Be Thankful That COP26 Has Ended

by F. Menton, Nov 14, 2021 in WUWT

If you have been following the news at all for the past several weeks, you know that the latest gigantic UN “climate” conference, going by the name COP (Conference of Parties) 26, has been taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. Mercifully, it ended yesterday, Saturday, November 13. All of those hundreds of private jets have now flown home.

Every time one of these UN confabs takes place, you have to hold your breath fearing that some tremendously damaging result will emerge. But, reviewing the final outcome of this latest conference, my comment is that we climate realists have gotten about the best result we could have hoped for. If you read some mainstream news sources, you may well get exactly the opposite impression. So let me give my reasoning.

At this point, there are basically two paths that the world might take in the movement toward so-called “decarbonization” of the energy system:

  • Path 1 is the path of strict world socialism. Of course, this is the preferred path of climate activists and UN bureaucrats. In this scenario, the entire world is forced, through binding international agreements, into an energy straightjacket, mandating reduction and then elimination of the use of fossil fuels within two or three decades at most.
  • Path 2 is what happens when there are no compacts with material binding worldwide energy restrictions. On this path, everybody talks a good game about decarbonization but, lacking meaningful binding agreements, most of the countries, with most of the population, continue to pursue whatever energy system is most reliable and cost effective. In practice that almost inevitably means fossil fuels for most to all applications. Meanwhile, a small number of wealthy, small-population jurisdictions that somehow become obsessed with the perceived virtue of eliminating fossil fuels — likely examples being Germany, California, New York, the UK, and perhaps South Australia (aggregating about 2-3% of world population) — will push the limits of decarbonization and intermittent renewable energy sources.
  • They will then be the guinea pigs for the rest of the world to find out whether a decarbonized energy system can be made to work, and at what cost.