Energy Expert: Five Trends Shaping The Future Of Energy
I’m an energy expert with a 15-year track record of correctly predicting major trends: “peak oil” wouldn’t happen, fossil fuel demand would grow, climate danger would decline, and “green energy” policies would be deadly.
Unlike most “experts,” my analysis of the future is credible. [some links added]
The primary reason I have been right about major trends in energy is that I am not just an energy expert but also a philosopher, which has enabled me to observe and avoid 1) invalid thinking methods, 2) false assumptions, and 3) anti-human values that many “experts” operate on.
• Invalid thinking methods
Many experts commit the error of ignoring the benefits of fossil fuels and focusing exclusively on negative side effects. This has led them to underestimate fossil fuel demand and underestimate the damage of “green energy” policies.
Ignoring the benefits of fossil fuels has also led most energy experts to ignore the enormous “climate mastery benefits” of fossil fuels— their ability to power machines that neutralize climate danger via heating and air conditioning, irrigation, building resilient structures, etc.
• False assumptions
Many experts operate on the false assumption I call “the delicate nurturer”: Earth exists in a delicate, nurturing balance but human beings are “parasite polluters” whose impact inevitably destroys the delicate balance and us with it.
In reality, Earth is not a “delicate nurturer” but “wild potential” (dynamic, deficient, dangerous) and human beings are not “parasite polluters” but “producer-improvers” whose impact generally produces new value and therefore makes the world much more livable for us.
The “delicate nurturer” and “parasite polluter” assumptions lead experts to incorrectly expect that our high-impact way of life will lead us to run out of resources (e.g., “peak oil”) or catastrophically destabilize vital systems (e.g., climate catastrophism).
• Anti-human values
Many energy experts evaluate the state of the planet, including its climate, using an anti-human standard of value: lack of human impact. Versus the standard of human flourishing, which I use.
Experts who are on the standard of “lack of human impact” treat climate impact as intrinsically bad and therefore evaluate today’s climate as catastrophically bad even though we are actually safer from climate than ever in large part due to fossil-fueled climate mastery.
Experts who are on the standard of “lack of human impact” are unconcerned with the benefits of fossil fuels, including the climate mastery benefits, to human flourishing, or the damage of “green” policies to human flourishing. Because their standard is not human flourishing.
A summary of how I differ from most energy experts:
1) I consider the positives and negatives of fossil fuels, not just the negatives
2) I recognize Earth has “wild potential,” not a “delicate nurturer”
3) I evaluate energy by the standard of human flourishing, not lack of impact
I also have the advantage of a research team that also avoids the many philosophical errors prevalent today, as well as constant interactions with leaders in politics and industry so that I have firsthand exposure to these worlds rather than secondhand, often distorted accounts.
While I can’t make precise price or policy predictions (can anyone?), I can use my knowledge of philosophy, my research, and my high-bandwidth connection to politicians and industry to identify overlooked or underestimated trends that will shape the future of energy.
Trend 1: Fossil Fuels’ Fundamentals Remain Strong
Despite a decade of claims that we are in an “energy transition” in which fossil fuels will be rapidly replaced by superior, mostly solar and wind alternatives, fossil fuels have fundamental strengths that are not replaceable anytime soon.
Fossil fuels provide 80+% of the world’s energy and are still growing, despite 1) decades of intense competition from alternatives and 2) worldwide cultural and political hostility.
Clearly, there are some strong fundamentals at work here.
Fundamental: Fossil fuels are uniquely cost-effective, a combo of:
2) reliable—available when needed, in the quantity needed
3) versatile—able to power every type of machine, not just electrical
4) scalable—for billions of people in thousands of places
Fossil fuels are uniquely cost-effective due to:
1: Physical attributes: natural storage, natural concentration, natural abundance—a combo currently shared only by nuclear
2: Generations of innovation and work by industry—which nuclear hasn’t had, mostly because of its near-criminalization
Fundamental: Solar and wind, the politically favored alternative, have intractable problems with cost (unreliability requires costly infrastructure duplication), versatility (only electricity), and scalability (depends on “reliables” and diluteness causes unprecedented material needs).
Recent price spikes in fossil fuels do not reflect some new lack of cost-effectiveness on the part of fossil fuels, but rather the devastating effects of “green energy” efforts to artificially restrict the supply of fossil fuels on the false promise that unreliable solar and wind can replace them.
Fundamental: The world desperately needs more energy.
Billions of people lack the cost-effective energy they need to flourish. 3B uses less electricity than a typical American refrigerator. 1/3 of the world uses wood or dung for heating and cooking. Much more energy is needed.
Summary of Trend 1: Fossil fuels will continue to have fundamental advantages due to 1) their unique cost-effectiveness and 2) the world’s need for much more energy.
Recommendation for investors: Be on the lookout for opportunities in the fossil fuel space that others are missing because they’re underestimating the superior fundamentals of fossil fuels. Just make sure you can navigate the political risk.
And that risk might be going down.
Trend 2: Anti-Fossil-Fuel Policies Are Causing A Global Crisis
Restrictions on fossil fuel investment, production, and transport have artificially restricted supply, while promises that demand would be replaced by alternatives have proved false.
And much of the voting public knows this.
For the last 15+ years, the anti-fossil-fuel movement has successfully restricted fossil fuel investment, fossil fuel production, and fossil fuel transport on the false grounds that 1) fossil fuels’ climate impacts were an “emergency” and 2) unreliable solar and wind could rapidly replace fossil fuels.
While the anti-fossil-fuel movement has not come anywhere near achieving its goal of rapidly eliminating fossil fuel use, just by slowing the growth of fossil fuel use has caused a global energy crisis in which the world hasn’t been able to handle post-pandemic demand and less Russian energy.
The world is now seeing the consequences of just a small sliver of the net-zero agenda:
Wealthy Europe is experiencing mass hardship, deindustrialization, and fear of winter.
Poor nations, e.g., Bangladesh, are being outbid for today’s scarce energy supplies.
For the last decade, the idea of rapidly eliminating fossil fuel use was considered reasonable by the (misinformed) public.
Now that a sliver of that agenda has caused a global crisis, people around the world are waking up and beginning to demand more pro-fossil-fuel policies.
Recommendation: Be wary of all rosy claims about alternatives from anti-fossil-fuel “experts.”
To my knowledge, not one of these people warned that anti-fossil-fuel policies would cause an energy crisis. Their thinking has been demonstrably distorted.
And most are unrepentant…
The preceding is a basic presentation in talking-point form. (If you are in finance and/or energy and are interested in having me speak on this topic, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Read rest at Energy Talking Points