It is no great revelation that nearly every Western leader is fully on board with the idea of the so-called “climate emergency.” Accordingly, they uniformly push the kind of major policy upheaval that is currently helping to raise energy costs as well as food prices.
Climate change, according to the “experts,” is caused primarily by automobiles with internal combustion engines, planes (except private jets), eating animal protein, and generating grid-scale energy from fossil fuels.
What, if this emergency really exists, is the plan to stop it?
First on the list is changing the main energy source for generating electricity. This means no more oil or coal, and eventually no more natural gas. Wind and solar power are the primary favorite alternatives; nuclear and hydroelectric tend to be disliked by environmentalists.
These weather-dependent sources of power are not dispatchable, meaning they cannot be turned up or down based on electricity demand like nuclear or fossil fuel systems. Currently, the United States generates about 12% of our energy from wind and solar.
Intermittent solar and wind require an equivalent backup of dispatchable power, usually from coal or natural gas. The grid, which is designed for dispatchable power, becomes increasingly strained and overburdened by the large fluctuations in input. As failing power systems throughout the United States prove, the politically designed “green” power system can’t meet the public’s need for on-demand, continuous power.
Despite these realities, radical environmentalists and their government allies in California and several other states have decided to make it illegal to install natural gas appliances in new homes – electric only. They’ve also banned small combustion engines like those that power leaf blowers and lawnmowers, so electric versions of these devices can burden the grid even more.
To continue the “incredible transition,” government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working on passing emissions standards and average fuel economy rules that not even the Toyota Prius can meet. This will have the inconvenient effect of forcing manufacturers to make almost solely electric cars, and cause the cost of electric vehicles, and any remaining cars and trucks with internal combustion engines, to skyrocket. In this scenario, it will be difficult for any but the wealthiest Americans to afford to drive private vehicles.
And, of course, the increasing numbers of electric vehicles are being added to a power system that is becoming destabilized and increasingly unreliable.
Whoops! Serfs must now refrain from using too much power, including charging vehicles at prime energy-use hours, aka, overnight, when most people are at home. Guess you’ll have to take the bus. However, don’t worry, the new electric buses spontaneously combust only sometimes.
It may be pleasing to the engineers in the audience that Bill Gates and friends have invested in geoengineering projects (like this one from Harvard) meant to disrupt the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth, reducing warming that way. Ignoring the Saturday morning cartoon villain feel of this plan, if indeed you believe that warming is a problem, this may seem at first glance like an interesting idea. In theory, a geoengineering solution could be an effective, if expensive, way to fix the problem without destroying the energy systems of every developed nation.
Unfortunately, that is not in the cards for the green agenda. As a recent video from the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) TikTok account (yes – the WEF has a TikTok) explains, while the organization is fully on board with the “dimming the sun” idea, it emphasizes that because it may take a few years to launch a geoengineering plan, “the task of decarbonizing life on Earth [is] no less urgent.”
Pardon my concern, but “decarbonizing life on earth” sounds frightening. On a planet full of of carbon-based lifeforms, is it even possible? Unless the WEF is run by Star Trek’s silicon-based rock monster, I don’t think whoever runs its TikTok account was really thinking through that particular phrasing. What happened to “reducing carbon dioxide emissions”?
So, in sum: stopping global warming involves having no electricity unless the weather cooperates, except for politically connected elites and important buildings in major cities with huge diesel, gasoline, and natural gas powered generators. It requires common people to give up private vehicles and flying. Plus, maybe scientists will get to dimming the sun, which may make winters colder at a time when there will be only limited, weather-dependent electricity to heat homes. Throw on another sweater, or some wood on the fire (until they ban that, too).
I think I would prefer that Washington, D.C., is swallowed by rising seas instead.
Linnea Lueken (email@example.com) is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.