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Reality Cannot Penetrate Into The Fantasy World Of Climate Campaigners

It was only a few weeks ago when the UN’s International Energy Agency issued its Report on “CO2 Emissions in 2021.” (The Report does not bear a precise date, but only “March 2022.”) I covered the IEA’s Report in my previous post a few days ago. The Report gives detail as to the obvious fact that world CO2 emissions, after a downward blip in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, have resumed their rapid increase, mostly attributable to massive deployment of coal-fired electricity generation resources in large-population developing countries like China and India.

In any rational world, this Report would have to have dashed any remaining dreams of climate campaigners that overall world CO2 emissions would see anything but large ongoing increases for the foreseeable future. The climate-obsessed jurisdictions in the U.S. and Europe already represent only a shrinking minority of world energy consumption, headed for insignificance as the large-population countries of the developing world join the fossil fuel age. For example, why would a small-population jurisdiction like New York — with about 20 million people, compared to about 2.8 billion for the combination of China and India, and with existing fossil-fuel electricity generation capacity of about 25 GW — struggle to reduce its fossil-fueled electricity generation by, say, one GW per year, when China alone is adding 38 GW of coal-fired power plants this year, and another 47 GW next year, with hundreds more gigawatts worth of coal plants already in the pipeline?

The answer is that reality just can’t penetrate into the fantasy world of the climate campaigners.

To prove my point, another UN agency, the IPCC, came out just yesterday with its own Report with the title “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change.” This is the output of the IPCC’s so-called Working Group III, the portion of the “AR6” assessment report that deals with “mitigation” strategies. In the aggregate, this new Report has some 3000 pages. For those without the tolerance to wade through that kind of volume, here is the Summary for Policy Makers; and here is the press release; and here is a piece over at Bloomberg titled “Five Takeaways from the UN’s Latest 3,000-Page Climate Report.”

Let’s start with the press release. The headline is “The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030.” A few pithy excerpts:

Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach. However, there is increasing evidence of climate action, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today. . . . “We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.

OK guys, how exactly are you going to “halve emissions by 2030” with China going all-out to build new coal plants on a scale far beyond anything the world has ever seen, and India (with population almost as large as China) not far behind, and the rest of Asia and all of Africa waiting in the wings? You will not find the answer. Go through the press release and the SPM and all you find is studious avoidance of any mention of the development plans of places like China and India. Even the names “China” and “India” appear to be on some kind of taboo list. For example, here from the SPM is a chart of total world GHG emission since 1990:

Eastern Asia? I wonder who that could be.

As you would expect from these people, there is the usual assertion, based on the completely deceptive “levelized costs,” that wind and solar electricity generation are now as cheap or cheaper than generation by fossil fuels. Four “renewable” technologies are considered: onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaic, and concentrated solar. From page 14 of the SPM:

In 2020, the levelised costs of energy (LCOE) of the four renewable energy technologies could compete with fossil fuels in many places. . . . LCOE . . . includes installation, capital, operations, and maintenance costs per MWh of electricity produced. The literature uses LCOE because it allows consistent comparisons of cost trends across a diverse set of energy technologies to be made.

The SPM does mention that LCOE “does not include grid integration costs,” but fails to note that those are almost certainly a large multiple of what is included in the LCOE measure.

So perhaps you might think, this can’t possibly be fooling anybody. If so, you are not understanding the depths of ignorance and incompetence that pervade our governing class here in New York. As I previously reported back in December, our City Council had just passed a new local law banning any new building from using natural gas for heat or cooking starting in 2024 for smaller buildings and 2027 for larger. That was just the City, but now the entire State wants to get in on the game. From Reuters yesterday:

New York Governor Kathy Hochul will soon release a budget that likely will include a plan to make New York the first state to ban natural gas and other fossil fuels in new construction, according to Food & Water Watch and other environmental groups. . . . In her State of the State address in January, Hochul committed to “zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction no later than 2027.”

I can’t wait until the people finally catch on to what their betters have in store for them.