Over a series of recent posts, I’ve been looking at the energy revolution that is changing the look of the 21st centuries. Some countries are losers, but the USA in particular stands to make big gains at home and in its foreign policy. But there is one group (other than the Russians and the Gulf Arabs and the Iranians) that isn’t sharing in the general joy: the greens. For them, the spectacle of a looming world energy crisis was good news. It justified huge subsidies for solar and wind power (and thereby guaranteed huge fortunes for clever green-oriented investors). Greens outdid themselves year after year with gloom and doom forecasts about the coming oil crunch.
Back in those salad days of green arrogance, there was plenty of scoffing at the ‘peak oil deniers’ and shortage skeptics who disagreed with what greens told us all was settled, Malthusian science. “Reality based” green thinkers sighed and rolled their eyes at the illusions of those benighted techno-enthusiasts who said that unconventional sources like shale oil and gas and the oil sands of Canada would one day become available. [..]
Let’s be honest. It has long been clear to students of history, and has more recently begun to dawn on many environmentalists, that all that happy-clappy carbon treaty stuff was a pipe dream and that nothing like that is going to happen. A humanity that hasn’t been able to ban the bomb despite the clear and present dangers that nuclear weapons pose isn’t going to ban or even seriously restrict the internal combustion engine and the generator. [..]
Greens should also be glad that the new energy is where it is. For Monbiot and for many others, Gaia’s decision to put so much oil into the United States and Canada seems like her biggest indiscretion of all. Certainly, a United States of America that has, in the Biblical phrase, renewed its youth like an eagle with a large infusion of fresh petro-wealth is going to be even less eager than formerly to sign onto various pie-in-the-sky green carbon treaties.
Full essay here