How Much Fossil Fuel is Left?

Fossil fuel powers the economic engine of civilization. With a minor disruption in the supply of fossil fuel, crops wither and supply chains crash. With a major disruption, a humanitarian apocalypse engulfs the world. Events of the past few months have made this clear. Without energy, civilization dies, and in 2020 fossil fuel continued to provide over 80 percent of all energy consumed worldwide.

This basic fact, that maintaining a reliable supply of affordable fossil fuel is a nonnegotiable precondition for the survival of civilization, currently eludes far too many American politicians, including the president. Quoting from energy expert and two-time candidate for Governor of California Michael Shellenberger, “One month ago, the Biden administration killed a one million acre oil and gas lease sale in Alaska, and seven days ago killed new on-shore oil and gas leases in the continental U.S. In fact, at this very moment, the Biden administration is considering a total ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling.”

Another basic fact, easily confirmed by consulting the 2021 edition of the BP Statistical Review of Global Energy, is that if every person living on planet earth were to consume half as much energy per year as the average American currently consumes, global energy production would have to nearly double. Instead of producing 547 exajoules (the mega unit of energy currently favored by economists) per year, energy producers worldwide would have to come up with just over 1,000 exajoules. How exactly will “renewables,” […] Read More