See Comments down arrow

More fantasies up in smoke

04 Oct 2023 | OP ED Watch

A piece from Reuters complains that “Asia’s coal sector has gone from thinking they are in terminal decline as the world shifts to a net-zero carbon future to seeing themselves as being a part of the energy mix for decades to come, while raking in profits.” And note the peculiar mix of hard news, the stuff about burning coal, with the ritual “as the world shifts to a net-zero carbon future” for which there is literally no evidence whatsoever. It is surely significant that while those with no responsibility for actual power delivery portray a world where alternative fuels leap from triumph to triumph, those who produce the stuff are leaning heavily on hydrocarbons.

We realize, of course, that it might be a path fraught with peril. But things are what they are for good or ill. And the point here is that having told us the “energy transition” would be easy, the activists are still not admitting it’s hard and asking us to make sacrifices (like the French government plan to make flying too expensive for the proles.) Instead they’re retreating into wish fulfilment and angry fulminations against “neoliberalism and technocracy”. It’s no way to debate policy.

Heatmap Daily, for instance, insists that in the International Energy Agency’s update of its 2021 bombshell roadmap to Net Zero by 2050:

“One of the most hopeful takeaways from the report is that two key clean technologies — solar installations and electric vehicle adoptions — are already being deployed at a pace in line with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Not only are they on track today, but companies’ plans to expand their manufacturing capacity for EVs and solar would enable us to deploy about 30% more than the IEA’s roadmap requires. This is huge, since those two technologies alone are responsible for about 30% of emission reductions between now and 2030 in the roadmap. The report also highlights rapid growth in two other key, mass-manufactured technologies — heat pumps and energy storage for the electric grid.”

So why all the coal, oil and natural gas? And why so many stories about alternative energy being “profitable” only by gaming the system and companies going “green” only by bellying up to the subsidy trough? And items like this one from Power Technology:

“Report: majority of carbon offset projects globally are ‘likely junk’/ Analysis found that 39, or 78%, of the 50 environmental projects were categorised as ‘likely junk or worthless’ due to one or more ‘fundamental failing’.”

And why story after story of governments backing away from blithe Net Zero commitments, to the point that even Reuters “Sustainable Switch” emailed “Europe’s ‘greenlash’ spreads” about an article on how “the growing pushback against climate policies has gained momentum this month inside and outside the EU”? Yet Canary Media chirps:

“California takes big first step toward floating offshore wind/ The Golden State’s zero-carbon future depends in part on offshore wind. A new bill would let the state kick-start the sector by serving as an anchor customer.”

Not only that dazzling prospect. Another Canary Media piece hails:

“New plan aims to quadruple heat-pump adoption in 25 states/ The pledge, which covers 55% of the population, calls for accelerating home decarbonization by deploying 20 million heat pumps by 2030.”

And “Some utilities and fossil-fuel interests like to say heat pumps don’t work in the cold. A new study provides yet more evidence to debunk that myth.”

Boo fossil-fuel interests and their myths. Where they live, “Sorry, California and Texas! Florida zoomed to the No. 1 spot for solar installations in the first half of 2023, despite a decidedly mixed policy landscape.”

It really is as though they’re on another planet.

Possibly Camazotz, because faux collectivism is also a regrettable part of the alarmist case, especially nowadays. They have been hallucinating a 97% consensus, or even 99% for decades. But now we get headlines like this one from USA Today: “Many US schools aren’t teaching about climate change. Students aren’t happy about that”.

Students. Not “some students” or “the kind of students we interview”. No indeed. Instead:

“Today’s children and young adults care more about climate change than they do most issues as temperatures have reached record highs and the number of weather-related disasters continues to rise. Yet research suggests the learning materials students are consuming in school have in some cases muted their coverage of climate change. Students told USA TODAY treatment of the issue has remained limited in schools even as their demands for such education have grown.”

Here we are tempted to interject that people who go to school already thinking they know everything, and demanding that teachers and professors limit their material to telling them they are right, are famously obnoxious and conceited or once were. There’s a reason the term for someone in second year, “sophomore”, comes from the Greek for “wise fool” and why juvenile arrogance is called “sophomoric”. But in any case, who are these people?

Yup. You guessed it. The story immediately continues:

“‘Everything I learned about climate change was self-taught,’ said Amara Ifeji, 21, now a senior at Northeastern University in Boston and an environmental justice advocate.”

As for balance, hoo hah says USA Today. Instead:

“At a time when schools are struggling to recover from pandemic-era losses, why not incorporate into lessons an issue that students care about deeply? Climate change, advocates argue, is also an existential threat to the life quality and livelihoods of students today. A 2021 study of thousands of young people in nearly a dozen countries found that the majority feel sadness, anxiety, anger and guilt about climate change. Research shows a correlation between climate change education and a future reduction in carbon emissions.”

So someone’s teaching these kids they’re all going to die and it will serve them right. Yes folks, not just sadness, anxiety and anger but also guilt. Just what young people need to help them rebound from COVID lockdowns and two fractured years of schooling. Not mathematics, literature and logic but indoctrination into trendy doom and gloom.

As for dissenting views, as in the kind of sensible fact-based material we try to produce here at CDN that could replace the “sadness, anxiety, anger and guilt” with, say, understanding, perspective and reasoned optimism, forget it. Instead the piece assures us that “Observers say the kind of education some proposals are trying to restrict is precisely what students need to promote a healthy planet moving forward.”

So this time it’s not “experts say” it’s just “observers say” but either way there’s no debate. Just lines like “Limited professional development is another major challenge, said Carolyn McGrath, an art teacher in New Jersey who incorporates climate justice education into her classes.”

Hey. We thought you said they weren’t teaching it in schools. Mind you the author of this piece has a “B.S. in journalism and B.A. in Latin American studies, Journalism” from Boston University. So technically she’s not an expert in education or climate.

4 comments on “More fantasies up in smoke”

  1. Somebody needs to tell those wonks that heat pumps are not a particularly great way to heat a building. When the mercury is down below 0°C there isn't all that much heat to be pumped - even in Texas! I remember a time in Lubbock, Texas in November of 1972 when the HIGH TEMPERATURE OF THE WEEK was 17°F (-8°C)! Not a lot of heat at -8°C. I can also recall working outside in Kansas with a still air temperature of -30°F (-34°C) and a wind chill of -60°F (-51°C)! Heat pumps DO NOT WORK at such temperatures! I hate to think what having to heat a house with a heat pump would be like in Northern Maine or the north shore of the upper Peninsula of Michigan! BRRRRR!! We have a heat pump and it isn't really worth a damn when it really gets cold. Yes, heat pumps are more efficient than resistance heating but resistance coils don't care how cold it is outside!

    I live in South Texas and they're predicting a cold winter. We are stocking up on gas bottles for my camp stove and a small gas grill for when the Texas grid bottoms out like it did in '21. I figure to subsist on canned soup/chili and ramen during the blackouts. The wife and I have sweats and wool socks to stay warm. Plus our home is well insulated so that will help.

  2. You're missing the point, heat pumps will be needed to cool an overheated planet. If the oceans are boiling, it stand to reason, it will be uncomfortably hot inland.

  3. @Chris Talbot,stop with the "oceans are boiling" alarmist lie already!You sound like UN SecGen Guterres.The oceans are not going to boil.And you have a first-hand account above on how well heat pumps DON'T work in extreme cold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *