Friday, February 22, 2019

Climate Change ‘Heat Records’ Are a Huge Data Manipulation

The idea that climate change is producing heat records across the Earth is among the most egregious manipulations of data in the absurd global warming debate.

Americans receive a daily barrage from the fake news media and climate “experts” reporting that each and every day, week, month or year is the hottest on record due to global warming. On Feb. 7, several major newspapers carried stories of the declaration by NASA and NOAA that the past five years have been the warmest on record. Sadly, these supposed experts use mathematical equations that do not jive with reality over the past 140 years.

The same climate experts warn that record heat is just the tip of the iceberg. We are constantly told that global warming is the root cause behind any and all weather events that are extreme, destructive, unusual or uncomfortable. Many of these fear mongers also say we should stop burning fossil fuels that are causing this mayhem.

Is the Earth truly experiencing the hottest weather on record? Absolutely not.

After examining actual weather records over the past 100 years, there is no correlation between rising carbon dioxide levels and local temperatures.

However, climate change alarmists always find somewhere on Earth where temperatures are hotter than ever. The focus is always on isolated temperatures that have reached all-time highs while ignoring reports of all-time record lows. These zealots would like you to believe that due to fossil fuel emissions, summers are now longer and hotter while winters are shorter and milder.

Yet, the actual temperature records tell a very different story. Did the Earth experience its hottest temperature ever this year? The answer is no. The highest record temperature ever reported was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in Libya in 1922. The record high temperature for the United States was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California in 1913. Fossil fuel emissions in 1913 and 1922 were negligible compared to today.

The coldest temperature ever reported was minus 129 degrees Fahrenheit in Vostok, Antarctica, in 1983 when Carbon dioxide emissions were five times higher than in 1913. The coldest temperature in the lower 48 states (excluding Alaska) of minus 64 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded in 1996 in Embarass, Minnesota. Did the media and climate scientists warn that this low temperature indicated that we are headed for another Ice Age?

The maximum reported difference between high and low temperatures at a single location is 188 degrees Fahrenheit (from minus 90F to plus 98F) in Verhoyansk, Siberia. In fact, record changes of highs and lows have occurred in 22 U.S. cities on a single day. For example, in 1989 the temperature in Alamosa, Colorado, varied between a low of 35F and a high of 91F for a temperature swing of 56 degrees F.

We hope these examples, right out of the weather record books, compiled by C.C. Burt in his book Extreme Weather Changes, will help you to understand the scams alarmists are trying to pull. These examples all illustrate that cherry picking record high temperatures in isolated locations tells absolutely nothing about the Earth’s climate.

The strongest heat wave ever recorded occurred in July 1936, generating high temperatures in half of America’s 50 states. In 1935, fossil fuel emissions were 25 times lower than today. America’s coldest year occurred in 1899, when temperatures dropped below 0 F in all 50 states.

Interesting that the figure above shows the most severe historic cold wave during the past century took place in 1936, which was the same year when the strongest heat wave took place. In terms of general behavior, the global warming alarmist prediction is that as time progresses and fossil fuel emissions increase, the number of record highs should increase and record lows should decrease. However, these trends do not exist and the data dispels, rather than supports, the global warming hypothesis.

Concurrently a compilation of all days since 1915 when temperatures exceeded 90F shows them decreasing with time rather than increasing in Figure 2.

The heat wave experienced in the 1930s and 1950s are clearly evident here. Once again, the data does not support the claim that the United States is hotter than ever as a result of rising Carbon dioxide levels.

From 1970 until 1998 there was a warming period that raised temperatures by about 0.7 F that helped spawn the global warming alarmist movement. However, since 1998, little warming has occurred while carbon dioxide emissions continue to increase. This is totally consistent with variations in the amount of heat the Earth receives from the Sun.

These facts are completely supported by 4,000 ocean floats which measure ocean temperatures at a variety of depths. This data at measures the oceans where climate-induced temperatures occur.

Isn’t it time to start ignoring the calamitous annual claims that this is the hottest year on record? It just ain’t so.


US Forests Are Burning Up in an‘Epidemic,’ Experts Say We Must Act

The basic problem with America's wildfire epidemic is Greenie interference with professional forest management

Forests are an iconic feature of the western U.S.’s dry, rugged landscape, but the risk of massive wildfires on these lands is growing because of decades of poor management.

It turns out western forests have too many trees. The answer to this problem, somewhat paradoxically, is more logging, according to experts.

“Forests have to be actively managed — logging, road maintenance, tree planting, weeding, animal control, thinning, salvage — in order to avoid these events,” Bob Zybach, a forestry expert, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Logging in government-controlled forests is probably one of the most contentious environmental policy debates. However, one expert recently told Congress that one way we deal with massive wildfires is by harvesting trees.

“It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but we cut more trees,” Elaine Oneil, a forestry management consultant, told the House Committee on Natural Resources in a hearing Wednesday.

“What we are seeing in the western U.S. is an epidemic — of insects and disease and wildfires — brought on in large part by an epidemic of too many trees,” Oneil testified before Congress.

Federal wildfire statistics show the average number of acres burned every year since 2000 is double what it was the preceding four decades.

The hearing was meant to highlight the supposed impacts of global warming on public lands and forests, including increased wildfire risks. However, Oneil’s testimony shined a light on what may need to be done in order to reverse decades of forest mismanagement.

Democrats tend to oppose increased logging, but megafires that devastate up millions of acres of forests and chaparral lands threaten their crusade to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Indeed, Democrats and some scientists argue global warming is behind the recent rise in western wildfires — though, that point is hotly debated. Republicans, on the other hand, tend to blame bigger wildfires on poor land management and environmental litigation.

In most cases, healthy forests sequester carbon dioxide, which scientists blame for global warming. However, Oneil said tree mortality in some states is at the point where forests emit more carbon dioxide than they sequester.

California’s devastating 2018 wildfire season, for example, emitted just as much carbon dioxide as producing the entire state’s electricity needs for an entire year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Not all of these emissions, however, come from burning forests.

The Rim Fire that started near Yosemite National Park in 2013 reportedly emitted up to four times more carbon dioxide emissions as California reduced that year to meet its global warming goals.

For many Republicans, however, carbon sequestration is an ancillary benefit to what is otherwise just commonsense land management policy. Zybach said active forest management can also be an economic engine for rural America.

“Active management has the additional benefit of producing tax-paying jobs rather than follow the recent model of using taxpayer monies to ‘battle’ these things and ‘mitigate’ the results,” Zybach said in an email.

Wildfire experts say California’s wildfire woes will only get worse if tree mortality continues unchecked. Oneil said not only do diseased and dead trees need to be removed, but the number of trees needs to be reduced, especially in the dry, western states.

The overcrowding in California’s forests is stark. Some forests in California have more than 1,000 trees per acre instead of the more ideal 40 to 60 per acre, according to forestry experts.

U.S. forestry officials reported 27 million trees died in California in the 12 months running up to December 2017. Since 2010, 129 million trees died in state, federal and private California forests, according to a 2018 report by the Little Hoover Commission.

LHC, which investigates California policies, recommended officials “use more prescribed fire to reinvigorate forests, inhibit firestorms and help protect air and water quality.”

“Tree mortality is related to the number of living trees,” David South, professor emeritus of forestry at Auburn University, told TheDCNF.

South pointed out that wildfires were likely worse in the early 20th century, especially during the 1930s, but agreed with Oneil that fires were getting worse because not enough trees were being harvested, along with a lack of active forest management.

“At one time, the U.S. Forest Service was harvesting about 10 billion board feet of timber per year,” South said. “My guess is this rate would make a difference in the risk of crown fires” in the coming decades, he added.

Active management of forests — thinning and prescribed burns — seems to have gained bipartisan support in the wake of California’s 2018 wildfire season. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, proposed spending $305 million to remove debris from state forests and expand wildfire response capabilities.

President Donald Trump is also pushing for more forest maintenance but went a step further and signed an executive order in December allowing more than 4 billion board feet of timber to be logged from federal lands.

Trump also signed legislation in 2018 that included provisions allowing foresters to more quickly remove dead and diseased trees.

Trump’s order allowed for a big boost in federal timber harvests, however, it’s still well below what South and other experts say is needed to bring wildfires back under control.

Congress would also likely need to act in order to greenlight more timber harvesting, though South was doubtful that would happen.

“As long as the public owns the lands, there will be trees dying due to overcrowding,” South said.


Critics: The Green New Deal Isn’t Just About Energy, It’s Also About Controlling What You Eat

The Green New Deal isn’t just a climate change manifesto targeting U.S. energy production, it also looks to drastically change how food is produced and, ultimately, what Americans eat.

“I think it’s pretty clear they want to change people’s consumption habits,” Nic Loris, an energy economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey introduced highly anticipated Green New Deal bills in early February, calling for “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years through a radical transformation of America.

The bills also call for a slew of new social justice and welfare programs totally unrelated to global warming.

The original “frequently asked questions” material about the Green New Deal contained a reference to “farty cows” THAT sent ranchers into a panic, fearing Democrats were taking aim at their livelihoods.

Environmentalists have targeted the beef industry for years, and concern over methane only gave activists more ammunition.

“Livestock will be banned,” Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, who represents lots of cattle ranchers, warned on the Senate floor after the Green New Deal was introduced. “Say goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.”

“Farty” was eventually deleted — in fact, most of the methane cows emit is from burping, not farting. The entire gaffe-riddled FAQ was eventually taken offline by Ocasio-Cortez’s staff amid national ridicule.

Even so, the legislation itself is no less radical than its gaffes. The bill calls for “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers … to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

“It’s technologically feasible to shut down factories and farms,” Loris told TheDCNF in an interview. “It can happen today.”

Loris’ point is that the seemingly benign language in the Green New Deal resolution is worryingly broad. Technological feasibility is an open-ended phrase the government has used to crush industries in the past.

The Obama administration, in fact, used a similar rationale to impose a de facto ban on new coal plants. The Obama Environmental Protection Agency essentially ruled the best way to reduce emissions from coal plants was to, well, use natural gas or renewables.

Loris said the Green New Deal seems to endorse the long-held disdain for industrial agriculture harbored by the environmental left, especially when it comes to beef and dairy operations. The resolution even calls for policies to encourage small-scale, “sustainable” farming. Does that mean they want the whole country to go local and organic?

Ted Nordhaus, director of research at the eco-modernist Breakthrough Institute, said the bill seemed to push so-called “regenerative agriculture” policies that often include implementing grazing methods to sequester carbon dioxide in the ground.

Proponents of “regenerative agriculture” say it would benefit farmers and ranchers. However, claiming that these methods can make beef operations carbon neutral is dubious, Nordhaus said.

Cows and other ruminant animals are a major source of methane — a byproduct of their unique digestive system. Livestock and their manure cause about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. agricultural sector, according to Breakthrough’s senior agricultural analyst Dan Blaustein-Rejto.

So any effort to cut U.S. agriculture emissions would necessitate dealing with cattle and dairy operations. With Ocasio-Cortez claiming humanity only had 12 years before catastrophe, what wouldn’t a concerned climate activist be willing to do?

In fact, the 2018 United Nations report behind Ocasio-Cortez’s 12-year-to-apocalypse deadline said “dietary shifts away from emissions-intensive livestock products” as one of the societal changes needed to keep future warming under 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

EPA data show U.S. agriculture emissions on the rise since 1990 while the country as a whole has cut emissions largely because of the natural gas boom. Agricultural emissions are mostly increasing because of methane from livestock manure management.

Per capita beef consumption peaked in the 1970s, Nordhaus said, declining mostly because of health concerns and industry innovations that brought down chicken and pork prices. Norhaus said continuing that trend was necessary to further limit emissions.

“A Green New Deal that was serious about reducing greenhouse gases from the U.S. agriculture sector would focus on supporting more, not less, intensification and improving the environmental performance of intensive systems through better cattle breeding, medical care, and then dealing with manure ponds and similar,” Norhaus told TheDCNF.

However, the Green New Deal resolution seems to suggest the opposite and reflects the environmental movement’s general opposition to industrial farming operations that provide Americans with affordable, abundant food.

The resolution calls for “supporting family farming,” “investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health” and “building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.”

Democrats and environmentalists who endorse the Green New Deal — every Democratic senator running for president in 2020 co-sponsored the bill — tend to oppose large-scale industrial livestock operations.

The Organic Consumers Association, which also backs the Green New Deal, calls concentrated animal feeding operations “a disaster for the environment and our health.” The group also seems to oppose industrial-scale agriculture that currently feeds billions of people.

“We need stop the industrial overproduction of food—the root cause of agricultural pollution, food waste and greenhouse gas emissions,” Eric Holt-Gimenez, executive director of Food First, told the food news website Civil Eats.

Likewise, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who’s running for the party’s nomination for 2020, railed against “the industrial animal agriculture industry” and its supposedly “devastating” impacts on the environment in a recent interview.

“The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact,” said Booker, a vegan. “It’s just not possible.”

However, research by Virginia Tech and the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that eliminating the livestock industry would only reduce emissions 2.6 percent domestically, but that shift also came with a host of different health concerns.

That 2017 study found that eliminating livestock would deprive Americans of key nutrients and animal proteins, including calcium, vitamins A and B12 and some fatty acids. In fact, consumers would need higher-calorie diets to make up the nutrient loss.

Given everything else about the Green New Deal, including its democratic socialist overtones, it’s got many ranchers worried the resolution is more about changing people’s lifestyles and not just about reducing emissions.

Could we see a carbon tax on meat? What about policies against feedlots and other large-scale beef operations? Or what about incentives to eat less beef and more poultry and pork? Pro-vegetarian tax credits?

“A carbon tax on meat and dairy would have a hard time making it from economics textbooks into law,” environmental economist Richard Tol said in an email.

“I can see them nudging people through tax credits and mandates like they do with energy systems,” Loris said, referring to policies like tax credits for wind turbines, solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades.

“When you decide to incentivize one product over another, that’s effectively a tax,” Loris said.

Rejto was skeptical of some sort of meat tax as well, but said the government could incentivize “practices like feeding cattle algae or giving them drugs that reduce methane emissions could further reduce emissions.”

USDA could also “direct its research into cell-based meat and other next-gen meat alternatives,” Rejto added. “This could lower the cost of high-quality beef alternatives, and reduce meat consumption through market forces.”


Germany Echoes Ocasio-Cortez in Killing the Coal Industry

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s draft “Green New Deal” produced anger, confusion and outright laughter across the nation this week, effectively proposing to eradicate the health insurance, nuclear energy and fossil fuel industries overnight, in addition to providing “economic security” to those “unable or unwilling to work.”

While Ocasio-Cortez’s proposals cater to leftist, radical environmentalists, and are utterly ludicrous in an economic sense, causing even CNN’s Jake Tapper to balk at the $40 trillion price tag, it appears that other nations are leaping headfirst into similar proposals that invite economic destruction.

Germany grabbed headlines across the globe in late February by proposing a complete government ban on utilizing coal for energy by 2038, effectively signing the industry’s death warrant. President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed Germany for the country’s immense trade surplus with the United States, however, if the German government continues to cave to the demands of green energy extremists, Berlin’s robust economy will be a thing of the past.

The German Coal Commission’s plan involves Germany phasing out coal as early as 2035, a timeline which a number of senior lawmakers have denounced as unrealistic. The proposal would see billions spent to help deal with the economic effects of such a dramatic shift, while the country’s power system will be forced to make a sharp turn to the left.

Moreover, as is often the case for ideologically-motivated policy, German taxpayers will be left footing the bill, sacrificing Germany’s future as an industrial powerhouse in the process.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the Energiewende, or energy transition, a key part of her legacy. The Wall Street Journal offered a particularly damning verdict on the coal commission’s proposal, referring to it as “the world’s dumbest energy policy” — which will heighten dependence on Russian gas, sap the country’s coffers, and yet barely make a dent in global coal consumption.

Simply put, phasing out coal and nuclear at the same time in a country of 82 million would be utterly disastrous.

According to the plan, taxpayers can expect to be hit with a 35 billion aid bill to four coal-dependent regions by 2028 as the country closes its last remaining 120 coal stations. The same stations, that is, that supplied more than a third of Germany’s electricity last year — and which neighboring France relies on to meet peak demand in winter.

By some reports, this aid is already a “definite underestimate” of what is actually required to support these soon-to-be-destitute swathes of German industry.

“The faster Germany pulls out of coal, the more expensive it’s going to be and we’re not talking about negligible costs,” says Lars Ruzic, spokesman of the IGBCE miners, chemical and electrical workers’ union, “the phase-out is an immense disruption for utilities, the coal regions, jobs and the broader economy.”

Worse still, Berlin’s entirely avoidable phase-out aid bill is just a side dish to the 500 billion already spent on switching off the lights at Germany’s biggest power plants, a move intrinsically tied to the fact that Germans are already paying more for electricity than anyone else in Europe. Most leaders would think this markup is bad enough, but Merkel’s plan to squash coal will likely cause price swings across the power, natural gas and carbon allowance markets.

Currently, coal still provides nearly 40 percent of Germany’s electricity. In comparison, even under the pro-coal Trump administration, the U.S. only gets 29 percent of its electricity from fossil fuel. The percentage is even lower in other Western nations —  only 5 percent of the UK’s electricity comes from coal, for example. Berlin’s newfound vexation towards coal, then, sets the country up at a massive competitive disadvantage if Germany’s ambition is not matched by its peers.

Everyday German workers are likely to immediately feel the impact of the hasty coal exit. Parallels can be drawn to historic mining regions like West Virginia in the United States, which have had the rug pulled out from under them by politicians eager to baselessly crack down on the coal industry without offering up alternatives.

Likewise, Germany is full of regions which depend heavily on coal mining, with no other industries capable of absorbing the thousands of job losses heralded by hardline environmentalists. “Everyone has something to lose: industry, the regions, workers and the electricity producers themselves,” says Holger Lösch, deputy director-general of Germany’s BDI industry federation. “Who is going to pay for all this?”

Supporters of the measure don’t seem to grasp the impending economic fallout. Stefanie Langkamp from the Climate Alliance Germany network goes so far as to claim, “the coal phase-out should have been much more ambitious.”

Radical environmentalists like Langkamp may not yet have grasped the disastrous effects of the policy they are championing, but it seems Merkel, at least, is wizening up to the catastrophe. Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos last month, the so-called “Climate Chancellor” herself admitted that “without being able to assure a baseload in our energy generation, we will not be able to survive.”

Ironically, less than two months ago, the German Environment Minister chastised Trump for claiming that the United States is saving trillions of dollars by pulling out of the Paris Agreement. She would be better off focusing on the billions her policies are likely to cost German workers.


Australia: Experts claim power bills could surge by 50% under Labor's carbon emissions plan that would see workers lose $9,000 a year

Electricity bills would soar by 50 per cent, 336,000 full-time jobs would be lost and the average full-time wage would drop by $9,000 a year under federal Labor's plans to slash carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, experts have claimed.

New independent modelling has revealed the predicted economic impacts of the alternative climate change policy approaches proposed by the two major political parties in lead up to the federal election in May.

There would also be wages cuts and jobs losses under the federal Coalition's plan to cut emissions by 26-28 per cent drop over the next decade as part of the Paris Agreement.

Authored by former Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics head Brian Fisher, the BAEconomics report released on Thursday states Australian climate policy is at a cross-road.

The average full-time wage is projected to be around $2,000 lower under the federal Coalition's 26-28 per cent emissions reduction target.

'At the same time this scenario is projected to result in an economy with around 78000 fewer full-time jobs,' the BAEconomics report states.

'With a 45 per cent reduction target the projected fall in real annual wages is around $9,000 per year by 2030 together with a loss of around 336000 full-time jobs, illustrating the extent of the economic adjustment required by the economy to reach the more stringent target.'

Labor's plans would result in economic losses of $472billion over the decade, with GDP $144billion a year lower by 2030.

'Meeting a 26-28 per cent reduction target is projected to mean that by 2030 the Australian economy would be around $19bn smaller in terms of GDP than it otherwise would have been,' the report states.

Wholesale electricity prices would also skyrocket under both policy scenarios.

'Under the reference case the wholesale electricity price is projected to be $81/MWh in 2030. This is projected to rise to $93/MWh under the 26-28 per cent scenario and to $128/MWh under the 45 per cent scenario,' the report states.

A former chief advisor on climate policy for both sides of government, Dr Fisher accused both sides of politics of dishonest debate.

'I still get frustrated about how deficient and even outright dishonest the climate debate continues to be … regardless of the approach Australia adopts to reduce emissions, there is an inevitable cost to our economy as more emissions-­intensive activities make way for less intensive industries,' Dr Fisher told The Australian.

He also described a recent ANU report which stated Australia could meet its Paris commitment by as early as 2025 without cost and using reductions in the electricity sector as 'appallingly' inaccurate.

The BAEconomics research is ongoing and will be updated as policy options become clearer.



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Thursday, February 21, 2019

First mammal declared extinct as a result of human-induced climate change (?)

This is an old fraud.  What is not mentioned below is that Melomys exists in their tens of thousands in neighboring areas -- both on islands and on the coast.  And I have not seen even the slightest attempt to show that the Melomys on Bramble Cay is in any way unique.  As far as we know it is essentially identical with the Melomys in neigboring locations.  So when the say that the Bramble Cay  melomys is extinct, it is just a slimy way of saying that Melomys is extinct on Bramble Cay, which of zero importance.

The most probable reason for the extinction is clear enough.  the cay is a sand island and some big storms in recent years have washed a lot of sand away, taking the vegetation with it.  So  there is not now enough vegetation to support even a rat.  Any connection to global warming is mere speculation

And the cay is only 34 miles South of New Guinea and New Guineans would undoubtedly eat them. Melanesians are poor but are excellent sailors. They normally have very little animal protein in their diet. There are no grazing animals in New Guinea.  They were probably all hunted to extinction thousands of years ago. So now all they have is their pigs and an occasional bird. And they can't feed enough pigs to slaughter one very often. So a Melomys would be a treat.

Also, In the past visitors to the island used to shoot them for sport.  So how do we know that someone did not do that recently?  It's an isolated area with no record of comings and goings

And if inundations were the cause, how do we know that global warming caused them?  Sea levels have been rising steadily ever since the Little Ice Age.

And if the factor was more extreme weather events in the area concerned there is no way global warming can be responsible because extreme weather events have in fact be declining on average world wide.  And even the IPCC declined to make a link between warming and extreme weather

And there have been many instances of species being declared extinct only for specimens suddenly to pop up again.  This is just opportunistic propaganda

This tiny rodent is the first known mammal to become formally extinct as a consequence of human-induced climate change.

The Morrison government, in Australia, changed the status of the Bramble Cay melomys from endangered to extinct on Monday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Geoff Richardson, an environment department official, told Senate estimates on Monday night that research efforts since 2014 – “including a pretty rushed trip in 2015” – had failed to identify any melomys individuals in their only known location on Bramble Cay, a tiny Torres Strait island near Papua New Guinea.

Declaring its extinction “was not a decision to take lightly,” Mr Richardson said. “There’s always a delay while the evidence is gathered to be absolutely certain.”

The rat-like Bramble Cay melomys has not been spotted in its habitat, which is a sandy island in far northern Australia since a decade

The federal extinction listing comes almost three years after the Queensland government reached a similar conclusion, with a finding that the demise of the melomys “probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change”.

The limited range of the animal, living on a five-hectare island less than three metres high, left it vulnerable to climate change.

However, its 2008 “recovery plan”, drawn up when numbers were likely down to just dozens of individuals, downplayed the risks.

“[T]he likely consequences of climate change, including sea-level rise and increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms, are unlikely to have any major impact on the survival of the Bramble Cay melomys in the life of this plan,” the five-year scheme stated.

Leeanne Enoch, Queensland’s Environment Minister, said the animal’s extinction showed “we are living the real effects of climate change right now”.

“We have consistently called on [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison and Melissa Price to show leadership on climate change, instead of burying their heads in the sand.”

Minister Melissa Price said: [It is] incredibly disappointing when any species is formally declared extinct, and everybody has feared the worst for some time, given the Bramble Cay melomys hasn’t been sighted since 2009.

“Our agencies will continue to focus their efforts on protecting species identified as priorities, supported by the Government’s $425 million investment in threatened species programs.”


A Green boondoggle

In the present post, I’ll critically analyze some of the specific policy goals listed in the draft text calling for a creation of a select committee to craft a Green New Deal. The various proposals would waste enormous sums of money in pursuit of impossible goals that would raise energy prices and hurt consumers. Even if one believes that carbon dioxide emissions constitute a “negative externality,” the measures in the proposed Green New Deal would achieve emission reductions at a much higher cost than necessary. And we see once again that the progressive Left does not think a simple “price on carbon” is enough to achieve their agenda. Conservatives and libertarians should therefore be under no illusions when the idea of a “carbon tax deal” is floated.

A Carbon Tax Won’t Satisfy the Green New Dealers

Regarding this last point, consider the following excerpt from the Green New Deal draft text’s Frequently Asked Questions:

[Question:] Why do we need a sweeping Green New Deal investment program? Why can’t we just rely on regulations and taxes alone, such as a carbon tax or an eventual ban on fossil fuels?

Regulations and taxes can, indeed, change some behavior. It’s certainly possible to argue that, if we had put in place targeted regulations and progressively increasing carbon and similar taxes several decades ago, the economy could have transformed itself by now. But whether or not that is true, we did not do that, and now time has run out.

Given the magnitude of the current challenge, the tools of regulation and taxation, used in isolation, will not be enough to quickly and smoothly accomplish the transformation that we need to see.

Simply put, we don’t need to just stop doing some things we are doing (like using fossil fuels for energy needs); we also need to start doing new things (like overhauling whole industries or retrofitting all buildings to be energy efficient). Starting to do new things requires some upfront investment...

We’re not saying that there is no place for regulation and taxes (and these will continue to be important tools); we’re saying we need to add some new tools to the toolkit. [Green New Deal “draft text’]

The above excerpt confirms what I stressed in my Part 1 of this series, in reference to Naomi Klein’s discussion: The proponents of government intervention on the progressive Left have quite definitively rejected the notion that a mere carbon tax would be enough to deal with climate change, in their book.

Don’t get me wrong, they want to impose a stiff tax on carbon dioxide emissions—as well as a 70 percent tax on high income earners, as Ocasio-Cortez revealed in a recent interview. But the point is, no libertarian or conservative should go along with a “deal” that ostensibly gets rid of other energy and transportation regulations in exchange for a carbon tax. The orthodox position among progressives is that such a deal would fall far short of the necessary climate goals to avoid catastrophe. Such a deal wouldn’t be acceptable to them, even in principle, let alone in practice.

A Green New Deal Would Be Incredibly Wasteful

The Green New Dealers’ desire for top-down regulations and massive new spending programs not only shows the futility of a carbon tax deal, it also underscores just how wasteful the program would be. Even if one believed in a “negative externality” from greenhouse gas emissions, there is no reason to suppose that policymakers have the knowledge or the incentives to correctly pick the proper ways in which the economy should adapt.

Especially when we are realistic about the political process, it should be obvious that funneling more than one trillion dollars in green “investment” spending through Washington will involve a gross misallocation of resources. For example, the draft text’s call for “retrofitting all buildings to be energy efficient” is a blank check to funnel money into the coffers of politically powerful groups in the construction industry. Anyone who thinks these funds will be spent according to the “social cost of carbon” needs to watch a few episodes of House of Cards.

Stringent Fuel Economy Standards Cause Automobile Fatalities
In his recent endorsement of the Green New Deal, Paul Krugman confirms that “it should emphasize investments and subsidies, not carbon taxes.” Ironically, Krugman and I for once agree that a political deal between conservatives and progressives is a no-go. As he puts it: “[C]laims that a carbon tax high enough to make a meaningful difference would attract significant bipartisan support are a fantasy at best, a fossil-fuel-industry ploy to avoid major action at worst.”

After throwing carbon taxes under the bus, Krugman moves on to argue why top-down regulations and spending programs can achieve significant emission cuts without imposing too much pain on ordinary Americans.

How is this possible? Krugman explains:

The majority of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from electricity generation and transportation. We could cut generation-related emissions by two-thirds or more simply by ending the use of coal and making more use of renewables (whose prices have fallen drastically), without requiring that Americans consume less power. We could almost surely reduce transportation emissions by a comparable amount by raising mileage and increasing the use of electric vehicles, even if we didn’t reduce the number of miles we drive each year.

Krugman is quite flippant in his above quotation with the word “simply,” as if eliminating coal—which in 2017 provided thirty percent of U.S. electricity—is no big deal. Krugman says we can simply “mak[e] more use of renewables,” without telling his readers that in 2017 (non-hydro) renewables accounted for less than 10 percent of electricity.

Regarding fuel economy, the simple fact is that in order for vehicles to achieve more miles to the gallon, automakers must make them more expensive, but also lighter and smaller. That means more Americans dying in car accidents than would otherwise be the case. How big a deal is this? Reputable studies have estimated that CAFE standards have caused anywhere from 40,000 – 125,000 excess vehicle fatalities.

Of course, proponents of stricter CAFE standards could quibble with these numbers, but the more significant point is that neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Krugman even admit that there is a tradeoff. They speak of cranking up mileage standards as if it’s a mere technical problem, without reckoning the tremendous human cost.


A so-called Green New Deal is aptly named, in the sense that the original New Deal was a massive boondoggle that restricted individual liberty and crippled economic growth. Besides revealing their plans for massive spending and inefficient regulations, the discussion of a Green New Deal indicates that there is no room for a “carbon tax deal” with conservatives.


Solar panel plant in Buffalo was a washout

New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s troubles didn’t start with the collapse of the Amazon deal and it isn’t going to end there, either. It was revealed during testimony before state lawmakers last week that Cuomo’s much-vaunted plan to invest $750 million of taxpayer money into a solar panel plant in Buffalo was a washout.

Howard Zemsky, head of the state’s Empire State Development office, testified that the plan, called the Buffalo Billion, would not yield nearly the number of jobs promised. New York State put money up for the state’s Polytechnic Institute to build and equip a solar panel factor that is run by Tesla. Only 700 jobs materialized, and those are by no means secure. Tesla is facing a $42 million fine if it fails to meet the 1,460-job quota by next year.

This is not just another of Cuomo’s get-rich-quick schemes gone bad. Alain Kaloyeros, the head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for bid rigging in putting the Buffalo Billion deal together.

The scandal has not reached into Cuomo’s office thus far, but it is yet another glimpse into the utter quagmire that is New York State leftist politics. Cuomo, who recently started his third term in Albany, has been trying for eight years to bring business to the ghost towns of upstate New York. He will always fail, though, because he’s going about it all wrong. Ronald Reagan said it best: “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.”

The leftist tax-and-spend policies that Cuomo proudly supported for years — and still supports, despite his recent protests — drove businesses and taxpayers out of the state. But it’s going to take more than giving outside companies dispensation from New York’s tyrannical taxes to bring jobs back. Good business sense would be a start.

Cuomo should have never accepted Kaloyeros as head of the development deal. Kaloyeros is a physicist and a professor. He may be a good one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he should be the architect of a billion-dollar deal with a global manufacturer.


10 Ways Congress Can Apply The Green New Deal To Itself

Last week, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced their long-anticipated “Green New Deal” legislation. Observers across the political spectrum derided both the legislation, and a summary document associated with same, as an example of big government overreach with goals that neither can nor should be achieved within a ten-year period.

However, if they wish to persist in their socialistic delusions, members of Congress who believe in the Green New Deal should first apply it to themselves. Hence the following list of proposals that GND supporters should insist Congress take, to put Ocasio-Cortez’s vision into practice.

1. Ban Meat in Congressional Cafeterias

The FAQ document says the Green New Deal “set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” [Emphases mine.] But if GND supporters think they can’t fully get rid of “farting cows” within ten years nationwide, that’s no excuse not to eradicate them from Congress immediately. “Freedom Fries,” meet your new companion—the Green New Deal Hamburger!

The House and Senate cafeterias can even rely upon the ghost of Clara Peller to promote this new GND “innovation”!

2. Free Arugula

The GND resolution talks about government’s role to “build a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.” To help solve this problem, Congress must make sure that never again should someone like Barack Obama have to complain that Whole Foods is “charging a lot of money” for arugula. Instead, congressional cafeterias can provide arugula free of charge!

3. End Taxpayer-Funded Plane Travel

President Trump had the right idea when he nixed a proposed trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Afghanistan. Just think of the potential carbon emissions! Congress should end members’ taxpayer-funded airplane travel from Washington to their districts. Instead, lawmakers like Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz can take American high-speed rail back and forth from their homes in Hawaii to Washington.

4. Turn Off the A/C

To promote the zero-emissions agenda, Congress should cease using its highly polluting air conditioning systems. Sure, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) didn’t like smelling sweaty tourists in the summertime, but he retired from Congress three years ago!

5. Shut Off the Lights

While they turn off the air conditioning, Congress should also turn out the lights in the Capitol to become emissions free. Better yet, lawmakers could decide to “hold Congress outside” on the National Mall during good weather. After all, it’s not like anyone ever tried to attack Congress in session or anything.

6. Evict Congress from Its Offices

Both the resolution and background document discuss “upgrading all existing buildings” to promote the zero-emissions agenda. Congress should start by throwing itself out of its own offices for some eco-friendly upgrades. Instead of ornate offices with high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and huge desks, Congress can place some trailers out back for members’ offices. You know, in the congressional parking lots that staff will no longer need—because they’ll be banned from driving cars to work.

7. Unionize Congressional Staff

The resolution talks about “strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain.” In that case, why shouldn’t members of Congress promote collective bargaining amongst their own employees? Staff assistants of the world, unite!

8. Welfare for Those ‘Unwilling to Work’

The background document talks of guaranteeing “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.” Members of Congress should ensure that their staff aren’t harassed by an obligation to do actual work, and are instead permitted to do whatever they feel like.

9. Vote to Move the Capitol

The resolution talks of “obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples.” In theory, this language might refer to Native Americans such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). But what about the individuals indigenous to Washington, DC? Did Congress ever ask them whether they want to maintain the Capitol here? Congress should ballot the citizens of Washington to seek their consent for its continued presence. And if District citizens object, then lawmakers have an easy solution:

10. Congress Can Go to Hell

The resolution calls for “repairing historic oppression of…depopulated rural communities,” and what better way to repair such oppression by moving the entire Capitol to one of them! An ideal location: Hell, California, approximately 200 miles east of Los Angeles, in the middle of the Mojave Desert. (Another possible alternative: Hell, Michigan.)

Ocasio-Cortez might think the average 104-degree temperatures in July a perfect way to illustrate the perils of global warming, and I’m sure neither she nor her Democratic colleagues would object to congregating in an area where the nearest Au Bon Pain is a mere three hours away.

Lest any of the above satire leave the wrong impression, this conservative does believe in conserving the environment. But when some members of Congress put forward unrealistic proposals that have no chance of happening, and use very real concerns about climate change to shoehorn in every liberal and socialist agenda item of the last century and this, they not only beclown themselves, they do the same to their cause.

Environmentalism deserves more than the socialist crazies behind the Green New Deal.


Barney Frank: Green New Deal A ‘Loser’ for Democrats

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) called the Green New Deal a “loser” for Democrats on Tuesday, saying that kind of radical change all at once could “destabilize a society.”

“I think the Green New Deal would be a loser. I do not think that people are going to be advocating that whole package,” Frank said on “Squawk Box.” “There’s not a lot in there I disagree with … But there’s an argument that you don’t destabilize a society by doing too much change at once.

“We have people who are skeptical of government, people like me who do want to expand the government role in some areas, need to understand that we have to show how that works. You have to do it in pieces, and then as you show it has worked, you can build on that,” he added.

Known for his work on the Dodd-Frank legislation on financial regulation, Frank weighed in on CNBC about the growing 2020 Democratic field.

He said the American people were “unpredictable” in choosing their presidents so he was reluctant to make predictions.

He said he was worried about the fringes on the right and left who thought their preferences mirrored those of the public.

Frank said he didn’t think democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who officially announced Tuesday he was running for president, could be elected.

All Senate Democrats running for president have come out in support of the radical energy proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) to battle climate change.

The Green New Deal proposal had a rough rollout, with Ocasio-Cortez’s office releasing a derided “FAQ” on the resolution that included details like providing economic security for those “unwilling to work,” putting an end to air travel and getting rid of farting cows.

The proposal itself is wildly ambitious and calls for extensive government intervention in the economy to meet the goal of 100 percent, zero-emission energy sources and the elimination of fossil fuel use.

It also guarantees a “family-sustaining wage” and high-quality health care for all Americans, in addition to calling for actions like upgrading every building in America for energy efficiency and expanding high-speed rail to a point where air travel becomes unnecessary.

Republicans have attacked the Green New Deal for being impractical and pushing the country toward socialism.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Roast dinners are pollution!

I believe every word of what they say below.  The interesting thing is that Australia has huge numbers of nonagenarians tottering about (they are why Australia has such a long average lifespan) and most of them had a roast dinner every Sunday for most of their lives.  So all that PM2.5 pollution cannot be very bad after all can it?  We have evolved to live with a lot of atmospheric pollution.

Cooking a Sunday roast can drive indoor air pollution far above the levels found in the most polluted cities on Earth, scientists have said.

Researchers found that roasting meat and vegetables, and using a gas hob, released a surge of fine particles that could make household air dirtier than that in Delhi.

Fine soot and tiny organic particles from gas flames, vegetables, oils and fat combined to send harmful PM2.5 particulates in the house to levels 13 times higher than those measured in the air in central London. Peak indoor pollution lasted for about an hour.

“We were all surprised at the overall levels of particulate matter in the house,” said Marina Vance, who led the research at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She advised people to open windows and use extractor hoods if possible to ventilate the home while cooking.

PM2.5s are particles that are smaller than 2.5 micrometres across. They are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs where they exacerbate respiratory disorders and cardiovascular disease. Smaller particles can spread from the lungs into the bloodstream where they build up in the liver, heart and even the brain, where they may contribute to depression and other mental health issues.

In what Vance described as the most comprehensive investigation yet into chemicals in the home, the researchers cooked a series of meals in a three-bedroom test house fitted with indoor and outdoor pollution monitors. One day they cooked a Thanksgiving dinner with roast turkey, roast Brussels sprouts, boiled sweet potatoes, bread stuffing and cranberry sauce.

During the day of cooking, PM2.5 levels in the house rose to 200 micrograms per cubic metre for one hour, more than the 143 micrograms per cubic metre averaged in Delhi, the sixth most polluted city in the world, and far higher than the central London average of 15 micrograms per cubic metre.

Ranked on the US air quality index, a measure applied to city pollution, the indoor air was either “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy” for nearly two hours. The levels breached World Health Organization guidelines of 10 micrograms per cubic metre for eight-and-a-half-hours. The simple act of making toast sent PM2.5 levels up to 30 micrograms per cubic metre.

While gas flames and charred food churned out fine soot particles, others came from animal fat, cooking oils, and grime in the oven and and on pots and pans used in making the meal. Still more came from tiny particles of skin that the cooks and their guests shed from their clothes.

“We know that inhaling particles, regardless of what they’re made of, is detrimental to health. Is it equally bad as inhaling exhaust from vehicle emissions? That we don’t know that yet,” Vance said. “This compares to a very polluted city, but what’s important to remember is that this was for a short period of time. When you live in a polluted city you’re in it for 24 hours a day.”

Instruments around and inside the test home in Austin, Texas, found that when no one was cooking, the house kept outdoor air pollution out. But during a full day of cooking, the levels of particles indoors rose to about 30 times that outside.

Ian Colbeck, an expert in air pollution at the University of Essex who was not involved in the study, said he had measured particulates in his kitchen for the past 10 Christmases. “PM levels are much higher than in cities in the UK,” he said. “A roast is one of the worst ways of cooking as regards indoor air pollution.”

Vance was speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington DC where researchers highlighted the risks of indoor air pollution from cooking, home furnishings, and household products such as bleach, window sprays and paint. Unlike outdoor pollution, which is regulated, indoor pollution is not, even though people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

In one study, researchers looked for chemical contaminants in the blood and urine of children in 190 families. Some came from homes that had sofas containing flame retardants, and had six times the levels of the chemicals in their blood than other children. When children lived in homes with vinyl flooring, levels of hormone-disrupting phthalates in their urine were 15 times higher than those found in other children.

“As with any pollution there will be more susceptible groups such as the young and elderly,” said Joost de Gouw, another pollution researcher at the University of Colorado. “What’s clear is people spend a lot of time indoors and they are exposed in some cases to much higher levels than what you see outdoors.”

Vance advises people open windows and use kitchen extractors to remove the invisible pollution, but said it was unclear whether fans would help, since they recirculated air without adequately filtering it. “The joke we’ve been telling each other is boil everything, avoid roasting, but it’s too delicious,” she said.


AOC says America should lead the world

In committing national economic suicide and sending living standards back to 19th century

Paul Driessen

29-year old ex-bartender and freshman U.S. Representative (D-NY) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received thunderous environmentalist and media acclaim when she introduced her Green New Deal resolution in the House and Ed Markey (D-MA) submitted it in the Senate. It was quickly endorsed or cosponsored by scores of House and Senate Dems, including many who want to run against President Trump in 2020.

But within days the GND was subjected to rigorous analysis (and ridicule) by energy experts, President Trump, Republicans, conservative pundits and even some Democrats. Their disdain is well-founded.

Asserting yet again that “manmade climate change” poses an “existential threat” to people and planet – with only a dozen years before total disaster strikes – the Green New Deal demands that the United States convert to 100% “renewable” energy within ten years. It also proclaims an equally urgent need to abandon free enterprise capitalism in favor of 100% socialist economic and “social justice” policies.

In the energy arena, AOC’s GND requires that fossil fuels, nuclear power and even waste-to-energy and large-scale hydroelectric facilities be eliminated from the US energy mix. Coal, oil and natural gas leasing and development on federally controlled Western lands would be banned, as would exports of those fuels.

Internal combustion cars, trucks, buses, trains and boats would be replaced with electric versions, or eradicated. Airplanes would be replaced by high-speed rail. And every house and building in America would be gutted, rebuilt or retrofitted with “state of the art efficiency” technologies. That’s for starters.

The original “draft” resolution (since replaced on AOC’s website) even called for getting rid of “farting cows” – to prevent methane from increasing above its current minuscule 0.0017% of the atmosphere. So “bugs not beef” in our diets – and no more cheese, milk, yogurt or Baskin Robbins.

In the “social justice and fairness” arena, the Cortez-Markey GND provides that every American would get government-guaranteed jobs, with “family-sustaining” wages and pensions; free college or trade school; “healthy organic” food; “safe, affordable, adequate” and energy-efficient homes; and support for ethnic and economic “communities” that “historically” were harmed “first and most” by “dirty energy.”

Saturday Night Live could not have crafted a better parody of energy, economic and scientific reality.

But Ms. Cortez is determined to have her GND brought up for a vote in the House, where Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) worries about the spectacle that would ensue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is equally determined to have a vote. Mr. Markey is outraged; he claims Republicans just want to sow discord within the Democratic party, portray Dems as favoring extremist policies and sabotage the plan.

Meanwhile, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) threatened to call police on a reporter who was “harassing” him merely by asking for his views about the Green New Deal.

Ms. Cortez has no such qualms. When asked whether implementing her GND would require “massive government intervention,” she replied: “It does. Yeah. I have no problem saying that.” Moreover, she added, we shouldn’t point fingers and say China or India or Russia isn’t doing anything like this. We shouldn’t “hold ourselves to a lower bar.” We should “choose to lead” the world in this transition.

Lead the world in economic suicide, environmental degradation, plummeting living standards, shorter life spans and societal upheaval would be a more accurate description of her GND.

But at least Democrats and environmentalists have now made clear what they will do to America’s energy, economy, jobs, transportation, infrastructure and society if they regain control of the House, Senate, White House, Deep State and courts.

What they are not doing, discussing or even thinking about is how they intend to get achieve their energy-climate-socialist nirvana … how many trillions of dollars it would cost … how many millions of good jobs would be eliminated before their promised job-creation programs theoretically kick in … and exactly how they plan to deal with the enormous human and environmental impacts.

AOC says don’t worry about the price tag. Just tax the rich more and borrow trillions more. Whether the cost is $1 trillion per year or $40 to $100 trillion in total, that is an ignorant, cavalier response. Either way, she must provide the numbers, calculations and wherewithal – transparently and with full debate.

But on environmental matters, Ms. Cortez and her cosponsors have no clue what they are talking about.

America has over a century of coal, oil and natural gas that we should use. We have vast quantities of limestone, copper, iron, and rare earth and other strategic metals that would be essential for the wind turbines, solar panels, biofuel operations, massive backup battery arrays, and thousands of miles of new electricity transmission lines that their Green New Deal envisions. Is there a snowball’s chance in Hell that they would open highly mineralized Western and Alaskan lands for exploration and mining?

Their intransigence on those resources means giving up bonuses, rents, royalties, taxes and millions of high-paying jobs. Billions of dollars in revenues to government will be replaced by billions of dollars in subsidies from government. America won’t even be able to manufacture GND energy systems because we will not have either the reliable, affordable fuels to operate factories nor the necessary raw materials.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world will continue to use fossil fuels, emit greenhouse gases, surge ahead of us economically – and sell us trillions of dollars of Green New Deal energy systems. Those that come from China might even have grid-hacker-friendly portals built right into their motherboards.

Shuttering nuclear and hydro power plants – and converting our transportation and shipping systems from gasoline and diesel – would mean the USA will need twice as much electricity as it generates today. Closing waste-to-energy facilities would add to those demands – and to landfill requirements.

Energy journalist Ron Bailey estimates that the GND would require installing some 154,000 offshore wind turbines, 335,000 onshore wind turbines, 75 million residential photovoltaic systems, 2.75 million commercial solar systems, and 46,000 utility-scale solar facilities sprawling across millions of acres. My guess is that it would require a lot more than that – plus millions of Tesla-style battery arrays.

Manufacturing and installing all those units … and the transmission lines to connect them … would require removing hundreds of billions of tons of rock, to reach and extract tens of billions of tons of ores, to create billions of tons of metals, concrete and other materials. That would be expensive, fossil fuel-intensive and habitat destructive. If it is done overseas, as most of it is today, it would involve virtually no health, safety, environmental, human rights, child labor or fair-pay protections. That is not acceptable.

One would hope their commitment to environmental protection and “social justice” would make GND supporters stalwart advocates for reform. Amendments to the GND or stand-alone bills should require that that all future wind turbine, solar panel and battery components and raw materials be “responsibly sourced” under tough US standards addressing all these issues – or we don’t import them.

There’s more. Contrary to claims by GND advocates, electricity rates would likely skyrocket – to at least the 38¢ per kWh families and businesses are already paying in Germany and Denmark. That’s four times as much as Americans now pay in states where coal, gas, nuclear and hydro generate most of the electricity. Those rates are job killers for factories, hospitals, schools and businesses.

They also literally kill people, by making it hard for poor families and pensioners to afford adequate heat in wintertime. And just imagine countless stranded electric cars, trucks and buses clogging highways, especially during snow storms, as their batteries go dead … and hundreds of people die of exposure.

GND advocates seek a total, virtually totalitarian transformation of the US energy and transportation system, economy, buildings, industries, employment base, living standards and individual freedoms. They are using American citizens as guinea pigs in this grand experiment.

They need to tell us what resources will be required … how and where they will get them … how this scheme will work. That’s not likely to happen – because they don’t have a clue, and don’t care. They also can’t prove climate fluctuations and weather events are unprecedented and caused by fossil fuels.

So let’s have those House and Senate votes on the Green New Deal. Let’s see who stands where on this.

Via email

Cold outbreaks are not caused by global warming

Global cooling – and global totalitarian socialism – are the catastrophes we should fear most

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

What do heat waves, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, forest fires, hurricanes, African wars, mass extinctions, disease outbreaks, and human and animal migrations from South America and the Middle East have in common?

According to climate activists, they are all caused by dangerous man-made global warming. And this, in turn, is supposedly caused by rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels resulting from our use of fossil fuels.

They might as well add alien invasions to the list, because it is all nonsense. Indeed, the climate scare industry has achieved such a level of absurdity that, on February 1, journalist Andrew Revkin reported in a National Geographic article that, “Many stories in recent days highlighted studies concluding that global warming is boosting the odds of cold [weather] outbreaks.”

(As we delve into the realm of absurdity, however, let us not forget that, in 2011, scientists from NASA’s Planetary Science Division and Michael Mann’s Penn State University actually presented a report speculating that extraterrestrial environmentalists could be so appalled by our planet-polluting, climate-changing ways that they could view humans as a threat to the entire intergalactic ecosystem and decide to destroy humanity!)

Among the most absurd of recent climate alarm statements is the one attributing recent cold spells to manmade global warming came from University of Michigan professor emeritus of environment and sustainability Donald Scavia, who said: “In the past there was a very strong gradient of cold air at the poles and warmer air south of the poles. That gradient kept the cold where it is.... As the poles are warming faster than the rest of the planet, that gradient weakens, allowing the cold air currents to dip south."

Dr. Tim Ball, an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, said that Scavia’s statement “is utter rubbish.” Ball explained, “It’s wrong in every aspect, from the basic assumption to the interpretation. In fact, a gradient makes things move. It doesn’t ‘keep the cold where it is.’”

It’s also a mistake to think that, if human-produced CO2 is actually causing global warming, the poles will warm first. “There is no evidence of that; they just are assuming it to be the case,” Dr. Ball emphasized.

And, if the poles did warm first, Ball explained, the reduced temperature difference between the poles and lower latitude regions would reduce extreme weather events, not intensify them, as climate campaigners claim. After all, weather and extreme weather events are driven by the temperature gradient between latitudes. A warming Arctic would result in less intense cold outbreaks and a lesser intrusion of cold artic air colliding with warm moist air in warmer regions. Climate alarmists have their science backwards.

Ball noted that the real cause of the severe cold outbreaks in the United States is a wavy Jet Stream.

The Jet Stream is a thin band of strong winds that flow rapidly around the planet from west to east at approximately 10 km altitude. The Jet Stream divides warm air masses, typically found at low latitudes towards the tropics, from cold air masses, usually found at high latitudes near the poles.

However, a very wavy jet stream, as we are experiencing now (and have many times in the past), allows frigid Arctic air to move south to normally warmer latitudes and warm tropical air to push into Polar latitudes. The result is an increase in extreme weather events, including the cold outbreaks in the USA. It has nothing to do with global warming. In fact, the most common cause of a wavy Jet Stream is global cooling. History shows that severe weather increases with a cooling world, not a warming one.

As to fears of more cold outbreaks due to global warming, Ball laughed, “They’re making it all up!”

Clearly, there is no end to the deceptions that the climate lobby will tell the public in order to deprive the world of reliable, inexpensive fossil fuel-based energy, the foundation of modern living standards. Perhaps the greatest deception of all is what real scientists call cherry picking – highlighting data that advance their theory and agenda, while ignoring data that do not support their politics.

The graph below explains how they do it. The overall trend of the data is obvious: as variable “A” declines, variable “B” increases. But if you choose only a small portion of the data (or just a few years out of 100 or 1,000), you can declare the trend to be anything you want – including having “A” stay the same as “B” increases, and even having “A” increase as “B” increases. 

This is the sleight-of-hand used by global warming alarmists who want the public to believe that burning fossil fuels and increasing the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide must be stopped at all costs. They want to run the nation and the world on expensive, inconvenient, unreliable wind and solar energy. They ignore the fact that those energy must be totally backed up by dependable energy sources like fossil fuel or nuclear in order to stop the grid from collapsing. It has been calculated that, were the Midwest to be dependent only on wind and solar power, at least one million people would have died of hypothermia during the recent minus-50 degrees F cold spell.

As demonstrated by Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, the latest report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, the impact of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) has been overwhelmingly positive. The report’s Summary for Policymakers states:

“Fossil fuels have benefited humanity by making possible the prosperity that occurred since the first Industrial Revolution…. Fossil fuels also power the technologies that reduce the environmental impact of a growing human population, saving space for wildlife…. Nearly all the impacts of fossil fuel use on human well-being are net positive (benefits minus costs), near zero (no net benefit or cost), or are simply unknown.”

Besides raising living standards across the world, fossil fuel use has helped elevate CO2 in our atmosphere from a level dangerously close to the point at which plants start to die – to where we are today, with the Earth once again “greening,” as crops, forests and grasslands grow faster and better.

The global warming scare has never been about science, or even climate for that matter. The long-term goal of many activists is to unite the world under a single socialistic government in which there is no capitalism, no democracy and no freedom. After all, personal freedom is fueled largely by access to affordable energy.

An intermediate goal of climate alarmism is thus to limit the amount of energy that is available and place it under tight government control. Inexpensive fossil fuels remain an obstacle to their vision, and so must be done away with entirely, climate campaigners maintain. We must not let them succeed.

Dr. Jay Lehr is the Science Director of The Heartland Institute which is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition.

Diversity of species living on the planet has NOT increased since the death of the dinosaurs, study of 30,000 sites worldwide reveals

The Green/Left often produce shoddy evidence that various species are dying out but that's just not so it seems

The diversity of species living on the planet has stayed the same for the 60 million years following the extinction of the dinosaurs, new research suggests.

Rapid increases in biodiversity were discovered in the fossil record, followed by plateaus of stability in species' numbers lasting tens of millions of years.

Experts previously thought that biodiversity had steadily increased over time, but researchers now say this is not the case.

Scientists from the University of Birmingham analysed 200 years of finds from 30,000 fossil sites around the globe.

They found the average numbers of land vertebrate species across the planet had not increased for tens of millions of years.

Their results suggest the creation of new species and extinction rates on land find a natural equilibrium that lasts 'tens of millions of years'.

Lead study author Dr Roger Close said: 'Scientists often think that species diversity has been increasing unchecked over millions of years, and that diversity is much greater today than it was in the distant past.

'Our research shows that numbers of species within terrestrial communities are limited over long timescales, which contradicts the results of many experiments in modern ecological communities - now we need to understand why.

'Contrary to what you might expect, the largest increase in diversity within land vertebrate communities came after the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period.

'Within just a few million years, local diversity had increased to two or three times that of pre-extinction levels - driven primarily by the spectacular success of modern mammals.'

Biodiversity describes the rich diversity of life on Earth, from individual species to entire ecosystems.

The term was coined in 1985 – a contraction of 'biological diversity' – but the huge global biodiversity losses now becoming apparent represent a crisis equalling and quite possibly surpassing climate change.

In the latest study, experts focused on data from land vertebrates dating back to the very earliest appearance of this group nearly 400 million years ago.

They found peaks in biodversity 300, 110 and 15 million years ago, followed by plateaus of stability in species numbers lasting tens of millions of years.

The new findings sheds light on our understanding the effects of falling rates of biodiversity seen across the world today. 

The results also suggest that interactions between species, including competition for food and space, limit the overall number of species that can co-exist.

The full findings of the study were published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.


Climate change farce: How every Australian household contributes $200 a year to those lucky enough to be able to afford to put solar panels on their roof

Subsidies to pay for solar panel installation are set to add almost $200 to power bills across Australia.

The federal Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme together with state rebates - used to pay for subsidies to homeowners for installing solar panels - are set to rise by 45 per cent.

The cost to each household for the subsidy will soar from $134 in 2018 to $195 this year, The Australian reported.

Subsidies to pay for solar panel installation are set to cost almost each home almost $200 (stock image) +2
Subsidies to pay for solar panel installation are set to cost almost each home almost $200 (stock image)

More than two million Australians use solar energy in their homes, and capacity is growing at 50 per cent each year.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the cost of small-scale technology certificates - used as an incentive for homeowners to install solar panels - made up three per cent of an average power bill.

Small-scale technology certificates are given to consumers installing solar panels and are then bought back by power companies.

Mr Taylor said Australia's biggest electricity retailers such as Origin, AGL Energy and EnergyAustralia were responsible for a bigger part of power bills.

'The big cost is the profits being taken by the big energy companies in the wholesale market, without innovation or new products, and it is time for them to deliver a fairer deal for their customers,' he said.

'According to the Australian Energy Market Commission, the small-scale technology certificate cost is less than three per cent of the bill, whereas 46 per cent is going to the big generator retailers.'

Solar panels are growing in popularity, with state governments offering incentives for installing them.

Victorians can set up solar in their homes for half the usual price under a scheme introduced by Premier Daniel Andrews' government, while in New South Wales Labor plans for 500,000 homes to have renewable energy technology in a capped rebate program.

The average price in Australian capital cities for a 5kW system is $5,100, according to Choice.

It takes from two to seven years for solar panel systems to begin to pay for themselves and allow homeowners to save money.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Internal Contradictions of the Green New Deal

In case some readers don't get it, Marxists were always talking about the supposed internal contradictions in capitalism

In this post, rather than revisiting the serious problems that the Green New Deal proponents would wreak with their plans, instead I want to highlight how several of their claims contradict each other. In other words, the Green New Deal doesn’t even make sense on its own terms.

No Nuclear

After explaining the urgent need to transition humanity away from greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, the document from Ocasio-Cortez’s office discusses nuclear:

Is nuclear a part of this?

A Green New Deal is a massive investment in renewable energy production and would not include creating new nuclear plants. It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible. No one has put the full 10-year plan together yet, and if it is possible to get to fully 100% renewable in 10 years, we will do that.

And so just like that, nuclear power has been rolled onto the same chopping block timeframe as coal-fired power plants. Inasmuch as nuclear power is zero-emission and doesn’t suffer from the problems of intermittency that plague wind and solar, and can be distributed anywhere geographically unlike hydro, one might have expected that nuclear would be the go-to solution for those truly worried about saving the planet within 12 years. (In 2017, nuclear accounted for 20% of U.S. electricity, while wind and solar combined only 7.6%.)

As I wrote in a previous post, imagine if a strident group of scientists were warning everybody that a killer asteroid was hurtling toward Earth. Then some people proposed using missiles or lasers to knock it off course. In response, the loud activists said, “No we don’t want to do that, because it would interfere with our messaging on gun control.” In that scenario, would you think those activists actually believe their own rhetoric about the killer asteroid?

Likewise, if Ocasio-Cortez and her staff are trying to decommission nuclear plants just as fast as coal- and natural-gas fired power plants, it should tell you this really isn’t about the negative externality from carbon dioxide emissions. This is about transforming society—as they themselves admit.

If It’s So Good for the Economy, Why Is Coercion Necessary?

The Green New Deal outline also tries to reassure us that its measures will help the economy. For example:

This is massive investment in our economy and society, not expenditure.

•We invested 40-50% of GDP into our economy during World War 2 and created the greatest middle class the US has seen.

•The interstate highway system has returned more than $6 in economic productivity for every $1 it cost

•This is massively expanding existing and building new industries at a rapid pace – growing our economy

As an aside, the “middle class” suffered tremendously in economic terms during World War 2. Using conventional government statistics, the per capita output of private-sector GDP was lower during the height of World War 2 than during the depths of the Great Depression, a decade earlier. Real resources were being diverted into tanks, bombers, and bullets, rather than cars, radios, and nylon stockings. One can argue that fighting World War 2 was a necessary expense, but it definitely made Americans poorer than if the U.S. government hadn’t made those expenditures.

Beyond their historical ignorance, the Green New Dealers are missing something pretty basic: If all of this infrastructure spending—which includes not just highways and other government property, but also revamping every single building in the country (!!)—is so economically efficient, then why does the government have to do it? The government doesn’t have real resources of its own. All it can do is transfer purchasing power (through taxing, borrowing, or the printing press) away from the private sector.

Now if the Green New Dealers come back and say, “Well, private business doesn’t take into account climate change,” fine. That’s the mainstream economics view, of someone like William Nordhaus. But at least those economists have the decency to admit that a carbon tax or other measures to limit emissions, will make Americans poorer relative to a scenario where global warming wasn’t a thing.

In contrast, the logic of the Green New Dealers’ rhetoric implies: “Phew! It’s actually a good thing there’s the existential threat of catastrophic climate change, because now we can do all these things that will create millions of jobs and produce social justice.”

Respecting Rights

Finally, I found this statement from the draft legislation to be touching yet contradictory:

(M) obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties an agreements with indigenous peoples, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous peoples;

Why would we allow indigenous peoples to threaten the planet? After all, the Green New Dealers aren’t getting the free, prior, and informed consent from the owners of coal-fired power plants before ruining their way of life. And it’s not merely a matter of “sovereignty” broadly defined—the Green New Dealers want “border tax adjustments” to punish those foreigners who don’t elect governments to do the same policies to themselves as the Green New Dealers want to impose on Americans. Why is it OK to use economic warfare to influence what other governments do in that way, but not when it comes to indigenous peoples here?

The obvious answer is that this has little to do with climate change, but instead is a wish-list of leftist social and economic goals. In their book, indigenous peoples are on the side of the good guys, while business owners and the Chinese people aren’t such a big deal.


In short, not only is the Green New Deal chock-full of economic absurdities and disastrous proposals, it isn’t even internally consistent. This is yet more evidence of the lack of intellectual rigor behind the proposal.


Yes, Indoor Agriculture Can Feed the World. And for many food crops, it already does

So we are not going to run out of food after all!

I recently toured The Netherlands with a delegation from California tasked to collaborate with the Dutch on Climate Smart Agriculture. In the several years that I’ve studied the food system, I’ve heard much about how the Dutch were growing an enormous amount of plants and vegetables in climate controlled indoor environments. In fact, The Netherlands is second only to the United States as the world’s leading agricultural exporter, and 80% of its land under cultivation is inside greenhouses. Many of these exports are vegetables to the EU: tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, blackberries, herbs, and leafy greens.

After seeing first-hand the scale of production and the attention paid to climate and sustainability across the entire value chain of production, it was with great regret that I read Dr. Jonathan Foley’s essay, “No, Vertical Farms Won’t Feed the World.” While it won’t “feed the world” all by itself (no one farming system will), indoor agriculture is hardly “a fad” as Dr. Foley calls it. On the contrary, it has a very important role to play in a food system that makes us resilient to climate change.

Controlled Environment Agriculture Defined

The “vertical farming” that Dr. Foley writes about is only a tiny subset of a much, much larger industry called Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). CEA has existed for more than a century and refers to any attempt to control the growing environment for a crop. It spans the spectrum from plastic hoop houses that protect from sun to glass greenhouses that use ambient light and heat from outside to recreate the perfect growing conditions for a crop. Most recently, it also includes a new kind of indoor growing architecture called “vertical farms.” Vertical farms are fully enclosed environments using only artificial lighting and growing crops in vertically stacked rows or towers.

CEA is Already a Large Ag Sector

For more detail, I highly recommend reading “Let’s Talk About Market Size” by Allison Kopf, CEO at Agrilyst. In it, she describes the different type of indoor farms and the size of the market in greater detail. The point I wish to make here is that CEA is already a huge and profitable industry — worth $14B in the United States alone (as of 2016). According to Rabbobank, the world’s leading agriculture bank, the United States is a tiny player with only 911 hectares (2,221 acres) compared to countries like Spain (70,000 hectares) or China (82,000 hectares and growing) or even The Netherlands (11,500 hectares).

The CEA sector is already growing food you eat everyday. For example, nearly 60% of the tomatoes you consume in North America are grown in CEA. The Dutch yields average 20 times more tomatoes per acre than US outdoor growers. This is because indoor cultivation enables us to have year round production. Peppers, cucumbers, herbs, mushrooms, cannabis, and increasingly leafy greens are grown this way. In The Netherlands add strawberries, flowers, and blackberries to the commercial production list. In the vast research greenhouses at the world’s leading agriculture university, Wageningen, I personally witnessed peppercorns, vanilla, bananas, and papaya in research for commercial production. For the banana, learning to grow indoor and out of soil may save it from extinction as a soil fungus is currently decimating southeast Asia’s outdoor production, as The Guardian reported, “The First Dutch Bananas Could Help Tackle Fungal Threat,” on December 14.

CEA is Experiencing an Innovation Revolution

Driven by innovations in the energy efficiency of LED lights, increasingly sophisticated yet inexpensive sensors, advances in robotics, and the legalization of cannabis there has been a wave of innovation in CEA. This has enabled experimentation of potential new architectures for indoor farms: vertically stacked trays, aquaponics (a form that integrates the symbiotic growing of fish with the growing of plants), vertical towers, etc. This has also led to experimentation on new crop types: fish, insects, cocoa, vanilla, the aforementioned bananas, and more.

What will the winning architecture be — Dutch greenhouses, hi-tech vertical farms, integrated aquaponics, etc? What crops will we grow? Does indoor growing make new crops, like insects, commercially viable? We don’t know yet, but advances are being made…every day. And that’s a good thing.

More Food. Less Waste. Healthier Food. Safer Food. Less Land.

As Dr. Foley points out, indoor farms are expensive to build and operate. True. Starting any new farm from scratch (whether indoor or outdoor)is capital intensive. Much of the innovation happening in indoor agriculture is decreasing not only the upfront capital costs, but — most importantly — the ongoing operating costs. As the Dutch have demonstrated, CEA farms are profitable at large commercial scale and produce fruits and vegetables at competitive prices to the average consumer. Twenty years ago, under the rallying cry “twice as much food using half as many resources,” the Dutch made a national commitment to sustainable agriculture. Now, 80% of their cultivated land is CEA. More food.

One of the recent business model innovations in indoor farming is to build the farms closer to the consumer. As Dr. Foley points out, the travel distance contributes little to a crop’s carbon footprint. However, growing produce closer to the point of consumption results in less food spoilage during transport and a longer shelf life in your fridge. More food. Less waste.

That longer shelf life also means food that is denser with its nutrients instead of days or weeks degraded while being transported. More food. Less waste. Healthier food.

Because water is recycled and reused, growing indoors uses 90% less water, on average. This is also means there is no runoff of nitrates and pesticides into your ground water. Speaking of pesticides: it uses 97% less pesticides. More food. Less waste. Healthier food. Safer food.

CEA has a smaller footprint on the land: 1 acre of indoor farming for leafy greens can produce in 1 year what 10 acres of farmland produces outside. The Netherlands is second to the United States in agricultural exports yet has 1/270th of the land. More food. Less waste. Healthier food. Safer food. Less land.

Looking to the Future

Vertical farms are a new innovation in the Controlled Environment Agriculture sector. Many innovations start out unscalable and inefficient. Yes, vertical farms require more innovation to bring down energy costs, but if we just abandon CEA because vertical farms alone seem unscalable, we stifle innovation for all farming — vertical, indoor, outdoor and otherwise. Through the new innovations in vertical farming, the entire agriculture industry is addressing energy efficiency, water efficiency, automation (labor efficiency), new business models, shorter supply chains, and new crop types. These are exactly the agricultural problems that need solving across the entire food system, and it’s promising to see the capital and brain power that is addressing them.


States Falling for Electoral Platitudes Now Face Future Energy Trauma

Governors of California, New York, et al have been issuing electoral platitudes that can only be expected to yield future energy trauma for their citizens.

Last week, New York City area utility Consolidated Edison notified regulators that, as of March 15, it would accept no new natural gas customers in Westchester County due to supply shortages.  It is possible that cutoffs in the City itself may follow.  While this is happening, New York City is requiring customers to switch out of dirtier burning fuel oil.  Most are seeking natural gas.

Already, over 5,000 buildings in the City have made the switch.  Meanwhile, as prior commentary in this blog has noted, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration have stymied all attempts to build a new pipeline that would be capable of supplying the City and other areas, like New England, with plentiful and inexpensive natural gas from the nearby Marcellus Shale region.

Once again we are seeing the Alice in Wonderland effects of New York State environmental incoherence.  It desperately needs energy to grow, and also to improve environmental air quality, but does everything possible to prevent that energy from being available.

The energy dilemma cannot just be wished away.  The implications of not building pipelines and securing our energy future are real and starting to bite.  Without reliable energy supply, regions can’t grow.  Without growth, there will be no jobs for an expanding population.  Intellectual discussions and arguments about the large job opportunities available in the renewable sector are nice, but where are they?  More to the point, where is the consistent supply of energy that will be provided by these renewable sources?

Out west in Oregon, newly reelected Governor Kate Brown, who ran on a progressive, clean energy platform, faces a challenge from her left with a new Clean Energy Jobs bill.  Back in 2007, Oregon set goals for reducing its carbon emissions in 2010, 2020 and 2050.  It met its goals for 2010 but admits it will not do so for 2020.  In fact, the Oregon Global Warming Commission predicts the State will over-pollute in 2020 by 20%.  There is an interim goal for 2035, but lawmakers may choose to ignore that and concentrate on 2050.  This has environmental advocates alarmed.

Ironically, one proven way for the environmental advocates to reduce CO2 emissions is through increased use of natural gas.  They have not been inclined to accept that option, however, putting all their eggs in the basket of renewables.  Governor Brown then likely will face the problem Governor Cuomo faces.  She will run a left-leaning state with a well-meaning yet unrealistic program for achieving goals about which most of us can agree.  Governor Cuomo has chosen one path.  It won him electoral platitudes but now faces future trauma.  It will be interesting to see which way Governor Brown goes.

In Pennsylvania, the long battle over the Mariner East 2 pipeline appears over.  Last week the Public Utility Commission ruled that a landowner group had failed to show that safety concerns necessitated an emergency shutdown of the pipeline.  In typical fashion for this matter, two days later another sinkhole exposed a section of the older Mariner 1 pipeline.  Chester County emergency service officials stressed there was no damage to the pipeline and no danger, but the entire situation continues to be messy and delicate.  It does not help public perception that a horrific gasoline pipeline explosion in central Mexico predated the Mariner 1 sinkhole occurrence by a few days.

Internationally, and ironically, the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela, falls deeper and deeper into turmoil.  President Nicolas Maduro’s security forces put down another mini-uprising Monday, but nationwide demonstrations have been called for Wednesday, the anniversary of the end of the most recent military dictatorship in 1958.  Venezuela’s oil production has plummeted along with the rest of its economy, and President Maduro has given away large amounts of it to Russia in exchange for needed foreign reserve to service its enormous debt.

Despite starving his nation, Maduro retains the loyalty of large segments of the military command. Those commanders don’t carry the guns that fire on the starving people, however. The weapons themselves are in the hands of individual soldiers commanded on the street by junior officers. It remains a confounding question as to why the opposition, which still exists in Venezuela, has been so unsuccessful in convincing the junior officers that their long term interests do not lie with Maduro and the senior military commanders but with the starving people in the streets.

Of course, should Maduro’s regime eventually fall, it would set in motion the need for some fancy diplomatic footwork and military readiness, something neither the Trump Administration, nor its predecessor, have shown much capability to implement. Under those circumstances, energy markets would be thrown another huge curve ball. Both our government and companies retaining any interest in Venezuela, either directly or indirectly, should be planning for these scenarios right now.


Goodbye to a misguided war on coal

The unexpected departure of Dr. Jim Yong Kim as president of the World Bank gives President Donald J. Trump the perfect opportunity to reverse the anti-fossil fuel, energy poverty agenda the bank has pursued since Dr. Kim’s appointment by President Barack Obama in 2012.

The World Bank is the world’s premier development bank. Its knowledge of developing countries means that its participation is often essential to leverage private sector investment into some of the world’s poorest countries.

Rather than development, Dr. Kim saw the bank’s principal job as waging President Obama’s war on coal across the developing world. One of his first acts was instituting a ban on World Bank participation in any funding of new electrical generation projects using coal, other than in the most exceptional circumstances.

The United States is the bank’s largest funder, but Dr. Kim behaved as if Hillary Clinton had won Barack Obama’s third term in the 2016 presidential election. In no area was the policy rupture between the two administrations sharper than on energy, where Mr. Obama’s war on coal has been replaced by the Trump administration’s doctrine of American energy dominance.

Yet Dr. Kim decided to defy his host government and largest funder. At the December 2017 climate summit, France’s President Macron threw to celebrate the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement, Dr. Kim announced that the World Bank was extending its financing ban to upstream oil and gas. To cap it all, in October 2017 Dr. Kim said the bank would be withdrawing its support for its sole remaining coal project, a badly needed clean coal plant in Kosovo, a struggling country in the Balkans.

It’s not only that Dr. Kim misread the politics. On the fundamentals of what is good for developing countries’ economic development and human welfare, the Trump administration is right and Dr. Kim wrong. The centralized electrical grid is the single most beneficial innovation of the 20th century. In developed countries, it is what separates the 20th century from the 19th century.

It’s hardly surprising that FDR’s rural electrification program in the 1930s was one of the most popular and lasting parts of the New Deal. Rural farmers and small towns wanted all the benefits that only reliable, grid-connected electricity can provide and that city and suburban dwellers were already enjoying.

A study out this month by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation shows why. In the 1920s and 1930s, small-scale generation and local distribution grids were increasingly replaced by much larger coal-fired power stations connected by a national grid. In those two decades, electricity prices more than halved, something that hasn’t happened again.

This is the energy transition developing countries want and need, but is being denied them by First World environmentalists. Because Dr. Kim was out of his depth at the World Bank, he allowed the bank to be captured by climate activists prioritizing green ideology over the interests of the world’s poor.

Only last month, the World Bank announced it would be committing $200 billion to climate action. “This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future,” Dr. Kim declared. That’s not going to make energy cheaper or more accessible or keep the lights on and the refrigerator chilled.

Wind and solar power are inherently unreliable and are not a substitute for a proper grid and thermal power generation. Despite Elon Musk’s claims, the developed world has not cracked the inherent intermittency of generating electricity from the weather.

For developing countries, the economics of wind and solar mean that the more renewables they have, the more it costs to build out a proper grid and invest in reliable generation. It is simply immoral to expect developing countries to solve the intermittency problem that has defied solution by the best brains in the West and inflict higher energy costs on those who can least afford them.

Dr. Kim’s departure opens the opportunity to end the World Bank’s walk on the dark side. In selecting the U.S. candidate to succeed him, the Trump administration will have the support of developing nations angry at the West’s climate imperialism and its attempts to obstruct their economic development. It will also have the support of energy-realist nations such as Japan and Australia, while China, consuming half the world’s coal, can hardly object. On energy realism, energy access and economic development, the goals and interests of developing nations and the United States are strongly aligned.


Australia: 'Inner-city, green elitism gone mad': Farmers' fury after Labor MP blames 'meat-eating MEN' for climate change

Irate farmers have labelled a State MP a 'green communist' after she blamed 'meat-eating' men for climate change while praising vegans.

Lisa Baker, the Labor member for Maylands in Perth, told the State Parliament her Government should promote reduced meat consumption.

She went onto state meat-eating men tend to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than vegan women.

Gary Buller, who breeds Angus cattle in WA's south-west, said Ms Baker needs to get a 'grip on reality'. 'There is much too much emotion in this whole debate and not enough dealing with the facts,' Mr Buller told the West Australian. 'People with these views are away with the fairies — they are green communists.' 

Trevor Whittington, the WA Farmers chief executive, agreed with Buller. He believes Ms Baker's outspoken views were an example of 'inner-city, green elitism gone mad'. 'Her world is a simple one of vegans, good, meat eaters bad,' he said.

'We will watch with interest to see if she (Baker) manages to convince her colleagues to take her views to the next election.'

David Littleproud was equally scathing in his criticism, with the Federal Agriculture Minister saying Ms Baker's comments were 'laughable.'

A spokesperson for Ms Baker told Daily Mail Australia the State MP stands by her comments and clarified she wasn’t a vegan.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here