THE first and most important thing to understand about global warming true believers and the pushers of so-called “renewable energy” is that they lie.
They lie effortlessly, seamlessly, continuously and without the slightest sense of shame. They lie deliberately and carelessly and casually, and even when they don’t realise they are lying. They lie without the slightest sense of self-awareness and with all the pomposity of stupidity aforethought.
We’ve just seen a stunning, but all-too characteristic example: a lie as big as it was stupid and undoubtedly a product of an overdose of the warmist Kool-Aid cocktail of choice — denial of reality and fevered embrace of global warming theology.
Last month the Paris-based International Energy Agency issued its latest ‘World Energy Outlook,’ which contained a truly startling claim.
Now the IEA used to be a sober international agency, comprised of real energy experts and built on old-fashioned expertise. It compiled and published global energy statistics — what fuels we were using, where they were produced, what the production outlook was, and so on.
Over the past 20 or so years, like all such international agencies such as the IMF and the OECD, it succumbed to the “greatest moral challenge of our time” more accurately known as Global Warmism. Kool-Aid became the house beverage not of choice but of mandatory consumption.
So the end product of the utter debasement of a once-rational and useful institution is a sentence like this: “Renewables have surpassed coal last year to become the largest source of installed power capacity in the world.”
It is a claim so utterly ludicrous, so instantaneously false, that in any other context it would be stunning and a generator of endless ridicule.
It’s tantamount to claiming electricity-powered cars have overtaken petrol-driven ones on the world’s roads.
But in this space it not only passed unremarked and uncontradicted, but was actually picked up and repeated as a thunderous endorsement of the idea — really, the ultimate unicorn — that wind and solar had vanquished coal.
Propagandists like the Climate Media Centre put out a press release headed: “Renewables overtake coal as world’s largest source of installed power;” making the claim even more emphatically in the first sentence of the release — “Renewables are now the largest source of installed power capacity in the world” — with the authority of an accompanying hotlink to the IEA report.
That’s at one end of the substantive analytical spectrum; towards the other end — or at least as the publication likes to see itself — we had TheEconomist repeating the claim in its latest issue.
Like the IEA, TheEconomist used to be a substantive publication located in factual analysis and reality. But in the past decade or so it’s succumbed to its own unique cocktail of pomposity, political correctness and, yes, warmism.
So it’s devoted its front-cover and main editorial this week to denouncing the “Trump era” in relation to climate change — although, bizarrely this was accompanied by a special report on the dominant role of oil in the world.
The Economist’s editorial contained, yup, that same sentence: “Last year was the first in which renewable energy surpassed coal as the world’s biggest source of power-generating capacity.”
In all three places — and how many dozens if not hundreds of others? — the sentence was completely and ludicrously false.
According to the latest figures from the very same IEA, in 2014, coal produced 40.8 per cent of world electricity. How much came from wind and solar? Well, they don’t make the individual cut; they are in the category “other” which includes a variety of primitive electricity generations and added to 6.3 per cent.
IF we add in hydro which is 16.4 per cent, an over-estimate for “renewable” would be 22.7 per cent. It did not leap from there to more than 40 per cent in a single year.
Indeed, as the IEA report which contained the startling and completely wrong claim itself noted: total new renewable generation capacity added to just 153GW (gigawatts), including 66GW wind and 49GW solar.
That points you to the “explanation”; but in doing so, also why I explained how these people lie carelessly and even when they don’t realise it. The claim should have been about new or additional generation capacity. But even then, it would be an effective lie, because 1GW of coal or gas-fired (real) power generation equals about 3GW of wind and solar so-called “capacity”.
Because as I keep reminding you: when the wind don’t blow and the shine don’t shine …
So in terms of real power generation capacity, new coal generation capacity around the world almost certainly still exceeded that of new wind and solar last year. And total existing coal generation capacity utterly swamps the piddling amount of wind and solar.
That 115GW of new wind and solar — more realistically, perhaps 40GW of real capacity — equals less than 1 per cent of the more than 6000GW of electricity generation capacity in the world, the overwhelming majority of which is natural gas, oil and the biggest, coal: all CO2 producing fossil fuels.