‘Green Breakdown: The Coming Renewable Energy Failure’ by Steve Goreham, New Lenox Books (IL, USA), 2023. A review by Michael J Kelly FRS FREng
This is simply the best book I have read on the specific current set of global issues around climate change mitigation and energy policy. It is simply a must for everyone to read, and especially for those who advocate the green agenda. In my opinion, the latter have time now to repent their sins and to escape the worst of great retribution that will inevitably come when things go badly wrong.
To date more than $15 trillion has been wasted in efforts to switch to zero-carbon processes with little gained in energy-system performance, reliability or reduction in real pollution.
The earlier chapters of this book summarise the gains made for humanity by the abundance of cheap energy over the last two hundred years, the problems posed by alleged future climate change, leading to the current war on hydrocarbons and the nirvana of 100% renewables. The next chapters start to throw up the immense problems associated with domestic energy (I much prefer cooking with gas than electricity), electric vehicles in winter and cold climates, and our reliance on shipping and aviation for many of our essentials in life. Global heavy industry simply cannot survive on renewables or/and hydrogen.
Until now the book follows a familiar story, but it has two strong advantages over the competition: (i) the best ever collection of relevant hard data and trends on the all the topics and (ii) truly comical inserts drawn from the media, such as the report on the last page from Fox News that a New York Times essay says “You Should Mate with Short People to Save the Planet”!
The highly distinctive part of the book is the last two chapters, entitled ominously “Energy Crisis and the Seeds of Failure” and “Green Breakdown and the Future”. The former contains a detailed analysis of the 2022 global energy crisis, caused by widespread weather extremes and greatly exacerbated by consequences of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Europe got through this crisis by the thinnest of margins. One box entitled “The Destruction of European Industry” shows cascading effects whereby the low level of the Danube prevented coal barges from restocking coal-fired power stations, and the consequential forced load-shedding of vital industries.
The last chapter shows how, when we are further down the track of renewables without dispatchable back-up for electricity, a repeat of 2022 will be truly catastrophic for humankind, visiting on us now with certainty what the climate alarmists are promising in the great distant future, namely a global societal breakdown, likely before 2040 if the same collection of problems coalesce again – severe weather, international conflict and a global energy system on the brink of instability.
I can only add the speculation that, when the time comes, we will need the equivalent of the Nuremburg trials to apportion blame and secure damages for those hardest hit: the poor round the world.