“Donald Trump has broken the climate spell,” says a must-read article by Rupert Darwall. [Rather surprisingly, it’s in the NeverTrump Weekly Standard].
He’s right. And it’s an apt metaphor, too. For decades, it’s as if the entire civilized world has been under the grip of a malign spell cast by an evil green wizard.
This evil green wizard is a shape-shifter who has taken many forms – sometimes, adopting the blubbery physique of Al Gore or the wizened, yoga-loving, soft-porn-writing frame of railway engineer Rajendra Pachauri; sometimes that of the moustachioed Canadian Marxist Maurice Strong; sometimes that of the hollow orator Barack Obama, or the comedy data-manipulator and faux-Nobel-Prizewinner Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann…
All these characters are just different facets of the same problem though: the suicide mission – devised by a handful of influential zealots and enthusiastically embraced by far too many politicians, academics, celebrities, lawyers, corporatists, scientists, apparatchiks and journalists – to make the global economy “transition” from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
What makes Trump so remarkable is that he is the first political leader of consequence to stand up against this seemingly unstoppable tide.
This is about far more than process. Trump is breaking the spell of inevitability of the transition to renewable energy. The impression of irresistible momentum has been one of the most potent tools in enforcing compliance with the climate catechism. Like socialism, the clean-energy transition will fail because it doesn’t work. But it requires strong leadership to avoid the ruin that will disprove the false promise of cost-free decarbonization.
Hey, wait, though. How can we be sure that Trump is right about the science on climate change and that all the scientists and politicians and economists and other experts who oppose him are wrong?
Short answer: it doesn’t matter whether Trump is right or wrong on the science on climate change.
When Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, he was taking an economic and political decision, not a scientific one.
As Darwall says:
No country has a greater abundance of hydrocarbon energy than the United States. The corollary is that no country was as big a loser from participating in the Paris Agreement and its intention to progressively decarbonize the world’s hydrocarbon superpower. On July 10, the Energy Information Administration forecast that next year, the United States will produce 12 million barrels of oil a day and overtake Saudi Arabia to be the world’s number-one producer. When it comes to the politics of energy, the interests of the United States and European green ideology are irreconcilable.
Donald Trump understands this. “Our country is blessed with extraordinary energy abundance, which we didn’t know of even 5 years ago and certainly 10 years ago,” the president said in 2017. Those remarks were not only a paean to America’s energy resources, they were a full-dress rejection of the policies of his predecessor and of the Democrats’ goal of Europeanizing American energy policy.
Up until Trump, no world leader dared question the climate “consensus”.
In some cases this was pure cynicism: China, for example, benefits hugely from all this green transition nonsense – selling solar panels and rare earth minerals (for wind turbines and such like) to gullible Westerners, while flagrantly ramping up its own fossil fuel power production. Like Napoleon (almost) said: never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
Mostly, though, it was just herd mentality. Nobody wanted to be stigmatised as the pariah state that refused to help save the planet, so everyone signed up to whatever international green protocols their advisors told them to. As Darwall says: “What most motivates political leaders, bureaucrats, and corporate CEOs is the fear of being left out.”
Trump has put a stop to this. By refusing to go along to get along, he has given all the other potential dissenters out there permission to dissent.
Now that Trump has broken the spell, the global energy agenda is up for grabs once more.
No longer is it a given that the world is on an inevitable, unstoppable and desirable transition towards renewable energy.
On the contrary, people are starting to wake up to the fact that they’d be much better off – as would their landscapes and wildlife – if they stuck to good, cheap, reliable, old-fashioned fossil fuels.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is retreating on a planned federal carbon tax, after a humiliating defeat in the state of Ontario by Doug Ford – who won on an anti-renewables, pro-growth ticket of scrapping cap-and-trade and keeping gas prices low.
In South Australia, the renewables-obsessed Labor government was thrown out and replaced by a government which promised to repeal the state’s renewable-energy target.
Now the federal government of Australia is in trouble too because of its overzealous pursuit of the green agenda. At least ten MPs in Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition government have threatened to “cross the floor” – ie revolt – if he goes ahead with his planned National Energy Guarantee. [And who can blame them? According to a recent study the cost to Australians of implement the Paris Climate Accord will be $8500 per family. All to stave off global warming by the end of the century by a remarkable 0.0001C]
In Brazil, the presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro has said that if he wins the October election he will follow Trump’s example and pull his country out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Even deep green Germany has raised the white flag on its Energiewende green energy transition, as Darwall reports:
Launching the German renewables transition in 2004, energy minister Jürgen Trittin promised that it would put no more than the cost of an ice cream on monthly electricity bills. Nine years later, his successor, Peter Altmaier, admitted that the costs could amount to $1.34 trillion by the end of the 2030s. At a meeting in June of E.U. energy ministers, Germany ran up the white flag. Altmaier shocked fellow E.U. energy ministers by rejecting higher renewable-energy targets. “We’re not going to manage that,” he told them. “Nowhere in Europe is going to manage that. Even if we did manage to get enough electric cars, we wouldn’t have enough renewable energy to keep them on the road.”
The renewables industry may well be the biggest scam in economic history: it’s the Darien Scheme, the South Sea Bubble, the Enron-on-steroids of our age. Renewable energy is expensive, unnecessary, environmentally damaging, intrusive, harmful, ugly and pointless. Yet a significant chunk of the global economy is now wasted on it – diverting scarce resources from where they are wanted and needed; significantly reducing standards of living, especially in the poorer parts of the world.
If Trump can put a stop to this nonsense it will count among his greatest achievements. In fact, scrub that “among” – it will be his greatest achievement bar none.