Bill Gates' idol Vaclav Smil: Living in the dark is the only road to net zero by 2050

Vaclav Smil is widely regarded as a big thinker on energy and other matters.

Net zero is ‘a daunting task’: energy expert

Ambitions to reach zero emissions by 2050 are unrealistic and the target will take much longer and be much more difficult than most people realise, said University of Manitoba’s Vaclav Smil, a top scientist and policy analyst, cautioning against expecting much from the upcoming international climate summit in Glasgow.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Louise Kennerley

Professor Smil, an adviser to Bill Gates on energy, told the Credit Suisse 3rd ESG Conference it could not be expected that within just 30 years, the use of fossil fuels, which currently burns over 10 billion tonnes will fall to zero.

BlackRock’s chief executive officer Larry Fink didn’t express the same level of despair as Professor Smil when he addressed the conference later in the afternoon.

But the boss of the world’s largest asset manager, with $US9 trillion under management, agreed the task of de-carbonising the economy was so enormous that BlackRock had even turned to a Bill Gates-backed philanthropic investment scheme to speed up the technological transition.

“We’re not making money on it, we’re doing it to [help] do some very nascent technologies to accelerate the process,” he told the conference, pointing out there were reasons to be optimistic about technological leaps, citing to the huge advances in wind power over the past 30 years.

Last month, BlackRock injected cash into Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy, which is using philanthropic money to accelerate investments in new technologies. The Gates-backed group has reportedly secured $US1 billion in investments from Microsoft, General Motors, American Airlines, Boston Consulting Group, Bank of America and ArcelorMittal.

But Professor Smil noted some 83 per cent of primary energy comes from fossil fuels at present, a figure that has dropped by only 4 percentage points in 30 years.

“That strains one’s imagination, especially if you think about the numbers involved: we are burning more than 10 billion tonnes of fossil fuels, and we are dependent on them in every facet of our existence,” Professor Smil said.

“This is an absolutely daunting task. And we’ll be moving very slowly.”

He made a strong case for keeping natural gas in the energy supply mix, pointing out the risks to agriculture, food supply and other critical materials from gas shortages.

“There is no responsible body … no responsible energy research saying that there is a fast road map to zero carbon by 2050,” Professor Smil said. “There is one: to simply give up and live in the dark.”

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John Droz, Jr: Media Balance Newsletter: October 18, 2021

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Comment by Willem Post on October 25, 2021 at 5:42pm
My two comments on Watt is up with That


This is wonderful.

CCC, a bunch of RE idiots trying to pull the wool over the eyes of innocent, gullible lay people, got caught lying and obfuscating big-time.

CCC, which advises UK PM Johnson, aka, the UNRULY MOP, used 7 days of low wind in 2050, whereas the low-wind days were 65 in 2021, and 78 in 2016.
CCC wanted to make wind look extra, extra good.

More low-wind days means vastly greater CAPACITY, MW, of instantly available, reliable, low-cost, traditional power plants, which must be staffed, fueled, ready to operate, in good working order, as demanded by the UK grid operator, to fill in any wind (and solar) shortfalls; the UK has LOTS OF DAYS without sun, throughout the year.

Initially, CCC was obstructing the public release of its report to THE UNRULY MOP
CCC was ordered by the Court to release the report to the public.

Are you f….g kidding me?
We are talking hundreds of millions of small folks spending $TRILLIONS EACH YEAR, to “save the world”, and CCC is blatantly lying about the feasibility and cost!
These CCC people should be drawn and quartered.


BTW, every wind turbine draws significant electricity from the grid, whether it is producing or not.
Great graph.

It clearly shows, the capacity’s factor of wind very often is less than 10%
The average CF is about 30%.

It is important to note wind power is the cube of wind speed 

In addition, at very low CFs, say 3 to 4%, with winds at 4 mph and less, the wind turbine is producing about as much as it is consuming, i.e., no net feed to the grid. Yikes

The graph shows a lot of red at low CFs, meaning onshore winds are frequently very weak.

The RE clowns at CCC are of-the-charts fabricators of lies.

They should be drawn and quartered

Comment by Willem Post on October 24, 2021 at 7:24pm

World Fossil fuel use went from about 87% to about 83% in THIRTY YEARS, with at least a couple of $trillion of subsidies.

To think, the world would use zero fossil fuel in 2050, is of-the-charts ridiculous.

Only the most idiotic copycats, of which there are many, AOC comes to mind, would say the world will end in 12 years

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 22, 2021 at 3:29pm

Speaking of better media balance:

Shares of Trump Special Media Acquisition Company, DWAC, Climb 400% in Heavy Trading Despite NASDAQ Halts of Trading

Comment by Penny Gray on October 22, 2021 at 8:40am

The "Great Reset" might very well entail learning to live without.  Anything.  

As for the climate crisis, if that were truly what's motivating these renewable energy mandates, we're right on track to hit net zero in about, oh, wait, how many years?...I stink at math...let's see, thirty years and we've provided 2-3% energy from renewables (not counting hydro)...which means despite the incredible advances in wind energy technology, we might not reach out how many years?  Oh WAIT! We have just ten years to alter our CO2 trajectory or the planet is doomed! Whatever shall we do?  

Makes me wonder how Star Trek's Enterprise ever made it into outer space.  This is all very discouraging.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 21, 2021 at 2:40pm

Blackrock's assertion that “We’re not making money on it" would seem fall to under the classification of "whopper".


While Western Nations Kill Energy, China Builds Coal Plants By The Dozen
It only took 19 days for new Chinese coal plants to eclipse the reduction in emissions made by the closure of the Navajo plant in the U.S.

Green Policies Return The World To Coal

Electric vehicles certainly are dirty — their battery packs are poised to be one of the biggest new sources of pollution


The Great Struggle of Our Time: The Battle for Reality

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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