The continued resurgence of North American oil production tops the list. Just a few decades ago the conventional wisdom was that US imports would continue indefinitely, that we would be hopelessly at the mercy of OPEC and that “peak oil” would soon bring the end of the age of oil. Those predictions have now been shown to be wrong and both demonstrate the futility of long term forecasting when too many variables are not adequately known.
With oil being plentiful and reasonably priced, EIA and the IEA both agree that oil, gas, and coal will continue to be the world’s dominant energy sources for decades to come. That is good news because their energy density and cost enable them to be economic drivers in spite of efforts by environmental advocates to suppress them and force alternatives into the market place. Unlike the US, the EU nations are beginning to rethink their aggressive green agendas because economic realities are beginning to penetrate the ideology that has been prevalent since the late 1980s.
Unfortunately, President Obama remains blinded by the climate orthodoxy and an ignorance of energy economics. That keeps him from a policy to enable the US to grow more rapidly and have the tools to adapt to whatever climate prevails in the future. That is irresponsible since it is clear beyond a doubt that fossil energy is not going to be abandoned, especially since about 20% of the world’s population need more access to them to escape devastating poverty.
As the world continues to rely on carbon based fuels it should become obvious that the alleged relationship between CO2 and temperature is an illusion. No one knows how long the current 16 year pause in warming will last but all but the most closed minded should recognize that the catastrophe predicting models are worthless for policy purposes.
Along with that recognition, there should be recognition that the term “carbon pollution” is the creation of zealots who care little about economic growth or the plight of 1.6 billion people. The silver lining will be that the debate will bring to the public’s consciousness that what zealots term pollution is in fact a nutrient that is necessary for life. The public and many in the media have been bamboozled by those who use climate as Trojan Horse to hide their real agenda. In time this will become more clear and the backlash that will take place will be another success story.
This article appeared on the National Journal’s Energy Insiders weblog at https://disqus.com/by/wokeefe/