ExxonMobil is Right, Net-Zero Efforts Will Cause a Lower Quality of Life

From Climate Realism

By Linnea Lueken

A recent Bloomberg article, titled “Exxon Says Reaching Net Zero Global Emissions by 2050 ‘Highly Unlikely’,” describes a regulatory filing Exxon Mobil Corporation made indicating that there would be significant risk associated with phasing out oil and gas production and use. Exxon and Glass Lewis, the advisor they referenced, are right. Getting rid of oil and gas in pursuit of Net-Zero emissions by 2050 would seriously impact the peoples’ standards of living globally.

According to Bloomberg, Exxon said “The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero Emissions scenario, which models a phaseout of most fossil fuels by 2050, has little bearing in reality[.]”

They go on to say that it is “highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living required to permanently achieve a scenario like the IEA NZE.”

Exxon’s representatives are correct. Multiple polls have shown that although majorities claim to claim to support “climate action,” once they see the actual price tag, they are far less enthusiastic. For example, a United Nations poll conducted in 2016, had climate change concerns coming in dead last.

Californians provides a good case study. As covered by Climate Realismhere, although California residents are often celebrated for their climate bona fides, when polled on support of a climate tax, their support fizzles. A California county board polled the public, looking for support for a tax increase of 0.25 percent to use for climate goals, and the poll failed to generate the two-thirds support they needed to pass the tax.

Europeans, who are generally happier with government climate initiatives, also don’t support those plans once they begin to directly impact their way of life. A recent YouGov poll of several thousand Europeans across different countries, found that most Europeans claimed to be worried about climate change. However, when the poll asked how much they were willing to sacrifice, support quickly waned. Most did not support limiting meat or dairy intake, paying more for electricity or energy efficient appliances, limiting how many children they have, or limiting or banning vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.

Since fossil fuel use is the backbone of all these parts of life, it makes sense to say that it is “highly unlikely” that a phaseout of fossil fuels will be supported once the masses realize what impact on the day-to-day it would have.

Restricting or eliminating the use of fossil fuels will undoubtedly lead to higher food prices, because every step of large-scale food production relies on them, and on byproducts from refining them. Fertilizers and pesticides are made as a byproduct of natural gas production, and plastics and other specialized materials are made from the byproducts of oil and gas refining. Large tractors run on diesel fuel; the steel necessary for heavy farm equipment is made using coal; transportation fuels get food from farm to table, the list goes on forever, and that’s just the agricultural industry. As Climate Realism has extensively covered, herehere, and here, for example, the food supply is already being threatened by efforts to ban the use of fossil fuels in agriculture.

Fossil fuels are even used in the mining, refining, manufacturing, transportation, and construction of renewable electric power sources like wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries, and electric vehicles.

Exxon knows this, and should be encouraged to keep making these facts known. If voters were aware of the true costs of net-zero, the alarmist media and politicians may have a harder time forcing it on the public.

Linnea Lueken

Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy. While she was an intern with The Heartland Institute in 2018, she co-authored a Heartland Institute Policy Brief “Debunking Four Persistent Myths About Hydraulic Fracturing.”

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Bruce P
May 24, 2023 2:34 am

“Exxon Knew”! and Exxon knows. Shutting down fossil fuels will cause untold death and destruction. But almost every so-called first world country has definite plans to do it.

Like trying to reason with a guy on the ledge. If he was open to reason he wouldn’t be out in the cold looking twenty stories down.

It is a religious phenomenon of the unreligious. As G K Chesterton said, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

The whales may save us this time. Don’t nuke the whales!

Bruce P
Reply to  Bruce P
May 24, 2023 2:59 am

Just realized I made a joke that only boomers would get. In the 60s, bumper stickers that said “Save the Whales” were common. Also “No Nukes”. So some wag who was not fond of either sentiment came up with “Nuke the Whales”. How terribly strange to be 70.

Reply to  Bruce P
May 24, 2023 6:58 am

Ditto for being 80+. Strange times we’ve come to. The “climate” scam is coming apart everywhere. The left knows it, and are resisting the demise of their doomsday predictions over the last century. Hopefully, they’ll soon be relegated to their street corners with signs proclaiming “the end is near”. Or something like that.

William Howard
Reply to  Bruce P
May 24, 2023 7:23 am

whales, like eagles will be sacrificed for the “greater good”

Reply to  Bruce P
May 25, 2023 10:03 am

“Definite plans” – more like typical political baffle-gag and bs, you can’t have definite plans for something that is impossible to do. They haven’t even prepared bogus cost estimates – you know, fake estimates of made up numbers like most of NASA and military plans – just quasi-religious statements that the NZ is urgently needed and can be achieved and will save us money and our very lives, without a shread of evidence.

May 24, 2023 3:04 am

Slowly, glacially even, people are beginning to cotton on. (Can I say that?)

As the exhortations and demands begin to bite they begin to realise. But the media does a sterling job of omitting anything that is off narrative – like Dutch farmers and their upcoming struggle against the lunatic Rutte government, and making the catastrophe of Sri Lanka all about international loans.

In the UK it is pretty much nigh on impossible to break the stranglehold of the BBC, ITV and to some extent C4 and C5

And in the UK we now have a new enemy within. What was once a neutral Civil Service is now captured and highly politicised. The tactic is to focus on a politician whose policies they dislike and then start the campaign to get them out. So far they got Dominic Raab and now they are out for Suella Braverman.

The establishment is desperate to oust the home secretary.

 and crucially they are out to get the chair of the equality watchdog. The law on equality guarantees women’s spaces, ie excludes blokes who claim to be women. And the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) enforces that. The Civil Service has decided that Kishwer Falkner has to go.

Last month, in response to a request for advice from the equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch, Falkner wrote back in support of changing the Equality Act 2010, so that the protected characteristic of sex meant biological sex.

EHRC’s Kishwer Falkner rejects allegations by 12 current or ex-colleagues, and her supporters say she is victim of witch-hunt over stance on trans issues

Westminster has a problem.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  strativarius
May 24, 2023 4:20 am

You’re gonna hate me…
At this very moment (since 09:00 this morn) there is an electricity blackout.
It was forewarned, we knew all about it – the Utility Company are trimming some trees that are getting too close their wires.
Town of Paradise, Calif: Take note.
Oops, too late.

But it has gone soooooo quiet round here. Traffic noise was never intrusive = as you’d expect 2 miles out-of-town and in a 50 acre rose-garden-field but even with all windows & doors swung wide open (Temp is now 17.8°C outside – this is UK Heatwave Situation) I cannot hear anything except the wild birds….

it’s nice

200 Thousand Baby Roses.JPG
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 24, 2023 4:24 am


Not a kit removal situation, then. Far from it!

Reply to  strativarius
May 24, 2023 4:51 am

That’s a nice temperature for a brisk walk, run or bike ride, assuming one is wearing proper outer wear. I prefer a light polymer shell windbreaker.

Reply to  Scissor
May 24, 2023 6:17 am

Brisk is the word

Reply to  Scissor
May 25, 2023 10:34 am

That’s t-shirt and shorts weather for this Canadian….

Reply to  strativarius
May 24, 2023 6:16 am

Last edited 8 days ago by strativarius
May 24, 2023 3:39 am

Good summary, but commenting instead to commend the author on her writing style. On several occasions over the last few weeks when reading a WUWT post I’ve found myself thinking the writing is really good, only to scroll down and once again see Linnea is the author. Most authors here are decent writers, but Linnea’s has stood out to me of late, the effort is appreciated.

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  MJB
May 24, 2023 5:10 pm

This YT vid by Linnea (about geothermal energy) was also very well presented, and got at least one comment saying so…

May 24, 2023 3:54 am

“Highly unlikely”? That seems to be a soft version of what Exxon actually said: “In accordance with GAAP, we do not incorporate into our financial statements those types of risks that are as remote as the IEA NZE path. [] It is clear that the IEA NZE does not, by the scenario authors’ own assessment, meet the level of likelihood required to be considered in our financial statements. [] We ask shareholders therefore to reject the proponent’s conclusion, which was not based on a sound, underlying analysis.“. They did indeed also use the words “Highly unlikely”, but that was of “society” not of “Reaching Net Zero Global Emissions by 2050”.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 25, 2023 10:40 am

What about the effect of the NZ policies? Even though NZ is impossible to do without society collapsing, it doesn’t mean that the misanthropic politicians won’t tax everything and everyone to death.

May 24, 2023 4:27 am

It is not just agriculture–it is everything.

Mom is in the hospital at the moment, and as I sat in her room yesterday, it was hard not to notice that virtually everything in the room is largely made of fossil fuel derived plastic or polymer. The bed itself is heavy plastic, all the tubes in the room, all the containers of this and that, the IV bags and tubes and clips, the bandages on her arm, the seat covers on the chairs, the bedside table, even the flooring. (Mom is doing nicely, so I had time to look.)

Take away the plastics, and you would just have a small pile of scrap metal. And no modern medicine.

I don’t think we are ready to give up even a part of that.

Last edited 8 days ago by starzmom
Reply to  starzmom
May 24, 2023 4:45 am

I’m happy that your mom is doing well.

The medical industry transitioned greatly from wood, metal, glass, animal products, leather, etc., mostly to plastic because plastic is less expensive and largely superior for the applications.

Even the climate protesters can’t get away from using petroleum derived signs, materials and they wear clothing and shoes that are almost all synthetic.


Last edited 8 days ago by Scissor
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  starzmom
May 24, 2023 12:17 pm

There are people working on the problem of modifying bacteria to decompose plastic, to help with the problem of plastic pollution. Think about what the future might hold if they are successful in their quest for ‘designer genes,’ and they escape the industrial environment into the wild.

May 24, 2023 5:00 am

This how it works with the climate changers. The packaging has nothing whatsoever to do with the safe reliable delivery of our food and products economising on wastage therein. Nope it’s all about biz not mending their wicked ways so Gummint must step in to fix that-
Govt to force change on packaging industry (msn.com)
Just vote for them and it’s all fixed and cost saving just like the free renewables and your power bills.

May 24, 2023 5:57 am

Exon just purchased a lithium deposit. Meanwhile, Shell just had its annual meeting seriously disrupted by protestors…..maybe Shell should purchase a lithium deposit?

Dave O.
May 24, 2023 8:28 am

Even the alarmists realize that people won’t willingly return to the stone age. Thus, the need for a worldwide dictatorship to force the issue.

May 24, 2023 8:49 am

It’s well past time to recognize that the destruction of the middle class standard of living is the feature of the program, and not the bug. Von de Leyen has finally admitted what to many has become clearly obvious, it”s all out war on the proles.

Reply to  terry
May 24, 2023 10:04 am

“middle class standard of living”….won’t be reachable under any 21st century net zero energy production scenario, without StarTrek tech like dilithium crystals, warp drives and transporters…

Reply to  terry
May 26, 2023 12:50 am

A lot of the people I know don’t realize that yet. No major news network ever has a serious look at the implications of these policies. I think exploding utility and gasoline prices will be the wake up call.

It doesnot add up
May 24, 2023 9:12 am

Story tip

The twitter files continue:

Climate scientists flee Twitter as hostility surges following Musk’s takeover (france24.com)

Policies aimed at curbing the deadly effects of climate change are accelerating, prompting a rise in what experts identify as organised resistance by opponents of climate reform.

Gosh, there’s pushback against being made poor, cold and hungry?

Robert Rohde, a physicist and lead scientist at the non-profit environmental data analysis group Berkeley Earth, analysed activity on hundreds of accounts of widely followed specialists posting about climate science before and after the takeover.
He found climate scientists’ tweets were losing impact. The average number of likes they received was down 38 percent and average retweets fell 40 percent.

So how many of the likes and retweets were in fact from sympathetic bots before Musk rooted them out?

In another analysis, prominent climatologist Katharine Hayhoe monitored responses to a tweet on climate change which she published twice, as an experiment, on separate dates before and after the takeover.
She counted the hostile comments and examined them for signs that they came from bots — automated accounts that researchers say are pushing mass misinformation.
Inauthentic accounts can be identified by analysis tools such as Bot Sentinel.
Replies from apparent trolls or bots increased 15 to 30 times over a two-month period compared to the previous two years, Hayhoe tweeted in January 2023.

You see, bots are only deniers.(!)

Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, said he was moving most of his climate communication to Substack, a newsletter platform.
“Climate communications on Twitter are less useful (now) given that I can see that my tweets are getting less engagement,” he said.
“In response to almost any tweet concerning climate change, I find my notifications inundated with replies from verified accounts making misleading or misguided claims.”
Others have abandoned Twitter altogether. 
Hayhoe said that of a Twitter list of 3,000 climate scientists that she keeps, 100 disappeared after the takeover.

So maybe it’s real people with blue ticks, not bots at all?

Confused? You won’t be after this episode of soft soap!

May 24, 2023 9:48 am

Kerry lamented that agriculture production alone creates 33% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, arguing that reducing those emissions must be “front and center” in the quest to defeat global warming, during remarks Wednesday morning at the Department of Agriculture’s AIM for Climate Summit. The former secretary of state also touted so-called climate smart agriculture as a potential solution.

When they come for your Big-Mac, your Whopper, your ice cream and your beer

May 24, 2023 11:27 am

Remember, as I always say, “Those who want to lower your standard of living are not your friends”.

May 24, 2023 1:44 pm

Will cause?

It’s already causing massive decreases in quality of life.

Reply to  MarkW
May 24, 2023 3:48 pm

Yeah, like spending all our money on gasoline, heating oil and higher priced food thanks to Joe rutaba’s edicts.

Edward Katz
May 24, 2023 6:06 pm

Realists regarding climate action have known from the outset that just because people say they may believe in one thing or another, doesn’t mean that they actually intend to do much or anything about it. Maybe the majority of people agree that they should improve their physical fitness levels and lose weight, but that doesn’t mean mean they’re actually going to take the steps required to achieve these goals. Likewise with climate change.
It’s easy for people to claim they’re concerned about the so-called problem. Whether they’re willing to make the lifestyle changes to combat it, is a totally different story as both polls and actual actions continue to reveal. Nor do they want governments to do too much about it either. Just look at where the political parties advocating strong environmental measures finish in elections. They’re inevitably bringing up the rear in the overall vote count.

Reply to  Edward Katz
May 26, 2023 12:55 am

Try Germany, they are setting policy. Also running the EU.

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