Replacing the World’s Fossil Fuels

By Andy May

U.S. progressives are convinced that fossil fuels must be replaced with renewables by 2050. The IEA even has a plan to do it. How will this work? Unlike progressives we value observational data over ideology, so let’s examine the data. According to ExxonMobil’s 2021 Outlook for Energy the world consumed 89.4 BBOE (billions of barrels of oil equivalent) of primary energy in 2020, during the pandemic. OurWorldinData.Org provides a similar number of 93.5 for pre-pandemic 2019, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Total consumed energy for the world in BBOE. Data source:

When discussing energy consumed globally, there are a bewildering number of units used in the literature, which is confusing. In this post we have consistently used BBOE, or billions of barrels of oil-equivalent energy. Oil is still the largest source of primary energy in the world, supplying 31-34% of our energy, further barrels of oil are familiar to the lay person.

OurWorldinData uses TWh (teraWatt-hours) to report energy consumption, which must be multiplied by 5.9×10-4 to convert it to BBOE. ExxonMobil uses quadrillion BTUs, and the conversion factor is 0.1651787. BP prefers exajoules, which differ from ExxonMobil’s quadrillion BTUs by a factor of 0.94782. You can see my point; with all the conversions and weird units, it is hard to think about what the numbers mean for our lives and welfare. Instead, the reader’s eyes glaze over, and the very real impact of the numbers is lost.

The various crude oils around the world are different complicated mixtures of hydrocarbons, so the barrel-of-oil energy content used here is the average fuel-oil energy content, which is equal to the IRS definition of the energy content of a barrel of oil, 5.8 million BTUs. A cubic foot of natural gas has the energy content of 1,000 BTUs; thus 5.8 thousand cubic feet (MCF) of natural gas has the same energy content as one BOE.

OurWorldinData tells us that the global primary energy consumed in 2019 is provided by oil (33.8%), natural gas (24.7%), coal (27.6%), traditional biomass (7%), hydroelectric (2.7%), nuclear (1.8%), wind (0.9%), modern biofuels (0.7%), and 0.8% solar plus other renewables. Obviously, electricity is consumed, but the electricity must be produced using one or more of the primary fuels. The percentage of our primary energy produced from various sources varies a little from year to year and by source, but the values I listed are very typical. They indicate that 86% of our energy comes from fossil fuels and only 2% is from wind, solar, other, and modern biofuels. The amount from solar is insignificant and combined with “other.”

Figure 1 shows that the increase in global energy consumption since 1960 is quite linear (R2 = 0.99) and increasing at a rate of 1.1 billion BOE/year. Modern renewables, contrary to popular belief, are not even increasing enough to keep up with the growth in consumption. As a result, fossil fuel use is increasing, not decreasing globally. Total growth in renewables is so small, it only covers 7% of the increase in energy consumption. You can only produce and install so many solar panels and windmills, and they don’t last that long in the open.

Developed western economies, have attempted to reduce their use of coal to reduce CO2 emissions. But except for the impact of the pandemic, it has not affected global coal use, mainly because of China and India, as seen in Figure 2. All their efforts have done is export manufacturing to China, India, and other countries, making the developed world more dependent upon imports. Even the pandemic made very little difference in coal consumption.

Progressives often ignore this fact and emphasize energy consumption in the developed world, ignoring exported fossil fuel use to the developing world. The key point is that the energy market is global, prices are set globally, not by evil fossil fuel companies. Fossil fuel energy increases prosperity globally and facilitates global commerce. Eliminating it will cut the developed world off from numerous critical manufactured goods.

Figure 2. Coal use, China, India, and the world in terawatt-hours. Source

“Traditional biofuels” are the burning of wood and dung in houses or businesses for heat, light, or cooking. This is not desirable because it produces toxic air pollution. The indoor air pollution caused by traditional biofuels, causes 4% of global deaths. A major study, published in The Lancet, estimates that more than two million deaths can be attributed to indoor air pollution in 2019 (Christopher Murray, 2020). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that four million deaths, every year, are caused by indoor air pollution. Domestic wood burning is not just a problem in the developing world, the European Environment Agency, WHO, and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research suggest that over 40% of toxic emissions are from residential biomass burning. The UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural affairs (DEFRA) estimates that 38% of UK air pollution is due to wood-burning stove emissions. In contrast, energy production and distribution of electricity, not produced from biofuels, supplies 5%. For more on this topic, see here and here.

Modern biofuels are biodiesel and wood pellets or wood chips, which can still produce pollution, but they are burned in power plants, trucks, or cars equipped with modern pollution control equipment, so these fuels produces very little, if any, toxic pollution. However, modern biofuels are insignificant energy sources, that is, less than 1%, like solar and wind. The same pollution control equipment is used in coal power plants with the same low toxic emissions, and coal produced 42% of the world’s electricity in 2019, according to ExxonMobil. The severe air pollution from coal-burning in China and India are due to domestic coal-burning and plants with inadequate pollution control equipment (also see here).

Generally, additional atmospheric CO2 and global warming have been beneficial so far, so the debate is not about the impact of greenhouse gases and global warming today or in the past, it is about what might happen in the future. Figure 3 projects the slopes in Figure 1 to 2050.

Figure 3. Projected energy consumption and projected modern renewable energy generation. Data source:

The projections shown in Figure 1 show that renewables are very unlikely to satisfy future energy needs. Clearly another energy source is needed, and that is likely to be more fossil fuel use. Do the additional fossil fuels exist? Table 1 shows that the EIA estimates the world holds 3,357 BBOE in technically recoverable oil and an additional 3,813.7 BBOE of natural gas. Both values are conventional plus unconventional resource estimates. The USGS global undiscovered technically recoverable conventional oil and gas resources are also given, as well as a peer-reviewed unconventional resource estimate by Hongjun Wang and colleagues. The estimates vary but lie in the same ballpark.

Global coal resources are estimated to be 860 billion tonnes. In 2019 global coal production and consumption was 7,953 million tonnes (Mt) and it generated 24.2 BBOE of energy, roughly 0.00304 BBOE/Mt. If the estimate of 860 billion tonnes of unproduced coal is accurate, it represents over 2,616 BBOE of energy.

Table 1. Various estimates of technically recoverable resources of oil and gas in BBOE.

The globe has been producing fossil fuels for a long time and yet technically recoverable resources continue to grow, we can expect resource estimates to increase in the future (also see here). The main reason resource estimates increase is new technology. The projections of energy consumption shown in Figure 3 sum to 3,264.3 BBOE of energy between 2022 and 2050, the total projected renewable energy production totals to 79.3, which is only 2.4% of what is required. The remainder must be from fossil fuels. Nuclear power plants take too long to permit and build, and little hydroelectric generation will be added between now and 2050.

Between natural gas, oil, and coal we have technically recoverable resources of 9,785 BBOE, or three times as much fossil fuel energy as we will need before 2050. More importantly, we will have a lot left over.

Discussion and Conclusions

At $119 per barrel of oil, $66 per ton of coal, and $7.28 per MMBTU (as of 6/15/2022) there are no economic constraints preventing the development of our abundant natural energy resources. However, the political, regulatory, and judicial (as in environmental lawsuits) hurdles are currently prohibitive. Global prosperity and energy availability are very strongly correlated, if fossil fuels are curtailed, more people will become impoverished, global health will decline, and it is clear that growth in renewables will not make up the difference.

World governments are clearly on a dangerous and unsustainable path. Fossil fuels are essential to our well-being and survival. People know this and want to buy them; thus, we observe high prices in a time of abundant natural resources. It is only the governments that stand in the way – our elected officials and the unelected bureaucrats. We need to radically change our governments, and quickly. The impact of greenhouse gases is small, and may even be beneficial, this is not true of our current governments.

Andy’s latest book is The Great Climate Change Debate.

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John Tillman
June 16, 2022 2:10 pm

The only presently viable alternative to hydrocarbons for base load is nuclear power.

Even should the energy storage issue be magically solved, unreliables can’t replace fossil fuels in 28 years.

John Tillman
Reply to  Andy May
June 16, 2022 2:33 pm
Reply to  John Tillman
June 16, 2022 4:01 pm

Modular reactors are too small, have a much larger waste disposal problem and because of the small size will likely be far more costly to operate. The only real advantage they might have is that because they are small, they are more likely to be installed.
The best solution would be to have a few large designs that are all approved and will not result in construction delays. Current reactors are one off and as such, each new reactor as to go through the full approval process. Eliminate all the approval and building a reactor would be much like construction a new building. Make sure the reactor matches the standard design and you’re done. They could be knocked off in a few years once a site is found.

Reply to  Dena
June 17, 2022 9:44 am

SMRs are uneconomical unless produced in factories by the dozens to hundreds. There are currently no plans to invest in such factories as there isn’t a market for many dozens, the factory would be extremely expensive, and a single design hasn’t been agreed upon.

It would take effective leadership to bring this idea to fruition, but we are currently sorely lacking in leadership around nearly the whole world.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Andy May
June 16, 2022 2:48 pm

For a government to complain about permitting processes is chutzpah. They made the policy, they can undo it.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Andy May
June 16, 2022 3:30 pm

Andy, molten salt reactors have promise, but need much more detailed engineering study. And as I wrote in essay ‘Going Nuclear’ in ebook Blowing Smoke, the uranium based rather than thorium based MSR has much more near term promise since it can be fueled at zero cost by spent conventional nuclear fuel, of which we already have a lot in storage.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 16, 2022 6:26 pm


Thank you for demonstrating some degree of faith in the possibilities of 4th generation nuclear like MSRs. I have been reluctant to do this on this blog in the past due to being jumped on for it when I did. I believe the term used to dismiss MSRs and other 4th gen nuclear technologies back then was vaporware.

Unfortunately, the Biden people never seem to bring up the subject of nuclear, so my guess is that they are not big fans of it. Nonetheless, there are numerous companies out there working on developing MSRs and other nuke techs. Bill Gates’ company is one of them.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this R & D work will bear fruit someday. Something needs to be happen sooner or later to bring down the green energy house of cards (wind, solar and EVs). We waste more and more money each year that the faulty green energy religion remains alive and intact.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 16, 2022 8:13 pm

Wind & solar as reliable baseload electricity providers are sadly articles of faith with many otherwise intelligent people.

But history presents many examples of “movements” that gained widespread traction and support from the venerated “thinkers” of contemporary societies.

The Spiritualism following in the late 19th / early 20th century comes to mind.

Like faith in wind & solar, Spiritualism was more about not being left out of the fad / fashion of “forward thinking views” than it was about rationality.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Mr.
June 17, 2022 4:05 am

American progressivism is deeply rooted in the religious fervor of the 19th century, the idea being that government could be harnessed to ‘improve’ society and advance the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. The great irony, of course, is that today’s progressives have largely moved on to worship Gaia and/or Government.

George Daddis
Reply to  Mr.
June 17, 2022 7:14 am

Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” – Charles MacKay 1841

Charles explained it very well 180 years ago but the “progressive” thinkers still fall for it every time.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 16, 2022 8:23 pm

The biggest problem with MSRs, are many of their supporters. If you listen to some of them, the only thing preventing MSRs from being put in the field is the reluctance of governments to fund them.

For me, until all of the issues are resolved and a design for a full sized plant is finished and approved, any talk about MSRs is a waste of time and a distraction.

Reply to  Andy May
June 16, 2022 3:42 pm

“But currently construction + permitting times are too long to fix our immediate problems.” That could be fixed quickly but don’t think the useful idiots and their master will stand for it for and instance.

James F. Evans
Reply to  Andy May
June 16, 2022 5:22 pm

The nuclear fuel cycle needs to be completed.

I am led to understand that the Carter admin., Carter, himself, put the nix on closing the nuclear cycle.

The technological know-how supposedly was within reach when Carter nix it.

Nuclear power is a viable alternative if the safety issues are settled.

Reply to  James F. Evans
June 16, 2022 8:29 pm

No supposedly about, reprocessing was already being employed in the US and other countries.

The so called safety issues were resolved decades ago.

Last edited 11 months ago by MarkW
James F. Evans
Reply to  MarkW
June 16, 2022 9:53 pm

Thanks, closing the loop or circle of the nuclear fuel cycle is a big deal.

Obviously, jet fuel and all the other uses of hydrocarbons is good.

But the nuke can drive our electrical energy production.

Although, I’m found of clean coal, for speed of development & production…. if we have the political will.

Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 1:52 am

…can’t replace fossil fuels in 28 years.

Or in 280 years, or even 2,800 years, since there is no practical storage available.

Reply to  Disputin
June 17, 2022 9:10 am

In 2800 years we might have anti-matter figured out.

John Tillman
Reply to  Disputin
June 17, 2022 10:40 am

IMO, fusion and electrical power storage breakthroughs in this century are about equally probable. Or improbable.

Fusion might have the edge.

June 16, 2022 2:17 pm

Green Murder: a life sentence of net zero with no parole. by Professor Ian Plimer emeritus professor of geology University of Melbourne Connor Court Publishing 600 pages 1600 references

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Terri Jackson
June 17, 2022 2:17 am

I have sent a link to the book to my MP along with the jacket note, I would suggest you all send to your government representatives too.

Jacket note:

“It has never been shown that human emissions of the gas of life drive global warming. Large bodies of science that don’t fit the narrative have been ignored by IPCC, COP and self-interested scientists paid by taxpayers. A huge subsidised industry of intermittent unreliable wind and solar electricity has been created based on unsubstantiated science. The same hucksters now want subsidised hydrogen, costly inefficient EVs, subsidised mega-batteries and other horribly expensive tried and failed schemes to impoverish people, create unemployment, transfer wealth and enrich China. Germany, Texas, California and the UK had a glimpse of Net Zero with blackouts, astronomically high electricity costs and hundreds of deaths. We once had reliable cheap electricity and now that governments have gone green, we are heading for hard economic times.
In this book I charge the greens with murder. They murder humans who are kept in eternal poverty without coal-fired electricity. They support slavery and early deaths of black child miners. They murder forests and their wildlife by clear felling for mining and wind turbines. They murder forests and wildlife with their bushfire policies. They murder economies producing unemployment, hopelessness, collapse of communities, disrupted social cohesion and suicide.
They murder free speech and freedoms and their takeover of the education system has ended up in the murdering of the intellectual and economic future of young people. They terrify children into mental illness with their apocalyptic death cult lies and exaggerations. They try to divide a nation. They are hypocrites and such angry ignorant people should never touch other people’s money.
The greens are guilty of murder. The sentence is life with no parole in a cave in the bush enjoying the benefits of Net Zero.”

Interview with Prof. Plimer on youtube:

Last edited 11 months ago by Right-Handed Shark
June 16, 2022 2:18 pm

We need to radically change our governments, and quickly. Yes, and for many more reasons than just the lunacy associated with Climate Change Policy

Dave O.
Reply to  Davidf
June 16, 2022 2:43 pm

The real existential threat is our government(s).

Reply to  Dave O.
June 16, 2022 3:44 pm

Always has been the bodies of nearly 200,000,000 the leftist governments murdered from the twenty century screams loudly if you listen.

Rud Istvan
June 16, 2022 2:19 pm

The hope of Net Zero will founder on the rocks of reality.
Good news is, Biden and BoJo are speeding up Net Zero hope toward those rocks.
The sooner the crash into energy reality the better for the economy overall, because the less wasted on hopeless Net Zero stuff.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 16, 2022 3:42 pm

I suspect it will be an awful lot sooner, rather than later.

I don’t care what the politicians and ‘experts’ say about inflation topping out around 10%, I don’t see it stopping before it reaches 15% and beyond. The recent interest rate rises are far too little, far too late.

We’re on a runaway train and Biden hadn’t a clue what he was doing from the moment it left the station. I have no idea who he’s trying to impress with his demented, aggressive shouting and hand waving when giving meaningless speeches, His motivation seems to be to bully people rather than encourage them.

It’s reminiscent of the early 1970’s Clydeside shipyard workers disputes, addressed by communistic Union officials. Nothing but naked aggression and fear.

He might be the most intelligent man on the planet, but no one cares when all he can do is rant and rave at audiences.

And the worse it gets in the US, the worse it will be for the rest of the west.

If things go as badly as expected for the Democrats in the mid terms, there will likely be Republicans with the numbers to impeach Biden, amongst others, before 2024. Perhaps that’s why Harris is keeping such a low profile. If she doesn’t do anything, she can’t be impeached and the big guys job falls to her.

Happy to be corrected on any of this as I have a limited, Brit’s eye view on the matter.

Reply to  HotScot
June 16, 2022 5:17 pm

Impeachment is unlikely as it takes a super-majority in the Senate to convict and remove from office. If everything breaks the Republicans way this election, they will only get to about 55 or 56 seats. To convict they need 67 and that is not a possibility in this midterm (we elect one third of the senate every two years to 6 year terms). The likelihood in the Senate after the midterms is 52 or 53 Republican seats. The House of Representatives will likely have a large majority for the Republicans, but they likely won’t waste the time to impeach the president. They may go after some of the cabinet secretaries, as there have been many non-enforcements of plain law in many departments.

I hope they don’t waste their time with any of that and instead do something they are constitutionally REQUIRED to do that they have not done since 2007: PASS ALL THE DEPARTMENT BUDGETS IN NORMAL ORDER.

The US has technically been running on the 2007 budget for the last 15 years. Continuing resolutions are not budgets, they are just punting hard decisions down the road for our grand children to pay for.

Reply to  OweninGA
June 16, 2022 8:22 pm

Mark Steyn wrote a couple of books a decade or more ago wherein he demonstrated that the USA can NEVER clear its federal government debt, as such things are defined in this age.

Whether that will impair the USA’s exceptionalism as a nation is another discussion.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  HotScot
June 17, 2022 1:59 am

Biden is certainly not the most intelligent man on the planet. I hope you don’t think that’s a possibility. Biden has been wrong his whole life.

I don’t know if the Republicans have the guts to impeach and remove Biden, but they should do so. He is derelict in his duties on so many fronts. Everything he does harms the United States. He needs to be retired to the rest home.

Attorney General Garland and Homeland Security Director Mayorkas should also be impeached and removed from office. Garland for refusing to enforce U.S. laws such as the one prohibiting demonstrations in front of the houses of Supreme Court Justices, and Mayorkas for throwing the U.S. southern border wide open and facilitating the criminal enterprise of the Mexican drug cartels and the human smugglers who use women and children and sell them for sex.

There are clear-cut reasons for removing each of these people from office. Let’s see if Republicans really do love their country or not. If they love their country, they will not leave harmful people such as these in office and in control of the destiny of the rest of us, which will only do us further harm.

It’s time for Republicans to play hardball. The radical Democrats are doing everything in their power to gain and retain political power and they don’t care how they get it, legally or illegally. Morals has nothing to do with it.

Republicans need to get as serious about saving our individual freedoms as the radical Democrats are serious about taking them away from us. Don’t let them take away our freedoms, Republicans. You can start by removing from office those who try to do so. And we know who they are.

And don’t listen to the Leftwing Media. They are on the side of our oppressors. On the side of those who need to be removed from office.

Reply to  HotScot
June 17, 2022 1:50 pm

Biden is definitely NOT the most intelligent man on the planet. A usurper is the best description of a man who takes credit for everyone else’s efforts and no responsibility for his own failures which are many.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 16, 2022 3:43 pm

I suspect it will be an awful lot sooner, rather than later.

I don’t care what the politicians and ‘experts’ say about inflation topping out around 10%, I don’t see it stopping before it reaches 15% and beyond. The recent interest rate rises are far too little, far too late.

We’re on a runaway train and Biden hadn’t a clue what he was doing from the moment it left the station. I have no idea who he’s trying to impress with his demented, aggressive shouting and hand waving when giving meaningless speeches, His motivation seems to be to bully people rather than encourage them.

It’s reminiscent of the early 1970’s Clydeside shipyard workers disputes, addressed by communistic Union officials. Nothing but naked aggression and fear.

He might be the most intelligent man on the planet, but no one cares when all he can do is rant and rave at audiences.

And the worse it gets in the US, the worse it will be for the rest of the west.

If things go as badly as expected for the Democrats in the mid terms, there will likely be Republicans with the numbers to impeach Biden, amongst others, before 2024. Perhaps that’s why Harris is keeping such a low profile. If she doesn’t do anything, she can’t be impeached and the big guys job falls to her.

Happy to be corrected on any of this as I have a limited, Brit’s eye view on the matter..

Old Man Winter
Reply to  HotScot
June 16, 2022 4:25 pm


Here’s proof Trump predicted FJB’s failures- including “5$, $6, $7 gas”- while campaigning
in 2020:

Last edited 11 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  HotScot
June 16, 2022 5:08 pm

I don’t care what the politicians and ‘experts’ say about inflation topping out around 10%, I don’t see it stopping before it reaches 15% and beyond. The recent interest rate rises are far too little, far too late.

you are already out of date.
Our inflation is the highest in the EU -ripping along at a nice 20%

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 16, 2022 8:01 pm

It appears some of my posts on TES may not make it to the post intact for some reason.

Go to, Data tab, then Energy Supply.

Answers many “net nope” questions. I will try a link again. Why would someone sensor that? >>
Data & Statistics – IEA

June 16, 2022 2:20 pm

I blame the greedy Department of Energy.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Scissor
June 16, 2022 4:37 pm

It’s just pure the stupidity of the Climate Cult continuing to march like lemmings over the cliff as
they’re achieving Net Zero Intelligence! Despite CNN’s liberal John Berman trying to give Granholm
a chance to move away from FJB’s policy of wanting more refinery output now while stating they’ll
shut them down in 5-10 yrs, she doubled down on stupid!

John Bell
June 16, 2022 2:20 pm

If greens eliminated fossil fuels they would soon find that renewables are totally dependent on fossil fuels to make them and sustain them.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Bell
June 16, 2022 2:31 pm

And as back up power when the wind is still and the sun doesn’t shine.

June 16, 2022 2:32 pm

Hi Andy
Can I reblog this article on our website?

June 16, 2022 2:35 pm

As someone here once wisely said, “What can’t happen, won’t happen”.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom.1
June 16, 2022 3:36 pm

But fools and profiteers can cause alot of damage trying to make it happen.

Phil Rae
June 16, 2022 2:37 pm

Fully agreed! Yet the politicians are all committed to economic & societal suicide with their ludicrous Net Zero agendas.

We need to keep fighting against this nonsense before it’s really too late to avert the catastrophe that this self-inflicted energy poverty will represent.

June 16, 2022 2:40 pm

Throw another million slave laborers in western China at the green altar since no one cares about them now–not religious orders, not governments, not UN human rights commissioners, not NGOs, not political parties, and not green activists.

Dave Fair
Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 16, 2022 3:39 pm

They are all profiting from China one way or another.

Tom Halla
June 16, 2022 2:47 pm

The Green New Deal, or the Energiewende, or NetZero, are all technically impossible.
Nuclear is possible, and all of the issues are due to government policy. Undoing all the measures in the US since the Carter Administration would be a start.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 16, 2022 5:33 pm

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

There were some very important measures brought in by the regulators (along with a very large number of idiocies.) The most important one was the requirement to disseminate all anomaly reports to all operators across all the different companies.

The accident at Three Mile Island could have been prevented if the operators had read an immediate action report from an incident in South Carolina two weeks earlier of the exact same failure. The difference in outcome from the two events (same plant design, same age, same operating conditions, and most importantly: SAME VALVE STUCK OPEN) was the operator in South Carolina correctly identified the issue early and performed a successful shutdown / emergency cool down.

Now, if an unscheduled shutdown for anomaly occurs, a bulletin goes out to all plant operators to make all operators aware of the situation and apply any lessons learned before an accident occurs. Normal legal and company proprietary secrecy instincts would prevent this communication if it weren’t mandated by federal regulation. So even though ordinarily I have a libertarian sensibility against government interference in the marketplace, I will defend this communication mandate.

Dr. Bob
June 16, 2022 2:49 pm

I have to agree with you on the use of units. Some of the silliest are mixed metric and US units as the EPA uses. Like grams CO2 emissions per gallon fuel. The other poor use of units is by the renewable fuels industry which talks in gallons of renewable fuel to make it look like a huge number when actually it is a tiny number. “Renewable” ethanol production from corn is 16 Billion gallons per year or 1 million bbl/day. This is by far the largest production volume of “renewable” fuel, but ethanol is at best about 40% reduction in GHG emissions from the fossil fuel baseline, and most likely less. Cellulosic Ethanol was supposed to match corn ethanol by 2022 per EISA 2007 (the Renewable Fuels Standard), but CE has been a dismal failure and there is only maybe 1 million gal/yr production with much of that actually Renewable NG from manure digestors.

The other thing that is never said is how much time and investment is needed to build the capacity to produce renewable fuels. Biomass is not easily transported economically like liquid crude. Solids are not nearly as energy dense. This limits biofuels plants to 2,000 to 3,000 bbl/day using things like corn stover as feedstock. So to displace 1 million bbl/day requires 500 facilities. And costs of such facilities (all in costs) are probably $2 Billion/plant. Do the math. You can’t afford this at that scale. Then the timing is another issue. Designing and building a plant is a 5 year effort at best from site selection to commissioning. And there are only a few Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies that can do these types of projects. So you can only build a few each year at best.
Economics is another matter entirely and best left for future discussions.

Dr. Bob
Reply to  Andy May
June 16, 2022 3:31 pm

The numbers are equally appalling for E-Fuels. Direct Air Capture is incredibly expensive in both CapEx and OpEx with just the OpEx cost of fuel in the $10 to $15/gal range depending on how you value electricity. And it is a whopping amount of power to run these plants. roughly 600 MW for a 3000 bbl/day plant with CapEx for electrolizers alone in the $600 million to $900 million CapEx and that doesn’t include the rest of the plant to convert CO2 + H2 into hydrocarbon fuel. There are a number of literature references citing the data needed to determine these costs and values. But no one wants to bring up what it takes to produce e-fuels, only that they can be produces from “renewable” power therefore with no GHG emissions. RIGHT!

This is not for the Faint of Heart.

June 16, 2022 2:52 pm

Climate purists have no shame in limiting energy access for emerging economies. They appear to have no concept of risk and vulnerability factors when it comes to weather related hazards. A drought in SW USA kills practically nobody, but a similar drought in the horn of Africa can kill many thousands.

Call me a skeptic
Reply to  JCM
June 16, 2022 3:07 pm

Leftists’ have no capacity to reason. They are like children and shouldn’t be in charge of anything. Yet like minded lefties keep electing these fools. Lefties believe that EV”s are the salvation of the planet without realizing the electricity required is largely a bi-product of fossil fuel plants. You just can’t teach stupid, it’s an inherited life skill.

June 16, 2022 3:11 pm

Green; gullible, naive, easily fooled, inexperienced, trusting, etc.

Right-Handed Shark
June 16, 2022 3:33 pm

You have linked a document that seems to be a file on your computer..


June 16, 2022 3:40 pm

Short of hanging all the idiots what do we do. Not much, boy are you guys screwed I don’t expect to last much more than 15 years, so boy the ball is in your court! Oh by the hanging is not practical. Neither is the French solution(did not work out well for the French either.)

Rud Istvan
June 16, 2022 3:55 pm

Andy’s excellent post triggered a thought made in comments before.
3Gen nuclear is not economic, as Vogtle 3 and 4 are gain proving.

Thanks to fracked shale gas, the US (and world) has enough natgas to power cost effective CCGT electricity generation for at least 40 years from now. It is currently the least LCOE solution,

In those decades, we can study engineer then build and operate pilots for the most promising 4Gen nuclear fission concepts, of which there are several. Then when present CCGT reaches operating life, we can reliably ‘go nuclear’.

June 16, 2022 4:13 pm

Fine piece.

Two significant articles bearing on the subject:

Very fine piece. The UK Net Zero Watch site, explaining how curtailment is an important variable in renewables. Building it is not enough, its what it produces that is the problem.

Essential reading for Nick by the way. Wind is not free at all.

Then we have the UK Telegraph:

Unfortunately behind a paywall. But to give a flavor:

The Government’s plan to reach net zero relies on burning the equivalent of the New Forest every five months, The Telegraph can reveal.

Ministers plan to use technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere in order to compensate for sectors such as aviation, agriculture and heavy industry, and meet their 2050 climate targets.

The proposals rely largely on capturing the smoke from power plants, which burn wood to create electricity, and piping it under the North Sea using a system known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (Beccs).

Because these biomass plants are considered to be carbon neutral, largely because the trees they burn will be replanted, any of the emissions that are captured and stored are counted as negative.

To create enough emissions so that the removal can balance the books and reach net zero, the power plants will need to burn the equivalent of 120 million trees a year, an analysis of government modelling by The Telegraph has found.

This represents a deeper and steeper descent into madness by the UK Government. First they propose to generate this power from biofuel, which is mad enough. Then they propose doing carbon capture and burying the resulting CO2 in the North Sea, a technology which is totally unproven. This is, along with installing huge amounts of wind and solar, to get to Net Zero in power generation.

At the same time as doing this they propose doubling demand for reliable power by moving everyone to heat pumps for heating and EVs for transport.

Leave aside the wind and solar intermittencies, and the lack of any plans for storage. Ask, about this part of the plan, where the trees are to come from? Surely from local forests, because surely they cannot mean to import them? Surely?

On what land?

Because at the same time they are seeking to rewild the countryside, which means taking land out of food production and managed forestry.

And at the same time they also propose to reduce the UK dependence on imported food by raising local food production. I guess this is on the same land that is being rewilded and reforested.

Thank goodness for Net Zero Watch, one of the few sane and realistic voices in the UK. And now apparently being joined by the Telegraph doing real journalism for once.

Reply to  michel
June 16, 2022 5:35 pm

The EU attributes CO2 from burning wood to the place where the wood is harvested. therefore, when Drax burns wood pellets made in the US they get no responsibility for the CO2 emitted in their subsidized plant. And, of course, we all know that burning wood produces 40-60% more CO2 per KWh than burning coal. Some say it’s even more.
It’s all lies and bullshit. And CO2 is NOT the cause of any global warming. If it were, then way was the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods warmer than is is today? Please? Bueller? Bueller?

Old Man Winter
Reply to  DrEd
June 16, 2022 6:00 pm

Chipping alone adds 1/3 more CO2- harvesting & transportation are extra. A lot of dirty
little secrets!

Last edited 11 months ago by Old Man Winter
June 16, 2022 4:44 pm

I am beyond-tired of articles like this about “replacing” fossil fuels. It is entirely possible that the economics will one day be solved.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO REPLACE PHOTOSYNTHESIS whose main input is carbon dioxide?

June 16, 2022 4:54 pm

We/world can’t even cover the increases in fossil fuel use with renewables. What makes them think we can stop using fossil fuels altogether?

John Hultquist
Reply to  markl
June 16, 2022 8:25 pm

”  increases in fossil fuel use with renewables “

Could it be that what you wanted to say is:
…. increases in electrical usage with renewables.

June 16, 2022 5:16 pm

It is only the governments that stand in the way

You are forgetting the many green priests and their congregations,
and the profiteers who are extremely active.

John in Oz
June 16, 2022 5:27 pm

When the coal and oil production facilities are made uneconomical and close down, what will replace the 000’s of products currently made from fossil fuels?

We won’t need energy with nothing to use it for

June 16, 2022 6:01 pm

Great post Andy! Vaclav Smil couldn’t have done a better job… 🍻

Walter Sobchak
June 16, 2022 7:24 pm

“with all the conversions and weird units”

Lets give BP props here. Only the exajoule is part of SI the system of measurements defined by international treaty (to which the US is party) and used by every scientific research laboratory in the world. The prefix exa is 10^18 one quintillion. The Joule is one newton meter (n*m) or kilogram*(meter^2/second^2) relating it to the fundamental defintion of energy e=m*v^2.

The IRS adminsters the Internal Revenue Code. The governmental authority in the United Staes tasked with establisng standards for weights and measures in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) .

Chris Nisbet
June 16, 2022 9:22 pm

I’m really not convinced there’s any great push to _replace_ fossil fuels.
I am much more inclined to believe they want to do away with fossil fuels, leaving us with a little bit of unreliable power. If you look to places like Australia, Germany and UK, isn’t that what we’re seeing happen?
Same goes for cars. People think we’ll replace ICE cars with EVs, but I doubt that’s the plan at all. More likely that most of us simply won’t have cars.
I hope I’m wrong.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 17, 2022 1:30 am

Chris, from what we are all seeing there is no doubt in anyone’s mind, the decision has been taken by the authorities in power ( whoever they are) that the right of car ownership is coming to an end.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rod Evans
Karl B
June 16, 2022 9:37 pm

Sorry for the low brow comment. The societal impacts of the green mafia partnering with the world economic forum is scarier than any temperature increases. The WEF notes in the following link that Denmark will expertly show us how to solve most of our actual and imaginary climate problems by building a massive offshore windfarm. This phenomenally expensive plan for a massive infrastructure project is the shiny object they keep promoting. We’re starting to see how the economics plays out when proven technologies are kicked to the curb for any length of time. But the magic pixie dust for the batteries is just around the corner. It almost makes you forget about $8.00 gas and $12.00 for a six-pack. It shows us how nihilistic this climate “emergency” crap is.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Karl B
June 17, 2022 8:52 am

Have the Danes factored in the following?

According to WindEurope there is a shortage of vessels available to construct offshore wind farms.

Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania all want to build them in the Baltic before 2030 and Sweden is also looking to expansion in the Baltic.In total planned expansion in the Baltic is to rise from 2.8GW in 2021 to 35GW by 2030.

They say there will be a shortage of Foundation Installation Vessels (FIVs) and Wind Turbine Installation Vessels (WTIVs) as early as 2024/5. For Cable Laying Vessels (CLVs), that connect the windfarms to the mainland, the gap between supply and demand will be even greater over the next eight years. The wind turbines are also getting bigger and bigger and will need new vessels.

“The lack of specialised vessels for offshore wind operations is just one indication of the poor conditionn of Europe’s wind energy supply chain”

“In the first quarter of 2022 all five European wind turbine manufacturers were operating at a loss”

“shortage of FIVs,WTIVs and CLVs poses risk for project execution worldwide”

Last edited 11 months ago by Dave Andrews
James F. Evans
June 16, 2022 10:06 pm

No, hydrocarbons can not be replaced.

June 16, 2022 10:53 pm

Smart people have invented ways for us to use energy and improve our lifestyle. Democrats/socialists/progressive/liberals don’t like people having those lifestyles and freedoms. So, yes, dumber people are trying to tear down these ways and improve their lifestyle at the expense of everyone elses.

June 17, 2022 12:06 am

Climate change is a smokescreen being used to implement global communism.

Tom Abbott
June 17, 2022 1:26 am

From the article: “Global prosperity and energy availability are very strongly correlated, if fossil fuels are curtailed, more people will become impoverished, global health will decline, and it is clear that growth in renewables will not make up the difference.”

That’s the bottom line. Our politicians better wake up to reality before they send us all over the wind/solar cliff. Windmills and solar will not make up the difference. They cannot power the world. All windmills and solar will do is destroy the Western Democracies in their vain effort to try to reduce CO2 levels, in a vain effort to try to control the Earth’s climate.

The Western Democracies can’t control CO2 levels and they can’t control the Earth’s weather. Now what are they going to do? Continue bankrupting their nations in a losing battle? The problem is the politicians don’t think they are losing this climate change battle. But they are, it just hasn’t dawned on them yet. But it will. We’re almost there. A grid failure or two will open a lot of eyes.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tom Abbott
June 17, 2022 4:53 am

Great article Andy.
Energy 101.

June 17, 2022 5:40 am

Andy, according to your total of technically recoverable fossil fuels (9,785 BBOE) and your projection of 3,264 BBOE to be used in the next 28 years, that would leave <50 years of technically recoverable fossil fuels after 2050, assuming no further increases in rate of use after 2050 (likely a poor assumption given current and projected trends).

Yes, it is understood that estimates of “technically recoverable” fossil fuels will change with further exploration, technology improvements, and price pressures, but a rapid transition to nuclear power will clearly be needed at some point. I am not a “Peak Oil” fanatic, but that day will come.

Rather than waste our resources and continue wrecking the environment with failed wind, solar and advanced biofuels, our education, R&D, and regulatory focus should be on advanced nuclear designs and rollout. Meanwhile, we should ignore the climate alarmists and steadily support oil, gas and coal to allow time for a painless transition to nuclear.

There would be time to accomplish this were it not for the death cult of NGOs, activists, politicians, tyrannical leaders, media and financial oligarchs. I am amused at the self-descriptor that these gutter (not left or right) lunatic fringe have inadvertently chosen for themselves – Diversity, Inclusion & Equity – DIE, because that is their murderous goal for us all, premature death of individuals and the death of societies, cultures, freedom and liberty worldwide.

June 17, 2022 8:35 am

The fossil fuel usage trajectory that Andy plots will all but guarantee the eventual flooding of coastal cities all over the globe.

Reply to  Andy May
June 17, 2022 10:34 am

re: “the rise is so slow, roughly 1-3 mm/year, we have lots of time to adapt, it is not a problem.”

Andy, those numbers are simply not correct.

Satellite data shows current global sea level rise rate at 3.5 mm/yr and likely speeding up (AVISO).  Along the U.S. east coast, where there is the greatest concern nationally, most all tidal gauges not only show a rise rate of well over 3 mm/yr, but there is ample reason to conclude that this rise rate is also accelerating significantly. 

Moreover, scientists and civil engineering professionals whose job is to protect the public from flooding clearly state that sea level rise is absolutely a concern. The NOAA now projects a foot of sea level rise along portions of the U.S. east coast in just the next 30 years.

“Skeptics” claim that the NOAA and all these other professionals are “wrong”, but I see little if any valid reason to accept such claims. I’ll listen to what scientific and engineering professionals say, who actually work in the field of ensuring public health and safety along American coastlines, thank you.

John Tillman
Reply to  MGC
June 17, 2022 11:26 am

The US eastern seaboard is sinking, thanks to the weight of ice being lifted from eastern Canada.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 1:23 pm
Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 1:49 pm

Can’t both things be true? This is “Well, the fall will probably kill you” logic.

John Tillman
Reply to  bigoilbob
June 17, 2022 2:07 pm

Mean sea level has risen globally since 1700, but subsidence is far more significant to relative sea level on the US East Coast.

Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 2:02 pm

Maybe because it appears that you’re trying to pretend that land subsidence is all there is to it.

Note that the link to the research that you posted yourself later down this thread speaks directly of sea level rise (and acceleration) caused by anthropogenic influences.

John Tillman
Reply to  MGC
June 17, 2022 5:27 pm

Papers have to genuflect toward CACA.

There is zero evidence of human-caused acceleration. If you imagine there is, please trot it on out.

Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 10:28 pm

After he find out that the research reference that he provided himself makes several statements that do not adhere to his “skeptical” party line, Tillman backpedals with this sorry excuse:

“Papers have to genuflect toward CACA”

Evidence to back this claim? Oh, that’s right. None.

Reply to  Andy May
June 17, 2022 10:22 pm

It’s quite sad to see folks like Andy pretending that someone is an “alarmist” simply because they have given serious consideration to the research of scientific and engineering professionals whose job is to protect the public from flooding.

Reply to  MGC
June 17, 2022 1:23 pm

When Andy did his unique statistical review of sea level rise a couple of months ago, I aksed him at least twice to repeat, using time periods most impacted by cumulative and accumulating concentrations of GHG’s. Say 1960, 1970, and/or 1980 to present. Quite obsequiously in fact. I felt justified in not trying to replicate his work because (1) I actually got close to his results for his time period, using conventional techniques, and (2) no one else even tried. Nada.

John Tillman
Reply to  bigoilbob
June 17, 2022 1:29 pm

MSL has been rising at about the same rate since c. AD 1700, ie the depths of the KIA during the Maunder Minimum. But it’s still well below the level of prior warm periods, ie the Medieval, Roman, Minoan, Egyptian and especially the Holocene Climatic Optimum, ~8000 to 5200 years ago.

Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 1:46 pm

Not in the last 40-45 years….

John Tillman
Reply to  bigoilbob
June 17, 2022 2:00 pm

Nope. Same rate, based upon tide gauges, adjusted for isostatic rebound.

Please see photos of the tree on the beach in the Maldives, just as far from the high tide line now as 45 years ago. Some Green Meannie toppled it, but its roots held, and it’s still alive.

Plus other sites not subject to earth elevation movements, such as Oz. Same shoreline as in the 1840s.

Ditto isolated coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean.

Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 1:57 pm

re: “MSL has been rising at about the same rate since c. AD 1700”


Even the link you just posted below states otherwise. It speaks of “recently accelerated global sea-level rise (ranging from 2.5 mm yr−1 to 3.4 mm yr−1 ) over the past two and a half decades”.

See also:

Recent global sea level acceleration started over 200 years ago

Jevrejeva et al Geophysical Research Letters 2008

“We provide observational evidence that sea level acceleration up to the present has been about 0.01 mm/yr2 and appears to have started at the end of the 18th century. Sea level rose by 6 cm during the 19th century and 19 cm in the 20th century. If the conditions that established the acceleration continue, then sea level will rise 34 cm over the 21st century.

Last edited 11 months ago by MGC
John Tillman
Reply to  MGC
June 17, 2022 5:40 pm

The first at least half of the 19th centuery was still in the LIA.

The 20th century “record” is bogus, corrupted by crooked “scientists”. In fact in both centuries there were cycles of advance and retreat. CO2 had little to no measurable effect.

Despite ever higher CO2, yesterday’s Arctic sea ice extent was higher than in eight of the previous ten years. And those higher were 2013 and 2014, rebounds from the record low of 2012.

CACA is thoroughly busted. But was born busted, due to the failed predictions from the naturally warmer 1930s.

Reply to  John Tillman
June 17, 2022 10:14 pm

re: “The 20th century “record” is bogus, corrupted by crooked “scientists”.

And here we go now with the wildly irrational zero evidence conspiracy theory clap trap.

We’re really supposed to believe, on the basis of no evidence whatever, that “crooked” tidal gauge measurement professionals at dozens and dozens of locations all over the world have all been in cahoots to “falsify” the data? Oh please.

Yeah, just like the 2020 election was “stolen” by thousands and thousands of anonymous “mules” supposedly dumping off fraudulent ballots all over the place at polling sites in multiple states.

SMH in disbelief at the lengths of truly delusional conspiracy theory irrationality that some folks are willing to go to in order to try to “defend” their “position”.

Reply to  Andy May
June 17, 2022 10:17 pm

Of course, Andy left out “If the conditions that established the acceleration continue”

It is more than likely than the conditions that established the sea level acceleration are accelerating themselves, creating even more sea level acceleration.

Reply to  Andy May
June 18, 2022 9:05 pm

re: “Pure speculation, with no foundation in observations”

False. This is founded upon the continuance of observed trends since the 2008 publication of the Jevrejeva study being quoted here. 21st century sea level rise will not only likely surpass those 2008 estimates, but it will probably be significantly so.

Reply to  Andy May
June 19, 2022 9:52 am

re: “That sounds exactly like what I said, pure speculation”

Sorry, but direct observations between 2008 and the present are not “pure speculation”.

re:”sea level is again rising, it is not surprising, nor is it alarming”

And again, I’ll continue to listen to what folks say whose job is to protect the public from flooding. They don’t consider this to be a trivial issue, and have published carefully researched evidence on which they base their statements.

John Tillman
Reply to  MGC
June 17, 2022 1:25 pm
Reply to  Andy May
June 18, 2022 11:10 am

Andy complains here about “cherry picking” of data, yet in his “AR6 and Sea Level Rise” blog post referenced above, he refers to one of the all-time ultimate cherry picks, McKitrick & Christy 2018, in order to try to “back” the false claim that “the IPCC models have not predicted climate accurately after 30 years”.

McKitrick & Christy 2018 cherry picked the one small portion of the atmosphere that currently displays the greatest negative divergence between observations and models. Many “skeptical” folks like Andy have then used this singular divergence to “conclude” that most everything that climate projections say must therefore be “wrong”.

Sorry, but in my view this is ridiculous. Climate models are admittedly imperfect and don’t get all the details correct; yet the projections of the basic overall trends have now been quite accurate for several decades, even from very simple “global only” models that do not make any projections of the regional details at all.

Reply to  Andy May
June 18, 2022 8:48 pm

The focus of McKitrick and Christy 2018 was the 200- to 300-hPa layer of the troposphere between 20N and 20S latitudes.

The spherical section 20N to 20S latitudes covers 34% of the earth’s surface, not 50%.

The 200- to 300-hPa layer of the troposphere comprises, at most, only about 15% of the entire tropospheric volume in these latitudes.

So overall, the region of analysis for McKitrick and Christy 2018 was 15% of 34%, or around 5% of the entire three dimensional global tropospheric volume. Yes, it was very much just a “small portion”. A small cherry picked portion.

Also, just for the sake of being thorough and complete: almost all of the atmosphere’s water vapor, as well as the majority of the other greenhouse gases, lie at altitudes below the 200- to 300-hPa layer. The claim that the McKitrick and Christy region of analysis has “over 60% of the total atmospheric water vapor” is wildly incorrect.

Sorry, but an analysis of a cherry picked 5% of the tropospheric volume does not in any way “invalidate” anything. That claim is just another typically false misrepresentation being blindly parroted about within the “skeptical” echo chamber.

Reply to  Andy May
June 19, 2022 9:31 am

re: “I say 50%, you say 5%”

Andy, I say it is 5% because it is 5%. And the information that demonstrates why it is 5% was provided.

McKitrick and Christy cherry picked the little 5% region of the entire three dimensional troposphere that happens to show the greatest negative divergence between models and observations. Moreover, if we used percent mass of the troposphere as our measure, this little region being quibbled about would be less than 2%.

Yeah, so the models got a 5% region of the troposphere too warm. They also got some other places too cool. There was also more observed warming in some places than was projected. Funny how “skeptics” never seem to mention those, though.

These are not indications that greenhouse warming models are “invalidated”. Given that the overall global trends have been essentially correct, for decades, these are indications that there are some details about how the greenhouse gas warming is distributed throughout the atmosphere that are not all ironed out, not the greenhouse gas warming effect itself.

I’m not a religious man, but these constant ankle biting “objections” from “skeptics” bring Matthew chapter 23 verse 24 to mind.

Reply to  Andy May
June 19, 2022 10:41 am

re: “the predicted hot spot is hotter than reality by a statistically significant amount.”

Wow, they got a whopping 5 whole percent of the troposphere wrong. Good gracious, whatever will we do? [My sincere apologies for the sarcasm, but I just couldn’t help myself, LOL.]

re: “it is well known that this discrepancy means that the CMIP models are overestimating the effect of CO2”

You’ll have to provide some bona fide evidence to back that claim, Andy, especially given that even your own quotes of AR6 state that a significant part of the discrepancy has to do with getting SSTs correct.

Not to mention that many things that some “skeptics” have claimed to be “well known” have turned out to be false.

Reply to  Andy May
June 19, 2022 2:28 pm

re: “and you clearly have not read”

Oh please. I spoke directly about some particular information from the IPCC that you’d quoted in your posted reference . So obviously I did read it.

re: “the oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, making a lie of your 5%.”

The 5% referred, of course, to the volume fraction of the troposphere that was the focus of analysis by McKitrick and Christy. The 5% had nothing to do with what percent of the earth is covered by oceans.

So please stop using such glaringly obvious misrepresentations as “arguments”, thank you. That kind of stuff makes folks look foolish. Or worse.

re: “It [bona fide evidence] is all presented in the post I have referenced”

Sorry, but I see zero evidence in your reference to back the claim that “this discrepancy means that the CMIP models are overestimating the effect of CO2”. All I see are empty handwaving assertions that this is the case.

I see no evidence presented at all that this particular divergence, in only 5% of the troposphere, cannot be due to some effect other than “overestimating the effect of CO2”.

And if CO2 warming really has been “overestimated”, then why have the overall global warming trend projections on average been correct?

Reply to  Andy May
June 19, 2022 8:10 pm

re: “CO2 is the only thing left that can cause the overestimate”

Nonsense. The discrepancy of that little 5% region could be just differences between models and reality for how heat energy distributes itself within the earth’s climate system; differences that have nothing to do with the magnitude of CO2 forcing.

In fact, the totality of the evidence points in that direction: some places are warmer than models predict, and some places are cooler than models predict, because models do not (yet) allocate precisely enough how accumulated heat energy distributes itself.

But the overall amount of heat energy gained due to CO2 forcing is modeled correctly, not only for current conditions but for a variety of conditions spanning the past 50 million years. See attached Box TS.2 Figure 2a, p. 46 of AR6 Technical Summary.

Proxy-based and model-simulated estimates of global surface temperature agree across multiple reference periods.JPG
Reply to  Andy May
June 20, 2022 7:43 pm

Andy, why are you speaking about the PETM? The PETM was not mentioned in my previous post. Your PETM article does not address the graph presented in my previous post.

And I’m sorry, but your other reference in the post below cannot be taken seriously. The data and conclusions from a large multitude of studies were completely ignored and simply handwaved away, while just a couple of studies, that are, for good reason, poorly regarded (at best) within the worldwide scientific community, were the focus of attention.

Sorry, but from where I sit, that kind of “reasoning” has all the earmarks of biased, agenda driven ideological rationalization, not worth bothering with.

Reply to  Andy May
June 20, 2022 8:49 pm

Andy (falsely) claims:

“In both AR5 and AR6 they emphasize that their ECS is too high.”

Sorry, but this is one of the most utterly ridiculous claims I’ve ever seen.

Andy is pretending that in one breath the IPCC says “here is the most likely range for ECS” but in their very next breath they say “our ECS range is too high”.

“Utterly ridiculous nonsense” doesn’t even begin to properly describe this kind of completely clueless clap trap catastrophe.

Reply to  Andy May
June 22, 2022 4:08 pm

And here we see Andy at it again, cherry picking just that little 5% region of the troposphere.

Sorry, but an overestimate of just 5% of the troposphere is not sufficient “evidence” that global ECS is “too high”. This is especially so when there are also areas of the globe that were underestimated.

We don’t find so-called “skeptics” constantly clamoring that “model ECS must be too low” because of those areas that were underestimated now, do we? Nope. And why not? Ideological bias. That’s why.

Reply to  Andy May
June 23, 2022 3:04 pm

re: “if the models turn off the GHG effect entirely, they match observations very closely.”

This is an utterly absurd statement. If the GHG effect of our atmosphere was turned off entirely, the earth would soon be 33 degrees colder, rapidly turning into a snowball, and the models would most certainly show that.

Just another bunch of handwaving clap trap that bears no resemblance at all to a genuine scientific argument. I grow weary of listening to obvious nonsense.

Pay attention. You will look less foolish and you might learn something”

Reply to  Andy May
June 18, 2022 11:33 am

It was also dismaying to see Andy reference in his “AR6 and Sea Level Rise” what was in my view a terribly juvenile anti-science article.
“Proxy Rates of Sea Level Rise” (WUWT March 2022) childishly made fun of researchers who had recently published sea level rise proxy data in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. That data is admittedly messy but, when considered carefully, is also quite reasonably useful.
But the juvenile “analysis” in that article consisted of little more than “the data looks messy, ‘therefore’ any conclusions derived from it ‘must’ be ‘wrong’ “.
And “skeptical” folks wonder why the mainstream scientific community does not take them seriously. SMH.
The research in question (Walker, et al. Nat Commun 2022) actually demonstrates pretty clearly that global sea level rise has exhibited a “hockey stick” pattern over the past couple thousand years, just as global temperatures have done (as has already been well established by a plethora of various studies). Both are driven by the hockey stick pattern of exponentially increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.

Reply to  MGC
June 17, 2022 5:58 pm

That’s true, assuming that the rate continues for a thousand years or so.

Reply to  MarkW
June 17, 2022 10:20 pm

An unfortunate example of classic head-in-the-sand refusal to accept reality.

Michael S. Kelly
June 17, 2022 2:47 pm

Excellent article, Mr. May, well organized and succinctly presented. The most significant point, which was rather understated but IMHO had a huge impact, is that the growth in “renewable” energy output is not even keeping pace with increasing energy demand.

I particularly liked your brief but very useful background on energy units. This post could be a standard primer for anyone concerned with energy.

The fanaticism of the Left over pushing “renewables” is baffling in one sense. Our total energy consumption is roughly 95 BBOE, yet our annual electric energy consumption (as of 2018) is 15.7 BBOE. So only 16.5% of the work done by our myriad devices is electrically powered. Yet all of the “renewables” generate electricity. Even if it were possible to produce as much total energy as we currently consume using nothing but “renewables” (and it isn’t), 83.5% of our equipment – our energy-using infrastructure – doesn’t use electricity now, and would have to be completely replaced just to accommodate the supply. That’s an even more stupendous expenditure than what would be required to build all of those “renewables.” The expenditure is more than just monetary. We frequently discuss in these pages the natural resources required to build renewable energy sources, and almost as frequently the resources needed to build a fleet of electric cars. But the totality of energy-consuming infrastructure dwarfs mere cars. Some of it can never use electricity (e.g. airplanes). Most of it can never use electricity very well, or it already would.

Anyway, very nice job.

June 17, 2022 8:17 pm

China (Pakistan) completed 2 1GW nuclear plants in 5 years and South Korea (Dubai) are building 1.4 GW nuclear power plants at a cost of roughly $5 billion and taking 5 years.

June 19, 2022 8:59 am

Sooner or later , fossiles , including uranium or thorium, have to be replaced !
thats a fact ! All other considerations are nonsense …

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