Deceptive rhetoric at Davos could bring disaster

There is nothing ‘cohesive’ or ‘sustainable’ about ‘solutions’ demanded by WEF ‘stakeholders’

Paul Driessen

The World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland is billed as the globe’s most prestigious annual gathering of movers and shakers. Its mission is to “improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

This year’s theme was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Unfortunately, the lofty rhetoric belies the misleading, potentially disastrous realities of agendas supported by many participants.

A primary basis for this year’s theme is the repeated assertion that the world faces a climate cataclysm. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen thus wants to tax carbon-based energy imports into the EU and end humanity’s practice of “taking resources from the environment and generating waste and pollution in the process.” She (and others) insist that “green energy” would do no such thing.

Climate crisis claims in turn are based on computer models that are only as good as the assumptions built into them – and on attempts to blame temperature changes, extreme weather events and future crises on fossil fuel emissions, because the assumptions and models say it’s a cause-effect relationship.

The most cited model is (naturally) the most extreme: RCP8.5, which predicts temperatures way above what we are actually measuring and all manner of future calamities. But it is based on the assumptions that: methane and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (a tiny 0.0402% of Earth’s atmosphere) are vastly more important than the sun in driving climate change; our planet will have 12 billion people by 2100; there will be no energy innovations over the next 80 years; and therefore coal use will increase tenfold by the end of the century. On that we’re supposed to base restrictive energy policies, and Davos meeting themes.

Who are the stakeholders that Davos attendees will consult? Greta Thunberg was invited, to present her patented tirade that fossil fuels are destroying her future. But no climate realists (alarmism skeptics) were given the podium, nor were representatives of EU or US factory workers or the world’s poorest citizens.

The good news is that several bankers made assurances that they were not going to stop lending funds to fossil fuel companies or “major polluters.” (Will that latter category include the mining companies that will have to provide voluminous raw materials for a US and global “green new deal,” as discussed below?) The bad news is that Davos bankers and politicians allow themselves to be pressured constantly primarily by far-left “stakeholders,” who hold the stakes that they and global ruling elites want to drive through the hearts of developed nation living standards and poor country aspirations for better lives.

Indeed, contrary to its assurances at Davos, despite consultation with indigenous peoples supposedly being a core company business principle, and without consulting with Alaska Native stakeholders who want to drill carefully and ecologically for oil and gas on their own lands, to improve their people’s living standards, Goldman Sachs has decided it will no longer fund such development in the Arctic.

With “mainstream” outlets and social media increasingly controlling news and opinion, and siding with climate alarmists and anti-fossil activists, that pressure will continue to build – to our great detriment.

Will Davos themes, agendas and policies usher in a more “cohesive” world? The opposite is infinitely more likely. Deprive people of abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel (and nuclear) energy, as eco-activists seek to do – and you deprive them of jobs, living standards, food, health and life. People die in droves (itself a goal of more rabid environmentalists panicked about an over-populated world). Implement “green new deal” policies, and the results will be anything but cohesion. The policies will bring rage, protests, violence and anarchy – as France and Chile vividly demonstrated over the past two years.

Turn African, Asian and Latin American countries into vassal states, with enormous mines serving “ecologically responsible, climate-focused” nations that don’t tolerate mining within their own borders – and any cohesion will rapidly disappear. Tell American, European and other families they must accept massive wind and solar installations in their backyards or off their coasts, and the results will be similar.

A “sustainable” world? Yes, fossil fuels are ultimately finite resources – hundreds of years from now, after we run out of huge coal deposits, oil and gas from fracking, methane hydrates and other supplies, assuming policy makers don’t lock them up and “keep them in the ground.” But long before that happens, human innovation will create far better alternatives than wind turbines, if we let creativity flourish.

Meanwhile, just remember: Wind and sunshine are sustainable. But lands and raw materials required for the technologies to harness this intermittent, widely disbursed energy absolutely are not.

Sustainability is a useful concept for assessing hidden costs, risks and fiduciary responsibilities – such as those associated with climate change, as we are constantly reminded. But we must apply those same considerations to wind, solar, battery and biofuel operations; and to impacts on habitats and wildlife, air and water quality, human health and wellbeing in green new deal mining and manufacturing regions, and human welfare in an energy-deprived world of increasing hunger, death, anger, riots and chaos.

As my new Heartland Institute reports and previous articles note, fossil fuels and nuclear currently provide over 8 billion megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity and electricity-equivalent power annually, to meet America’s industrial, commercial, residential and transportation needs. Using solar to generate all that power – and charge batteries for a week of sunless days – would require 19 billion state-of-the-art sun-tracking photovoltaic panels, completely blanketing an area equal to all of New York and Vermont.

But that assumes the panels are all located where the sun shines with summertime Arizona intensity 24/7/365, which will never happen. So we’d probably have to double (perhaps even triple) the number of panels and affected acreage. The impacts on habitats and wildlife would be significant.

Using 1.8-MW wind turbines instead of solar panels would require more than 4 million turbines on farm, wildlife habitat and scenic lands equal to Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and part of Washington State combined. But the more we install, the more we have to put turbines in poor wind locations. We’d probably have to double (or even triple) the number of turbines, and acreage impacted. Their rapidly turning blades (200 mph at their tips) would slaughter millions of eagles, falcons, other birds and bats.

Going offshore instead would require hundreds of thousands of 650-foot-tall 10-MW turbines. Their impact on birds, bats, marine mammals, vistas, and ship and aircraft navigation would be intolerable.

Each 1.8-MW turbine requires some 1,200 tons of steel, copper, aluminum, rare earth elements, zinc, molybdenum, petroleum-based composites, reinforced concrete and other materials. Each ton of materials requires removing thousands of tons of rock and ore – and processing ores with fossil fuels. In fact, wind turbines need some 200 times more material per megawatt than a modern combined-cycle gas turbine!

Storing a week of electricity for windless and sunless periods would require some 2 billion half-ton Tesla car lithium-cobalt battery packs – and more materials; more mining. Connecting wind, solar and battery facilities to distant cities would require thousands of miles of new transmission lines, and more mining.

This doesn’t include materials to replace existing cars, trucks, heating systems and other technologies.

And that’s just for the United States. Imagine how many turbines, panels, batteries, transmission lines, raw materials, mines, processing plants and factories we’d need for a global transformation!

But green new deal advocates detest mining, at least by western mining companies in western countries. So it’s mostly done in faraway places that have virtually no environmental, health, safety, wage or child labor rules. Places like Inner Mongolia, where rare earth operations have fouled the air, created a huge toxic lake, and poisoned thousands of people. And Africa’s Congo, where 40,000 children labor in mines just for the cobalt needed in today’s cell phones, laptops and electric cars; not for any green new deal.

This eco-imperialism and false sustainability must end. As to all those self-styled stakeholders, You first. Lead by example. Slash your energy use and living standards. Then you can (nicely) ask the rest of us to do likewise. That means you, Greta, Leo DiCaprio, Al Gore, Emma Thompson and all the other climate scolds. (But of course they won’t. So why should we? And why should the world’s poor?)

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on environment, climate and human rights issues.

49 thoughts on “Deceptive rhetoric at Davos could bring disaster

  1. Eco hysteria is a source of easy taxes, easy money. Unless explicitly forced out of the game, no government and it’s ramifications would ignore such revenues.

    That’s why climate do-gooders also actively lobby for democracy suppression and gun control.

    • Guys like Bloomberg want total gun confiscation, not just control.

      In 1775 the British Army garrison at Boston left their barracks and marched through the night to seize the musket, ball, and power stored for the minutemen in Concorde and Lexington. Why? Same reason Bloomberg and the liberal elites understand they need to have disarmed population to subdue them so they can take away their liberties and tax the bejeezers out of them.

      • Maybe the garrison heard also , the Lexington “shot heard around the world”?
        Sir Mike Bloomberg, or mini Mike as President Trump tweets, is about to buy the 2020.
        As the NYT let the cat out of the bag with the “winner in Iowa could be” Sir Mike.
        Would it be coincidence Sir Mike has two London residences, lived there for 30 years?

        Note BoJo has turned Brexit into an eco-sham, exactly like the EU’s van der Leyen, echoing Bank-of-England Governor Mark Carney, who heads to the UN now.

        Lord Bertrand Russell yearned for a UN being the sole nuclear weapon holder, disarming the world. We are a long way from ball and powder….

  2. Davos = just another NGO pushing Marxist/Socialism to redistribute the wealth. The outcome is everyone will be reduced to an equal level of poverty. Support for Brexit and Trump shows the people are on to the scam and won’t stand for it. The perpetrators of the redistribution scam believe they are on a roll because of their successes so far with mass migration and CO2 emission hysteria but they’ve only awakened a sleeping giant.

    • Don’t worry about wealth redistribution. After the Marxists take over production, there won’t be any wealth to distribute. All socialist regimes fail after all the “other people’s money” is consumed.

      Socialists believe themselves to be benevolent, but they are violent in the extreme. They speak calmly of confiscation and redistribution of some $50-$80Trillion of assets and wealth from producers to their parasites. And those “requests” for wealth transfers are expected to elicit no stern resistance?

      Free Enterprise can weather and survive a lot of theft and parasitism, but socialism cannot make slaves into productive citizens.

      • Maria Gabriela Chavez (Hugo’s daughter) has an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion.

        Just think if the rest of the Venezuelans had “equal” poverty with Maria!

  3. I have hope.
    Demonstrations by ordinary people against renewables, in Chile, Netherlands, France and Germany. Very difficult to know how many other countries, there is a near complete embargo on such news in Australia.
    In democratic elections it’s the parties with the least green credentials that are winning, like Brexit, Trump and Australia. To stop that, the Elites will have to get rid of democracy.

    • In case you haven’t noticed, the liberal Tory party won the UK election with a promise to be carbon neutral by 2050 in its manifesto and is now making proposals to deliver this. The problem in the UK is that we have no choice on party when it comes to global warming. The nation sensibly chose not to elect the communist Corbyn to avoid devastating our economy but that doesn’t mean there is support for the green destruction of our economy.

    • “Demonstrations by ordinary people against renewables, in Chile, Netherlands, France and Germany. Very difficult to know how many other countries, there is a near complete embargo on such news in Australia.”

      It’s that way everywhere. The Leftwing Media censor any news that doesn’t go along with the CAGW meme.

      I would have to say the Leftwing Media in the Western Democracies is the entity that poses the greatest threat to all our personal freedoms. They are more dangerous to our freedoms than China or Russian or Iran or North Korea.

      Democracies work when the people have enough information to make an informed decision. In our case today, many people cannot make an informed decision because they have been given false information by the Leftwing Media, so those people make bad choices and choose to elect people who will eventually take all their freedoms away. All based on lies from the Leftwing Media, the Propaganda Organ of the Western Democracies. The Most Dangerous Game in Town.

      • Tom
        We don’t hear much about the ‘Yellow Vests’ in France here in the US either.

        The Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column.

  4. “Yes, fossil fuels are ultimately finite resources – hundreds of years from now, after we run out of huge coal deposits, oil and gas from fracking, methane hydrates and other supplies, assuming policy makers don’t lock them up and “keep them in the ground.”

    Uh huh…are we talking about Earth here?

    “The good news is that several bankers made assurances…”

    Phew, if there is one group we an all trust to do the right thing for the poor of the world, their children and grand children its deluded billionaire bankers. You know, people who really understand what its like to have no healthcare and stuff like that, so comforting.

      • It all depends on which Earth you are talking about.
        Loydo doesn’t live in any Earth that has been found by astronomers.

    • Billionaire bankers?

      Is there anything Loydo knows that is actually true?

      Regardless, it’s the genius of capitalism that you don’t have to rely on the benevolence of the wealthy. When they engage in business, they end up improving the lot of everybody.
      Only under socialism do the vast majority of people end up poorer.

    • What are you doing for the poor of the world who have nothing let alone healthcare? I thought so, nothing!

      • That has been put to Loydo countless times but all we ever get is Loydo wants our money to give away. The fact the people being given the money will just buy more weapons, engage in more corruption and then try to eliminate more of their own countrymen and us.

        So lets see my choice a deluded billionaire bankers or a deluded socialist … hmm I take the banker every time. That is basically the problem for loydo you couldn’t sell that in a democracy.

        • If she’s like most socialists, she doesn’t want to give away our money, she wants to keep it for herself.

  5. Davos is just a sick joke. Infested with ‘movers and shakers’ whose skill set is limited to moving and shaking aside obstacles to their grotesue self interests just like ‘successful patricians/aristocrats/thug lords/big men/merchants etc have done for many centuries. Their version of ‘do unto others etc’ is to do you over because that’s the rules of their world, ‘winner take all’ and the lure of ‘taking it all’ is just too intoxicating. Just the thought of ‘competing’ is like snorting coke to these pigs.

  6. Charles, this is a great essay … however you’re missing some key facts.

    1. In this essay, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11/30/excess-costs-of-uk-weather-dependent-renewable-energy-2018/ you brought from a eduh.me story UK solar only delivers 10.8% of rated power, off-shore wind about 35.2%, and on-shore wind 25.6%. That’s some very bad return.

    2. In this essay https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/29/wind-farm-turbines-wear-sooner-than-expected-says-study/ you report on a Telegraph story that wind installations have a very fast aging, becoming ineffective after just 12 years.

    Hence, it looks like these technologies may not ever replace the power required to manufacture and installation said equipment … in some situations, renewable energy sources are a net carbon loss.

    • Hence, it looks like these technologies may not ever replace the power required to manufacture and installation said equipment … in some situations, renewable energy sources are a net carbon loss.

      Although I disagree with the usage of the phrase “carbon loss” (I’d prefer net CO2 increase), I believe this may be the crux of the matter, and what will nix renewables completely.

      If it takes more energy to produce, run and maintain renewable energy systems than they produce in their lifetime, they are much, much worse than useless. They are in fact a total insanity if this is the case, and I believe more and more that it may be.

      Even if they cost only half the energy they produce, they are terrible. When you start factoring the actual usable energy they produce, and the cost of anything used to provide backup when they cannot produce, I’ll bet heavily on them not returning the energy used.

      It’s just insane that nobody has analysed this in full. We wouldn’t do that with any other product.

      • What’s more, even if they did have an EROEI greater than 1 they would still be bringing future CO2 emissions forward to today, with the ‘payback’ only occurring during the lifetime of the installation. And in a globally growing economy this will produce even more future emissions actually happening immediately.

        At almost every turn, these grand green schemes fail miserably. Some UK plonkers recently announced an intention to bring forward the banning of new internal combustion-engined cars in the UK from 2050 to 2035. I heard no mention of the infrastructure changes needed to make this possible or even likely. Now they really are playing with fire: Margaret Thatcher was in power for 11 years and her Conservative successor for a further 7 years, so it is not inconceivable that some people in government today will still be in office when it becomes necessary to reverse policy.

      • ZIG ZAG I agree 1k%! The cost average is a lot lower just doing oil,gas,nuclear & burning cow farts. The cost of regeneration of these bird life,miner killers is so the gov’t can ask for more money from the (taxpaying) dummies. The whole sham is for more $ for the Over lookers.THE BIGGEST LIE EVER ON MANKIND. o-btw- THEY CAN’T CHARGE YOU FOR THE AIR YOU BREATH OR EXHALE! ha HA

  7. “Climate crisis claims in turn are based on computer models that are only as good as the assumptions built into them – and on attempts to blame temperature changes, extreme weather events and future crises on fossil fuel emissions, because the assumptions and models say it’s a cause-effect relationship. The most cited model is (naturally) the most extreme: RCP8.5, which predicts temperatures way above what we are actually measuring and all manner of future calamities. But it is based on the assumptions that: methane and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (a tiny 0.0402% of Earth’s atmosphere) are vastly more important than the sun in driving climate change”

    There are serious issues in climate science but this kind of childish rant is over the top and just the kind of thing that provides ammunition to the other side to denigrate denialism.

    • My critique there for Paul Driessen is the RCP8.5 is not a model. It is a CO2 concentration scenario (pathway) run in the climate models to force them with their hypothesis assumed GHG warming.

  8. there is no way that the population will be 12 billion in 2100. it is mathematically impossible.

    the global birthrate is below replacement level already. japan has long been dying off, europe too, hence the imported africans taking place there. japan, of course won’t tolerate non-japanese (less than 2% is non japanese)

    only a few countries in africa are above replacement birth rates. everywhere else is below. this is no accident or happenstance, it took the cabal 50+ years of work to achieve.

    the population will peak by 2040, then lose 75 million or so that decade and there after decrease by 25% each generation after,

    link to the world bank stats; https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.CBRT.IN?most_recent_value_desc=true

    i list this as source because people are the hypothesized collateral for all the fiat money in the various banking systems.

    • the global birthrate is below replacement level already

      the population will peak by 2040

      These two assertions contradict each other. Gf the birthrate is below replacement level, population has already peaked. Which it hasn’t because it’s not.

      • they don’t contradict or conflict

        population has not quite peaked yet, as those few african countries and a couple asain ones are still above replacement, and also the pesky 70-80 odd year lifespans needs to play out.

        in the usa, the boomers (some 75 million) are due to die off this decade and next, as the oldest boomer are 74 now.

        everyone alive today will be dead 80 years hence, more or less.

        just as population increased rapidly in the past, it will decline just as rapidly in the future, because below replacement levels.

        musk and jack ma even noted as much recently. ignorant uninformed billionaires though they be

        one can easily search for the onging population decline and find coius sources to verify

        have you heard of agenda 21?

  9. The entire “sustainable-renewable energy” exercise makes clear the true purpose of the climate scam is to drive the developed countries’s middle class into serfdom.
    The rich and the elites assume they will always be able to afford whatever fossil fuel energy (even with taxes and carbon credit purchases) they need for their comfortable lifestyles and travels to exotics locales via their private jets, yachts, and limousines.

    In fact they expect to profit handsomely with not just renewable energy investments, but on carbon trading schemes and carbon credits arbitrage. Al of this is to drive the cost of fossil fuels consumption out of reach for the middle class, the largest segment turned into serfs and held down and controlled with socialism, and if necessary despotism that would make Orwell blush.

    • Hey Steve, remember that ‘power to the people’ is an indubitable virtue for all and so take it easy on those currently fully empowered ones. Surely we’re all going to join them some day soon. After all, I myself am a steakholder, at least until we finish our dinner tonight.

  10. Using 1.8-MW wind turbines instead of solar panels would require more than 4 million turbines on farm, wildlife habitat and scenic lands equal to Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and part of Washington State combined. But the more we install, the more we have to put turbines in poor wind locations.

    Wind turbines extract energy from the air. This slows down the wind and changes the exchange of heat and moisture between the ground surface and the atmosphere.

    Whilst the change in wind speed must be comparatively small, the overall effect of installing 4 million turbines could be significant.

  11. Windmills and Industrial Solar cannot power the world. Anyone who thinks they can doesn’t understand the problem.

  12. Such a nice summary of the prevalent stupidity and ignorance of real truths by the self-appointed leadership elite at Davos. It would be great to get these points condensed into tight little summary statements that even a progressive would understand and print them on all of our currencies. No matter how “woke” those folks are, there is nothing more sacred to them than the cash in their pockets.

  13. ZIG ZAG I agree 1k%! The cost average is a lot lower just doing oil,gas,nuclear & burning cow farts. The cost of regeneration of these bird life,miner killers is so the gov’t can ask for more money from the (taxpaying) dummies. The whole sham is for more $ for the Over lookers.THE BIGGEST LIE EVER ON MANKIND. o-btw- THEY CAN’T CHARGE YOU FOR THE AIR YOU BREATH OR EXHALE! ha HA

  14. Inviting Greta Thunberg, effectively a simple child (*), to be insulted by her… sounds a lot like an sadomaso scenario.

    Climate, SM, what’s the diff?

    (*) a child can be a important fact witness for an affair, and can be able to explain in his own words the details of how particular events unfolded (f.ex. the children trapped by high tide in a cave) hence not a “simple child” in a particular context

  15. “contrary to its assurances at Davos, despite

    consultation with indigenous peoples

    supposedly being a core company business principle, and without consulting with Alaska Native stakeholders who want to drill carefully and ecologically for oil and gas on their own lands, to improve their people’s living standards, Goldman Sachs has decided it will no longer fund such development in the Arctic.

    With “mainstream” outlets and social media increasingly controlling news and opinion, and siding with climate alarmists and anti-fossil activists, that pressure will continue to build – to our great detriment.

    Will Davos themes, agendas and policies usher in a more “cohesive” world?”

    Indigenous peoples are always the historical 2ⁿᵈ youngest intruder wave.

    Times they are a changing.

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