Mark Mills: The energy transition delusion: inescapable mineral realities

SKAGEN Fondene

Jan 16, 2023

Energy expert Mark Mills speaks at SKAGEN Funds New Years Conference 2023

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February 23, 2023 7:34 am

The very rich can happily lead a deluded life and most do.

Reply to  Scissor
February 23, 2023 10:36 am

very rich” = ?

D. Anderson
Reply to  KevinM
February 23, 2023 4:05 pm

Very rich means being isolated from the consequences of the policies they enact.

Reply to  D. Anderson
February 23, 2023 6:38 pm

good definition of ‘very rich’.

February 23, 2023 7:37 am

I think at this stage of proceedings – some 34 years after the original ’10 years to save the planet’ – the delusion has factually lost its wheels, yet spiritually(?) and politically it’s ramping up with no opposition, because the media doesn’t do balanced impartial and objective reporting anymore. It does religious dogma – aka the narrative.

There is no shortage of information, data etc that shows net zero is a Malthusian wet dream and nothing more. Everybody blindsides it. We’re going to do it and wreck civilisation’s gains, right or wrong.

Hallmarks of [the priesthood of] this new religion are a state of overbearing pride or self-importance, and an excess of ambition bordering on the psychopathic.

Reply to  strativarius
February 23, 2023 8:19 am

Also they are all scared of looking silly by admitting that they were wrong, and that includes the MSM.

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  Oldseadog
February 23, 2023 8:39 am

Is admitting they were wrong really a thing that politicians do?

Reply to  Chris Nisbet
February 23, 2023 9:48 am

Not since Lord Carrington resigned

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
February 23, 2023 9:50 am

“I did not have sex with that woman”.

Reply to  Chris Nisbet
February 23, 2023 11:37 am

It was a perfect phone call.

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 3:40 pm

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. But of those who heard the call, there was little if anything wrong with it an certainly nothing meriting an impeachment hearing.

Reply to  thallstd
February 23, 2023 6:41 pm

Simon hasn’t been wrong or made a mistake in the last 12 years. If he intimates there was a lie involved then who are we to argue with Simon’s perfect record.

Reply to  strativarius
February 23, 2023 10:37 am

 the media doesn’t do balanced impartial and objective reporting anymore.

February 23, 2023 8:40 am

Interesting that if we (or at least the believers) all want “to be Norweigan” we’ll have to be more reliant on fossil fuels.
Norway’s wealth is based on oil and gas exports, that’s how they got so rich and so green.
If they drop oil then they can’t afford their EVs and other green indulgences – tough decision!

Reply to  Shytot
February 23, 2023 9:32 pm

Surely Australia is like Norway. Our economy & prosperity depends on us exporting coal & gas, we just don’t do it as well as Norway does with oil.

Drop our hydrocarbons export & we become the poor trash of the south Pacific. I was going to say white trash, but that no longer applies to Oz.

Reply to  Hasbeen
February 24, 2023 12:47 am

..and therein lies the total hypocrisy of labor/greens coalition. Wage war and demonize all coal and gas domestically. A resource that provides dispatchable, cheap reliable energy to domestic consumers and is vital for business and industry.

At the same time, continue to export coal and gas so India, China etc can burn that fuel.

David Dibbell
February 23, 2023 8:45 am

At first I thought this video was going to be too long to watch. Nope. Once I started, I realized that the speaker Mark Mills really knows his subject and did a fantastic job. If you have not watched, I recommend it.

James Snook
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 23, 2023 9:03 am

I totally agree. This is one to save, along with the excellent take down of the ‘eat less meat to save the planet’ myth a couple of days ago.

Reply to  David Dibbell
February 24, 2023 9:24 am

I recommend it

I have no intention of watching it, I predict the contents from the headline: “There ain’t not enough shiny rocks to replace every combustion engine on earth, blah blah”?
I totally despair of allegedly highly educated thinkers who still believe we will be allowed to own cars in Baal & Soros’ Hive.
There will not even be a billion people, why replace eight billion vehicles? The argument is moot, and these people should grow up. We are at war with these warmunists, and we argue about the amount of copper/ cobalt etc under the ground?
I want to say pathetic, but it is really just naive.

CD in Wisconsin
February 23, 2023 9:41 am

Purely and simply, no transition away from fossil fuels is going to happen without nuclear power. Anyone who thinks that it can happen without nuclear is living in a fantasy land.

First small modular nuclear reactor design licensed…

NRC Certifies First U.S. Small Modular Reactor Design | Department of Energy

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 23, 2023 9:53 am

If start transitioning away from fossil fuels, we will have to find some other way to keep CO2 levels up.
They are still dangerously low.

Reply to  MarkW
February 23, 2023 11:38 am

Dangerously low for what?

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 11:43 am

For survival?

Reply to  mikelowe2013
February 23, 2023 11:46 am

Be specific survival of what and why? We’ve done pretty well so far.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 12:10 pm

CO2 is the basic building block for life on this planet, more is better. 😎

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
February 23, 2023 12:29 pm

“…more is better.” Really, what evidence do you have for that?

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 12:32 pm

What evidence do you have that is isn’t? Everything grows better with more CO2 even Coral.

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
February 23, 2023 12:41 pm

The evidence I have is that we have survived very nicely thank you with things as they are. Your turn????

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 1:21 pm

So why is optimal plant growth achieved at 1,000 PPM???

Reply to  aussiecol
February 23, 2023 1:48 pm

Some plants do well at that level and some don’t. But here is a little bit of info for you…. we are not plants.

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 2:55 pm

Plants and animals are all derived from carbon Simon. We coexist together. Why is it then alarms in subs are set at around 5,000 PPM??

Reply to  aussiecol
February 23, 2023 6:42 pm

I was an atmosphere control technician on the U.S.S. Cavalla, SSN 684. Only for accuracy, not disagreement with your comment: we had the CO2 alarm set at 8,000 PPM. Humans get headaches at around 15,000 PPM.

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 2:57 pm

You are obviously some kind of vegetable.

Reply to  spren
February 24, 2023 8:53 am

You are obviously some kind of vegetable.”

Does bacterial slime count?

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 4:55 pm

Insightful – have some more CO2 – knock yourself out!
Are you deluded or just another Troll?

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 1:24 pm

Hothouse vegetable growers use 1200 to 1500 ppm CO2 in their greenhouses because the plants grow much better and produce more product. The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere has increased agricultural production worlwide by 10% to 15% and the S. edge of the Sahel is advancing northwards due to the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere according to NASA.
More is better.
Your turn?

Reply to  Oldseadog
February 23, 2023 1:50 pm

The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere has increased agricultural production worlwide by 10% to 15% ” I say bollocks to that. Get me a reference that says the increase in world wide production is solely due to increased CO2. I’ll look forward to your answer.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 2:31 pm

CO2 is plant food it is the only place plants can get the carbon they need to grow.

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 2:57 pm

Get me a reference that shows CO2 is the driving force that changes the climate.

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 3:02 pm

Look up Craig Idso and his work.

Last edited 25 days ago by macha
Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 3:45 pm

You’re right of course. Water and sunlight were both needed as well.

Reply to  Simon
February 24, 2023 3:29 am

According to a major NASA study a few years ago, the planet is greening at a dramatic rate (also confirmed by a huge amount of other peer reviewed studies). They attributed the greening to two things:

  1. The increase in atmospheric CO2.
  2. Global warming (though less significant than CO2).

Thus it is certain that both enhanced CO2 and global warming have significantly contributed to increased global food production.

Global warming is not caused by the greenhouse effect – because the “greenhouse effect” has nothing to do with greenhouses (they work by trapping warm air, not by trapping radiation). But greenhouses do have a connection with CO2 – farmers routinely feed in extra CO2 to get enhanced growth. Here’s the irony: the whole point of greenhouses is to make the environment warmer, not colder.

So, in a nutshell: warm is good, cold is bad, and enhanced CO2 is *extremely* good.

Reply to  Simon
February 24, 2023 9:10 am

Get me a reference that says the increase in world wide production”

Nothing doing. We’ve done your circular arguments before where you refuse all research of which you don’t approve.

Otherwise, you would have learned from valid research decades ago.

Hint: USDA has conducted plant CO₂ growth studies dating back to the 1950s.

Reply to  Oldseadog
February 23, 2023 5:09 pm

As of yet no response to my asking you to support your statement that CO2 is responsible for an increase of world wide agricultural production by 10-15%. Perhaps you are researching?

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 11:58 pm

Well crops world wide have had record yields, so what does that tell you amongst all your doom and gloom.

Reply to  Simon
February 24, 2023 1:48 am

I’ve been asleep, it is morning over here and I’ve just finished breakfast and switched on the desktop.

Reply to  Oldseadog
February 24, 2023 2:16 am

Your graph says very little about what has caused the greening and so is pretty much useless. From what I have read increased productivity is a combination of improved varieties and farming methods with CO2 playing a small part. Just saying.

Reply to  Simon
February 24, 2023 6:11 am

Read the paper the picture is from, and the NASA study referred to by Chris Wright below..

Last edited 24 days ago by Oldseadog
Reply to  Oldseadog
February 24, 2023 12:21 pm

Perhaps if you could quote the parts of the paper that support what you are saying, given you have already read it, that would help, but respectfully I have better things to do than go on a wild goose chase. But… you are right, CO2 is part of the equation in plant growth, I don’t dispute that. I just don’t think 10-15% could be attributed to that alone.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Simon
February 25, 2023 10:30 pm

NASA 2016 mentioned ~ 13% greener planet-wide and estimated that ~70% of the effect was due to CO2 with rest being warmer temps & more rainfall.

Note the greening is not cropland. It is in places previously relatively barren. You are correct that much of the increases in crop production over the past 60 years is due to varieties & methods but crops also like increased CO2.
btw From what I have read this CO2 enhancement of crop production is never included in the social costs of carbon calculations.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 1:36 pm

What did you think of the video Simon?

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 23, 2023 2:55 pm

Simon does not think, period.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 23, 2023 2:58 pm

He doesn’t think – he just trolls and irritates.

Reply to  Simon
February 24, 2023 8:50 am

“…more is better.” Really, what evidence do you have for that?”

Hundreds of million years of history.

What have you got to back up your specious doubt?

Reply to  Simon
February 23, 2023 4:52 pm

Oh dear – the Simple seems to have dropped off your name….
Anyway, you’re right, we’ve all done pretty well so far with all of that allegedly dangerous CO2.
It’s almost like it’s a good thing…. unless you’re a true believer (or simple)

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 23, 2023 10:54 am

NuScale SMR output is far above the 50 MW per unit indicated in the article. They didn’t dare update their design specifications while the approval process was ongoing.

The article does note 77 MW for the updated design, which they can now submit.

The reactor core of the NuScale SMR can be factory manufactured and train transported to the site for installation. With the application proper industrial methods, HUNDREDS of these reactor cores can be manufactured and placed in service each year, barring GREEN and regulatory interference.

Any old coal site would be appropriate since train access, power lines and water are already available on site.

THEN excess heat could be used for transformation of coal to liquids or gas for transportation, space heating of other uses.

BTW, the original proposal for the Idaho site was for 8 reactors with expansion to 12 built in but several utilities withdrew from the consortium. I hope those that stayed in charge the cowards exorbitantly for the electricity when they need it.

And why did the DOE approve the NuScale design? Because it is meant to be able to throttle up and down to fill in for the unreliability of unreliables.

Reply to  Drake
February 23, 2023 12:02 pm

can be factory manufactured and train transported
can be”
sez who?

Kit P
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 23, 2023 11:39 am

Another case of a poster not reading the link. The design is not licensed. When applying for a license, the design can be referenced.

SMR are like solar panels and wind turbines. In the US we do not need things that produce a small amount of power. Therefore, they will only get built for political reasons.

We need power plants that produce large amounts of power. I worked on the largest in China before retiring. It is about the size of a Walmart.

I watched this video recently and calculated how ‘big’PV on the roof of homes to make the same amount of power.

We would need 400,000,000 houses with a solar resource of a American south west desert.

That is big beyond belief. And that is just one nuke power plant. We need 50 more of those nuke plants. Since we already have about 100, visualizing the amount of materials to build them is not that hard. It is do able.

It was stated in the video how long existing power plants last. Nuke plants last at least 60 years.

How long does solar last? About 5 years! The best of the best put up a utility scale PV farm. Year one it has a CF = 19% compared to design of 20%.

How about year 5? Crickets! That is what you will hear not the sound of buzzing power lines.

BEV, wind, and PV require incredible amounts of material including coal. The break even point for coal can be calculated. .They never last that long.

We have family that gets a bill for $1200 a year because the PV power plant on the roof of their California house does not produce enough electric current.

So if bills can be calculated and sent to customers, the raw data is available to calculate the CF and die off rate.

The bottom line is it does not work in Califonia or any place else if you check 5 year performance. .

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Kit P
February 23, 2023 12:35 pm

Excuse me. Certified, not licensed.

Reply to  Kit P
February 23, 2023 2:27 pm

I have both on-grid and off grid solar system. The grid system has been operating 13 years. Up until the street was saturated with lunchtime PV two years ago it maintained the same output. It is down 10% over the last two years due to street overvoltage.

The off-grid system is 10 years old. Same battery and solar panels and is still doing the same job running refrigerator and freezer. It achieves a CF of 3.8%. I could have done better If I had tilted the panels to maximise May solar.

So solar panels are much better than 5 years; even the low cost Chinese ones purchased over 10 years ago.

However what I have done is not transferrable to grid scale supply. Few other countries have the income or geography to do what Norway has done. Australia is a possibility but it makes more sense economically to do at household level or microgrid than at grid level. The cost of transmission from feeble generators is the killer.

It would be interesting to see projections for materials needed to transition to a nuclear powered world. It appears China is heading down the track. France may also renew its aged plants.

Energy scarcity will be a feature of the next decade. It is baked in due to the lack of investment in real energy sources.

Last edited 25 days ago by RickWill
Kit P
Reply to  RickWill
February 24, 2023 11:06 am


it sounds like you have a nice hobby making solar electricity. I have 3 panels to maintain batters in my motor home and sailboat.

Making electricity is a business and when the cost of fixing things exceed the value of electricity, it does not get fixed.

Per kwh, material needed for nuclear is insignificant. Labor cost are much higher however.

February 23, 2023 10:42 am

This gives me hope my diesel is safe for decades to come.
I find it astonishing our illustrious politicians are not looking at stuff like this. Talk about burying their heads in the sand!

Rud Istvan
February 23, 2023 11:06 am

There is an about 1000 page Newish Finland study reaching the same mining conclusions. Put short it is physically impossible to get there from here. Copper, cobalt, lithium…Just EV’s, let alone wind and solar and grid storage. At any price/subsidy.

Net zero splats against the rock wall of reality. The sooner, the better.

February 23, 2023 12:15 pm

Out-of-context snip from the video: “Under-investment in all energy markets”
All experts in ‘x’ see: “Under-investment in x’“, sometimes appending adjectives like “massive” or “systemic”.

Janice Moore
February 23, 2023 1:37 pm

Thanks to David Dibbell’s endorsement, I watched the whole Mills lecture. It was well worth the time.


1. Edit at: 16:05 “… with technologies that exist today [or are likely to exist in an economically viable capacity for the foreseeable future]”

2. Re: 35:17 “… we want to minimize [CO2 emissions]” 

No. We do not. Who is “we?” I would wager that the vast majority of “We the People of the United States of America,” when accurately and fully informed of the facts about CO2 and about “renewables,” do not.


38:13 “Engineers invent energy demands.”

Last edited 25 days ago by Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 23, 2023 2:40 pm

when accurately and fully informed of the facts about CO2

That is as likely as NetZero. The religion is deeply seated and education systems heavily tilted to propaganda supporting the demonising of CO2.

Did you know that the small number of high school children being taught organic chemistry learn that petroleum produces CO2 pollution when it burns in air?

David Dibbell
Reply to  RickWill
February 23, 2023 3:50 pm

I occasionally use this question on social media to prompt attention by parents and grandparents and concerned citizens: “What are our young people being conditioned to end up believing?”

David Dibbell
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 23, 2023 3:46 pm

Glad you watched it. And I agree with your points. 🙂

Janice Moore
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 23, 2023 4:34 pm

Cool. 😀 Thanks for telling me so. 😊

Last edited 25 days ago by Janice Moore
February 23, 2023 2:01 pm

Mark Mills is a super hero, clear, to the point, understandable and most of all truthful. What a man. I’m telling you guys there will be no energy transition, stop talking and thinking like there will be. The transition preachers are full of scat. On top of that they are liars and cheats.

Alastair Brickell
Reply to  Bob
February 24, 2023 4:02 pm

Yes, it’s a wonderful talk…well worth the time to view in its entirety.

February 23, 2023 2:45 pm

This highlights why the mining lobby in Australia is so strongly supportive of the NutZero transition.

If you want a transition you need to clear the path for mining. And you will have to pay a lot more for what comes out of the ground.

And with no restraint on Chinese and Indian CO2 output, they will command global manufacturing.

Barnes Moore
February 23, 2023 2:49 pm

Mark Mills is simply a rock star when it comes to this topic. If anyone here has not already read his works on this particular topic, start with

It covers a lot of the same territory as this presentation and goes into some depth – definitely worth the read.

Reply to  Barnes Moore
February 23, 2023 10:46 pm

Yes I’ve passed that on to some of the loud true believers but his graphical video presentation here is better for the purpose of shutting them up.

Even getting all that electron energy down the poles and wires in a timely fashion to the pitiful few pioneers is proving a big hurdle-
Fire at electric car charging station goes viral on TikTok (

The Real Engineer
February 24, 2023 1:28 am

This video is the most effective and accurate description of why the whole net zero narrative is simply a delusional dream, and even then cannot work. I recomend it to everyone you can to watch and understand what is happening to our world. Brilliant!

February 24, 2023 2:51 am

As I’ve commented before — ultimately, economics will kill off grid scale unreliable ruinables. The industry would already be on life support if not for taxpayer funded subsidies provided by loony governments.

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