The Terrifying Rhetoric of COP28

Published December 11, 2023

With the holiday season in full swing, most Americans are not paying close attention to the latest UN climate change conference—COP 28—which is currently taking place in Dubai. I get it; the vast majority of Americans are busy preparing for family gatherings, shopping for presents, and attending holiday festivities. They do not have the time nor the energy to follow the daily happenings at a climate change conference halfway around the world.

However, the American people must be made aware of what exactly is occurring at COP28 simply because the ideas and policies being espoused by the hundreds of global leaders attending the annual event are downright terrifying and would cause undue harm to billions of people.

The conference began on an ominous note when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres declared that we must “ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce. Not abate.”

Guterres is demanding that we eliminate all use of fossil fuels in short order, not over many decades, but just years from today. However, that is literally impossible and would destroy the lives of billions of people who depend on fossil fuels daily.

According to the left-leaning Environmental and Energy Study Institute, “Fossil fuels—including coal, oil, and natural gas—have been powering economies for over 150 years, and currently supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy.”

In other words, Guterres, who surely knows that more than 80 percent of the world’s energy is currently derived from fossil fuels, is calling for the economic and social regression of humanity.

This is anti-human, anti-progress, and extremely disturbing to say the least.

While Guterres and many others are calling for the comprehensive elimination of fossil fuels, they are also constantly touting so-called renewable energy as the ready-and-waiting replacement.

But, despite ample subsidies, including $15.6 billion from the U.S. government last year alone, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar account for a miniscule proportion of the world’s total energy consumption.

How small? In 2019, wind accounted for 2.2 percent of the world’s energy consumption and solar produced 1.1 percent.

Obviously, the world is not near the point at which renewable energy can replace fossil fuels as the primary source of energy. And, because these energy sources are intermittent (meaning the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow), there is absolutely no way they can provide constant and consistent baseline power.

This means that if we were to follow Guterres’ call for the elimination of fossil fuels, the world would ground to a screeching halt and life as we know it could not continue.

A world without fossil fuels would be a very different place, completely unrecognizable to what we have grown accustomed to. Travel would be nearly impossible. Manufacturing would be severely crippled. Our daily life would be turned upside down. The technologies and almost everything we rely upon to make life comfortable would vanish in an instant. Simply put, we would literally go back to a pre-industrial existence.

Life before the advent of fossil fuels is almost unconceivable for those of us in the modern age. Our health care system would be devastated. Our average lifespans would plummet. Sheer survival would be the order of the day.

Yet, in spite of these catastrophic consequences, the climate change zealots continue to push for draconian energy policies. For instance, at COP 28, John Kerry said, “There shouldn’t be any more coal fired power plants permitted anywhere in the world.” Really? If we did not allow for the construction of new coal-fired power plants, the developing world would remain undeveloped forever. Coal, unlike solar and wind, provides reliable, affordable, and abundant energy. Such is why developing and manufacturing-centric nations like China continue to build coal plants.

Ironically, elites like Guterres and Kerry increasingly frame the climate change debate as a social justice cause, however, their insistence on eliminating fossil fuels would devastate the very countries they are supposedly trying to help in the first place the most.

Photo by The President’s Office, Maldives. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.