Political Climate
Jun 22, 2018
Pope Francis’s Misguided War on Fossil Fuels

H. Sterling Burnett

It seems that Pope Francis has learned little since his 2015 papal encyclical calling on the world to fight climate change by limiting the use of modern technologies and fossil fuels. At a recent Vatican meeting he called many of the world’s leading oil company executives to the carpet. Francis told the executives they should shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to fight “global warming.”

Pope Francis has myriad misguided beliefs about climate science, almost all of which he holds based on faith alone, as if they were holy writ. Even worse, his belief that society can transition from fossil fuels while reducing hunger and poverty is downright dangerous.

Despite the false claims of climate alarmists, fossil fuels have been a boon to the world. They supply affordable and abundant power for lighting, transportation, refrigeration, clean water, modern agriculture (including food delivery, storage, and protection from early decay and pests), indoor air-conditioning and heating, cooking, and the multitude of other technologies upon which modern societies are based. In attacking fossil fuels, Pope Francis is undermining the very resources and technologies most responsible for raising literally billions of people out of poverty. Coal, natural gas, and oil remain vital to increasing lifespans, decreasing infant mortality, and helping humans generally flourish.

In his brilliant book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Alex Epstein wrote,

“Climate is no longer a major cause of death, thanks in large part to fossil fuels...Not only are we ignoring the big picture by making the fight against climate danger the fixation of our culture, we are ‘fighting’ climate change by opposing the weapon that has made it dozens of times less dangerous. The popular climate discussion...looks at man as a destructive force for climate livability, one who makes the climate dangerous because we use fossil fuels. In fact, the truth is… we don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous; we take a dangerous climate and make it safe.”

Pope Francis and many other world leaders ignore this important fact, putting the lives of the world’s most impoverished people at risk.

When espousing his energy doctrine, Pope Francis would do well to adopt the humility and intellectual honesty of William Alsup, the presiding judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In a case in which oil companies are being sued by Oakland and San Francisco for causing climate harm, Alsup indicated if he is to consider the potential climate harms caused by the use of oil and gas, he must also examine the huge benefits their use has delivered. Alsup succinctly stated, “We need to weigh in the large benefits that have flowed from the use of fossil fuels. There have been huge benefits.”

Below are a few facts Pope Francis should take to heart before he declares a twenty-first-century crusade against fossil fuels.

In a tutorial prepared for Judge Alsup by Joe Bast, director, and Peter Ferrara, Senior Fellow with The Heartland Institute, “The Social Benefit of Fossil Fuels,” they point out fossil fuels provided the energy that powered nearly all the technologies of the Industrial Revolution, as well as plastics, high-tech manufacturing, and mobile computer devices. From 1850 to 2010, fossil fuels spurred a 550 percent increase in the world’s population, and they helped dramatically reduce poverty and hunger. During this period, energy consumption increased fiftyfold and world per-capita energy consumption increased ninefold. Nearly all the world’s increased energy consumption came from fossil fuels.

Furthermore, fossil fuels are integral to mechanized farming (including gasoline- and diesel-powered tractors for planting, fertilizing, harvesting, storing, and for trucks to deliver crops to store shelves), irrigation systems, and in the creation of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that improve and expedite crop growth and prevent loss to weeds, insects, and other pests. Ironically, the natural resources environmentalists detest are actually responsible for the Green Revolution that saved billions of people from hunger during the twentieth century.

Besides increased food production and less global malnutrition, fossil fuels also allow for all the creature comforts that make life more enjoyable and improve health. For example, air-conditioning is powered by electricity - primarily fueled by coal and natural gas. Pope Francis decried this technology in his papal encyclical, but air-conditioning has been an undeniable boon to public health everywhere it is widely used. Air-conditioning prevents thousands of premature deaths from heat-related illnesses each year, saving millions of lives over the past several decades. Refrigeration, also powered by fossil fuels, has kept food and medicine from spoiling, saving millions of additional lives. Almost all home appliances and small devices rely on electricity, and the standard of living has vastly improved because of these devices.

Contra Francis, we can;t afford to have the air-conditioning, refrigeration, lighting, and other technologies in our homes, super markets, businesses, and hospitals work only when the wind blows or the sun shines.

Moreover, fossil fuels are important before, during, and after natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. They reduce the number of people ultimately injured or killed by powering the helicopters, boats, military, police, and utility vehicles sent to restore order and electricity after such devastating events. They also power the vehicles and ambulances that evacuate people from disaster zones, and the semi-trailer trucks that deliver water, food, blankets, and other relief supplies to those who remain. When power lines go down in natural disasters, it is back-up generators, powered by diesel, natural gas, or liquid propane, not rooftop solar or wind turbines, that provide the electricity to apartment buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, and countless shelters.

Communication devices such as cell phones, computers, and radio equipment that keep people connected and informed on an everyday basis (especially during natural disasters) are all made from, manufactured with, and powered by oil and natural gas. Fossil fuels have transformed communication and increased information access on a level unlike anything humanity has witnessed before.

A world without fossil fuels would be a much more brutal place. Until Pope Francis understands the vital role fossil fuels have and should continue to play around the world, he should stick to saving souls rather than pontificating over peoples’ energy choices.

Originally published on American Thinker.



Jun 18, 2018
U.S. bishop urges bishops’ conference to call on Trump to rejoin Paris climate accord

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, June 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) - The U.S. bishops were pressed Wednesday to lend their collective and individual names to an environmentalist petition to reverse President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the controversial Paris Climate Agreement.

Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates exhorted the bishops to endorse the Catholic Climate Covenant’s (CCC) U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration at their Spring General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, with the hope the bishops would act by their next meeting in November.

The CCC board had asked him at its most recent meeting “in the spirit of the third anniversary of Laudato si” to convey two things regarding the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration, he said, which “expresses concurrence with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.” Pates is the Bishops’ liaison to the Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), a D.C.-area nonprofit created in 2006 by the Bishops’ conference. “It is requested that the USCCB as a body sign on to the declaration,” he told the bishops.

-------------

Unfortunately like the Pope, the liberal Bishops have been (1) misled into believe man is driving dangerous climate change and (2) unaware the Paris Accord was simply a population control, wealth redistribution scheme that would hurt the people they proclaim need it.

SPECIAL REPORT The VATICAN ADVISORS: An Unholy Alliance with the UN Global Warming Agenda September 2015

In the preparation and promotion of its widely touted encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, the Vatican relied on advisors who can only be described as the most extreme elements in the global warming debate. These climate advisors are so far out of the mainstream they even make some of their fellow climate activists cringe. Many of these advisors oppose individual freedom and market economics and stand against traditional family values.

image

The Vatican and Pope Francis did not allow dissent or alternative perspectives to be heard during the creation and promotion of the encyclical. The Vatican only listened to activist voices within the climate movement. Even more startling, many of the Vatican’s key climate advisors have promoted policies directly at odds with Catholic doctrine and beliefs. The proceedings of the Vatican climate workshop included activists like Naomi Oreskes, Naomi Klein, Peter Wadhams, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs.

Pope Francis’ advisors, and the UN climate agenda he is aligning himself with, are strong supporters of development restrictions, contraceptives, population control, and abortion. Despite these strange bedfellows, the encyclical is clear in condemning abortion, contraception, and population control.

There has been nothing short of an “Unholy Alliance” between the Vatican and promoters of man-made climate fear. The Vatican advisors can only be described as a brew of anti-capitalist, pro-population control advocates who allow no dissent and are way out of the mainstream of even the global warming establishment.
Here are profiles of some of the key radical voices with whom the Vatican has associated itself.



May 23, 2018
Bad news for green energy lovers: US oil & gas are booming

By Robert Bryce, Manhattan institute

image

Another day, another spate of headlines about the growing mess at Tesla.

Last week, the electric carmaker announced that its head of engineering, Doug Field, was taking a leave of absence to “spend time with his family.”

That news came just a few days after the company announced dreadful first-quarter financial results. As usual, the company posted a huge loss (nearly $785 million) and the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, promised that Tesla will soon - really soon, and he means it this time - begin churning out Model 3 cars by the thousands.

But the media’s infatuation with Tesla is overshadowing a story that’s far more important than the number of electric cars, solar panels and batteries that Tesla may (or may not) be producing.

Two days before Tesla announced its first-quarter results, the Energy Information Administration reported that US production of both oil and natural gas are at record levels.

In February, oil output hit 10.2 million barrels per day and gas production hit 87.6 billion cubic feet per day. The fact that US oil and gas companies are producing such prodigious quantities of energy - and by doing so, are saving consumers billions of dollars per year - should be headline news.

As my colleague at the Manhattan Institute, Mark P. Mills, has noted, the shale revolution has turned the US into an energy superpower. The combination of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other technologies, he says, has resulted in “the fastest and biggest addition to world energy supply that has ever occurred in history.”

How big is that addition? Over the past decade, merely the increase - I repeat, just the increase - in US oil and gas production is equal to seven times the total energy production of every wind turbine and solar project in the United States.

Climate-change activists like to claim that renewable energy can power the entire economy and that we should “do the math.” I couldn’t agree more - on the math part. In 2008, US oil production was about 5.2 million barrels per day. Today, it’s about 10.2 million barrels per day. In 2008, domestic gas production averaged about 55.1 billion cubic feet per day. Today, it’s about 87.6 billion cubic feet per day.

That’s an increase of about 32.5 billion cubic feet per day, which is equivalent to about 5.5 million barrels of oil per day. Thus, over the past decade, US oil and gas output has jumped by about 10.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Let’s compare that to domestic solar and wind production which, since 2008, has increased by 4,800 percent and 450 percent, respectively. While those percentage increases are impressive, the total energy produced from those sources remains small when compared to oil and gas.

In 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration, US solar production totaled about 77 terawatt-hours and wind production totaled about 254 terawatt-hours, for a combined total of 331 terawatt-hours. That’s the equivalent of about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day.

Simple division (10.5 divided by 1.5) shows that since 2008, the increase in energy production from oil and gas is equal to seven times the energy output of all domestic solar and wind.

This surge in hydrocarbon production has resulted in huge benefits to the US economy. Over the past half-decade, foreign and domestic companies have invested about $160 billion in new chemical-manufacturing facilities in the United States. A 2016 study by IHS found that lower natural-gas prices have created about 1.4 million jobs and increased disposable income by about $156 billion.

Those real-world gains are being lost amid the neverending hype over Tesla and Musk, who during the May 2 briefing referred to a “solar-battery-powered mega charger” and claimed that Tesla drivers can “have sort of like a mind meld with the car.”

The punchline here is obvious: chatter about mega chargers and mind melds captivates the masses. But the most consequential energy story in America isn’t happening at Tesla, or other “green” energy companies. It’s happening in the oil and gas business.

Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.



Page 2 of 626 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >  Last »