A rapid transition from fossil fuels? No way — here’s why – by Peter Shawn Taylor (National Post – June 29, 2019)


Throughout history, new energy sources have largely been added to traditional supplies rather than replacing them entirely

Here’s a story popular with anyone claiming we have just 11 years to phase out fossil fuels or face the end of our world. (Or 31 years if 2050, rather than 2030, is your preferred doomsday.)

England once found itself in an energy crisis back in the mid-1500s. Rising demand for wood for home heating and industrial use was stripping forests bare. Plus, the Royal Navy was having a hard time sourcing mighty oak trees for its ships.

So, Queen Elizabeth I passed a decree. “The monarchy declared that coal shall be burned, and the kingdom made it so,” reports a recent University of Alberta publication on the history of energy transitions. “There were fears and protests and new challenges … but people adapted, even flourished.”

Sound familiar? People are reluctant to abandon familiar energy sources. So political leaders, we are told, must take decisive action to change the world for the better.

Rule by decree is thus essential to ushering in new eras of energy — whether it’s replacing wood with coal or mandating electric cars, wind turbines, solar panels and various other clean-tech innovations to replace “dirty” fossil fuels.

For the rest of this article: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/peter-shawn-taylor-a-rapid-transition-from-fossil-fuels-no-way-heres-why

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