Energy and Politics in the Next Decade

David Trammel's picture

We're in for a bumpy ride.

"Green Upheaval - The New Geopolitics of Energy"

"Talk of a smooth transition to clean energy is fanciful: there is no way that the world can avoid major upheavals as it remakes the entire energy system, which is the lifeblood of the global economy and underpins the geopolitical order. Moreover, the conventional wisdom about who will gain and who will lose is frequently off base. The so-called petrostates, for example, may enjoy feasts before they suffer famines, because dependence on the dominant suppliers of fossil fuels, such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, will most likely rise before it falls. And the poorest parts of the world will need to use vast quantities of energy—far more than in the past—to prosper even as they also face the worst consequences of climate change. Meanwhile, clean energy will come to represent a new source of national power but will itself introduce new risks and uncertainties.

These are not arguments to slow or abandon the energy transition. On the contrary, countries around the world must accelerate efforts to combat climate change. But these are arguments to encourage policymakers to look beyond the challenges of climate change itself and to appreciate the risks and dangers that will result from the jagged transition to clean energy. More consequential right now than the long-term geopolitical implications of a distant net-zero world are the sometimes counterintuitive short-term perils that will arrive in the next few decades, as the new geopolitics of clean energy combines with the old geopolitics of oil and gas. A failure to appreciate the unintended consequences of various efforts to reach net zero will not only have security and economic implications; it will also undermine the energy transition itself. If people come to believe that ambitious plans to tackle climate change endanger energy reliability or affordability or the security of energy supplies, the transition will slow. Fossil fuels might eventually fade. The politics—and geopolitics—of energy will not."

David Trammel's picture

The part about North Face clothing shows how interconnected we are to oil and gas, and how clueless we are too.

"Why the Energy Transition Will Be So Complicated - The degree to which the world depends on oil and gas is not well understood."

"It began when Innovex Downhole Solutions, a Texas-based company that provides technical services to the oil and gas industry, ordered 400 jackets from North Face with its corporate logo. But the iconic outdoor-clothing company refused to fulfill the order. North Face describes itself as a “politically aware” brand that will not share its logo with companies that are in “tobacco, sex (including gentlemen’s clubs) and pornography.” And as far as North Face is concerned, the oil and gas industry fell into that same category—providing jackets to a company in that industry would go against its values.

But, as it turns out, North Face’s business depends not only on people who like the outdoors, but also on oil and gas: At least 90 percent of the materials in its jackets are made from petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas. Moreover, many of its jackets and the materials that go into them are made in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, and then shipped to the United States in vessels that are powered by oil. To muddy matters further, not long before North Face rejected the request, its corporate owner had built a new hangar at a Denver airport for its corporate jets, all of which run on jet fuel. To spotlight the obvious contradiction, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association presented its first ever Customer Appreciation Award to North Face for being “an extraordinary oil and gas customer.”

North Face earned that reward!

I hope the Colorado Oil and Gas Association continue to hand out Customer Appreciation Awards to similar packs of virtue-signaling idiots.

Love that award.

kma's picture

Subtle Disruption.

Mr. KMA told me a story yesterday about some activists in the 80s in some scandanavian country. They kept a list of politicians/public figures who would be mean to people in poverty or vote against helping people with basic needs. When one of said politics/public people would give a speech or be at an event, they would round up people to break into their house and eat all of the food being very careful to take nothing but the food. I can't condone b&e of course, but it did seem karmically inspired.

Wonder if someone should give out faux Customer Appreciation for Pfizer and put USGOV and NPR at top. Babylon Bee? Bad Cat?

kma's picture

Should be clear - I love the award, not energy depletion and geopolitical instability.