By Julián Salazar Velásquez
Ed. note: Julián Salazar Velásquez, geologist and petroleum engineer with a mulit-decade career in the Mexican and Venezuelan oil industries, is a leading educator and proponent of free market energy. He is author of numerous articles and Gerencia Integrada de Campos de Hidrocarburos” (2020), a primer on the oil industry value chain. His four-part world view began yesterday and continues in Part III, and Part IV.
Part II: Hydrocarbons: Curse or Blessing?
The anti-fossil-fuel crusade by environmental groups has attracted financing from Russia (Figure 3) to reduce competition from oil and gas in areas of Europe, Canada and the US, as reported in 2017 in National Review by Austin Yack. His investigation showed that in 2012, an attempt was made to grant Chevron a license in Bulgaria to explore and produce shale gas. However, due to protests from environmentalists alleging aquifer contamination, the Bulgarian government relented and banned fracking. Russia then awarded Bulgaria a contract to supply natural gas at a 20 percent discount.
A similar experience occurred in Romania in 2013 where fracking had to be banned due to environmental protests. These actions consolidated the energy dependence of the European Union on imported Russian gas, delivered through a network of gas pipelines that supply fuel to the entire European continent.
In the context of the ongoing war by Russia against Ukraine, and the solidarity support of the European Union in the face of this aggression, there has been a threat by Russia to cut off the gas supply, which will generate severe problems of supply and energy shortage to face the winter of this year 2022.
In line with the proliferation of demonstrations against the use of fossil fuels, the new trend in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, has been vandalism and public nuisances by Just Stop Oil to bring attention to the wide use of petroleum and its derivatives as fuels. This propaganda has had mixed results to say the least. (Figure 4)
Based on the above aspects, as a professional linked to the oil industry, I reflect on this situation and ask myself: Is this a fad, or is it the beginning of an escalating showdown with fossil fuels as a curse for humanity instead of a blessing?
I greatly regret the well organized, well funded attempt to demonize mineral energies as a curse for humanity. In Venezuela, a group called oil the “excrement of the devil,” making those of us in the industry seem like some sort of strange beings.
This reflection is based on the sympathy towards the slogans promoted by the world Left and its partners around the fashionable themes of “global warming” or “climate change” as it is called now, with very beautiful dreams of saving the planet or “Mother Earth” by protecting the environment and making us greener, such as: “energy transition,” “green and renewable energy,” “decarbonization,” “net zero,” “fossil free,” “CO2 sequestration,” and many others that are already leading to dictated state policies in industrialized countries, and even in under-industrialized ones that have nothing to do with these issues. All of which I see as a threatening future for the industry, and more importantly, for the reversal of humanity’s progress, the first signs of which are already being felt.
Based on the above, I ask myself:
Are the promoters, sympathizers, and activists of this “anti-oil” strategy and actions aware of the benefits that fossil fuels have given and continue to give to the world?
Many people, including professionals linked to the oil industry, sympathize with the idea, constantly spread by the media and social networks, that nations should stop using fossil fuels as soon as possible, to save the planet from global warming by CO2 emissions.
Would this be feasible? Or would it rather drag us to the similar indicators that humanity had in the pre-industrial era?
I conclude that this would be the real catastrophe, similar to situations where promoters become attached to an unfeasible project, which is then implemented and changed without dealing with the negative consequences. The case I have experienced in my Venezuela is pathetic.
I get the impression that the drag on prosperity is unknown to these promoters, supporters, and activists; therefore, I therefore am inspired to write and educate about the immeasurable benefits of oil, gas, and coal on the development and progress of humanity and the well-being of modern life. The true foe of freedom and prosperity is the simplistic slogans: “just stop oil,” “no new oil,” “net-zero,” “energy transition,” etc.
Consider the benefits from more than 6,600 products derived from oil and gas which comfort and quality to modern living.
1. Plastic industry, with its packaging products, bottles, bags, cups, disposable products, plus the machinery and fuels that move it.
2. Food industry, which begins with the fuels that generate energy for the work of agricultural machinery, transportation, manufacturing, distribution and preservation of food; as well as fertilizers and other products derived from hydrocarbons that we use as containers, in the conservation and refrigeration of our food.
3. Cleaning industry, from its initial phase with the machinery and fuels that move it and the products for our daily consumption such as: soap, lotions, toothpaste, shaving, dermatological, hair care, shampoo, deodorants, vaseline, products of paraffin and the infinity of household cleaning products.
4. Pharmaceutical industry, which begins with its equipment and manufacturing machinery that generate medicines, vitamins, cosmetics and medical supplies, which without their availability endanger the sustenance of our lives.
5. Textile industry, in its initial phase with the fuels that put into operation the machinery for the generation of petroleum-derived products for clothing made with synthetic fibers, dyes, raincoats and footwear with synthetic components.
6. Construction industry, which makes available the infrastructure and housing to accommodate our families, from the machinery and fuel that moves them and the products used such as asphalt, thermal insulation, plastic pipes, synthetic cement, glues, paints, waterproofing, heating and cooling equipment, furniture, kitchen utensils such as: parts of refrigerators, gas stoves, non-stick coatings, plastic containers and others.
7. Industry of land, sea and air transportation that needs fuel to move and the parts and spare parts that are mostly made with petroleum products in the form of: plastic parts, bodywork, pipes, cables, tires, liquids and internal furniture.
(To Be Continued in Part 3)
There is a strain of Luddite nihilism on the environmentalist left that simply wants to destroy society as it exists. Only then can the Radiant Future come into existence (with them running it).
They think they want a better life, but that doesn’t happen in destroying the old one first, although that is the preferred method with sand castles. They need to grow up.
The left loves to tear down everything they don’t like, without having the foggiest idea of what they would replace it with.
Russia may well fund the ecowarriors but so does the EU.
According to this link from 2020 – more recent than the dates mentioned in the article – Friends of the Earth Europe get 66% of their income from the EU (40%) and other governments/Institutions (26%)
Ignorance and stupidity are ,of course, much different, but both abound in those who support an end to fossil fuels. If any of these protestors were subjected to the conditions they would face were this to happen they would see that they were both .
Is it a breakdown in the education process that creates such shallow minds, or is the human race sinking into the abyss at an accelerating speed?
Should nations stop using FF?
(Only if EVERY nation stops simultaneously)
Not even then
Here’s a freebie format for the reality TV people
Life in harmony with nature on a tropical, ie lush and productive (to be fair), island. with no modern industrial tomfoolery like tools, clothes or habitation.
A true start from scratch to make of it what you will. And no [cameras or] contact for 5 years.
Any takers? What? Sounds like hard work?
Apologies strat but, quickly off the top of my head there were 2 such places on this Earth.
One we call ‘Africa’ and the other = ‘Australia’
And us humans completely trashed both of them.
So where were you thinking……
On second thoughts the hebrides
Not without clothes. That would be really vicious!
Let them cobb together their own from the hides of what they hunt using rocks and sticks.
No fossil fuel use allowed, after all…
There a a fair number of uninhabited islands in the hebrides. But why I flict them on people already living there on other islands?
People survived quite well for over 5000 years on the Hebrides with enough time and resources for major building work Callanish Stone Circle is 5000 years old.
There’s no shortage of fuel in this case peat not a fossil fuel, building materials rock and turf and food in the form of fish and shellfish. There’s probably ruins of a village left from the Clearances as a start an encampment . So apart from cold a wet not that bad a place
Isn’t peat just pre-fossil fuel? So, no they can’t use that either.
Care to provide some evidence of this so called trashing?
These are good articles. The insane opposition to oil, gas, and coal must be opposed, and this author is helping to do that.
Notice the disconnect between those calling for nations to stop using fossil fuels and poor nations that desperately need to tap into cheap energy from fossil fuels.
“United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Partership represents the country’s bold first step towards expanding electricity access and reliability.”
at the same time
“South Africans will probably have to deal with stages two and three load-shedding for the next two years to allow Eskom to undertake maintenance of its power generating units . . . . .
The country is enduring the worst bout of load-shedding since Eskom introduced rolling blackouts more than 15 years ago, with some areas going without electricity for up to 10 hours in total a day under stage six. Eskom says the power cuts are necessary to avoid a total collapse of the grid as its ageing and poorly maintained units struggle to generate enough electricity to meet demand.”
I predict the advice of Yellen and insistence of the United States, UK, France, Germany and EU – if accepted – will lead to the destruction of what remains and force tens of millions into desperate poverty and hunger. If first world leaders cannot make renewables work reliably and economically in their own countries what hope in hell do African countries have of making them work.
“The anti-fossil-fuel crusade by environmental groups has attracted financing from Russia (Figure 3) to reduce competition from oil and gas in areas of Europe, Canada and the US, as reported in 2017 in National Review by Austin Yack.”
I read the article at the link
Austin Yack is a hack
There are no data about Russia’s alleged financing of green groups
Therefore all conclusions are data-free speculation
In my book that makes the writer a hack.
This article included a photo of the National Review article cover page. and a link to that cover page, but not a link to the article itself. I found the article, read it, and consider it to be unsupported speculation. You can decide for yourself:
Anti-Fracking Groups & Russia: Secret Funding Protects Kremlin Interests | National Review
I don’t consider National Review magazine to be a reliable source of information, based on my experience. And this article is an example.
That Russia, a major energy exporter, would lobby and financially support green groups in other nations would make good business sense.
But people making those accusation MUST provide numbers, not just data-free speculation. There are no numbers in the article.
A Russian shell company is alleged to exist with “tens of millions of dollars” involved, but again this is speculation. An investigation is called for. That means nothing. The RESULTS of an investigation would mean something, although anti-Russian bias would be involved. This is very poor journalism at National Review.
The final sentence of the National Review article was absolutely clueless”
“Otherwise, the Kremlin’s meddling in our domestic affairs will continue apace.”
Russian meddling is alleged but never defined with data. Russia is claimed to be meddling by publishing anti-fracking articles at RT?
US mass media do the same thing. Should RT be censored because some people in the US, probably a minority, don’t like their articles?
Why not censor the New York Times for their anti-fracking views too? The New York Times has been anti-fracking for over 10 years.
New York state is anti-fracking. In December 2022, New York became the 2nd state after Vermont to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) statewide. Although a few others have joined in, New York is the only state with significant shale gas potential to ban fracking, “ the most important, and the biggest, energy innovation of this century.”
There are anti-frackers all over the place in the US, UK and EU
Why pick on the Russian anti-frackers? They are ALL crazy.
Daily list of the best climate science and energy articles I’ve read — NOT including this one:
Honest Climate Science and Energy
Yes, it would make good business sense for Russia, a major energy exporter, to lobby and financially support green groups in other nations. But how can we tell if they do?
If Russia finances anti-fracking they are not exactly going to publicise it.
If anti-fracking groups are supported by Russia they might not even know it and they certainly aren’t going to publicise it.
But there is evidence (NB, evidence. Complete proof is always difficult to come by.)
“Well-organized and well-funded environmental opposition to fracking in Europe sprang up suddenly in countries such as Bulgaria and Ukraine, which had shown little prior concern for the environment but which are heavily dependent on Russia for energy supplies. Similar movements have also targeted Europe’s plans to build pipelines that would offer an alternative to reliance on Moscow.” – link.
“But there is plenty of evidence in the form of a tangible money trail that links Vladimir Putin’s Russian government with U.S. environmental groups. In fact, the source of this funding has been subject of two congressional committee inquiries.” – link.
“Documents that the American social media companies produced for the Committee confirmed that Russian agents were exploiting American social media platforms in an effort to disrupt domestic energy markets, suppress research and development of fossil-fuels, and stymie efforts to expand the use of natural gas.” – link.
Like you said, it makes good business sense. If it walks like a duck …..
No numbers in your comment
I have to assume this is just speculation
They are unsupported charges.
Any backup data would have been in your comment if such data existed, IMHO.
Read again, Richard. There is a number. I also used special characters.
(Translation: Get real, this isn’t a numbers sort of thing).
Kremlin archives provided proof that the Soviets were major backers of environmentalist groups. Putin was the head of the KGB during the period when this financing was going on.
If no specific numbers can be named, then you are just speculating.
And is it against any law to contribute to green groups or publish articles that are anti-fracking? Thet happens all the time, by US, UK and EU people, and US. UK and EU media companies.
How is Russia any different .. except for no one knowing how much they contribute, yet character attacking the nation anyway, while ignoring the large majority of green contributions which are obviously NOT coming from Russia.?
Stop using “fossil fuels” with their attendant negative connotations. Continue using hydrocarbon fuels where they are objectively best in class. Go green, emit.
“I get the impression that the drag on prosperity is unknown to these promoters, supporters, and activists;”
Unfortunately this part is seen as a feature, not a bug, by the Malthusian crowd. They are invested in the opposite of Human Flourishing. They want “pristine nature” like humanity had in the Garden of Eden.
Bingo! I was going to comment re. the exact same quote myself to say that these folks are unaware not only that the climate agenda is a PsyOp but IMO, so too is the push for so-called “green” energy technologies and therefore, something else that’s “unknown” to these useful idiots is the vanishing act that’s suddenly going to go down once the oil industry is permanently scuttled. That is, the disappearance of all those wonderful, promising technologies — including EVs. The key word here is “promising”. It’s obviously no easy task to convince all of Western society to part with its invaluable, not to mention essential energy resources and so there must be ways in which to help sweeten the transition and I believe that’s perhaps the primary purpose of these technologies — to simply act as a “promise” albeit, a soon-to-be realized broken one… Incidentally, it’s great to see those at the apex referred to as “Malthusians” by someone else as, for the past two decades I’ve done extensive research on the history of the Malthusian conspiracy that’s driving not just this particular insanity but all of the insanity that is presently being forced down society’s throat. This conspiracy, believe it or not, has been traced back over two centuries (yes WUWT, I do have the receipts — “story tip”).
They say that Marine Le Pen (formerly FN = Front National, now RN = Rassemblement National) is paid for by Moscow, but she just recently switched to anti nuke to pro nuke – about the same time she was accused of being financed by Russia, because the French Financial Deep State hates her!
OTOH the far left (except for the tiny, and almost gone, dissolved in a ridiculous union of the green/far left French communist party) is anti nuke!
It’s ask a leftist a question day
It’s always exciting to hear bizarre responses to simple questions.
Sometimes it feels like talking to the monkeys in the zoo.
When the leftists are your friends, they will be too polite to call you a science denier or attack your character for asking the “wrong” questions about climate change.
As a former juvenile delinquent — as pronounced by a guidance counselor in high school after I set a school record for detention hours after 3pm — I have spent about two decades testing friend’s climate science knowledge if the subject ever comes up.
To “test” leftist friends, I make up on the spot factoids about CO2 that CO2 haters would tend to agree with. And they automatically agree. Statements such as: “Without CO2 emissions reductions, scientists say the world will overheat in 49.25 years”. That’s not true — it’s baloney — but it is anti-CO2, so they agree with me. Not once has any leftist friend questioned my made up climate factoid. That’s sad. They seem to believe everything said after “scientists say”. Conservative friends do ask questions, or instinctively claim: “That sounds like BS to me”. They don’t fall for the “scientists say” gambit.
I have also asked leftist friends why they oppose fossil fuels. Here the answer is more complex. They seem to oppose BURNING fossil fuels but admit that petroleum is needed to make many products, for which there are no substitutes.
That answer leads to a more complex argument I’m not qualified to make. I don’t see how oil refineries could stay in business if the use of gasoline and diesel fuel is significantly reduced. I don’t believe refineries have much flexibility in the products they produce. Maybe just +/- 5 percentage points. So I don’t see how refineries could be profitable if the desired product output was less gasoline and diesel fuel. If refineries went broke, there would be no feedstocks for plastics, or the refineries would be nationalized and run by leftist bureaucrats, which would ruin them.
This is too complicated for me, so I don’t debate refineries with leftists: But I also don’t see oil refineries ever throwing away gasoline and diesel fuel they were designed to produce. So it seems that anti-fossil fuel burning is also anti-plastics. Which is insane. Leftists are doing their best to ruin our nation. Unfortunately, they are succeeding.
Daily list of the best climate science and energy articles I read every day, including many from this website, but not this one:
:Honest Climate Science and Energy
I really think we need a game show where eco-zealot contestants are each assigned a personal “emissions nazi” who confiscates everything they have, wear, use, or consume that involves fossil fuels in any stage of its existence.
So first goes their stupid cell phones and their clothes, any modern shelter or transport other than walking, and any food and water they don’t hunt for, source from natural sources, or grow themselves using only those things they can scrounge from nature (i.e., sticks and stones).
The game continues for each contestant until they declare, under brutal cross-examination amination by a panel of the emissions nazis how stupid their anti-energy beliefs are, and they don’t get out without a full and satisfactory confession in the judgment of the panel. Those still playing get shown live footage of the quitters enjoying clothing, shoes, shelter with central heating, electricity and running water, and hearty meals. Last whiner to give up wins.
My next door neighbor drives a 2005 Toyota Prius with the Michigan license plate OilsGone. I feel like getting a license plate “ILoveCO2” but I fear leftists would vandalize my car.
To my neighbor’s credit, he went shopping for an EV last year and did not buy one. Surprising for an alternative energy nut with solar panels on his roof who has done alternative energy consulting after he retired. The EVs were too expensive and our DTE Energy uses coal for 58% of electricity, so it would have been a 58% coal car. He bought a used Mercedes ICE SUV with very low mileage, allegedly only driven to church by the old lady who owned it.
Folks, if my wealthy, green energy nut neighbor rejects an EV for his new car, that is a big deal, and a bad omen for the auto industry.
Re EVs being too expensive. Paul Philpott, UK Chief Executive of Kia recently told the Times newspaper (Jan 23rd) that
a mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen because of the difficulty of producing them on a viable basis, and said Kia had no immediate plans for a mass market vehicle.
Buy the ignorant, nihilistic, guilt-ridden watermelons tickets to Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Give them a taste of life w/o gas, oil, and coal.
UK wind’s nameplate capacity has the potential to match nearly all of UK demand.
What is it managing right now? Just 10%
The UK could not run without fossil fuel backup. The enviro idiots seem blissfully unaware of this reality
And at the same site two hours ago wind was at 14.2% so a 30% reduction in that short time. That always happens with unreliables and it undermines the grid.