Column: The climate/energy/environment debate is completely unhinged – here’s why


 Terry Etam

Old-school politics used to be easy, industrially speaking. The left/right divide seemed so endearingly simple. People existed in two world views, generally cleaved along the lines of more/less government control, or more collective vision vs. more individual.

An analogy that works: Imagine someone starts a business, it grows wildly, they hire a thousand people, and the owner gets fantastically wealthy. Old school voters would fall into one of two camps: Camp free enterprise would say that not only did the owner deserve to get rich but also created a thousand jobs out of thin air; Camp socialist/social democrat would say this is an injustice because the owner got rich off the backs of the employees who did not fall into wealth.

People are what they are, and they believe what they believe, and we had some fairly decent democratic runs where the tug of war between those two camps did wonders. We had free enterprise societies, but we also had social safety nets. We had arenas where business’ best could compete, but where it wasn’t a free for all. We had economic growth, but also had environmental standards that grew more stringent over time.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was as good of a balance as we could hope for from people that inherently view the world diametrically opposite. We’d elect a government leaning one way until they stepped out of the box or were overwhelmed by their own incompetence, then we’d elect one leading the other way. It may not have seemed peaceful or great at the time, but compared to what we have now, it was paradise.

Now, we have two opposing forces governing the energy world, but what is hellish about this scenario is that each day pushes us further from the ability to constructively work together. The desired outcomes are mutually exclusive. Those searching for ‘middle ground’ don’t really understand the forces at play. 

Two opposing camps. Each day brings new evidence that their position is right, and the divide grows stronger.

One camp is linked to the weather, and is terrified of what is happening to the weather, so let’s call it Camp Thunder. Any weather event, to them, is proof that CO2 emissions must be stopped. Every day that goes by means more tonnes of CO2 in the air and that means more drought, rain, heat waves, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more extreme weather. (Google “climate change causes extreme weather” gets 139 million results.)

An extreme weather event occurs somewhere in the world every day. It has always been thus, but now we know about it. Instantly. A hundred years ago, a drought 150 miles northwest of Timbuktu would have been noticed by the four people living 150 miles northwest of Timbuktu. Now, those four people have cell phones, and photos of wide drought cracks in the earth appear around the world in the news in four seconds flat, and boom, just like that – more ‘proof’ we need to stop burning fossil fuels immediately.

For those that subscribe to that causal link, every tonne of carbon spewed into the air is another brick on the wall, another gallon of water coming aboard a sinking ship. Immediate and drastic action is not desirable; it is mandatory. A film called “How to Blow up a Pipeline” is receiving critical praise (“Here, the pipeline destroyers are the good guys.”). Pete Kalmus, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and one of the more ardent members of the climate emergency camp, described the sound of jets flying overhead as the sound of babies being ground up. At a climate protest, where Kalmus chained himself to the door of a JPMorgan Chase building to protest the bank’s ‘fossil fuel lending’,  he lamented, “We’re going to lose everything, and we’re not joking, and we’re not lying, and we’re not exaggerating.”

I’m not exaggerating either when I say that every day the world consumes 100 million barrels of oil and 370 billion cubic feet of gas and 22 million tonnes of coal. And that brings us to the other camp.

Since this camp is unilaterally concerned with our ability to feed, fuel, and heat 8 billion people, let’s call this Camp Pipes, because nothing symbolizes utilitarianism like those things.

Camp Pipes is concerned that this energy transition is being guided by nothing other than government will, an ominous thought. Governments are not noted for their ability to successfully plan anything. Camp Pipes talks about things like cost, availability, and reliability. 

Every governmental policy unveiled to state Camp Thunder just strengthens the case of Camp Pipes that we are headed for a train wreck, and that the new policy just upped the speed of the runaway train. Camp Pipes points out, somewhat too quietly, that there aren’t enough critical metals/minerals in existence to force through such policies in an all-EV world. They try to shift the dialogue to the warning signs, which they hope will somehow break through policymakers’ tunnel vision and generate more sense.

But if you feel we are all doomed without immediate ‘climate action’, anything Camp Pipes says is deemed ‘obstructionist’ or ‘climate denier’ or ‘climate delayer’ or whatever this week’s insult is. And because every gram of carbon into the air makes the problem worse, the need for action grows, to the point that militant action is right around the corner. 

Think that’s an exaggeration? Nope, and probably an understatement. A recent strategy is for activists to openly vandalize or destroy energy infrastructure, then use in court the grounds that it is a necessity to save other lives that will suffer from climate change. “The necessity defense is a legal defense used in certain situations where a person’s actions that would normally be considered unlawful are justified because they were necessary to prevent greater harm or evil. For example, if a person breaks into a building to rescue someone who is in imminent danger, they may be able to use the necessity defense to argue that their actions were justified…As climate change threatens our planet, the climate necessity defense is gaining traction among environmental activists and attorneys practicing climate justice.”

Above, I said that those searching for middle ground don’t really understand the forces at play. That comment isn’t a condemnation of the sincere desire of many to adopt new energy sources and look to a new energy model for the future. It’s just a point that needs acknowledging before making real progress; that the doomsday loop needs to be broken before we are going to see any coherence in global energy policy (if policy is even the right word).

Here is a mini-catalogue of progress, provided by those that just do stuff, the ones that utilize every tool at their disposal to stand on the shoulders of giants and reach from there. They are doing what needs to happen, maintaining both existing productive capability and pushing new-energy technologies.

This small representative cluster was pulled from Q1/23 conference call scripts, showing how energy transition ideas are taking root in fertile ground: 

Weatherford International (emphasis added): The company noted $290 million of multi-year contract extensions in Latin America for onshore petroleum activity, a 3-year, 5-rig Azerbaijan deep water rig contract, and that “we continue to gain traction in the geothermal energy space through a combination of commercial wins and partnerships…entered into an exclusive collaboration agreement with CeraPhi Energy to provide an integrated package of products and services to end users for the development of geothermal energy. Weatherford will offer its global expertise in data acquisition, digitalization, and automation services, and CeraPhi will leverage its proven engineering and project management services to provide enhanced geothermal technology solutions to the market.”

Nabors Drilling (emphasis added): the company talked about a 10-rig new-build program for the Saudi market, with the wells under a six-year contract…then this: “I will update several impactful technologies, which are focused on reducing our own environmental footprint as well as on third-party rigs…First is our PowerTap module, which connects rigs to the grid. We now have 15 of these units deployed… Second, our Smart Power Advisory and Control System optimizes utilization of the engines and reduces emissions. This solution is currently installed on all of our rigs in the Lower 48…Third, the NanO2 diesel fuel additive improves engine performance and reduces emissions. We have already successfully treated more than 17 million gallons of diesel to date. Clients indicate strong interest in our solutions that reduce fuel consumption and emissions…We are now in field testing for a new technology, which uses hydrogen economically generated at the well site to reduce fuel consumption. We expect this product to become commercial later this year.

EQT (largest US natural gas producer) (emphasis added): “EQT has taken material steps forward in achieving our peer-leading goal of net zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from production operations by 2025…completing our pneumatic device replacement initiative a year ahead of schedule…we announced EQT’s first nature-based carbon offset initiative earlier this month, partnered with…a public park in West Virginia, Teralytic a soil analytics company and Climate Smart Environmental Consulting to implement forest management projects with the goal of generating carbon offsets… These projects will span more than 1,000 acres of forest land and we will utilize Teralytics soil probe technology to ensure the quantification of offsets is accurate and transparent… One of the investments that we’ve made on our new ventures front has been an investment in a company that is going to address the behind-the-grid power generation company called what fuel cells is creating basically a fuel cell that runs off natural gas and generates power for the size of a microwave can power your house. These are the type of solutions that are going to strengthen our grid but it’s going to be the decentralized smaller scale opportunities that will exist and at price points that retail consumers can get into.”

Closer to home, we recently had news of Tourmaline’s excellent strategic move to enter the commercial truck fuelling CNG market via collaboration (oops, this is the ’20’s, I meant ‘collab’) with Clean Energy Fuels and Mullen Trucking (eccentric optimistic analysis here).

These are examples of the sort of critical innovation we need. This fascinating article gets into the concept of innovation, which outlines the relevance in an energy transition.

Innovation is not the same as invention. The odds of someone coming off the bench with some wild new invention that solves everything are pretty slim. Don’t buy the stock touting some new miracle battery; investors have been losing money on those for a century. Odds are far better that we will make progress through steady innovation.29dk2902l

The article also flags how innovation thrives in free environments. For energy to develop properly, that free environment is necessary. The predominant energy system, the one that will innovate us into a new world as in the above examples, is under mortal threat as described above from Camp Thunder. How much energy is spent fighting rearguard actions, fighting lawsuits to justify the industry’s very existence? What a freaking waste.

But sadly, here’s a widely-read reason why that waste will continue. The most recent edition of Toronto’s Globe and Mail Report on Business magazine tallies up the costs of all extreme weather events and ties them directly to climate change. “No excuses for half measures on global warming,” thunders the editor.

Sadly and more potently, one of the ‘experts’ quoted in the article is a spokesperson for Environmental Defense, a massively well-funded activist group, who declares that the time for innovation is over (“stop innovating, start implementing”). The EDF is ideologically and tactically aligned with our federal and Western leaders, and I am pretty sure they can speak with whomever they want in Ottawa or Washington at will.

So the beat goes on. The pressure grows.

The media absolutely loves the climate wars, they love misery, they love storms and floods and drought and people crying – which is simply more proof for the emotive Camp Thunder. Camp Pipes, standing there in dirty overalls, is no match at all. 

I don’t know how that gets reversed. I see fantastic new examples of progress as documented above, and they will form the backbone of the energy transition. Somehow the tension needs to be ratcheted down, but with the media structures in place, I don’t see how.

One last thought for the conversation: Have you ever had a kitchen fire, or had your car go into a skid on an icy road, or found yourself in a dangerous situation, or being unprepared for an exam, or any other situation that struck fear in your heart…ask yourself if panic was ever the right answer. Now do energy.

Energy dialogue should be exciting and positive – if you’re going to wade into the current energy mess, might as well enjoy it. Pick up  “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” at, or Thanks!

Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here, or email Terry here.

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May 13, 2023 2:29 am

“”People are what they are, and they believe what they believe””

Ordinarily that would be true, but today’s young have been indoctrinated and made to fear the weather – climate anxiety etc

Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 4:43 am

And they have had that part of their brains which does (critical) thinking slaughtered by their shite education and the brain cell devouring effect of soshul meja making them incapable of saying something like ” hold on a second, that doesn’t add up”; their ability to sift the total blx of AWG/CC, find and be astonished at the mendacity of the likes of Mikey Hockey Schtick and all those organs which remove data which shoots their narrative stone dead.
“Ever been had, kids?”

Reply to  186no
May 13, 2023 4:51 am

 (critical) thinking “

Is a complete no-no.

Prison officers have been ordered to stop using the term “convicts” when referring to criminals in new guidelines. Civil servants working for the Prison Service have told staff that they should use terms such as “persons with lived experience” or “prison leavers” for ex-convicts.”

They do as they are told….

George Daddis
Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 7:25 am

This “solution by name change” goes way back.
I remember in the 1950’s our school system felt the name “janitor” was demeaning and so changed the job title to “custodian”.
Not a single thing about his duties were changed.

Dave Fair
Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 11:29 am

I’ve been way ahead of this curve my whole life: I’ve always called “convicts” “persons resting-up between crime sprees.”

Leo Smith
Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 5:14 am

You have come up headlong against the great Philosophical Divide between Materialism and Science, and Idealism and Sociology.

In Materialism, what is, is independent of the mind that observes it.

In sociology, what is, is what people believe, and reality as such – material reality – plays no part whatsoever.

Climate change has lost all pretence at Science, and is now pure sociology.

Last edited 26 days ago by Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
May 13, 2023 5:17 am

I’m up against new Pagan lunatics who aim to bring modern civilisation to an end – as are all rational people

Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 5:09 pm

You could also call them nihilists. They just want to tear down everything that came before they were born.

Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 10:40 pm

Pagans would be building nuke plants. This is really really more like Abrahamic religion. They have just substituted “Nature” for God.

Reply to  Leo Smith
May 13, 2023 10:54 am

A term more socially acceptable to certain cohorts.

Reply to  strativarius
May 14, 2023 7:52 pm

Exactly! It’s not just “climate”, but everything else that’s dear to (so-called) progressive leftists. It’s been going on since the 70’s at least. Alternative views to the leftist utopia, are simply glossed over or omitted. Until the sane take back control of education, we’re doomed to stay on the same path to………….destruction?

Peta of Newark
May 13, 2023 4:48 am

Here’s why it’s unhinged – the way we treat babies and from the very instant they’re born. We treat them worse than we treat plants.
<recalls: Glyphosate and shudders>

It’s a podcast, an hour long and many here will look at the title and just walk.

I invite you to jump in at 46:38 – where they start talking about Modern Science. Does any of it sound familiar?
(I could have done that interview)

If that bit interests, listen to the rest…………

Soundcloud (you *may* need an account)

Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 13, 2023 4:56 am

“the way we treat babies and from the very instant they’re born. We treat them worse than we treat plants.”

You speak for yourself. That’s really beyond the pale – even for you, Peta.

“How to talk to your parents about climate change”

Last edited 26 days ago by strativarius
May 13, 2023 5:01 am

Teaching your Granny to suck eggs, I’m afraid. (And in an extremely dull manner, too.)

Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 5:03 am

Terry Etam is what we might call a hottub-warmist.

In other words he’s not like any of us (who may be derided as “lukewarmists”) who say “Sure it’s warming a bit. Some of that is likely related to the greenhouse gas effect, but it’s mostly a beneficial milding. We can adapt to any negative impacts much more easily than to try to change the weather by returning to the 16th century”

Etam’s convinced that without urgent, prompt action, things will be on track for serious problems from overheating. (It’s fine to be in the hot tub for awhile but you can’t stay in for too long).

So it’s always his frame of reference that all rational people agree that global warming is real, caused by us, and ultimately dangerous. For him, the question is not whether there’s a danger but how soon and how to be effective in taking the action that everyone knows is necessary.

What he criticizes in the activist alarmists is not their misapprehension of risks (or lack thereof), but that their panic reaction leads to counterproductive activity akin to slamming on the brakes when hitting a patch of icy road.

In this badly edited post full of extraneous quotes that barely support his premise, he attempts to make the case that the West, or at least North America, is seeing a standoff between a camp irrationally afraid of the weather (golden-hearted but in need of intervention), and a camp of engineering types who know what to do to save the world but don’t have the emotional intelligence to persuade others about the path to safety (apparently the hapless good guys).

Where are those who point to empirical evidence that there is no danger and no cost justification for any action other than adaptation?

Where are those who raise the obvious fact that several billion people have no hope whatsoever of a decent life if they are to be denied access to abundant energy? They don’t exist in Terry Etam’s model of the world.

To the extent that he argues against the panicked destruction of society, he is an ally, but he’s ultimately a voice urging mistaken action at a calmer pace.

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 5:08 am

he’s not like any of us (who may be derided as “lukewarmists”) “

I think I might be – in their terms – a climate bastard.

Reply to  strativarius
May 13, 2023 6:04 am

Could be worse.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 5:27 am

“mistaken action at a calmer pace”

Mistaken though it may be- it’s infinitely better than NET ZERO at a breakneck speed.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 13, 2023 7:01 am

Yes, but Terry wants Net Zero 2080 or something.

Like the prayer of St Augustine
“Grant me chastity and self-control, but not yet”.

William Howard
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 6:03 am

can’t stay in a hot tub forever is correct but spending trillions to remove a miniscule amount of CO2 from the atmosphere is more than absurd – every alarmist I have talked to believes that the amount of co2 in the atmospheres is at least 25% & look a little confused when told that it is less than 4 one hundredths of 1% – they are further perplexed when I tell them that the vast amount of that 4 one hundredths is naturally occurring (really confused whenthey learn that each human exhales 2 lbs each daynot to mention trillions of animals) which we can’t do anything about – but still they are not persuaded to change their view that CO2 is killing the planet – hard to change one’s religious beliefs

Rich Davis
Reply to  William Howard
May 13, 2023 6:22 am

Be careful William. If Nick Stokes sees your comment he will Nickpick that it’s not less than 4 but actually 4.2! As if that makes the whole point wrong.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  William Howard
May 13, 2023 12:21 pm

Yes, but don’t you remember that by banning that coolant from our refrigerators, we closed the oh-so dangerous and vital “ozone hole.”
Let’s see, what % of the atmosphere was that?

Reply to  William Howard
May 13, 2023 1:05 pm

Well at least some on the Transportation Committee only think it is 5%. See here: But they are certain on how much humans contribute.

Also maybe be careful when you say “can’t do anything about” … History is full of religious zealots and they are already sacrificing whales and birds for the cause.

Reply to  William Howard
May 13, 2023 3:35 pm

Yes, and the CO2 level increase in the last sixty-two years is only one hundredth of one percent of atmosphere. I have yet to see a graphical presentation of the CO2 level increase that illustrates that result.

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 8:00 am

Terry says what needs to be said to keep him on watermelon’s reading list rather than be branded the usual ‘denier’ status where he can’t enlighten many greensters.

Rich Davis
Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 13, 2023 8:42 am

So you think he’s being disingenuous with them? Because I don’t.

Going bankrupt slowly is not a big improvement over going bankrupt tomorrow.

Seems to me that he’s arguing that society needs to waste its collective resources on doing as much as humanly possible to solve a non-problem but just needs to be more realistic about how we commit suicide.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 12:11 pm

Thank you, Rich Davis, for calling out this “hot tub warmest” (we’ll-named). There is very little evidence that the world’s temperature is changing much at all or has changed much in my lifetime, 88 years and counting. More significantly, there is no evidence that humanity has anything to do with the meagre changes recorded, (under 2 degrees in 100 years, maybe, but zero degrees across the continental U.S>). These are the simple facts. They are substantially documented. There is no “crisis.” It is a thoroughly documented fact that there is no crisis. Humans might have something very small to do with climate, but there is no empirical fact that documents such a connection.

Reply to  Ronald Havelock
May 13, 2023 5:28 pm

Well said Ron,
I have been living in the same wider district in the North Island of New Zealand for over 80 years .
I have seen all sorts of weather with a very mild warming trend which is really less and milder frosts and less snow on surrounding mountains .
It was announced that New Zealand had experienced a heat wave this last summer which was nonsense .
We spent two separate weeks holidaying at the beach and it was too cold to swim in the ocean this summer except for hardy souls .
We have had two cyclones Hale and Gabrielle strike New Zealand this last summer in January and February causing much destruction .
Tropical cyclones are a feature of our summer weather as the tropical heat moves south to Antarctica for as long as New Zealand has been settled .
I was told by people who should know before these cyclones appeared that the Tongan eruption to the north of New Zealand which threw 185 million tonnes of water into the atmosphere in January 2022 would cause very strong cyclones .
The Tongan eruption was never mentioned because the news media had a field day pushing global warming as the cause .
There is no crisis but if energy production is slashed around the world in western countries the crisis will be that China and India will become the power house of the world .
Western countries will become much poorer and their standard of living will drop .
Then we will have a CRISIS.

May 13, 2023 5:19 am

Author makes very good points, though not for organization of the article — thesis never defended. That aside, think of the NASA fellow, who chained himself to bank doors: presumptively he lacks neither access to primary data nor is he poorly educated (at least no more poorly than the average so-called denier). Yet, he utters verifiably ludicrous prophecies. Why? It is not ‘shite’ education or ‘indoctrination’ — though both epithets are true — but the thing that allows for shitey indoctrination posing as education to take root and flourish. What is that thing? You. And me. Good people not getting involved.

Why do the lauded free market technologies discussed in the article even exist — and get celebrated? These, while free market (maybe), are celebrated as solutions to a problem that hasn’t been shown to exist. Are these the organic next steps in grid-scale power, or mis-directed resources, siphoned off by those exploiting the zeitgeist? Net zero by 2025 isn’t from ‘Camp Pipes’ — it’s right out of ‘Thunder’.

Dave Fair
Reply to  WillyD
May 13, 2023 11:48 am

As an aside, a sympathetic journal did a profile on NASA’s Pete Kalmus and his family awhile back. While putting a positive spin on everything, the article actually painted him as a raving lunatic that drove his (passive/aggressive) wife to aberrant behaviors and turned his two boys into depressed cynics. I got the impression that Kalmus could be the next mass murderer in order for him to draw everybody’s attention to the end of the world driven by fossil fuel consumption.

May 13, 2023 5:29 am

I’m not exaggerating either when I say that every day the world consumes 100 million barrels of oil “

Actually you must be exaggerating since the planet only produces just over 80 million barrels of oil a day.

The real question I have is why on earth did they unchain Kalmus from the door. I would have happily left him there, I’d even give him all the diuretics and laxatives a man could eat.

William Howard
Reply to  harryfromsyd
May 13, 2023 6:08 am

100 bbls of oil is nothnig compared to 8 billion people exhaling 2 lbs of CO2 daily not to mention trillions of animals – the amount of CO2 n the atmosphere from indutrial and transportatin is miniscule compared to the amount from natural causes

Rich Davis
Reply to  William Howard
May 13, 2023 6:49 am

I prefer to make the case that the effect of CO2 is minor and beneficial. Your argument is admitting that CO2 is harmful but “it’s not my fault, man”.

CO2 is the gas of life, the biosphere is just barely recovering from a brush with death by starvation. The real climate catastrophe will be when we inevitably see the advance of ice sheets again. Warmer is better.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 12:35 pm

The effect of CO2 is major, not minor, no life without it,but the effect is good and we may need more of it, not less.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ronald Havelock
May 13, 2023 3:06 pm

Yes, true. The effect on life is vital. Sine non qua in fact.

The effect on temperature, not so much.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 8:13 pm

The effect on temperature, NONEXISTENT. Based on empirical evidence.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  William Howard
May 13, 2023 8:55 am

Each of those breaths are just returning the CO2 to where it came from, it had been absorbed by a plant which you either ate, or you ate the animal that ate the plant and will, after exhalation, likely be absorbed by another plant and the cycle starts again. Had those 8 billion people never existed, the equivalent number of carbon atoms in their bodies would still be in the air attached to 2 oxygen atoms.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
May 13, 2023 2:57 pm

Yes, of course the same is true for the fossil carbon that came out of the air millions of years ago and that we are finally liberating back into the fast carbon cycle. It was all in the atmosphere at one point in time. The planet didn’t blink. It was just fine with five times the CO2 we have left today.

The whole crazy scam is brain dead. How can we hit a tipping point around 20% of where CO2 was when life was at its most robust?

I agree with your point that William has a wrong understanding. Natural CO2 emissions are indeed huge but natural CO2 sinks are even bigger.

Natural sinks absorb about half of the extra that we’re putting into the air. A couple of ppm accumulate each year from the result of us emitting more extra CO2 than the natural sinks can soak up.

We are absolutely responsible for most of the increase from 280 to 420 ppm. Hooray for us!

It has caused agriculture to boom and the whole earth to bloom. Maybe it has played a role in a slight improvement in the climate at the same time.

It’s all good!

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 13, 2023 8:13 pm

And not forgetting the attack on farmed animals with these idiots trying to ban beef , lamb and milk.
The methane from farmed livestock is a closed cycle but these green idiots don’t want to know.
All the forage that farmed animals eat has absorbed CO2 from the air and the tiny amount of methane emitted during digestion is broken down in ten years into CO2 and H2O.
Not one additional molecule of CO2 or CH4 is added to the atmosphere yet we still have these activists screaming that We have to give up meat and milk.
Humans cannot live on cellulose as they cannot digest it but animals with enteric digestion can as the methane microbes in their stomachs consume cellulose ,multiplying rapidly and are absorbed as the animals food.
The effect of increased CO2 has been measured in controlled glass houses and at high concentrations plants certainly grow faster .

Rich Davis
Reply to  Graham
May 14, 2023 11:56 am

Yeah, the attack on meat is quite transparently the PETA crowd (not our lovable Peta) trying to glom onto the Green bandwagon.

Bruce P
May 13, 2023 5:39 am

If you frame it as an intellectual debate between peers, the argument makes sense.

But it is not a debate, it is a propaganda war. The real actors are hidden, but once in a while the curtain slips.

One factor that may save us eventually is the price tag. The family may be all in for a new EV but when they get to the dealer reality strikes.

A township may vote enthusiastically for some green scam, but when the electric bills double and treble there is trouble in paradise.

The only question is whether this will save us before or after the predictable widespread famines and wars. If civilization truly collapses, will the Committee for Public Safety come out on top, or Napolean? Either way we all lose until wiser heads finally prevail.

Reply to  Bruce P
May 13, 2023 6:08 am

I never understood people choosing suicide, especially making the same choice for their children.

Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2023 10:44 am

“especially making the same choice for their children.”

A significant percentage have been emotionally manipulated into believing nonsense with “think of the children” propaganda.

Pointing out that their children’s future is being threatened by indebting Trillions for a fictional crisis that harms them economically gets either crickets or the denier label.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Bruce P
May 13, 2023 12:42 pm

It is not a propaganda “war” until the losing side begins to fight. Where are the oil companies and the ICE auto manufacturers? Are they playing dead?

May 13, 2023 6:04 am

From article:”…backbone of the energy transition.”

Why do we need energy transition? It seems to me that you and your examples accept everything climate alarmist say about CO2. You and they just want to go slow.

Innovation to save money from the stupidity of raising the cost of oil, gas, and coal is good management but spending money to protect yourself from CO2 induced climate change is silly.

Reply to  mkelly
May 13, 2023 10:51 pm

We need an energy transition because we are slowly using up our easy to get to fossil fuels. And real environmental concerns will make the remaining more expensive to use. The problem with burning coal isn’t CO2; it’s other chemicals that get released. Trapping most of say Sulphur Dioxide is relatively costly.

Pat Frank
May 13, 2023 6:48 am

Actually one camp is composed of wild-eyed demon-hunters and the other side is bemused and upset to see that insane people have absconded with the levers of police power.

Eric Vieira
May 13, 2023 6:52 am

The use of heating systems based on methane consuming fuel cells is pretty common in Japan. See: Here in Switzerland, there will be an referendum on June 18, which would implement net zero laws .. a catastrophe, although we voted against CO2 legislation not even 2 years ago. That’s democracy nowadays. Practically only heat pumps will be usable for heating, and only EV’s if you own a car. More electricity generation ? Only wind and solar, like: the way to go is to fail like DE and UK. There’s a biogas facility close to my place, but I suppose that won’t be allowed for heating or driving either …

Last edited 26 days ago by Eric Vieira
Reply to  Eric Vieira
May 13, 2023 4:37 pm

The use of heating systems based on methane consuming fuel cells is pretty common in Japan

I was unaware that fuel cells have a foothold in domestic markets. The cells run on hydrogen extracted from natural gas. The latest version separates the extractor and the fuel cell units so the fuel cell is hydrogen ready if green hydrogen gets beyond fantasy.

A small version of this device coupled with solar panels and relatively small battery would eliminate the need for an electricity grid in Australia.

Two States in Australia already have more lunchtime solar than the grid can handle. Some households are installing batteries to get full value of the solar energy potential. But a pure solar/battery system requires a lot of overbuid. A small fuel cell using waste heat from gas conversion to heat water and the electricity to charge a battery as demand required could be an economic solution.

The electricity grid in Australia is now being socialised again because the free market only operated for a few years before intermittent generation was offered government protection to rob electricity consumers.

Pat Frank
May 13, 2023 7:21 am

Nabors Drilling’s “hydrogen economically generated at the well site” is almost certainly steam-methane reforming.

At its most basic: CH₄ + 2H₂O –> 4H₂ + CO₂

it doesn’t spare the CO₂, and it costs energy relative to burning the methane directly.

Reforming methane to make hydrogen is a stupid idea, unless one wants the hydrogen for an industrial gas and high-quality manufacture.

The only reason methane reforming can be economical for energy use is because it will be subsidized. Economical for the parasitic industry, expensive for the end-user (WUWT’s readers).

And please, let no one come along to say the CO₂ will be economically captured and pumped back down into the well for permanent storage.

Richard M
May 13, 2023 8:20 am

There’s no need for any “energy transition”. CO2 emissions do not cause warming. This kind of article gives credence to plans that are unneeded. Not only is “panic a bad idea”. Any kind of action, not driven by energy market dynamics, is unneeded.

Downwelling IR from increasing CO2 concentrations enhances evaporation, not warming. This action moves energy (latent heat) into the upper troposphere where it more efficiently condenses into clouds and rain which also reduces high altitude water vapor.

“The main problem with the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory is the false treatment of the global hydrologic cycle which is not adequately understood by any of the AGW advocates. ” – Dr. William Gray

The additional absorption of energy, via widening of CO2 absorption frequencies, simply negates the cooling due to this water cycle increase. Instead of producing warming, the energy is used to produce more precipitation. This is exactly what is needed along with CO2 to expand the biosphere.

John Oliver
May 13, 2023 9:20 am

Every time I have a conversation with a person that supports Net Zero type policy they reveal themselves. They have only the most superficial understanding of the subject matter. Even the ones that have higher degrees and should know to be cautious about oversimplifying complex systems.

Smart Rock
May 13, 2023 9:56 am

Terry starts off well but then he descends into wishful thinking. The chances of a “middle ground” seem to be very small, and getting smaller all the time.

If you ask me (and if you don’t ask me, I’m telling you anyway) Terry’s problem is that he sees the conflict between the climate change alarmism/net zero movement and rational thought in isolation, as a problem that might be resolvable by some kind of diplomacy and mediation. It might have seemed like that in the 1990s, before the alarmist message was seized on by a faceless, nameless, leaderless “progressive” movement.

But now, the alarmist/net zero movement is just one of the weapons that the “progressives” are using to attack, and ultimately to dismantle, western democratic society. We all know what the others are, we read about them every day, but we mostly don’t see them as parts of an integrated strategy that has self-organised without ever seeming to have a leader. But here’s a partial list, and I invite you to ponder on how recently some of these tactics have appeared (seemingly out of nowhere!) to dominate public discourse:

  • our languages have a lot of words that we are no longer allowed to use in case they might offend someone whose sensitivity has been carefully cultivated (“sticks and stones may break my bones, but words are what really hurt me”)
  • if you live in a prosperous, democratic western country, your nation’s history is something to be ashamed of, and to offer up grovelling apologies for;
  • if you have European ethnicity, you share personal responsibility for every bad thing that’s ever happened to anyone, anywhere;
  • your gender is yours alone to decide, and no caution or comment is allowable, other than praise for your courage and determination to mutilate your body;
  • if you have opinions that are not aligned with a certain world view, every opportunity for you to express those opinions in public (specifically, on the internet) has to be suppressed;
  • unlimited deficit spending is good economic policy;
  • if a new disease emerges escapes from a lab, you must give up your freedom to work, travel, engage in recreational activity etc. and submit to arbitrary orders from your leaders, regardless of whether they make logical or scientific sense;
  • if you live in a prosperous, democratic western country (again) your nation should open its borders to anyone, from anywhere, who wants to come and live in your country, and your taxes should be used to feed, clothe and house them indefinitely;
  • religion is a bad thing, and needs to be suppressed (unless it’s Islαm of course);
  • if you live in a prosperous, democratic western country (yet again), and a medium-sized nation that you have sympathy for, is attacked by a larger and more powerful nation, your nation’s duty is not to use its clout and the clout of its allies to try and broker a diplomatic solution so that casualties are minimised. No, your nation’s duty is to send all its offensive weapons to the medium-sized nation, even when the attacking nation is ruled by an autocrat whose mental stability is in question, and who controls enough weapons to obliterate your nation, all its allies and all who live there (see today’s news, UK to send long range cruise missiles FFS!!).
  • billions of people need to starve to death to avoid being killed by (newly discovered – eureka!, isn’t science wonderful when its conclusions are determined in advance) planet-destroying effects of nitrogen fertilisers.
  • And on and on and on, without end.

If only the progressive movement was controlled by a leader, hiding in a volcano and planning to rule the world, we could send agent 007 to take him out. But it’s not like that, there is no leader, our society is destroying itself from within. And it may well be inevitable.

May 13, 2023 10:25 am

The swindlers who run this planet’s biggest fear is a united citizenry. They use media to divide us in every way possible so they can conquer. They get away with murder because polarity is used as cover for corruption. Our common enemy are those who seek domination for personal power.

Media exists to manipulate public opinion. Getting people to understand this is key to them starting to ask how are they trying to manipulate me? and who benefits from that manipulation? It has always been so. Thomas Jefferson said the the man who knows nothing is closer to the truth than those who’s minds are filled with falsehoods and error from reading newspapers.

May 13, 2023 10:33 am

This was a frightening interview with a former state senator about the California Government. The divide has grown here and now there is ZERO power balance hence laws including environmental fantasties keep getting approved. We have tons of unelected boards as well, like CARB, that think they are doing good, (and have in the past) but have zero awareness on the damage they are currently causing.

Reminds of of the 2008-09 financial crisis. The cause at the “root” was numerous government policies under both Dem/Rep administrations to promote home ownership. Yes other players went along, but the root causes were roads paved with good intentions. We have not learned our lesson as they just pushed a law to make responsible credit people pay more and those who with lowered credit quality pay less for loans. (It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again:)

Nothing is more dangerous than unchecked governments. In California we have that in over abundance. I am not sure about good intentions anymore either, just more personal interest. The senator is hopeful voters will change course, not sure I share that optimism.

Phil Salmon
May 14, 2023 5:20 am

Martin Durkin, who made the U.K. Channel 4 documentary “The Great Climate Swindle” 15 years ago, before climategate, has a second major climate politics documentary in the works. Here he discusses it on Tom Nelson’s YouTube channel. It will be well worth waiting for.

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