The 1979 Australian action movie Mad Max was set in asociety teetering on the brink of collapse. The screenwriter James McCausland, reflecting on the 1973 oil crisis, speculated about the prospect of Peak Oil and the violence that might accompany the end of oil:
“The ferocity with which Australians would defend their right to fill a tank. Long queues formed at the stations with petrol-and anyone who tried to sneak ahead in the queue met raw violence. … George and I wrote the [Mad Max] script based on the thesis that people would do almost anything to keep vehicles moving …”
The notion of Peak Oil has been vigorously promoted by green groups and those vested interests wanting to promote biofuels and inefficient, unreliable wind and solar sources of energy. For instance, Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University of Technology and many others have frequently paraded the Peak Oil chimera.
Greens dream of a zero-emissions world without coal, oil and natural gas. They need to think what they wish for.
First there would be no mass production of steel without coke from coking coal to remove oxygen from iron ore. People could cut trees in forests for charcoal to produce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be exhausted. Coal saved the forests from this fate. Continue reading “Back to the Medieval Green World”
Coal and oil are made from plants and animals that died millions of years ago when the atmosphere contained abundant carbon dioxide plant food. They are now very concentrated forms of energy which can be extracted from very small areas of land. Burning these natural hydro-carbons returns CO2 and fresh water to the atmosphere thus greatly assisting global plant growth. If we are lucky these extra gases in the atmosphere may also slightly delay the start of Earth’s next cooling cycle, but this looks unlikely.
Ethanol and biodiesel are made from plants growing now – sugar cane, beets, palm oil and grains. Growing these crops requires large areas of land and valuable fresh water for irrigation.
Growing bio-fuel crops extracts CO2 from the atmosphere but burning them quickly puts it back. This is a zero-sum game that does nothing positive for the environment or the climate.
Coal and oil are thus more enviro-friendly than biofuels. It is environmental desecration to lock-the-gate on coal, oil and gas while supporting policies that waste land, food crops and water for motor fuels.
Speculators should be free to make biofuels but these should not be subsidised or mandated.
Greens claim that the Adani coal mine in Queensland may force some desert finches to move a bit further out.
What is the Green Solution to this possible minor environmental disturbance? – ban the mine.
But every wind turbine continually chops up threatened birds and bats. A survey at one wind “farm” in Victoria found that 1,500 birds were killed in one year – wedge-tail eagles, falcons, kites, hawks and other birds as well as un-counted bats.
There are 94 wind farms in Australia, each with its own avian graveyard.
The Green Solution to this real environmental abomination? – pretend it is not happening.