From Watts Up With That?
LA Times Claim that the World Can “quickly phase out all fossil fuels” is Completely Incompetent
Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The LA Times published an Editorial claiming that the ozone layer thinning is recovering and that this outcome provides hope for climate alarmism schemes to be undertaken that can allegedly fix climate change concerns with the obvious solution being “to quickly phase out all fossil fuel.”
The Times editorial notes the following:
“The gradual recovery of the ozone layer has been held up as proof that humanity can succeed with sustained, collective action against a shared threat to our environment. So should it also give us hope for the climate crisis? Not if we ignore its example and continue with the same plodding rate of action.”
However other climate scientists have concerns about what is actually happening with the Earth’s ozone layer as noted in the ozone science data discussion below.
“The Antarctic ozone hole usually starts opening during the Southern Hemisphere spring (in late September) and begins to develop during October, usually ending during November. But this has not been the case in the past few years. Data from the last three years show a different behavior during this time, the ozone hole has remained larger than usual throughout November and has only come to an end well into December.
The 2022 Antarctic ozone hole was again relatively large, and its closure took longer than usual, like 2020 and 2021 (shown below). This is a different behavior from what had been seen in the previous 40 years. No one is quite sure what is happening.”
Additional scientific concerns about the present state of the ozone atmospheric issues are noted as follows:
“In a 2018 study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, researchers revealed that the ozone layer is not recovering between about 60°S and 60°N. Co-author Joanna Haigh, then from Imperial College London, said that,
“The potential for harm in lower latitudes may be worse than at the poles. The decreases in ozone are less than we saw at the poles before the Montreal Protocol was enacted, but UV radiation is more intense in these regions and more people live there.”
A recent UN report (January 2023) showed that 99% of ozone-destroying chemicals have been phased out, so why hasn’t the ozone recovery been stronger? It might be due to the long resident time ozone-destroying chemicals have in the atmosphere (about 100 years). But if that is the case, is that consistent with the very rapid onset of the ozone hole in the late 1970s? In addition, climate change may be altering the way air moves in the atmosphere, slowing the recovery.
Looking at the empirical evidence many people are looking at the recovery of the ozone layer through too hopeful an eye.”
The Times continues its premature “we have solved the earth’s ozone issues” hype and attempts to use this unproven claim to try and buttress a ridiculous claim that climate alarmist propaganda mandating the elimination of fossil fuels because of their greenhouse gas emissions is just around the corner.
“The good news is we already know the solutions and have the technology needed to switch to renewable energy. But to succeed in curbing climate change, humanity will have to overcome powerful, entrenched fossil fuel interests and their beholden politicians. These industries have engaged in decades-long disinformation campaigns to delay climate action and try to cling to their profits for as long as possible.”
“It’s possible that decades from now we will be celebrating the near-elimination of fossil fuels and tracking the recovery of the atmosphere from our reckless dumping of greenhouse gases.
But hoping so isn’t enough. We have all the tools we need to fight this existential threat and we now know that taking decisive action can get results. We can’t wait a moment longer to act.”
The Times ozone claims are highly optimistic, rely upon measured scientific data that is both decades shorter in duration than required to prove it claims with that data containing recent measurement outcomes that are concerning. Their claim that the ozone issue is resolved ignores science data showing that other serious ozone issues and problems exist at lower latitudes as well as the fact that the claimed 99% reduction in ozone-destroying chemicals seems inconsistent with the slow progress seen to date as demonstrated by the measured science data.
After overstating and underestimating the ozone issue science complexity, resolution timeframe and uncertainty issues (while providing no scientific data, etc.) the Times then leaps to proclaim that the same “success” can be achieved in the near elimination of fossil fuels in the future as mandated by climate alarmism advocates.
The year 2022 BP Statistical Review of World Energy provides significant energy and emissions data that allow for a reasoned and intelligent assessment of the critical importance of the economic and beneficial use of fossil fuel energy with the key highlight of the report noting “BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2022 reveals that the growing shortages and increasing prices highlight the continuing importance of energy ’security’ and ‘affordability’ alongside ‘lower carbon’ when addressing the energy trilemma.”
The report also notes that the primary energy use yearly incremental growth in year 2021 was the largest amount in history, with emerging economies accounting for most of the increases.
Global primary incremental energy demand grew by a record 5.52% in 2021 over the depressed level of the year 2020 pandemic year while global CO2 emissions climbed by 5.6%. Both energy and carbon emission growth increases were driven by the rebound in global wide economic growth from the COVID year 2022 pandemic.
Of the 5.52% incremental energy growth of year 2021 global energy consumption, 83.4% was provided by increased fossil fuel use and only 16.4% from increased renewable energy use.
Global year 2021 total primary energy use was met with 82.3% of fossil fuel use and only 6.7% of renewable energy use with large hydro and nuclear providing the remaining energy.
This energy use data clearly shows that the LA Times idiotic claim that the world can “quickly phase out all fossil fuels” is completely preposterous. After decades of global wide costly mandates to use unreliable renewable energy these energy resources provided a pathetic 6.7% of total global energy use in year 2021.
The world’s developing nations (non-OECD) accounted for 61.37% of all global energy use with the developed nations (OECD) accounting for only 38.62% of global energy use.
The developing nations (led by China and India) renewable energy use accounted for only 5.1% of their year 2021 total global energy consumption while the developed nations used renewable energy for 9.2% of their total energy use needs.
Globally, trillions of dollars have been mandated by the developed nations governments over the last two decades to force the use of unreliable renewable energy that has led to the global energy security and affordability chaos that have occurred in the last two years with this debacle concealed and unaddressed by the LA Times.
The world’s developing nations accounted for 66.7% of total year 2021 CO2 emissions while the developed nations accounted for only 33.3% of total CO2 emissions.
The developed nations CO2 emissions will continue to become less and less significant in the future as the developing nations proceed with increased use of more coal, oil, and natural gas which year 2022 global energy and emissions data will clearly show.
The peak CO2 emissions year for the developed nations was 2005 with these nations total emissions now reduced by over 2.4 billion metric tons per year through year 2021 from 2005 levels.
During this same period the CO2 emissions by the world’s developing nations have grown by 8.1 billion metric tons per year causing global CO2 emissions to increase by over 5.7 billion metric tons per year through year 2021.
The developed nations governments expended trillions of dollars to achieve mandated increases in the use of unreliable renewable energy. These mandates significantly increased these nations energy costs and jeopardized their energy security with their CO2 emissions reductions being globally irrelevant.
Meanwhile, the developing nations significantly increased their use of all fossil fuels and significantly increased their total energy use with these nations now completely dominating both global energy use and emissions outcomes. Their CO2 emissions skyrocketed upward by over 8 billion metric tons per year between 2005 and 2021.
This global CO2 emissions growth debacle noted above is concealed and unaddressed by the LA Times.
The LA Times conceals the global wide energy security and affordability failures of governments that incompetently mandated use of unreliable renewable energy.
The LA Times conceals the failures of global government emissions reductions schemes that have cost trillions of dollars and resulted in over 8 billion metric tons of increased global emissions by the world’s developing nations with this outcome reflecting the inept futility of such idiotic emissions reduction government mandated schemes.
The LA Times claim that the world’s “solution to avert catastrophic warming” is to “quickly phase out all fossil fuels” is nothing but climate science and global energy use policy incompetence.