What's Really Happening In The World Of CO2 Emissions?

In the field of energy and climate, the U.S. "mainstream" media are so devoted to the official narrative that it is very difficult to find out what is actually going on.  To take just a few relatively recent examples of what you might have learned from reading the New York Times: you might have learned that producing energy from the wind or sun is now cheaper than producing it from coal (with no mention of the problems or costs of intermittency); or that New York (along with many other jurisdictions including most of the EU) has banned "fracking"; or that "climate change is real" and the Paris climate accord is essential to solving the impending crisis.  But try to find out from the New York Times (or any other U.S. "mainstream" source) if the world is actually reducing production and use of fossil fuels or the resulting emissions.  Good luck.

For information on those things, you might try the invaluable Global Warming Policy Foundation.  Their daily email from yesterday (April 5) contains plenty of information to leave you shaking your head at the idiocy of those who claim to be our moral betters.

First up: the U.S. Energy Information Agency is just out with an update of world "tight" oil and gas reserves.  The update comes with this map the currently-known locations of oil and gas shale formations:


My God! -- It looks like close to half of the world's land surface has oil-and-gas-bearing shale formations lurking under the ground!  The large tan patches are recent additions to the map where the recoverable reserves have not yet been fully "assessed."  But how about those big white areas?  If you look closely, you quickly realize that the areas with the biggest gaps -- like Eastern Siberia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Northwest Territories of Canada, and Greenland -- are places where probably nobody has looked very hard yet.  And how about under the oceans?  Of course the shale formations are there too, but nobody has yet looked for them.  Why would you, with abundance all around us, and easily accessible?

The totals from recent ongoing discoveries are enormous.  For example, an April 5 article from The Times (London) (behind paywall but quoted by the GWPF) reports that the tiny island country of Bahrain (so small you can barely spot it on the map above) just discovered a shale formation containing over 80 billion barrels of oil:

The map of the world’s energy reserves and the corresponding balance of power was dramatically changed with the announcement that the tiny Gulf state of Bahrain has discovered a vast oil and gas reserve.  The discovery of 80 billion barrels of shale oil, equivalent to Russia’s entire reserve, catapults Bahrain to the top of the shale oil league.

The 80 billion barrels is indeed larger than the entire "tight" oil reserves currently reported by either Russia (74.6 billion barrels) or the U.S. (78.2 billion barrels).  But don't worry -- those two giants will find lots more of same under their vast land surfaces as soon as they do a little more looking.

And yes, with the exceptions of a few delusional U.S. states and the completely insane EU, everybody else is going to produce these resources.  Take, for example, Britain.  Under diktats of EU bureaucrats, Britain has basically had a moratorium on developing its shale resources ever since the shale revolution began; but now, in the process of Brexit, the first wells in years are getting drilled.  Gary Busch at Lima Charlie News on April 4 has a report:

As the U.K. celebrates its final year as part of the European Union, it is standing on the brink of a major boost to its economy and prosperity as it awaits the first economic benefit from its rich oil and gas shales.  British exploration and production company Cuadrilla and others have fought a long battle to begin drilling in earnest for the extraction of shale oil and gas in the UK. British shale reserves are extensive and rich in gas and oil trapped in sedimentary basins in several parts of the nation, but especially in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The British Geological Survey estimates that the Bowland basin holds 1,300 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. Almost seventy wells have already begun. The reserves are enormous.

But how about the rest of the EU?  Haven't they almost completely banned this "fracking" thing as part of the Paris accord and in the effort to save the planet?  And aren't their emissions dropping like a stone?

As to the first question, the answer is yes -- the remaining EU countries have substantially banned "fracking."  But are their emissions dropping?  No.  From Reuters, April 3:

Emissions regulated under Europe’s carbon market rose for the first time in seven years in 2017 due to stronger industrial output, data published on Tuesday by the European Commission and examined by carbon analysts at Thomson Reuters showed. . . .  Capped emissions from power and heating generation fell by 1 percent, but the overall figure was lifted by a 1.8 percent rise in emissions from industry.  “The European economy grew 2.5 percent last year. Solid growth in the European economy resulted in increased activity leading to higher emissions,” Ingvild Sorhus, lead carbon analyst at Thomson Reuters, said.      

You do have to hate it when the economy grows and the people use more energy to fuel their prosperity!  And if the EU won't allow fracking, where are they going to get the oil and gas?  You guessed it!  Mostly, Russia.  From Busch:

EU policy [of prohibiting fracking] has allowed the EU to become dangerously dependent on supplies from Russia and has only recently sought to diversify its supply elsewhere. The diversity included allowing for import terminals to be built in Lithuania and elsewhere to import LNG into Europe, but it has not included the EU allowing for fracking to be pursued by drilling within the region.

That's right:  ban fracking and build thousands of wind turbines, and you end up having your CO2 emissions go up and you are forced to buy your oil and gas from Russia.  Try to find that information somewhere in the New York Times!