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Why The World Can’t Quit Fossil Fuels


Have the recent pronouncements of the death of oil and reigning renewables been more rhetoric than reality? Yes and no. It’s true that peak oil is now closer than ever, and globally we’re seeing a more earnest effort to decarbonize than ever before, in large part thanks to green stimulus packages for post-COVID economic recovery. But for all of the advances that green energy is making around the world, it’s just not enough to achieve the kind of greenhouse gas emissions reductions necessary to curb the impact of climate change. In fact, it’s not even close. This week Axios reported on the “chasm between CO2 goals and energy production,” saying that “projected and planned levels of global oil, natural gas and coal production are way out of step with the kind of emissions cuts needed to hold global warming significantly in check.” This reporting is based on a brand new study. The second annual “Production Gap Report” is the continuation of a project developed in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The 2020 report was put together by the UN, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Overseas Development Institute and the climate think tank E3G.

The purpose of the report, which is modelled after and alongside UNEP’s Emissions Gap Reports is to synthesize and communicate “the large discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production and the global production levels necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C and 2°C.” And, as it turns out, that discrepancy is still quite large, even after the COVID-19 pandemic took a huge bite out of fossil fuel demand and the oil and gas industry as a whole.

The report calculates the emissions that will be released from fuel combustion over the next calendar year based on projections and extrapolations of all the countries of

the worlds

’ planned and estimated fossil fuel extraction. The prognosis is grim. While meeting the Paris climate accord goal of limiting and maintaining long-term global warming to just 1.5° Celsius over pre-industrial temperature averages would require the global community to reduce fossil fuel production by a full 6 percent each year over the course of the next decade, right now most countries are reaching toward a reduction goal of just 2 percent–less than half of what is needed. Despite the fact that all 196 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed onto the Paris Agreement, according to the 2020 Production Gap report, “countries are instead planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2 percent, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5°C limit.”

While the world is heading in the right direction overall to bring down greenhouse gas emissions on the eve of catastrophic climate change, it simply isn’t doing so with enough urgency. For example, while coal has had an especially rough year and seems to be on its very last legs as an industry, it would need to see a whopping 11 percent production cut every year until 2030 to comply with the 1.5°C pathway. It’s hard to see that happening when countries like China are falling back on coal in times of economic and energy insecurity.

Similarly, while OPEC+ is mulling over the idea of extending production cuts to keep oil prices afloat during this extended oil demand downturn, it would be shortsighted and naive to think that means the end of oil is upon us. While we may very well be living in the era of peak oil, that is a far cry from seeing a 6 percent annual decrease of the fuel that still overwhelmingly powers the global economy.

Ultimately, in spite of all the lofty rhetoric, “the pandemic-related production declines this year won’t lead to the long-term changes needed to get on track toward those temperature targets.” For that we need human intervention and intentional economic and political restructuring, not just viral disruption.

By Haley Zaremba for 

16 Comments on "Why The World Can’t Quit Fossil Fuels"

  1. FamousDrScanlon on Tue, 29th Dec 2020 11:29 am 

    Maximum Power Principle

    “The maximum power principle(MPP) in ecology states that self-­organizing systems, especially biological systems, capture and use available energy to develop network designs that maximize the energy fluxes through them, which are compatible with the constraints of the environment, and that those systems that maximize the throughput will endure. Thus, the MPP governs expediencies or efficiency in both the ecosystems functional and structural development. In this way, MPP can be used as a macro-level alternative model to interpreting evolution as a process whereby elements within an ecosystem are selected based upon their contribution to the processing of energy through the ecosystem, thus working to maximize the overall energy throughput.”

    biological system=humans=MegaCancer

  2. FamousDrScanlon on Tue, 29th Dec 2020 11:32 am 

    The purpose of life is to disperse energy

    “The truly dangerous ideas in science tend to be those that threaten the collective ego of humanity and knock us further off our pedestal of centrality. The Copernican Revolution abruptly dislodged humans from the center of the universe. The Darwinian Revolution yanked Homo sapiens from the pinnacle of life. Today another menacing revolution sits at the horizon of knowledge, patiently awaiting broad realization by the same egotistical species.

    The dangerous idea is this: the purpose of life is to disperse energy.

    Many of us are at least somewhat familiar with the second law of thermodynamics, the unwavering propensity of energy to disperse and, in doing so, transition from high quality to low quality forms. More generally, as stated by ecologist Eric Schneider, “nature abhors a gradient,” where a gradient is simply a difference over a distance — for example, in temperature or pressure. Open physical systems — including those of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere — all embody this law, being driven by the dispersal of energy, particularly the flow of heat, continually attempting to achieve equilibrium. Phenomena as diverse as lithospheric plate motions, the northward flow of the Gulf Stream, and occurrence of deadly hurricanes are all examples of second law manifestations.

    There is growing evidence that life, the biosphere, is no different. It has often been said the life’s complexity contravenes the second law, indicating the work either of a deity or some unknown natural process, depending on one’s bias. Yet the evolution of life and the dynamics of ecosystems obey the second law mandate, functioning in large part to dissipate energy. They do so not by burning brightly and disappearing, like a fire torching a forest, but through stable metabolic cycles that store chemical energy and continually reduce the solar gradient. Photosynthetic plants, bacteria, and algae capture energy from the sun and form the core of all food webs.

    Virtually all organisms, including humans, are, in a real sense, sunlight transmogrified, temporary waypoints in the flow of energy. Ecological succession, viewed from a thermodynamic perspective, is a process that maximizes the capture and degradation of energy. Similarly, the tendency for life to become more complex over the past 3.5 billion years (as well as the overall increase in biomass and organismal diversity through time) is not due simply to natural selection, as most evolutionists still argue, but also to nature’s “efforts” to grab more and more of the sun’s flow. The slow burn that characterizes life enables ecological systems to persist over deep time, changing in response to external and internal perturbations.

    Ecology has been summarized by the pithy statement, “energy flows, matter cycles. ” Yet this maxim applies equally to complex systems in the non-living world; indeed it literally unites the biosphere with the physical realm. More and more, it appears that complex, cycling, swirling systems of matter have a natural tendency to emerge in the face of energy gradients. This recurrent phenomenon may even have been the driving force behind life’s origins.

    This idea is not new, and is certainly not mine. Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger was one of the first to articulate the hypothesis, as part of his famous “What is Life” lectures in Dublin in 1943. More recently, Jeffrey Wicken, Harold Morowitz, Eric Schneider and others have taken this concept considerably further, buoyed by results from a range of studies, particularly within ecology. Schneider and Dorian Sagan provide an excellent summary of this hypothesis in their recent book, “Into the Cool”.

    The concept of life as energy flow, once fully digested, is profound. Just as Darwin fundamentally connected humans to the non-human world, a thermodynamic perspective connects life inextricably to the non-living world. This dangerous idea, once broadly distributed and understood, is likely to provoke reaction from many sectors, including religion and science. The wondrous diversity and complexity of life through time, far from being the product of intelligent design, is a natural phenomenon intimately linked to the physical realm of energy flow.

    Moreover, evolution is not driven by the machinations of selfish genes propagating themselves through countless millennia. Rather, ecology and evolution together operate as a highly successful, extremely persistent means of reducing the gradient generated by our nearest star. In my view, evolutionary theory (the process, not the fact of evolution!) and biology generally are headed for a major overhaul once investigators fully comprehend the notion that the complex systems of earth, air, water, and life are not only interconnected, but interdependent, cycling matter in order to maintain the flow of energy.

    Although this statement addresses only naturalistic function and is mute with regard to spiritual meaning, it is likely to have deep effects outside of science. In particular, broad understanding of life’s role in dispersing energy has great potential to help humans reconnect both to nature and to planet’s physical systems at a key moment in our species’ history.”

  3. FamousDrScanlon on Tue, 29th Dec 2020 11:35 am 

    The answer to the fermi paradox, why we are the chosen ones, and the meaning of life

    “A few life altering thoughts occurred to me recently following this epic thread on Kyle McDonald’s facebook wall about the simulation argument, the Fermi paradox and Sci-fi (thanks to all for the engaging discussion). Especially after the dialogue with Jamie Zigelbaum on Jeremy England’s hypothesis on Dissipation Driven Adaptive Organization, and having watched, re-watched, read and re-read England’s radical new hypothesis on the origins of life (video, article), a possible new answer to the Fermi Paradox dawned on me, as well as a new approach to the meaning of life.”

    “From the article (emphasis is mine): “[England] has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.”

    England calls this phenomena “Dissipation-Driven Adaptive Organization” (I’ll refer to it as DDAO).”

  4. Theedrich on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 12:40 am 

    PsychoScamlon’s copy-and-pastes are worthless. No matter how long they are.  The future reality was spelled out long ago by the Club of Rome and Joseph Tainter’s Collapse of Complex Societies.  The decision for genosuicide was made by Ahab Lincoln in the 19th century and confirmed by demigods Woodrow Wilson and FDR in the 20th.  There is no stopping the Anglosphere’s determination to achieve the self-annihilating global Disneyland of Soylent Green.

    At this point one can only observe the death curve, not change it.  The developed world is filling up with human trash and enjoying ever more planeticidal pleasures and toys.  Any serious change is unthinkable, since it would entail racism and other counterproductive political sins.  Regression to subhumanism is mandated by the religion of “democracy.”  International crime organizations are the true movers and shakers as we evolve into a criminal species.  The blather pumped out by the mainstream media consists only of soothing drivel and ads for yet more consumption and appeals to help the “disadvantaged” dark-skinned murderers who offer to absolve Whites of their guilt by exterminating them.

    And the elite academic scum cheer them on.

    To the future of a dead earth.

  5. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 2:16 am 

    Theedrich the American white man is the biggest toxic obese CANCER of them all & y’all was stuffing your stupid fat faces long before anyone else. Disgusting & obscene.

    You’re to blame you halfwit degenerate inbred white mutant.

    You are paying the price bitch. The price of believing in your horseshit white US exceptionalism which you are not & never were.

    Just lucky all that oil just happened to be there.

    Now that the unprecedented abundance advantage is over y’all can’t cover up your inadequacies by throwing retard levels of money/energy at every little problem, nor can you import brain power anymore because people in demand, demand better than your white trash banana republic.

    Every nation in the world faces the same problems, so fuck you & your cry baby martyrdom. Fucking un-resilient weakling.

    The U.S. Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History. It Just Walked Away From the Paris Climate Deal.

    Fuck the Paris Climate Deal. The point/fact is you’re obese fat white pigs throwing a hypocritical hissy fit & trying to scapegoat your self inflicted decline—> soon to collapse.

    You & clog & the other fuck heads have done nothing but blame & whine like little bitches for 10 + years.

    Christ if I thought anyone perpetrated 1/100th of the injustices against me that you perma-victims claim (13 times a day), I would not be crying on the internet in the hopes that a real man would read my sniveling, feel sorry for me & do something about it. In your dreams princess Allaboutme.

    Shit in anyone’s kitchen. US White Pigs don’t care.

    How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster

    “Here in the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet — or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program.

    Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.

    U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome.

    Now the concrete coffin, which locals call “the Tomb,” is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise.”

  6. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 2:32 am 

    COVID-19 triage coming to Britain:

  7. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 5:16 am 

    The EU won the Brexit battle:

    – EU keeps free consumer goods export access
    – Services (80% UK economy) unregulated
    – All EU rules apply in every aspect of trade
    – Fish still not British

    As a consequence, expect Scotland, Ulster and perhaps even Wales to seek refuge, back in the EU.

    WW2 meant UK losing its empire.
    Brexit will mean the UK ceasing to exist.

  8. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 5:51 am

    Best Brexit cartoon

    “So long, suckers!”

  9. Theedrich on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 11:46 am 

    Joe Biden stole $13 billion from Ukraine. They want it back.  The Democrats couldn’t care less.  Since they are all traitors and thieves anyway, what’s a few $billion taken as a bribe taken by their feebleminded figurehead from a foreign fossil fuel criminal?  The only thing on Leftist subversives’ minds is getting their mob boss on the U.S. throne.

    The Yids, Spooks and media excrement who, along with the diseased academics, voted for the proditor, know quite well about Biden’s treason.  But since those parasites themselves are on the take, they are happy to seee one of their number seize power and give them permanent immunity from prosecution.  Corruption of every sort can resume unabated.

    And America, narco-land of the single “mom” and fatherless children, can continue to drag the world along into the abyss.

    But traitor Joe and his vultures will bask in imperial glory as he takes the world into its final dark ages.  A prospect long sought by the land of the freebie and the home of the knave.

  10. End Of The World Observer on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 6:16 pm 

    Theedrich is quite correct. Western civilisation is being destroyed in order to confer its advantages on to lesser races who would never have been able to create it for themselves. The only peoples who could realistically have achieved what the western peoples have achieved are the oriental races. Now the media bring about this destruction having promoted decadence and consumerism for years over self-control, restraint and austerity. The coming collapse will be the result of our elites in the West and their putting their personal and immediate needs ahead of those of their nations, peoples and civilisations.

  11. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 7:07 pm 

    End Of The World Observer, the losers are the lesser & like Theedouch & clog you’re a sore loser & the blame is on you – fucking degenerate white trash.

    There are no rules or the way things ‘should’ be.

    Winners & losers is all.

    Nothing is more pathetic than listening to full grown white men whine like little perma-victim bitches.

    White supremacist snowflakes thinking is their safe space. No one is more fragile than you faggot losers.

  12. makati1 on Wed, 30th Dec 2020 8:36 pm 

    Isn’t it interesting that those pushing the Great Leveling/Reset are old and will be dead in a few more years, leaving us with the ashes of their greed.

    Klaus Schwab: Age 82
    George Soros: Age 89
    Henry Kissinger: Age 97
    Queen Elizabeth ll: Age 94

    Not to mention the $$$ behind the fascist takeover:

    Billy Gates: age 65
    Jeff Bazos: Age 56
    Warren Buffet: Age 89
    Larry Ellison: Age 75
    The Waltons: All in their 70s.

    Too much power and $$$ and so little humanity. TPTB are megalomaniacs and should be put down like rabid dogs. 300,000,000+ guns in Amerika and not one patriot in the 326,000,000 snowflakes. It would only take dissing one or two for the rest to get the idea. Anyone want to volunteer?

    BTW: The net worth of Amerika’s top 400 billionaires is ~$3,200,000,000,000.+…OR… ~$10,000. for every man, woman and child in Amerika. Yet, THEY get trillions in free money and you get…$600.? LMAO!

  13. FamousDrScanlon on Thu, 31st Dec 2020 11:51 am 

    Mak you’re the one pushing reset plandmic, climate denial et al.

    Y’all conspiracy tards never believe in just one.

    Btw, the same unchecked, flawed & unchallenged cognitive processes that lead you to join the Mormon cult & believe in magic underwear are what leads you to buy into grand conspiracies on no evidence or bad evidence.

    Contrary to what your dumb culture taught you, your ‘feelings’ don’t count for shit when trying to discover the truth & being a contrarian is not a form of skepticism.

    Equation shows that large-scale conspiracies would quickly reveal themselves

    “He explained: ‘A number of conspiracy theories revolve around science. While believing the moon landings were faked may not be harmful, believing misinformation about vaccines can be fatal. However, not every belief in a conspiracy is necessarily wrong – for example, the Snowden revelations confirmed some theories about the activities of the US National Security Agency.

    ‘It is common to dismiss conspiracy theories and their proponents out of hand but I wanted to take the opposite approach, to see how these conspiracies might be possible. To do that, I looked at the vital requirement for a viable conspiracy – secrecy.’

    Dr Grimes initially created an equation to express the probability of a conspiracy being either deliberately uncovered by a whistle-blower or inadvertently revealed by a bungler. This factors in the number of conspirators, the length of time, and even the effects of conspirators dying, whether of old age or more nefarious means, for those conspiracies that do not require active maintenance.

    However, the equation required a realistic estimation of the chances of any one individual revealing a conspiracy. Three genuine conspiracies were used to provide this – including the NSA Prism project revealed by Edward Snowden.”

  14. FamousDrScanlon on Thu, 31st Dec 2020 11:53 am 

    The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking

    Necessary cognitive fortification againstvpropaganda, pseudoscience, and general falsehood

  15. FamousDrScanlon on Thu, 31st Dec 2020 12:07 pm 

    Predator rule #2 ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’

    The shock doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism

    Naomi Klein

    The bestselling author of No Logo shows how the global free market has exploited crises and shock for three decades, from Chile to Iraq

    In her groundbreaking reporting over the past few years, Naomi Klein introduced the term disaster capitalism. Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic shock treatment, losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.

    The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman s free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement s peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and Iraq.

    At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years. Review Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn’t just some relic from the bad old days. It’s alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

    “At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq” civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the ‘War on Terror’ to Halliburton and Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened.” Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes “produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today.” Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.

    There’s little doubt Klein’s book–which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo , will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It’s also true that Klein’s assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn’t going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it’s nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. — Kim Hughes’

    Don’t need to be Big Gov or an Oligarch or giant transnational corporation to follow the rule.

    A store in Thailand repackaged and sold up to 200,000 used face masks for coronavirus, police chief says

    ‘A group of Thai workers have used the novel coronavirus outbreak to make an extra buck, washing and repackaging old face masks and selling them as new.’


    Yup, they’ve been attending secret meetings with Gates, Soros & the other 497 million plotters for years. They evil. I’m pure.

  16. makati1 on Thu, 31st Dec 2020 5:10 pm 

    Fame Ass, I hope you are finally cured of your insanity in 2021. You and your childish playmates here on Peak Insanity. You all know who you are.

    I’m going to spend the new year as I spent the last one, watching the US sliding down that slippery slope that people like you are greasing with your lack of spine and stupidity.

    BTW: Most “conspiracies” prove to be reality over time. Denial changes nothing. Your world is being destroyed by a few old men who are determined to ruin it before they die. The West will suffer the most as they are the main targets and have the most to lose. The East will survive and thrive after this blows over, as it will.

    I think Mother Nature will foil this attempt by making it impossible to find a vaccine that really works, and that will buy time for the vaccine side effects to become obvious so no one will take them, or accept the lock downs any longer. Time for the pitchforks and guillotines to be used on the masters, not the slaves. .

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