U.S. Oil Companies: “Preparing for a life after fossil fuels” by doubling down on fossil fuels

Guest “I couldn’t make this sort of schist up if I was trying” by David Middleton

How Big Oil Is Preparing For A Life After Fossil Fuels
European oil companies are investing aggressively in clean energy while their North American counterparts double down on fossil fuels

Brayden Gerrard 1 day ago·6 min read

Not long ago, the idea that oil companies would invest heavily in clean energy seemed like a pipe dream.


European Oil Majors Pivot to Renewables


North American Industry More Skeptical
While European companies make sizable investments in clean energy, North American oil producers are less convinced.


Major American companies are even more skeptical. Neither Exxon Mobil nor Chevron has a significant portfolio of renewable energy assets, though Exxon Mobil has signaled it will begin making some investments into green energy soon. ConocoPhillips recently doubled down on US shale with a $9.7 billion acquisition of Concho Resources.
Instead, American producers are investing in carbon capture. By making the extraction process less emission intensive, they hope that oil and gas can remain dominant in the energy mix for years to come.


A Transition in the Early Stages
To be clear, all of the companies described here, aside from Orsted, still rely primarily on fossil fuels for revenue. With 84% of the world’s energy consumption coming from fossil fuels, it shouldn’t be surprising that the world’s largest energy companies primarily produce them as well. It’s also true that most of their capital spending is still devoted to fossil fuels — across the largest companies, just 6% of capital expenditure was devoted to clean energy in 2020. Most oil CEOs maintain that oil and gas will play a large role for a long time to come.



OK… So, European oil companies “are preparing for a life after fossil fuels” by ceasing to be oil companies because, apart from the North Sea, Europe has very little in the way of oil & gas resources awhnd have lunatic Enviro-Marxist governments. While, American oil companies “are preparing for a life after fossil fuels” by doubling “down on fossil fuels”… despite the fact that the current occupant of the White House was a moron before he became a dementia-addled Enviro-Marxist babbling idiot… Because North America has abundant oil & gas resources and we know that there is no ” life after fossil fuels”… There’s just starvation and freezing in the dark.

“A Transition in the Early Stages”

When? We didn’t transition from biomass to fossil fuels. We still consume as much biomass for energy as we did 200 years ago.

There is no way, for the foreseeable future, for 8 billion people to live long, healthy, opportunity-filled lives unless the world’s massive use of CO2-emitting fossil not only continues, but expands.

Alex Epstein

Apart from providing about 85% of our energy, making the planet slightly warmer and a lot greener, what else have fossil fuels delivered?


There has never been an energy transition; nor is there one underway now. We just add more sources of energy to the mix.

If governments and the financial sector demand affordable, reliable energy and drastic reductions in CO2 emissions, the oil & gas industry will figure out how to deliver it. If they demand we starve and freeze in the dark so they can feel better about the weather, they might just learn the meaning of Thomas Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty Letter.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson

In the mean time…

Data is laughing at Brayden Gerrard!
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J Mac
August 20, 2021 10:19 am

We should be calculating all of the myriad social benefits from fossil fuels applicable to a person that is starving and freezing in the dark due to otherwise unreliable alternative energy sources!

John Tillman
August 20, 2021 10:20 am

Correct use of former clinical definitions of “moron” and “idiot”. Bribem skipped the imbecilic stage:

Idiots. —Those so defective that the mental development never exceeds that of a normal child of about two years.
Imbeciles. —Those whose development is higher than that of an idiot, but whose intelligence does not exceed that of a normal child of about seven years.
Morons. —Those whose mental development is above that of an imbecile, but does not exceed that of a normal child of about twelve years.
— Edmund Burke Huey, Backward and Feeble-Minded Children, 1912

Reply to  John Tillman
August 20, 2021 10:55 am

John you missed next up category of modern GWA-ist (global warming alarmist) – Those whose mental development is above that of a Moron, but does not exceed that of Greta Thunberg. (Vuk-Backward and Feeble-Minded Adults)

John Tillman
Reply to  Vuk
August 20, 2021 10:59 am

Would that be a Caccacile?

Reply to  John Tillman
August 20, 2021 11:06 am

How Dare You

Reply to  John Tillman
August 20, 2021 11:19 am

…. or it it could be a practitioner of Caccalogy.
Ups https://www.ancestry.co.uk/name-origin?surname=caccavale

Reply to  John Tillman
August 20, 2021 1:27 pm

English translation of ‘cacca’ is third most popular no no word in the UK, following f.etc and blood+y. Recent study found that since year 2000 use of swearwords has gone down from 1,822 to 1,320 per million proof that British are going woke. CO2 as a swearword among caccalogists is trailing behind at only 400 ppm,

Reply to  Vuk
August 20, 2021 1:43 pm

And models show that as there is an exponential increase of ex-dentist, ex-Anglican priests, the most common swear word will be “Mrmphbblmmglymph.”

Reply to  H.R.
August 20, 2021 2:43 pm

That’s easy for you to say.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John Tillman
August 20, 2021 1:57 pm

Cretin … urban dictionary:

“A Person that is: brainless, stupid, child-like, and full of pointless information that makes no sense and appeals only to other cretins.”

Does this ring any bells … sound familiar to anyone?

August 20, 2021 10:21 am

The obvious solution is to cancel all pipeline projects, prevent drilling and production on federal land, ban fracking, then beg the Middle East to produce more oil and gas and sell it to us at a cheap price. Biden and Harris are dumber than rocks. Not meaning to insult rocks, I actually like rocks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy May
Reply to  Andy May
August 20, 2021 10:46 am

Not meaning to insult rocks …

I used to say some people were dumber than a box of rocks, but after reading many different articles by David Middleton’s at WUWT I’ve learned that you can learn a lot more from a box of rocks than you can from some people. These days I say dumber than a box of socks.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  RicDre
August 20, 2021 10:58 am

I’ll bet that you have at least one sock that has managed to hide from you, and no matter how much time and effort you have expended looking for it, it has eluded you.

Maybe that should be “Dumber than a box of liberal politicians.”

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 20, 2021 11:21 am

I’ll bet that you have at least one sock that has managed to hide from you…

True, but everyone knows that those socks have fallen into the Great Sock Black Hole, so that is a natural phenomenon.

Reply to  RicDre
August 20, 2021 11:27 am

I think those socks are sharing an alternate universe with all the biros, slipping through the same worm holes….

Reply to  ThinkingScientist
August 20, 2021 11:56 am

Luckily the Great Sock Black Hole emits a kind of Hawking Radiation so every once in a while it spits a sock back out and you find it though its not usually the sock you were looking for.

Reply to  RicDre
August 20, 2021 12:40 pm

Wouldn’t it be a “socking” radiation then?

Reply to  RicDre
August 20, 2021 11:49 am

What is less known is that having fallen into the Great Sock Black Hole, they emerge on the other side completely transformed into the shape of a coat hanger and expelled into the back of your closet.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2021 12:39 am

While that sounds reasonable, it isn’t actually the case. The only physical quantity that isn’t conserved is entropy, which increases constantly. Yet the law of The Conservation of Stuff demands that something else disappear. Socks…socks are the source of entropy.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 20, 2021 1:05 pm

I’ll bet that you have at least one sock that has managed to hide from you, and no matter how much time and effort you have expended looking for it, it has eluded you.

I fixed all of my sock problems with one very simple change (sounds like a clickbait title!) I moved to the tropics and never wear socks any more.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  RicDre
August 21, 2021 2:43 am

Or dumber than the box the rocks came in….

Dave Fair
Reply to  RicDre
August 21, 2021 10:20 am

Dumber than a Biden.

John Endicott
Reply to  Dave Fair
August 23, 2021 3:43 am

I don’t think that’s humanly possible.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Andy May
August 20, 2021 10:54 am

Actually, rocks are fairly smart. They largely manage to get out of the way of cars and find refuge on the shoulder of the pavement. Have you ever noticed that if a gravel truck spills some of its load while turning on a freeway ramp that it takes very little time before the wheel tracks are cleared, and not much more time before even the gravel in the middle manages to work its way over to the shoulders where it runs much less risk of being run over again?

Reply to  Andy May
August 20, 2021 11:07 am

Rocks are useful.
Biden and Harris, not so much.

Max P
Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 2:50 pm

A perfectly good pair of door nobs was ruined by attaching ears to those two.

Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 4:09 pm

Not useful at all….harmful, in fact. A great tragedy is unfolding …

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Andy May
August 20, 2021 11:42 am

I remember the pet rock craze in the sixties when people actually paid money for painted rocks. Some of us then were not taken up by the craze and not scared to hurt the feelings of the pet rock lovers. If this happened today we would be accused of hate crimes against pet rocks and their owners.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael in Dublin
Rich Davis
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 20, 2021 1:57 pm

Actually 1975. At the time it seemed like we had hit peak stupid. Like all other things “peak” it didn’t prove to be the case.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Rich Davis
August 20, 2021 10:46 pm

Possibly true, but each time we creep a little bit closer to that condition, & then we will finally destroy the World, like we are now!!!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 21, 2021 2:34 pm

“Peak” implies a decline afterward. I’m not sure we’ll ever see that happen.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 21, 2021 1:01 am

A couple of decades ago, I worked for a company that had a Navy contract to produce tons of FMU-139 bomb fuzes. But the Navy unilaterally changed the terms of the contract right after it was signed, essentially requiring much higher reliability than could possibly be achieved during pre-production qualification testing. Ours were failing the new test criteria, and the whole line of business was in serious trouble.

In particular, the thyristor was a problem. Though the one we used had also been used in the one million FMU-139 units previously produced by another company, it was failing too often in our units to pass “pre-quat.” In the course of the failure investigation and re-design effort, I made a PowerPoint chart suggesting a business mitigation route. It was a picture of a Pet Rock box, but renamed “Pet Thyristor.”

I don’t work for that company anymore.

(The thyristor and FMU-139 had never, even in its one million prior units, been able to pass the new “pre-quat” requirement. That was the problem.)

Dave Fair
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 21, 2021 10:23 am

And lava lamps.

August 20, 2021 10:25 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel just arrived in Moscow to collect a good bye kiss from the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction is now 99% complete, the operating company said two days ago. The Russian-led project, which has been subject of sanctions from the United States is expected to be finished during the coming week, looks like no stopping it now and Germans are in desperate need of the Russian gas energy supplys.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Vuk
August 20, 2021 2:03 pm

Maybe, now that Merkel is leaving, Germany might begin to employ logic more often and stop appealing to the irrational at every opportunity.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Vuk
August 21, 2021 10:30 am

Big mistake by Russia: They will be unable to resist the limiting of gas supplies and/or pricing to screw around with the EU and UK in future disputes. Germany will invade them again.

Len Werner
August 20, 2021 10:27 am

Does anyone else remember this?

The end of fossil fuels may be some time in the future yet. This resource, and the possible extensions it indicates, is still all up there.

Reply to  Len Werner
August 20, 2021 1:21 pm

The Russians used a small nuclear device to close a burning well….and somewhere in one of those “Kazzistan” places there is a gas “hole” that has been burning for decades…they deliberately ignited the gas because they thought it would burn out after maybe a few weeks…the well was an oil well and the gas was just a problem.

Reply to  Len Werner
August 20, 2021 1:22 pm

Great vid, Len. Thanks, Some amazing engineering solutions in a hostile climate. Incredible work.

Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 10:38 am

Because the Greentard Left resists nuclear power with all the ignorant righteousness they can muster, when the alternative is “starvation and freezing in the dark” or not, the day will come when every last lump of recoverable coal will be dug up, every last recoverable barrel of oil will be pumped, and every last cubic foot of natural gas will be burned in desperate attempt to forestall that.
The dominant global political systems maybe hard-edged 1984-style Communism, or some hybrid form of socialism-capitalism, or free market capitalism with individual liberties, but without massive nuclear power build out, that day will come when the political authorities will be forced to face energy reality in order to remain in power.

For if political systems collapse globally under Green energy starvation, then individuals and their tribes will dig up, pump, and burn every last molecule of fossil fuels they can find to keep their children and families alive. Either way, either rational, engineered large scale FF exploitation, or individual desparation of a post-apocylptic scenario leading to inefficient local FF exploitation, it will happen.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 10:57 am

I hope that nations embrace nuclear power before they run out of fossil fuels. The crust contains enough coal to last centuries. The US has sufficient supply for about 250 years.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 11:06 am

Yes . “Because the Greentard Left resists nuclear power with all the ignorant righteousness they can muster .”
And I (and thousands of other sailors ) have lived within 200 FEET of an operating 90 MW or greater nuclear power plant …. for YEARS .

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
August 20, 2021 12:58 pm

The benefit of that is you no longer need a flashlight to get home in the dark, eh Bob? 😜

OK, I’m joking. But there are some so blindly terrified of – NUCLEAR! YIKES!! – that they don’t realize you and others have been there and done that. It’s just not possible in their squeaky clean greenwashed minds, yet here you are.

Reply to  H.R.
August 20, 2021 4:16 pm

It used to be common to refer to putting something in a micro-wave as “nuking it”. Because of this, one young leftist that I once knew, actually came to believe that stuff put in a micro-wave would become radioactive.

Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 5:18 pm

😲…🤣 Bet that set you back a step when you heard it.

I still use that term, but I never considered that someone would think the microwave oven was a nuclear device.

Given the education indoctrination of recent generations, it wouldn’t surprise me either if all they are taught is Three Mile Island + Chernobyl = Nuclear = OMG!!! And that’s it. Nuclear = Bad.

Sweet Old Bob above might beg to differ.

Capn Mike
Reply to  H.R.
August 21, 2021 4:13 pm

Not to mention those who think Nuclear Power killed JANE FONDA!! (also, Jack LEMMON!!)

Reply to  H.R.
August 23, 2021 4:28 am

And yet those same people happily buy holiday homes in Cornwall, UK.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
August 20, 2021 1:18 pm

And those power plants have been safely bumped, tipped, rocked and jostled in scores of ships on all the oceans with fewer fatalities than a year in the coal mines.

Capn Mike
Reply to  hiskorr
August 21, 2021 4:15 pm

In our annual surveys, the leading (only) problem of stray radiation was the broken vacuum tubes in the radar spaces!

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 3:10 pm

The day will come when the last bit of uranium is extracted. And that might happen before we run out of fossil fuels.

Reply to  Ted
August 20, 2021 4:27 pm

We’ve got hundreds of years or uranium dissolved in sea water alone.;

Last edited 1 year ago by MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 5:30 pm

There is 100s of years of thorium on land….no uranium is going tom be extracted from seawater for fuel…only a fraction of uranium is useful for fuel.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Ted
August 20, 2021 4:31 pm

Breeder reactors could supply our energy for millions of years into the future.

It’s even possible to imagine that at some point in the future — maybe in a hundred years or so — engineered carbon molecules in the form of economically-produced synthetic liquid fuels could be used as the mobile energy resource that powers our conventional ICE vehicles, using nuclear reactors as the original energy source.

This is one reason among many why permanently disposing our spent nuclear fuel underground is such a stupid national policy. If we decide the spent fuel should stay on the surface for another two hundred or three hundred years, it’s a long term task which is easily managed.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 20, 2021 5:38 pm

Over 50 years ago, the Molten Salts Reactor program at Oak Ridge Labs was abandoned in favor of a “breeder” reactor program because it would be a source of plutonium for bombs. Today, we don’t have any “breeders” or thorium Molten Salts Reactors. Humans don’t easily manage anything…just look up nuclear accidents and you find a huge no. almost all due to “human error”.

Dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Anti-griff
August 21, 2021 6:12 pm

True, the US doesn’t have any breeders online, but the Russians have a 600 MWe FBR in commercial operation since 1981, and an 800 MWe breeder in commercial operation since 2016.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 5:03 pm

We will never run out of fossil fuels. As they become scarcer, the price goes up. Gradually, people start looking for alternatives and we move over to renewable or nuke or fusion or whatever else comes along, without the wrenching disruption caused by mandates from ill-informed, short-sighted govt bureaucrats. Free market economics.

lee riffee
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 6:08 pm

If that were to ever happen, people will also exploit any and all other sources of energy and food, regardless of the damage they might do to the environment. Forests would be cut down for wood, and wild animals and plants would be harvested for food and clothing (and to sell for money). It would matter not if any of these forests, plants or animals in them were endangered….this sort of thing still happens in very poor parts of the world today. Desperately poor and hungry people tend not to be good stewards of the environment around them for obvious reasons.

Capn Mike
Reply to  lee riffee
August 21, 2021 4:17 pm

Well, don’t keep them POOR, fer Kriessakes.

Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2021 10:43 am

I heard that if you repeat the phrase “life after fossil fuels” three times while gazing into a mirror, with just a candle for lighting, that Al Gore appears.
Wait, that was Bloody Mary. Oops.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2021 2:40 pm

I can see Al Gore guzzling a Bloody Mary.

August 20, 2021 10:52 am

Virtue signaling doesn’t provide the energy for a modern world and until it does, and even if we wake up to safe nuclear, it will be business as usual. Fossil fuel use will not stop by decree but only by using it up unless we develop sane and economical replacement first.

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  markl
August 20, 2021 4:23 pm

The burning of some fossil fuels will likely stop because they will become too expensive for that purpose. Oil is likely to be the first, and as one of the primary sources of power for transportation we need alternatives. There are many short term and some long term alternatives, and although there are major problems still to solve, electricity supplied by renewables is one. Of course, at this point, nuclear appears to be the only practical and possible long term alternative, but we can keep looking.

Steve Case
August 20, 2021 10:54 am

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Hi Dave, posting that sentiment will get you on all sorts of left-wing government shit lists. Do you like to fly commercial? These people running our government these days to use a somewhat well know expression “Aren’t Playing Bean Bag” Quite a few of them have stated what their ultimate goals are. They should be believed. Just ask Ashli Babbit.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Case
August 20, 2021 11:00 am

Instead, American producers are investing in carbon capture. By making the extraction process less emission intensive, they hope that oil and gas can remain dominant in the energy mix for years to come.”

Everything that goes into “carbon capture” is still reliant on fossil fuels to create them. Just like solar and turbines and all types of transmission and storage systems. Creating more carbon dioxide from fossil fuels today in the process to create less carbon dioxide in the future is moronic.

Fossil fuels companies are raking in billions of dollars daily that goes into producing renewable green energy sources, storage and capture schemes that are being sold as ‘reducing our carbon footprints” to the ignorant population that supports them.

Reply to  JOHN CHISM
August 20, 2021 3:42 pm

They are taking advantage of the situation created by the ignorant politicians who were elected by a trusting population that should have known better. You and I both know that carbon capture is just a solution to a fake problem. However, it is not as detrimental as so-called renewable energy sources, and in fact carbon capture, if injected into oil wells, aids in recovering more of the precious liquid.

Dave Fair
Reply to  JOHN CHISM
August 21, 2021 10:40 am

Fossil fuels companies are raking in billions of dollars daily that goes into producing renewable green energy sources, storage and capture schemes …” It should simply read “… raking in billions of dollars daily from government subsidies.”

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 21, 2021 10:11 pm

I am specifically talking about the fossil fuels used for energy that goes into every aspect of creating to delivering the energy they produce to the population and to taking them apart and hauling them to landfills. For over 50 years of solar and wind turbines being created has relied upon fossil fuels from mining minerals, elements chemicals and metals that go into their components and every step of their assembly, transportation and building them, etc…

August 20, 2021 11:05 am

Responding to political pressure is now proof that you agree with the politicians?

Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 3:44 pm

That was the case in Stalin’s era, so must be good for today’s totalitarians.

August 20, 2021 11:06 am

Self flagellation only remains popular for so long. This is why all churches eventually punish your sin for you and on your behalf.

Gregory Woods
August 20, 2021 11:18 am

While, American oil companies “are preparing for a life after fossil fuels” by doubling “down on fossil fuels”… despite the fact that the current occupant of the White House was a moron before he became a dementia-addled Enviro-Marxist babbling idiot… Because North America has abundant oil & gas resources and we know that there is no ” life after fossil fuels”… There’s just starvation and freezing in the dark.

Gosh, David, why don’t you just tell it like it is….

Reply to  Gregory Woods
August 20, 2021 11:51 am

After waiting for few minutes the train inspector:
“No need to get concern Mr. Biden, I will assume you have a valid ticket and will not issue a fine.”
” I’m not concern about the fine, what worries me is that now I don’t know where I’m going’, but it was printed on my ticket”

Reply to  Vuk
August 20, 2021 1:37 pm

Joey Biden’s “career” is based on fooling most of the demrats most of the time….but that’s not a hard job since stupidity abounds. I would not want Joey to collect my garbage because I know he would make a big mess and then lie about it.

Reply to  Gregory Woods
August 21, 2021 8:15 pm

Unfortunately David is telling it like it is in Bodens energy world

August 20, 2021 12:14 pm

–There is no way, for the foreseeable future, for 8 billion people to live long, healthy, opportunity-filled lives unless the world’s massive use of CO2-emitting fossil not only continues, but expands.
Alex Epstein —

Well, no one can foresee the future, actually. But there seems like there many possibilities in the future.
If talking about time period of 8 to 10 billion people living on Earth, we assume certain things have happened.
One thing which could happen is that we explore the lunar polar region and discover that there is mineable lunar water. And like anything, like say the oil industry, mining lunar water should start at a small scale and over the year become larger.
So for example, small scale mining of lunar water mining could start at about 1000 tons of water mined in a year, and within say 50 years lunar water mining could be mining a hundred thousand tons of water per year.
It seems to me, within that 50 years, we could people living on Mars.
Or after exploring the Moon to determine if there is minable lunar water, we then explore Mars, and such exploration allows some idea of whether people can live on Mars.
There are many things about Mars to explore, but one aspect is similar to Moon exploration in that we need to know if and where there is mineable water on Mars.
Mineable Lunar lunar water is water one can mine if you assume you can sell water for about $500 per kg and over the decades, one also assume it will be cheaper the $500 per kg- such by time one is mining 100,000 tons of lunar water per year, lunar water is selling for less than $10 per kg {inflation adjusted dollars- which similar as to what happened with oil industry}.
With Mars mineable Mars water would be about $1 per kg for drinkable water. Salty water or polluted water would a lot less the $1 per kg. If such water can be mined, one might starting with a lot more than 1000 tons per year, it would instead start with about 1 million tons of water per year. Or start with much higher amount of water mined per year than the Moon and in terms gross dollar amounts, it’s more than $500 / 1000 which is $.5 per kg and as with lunar water, when 1 billion tons of Mars water per year is mined, the price of Mars water should less than $1 per kg.
One can think of Mars water as part of Mars real estate, a few acres of land is worth more if
one buy all Mars water one could want for 10 years for about $1 per kg- or for 10 years one might want 50,000 tons of water which one use.
So, it this future using fossil fuels on Earth could limited in future, as people and industry may be moving off planet Earth. Now in amount fossil fuel used on Earth, may not effected by people leaving Earth, but it would effected by industry moving off Earth. And huge portion of Earth’s industry could move off planet Earth.

Reply to  gbaikie
August 20, 2021 1:26 pm

But if talking about 50 years in the future, it seems we have also talk about Venus.
A problem with Mars is it’s launch windows from planet Earth. Or Synodic Period of
And Synodic Period Venus with regard to Mars is 0.9142Years
And Synodic Period Venus with regard to Earth is 1.5987Years
And the time it takes to get to Venus from Earth is shorter than time to get
to Mars. And the time it takes to get Mars from Venus is shorter than time takes
go from Earth to Mars. With right window, one can go faster to Mars from Earth, by
going to Venus, and from Venus to Mars, though one does use more rocket fuel.
But that is a rare window. The real significant is one get to Mars from Earth more often [double the amount time or roughly 1/2 the Synodic Period of 2.1354Years] And both ways,
Or from Mars to Earth it’s also Synodic Period of 2.1354Years.
So if using Venus orbit, one travel every year, rather once every 2 years [2.13 years] to go
from Earth to Mars and/or Mars to Earth. Or if all airline traffic from and NYC to Europe was
15 per month, and all Europe to US was 15 per month, it would better to double the amount flights going each way. Or if had option of morning or evening flight. rather than just evening or morning flights.
So for better Mars, one needs an artificial gravity station in Venus orbit. And Gas station in Venus orbit. And the Moon or Mars can ship water to Venus orbit, where rocket fuel can be made for the gas station.
And if Mars is selling Mars water for $1 per kg, one could make a
cannon which ship the cheaper Mars water to Venus orbit. One also use cannon from Moon
but Mars water is cheaper. So Venus orbit could get Lunar or Mars water for about $200 per kg, and the more rocket fuel Venus uses, the cheaper water it gets. And there a lot solar energy at Venus orbit, and harvesting solar energy in Venus orbit, the more solar energy harvested the cheaper electrical power gets at Venus orbit. Venus could be good location to bring material from space rock or entire space rock which was say 1 km in diameter- Earthlings are not going to allow anyone to bring such big space rock to Earth orbit-1 km rock hitting Earth
make nuclear wars seem old fashion. And if 1 km rock hits planet with no one on it, it does matter much- other than “loss” of expense to bringing a space rock there.
So other than Earth orbits, Earth industry could also go the orbit of Venus. And also get
to the point tourist trip down Venus atmosphere, which a main attraction is perhaps the terminator line where the Venus sky falls.
It’s possible Venus becomes the biggest electrical market in space. Or cheapest electrical market in space. But at some point Earth takes over, as space power satellites can beam power to Earth population of 8 billion people. But probably much later, Venus takes back the crown. A trillion people could live in the Venus orbit. and one can call it, the solar system’s low income housing.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  gbaikie
August 20, 2021 4:54 pm

A truly visionary application of economics to science fiction.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
August 20, 2021 8:52 pm

Musk Confirms how “Mechazilla” Will Catch and Assemble Starship and Super Heavy for Rapid Reusehttps://www.universetoday.com/152221/musk-confirms-how-mechazilla-will-catch-and-assemble-starship-and-super-heavy-for-rapid-reuse/

“We’re going to try to catch the Super Heavy Booster with the launch tower arm, using the grid fins to take the load… Saves mass & cost of legs & enables immediate repositioning of booster on to launch mount—ready to refly in under an hour.”

Reply to  gbaikie
August 20, 2021 3:21 pm

World population is 7.8 billion right now. If you won’t forgive the rounding, 8 billion is only three years away. This isn’t about 50 years into the future, it’s about the fact the effects of living without access to fossil energy are obvious now, and in ten years there will either be more fossil use or more people struggling move up from destitute to poor.

Reply to  Ted
August 20, 2021 4:02 pm

World coal use in 10 years could lower, Natural gas probably increases a lot, the world could burn less wood and dung, oil use could be flat, and we get ever increasing energy efficiency which lowers overall energy use. And none this has do with shortages or what governments are pretending to do.
And we count on Biden not being a president in 10 years. Though we get even worst governmental leadership.

Reply to  gbaikie
August 20, 2021 3:52 pm

Why would people leave the Earth to pay ridiculous prices for water?

Now, if they were living on the Moon and in space colonies to build huge solar power satellites that can beam down power wherever you want 24/7/365 – now you have a reason to believe that a space based civilization will come about. But for the foreseeable future we still have up to 10 billion to feed and keep busy.

Reply to  PCman999
August 20, 2021 4:06 pm

Ha ha! Didn’t see that you covered solar satellites in the other reply – great minds think alike! Though working in Venus’s orbit doesn’t have any real advantages to Earth orbit, and there are plenty of asteroids already crossing our orbit or in sync with it that the question of bring huge rocks close to home is moot. Anyways, minerals can be processed on site wherever the rock is and the finished ingots brought back to Earth orbiting cities, churning out solar power satellites. The O’Neill/NASA studies from the eighties worked out that the power could be as cheap as that produced by coal, in case anyone reading this thinks we’re nuts. Disclaimer: I wouldn’t bet my life or even a doughnut on the accuracy of the NASA calculations, but solar power satellites are easier to do and more likely than fusion, for which we’d have to mine the Moon for He3 to have really safe fusion power, not the current examples that will irradiate the plant with high energy neutrons.

Reply to  PCman999
August 20, 2021 6:21 pm

“Why would people leave the Earth to pay ridiculous prices for water?”

Well if and when there is trillion of people in Venus orbit, the price of water will cheaper than water on the Earth surface, as will electrical power, and will housing- therefore what meant by low income housing.
This assuming there is far more freshwater in our solar system which is mineable than compared to the vast amount saltwater in Earth oceans.
And I see no evidence indicating otherwise.

Lunar water at $500 per kg is ridiculous price to pay for water that people normally
use water for. As in US uses about 600 billion tons of water per year, China and India each use about a trillion tons per year.
But for purposes of making lunar rocket fuel, $500 per kg is very cheap.
It allows LOX to be about $1000 per kg and LH2 for about $4000 per kg assuming a electrical cost of about $100 per kw hour which is almost 10,000 times more money then Earthlings tend to pay for residential electrical power.
But on Moon, $100 per kw hour is reasonable price to pay.
Though when Earth launch cost lower, lunar water and power could be lower.

If I roughly accept what Musk says he can lower Earth launch to be {A huge amount cheaper than he currently charging for Falcon-9 launch} then costs of water and power could be a 1/10th, or lunar water at $50 per kg and electrical power at $10 per kw hour.
But still ridiculously expensive, in terms of cost of water or power on Earth.
But Musk even crazy vison of low launch price he claims he can deliver, soon, would be, in the future I am talking, would be quite expensive.
Or one can lower launch costs of leaving Earth by huge amount if there is enough of market for rocket leaving Earth. Musk is leading the world in number of rocket launches, he has the cheapest cost for payload to orbit, his plan is
to have a huge amount more launches per year with his FULLY reusable rocket, the starship.
NASA decades ago was promising even cheaper launch cost than Musk is, for the Shuttle, which they imagine it was reusable and NASA imagined they do a Shuttle launch every week.
Musk wants multiple launch pads and launching 3 starship per day from one launchpad.
It seems a bit unrealistic.
But if Musk “only” reduces launch cost by a 1/10th the cost, to say $150 dollar per kg to LEO, it’s world shattering. But so far it’s has already been, world shattering.
We will see how it looks in about 1 or 2 years.

Reply to  gbaikie
August 21, 2021 1:30 pm

One thing I should mention is that in terms of traveling in our system, Venus is the better location than Earth. But one could argue Mercury distance is even better than Venus orbit. Venus has more launch windows than Earth to anywhere in solar system and going to Venus, it has more launch windows, than Earth. But Mercury has more than Venus. And from Mercury one get faster to Jupiter than Earth, or Venus. But Venus is easiest and fastest way to get to Earth, Mercury. With a simple hohmann transfer Mercury to Earth is 105 days, which faster than Venus to Earth, but one has change the inclination to the trajectory from Mercury, and than is why Mercury is one of hardest places to get to, and no one has landed anything on it’s surface. And to get to Mercury orbit {which has been done] requires years of bouncing various planets using gravity assists, to change the inclination. But instead using gravity assist one can just use a lot rocket power- or if you have cheap rocket fuel in space, you could just use rocket power. But simple hohmann transfers use the least amount energy. And in terms of freight and general economic matters, Mercury would not favorable location to most places in solar system,
but is good to get to outer planets- Jupiter and beyond.
It’s been long known that in terms economics issues, Venus serves as best hub of our solar system.

Dave Fair
Reply to  gbaikie
August 21, 2021 10:44 am

Uh, the Earth’s surface is about 70% water.

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 21, 2021 12:56 pm

Yes, most of Earth’s suborbital travel will be from a ocean point and to another ocean point. For example one land and launch suborbital craft in the English Channel.
And SpaceX is going to launching and landing most of the Starships from the Ocean.
There is no other way to have towns and cities on Mars without launching from the Ocean. If you correctly assume it will require a lot of rocket launches occurring every week. People might enjoy watching launches, but not everyone would want to have deal with the constant noise of it every hour of the day.

Which will eventually result in many ocean settlements on 70% of Earth surface.
But that will take some time, and instead we could start right now making ocean settlement near coastal areas. One thing needed is being allowed to buy ocean real estate.
A key aspect of ocean settlements is making cheap floating breakwaters.

But another thing which encourage ocean settlements will be space power satellites which could beam power to anywhere on the Earth’s surface.

But the reason for ocean settlement is not related to human population {which actually too low] it’s just a lot people would want to live on the beach. And in addition
to stopping waves, one would also want to make areas for better surfing.
One aspect is if have a lot ocean settlements you going prevent surfing waves, so going have plan these settlements so one one settlement doesn’t block the surfing waves other other settlements. But by providing public surfing area on an ocean settlements near the coast one can create new and better surfing areas for people living coastal areas, but the good surfing areas on the coasts should not blocked by the ocean settlements.

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 21, 2021 5:58 pm

“Uh, the Earth’s surface is about 70% water.”

Yes, and at moment it’s not very useful.
My whole point is not that the Moon has mineable water or that
Mars can be habitable by humans.
We don’t know if lunar water is mineable, but we can’t know, unless
we explore the Moon.
And it seems we going to explore the Moon, fairly soon.
And I would say a very successful exploration of the Moon would find
out that the Moon does not have mineable water. Or the exploration of the
moon determines there is what NASA imagines to be minable lunar water, and it
isn’t mineable at this time. We don’t know, but it’s possible lunar water is mineable- if it’s done right. And chance favor, it will not be “done right”.
What string of failures will be required until it’s done right?

With Mars there are a lot reasons why it might not be habitable, in sense that, no
matter what anyone does, no humans can live there.
There is enormous amount of stuff we don’t have any clue about, regarding Mars. And there a few clues which indicate it’s not going to work. Going Mars “could be” like going to a highly polluted planet {polluted by “nature” not intelligent creatures}. The radiation environment [rather than toxins] of Mars might make it unlivable. And that it might some kind of life, could make it unlivable. And etc. And then there is unknowns which are unknown.
But it’s accepted {though could be quite wrong} that Mars is most habitable planet other than Earth. I generally imagine Mercury might be more habitable.
Both Mars and Mercury are considered cold, and with Mercury, very hot. Mercury is largely quite cold. Mercury has polar region as does the Moon and Earth polar region is very unlike these polar regions. Both Mercury and Moon is access to a lot solar energy- Earth’s polar region has the least amount solar energy. Earth polar regions has cold air- Mercury and Moon doesn’t. It’s very easy to be warm or cold at their polar regions. And the polar regions are the most habitable region on Mercury or Moon.
The most favorable thing about Mars is it has lot’s of CO2. It has trillions of tons of available water, but having easy access to 25 trillion tons of CO2, seems like it’s
more important. And it seems Moon and Mercury water could more likely not have polluted water. And it might not matter much even it the water was highly polluted. Or quite important aspect with Mars, not much issue with the Moon or Mercury.
And both Moon and Mercury has pretty high confidence that they both are sterile worlds. Any kind of biological process on Mars, could be, trouble and more trouble.
And I would bet Mars has life on it. Whether we find life, within say 100 years, I put at about 60%. And since there is life miles under Earth crust, within the interior of Moon or Mercury [maybe tens of miles under the surface] there could be life}.
But anyhow, NASA has spent billions of dollars exploring Mars, and wants to send
crew to Mars, and I think it’s a very good idea to first explore the Moon, before exploring Mars.
And it seems NASA is going to explore the Moon, in less than 5 years, and land crew on Mars in 10 years or so, or perhaps less time.

And in terms Mars crew safety, I think NASA should make artificial gravity space stations and put one in Venus orbit. Not just because Mars alien life, but for many reasons- which I have already mentioned.
So, 70% ocean is not currently particularly useful, and we could use it more, and find out more about our ocean.
That more 80% of all volcanic activity on Earth is under the ocean- and we know little about, is one of many reasons. The long held myth of human over population is not a reasonable reason to live on and/or under the ocean.
But the lack of cheap energy for thousands of years of human future existence,
is good reason for space exploration. We have what could be called the cheapest energy we have ever had, but in space environment, it should be a lot cheaper energy- and lower energy use per capita. And our ocean covering 70% of planet isn’t making our present energy per capita lower, but it could.

August 20, 2021 1:02 pm

OT. few days ago I mentioned traffic accidents involving Tesla auto-pilot cars and emergency vehicles. I just read that Tony G asked for a link to find out more about it:

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
Zig Zag Wanderer
August 20, 2021 1:14 pm

So, they are discovering what has been predicted on WUWT for decades now: Offshore wind is even less viable than onshore wind.

I’m pleased that little of my money was spent on it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
August 20, 2021 1:27 pm

While European companies make sizable investments in …. government subsidies.

August 20, 2021 2:41 pm

“…the current occupant of the White House was a moron before he became a dementia-addled Enviro-Marxist babbling idiot…”

Don’t hold back. Let us know what you REALLY think.

August 20, 2021 4:10 pm

When will the headlines come out blaring: “Climate Change ™ has killed renewable energy!”

August 20, 2021 7:30 pm

In lithium batteries they trust-
7NEWS Sydney – Garbage truck fire in Auburn | Facebook
Just don’t chuck them all in the rubbish when they’re stuffed or we really are doomed

August 20, 2021 8:06 pm

Major American companies are even more skeptical. Neither Exxon Mobil nor Chevron has a significant portfolio of renewable energy assets,”

To date, unless the renewables have ironbound contracts for massive subsidies, renewable investments have performed very poorly.

Various hedge funds claiming that they broker renewables, I suspect keep massive straddles to protect themselves from collapses and bankruptcies.

James F. Evans
August 20, 2021 8:12 pm

Let the oil flow.

There’s a lot of it.

And, yes, North America has it.

And so does the world whether they like it or not.

David Kelly
August 20, 2021 10:08 pm

One of the more irritating aspects of being a utility environmental compliance strategy / capacity planning manager, back in the day when I was doing that sort of thing, was knowing the the oil companies were pushing “carbon capture” concepts to congress and general public… for nefarious purposes.

What they really were (and are) doing was seeking subsidized sources of CO2 as feedstock for tertiary oil/gas recovery. Their goal was, always has been, to leave utilities (and utility rate payers) footing the bills associated with the cost of carbon capture. And… to then take advantage of carbon capture regulation to charge utilities for “disposing” of captured CO2.

To date, U.S. utilities have beaten U.S. oil companies at their own game. We utility types simply made utility-based carbon capture more expensive than was the case when we were burning coal… by switching to natural gas. So, because of the way the oil industry is structured, U.S. oil companies now have to sell natural gas to utilities at prices at below gas’s production cost in order to recover the volume of oil they need for their down-stream oil-based product mixes… will have to for roughly the next twenty years.

This works for utilities because of U.S. demographics. Specifically, because U.S. domestic electrical production is expected to drop over the next twenty years as the current crop of baby booms retires and dies off. Since, utilities don’t need much new capacity, they simply plan to drop coal plants as electrical demand drops and/or gap-fill with natural gas plants if a coal plant become non-economical.

Oil company planners zero… utility planners one.

Reply to  David Kelly
August 21, 2021 10:35 am

My guess (simply a guess because I am only an engineer and not a planner) is that the 40,000,000 immigrants and their offspring will hold up the demand. It is supply (cost) that will reduce the demand; not lack of customers.

David Kelly
Reply to  DonM
August 21, 2021 9:34 pm


Regarding immigrant inflows. Migration into the U.S. is already factored in. In-migration from Mexico has been a net negative for the last several years. The bulk of current illegal immigration has been from Central America. The pattern of continued illegal immigration for Central America is expected diminish quickly over next several year; because the Central American population is aging faster than the U.S. population. Consequently, the pool of working age Central American’s young enough to make the journey is petering out… and the job opportunities for those remaining in their home counties well be looking better over time (not great, but enough to raise a family)… plus they are going have remain at home to care for their aging parents.

Even if we missed the mark on this score, it wouldn’t make a difference. Low-income immigrants (mostly in their thirty’s) don’t consume enough power or consumer goods to make-up for the consumption losses arising from the consumption of much higher paid middle aged Americans. Even their children won’t make much of an energy dent for roughly another twenty years.

We did anticipate an up surge of educated migration, primarily from Europe and Asia, due largely to anticipated economic collapses as those regions experience similar issues with rapidly aging demographics. However, even this will be subdued, because world wide shortage of capital will substantially increase the cost of both legal and illegal immigration.

Short version… you can’t “immigrate” you way out the economic impact of a world-wide declines in the number of working age adults. Lower overall economic economic activity = lower power consumption — even without population declines.

Reply to  David Kelly
August 21, 2021 8:35 pm

Not sure I understand the comments,since Biden’s plan considers Natural gas as a fossil fuel to be banned and all homes to be heated with electricity via solar panels and windmills. Are you assuming that the green energy plan will die? Also mandating electric cars will place a huge demand on increased use of electricity

David Kelly
Reply to  catcracking
August 21, 2021 11:32 pm


Frankly, in my view, Biden’s plan is dead-in-the-water.

I’ll set-aside discussing practical engineering issues for moment, since that would require a detailed discussion of the practical constriction times it would take to complete a full fleet conversion to renewables. (And unnecessary in our case; because, our fleet is high in nuclear and relies on fossil only to accomplish load-following — a feat renewable assets can’t accomplish).

I’d concentrate on the economic issues. Since most folk don’t tend to consider those issues.

OK… even if you believe renewables are “cheap” and the solution to “climate change”. We’re going to be facing a serious shortages of capital world-wide in short order… simply because the world’s boomers are aging into retirement and the following working-age populations are too small, and too young, to replace the capital inflows currently going into today’s investment markets. (i.e. Boomer-related invest cash inflows are quickly turning into cash out-flows in the form of retirement checks.)

The short version… there isn’t going to be enough financial capital to pay for Biden’s wet dream. This was going to be true before COVID. And true regardless of who was going to occupy the White House.

I’d estimate the impact of COVID has accelerated the demographic aging-induced high-interest rate issue by roughly three years. Primarily by producing: world-wide government over spending, economic damage, supply chain disruption, and year of lost education.

Given the U.S.’s current spending binge, Europe’s 2008 crises and current spending binges, and China’s decades of spending binges; you can add high risk of multiple years of high inflation to the mix… meaning a serious risk of 5 to 10 years of plus 5% annual inflation… in addition to the demographic induced high interest risks already expected due to the previously mentioned capital shortages.

So… due to expected rising interest rates, renewable assets are going to become prohibitively expensive very fast and very soon. Say within the next year or two.

So, if a renewables project hasn’t secured project financing at low-fixed rate within the next year or two. These projects are going to find the cost of financing prohibitively expensive. And, since it typically takes roughly a year to three years to get the required permits, it’s not likely they are going to be able to secure that financing in the required time frame.

Conventional production assets face a similar problem, but have the advantages being technically low-risk… and frequently have the added advantage of having been already newly constructed. (If you want to see nation-wide tax-payer rebellion, see what happens when your average taxpayer finds out they’d have to fork over $1 billion for the 1,200 Mw gas plant their State Commissioners approved for construction and then substantial additional cost of new renewable assets).

And… incidentally, when you look at hidden cost of renewables (required grid upgrades, high failure rates, line losses, excessive replacement cost, etc..) the true cost of even the older subsidized renewable assets is roughly a third higher than traditional assets.

So… second short version… the general public won’t be able to afford any “green deal” that Biden might implement.

Overall, we were (are) expecting the current state of the world economy to be in pretty rough shape for the next twenty years.

The good news, for those young folk going thru the expected economic mess, is their future looks pretty good once they get past this twenty year rough patch… particularly if they live in the U.S.

So… Overall short version. We going to be really really lucky to avoid a major world-wide depression. We will have far more important problems to deal with than “climate change”. Biden’s climate plan is dead-before-arrival.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Kelly
Vincent Causey
August 21, 2021 12:41 am

If Western oil and gas companies transition out of oil and gas (an oxymoron), the slack will be taken up by Russian and Saudi expansion and I’m sure China will be happy to buy up all the assets the Western companies divest from. We will end up with a bunch of pointless companies straddled with useless “renewable assets” that in the end nobody in the world will want, impoverishing millions and wiping out pension funds.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
August 21, 2021 2:40 am

They really need to stop contrasting fossil fuels with wind and solar as Dirty vs. Clean! There is nothing clean about wind and solar and they are simply not up to providing the energy the grid needs.

Wayne Townsend
August 21, 2021 11:08 am

Mr. Middleton, that is “Mr. dementia-addled Enviro-Marxist babbling idiot” to you. 😉

Last edited 1 year ago by Wayne Townsend
August 22, 2021 7:26 am

Always invest in what works, never piss away a single penny on what does not work. This simple statement shows why government is pissing away tax dollars on “green energy”, they want what does not work to use as a cudgel against people who refuse to accept their leftarded stupidity.

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