Catch The Fever!
[C]onsider how things look to one very knowledgeable energy analyst, Vinod K. Dar, who runs Dar & Company, a consultant to the energy industry, in Bethesda, Md. What follows is my own gloss on Dar’s analysis. Everything he says, however, squares with all that I’ve seen and learned in the 30 years I’ve watched energy markets here and abroad.
A number of influential people in Russia, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam say the planet is now entering a 30-year cooling period, the second half of a normal cycle driven by cyclical changes in the sun’s output and currents in the Pacific Ocean. Their theory leaves true believers in carbon catastrophe livid.
Well that’s interesting. Even more interesting is the fact that most of the world, and certainly the vast majority of the world’s governments, are acting like they already understand that.
To judge by actions, not words, the carbon-warming view hasn’t come close to persuading a political majority even in nations considered far more environmentally enlightened than China and India. Europe’s coal consumption is rising, not falling, and the Continent won’t come close to meeting the Kyoto targets for carbon reduction. Australia is selling coal to all comers.
But what about the developing nations, especially China and India. Wasn’t it reported that they will be able to bypass the extremely dirty, early stage of power technology and industrialize themselves using much cleaner wind and solar power? Um… no.
On the far side of the environmental curtain China already mines and burns more coal than any other country. Together, China and India control more than one-fifth of the planet’s vast coal reserves. Dar predicts–very plausibly, in my view–that the two countries may fire up a new coal plant as often as once a week for the next 25 years, adding about twice as much coal-fired generating capacity as the U.S. has today. Persian Gulf states are planning significant coal imports, because coal generates much cheaper electricity than oil or gas.
Vinod K. Dar has his own opinion of how to handle the vagaries of the world’s climate, be it cauldron or new ice age. “Contingency planning should entail strategic responses to a warming globe, a cooling globe and a globe whose climate reverberates with laughter at human hubris.” That’s an opinion I agree with.
H/T to Simon at Classical Values.