It's mystifying and terrifying that our lives, livelihoods and living standards are increasingly dictated by activist, political, bureaucratic, academic and media ruling elites, who disseminate theoretical nonsense, calculated myths and outright disinformation.
Not only on pronouns, gender and immigration – but on climate change ... and energy, the foundation of modern civilization and life spans.
We're constantly told the world will plunge into an existential climate cataclysm if average planetary temperatures rise another few tenths of a degree, due to using fossil fuels for reliable, affordable energy, raw materials for over 6,000 vital products, and lifting billions out of poverty, disease and early death.
Climate alarmism implicitly assumes Earth's climate was stable until coal, oil and gas emissions knocked it off kilter ... and would be stable again if people stopped using fossil fuels.
In the real world, climate has changed numerous times, often dramatically, sometimes catastrophically, and always naturally. Multiple ice ages and interglacial periods, Roman and Medieval warm periods, a Little Ice Age, major floods, droughts and dust bowls all actually happened – long before fossil fuels.
Data for tornados, hurricanes and other extreme weather events prove they are not getting more frequent or intense. You might argue that Harvey and Irma marked a sudden increase in major hurricanes in 2017 – but that's only because after Wilma there'd been a record twelve years of zero Category 3-5 hurricanes.
We need to ignore the fear-mongering, look at actual historic records, and recognize that more dangerous, unprecedented calamities upward trends simply aren't there. We need to insist that alarmists distinguish and quantify human influences versus natural forces for recent temperature, climate and weather events – and show when, where and how human activities replaced natural forces. They haven't done so.
The only place manmade temperature and climate catastrophes exist is in Michael Mann and other GIGO computer models. These climate models are worthless for policymaking because they aren't verified by actual measurements, don't account for urban heat island effects, and cannot incorporate the vast scale and complexity of atmospheric, planetary and galactic forces that determine Earth's climate.
In reality, people and planet are threatened far more by global cooling than warming. Even a couple degrees drop in average global temperatures would drastically reduce growing seasons, arable land, plant growth, wildlife habitats and agricultural output – especially if it's accompanied by reductions in plant-fertilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Plants, animals and people would face starvation.
We're also told ruling elites could prevent this imagined crisis by switching us to wind, solar and battery power. (They also want to eliminate cows and modern agriculture, over misplaced concerns about methane and fertilizer, but that's anudder discussion.)
Build a coal, gas or nuclear power plant – and unless governments shut it down or cut off fuel supplies, the plant provides plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity nearly 24/7/365 for decades. Build a massive sprawling wind or solar installation, and you have to back up every kilowatt with coal, gas or nuclear power – or with millions of huge batteries – for every windless, sunless period.
The economic and ecological effects would be ruinous.
Coal, gas and nuclear plants can be built close to electricity-intensive urban centers. Tens of thousands of wind turbines and billions of solar panels must go where there's good wind and sunshine, far from urban areas, connected by high voltage transmission lines. In fact, for Net Zero, says the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world would need 50,000,000 miles of new and upgraded transmission lines by 2040!
All those "clean, green, renewable, sustainable, affordable" wind, solar and battery systems, backup generators, transmission lines and electric vehicles would require millions of tons of iron, copper, aluminum, manganese, cobalt, lithium, concrete, plastics and numerous other metals and minerals.
Onshore wind turbines require nine times more materials per megawatt – and offshore turbines need fourteen times more – than a combined-cycle natural gas power plant, the IEA calculates. Solar panels and EVs have the same problem.
To get these materials, billions of tons of overlying rock must be removed to reach billions of tons of ores – which then must be processed in huge industrial facilities that use mercury and toxic chemicals ... emit vast quantities of greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants ... and are powered by coal or natural gas. Many components for these "green" technologies are derived from oil and natural gas.
US and other Western facilities control and recycle these pollutants. Chinese and Russian facilities pay little attention to air and water pollution, workplace safety, or fossil fuel use, efficiency and emissions – yet they supply over 80% of "renewable" energy raw materials, because the West increasingly bans mining and processing and makes energy prohibitively expensive to operate mines and factories.
Pseudo-renewable energy worldwide would cost hundreds of trillions of dollars, would have to be subsidized by trillions of taxpayer dollars, and would dramatically increase electricity rates.
Electric vehicle, appliance and heating mandates would double or triple all these infrastructure, materials, mining and land use requirements, ecological impacts and costs.
American residential electricity prices in 2023 ranged from 10.4¢ per kilowatt-hour (Idaho) to 28.4¢ per kWh (California). British families paid 47¢ per kWh! UK factories and businesses paid up to three times what their US counterparts did. German families, factories and businesses are in the same capsizing boat.
But EU industrial leaders say energy prices must continue rising, to cover the soaring costs of the "energy transition." If they don't, factories, jobs and emissions will move overseas. But if they do, families will freeze jobless in the dark.
What many call the Climate Industrial Complex has a monumental stake in perpetuating this situation. Collectively, its members have incredible power, control much of government and education, hold enormous financial stakes in green tech subsidies, and often censor contrarian viewpoints.
Just as ominous, if it becomes clear that the Brave New World of Net Zero Energy cannot provide sufficient affordable electricity and other necessities for modern industries, healthcare and living standards, two-thirds of America's ruling elites favor food and energy rationing to combat climate change and retain their anti-capitalism, anti-growth agenda. It's likely the same in Europe and Canada.
The Biden Administration and other governments are already dictating the kinds of vehicles we can drive and what appliances and heating systems we can use. They're already exploring ways to limit the kind and size of homes we can live in, how warm and cool we can keep them, how often we can travel by air, the kinds and amounts of meat we can eat, and many other aspects of our lives.
Meanwhile, China, India, Indonesia and dozens of other countries are building hundreds of coal and gas generating units – further underscoring the insanity and futility of trying to control energy sources, quantities and emissions.
This is what America's 2024 state and national elections are about – and elections in Europe, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. The longer these elites remain in power, the more our liberties, lives and living standards will resemble life a century ago under authoritarian regimes. Vote accordingly.
Paul Driessen is a senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environmental, and human rights issues.