Post-Covid-19 ‘Sustainable Development’ Means Little In Precision Or Practice

Guest post by Tilak Doshi. Originally published at Forbes.

Now that COVID-19 is compounding and exacerbating threats to the global economy, including higher public debt burdens, de-globalization and an expanding role of the state, the call for “sustainable development” to recover from the shock is widely proclaimed from all quarters.

“Battered by the pandemic and economic collapse, do Americans have the capacity to care about the environment?”, asks one Harris poll in early August of its panel of respondents. Not much, the poll concludes, and the climate industrial complex, along with Will Johnson, CEO of the Harris Poll, must be surprised and discouraged to discover that devotion to “the world around us” is flagging.

Covid-19 over “Climate Emergency”

Americans find the “climate emergency” to be second to last on a list of a dozen concerns. It is likely that Americans are not so different from their fellow-travelers around the Western world. In the call for “sustainable development” by the Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz— who gets hot under collar in reviewing Bjorn Lomborg’s new book on climate alarmism — it seems there is a disconnect between the average man on the street and the policy-making elites around the Western world, perhaps with the exception of President Trump’s team.

Prof. Stiglitz is of course not alone. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that even if an effective vaccine is developed, the world cannot go back to the way it was, pre-virus. And so, “In particular, the pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change. The pandemic has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be, cleaner skies and rivers.”

Everyone is for sustainable development. Governments and companies are all for it and “sustainability” is a central theme in public policy and corporate governance. The term was defined by Gro Brundtland (a former Prime Minister of Norway and appointed by the UN to head its sustainability programme in 1983) as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Few would dispute the reasonableness of this anodyne objective. Like motherhood and apple pie, it appeals to universally-held values across cultures and political beliefs.

Just what is “Sustainable Development”?

We are told that if the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – or more accurately by government policy responses to the pandemic — means anything, it is that the only sustainable recovery will be a Green one. Yet the more one examines this promise of a Green recovery, the less plausible it seems. When one examines the Green recovery program promised by the likes of the EU, the IEA, or other multilateral agencies or companies such as BP and Shell, it boils down to statements about “low-carbon technologies” by which the Western world will cut down CO2 emissions to zero by 2050 to save the world from what they assure us will be an “impending climate catastrophe”. No matter that the likes of India and China, committed to improving the standards of living of their citizens by the only means available, will ensure that their people have access to cheap energy and electricity powered by fossil fuels.

What are “low-carbon technologies”? Well, curiously, they exclude nuclear power as Germany has decided somewhat ironically to depend on dirty lignite coal as a bridge fuel since solar and wind alone cannot keep the lights on. And as the example of California has shown, the push for renewable energy seems to have ushered in an age of “third-worldism” in America’s most advanced state that can no longer assure its residents electricity 24/7. The “electrification of everything” and the promise of solar and wind, with electric vehicles and battery power storage seems to cover the universe of low-carbon technologies. Together with other piecemeal initiatives such as building insulation and “energy efficiency”, these seem to make up much of the promise of low-carbon technologies which will propel the new age of the Green recovery.

Green Energy as De-industrialization

Green energy advocates propose doubling up on the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars as part of “sustainable recovery” post-Covid-19. Hard-headed economists are known to ask inconvenient questions. Perhaps a fundamental one posed by Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute is as follows. What about the serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy? Among economists, it is well known that the process of economic development over the past 200 years has naturally led to a process of “dematerialization”, as improving technology leads to reduced resource use for every unit of GDP produced. The use of coal saved forests, and the use of oil, the whales. Economic growth via free markets economizes in the use of resources, as Adam Smith would have put it over two centuries ago.

Yet, for every “green” windmill put up now, 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastics are required. As Mr. Mills soberly reminds us, the dream of powering society entirely with wind and solar farms combined with massive batteries would require the biggest expansion in mining – powered by fossil fuels — the world has seen and would produce huge quantities of waste. Old equipment and millions of tons of materials including toxic rare earths would need to be decommissioned by bespoke methods.

By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. Mega-tons of solar panel trash may be coming to a town near you soon, as the developing countries of Africa and Asia refuse to be the dump for Western  virtue-signaling junk.

And as one observer puts it, “funny, no one seemed to consider what to do with the massive amount of wind turbine blades once they reached the end of their lifespan. Thus, the irony of the present-day Green Energy Movement is the dumping of thousands of tons of “non-recyclable” supposedly renewable wind turbine blades in the country’s landfills”.

Sustainable development in the age of Covid-19 means everything to everyone and hence it means little in precision or practice. In effect, sustainable development is neither sustainable nor can it be called “development”. A Green “recovery” assures us a process of de-industrialization, a first in modern history.

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Tilak Doshi

53 thoughts on “Post-Covid-19 ‘Sustainable Development’ Means Little In Precision Or Practice

  1. I trust Shell engineers. Let’s see their sustainable project proposals with viable economic returns that are not reliant on subsidies.

      • We could not afford money losing expensive and unreliable solar and wind power before COVID so we cerainy can’t afford money losing expensive and unreliable solar and wind power after the COVID disruption to our economy.

        27 million Americans are collecting state or federal unemployment benefits as of last Thursday, down from 32 million in May, but still huge. The real unemployment rate is about 17 percent — 27 million out of a 160 million labor force. The much lower BLS unemployment number is nonsense. I have never before complained about BLS unemployment data in the 45 years I’ve been following them.

    • OT – apologies. I sent this note to three of my physician friends:

      Watch the video. Told you so, months ago. 🙂

      RENOWNED EPIDEMIOLOGIST SEES ‘MASSIVE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN’ AGAINST HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE
      Aug. 24, 2020 – 6:30 – Dr. Harvey Risch, professor of epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health.
      https://video.foxnews.com/v/6183899066001

      • One reason hydrochloroquine has not been used is because early on it was suggested by President Trump. This alone meant that its use was doomed.

        • President Trump should have told Americans NOT to use HCQ.

          The mainstream media would have attacked his “advice*, encouraged use of HCQ, and many lives would have been saved.

          By speaking positively about HCQ, Trump is responsible for many deaths.

          He should have been smart enough, after over three years in office, to know how the mainstream media operates. This comment is NOT sarcasm.

          • Maybe DJT should advocate for mail in voting, and the Demo(KKK)rats would cancel mail in voting. The socialist/marxists are acting like 2 year olds. Terrible two year olds. Massive corruption from mail in voting is the only way the Marxists could win now. Although I think the momentum has shifted greatly to the Republicans, as they are the only ones with any sanity left. Except Mitt Romney and a few other Rhino’s.

          • No, because the Democrats in league with the CCP needed a viable pandemic with a high mortality rate to throttle Trump’s economy and his chance of getting re-elected!

            Denying hydroxychloroquine as a therapeutic and prophylactic was the ticket, besides violating the Geneva Convention of 1948!

            The Democrats and China are avid proponents of Globalization with China as the sole superpower and Democrats running the US with CCP-style Marxism replacing our constitutional government!

            Someday, those that suppressed this drug will be sorry they did!

    • I don’t trust Shell the company – Total BS about climate and energy.

      The World Health Organization (WHO) recently advocated the “shotgun marriage” of the Covid-19 recovery and global warming alarmism, as stated by its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Similarly, Prime Minister Trudeau recently announced his “legacy”, an extreme-left Green New Deal for Canada, based on the same bizarre correlation of Covid-19 and climate change. Both are preaching the same irrational insanity.

      It is clear that Covid-19 and global warming are NOT even remotely related, and no honest, rational person could be so stupid to suggest they are. Climate activists have certainly been this deliberately, aggressively stupid for decades – that is their standard tactic to shout down the many credible disproofs of their false global warming (CAGW) narrative.

      The only common factor in global warming alarmism and the full-Gulag Covid-19 lockdown is they are both false crises, and in all probability are the two greatest frauds, in terms of squandered money and needless human suffering, in human history.

      Marc Morano describes the WHO’s irrational “Climate and Covid” proposal:

      THE GREAT RESET: WHO DECLARES ‘WE CANNOT GO BACK TO THE WAY THINGS WERE’ – WHO DIR-GEN: ‘COVID-19 HAS GIVEN NEW IMPETUS TO THE NEED TO ACCELERATE EFFORTS TO RESPOND TO CLIMATE CHANGE’
      https://www.climatedepot.com/2020/08/23/who-warns-coronavirus-vaccine-alone-wont-end-pandemic-we-cannot-go-back-to-the-way-things-were-in-particular-the-covid-19-pandemic-has-given-new-impetus-to-the-need-to-accelerate-efforts/
      WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a news conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters:
      “In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change. The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers.”
      Marc Morano comments: “You were warned, COVID & Climate – A marriage made in authoritarianism. The morphing of the public health bureaucracy and the climate establishment is at hand. Nothing good can come from this arranged marriage.”

      Rex Murphy describes Trudeau’s adoption of the same bizarre “Climate and Covid” plan:

      TRUDEAU’S ‘BRUTAL’ ATTEMPT TO USE COVID TO PUSH HIS GREEN AGENDA
      An ideological fixation — global warming — is taking over genuine efforts to fix the economy
      Rex Murphy, Aug 27, 2020
      https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-trudeaus-brutal-attempt-to-use-covid-to-push-his-green-agenda/wcm/ddfb5148-a12c-4e5c-944c-af7e7f4a7413/
      “I quoted our new economic czar, Chrystia Freeland, in my last column, saying, “I think all Canadians understand that the restart of our economy needs to be green.” To which I asked, “Where, oh where, did she pick up that strange understanding?” Maybe this would be true if there were a poll taken on Pluto, assuming a few Canadians are there, but not from the Canadians on the planet we are already familiar with.
      There is no basis whatsoever for asserting that all Canadians believe (or want) the recovery to be “green.” What that statement really represents in this government’s grossly cynical attempt to leverage the great health crisis of our time, and the dislocation and anxiety surrounding it, as an instrument to pursue its one unfailing objective: to blunt, wound and radically downscale our central natural resource industry.”

      The full-Gulag lockdown for Covid-19 was NOT necessary:

      As in many other countries, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam followed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations for the Covid-19 full-Gulag lockdown. The WHO is a willing servant of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). That is why President Trump recently defunded the WHO.

      The WHO greatly exaggerated the severity of the Covid-19 flu, and almost all countries except Sweden bought the WHO’s Big Lie, ordered the full-Gulag lockdown and trashed their economies – even though Covid-19 was obviously much less dangerous to the working population that other seasonal flu’s like that of 2017-2018. This conclusion was clear from available data by early March 2020. The full-Gulag lockdown for Covid-19 was completely unnecessary, a multi-trillion dollar failure that cost trillions, harmed billions and did NOT save lives.

      • I’ll only address your first comment. The directorate and management are generally good at Shell, and it has many good engineers. Creeping politics do more to damage objectivity than do incompetency or outright dishonesty. As an organization, it’s adopted some leftist thinking certainly this makes it less trustworthy.

        Take some of its good engineers and have them study an issue and I’m confident that they can evaluate a project’s potential. It’s a problem that subsidies can swing a return for the company from negative to positive as taxpayers are left holding the bag.

      • Allan,
        Lockdowns and mask mandates don’t work; HCQ does when used properly, and ivermectin may be even better!
        Of the 180,000 supposed ChiCom-19 fatalities in the US, 100,000-150,000 could have been avoided if this scamdemic hadn’t been politicized! Forcing infected patients back into nursing homes and banning the use of HCQ as a prophylactic and preventative treatment killed tens of thousands of Americans! Of course, they were largely elderly who tend to vote conservative, so it was a win-win for the DemoKKKrats!

        • Most people who died were already pretty close to death and would likely have died in the next few months or years. And many probably live in secure accomodatoin.

          Given my experience trying to canvas at the brexit vote in the UK, where it proved impossible even to deliver leaflets to them, from the attitude of those on the door, if they live in secure accomodation, I suspect that their votes are just harvested by the door keepers and used to vote for woke causes.

          As such, an increase in deaths may actually severely reduce the vote for the woke side of politics.

      • MACRAE
        Your comment about COVID is nonsense.
        The pandemic is still in progress so there ate no experts yet, including you.

        Prior influenza deaths, avcording to most doctors, are grossly overstated using models rather than a list of patients who died

        COVID deaths msy be ovetstated too.

        Even with the pandemic syill in progress, COVID deaths vety likely exceed all realustic influenza death estimates except for the 1918 flu that killed my grandmothet, when she was in her early 20s. The good news is COVID does not kill many young people.

        Swedens economy WAS trashed too, from people voluntarily avoiding crowds, which stifled commerce.

        Swedish elementary and middle schools remained open, but high schools and colleges were closed. They had the usual problems with nursing homes.

        Norway, on the other hand, severely limited incoming visitors. That appeared to work better than what Sweden did. Not that many people from China were likely to fly to Sweden or Norway in the winter. New York and Italy wete much more popular destinations. The virus flew around he world from China. There is no real lockdown if flights are coming in from other nations.

        There is a history of counting far too many deaths from pneumonia as flu deaths when there are many other causes of pneumonia. Sometmes bacteria, not a virus. And if a person with stage 4 cancer gets the flu and dies, is flu really the only cause of death?

    • Given that governments collect a good bit of revenue from gasoline taxes, I bet the subsidies are more than balanced out. Certainly the taxes exceed the profit margin to the oil companies.

      But of course, markets work better without subsidies.

    • ” – for every “green” windmill put up now, 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastics are required.”
      Just how much of that stuff could go into constructing either a gas-fired power plant, or a nuclear power plant?
      And why is Germany NOT swtiching over to far cleaner natural gas, but using junk coal for electric power?

      I will happily support Bjorn Lomborg, since his book is available as both hardcover and Kindle edition on Amazon. And before you all go zapping and yapping about Amazon, it is nothing but a store with a delivery service.

    • Or not.

      Once people start realising the amount of disposal required there may soon be ‘user pays’ disposal fees. May be the smart investor is the one who jumps first off the solar bandwagon.

  2. Until we can get grid scale wind and solar de-subsidized and made irrelevant, could these wind turbine blades made out of fibre glass products, could they be incinerated at ultra high temps to be disposed of and maybe make some useful energy in their combustion? Better than landfilling them. We already combust tens of millions of railroad ties that are soaked in creosote and above a certain temperature, all volatile compounds are completely incinerated. So the biomass burners are useful in that regard and produce spinning reserve base load synchronous electricity in the process. I don’t what to do with the tens of millions of solar panels that will need disposing of, since there is no profitable recycling of a solar panel yet.

      • Yes, I see a quick search says it doesn’t burn so well, (and fumes) but it melts near 2050 F /1121°C! Melt them into 2 ton bricks and use them for road fill ballast to build new highways. They will be sequestered away basically forever. Maybe add some cement or some other product to ensure they stay glued together and have a 1000 year life span. At least these windmills would finally have a productive end.

  3. For some in agriculture sustainability means preventing erosion so the next generation has soil in which to plant. To others, sustainability means stuffing manure in cow horns, burying them, later digging them up, and making a “biodynamic” tea to spray on their crops to give them “life force.” A word with a very broad meaning.

    • Hi Thomas, – Actually the biodynamic manure stuffed cow horn product is sprayed on soil, not the plant itself. There certainly are other cow horn stuffing ingredients used to spray “on” a crop.

      • That’s funny. Years ago I was given a proposal by a biodynamic guru to take 10 acres of a 225 acre vineyard and farm it biodynamically. He was clear about the cow horn aged manure going on the vines not the soil. The aged shit was diluted in water, actually quite dilute if I remember right…much like homeopathy…like one part in a million. It was only going to take a few horns for the 20,000 vines.
        I rejected the proposal for two reasons. I didn’t want shit on my wine grapes no matter how ridiculously dilute, nor did I want to spend 100 percent more per acre to farm the plot. He did say I would get “certification’ after a few years and I could put it on the label. A statement that is was biodynamically farmed, not that there was shit sprayed on the fruit.

  4. “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Forget industry; back to hunting and gathering. If that meets the need of the present.

  5. I would love to have Henrik Stiesdal to read this post by Tilak Doshi.

    It was back in 1983, after I returned to Denmark from a long stay in the US, that I has a conversation with Henrik Stiesdal. I was impressed by his enthusiasm with wind turbines, and he told me that if I was seeking an interesting job, I should visit Vestas A/S.
    I travelled to Vestas and got hired in the development department. It was one of the best jobs I ever had – thanks Henrik for leading me to that opportunity.

    Thing were very different back in 1983. We sold wind turbines to local farmer, who got their investment back in about 6 to 8 years with service included. It was fair as could be. There were no subsidies and the farmers got less per kWh sent into the grid, than they has to pay for consumption. Some people thought it was unfair, but these people does not understand that it costs a lot of money to run a grid. Turbine size in 1983 was 75 to 250 kW, they didn’t spoil the landscape extensively.

    Now in 2020 Denmark has 6.23GW installed wind turbines, but despite that, most of the electricity in Denmark is imported from mainly Norway. For days and even week, the Capacity Factor is single digit percent. You can see a bit of live figures and statistic here.

    Where Henrik Stiesdal disappoints me, is not his love of the wind turbines, but his very uncritical view on why we should have the wind turbines on an industrial scale.
    I read your article in Forbes titled: “Henrik Stiesdal says wind and solar are the only renewables with scale needed to quickly move away from fossil fuels”. Here is a small extract:

    “The way I think of it is that the biggest accident we have attained is climate change. Wind power serves the first and most important of these steps – it applies an action that stops the accident, because we remove the fossil fuel emissions by making emission-free energy.”

    The accident is still ongoing, harm still being inflicted, until all excess emissions have stopped. In terms of energy provision, Stiesdal sees two solutions that can operate on the scale required – wind and solar.

    Henrik, why did you not include nuclear? You should know better than anyone else the numbers put forward by Tilak Doshi. You should also know a bit of practical issues around energy density. Put a spread sheet together, where you calculate how many more wind turbines, grid expansion, batteries, material import, ships building, devastated trawler industry and capital cost, it would take to just make Denmark self sufficient with electricity based on wind and solar.

    Henrik Stiesdal, on behalf of the common people, I beg you to read ten or more posts here on Wattsupwiththat and be way more scientific critical to the current char-gong.

    Your old friend
    Carl Friis-Hansen

  6. Always the wrong questions being asked in these polls.

    They should ask, is there a climate crisis? They never do, they only as if you’re concerned about it.

    • Yeah. I was ramping up for a long rant before your post calmed me down.
      Most polls are not designed to actually learn anything, but to provide “evidence” for preconceived opinions.

  7. As long as we live under pandemic status, we live in a certain way in a worldwide education camp. So there is no real interest to shorten the pandemy, nor by drugs, nor by vaccination. They feed us with doubtfull “data” to held us in a permanent fear, gaining time and “reasons” to fullfill the “climate” transformation as asked by the Green believer.

  8. Australia has become a left wing dictorship like STALIN and HITLER in the 1930 my advice for all Australians is to think about emigrating here to South America a paradise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rppw2voBP1M&pbjreload=101 that has never been involved in world wars NEUTRAL we are free Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. The Chinese will eat you they have 1.5 billion people are much more advancced than the USA you wont have a chance get out while you can. I you want to live i… See More

  9. Australia has become a left wing dictorship like STALIN and HITLER in the 1930 my advice for all Australians is to think about emigrating here to South America a paradise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rppw2voBP1M&pbjreload=101 that has never been involved in world wars NEUTRAL we are free Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. The Chinese will eat you they have 1.5 billion people are much more advancced than the USA you wont have a chance get out while you can.

  10. The very definition of “sustainable development” should take the Unreliables of wind and solar out of the energy equation! As Germany, Australia and Calizuela are proving right before our eyes, the Unreliables wreak havoc on the grid and raise energy costs beyond the means of many poor and elderly! Increasing their footprint will only make the situation worse!
    How can any sane person argue that this massive waste of resources for little or no gain will not impact future generations? I recently saw an expert state that the cost of battery stored power is 200X more expensive than the same amount of energy stored in the form of petroleum, and nuclear is even more energy dense!
    We will be crippling future generations if we do not invest in modern nuclear power while researching and developing new forms of energy. The move to clean natural gas and nuclear leaves much coal and petroleum in the ground to be used where and when it is needed like in the production of plastics and pharmaceuticals! Let the market decide, not corrupt politicians and bureaucrats!
    Nuclear would be very economical if not for the unnecessary regulations and red tape that were designed to prevent any new plants being built! All for an irrational fear of the safest energy source Mankind has ever developed!

  11. Tilak Doshi: “Together with other piecemeal initiatives such as building insulation and “energy efficiency”, these seem to make up much of the promise of low-carbon technologies which will propel the new age of the Green recovery.”

    I think money spent in reducing our energy needs is money well spent, and it does have an immediate positive effect on energy bills. 30% of energy consumption in France is home and water heating. Trying to design appliances that can do the same job using less power, or more efficiently, is a logical evolutionary step in my opinion, CAGW or no CAGW, and historically we’ve been rather good at it. There is nothing “new green age” about it, those are media buzz words.

    Tilak Doshi: “Yet, for every “green” windmill put up now, 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastics are required.”

    Not only that of course but the power delivered by a wind turbine is highly variable over time, and only produces it’s nominal power in a very limited range of wind speeds. Wind, as everyone knows, is neither constant in speed or direction, the latter is a problem in matters of orientation, as turbines must be sited perpendicular to the main wind direction.

    In France we have the added problem that these intermittent means of production do not marry well with our nuclear energy production (70-75%). Unlike coal power, nuclear power can’t adapt to the daily variations (due to Xenon-135 reactor poisoning) and fill the gaps when the sun and wind refuse to play.
    Our most enlightened leaders wish to reduce our nuclear capacity to 50% by 2035, so I’d really like to know how they intend to make all this work without prolonged power shortages.

  12. First, halve the number of politicians.
    Second, halve the salaries of the remaining politicians.
    Third, apply the same standards to the public sector as the private sector:
    equal number of layoffs and same percentage income reductions
    Forth, go ruthlessly after all wasteful state spending, especially climate spending.
    Fifth, identify expensive state projects that can be scaled back or even better abandoned.
    Sixth, work out a balanced state budged with a much reduced expected income.
    Seventh, pack your bags and go if you are not prepared to do the first six for your fellow citizens.
    Then you will have the full support of the ordinary, hard working citizens who are always making sacrifices.

    • Michael,
      A limit of two terms for all politicians would be very helpful; one term in office and one in prison!
      Actually, I think financial transparency for all politicians and bureaucrats is the only way to get rid of the rampant corruption now plaguing our country! If they had to worry about losing their benefits and pensions over financial chicanery we might see a return of public servants! Right now we have pigs swilling at see trough, up in arms because Trump threatens their ability to steal vast sums of money for their friends and family. That’s the whole Ukraine-gate impeachment hoax in a nutshell, and QuidProJoe is right in the middle of it!

      • “A limit of two terms for all politicians would be very helpful; one term in office and one in prison!”

        Quote of the Day! And a good laugh.

      • Abolition Man,
        I should have included “financial transparency” among these points. It applies to all countries that consider themselves democratic. Greed, envy and power lust are pretty common among politicians.

  13. Note to all authors, no matter what your message is.
    Never, NEVER, automatically link the words “toxic” and “rare earths”. More generally, “toxic” and “(any chemical)”.
    Pay homage to the wisdom of Paracelsus who in 1538 noted that “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison, the dosage alone makes it so a thing is not a poison.” (Wiki).
    Rare earths elements are comparatively unreactive and not toxic like (say) Arsenic at similar doses.
    Chemophobia is a casualty of the current green war against science. Professional Chemists have contributed far more benefit than harm to society. It is ignorant to talk down their contributions. Geoff S

  14. The lethal argument to use against these renewables is China. Just keep pointing out how China continues to build hundreds of coal plants and the Paris accord doesn’t hold Chins accountable. People understand that and Trump effectively used the argument.

  15. Well here’s the facts for Oz when air travel just about ceases airlines go broke and a nation goes into lockdown with tens of thousands out of work and the Treasury goes into the red by billions to keep them fed to be paid off by the grandkids and you get an 8% reduction of CO2 from the previous year-
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/australian-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fall-to-lowest-level-since-1998-under-covid-restrictions/ar-BB18wzWT
    Now do the dreamers and believers in fairy dust get it? It’s called “unsustainable restrictions on Australians’ livelihoods and freedom to travel” for a paltry 8% you dumb bozos.

  16. We are told that if the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – or more accurately by government policy responses to the pandemic

    Panic2020 – – The economic issues and wealth destruction are the result of panic.

    Someone needs to write the book: Panic2020

  17. The first ever philosophy of sustainable development was capitalism.

    Capitalism, is based on the idea of “capital” and capital is a concept the some things should not be consumed but should be kept intact for the future use of the business. Thus capitalism destinguishes between the sale of items such as widgets from a production line which add to “profit” and the sale of capital assets which are seen as a TRANSFER of money within the business (from a capital asset to bank account).

    More “sustainability” is nothing of the sort. It was formed to mean “development that is sustainable in all its aspects, economics, social and environment”. The reason environment was added was that money had been poured into projects for 3rd world development which often ended up failing to get economic development. For example, forest land was ploughed up to grow crops, but then that ploughed up land was washed away, the crops failed and worse, the rivers got clogged up and the fish died and then not only didn’t they have the crops from the land, but the fishermen also didn’t have any fish.

    From the initial idea that economic development fails if you don’t consider the social and environmental issues as well, the concept of “sustainable development” was totally bastardised to mean get-rich quick GREEN policies which then had huge ENVIRONMENTAL damage (bird mincers), ECONOMIC DAMAGE (green policies destroy jobs) and SOCIAL DAMAGE.

    Indeed, now the word “sustainable” is almost entirely used to promote short term destructive policies and particularly to attack the original sustainability: capitalism. Put simple sustainability is a hoax, now used to attack the most sustained form of sustainability as well as to justify damage huge damage to the economy, environment and society.

    • The “sustainists” have now morphed good economic development and agricultural practices into a magnet for all left wing, social justice causes. On university campuses, there are the people who know how to design and operate facilities, and then there are the University sustainability offices who believe the big green lies and try to meddle in everyone’s business, all the while also pushing/supporting every lunatic fringe idea.

      I refuse to use the term sustainability except as a pejorative.

  18. Here’s a paper that mixes the climate with the coronavirus. It proposes an “intergenerational” contract between young and old.

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/global-sustainability/article/corona-and-the-climate-a-comparison-of-two-emergencies/AE382384C616E5707064066B5065DD4E

    The contract is essentially this. The young say to the old, “agree to believe and support our climate agenda – we’ll know if you’re pretending – or we’ll give you coronavirus. Change your minds and join our cause or cough spit you’re dead.”

    For their common future, both generations should enter a social contract (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen, 2011) that is based on mutual solidarity. In such a Climate Corona Contract, the younger generations would agree to protect the elderly and other at-risk groups from COVID-19 by adhering to restrictions, such as physical distancing measures. Conversely, the older generations would vow to rigorously implement measures to keep global warming between 1.5°C to 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels in line with the Paris Agreement signed by most governments.

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