Fossil fuels

Dear Editor:

RE: Gotta go green, June 3.

Ron Moore listed several reasons why he believes the era of burning fossil fuels is coming to a close. I can think of at least three reasons why he might be wrong.

1. The world’s biggest carbon emitter – China – has no intention of reducing its use of fossil fuels. In 2019, 58 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption came from coal, and it continues to build coal-fired power plants at a rate that outpaces the rest of the world combined. To my knowledge, the 3rd and 4th largest carbon emitters – India and the Russian Federation – are also not willing to sacrifice their economies in order to reduce carbon emissions.

2. President Joe Biden wants to replace carbon-emitting energy sources with so-called “clean” or “green” sources like wind and solar power, and replace gas-burning vehicles with electric vehicles. If he succeeds, it will soon become apparent that huge amounts of fossil fuels will continue to be required.

According to my reading sources, producing wind turbines and solar arrays, and the batteries needed to store electricity from them for use in electric vehicles or when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, requires mining, moving, and refining vast amounts of earth – far more than required to obtain the same amount of energy from coal, oil, and natural gas. A single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials.

3. If with the passage of time, Americans realize that the Earth has not self-destructed, they get fed up with the high costs of unreliable “green” energy, a failing economy, the eyesores of solar and wind farms covering ever more of the landscape, landfills filled with non-recyclable wind turbine blades that have killed thousands of birds, etc.; they might be ready to elect another Trump-like president who will show some common sense. With all his faults, Trump presided over a booming economy (before COVID-19) and turned the U.S. into a net petroleum exporter, while ironically reducing the country’s carbon emissions.

Henry Brunsveld,

*Editor’s note: The U.S.’s status as a net-petroleum exporter is widely attributed to the lifting of restrictions on oil exports, which occurred while Barack Obama was president.