Exit Stage Left
“The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.” —Joseph Schumpeter
The Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East. Situated at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the city is blessed with a dry climate, warm winters, and gorgeous beaches that open out to the Red Sea. Its calm, clear waters make it popular among scuba divers, sailors, and windsurfers alike. For those fortunate enough to be able to afford one, a vacation in Sharm El Sheikh is an incredible indulgence.
Beginning Sunday, November 6, and continuing for nearly two weeks, some 30,000 climate activists, scientists, government officials, and corporate executives will descend upon Sharm El Sheikh for the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27). It’s been a challenging year for the climate change narrative, with many countries behaving in ways that run counter to their solemn pledges to limit carbon emissions. Here’s how a recent article by the United Nations (UN) frames this year’s conference (emphasis in the original):
“Last year’s COP26, which marked five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement (one year was skipped because of the COVID pandemic), culminated in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which kept the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive, but ‘with a weak pulse,’ as the then UK Presidency declared.
Advancements were made to make the Paris Agreement fully operational, by finalizing the details for its practical implementation, also known as the Paris Rulebook. At COP26 countries agreed to deliver stronger commitments this year, including updated national plans with more ambitious targets. However, only 23 out of 193 countries have submitted their plans to the UN so far. Glasgow also saw many pledges made inside and outside the negotiation rooms regarding net-zero commitments, forests protection and climate finance, among many other issues.”
Of course, pledges are cheap while implementation is the painful part, which is why there is so much more talking than doing on the topic. If the UN is struggling to corral countries into honoring their promises, getting industry to follow through will be an even greater challenge, especially since most verbal checks being written today won’t be cashed for many decades. It is a poorly kept secret that most public company CEOs are more than happy to make the “net zero by 2050” pledge, even if they have no idea how their companies will get there. To do so buys good public relations today, and they’ll personally be long gone before any real work needs to get done. For a particularly humorous example, we turn to a recent article in Flying Magazine (emphasis added throughout):
“During the 41st International Assembly last week, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted the ‘collective long-term aspirational goal’ of net-zero carbon emissions for the aviation industry by 2050, according to an ICAO statement. The meeting brought together more than 2,500 delegates from 184 states and 57 organizations in Montreal, Canada.”
Absent some massive (and surely cockamamie) carbon offset scheme, it is literally impossible for the aviation industry to go “net zero” this century, if ever. While there’s plenty of crazy talk about electric commercial airliners, the energy density of jet fuel is roughly 50 times that of the best Li-ion batteries on the market, making the former effectively irreplaceable by the latter. When you consider that roughly half of the existing commercial planes in the world still run key elements of their operating system on floppy disk, the odds of the industry fundamentally changing how it moves people around the world before 2050 become clear. The answer is roughly net zero.
The great irony of the aviation industry’s fake pledge is that nearly all the 30,000 attendees to COP27 will rely on jet fuel to get to the resort (and many via private charter), making it a timely illumination on a view we have been developing for some time. Surveying the global landscape in light of the great energy crisis of 2022, we can’t help but conclude that when it comes to carbon emissions, the world is going to ignore climate alarmism, continue to burn fossil fuels at an ever-growing rate, and roll the dice on the consequences. Politicians who insist otherwise will either make a complete about-face at the first sign of real stress or be swept out of office. For proof, we embark on a global tour of recent energy developments.