Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Biden Energy Policy Calamity

Today we take a quick foray into the strange world of energy policy. For the cognoscenti that means-- we are going to see how the Biden administration is going to declare war on the climate. Like the Obama administration before it, and like the perpetual mewling of serious executives and tech oligarchs, the oncoming Biden administration will never go to war against, for example, radical Islam and it will never set out to compete against China, but it has found its true enemy in-- the weather.

It’s a way of showing that being loyal to America’s national interest is for nothing when compared to one’s wish to be a citizen of the world-- even to save the world. From what, you ask: from predatory global capitalist patriarchy, or some such.

Our guide for today’s journey is one Francis Menton, proprietor of the Manhattan Contrarian blog. (via Maggie’s Farm) Menton is an excellent guide through the thicket of climate change hysteria.

The Biden plan, Menton explains, take direct aim at carbon emissions. Don't we agree that carbon emissions, especially from America, are the biggest problem the world faces.

Unfortunately, the reasoning behind this hatred is lame, at the least:

Even if you believe that human CO2 emissions are having a catastrophic effect on the climate (they aren’t), and even if you believe that the U.S. can somehow achieve drastic reductions in its piece of those emissions (it can’t), the fact remains that the U.S. provides only about 14% of world emissions.

Meanwhile, ongoing increases in emissions from developing countries will continue to swamp any modest decreases that the U.S. might hope to achieve. Since the generally-used base year of 1990, while U.S. and European CO2 emissions have remained steady or declined modestly, global emissions have gone from about 22 Gt to 38Gt per year. 

Those huge increases come from the developing world, and global emissions are going to go right on increasing as places like China, India and Africa bring electricity, air conditioning and automobiles to their citizens. If you think that those places agreed in the Paris Agreement to reduce their emissions, you are wrong — they did not; nor did they agree to stop ongoing increases.

Apparently, the woke intellectuals who constitute our intelligentsia have nothing to say about developing world carbon emissions. They hate America and they hate the West. Besides, they want to return to a state of nature, a pristine condition of paradisal bliss that existed before the Industrial Revolution.

One can be forgiven for believing that the current climate change hysteria is a form of economic suicide, mounted in the West by our very own fifth columnists.

Next, Menton quotes one Tilak Doshi, regarding the push for renewable energy-- that is clean energy. The planet, by these lights, needs one giant cleanse. The Biden group is ready to do it.

Doshi writes:

The . . . Biden Plan . . . includes banning fracking in federal lands and waters, denying federal permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, and ensuring 100% clean renewable energy by 2035 in electricity generation, buildings, and transportation.

But, how realistic is this push toward renewables:

We’re well more than fifteen years — more like forty years — into the project of heavily subsidizing wind and solar to generate electricity, and after all that time and effort, those sources are up to providing us with about 9% of our electricity as of 2019. Even that 9% only works because there is 100% fossil fuel (or nuclear) backup at all times. And as of today, almost none of the energy for our transportation sector, and almost none of building heat, or our energy for industry or agriculture, comes from wind or solar via electricity. Are we about to embark on a crash program of shuttering our hundreds of perfectly good, functioning, non-obsolete, cheap fossil-fuel electricity plants and replacing them with thousands of heavily-subsidized wind turbines and solar panels that only provide electricity part time? I have my doubts that Biden can accomplish much of this at all. But don’t forget that this is the strategy that has gotten Germany to electricity rates about triple ours with very modest reductions in CO2 emissions.

Obviously, this has nothing to do with providing energy. It's about punishing people with rolling blackouts. It’s about feeling clean and virtuous-- morally, speaking. You would think it was a religion.

When it comes to pipelines, Menton explains the unintended consequences of this nonsense:

Then there is the prospect of a Biden administration blocking fossil fuel infrastructure projects, such as pipelines. Doshi:

[A] politicized Environmental Protection Agency under Biden would block oil and gas pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure by enabling activists to launch interminable legal suits as in the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

I guess any new fracked wells will just have to send their product to market by rail. It costs more and is more dangerous, but hey, Biden is blocking the pipelines.

And then there is the famous Paris Climate Accord. The Trump administration walked away from it. Biden will obviously embrace it. It will damage the American economy while having no effect on developing economies. Virtue signaling, anyone?

The agreement commits the U.S. to shackle its economy be making substantial cuts to CO2 emissions within a few years, while committing developing countries like China and India to absolutely nothing. The agreement also commits the U.S. to contributing tens of billions of dollars annually to some kind of climate fund for third world kleptocrats that in reality has nothing to do with climate and everything to do with kleptocracy. No one with any degree of competence could possibly agree to this on behalf of the U.S., but remember, this is Joe Biden. I suppose we could just join the agreement and then fail to meet our promised emissions targets. That is what the Europeans are in the process of doing. But Biden seems to take this seriously. If so, massive damage can be done.

Menton concludes:

Now, it seems that we are shortly to have a President and a bureaucracy firmly committed to impoverishing the American people and undermining their security by making energy less available and driving up its price. And all to accomplish absolutely nothing.

Have a nice day!


trigger warning said...

Shortly after The Lightworker Administration blocked the Keystone pipeline, I bought shares in Canadian Pacific (a rolling pipeline). It's done well.

"Thanks, Obama!"
--- Barack Obama

Globally, the majority of "renewable" electricity generation is, and has always been, hydropower (https://bit.ly/2ILfpo5). That's why they're tearing down the dams (https://abcn.ws/2IKg9ts). Cheap, abundant power simply feeds the hordes of deplorable, xenophobic, bitter clingers.

No Malarkey Joe sez, "welcome to the Hotel California". If you don't like it, you're a dog-faced pony soldier.

Sam L. said...

Well, you know, the Climate has been changing ever since our planet has had an atmosphere...

whitney said...

In Orwells 1984, the inner party realizes that technological progress is going to raise everyone standard of living so much that it will be impossible for the new aristocracy to retain power so all technological progress is retarded except for the war effort because that can be used to spend the surplus of goods and people. Orwell was wrong about a lot of things but that is ringing true. Also, his definition of the new aristocracy is practically identical to the Managerial Elite and would make James Burnham or Sam Francis proud.

"The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government"

370H55V said...

And yet, he got 78 million votes (even discounting for the fraud perpetrated) vs. 73 million for Trump. The American people CHOSE this, and they deserve to get it good and hard.

David Foster said...

Increasing energy prices doesn't *only* impact family budgets; it also harms the competitiveness of those industries which use a lot of energy. Which is quite a lot of industries.

So, a Biden energy policy could help prove the 'truth' of those who have said a major revival of American manufacturing is impossible.


Lowghost said...

Every year around New Year's I snorkel over the same coral head in the Bahamas. I've been doing that for 34 years. It was once very alive. It is now very dead. They call it coral bleaching.

If care to watch some coral die, it has been captured here with time-lapse cameras: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGGBGcjdjXA

Anonymous said...

"They call it coral bleaching."

"They"? They who?

whitney said...

I couldn't get past hearing Eeyore read that comment

David Foster said...

Anyone who is really concerned about CO2 worldwide should be supporting nuclear power, with the US taking the lead in building modular reactors which can be used in other countries as well as here.

France generates about 70% of their electricity from nuclear, and has done so for many years, *safely*. Maybe we need to import some French nuclear regulators to replace our current crew?

trigger warning said...

If it were actually about carbon, David, they would be.

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution."
--- Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change

It's not about either carbon or the weather.

Carbon is a miraculous element. The largest subfield of chemistry is wholly devoted to carbon chemistry. It's called organic chemistry.