I’m not a fan of making predictions because there are usually way too many variables at play. Trying to guess the price of oil leaves me speechless despite the pathetically large number of hours I spend trying to understand the market.
Yet, given the way 2022 is unfolding, I offer the following predictions as more than odds-on favourites to occur:
Pigs will fly through the sky delivering Amazon packages. Kim Jong-un will sing a duet with Britney Spears called “If you had my dad you’d understand the hair.” A schnauzer will graduate from Harvard Law School.
Sounds crazy? Maybe. But what if I kiss the right butts and get put in charge of a department of disinformation?
We’re rapidly accelerating towards a place where ‘news’ is a choice made by someone, somewhere, for some reason. ‘Truth’ is becoming a precarious concept, a trend that will accelerate wildly as Donald Trump’s social media platform (dubbed, what else, Truth) gains steam; it will act as a polarization accelerant reminiscent of his glory days on Twitter.
Mainstream media won’t back down at his ominous resurrection; they will double down, with duelling ‘truths’ that will desensitize you to the point where you would see the schnauzer story as news and not even blink.
Disinformation and misinformation are the new battlegrounds, better described as a force field that applies an electrical charge to everything everywhere.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the following:
Someone leaked a U.S. Supreme Court decision relating to abortion before the decision was finalized. The leak was presumably for political purposes and must represent one of the most serious assaults imaginable on the pillars of the rule of law. Given this breach, it’s safe to say nothing is safe. And yes, I know what that sentence says.
In another example, war has been declared on eco-god Elon Musk because of his desire to see more free speech, primarily on the “world’s town square,” Twitter. The New York Times has even gone back to Musk’s youth to try to tear him down as a product of “white privilege” and that Musk’s desire for free speech is a modern manifestation of South Africa’s apartheid government propaganda.
The United States is setting up a Disinformation Governance Board headed by a woman guilty of spreading disinformation herself. She spent the last part of the recent U.S. election year saying that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian disinformation ploy, although she’s backpedalling on those assertions as new evidence comes to light.
Here’s another, more personal example: A few weeks ago, I sat beside an auto dealership manager on a plane ride. We had a great conversation about cars and the auto market. He mentioned watching an electric vehicle commercial on TV at home with his daughter.
The guy mentioned that it looked like a pretty cool car. His daughter, eight years old, warned him that soon he wouldn’t be allowed to burn gas in his car because it was killing the planet, so he had better get on the EV bandwagon.
So if you think my predictions are outlandish, maybe you’d better check first with the disinforming head of a Disinformation Governance Board or perhaps an indoctrinated eight-year-old. The truth will be what you’re told it is.
What does this have to do with energy?
While this tornado of disinformation and misinformation swirls and uproots and destroys everything in its path, a few immutable objects will remain. You can bank on the fact that seven-plus billion people will continue to need to be fed, heated and housed. We’ve managed more or less successfully to achieve that due to advances in fertilizer, agriculture, technology and – above all – a reliable supply of reasonably-priced energy.
Hydrocarbons represent a massive problem for the disinformation industry. The pillar on which the climate change movement exists is enshrined in the idea that fossil fuel combustion is causing the world to overheat. Anything running counter to that narrative is ‘Disinformation’ with a big flaming capital D. As a result, any communication that serves to weaken or defund the industry is, by extension, not disinformation.
But running short of hydrocarbons/fossil fuels is an unmitigated disaster for every consumer on Earth, and everyone knows it. We don’t even have to run out – running short causes prices to spike.
So disinformation cops have a daunting challenge when it comes to hydrocarbons.
The world’s need for fuel and the hydrocarbon industry that provides it will remain for decades to come.
Socialism at root of the green movement by Ian Madsen
Global developments cast doubt on the motives of the most ardent proponents of global warming
Truth, lies and the insidious rise of “misinformation” by Jack Buckby
In a world where disagreement is misinformation, can debate even exist?
Need proof? According to an article in BOE Report, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is quoted confirming that the Canadian government is in discussion with companies behind two proposed East Coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities to see what they can do to accelerate their development.
However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chimed in to clarify that any LNG development was only permissible because the infrastructure could be useable in an energy transition.
But that same logic could be used to defend any pipeline. But we are not allowed to point that inconsistency out because, well, disinformation.
The two proposed East Coast LNG export facilities are proof of the immutability of our energy system, standing unmoved by three-quarters of a decade assault by the very government Wilkinson helps lead. As recently as a few months ago, Wilkinson’s government was proposing to implement a policy that would “… discourage further investments in assets that could become stranded in the years to come by this inevitable transition.”
What a difference a few short months make. But that’s what happens when disinformation campaigns run headlong into immovable objects.
Wilkinson is making the right call, if for the wrong reasons – Canada (and the world) needs to get back to work developing hydrocarbon infrastructure.
Terry Etam is a columnist with the BOE Report, a leading energy industry newsletter based in Calgary. He is the author of The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity. This piece was submitted by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
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