After 'Net-Zero,' A Different Kind of Deluge

When The Pipeline was launched more than three years ago, it was among a small minority of websites specializing in energy topics that warned the world it was heading for catastrophe in embracing the dogma of Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050. We pointed out that even if one were to accept the belief that the world is facing a “climate emergency”—it isn’t—moving from a world eighty percent reliant on fossil fuels for energy to a world reliant to the same extent on renewables such as  wind and sun would impose a drastic collapse in the world economy and living standards far worse than the impact of “climate change.”

Such arguments almost never got a serious government response or public attention. Mostly they were ignored—but not entirely. One occasional response was to concede that implementing Net-Zero would require some sacrifice on the part of ordinary people which, however, would be compensated for by a new Green Industrial Revolution, green jobs, and various environmental benefits.

But the degree of sacrifice required of everyone if we were to abandon fossil fuels entirely was never made clear. Financial estimates of its costs in higher taxes and energy prices were hard to find, and when found they were either unreliably low or so vast as to be hard to grasp. Undeterred, however, the Net-Zero caravan moved impressively forward from Copenhagen to Cairo to Glasgow with the U.N. and the world’s governments at its head, corporations, and investment houses dragged along in regulators’ wagons behind them, and loud angry crowds of NGOs and activists shouting “faster, faster” if anyone paused or questioned the direction of travel. Not many did. It was, after all, an inevitable matter of saving the world.

Fascism with an inhuman face, heading your way.

That was only yesterday. But with every revolution of the 24-hour news cycle, it seems more and more remotely in the past. “’Outraged and furious’: Germans rebel against gas boiler ban,” proclaimed a recent Financial Times headline on a story that householders were being forced by Germany’s energy transition policy —dubbed die Energiewende— “to install hearing systems power by renewables dubbed the ‘heat hammer.’”

“Treasury idiocy is killing North Sea Energy,” was the title the U.K. Times’s editors put on a column by the paper’s economic columnist, Juliet Samuel, that went on “The North Sea is critical to British energy security. Oil and gas supply more than two thirds of our overall energy. If the government has its way, North Sea industry will soon be in irreversible decline.”

It takes time for such stories to fight their way to the top of editorial agendas in major newspapers. But the technical and specialist media are full of them. Here, for instance, is Reinsurance News: “German reinsurance giant Hannover Re has opted to leave the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, making it the third high profile re/insurer to leave the U.N.-convened alliance in less than a month. Unravelling, step by step...”

Unraveling? Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the discipline that the U.N. and government regulators have been able to exert over Wall Street and U.S. corporations in the form of ESG and fossil fuel disinvestment is certainly coming under pressure. Exxon is a fossil fuel company, which might cast doubt on the importance of the slow turning of its tanker towards defending its core business. As the website ZeroHedge grasps, Exxon’s pushback against the financial regulations designed to suppress fossil-fuel investment sounds unusually firm: Exxon “said the prospect of the world achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is remote and should not be further evaluated in its financial statements.”

And Exxon is not alone. Other oil and gas corporations—notably Beyond Petroleum—are scaling back their climate policy commitments to reflect the fact that they are in the oil business, not climatology, and that high and rising energy prices have been signaling the need for more investment in energy—and were doing so before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

(No comment so far from former Bank of England governor and advisor to the U.N. and Boris Johnson on climate policy, Mark Carney, who wanted to place a fiduciary responsibility on corporate managers to avoid fossil-fuel investment on the grounds that it was at risk of losing their clients’ money because of risks that seemed to include the disapproval of regulators such as himself.)

Carney: not a peep.

Now, you might suppose that all these different reactions reflecting nervous “second thoughts,” even opposition, to Net-Zero policies indicate how savagely the lack of fossil fuels is biting voters and consumers. But according to the U.K. website tracking the composition of U.K. energy, the mix of British electricity on May 21 this year at 9.00 pm was 33 percent gas; wind and solar 20 percent between them; nuclear 19 percent; and imports of electricity 22 percent. The author’s main concern was shock that Britain relies on imports for more than one-fifth of its electricity which is certainly a valid concern. What is more important for our purposes here, however, is his revelation that renewables still amount to only one–fifth of the U.K.’s electricity generation after twenty years of multi-party backing of Net-Zero orthodoxy.

In other words, unless the British Net-Zero obsession is junked, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Net-Zero will have to be junked. So why hasn't it happened yet? The answer is that the British governments, its media, cultural, and scientific establishments, and all major political parties have imposed a uniform Net-Zero orthodoxy, sustained by a deep bureaucratic groupthink, on public debate and scientific discussion. Only a handful of people—notably the late Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation he founded—have sustained a serious and respectable intellectual critique of it over the years.

As a result there is a strong national consensus, especially among highly-educated people, in favor of the policy which at the extreme calls for punishment of dissenters and suppression of inconvenient evidence. We see the consensus operating not only in the unlawful obstruction of public order, traffic, and lawful economic activity such as mining or road-building by groups like Extinction Rebellion, but also in the failure of public authorities, including judges, to restrain or punish those illegal acts in pursuit of a cause generally regarded as good. And the fact that the consensus is strongest among the highly educated should be no comfort because recent psychological research suggests that well-educated people are less willing to change their minds and more able to defend their erroneous opinions than others.

It’s a class war, of course, at least potentially since blue-collar workers are less committed to Net-Zeroism, most likely to be adversely affected by it, and less resistant to changing their minds in the face of real-world evidence. Already, we see  signs of this coming conflict in the fights breaking out between activists blocking the road and people needing to get to work or even to hospitals and in the tendency of the police defending the activists rather rather than the motorists. More to come...

The Persistent Appeal of the 'Climate Apocalypse'

The fundamental appeal of environmentalism, and especially the "climate change" cult, is related directly to its central defect: the Malthusian view that humans are a pestilence on the planet, doomed to self-extinction—if, that is, we don’t turn over our lives wholly to a politically powerful (meaning tyrannical) elite. It is a perverse paradox that if you demonstrate to an environmentalist that the environmental apocalypse is not coming, it makes them very sad and angry. What explains this demented state of mind?

The neo-Malthusianism of modern environmentalism was riding high in the 1970s when an artificial, government-caused “energy crisis” combined with government-caused inflation to lend verisimilitude to the media-driven narrative that we were running out of everything and were hard up against the “limits to growth,” as one famous study of the era proclaimed on the basis of a garbage-in/garbage-out computer model. And who can forget the Carter Administration’s Global 2000 report released in 1980, which predicted, among other resource disasters, an acute global scarcity of oil by the year 2000 that would drive its price up to $200 a barrel.

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Malthus’s thesis that human population growth would outstrip available food and resources leading to catastrophic collapse has been repeatedly refuted. Virtually every environmentalist prediction of imminent doom over the last 50 years has been proven wrong, often by an order of magnitude, such that even environmentalists are occasionally embarrassed and promise to swear off the dismal Malthusian malt. But the environmentalist embarrassment never lasts long. They are like Alcoholics Anonymous drop-outs, who ditch their 12-step program and go on a bender at the next well-lit Malthusian tavern they wander by.

Rather than change their mind, environmentalists change the subject, invent new terms for their old-time religion, and grab at any issue that comes to mind to keep their apocalyptic narrative going. With the “limits to growth” thesis thoroughly debunked by the 1990s, environmentalists pivoted to a new model, ostensibly compatible with economic growth: “sustainable development.” The problem with “sustainable development” is that despite extensive intellectual effort (and even a presidential commission during the Clinton Administration), the idea ironically proved too flabby to sustain itself, never mind its openly anti-growth policy. Environmental scientist Timothy O’Riordan warned early on:

It may only be a matter of time before the metaphor of sustainability becomes so confused as to be meaningless, certainly as a device to straddle the ideological conflicts that pervade contemporary environmentalism.

But climate change became the ideal solution for the defects of their previous anti-growthism and dismal record at predicting a near-term apocalypse. First, "climate change" has a long timeline, and a distant apocalypse relives environmentalism of the failure of their imminent predictions, like Paul Ehrlich’s absurd pronouncement in 1968 that by the mid-1970s hundreds of millions would die from famine.

Second, it solved the stumbling block of resource abundance. In the 1970s, we were told that we had to embrace conservation and “renewable” energy like wind and solar power because we were rapidly running out of fossil fuels, arable farmland, and other resources. Today we are told that we have to embrace conservation and renewable energy because we aren’t running out of fossil fuels, farmland, and other resources fast enough! And the population bomb has fizzled out, too. It turned out to be a wet firecracker at worst.

Environmentalists thought climate change would be their ticket to ultimate power for the simple reason that energy is the master resource, and thus getting control of the planet’s energy systems would enable control of everything. While 30-plus years of climate policy has wreaked economic havoc (with worse to come), it has actually not made a dent in the ultimate goal of eliminating fossil fuels for the simple reason that fossil fuels are the only energy sources that work right now on a sufficient scale and reasonable cost—full stop.

Despite nearly 50 years of promoting “renewable” or “alternative” energy, the proportion of the world’s total energy needs supplied by fossil fuels is still around 80 percent—a figure that has hardly budged since 1980. This is infuriating to the climate cultists; hence the temper tantrums of True Believers who are acting out by defacing artwork and blocking traffic around the world.

The failure of “sustainable development” also has led environmentalists recently to embrace the old-time Malthusian religion under the candid banner of “DeGrowth.” Some environmentalists are back to arguing openly that we need to become poorer and lead less comfortable lives—if the species deserves to live on at all.

Wealthy economies should abandon growth of gross domestic product (GDP) as a goal, scale down destructive and unnecessary forms of production to reduce energy and material use, and focus economic activity around securing human needs and well-being. This approach, which has gained traction in recent years, can enable rapid decarbonization and stop ecological breakdown while improving social outcomes2. It frees up energy and materials for low- and middle-income countries in which growth might still be needed for development. Degrowth is a purposeful strategy to stabilize economies and achieve social and ecological goals, unlike recession, which is chaotic and socially destabilizing and occurs when growth-dependent economies fail to grow.

Be like Lucretia and kill yourself.

That’s right: climate change fanaticism is flirting with becoming the next Heaven’s Gate suicide cult. There are a spate of new books, taken seriously in the premier literary pages of the New York Review of Books and elsewhere, that call for “the death of the human species [as] the most life-affirming event that could liberate the natural world from oppression.” Another recent book, The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene by Australian philosopher Patricia MacCormack, embraces cannibalism and necrophilia: “Our world is groaning under the weight of the parasitic pestilence of human life and yet our excessive resource is the human dead.”

This is not too far from John Kerry's arguing recently that we need to abandon large-scale agriculture, ignorant of the fact that advanced farming technology saves more land for conservation purposes. If you dig deep into radical "climate change" literature, you discover that settled agricultural production, the first step up from hunter-gathering tribes to civilization, is the original sin for their crackpot theology.

And therein lies the crux of the whole matter. The "climate change" argument isn’t actually rooted in science at all, but in eschatology. Human beings may be hard-wired for belief in some form of the apocalypse, and as such "climate change"  (and environmentalism generally) is a secular substitute for the End Times. This may not appeal to the masses at large, but it holds deep appeal to our nihilist chattering classes and power-hungry elites.

The green clerisy sees "climate change" not as a technical problem to be solved with innovation or traditional economic measures, but as a rift in the human soul requiring “radical transformation” of human civilization (Al Gore’s words) to solve. It is no exaggeration to refer to the "climate change" activists as a cult—Thermageddonites or Thunbergians perhaps?—as they display religious fanaticism centered on an old-time version of sin but without the promise of redemption, even after repentance and atonement.

Fortunately, like most extreme cults its appeal is limited, as most people are not obsessed with the apocalypse. Despite billions of dollars to promote climate porn and the capture of energy agenda-setting in most advanced nations, public opinion surveys repeatedly find a majority of the public rates "climate change" very low on their list of priorities; they can smell the hoax. But like other fanatical cults throughout history, it will do great damage before it expires, at which point the impulse toward radical eschatology will need to find another object for its predations. God help us.

THE COLUMN: Hoax of the Millennium

Today, and each day for the next two weeks, will address the issue of "climate change," which like Covid-19 and "Russian collusion," is one of the great hoaxes of the modern era, maliciously concocted out of whole cloth by people who mean to harm western civilization and using the cudgel of "compassion" and "concern" with which to do it. Of the three, the "climate change" hoax, which threatens the foundations of civilized life, is by far the most inimical. Please follow our series as we debunk the claims made by the apocalypticists and their media allies.

To begin: the climate is always changing. Only an illiterate or a fool cannot understand this elementary concept. There is no need to delve into any scientific studies based on wildly or deliberately inaccurate computer "models" to know this. There is no need to be emotionally stampeded by tiresome, and always wrong, Jeremiahs of doom like Paul Ehrlich. There is no truth in the statistical manipulation that proclaims a full 97 percent of "climate scientists" agree that changes in the climate are the work of mankind. You don't have to worry about carbon emissions. The Last Days are not upon us.

Worked for a while, until it didn't.

Yet. But the "climate movement" bids fair to undo everything Western man has accomplished in the fields of science, technology, and religion and replace it with a savage new primitivism that is both inhuman and godless. It relies on the patina of science to promote a culture based on fear and guilt, with the goal of reducing and taming the human population under the aegis of a small group of self-appointed bonzes.

Our writers will tackle this topic and more in the coming fortnight, but one thing is clear: you are being lied to on a massive scale by a quasi-Marxist mass-suicide cult -- think Jonestown on a global scale -- in order that you lower your standard of living, rid yourself of all earthly possessions, abandon your expectations for the future, stop having children, cease all consumption, and disappear from planet Earth.

There are many reasons for the rise and ascendancy of this contemptible sect, including the demise of the educational system, the return of superstition, the prolonged assault via some form or variant of Critical Theory upon all the institutions of Western civilization and, now, upon the essence of that civilization itself. Such "theory" teaches that property is theft, profit is exploitation, consumption is rapine, and the nuclear family is a form of oppression: everything must be questioned, attacked, and destroyed. Western civilization is, in their eyes, the ultimate expression of "white supremacy," and therefore must be liquidated.

The decline of traditional Christianity, the cornerstone of the European-American West, has gone hand in hand with the rise of its prospective replacement, a perverted and obscene form of dictatorial nature worship, which has induced an entirely unnecessary guilt trip over real and imagined sins against other cultures that now use their very lack of achievements in the sciences and the arts as a j'accuse against the West. That would be the very same West that has provided them with access to technology, medicine, transportation, and the philosophy of Greece, Rome, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment as well as the Judeo-Christian bible that has -- imperfectly to be sure -- guided man's behavior for nearly three millennia.

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It is imperative that we break the stranglehold this new form of demonic possession now has on our society. "Demonic" is not too strong a word. In Holland, the leftist government is attempting to forcibly seize farmers' land in order to take it out of food production to appease this new Moloch. Meanwhile in Ireland its government of mediocrities has been captured by the Green Party, which now holds all its important ministries, and has decreed that some 200,000 heads of cattle be culled in order to meet its "mandated" emissions targets -- a report that instantly made the poor beleaguered country a laughingstock around the world, and from which Éire now seems to be backing away. The fact that, historically, cattle have been integral to the country's sense of itself -- viz. the epic poem, Táin bó Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), which dates from the seventh century A.D. -- and was the standard by which wealth was measured means nothing to the Eurocrats in Dublin who function at Brussels' behest. Expect more of the same across Europe, which even now is struggling with soaring energy costs and reduced access to dependable sources of power.

The cattle of Ireland salute the Greens.

The bugbear du jour is "emissions," a nebulous, one-size-scares-all excuse imposing an otherwise clearly insane policy on a body politic that has never once voted to starve itself to death. Our feminized culture has been so browbeaten by the Left's shameless propaganda that the very sight of a wisp of smoke or the hint of a fart now gives a manipulated populace the vapors. Worst of all are "carbon emissions," which have been dishonestly linked to "climate change" and have created a perfect storm of panic and fear among the gullible.

Here is the truth, which instantly gives the lie to every claim made by the "climate crisis" crew: we ourselves are carbon-based life forms. Indeed, life is impossible without carbon:

Carbon is the graphite in our pencils, the diamond in our rings, the oil in our cars, the sugar in our coffee, the DNA in our cells, the air in our lungs, the food on our plates, the cattle in our fields, the forest in our parks, the cement in our sidewalks, the steel in our skyscrapers, the charcoal in our grills, the fizz in our sodas, the foam in our fire extinguishers, the ink in our pens, the plastic in our toys, the wood in our chairs, the leather in our jackets, the battery in our cars, the rubber in our tires, the coal in our power plants, the nano in our nanotechnology, and the life in our soils.

Carbon is life. It exists in every organic life form. Life is impossible without it. When combined with water, it forms sugars, fats, alcohols, and terpenes. When combined with nitrogen and sulfur, it forms amino acids, antibiotics, and alkaloids. With the addition of phosphorus, it forms DNA and RNA, the essential codes of life, as well as ATP, the critical energy-transfer molecule found in all living cells. The carbon atom is the essential building block of life. Every part of your body is made up of chains of carbon atoms, which is why we are known as "carbon-based life-forms." Chemically, we're just a bunch of inert compounds. What breathes life into us? The answer is the relationship between the molecules of energy and nutrients, fueled by carbon and water.

No, it's not.

Carbon, to put a theological point on it, is the breath of God that animated the clay of Adam and turned him into a man. To attack "carbon" as an evil is to attack yourself; to eliminate carbon is to eliminate humanity. And make no mistake: this is precisely the goal of the "climate-change" movement. 

There is a word for what is happening. Evil. And evil is never to be combated idly or half-halfheartedly but with the force of one's strength, mind, and body, fueled by the now-derided virtue of righteous anger. Which is to say: hatred. As I wrote in my 2015 book, The Devil's Pleasure Palace:

At multiple moments in our lives, we are forced to choose between good and evil – indeed, we are forced to define, or provisionally redefine, both terms, and then choose.

The terms have been defined. The battle is joined. You are hereby called to arms.

Is Vatican City a Moral Shirker?

So, it turns out that Vatican City — Europe’s smallest nation, less than half a square kilometer in size and with a population of only several hundred — isn’t living up to its moral obligations. Not those moral obligations, the ones spelled out in the Holy Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Those are mostly fine, though there are increasingly issues there too, what with the leftist Pope Francis at the helm. But that’s not the morality on which the Vatican has been tried and found wanting.

Last September, the Vatican signed on to the Paris Climate Accords. It committed, along with the other Paris signatories, to reduce carbon emissions in a meaningful way. In fact, Francis had already promised to reduce Vatican City’s emissions to net-zero by 2050. These actions probably seemed like low-cost virtue-signaling opportunities. But unfortunately for the Pope, Paris tries to hold its signatories to account. And they've recently made use of their new Implementation and Compliance Committee to publicly harass the Vatican for their failure to produce an actual plan for how they’re going to go green. The committee even tweeted about it.

One wonders just what it is that tiny Vatican City can actually do to scale back emissions. Should it stop investing in the kind of heavy, energy intensive industries that climate cultists object to the most? Oh wait — there are no industries in Vatican City, except a lot of tourism and some industrial strength religious observance. There's very little low-hanging fruit there. They aren't running any coal-powered electricity plants.

No power plants, just tourists and the faithful.

In fact, the microstate had already installed lots of solar panels years ago. Not on the roofs of its main buildings, mind you, which happen to be known for their delicate frescos and massive domes. Further, way back in 2020 the Pope committed to planting more trees and getting rid of single use plastic bags. And he has promised that 75 percent of Vatican waste will be recycled by the end of this year. So, that’ll make a difference…

And, according to Reuters, the Vatican has pledged "to substitute all its combustion engine cars with electric or hybrid vehicles." Vatican City is, of course, the ideal state for the use of unreliable E.V.s, since there are zero distances to travel. We’re mostly talking golf carts for aging clergy. And Pope Francis has issued orders for Catholic schools around the world to provide “an education for integral ecology to favor development and sustainability and encourage economic policies that respect the environment.” Will this come during science class, or religious instruction?

Again, what can Vatican City, which occupies land smaller than most ranches in Wyoming, actually do to comply with the literal terms of the Paris Treaty? If the answer is that it really can't, why would Pope Francis sign on to this treaty? Because he wants to hang out with all of the Cool Countries? You know, the ones that like to bully farmers whose cows' farts they believe threaten human existence? The ones which consistently ignored the last pope's requests to acknowledge their own Christian roots? The countries which actively promote alternative faiths that are assiduously attempting to displace the Judeo-Christian religions?

One of the key requirements of the Paris Climate Accords is that developed countries must provide money to help less developed countries to meet their climate goals. But given its strengths, perhaps the Vatican should offer to pray, instead of pay. Of course, the kind of people who believe deeply in “climate change” don’t tend to believe in the traditional power of prayer to a personal God. Because “climate change” is itself one of those religious alternatives to Christianity, with Mother Gaia (or perhaps Saint Greta Thunberg, with her honorary degree in Theology) as the "saving victim" on her own cross, and all of us climate sinners, with our air conditioners and gas-powered cars, taking the place of Pontius Pilate and the Sanhedrin. That bit actually appears to be what Pope Francis himself believes.

Though most religions contain prayers for weather, it’s never been clear what the correlation between those prayers and the actual crop yield is, over time. That’s also true of those ancient civilizations that attempted to appease the weather gods with human sacrifices. Just as it is not really clear what the relation between “green policies” and preventing the earth from boiling over, or having hurricanes, or hot summers really is. You just have to believe.

Gaia, forgive me...

Of course, paying instead of praying for salvation has a long history. In the Middle Ages it was common for churchmen to sell indulgences, which was widely understood as a monetary payment for remission of sins that would take time off a sinner's stint in Purgatory. There were no environmental sins at the time — that's a fairly new concept. But they are front and center for devotees of the Church of Climate Change, and consequently that faith's priestly caste have revived the sale of indulgences, in the form of carbon offsets. Apparently neither John Kerry nor Al Gore gest on his private jet without one!

It's nice to see that the Book of Ecclesiastes was right: “There is nothing new under the sun."

When Hoaxes Collide

There's no shortage of things that can be blamed on "climate change." Here's a howler of a list taken just from the past few days: pirate attacks (The Guardian); the Biden border crisis (Rep. Pete Aguilar D-Calif.); the ancient Wooly Mammoth virus (French Prof Jean-Michel Claverie). Meanwhile, policies meant to address "climate change" have an actual body count, but that is barely commented upon at all. One rare exception, however -- the Economist has published some damning figures which demonstrate that higher fuel costs last winter killed more Europeans than did Covid-19.

Our modelling estimates that high energy prices claimed 68,000 lives …. Countries with the highest excess deaths typically experienced the biggest increases in fuel costs. If electricity last winter had cost the same as 2020, our model expected 68,000 fewer deaths across Europe, a decline of 3.6 percent.

Finland seems to understand the high cost to its people of soaring energy, andhas opted to increase energy output via a new (if "much-delayed") nuclear reactor, and reduce prices to consumers by "more than 75 percent." South Africa on the other hand has developed a super special means of getting ahead of its target for cutting emissions of greenhouse gas: thanks to its collapsing infrastructure, there's no energy at all.

South Africa is ahead of its target for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. Output of the climate-warming gases from the world’s 14th-biggest emitter is already falling even though its Nationally Determined Contribution, a target adopted by the cabinet in 2021, only forecast a decline from 2025. Power plant breakdowns are reducing industrial activity.

And that disaster is only snowballing.

South Africa is teetering on the edge of Stage 7 or 8 load shedding during the winter months, which would spell disaster for citizens’ quality of life and for the economy. But Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the new electricity minister, has a way of suggesting that blackouts might rise to higher and even unprecedented stages (possibly Stage 7 and 8) this winter, without explicitly saying so.

It’s winter there now, and if what's been happening in Europe is a harbinger of what’s to come, the South African “success” at beating its target for cutting greenhouse gases will also lead to a significant increase in their excess deaths. (Which may be part of the point.)

Q. What did S. Africa use before candles? A. Electricity.

At the same time the very basis for the demand that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced  to net-zero in coming years is daily undercut by even the data of its proponents. Last week, the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) took a major hit to its credibility. According to the Daily Sceptic, "recently-published research" shows that "42 percent of its climate scenarios rely on improbable rises in future temperature that even the U.N.-funded body believes are of “low likelihood.”' The IPCC itself actually admits the improbability of these scenarios, but that admission is “deeply buried” in the full Sixth Assessment Reports (AR6). "The authors [of this research paper] note that significant and important sections of the full IPCC work emphasize these improbable claims, potentially invalidating those sections of the report." The Sceptic continues:

The authors are damning about much of the IPCC’s work. In addition to emphasizing worst-case scenarios, it rewrites climate history, has a “huge bias” in favor of bad news against good news, and keeps the good news out of its widely-distributed Summary for Policymakers (SPM). One notable contradiction surrounds flooding, where the AR6 IPCC report states with “low confidence” that humans have contributed to it, yet the Summary for Policymakers promotes the opposite, stating that human influence has increased “compound” flooding.

In any event even if the U.N.’s worst case scenario is true, that we face a two in three chance of temperatures briefly rising by  1.5 C , it is probably a strategic mistake of them to publicize this. Judith Curry, one of the most respected climate watchers, noted:

Apart from warmer temperatures, what evidence is there of potential catastrophes? An observed increase in extreme weather events is not well justified, if you correctly account for the influence of multi-decadal ocean oscillations. So, what is the possible worst cast impact for 1.5 or 2.0 C warming on the timescale of the 21st century?

  • Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, possibly resulting in up to 2.5 m sea level rise as per the NOAA (2017) report (actually, the IPCC does not even make this case, they are predicting SLR of 1-2 feet). This extreme scenario, which would maybe justify all this, is regarded as extremely unlikely, and we are not presently on such a trajectory. In any event, if the WAIS collapses it is more likely to be due to the geothermal heat flux and volcanoes beneath the ice sheet. Recent research shows portions of the WAIS rising at a rate of 41 mm/yr, acting to protect the WAIS from collapse. MASSIVELY uncertain.
  • Species extinction. After alarming conclusions in AR4, the AR5 backtracked, and this new Report backtracks even further. What about the ocean – acidification and declining oxygen? Our understanding is in its infancy, but this needs to be looked at more.

In my opinion, even with erroneous attribution of extreme weather/climate events and projections using climate models that are running too hot and not fit for purpose of projecting 21st century climate change, the IPCC still has not made a strong case for this massive investment to prevent 1.5C warming.

I think she gives the proponents too much credit in suggesting they'll be retreating in shame — people who love predictions of doom and the media and institutions who profit from doom-saying will continue linking every supposed "crisis" to carbon emissions and "climate change," while hiding the negative impact their policies have on the most vulnerable among us. Hey -- it's worked so far.

Not the End of the World

If you find yourself wondering about the future of energy supplies across Europe (which will be a testing ground for the U.S.), here are a couple of eye-openers you won’t find mentioned in the America media:

And while the plant’s production is still in its early days, its launch has had a considerable effect on Finland’s energy prices, lowering the electricity spot price in the country from €245.98 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in December to €60.55 per MWh in April, a reduction of more than 75 percent.

The Germans, of course, stand opposed to Poland and Hungary's nuclear ambitions, and delays are expected to occur due to their opposition. Why, you might ask, would Germany oppose its neighbors' plans for to access to inexpensive, inexhaustible, and ultra-low carbon energy supplies? One answer is that Germany's ill-considered environmentalist program, die Energiewende, has brought about sky-high electricity rates in their own country. It would be awkward for them if their citizens could just look across their eastern border and see rates that were substantially lower. And, relatedly, they're concerned about their manufacturing sector having to compete with countries who aren't paying so much for energy.

Still, since successive German governments have insisted that "saving the planet" is priority numero uno (er, that is, nummer eins), and infinitely more important than trifling economic concerns, you'd think that they would applaud the expansion of the one true green energy throughout Eastern Europe, nuclear power. Except that, as you probably know, the most notable result of die Energiewende has been the decommissioning of Germany's own nuclear reactors, which have been replaced, largely, by carbon-intensive coal.

This, coupled with the fact that the media steadfastly refuse to celebrate Poland, Hungary, and Finland's nuclear transition, clearly demonstrates that all the fuss over "climate change" this has never been about the climate.

If the "climate change" case were fact-based, the arguments for it wouldn't rest so heavily on emotional appeals. Instead of global temperature data sets (unaltered by NASA or East Anglia) supporting a theory of “unsustainable warming,” which in fact doesn’t exist, we see apocalyptic fantasy movies and politicians who really ought to know better whining “we’re all gonna die in twelve years!”

As we’ve noted here often, the only solution going forward to provide inexpensive base-load electricity at scale, reducing the costs of everything in the modern world while protecting -- or increasing -- employment levels, and reducing any impacts of fossil fuels, is nuclear.

The new small modular reactors now being licensed are safe, efficient, and an inexpensive way to generate essentially inexhaustible amounts of electricity without killing birds and whales, nor deforesting millions of acres, and not destroying large tracts of land for the toxic promise of lithium batteries or huge landfills already filling with used-up turbine blades, toxic, used-up solar panels and lightly-scratched E.V. batteries.

Nothing about wind or solar is “Green,” once one delves into it. If we want a prosperous world full of modern conveniences, going forward, nuclear is key. Good to see that at least some of the world's leaders are finally recognizing it.

Kennedy Exposes Biden Hack's Ignorance On 'Net-Zero'

Senator John N. Kennedy (R-La.) doesn't suffer fools gladly, as his past few years exposing the ignorance of Biden administration judicial nominees and administration officials has demonstrated. A few months ago Kennedy went viral when he asked one such nominee what Articles V and II of the U.S. Constitution do, to which she replied that she couldn't recall.

More recently he called out Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his forceful advocacy in support of banning assault weapons, asking him what he thinks an assault weapon is, only to discover that Mayorkas hasn't the slightest idea.

Well, now he's moved on to energy policy, and his ability to make Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk sweat when asking him how much net-zero by 2050 will cost and how much he thinks our achieving it will effect global temperatures is a thing of beauty. In case the faceless bureaucrat's resume is unfamiliar to you, here it is:

Prior to his nomination as Deputy Secretary, Turk was the Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), where he focused on helping countries around the world tackle their clean energy transitions. He also directed reports on the digitalization of energy systems, the future of clean hydrogen, and a project tracking progress on a wide range of clean energy technologies.

Turk also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the U.S. National Security Council, where he coordinated interagency legislative affairs efforts by the full range of national security agencies and provided legislative advice to National Security Council decision-making. He also previously worked at the U.S. Department of State, including as Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change and helping to coordinate New Start Treaty ratification efforts in the U.S. Senate.

Turk was born in Quito, Ecuador...

Doing the jobs Americans won't do, apparently. (Who sets out to be a "deputy special envoy for climate change"?) Now here is Turk, in all his obtuse, bafflegabistic, unnecessary desk-jockey glory:

Many senators -- perhaps most -- act like they're perpetually filming a campaign commercial. Senator Kennedy's down-home style is different. At 71, he's neither manic nor a bomb thrower. Instead he's as slow and steady as his Louisiana drawl. But he does his homework, and he invariably gives his victims the rope they need to hang themselves. One of the most underrated members of Congress, the gentleman from Louisiana is doing the Lord's work in exposing these phonies for who they really are. Too bad there aren't more like him.

'Net-Zero': Who Needs It?

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon finally said the quiet part out loud when he suggested in his Annual Letter to CEO’s that there must be a coordinated alignment by government, corporations, and non-government organizations (NGO’s) to implement what he describes as practical policies to expedite the move to a transitioned, net-zero world. For Dimon, this includes using eminent domain to confiscate private property for the construction of wind and solar projects. Perhaps unintentionally, Dimon also affirmed what many market watchers have been asserting for some time—that there is an fundamental lack of interest by the market for a net-zero, "transitioned" world.

Described as a power of federal, states, and municipalities government to seize private property for public use while compensating the owner at "fair market rates," Dimon’s interpretation doesn’t focus on public use. His interest pertains to returns, distributions, and control.

In his letter Dimon explains that he wants to direct capital flows toward "green," transition-centric businesses and industries, many of which do not currently exist, in order to expeditiously usher in a society that investors manifestly do not want. All while ignoring the reality that by moving toward such a world, America and other western democracies would necessarily become more dependent on China,  America’s most sinister economic adversary.

Give the Chinese what they want.

Because of the quantity of rare-earth elements that China controls, a dependence on China to produce the energy and products of a net-zero world would bind American investors to an antithetical Communist regime that hates individual liberty and seeks to harm America. Forcing a move to technologies whose inputs America does not control, to create a society investors do not want, risks the economic sustainability that used to be a foundation of sound corporate investing. A transitioned, net-zero world therefore is not possible if liberty, economic stability, and democratic institutions are to remain pillars of American society.

But Dimon persists:

To expedite progress [of the green agenda], governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations need to align across a series of practical policy changes that comprehensively address fundamental issues [investors and democratic institutions] that are holding us back. Massive global investment in clean energy technologies must be done [through forced capital re-orientation] and must continue to grow year-over-year… We may even need to evoke eminent domain — we simply are not getting the adequate investments fast enough for grid, solar, wind and pipeline initiatives.

For your own good, comrade.

Note his liberal use of the word must, a typical Leftist trope/demand. Dimon, however, isn’t alone in his desire to bum-rush America onto the net-zero version of the Titanic. The prospect of large-scale compulsory seizure of land for wind projects was recently highlighted in future energy scenarios presented by oil giant Shell as a possible necessity for an accelerated push to net-zero.

As CEO of one of the largest financial conglomerates in the world, Dimon is supporting the vision and strategy of the World Economic Forum (WEF). If, as it appears, the WEF is using Dimon to promote its political and social agenda, it would place JP Morgan Chase in conflict with its legal obligations to investors as described by the sole interest rule and codified in U.S. law.

In 2000 the WEF began to establish a network of governments, NGOs, and large publicly traded corporations from the financial sector to re-orient the capital markets through capital allocation decisions made in the board rooms of corporate America. Support the political and social objectives of the WEF known as environmental, social and governance (ESG) goes the argument, and capital is invested in your company. Believe that your company should focus on meritorious delivery of products and services and not focus on political and social objectives and capital is withheld. Placing an ideological thumb on the scale of capital allocation decisions has become a problem for all investors that increasingly exposes JPMorgan Chase to legal challenges and market implications.

Dimon’s suggestion that taking private property for the financial benefit of private companies defies rational thinking. Perhaps Dimon is trying to recover from what many might consider the bad bet he made with the WEF as a member company. 

Against the Great Reset

Now on sale.

The “Great Reset-ers” from WEF promised the largest asset management firms, including JP Morgan Chase that for their participation in the capital re-orientation scheme intended to fund the tracking and surveillance technologies and companies needed for the net-zero world,  Dimon and his cohorts would benefit financially through higher management fees and equity positions in such newly funded companies.

But in the face of the market's  potential rejection of the surveillance state that such technologies and companies would pose to personal liberty and democracy, Dimon now calls on government to force via confiscation that which investors do not want to fund. The financial sector "net-zero sure-thing,” it seems, is being threatened, and Dimon is in a bit of a “net-nothing” panic.

While not a direct acknowledgement of a market rejection of the green agenda, Dimon’s letter acknowledges that the ESG scheme created by the WEF hasn’t been able to successfully re-orient sufficient capital to achieve the political and social change he and the other WEF activists seek. Let's hope they never do. 

Dreaming the Impossible Dream

What continually surprises is the lack of recognition of reality when discussing “green” energy. Economic reality. Physical reality. Energy reality. Let’s look at the numbers. We already know that the necessary minerals and mining capacity for conversion to electricity of America’s transportation needs simply do not exist on this planet. And we already know that we would need to double the electrical generation capacity of America, from about four trillion KwH to about eight trillion KwH, to replicate, electrically, our current personal transportation usage.

Now the climate cultists have turned their sights on home appliances. The American consumer uses approximately 4.72 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in our stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers, and furnaces. If we were to electrify these appliances, turn that 4.72 trillion cubic feet of energy now supplied by natural gas, into energy delivered via electricity, could we do it?

Usefully, the government’s EIA (Energy Information Administration) provides conversion calculations between energy sources: 4.72 trillion cubic feet of natural gas provides 4.9 quadrillion British Thermal Units, or BTUs. Assuming (one never can) a 100 percent conversion of energy consumed when switching energy systems to provide similar function, those 4.9 quadrillion BTUs, if provided via electricity, would require adding another thirty-five percent, another 1.4 trillion KwH, to the American electrical generating capacity, via wind and solar.

Never happen.

With brownouts plaguing the grid at 4 trillion kilowatts/hour today, what would be the logical expectation of adding over 5 trillion kilowatts/hour to that grid, 4T KwH for EVs and 1.4T KwH for natural gas replacement? Ignoring the mining realities above, is this electrification of natural gas appliances possible? From Forbes:

The government spending is expected to act as a catalyst for mobilizing the private investment sector’s resources to increase global clean energy investment to reach over $2 trillion annually in 2030. An impressive sum, but one that still falls short of the $4 trillion of global clean energy investment that needs to be hit annually by 2030 for the world to reach its 2050 net-zero goal, according to the IEA.

Trillions already have been invested. The results? "[T]he world now has 295 gigawatts of green generating capacity." In 2020, global generating capacity was 7,172 gigawatts, of which renewables provided four percent. Over ten years, $2.5 trillion has been spent for that four percent. With global government debt at $226 trillion, where, exactly, will this money come from to be spent, quixotically, on this nonsense?

Adding 5T KwH to the current 4T KwH, to the existing electrical grid in the U.S. alone cannot be done with wind and solar. There is no there there, regardless of the money spent. With global "green" energy totaling 295 gigawatts, it seems we have a gap between reality and expectations.

If reducing carbon emissions and expanding electrical output were our goals, a fraction of that money could be spent investing in nuclear power, natural gas, and on upgrades to our grid infrastructure. If any of this were about “global warming,” that is what we would be doing.

But it is not. It’s about controlling you. It’s about confining you. This has nothing to do with the climate. It never has.

'No Good Whining/ About a Silver Lining'

We would be remiss if we did not note in these (digital) pages the death of Nigel Lawson, one of Britain's great proponents of sanity in politics, and particularly in the latter years of his life, climate sanity. Lawson was one of the forces behind the success of Thatcherism, serving in several key roles in Margaret Thatcher's government, culminating in his 1983 appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer. In that position he became the driving force behind cutting the U.K.'s unsustainably high taxes and reforming the country's cumbersome financial regulations. British business was reinvigorated, leading directly to what is known as the "Lawson Boom," which saw unemployment cut in half and a budget deficit of £10.5 billion in 1983 transformed into a budget surplus of £4.1 billion by the time he resigned 1989.

Of particular interest to us at The Pipeline is Lawson's late-career turn as one of Britain's few skeptics of the received environmentalist narrative. As described by Net-Zero Watch — a publication of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which Lawson founded — he first became interested in the subject of global warming after reviewing the correspondence of senior government bureaucrats on the subject which he said demonstrated “a combination of ignorance and obfuscation that was indeed worthy of Sir Humphrey,” the manipulative civil servant on the BBC comedy Yes, Minister. According to Andrew Montford, Lawson was "Intrigued by the wrongheadedness of it all" and inspired to do something about it.

In his role as chairman of the House of Lords Economic Affair Committee, he persuaded his colleagues to launch an inquiry into the economics of climate change. Almost unique among subsequent Parliamentary inquiries, the witnesses included a number of eminent scientists who were on the sceptical side of catastrophism, as well as the usual chorus of the climate alarmist faithful. Such scrutiny was never to be repeated.

Beyond that, he wrote the surprise best-seller, An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming (for which he'd initially struggled to find a publisher), and in 2009 helped found the GWPF, an organization which has the very large task of pushing back on the climate hysteria of essentially every other institution in British life.

Lawson at left, with his famous boss.

On that score, it is worth noting that most of the ostensibly conservative figures and publications memorializing Lawson in recent days have passed over his decades-long war on the environmentalist narrative entirely (Britain's current prime minister, Rishi Sunak, wrote a tribute to Lawson which contains exactly zero words on the subject, perhaps unsurprisingly given Sunak's own green proclivities), while Left-leaning sources have brought it up continually, apparently in the hopes of painting him as a kook. That said, The Guardian's obituary did a pretty good job of articulating his position: "Lawson claimed that economic growth should not be slowed down to prevent a possible eventuality, but that policy should be made pragmatically in response to what had already happened."

But for some undiluted good sense, read Lawson himself. A good place to begin would be with the final article he wrote for The Spectator, the conservative magazine he edited before his entrance into electoral politics. Entitled "Net-zero is a disastrous solution to a nonexistent problem," it hits all of Lawson's familiar notes — the benefits of atmospheric CO2; the ability of humans to adapt to the (slight) increases in temperature we've seen in recent years which may-or-may-not be attributed to carbon dioxide increases; modern environmentalism as a replacement for the religion of old; and most importantly the unimaginable cost of what the other side is proposing.

In his own eulogy of his father, son Dominic Lawson wrote:

On his 80th birthday party in 2012, which George Osborne kindly hosted at 11 Downing Street, my father astonished not just the chancellor but the other seventy or so guests when, over coffee, he got up, walked over to the piano and declared: “Lock the doors so nobody can escape.” He then announced that he would sing some songs by Noël Coward, starting with There Are Bad Times Just Around the Corner. As in: “There are bad times just around the corner/ There are dark clouds hurtling through the sky/ And it’s no good whining/ About a silver lining/ For we know from experience that they won’t roll by.”

He was the rare British politician who understood these things, and we are unlikely to see his like again anytime soon.