Telegraph Column: Without Fossil Fuels ‘Six Billion People Would Die Within a Year’

December 22nd, 2023 2:42 PM

A British businessman recently pointed out an obvious truth that climate change activists do not want to hear: There are no readily available replacements for the replacements for the resources that feed the earth.

Former Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s Nuffield College Neil Record took the leftist environmentalist group Just Stop Oil up on their signature proposition and examined how the world would fare without fossil fuels in a Dec. 19 column for The Telegraph

The “nightmarish scenario” Record envisions demonstrates just how much humanity depends on coal, oil and gas for a wide variety of basic needs. Record made his disturbing conclusion early on: “But what would happen if we literally just stopped oil tomorrow and did without the natural resources on which the world, its economies and populations depend? The answer: most likely six billion people would die within a year.”

Record explained that an immediate cutoff of energy extraction would translate to a loss of basic modern conveniences within a few days in England. “This would mean in turn that the domestic supply would be shut down too – gas would stop flowing, and some 21 million households (74pc of the population) would no longer have heating, hot water, and cooking facilities,” Record wrote. 

The British economist went on to address the inability of renewables to compensate for gas in such a scenario and predicted that remaining energy sources would be overloaded until they too were exhausted. 

He pointed out that this loss of power would fall most heavily on the vulnerable, those dependent on communicating with others and people living in crowded cities. 

In a chilling but obvious paragraph, Record explained that this emergency in England would receive no outside assistance: “In dire national emergencies, international help is often forthcoming, but in this case, this scenario is taking place, in largely identical ways and timing, across the developed and developing world. Only isolated rural communities, agriculturally self-sufficient, would be relatively unaffected. So no international rescue mission.”

The cavalry isn’t coming. The whole world would suffer together.

Furthermore, Record noted that more densely populated areas would have more problems than just a critical lack of food and clean drinking water. He said they would also suffer from a complete breakdown of law and order, fierce competition over remaining food, and rampant disease.

In real life, hungry protestors toppled the government of Sri Lanka for just a small move in this environmentalist direction: Sri Lanka switched away from synthetic fertilizer to organic fertilizer decimating food production in that country. 

After explaining that “murder and mayhem” would replace “markets and prices,” Record challenged environmentalists to explain to the world, especially large countries such as India and China, how society can continue to survive and prosper without fossil fuels. 

“Do the nice, well-meaning people of Just Stop Oil understand how the world works, or not? If they do, they are nihilists; if they don’t, then why are they disrupting the smooth running of our society, promoting an extreme course of action of which they have no understanding?” Record questioned. 

Incredibly, Record outlined a realistic and horrifying scenario of what the world would look like sans fossil fuels, without noting the critical importance of fossil fuels to the production of plastic, cement, steel and most importantly, fertilizer. 

Still, the death of the vast majority of living humans through famine, violence, disease, dehydration and neglect is an incredibly high price to pay for listening to environmentalists. 

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