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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: Thank heavens for fossil fuels

The climate scaremongers: Thank heavens for fossil fuels

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AMID ALL the demonising of fossil fuels, we must never forget the enormous benefits they have bestowed on mankind.

Our lives today, even in third-world countries, are unrecognisable from those of our ancestors in the not too distant past. None of this transformation would have happened without coal, oil and gas.

Below are just a few examples of how our lives have changed for the better.

Take food production – output of cereals worldwide sets records nearly every year, and has more than tripled since the 1960s:

https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#compare

In 1900, the average life expectancy of a newborn was 32 years. By 2021 this had more than doubled to 71 years. Although they have lagged behind in Africa, lifespans have still increased at a similar rate since 1950:

https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy#all-charts

Famines kill a tiny fraction of the mumber who died in the past:

https://ourworldindata.org/famines

And while standards of living have been steadily improving generally, there has been a marked decline in extreme poverty.

https://ourworldindata.org/economic-growth

As societies become wealthier, they can afford to devote more resources to education:

https://ourworldindata.org/literacy

And we all get more leisure time:

https://ourworldindata.org/working-hours#all-charts

None of these improvements would have happened without the Industrial Revolution and the fossil fuels which powered it and which in turn made possible the Technological Revolution which sprang from it.

How long could we maintain all of this if fossil fuels were taken away? How long would we be able to maintain food production without fertilisers and mechanisation, or the refrigeration, transport and shipping required to get it to market? How long would we able to maintain our standards of living without abundant and cheap energy? How would societies be able to devote so many resources to health and education without a productive economy to generate the wealth in the first place?

They say you don’t miss something till it’s gone. We’re going to find out the hard way!

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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