October 20th, 2020

Fossil fuels will continue to play a vital role


By Letter to the Editor on March 11, 2020.

We must save the people on our planet from people who insist on “saving the planet” from climate catastrophe predicted for decades but never realized. Global mortality from all natural disasters has decreased by 99 per cent since 1920 while the world’s population trebled thanks to improved economies and technologies provided by our modern industrialized world.

Production of safe food and calorie input per capita continues to improve around the world because of the real green revolution involving use of commercial fertilizers, improved seed varieties, pesticides and increased CO2 fertilization from our atmosphere.

If the world actually stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow most of us would die within a short period of time. We would suddenly have no food, no heat, no transportation, no clothes or medical care except what was available in medieval times! That appears to be an exaggeration unless you understand that all industry and technology which give us our modern lifestyle only exist because of the availability of affordable, abundant, reliable energy provided by hydrocarbons. Even the next most important power sources, hydro and nuclear, not to mention the almost irrelevant “renewable” efforts, cannot be created or maintained without coal, gas or oil. The alarmists say that we must phase out fossil fuels over the next 10 or 20 years. Those naive, uninformed ultimatums assume that we have an alternative replacement energy structure waiting in the wings to simply replace fossil fuels but nothing could be further from the truth.

And there-in lies the real problem. Idealistic know-nothings dream that we can snap our fingers and create new utopian renewable energy forms that don’t even exist now or likely in the near future. Wind and solar energy are intermittent sources that always need back-up power from reliable power sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas to keep the lights on, keep our homes heated, and our factories, schools and hospitals running. The truth is, the physics of wind and solar energy render 100 per cent renewable energy nothing more than a myth.

Canada should never undertake an impossible “noble” energy sacrifice to help the world when the world does not intend to follow. Absolutely nothing that Canadians do will reduce the legitimate growing demand by the poor of the world for modern energy services and better standards of living based on increased use of plentiful and inexpensive fossil fuels.

Lynn Thacker

Bow Island

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johnny57

Great letter Lynn! The eco-terrorist-sky-is-falling loonie-toons are a scary bunch for sure. Thinking they need to be DE platformed when ever possible. But of course when most of the media we absorb is centre-left this would be a challenge for sure. Alberta can and has produced some of the cleanest energy in the world with new technology coming on-line that can clean things up more. Yet we still import oil from countries that can’t even give the right of girls to get a decent education. Pretty-boy should hang his substance-less head in shame!

Southern Albertan

As always, what will determine the future of fossil fuels is the market, changing global oil economics and shipping, competition with regard to OPEC/Russia/USA, countries starting to base their economies on renewable tech, etc….all factors beyond Canada’s/Alberta’s control.
Money, and profits, always talk.

biff

in addition to overlooking the vast negative effects of rogue mining on the planet (yes, we need fuels and minerals, but all extraction and use needs and needed to be done with care; poisoning in the pursuit of money is not acceptable and hardly shows us to be a developed species), the writer also glosses over what has amounted to the poisoning of the land, air and water via the chemicals industry. no acknowledgement of the many decades of poisoning suffered at the hands of monsanto, dow et al. the effects on diversity of species – flora and fauna – have been considerable. roundup and ddt only scratch the surface as examples of greed, corruption and stupidity, but they have penetrated so much deeper.

Tris Pargeter

hahahaha biff! You are in top form, and again, spot on. It IS kind of fish in a barrel mind you, but still….
My response to the usual all or nothing BS is LEADERSHIP. Someone has to lead, don’t they? That well known quote comes to mind– that the stone age didn’t end because they ran out of stones, but because they discovered BRONZE.

IMO

Mr. Thacker attempts to convince the reader that:

1. Capitalism is the saviour of the world’s poor.
2. Chemical farming harms nothing and benefits all.
3. There is an endless supply of inexpensive fossil fuels .

In response, however, one is compelled to ask:

1. How will the world’s poor will be lifted up by capitalism when the premier of this province is in emergency scramble mode in response to the Russia/Saudi oil price spat together with the additional economic threat that the World Health Organization declared today that COVID-19 is now a pandemic?

2. How does Mr. Thacker explain the existence of oceanic dead zones directly related to chemical fertilizers?

https://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/index.html

3. How is it that Mr. Thacker omits the fact that the supply of fossil fuels is finite and comes with extensive hidden costs?

http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-costs/sustainability/

http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/learn-more/hidden-costs/

Indeed, the poor of the world can be fed, but not utilizing a food system based based on capitalism and free market ideology. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that poverty impacts 4.9 million people in Canada in households where access to adequate and nutrient dense food is a substantial issue.

http://www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/just-the-facts/

https://foodshare.net/about/food-justice/

https://monthlyreview.org/product/agriculture_and_food_in_crisis/

To suggest. as Mr Thacker has, that divesting in fossil fuel energy is a ‘sacrifice’ is unsupported. It also serves to invite discussion on the moral and ethical basis of such a statement and raises the question of who is sacrificing what?

Finally, Mr. Thacker’s name calling (idealistic know-nothings) fails to refute scientific arguments regarding climate change and environmental degradation. In name calling, Mr. Thacker has merely characterised those he disagrees with. Characterisation is not an argument. Furthermore, it does not validate his position. In other words, Mr. Thacker’s assertions/argument may be viewed as invalid.

Tris Pargeter

Thorough and excellent IMO.
This pandemic SHOULD put some things in perspective one would think, but that can’t be counted on of course, not with these blockheads, any more than unfolding disasters of climate change can.
My only disagreement is that name-calling renders all assertions “invalid.” That’s simply not true.