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Ho, Ho! Hey, Hey! Fossil Fuel Is Here to Stay!

(Center for American Greatness) Over the weekend, the traditional Harvard versus Yale football game was interrupted during halftime by about 150 student activists, spontaneously joined by hundreds of fans, to protest climate change. Occupying the area around the 500-yard line, the protesters chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Fossil fuel has got to go!” The game resumed after about 30 students were arrested and the rest left.

It would be reasonable to suppose that people who manage to gain admission to Harvard and Yale are among the most gifted students in America. But when it comes to swiftly eliminating the usage of fossil fuel, have they done their homework?

Around the world, billions of people are now convinced that catastrophic climate change is inevitable if humanity continues to rely on fossil fuels. Most developed Western nations, along with the United Nations and other supranational organizations, are promoting aggressive policies to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. While a scientific debate remains, especially with respect to the severity of the predicted climate change, it is the economic challenges relating to rapid elimination of fossil fuels that require urgent examination.

The reason for this is simple: At this time, there is no feasible economic scenario whereby worldwide fossil fuel usage does not increase steadily for the next several decades…

Even according to former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a supporter of renewable energy who served during the Obama Administration, California’s 2050 “decarbonizing” targets “can be met only with breakthroughs in a portfolio of affordable technologies.”

Meanwhile, in California and around the world, hundreds of billions of dollars are being invested each year on technologies, such as gargantuan land-based and offshore wind farms, that are extremely disruptive to ecosystems. These investments only yield adequate returns when the costs to provide grid connections and upgrades, as well as backup capacity including quick-start natural gas power plants are socialized and taxpayers and ratepayers foot the bill.

In the continent of Africa, where the population is currently projected to rise from 1.3 billion today to 2.5 billion within the next 30 years, either there will be cheap and affordable energy, or there will be a Malthusian event on that continent that will rival any similar such paroxysm in human history.

Looking forward, this is the moral case for fossil fuel. The fact is, there is no choice. Humanity needs to develop every single type of energy it possibly can as quickly as it possibly can, because that is how everyone on earth will readily have the opportunity to enjoy First-World lifestyles. 

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