Michael Shallenberg is a successful writer and long-term environmental activist to the point of being named "Environmental Hero" by Time. Yet he has always been extremely critical of the apocalyptic theories of the movement that follows Greta Thunberg. Precisely on the occasion of the recent conflict in Ukraine he published a post that attracted a lot of criticism in Germany, bordering on Censorship (we will talk about it at the end), but which hides some profound truth.
Here is an extract of the pos t:
Insufficient investment in oil and gas exploration is not the only cause of today's energy crisis. The economic return from the covid pandemic has pushed demand higher. The lack of wind in Europe has meant increased demand for both natural gas and coal. And a drought in Brazil has led to natural gas imports, but the main cause of the energy shortage is the half-decade-long underinvestment in oil and gas driven by climate concerns.
"ESG [environmental, social and governance] considerations explain much of the decline in capital spending by international oil companies in recent years," the Financial Times notes today, "and the exodus of investors from oil markets. and gas ". Bloomberg agrees, noting that "the market is now fixated on climate change and a waning appetite to invest in fossil fuels."
China, India, the United States, East Asia and Europe are mining and burning more coal to make up for the lack of natural gas. The Chinese government recently gave up on environmental safeguards on coal mining. China imposed continuous blackouts due to energy shortages while India narrowly avoided them.
Typically, anticipating increased demand for oil and gas causes companies to increase investment in exploration. It didn't happen. The main reason, according to Goldman Sachs, is the pressure from climate activists on governments, companies and banks to divest from oil and gas exploration.
Investments in oil and gas exploration fell by half between 2011 and 2021, notes the Financial Times. Discoveries of new oil fields fell to an all-time low between 2016 and 2020, not from a lack of oil, but from a lack of investment in exploration. Today, companies spend 25% less than they need to keep oil production stable.
The result of successful climate activism is, paradoxically, an increase in coal consumption and carbon emissions. This is because the electricity produced from natural gas produces about half of the carbon emissions.
Some of us warned that climate activists' efforts against natural gas would backfire. Eight years ago I defended fracking for making natural gas cheaper than coal. Reducing exploration of natural gas would make gas more expensive, I said, and delay the transition from coal.
Some fear that cheap oil will increase its use, but the use of oil is highly inelastic, as our cars and trucks rely on it. Little oil is burned for electricity production, and natural gas is needed to balance the intermittency of solar and wind energy.
The proof is in the data. The share of fossil fuels in global energy production has remained unchanged at 84% since 1980. To the extent that emissions in Europe and the United States have fallen, it has largely been due to the shift from coal to natural gas.
As a result of pressure from activists, governments and investors have punished oil and gas companies. When an oil and gas exploration company, EOG Resources, announced in February that it intended to expand production, its share price fell more than any other company on the S&P 500. Of course, American oil and gas companies have since. they refused to expand production, even as prices have risen.
Socially responsible investing is decades old, but over the past decade ESG has been embraced by large academics, investment banks like Blackrock, governments, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, and ultimately by the oil and gas companies themselves. gas, including Shell, Total and many others. In May, a Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its emissions, a ruling that made companies reluctant to invest in new oil and gas exploration.
It's not that oil and gas executives didn't know that underinvestment would lead to today's price shocks. It's just that they have been ignored. When former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond was asked what kept him up at night, he simply replied, "Replacement of the reserve." Shareholders had asked him to stop investing. In 2020, under pressure from climate activists, JPMorgan Chase, America's largest investment bank, removed Raymond from his role as chief independent director of the board.
Part of the problem is that neither companies nor governments are taking the right actions. Some are going in the wrong direction. The United States Congress looks close to approving a deal to pour $ 500 billion into renewable energy and its enabling infrastructure over the next decade. Such taxpayer subsidies could further reduce the incentive for private companies to invest in oil and gas. Even if they don't, the Biden administration has moved to limit oil and gas drilling on public land.
Meanwhile, even in the midst of the global energy crisis, the United Nations and the developed nation-funded International Energy Agency (IEA) are lobbying nations to reduce oil and gas investments even more than they do. have already done.
So someone actively worked for:
- create a dependence on fossil fuels produced elsewhere, especially Russia;
- push to invest in alternative, renewable, unreliable and constant sources, such as wind power.
Who was it ever? The Center for European Studies has highlighted how the Russian government has financed environmental associations with over 95 million euros, precisely for these "green" campaigns against fossil fuels, obviously produced locally. Because if the gas is Russian everything was fine, at least until yesterday.
We were talking about censorship. Since the truth hurts. A post in which Shellenberg highlighted these links is accused by the German government, which reports it for violation on Twitter.
German fragility pic.twitter.com/6YkWDaw5f4
– Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) February 26, 2022
As Caterina Caselli said " Nobody can judge me, not even you / I know the truth hurts you ". Especially if you are German and, perhaps, have a dirtier conscience than coal.
(Illustration by https://t.me/La_satira_di_Satyrus)
The article How Greta Thunberg was, objectively, Putin's greatest ally (and who financed her….) Comes from ScenariEconomici.it .
This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/come-greta-thunberg-e-stata-oggettivamente-la-piu-grande-alleata-di-putin-e-sarebbe-da-indagare-chi-lha-finanziata/ on Sun, 27 Feb 2022 10:51:21 +0000.