Green Energy Revolution A Flop: Fossil Fuels’ Share Of Total Energy Use Unchanged in 40 Years! here presents an interesting chart which tells us the green energy revolution of the past 30 years has resulted in practically nothing. It’s been a flop. Fossil fuels remain as wildly popular as ever.

Global fossil fuel use as a share of total energy has risen since James Hansen’s 1988 testimony. Chart:

In the 1970s the big worry was that fossil fuels would soon run out, and so we should “use them wisely”. But in the 1980s the risk changed to one of an overheating planet, and so we should not use them at all.

Higher than 1988, when James Hansen testified

We can all recall a sweating James Hansen’s 1988 stage-crafted testimony before Congress, warning that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations would lead to spiraling global warming. And unless action was taken urgently, the ice caps would soon melt and the earth would sizzle.

Countries as a result mobilized 100s of billions of dollars to eliminate the use of these “dangerous, climate-killing” fossil fuels.

Today for all that money you’d think that tremendous progress in reducing fossil fuels would be the result. You couldn’t be more wrong.

The sad truth is that after hundreds of billions spent, and trillions committed, fossil fuels’ share of total energy consumption globally has in fact risen since Hansen’s doomsday testimony, see the figure above!

Bringing the dead back to life

What may be a surprise to many is that whenever we burn fossil fuels, which originate primarily from ancient plants that died and were naturally sequestered in the earth as “fossils” eons ago, we are in fact taking this once live carbon and recirculating it back into the current, living ecosystem. The result: More carbon-based life is getting produced today. The planet is greening. Now the earth is teeming with more life than it has seen in millions of years. That’s fundamental science.

So if you want the system to have more life, just add carbon to it. One way is to add old carbon (by burning fossil fuels) that’s been locked away in the ground.

On the other hand if you want to limit life, then remove the carbon from the eco-system. Funny how the alarmists claim to be worried about life being under threat on earth, yet are striving to remove its very source.

51 responses to “Green Energy Revolution A Flop: Fossil Fuels’ Share Of Total Energy Use Unchanged in 40 Years!”

  1. Bitter&twisted

    Fossil fuels are simply stored solar energy.
    What could be greener than that?

  2. Kenneth Richard

    But, as the advocates will reply, solar and wind energy are growing exponentially.

    What they don’t seem to understand: energy demand grows exponentially too.

    And unless there is a displacement of fossil fuel energy from the growth in renewables, the share of energy supplied by fossil fuels will not change.

    Meanwhile, because the demand grows exponentially as the share remains the same, the emissions from fossil fuel-based energies will continue to rise…just like they have for decades despite the exponential growth in renewables.

    1. AndyG55

      Yep, one thing I am not concerned about is that atmospheric CO2 levels will start to drop.

      There is PLENTY of current and future coal , oil and gas power that human contributions should keep it climbing, even as the globe starts to cool slightly over the next decades.

      The big worry is in countries that have damaged their energy infrastructure. Places like Germany, UK, Australia, desperately need to wake up and start increasing their dispatchable electricity capability, or face massive “unreliability of supply” issues.

    2. ThomasJK

      Since financial stipends for subsidizing so-called “renewables” are raised from taxes that are being levied either directly or indirectly on economic endeavors that are powered and driven by energy from fossil fuels, doesn’t follow logically that as the “renewables” installed base grows then the use of fossil fuel energy must also grow?

  3. BoyfromTottenham

    Correction: ‘Fossil fuels remain as essential as ever’.

  4. Steve

    Just yesterday in the SMH there was an article saying that it was inevitable that renewables would supply all our energy needs in the future.
    Or something along that line.
    I sort of scoffed and thought ‘i don’t think so’

    Then i went to the beach and a guy started to tell me that the sea levels were rising and I said ‘i don’t think so’.
    He went off on a bit of a tirade, after I also said ‘have you bought a house on higher ground yet ?

  5. tom0mason

    But Pierre you’ve got it wrong, you’re supposed to use anomalies data on these graphs.

    How can you possibly get the message across, and come to an alarmist conclusions when using actual measurements, instead of the anomalies from a specially picked start date.

    Oh dear, oh dear, what poor alarmist science writer you are! Nearly a bad as those people that plot actual global sea-ice variation instead of using anomaly since a useful date. Or CO2 levels since 1979.
    Forget the evidence, use the cAGW mantra “Think lefty, think impact, think persuasion, think political!”

  6. Svend Ferdinandsen

    I believe you have to go back to 1800 to have more “green energy” in the mix.
    There was a reason, that old windmills installed motors to grind the crop when it was needed, and not when the wind blowed.

  7. clipe
  8. cementafriend

    There is plenty of evidence to show that most of the oil and natural gas extracted today and in the past is not of fossil or plant origin. The maximum depth of animal and plant fossils is about 1000m below the surface. Some oil and gas wells are upto 12,000m deep. One of the trace elements in oil is Vanadium which does not occur in animal or plant matter. It is time to stop talking about fossil fuels.
    There is hundreds of years of coal resources around the world including in the arctic and antarctic. Coal is being produced at the present in swamps and basin. The first stage is peat which with pressure and temperature becomes brown coal or lignite.

    1. Robert Folkerts

      I’m with you about the term “fossil fuel”. Years ago I began learning about the abiotic origins of hydrocarbons. Peak oil? Perhaps never!

  9. Steve

    Anyone heard from SebH ?
    Hope he hasn’t taken a fall off his electric bike.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      He hasn’t been back ever since he was asked to substantiate his claims that the oceans are acidifying too fast for the oceanic biosphere to adjust (-0.07 pH over the last 200 years), that the Earth is browning (deserts are expanding) rather than greening, and that CO2 rise causes food/crop quality to deteriorate. We’ve asked him for scientific evidence to support these beliefs of his, but he thus far has not provided any.

      1. Bitter&twisted

        Nor can he.
        Sock-puppets are incapable of independent thought.

      2. Graeme No.3

        Kenneth Richard:
        He has pH readings for the last 200 years? Wow! And I thought that pH meters became widely available only in the later 1930’s.

        1. Kenneth Richard

          He has pH readings for the last 200 years?

          That figure comes from a peer-reviewed scientific paper (Wei et al., 2015). It indicates that the overall 200-year pH “trend” is -0.07, with a decadal-scale change of -0.003 during that time, but it simultaneously points out that pH naturally fluctuates by +/- 0.2 to 0.5 every 10 years or so…

          The red pH trend line here:

          … meaning that the natural variability in pH over 10 years is more than 2 orders of magnitude greater than the rate change attributed (by people like SebastianH) to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. And yet he simultaneously claims that the rate change caused by human emissions is too fast for corals to adjust to…so they’ll die off because of us. It’s the most circularly illogical conceptualization in “climate science”, and yet SebastianH fully believes it. He calls us “deniers” if we don’t.

          Wei et al., 2015

          Ocean acidification is predicted to reduce the saturation state of carbonate minerals in seawater and potentially threaten the existence and development of many marine calcareous organisms, such as calcareous microorganisms and corals. Model calculations have indicated an overall decrease in global seawater pH of 0.1 relative to the preIndustrial era value, and a further pH reduction of 0.2–0.3 over the next century.

          We here estimate the OA rates from the two long (>150 years) annually resolved pH records from the northern SCS (this study) and the northern GBR [Great Barrier Reef], and the results indicate annual rates of -0.00039 +/- 0.00025 yr and -0.00034 +/- 0.00022 yr for the northern SCS [South China Sea] and the northern GBR [Great Barrier Reef], respectively.

          [T]hese two time-series do not show significant decreasing trend for pH. Despite such large errors, estimated from these rates, the seawater pH has decreased by about 0.07–0.08 U over the past 200 years in these regions.

          The average calculated seawater pH over the past 159 years was 8.04 [with a] a seawater pH variation range of 7.66–8.40.

          1. SebastianH

            I am a passive reader for now. It is simply too time-consuming to reply here.

            Regarding your pH mystery:
            I find it interesting that you don’t even try to understand how an organism could be able to cope with “seasons”, but not with long-term changes in environmental parameters.

            Anyway, coral bleaching due to increasing sea surface temperatures and among other things acidification is real. They can recover from short time swings, but die off when a change is more permanent.

            Also, I am not quite sure if you understand the pH scale. A pH value of 8.1 instead of 8.2 means the oceans are 30% more acidic. A 0.2 change equals a ~60% change and a 0.3 decrease means the acidity doubled.

          2. Kenneth Richard

            Anyway, coral bleaching due to increasing sea surface temperatures and among other things acidification is real.

            Once again, you have failed to produce any scientific support for your beliefs, SebastianH. No science to support your ocean acidification claims, your the Earth is getting browner/deserts are expanding beliefs, and your beliefs that food/crop quality is deteriorating due to higher CO2 concentrations.

            To educate you, coral bleaching is not due to “ocean acidification”. These are completely different processes.

            Coral bleaching is a naturally-occurring phenomenon, induced by extreme, sudden changes in ocean temperatures (and sea levels falling) elicited by natural ENSO events. For example:

            Extensive coral bleaching occurred during sea-water warming (as a result of the 1982/3 El Niño Southern Oscillation event) in 1983 on the shallow reefs in the Java Sea. Mean seawater temperatures rose by 2–3° C over a six month period with values greater than 33° C being recorded between 1200–1500 h. As many as 80–90% of corals died on the reef flats at the study sites

            More recently, studies have shown that sea level declines (due to ENSO events), leaving corals exposed, may be more of a factor in coral bleaching than temperature changes. Did you think sea level declines during El Nino events were human caused?

            Ampou et al., 2017
            In short, El Niño increases temperature in several coral reef regions and induces zooxanthellae expulsion from the coral polyp, resulting in a coral colony looking white, hence “bleaching”. If the situation persists the coral colony eventually dies. … [I]t is assumed that coral bleaching induced by ocean warming will be the main culprit if post-El Niño surveys report coral mortalities. … We report here observations on what appears to be the first significant impact of the 2015– 2016 El Niño on Indonesia reefs. Unlike what is expected during such a strong event, the mortality was not related to warm water induced-bleaching, but could be tracked to rapid sea level variations [sea levels falling rapidly]. Coral mortality data around Bunaken Island are provided, and we investigate various altimetry and sea level anomaly data sets to explain mortality. The clear link between mortality and sea level fall calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their sequences on coral reefs.

            Widlansky et al., 2014
            During strong El Niño events, sea level drops around some tropical western Pacific islands by up to 20–30 cm. Such events (referred to as taimasa in Samoa) expose shallow reefs, thereby causing severe damage to associated coral ecosystems and contributing to the formation of microatolls.

            Also, ocean acidification has not been demonstrated to have any unambiguously negative effect on marine species. This is probably new information for you.

            McElhany, 2017   
            Documenting an effect of OA [ocean acidification] involves showing a change in a species (e.g. population abundance or distribution) as a consequence of anthropogenic changes in marine carbonate chemistry. To date, there have been no unambiguous demonstrations of a population level effect of anthropogenic OA [ocean acidification], as that term is defined by the IPCC. … [I]t is important to acknowledge that there are no studies that directly demonstrate modern day effects of OA [ocean acidification] on marine species.

            Duarte et al., 2014
            [T]here is, as yet, no robust evidence for realized severe disruptions of marine socioecological links from ocean acidification to anthropogenic CO2, and there are significant uncertainties regarding the level of pH change that would prompt such impacts. [O]n the basis of a survey of the scientific literature, Oliver and colleagues (2009) identified four global coral bleaching events (1983, 1987, 1998, and 2005) when the bleaching frequency and intensity dramatically affected a substantial number of countries. However, the number of bleaching records has apparently increased during the past three decades, which has confounded efforts to separate changes in bleaching frequency from changes in reporting (Oliver et al 2009). Therefore, despite the strong mechanistic or physiological basis for a role of warming in coral bleaching and coral growth, a robust demonstration of a direct causal link between global warming and global coral bleaching over decadal time scales has not yet been produced.

            And, of course, not only don’t higher CO2 levels/lower pH harm corals, both are indications of health.

            Ollier, 2017     
            The coast contains ‘carbonate sand factories’ where organisms produce vast amounts of sand by fixing carbon dioxide as carbonates. Far from dissolving carbonate by acidification, carbon dioxide is an essential part of carbonate production and the continued maintenance and growth of coasts and reefs. Government policies to adapt renewable energy are unlikely to affect the system.

            More acidic water may be a sign of healthy corals, says a new study, muddying the waters still further on our understanding of how coral reefs might react to climate change. Andreas Andersson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, and his colleagues carefully monitored a coral reef in Bermuda for five years, and found that spikes in acidity were linked to increased reef growth. The team found that coral growth itself made the water more acidic as the corals sucked alkaline carbonate out of the water to build their skeletons. The corals also ate more food during these high-activity periods and pumped more CO2 into the water, increasing acidity further.

            We will continue to wait for you to support your beliefs about the ocean acidification “mystery” as it relates to anthropogenic CO2 emissions with actual science. Until then, we will just assume that you’re making stuff up.

          3. Kenneth Richard

            Lack of time is not the real reason Seb is not posting any more.


            Little by little and every day, the narrative continues to crumble.

          4. AndyG55

            OMG seb uses the 30% more acidic line, showing his utter ignorance of science and maths YET AGAIN.

            pH8.2 to pH8.1 increases H+ ions by ≈25.9% (not 30%)

            Then it requires a further ≈1160% increase to even become neutral.

            You should have stayed as a passive reader, seb, saved showing everyone your incompetence and ignorance yet again.

          5. AndyG55

            Hint seb.

            Somewhere you have a brain cell you could learn to use.

            Try engaging it, just once, rather than the constant regurgitation of nonsense from your AGW masters.

          6. AndyG55

            “It is simply too time-consuming to reply here.”

            Yes, you have certainly wasted your time and everyone else’s.

            In the time you have been here, all you have managed is to dig a deeper troll hole for yourself.

            You have made many realise just how little there is to back up the AGW farce.

            You have shown EVERYBODY that reads here, that you cannot even support the very basis of the hole AGW Agenda, that CO2 causes warming in a convective atmosphere.

          7. SebastianH

            Kenneth, again … it is time-consuming to read through all your papers just to find out that they don’t say what you think they say. When someone points that out to you, you distract by opening a different discussion about some other skeptic’s nonsense point. It’s always the same procedure and I am not playing along anymore …

            @AndyG55: do you think the oceans need to become actual acid oceans for it to be a problem? What kind of reply was that and why follow it up with two other hateful replies with your usual non-arguments? Why call others trolls when clearly you are the master of trolling?

          8. Kenneth Richard

            Kenneth, again … it is time-consuming to read through all your papers just to find out that they don’t say what you think they say.

            You are certainly welcome to point out what the direct quotes from the papers above actually mean…since it is your belief that they don’t mean what the authors actually wrote.

            In other words, since you think that my interpretation(s) of scientists’ exact word choices is wrong, please do support this claim of yours by identifying the correct interpretation of these two scientific quotes:

            “There are no studies that directly demonstrate modern day effects of OA [ocean acidification] on marine species.”

            “[T]here is, as yet, no robust evidence for realized severe disruptions of marine socioecological links from ocean acidification to anthropogenic CO2, and there are significant uncertainties regarding the level of pH change that would prompt such impacts.”

            And I will challenge you again to finally produce some scientific data that would support your beliefs about the deleterious effects of the change in pH during the industrial era (whatever that is, since it’s effectively unmeasurable).

            Additionally, produce scientific publications that show the Earth isn’t greening, but browning (your claim). You said you have already been able to “find” this data. So where is it?

            SebastianH: “I can only find data for increasing desertification.”

            Also, please provide the data that support your belief that crop quality is deteriorating because of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In other words, support this statement about “data”:

            SebastianH: “Data suggest that quality of food is decreasing if you don’t take special care of a plant in a high CO2 level world.”

            In other words, instead of non-scientific replies/accusations like these, produce some scientific data that would support what you believe. How many more times am I going to need to ask you to do this before you produce something — anything?

            After all, remember your challenge to AndyG55 regarding these very same topics:

            SebastianH: “It would be nice if you at least could provide sources when you are ranting in the comment section.”

          9. SebastianH

            On this blog, sometimes a sane person can get the feeling that you are all this guy:

            Have a nice week and don’t “assume” too much or interpret those “mights” as a fact.

          10. sunsettommy

            Sebastian writes this,

            “Also, I am not quite sure if you understand the pH scale. A pH value of 8.1 instead of 8.2 means the oceans are 30% more acidic. A 0.2 change equals a ~60% change and a 0.3 decrease means the acidity doubled.”

            Which is false because 8.1 is still strongly ALKALINE. It is only LESS alkaline when it goes from 8.2 to 8.1,is all it is.

            It is a measure of DECREASING Alkalinity is what is observed here. It is NOT increasingly acidic since it is 8.1 ph which is still alkaline.

            It is clear you don’t understand logic.

          11. AndyG55

            I’m sure most sea creatures prefer their water somewhat LESS CAUSTIC !! 😉

            But again.. ZERO proof it has changed in any way at all.

            The rivers that have flowed into the oceans over millions of years have mostly somewhat on the acidic side of neutral (some down as low as pH5.5) yet the sea has maintained its NATURALLY BUFFERED pH level of around 7.9 to 8.4 for all that time.

            CO2 levels have been MUCH higher during the period when most sea creatures evolved.

            The whole “acidification” scare is purely and simple for the UTTERLY GULLIBLE AGW worshiper who has ZERO concept of real science or chemistry…

            ie… non-science, non-entities like seb.

          12. AndyG55

            Poor little seb, why the continued petulant attention-seeking ???

            You obviously are totally incapable of producing ANYTHING to back up anything you say.

            So just STOP DIGGING your troll hole deeper, and

            STOP whimpering like a mindless Chihuahua…

            Its PATHETIC.

          13. AndyG55

            “AndyG55: do you think the oceans need to become actual acid oceans for it to be a problem? ”

            Seb, have you any scientific proof that

            a) there has been any actual change in the pH other than NATURAL VARIABILITY

            b) Having evolved in times of much higher CO2, have you any scientific proof that enhanced CO2 is anything but beneficial to most sea creatures? Certainly sea plants are loving that CO2 enhancement, as are all land plants.

            Perhaps you should read, and at least “try” to comprehend, some of the actual science papers put forward above, instead of continuing with your mindless, zero science attention-seeking, troll-like behaviour.

          14. AndyG55

            ” sometimes a sane person “

            You are NOT and never have been a “sane” person

            You spend you pitiful life trolling on a site where everyone knows you are a mindless zero-science twerp.

            That is YOUR LIFE.

            It is NOT any definition of sanity.

            It is a definition on psychotic INSANITY.

        2. yonason (from my cell phone)

          “A CASE OF pHRAUD”

          …because we can’t measure ocean pH.

          In fact, they are desperate to come up with a device they can claim does measure it accurately, reproducibly – often and in multiple locations; because they know that the results they have to date are too few and too unreliable for pushing their acidification scam.

          So, in short, they currently do not have data-based proof that ocean pH is changing. AND, once it’s brought online, if it ever is, they’ll be starting from scratch, having no past record for a baseline. …of course, they won’t admit that, will they, Michael Mann?

          Oh, and another thing. Even if they get this behemoth off the ground, and it shows the evidence that oceanic pH is changing, that alone will NOT prove that CO2 is the culprit.

          1. SebastianH

            Why grasp for straws, yonason? Why do you call acidification a scam? Do you really think the ocean as a carbon sink somehow managed to not acidify?

            Notice: the word “acidification”, maybe you guys all think that it describes to oceans becoming a pool of acid or something similar? That would explain the ridiculous replies 😉

          2. AndyG55

            Seb responds with ZERO SCIENCE as has become his meme.

            Your SCIENCE is decidedly LACKING, seb.

          3. AndyG55

            “Do you really think the ocean as a carbon sink somehow managed to not acidify?”

            Seb YET AGAIN displays his abject IGNORANCE.

            Backed up with ZERO science as usual.

            Poor little trollette probably doesn’t even understand the word “buffering” or the chemistry behind it.

            The rivers that have flowed into the oceans over millions of years have mostly somewhat on the acidic side of neutral (some down as low as pH5.5) yet the sea has maintained its NATURALLY BUFFERED pH level of around 7.9 to 8.4 for all that time.

            And this mindless little trollette thinks some tiny change in atmospheric CO2 is going to cause a problem.

            It really is laughably RIDICULOUS.

      3. AndyG55

        “that CO2 rise causes food/crop quality to deteriorate”

        Proven WRONG, as seb always is.

        His wilful IGNORANCE knows no bounds.

        Pretty sure I mentioned this before from earlier studies, but it has been confirmed yet again….

        “Elevated CO2 Promotes a Rhizosphere-driven Increase in Nitrogen and Phosphorus Availability”

      4. AndyG55

        Really, is it any wonder that the WHOLE carbon cycle..

        … just works better with more CARBON in it. !!

        400ppm is still way too low for full functionality.

      5. AndyG55

        And here is a VERY IMPORTANT study finding

        “Barley Yield and Belowground Rhizosphere Response to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment”

        “Commenting on the lower prokaryotic diversity, Szoboszlay et al. say that it is likely due to increased rhizodeposition under elevated CO2, where elevated CO2 stimulates increased “nutrient input into the rhizosphere that selects for microorganisms that can efficiently grow on these plant-derived compounds.” Thus, it would appear that both plant and soil micro-organisms can benefit from atmospheric CO2 enrichment. “

    2. tom0mason

      Is the chatbot getting an update?

      1. yonason (from my cell phone)

        ^+ LOL 😂

      2. AndyG55

        Needs a total re-build.

        Its CPU is basically fried.

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  11. RAH

    Speaking of James Hanson. His time is up this year!

    This prediction, unqualified or equivocated in any way, by the most prominent father of the global warming scare in the US has only this year for the sea levels in Manhattan to rise the two meters necessary to flow over the lowest portion of the west side highway.

  12. jjs

    Nature produced us so to release co2 back into the environment. There is no other reason for us being here and we are it’s only option to do so. Nature needs us to gain wealth, stop wars and advance in intelligence and technology to the point of moving nature to other parts of our solar system. Just as turtles and birds helped move nature around this planet millenniums ago.

    Environmentalist are anti nature.

  13. Graeme No.3

    They’ll just change the name from West Side Freeway to West Side Boatway.

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  15. EnergynEntropy

    In short, “No device can generate energy in excess of the total energy put into constructing it”.

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