Intelligent readers can see the contradiction in the graph above: In order to achieve the “global decarbonisation” called for by the world green movement, the world as we know it must cease to exist… and an alternate universe must come into being to suddenly sweep us into a grand green future without a need for fossil fuels.
Just look at the curves: The exponential growth in global fossil fuel consumption is expected to stop abruptly and be replaced by a steeper-than-exponential reduction to zero fossil fuels over a 30 year period. Simultaneously a relatively inconsequential and essentially flat-line contribution from mostly-intermittent zero-carbon power sources will suddenly leap up and begin providing all power consumption over the next 80 years. In what universe can such a thing happen without the deaths of billions of human beings?
On a global basis, the magnitude of the implied decarbonization effort illustrated in the graph takes us beyond the possible and into the world of junk science fiction. In 2018, world consumption of fossil fuels rose to 11,865 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe). To get that down to near zero by 2050 as proposed by the zeroists would require a lot of alternative energy sources.
University of Colorado scientist Roger Pielke Jr. did some of the rough numbers. “There are 11,161 days until 2050. Getting to net zero by 2050 requires replacing one mtoe of fossil fuel consumption every day starting now.” On a global basis, such a transition would require building the equivalent of one new 1.5-gigawatt nuclear plant every day for the next 30 years.
If not nuclear, then maybe solar? According to a U.S. government site, it takes about three million solar panels to produce one gigawatt of energy, which means that by 2050 the world will need 3,000,000 X 11,865 solar panels to offset fossil fuels. The wind alternative would require about 430 new wind turbines each of the 11,865 days leading to 2050.
Nuclear fission is a safe and reliable form of electrical power, but global industry cannot be mobilised to build one new 1.5 gigawatt plant per day over the next 30 years. Even if it could, the green-biased politics in the governments and non-governmental organisations of the developed world would not allow it to happen.
What about nuclear fusion? New fusion technologies have a number of wealthy backers, but it takes a lot of time to develop radical new technologies — even if they can be made to work safely and affordably. There really isn’t time to do it in the next 30 years that greens are insisting is all we have left.
Intermittent Energies Are a Fool’s Play
Greens want to replace all fossil fuels with mostly intermittent and unreliable energy sources such as big wind and big solar. But the sun and the wind only provide useful power at unpredictable times. If reliable and affordable power cannot be switched on command then the unreliable energy that attempts to stand in will kill a lot of people by failing at the worst possible times.
But people behind the scenes stand to make $trillions of dollars in the attempt to do what is essentially impossible, all the while their fellow Earthlings are dying in large numbers from the inability to heat their homes in winter or provide the affordable power to keep medicines and vaccines from spoiling or to keep the lights & power on in operating theatres and intensive care wards.
Reliable and affordable power of high quality is a life and death matter. Power is at the foundation of the other critical infrastructures that make modern life possible. You cannot remove reliable and affordable high quality electric power without pulling the rug out from under modern civilisation. But the “decarbonisation people” do not tell you that.
There is only one way for the green future of zero carbon to come about: Make the world go away. And then magically bring a new fantastical green world into existence, where an entirely new set of universal rules and constants hold sway.
Judging from the headlines, Canada and the world are on track to ratchet up renewable energy and begin the rapid scale-down and ultimate phase-out of fossil fuels. Most energy analysts consider the fossil-fuel phase-out to be a scientific, economic and political fantasy, akin to levitation and time travel, but the movement keeps making news.
To avoid a mass human die-off, new replacement energy technologies must be developed over time. During that time, current technologies must be used and improved in order to prevent a human disaster of unimaginable proportions — if governments attempt to force an impossible mandate on their economies and their people.