This isn’t going to sound very nice, but think of all the stupidity in the world. I’m not trying to be mean, and no, this isn’t some sort of political diatribe. Sorry to break it to everyone but Trudeau isn’t stupid – he is just wildly out of his element. He has no ability or inclination for the finesse required to run a massive organization. Had he stayed in the drama classroom, we might all be marvelling at his brilliant productions.
But just because someone isn’t stupid doesn’t mean they don’t do stupid things.
What I’m talking about is the blinkered stupidity we all have, at some level. Think of the poor slob that buys a prestigious car primarily as a status symbol, sadly unaware that the only people that are impressed by status symbols like that are those that are in the same boat, desperate to impress others, and not worth trying to impress. Think of conversations you overhear in public, where people speak authoritatively on things they clearly have no idea about. That doesn’t mean they are complete fools, but on any given specific topic, that may be the best descriptor.
Think of macro-level, history-making, one-for-the-ages stupidity, like the US-led invasion and carpet-bombing of Iraq based on faulty intel that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Oops. And even if that part of the plan was not stupid but intentional – that the Bush administration needed a pretext to blow away Saddam Hussein – even then the expectation that a “shock-and-awe” super-quick bombing campaign (the very naming of which implies a stupidity of epic grandness) would lead to a quick war was another example of profound and tragic dumbness.
I’m not just throwing stones at others; I have been there as well, and probably more often than I care to admit (or worse, more times than I know). I’ve stood in the middle of a supermarket with an empty basket after 15 minutes of searching, declaring to myself that “there’s nothing to eat here”, which means I want to order a pizza or go to a restaurant but prefer to blame something else.
What does this have to do with anything, particularly energy? If it’s that pervasive it there any sense in contemplating it?
Well, we need to examine this issue, because it can explain how we seem to be in world that’s lost its mind with respect to energy.
When you hear some lout in a bar expounding on what’s wrong with the world, it matters little because the circle of influence is obviously quite small and usually equally drunk, and the person proclaiming to know how to run the world/corporation/city better than the fools in power is nothing more than an amusement.
With energy however, the ignoramuses have grabbed the wheel, and are exercising stupidity on a profoundly large scale, with no possible grasp of the consequences.
As with the US decision to shock-and-awe Iraq, activists are taking drastic measures in the firm belief that their actions are for the common good and are necessary – they believe that in order for the world to be saved from rising temperatures, the world must be forced away from fossil fuels.
In a grade-school kind of way, the logic seems to be that simply starving the petroleum industry of capital and the ability to build infrastructure will force the world to turn to solar and wind energy sources. Evidence of this strategy is inescapable, with the world’s media falling readily into line to promote the plan.
The strategy however is eerily similar to the US’ hammering of Iraq. What seems like a straightforward objective turned into a global fiasco of biblical proportions – the bombing blitz did relieve Iraq of a despotic leader, but opened up a multi-decade shop of horrors for the west that indirectly helped lead to the formation of ISIS and a new generation of mind-warpingly cruel terrorism.
Imagine how the current war on petroleum might play out. Capital supplies are indeed being strangled, and crafty activists and hordes of eco-lawyers are successfully thwarting infrastructure development in not just Canada but in other open societies.
Yet at the same time global demand for oil continues to rise, and demand for natural gas is rising faster. Seven billion people have no hope of surviving as they do now on wind and solar power, yet that is being presented as the only viable option.
So now we have on a global scale the equivalent of the invasion of Iraq. People believe they are doing the right thing – saving civilization – because they have, through group think, peer pressure, and the relentless tactics of powerful organizations, been convinced that dramatic action is required to limit further global warming.
As with the invasion of Iraq, a similar “shock-and-awe” strategy has been unleashed, though in this instance more like a “terrify-and-obstruct” strategy. Advocates have a vision of victory in their minds that is so strong, so absolute, and so total that they can’t imagine anything but success and greatness with victory. The structure of their guiding vision is so pure that anyone that raises objections is a “denier”; anyone that points out that fossil fuels show no signs of relinquishing their stranglehold on global energy requirements is deemed an “apologist”.
After the invasion of Iraq, we all were faced with the horror of the unforeseen consequences of that decision. Today, if the trajectory continues, we will see the advancement of Green New Deal – style bombs being leveled at today’s fuel sources, with these attacks predicated on the assumption that wind and solar will save the day.
And there appears to be little we can do about it but watch it unfold. Governments are forcing auto makers to build electric vehicles that the public largely and stubbornly refuses to purchase, and if they all do, there will be electrical grid chaos. Solar and wind installations continue to be advanced, while other critical components of the electrical grid (nuclear and natural gas) continue to be under attack. Indeed, billionaire Michael Bloomberg personally contributed $500 million to a fund to promote grass-roots attacks on the coal and natural gas industries, with a push to eliminate current coal fired power plants and halt construction of new natural gas ones. The world simply is not ready for this scenario, should it succeed, and the consequences could be monumental.
We are in uncharted waters, and decisions are being made by people who have no clue as to what the second and third order consequences might be. A strangled natural gas delivery system could prove catastrophic in a severely cold winter, for example. All we can do is hope that the lessons Mother Nature inflicts on us are far less brutal than they theoretically could be. Whatever climate change might hold for us, it pales in comparison to a winter without natural gas supplies or a summer without air-conditioned hospitals/seniors homes/schools/offices/you name it.
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