A Free-Market Energy Blog

I Am a Climate Researcher, and I Love Fossil Fuels

By Vijay Jayaraj -- October 8, 2019

“To call the very foundational energy blocks of our society ‘evil,’ and then deprive developing countries of the same fossil fuels, is hypocrisy of the highest order.”

“Fossil fuels have single-handedly pulled the majority of people out of poverty in India, my country.”

Global warming skeptics like me often get accused of getting “dirty oil money” for writing in support of fossil fuels. Or we’re called “climate deniers” and told we must not be real climate scientists.

Many of these people turn their attention to my identity and not to the arguments I make. That is convenient if you do not want to debate the claims made in the article; you shift the attention towards the author and not facts.

The climate alarmists—those who believe that the world is headed towards an imminent climate doomsday—do this because they believe skeptics have their roots in “big oil,” which they think funds all skepticism of dangerous manmade climate change.

Responding to Critics

This is my response to those who have problems with my skeptical position.

Firstly, arguments are not unsound because of the identity of their authors, or based on the source of funds. Instead, arguments are unsound because they include false premises and/or invalid inferences.

Secondly, the source of funding does not necessarily mean an argument is biased. By that logic, climate doomsday argumentation would be considered invalid because they are funded by people who oppose fossil fuels and support renewable technology. They might also be opposed to a growing population or just modern living that makes longer and more lives possible.

Thirdly, the majority of climate alarmists and anti-fossil advocates are people who have immensely benefited from the advent of the industrial era and fossil fuel-based electricity sources.

To call the very foundational energy blocks of our society “evil,” and then deprive developing countries of the same fossil fuels is hypocrisy of the highest order.

The apathy and self-centeredness in anti-fossil advocacy are no longer a secret, as some of the highest officials in developing countries have branded the alarmist movement “carbon imperialism,” akin to the imperialism of the 19th century.

But, unlike anti-fossil fuel advocates, I love fossil fuels. Here is why.

Studying Climate Science

I am a climate researcher. My first experience of the controversy within the climate fraternity came when I was a graduate student at the University of East Anglia, the heart of the Climategate scandal. Emails leaked from personal accounts of alarmist climate scientists revealed their attempts to deliberately exaggerate the warming rate in the 20th century.

Though I had my doubts, I set aside my disagreements briefly and spent the next three years studying the impact of global average temperatures on marine life.

I found that climate change poses no significant threat to marine life. I also came to the realization that there had been no rapid increase in global average temperatures during the first 16 years of this century (2000–2016)—contrary to predictions based on the alarmists’ computer climate models.

Appreciating Fossil Fuels–All of Them

My love for fossil fuels, especially coal, is not just because they pose no threat to our climate. Fossil fuels have singlehandedly pulled the majority of people out of poverty in India, my country.

From the powerless dark nights of the 1990s to the much more reliable power supply of the 2010s, India has come a long way, thanks to fossil fuels. So, I love coal, the source that powered the computers and lights in my school, home, and college.

I love oil, which has helped me travel every day of my life, except during my three years of graduate studies in climate in Vancouver, Canada, where public buses ran on electricity. I love petroleum byproducts, without which more than 90 percent of everyday products could never have been manufactured.

I love natural gas and fracking, which have made America into an energy leader in recent years and have the potential to deliver a major breakthrough in the energy markets of India, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

I’m not the only one who loves coal. Nearly three billion people in India and China are content with the fact that their governments are increasing fossil fuel production and use to meet their domestic energy needs.

Conclusion

I am a climate researcher and deeply appreciate oil, gas, and coal. Fossil fuels are not the enemy of the planet. The real enemies of the planet, and life on it, are the climate alarmists who block development in the name of the religion of dangerous manmade climate change.

——————————-

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Bangalore, India.

21 Comments


  1. Macha  

    I share your thoughts and fondness for cheap, high density, energy. Its legacy bringing the world out of poverty, starvation, and suffering.
    Well said, sir.

    Reply

  2. John Garrett  

    I hope you haven’t shortened your professional career.

    There’s nothing more dangerous than telling the truth.

    Your courage is noted and appreciated. Go tell the BBC, NPR, CNN, PBS, the New York Times, the WaPo, ABC, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg and The New Yorker.

    Reply

  3. Vijay Raj Jayaraj  

    John, thats the first ever comment that addresses the challenges that I face on a every day basis. I appreciate it and that is in fact a reality for me. 99 percent of organizations do not embrace people with a skeptical view. I am actively seeking opportunities to work with organizations that have a sensible approach towards the issue of climate change and that are committed to conventional energy development.

    Reply

  4. UserFriendly  

    Don’t forget how much you love confirmation bias.

    Reply

  5. mark stuart  

    Your Op Ed piece is not scientific and illustrates the problem with so called “climate scientists.”
    Your opinion is not the result of verifiable, confirmable scientific experiments. Rather, you have concluded that your “studies” are inconclusive. This is not the same as rejecting or accepting a valid scientific theory and the associated hypothesis.
    The probability space for our climate is most likely not knowable, because the variability of outcomes is extreme and varies increasingly over longer periods of time. The term “climate” is probably not even definable, in a measurable sense. “Climate science” seems to be a lot like “economic science”. It is not science at all, simply an accepted group of conjecture. You could help the public to understand these issues if you explain that what we don’t know is much more certain than what we “know”, in a scientific sense.

    Reply

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  7. Michael  

    No doubt fossil fuels helped a lot, now they are more expensive than eg solar and that is not even accounting for the”potential” negative impact they have on our environment and health. We just have to fix storage which is also advancing well… Well done Fossil now we move on

    Reply

  8. Balter  

    The lifespan, recycle and range of “alt energy” is nowhere near adequate for purposes other than light urban commutes. The exotic materials require expensive mining and refining operations, the environmental impact of mining lithium, neodymium, germanium, cobalt etc must be weighed against the much easier and more available metals and materials. Solar panels contain lead, thousand of hectares of panels lose about 1% efficiency per year and leave tonnes of exotic waste.

    If electric worked I would buy it + I’m a trucker, average daily trip is 500 miles (800 km) although I do 600 and even 700 on a regular basis. All that at a temperature range of +30 to -30 Celsius with a payload of ~ 20 tonnes. There isn’t an electric on the drawing board that could do this, let alone fill up the tank in ten minutes and do it again. Every degree of warming or cooling, every additional kilogram pulls more amps.

    If alt energy worked it wouldn’t be alt energy. Light loads in remote locations, give me wind, solar and battery. Oil and gas companies switched to solar for instrumentation years ago. Compressors and motors? You got to be joking. There is nothing that compares to liquid hydrocarbons for efficiency and coat.

    Reply

  9. Baz D  

    Hi Balter,
    A recent comparison I read on efficiency of the 3 main players in transport. Electric, hydrogen fuel cell and fossil fuels. When you add up everything from production of the vehicle, production of power and extraction of raw materials. Oil was the least efficient at 27-30%.hydrogen 45-50% and electric 75-80%. Especially as they are going into more remote and dangerous parts of the planet to extract the oil. Not to mention the environmental impact these operations have.
    I bet the people in northern parts of India were amazed to be able to see the himalayas for the first time in their lives during lockdown. Forget for a moment the emissions, how many millions are dying annually from the pollution.
    As far as powering a truck goes? When the Wright brothers decided they wanted to fly. They realised a bike just wasn’t going to cut it, so they went to the drawing board. It’s that can do attitude that’s needed.
    From where I stand the environmentalists are calling for a just transition from fossil fuels. The west benefited greatly from leading the charge into the industrial revolution but not they need to lead into a cleaner more sustainable future and give developing nations breathing space/a helping hand and a chance to catch up. When you compare the level of consumption and emissions of an average person in the UK, it is 90%more than an average Chinese person.
    Stay safe.
    B

    Reply

    • rbradley  

      Baz D: Energy density is key–and why mineral energies outperform renewables all around.

      Modern technology can control emissions of everything except CO2–but CO2 is not a pollutant but a good trace gas, the gas of life, the green greenhouse gas. Wind farms and solar arrays are not the way to go to promote the living, green part of the earth where we live–way too much infrastructure required. Search on ‘energy density’ at MasterResource for more … And read the ground zero reports on industrial wind turbines….

      Reply

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