The spell is broken: world recognizes absolute necessity of natural gas, hopefully not too late
“There’s a tendency for the government to say the power sector is done, the sector has been decarbonised, the renewables transition is going at pace and all of that good stuff…we’re reliant on gas more generally than we thought.” Hipster website Wired, “The UK is racing towards a winter energy crisis“
“Sorting this out requires accurately diagnosing what has gone wrong. Governments have not made enough allowance for the intermittency of renewable energy. The world has too little nuclear power—a low-carbon energy source that is always on. Interventions and subsidies for gas will only make things worse. Expensive energy angers voters and hurts the poor.” The Economist
It may seem contradictory to speak of a cliche that is brand new, but there is one: Lights are going on as the lights go out.
The quotes above illuminate why the sentence is so appropriate. For several decades, the world has been pummelled with an ever-more aggressive narrative that hydrocarbons are done for, that we don’t need them anymore, that they’re killing us all. Academics, from their peer-review forts, generated ever-more wildly oscillating “scientific proof” that we don’t need them anymore (Mark Jacobsen, to use the favoured but incestuous citing methodology, and a thousand other spirallees). They wove these narratives into social justice themes, telling us that we had to immediately halt hydrocarbon development to save humanity not just in 50 years when/if it warms up a bit, but right now because hydrocarbons caused endless woes for the poor, marginalized, and downtrodden.
The preposterous narrative held rather well, as these things tend to do, because of one underlying condition – we were in an energy surplus. The world was awash in cheap natural gas. Oil prices had moderated to a third of peaks set 15 years ago. Endless money flooded the world to subsidize renewable projects.
In a blink of an eye, that’s changed. Well, reality hasn’t changed – energy providers have long known that the ‘rapid energy transition’ narrative was a load of crap. The trouble was, no one would listen, because the maniacs had stormed the stage, grabbed the mic, and were well fortified for a fight.
Today however, it really is different. Europe is staring into the abyss of an energy crisis. Fertilizer plants, zinc processors, even food suppliers…all are shutting facilities and/or warning of an imminent supply shortage crisis. Cars are lining up for blocks in England for gasoline in fears of potential shortages.
And we are months away from winter.
And no obvious ship is on the horizon to save the day.
In the blink of an eye, publications like Wired and the Economist have changed their tune from rap to classical. Many more will follow. That media horde is extremely sheep-like; they mindlessly picked up the ‘fossil fuels are killing us all’ mantra, and now that one of them has been brave enough to point out that the emperor has no clothes, all will find the bravery.
Let’s hope it is not too late. A cold winter will be a grim winter, beyond anyone’s imagination.
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