(American Thinker) — The renewable energy fantasy goal is achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Carpet-bombing propaganda has convinced the public to accept the extravagant claim that technology currently exists to reach net zero carbon emissions. Like carnival barkers, the net-zero fanatics say renewable energy is affordable, sustainable, scalable, and not an economy wrecker.
The goal is to create a first-generation green power grid relying on wind turbine farms, solar array farms, and power storage battery banks replacing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. In addition, the new power grid would power a global fleet of electric vehicles that would replace the internal combustion engine.
Western society has taken one hundred fifty years of progress to achieve a fantastically complex energy system using the dense source of cheap hydrocarbon energy, the master resource. Yet the net zero devotees believe that the complex energy system can be dismantled with minimal disruption and replaced with a low-density renewable energy grid that is intermittent and non-scalable, in less than thirty years.
Well, I have horrible news for the devotees: the green energy fantasy collides with the laws of thermodynamics. The Greenies never researched whether or not there are sufficient base and rare earth metals and adequate time to mine and build out the technologies to accomplish the net zero carbon 2050 target date.
Simon P. Michaux of the Geological Survey of Finland has compiled an exhaustive study dismantling the overly ambitious task of phasing out fossil fuels. His comprehensive analysis focuses on the required physical material resources and the extraction timeframe to create renewable energy generation systems. A PowerPoint summary of his thousand-page study can be downloaded here.
The comprehensive study found that the current estimated metal reserves are woefully deficient in almost every category. The table below lists base and rare earth metals requirements to build the new grid and E.V.s. Deficits are yellow-highlighted. For example, copper is an integral part of a high-voltage grid system, coming up short by a shocking 3.7 billion tons. Can we dig enough open mile-deep ore pits to meet that shortfall? Improbable.
Table 1 Below is the study’s table estimating the years to produce the required metals at the current production rates. For example, lithium would take almost 10 millennia to achieve. In addition, these scarce minerals must be mined, transported, and processed, relying exclusively on fossil fuels, which would create more carbon emissions and deplete hydrocarbon reserves.
Petrochemicals from oil and natural gas make over 6,000 everyday products indispensable to modern society. There are no known alternative substitutes for hydrocarbons. Yet the climate change fanboys catastrophically ignore petrochemicals that provide many indispensible goods.
Europe’s embargo of Russian oil and natural gas, along with the terroristic sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, is exposing the myth of green energy. As a result, Germany, the poster child for green energy, has resorted to heresy by reactivating its mothballed coal-fired power plants. Unfortunately, importing high-cost natural gas, petroleum, and distillates to compensate for lost Russian imports is insufficient to meet demand. Germany needs a substantial volume of hydrocarbons to produce petroleum-based products (i.e., BASF Chemicals) and sufficient electrical generation; otherwise, it will have to de-industrialize. Good luck with that.
The math doesn’t support the net zero activist movement’s rhetoric. Eliminating indispensable fossil fuels, as Germany is experiencing at an accelerating rate, without replacing it with the equivalent of alternative energy, would quickly collapse modern society. Think of it as the “Jonestown Massacre” on a global scale.
Energy, not ideology, is the modern economy. The net-zero theology is “sound and fury, signifying nothing” but dystopian misery.
Bob Bishop is a retired CPA and a forensic investigator.
Reprinted with permission from American Thinker.