The purpose of United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) gatherings, like the one taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt November 7-18, is supposedly to “save the planet” from a “climate crisis” caused by “wealthy fossil-fuel-burning nations.”
But after years of jet-setting around the globe, it’s safe to say these conferences have become a laughingstock.
OK, so maybe COP-21 in Paris was sort of a high point. It was there that every nation on Earth signed a “legally binding” agreement to slash fossil fuel use – which they believed would limit global warming to 2.0 or even 1.5 degrees Celsius. They convinced themselves this could be done by controlling “greenhouse gas” emissions that somehow replaced natural forces that caused past climate changes.
In reality, however, it achieved nothing. How could it? Many greenhouse-gas-belching countries, like China and India, were given a pass in the agreement, while many poor countries simply signed onboard because rich countries promised them $100 billion annually for climate change reparations, adaptation and “alternative energy.”
Expect COP-27 in Sharm El-Sheikh to produce more of the same. The UN conference does, however, present some major dilemmas for climateers.
Holding it in the northeastern corner of Africa will dramatically underscore how desperately energy-deprived Africa needs oil, gas and coal to reduce poverty and disease; how close the continent is to the petroleum-rich Middle East; how Africa itself is endowed with abundant, untapped fossil fuel resources; and how its development has been stymied by rich countries that finance only wind and solar projects.
Poor countries are determined to realize their God-given rights to develop, as much as long-wealthy nations have, as much as China has, using fossil fuels, until other energy sources are proven to work just as well
The looming COP-27 dilemmas also result from decades-long hype about climate cataclysms and an “urgent need” to “reset” the world’s energy, economic and social foundations, to bring about “a fairer, more sustainable, more resilient, climate friendly future.”
This year, European and other countries are finally realizing that they still need fossil fuel energy – that wind and solar are too expensive and unreliable to power modern economies, preserve jobs, and keep people warm during frigid winters. Russia’s war on Ukraine has driven this home dramatically.
So, Europe wants to switch from Russia to Africa for oil, gas and maybe coal – while still refusing to finance fossil fuel projects for Africa’s own needs and telling Africa to rely on wind and solar.
Rich countries are also saying they cannot afford to give poor African, Asian and Latin American countries $100 billion per year that they’d promised in Paris – much less the $1.3 trillion per year that poor countries are now demanding.
In fact, rich countries are starting to realize they won’t be rich much longer, unless they keep using fossil fuels, which they aren’t willing to produce at home – but are happy to import. Meanwhile, China is saying it will begin reducing its fossil fuel use and emissions only when it makes sense to do so, perhaps decades from now. India and other countries have expressed similar positions.
How can rich countries say “No” to paying trillions – if they caused a climate apocalypse?
But how can they say “Yes”, if they are no longer rich? If the climate hysteria they launched has resulted in policies that are destroying the abundant, reliable, affordable energy that made them wealthy – and forcing them to “deindustrialize,” eliminate millions of jobs, slash their economic growth and living standards, and leave their citizens freezing jobless in the dark?
Put another way, rich nations are being hoisted by their own petard – their economies are being blown up by the very policies they’ve imposed on themselves and want to impose on the rest of the world.
They’re destroying the energy systems that made them prosperous, with nothing in the foreseeable future to replace the coal, gas and nuclear power plants they are literally and figuratively blowing up.
It’s time for honest soul-searching. The only “Great Reset” the world needs now is one that rethinks the dominant Doomsday climate narrative. The world urgently needs to recognize:
* There is no climate crisis. What we are experiencing today is little different from climate fluctuations throughout Earth’s history – including the Ice Ages, Little Ice Age, and Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.
* Computer models cannot possibly reflect all the forces that govern climate and weather.
* There is no scientific basis for eradicating fossil fuels and trying to sustain economies and living standards with millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of battery modules, thousands of miles of new transmission lines, and countless other technologies – all of which would require mining, materials processing, manufacturing and installations at scales unprecedented in human history – with horrendous environmental and human rights consequences at every stage.
This is the Great Reset message that needs to be driven home – loudly, forcefully and repeatedly – in Sharm El-Sheikh over the next two weeks.
Free market think tanks will be there, including ours, working hard to achieve that. Let’s hope more than a few countries will be listening to our message, and that it rises above the sound of clinking champagne glasses and roar of private jets.
This article originally appeared at Real Clear Energy
- Craig Rucker
- Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.
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November 9, 2022