Sunday, March 29, 2020

No Green New Deal in stimulus: This time

The Senate passed a two trillion dollar stimulus bill designed to provide economic relief in response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Despite efforts by radical greens to ram the bill full of climate “pork,” it looks like their expensive wish list didn’t make the cut.

This is good news, thanks largely to the President and many Senators who called out their crafty attempts to sneak in a radical wish list that has nothing to do with the virus into the bill.

Of course they have to pass it for us to see everything that’s in it… just as the founders intended.

“[The Democrats said] ‘We want green energy, let’s stop drilling oil’ — they had things in there that were terrible…Windmills all over the place and all sorts of credits for windmills — they kill the birds and ruin the real estate. A lot of problems,” President Trump explained during a town hall style broadcast.

Just because America has dodged one Green New Deal bullet, don’t think the climate radicals won’t be back.

Presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden had this to say, “we’re going to have an opportunity, I believe, in the next round [of economic aid] here to use…my Green Deal to be able to generate both economic growth as consistent with the kind of infusion of monies we need into the system to keep it going.”

Really, Joe?  Do you truly believe shoveling money into the Big Green wood chipper is the smartest way to shelter a great nation from depression and despair?

A record three million people filed for unemployment in the most recent jobs report. The businesses forced to close their doors by government at every level have been shown no clear path as to when they might reopen.

Uncertainty destroys.

Unless we identify those portions of the economy that can operate safely and target them to reopen, our two trillion dollars will be consumed without stimulating anything.

The call for another stimulus bill will be shrill.  Expect the Left to push harder to force their climate wish list in.  They must be opposed.

Ironically, the Left’s push to shoehorn radical climate and environmental policy into government stimulus plans seems to be running afoul of the author of the Green New Deal himself.

Saikat Chakrabarti, former Chief of Staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said in a tweet when referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposal to tie any airline aid to emissions restrictions:

“I helped write the #GreenNewDeal and I think this is ridiculous. The tiny little emissions standard increase doesn’t even do anything meaningful to stave off climate change…”

Hard to believe it, but maybe Congress should actually listen to the author of the Green New Deal – this time anyway.


Biden exploits pandemic to push Green New Deal

Joe Biden made a public splash this week on various news outlets.  The Atlantic magazine will be glad to know he is alive.

We sincerely wish Mr. Biden well, but he would have done better staying off the air.

The former Vice President and presumptive presidential nominee said if there is another coronavirus relief bill coming out of the U.S. Congress, he wants it to include a blizzard of irrelevant policies which have nothing to do with helping Americans overcome the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. These policies include parts of the “Green New Deal” that were proposed by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, such as imposing limits on carbon emissions in airplanes and more tax credits for wind and solar energy development.

After three days of haggling, the Senate rejected these and most of the other last-ditch House proposals by omitting them from the just completed $2 trillion legislation that is being passed into law this week.

Joe Biden wants to try again next time. He told the News Hour on Public Broadcasting: “we’re going to have an opportunity I believe in the next round here to use the, my green economy, my Green Deal to be able to generate both economic ground and consistent with the kind of infusion of money as we need into the system to keep it going.”

There you have it; or, to coin a phrase, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

Mr. Biden gave a series of interviews this past week to remind the country that he’s running for president. It’s not easy getting attention these days when you have no official role in fighting the coronavirus that has afflicted tens of thousands of Americans, and so far killed well more than 1,200 people in the country.

The Congress and the President agreed on this $2 trillion legislative package to keep the U.S. economy from collapsing into a depression, as much of the workforce remains at home, and a growing number of employees lose their jobs. More than 3 million Americans, and counting, have been added to the unemployment rolls.

Rather than sustain American jobs and businesses, Green New Deal mandates and added costs on traditional energy would ensure the economy’s collapse. Oil and natural gas are the lifeblood of the American economy, which is teetering on the biggest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

The Green New Deal from Joe Biden or anyone else is a bad idea at any time. It is a worse idea now – like rubbing salt in a metastasizing economic wound and public health emergency, with each producing real victims.

Health care, law enforcement and other front-line workers do not have enough masks, ventilators and other needs to care for people stricken by the virus. What if they have insufficient energy when the next pandemic hits because too much fossil fuel has been shut down and renewables can’t cut it, thanks to a Green New Deal?

Mr. Biden’s incoherent interviews to promote counterproductive policies was ill timed. As he tries to get attention, he continues to fumble not merely on policies themselves, but on his presentation. More are questioning his staying power in the presidential race, and contrasting him with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been in full command as he leads his state’s response to the coronavirus. New York State by far has been the hardest hit of any state with COVID-19.

Whether Joe Biden can go the distance, or is somehow replaced by another presidential candidate at the Democratic Party’s national convention this summer, others can—and will— speculate. From a policy standpoint, whoever is the Democratic nominee will seek to impose the Green New Deal on the country, the central premise of which is the immediate demise of fossil fuels and the associated jobs of Americans in related industries.

The debate will continue in America about our energy future and how we get there. Technological ingenuity and development will bring about new energy sources to gradually supplant oil and gas to some degree, without having a Green New Deal to outlaw their use or make them prohibitively costly. Doing so would only hurt the livelihoods of American workers and industries in the process, especially in this and certain future national emergencies.


The Guardian’s biases produced bogus COVID-19 claims

By Paul Driessen

The Guardian (a very liberal London newspaper) does some excellent reporting – about 40,000 children slaving and dying in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of Central Africa, mining cobalt for cell phones, laptops, Teslas and Green New Deal technologies, for example. But other stories are a bizarre mix of fact, fake news, junk science, random conjecture and utter nonsense.

A case in point is its recent attempt to blame the coronavirus crisis on human activities that The Guardian and its writers tend to detest, even though they are essential for modern civilization and living standards: road building, mining and logging. “Is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?” the headline blares, adding “As habitat and biodiversity loss increase globally, the coronavirus outbreak may be just the beginning of mass pandemics.”

The article opens with the tragic story of an Ebola-traumatized village in Gabon, west of the DRC on Africa’s west coast. Villagers had gotten the disease from eating a wild chimpanzee. Many had died.

The ensuing eco-proselytizing took a page out of ancient religious lore, which attributed calamities to mankind’s sins against gods, God – or in this case Gaia. Some vague “number of researchers” in the new academic “discipline” of “planetary health” now believe it is “humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as COVID-19.”

Humans “invade” wild landscapes where animals and plants live that harbor unknown viruses, says one supposed expert. “We disrupt ecosystems and shake viruses loose from their natural hosts.”

“Research suggests” that outbreaks of diseases crossing over from animals to humans “are on the rise,” the article continues. While rabies and bubonic plague “crossed over centuries ago,” it’s getting much worse: Marburg, Mers, Nipah, SARS, Zika and West Nile, for example. Or the Asian flu and AIDS. These “zoonotic” diseases are “increasingly linked to environmental change and human behavior,” such as human population growth, urbanization and the “disruption of pristine forests,” says another “expert.”

It sounds plausible, for those without scientific, medical or analytical background. It definitely appeals to those who dislike these activities (and humanity). But it ignores history, reality, and the anti-technology ideologies of those who say we are “sinning against Gaia the Earth Mother.”

Malaria, dengue, yellow fever and sleeping sickness are also mentioned. Yet what about cholera, polio (which I had as a child), smallpox, measles, multiple plagues in various cities and countries through the ages, and countless iterations of influenza? We don’t know where they come from, and many mutate frequently, defying our best efforts to eradicate them or find vaccines and cures.

Many were brought from distant shores to Europe or the Americas, Russia or other lands by sailing ships – to populations that lacked natural or built-up immunities. Today’s emergent diseases can travel far more rapidly and widely, thanks to trains, cars, ships and planes. Add the  billions that live today in crowded cities, often facilitating rapid transmission of virulent or novel diseases, even with modern clinics, hospitals, vaccinations, medicines, antibiotic soaps and proper hygienic practices.

Those life-saving modern technologies and buildings didn’t just happen. They are the product of mining, logging, roads, drilling, fossil fuel and nuclear energy, and modern agriculture, communication and transportation – which enable innovation to thrive, help keep Nature’s wrath and fury at a safer distance, and helped extend average American life spans from 40 in 1800 to 47 in 1900 and 78 today. (My colleagues and I discuss that here, here and elsewhere. This penicillin story is also fascinating.)

The Guardian has it completely backward. Utilizing Earth’s surface and subsurface bounties – God’s blessings – did not unleash COVID-19 and other viruses, bacteria and diseases. It helped save us from pestilences that have ravaged humanity throughout our time on this planet. It still does so today.

Diseases will always be with us. They will evolve, mutate, cross over from animals to humans, and try to ravage us for as long as we inhabit this magnificent planet. Never forget that it was the fossil fuels that so many detest which enabled so much of humanity to escape the deprivation, starvation and disease that kept human, health and civilizational progress to a barely measurable minimum until about 1800.

Imagine what would happen if abundant, reliable, affordable heat and electricity from fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric were replaced by limited, intermittent, weather-dependent, expensive wind, solar and battery power. The impacts on our healthcare and living standards would be horrific. Try to picture life in African villages and cities, where electricity, clean water, sanitation and healthcare are still almost nonexistent.

Imagine what our planet would look like, if we had to replace relatively few fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants with millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels and billions of backup batteries, sprawling across hundreds of millions of acres. We would have to open or expand thousands of mines, to provide the metals and minerals required to manufacture all that pseudo-renewable energy.

Disruption of ecosystems and destruction of biodiversity would multiply by orders of magnitude.

The Guardian article subtly but harshly criticizes hunting chimpanzees and other wild animals. But why do African villagers do that? It’s not rocket science. They are hungry! Living on the edge of survival.

And yet UN and EU agencies, eco-imperialist pressure groups, anti-development banks and divestment campaigners demand that they compound the misery of living without electricity, clean water and healthcare – by turning their backs on modern seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and tractors.

Instead, Africans are supposed to survive on whatever meager crops they can harvest using agro-ecology: primitive subsistence farming – and whatever might survive droughts and locust plagues. They’re also supposed to be content with bed nets and avoid using insecticides to kill insects that carry diseases like malaria, dengue and sleeping sickness.

The article next cites “disease ecologists” who claim these diseases increasingly come from “wet markets” that have recently “sprung up” to provide fresh meat for large urban populations. Wet markets have certainly been tied to the coronavirus. But they have been around for centuries, due to culture and tradition, as places to meet and gossip, as symbols of wealth, reflecting the belief that the meat is more natural and healthy. The reality that there is not enough farm-raised meat because agricultural practices in much of Asia and Africa are still antiquated.

In a final bit of absurdity, the author says the solutions to this modern crisis of disease outbreaks “start with education and awareness” – like the junk science, fake news and half-baked ideas thrown about in his article. Then the newspaper weighs in, railing that under the Trump administration “anger and cruelty disfigure public discourse and lying is commonplace.” But with financial help from readers, The Guardian can “keep delivering quality journalism” – like this story.

One has to wonder. If we can close restaurants and parks, and ban gatherings of more than ten people, can’t we quarantine nonsense about disease, mining, and wild ecosystems disrupted because we haven’t sufficiently adopted “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” wind, solar, battery and biofuel alternatives?


Covid-19: a glimpse of the dystopia greens want us to live in

Greens just can’t help themselves. As the rest of us do what we can to tackle or withstand the Covid-19 crisis, they treat it as a sign, a warning from nature, a telling-off to hubristic, destructive mankind. The speed with which they have folded this pandemic into their misanthropic narrative about humanity being a pox on the planet has been shocking, but not surprising.

Right from the top of the UN, they have been promoting their backward belief that this virus is a reprimand from nature. Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, says ‘nature is sending us a message’ with this pandemic and other recent disasters, including bushfires in Australia and locust invasions in Kenya. Of course nature is doing no such thing, because nature is not a sentient being, however much the new religion of environmentalism might fantasise that it is.

The Guardian reports that Andersen thinks humanity’s ‘destruction of the natural world for farming, housing and mining’ is making pandemics more likely. In short, human growth, modern society itself, is now getting its comeuppance. We think we can farm and mine and, erm, build houses as we see fit, but here comes nature with her punishment: a terrible disease. This is positively Biblical. Gaia is God in this scenario, coming to punish us for our sins.

A group of scientists agrees with Andersen. They describe Covid-19 as a ‘clear warning shot’ from nature, telling human civilisation that it is ‘playing with fire’. This is the political exploitation of a horrible disease to the end of winding back human industry: what a low trick.

Britain’s chief bourgeois misanthrope, George Monbiot, was hot on the heels of the UN’s eco-medievalists. He says Covid-19 has shattered humanity’s self-serving myth that it has achieved ‘insulation from natural hazards’. There is a grotesque glee in the way Monbiot describes what Covid-19 has unleashed – ‘the membrane has ruptured’, he says, and ‘we find ourselves naked and outraged, as the biology we appeared to have banished storms through our lives’.

Monbiot also views this pandemic as a lesson from nature. The headline to his piece says: ‘Covid-19 is nature’s wake-up call to our complacent civilisation.’ And what is the content of nature’s violent lesson to disgusting mankind? It is to remind us that, for all our arrogance, we are actually ‘governed by biology and physics’.

There is something profoundly ugly in this. Monbiot and other greens seem to view Covid-19 as a disaster that will have an upside: it might roll back the Enlightenment-era belief that humankind can exercise dominion over nature and remind us that actually we are at nature’s mercy. They hope this disaster will restore nature’s power over the humanised world.

This is also why so many greens online have been sharing images of dolphins swimming near Venice or an absence of airplane trails over California. Because to them, these are signs of a benefit from Covid-19: the humbling of humankind, the reining in of our industrial and technological activity, and the reassertion of nature’s awesome power. If you see a disease as a political statement, as an opportunity to pursue your pre-existing misanthropic agendas, there is something very wrong with you.

Even though all of this is morally perverse, it is not surprising. For a long time, greens have viewed human beings as a pox, a virus in our own right, doing untold damage to the planet. Green god David Attenborough has said humans are ‘a plague on the planet’. Even when greens don’t use such explicitly hateful language, they constantly promote a view of human production and development as toxic and destructive.

And they latch on to everything from bushfires to floods, from plagues of locusts to melting ice-caps, as signs from nature, lessons from a furious Gaia. When religious crackpots blame floods on gay marriage, claiming God is punishing us for losing the moral plot, we rightly mock them. Yet greens offer merely a secular version of such backward, apocalyptic claptrap.

The truth is that if the Covid-19 crisis has shown us anything, it is how awful it would be to live in the kind of world greens dream about. Right now, courtesy of a horrible new virus, our societies look not dissimilar to the kind of societies Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion, green parties and others have long been agitating for. Fewer flights, industry halted, huge infrastructure projects put on hold. Less driving, less travelling, less human interaction. Over the past few weeks, as a result of our response to Covid-19, the ‘human footprint’ will undoubtedly have shrunk. And what an awful world it has become: smaller, quieter, more atomised.

We are all happy to make some sacrifices during this crisis. We are staying home, observing social distancing, and of course, most of us are not working or travelling. But we cannot wait to go back to a world in which factories crank back to life, airplanes scrawl their lines in the sky, and people can go anywhere and work, socialise, buy and eat to their heart’s content. Greens really should be careful when they talk about Covid-19, because it won’t be long before more and more people realise that this unpleasant emergency we are living through is just like the warped dystopia greens want to build.


Fossil Fuels, Not the Green New Deal, Improve Human Welfare

For millennia, most humans toiled in a Hobbesian state of nature: Their lives were poor, nasty, brutish and short. People lived chronically at the brink of starvation, and they suffered through numerous pandemics, as well as with high infant mortality rates and a short life expectancy.

But then, something remarkable occurred: Mankind learned how to use fossil fuels, spurring the Industrial Revolution. “First coal in England, soon followed by natural gas, and then crude oil in the early twentieth century,” Steve Moore explained in his compelling book, Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy.

As Moore notes, thanks to fossil fuels, production per capita soared, as did life expectancy and human population.

“Average real income per capita — on a global basis — is now 10 to 20 times higher than at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution,” Moore added. “Each variable (GDP per capita, life expectancy, human population, carbon dioxide emissions), shows an advance of approximately sixteen-fold over the past one hundred years … with world economic product increasing from $2 to $32 trillion.”

Fossil fuels and the flowering of the modern world provided the tools needed for reducing world poverty and hunger. And we could be making significantly more progress too, if it weren’t for the fact that the world is burdened today with ignorant warnings about human extinction and the imminent end of the world caused by the very same fossil fuels that have unquestionably improved human life for more than a century.

Alarmists tell us the oceans are rising at a frightening pace and will soon engulf major cities and coastal shores all over the world — despite ample evidence that such fears are not warranted.

These assertions are often nothing more than politically motivated fearmongering. In many cases, it seems unlikely the alarmists actually believe their own dire warnings.

Take Barack Obama, for example. He recently invested $11.5 million in a Martha’s Vineyard estate so close to the ocean you can actually throw a football from his backyard into the sea.

Obama isn’t alone, of course. Coastal real estate markets, many of which are located in deep-blue parts of the country full of people who supposedly believe climate change is on the verge of destroying the world, reveal the absurdity of alarmist sea-level claims. Despite the alleged “existential crisis” of climate change, coastal property values are rising dramatically.

Despite all the erroneous and misleading claims, as well as the hypocrisy, the left continues to promote policies that will “fix” the present climate crisis—all while conveniently giving them the power they have always craved.

The best example of these policies is the Green New Deal (GND), which would replace fossil fuels with more expensive, less reliable renewable energy sources, at a cost of many trillions of dollars. If enacted, the GND would completely decimate the U.S. economy. The stock market would collapse, and America would fall back into recession. Unemployment would soar, millions of jobs would be lost, and wages would plummet.

Just as importantly, the environment would be wrecked as well. A new study published by the Heartland Institute and authored by Paul Driessen, a senior policy analyst for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, documents that replacing fossil fuels and nuclear energy with wind power “would require 2.12 million (wind) turbines on 500,682 square miles (equivalent to) the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and much of West Virginia.” This would not only destroy habitats for countless animal species, it would also kill millions of innocent birds and bats.

Unfortunately, the wanton environmental damage wrought by a switch to wind and solar power does not end there. The mining of toxic rare earth minerals that are necessary for wind and solar equipment is among the most environmentally destructive activities on the planet.

Further, the necessary construction of thousands of miles of new transmission lines needed to bring power from remote wind and solar farms to urban population centers would cause additional habitat destruction and spark wildfires like the ones that recently ravaged California.

Making matters even worse, the wind power industry has yet to devise an acceptable plan to recycle or dispose of the monstrous-sized wind turbines when no longer usable.

In the end, the Green New Deal would destroy both the environment and the economy. The only “good” it would ultimately provide is for the ruling class in Washington, DC, whose power would be greatly enhanced, and their buddies in the renewable energy industry, who would receive bucketloads of taxpayer cash to prop up their ordinarily unprofitable businesses.



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


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