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The "New Energy Economy": An Exercise in Magical Thinking

March 26, 2019
By Mark Mills

Hydrocarbons collectively supply 84 percent of the world’s energy, and the belief that we can replace them with non-carbon dioxide emitting technologies in a short time period is pure wish fulfillment, a form of "magical thinking."

The movement to replace hydrocarbons, which collectively supply 84% of the world’s energy, with non-carbon dioxide emitting alternatives is based on “magical thinking.”  

The success of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe is limited by the physics of energy, not political or economic recalcitrance.  Mills states: 

In the world of people, cars, planes, and factories, increases in consumption, speed, or carrying capacity cause hardware to expand, not shrink. The energy needed to move a ton of people, heat a ton of steel or silicon, or grow a ton of food is determined by properties of nature whose boundaries are set by laws of gravity, inertia, friction, mass, and thermodynamics—not clever software.

There is no possibility that the world is undergoing—or can undergo—a near-term transition to a “new energy economy.”