Last week Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and now leader of a lobby calling itself “The Elders”, called for action to prioritise “clean” energy and ensure that 2019 was the peak year for greenhouse gas emissions. She wants the international community to be pressurized to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
These attitudes are not new. The crusade against greenhouse gases, and carbon dioxide (CO2) in particular, goes back at least as far as the launch of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. What is new is that those who espouse these attitudes will not allow the tragedy of economic collapse that has this year befallen mankind to cause them to re-think their crusade to replace cheap and reliable energy with expensive and unreliable renewable energy.
Some climate lobbyists have expressed disappointment at the postponement of the UN’s climate conference due to be held in Glasgow later this year. The global health crisis caused by Covid-19, they say, should not be allowed to overshadow the climate crisis: global warming, they claim, will become irreversible if leaders fail to act to keep down global temperatures.
They further express the fear that when the Covid-19 crisis is over, the world will be back on “an unsustainable trajectory of socio-environmental destruction”. To prevent this, “radical action against climate change should already be under way”.
What “action” means, of course, is intensification of the war against hydrocarbons/fossil fuels, the inevitable result of which will be loss of base-load supply to national grids and higher energy prices. This at a time when the health crisis has already sent the global economy into depression, destroying livelihoods and consigning millions of people back into poverty and even starvation.
Trillions of dollars of both private and public investment will be needed to get growth going again. If Ms Robinson and others like her have their way, economic recovery across the globe will be retarded by the vastly more expensive “green” energy they wish to make mandatory. The result will be a colossal waste of investment capital at a time when the global economy can least afford it.