A paper titled “How Perception of Fossil Fuel Futures Have Evolved,” which was published in late February, is unpopular with climate-change advocates across the country. The author, Ronald Voisin, is a retired engineer and has a hobby of studying climate change. The topic as reported is truly an “inadvertent, serendipitous, scientific discovery,” according to Thomas Lifson, who reviewed Voisin’s article for American Thinker.
Apparently, the world has fossil-fuel supplies for maybe 500 years, and it is more than fracking that will make it all possible. New satellite data – in what was nearly an accident – revealed heretofore unknown, vast, new oilfields globally. North America is where most of these deposits are located. This all came about when volcanologists arranged for new gravimeter sensors on satellites. With improvements of them over the years, scientists have found progressively improved, high-resolution imagery confirming these fossil-fuel deposits. This kind of report was one to make it “Google disappear” for quite a while, if you get my drift – another marker about the declining state of honesty and believability of the media.
In the 1920s, it was widely thought that petroleum reserves might last 10 years. Then with each passing decade for the next century, the expectation varied from 10 to 20 years. In 2008, new space sensors indicated the world has much larger and distributed oil and gas supplies, something that makes this information “possibly the greatest geopolitical significance of any human discovery ever.” And with every passing year there is more widely based and definitive understanding of these global deposits.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the U.S. is now, and in 2020, a net energy exporter due to large production of petroleum, gas and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL), at affordable prices, while total U.S. energy consumption remains relatively flat. All this is true while global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still should expand by 30% between today and 2040. The largest contribution to demand growth, about 30%, is from India, whose share of global use will rise to 11% by 2040.
It is expected that global use of coal-fired electric demand, which has grown nearly 900 GW over the last 20 years, will add only 400 GW over the next two decades. Oil demand is forecast to grow over the next 20 years but at a steadily decreasing rate, while use of natural gas should rise worldwide by 45% in the next two decades. The outlook for nuclear power generation continues to wane, with China becoming the largest producer of nuclear electric power by 2030. And for the “greenies,” global progression of renewables consumption is expected to grow from 9% today to about 16% over the next 20 years.
What all this means is that America seems to be on a road to a stable energy supply at affordable prices for the foreseeable future. And the future seems bright and stable for the most intense-use sector of the U.S. manufacturing economy. This short summary is encouraging. What has been left unsaid so far is how this energy supply and use, domestic and foreign, could or may be manipulated to the detriment of our country.
Most readers are busy-busy with their business activities and often pay too little attention to the truths and realities of ongoing society. It is my view today, being an observer for many decades, that our country is headed in the wrong direction in allowing and countenancing the political class to get serious traction with screwball ideas about how our country is led and operates. Further, the government must be held accountable to the people – that means the ones with some sense in their heads and an understanding of how the nation operates … not as a platter of nutcase views that are impractical and expensive while spending “other people’s money.”
I am reminded of an oft-repeated story from Reinhold Niebuhr about Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s. The public was busy doing its thing and ignored the building wave of atrocities and bad government actions. “First they came for the union leaders; I said nothing. Then they came for the Jews, and I said nothing. Then they came for me.”
Too late can be a national death knell.