Green energy policies offer no Help to the Most Desperate
By Larry Bell
Herd hysteria is taking tragic social and economic tolls on formerly prosperous countries that have enacted climate alarm-premised anti-fossil energy and agriculture policies.
Such self-inflicted misery can be attributed to a combination of influences: unwarranted fear based upon provably failed theoretical climate models; grossly misguided expectations of so-called “green energy” capacities and economies; and certainly not the least of these, powerful political activist agendas that exploit frightened, uninformed populations they work to ensure.
Once a globally envied industrial powerhouse, Germany now struggles to keep its lights on following abandonment of reliable and abundant hydrocarbon and nuclear energy in favor of unreliable, intermittent and comparatively puny wind and solar “transitions.”
Radical “climate change” agendas geographically ranging from fertile farmlands of the Netherlands in the West — to Sri Lanka in southern Asia and Ghana in Sub-Sahara Africa — are likewise having devastating impacts upon local livelihoods and the world’s food supply.
Climate-obsessed Germany, with the highest installed wind power capacity in Europe, also along with Denmark, has among the highest electricity prices worldwide … around USD 35 cents per kilowatt hour in the second quarter of 2021, ranking 15th as most expensive out of 133 countries.
U.N.-promoted climate alarmism over fossil burning greenhouse gas emissions 20 years ago prompted a plan by then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to phase out hydrocarbon and even nuclear energy over three decades.
Following Schröder’s 2005 electoral defeat to Angela Merkel, she accelerated the process, with the country’s last nuclear-power plants due to go offline this year — a decade ahead of schedule.
Merkel’s decisions to phase out coal-fired and nuclear power plants have made the country the world’s biggest buyer of Russian gas, and one of the EU’s most dependent countries on Russian energy.
By failing to develop its own technically recoverable massive shale gas resources, Germany, and the broader EU, have legitimate reasons to worry that Russia will weaponize its energy life support supply leverage to advance its territorial agendas.
Paradoxically, as recently as 15 years ago EU member countries produced more gas than Russia exported, and although their reserves are smaller than Russia’s, they may have as much technically recoverable shale gas as the U.S. which their governments won’t allow to be developed.
German energy giant and distressed natural gas utility company, Uniper, has virtually declared a shortage emergency after being forced to withdraw fuel from storage sites to replace cutbacks in Russian deliveries. The company also urgently needs supplies to sell to avert bankruptcy.
The excuse for such insanity is to limit emissions of chemicals such as ammonia released from animal manure … the solution being to force livestock milk and meat producers to cut back herds by half that support vital world food supplies and agricultural livelihoods.
Ostensibly, the rationale behind the legislative edict is to comply with goals of a 2019 Climate Act to bring greenhouse gas emissions down by 49 percent by 2030.
Opponent Thierry Baudet and some other Dutch House of Representative members assert that those behind the manure movement have an even more smelly agenda, namely for the government to acquire and devalue farmland to build more housing for migrants.
Net migration to the Netherlands, a country of 17.2 million people, totaled 108,275 in 2021.
Baudet asks, “How is it possible that in an age where everybody’s talking about the possibility of food shortages, of insecure supply chains, the Dutch government is pursuing this policy which will lead to even more dependence on international supply chains and, thus, uncertainty for the Dutch people?”
Thousands of Sri Lanka protesters in an island nation located off India’s southern coast stormed their president’s official residence and set fire to the prime minister’s home over inflation and food shortages exacerbated by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and a shortage of fertilizer following a 2021 total ban on synthetics intended to push organic farming initiatives.
Sri Lanka’s agriculture, which makes up more than 7% of the nation’s GDP and employs 30% of its workforce was set back considerably after 99,000 metric tons of expensive organic fertilizer imported from China’s Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group tested positive for harmful bacteria.
The resulting fertilizer shortage left farmers stranded without the ability to plant their fields, resulting in massive crop shortages.
The West African country of Ghana, once among the fastest-growing economies on that continent, is on the verge of bankruptcy primarily due to these same “climate-friendly” farming policies.
Until recently, Ghana was the UN’s poster child for climate goals which, under the Paris Agreement, “sought to reduce emissions by 15 to 45 percent … by 2030 and strengthen climate resilience in close alignment with its development priorities.”
However, that wasn’t quite enough to satisfy the UN.
In 2021, under economic pressure from the European Union and World Bank, the country agreed to drastic cuts in greenhouse emissions associated with artificial fertilizers and livestock sectors.
In the midst of fertilizer shortages caused by the war in Ukraine and a growing food crisis, the EU has refused financial investment to help Ghana and other cash-strapped African countries boost domestic fertilization production or develop their fossil energy sources because doing so would be “inconsistent with their energy and environmental policies.”
Meanwhile, according to the German state broadcaster DW News, the “US and several European nations, including Germany, have pledged $8.5 billion (€7.3 billion) to help South Africa phase out coal and expand renewable sources of energy.”
And the reward?
Formerly a net exporter of electricity, Ghana has experienced complete power blackouts that have left millions living in the Ashanti region without water as well … including irrigation needed to grow food.
Thanks for nothing.
CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.”