COP 24: Paris Agreement plans to reduce greenhouse gases miss the mark


Just like the TV commercial that asked, “where’s the beef,” it’s time to focus on whats the substance behind demands we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels? Why aren’t any of the proposed “solutions” to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) actually effective?

Seems that all the nations that are party to the Paris Climate Agreement relate energy just to electricity. The nations are following the leadership of Al Gore, California Governor Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tom Steyer to pursue intermittent renewable electricity from wind and solar to “save the world”.

Those “leaders” of the get-off-oil campaign seem to be oblivious to the fact that 100% of the industries that use fossil fuels to “make products and move things” to support the economies around the world are increasing their usage each year, not decreasing it. The world has become accustomed to the lifestyles provided by elaborate infrastructures and military that support the prosperity of growing populations that are all based on fossil fuels.

As we know, any and all forecasts needs to be based on assumptions, good or bad, valid or invalid, to arrive at the forecasted conclusions. The problem with the Paris Climate Agreement, the National Climate Assessment report, and other forecasts, is that most of the nations of the world have bought into the “forecasted conclusions” regardless of the validity of the assumptions, or conflicting forecasts that portray there is no global warming, that the world needs to reduce GHG emissions by reducing our “dependency” on fossil fuels.

Since electricity alone has not, and will not, run the economies in the world, as electricity alone is unable to support the military, airlines, cruise ships, supertankers, container shipping, and trucking infrastructures. Nor can electricity from wind and solar provide the 6,000 products from petroleum that are part of every transportation infrastructure, electricity generation, cooling, heating, manufacturing, agriculture, and virtually every product used in our daily and leisurely lifestyles. Until electricity storage technology can support intermittent electricity from wind and solar, the world will continue to have redundant fossil fuel backups for those windless and cloudy days to provide 24/7 electricity to the economy.

Interestingly, the primary economic reasons refineries even exist is to manufacture the aviation, diesel, and gasoline fuels for our military and transportation industries nationwide. It may be shocking to most, but there are no economic reasons JUST to manufacture the other “stuff” of chemicals and by-products from crude oil that are the basis of 6,000 products from petroleum that are part of every infrastructure and virtually everything in our daily and leisurely lifestyles.

Currently, all these industries are increasing their needs for fossil fuels to “make products and move things” each year, not decreasing.

1. The airline industry with 23,000 commercial airplanes that accommodates 4 billion passengers annually that takes us anywhere in the world is consuming more than 225 million gallons of aviation fuels EVERY DAY to move almost 10 million passengers and other things every day, and increasing every year.

2. The cruise liner industry with 300 cruise liners that use around 80,000 gallons of fuel per day, per liner, to accommodate 25 million passengers annually, is increasing every year.

a. As a side note, the billions of vehicle trips to and from airports, hotels, ports, and amusement parks is increasing each year.

3. The 52,000 merchant ships that move products around the world. In California alone, imports and exports monthly, amount to $50 billion dollars of products. Merchant ship usage is increasing every year.

4. Today, we have almost 2 billion trucks and automobiles that rely on fuel and the products that are manufactured from fossil fuels. Trucks currently transport 80% of all cargo. Vehicle usage of fossil fuels and the chemicals from crude oil, is increasing every year.

5. All medication are made with the chemical and by-products of oil, and increasing every year.

6. The usage of asphalt used for road construction, is increasing each year.

7. Usage of fertilizers that accommodates growth of much of the food that feeds billions annually, is increasing every year.

8. The military presence that protects each country from each other, is increasing each year to save the world.

9. The world’s participation in the space program, is increasing each year.

10. There are 62,500 coal power plants around the world operating today. Additionally, 1,600 new coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.

11. The usage of the 6,000 products from petroleum that are now being made with the chemicals and by-products of oil, is increasing each year.

With the Paris Agreement in place, nations around the world are defying the Energy Industry Administration (EIA) projections that world energy production and consumption continues to grow for all fossil fuels of coal, oil and gas, and that most electricity in the world will be generated by sources other than renewables. i.e., Nuclear, Natural Gas, and Coal.

Since the world has become addicted to the prosperity provided by fossil fuels, it’s time to STOP tweaking the forecasts about the demise of the world from GHG’s and start developing plans to either change lifestyles to reduce GHG’s, or start focusing on continuous improvements in efficiencies to extend the availability of fossil fuels for thousands of years.

This piece originally appeared on CFACT.

Ronald Stein is the Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure at PTS Advance headquartered in Irvine, California and a researcher and commentator on climate, energy, environment and public policy.