It is a great pity that the Government Employees’ Pension Fund has swallowed the narrative which claims carbon emissions from fossil fuels are overheating the planet and that green energy is the only way to avert perilous consequences.
The former Under-Secretary for Energy in President Obama’s Administration, Dr Steven Koonin, who is a Physicist and Professor of Engineering at New York University, has shown that there has been no change in temperature ranges over the past 60 years. He, like thousands of others scientists who do not allow their research to be determined by those who fund them, has pointed out that two global warming periods occurred in the past 2,000 years when fossil fuels were unknown.
So, let’s put global warming to bed. It is a fiction purveyed by those in the World Economic Forum and their satraps in the mass media, universities and political forums. Climate change is a natural and historical phenomenon. According to the UN’s own research model, if complete decarbonisation occurred its effect on global temperatures would be less than 0,02% of one degree Celsius.
Over the past 50 years there have been alarmist stories about climate extremes, none of which actually occurred. The most notorious purveyor of these has been Al Gore. None of his “inconvenient truths” has been realised. Obama, who echoes Gore’s alarm about rising oceans, owns two properties which have sea fronts: one in Hawaii and the other on Martha’s Vineyard off the Rhode Island coast.
Published in 2017, a study of Antarctica involving 112 independent scientists from 10 countries avoided generalising about the frozen continent by recognising that it comprises of seven regions. Antarctica experienced a “warm” period between 300 and 1000 AD and a “cool” period between 1200 and 1900. Based on its findings, it found “some non-significant evidence of an emerging warmer trend.” In other words, an historically normal development.
The fiction purveyors ignore the botanical and scientific reality that carbon emissions are essential for plant and crop growth. In 2018 Rhodes University launched South Africa’s first large-scale elevated carbon dioxide research facility plant. Its objective was to study the effect of elevated CO2 levels. The study recorded positive benefits in plant and crop growth even under drought conditions.
Those findings corroborated Princeton Professor William Happer’s statement to the US Senate in 2009 that an increase in carbon levels is beneficial to plant growth. As Takeda Kunihiko of the University of Japan has stated: “Every scientist knows that, but it does not pay to say it.”
Thus, it is a misnomer for the GEPF to boast in its latest Fund News bulletin that it is investing in a cleaner environment which will promote energy supply. Wrong, wrong, wrong. According to Business Report of January 12, decarbonisation of South Africa will cost R6 trillion. In the process it will destroy 92,000 jobs in the coal industry and tens of thousands in the petro-chemical industry.
Since 2008 Europe has spent $800 billion subsidising so-called green energy. The result is that energy bills have increased by 80% while a quarter of the population cannot afford the cost of heating their homes in the winter. Germany and California have regular power outages because solar panels and wind turbines are not only unreliable but cannot produce enough power for consumers.
The GEPF’s boast of its green energy investment needs to be viewed in context. China supplies more than 60% of the turbine parts for wind energy along with solar panels and is also the largest manufacturer of Lithium batteries – all essential for “green energy.” So, the GEPF is contributing to China’s economy for a process that is far more expensive to produce electricity while, at the same time, is unreliable because of the intermittency of its supply.
While the GEPF’s investment in the Roggeveld Wind Project has had a small local spin-off in terms of once-off employment opportunities, maintenance of turbines is on-going and expensive and does not equate with their energy returns. And, of course, the main beneficiaries of such projects are Big Tech, China and the banks.
So, Gentlemen, if the GEPF wants to invest in South Africa’s energy footprint then nuclear is the way to go. It is expensive to initiate but its power output far exceeds that of coal and gas while its environmental footprint is negligible because its waste content is slight and safely and easily disposed of.
On the basis of the above, I strongly object to the GEPF ploughing pensioners’ funds into so-called green energy projects.