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If only Extinction Rebellion actually understood matters

Summary:
An interesting report in The Guardian:The world’s rising reliance on fossil fuels may come to an end decades earlier than the most polluting companies predict, offering early signs of hope in the global battle to tackle the climate crisis. The climate green shoots have emerged amid a renewable energy revolution that promises an end to the rising demand for oil and coal in the 2020s, before the fossil fuels face a terminal decline.The looming fossil fuel peak is expected to emerge decades ahead of forecasts from oil and mining companies, which are betting that demand for polluting energy will rise until the 2040s.But energy experts are adjusting their forecasts as clean energy technologies, including wind and solar power, emerge faster than predicted and at costs that pose a direct threat

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An interesting report in The Guardian:

The world’s rising reliance on fossil fuels may come to an end decades earlier than the most polluting companies predict, offering early signs of hope in the global battle to tackle the climate crisis.

The climate green shoots have emerged amid a renewable energy revolution that promises an end to the rising demand for oil and coal in the 2020s, before the fossil fuels face a terminal decline.

The looming fossil fuel peak is expected to emerge decades ahead of forecasts from oil and mining companies, which are betting that demand for polluting energy will rise until the 2040s.

But energy experts are adjusting their forecasts as clean energy technologies, including wind and solar power, emerge faster than predicted and at costs that pose a direct threat to coal-fired electricity and combustion-engine vehicles.

We don’t insist that this is actually true, only report what is being, umm, reported.

The thing is this isn’t compatible with the insistence from all those climate change campaigners, Greta, Extinction Rebellion and the rest. That nothing has been done therefore we’ve got to do everything right now.

If it is true that renewables are all ready to replace fossil fuels, as claimed here, then we’ve already dealt with climate change, haven’t we? We’ve already put in the effort required, all we’ve got to do now is sit back and allow markets to chew through the costs and benefits of the varied technologies and see that bright new dawn being built.

No, really, if renewables are already replacing fossil then we’re done, we’ve solved the problem.

We can even talk in more detail. Those predictions of doom rely upon RCP 8.5, that model of the future in which we use ever more fossil fuels, ever more coal in fact, to power civilisation. If we’ve already designed, tested and are beginning to install, preferentially purely on cost grounds, renewables then we’re over in that other casting of the runes about the future, RCP 2.6, where climate change itself is something that doesn’t happen. Because we’ve dealt with it.

Right here right now we’re not stating that either or any of those points are actually correct. That renewables are taking over, that they’re not. We’re only insisting upon the underlying logic here. If it is true that we’ve already created the renewables that solve the problem then, well, we’ve solved the problem, haven’t we? And if we’ve not created those usable technologies then we’d be better off not installing them right now. But working rather more to create them before roll out.

As the PM has pointed out, we must always be aware of cakeism. It is not possible that renewables are both solving the problem and also that the problem remains to be solved.


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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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