The phrase “business as usual” will be one familiar to anyone who has spent some time mulling over the contents of the various Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted to the UN Secretariat pursuant to the provisions of the Paris Agreement. The context there is of (usually, developing) countries seeking to avoid any particular commitment to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), while appearing to be offering to do something. This is where “business as usual” (BaU) comes in. By postulating significant increased national emissions in years to come under a BaU scenario, they can then offer a reduction (often relatively small, or conditional on funding) against that BaU outcome. This usually has the effect of seeing significant increases in the country’s GHGs, while nevertheless offering up the vision of some sort of a cut. Indonesia’s NDC does that, for instance (see more below). However, what I want to talk about is the return to business as usual all around the world, in short order – in fact within a few days – of the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact.

US to release oil reserves in attempt to lower prices

This is the heading to an articlei which appeared on the BBC website on 23rd November 2021, i.e. just three weeks after US President Joe Biden left for home from Glasgow and COP 26 where he “…warned that the climate crisis poses “the existential threat to human existence as we know it” and urged other world leaders to embark upon a transformational shift to clean energy…”ii.

Given President Biden’s attempts to claim the climatic moral high ground both in the run up to COP 26 and while there, what follows does seem a little strange to anyone who took him at his word. And yet we find:

The US has said it is releasing 50 million barrels of oil from its reserves in an attempt to bring down soaring energy and petrol prices.

The move is being taken in parallel with other major oil-consuming nations, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK.

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly asked the Opec group of oil-producing nations to boost output more rapidly.

Oil – and lots of it – is apparently good.

In a statement the White House said: “American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas [petrol/diesel] prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand.

“That’s why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”

Unfortunately, it seems that the plan hasn’t had the desired effect. The BBC’s Scottish Business/economy editor, Douglas Fraser, wrote a follow-up articleiii on the next day in which he observed:

It didn’t go to plan. The market responded by pushing the spot price up by nearly $3 a barrel, so that it currently trades above $82.

So much for the Guardian articleiv (Will the coronavirus kill the oil industry and help save the climate?) which I criticised in “Oil Is Dead, Long Live Oil”v. It is more than a little ironic that the Guardian article included this:

Adding fuel to the fire of the pandemic is the price war being waged by Saudi Arabia and Russia, who increased production just as the pandemic slashed demand, sending prices towards the floor. The moves are seen as an attempt to grab market share by killing the higher cost producers behind the US shale boom.

The irony is that OPEC, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, is now agreeing to increase production only slowly. Presumably the oil-producing countries have worked out (after all, it isn’t difficult) that oil is far from dead, and that after a lean year/18 months the good times have returned. Maintain production at levels that keep the price high and they make good profits while maintaining their reserves. It’s pre-pandemic business as usual, and COP 26 has made not a blind bit of difference to it.

And as Douglas Fraser has very clearly seen, and points out:

All this seems a long way from the COP26 summit, when President Biden and many others were agreeing that oil and gas have to shrink massively, and not talking about supplying the market with more crude oil to help keep prices down.

It’s also a long way also from the pressure on the UK government to stop consent from new drilling and enhanced production.

Under short-term pressure, political leaders are likely to favour lower prices over lower emissions.

Ahead of the decision on whether to green light the Cambo gas field, west of Shetland, another significant voice is calling for continued drilling by the oil and gas industry in UK waters.

Tim Eggar used to be energy minister in the Conservative government of the 1990s. He is now chairman of the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

At a conference in London on Wednesday, he had two key messages. Following petrol shortages and with gas prices soaring: “Security of supply is back in vogue”.

The need for oil and gas to fuel transport, industry and heating will remain “for the foreseeable future,” he said.

And so, he argued, it’s better to produce it in UK waters, with lower emissions than arise from transporting it from other countries.

US auctions off oil and gas drilling leases in Gulf of Mexico after climate talks

This is the heading to an articlevi that appeared in the Guardian on 17th November 2021, just two weeks after US President Joe Biden returned to the USA from Glasgow. The period between the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact and President Biden’s announcement was even shorter, as the Guardian report tells us:

Just four days after landmark climate talks in Scotland in which Joe Biden vowed the US will “lead by example” in tackling dangerous global heating, the president’s own administration is providing a jarring contradiction – the largest ever sale of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

The US federal government is on Wednesday launching an auction of more than 80m acres of the gulf for fossil fuel extraction, a record sell-off that will lock in years, and potentially decades, of planet-heating emissions.

The enormous size of the lease sale– covering an area that is twice as large as Florida – is a blunt repudiation of Biden’s previous promise to shut down new drilling on public lands and waters. It has stunned environmentalists who argue the auction punctures the US’s shaky credibility on the climate crisis and will make it harder to avert catastrophic impacts from soaring global heating.

It’s worth putting this in some sort of perspective, and the Guardian helpfully does so:

…the Department of the Interior, which oversees public lands and waters, has estimated there is as much as 1.12bn barrels of oil and 4.2tn cubic ft of gas available for extraction. A separate lease sale offered by the government in Alaska’s Cook Inlet will offer up another 192m barrels of oil and 301bn cubic ft of gas to drillers.

Combined, these leases would result in nearly 600m tons of planet-heating gases if fully developed over the next four decades, which is more than the total annual emissions of the UK.

This is deliberately exaggerating the scale of the issue – forty years’ worth of emissions being compared to one year’s emissions from the UK. However, it does come on top of the USA’s substantial pre-existing GHG emissions, and it does make a mockery of President Biden’s claims to “climate leadership”.

Indeed, as the Guardian stresses:

Critics say a worrying pattern has emerged during Biden’s tenure, with his administration handing out drilling permits at a rate of more than 300 a month since his inauguration, a faster pace even than under Donald Trump.

At the Glasgow talks, known as Cop26, the US also declined to sign on to an agreement to end coal mining, or to phase out gasoline and diesel cars.”

It seems that despite the substantial change in the USA’s Presidential leadership (Biden is – or at least is supposed to be – a rather different character from the much-maligned Trump), it’s still business as usual.

Polluting greenhouse gases being sold online and smuggled to UK

This is the heading to an articlevii which also appeared on the BBC website on 23rd November 2021. Unusually, given how the BBC and the Guardian so often seem to be in lock-step, I can’t say I’ve noticed this at the Guardian website. Perhaps it’s because the BBC made a bit of a song and dance about it (it was splashed all over radio and TV news bulletins on the BBC on that day) because it’s the result of a BBC investigation. The article explains the background thus:

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were developed as alternatives to ozone-depleting chemicals, which were banned under a global 1987 agreement known as the Montreal Protocol.

The deal banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were gradually replaced by HFCs.

HFCs are man-made, colourless and odourless.

They are mainly used in air conditioning, industrial chillers and fridges and can also be found in some aerosol propellants and fire protection fluids.

But they are powerful greenhouse gases, with some HFC blends thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Scientists previously discovered HFCs contribute to global warming by trapping heat radiating off the Earth.

The UK aims to reduce the use of HFCs by 69% by 2024.

Am I alone in a sense of deja vu? CFCs were bad for the ozone layer, therefore we replaced them with HFCs, but oh dear, HFCs are bad for global warming. It’s all a bit like when Gordon Brown as UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the urging of experts, reduced taxes on diesel cars because the experts assured him that they were better for global warming. But then, alas, we now find that diesel cars are otherwise polluting and the work of the Devil:

Gordon Brown introduced tax breaks for diesel cars as the UK chancellor in 2001 because they emit less CO2 than petrol-powered cars, but it is now known that they emit other harmful pollutants, known as nitrogen oxides.viii

I digress. Back to HFCs. This, apparently, is the problem:

The BBC’s investigation began at the Romania-Ukraine border, where HFCs made in China have been smuggled through in the boots of cars or in lorries.

We found scores of online adverts posted by local traders offering the gases for sale and met one trader, called “George”, who said he could get large quantities of HFCs.

After directing us to a quiet country road near the border crossing, he opened the boot of his car to reveal two canisters containing HFCs.

He offered them for roughly £100 each. They sell on the UK’s illicit market for up to £240.

HFCs made in China.” China, China, China. China joined with India in watering-down the Glasgow Climate Pact’s references to coal. Despite lots of political differences in many areas, China joined with Joe Biden in agreeing measures to try to increase supply and reduce the price of oil. And now we find China manufacturing these nasty HFCs. Business as usual.

Coal

According to Carbon Briefix (reporting what was said by China’s National Development and Reform Commission) China’s daily coal output this month has set a “historic new high” as part of efforts to ensure “energy security”. Apparently 360m tonnes of raw coal were produced in China last month, a rise of 4% on last year and 5.5% compared to 2019. Not content with that, China also imported almost 27m tonnes of coal in October 2021, almost double its coal imports in the same month in 2020. According to Reuters, the reported daily output was the highest since at least March 2015.

Efforts in China continue, to increase supplies of both coal and gas, in readiness for the upcoming peak winter months. China’s state grid has been warning of possible local electricity shortages.

Business as usual.

Meanwhile, in India, according to the Hindustan Times on 24th November 2014x:

Union minister for coal Pralhad Joshi on Monday asked the Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries to make “all out efforts” to ensure at least 18 days of coal stock with thermal power plants by the end of November.

The state-owned CIL has been prioritising the supply of coal temporarily to power producers to refill the reducing stocks of coal with them, news agency PTI reported.

During his virtual address during the 47th foundation day of CIL, the minister also called upon the central government subsidiary to increase its production to one billion tonnes by the end of 2024.

Business as usual.

There is, rightly I think, considerable focus on China and India with regard to coal use, but let’s not forget Indonesia. According to local publication, Mongabayxi:

Indonesia’s commitment [to phase out its coal-fired power plants by the 2040s] is so riddled with caveats that it makes the effort essentially “useless” — in particular the fact that the country is on track to add more coal capacity by 2030 than it plans to retire.

The government of President Joko Widodo is also betting big on giving the coal industry a second life through coal gasification, a process that yields a cleaner-burning fuel, but which, in producing it, is even more carbon-intensive than just burning coal.

Other measures the government is rolling out to keep coal plants burning longer include co-firing, where wood pellets are burned alongside coal, and the use of carbon capture technology criticized as unfeasible at scale.

And:

Indonesia has also made clear it’s not committing to the entirety of the pledge it just signed in Glasgow. Among the clauses that it refused to sign is one that would have obliged it to “cease issuance of new permits for unabated coal-fired power generation projects, cease new construction of unabated coal-fired power generation projects and to end new direct government support for unabated international coal-fired power generation.”

Business as usual.

Conclusion

In the UK, however, things are different. Net zero is being extolled, while energy prices reach new highs. Business is struggling. Energy supply companies are going bust at an unprecedented rate (another two went bust only todayxii), there have been (ironically) shortages of CO2xiii in September this year and petrol and diesel shortages (whatever their cause), all point to a country that is definitely not enjoying business as usual.

Actions speak louder than words. For all the hype around COP 26, the Glasgow Climate Pact is essentially meaninglessxiv. Even US President Joe Biden talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. Others don’t even talk the talk. It’s time for the UK establishment to realise that their “net zero” agenda is a suicide pact that nobody else has signed (though maybe Germany has just joined in…xv).

Endnotes

i https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59353194

ii https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/01/biden-cop26-speech-climate-change-action-us-lead-example

iii https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59406217

iv https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/01/the-fossil-fuel-industry-is-broken-will-a-cleaner-climate-be-the-result

v https://cliscep.com/2021/09/30/oil-is-dead-long-live-oil/

vi https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/17/biden-administration-gulf-of-mexico-oil-gas-drilling-leases

vii https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59061805

viii https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/oct/01/uk-government-wrong-to-subsidise-diesel-says-former-minister

ix https://www.carbonbrief.org/china-briefing-18-november-2021-xi-biden-meeting-methane-emissions-historic-new-high-for-coal

x https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pralhad-joshi-asks-coal-india-ltd-to-ensure-power-plants-have-18-days-of-stock-by-november-2021-101635773501707.html

xi https://news.mongabay.com/2021/11/cop26-cop-out-indonesias-clean-energy-pledge-keeps-coal-front-and-center/

xii https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59414799

xiii https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-58626935

xiv https://cliscep.com/2021/11/20/the-partys-over/

xv https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-59399702

60 Comments

  1. “US President Joe Biden has repeatedly asked the Opec group of oil-producing nations to boost output more rapidly.”

    This is comically tragic. One of Biden’s first acts was to put an end to the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. A potential safe and secure increase of crude oil supply from an ally, right next door, not half way around the world. So to burnish his environmental credentials he killed it. Now he’s begging OPEC to increase supply? This is where “environmentalism” gets you. Completely nuts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mark, you already know my theory about this, although I admit that I haven’t yet considered all the angles, so it is a bit grandiose to call it a theory at this stage.

    Under this hypothesis – a better term – the highest virtue is to be obtained by saying the right thing rather than by doing the right thing. I don’t know whether or not it is necessary to believe those words – it depends rather on whether you take a dimmer view of the speaker’s intelligence or their honesty. People say untrue things for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes they mean them and believe them. Honest stupidity or clever dissembling?

    Either way, soon the idle words crash into reality – as you observe, almost without a cigarette break between them. As a practical matter the earlier words mean nothing: there is only one winner now, reality.

    Now a blot on the hypothesis appears: how do you encompass the actions of the UK and Germany in their headlong rush to elevate virtue over prosperity? Well, so far at least it is mostly just words, and promises, and so far the pain is not great – it’s more the nervousness that comes before a visit to the dentist rather than the moment the drill whines up to full speed. I think the pain will not be borne for long.

    The other blot on the hypothesis is the why. I don’t have a good answer to this, other than that so far there is no cost to these – to us seemingly bordering on insane – pronouncements, and plenty of benefits to those who make them. Including to those who are most definitely lying.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. From the Toronto Globe and Mail (Paywalled)

    The political optics of a U.S. president conceding that OPEC has him over a barrel are anything but good. The last time it happened, when Jimmy Carter was in the White House, it did not end well. But Mr. Biden appears to be out of other options.

    Eleven progressive Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, wrote this month to Mr. Biden to express their “support for your efforts to help families and businesses across the nation who are struggling to cope with soaring gasoline prices.” Yet, those same Democratic senators remain hostile to more domestic oil production or increased imports from Canada.

    Mr. Biden himself revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office…….Americans might like the concept of net zero emissions, but, like voters almost everywhere, they have expressed little willingness to accept the lifestyle changes needed to get there. .

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  4. “Under this hypothesis – a better term – the highest virtue is to be obtained by saying the right thing rather than by doing the right thing. I don’t know whether or not it is necessary to believe those words – it depends rather on whether you take a dimmer view of the speaker’s intelligence or their honesty. People say untrue things for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes they mean them and believe them. Honest stupidity or clever dissembling?”

    You are right about virtue-signalling (which is within the context of signalling to a cultural group). But this doesn’t imply a conflict between intelligence and honesty. For those who ardently believe cultural narratives, their rationality is bypassed by said belief. Hence they can be perfectly honest (indeed *passionately* honest), plus intelligent too. Indeed millions and millions of people participate in cultural hypocrisies, for instance the nearly half of Americans who disbelieve the theory of evolution but still avail themselves of medical products that would likely never have existed if science had baulked at the fence of natural-selection versus creationism. This half of America is neither dishonest or dumb (having the normal range of intelligence). It is likewise regarding the cultural hypocrisy of many millions who “…like the concept of net zero emissions, but, like voters almost everywhere, they have expressed little willingness to accept the lifestyle changes needed to get there.” It would appear to help that publics know zip about climate-science or energy issues etc. But in practice there’s no evidence that polarization on culturally conflicted issues is less as knowledge rises, and there’s some evidence that it is actually greater (the more knowledgeable and cognitively capable people appear better able to defend what they *emotively* believe is true).

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  5. Another example of what Andy is talking about, we think we are rational, but our minds serve our emotional commitments, reality be damned. A scifi author once said: “Reality is that which continues to be no matter how much we think or wish otherwise.” Here’s Jane Menton at Manhattan Contrarian:

    “The Kyle Rittenhouse trial has given us an unusual opportunity to contrast uncontestable facts as shown on many video recordings with an endlessly repeated media narrative that seems to exist in an alternate reality. To my amazement, even after two full weeks of livestreamed trial, most notably featuring videos taken on the night at issue and a witness testifying that he had pointed a gun in Rittenhouse’s face, many on the left cling to the prior narrative of the case as though it contains a greater truth about our justice system and racism in this country and therefore cannot be disputed by facts.

    Could they just not have been paying attention? Or alternatively, do they have such a strong sense of emotional conviction that no amount of evidence, rationality, or logic can persuade them that Kyle Rittenhouse deserved the presumption of innocence and a fair trial?”

    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-11-21-can-a-progressive-be-convinced-by-facts

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andy, I agree with most of that. But.

    We can believe true things or false things. Most of us get a free pass for believing a wrong thing. We may not have been exposed to evidence that might counter that belief (or maybe we’ve deliberately avoided it, creeping into siloes etc). Such a belief might have been inculcated in us since the year dot (I’m thinking of those who do not believe in evolution). On the other hand we may have adopted the belief shallowly as part of cultural duck-speak, etc, either without ever thinking it through or because the saying of it is a cultural shield. That would explain hypocrisy easily enough.

    The great and good who lecture us about climate change don’t get the free pass because they have no such excuses for believing and/or saying wrong things. Before they lecture the rest of us, they should investigate the subject. They have minions for that sort of thing. If they did so they would not come out and say objectively impossible things – things that data or even reflection would quickly show are false.

    I had in mind two scenarios in which an impartial observer might observe and recognise statements shortly to be proven so. The first was a crack addict asking a friend for twenty quid, promising that this was his last hit and that he would give up the habit tomorrow. The second was a confidence trickster spinning a yarn to extract money from a sucker.

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  7. Ron – “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away,” ish, from P.K. Dick, who had his own interpretation of reality, but wrote some great stories. I was actually thinking of A Scanner Darkly earlier – my memory of it might be wrong, but I retain an impression of a gang, each of whom is a member of a different law enforcement organisation who thinks the rest of the gang are criminals.

    I am always reluctant to cross over from climate into culture wars proper. Only the jury know the full facts on the Rittenhouse trial, and that means to me that their verdict should be supported. Biden’s comments on that did no good for anyone. An example of how divided we are perhaps that two sides see that diametrically opposed things are perfectly obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whenever I read a magazine these days, there seems to be some kind of wibble about the effects of climate change. A case in point arrived today, in an otherwise sensible article about the health impacts of pollution (which already kills far more people per annum than shown in any of the models of the impact of climate change, even using RCP 8.5, which is a stupid and dishonest thing to do) you get this peculiar diatribe:

    “The climate is changing ten times faster than ever before in a planetary history that includes mass extinctions which wiped out more than 90 per cent of life on Earth. Half of that damage has been done in the last 25 years, since the publication of Al Gore’s first book on global warming and the formation of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – in other words, with the full knowledge of the scientific community and the effective consent of global political leaders. A quarter of the change has taken place since Barack Obama was elected president, having hubristically proclaimed that ‘this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.’ Just a few years later, he bragged to an audience in Texas that ‘suddenly, America is the biggest oil producer. That was me, people.’”

    Ten times faster! How was that number calculated?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jit, thanks for recalling the source and his quote more exactly. The corollary for the global warming/climate change crowd is: Reality is that which doesn’t happen no matter how much we expect it to.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is more than a little irony in Biden’s talking big about GHG emissions reductions, then his failed attempt to see the price of oil reduced. All it takes, it seems, is an announcement about a new covid variant:

    “Covid: Shares hit as new variant rattles investors”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59428927

    “…Concern the new variant could slow global economic growth sent oil prices sharply lower. US WTI crude tumbled 11.3% to $69.53 per barrel, while European benchmark Brent retreated 10.2% to $73.81….”.

    Like

  11. Mark, do read an extended rant by Lubos Motl on this. It starts this way:

    “Oh I see. So some African “scientists” have found a new genetic code of a SARS-CoV-2 descendant and called it the B.1.1.529 variant, also called “omicron” by the WHO or “nu” by others or (by the nutty Belgian PM) Covid-21. It has the highest number of mutations and maybe, perhaps, it will not only be more transmissible but also evade the immune system and other things. Millions of people clearly buy the garbage “science” news every day and today, this stuff is apparently enough to subtract 4% from DAX (the German index) while the Prague Index only lost 1.67% at the end (thank God, a lukewarm version of the psychopathy is here); some of the drop is “justifiable” by the fact that politicians are discussing new travel bans and similar things again (VIX, the index of fear, goes up damn 46%). How totally braindead do you have to become to buy something like that and react in this way? I am absolutely shocked by the sheer stupidity of so many people.”

    https://motls.blogspot.com/2021/11/farcical-pseudoscience-of-new-south.html

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  12. Ron, yes that is quite a rant!

    I have always studiously tried to avoid going near covid in what I write, but since I introduced it to this thread indirectly in my last comment, I can’t complain.

    I would agree that the reaction does seem to have been OTT and borderline hysterical. My expectation (though I accept that I could easily be proved wrong) is that the latest variant will probably result in increased transmissibility of the virus, but with the symptoms experienced by those catching it being less severe. That’s how these things work – those outcomes are in the virus’ interests. Killing its host isn’t in its interest. Spreading more easily is.

    In saner moments on the BBC radio news this evening I did hear a scientists saying something along the lines of “it’ll be a few weeks before we understand how this variant will affect people and the consequences for humanity” (I paraphrase), but such a restrained, responsible and reasonable view doesn’t make headlines.

    Like

  13. Just when you think climate campaigners can’t become any more disfunctional:

    “Some climate campaigners praise Biden for releasing emergency oil reserves
    Move appears to contradict president’s climate crisis goals but some say it defends the economy ‘against disruption’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/26/joe-biden-oil-reserves-climate-campaigners-praise

    “In a surprising move, some climate crisis campaigners have praised Joe Biden for ordering the release of emergency oil reserves in an attempt to reduce energy prices across the country.

    On Tuesday, the president announced the release of a record 50m barrels of oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, in coordination with other countries including China, India and the UK….

    The move appears to contradict Biden’s long-term goals of addressing the climate crisis, including reaching a net-zero emissions economy and reducing American dependence on foreign fossil fuels, but some environmentalists have come out in support of his decision.

    Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who has focused extensively on the climate crisis, praised the Biden administration. “This is what reserves are for – defending our economy against disruption. Profiteering can’t go unanswered, especially as Big Oil makes billions and fuels the climate crisis through exports,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

    Markey attributed the surge in oil prices to oil companies and corporate greed, saying: “Some of the upward pressure on oil prices today is directly tied to the fact that oil producers can make more money by producing less oil … the smartest thing we can do to insulate America from future global oil price shocks is to reduce our dependence on oil in general, and especially foreign oil. That means investing in America’s transition to a clean energy future.”

    Lorne Stockman, research director of Oil Change International, an environmental group focused on creating a “fossil-free future”, said Biden should have acted sooner, if only to counter a barrage of Republican criticism blaming him for high gasoline prices.

    “Presidents are always blamed for high gas prices, whether they have anything to do with it or not,” Stockman said, calling the measure a small step to bring short-term relief to American consumers….”.

    Maybe I should have posted this comment on “Energy Through The Looking Glass”. We seem, increasingly, to be living in an Alice Through the Looking Glass world.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jit: “The great and good who lecture us about climate change don’t get the free pass because they have no such excuses for believing and/or saying wrong things.”

    I disagree. They have a cast-iron reason for doing what they do, although I wouldn’t label it an ‘excuse’. The patterns of attitudes to climate-change across global publics are *measurably* indistinguishable from any other strong culture. Indeed indistinguishable from the patterns of attitudes about religion, for instance. So ‘climate culture’ in the public domain is a ‘secular religion’. And religions don’t need to be ‘received’ (i.e. naturally picked-up during childhood, children are primed to pick-up cultural templates, and indeed many are picking up climate culture this way now). For those too old to have acquired this culture in childhood, there are millions of adults are also known to pick up religion too, and indeed many become some of the most fervent believers. The public-domain includes public authorities, who collectively have no more knowledge about climate-change than the publics they are supposed to serve, and indeed their statements are clearly those of avid belief, not rationality: https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/14/the-catastrophe-narrative/ It is a far more powerful culture than that growing around say extreme trans-rights or so-called ‘anti-racism’, and has been growing for decades.

    None of this means that anyone should be excused if they do anything that breaks institutional rules or indeed legality, in the name of the noble-cause of climate-change. Absolutely not. But believers in certain climate doom cannot be faulted as individuals for merely believing, whether they hold public authority or not. We don’t punish, say, priests in any way for merely believing in and indeed proselytising their faiths. And despite they have been the ‘great and good’ lecturing us about absolute fairy-tale nonsense for millennia, and despite too the fairy-tales have often had very negative effects indeed. We still respect them. We only punish them if they abuse the positions that cultural authority has given them, should they use this to try and get away with breaking institutional rules or legality. In principle, this should be no different for any culture.

    Ron has demonstrated above how white can be black for true believers (in this case as it happens, literally), no matter the complete trashing of logic this implies and against any amount of easily understandable evidence. No-one could make such stupid lies, and right across institutions / the media / authority / grass-roots support / everywhere. As Ron notes, ‘our minds serve our emotional commitments’. And also as noted, climate doom has had far longer to generate mass cultural inertia in publics (and public authorities) than the so called ‘anti-racist’ nouveau racism that has gripped the West (and especially the US) over the last few years. And it’s also no good having minions to investigate if all the minions believe too, and the minions of the minions, when cultural belief has crept through all institutions and hollowed them out. And when the scientists at ground level, so to speak, daren’t express to the minions or anyone else that apocalypse *isn’t* certain or anything like, even though they themselves know this is the case (and also confirm same in IPCC AR5, which fact is slowly lost as one climbs the ladder of summaries and summaries of summaries and then sound-bytes etc, where narrative competition rules ). And also when any critique in public or even in more knowledgeable forums is demonised (including quoting AR5, as Roger Pielke knows) – as part of behaviour that is unfortunately *completely normal* for all humans. This doesn’t make it anything but bad, and it’s not ‘excusable’ if actual wrong is enacted. Again anything like breaking the law (e.g. defying FOI) cannot be excused for any individuals – at the sharp end some actual individuals are culpable and should be brought to brook, but very rarely are when a huge culture is on their side. However the vast majority of folks, including the public authorities, are not doing anything actually wrong in terms of breaking any laws or whatever; they are merely *believing*. The source of the bad is not the individuals, whomever they may be; the enemy is a thing, a process.

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  15. Andy, I agree with most of what you say, but there are limits. Objective truth is a thing, and where it impinges on culture there must be some sort of skirmish at least. The farther reality is from the story, the more grating this clash must be. [Notwithstanding that at Cop26, the great and good implied that reality is subjective in the praise they heaped on indigenous knowledge and its necessity – not that I would prefer a companion with academic knowledge rather than indigenous knowledge if I magically teleported to Baffin Island.]

    I have to believe that if confronted by contrary evidence, I’ll change my mind. I may not want to emotively, so I might do my best to twist and turn in the wind to dodge said evidence, or try to incorporate it – but sometimes things can’t be dodged. Thus if compelling evidence came forward that we are in fact heading over a cliff thanks to climate change, I would have to change my mind. I don’t think I should hold myself to higher standards than those who set the laws I have to obey. To take an absurd example: if my culture maintained that Earth was a disc – then evidence to the contrary would be easy to obtain and hard to ignore.

    Perhaps the culture can only be beaten when its pursuit becomes dangerous. At the stage of “luxury belief”, i.e. in the atomised, information-drowned decadent West, anything goes. When eating or not eating is the question in the balance, hopefully objective reality can win out.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. JIT: “Perhaps the culture can only be beaten when its pursuit becomes dangerous. At the stage of “luxury belief”, i.e. in the atomised, information-drowned decadent West, anything goes. When eating or not eating is the question in the balance, hopefully objective reality can win out.”

    I think there is something in this for sure. One of the ways that measurement can tell there’s a culture in charge, is that reality-constrained questions produce systemically different results to unconstrained questions, and that’s because when reality bites (even in principle, via a survey question), culture must yield some (if it didn’t do this, we would never have become so subject to cultural beliefs). However, for a culture that’s built up lot of inertia, the amount of damage to reassert objectivity can be staggering. Germany didn’t surrender towards the end of WW2 because far too many in the population had become ardent believers in the culture of national socialism that was spiced with older anti-semitism and newer eugenics. Despite the failed plot on Hitler’s life, the vast majority of elites and the standard army too (i.e. not just SS) were still believers and abhorred the failed plot, as did most of the populace. They fought on until the infra-structure of the country was annihilated and no further fight was possible, plus until the cultural icon leader was dead, and even then there were many suicides from those who preferred death to giving up the culture, especially in the East where they’d been taught that the advancing Russians were sub-human (another fairy-tale) and so death was preferable to subjection. Similar in Japan, where the people believed that the emperor was a living god. This doesn’t mean every culture exacts such extreme loyalty, but these examples come from relatively modern and technological times, it is not ancient history. So who knows how dangerous the danger must be before the culture is relinquished? My own guess is that it will not come to anything like this; a more common path is that the culture morphs, i.e. in this case it will somehow wriggle out of a direct conflict with the realities of a crash Net Zero program, and continue life in an altered form.

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  17. Jit: “Under this hypothesis – a better term – the highest virtue is to be obtained by saying the right thing rather than by doing the right thing…….so far there is no cost to these – to us seemingly bordering on insane – pronouncements, and plenty of benefits to those who make them”

    I used to think that virtue signalling was always cost and essentially risk free. But Biden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline permit carries significant consequences and risk. Releasing oil from the strategic reserve underscores the security risk to the US and high gasoline prices (basically controlled by OPEC) are a significant political risk for Biden. Not “bordering on insane” just total insanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jit:

    Mark, you already know my theory about this, although I admit that I haven’t yet considered all the angles, so it is a bit grandiose to call it a theory at this stage.

    Truthful and endearing.

    Andy (one sentence of many that could be chosen):

    The patterns of attitudes to climate-change across global publics are *measurably* indistinguishable from any other strong culture.

    Depends what you mean by strong culture. Is that also *measurable*? Isn’t this whole house of cards which you often present much more grandiose than Jit’s self-effacing ‘theory’? Yet far less understandable than it?

    I’m currently reading Andrew Roberts on the life of Winston Churchill. I wonder how many historians like Roberts accept the premises of your overarching theory or theories? One would have thought a great majority of them, given the confidence you exude. But, this year, reading works of history by Jesse Norman (on Edmund Burke), Matt Ridley (on the history of innovation) and Roberts I’m struck by the utter complexity of human affairs. I hear no echoes at all of your ‘*measurably* indistinguishable’ from any of them (however scientific the phrase sounds – and note the phrenologists also measured all kinds of things until their theories were rightly consigned to the dustbin of history).

    I asked you about this almost a year ago Andy but you chose not to respond. Maybe it’s a once a year thing. I apologise for my use of the word bullshit then but I have to say it remains true to my evaluation now.

    This is a question of historiography. How many works of history have been published, in total? How many of them have supported your theory of history? My estimate: a very, very small percentage. So you don’t have the authority to come on this thread – my thread – and look down from a great height on what Bill said. And thus squash the conversation that would have happened without your intellectual-sounding but empty putdown.

    That was on my own thread called Provocation. An answer this time around would be appreciated.

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  19. Richard: “Depends what you mean by strong culture. Is that also *measurable*? ”

    Yes. for instance religion (and for basic enough values, all Faiths act as one in this regard). Same attitude patterns.

    “Isn’t this whole house of cards which you often present…”

    You can apply that descriptor only if you can demonstrate why the explanations and the data supporting them are wrong. Or at least if you can’t challenge the data, provide alternate (I presume, largely non-cultural, explanations) for same. If you can’t this doesn’t mean it’s right either, it just means it’s a theory, neither gospel nor a house of cards; something that ultimately stands or falls on it’s explanatory power and according to such data as can be mustered.

    “I wonder how many historians like Roberts accept the premises of your overarching theory or theories?”

    Virtually none, I would think. It’s ultimately a product of cultural evolution / cultural cognition and adjacent studies. As far as I’m aware this has a very small overlap indeed with historians.

    I have no problems with the word bullshit, as long as folks can back this up. But you haven’t. You simply think it’s wrong, which is fine.

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  20. “Opec to pump more oil but keeps door open for cuts over Omicron risk
    Oil cartel will put stop to planned increase if new Covid variant leads to further travel and trade restrictions”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/02/opec-agrees-to-pump-more-oil-but-factors-in-cuts-owing-to-omicron-covid-variant

    “The Opec cartel and its allies have agreed to pump more barrels of oil from January, but left the door open to putting the brakes on production should the Omicron variant lead to further restrictions on travel and trade.

    The global price of crude briefly fell to $66 (£49.60) on Thursday, its lowest level since mid-August, after ministers from some the world’s biggest oil producing countries agreed to go ahead with a plan to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day in the new year.

    The oil price climbed back towards $70 a barrel after Opec+ agreed the meeting would not formally close. The unusual move was so the cartel could “continue to monitor the market closely”, pending any new developments, and make “immediate adjustments” rather than wait for the next meeting on 4 January.

    The move is likely to cap global oil prices at around their current level, well below the three-year highs of $86 a barrel reached in October, and pile pressure on fuel retailers to pass the savings on to hard-hit motorists.

    The cartel’s decision to leave its oil production policy unchanged for now may suggest that Opec+ is banking on new travel restrictions being short-lived if existing vaccines prove effective against the Omicron variant of Covid-19, or if its symptoms are milder than earlier variants of the virus.

    But if the situation worsens, the oil alliance would be able to bring in immediate cuts to its planned production in order to shore up prices on the global oil market.”

    Like

  21. “Fossil Fuel Restriction Dam Starting To Break”

    Interesting indeed. It may still be a long time before reality bites enough. But if there aren’t any teeth-marks yet, I think some are beginning to form a sense of closing jaws for which the narrative provides no protection whatsoever.

    Like

  22. More on Biden’s oil drilling rights auction:

    “Revealed: Biden administration was not legally bound to auction gulf drilling rights
    Justice department admits a previous ruling did not force the detonation of what environmentalists call ‘huge carbon bomb’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/13/revealed-biden-administration-was-not-legally-bound-to-auction-gulf-drilling-rights

    “The Biden administration admitted that a court decision did not compel it to lease vast tracts of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling, shortly before claiming it was legally obliged to do so when announcing the sell-off, the Guardian can reveal.

    Last month, the US government held the largest-ever auction of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico’s history, offering up more than 80m acres of the gulf’s seabed for fossil fuel extraction.

    The enormous sale, which took place just four days after crucial UN climate talks in Scotland, represented a spectacular about-turn from Joe Biden’s previous promise to halt offshore drilling and was denounced by outraged environmental groups as a “huge carbon bomb”.

    The president’s administration insisted it was obliged to hold the lease sale due to a court ruling in favor of a dozen states that sued to lift a blanket pause placed on new drilling permits by Biden.

    But a memo filed by the US Department of Justice before the lease sale acknowledges that this judgement does not force the government to auction off drilling rights to the gulf….

    …Just a month after arguing that it was not required to hold the sale, however, the department of interior’s bureau of ocean energy management (BOEM) announced it would auction off an area of the gulf that is two times the size of Florida to oil and gas companies.

    The expanse of the gulf put up for auction contains around 1.12bn barrels of oil and 4.2tn cubic ft of gas, with the leases locking in years – and potentially decades – of planet-heating emissions. It comes at a time when the International Energy Agency has said no new fossil fuel projects can be established after this year if the world is to avoid catastrophic heatwaves, flooding and other disastrous impacts from runaway climate change.

    “The administration has been misleading on this, to put it mildly. It’s very disappointing,” said Thomas Meyer, national organizing manager of Food and Water Watch. “They didn’t have to hold this sale and they didn’t have to hold it on this timeline.

    “We know this will exacerbate the climate crisis, it undermines US credibility abroad and it contradicts a campaign promise by Biden. If the administration was taking the climate crisis seriously they would be fighting tooth and nail to keep every molecule of fossil fuel in the ground. They are nowhere near to doing that.”

    The auction, held on 17 November , ended up netting the government $191.6m from companies such as Exxon, Chevron and BP, the company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. A total of 308 tracts of the gulf’s seabed were sold off, covering 1.7m acres, an area larger than the state of Delaware….”

    Liked by 1 person

  23. “Global demand for coal could hit all-time high in 2022
    Electricity from coal plants has risen by 9% this year to fuel economic recovery from Covid, says watchdog”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/17/global-demand-coal-high-electricity-plants-covid-economic-recovery

    “Coal power is on track to hit a new global record this year after an economic rebound that could drive worldwide coal demand to an all-time high in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency.

    The amount of electricity generated from coal power plants has soared by 9% this year after a surge in fossil fuel demand to fuel the recovery from Covid lockdowns, a report by the watchdog says.

    Coal power fell by 4% in 2020 as the pandemic caused a global economic slowdown, but the IEA found that demand for electricity this year had outpaced the growth in low-carbon sources, leading many wealthy economies to rely more heavily on fossil fuel power plants.

    The global gas supply crunch, which has caused record-high prices worldwide, has also helped reignite demand for coal, the IEA report says.

    The agency found that global demand for coal, including cement and steel making, rose by 6% overall this year. Although the total falls short of record levels of demand for the fuel in 2013 and 2014, the IEA warned that without a policy intervention that high could be surpassed next year.

    Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director, said: “Coal is the single largest source of global carbon emissions, and this year’s historically high level of coal power generation is a worrying sign of how far off track the world is in its efforts to put emissions into decline towards net zero.

    “Without strong and immediate actions by governments to tackle coal emissions – in a way that is fair, affordable and secure for those affected – we will have little chance, if any at all, of limiting global warming to 1.5C.”

    The report comes weeks after the conclusion of the Cop26 climate talks, which ended in a fierce disagreement over a pledge to abandon coal. A last-minute intervention by India successfully watered down the language of the pact from “phasing out” to “phasing down”.”

    We had a discussion on another thread (“Spinning A Yarn”) about the International Energy Agency and how best to classify them. It seems the Guardian classifies them as a watchdog.

    Like

  24. “Mayor of Copeland speaks on coal demand”

    https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/19793944.mayor-copeland-speaks-coal-demand/

    “The amount of electricity generated worldwide from coal is surging towards a new annual record in 2021, undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potentially putting global coal demand on course for an all-time high next year, the International Energy Agency said in its latest annual market report.

    After falling in 2019 and 2020, global power generation from coal is expected to jump by 9% in 2021 to an all-time high of 10,350 terawatt-hours, according to the IEA’s Coal 2021 report, which was released today. The rebound is being driven by this year’s rapid economic recovery, which has pushed up electricity demand much faster than low-carbon supplies can keep up. The steep rise in natural gas prices has also increased demand for coal power by making it more cost-competitive.

    Overall coal demand worldwide – including uses beyond power generation, such as cement and steel production – is forecast to grow by 6% in 2021. That increase will not take it above the record levels it reached in 2013 and 2014. But, depending on weather patterns and economic growth, overall coal demand could reach new all-time highs as soon as 2022 and remain at that level for the following two years, underscoring the need for fast and strong policy action.”

    Business as usual!

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  25. Possibly worth a read:

    “Why Cop26 coal power pledges don’t go far enough – visualised
    See coal phase out progress to date, and why the current pledges are not enough to limit warming to 1.5C”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2021/dec/23/why-cop26-coal-power-pledges-dont-go-far-enough-visualised

    “Out of the three biggest coal-dependent economies, China’s status is surrounded by the most uncertainties. Though the country has pledged to stop building new coal plants abroad, it is still planning to increase domestic capacity. “Before China, with by far the world’s largest fleet of coal power plants, announces firm phase-out plans, we won’t be on track,” said Myllyvirta.”

    Like

  26. “Greta Thunberg says it’s ‘strange’ Joe Biden is considered a climate leader
    Environmental activist criticises US president for expanding fossil fuel infrastructure”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/28/greta-thunberg-joe-biden-climate-crisis-fight-leader

    Well, she does have a point!

    “…In Glasgow, Biden vowed that the US would “lead by example” in the fight to avoid global heating beyond 1.5C. He made new promises to cut down on methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and to end deforestation, drawing widespread praise.

    Nonetheless, when more than 40 countries announced a promise to end coal mining, the US was absent from the list…

    …the US projects increases in oil and gas production by 17% and 12% respectively by 2030.

    The Biden administration has approved at least 3,091 new drilling permits on public lands at a rate of 223 permits a month, at a faster rate than the Trump administration.

    In November, the US held the largest-ever auction of oil and gas drilling leases in Gulf of Mexico history, offering up more than 80m acres of seabed….”

    Like

  27. “Germany will ‘probably miss’ climate targets for 2022, 2023
    Economy Minister Robert Habeck expects the green transition to cause ‘disappointment and perhaps anger’ in parts of the population.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-climate-change-targets-2022-2023-emissions/

    “Germany will probably miss its own climate targets in the coming two years, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, while defending the country’s decision to exit nuclear energy.

    In an interview with German weekly Zeit published Wednesday, the German Green Party co-leader also said he expects “disappointment and perhaps anger” in parts of the German population as the new government and the EU more broadly aim to transform their economies and energy supplies toward renewable energies in the coming years. He also called for more ambitious climate targets in the transport sector.

    “We will probably miss our targets also for 2022, even for 2023 it will be hard enough. We are starting with a drastic backlog,” Habeck, who oversees the economy and climate ministry, told Zeit. The latest data suggests that Germany will miss its climate targets for the current year as the use of coal increased while the use of renewable energies remained almost stagnant.

    A new climate protection act adopted earlier this year says Germany must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 65 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, and be climate-neutral by 2045, meaning it cannot produce more emissions than it reduces.

    The acknowledgment of a likely miss of climate targets comes at an unfavorable moment for Habeck, as the new German government is locked in a dispute with a group of EU countries led by France over the question of whether nuclear power and natural gas should be included in the European Commission’s upcoming list of sustainable investments.

    The German government, and particularly Habeck’s Green Party, argue that the EU should follow Germany’s example and decide to phase out nuclear energy instead of further investing in it, while French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said last month that “it would be inconceivable and irresponsible for nuclear energy not to be recognized as low-carbon energy.” The Commission said last week that a decision on the matter had been delayed to next year.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. “It’s the great green reset: 10 things Britain can do now to save the planet
    John Vidal
    We still hold the presidency of Cop26 – it’s vital to send a signal to the world of what is possible”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/03/great-green-reset-10-things-britain-save-planet-cop26

    “…here, culled from groups like Friends of the Earth and Carbon Brief, global bodies like the UN, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as the Welsh and Scottish governments, is the reset. It would be popular, cost little, greatly improve millions of lives and restore Britain’s reputation as a progressive country….”.

    Worth a read, I think, to see what the green blob thinks we need to do (pointless though it is, unless the rest of the world follows – which it won’t). Also interesting to see what they think would be “popular, cost little, greatly improve millions of lives and restore Britain’s reputation as a progressive country.” Needless to say, I profoundly disagree with that analysis (though I don’t have a problem of course with points 3 & 4 – I do have a problem with people who say we should protect nature, while merrily destroying it with wind farms and solar farms).

    Like

  29. “US emissions roared back last year after pandemic drop, figures show
    Planet-heating emissions rose by 6.2% compared with 2020
    Rise largely down to increase in cars and trucks on the road”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/10/us-emissions-climate-crisis-global-heating

    “Planet-heating emissions roared back in the United States in 2021, dashing hopes that the pandemic would prove a watershed moment in greening American society to address the climate crisis, new figures have shown.

    Following the onset of the pandemic in 2020, millions of people switched to working from home, car and airplane travel plummeted and industrial output slowed. This led to a sharp drop in greenhouse gas emissions, spurring predictions that a newly shaped American economy would emerge to help banish the era of fossil fuels.

    These forecasts may well have been baseless, however, with the new research showing that US emissions rose by 6.2% last year, compared to 2020. While emissions were still 5% down from 2019 levels, the jump in pollution as people returned to previous rhythms of life was greater than last year’s overall economic growth.”

    Like

  30. “Gas pressure on consumers builds further”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-60016038

    Credit to Douglas Fraser for being one of the more balanced of the BBC reporters. A few telling phrases in this article:

    “The drive to net zero is not going well, judging by the amount of money being pumped into global investments in developing oil and gas reserves further.”

    “So when economies are back to growth in Asia, they bid up the price of the LNG shipments.”

    “So with forward prices for gas in the winter of 2022-23 currently in the region of £2 per therm (four times the price a year ago), and with those extra costs being loaded on, industry insiders say prices will either stay high or they could go a further £500 or £600 higher from October.”

    “The energy market is changing. The exceptionally low level of wind across Europe during much of 2021 meant there was a need for back-up, also known as baseload.

    Nuclear plants, such as Hunterston, are being closed and in Britain, they are replaced very slowly or not at all. Coal-burning is being shut down. So there is more dependence on gas to provide the baseload supply, meaning demand for gas is up.”

    “Government policy is for the distribution costs of electricity – the high voltage cabling and local distribution networks – to be shifted on to gas. That is part of the response to global warming, and the pledge to get to net zero.

    The idea is to create a strengthening incentive to shift from gas to electricity. Given current price rises, that doesn’t look imminent. But it remains policy.”

    “China and India, in particular, are using coal to fuel economic growth, with China hard hit in recent months by a shortage of power supply.

    With gas prices high globally, coal has become a financially attractive alternative. Britain has returned to coal-burning to support that electricity baseload – a last gasp in the final years before its coal plants are finally extinguished.”

    And perhaps most devastatingly:

    “And yet with both gas and oil prices riding high, investment is back into boom times.

    Rystad energy consultancy says it is on course to rise from $601bn to $628bn this year. It has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, but it is on course to do so by 2024.

    As part of that, gas and LNG upstream investments are rising 14% to $149bn. Upstream oil (exploration and production, that is) is rising 7% to $307bn.

    The campaign to ‘keep it in the ground’ is not going well.”

    Like

  31. “China coal output hits record in Dec and in 2021 -stats bureau”

    https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-coal-output-hits-record-dec-2021-stats-bureau-2022-01-17/

    “China’s coal output hit record highs in December and in the full year of 2021, as the government continued to encourage miners to ramp up production to ensure sufficient energy supplies in the winter heating season.

    China, the world’s biggest coal miner and consumer, produced 384.67 million tonnes of the fossil fuel last month, up 7.2% year-on-year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday. This compared with a previous record of 370.84 million tonnes set in November. read more

    For the full year of 2021, output touched a record 4.07 billion tonnes, up 4.7% on the previous year…

    …Meanwhile, China’s 2021 power consumption rose 10.3% year-on-year to 8.31 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh), the National Energy Administration said in a separate statement on Monday.”

    Like

  32. “As coal use surges, America finds it’s hard to unplug from carbon”

    https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/589538-as-coal-use-surges-america-finds-its-hard-to-unplug-from-carbon

    “So much for the myriad claims about going “beyond coal.” According to a new report from the Rhodium Group, U.S. coal consumption jumped by 17 percent last year compared to 2020 levels. That’s a huge increase, which Rhodium says was “largely driven by a run-up in natural gas prices.” Rather than burn gas, which averaged about $4.93 per million Btu last year — more than two times the price in 2020 — many electricity producers chose to burn coal instead.

    The surge in domestic coal use is significant for two reasons. First, it proves again that coal remains an essential fuel for electricity producers both here in the U.S. and around the world. Second, it shows that the Biden administration’s pledge to decarbonize the electric grid by 2035 is little more than wishful thinking….

    …Last month, the International Energy Agency reported that “global coal power generation is on course to increase by 9 percent in 2021 to 10,350 terawatt-hours (TWh) — a new all-time high.” The agency also reported that “coal demand may well hit a new all-time high in the next two years.”…

    …Last week, John Hanekamp, a coal-industry consultant based in St. Louis, told me in a phone interview that global supplies can’t keep pace with demand. He said that domestic power generators are competing for coal with European utilities who are struggling to find enough hydrocarbons to keep the lights on. “There’s a bidding war because there isn’t enough coal to go around,” he said.

    In March, the Biden administration pledged to achieve “100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035.” But the rhetoric simply doesn’t match the reality of our electric grid. In 2020, according to BP, domestic coal-fired electricity generation totaled about 844 terawatt-hours, which was nearly two times more than the 475 terawatt-hours that were produced by all of the solar and wind projects in the country. Gas-fired generation totaled some 1,738 terawatt-hours, or more than three times the total of all solar and wind….”

    The Rhodium Group report can be found here:

    https://rhg.com/research/preliminary-us-emissions-2021/

    Like

  33. “Xi Jinping warns China’s low-carbon ambitions must not interfere with ‘normal life’
    Signalling a more cautious approach to climate change as the economy slows, Xi said China must ‘overcome the notion of rapid success’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/26/xi-jinping-warns-chinas-low-carbon-ambitions-must-not-interfere-with-normal-life

    “China’s ambitious low-carbon goals should not come at the expense of energy and food security or the “normal life” of ordinary people, president Xi Jinping said, signalling a more cautious approach to climate change as the economy slows.

    China, the world’s biggest source of climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, has been under pressure to “enhance ambition” and take more drastic action to tackle global warming.

    But amid mounting economic challenges, China is worried about the risk to jobs and growth, especially as it prepares to hold a key Communist party conclave that is expected to extend Xi’s rule.

    Xi told senior Communist party leaders in a speech published late on Monday that China needed to “overcome the notion of rapid success” and proceed gradually.

    “Reducing emissions is not about reducing productivity, and it is not about not emitting at all,” Xi was quoted by state news agency Xinhua as saying.

    “We must stick to the overall planning and ensure energy security, industrial supply chain security and food security at the same time as cutting carbon emissions,” he said.

    Since a national economic work meeting held at the end of last year, Chinese policymakers have repeatedly stressed that the country would “prioritise stability” in 2022.”

    It’s a pity UK politicians don’t agree.

    Like

  34. “Rocketing demand for fossil fuels could deal blow to climate goals, report says
    Soaring oil and gas prices may tempt investors to plough more funds into long-term projects, warns thinktank”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/27/demand-fossil-fuels-climate-goals-oil-gas-prices-investors

    “Global oil prices have climbed to $90 a barrel, which could tempt investors to pile more cash into long-term fossil fuel projects, dashing the world’s hopes to limit carbon emissions in line with climate targets and wasting billions in investment, according to a report.

    Recent price rises could mean more potential projects appear to be lucrative investments in the short-term, the report by the financial thinktank Carbon Tracker says. But the analysis suggests demand for fossil fuels could begin to dwindle by the time these projects begin, creating “a nightmare scenario” for investors and climate campaigners.

    Demand for oil and gas has rebounded strongly as the global economy bounces back from the economic slowdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, leading to a global gas supply crunch and rocketing energy market prices.

    The international oil price climbed from lows of about $20 a barrel in April 2020 to seven-year highs of $90 a barrel on Wednesday, and may reach $100 by the end of the year. Meanwhile gas prices have reached all-time highs in markets across Europe and Asia, fuelling a cost of living crisis.”

    And Climate Tracker is an expert on this why?

    Like

  35. @Mark, from that same “Jillian Ambrose – Energy correspondent” article we have this –

    “Meanwhile gas prices have reached all-time highs in markets across Europe and Asia, fuelling a cost of living crisis.
    But the increase was unlikely to last over the lifetime of a long-term fossil fuel investment, Carbon Tracker said, because government climate commitments combined with the rapid switch to electric vehicles and renewable energy would drive down demand for oil sharply from the late 2020s to 2040.”

    “the rapid switch to electric vehicles and renewable energy” !!! good luck with that prediction, oil will be needed/used for many years to come I predict’

    Like

  36. “North Sea Abigail oilfield plan approved despite climate goals
    Cop26 experts said no new fossil fuel plans would be compatible with climate targets”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/01/north-sea-abigail-oil-field-plan-approved-despite-climate-goals

    “Ministers face a backlash from climate groups after giving the green light to a new North Sea oilfield just weeks after the Cop26 UN climate talks in Glasgow.

    The Abigail oil and gas field off the east coast of Scotland was quietly approved by the government’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) last month, defying climate experts who warned at the Glasgow conference in November that no new fossil fuel developments would be compatible with the world’s climate targets.

    Climate campaigners object to the field, which will be developed by Israeli owned Ithaca Energy, because its diminutive gas reserves will do little to help secure the UK’s energy supplies while contributing to carbon emissions.

    Tessa Khan, the director of Uplift, a group which campaigns for a fossil-free UK, said the field would “see little to no benefit for UK energy customers or taxpayers, which only worsens the climate crisis, and where the only winners are the oil firm behind the project”….”

    What’s interesting here is the illogicality of the knee-jerk opposition to all and any new gas or oil. If it’s so small an amount that it will see little to no benefit for UK energy customers or taxpayers, then in the grand scheme of things, it’s difficult to see how it will “worsen the climate crisis”. It’s also interesting that even those campaigning for a fossil-fuel UK seem to recognise that there is a benefit to consumers and taxpayers in developing gas reserves. The next point of interest is that the Government gave it the go ahead. Perhaps it’s waking up to the mess we’re in? The final point of interest is that this will be yet another part of our energy infrastructure owned by foreigners.

    Like

  37. “Why Uganda is investing in oil despite pressures to go green”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-60301755

    “…There are environmental concerns and questions over whether it is too late for an oil boom – but there is no disputing change that is coming to the wide valley floor, below the steep escarpment.

    One end is dotted with iron-sheet houses, at the other excavators are busy clearing ground for what will be the Kingfisher oil field’s main processing facility in mid-western Uganda.

    A once-treacherous dirt road leading down the valley side is now a winding tarmacked route which carries the equipment needed.

    Close to where waves lap the shore of the lake, an environmental officer checks that the cap on an oil well head is airtight and free of gas leaks.

    It is hoped that by 2025 the first of a potential 1.4 billion barrels of oil will be pumped from this and other wells across this region.

    At the beginning of the month, Uganda, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and France’s TotalEnergies, signed the Final Investment Decision (FID), a major step towards developing the country’s oil and gas industry.

    More than $10bn (£7.4bn) will be invested in the joint venture. The money will be used to develop several upstream facilities as well as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, which will run for 1,400km (870 miles) from landlocked Uganda to the port of Tanga in neighbouring Tanzania….”.

    Like

  38. “US postal service under fire for plan to spend $11.3bn on gas-powered fleet
    Critics say this move will upend the Biden administration’s goal to get to net zero emissions by 2050 as a means to tackle climate crisis”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/09/us-postal-service-gas-powered-trucks

    “The US postal service (USPS) is facing the mounting fury of the Biden administration, Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups over its plan to spend billions of dollars on a new fleet of gasoline-powered mail delivery trucks that critics say will upend a White House goal to slash planet-heating gases.

    The USPS has outlined plans to spend $11.3bn on as many as 165,000 new delivery trucks over the next decade to refresh what is one of the largest civilian vehicle fleets in the world. The familiar boxy white trucks with red and blue stripes will be replaced by a new design that has been likened in appearance to a duck.

    A full 90% of the fleet, however, will have traditional gas-powered engines, with just 10% being electric. While the new trucks will come with air conditioning, this means their fuel efficiency will be strikingly poor at just 8.2 miles per gallon (3.56 km per litre).

    This is worse than all of the most popular gas-hungry trucks currently on sale in the US and is even less efficient than the original Hummer, a vehicle infamous for the vast amount of fuel it burned through….”.

    Like

  39. This piece by the BBC has been given a headline and prominence on its website worthy of the Guardian. Still, the underlying story makes the point that I was anxious to make in the article above – despite all the verbiage and posturing, especially around COP 26, it really is a case of business as usual:

    “Big banks fund new oil and gas despite net zero pledges”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60366054

    “Big banks are pumping billions into new oil and gas production despite net zero pledges, campaigners have said.

    Banks including HSBC, Barclays and Deutsche Bank are still backing new oil and gas despite being part of a green banking group, ShareAction said.

    Investors should force banks to demand green plans from fossil fuel firms before funding them, it said.

    HSBC and Barclays said they were focused on achieving environmental goals.

    “Net zero” means not adding to greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere by cutting and trying to balance out emissions….

    …But big banks are continuing to fund oil and gas expansion with billions of dollars, ShareAction said, despite being part of a UN-led group called the Net Zero Banking Alliance.

    HSBC put an estimated $8.7bn (£6.4bn) into new oil and gas in 2021, while Barclays put in $4.5bn, and Deutsche Bank loaned $5.7bn, the campaign group estimated.

    The fossil fuel giants receiving the funding included Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and Saudi Aramco….”.

    Note also how the article commences – at the end of the first sentence, “campaigners have said”. Another piece of news that isn’t really news, but a story resulting from a press release issued by campaigners. I could just have easily added the comment on “Making The News”.

    Like

  40. “Russia, China work on agreement for supplying 100 mln tonnes of coal — Energy Ministry”

    https://tass.com/economy/1405789

    “MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russia and China are developing an intergovernmental agreement on the supply of coal in the amount of 100 mln tonnes, Head of Department of Foreign Economic Cooperation and Fuel Markets Development at the Russian Energy Ministry Sergey Mochalnikov announced on Friday.

    Mochalnikov recalled that in October 2021, Russia and India signed a memorandum on the supply of 40 mln tonnes of coal to India as part of the Russian Energy Week. “Now an intergovernmental agreement with the People’s Republic of China is being developed, and the figure is 100 mln tonnes,” he said.

    “In the coming years, consumers should receive as much coal as they need,” Mochalnikov said.

    Mochalnikov also noted that Russian coal exports have very good prospects due to reduced supply on the world market. In addition, according to him, in the past 5-6 years, the Asia-Pacific market has been a priority export destination for Russia against the growing demand for coal in this region. “We have good prospects until 2030, and Russia should take its share in this growing market,” he added.

    As follows from Mochalnikov’s presentation, the share of Russian coal in the Asia-Pacific market in 2021 was 12%. At the same time, since 2010 this figure has increased by 8 percentage points – from 4% to 12%).”

    Like

  41. “Will the Ukraine war derail the green energy transition?”

    https://www.ft.com/content/93eb06ec-ba6c-4ad2-8fae-5b66235632b2

    “…Four months on [from COP 26], the global energy picture has shifted significantly — and not in the direction Sharma and other COP negotiators wanted.

    Far from declining, coal use globally surged to record levels over the winter, causing emissions to rise, while clean energy installations fell below the levels needed to reach climate targets.

    And that was before Russia invaded Ukraine, precipitating a global energy crisis that has forced countries, especially in Europe, to look for ways to quickly wean themselves off Russian oil and gas, and reconsider timelines of commitments to cut the use of fossil fuels.

    Economist Dieter Helm, professor of energy policy at Oxford university, says the shift away from fossil fuels has rarely looked more complicated. “The energy transition was already in trouble — 80 per cent of the world’s energy is still from fossil fuels,” he says.

    “I expect that in the short term, the US will increase oil and gas output, and the North Sea may see some further investments.” On top of that, EU coal consumption could increase, he adds….”.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. “Why is Biden boasting about drilling for oil? Our planet demands we stop now
    Peter Kalmus
    Tragically, the Biden administration is choosing to expand the fossil fuel industry at this critical moment”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/31/why-is-biden-boasting-about-drilling-for-oil-our-planet-demands-we-stop-now

    “…Tragically, the Biden administration is choosing to expand the fossil fuel industry at this critical moment. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki recently bragged that “US production of natural gas and oil is rising and approaching record levels” and that “trendlines also point up,” as if these are good things. The administration has approved new drilling permits at rates far exceeding even Trump. Fossil fuel executives and investors are planning to increase production indefinitely, at least through 2035, demonstrating their belief that the politicians they’ve bought will continue to ignore the public’s desire for climate action….”.

    Like

  43. dfhunter, this was from a couple of months ago:

    “Canadian Oil Sands Production Finds a New Outlet to the U.S. Gulf Coast”

    https://heartlanddailynews.com/2022/02/canadian-oil-sands-production-finds-a-new-outlet-to-the-u-s-gulf-coast/

    “The Capline pipeline, connecting Patoka, Illinois to St. James, Louisiana, is now fully operational, transporting heavy crude oil produced in Canada’s tar sands to refiners along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

    The 632-mile, 40-inch pipeline system historically moved crude from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to Midwestern refiners, but was recently reversed to allow the delivery of oil from Canadian tar or oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries and shipping terminals.

    The pipeline began interim service on December 18, 2021 and went fully operational on January 1, 2022. It is currently transporting 200,000 barrels a day, with a little excess capacity to spare.

    The pipeline marks a significant shift for the Canadian petroleum industry, allowing Canada’s oil sands producers to export a record amount of crude to overseas markets.”

    Like

  44. For anyone who thought that COP 26 achieved great things, such as ridding the world of coal use:

    “Coal shortage and heatwave spark India’s power woes”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-61330302

    “For more than a month, Sandeep Mall’s engineering goods factory next to the Indian capital, Delhi, has been facing crippling power cuts, sometimes up to 14 hours a day.

    The 50-odd machines in the factory located in a major manufacturing hub in Faridabad make products for aeronautics, automobile, mining and construction industries.

    “Every time the power goes off, the machines stop, the semi-finished products get rejected and we have to start all over again,” Mr Mall says.

    That happens when he fires up diesel-powered generators to keep the factory running. He says it is three times as expensive to run it on diesel than what he pays to the local power transmission authority.

    “This erodes my competitiveness, cuts into my profits. It’s a complete mess, and is very frustrating,” Mr Mall says.

    “These are the worst power cuts I have faced in over a decade.”

    Beginning in April, power cuts and outages have rippled across India, slowing factories, closing schools, and sparking demonstrations. Two in three households said they were facing power outages, according to more than 21,000 people in 322 districts surveyed by LocalCircles, a polling agency. One in three households reported outages of two hours or more each day.

    At least nine states, including Haryana, where Mr Mall’s factory is located, are suffering from prolonged outages. The main reason why electricity is in such short supply is a shortage of coal.

    India is the world’s second-largest producer and consumer of coal. The fossil fuel keeps the country’s lights on: three-quarters of the electricity produced uses coal. India sits atop the world’s third-highest reserves of coal and boasts of the world’s largest coal mining company but per person consumption is still modest.

    India imports a little under a quarter of its consumption: much of it is coking coal which is used in blast furnaces for making steel and is not available domestically. Yet there are perpetual shortages.

    Last October, India teetered on the brink of a power crisis when stocks at more than half of the country’s 135 coal-fired plants ran critically low, or below 25% of normal levels. Now coal stocks are said to be critically low in 108 of its 173 power plants. The war in Ukraine means global prices of coal and natural gas have soared, making imports unaffordable….”.

    Now why would coal prices be high, and supplies running short? War in Ukraine, possibly. But certainly because coal is in demand – big demand.

    “The government says it is doing all it can do to ensure supplies. Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner, has increased production by 12%, “strengthening India’s energy security”, according to the federal coal ministry. It also despatched 49.7 million metric tonnes of coal to the power generating companies in April, a 15% rise over the same month last year. The railways have cancelled more than a thousand passenger trains to transport more coal to fuel-starved plants….

    …India has promised to increase renewable-energy capacity to 450 gigawatts by 2030 to help wean itself off the dependence on coal. “But the rise of renewables hasn’t been sufficient to end the growth of coal….”.

    Like

  45. “Climate goes missing in action in Russia’s war
    Governments meet in Copenhagen to try and recapture lost momentum six months after the COP26 climate summit.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/climate-goes-missing-in-action-in-russias-war/

    “Making big promises at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow was hard; six months later, governments are finding out that actually following through on them is even harder….

    …U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told the Guardian this week the war had led to an “unfortunate and dangerous resurgence of business as usual” in some countries that threatened to push the world off course for its climate goals.

    Nowhere is that more apparent than in Kerry’s home country.

    The Ukraine crisis has thrust the U.S. back to touting its oil and gas prowess as it seeks to help the EU rapidly end its reliance on Russian oil and gas. The White House is also under growing political pressure from soaring energy prices at home, imperiling Joe Biden’s presidency and the Democratic Party’s control of Congress.

    That’s forced the administration into an about-face on commitments to end fossil fuel production on public lands and to approve new capacity for exporting liquefied natural gas to Europe.

    Congress has also buried Biden’s key climate legislation and funding for climate action in developing countries. That’s testing the patience of Washington’s European allies, who are looking to Biden to fulfill his promise to be a climate leader….”.

    Like

  46. “UK has approved several fossil fuel projects since Cop26, analysis finds
    About 50 schemes are thought to be in pipeline between now and 2025 despite climate pledges”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/19/uk-has-approved-several-fossil-fuel-projects-since-cop26-analysis-finds

    “…It is thought a large number of new North Sea oil and gas developments that hold a licence but have not yet received final consents could soon go ahead without undergoing the “climate compatibility” checks announced by the UK government last year, when other countries had ruled out issuing new oil and gas licences altogether. Analysis carried out by the climate campaigners Uplift suggests up to 46 such projects could be approved between 2022 and 2025…”.

    The link offered up is to Carbon Brief, and is labelled a factcheck:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-can-new-uk-oil-and-gas-licences-ever-be-climate-compatible/

    Balanced?

    “In just six months the UK has gone from touting itself as a climate leader to championing fossil fuels, the very thing that is driving the climate emergency,” said Tessa Khan, director of Uplift.

    “It beggars belief. Expanding North Sea oil and gas means the UK – which still holds the Cop presidency – is now a dangerous climate wrecker.”

    How shocking!

    “…The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, however, tweeted two days beforehand to vent his frustrations at young climate campaigners who had gatecrashed a Conservative party branch meeting he had attended in Folkestone. He wrote: “Shout and scream all you like, but I’m not going to put Britain’s energy security at risk by shutting off domestic oil and gas production.

    “We will need oil and gas for decades to come. Either we source more of what we need from the North Sea, or import more from abroad.”

    Lauren McDonald, 21, one of the campaigners who confronted Kwarteng last week, said: “Kwasi Kwarteng is arguably the most powerful figure within the government when it comes to pushing forward on the UK’s climate goals.

    “He has the power to stop new fossil fuels, to act with the science and to put his foot down – many of these decisions ultimately lie with him.”

    A government spokesperson said: “As Putin continues to use gas as a geopolitical weapon, we make no apology whatsoever for sourcing more of the oil and gas Britain needs from within our own territorial waters….”.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. “In just six months the UK has gone from touting itself as a climate leader to championing fossil fuels, the very thing that is driving the climate emergency,” said Tessa Khan, director of Uplift.

    “It beggars belief. Expanding North Sea oil and gas means the UK – which still holds the Cop presidency – is now a dangerous climate wrecker.”

    In the insane world in which we now live, it is possible to spout the most absurd rubbish, so long as it is of an alarmist nature, and no-one will dare to tell you what absurd rubbish it is.

    The best part is that you need not be aware that the things you rail against and hate are the very properties of modern civilisation that give you the freedom to protest against them. If the professional activists had their way, they would soon find themselves in alleyways fighting stray dogs for three-week-old chicken wings.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. The world is indeed insane. Many of our “influencers” bemoan the cost of living increases brought about by the increasing price of hydrocarbon fuels whilst with alternate breaths wishing to make the situation that much worse in the immediate future by stamping out future investment required to ensure supplies in the very near future. Tricked by snake-oil salesmen into believing that with a little faith renewables with make everything right. The use of fuels as feedstocks for a thousand and one products, many of them themselves feedstocks for materials now deemed essential to modern life, goes unspoken (and probably mostly unknown). I’m sure that the role of natural gas in producing fertilisers previously has not been known and currently would seem to be swept under the carpet. Deliberately curtailing future gas supplies is a recipe for food shortages and starvation. Do these people disrupting our future hydrocarbon supplies actually know what they are doing?

    As a schoolboy in the 1950s I was taken to our local gas-works, their to be shown how coal was retorted into a hundred and one products (as well as gas), most smelly and unpleasant. Lorries and tankers would arrive at different locations to carry the treasure away. Clearly we don’t produce gas this way in the U.K. today and I’m not sure you can visit an establishment where crude is retorted, nor would I expect it to be so impressive. But, equally clearly our yuph need something that emphasises to them that hydrocarbons are absolutely essential to our societies, and not just as a source of energy.

    Nylon doesn’t come from wind turbines.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Thanks Mark, Jit, Alan. I’d like to focus only on this claim:

    The UK … is now a dangerous climate wrecker.

    But not before these recent decisions. Otherwise what is the ‘now’ signifying?

    Tessa Khan knows something all the scientists of the IPCC have missed: that there is a catastrophic tipping point and we’re on the cusp of it right now, in the UK, regardless of what China and other peoples may do in the coming months and years. This is it. The UK is the centre of the universe. We matter!

    Viktor Frankl famously wrote of Man’s Search of Meaning after surviving Auschwitz. I suggest his analysis of the situation to Ms Khan, more even than Michael Mann’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. agree with all comments above – no youth are present/commenting on this topic on this blog.

    most are busy living life, as I would/did.

    as Alan said above – “Many of our “influencers” bemoan the cost of living increases brought about by the increasing price of hydrocarbon fuels whilst with alternate breaths wishing to make the situation that much worse in the immediate future by stamping out future investment required to ensure supplies in the very near future”

    madness abounds it seems.

    Like

  51. “The changing face of the North Sea oil industry”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-61437156

    But not of the global oil industry, apparently:

    “…At Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU), drilling and well engineering students are still hopeful of pursuing a career in oil and gas.

    The vast majority are from parts of the world where energy transition is not so high up the political agenda – and many have no plans to stay in Scotland after they graduate.

    They know that the world is still dependent on fossil fuels to heat homes, fuel vehicles and power industry.

    Despite the moves towards producing more clean energy in Scotland, more than three-quarters (76.5%) of the country’s energy consumption came from oil and gas in 2019.

    Affan Peshimam, 30, from India, is following in the footsteps of his father who worked in the oil and gas sector in the North Sea.

    He said: “I love the smell of petrol. I love working offshore away from civilisation.”

    And he’s convinced that he can enjoy a full career in the industry in India once he’s graduated in Aberdeen.

    “There’s still a lot of oil remaining, at least 30 or 40 years more,” he said. “Every time they say the peak has come, I don’t think so. Maybe for the North Sea.

    “For certain parts of the world where there’s no oil left, the peak has come. But in Africa and India and the Far East we still have so much reserves left we can’t just keep them.

    “Of course we have started some solar but we are still dependent on oil and gas. And coal, obviously.”…”.

    Like

  52. “Climate change: Green energy ‘stagnates’ as fossil fuels dominate
    By Matt McGrath
    Environment correspondent”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-61802802

    “A new study says that the world is using more fossil fuels than ever as the transition to green energy stalls.

    The Renewables 2022 Global Status Report says the share of wind and solar in the global energy mix has risen minimally in the last decade.

    While renewables boomed in the electricity sector last year, they didn’t meet the overall rise in demand.

    In transport, which accounts for a third of energy, renewables provided less than 4%.

    The current situation in Ukraine has exacerbated this trend, according to the authors.

    REN21 is an international energy policy network made up of industry figures, scientists, and some governments.

    Their 17th annual status report draws on over 600 experts to produce a snapshot of what is really happening in terms of renewable energy.

    The study says that the transition to renewables, in essence, has stalled. The use of coal, oil and gas continues to dominate total energy consumption.

    “The share of renewable energy has moved in the last decade from 10.6% to 11.7%, but fossil fuels, all coal and gas have moved from 80.1% to 79.6%. So, it’s stagnating,” said Rana Adib, the executive director of REN21.

    “And since the energy demand is rising, this actually means that we are consuming more fossil fuels than ever.”

    As the world rebounded from Covid-19 in 2021, there was a significant rise in overall energy use, most of which was met by fossil fuels….”

    I think we might, with some justification, take a quiet moment to say “we told you so.”

    Like

  53. “Biden blames Russia for gas prices as he presses Congress, states and oil companies
    The president asked lawmakers to suspend the federal gas tax, while also pushing for state relief and increased refinery capacity.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/22/biden-russia-gas-prices-tax-00041486

    “…Biden asked oil companies to increase refining capacity and pass “every penny” of their savings from the proposed gas tax holiday on to consumers. Earlier Wednesday he called for a three-month suspension of the 18-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, but it seems unlikely to pass in Congress….

    …In his speech, the president said states should also find other solutions to lower consumer gas prices, such as eliminating their own gas taxes or offering rebates to households.

    A combination of all Biden’s requests — a federal gas tax holiday, state gas tax holidays, increased refinery capacity and oil companies and gas stations passing on savings to consumers — could lower gas prices by about a dollar a gallon, he said….”

    Like

  54. “Chinese premier calls for more coal production as electricity demand soars
    Records for electricity usage broken in Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu after early summer heatwaves”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/24/chinese-premier-calls-for-more-coal-production-as-electricity-demand-soars

    “China’s premier has called for increased production of coal to stave off mass blackouts, as early summer heatwaves have prompted record electricity usage.

    On Friday, authorities again issued high temperature warnings for about a dozen provinces across the central and northern provinces, after consecutive days in the high 30s.

    As people sought to escape the heat this week, state media reported, citing the State Grid Corp of China, that electricity demand was up 8.8% in north-west China compared with last year, and by 3.2% in northern China. Records for maximum electricity loads were broken in Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu.

    The premier, Li Keqiang, “urged tapping into advanced coal capacity, securing power supply and resolutely preventing power outages amid the peak summer season”, according to state media. The reports said Li also called for greater “efforts to ramp up efficient and clean coal power production”.

    Authorities are hoping to avoid repeats of an energy crisis last year in which there were widespread power cuts, but there are concerns that increased coal production will hamper China’s ability to meet its promises on emissions reductions.”

    Like

  55. “G7 mulls call for ‘necessary’ public gas investments
    Climate goals and energy security are in tension ahead of a meeting of leaders Sunday.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/g7-mulls-call-for-necessary-public-gas-investments/

    “A proposal under discussion by the G7 would call for using tax money for natural gas projects as a response to Russia’s war in Ukraine — potentially clashing with the group’s climate pledges.

    A draft section of the communiqué, yet to be agreed by the leaders of G7, acknowledges that “publicly supported” investments in natural gas projects are “necessary” to quell the current energy crisis, so long as they avoid bedding in decades of reliance on the fossil fuel and derailing efforts to limit global warming, according to two people who have seen the draft.

    G7 ministers agreed to similar language in May. The text of the communique is under intense negotiation and is likely to change.

    The group, which includes seven economic powers and the EU, have committed to rapidly scrub their economies of fossil fuels during this decade, signing multiple declarations over the past year driving at a safer climate. But when the leaders arrive at the Bavarian castle of Schloss Elmau on Sunday, they will be under competing pressure to address ballooning energy prices and the effort to free the EU of its energy dependence on Russia.

    That has led several EU governments to reboot coal plants and to search for new sources of gas.

    European leaders, most notably the G7 host and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, have courted African nations looking to build natural gas export industries to Europe. The EU and Norway also struck a deal Thursday to boost gas deliveries.

    If the G7’s energy security policy involves public financing of overseas projects, it would rub against a commitment made by all members of the group — except Japan and the EU — at the COP26 climate talks last year to stop public support for international fossil fuel investments by the end of 2022, except in “limited and clearly defined circumstances.” The pledge was then made by all G7 ministers in May.

    “Backtracking” on those pledges, said Luca Bergamaschi, the founder of the ECCØ think tank and a former Italian government negotiator, “would mark the failure of this G7.”…”.

    Like

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