The U.S. is working to protect the planet from climate change caused by fossil fuels. They are preparing to mark the Earth’s surface with mines.
The American strategy to adapt to a world without oil was discussed at the session of the Atlantic Council on February 16, 2022.
The session began with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R.AK), who reviewed the bidding process for the United States’ mineral resources risk in a post-climate-change industrial base world. It states that the United States will be more dependent on other countries such as Russia, China, and Africa for the construction and maintenance of post-oil infrastructure. This will alter the balance of global stability.
Murkowski pointed out that the United States must find and exploit local mineral resources to fuel the massive infrastructure conversion required to support a nation that has stopped using fossil fuels in the way they are today. We’ll be digging more holes in the ground, as our cars will require four to ten times the amount of metal and minerals per vehicle. It has to come from somewhere. It must come from somewhere, whether it is in Alaska’s wilds or elsewhere we find rare earth minerals.
The session was continued by three panelists, moderated by Reed Blakemore, Atlantic Council deputy energy director. The U.S. State Department’s Office of Energy Transformation Helaina Mattza joined Ambassadors J. Peter Pham and Gen. Douglas Lute as special envoys to Africa.
They shifted the conversation from Murkowski’s emphasis on U.S. resource dependence to one that focuses on U.S. integration into future global supply chains for key minerals.
They praised the fact that some minerals are from countries like Russia and China. As the US’s dependence on minerals increases, the panelists dangled over the delicate topic of future economic leverage. However, I was struck by Murkowski’s assertion that the U.S. will have to continue its strategic independence in the future despite having to compete with peer countries.
Pham pointed out that many minerals are extracted from Africa. The U.S. must maintain diplomatic relations with these countries to ensure that private companies have access to these countries. Matza also acknowledged that the U.S. imprimatur was necessary to allow American companies to compete against African nationals like China who also have a strong supply chain and oil supply.
One aspect of the shifting shift to minerals that I am most interested in is how the U.S. will address the role of supporting allies, who will also require minerals for their economies but cannot dig holes.
The days when Western Europe invested heavily in colonial empires to gain resources are long gone. NATO cannot be simultaneously hostile to Russia’s oil and mineral-rich Russia. The European Union is becoming more dependent on strong economic relations in order to access these resources.
Japan dreamed once of an imperial supply chain, but those days are long gone. Matza, State Department, noted that Japan is one of the most prominent nations to hold strategic minerals due to experiences with supply chain embargoes.
Murkowski pointed out in her remarks, that the U.S. should also think in terms of strategic mineral resources for defense and security purposes. Tensions between limited resources and zero-sum rivalry are rekindled.
These power projection and reserve supplies games are insignificant compared to the social and infrastructure reengineering of the first world that climate change advocates envision. You must find a way to electrify major cities in the first world, in order to reach the Paris Accord 2050 carbon emission targets. These are the energy sinks from which so much energy flows so that people can live, work and then go home to watch Netflix. This means that
It is possible to replace almost all gasoline-powered vehicles with electric ones. These electronic batteries and electronics use 4x-10x more minerals than the oil economy technology versions.
To create a new power grid capacity for these vehicles. It is the equivalent of replacing every gas station in the area. Yes, even those with hot dogs and good coffee.
It is necessary to create enough power generation sources for this new sea of fast charger outlets.
Retrofitting some cities may prove too costly. There will be times when it will be necessary to make tough decisions about building new, electric-centric cities or relocating people.
This is because existing power sources, including solar and legacy power plants, are already being used to provide power for homes. Or, at the very least, completely new urban grid overlays. You’ll find the only source of power generation capable of producing that much power without the need to burn dinosaurs if you search the internet. Nuclear power is no longer as dirty as it once was.
Then, finally, reality checks. It’s unlikely that the First World will convert to this costly, mineral-based system in the next 100 years. The rest of the planet will continue to burn oil and gas. These areas will account for the majority of human population growth. According to my calculations, the trajectory for the carbon emission curve on planet Earth won’t change much. It’s just the way it is.
The extent of strip mining and ore processing that the climate change community has embraced to achieve their goals is still a mystery to environmentalists. As ordinary people are forced to make changes in their lives, there will be a lot to be made. As reality begins to set in, I see this clash of values between the “woke” and the “woke”.
RedState readers who are meat-eaters and wood stove burners can expect a rugby bar fight to spill into the streets as a spectator sport for the next quarter of a century. Urban planners and policymakers will face the same obstacles, delays, and project failures that oil and gas workers have to endure. The political constants are human nature and the reaction to change. The best mineral deposits will require strip mining in the most pristine locations and urban renewal of the most NIMBY neighborhoods. Irony is a common theme in such situations.
There is no free lunch in this world. Humanity is literally exchanging one type of scorching the Earth for another. Who has economic and political power will be affected by the whereabouts of these resources. It will create economic competition among industrialized nations for minerals, which can lead to embargoes, wars, and stress. This is how matrices function. This is the sound that inevitability makes.
This “woke” version is what has always made me uncomfortable. I am aware that I live on a harsh planet, which doesn’t care much about the thin layer of pond scum. Science geek me knows full well that Earth has evolved from the inhospitable conditions of acrid volcanic activity to a super-oxygenated Permian canopy for billions of years.
It is a remarkable time in which we live. It’s due to the structure of the tectonic plates, which create large ocean basins. This, along with the spin of the earth, circulates deep ocean currents, which even out heat buildup. Climate conditions can fluctuate between up and down due to the radiant power of a star located 93 million miles away.
However, I recognize that the planet’s core competency is regularly wiping out 99 percent of all life forms. Earth collides with other things. Earth reverses its magnetic poles which causes it to lose the protective magnetic field. Gamma rays can pincushion living cells and kill them like a million neutron bombs. Earth then happily builds one amoeba at the time, as if it were playing with a brand new LEGO set.
We humans, on the other hand, burn things and spread our garbage and poop all over everything. We will dig holes in the ground to make ingots and microchips from dirt, and stop polluting dinosaurs by burning them. They are numerous. Now, we are considering covering the entire planet with a new layer. This is what humans do.
We will see the consequences of Climate Change Policies in the 21 century. They won’t look pretty, according to my instinct. It’s not worth turning over apple carts. The First World’s voracious energy appetite is constant. We can only change our diet.
It may not be the best way to think about the future after listening to the conversations of the policy community. A little bit of a Pandora’s Box. Either foolishly not thought out or full of hubris, they fly on waxwings that will soon melt.