Beware — the death of fossil fuels will kill everything

Forging the base ring for a giant wind turbine in a Spanish foundry. That’s a giant ingot of tool steel. Memo to Greens: The manufacturing required to produce your wind turbines cannot be done with wind turbines. It needs mining, drilling, smelting and milling, all of which depend on coal, oil and gas, but if we stop looking for that stuff it will run out.

Dr John Constable, Energy Editor of the Global Warming Policy Forum, took part in a debate at the Financial Times Energy Transitions Summit, opposing the motion that “Fossil Fuels are Doomed”. He did not succeed, but nevertheless gave an extraordinary new view of the symbiotic relationship between the fossil fuels our society now depends on and the renewable fuels we aspire to. He urges caution in mandating a too-rapid renunciation of fossil fuels, going as far as to argue that they actually create the renewable forms of energy — and proves it. Here’s his full speech, from the GWPF. – RT

Energy transitions are intrinsically slow and the incoming energy system is necessarily and unavoidably created by the previous one.

Think of the history. The transition from the organically fuelled economy of the late Medieval period to the mineral based economy of the twentieth century took something like five hundred years in Europe and North America, and even today has not yet reached the whole world. Continue Reading →

What do Greens love to use but hate to see?

Oil!

Russell Norman

Russell Norman, soon to be ex-co-leader of the Green Party. Ah well, never mind.

Russell Norman told me in the Greens newsletter today: “John Key and National aren’t listening to New Zealanders, and what’s worse they are putting Maui’s dolphins at risk of extinction.”

He was talking about the Government’s decision to offer more oil exploration blocks. The connection, of course, is the fairly low possibility of accidental spills from oil drilling, production or transport. In any other industry, they’re happy to put safety regulations in place. For oil drilling, even just exploring, nothing is safe enough.

The Greens love to use it, hate to see it.

You’d think BP or Anadarko want to spend millions to get at it just to spill the stuff and lose it. Continue Reading →

Denmark fools with fuels

Denmark

Our youth unoils us

The youths in Generation Zero have heard about Denmark’s tremulous venture into 100% nuclear- and fossil-fuel-free power generation and want it for New Zealand.

So who is Generation Zero? Their web site asserts they are “a youth-led organisation, founded with the central purpose of providing solutions for New Zealand to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities & independence from fossil fuels. We can power our homes, our industries and our economy with clean safe energy. We can build more liveable cities with greater housing and transport choices to attract the best and brightest to New Zealand. We can move beyond fossil fuels and create a safer and healthier nation by doing so.”

Their motto is striking, if enigmatic: “a future that’s not shit.” Now, I know that might sound, to some, a despondent note (and perhaps sets our national goal a wee bit short), but it surely proclaims a young elite—intellectual and well-educated, not to mention professional in engaging across the generations. Continue Reading →