Sunday, July 29, 2012

Old King Coal

I've discussed the dreaded failure of peak-oil to materialize with many of my green friends over the years.  We must, of course, be good stewards of the environment and should press for increased efficiency and productivity here ever possible.  What we should not do, in my humble opinion, is stride to the top of a ladder, insert our economic necks in a noose and then scream at China, India, and other countries with rapidly developing economies that we will jump if they don't agree to reduce their carbon emissions.

Europe has already tightened the noose and has been leaning against the rope to see how much oxygen they can cut off to their brain / economy and still survive.  It's as if they are engaged in a bizarre economic version of sexual asphyxia whereby they seek to heighten the pleasure resulting from the implementation of orgasmic policies designed to deprive their economies of oxygen as those policies - like carbon emission reductions, green energy initiatives etc. - are tested on grander and grander scales.

U.S leaders climbed up and down the ladder and played with the rope for years, but it wasn't until the Obama administration that certain sectors of the economy were fitted for nooses and those nooses were tightened.  The oil and gas industry was fitted for a noose but caste it off because private property owners in the Marcellus, Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays invited them to drill.  Canadian production of oil sands also helped.  The Obama administration did reduce drilling in the Gulf via draconian regulation and has refused, to date, to tap resources in Alaska and elsewhere.

The coal industry - which Obama promised to bankrupt when he ran for office - has been fitted with a noose and pushed off the ladder by the EPA.  They are now dangling from the rope, thrashing about, and kicking existing coal fired power plants offline in the process.  Nuclear power plants are also failing and the strain on the national electricity grid is beginning to show.

China and India will soon cut the rope and revive the coal industry, but the coal companies will have to ship thousands and thousands of jobs overseas to take advantage of those opportunities.  The charts that accompany this post highlight the folly of believing either China or India will ever cower at that alter of Mother Gaia along side the greens who worship her.

China and India, the two beasts in the east, are committed to coal for the foreseeable future.  Promoting and supporting the use of natural gas and / or nuclear fired power plants in China and India would do more to reduce pollution - the REAL problem - than threatening to hang ourselves ever will.

Green advocates should embrace natural gas as it is much cleaner than Coal.

The chart below makes it painfully obvious China and India have hitched their economies to coal and, as the greens learned in south Africa and Brazil, they have absolutely no intention of taking their foot off the pedal of their economies.  That means coal fired power plants will continue to be built in both countries at a rapid pace.  The question for those of us who advocate increasing efficiency AND a cleaner environment is what can we do to ameliorate the effects of those plants or make those plants better?  Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
If Greenpeace cannot defeat a Japanese Whaling ship how will they stop China?

Meanwhile, shale oil and shale gas have emerged as a mortal danger to the green movement's plans.

The green movement's use of global warming - or the specter thereof - to justify the imposition of massive carbon taxes via Koyoto and its progeny has failed.  Especially when it comes to changing policy in China, India and other developing companies.  The chart to the right shows exactly why.

Shale oil and shale gas are now so widely available and so readily extracted at such low prices that the continued exploitation of those resources is unavoidable. Further, watermelon greens - those who are green on the outside and red on the inside - whose virulent hatred of capitalism drives their daily thoughts, need to keep the chart below in mind.  It shows the vast majority of the world's known oil reserves are controlled by nation states, not "evil" private oil companies.  That means those nation states who have no regard for private property rights - or the Kyoto treaty - will push forward with the extraction and exploitation of vast reserves of shale oil and shale gas now known to exist all over the world.

The carbon emission bubble is bursting.  Oil and gas reserves are going to be exploited, and the Al Gores of the world, who got rich off the carbon emission scheme, are going to have a find another hobby horse.

Damn that Gaia!  She sure is making it hard to protect her.

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James L. Salmon, Esq.
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1 comment:

Don Blankenship said...

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Don Blankenship