By David Blackmon
In a book published Feb. 14 titled “The Climate Book,” climate alarm movement poster child Greta Thunberg says that the only way to avoid catastrophic global climate change is to end modern life as we know it.
In an excerpt published by Time Magazine on Feb. 10, Thunberg begins by saying, “The solution to this crisis is not exactly rocket science. What we have to do is to halt the emission of greenhouse gasses”. What that means to anyone who understands how the world works is a halting of economic growth, a halting of transportation, a halting of moving about and making things and feeding the world’s masses. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: EPA Is Kneecapping Biden’s Green Energy Dreams. Here’s How)
Literally every activity in which humans engage creates emissions of one form or another. For example, the ammonia that forms the essential ingredient to fertilizers that have enabled crop yields to rise to levels necessary to feed the world’s masses is produced from petroleum. If we shut down drilling for oil and gas, pipelines, refineries and chemical plants, as Thunberg wants to do, that means an end to adequate global food production.
Just ask the people of Sri Lanka about this. Their government tried to eliminate all ammonia-based fertilizers in 2021, and the result was an almost immediate, massive economic and societal collapse. It was so severe that rioters stormed the country’s capital and forced a change in government.
In the Time excerpt, Thunberg obsesses about atmospheric carbon dioxide, the basis of the climate alarm movement, noting that it has risen substantially in recent decades, and ultimately arriving at this truth: “ there is no silver bullet or magic technological solution in sight.” This is absolutely correct.
Electric vehicles, pushed as the “magic technological solution” to do away with internal combustion engines, can never really accomplish that mission due mainly to their gargantuan appetite for an array of critical energy minerals. It will be near-impossible for global production of minerals like lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel and others to rise to projected levels that would be necessary to enable such a magical transition to EVs.
Thunberg’s solution? We all need to give up our cars, of course.
The same is true in the electricity generation space, where the climate alarm movement pushes wind and solar as the “magic technological solution” to doing away with fossil fuels. Never mind the intermittency of wind and solar, they have consistently assured us that that shortcoming will be solved as soon as we’ve developed a “magic technological solution” in the form of viable, scalable backup battery storage.
The problem there is that those batteries for electricity storage are every bit as reliant on those same critical energy minerals as are the batteries that power all the EVs.
Thunberg’s solution? We all need to give up all our electric devices, adjust our thermostats and deal with only enjoying electric service for a few hours each day. After all, they’re already doing this in places like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other developing nations, and we see how that’s working out. To Greta, there is no reason why those in the developed world should be any different.
In fact, she contends, it’s all the fault of the developed world to begin with. “Beyond the very basics,” she contends in the Time excerpt, “our top priority must be to distribute our remaining carbon budgets in a fair and holistic way across the world, as well as to repay our enormous historical debts. That means those who are most responsible for this crisis must immediately and drastically reduce their emissions,” i.e., dramatically scale back the standards of living typically enjoyed in modern, western society.
“People keep asking us climate activists what we should do to save the climate,” Greta continues. “But maybe the question itself is wrong. Maybe, instead, we should start asking what we should stop doing.”
What she wants everyone in the developed world to stop doing is driving, taking vacations, being connected electronically, eating beef and other animal proteins, enjoying year-round fruits and vegetables imported from other parts of the world, watching TikTok videos and consuming news on iPhones, cooking with gas stoves and living a modern, 21st century existence.
Thunberg insists that making these sacrifices would, if done the “right” way, result in a society in which “we can make time and space for community, solidarity, and love — the true tenets of a good life.”
A far more likely outcome, though, would be the creation of populations preferred by authoritarian governments throughout history, ones that are immobile, isolated, under-nourished, uncomfortable, ignorant and scared. Not exactly how most people in any part of the world, developed or not, wish to live.
There simply must be a better way. If Greta wins, everyone else loses.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.