Achieving “net zero” carbon dioxide emissions will be painless, they assure us. Costs will be so low that you’ll need a magnifying glass to see them. Governments merely have to enact mandates and provide subsidies, and the transformation to “clean” energy will just happen. Almost like in a fairy tale.
Here in the real world, however, we would need literally millions of weather-dependent wind turbines, billions of equally unreliable solar panels, millions of half-ton battery modules for vehicles, billions more modules to back up intermittent electricity generation, millions of transformers, and tens of thousands of miles of new transmission lines.
All these technologies must be manufactured from metals, minerals, and petroleum extracted from the Earth, via mining on scales unprecedented in human history.