By Bradley Harrington
“If health is our concern, fossil fuels underlie the food and medical care systems that have created the longest life expectancy in history.” – Alex Epstein, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” 2014 –
“Global warming is real,” the so-called “scientists” tell us. At least, all the ones that are on taxpayer-funded, government payrolls, merrily competing with each other on who can hysterically present the most cataclysmic doomsday scenario to be “predicted” in the least amount of time.
And, lately, even more than usual – which is a lot – that mistaken hypothesis has been echoed by everyone from the “mass media” to the United Nations to President Obama to the Pope himself.
“Mistaken,” you ask? Yep… At least, if you pay any attention to actual scientific truth. Such as the Remote Sensing Systems satellite data which shows that, as of April, there has been no increase in global temperature for over 18 years. (Check it for yourself.)
But the facts of reality have never swayed authority-hungry control freaks bent on accumulating more political power before – and now it appears that you can add a host of doctors to that mix as well:
“Some top international doctors and public health experts have issued an urgent prescription for a feverish planet Earth: Get off coal as soon as possible.” (Doctors: Stop coal use now to save lives,” WTE, Jun. 23.)
As the story’s headline implies, the push to end our use of coal is being made in the name of health: “A global health commission organized by the prestigious British medical journal Lancet” said that “hundreds of thousands of lives each year are at stake and global warming ‘threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health.’”
Quite a mouthful, there, so let’s parse it out a bite at a time:
► First off, what do these doctors pretend they are going to replace coal use in particular, and overall fossil-fuel use in general, with? As of 2012, “world energy consumption by power source was oil 31.4 percent, coal 29.0 percent, natural gas 21.3 percent, biofuels and waste 10.0 percent, nuclear 5.8 percent and ‘other’ (hydro, peat, solar, wind, geothermal power, etc.) 1.1 percent.” (Wikipedia, “World Energy Consumption.”)
► There’s a reason why fossil fuels account for 81.7 percent of the world’s energy: They are cheap and reliable, whereas the so-called “cleaner” energies the Lancet Commission brays about are neither. The entire planet’s energy production in 2012 stood at 155,505 terawatt-hours (TWh), so… How do the doctors plan on maintaining energy production levels of 45,096 TWh (coal) or 127,047 TWh (all fossil fuels) once those energy sources disappear? With windmills?
► Did it ever even occur to these “international doctors and public health experts” that “the last half century of gains in development and global health” have come about precisely because of the increase in the use of fossil fuels? What else do they think is powering the overwhelming majority of the agricultural advancements, hospitals, sewage plants and water-treatment facilities? Certainly not solar, wind and geothermal power (1.1 percent). And just exactly what do they think is going to happen to our health if and when those concerns close down and disappear?
But these supposedly learned “doctors” completely fail to address such issues – they merely ramble on. Commission co-chairman Dr. Anthony Costello, for instance, was quoted as saying our coal use constitutes “a medical emergency” that “causes even more deaths from other types of air pollution that hurt people’s breathing and hearts.”
Such ignorant blustering, however, ignores the number of lives saved by coal and other fossil fuels. Comparing the world’s deaths caused by air pollution to those caused by the disease, filthy living conditions or starvation that have characterized the thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution is like comparing thimbles to buckets. Or have we forgotten that, prior to the invention of fossil-fuel technology, the average life-expectancy for a human being was 30 years?
To call for the abolition of coal, therefore, without having any functional plan for energy creation to replace that usage with, is to condemn millions of people to lowered life expectancies and higher infant mortality rates. Whatever you want to call that, it sure isn’t “science.”
No, our “health” and welfare is not the concern of these “doctors,” for any rational human being would understand the tremendous boon that fossil-fuel energy has created in all of our lives – and be advocating more of it. To do the opposite, instead, is to do nothing less than demand the de-industrialization of the United States.
And, at that point, it’s time to question the motives of those who seek that goal. For the increased control over our lives and deaths that such polices would create, while wiping out our actual health, are obvious.
Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.