More Polarization – Africa/Asia Investing Hundreds of Billions in Hydrocarbon Infrastructure Out of Necessity, The West Arranges Deck Chairs on The Titanic

From the BOE Report

Terry Etam

I’m sure we’re all used to polarization now, particularly if you choose to pickle yourself in media brine. Buying butter can be an act of war depending on whom you choose to disclose that information to, and for reasons unfathomable to me a great many of us choose to announce such purchases via Instagram/TikTok/Twitter, in between endless bun fights about anything and everything. Hey, look at what I’m eating, and #$%^ you. 

Energy is of course at the forefront of polarization, with one rich/righteous group trying to kill the world’s dominant fuel system and a far larger group at risk of decimation without expansion of that system. The former group refuses to acknowledge – or does not realize – that it is a subset of the latter, and we therefore get front row seats to western governments vehemently contradicting themselves on a daily basis.

Energy polarization is fascinating because it is so all-encompassing and the stakes can’t be higher. To top it off, the west, not at all done with colonization, has decided for the umpteenth consecutive century that it will dictate how the world shall develop.

Spoiler alert: regular readers know where this is heading, but the disclosure is still necessary if for no other reason that the problem keeps getting worse. Think of this as a chronicling for historical records of this great lemming-leap we are witnessing live and in real time. 

You should know how the world is being brought to its knees energy-wise, and you should tell your friends.

It is important to note first that Canada’s energy industry is in fact moving mountains to comply with the wishes of our federal leaders. The marching orders have been given, and the oil patch has shifted accordingly. Some won’t believe that, because death of the industry is an imperative (AOC, T Berman, D Suzuki, Greenpeace, Ecojustice,, and on and on), but the facts are that the oil patch is abuzz with energy transition/emissions reduction work. Progress is happening at a staggering pace.

Huge utilities – hundred-billion-dollar-plus behemoths that are not known for agility – are spearheading carbon sequestration pipelines, storage hubs, and associated infrastructure. For example, TC Energy and Pembina are looking to join forces with Shell and the oil sands producers consortium to construct one mega-carbon capture system. Enbridge is teaming up with a group of First Nations to develop carbon capture solutions. All of them are building solar farms and putting up wind turbines.

Oil and gas producers are also charging full speed in that direction. Entropy Inc., a subsidiary of a Calgary natural gas producer, has developed technology that enables smaller scale carbon capture/sequestration, has raised hundreds of millions in capital, and has customers banging on the door looking to implement their technology. Ironically, a mish-mash of conflicting policy from the provincial and federal levels is holding back progress, because despite the speed at which governments profess to want an energy transition, they clearly don’t know how to achieve it in such a rapid time frame. To the surprise of absolutely no one.

At the smaller end of the scale, the junior oil/gas sector has been almost entirely usurped by new energy technology companies developing new ways to produce hydrogen, reduce emissions, and reinvent old ways of doing business (repurposing old oil fields (Proton Technologies), recycling waste material (Rundle Ecosystems), etc…and write if you want that I’m ignoring your enterprise and I’m sorry but there are literally hundreds of similar initiatives and my head only has room for a few at a time).

Yay, look at us, energy transitioning! The world is saved. 

Oh yeah, about that. Did anyone actually think this unbelievably large (and expensive) oil/gas industry refocusing is helping reduce polarization?

Haha, sorry. Haters still hate, and the bar keeps rising. I read the transcript of a Feb 2022 meeting of the federal Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Called to participate were some energy economists, TC Energy, and a few obligatory climate activists. The panel confused TC Energy with an oil producer, the NDP/climate activists hurled insults at the oil/gas sector, and the economists debated the efficacy of current government policies without touching on the fact that those policies are no more than rearranging the Titanic’s deck chairs.

The world is running out of fuel. The world is also not going to get to net zero 2050 (mineral shortages alone guarantee that), but the west’s cheap-energy wealth allows us the luxury of pretending this all will happen magically while ignorantly pounding our energy providers into the ground (though they don’t say so overtly, encouraging capital flight from the industry is all we need to know).

The west is so comfortably wrapped up in itself because of our staggeringly competent energy system – one which can afford such moral-high-ground emissions schemes – that it pays scant attention to much bigger problems brewing elsewhere. 

Western governments have even created a new type of polarization, because we just didn’t have enough apparently. European governments, pioneers of the rapid-energy-transition imperative, have now found out that that fork in the road was a very wrong one indeed. Europe is in a blind panic to secure adequate energy supplies, and in an act of humiliation that will surely go down in history is continuing to buy energy products from a beast that is currently annihilating a neighbour with artillery shells because Europe has no other choice than to transact with a madman. Western Europe consciously and purposely turned its back on hydrocarbons, and as a direct result Ukraine remains under inhuman bombardment, indefinitely.

North American leaders have been shielded from global energy mayhem due to the fact that current leaders have not been able to strangle the industry as quickly as they would like. Sure, they are trying; Biden immediately began to pressure the industry in the US by cancelling new oil/gas leases on federal lands (a move recently reversed as Europe’s panic becomes visible), and Trudeau was and is committed to winding down the industry.

In the climate plan of the other week, the federal government said: “Sending a clear regulatory signal now should discourage further investments in assets that could become stranded.” That statement is a direct reference to “fossil fuel” investment, an astonishing statement of singular stupidity – if the energy transition were to happen as the government hopes, would oil/gas assets be the only ones stranded? How about airports? How would they even know what will be ‘stranded’? How do they discourage investment in things that might or might not still be necessary? 

Now, from a global perspective, which is what we should worry about in the interconnected energy world, more than a few billion people might not care at all if Canada chooses to self-immolate. But no, we can’t leave them alone, can we? The west knows best, and while we may be woke to our eyeballs about racism and whatever else, the underlying urge to dictate to developing countries what will or will not be allowed remains a pillar of elite western thought.

“Let’s heed the UN’s dire warning and stop the east African oil pipeline now,” bleated a headline in a British newspaper authored by a New England climate activist (Bill McKibben) who founded anti-oil organization and was proudly handcuffed fighting Keystone XL. 

Let’s take a quick tour of another form of polarization that has evolved from the energy dialogues. Here in North America and western Europe, we continue to hike fuel prices and harass consumers into reducing consumption by brute force, on moral grounds – governments simply despise our fuel system. They want hydrocarbon producers diminished and ultimately dismantled, and the sooner the better.

Here’s the view from the other side of the world, in a few headlines, that reflect the polar opposite of our western narrative – a desperation for survival. “India risks widespread power blackouts this summer”, because coal stocks are low, and natural gas is unavailable. “Electricity shortfall hits 6000MW”; Pakistan is unable to generate enough electricity because it cannot compete with western Europe in a bidding war for natural gas. “Despite Oil and Gas Reserves, Africa Feels Pressure of Rising Energy Costs”; Africa relies heavily on imported petroleum products and is fearful of natural gas shortages that will impact fertilizer supply.

India, Pakistan and Africa are populated by 2.8 billion people, and they are running out of fuel. Running out of fuel means running out of air conditioning, food, and transport options. It is serious business. And there are a few billion more in that camp as well, I simply stopped gathering headlines after a few minutes.

Mercifully, the “advice” of western activists is being ignored. Africa is currently constructing the Dangote refinery in Nigeria, owned by an African, that will supply over 12 percent of Africa’s product demand, increase fertilizer production at an associated facility, and reduce the continent’s reliance on imported fuels. 

Asian governments are currently building out $350 billion worth of new natural gas infrastructure. That’s in addition to adding renewables as fast as they can.

The problem is that these investments will not arrive soon enough. The world is short of hydrocarbons now, and the world’s top experts at oil/gas production are largely fleeing the industry or focused on the “energy transition”. Fuel shortages are expected in many parts of the world within the year. 

In the context of that potential humanitarian disaster, the guidance of our western leaders should leave anyone sick to their stomach. And it’s not like our hydrocarbon sector is even fighting the feds – they are focused resolutely on reducing emissions and on meeting government mandates, no matter how unhinged. Yet the Standing Committee on Natural Resources listens quietly to strategies put forth by activists to get oil/gas people to exit the industry, not entice people into it. There are no words. 

We’re all sitting here watching a train with billions of people in it heading for a bridge that is out.  Our leaders are grinning in photo ops with beneficiaries of the trillions they are shoveling at ill-conceived and over-rushed schemes towards a target that the mining industry has essentially deemed as impossible.

Nassim Taleb has a great analogy for long periods of complacency, where everything is great until one day it isn’t. A turkey leads a comfortable (if confined) life for every day of its life until the last one, when things go very badly indeed. Think of these endless columns of energy observations as much the same thing. The tragedy is that we’ve been warned the axe is coming. 

Slava Ukraini! Find out how the world got into such a calamitous energy state, and how to get out – pick up  “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” at, or Thanks for the support.


Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here, or email Terry here. PS: Dear email correspondents, the email flow is welcome, but am having trouble keeping up. Apologies if comments/questions go unanswered; they are not ignored.

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April 28, 2022 2:12 am

Surprised that you say “the world is running out of fuel”. Gt. Britain alone has enough coal to last us for a couple of hundred years, we just aren’t allowed to dig it up at the moment.

Reply to  Oldseadog
April 28, 2022 2:39 am

That’s just it – “we’re running out of fuel”… that is available to be sold. Besides coal there is at least a hundred years of oil from oil sands and shale, same for natural gas – and alot more if you count methane hydrates.

But it doesn’t help anyone if it’s all trapped in the ground by the various protection rackets pretending to be our governments.

Reply to  Oldseadog
April 28, 2022 2:49 am

I think I’m right in saying that 10% of the Lancashire(?) shale gas reserves is enough for 50 years of UK demand.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Oldseadog
April 28, 2022 8:18 am

Western governments are forcing us to run out by policy, not because there isn’t lots of fuel to harvest and use. This is analogous to the government banning certain unfashionable foods and mandating “ethical” diets as they watch their citizens die from starvation. Imagine extinction rebellion blockading farms and burning fields to stop citizens from eating inappropriately or living too long.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 28, 2022 9:19 am

While government policy’s the #1 driver of the insanity, investment managers like Blackrock,
Vanguard, etc., are big players, too. Since corporate execs get most of their pay in options.
their managers, like Larry Fink, can extort them to adopt loony lib policies by threatening
to dump their stock, making their options worthless. Since most of the contributions for
politicians come from corporate execs, not the corporation itself, they could possibly
“influence” those decisions, too. This would help keep the loony libs in power! 🙁

Last edited 3 months ago by Old Man Winter
Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Old Man Winter
April 28, 2022 11:00 am

Agreed. Lots of blame to share around but nature has done its part by providing us the resources and the opportunity to succeed.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Oldseadog
April 28, 2022 9:50 am

Nova Scotians have been mining coal seams that extend far out under the sea for more than a century!

The coalfield, which extends from Cape Morien to Cape Dauphin, and 300 kilometres offshore, has hosted about 100 mines and produced more coal than all other Nova Scotia coalfields combined.”

Bojo, if you need coal to prevent several 100k from starvation (from industry shutdown) and freezing to death, get some Nova Scotia miners to show Brits how to do it. You will have large new resources to work with.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 28, 2022 11:01 am

I’ll happily put my order in for some of that black gold from my fellow Canadians.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 28, 2022 6:22 pm

A number of years back, a UK company was all set to begin mining coal under the North Sea — just before the government decided ‘no more coal mining’. I wasn’t sure I understood but it seemed to me they intended to gasify coal in the coal seams, thus producing gas as fuel for all sorts of things, rather than actually bringing out coal. The claim in the announcement was that if they could recover just 1% of the coal they were certain exists, it would power everything in the UK for 300 years.

Reply to  AndyHce
April 29, 2022 1:37 am

This was tested under the Firth of Forth some decades ago and it works, but as usual the NIMBYs stopped it.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 29, 2022 1:35 am

GB has been mining coal from under the sea for longer than that, Gary.

April 28, 2022 2:15 am

Yes, I’ve been saying on this board and elsewhere for years that Europe was sleepwalking into disaster by relying so heavily on Putin’s gas. What’s so frustrating is that this was so obvious yet the powers that be stuck their heads in the sand.

Will the West ever wake up to what’s really happening? In the UK we now have people quite genuinely struggling to keep their kids warm and feed them while our allies are funding Putin’s atrocious war.

It’s staggering just how blind the establishment is to what’s happening. Meanwhile Joe Public somehow has to pay for it.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  MarkW2
April 28, 2022 3:40 am

The establishment or at least the globalist part of the establishment are not blind to what is happening. You can’t have global government without having every nation dependent and integrated with every other nation. So it makes perfect sense for Europe to be dependent on Russian gas.

And the powers that be are not stupid or blind to the obvious consequences of the dependencies. Globalism is a house of cards deliberately designed to fall.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
April 28, 2022 10:24 am

The Russians still supply 40% of Europe’s nat gas. Sanctions stopped the normal channels for payment so they were forced to demand payment in rubles.

UK and EU were offered Russian gas contracts last summer at prices a third of today’s price and they turned it down because ‘climate change’! Their climate policies, o&g divestment and coercive campaigns in Europe and US are 100% responsible for the pickle they are now in! They apparently didn’t understand that nitrogen fertilizer depends on N gas for its manufacture!

Putin may be the nasty devil reincarnated, but please, don’t adopt the woke BS this site fights against on other fronts!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 28, 2022 10:27 am

Meant to reply to MarkW2

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 28, 2022 4:11 pm

I have no time for any woke agenda and have no idea what you’re talking about. My point was the exact opposite, i.e. it’s the woke agenda that’s largely responsible for Putin’s war.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  MarkW2
April 28, 2022 6:16 pm

Oh I agree with that. But Europe and the West in general were responsible for screwing up the oil and gas industry production and financing, pushing prices up for commodities they suddenly realize they desperately need for heating, power, fuel for transporting everything, and fertilizer manufacture for growing their food. Putin is indeed benefitting but the stupid fix they are in is entirely a Western show.

Reply to  Forrest Gardener
April 28, 2022 4:08 pm

Er, I don’t think so. You’re giving the Establishment far too much credit. Politicians don’t have a clue and so-called ‘experts’ are more interested in TV appearances, spouting rubbish about climate change with zero thought about the real consequences of what they’re saying. As for globalism being ‘deliberately designed to fall’, by whom, exactly?

The left would love free market economies to fail and that’s undoubtedly behind a lot of environmentalism, but they’re looking pretty stupid now as the Ukrainian war and crazy inflation are directly linked to these policies.

Reply to  MarkW2
April 28, 2022 4:48 am

What’s so frustrating is that this was so obvious yet the powers that be stuck their heads in the sand.

What makes you think that they are ignorant of the consequences of all of this?
We live in a Fraudocracy.
Alex Jones was right.

April 28, 2022 2:34 am

Is there a way to rewrite the article so that a drama teacher with the logic and intelligence of a 4 year old could understand it?
I have been grieving for Western civilization for years now, especially when all political parties, news outlets, and even corporate leaders talk as though the Climate Emergency is actually more real than the boogeyman and the tooth fairy.

Last edited 3 months ago by PCman999
Andy Pattullo
Reply to  PCman999
April 28, 2022 8:20 am

Where does he live? – cut off his gas, electricity, cell phone service and caviar deliveries. That should catch his attention.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 28, 2022 1:38 pm

Ottawa Canada

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  MAK
April 29, 2022 8:10 am

Well that’s not very specific but I am not totally gainst cutting the services for the entire capital city given it’s impact on Western Canada. Not sure anyone would notice other than the subtle increase in sense of well-being globally.

John Garrett
April 28, 2022 4:06 am

When reading Etam’s wonderful piece, all I can think of is Cassandra (the Trojan priestess of Greek mythology).

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Reply to  John Garrett
April 28, 2022 5:34 am

They don’t WANT to see. It might scare them.

Reply to  Sara
April 28, 2022 6:25 pm

Not hardly, when things are going so well from their point of view.

April 28, 2022 4:21 am

Meanwhile the dictators at “Just Stop Oil” cause criminal damage to two petrol stations on the M25. Link

I’ll bet they get a slap on the wrists

Bruce Cobb
April 28, 2022 4:27 am

I like the analogy of what the West is doing energy-wise is deliberately steering the ship towards an iceberg, all the while pointing and screaming about an imaginary sea monster we need to get away from or we are doomed. The hatred of fossil fuels is irrationalism on steroids. It flies in the face of logic. And those pointing out the total idiocy of what we are doing are pronounced “deniers” or worse.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 28, 2022 8:10 am

All cults and religions had to demonize the “non- believers” and heretics.

Why should we be surprised that the Klimate Kool-Aiders movement follows the established playbook of cultism?

John Larson
Reply to  Mr.
April 28, 2022 7:12 pm

“All cults and religions had to demonize the “non- believers” and heretics”

Except strident atheists, of course. They’d never do anything like that ; )

Last edited 3 months ago by John Larson
Tom Abbott
April 28, 2022 4:27 am

From the article: “To top it off, the west, not at all done with colonization, has decided for the umpteenth consecutive century that it will dictate how the world shall develop.”

Who is being “colonized” please?

Society needs police. Who do you want doing the policing if not the West?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 28, 2022 5:18 am

It’s a different sort of colonizing today, nothing to do with policing.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bruce Cobb
Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 28, 2022 8:21 am

Anybody but the West if the West is set on societal collapse. At least developing nations have a realistic set of priorities and make decisions based on reality rather than fantasy.

Timo, Not That One
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 29, 2022 6:14 am

It’s the West (well Ob@ma anyhow) who put a puppet government into Ukr@ine who, in turn, have been waging war against civilians for 8 years.
Who should police them?

April 28, 2022 5:44 am

I’m off to the side, watching all of this turmoil, very aware of what’s going on in Ukraine and how Putin looks like he’s on the verge of collapse. At the Easter service, he looked like he was about to toss his lunch. He’s a major natgas supply source for Europe. Not going into the politics of it, but being too dependent on one source for what you need is a bad idea, and Europe in general is far too dependent on Russia for that stuff.

If you take a step back and look at the entire thing, which is what is indicated in the article, you realize that something is far off balance when it should not be and it started a while back. It’s almost like watching a feeding frenzy – you don’t really want to look, but you can’t take your eyes off it.

Sorry if I come off as rather dismal, but in my view, it’s a phase which is not over yet. Won’t be for a while, either.

Last edited 3 months ago by Sara
John Garrett
April 28, 2022 6:49 am

I just received my ExxonMobil proxy statement.

I don’t think there’s anybody left on XOM’s Board of Directors who knows anything about hydrocarbon exploration or drilling or petrophysics or geology.

It’s horrifying.

Reply to  John Garrett
April 28, 2022 8:14 am

But does the board composition satisfy the demands for “diversity” in recruitment & hiring?

After all, that’s all that counts these days.

Andy Pattullo
April 28, 2022 8:15 am

Exactly right Terry. And underneath all of this and driving all this ridiculous anti-energy policy is the fundamental belief that CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from use of fossil fuels are causing an existential “climate crisis”. And what is the evidence for that belief – only computer climate models – models which have consistently and uniformly failed to accurately predict any important aspect of climate beyond a few days into the future since their inception. Climate models that are entirely based on the prejudice and beliefs of the modelers who are uniformly addicted that same CO2-kills-climate belief system. Circular reasoning raised to an art form.

There is no real world evidence of a problem. In fact the only effects we can confidently measure within our natural world from CO2 levels rising in the atmosphere and some gentle climate warming are beneficial. Rising crop yields, less hunger, greater forest growth, greening of previously desert landscapes. Overall there will be more life on planet Earth because of rising CO2. We are killing our economy and potentially, in the near future, billions of our fellow citizens based on a false belief while we ignore that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is not a calamity but rather a great opportunity to expand life and improve human society.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 28, 2022 6:32 pm

Since “they” have to be perfectly aware that most of the world isn’t paying attention, and is extremely unlikely to be converted, they can’t believe that what the west is doing will have any impact on the fantasy they are broadcasting. They have to know that CO2 isn’t being reduced, and won’t be, so their enthusiasm for continuing has to logically be for some other reason.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  AndyHce
April 29, 2022 8:12 am

You might be right, but you may also be overestimating the critical thinking skills of many of “they/them”.

Paul Penrose
April 28, 2022 9:27 am

And when the time comes that the first world countries really feel the shortages, the politicians will try to blame the energy industry that they so badly crippled. The question is: will the public buy it, or will they put the real scoundrels against the wall (figuratively hopefully)?

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Paul Penrose
April 28, 2022 2:14 pm

Dems in the US are doing exactly that right now.

“Democrats are moving forward with forceful action that will stop and hold accountable oil and gas companies for profiteering,” Pelosi said at a press conference at the Capitol.”

April 28, 2022 10:01 am

“Samsom admitted that “no one dares to say out loud” to voters that past living standards were unsustainable and that higher prices will be permanent.”

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  mwhite
April 28, 2022 11:13 am

That is not an original thought but goes back at least as far as Thomas Malthus in 1798 when he wrote the Principle of Population. Time has proven him wrong repeatedly along with every other Malthusian prophet since including Paul Erlich, James Hanson, the Club of Rome, the self-appointed World Economic Forum, Al Gore, John Kerry, the shadow of a man Joe Biden, Justin wing-nut Trudeau, Greta Thunderpants, Extinction Rebellion and many other misguided catastrophists.

Reply to  mwhite
April 28, 2022 2:04 pm

Thanks for that mwhite,
These unelected official’s on mega salaries have no right to tell the general population that food and energy is too cheap.
Looking at Europe from the other side of the world it sure looks like that the inmates are in charge of the asylum .
Populations need to wake up to where their leaders are taking them .
Unfortunately the constant propaganda against the use of fossil fuels over the last 30 years has worked and the populations have been brain washed.
Any government elected should have the welfare of their country as their first priority .
Adequate food ,housing ,and clothing should be the most important goals .
To meet these simple goals in industrial countries governments have to provide affordable energy to every one .
Fossil fuel has to be a large part of the energy mix unless these countries start building nuclear power stations .
CO2 is not a pollutant but is the basis of all life on earth .
More CO2 will not cause any more warmth as the band widths are virtually saturated in the atmosphere .
This global warming scare is a means towards an end which is SOCIALISM which has resulted in unelected bureaucrats telling the rest of us that energy and food is far to cheap

April 28, 2022 11:38 am

I can see the madness but it’s not in Russia.

April 28, 2022 12:20 pm

My feelings exactly, the west is acting like a jackass.

G Mawer
April 28, 2022 2:20 pm

“Yay, look at us, energy transitioning! The world is saved. ”
IMO the world does not need saving, WE DO!
The world will be fine, will we? (maybe if we end career politicians)

Reply to  G Mawer
April 29, 2022 6:19 am

Western Democracies want to Save the world for China and Russia to inherit 🙂

April 28, 2022 10:42 pm

India coal stock at power stations was low due to lack of railway rack availability for transport from Indian mines. Less coal was imported (from Indonesia etc) due to high world market prices. Till today few powercuts; next month monsoon winds will power the thousands of windmills here, which will last till September. Fingers crossed.

Reply to  AntonyIndia
April 29, 2022 6:25 am

It’s okay the greentards will construct the windmills flat then you get enough people per blade and get them to walk in circles. That is how it was done back in the day and the perfect solution.
It’s only slavery if they whip you.

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