by Simon Black
In the year 404 BC, after decades of chaotic and bloody conflict among ancient Greek city states in the Peloponnesian War, Athens finally surrendered to its rival Sparta.
The defeat marked the end of the Golden Age of Athens… and Athenian democracy; almost immediately after the war was over, Sparta’s chief military commander created a ‘junta’ style dictatorship to rule over Athens. Democracy died overnight.
This council of dictators became known as the “Thirty Tyrants”, and their regime was brutal.
The Thirty Tyrants waged genocide on the Athenians, exterminating roughly 5% of the population. They exiled or murdered ideological opponents. They confiscated people’s property. And they strictly controlled how Athenians were allowed to live their lives.
At one point during their regime (according to Xenophon’s Memorabilia), Socrates was summoned before the Thirty Tyrants and told that he was prohibited “to hold any conversation whatsoever with the young”.
Apparently, they were quite concerned about the famous philosopher spreading disinformation.
In our modern era, we hear quite a lot that “democracy is under attack.” It’s one of the favorite catchphrases of the left; when they don’t like a particular speaker, political candidate, or idea, they say that it ‘threatens democracy’.
Yet these same people have created their own version of the Thirty Tyrants who have been anointed with quasi-dictatorial powers. Nobody elected them. But they have an absurd amount of authority to govern how everyone else is allowed to live their lives.
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which finally ended today in the United Arab Emirates, unelected fanatics from around the world gathered in a room to formally declare “the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era”.
Some 85,000 participants attended the two-week event, according to the UN, though the real decision-makers number a few dozen at most. These are today’s Thirty Tyrants, and they include people like unelected US climate envoy John Kerry, who arrived at the conference on his “wife’s” private jet.
Kerry was a key architect of the final resolution, which demands that member nations “[transition] away from fossil fuels in energy systems. . . in keeping with the science.”
In short, this means that coal-fired power plants, plus oil- or natural gas-based combined cycle power plants, etc. must be eliminated. Further, production of coal, oil, and natural gas also needs to be eliminated… or “phased-out” as the climate tyrants like to say.
Their ignorance, as usual, is overwhelming.
Bear in mind that oil, coal, and natural gas constitute over 50% of global electricity production according to the most recent data from the International Energy Agency. So, shifting away to renewable energy sources would require at least 12,000 terawatt-hours (TWh) of additional production from wind and solar.
Let’s briefly examine the numbers:
The LARGEST planned solar powered electricity project in the world is the Gonghe Talatan Solar Park in central China, which will reportedly max out at 16GW in capacity.
So, at best, the largest solar plant in the world will produce roughly 40 TWh of electricity per year, which is just 0.3% of the electricity needed to replace fossil fuels.
Now, let’s adopt a “can do” attitude and presume that hundreds other similarly sized projects will be built around the world. What resources would this require?
Well, the International Energy Agency’s own report shows that “optimally tilted” solar panels produce around 1,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year for every square meter of panels.
So, 12,000 TWh (equivalent to 12 TRILLION kWh) of electricity per year will require 6.6 BILLION square meters of solar panels. Needless to say, that is far more than has ever been produced in the history of the world… combined.
But let’s continue with our “can-do” attitude and assume that global solar manufacturers can ramp up production enough to provide such an absurd number of panels.
Remember that solar panels require silicon; in fact, one square meter of solar panels (again, according to IEA data) uses about 600 grams of silicon.
Silicon comes from quartzite rock, which is fairly common in nature. So, producing all those panels obviously requires mining lots and lots of rock.
But the process of extracting silicon from quartzite rock is complicated; in fact, the chemical reaction calls for ‘carbothermal reduction’ using pure carbon, i.e. COAL, in a ratio that requires 2 parts carbon for every 1-part silicon.
It’s also worth noting that silicon only constitutes about 5% of a solar panel. Much of the rest is made from plastic– which is obviously a product derived from crude oil.
So that takes us back to the Thirty Tyrants’ overwhelming ignorance. They want the world to produce billions of square meters of solar panels… which will require nearly 8 billion kilograms of coal, not to mention gobs of oil-based plastic.
But at the same time, they want to eradicate coal and oil production forever.
This is pure insanity. You cannot produce solar panels without oil. You cannot produce solar panels without coal. In fact, the laws of chemistry require twice as much coal for every unit of silicon produced.
These progressive fanatics have already tried to reinvent biology by conjuring 10,000 new genders out of thin air. But they cannot reinvent chemistry.
Bizarrely, though, despite these passionate ignoramuses being so hilariously ill-informed, they still have tremendous power to set rules and policies around the world.
Today’s Thirty Tyrants are trying to dictate how the rest of us should live our lives.
In fact, the next time you run your new ‘eco-friendly dishwasher’ and the plates come out of the wash dirtier than before, you can thank John Kerry for his pitiful ideas. He’s even managed to ruin basic appliances.
The Thirty Tyrants are also deliberately trying to create shortages of critical resources– oil, coal, natural gas, copper, and so many more– even though producing solar and wind energy requires those very resources.
This is a major reason why I’m such an advocate for owning real assets… because the Thirty Tyrants and their armies of passionate ignoramuses are hellbent on making critical commodities skyrocket in value.
We might not be able to stop them. But we can at least benefit from their ignorance.