This is Earth Day’s 45th anniversary and it’s also – according to Earth Day Network’s somewhat optimistic website – “the year in which world leaders finally pass a binding climate treaty” and “the year in which citizens and organizations divest from fossil fuels and put their money into renewable energy solutions.”
To which there is only one sensible answer and it consists of three words:
Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.
There will be no “binding climate treaty” at the UN climate summit in Paris this year because there has been no ‘global warming’ for 220 months.
As the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Benny Peiser notes, this “temperature pause” will lead inevitably to a “policy pause.”
“I think the pause will allow the governments around the world to come to a very toothless agreement that essentially kicks the hard decisions into the long grass.”
Nor are we likely to give up fossil fuels any time soon.
Just look at this chart to see why:
Renewable energy consumption, as a percentage of total energy use, has actually decreased in the US since the 1950s.
As Mark Perry explains in this piece for the AEI:
The chart above illustrates the importance of the Earth’s hydrocarbon energy treasures to the American economy — in the past, today, and in the future. Over almost a one-hundred year period from 1949 to 2040, fossil fuels have provided, and will continue to provide, the vast majority of our energy by far according to Obama’s Department of Energy. Last year, fossil fuels provided more than 83% of America’s energy consumption, which was nearly unchanged from the 85% fossil fuel share twenty years ago in the early 1990s.
Even more than a quarter of a century from now in 2040, the Department of Energy forecasts that fossil fuels will still be the dominant energy source, providing more than 81% of our energy needs. So, despite President Obama’s dismissal of oil and fossil fuels as “energy sources of the past,” the forecasts from his own Department of Energy tell a much different story of a hydrocarbon-based energy future where fossil fuels serve as the dominant energy source to power our vehicles, heat and light our homes, and fuel the US economy.
Happy Earth Day, everyone. And remember to thank Mother Gaia for her amazing bounty: the coal, the oil and the gas which keep our power stations running on all those myriad occasions when the wind isn’t blowing the bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes and when the sun – eg at night – isn’t providing a great deal of solar powar.