BBC Climate Change: Ukraine War Prompts Fossil Fuel “Gold Rush”

Spread the love

Essay by Eric Worrall

Almost like decades of effort and billions of dollars invested in renewables have done nothing to reduce global dependence on fossil fuel.

Climate change: Ukraine war prompts fossil fuel ‘gold rush’ – report

By Jonah Fisher
BBC Environment Correspondent

The world is witnessing a “gold rush” for new fossil fuel projects, according to a new report by leading climate change researchers. 

Soaring energy prices spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have led to new investment in oil and gas.

A report by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) says the world risks being locked into “irreversible warming”.

“There seems to be really a gold rush for new fossil fuel infrastructure,” Professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute, a CAT partner, told BBC News. 

“Supposedly it helps with short-term energy supply, but new infrastructure once it’s built will be there for decades and we will definitely miss the climate targets,” he said.

In the UK, regulators last week approved the development of a gas field in the North Sea, east of Aberdeen, which has the potential to produce 6.5% of Britain’s gas output. Shell’s proposals for the Jackdaw field were initially rejected on environmental grounds in October last year and approval came as the UK government seeks to boost domestic energy output.

We’re turbocharging renewables and nuclear, but we are also realistic about our energy needs now,” UK Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng posted at the time on Twitter. “Let’s source more of the gas we need from British waters to protect energy security.”

Read more:

“… new infrastructure once it’s built will be there for decades …” – I’ve seen this argument before.

The new infrastructure argument could be the driving force behind Biden’s attack on fossil fuel.

When I first saw Biden predictably attacking US domestic fossil fuel production, my first response was a Google search to see if Hunter Biden had scored any new foreign petroleum directorships.

However, lately I’ve come to believe that Biden or whoever is pulling his strings actually believes in the imminent green energy transition. They seem to genuinely believe that once they burned down all the US fossil fuel infrastructure, the new renewable energy age will arise like a phoenix from the ashes of the old world, to propel us into the glorious green energy tomorrow.

Never mind that every previous historical energy transition occurred rapidly without government intervention – the green transition is special, and needs nurturing and protection to bloom into its full potential.

Most of the national leaders who seem to embrace this utopian green fantasy probably couldn’t change an automobile tire, in terms of their personal engineering abilities, their ability to evaluate the issues for themselves.

But I’ve noticed many times in my life that people who have no idea about engineering tend to treat it as a magic black box. This works to an extent, so long as the engineering dyslexics listen to their engineers, but the moment they stop listening, they often start treating the people who are expected to implement their vision as an impediment, if they say anything which seems less than positive.

I suspect we are well into the not listening phase when it comes to renewable energy. And we all know what happens when the king starts shooting all the messengers who bear bad news.

Having said that there are some small signs of hope. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still totally sold on the utopian green energy fantasy, but voter fury and a leadership challenge seem to be waking him up to the reality that the green transition is taking a little longer than advocates like him thought it would.

Bojo is still spending big on renewables – but he is also softening up, ever so slightly, on allowing the development of UK energy sources, like the Jackdaw field in the North Sea.

Biden not so much.

via Watts Up With That?

June 11, 2022