The Global Warming Policy Forum posted in October of this year an essay by Professor Gwythian Prins titled “Worm in the Rose.” Prins’ premise is that “net zero” is unachievable and destructive.
It is not often that I come across an essay than I like as well as the “Worm in the Rose. It is comprehensive and thus long. You will have missed a knowledgeable and comprehensive survey of “net zero” and Prins’ recommendations if you do not read the entire essay. Below, is a copy and paste of his “Summary of Main Points”. Those points should peak your interest.
“Summary of main points
• ‘Green growth’ is vitiated by six key fallacies. The pursuit of a ‘green energy transition’ is the first: there has not been and is not now such a transition. ‘Modern renewables’ (wind/solar/ geothermal/tidal/biomass for heat and electricity) were 2% of world total primary energy in 2018, so wind and solar are even less than that. All renewables (old and modern) were 13% of world total primary energy in 1971 and 13.8% in 2018. These percentages are stuck, for good reasons, explained in this paper.
• The Free World is attempting to force a back-to-front energy transition, which has no historical precedent. All previous transitions have been from low-quality to high-quality, from high- to low-entropy, from disordered to ordered sources of energy.
• ‘Net Zero’ is a ‘Veblen good’ – consumed for purposes of conspicuous consumption – doing self-harm to the Free World’s international competitiveness, because energy is not an optional variable but integral to the health of any economy. Virtue signalling is not cost free.
• However, executive powers in market economies are resorting to market distortion, by legal fiat and by all manner of taxpayer-provided subsidy, to force forward their preferred environmentally and economically flawed so-called ‘green’ technologies, which try and fail to extract reliable power from thin flows of high-entropy fuels and which do not offer goods or services that people wish freely to adopt and buy.
• The key market signal when environmental impact and sustainability are at issue is EROEI (energy return on energy invested). However, it is little used because it is shockingly bad or even negative for renewables.
• Renewables often have worse full-cycle environmental costs worse than fossil fuels, which have, in the free market, delivered spontaneous decarbonisation of around 1.3% per year since 1800. ‘Market failure’ is a risky and arrogant concept. Stop meddling.
• There is a security imperative too. We are in a darkening geo-political environment: Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist command group – which is not to be equated with all Chinese people – has launched a ‘grey war’ against us. Supporting and facilitating the Free World’s distractions with ‘Net Zero’, and promoting the wish-lists of the International Energy Agency and United Nations, helps that group to undermine us.
• Evidence points to China having no belief in nor intention of adopting the decarbonisation agenda. They will supply us with the means to adopt dead-end technologies such as BEVs (battery electric vehicles), but will concentrate on more reliable ones at home. They are playing us for fools.
• China is eagerly acquiring our key strategic technologies including, critically, geostrategically important motive power technologies, such as advanced diesels and jet engines. Thereby it seeks to supplant the West’s dominance of the world order. ‘Net Zero’ is self-destructive of that dominance.
• COP26 is set to fail like all 25 predecessors. The BRICS nations have already rejected the Net Zero agenda. Yet a golden bridge exists, which reconciles economic growth, environmental stewardship, and the security of the Free World. Crossing it will take us to the high-energy, low-pollution future that will be freely chosen in open markets and hence spontaneously adopted. It is a gas bridge to new types of nuclear power.
And of course, he is right, COP26 was a failure.
Click here to see the entire posting.