Need of more oil, coal, and natural gas

The current weather patterns through-out the United States seem devastating: fires in California and New Mexico, heat in New York and flooding in southern Florida. Where are our weather patterns headed?

I found an interesting graph in the book: Fossil Future, by Alex Epstein. The graph comes from Scripps Institute of Oceanography referring to World Bank Data. They keep records of disasters and their impact. Disasters such as floods, droughts, storms, and extreme climate related disasters. This graph is about Climate Related Disaster Deaths, between 1920-2000. Since 1920, climate related deaths have decreased by 98% in the world! Let that sink in: 98% decrease in climate related deaths... 

This means that our knowledge system ignores the massive life-or-death benefits of fossil fuels, but it has a track record of being 180 degrees wrong about the supposedly catastrophic side effects of climate danger, which in fact has dramatically decreased; by 98% with related deaths. How is that possible?

We humans have the capacity of building: dams, canals, dikes, increasingly safer and taller buildings, drinking water facilities, hospitals and all the equipment in them. Imagine trying to build a 25 story building with purely solar and wind generated energy. That includes building the trucks, cement plants, manufacturing of steel. Once the building is completed, should we ensure electricity, water, heating, using only solar and wind power? 

Are there other forms of generating power? Yes, there is nuclear power, and maybe other forms are still being developed. Yet there are 3 billion people who have almost no access to energy sources, other than human power. Babies in Gambia die because there are no ultrasound machines or incubators available.

What are the benefits of fossil fuels? Oil, gas, coal

  1. Fossil fuels continue to be the dominant force (80%), and have the ability to provide low-cost, reliable energy in a world where far more energy will be needed going forward, especially with 3 billion  lives having almost no energy.
  2. Low-cost, reliable energy empowering us to improve lives has radically under appreciated benefits, including transforming our environment into one that is un-naturally clean and un-naturally safe from climate danger. The world has continued to become a better place to live. 
  3. While rising CO2 levels came with growing use of low-cost, reliable fossil fuel energy have a warming impact, they are not as catastrophic. Ingenious human beings, empowered by fossil-fueled machines. We have irrigation machines to counter drought, heating and air-conditioning machines that counter harmful temperatures, and so on. 

Are there side effects of the use of fossil fuels? Of course there are. It is irrelevant to me whether you believe the use of fossil fuels should be drastically cut back because the consequences in the near future will be drastic and climate change is caused by human kind, or whether you do not believe that. The fact is that 80% of energy is produced by fossil fuels and 3% is furnished by solar and wind power.  But to get to that 3%, fuel generated power was needed to build that equipment. Electric cars are fine, but they still need fossil fuel powered equipment to build them and we still need fossil fuel powered equipment to generate electricity to operate those cars. 

How come we are so enamoured with the need to replace fossil fuels? Based on what evidence? What does reality show us?

Those are questions to address another time.