The risk is always highest when politicians tell you there is none

Politicians are very good at framing policies as sunshine and roses.  If we follow their path every end result will be good.  If we don’t it is all bad.  Some politicians are even stupid enough to believe the things they say.  Others like Trudeau have a messiah complex.  They believe they have special knowledge that only gods have and mere mortals will never understand.

As Sowell writes, “the vision of the anointed is not simply a vision of the world and its functioning in a causal sense, but is also a vision of themselves and of their moral role in the world. It is a vision of differential rectitude” or righteousness.

“What a vision may offer, and what the prevailing vision of our time emphatically does offer, is a special status of grace for those who believe in it. Those who accept this are deemed to be not merely factually correct but morally on a higher plane.

Intelligent people, a group that politicians rarely fall in to, know that this is not true.  Every decision has the potential for both good and bad outcomes.  There is always a tradeoff but politicians refuse to acknowledge that there is ever a downside and their stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality can be dangerous.  COVID was a great example of that.

The lockdowns were sold as a sure fire way of controlling the virus.  At no time was the downside of the lockdowns discussed.  As far as politicians were concerned there was no downside so to them the risk/reward equation was positive.  Only an idiot could have believed this.  Lockdowns were dangerous to the economy and to public health; that was certain.  What was not certain was how much of a benefit they could be but all of the available data from previous lockdown attempts indicated the benefit would be negligible.  Lockdowns had a very real large downside with a small and uncertain upside.

Ditto for the vaccines; all medical treatments carry risk.  New medical treatments often carry very large risk.  Treatments that we barely understand and that caused problems in the lab carry an unacceptable risk.  But that is not what we were told right?  They were safe and effective.  Once again it would be all sunshine and roses; except it wasn’t.

You would think people would learn but we haven’t.  The average person is no more able to evaluate options than the average politician.  A case in point is our current energy transition.  Politicians tell us eliminating hydrocarbons is all upside.  For some reason the world started using hydrocarbons even though apparently we derive zero benefit from using hydrocarbons.

That is of course not correct.  We use hydrocarbons because they are hugely beneficial so eliminating them comes at an extreme cost.

The story told by activist politicians and climate campaigners suggests that there is nothing but benefits to ending fossil fuels, versus a hellscape if nothing is done.

But the reality is that the world over the past centuries has improved dramatically — largely because of the immense increase in available energy that has come mostly from fossil fuels.

Life spans have more than doubled, hunger has dramatically declined, and incomes have increased ten-fold.

While the impact of climate change is likely negative, it is enormously exaggerated.

Giving up hydrocarbons is giving up a lot when we are not even certain the overall impact of climate change will be negative.  So we are not making a small sacrifice for a large gain we are making a large sacrifice for a small and possibly nonexistent gain.  Are you ready to sacrifice all the gains we have made in the last century for an uncertain climate benefit?  A better question might even be are you prepared to let people die for an uncertain benefit; because that is where this is going.  Our energy transition will kill people.

The problem with wind and solar is that when you need energy the most is when they generate the least.  Extreme heat and extreme cold happen when large unmoving high pressure cells settle over an area.  When this happens there is little to no wind so there is no wind generation.  In fact under these conditions in the winter wind turbines consume energy to stay warm.  They make a bad situation worse.

The Australian government is telling us “we’re different” to other countries struggling to make wind and solar work. We supposedly have “world-class resources” and “natural advantages in renewables“. But we also have world-class high pressure cells that stop wind generation across the entire nation simultaneously. On days like these, it doesn’t matter much whether we have 1,000 wind turbines or 10,000 if 95% of them are failing.

Blackouts during extreme heat and cold will cause deaths.  How many people are you willing to kill to prevent climate impacts that are exaggerated and only LIKELY negative?  We never stopped to ask that question about lockdowns or vaccines.  People died as a result.  Possibly millions of people died.  Do we really want to repeat that stupidity with climate policies?

Contrary to what politicians will tell you there is a risk/reward component to any decision.  The switch away from hydrocarbons to renewable energy will be overwhelmingly negative; even deadly.