Why I’m hopeful for the future of energy

(or why Net Zero will never happen)


By Barry Foster



If we were to take a photo of today’s typical fossil fuel energy provision, it would look something like this:


The reason I’m very hopeful is that if we were to take a picture of the future of energy provision, say in 20-30 years’ time, it will look like this:



The future is fossil fuel. The long-term future is nuclear fuel. So why do I say this when wind & solar (wind turbines and solar panels) are growing at such a rate? The reason is simple; it will come crashing down because it cannot provide the energy we need - it really is as simple as that. Wind & solar will NEVER replace fossil fuels - even if you wanted it to (and I do like the idea in principle).


In the next few years, we’ll see a massive dash towards wind & solar - billions will be spent, maybe even trillions...before those in charge (and it may be the people in some mild overthrow of government, like an end to the two-party debacle) finally see the utter futility and inane stupidity that is wind & solar. First of all, neither wind or solar is constant. There are times when the wind doesn’t blow (across entire continents), and the sun doesn’t shine. And let’s rule batteries out (to store energy) right here. Batteries will never be able to store the electricity we need - never. Either the technology will never be invented, or it will, but it will be too expensive (or will require earth resources we don’t actually have). So we’ll always need fossil fuels until we start generating all electricity by nuclear means (or deep geothermal).


Fossil fuels are going to be there for us while idiots finally grasp that our whole lives depend on energy...and that we will demand more energy, not less - and that that energy has to be as cheap as possible.


The world’s number one problem is poverty. Astoundingly, it effects 10% of the world’s people. And that’s ‘extreme’ poverty. If we raise the bar and say ‘poverty’ is anything below Western standards of living, then ‘poverty’ is about half of the world, or even more. To lift people out of poverty should be our number one priority, surely? And to do that means to provide them with energy - cheap energy. Only fossil fuels will do that. Countries cannot afford to subsidise wind & solar for their people, to make wind & solar ‘cheap’. That subsidy would have to be made from taxation...which will keep their people poor!


Everything in your life is surrounded by energy - consumed. Your daily life uses massive amounts of energy. Even if you stand still, you use up energy - which is why you have to eat! But as soon as you do anything, you are using energy provided. Even if you switch nothing on, electrically, your clothes that you have put on when you got out of bed were made using energy...fossil fuels, like oil. It’s simply not possible to go about your normal life without using huge amounts of energy...and it will get ‘worse’. The future will demand MORE energy, not less. Whether we experience warming or cooling (of the Earth) we will demand more energy. Just our increasing population will do that alone.


So the future is MORE energy than we currently consume. So where will this energy come from? If you listen to the Greens, you will only hear wind & solar. But for very simple reasons already explained, that is not going to happen on economic grounds alone. Countries (the people) will not tolerate subsidising wind & solar for much longer - people are going to wake up about their true costs. But it’s much worse than that. What is never realised is that these so-called ‘renewables’ have to be renewed! Wind turbines only last about 25 years, solar panels about the same. We are plundering resources to build them now (and using fossil fuels to fabricate them!) but where will the resources come from in 25 years when they all have to be replaced? It’s madness.


Wind & solar will come crashing down...and oil companies even know this. They know that fossil fuels will make a huge comeback. There is even the suggestion that a few oil companies are promoting the idea of wind & solar in order to see small oil companies crash...so that they can have the market to themselves in a decade or so. How about that for a nice conspiracy theory...oil companies actively encouraging the renewables idea because they have already seen what lies in store when people finally grasp that wind & solar cannot provide our energy demand and is too costly? Oil (gas) wll look incredibly cheap by comparison. People will see that they could pay, say 50p for a kilowatt generated by wind & solar, or 10p by gas. That would be an annual bill choice of £5,000 or £1,000. People will demand cheap energy - and governments will be overthrown by those demands. We have already seen, in the Netherlands, a populist political party rise up out of nowhere in months. It will happen all over the world.


Before I go on, I want to provide an example of why solar doesn’t pay. I don’t need to show calculations for wind, as it seems everyone has realised that wind simply cannot ever provide energy economically. However, that applies to solar as well. It’s just that it hasn’t been realised yet. What I’m talking about can be shown on a domestic basis.


Let us say that you want a typical solar panel array for your home. A typical solar array will cost just short of £10,000. It proposes to provide you with free energy to the extent that you will retrieve your capital expenditure (the amount you initially pay out). In order to do this effectively, you will need batteries to store the energy when you can’t use it. This is the difference between a £6,000 solar panel system and a £10,000 one. Nevertheless, battery storage is what is being promoted as the way to go. So let’s look at the figures for a typical system...


Purchase cost of a TYPICAL 3kW system with batteries - £10,000

Generates 2,500 kW a year

At 27p per kWh that is £675 'saved'

Minus the cost of maintenance & repairs which is £4,000 over the 25 years, so £160 a year

This means we are down to £515 a year 'saved'

We put that in a savings account (which with compounded interest comes to £10,724 after 15 years)...to pay for the new inverter and battery array which costs £10,724!


So the overall payback from a TYPICAL system is...£0...you get a big fat nothing from your solar panel array after 15 years. After this time, they have also degraded by 9%. The above data even IGNORES the loss of interest (at £400 a year) on the £10,000 spent!!! It assumes you have been gifted the panels. If you purchase them, then you will be out of pocket big time, obviously. Not only do you have that initial capital expenditure of £10,000 you also lose interest on it at £400 a year - that's £6,000 LOST in interest after 15 years.

ALL solar panel data is supplied by Contact Solar, and is for a typical system with batteries.


When you see it as simple as that, you realise that it’s not worth bothering, and that your solar array will NEVER pay its costs back. In fact, it will be a cost burden - for nothing.


I have assumed a battery pack change at £3,495 for a 3kW array and an inverter cost at £3,714 - a total of £7,209. Both of these costs were obtained from ‘Contact Solar’, and have had inflation added, meaning a total after 15 years of £10,724. It should be remembered that the batteries and inverters could fail twice!


So typically, a solar panel array will NEVER pay for itself. For national energy demands, it’s a different problem...the sun doesn’t always shine! And we’ve said nothing about the resources - how we would get the all the material which makes up our solar panels.


It seems you cannot go a single day without hearing something about Net Zero – the idea of an equilibrium between CO2 emission, and that of CO2 removal from the atmosphere. So the idea is to reduce our emissions of CO2 to as close as possible to zero, whilst mitigating what we do emit with some counter effect...so that overall, it will be net zero.


It means a reduction of burning fossil fuels which have CO2 locked up inside – principally coal, oil, and gas. Remember that this is ‘fossil’ fuels (old fuels) and not wood. Wood locks up CO2 as it grows, and releases it when it decays or is burned. So it’s seen as part of the natural cycle, and not something we’re in any way responsible for – well, not much!


The very idea that CO2 equals warming is, in fact, very contentious – despite what the BBC would have you believe. It is understood to have raised global temperatures by around 1.2⁰ C in 100 years. But anyone who says ‘the science is settled’ doesn’t understand science! What many scientists think about CO2 is not shared by all, far from it. And there remains the possibility that the recent warming is predominantly part of natural cycles. However, there is a tendency to blame man for everything, and this fits in well with that. The fact is that there is no ‘climate emergency’ or ‘climate crisis’...not a single scientist anywhere in the world says that there is. This is an emotive phrase dreamed up by those who actually seek obfuscation on the issue.


Fossil fuels must go – according to the demands of the Greens. No coal, no oil, and no gas. In fact, we’re looking at electrification of pretty much everything from transportation to domestic heating. So let’s look at the cost of Net Zero, and its practicalities – in order to implement it in less than 30 years from now.


Any national plan or project has to undergo feasibility studies. They have to be presented to the public for appraisal, not just to the government. It’s the people who will pay. But more than that, can it even be done, even with a bottomless pit of money? It would appear not.


An assessment of costs and materials has been carried out by Michael Kelly, who was Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge during 2002-16. He was also Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government. He has costed the project as best as is possible. But more than that, he has looked at the materials facet of the project – the raw materials required, and the personnel required.


The Net Zero requires three parts of the project to be brought to fruition. They are:

Transport – electrified and de-carbonised

Heating – electrified and natural (primarily by heat pumps)

The National Grid – generation, transmission, and distribution


You may note that no mention has been made of agricultural emissions, nor of air and sea transportation. This is why real Net Zero (of greenhouse gases) can of course never really be achieved. The emissions from farting cows (which wouldn’t be there if we didn’t eat them) are not considered. Though to be fair, that is methane, and not CO2. Equally, there has been little in the way of radical new ways to fly airplanes or move ships. Electric motors can of course be used. But as we will see, this merely adds to the problems of implementing Net Zero.


We have to also take account of what will happen in the 30 years from now. The population of this country will certainly rise, as it will throughout the world. So Net Zero won’t become easier, it will become harder, year on year.


So how much electricity do we currently consume annually – remembering that all sectors will have to convert to electricity? We currently use around 1 terrawatt of electricity in general electrical supplies – to all homes and businesses.


Transport uses around 1.7 terrawatts of energy. But as electrical engines are more efficient, we can reduce the transport requirement.


Heating accounts for an annual average of 1.5 terrawatts of energy. But if virtually all heating is switched to heat pumps with a COP (coefficient of performance) of 3, then we can reduce the electrical requirement to say, 1 terrawatt. This is a huge ask, as to convert millions of homes to heat pumps on its own requires an infrastructure of engineers and materials. The cost to the consumer will be considerable and, in some cases, simply not economically feasible.


A project carried out on over 100 houses in ‘Retrofit for the future’ aimed for an 80% efficiency target. 45 houses received extensive work including interior and exterior insulation, triple glazing, etc. The average spend was £85,000 per house. Unfortunately, the average efficiency achieved was just 60% with only 3 homes reaching the target, and 3 not even getting to a 30% efficiency!


A national rollout of such a scheme would likely cost £2 trillion. This is even more than we require to transform the national grid, as we will see. And there are many other buildings leaking heat, some 5.5 million of them. To carry out the same sort of exercise would cost another £1 trillion.


So totalling our future requirement to 2.7 terrawatts of electricity (not taking into account population growth), we will need the entire national grid of electricity all over again just to provide for heating alone.


We will also have problems with all our homes switching to electric. Do you know the size of the main fuse in your incoming electrical box?  It could be as low as 60 amp, possibly 80 amp. Every time you turn on an electrical appliance, you’re drawing amps. Let’s look at future you getting up in the morning.

It’s seven o’clock…

You switch your kettle on.  The amp draw is 13 amps.

You switch your radiant hob on to fry your eggs.  27 amps.

You put your bread in the toaster.  9 amps.

Then your heat pump comes on.  58 amps.


That’s a total of 107 amps without even taking into account the lighting. If your electric car is also charging, that’s a whopping 33 amps more.  We’re up to 140 amps! Your main fuse has just popped and you have nothing. Time to get the cereal packet out. So every home will require its mains fuse changed. But of course it doesn’t stop there.


Local transformers (sub stations) will require to be changed, as will cables supplying homes and businesses throughout the country. It has been suggested that we will have to add more than 12 gigawatts capacity every year for the next 27 years. That’s eight times the capacity we have added in the last 30 years. The cost of expanding the grid by 1.7 times will be around £700 billion. The transmission costs will be an additional £165 billion.


We currently have 75 gigawatts installed capacity which will need to be raised to 150 gigawatts, as we will need to allow for peak demand in winter. Renewables like solar and wind cannot be relied upon, and batteries won’t even come into it due to scale and costs. This is an estimated capital cost then of £500 billion.


Totalling this will mean a requirement of some £1.365 trillion. But adding in the efficiencies in the housing stock which need to be made, we’re not far short of £4 trillion, and that doesn’t include the electric car charging infrastructure. This is a cost to each UK household on average of a staggering £160,000. But the costs aren’t the only consideration.


A £1 billion energy contract involves 1,000 years of professional engineer time and another 3,500 years of skilled tradespeople time. For a £1.4 trillion project, 42,000 electrical engineers are required for 30 years (there are a total of 38,000 electrical engineers currently). And we would require 130,000 skilled tradespeople for 30 years. To retrofit our housing stock in addition to this, we would need half a million semi-skilled and professional engineers for 30 years. However, to get professional engineers from school, trained up and skilled to a high enough level to be able to start  a project of this kind will take 10 years – even before the 30 years allotted to get to Net Zero. And we’re talking of almost 700,000 people in this sector alone – never mind the service engineers we need to maintain our current infrastructure in addition to this number. We don’t actually have the population, despite our huge population growth, to cope with this.


And still we haven’t stopped on our requirements. What of materials? Our current energy generation is fuel intensive. But renewables are material intensive.


A current 600 megawatt combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) requires 300 tonnes of high-performance steel. To get that same performance from wind turbines would require 360 turbines (at 5 megawatts each), and they run at 33% efficiency. A CCGT would require a mid-life refit and would be expected to last 60 years. But wind turbines last only 30 years, so you would need 720 of them. Each wind turbine requires 12 tonnes of steel and 300 tonnes of concrete in the plinth, so that’s 4,320 tonnes of steel and 108,000 tonnes of concrete merely to equal ONE combined cycle gas turbine. As wind turbines only operate at 33% efficiency, you would need massive battery storage facilities costed in (and materials, too).


Those who talk of renewables being able to replace our current energy generation appear to think we are going to dream up all these materials out of nowhere. Never mind the enormous cost, where are the materials? Won’t all other countries be seeking the same materials?


Consider electric cars. If we all went crazy and wiped all cars from UK roads unless they were EVs, where are we going to source the materials? We would need 208,000 tonnes of cobalt – that’s almost double the current world production. We would need 265,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate – that’s 75% of all the world’s production. We would need at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium – that’s almost the entire world production of neodymium. And we would need 2.36 million tonnes of copper – a sixth of the world’s production of copper.


Remember, this is just for UK cars alone, AND we would be in competition with other nations for those materials. To do the same in the US, the US would require 1 million tonnes of cobalt, 1.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate, 36,000 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, and 10 million tonnes of copper. The cost of these materials would rocket due to demand – if they are there at all!


But our current demand for energy and materials is not going to stand still - not just due to population growth, but because of the aspiration of the poor as they are lifted up, socially. This will incur hugely-increased demand. Within 30 years, the population of Africa will double, with Nigeria alone having a larger population than all of the countries of the EU combined. The ‘middle classes’ of the world currently use 3.5 times the energy of the poor. Raise the poor to middle class, and the results are obvious. It’s no different here at home.


Fossil fuels make up 82% of all the world’s energy use now. But in 2050 it will still be 79%. Net Zero isn’t coming to the world any day soon, and not even to the UK for many decades, if ever. The Climate Change Committee of the UK believes that the cost of Net Zero will be 1% of GDP. Michael Kelly believes it to be closer to 7% of GDP. Can we afford anything like that? The cost is the equivalent of one HS2 fast-rail track every year for 30 years.


There are some scientists who believe that what we think about CO2 is wrong, and that solar cycles are responsible for much of the warming. One professor especially, Valentina Zharkova, believes that we are heading toward another Little Ice Age, and her predictions are startling – that by 2037 (just 15 years) we will be having very cold winters in the Northern Hemisphere, and that global warming will be shown to be wrong. If that were true, what of all the trillions spent by then – halfway toward Net Zero? How will the public, funding it, react?


Assuming the warming science is correct, and that we need to spend money to mitigate its effects, might it be better to spend a fraction of all that Net Zero proposes, say £1 trillion, on adapting to climate change, and carry on burning fossil fuels, rather than drastically altering our infrastructure for an enormous cost? Because even if the science is correct, we would have to double the CO2 level from 400 parts per million (ppm) of the atmosphere to get another 1⁰ C rise in global temperatures – as CO2 is logarithmic on temperature. And there are scientists who say that we wouldn’t even get that.


Our energy demands will only increase as our population grows at over half a million people a year, or even more. People aspire to higher standards of living, with quick heating, air conditioning, and electric cars – all energy intensive. The demand for energy now may be dwarfed by our demand in 30 years, making all the above figures redundant. We could be talking about twice the amounts shown.


Our government is going to have to look again at the whole idea of Net Zero, and its feasibility in the real world. They may have to make unpalatable decisions on using fossil fuels, despite everything they have said, and the green agenda they hope to follow. We cannot afford Net Zero, we haven’t the engineers to deliver it, and we haven’t the materials. Nor could the UK compete economically with other nations for those materials – the cost would be too great. It’s a foolish pipedream, and may even be based on incorrect science.


CO2 makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere. The part we have been responsible for is just 0.01%. If it turns out that CO2 doesn’t in fact warm the planet (and there are many eminent scientists warning that it may not) then all this expense will have been pointless, and at a time when we really need to tackle the world’s number one issue...poverty. And ironically, the dash for Net Zero will impoverish millions.


We have already seen that fossil fuels cannot be replaced in the short-term, and that to try will cost money and resources we don’t have. We have already touched on the issue of CO2=warming may be totally incorrect and junk science. But why, or rather how, has this idea of CO2=warming come about?


As a species, we look for some meaning in life, some cause to follow. Religion has been just that for so many for so long. However, our understanding, our use of logic and rationale has eaten away at a spiritual belief. It has shown it to be ethereal, make-believe. Its protagonists can offer absolutely no evidence for its existence. We have science - not as an alternative to religion - but as an explanation. Science can explain the things religion cannot. Religion is for a comfort, not for a definition. As an atheist, I actually envy the beliefs of a spiritual person. I envy their ignorance. That sounds arrogant, but that’s how it is. They look up and see a star, and wonder at their god’s creation. I see a sphere of hydrogen slowly burning in nuclear plasma. I know that if stars didn’t go supernova, I wouldn’t be here - all the atoms inside of me were once in a star(s) which exploded, and seeded the universe with the atoms it created in nuclear fusion during its life.


Religion is dying, or rather, declining. Though it will never die completely. People seek some sort of cause...and that’s why the religion that is CO2=warming (man-made climate change) has grown, though it too will decline rapidly. For evidence of this ‘belief’ one only has to look at the whole issue surrounding a small Swedish girl called Greta Thunberg. She was revered (there is no better word) at just 12 years old, as some sort of visionary. She even said that she could ‘see’ CO2 in the air (yes, really!). She was held as some sort of beacon of hope for the new religion. She was invited to speak at world conferences (even though she knows less about climate change than I do!). World leaders invited her to their countries and she held press conferences with prominent presidents and prime ministers. History won’t be as accommodating and unhurtful as I am being.


This was madness. She made predictions which never came true (of course), and berated the world’s older people for taking away her future. She bemoaned the fact that people merely talk about change, but don’t do it. Most of all, she foretold that we were all going to perish under a warming planet. This has been the standard mantra from people like Al Gore (a perpetual liar), John Kerry (supremely unintelligent) and numerous world leaders, journalists, campaigners, and media groups like the BBC - which sadly now simply has an agenda of obfuscation and outright lies.


Why? Because the whole idea of man-made warming has become a religion, to be followed, to be unquestionable. Talk against it and you are a heretic. The amusing thing is that if it were indeed true (scientifically proven) then we would all have to go along with it. Some things in life are reasonably accepted as ‘the truth’. We cannot really question them with all seriousness, like the Holocaust. We weren’t there to witness it, but there is copious amounts of evidence that it happened. There is so little evidence to support man-made climate change that it’s more than reasonable to question it. In fact, there’s massive amounts of evidence to show that it’s beyond reasonable to question it, and to go on and state that it isn’t true by any stretch of the imagination! Many scientists have stood up to oppose the belief (and suffered at the hands of the religious zealots).


Anyone, ANYONE, in any field of science, even without a science degree (David Attenborough doesn’t have one, by the way) can say that science is NEVER settled. It is the root and core of science to continually move forward, to provide the best explanation. This is why it can never be ‘settled’. It is the antithesis of science to say otherwise. And yet this is what the protagonists of man-made warming say; that the science is settled! It’s so far from being settled that it is an absurdity to state, even for religious zealots. Climate is just about the most complicated science that there is. In short, we don’t understand it. We nothing little or even nothing about natural cycles - the Sun’s cycles, the Earth’s cycles, and even how gravity from the other planets play a part...or even cosmic rays, which bombard the Earth perpetually.


We build computer models to see how the climate plays out - and get them wrong because we cannot model what clouds do, effectively. It’s why we cannot accurately predict the weather. Read the weather forecast (as an experiment) for the next seven days, then see how accurate it was. Chances are it will be about 50-60% accurate...and that’s just a week.


Here are the predictions for the ‘corn belt’ summer temperatures by 36 computer models. These were used as ‘evidence’ to promote US climate change policy...


Source: Dr Roy Spencer


The blue bar at the left-hand side is what was actually observed over that period - the temperature increase over almost 50 years. One prediction was almost NINE times what the actual temperature has been. Computer models (on climate) are simply a joke. Yet they are used every day to promote the idea of future man-made climate change - by the BBC, among others. They are like the old religious sooth-sayers, predicting doom and gloom...and always wrong. Yes, climate computer models have got better. But they still cannot accurately model clouds!..and clouds just happen to be the one key to the climate system. Clouds can both warm and cool the Earth. They act as both positive and negative feedbacks to warming/cooling.


Man-made warming is a religion - with all its dogma. It will die, eventually, when we go back through a cooling cycle - which we will. But it will have done so much damage before it does. Trillions will have been spent needlessly when we could have spent it on taking the world’s poor out of poverty - remember, the real number one issue. History will not be kind to people like Al Gore, who lied, or ignorant children like Greta Thunberg, or presidents like Barack OBama, who promoted it constantly, and with almost amusing ignorance. But that’s little comfort to those of us living now, who are paying for it - wasting our money when it could be lifting people out of a miserable life.


So is the world warming? Yes, that is virtually undeniable. The issue is the cause of this little warming of about 1.2 degrees celcius in 100 years. The idea that the warming is the result of us increasing atmospheric CO2 from around 280 ppm to 420 ppm does not stand up to scrutiny. First of all, CO2 is just 0.04% of the atmosphere, and we are responsible for 0.01 of that 0.04. Many scientists are not just questioning the science behind that conclusion, they are actively stating that it’s ludicrous, and cannot actually happen. Indeed, we may well have the science behind the complete assessment of how our atmosphere works utterly wrong.


It’s certainly true that the global warming hypothesis is not playing out as it should have done. We should be much warmer by now, according to the theory and the predictions. ‘Polar Amplification’ stated that BOTH poles would warm. That’s not what has happened. The Arctic has warmed, but the Antarctic has actually cooled a tiny amount. We were also supposed to see more hurricanes and tornadoes. Actually both are down in number. The troposphere above the tropics was supposed to heat up 1.2 times that of the surface - that never happened, either. The stratosphere was supposed to cool (in response to warming). It did...but it stopped cooling in 1995! The cooling that we did see up until then was almost certainly as a result of the ozone hole, and nothing to do with climate change. All these are inconvenient truths about the theory of how man-made climate change was supposed to work. Even the ice loss we saw in the Arctic stopped in 2007!


The warming that we have seen is certainly not catastrophic - there is no climate emergency or crisis. In fact, it’s really quite a gentle warming at 0.13 degrees C per decade.


Source: UAH


In 50 years, the lower troposphere has warmed by a mere 0.4 degrees C. It can even be said there’s been no significant warming in 25 years. When you compare this to the daily scares the BBC is putting out, you start to wonder at the agenda which some (like the BBC) is following - one of fear that isn’t shown in the data.


The sad fact is that humans DO ruin the Earth, and plunder its resources. We do harm, that is fact. But that is human life, it’s how we have evolved. Beavers may alter local geography by building small dams; while we started fires, and drove animals to extinction. As we have grown in huge number (and we haven’t finished yet) we affect the Earth massively. To exist is to do so. We don’t want to go back to when we ‘merely’ started fires - we are comfortable with our destruction, sad though that fact is. No amount of badgering will get us to throw of our advancement, our ‘progress’. We don’t want to go back to the Middle Ages. We demand energy, and lots of it. And that demand will INCREASE, not diminish. And that demand can only be provided by fossil fuels, not wind & solar.


Long-term, we will rely on nuclear energy, and we may start (as we have) to repair the harm we have caused our planet. But that’s for the future. For now, we have to grasp reality, that we need fossil fuels. At this point, I will return to my first comments - the world’s number one problem is poverty. This is global, but perhaps most on display in Africa. Without cheap energy, life can be brutal and short.


We need to re-focus, on lifting those in poverty out of it. Having fellow humans living in depravation is a terrible indictment of our ‘care’, or rather our lack of it. 85% of our (global) primary energy comes from fossil fuels. To suggest that we can replace that in a decade is a joke. And yet governments are seriously saying they will replace it in LESS than that! This is absurd nonsense. For sub-Saharan Africa to reach the level of energy Germany had in 1965 (yes, 1965) Africa would have to grow (economic growth) by a factor of 10. Around 2.4 billion people in the world have access to the same amount of energy that France and Germany had in 1865 (yes, 1865).


It riles me intently that liberals and left-leaning groups of people who are very comfortable in their London homes, with avocados in their cupboard for breakfast tomorrow morning (where they keep their ‘Just Stop Oil’ banners) are so ignorant of the plight of billions of people. POVERTY is the issue they should be whinging about, to be marching on the streets about, to be protesting at sporting events about...and you will only lift those people out of poverty with CHEAP energy.


Tell this child that you are MOST concerned with fossil fuels - and that you’re not concerned with his life, that he has nothing to keep him warm or cool, that he has to put up with burning dung as fuel, or that his country cannot progress, and have cheap energy. Tell him that you want him to mine rare earth metals for you so that you can use your electric car. Tell him that his farting cows are not acceptable, and that he has to start eating insects.


Africa is due to boom - that we know. By 2050 Africa’s population will double, and Nigeria alone will have a population larger than all EU countries put together. Unpalatable though it may be, there is the argument that if we don’t help Africa, then they will come here...in their millions. That is happening now! Africa has 65% of all the arable land left in the world on which to grow crops. Not only could they feed themselves, and their growing numbers, they could help feed the world, as they have enough land to feed 9 billion people! What a turnaround that would be? But guess what...they need CHEAP energy - electrical energy. A staggering 589 million Africans (that’s the populations of the US, Canada, Britain, France and Germany combined) are without electricity. 80% of Africa relies on wood, charcoal, and dung to cook. We need to trade food for our own growing numbers with the technology to transform Africa with cheap gas, deep geothermal, or even nuclear power stations. We need to power Africa...with fossil fuels in the short-term.


If we are to have a cause, now that religion has more or less gone, then let it surely be to lift everyone out of poverty. Let THAT be our number one priority, and not the puerile idea that a trace gas, making up just 0.04% of our atmosphere, is magically the control knob for our climate system - which it is not.


We have raised CO2 from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 420 ppm. It went up to 7,000 ppm back at the Cambrian explosion of life. It went down to 180 ppm a little while back. At 150 ppm ALL life dies. We are actually at very low levels of CO2. We desperately need to shake off childish ideas and philosophy. We need to stop listening to silly, 12 year-old autistic Swedish girls, equally-ignorant politicians who clearly are completely brainless, and journalists with an IQ less than the room temperature. Fossil fuels give us cheap energy in which to progress. And it’s only with progress that we will start to heal the damage we’ve done to our planet, not by going back to the Middle Ages and burning trees.


We are within the grotesque stupidity of Greens saying that CO2 is a pollutant. This is the gas you breathe out. This is the gas which plants thrive on. This gas is the sole reason our planet is currently greening, with huge crop yields across the globe - CO2. Real pollution, (smoke particles), is what is killing people. Climate change hasn’t killed anyone! No animals have gone extinct because of climate change. Indoor pollution kills 500,000 people a year...again, sub-Saharan Africa. It is said that globally, 7 million people a year die from pollution. That seems high, but if it’s so, why are we trying to ban natural gas - which generates electricity? The products of combustion (of gas) is primarily carbon dioxide and water vapour. It is THE perfect fuel.


This stupidity, this stain on our intelligence, must be stopped. People need to wake up to the absurdity that we are somehow affecting our climate (to a large extent), and that even if we were, that we can send all of humanity back to the Dark Ages to rectify it. Because therein lies the problem, that even if it were true (that our emissions are changing the temperature of Earth) we couldn’t do anything about it, anyway. Progress, even when it is malevolent, cannot be halted. We cannot turn the clock back. As I have shown, even if we tried, we haven’t the money, the engineers, or the resources to be on any other path of progress.


So let’s stop the stupidity. Let’s re-focus on lifting billions out of poverty. Let’s take whatever nature throws at us - even if we did cause it. If we are responsible (and I don’t think for one second that we are) then let’s spend the money that we’re currently spending on futile and childish schemes, to cope with whatever weather and climate comes our way.


To be young is to be stupid, or rather ignorant. Most of us have been there, and when we get older we are embarrassed at our naivety. But that’s not a useable excuse when you’re older, when you’re a politician, when you’re a journalist, or even when you’re Gary Lineker. We have the world of the internet right before us - we can research and be educated. We can actually look at the science. We can make informed judgements based on reason, logic and rationale.





*Fun fact:

The first hand-outs of money from oil companies was actually to Friends of the Earth. Oil companies wanted to use them to criticise (and place obstacles in the way of) the nuclear industry, as the threat to oil companies was, and is, huge. Friends of the Earth realised that cheap energy (from nuclear) would encourage rapid growth, and therefore be ecologically unsound, so they opposed it. Let that sink in...they didn’t (and don’t) want progress - economic growth. And yet it is ONLY progress which will enable us to repair the damage we have done. Solutions come from inventions and discoveries - which come from progress. Nothing comes from going backward (which is what Friends of the Earth are).