After signaling to the world his continued infatuation with his zero Covid fantasy, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards left the state to chase his other zero fantasy, after making comments that would be risible if they didn’t promise punishment to Louisiana.
That road trip heads to Scotland, where a gathering of governments and nongovernmental organizations infested with climate alarmists will commit further propaganda wedded to the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming belief system that prompts mania for a net zero carbon regime. At Louisiana taxpayer expense, Edwards will troop there with other members of his administration to pledge his fealty to this faith.
But also, he insists, he’ll use his time there to stump for Louisiana to jump onto the economic opportunities engendered from the hysteria. “I want to be in front of people from all over the world who are making decisions about where they are going to deploy their capital over the coming years and decades as they seek to invest in these opportunities that will decarbonize,” he said in the days before his departure.
More specifically, he claimed that the state’s current oil and gas industry workforce could transition to the clean energy manufacturing being proposed, ranging from solar projects to wind farms. Not to do so, he alleged, doesn’t acknowledge that “an industry-wide transition to cleaner, less environmentally impactful energy production and utilization is going to happen regardless of if Louisiana participates, so it’s best that Louisiana be a leader in this space.”
His view displays wishful thinking at best, rank ignorance at worst. Over time, we can expect a slow transition to renewable energy where cost appropriate, hopefully without massive subsidization by governments currently a fad. However, the transition won’t fundamentally change the energy industry for many decades, because of simple realities.
Dispatchable for most of the world only when the sun is shining or wind is blowing (that is, without nearby geothermal or hydraulic sources), the scale of batteries needed to overcome that drawback takes enormous space, materials, and cost. Costs would have to come down about 100 times to make a grid of only renewable sources feasible, spread over thousands of square miles, using 11 times the materials to construct than for nonrenewable forms at the same production level; in fact, the amount needed exceeds the world’s known supply even of common minerals, never mind the exotic ones.
As expensive as this turns out, with that and unreliability of such a grid meaning consumers will run out of patience with this “transition” well before it makes any progress any time soon, the other end of reducing carbon output, capture and sequestration, may end up even more costly. You can forget about deadlines Edwards has discussed such as 2035 or 2050 for carbon neutral status: the laws of economics and physics just won’t permit that.
And even as the “transition” happens at a snail’s pace, the labor market changes from this Edwards envisions instead very much will be to Louisiana’s detriment. Well-paying and numerous “green” jobs are a myth, even when not disentangling the data and statistical distortions attempted to make these look better than they are. Simply, workers in the greener side of the energy industry earn significantly less than those who extract fossil fuels and run power plants, and there tend to be fewer of them as well especially on the operations side. His desire to embrace this shift guarantees lower paying and fewer jobs for Louisianans.
Throw into the mix that fossil fuels will continue to grow slowly in amounts used over the next decades as the economically less-developed world wishes to have better lives for its people, and this worldwide move to renewable energy in the foreseeable future dreamed of by Edwards, and that Louisiana’s economy and workers will come out the better for it, is delusional. So, this is upon what state taxpayer dollars are being wasted.