This article appears in the August 6, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Panel 1 Discussion
The first conference panel, “The Economic Effects of Green MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction,” of the Schiller Institute’s July 24, 2021 conference, “There Is No ‘Climate Emergency’—Apply the Science and Economics of Development To Stop Blackouts and Death.” concluded with a discussion session, of which excerpts are presented here. Quoted are two panelists whose presentations we have not published above: Schiller Institute science advisor Jason Ross; and Dr. Franco Battaglia, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Modena, a member of the Initiating Committee of the Petition on Anthropogenic Global Warming of June 2019. The commenters are Florencia Renteria del Toro, a Mexican graduate student studying nuclear science in China; and Andy Olsen, a Minnesota farmer and LaRouche movement activist.
Jason Ross: We hear that there are limited resources, for example. But the thing is, human beings do consume resources, but unlike animals, we create resources. That’s the most characteristic thing about our activity. What do we create? Coal, for example. It’s a resource in a certain way, for burning in a fireplace, and it’s more compact than wood, being convenient in that way. But it was the development of the steam-powered engine, this technology, this scientific concept that turned coal into an extremely powerful world-changing, civilization-changing resource. We made that resource; we allowed coal to become a resource in that way.
Uranium—a very powerful resource; enormous amounts of energy. A whole lifetime’s supply of energy in the palm of your hand in terms of uranium nuclear fuel for nuclear power. That certainly wasn’t a resource for anything except getting a yellow mineral that you could use for its color for stained glass. That’s all people did with it before the development of nuclear science.
So, we do not need to worry about limited resources in the sense that we’re going to rely either on those resources exclusively for the future, or based on our current methods of achieving or gathering those resources. We’ve seen enormous advances, for example, in the technology of coal mining; making it much safer, much cleaner. Coal plants are effectively as clean in terms of their emissions as a natural gas plant nowadays, modern coal plants.
So, we do this; we create these resources.
And the greatest resource of all, naturally, is not coal, it’s not uranium; it is the human mind. What this means is, what kind of cultural investment are we making into our society in the form of science-drivers and technology initiatives, and also in terms of our culture, our education. What are our schools like? What kind of future are we creating, and do we have a mind when we make these kinds of policies?
To achieve that ultimate resource, the powers of the mind, the ability to do Good, to come to know better how the universe works, and use that knowledge to improve the potential lives of everybody on the planet—that’s the greatest Good that any human being can do. That is our truest self-interest; it’s in that way that we are said to be made in the image of God. That’s a very powerful concept that was key in the Renaissance. That our minds were in the image of the Creator in such a way that we can actually figure out how the universe really works and use that knowledge. That is a powerful concept…. I think it’s true.
Question: Since carbon dioxide is needed by trees and plants as a source of food, doesn’t it make logical sense to increase and not decrease CO2 content in the atmosphere to provide more nutrition and speed up the reforestation?
Dr. Franco Battaglia: I think we should not even talk about CO2. CO2 is not a problem. It’s just like talking about water. Why should we worry about water more than CO2, or CO2 more than water? The real issue here is that humanity needs energy. This is very important. If you don’t want to die, if you don’t want to go back to slavery, humanity needs energy. We should realize that solar energy is the energy of the past. Until about 200 years ago, the energy that humans were using was 100% Sun energy. Now, Sun energy provides 10%; so Sun energy is the energy of the past.
CO2 is not a word that we should even mention; we should not talk about CO2. We should talk about energy. The future of energy is definitely nuclear power; at least as far as electricity production is concerned.
Florencia Renteria del Toro: I think nuclear energy is the best strategy to overcome climate change. It’s the most reliable source of electricity in the world, and it can cover many people around the globe. Even if we cannot rely on solar energy or wind energy or hydro, because not every country has the same resources. But nuclear offers the technology to be deployed even if it’s in a desert zone or a dry zone, or even in a very cold place. So, it gives that flexibility to cover that capacity, and it’s also offering other applications like district heating or hydrogen production for the future. Because we cannot just say that nuclear energy is easiest for producing electricity; it offers more benefits to the world. In my opinion, it’s one of the areas that we have to look at for the next future sources of energy as well, because let’s look at space. We are going to that area. We are moving into the transition of new sources of energy, so the better we study and we keep improving the systems, the more good things we can bring for the future.
Dr. Battaglia: Maybe just one comment. I think that technically nuclear power will be more and more important as the years go by. However, I will not mention nuclear power as a way to fight against climate change, because climate change is not an issue, definitely not for mitigation, because we can do nothing against climate change. The climate has always been changing. We need nuclear power because we need nuclear power; not because we don’t want to put CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s very important, because credibility is very important. If nuclear power sustainers say that we need nuclear power to fight climate change, I think they might lose some credibility. That’s it.
Question: Is it true that Greta Thunberg is a paid CIA asset, talking on behalf of the New World Order who want to depopulate the planet by 6 billion people and preserve the land for nature and not for farming or livestock? Related to that, who is promoting these lies about climate?
Ross: I’ll take a stab on that one. Greta Thunberg is not the one who is making this policy up. You’ve got to look a little bit higher than that, and the place to look is the British Empire. Look, for example, at Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England, one of the biggest promoters of this Great Reset, Green New Deal policy.
The World Economic Forum is talking about the Great Reset. These are hardly what you might call Leftist radicals or something along those lines. This is coming not from the Left, which is a kind of silly thing that some people think. This is coming from above; this is coming from the financial elites that run the greatest source of finance in the world—the City of London. It’s coming from Wall Street.
There are people who are going to make an awful lot of money off of this, but money is not the primary motivation. The view that there are too many people, as expressed by Malthus—this wasn’t something that he thought up in order to make money. This was a vision of the human species that most people should live like animals, or like slaves. And that there are only a few people who are dignified and considered to be human beings, although they disgrace themselves by having this viewpoint. And that overall, the human population must be controlled; the world population must be reduced, to below 1 billion. This is said explicitly by David Attenborough, Prince Philip. This is their viewpoint, and this Green stuff is a way of achieving it.
Dr. Battaglia: I think that nowadays, since it is available, this new technology, like wind power and voltaic technology, they have to sell it. The amount of money that this technology costs is huge. Photovoltaic cells should be sold in a jewelry shop! Nevertheless, all these technologies, as far as energy production concerns, are really useless. One must understand how energy works, and then if you want to understand how we use energy, then you realize that these technologies are useless. However, they are there; they need to be sold.
Who sells this technology makes a lot of money. So, they have to rush to make all this money before people realize that these technologies are useless. I think this is also part of the story. There are also obviously many different views of the world, different political ideas. But I think money—whenever there is something which is nonsense, one has to look at where is the money.
Andy Olsen: I would like to say one thing about natural gas. It seems like that’s the panacea for renewable energy, and that’s what these people have done like in Minnesota, Xcel Energy. They retrofitted seven coal plants to natural gas.
What happened during the Texas disaster is that natural gas—it’s so speculative with this electricity change [deregulation—ed.] that if you wanted to buy spot market gas at a high demand time, it’s almost prohibitive. Some of the regional coops would not touch their gas valve to start their peaking plants because it was too expensive. What they had as a back-up then was considerably large fuel oil tanks, and that’s what they used. But to fill those fuel oil tanks, there’s no pipeline in the rural area out here; they’d have to use semi-trailer tankers to bring this in. After a period of a year or two, this fuel gets old, and they have to sell it and haul that out. It’s extremely inefficient.
I think that gas is over-emphasized, how great gas is going to be, because there’s no gas stored next to a power plant. It’s a pipeline that has to bring it there. And in this Texas situation [Polar Vortex, February 2021—ed.], in Minnesota we didn’t have any outages, but the gas price was $800 million, the cost for that gas paid by consumers. And the consumers stood it; it wasn’t the corporations.
Question: Why do governments consider this to even be a threat? They are opposed at the same time to thermonuclear power and nuclear power. Why is it that there is barely any funding for our fusion program, for example? Recent blackouts in the United States have shown us what could happen if our conventional power sources are largely replaced with ineffective windmills and solar panels. Are people waking up to this reality? Is there now a moment in which we can actually change the dynamic in the world and create a new era of prosperity, development, and scientific advancement?
Dr. Battaglia: I think that the answer could be that nobody can fool everybody forever, as someone else said better than what I am saying now. What people should realize is that first of all we need to turn into a world where electricity is even more important as time goes by. Now, to produce electricity, there is a very rational way to do it. The base demand should be provided by nuclear power. The normal demand above the baseline should come from coal. And natural gas and hydropower for the big demand. This is the rational way to do it for technical reasons. I think in the panel later all these things will be explained better.