The 'Energy Revolution' Will Not Be Forthcoming

Tom Finnerty29 Mar, 2023 2 Min Read
A Midsummer Night's fantasy.

Do yourself a favor and watch this presentation delivered by the Manhattan Institute's Mark P. Mills entitled "The energy transition delusion: inescapable mineral realities." It is data heavy, but also a gripping and common sensible account of how and why the common environmentalist account of a "great transition" in the next few years, away from hydrocarbon based energy and forward to renewable energy just isn't going to happen.

A comment upon the title: Mills explains that by "delusion" he means that anyone who confidently proclaims that in a few short years the entire world will be Norway (which gets the vast majority of its energy via renewable resources, principally hydro dams) is likely "suffering some modest delusion about what the possibilities are in the mining sector." For Mills, "the whole thing distills to mining," and mankind's mining capacity -- for minerals like cobalt and nickel, which are essential for large battery production -- is the bottleneck for such a transition. Without those batteries -- for E.V.s, factories, residences, etc. -- the environmentalist vision of the future is absolutely impossible.

And yet, the production increase which the predicted transition would necessitate is an increase "not by 10 or 20 percent, not by 50 percent, not 200 percent, but from 700 to 7,000 percent," and over the next twenty years. If this were to be achieved, says Mills, it would be "the largest single increase in demand or supply of metals in all of human history. It's never happened." And, judging purely by the projected investment in mining over the next few decades -- it isn't projected to increase 700 percent, let alone 7,000 percent -- it isn't going to happen at all.

But there's a lot more in here than that point, so give this a watch. You won't regret it.

Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.


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7 comments on “The 'Energy Revolution' Will Not Be Forthcoming”

  1. Thanks for the confirmation. I couldn't remember a scene where all three were present at the same time in Midsummer Night's Dream. Personally, I prefer Judi Dench's Titania, so this costume confused me a little.

  2. Lets put all of Hollywood, Washington D.C. and the United Nations on Wind or Solar Power and lets see how they like it and while were at it the same for Gore as well

  3. Are you sure about the photo? Is it supposed to be Oberon, Puck and Titania? Might it not be Prospero, Caliban, and Miranda from The Tempest? We could be heading for an Energy Tempest, so it's still appropriate.

    1. "Edgar Wreford as 'Oberon', Bernard Hopkins as 'Puck' and Jill Dixon as 'Titania' in a scene from the New Shakespeare Company's production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', at the Regent's Park open air theatre, London. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)"

  4. A modest proposal: Distribute fertility drugs in the regions surrounding critical metals mines.
    This will increase the supply of children working 80 hours/week at physical labor.
    Bonus: In case of famine these children can be eaten.

  5. Honors to you for using the expression “hydrocarbons” in lieu of the more deceitful “fossil fuels.” “Fossil fuels” implies a limited resource dependent on ancient life forms. In reality, no one has a complete understanding of the origin of hydrocarbons or the extent or rate to which the biosphere or sub-biosphere replenishes stores of hydrocarbons. Clearly, the presence of methane in Jupiter’s atmosphere (approximately 0.3%) strongly suggests that biological activity can’t be the only explanation. It is equally clear that the concept of “fossil fuel”satisfies certain political and economic objectives that benefit from the “peak oil” narrative, now more than 100 years in the making.

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