Unsubstantiated promises


If history offers us any guide, and I strongly believe it does, then all the promises of the Kyoto crowd simply will not materialize. We don’t need to dismantle the one-sided quantitative science of global warming – disproportionately blown up by computer models – we just need to look at the history of previous energy transmission. That’s what Vaclav Smil did, author of Energy at the Crossroads. Natural gas was supposed to have us driving fuel cell cars by now.

Unfortunately this forecast like so many other projections from bureaucrats were terribly flawed. The transformation of the energy supply of modern industrial societies takes much longer than the green guru wants to make us believe. Al Gore should take notice:

  • It took oil about 50 years since the beginning of its commercial production to capture 10 percent of the global primary energy market, and then almost exactly 30 years to go to reach 25 percent.
  • Analogical spans for natural gas are almost identical: approximately 50 years and 40 years.
  • Regarding electricity, hydrogeneration began in 1882, the same year as Edison's coal-fired generation, and just before World War I, water power produced about 50 percent of the world's electricity.
  • Nuclear fission reached 10 percent of global electricity generation 27 years after the commissioning of the first nuclear power plant in 1956, and its share is now roughly the same as that of hydropower.
  • But coal has reigned supreme since the late 1890s; in 2008, it supplied twice as much energy as it did in 1973.