Monday 26 June 2023

Humankind is doomed as the world can't kick its fossil fuel habit!

You can discuss cat behaviour and wildcat conservation all you want but at the end of the day it might be pointless because the world struggles to kick its addiction to fossil fuels. It isn't just the fact that the development of renewable energy is not proceeding fast enough and it isn't the fact that oil, gas and coal together accounted for almost 82% of global primary energy consumption last year, it is also the fact that the EV market (electric vehicles) is stalling in the UK because of various factors and also the vegan food marketplace is being consistently damaged by the manufacturers who insist on adding salt and other unhealthy ingredients to make it more palatable. Humankind is also addicted to salt and processed foods.

Humankind is doomed as the world struggles to kick fossil fuel habit!
Image: DALLE-E.

Veganism is one route to put a break on climate change because it means we less meat and meat comes from cows and cows produce methane and methane warms up the atmosphere. The EV marketplace is stalling because the infrastructure is not being built fast enough and the government in the UK is not encouraging the purchase of EVs with tax breaks et cetera. Also, the battery market is volatile. Lithium-ion batteries are being supplanted by more efficient batteries. The tech is fast moving.

And the UK government is going to have to tax owners of electric vehicles by charging them by the mile. This is to make up for the reduction in the tax that they obtain through VAT on petrol (gas in the USA).

I am painting a very bleak picture and I'll continue. As mentioned above fossil fuel energy sources accounted for 82% of primary energy consumption which was barely any less from the previous year.

And solar energy accounted for a mere 2.1% and wind 2.3% of total global energy usage. This includes not only power generation but also energy used in transport, heating and other applications.

The Energy Institute's Statistical Review of World Energy tells us that renewables including hydro accounted for about 14% of global energy consumption.

They present a bleak picture of progress towards renewable energy which is too slow. The decarbonisation of global energy is too slow. We are not meeting the Paris climate warming goals.

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions achieved a new peak in 2022. This is because output from coal and gas-fired power plants hit record highs. While consumption continued to rebound to near pre-Covid levels. The demand for power grew by a little over 2% to a new high. The vast majority of that growth being met by renewables, however.

Record amounts of solar and wind projects started producing electricity during 2022.

However, this still resulted in solar accounting for only 4.5% of global power generation. Wind accounted for 7.2% of global power generation.

Nick Wayth, the Institute's chief executive said:

"At a global scale, renewables are not yet eating into coal and gas-fired generation and in fact both coal and gas recorded record highs in terms of generation in 2022."

Nuclear power output fell by 4%.

Wyath said that the global primary energy mix has shown very little change over the year. Coal remained at 27% of consumption for the sixth consecutive year. Oil increased slightly to 32%. The gas market share fell slightly because of lower use for heating and transport.

So, the conclusion is that despite some growth in renewables the share of world energy is still coming from fossil fuels and that percentage is stuck at 82%. This is after many years of talking at heads of state conferences about pledges and about their commitment to take real action to tackle global warming when actually it's all talk and no action. Well, there has been some action but it is nowhere near enough. 

The promises made by our leaders are hollow. Many people believe that humankind is sleepwalking into a major catastrophe. We just can't kick the habit of burning fossil fuels. We will have to see it much worse than it is before we change our ways. There are still very many people who don't believe that climate change is real.

Juliet Davenport, president of the Institute, said:

"Overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again. We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris agreement."

As I said at the beginning unless humankind does more and commits to changing their deeply ingrained habits using fossil fuels, we are heading into a hostile world which will be uninhabitable over large areas. It will massively increase migration from equatorial countries to the north.

These are much bigger issues, to be frank, than discussing feline behaviour and whether a certain cat breed is more friendly than another which is a rather pointless discussion in any case.

The protesters in the UK who disrupt people's lives such as the campaign group Just Stop Oil, are, in my opinion, courageous although they are vilified by many news media outlets and millions of people. They do what is necessary to try and force people to change their ways. Humankind needs them in my view. We shouldn't be vilifying them. It is the mainstream right wingers who do this in their blind addiction to fossil fuels.

Source: The Times and myself.

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