Energy and poverty are intertwined. In the last ten years India, according to the United Nations 2019 Multidimensional Poverty Index, lifted over 270 million Indian citizens out of extreme poverty; since they acquired growing electrification and access to energy. But many nations believe chaotic, intermittent renewables—mainly wind and solar—will achieve these results. Meanwhile, the world watches passively while the weaponization of energy led by China, Russia and Iran is teetering Asia towards memories of 1939 and the emergence of World War III.
European and U.S. officials believe that renewables will power billions in China, India, Africa, and Asia hungry for energy and electricity. European countries even welcome Iranian terrorist-monies for their dispirited economies. What the United States should do is “drown the world in oil.” It should build power plants and watch the planet flourish with affordable electricity. Nations need energy now.
Whoever controls energy—mainly oil, natural gas, coal and increasingly nuclear power—rules with an iron fist or a benevolent one. But the world is in a stage of chaotic order with China, Russia and Iran challenging the U.S.-led liberal order in place since the end of World War II. Energy is the new superpower.
Never before has energy and electricity played the leading role in alleviating poverty. Social order, religion, and family structure are still important—though all three are under attack over environmental extremism—but nothing has done more for human achievement, increased life expectancies, and ameliorating hunger like access to oil, natural gas, and coal that brings scalable, reliable affordable, abundant and flexible energy and electricity.
Allowing the Guardian newspaper, and green clergy parading as environmentalists such as Bill McKibben, Paul Ehrlich and John Holden to determine energy policies that lead to poverty is evil and shameful. These men then attack human reproduction, productivity, longevity, and technological progress through delaying or crushing enhanced infrastructure projects.
Prioritizing renewable energy and building national-security plans around the “impending” climate change crisis won’t stop China, Russia and Iran from becoming the new hegemonic powers. Even NASA has admitted that the sun affects the earth more than burning fossil fuels. So, will the last seventy-five years of fighting poverty be overturned over dubious global warming claims?
We are now allowing Al Gore-types (whose predictions are generally wrong and science is generally flawed) to use inaccurate weather predictions to set the stage for national security, foreign policy, and realist-balancing. But the former vice president isn’t the only doomsayer whose global warming/climate change prognostications are deceptively incorrect. This has profound implications for energy, poverty and global peace.
Depending on renewables and establishing energy policies based on global warming/climate change only leads to poverty and geopolitical chaos. Poverty is now in the form
“trillions in subsidies, rocketing power prices, pristine landscapes turned into industrial wastelands, wrecked rural communities and bird and bat carnage.”
The U.S. and European led “Green New Deals” will destroy humanity and lead to backbreaking poverty. This is why India has chosen reliable, affordable coal-fired power plants over solar and wind farms for electricity. This is why China is following India’s lead and slashing renewables, clean energy and technology subsidies by 39 percent; instead, it is building coal-fired power plants at a record pace.
China has even used “green finance” monies for coal investments. Overall “global renewable growth (and investment) has stalled,” particularly in Europe. Why are global subsidies, production credits and tax incentives for renewables are being cut by governments and private investors?
Solar- and wind-driven energy have led to electrical grid blackouts in Australia, Britain and New York City, grid instability in Texas, and substantially higher electricity costs. Additionally, energy renewables cannot replace the roughly six thousand products that came from a barrel crude oil.
Renewables (solar and wind) will never be enough to power modern, growing economies over the next few decades, much less countries and continents such as China, India and Africa, which are already emerging from the energy and electrical dark ages. A city, county, state, nation, or continent needs reliable electricity 24/7/365, and renewables are chaotically intermittent. U.S. energy firm Duke Energy now believes that solar farms are increasing pollution; Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine environmental hero recipient, echoes the same sentiments. Shellenberger also includes wind power with solar increasing emissions.
Moreover, renewable investments are plummeting because the entire market for solar- and wind-produced electricity breaks down unless electricity markets are skewed towards favoring renewables. Additionally, the entire renewable-to-electricity model relies on energy storage systems that do not have enough capacity or technological progress currently available to provide uninterrupted, on-demand electricity to all ratepayers and recipients from the grid.
It’s energy-nihilism to think, or believe storage from wind and solar will generate affordable, reliable, scalable, and flexible electricity. If fossil fuels are replaced on a large-scale basis, then that will lead to increased pollution, higher than average levelized cost of electricity, grid instability, environmental destruction, and poverty. This why most people don't want renewables near them; meaning, there isn’t a green transition-taking place.
But geopolitics is where energy and poverty collide, and renewables replacing fossil fuels based on the overarching belief of anthropogenic global warming (whose climate models consistently fail) is how the global instability could deepen and grow.
According to the Bloomberg Economic gauge, China’s economy is dramatically slowing, “due to its vast self-made problems.” That means the U.S.-China trade war will continue so long as President Donald Trump is in office. The U.S. is “winning” and Iran is still in the “crosshairs” of the Trump administration. Both strategies receive negative media attention but are causing geopolitical consternation. China and Iran will forcefully respond.
Nations and governments should have policies in place to counter the instability created by renewable energy. They should be prepared for problems stemming from the nation-state rivalry between U.S., NATO, and Asian allies against China, Russia and Iran. If reliable energy is not prioritized, then geopolitical wars over blackouts leading to lower military preparedness will occur. Either way, energy and poverty are intertwined. The other case that can be made is that poverty is defined as lower per-capita-GDP leading to conflicts that destroy countries. Choosing renewables and energy policies based on global warming will likely lead to increased poverty and wartime catastrophes.
Todd Royal is an author and consultant specializing in global threat assessment, energy development and policy for oil, gas and renewables based in Los Angeles, California.