On March 11, 2011, an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean caused a tsunami to strike Japan.
You probably remember seeing this in the news, because, directly in the path of the tsunami sat the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
As the waves crashed into the reactors, the plant’s cooling systems lost power and the nuclear reactors overheated. Pressure built until explosions spewed radioactive materials into the environment.
Now, Japan realized that the Fukishma nuclear accident was a major anomaly… and that the historical data clearly show that nuclear power is safe. So they moved on and continued investing in nuclear.
Yet half a world away, Germany decided to shut down its own nuclear power plants because of what happened in Fukishima… even though Germany is obviously not prone to tsunamis and rarely experiences severe earthquakes.
It was a knee jerk reaction— not at all based on “science”. And instead of investing in nuclear, Germany spent tens of billions of euros on far less efficient renewable power.
One key problem, of course, is that Germany didn’t plan on having a fully renewable energy grid unil more than 25 years later in 2038.
So in the meantime while they would be building wind and solar energy plants across Germany, they planned on filling their energy void by importing natural gas… from Russia.
You can obviously see where this is going.
Germany made an emotional decision to shut off its nuclear plants and instead opted to import natural gas from a known adversary.
And now that the Russian gas is no longer flowing, today Germany relies on burning coal to generate enough electricity.
Rather than admit they were completely wrong to phase out nuclear power, Germany has turned the clock back to the early 1900s when the skies were clouded with thick black smoke from coal-fuel power plants.
But in reality the German government is trying to take its people back into the Dark Ages.
Let me explain.
I’ve talked about the importance of energy for a society’s economic prosperity. Lack of abundant “cheap” energy is one of the major forces of civilization decline.
And when I say “cheap” energy, I’m talking about the “Energy Returned on Energy Invested”, or EROEI.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, when wood was the world’s primary energy source, the EROEI was 5:1.
In other words, the amount of energy generated from burning wood was FIVE times as much as the energy required to gather the wood in the first place, i.e. to chop down trees, cut them up into logs, transport the wood, etc.
But eventually people discovered that coal was a far more efficient source of energy, with an EROEI of at least 10:1. So the same amount of effort to mine coal, transport it, burn it, etc. produced twice as much energy as wood.
Obviously being able to obtain twice as much energy from the same amount of effort creates a LOT of social benefit; it means that there are a lot of excess resources available to invest in growth and development.
It’s no accident that the discovery of more energy efficient fuel sources, coupled with the invention of machines that relied on those efficient fuel sources, launched a steady, upward trajectory in human prosperity.
And with the discovery of oil as a source of energy (with an EROEI of 30:1 or more), growth and development really started to take off.
But now governments want to take us backward, to less efficient energy sources.
When they talk about renewable and “clean” energy, they often forget that solar panels and windmills don’t just appear out of thin air. Massive amounts of resources go into mining and processing the rare metals and minerals required to build solar panels, windmills, and batteries.
And in the end, renewable sources of energy typically have an EROEI of 5:1 – about the same as burning wood.
So in a mathematical sense, the climate fanatics’ “solution” is to take us back to a Medieval-era level of energy efficiency.
This is a pretty big deal if you understand the clear link between energy efficiency and human prosperity. Inefficient energy means that a society has to use up the preponderance of its resources simply to sustain itself. There’s very little surplus or growth. And that’s largely the way human civilization subsisted for thousands of years.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against clean energy. I am, however, against going back to the Dark Ages… which is essentially the “solution” that Germany and other advanced nations are proposing.
The obvious solution is nuclear power, which has a whopping 180:1 Energy Return on Energy Invested.
If the 2X increase in efficiency from transitioning from wood to coal set in motion the greatest growth of prosperity in human history, what do you think the 6X jump from fossil fuels to nuclear power would do?
And yet, because Greta Thunberg scowls at nuclear, governments want to cast society back to the stone age.
It’s crazy. Last November, the United Nations hosted a Climate Change Conference known as COP27. They talked about gender identity and taxing meat consumption. But they barely mentioned nuclear, which has lower carbon emissions than wind and solar, while delivering 36X more energy return.
And this is why I call climate change the new ‘human sacrifice’. Their policies are guaranteed to decrease efficiency, cost more money, stunt productivity, and trap more people in poverty…
… unless leaders finally get on board with nuclear.
The good news is that nuclear is inevitable. And we’re starting to see a shifting tide towards this obvious solution.
For example, when acclaimed Hollywood director Oliver Stone (who is a hard core leftist) was interviewed at the World Economic Forum last year, he slammed the climate elites for ignoring nuclear.
Stone is releasing a documentary called Nuclear Now arguing that nuclear energy is the best way to promote a cleaner environment without sacrificing productivity and quality of life.
Again, it’s obvious. There aren’t enough resources to fully switch the world to inconsistent energy like wind and solar, to create the necessary batteries for storage.
Eventually people are going to wake up to that reality. And when they do, there is going to be a mad rush into nuclear energy.
That creates some very fertile ground for investing in the resources required for nuclear, such as uranium mining and refining.
Right now, the uranium industry is not receiving a ton of capital because of exaggerated fears of its dangers. When that changes, early investors in productive uranium companies with good leadership should do quite well.
I’m an optimist. I don’t think the future is going to be cold and dark with humans cast back into the Dark Ages.
I think when the world confronts the economic realities of energy scarcity, it will usher in a new renaissance in energy. We’ll all benefit. And the people who saw it coming will make a killing.