ‘the hypocrisy of burning fracked gas to save money for green investments.’”

What has fracking to do with it? The issue isn’t where the gas came from, it’s the chemical reaction when you burn CH4. Though when others complained that the generators might be too noisy, we wanted Quinn to come back.

4 comments on “Solving the shortage by prolonging it and vice versa”

  1. Here in the UK the new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, seems to have just recanted on his short-lived predecessor to allow fracking for gas. Apparently "earthquakes" as strong as a passing lorry have so terrified the population with worries about their houses falling down or flames coming out of their taps that they would rather not have lower gas prices and better energy security.

  2. Hard to believe that the administrators at McMaster would actually say that electricity is an energy source.
    I can see why you're a bit out of sorts this week.

  3. In plainer words, McMaster is perpetrating a hoax. They know their plan will increase GHG emissions, but they pretend they are doing it to reduce GHG emissions, because that is what gets brownie points in today's academic world. Call a spade a spade, and a hoax a hoax. Stop being so pusillanimous.

  4. Yes, indeed...you would think that an academic would understand that natural gas is a source of energy, while electricity is only a means of energy trasmission generated elsewhere, just like Hydrogen is a sort of battery, which you charge with a source of energy, then burn to get back some of the energy you put in...

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