Thursday, June 04, 2020

NASA scientist Dr. Kate Marvel links ‘climate change’ to ‘white supremacy’ – ‘We’ll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy’

Since white supremacy is as big a myth as global warming it is no surprise that someone goofy enough to believe in the one should be goofy enough to believe in the other.  How does white supremacy fit in with China?  Are whites supreme over the Chinese?  The Chinese certainly don't think so.

But there is a real issue here.  White supremacists are a Leftist boogeyman that they use to scare one-another.  There are undoubtedly some people who think that whites have achieved more in some fields than have other races but where are the examples of such beliefs driving current politics?  White supremacy is just not a current political issue.

Leftists of course think that Mr Trump is a white supremacist, despite him never having said anything to that effect and despite his long history of getting on well with blacks.  But Leftists don't need evidence.  They believe what their ragged emotions require them to believe.

Trump with Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali

Another NASA climate scientist has revealed their charged politics and waded into racially charged linkages between “climate justice” and “racial justice.” and “white supremacy.” NASA’s Dr. Kate Marvel declared on June 1: “Climate justice and racial justice are the same thing, and we’ll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy.” Marvel is an Associate Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City.

In 2018, Marvel ( replied “DAMN RIGHT” when she tweeted out a Newsweek article titled: “Science Should Be A Feminist Institution.”

According to a 2018 article at Think Progress, “Marvel said she admires what Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement activists are doing with appeals to support a Green New Deal.” According to Marvel: “What I do admire about that is the fact they are using new language. It’s not just, ‘Look at the sad polar bear,” Marvel said. “This is not talking about climate change like it’s this isolated issue. It’s talking about it in the context of all these other things that people care about. And I think that’s absolutely the right way to look at it,” she said.


Green Electricity Delusions

With global warming the alleged science is so complicated that nobody, including the global warming scientists, can really understand what is going on. Green electricity, mostly solar and wind, is different. It’s relatively clear cut. No supercomputers spewing out terabytes of confusing data are needed.

Green electricity is quite useless. The latest trend in green electricity is wind or solar with battery backup. This green electricity costs about nine times more than the fossil fuel electricity it displaces. The true cost is hidden from the public by hidden subsidies and fake accounting. (My book, Dumb Energy, goes into great analytical detail.)

Green electricity is ineffective for preventing climate change. The climate change alarmists James Hansen and Michael Shellenberger make the case forcefully in this video. Hansen is the most important and most famous scientist warning against climate change. His followers consider him to be the greatest authority on the dangers of climate change. He calls wind and solar energy a “grotesque idea” and a “fantasy.”

It’s true that we won’t run out of wind or sunshine. That doesn’t mean that wind and sunshine are effective tools for making electricity. They aren’t. The exhaustion of fossil fuels has been predicted many times. The current situation is that fossil fuels are in great over supply and the prices have crashed to low levels. Natural gas, currently the most economical fossil fuel for generating electricity, is painfully cheap and is being extensively exported from the United States to other countries. Natural gas from wells, not served by pipelines to take it to market, is burned or flared to get rid of it. Only the more valuable oil is kept. Thanks to fracking, we have plenty of natural gas for the next 100-years.

Promoters of quack medicine sell various pills guaranteed to improve your memory or your sex life. Green energy is quackery too. It is promoted by green organizations like the Sierra Club. At one time the Sierra Club was a harmless club of backpackers and bird watchers. But it was taken over by ideologues driven by the delusion that modern society is a destructive fraud that must be rescued by the adoption of green principles. These armchair green commandos are math handicapped. They regularly propose policies that make no sense. The green commandos pontificate confidently without real understanding.

Coal is an excellent fuel for generating electricity. Unlike natural gas or oil, coal has limited uses other than generating electricity. The Sierra Club hates coal because it competes successfully against their beloved green wind and solar. No lie is too outrageous as long as it is useful for discrediting coal. The Sierra Club uses trick photography to make it look like coal plants emit clouds of black smoke. The trick is to photograph clean white clouds of “steam” with the sun behind the plant. That makes the harmless white clouds look black. The exhaust products are composed of water vapor and carbon dioxide with very little pollution. As the exhaust mixes with the cool air, it condenses into a white cloud of clean water droplets commonly called steam.

In modern coal plants, almost all pollution is scrubbed away before the exhaust goes into the smokestack.

Residential rooftop solar energy is an uneconomic method for generating electricity but it sounds convincing to the naïve. Rooftop solar panels lack economy of scale. These small installations generate electricity for about three times more per kilowatt hour than the large-scale utility installations. The homeowner reduces his consumption of grid electricity, reducing his electric bill. Excess solar electricity is sold back to the utility, often at a price far higher than the cost of wholesale electricity. The beauty of this scheme is that if the rules are sufficiently rigged in favor of the homeowner, it is possible for the homeowner to save money. No one could complain if the homeowner disconnected from the electric utility. But no one is disconnecting unless they live off grid. The utility is expected to maintain a power line to the home and maintain excess generating capacity to take over supplying electricity if it is cloudy or it is nighttime. The true cost of maintaining this backup service, exclusive of any electricity sales, is around $100 per month, but utilities commonly charge only around $10 or $15 a month for a connection before the first kilowatt hour is sold. Every kilowatt hour of utility electricity displaced by solar costs the utility gross profit. If the utility is forced to buy the homeowner’s electricity at retail rates the utility may end up paying much more than the reasonable wholesale cost of the electricity. In some places the homeowner is even allowed to bank excess solar electricity and draw it at a later time. The utility doesn’t have a bank where it can store electricity. In short, rooftop solar is a scheme of making everyone else subsidize the homeowner. The homeowner is under the delusion that he has discovered cheaper electricity. It is cheaper only because everyone else bears the cost.

The crippling weakness of wind or solar electricity is their intermittent and erratic nature. A fossil-fuel generating plant can be fired up as needed and throttled up and down as the consumption of electricity changes. Wind or solar generates electricity according to the vagaries of the weather. The grid operators, except in extreme circumstances, are required to accept all the green electricity presented. In order to do this, fossil-fuel plants have to seesaw their output to compensate for the erratic wind or solar. Wind and solar plants can’t replace fossil-fuel plants for the simple reason that at times the wind and solar plants are not generating electricity. You must have enough fossil fuel along with hydro and nuclear to carry the full load. The consequence is that the system has to continue to maintain and pay for its traditional plants regardless of how much wind and solar is added to the grid. The only economic contribution of wind or solar is to reduce fuel consumption in the fossil-fuel plants during times when wind or solar electricity is being generated. The proper cost comparison is to compare the cost of green electricity versus the marginal cost (fuel) of operating the fossil-fuel plants. Natural-gas plants have a fuel cost of about $15 per megawatt hour. Wind or solar with battery backup costs about $130 per megawatt hour. For grid stability reasons new wind and solar plants are being equipped with battery storage, greatly increasing the cost. Without the battery backup wind or solar electricity costs around $75 per megawatt hour. To be clear, the electricity supplied by wind or solar at $75 to $130 per megawatt hour (not counting subsidies) could be generated in existing fossil fuel plants for $15 per megawatt hour.

Why the various states and the federal government continue to pursue, mandate, and subsidize green electricity is a mystery best explained by psychiatrists and students of propaganda.


Covid-19 Crisis Will Only Intensify Global Dominance Of Fossil Fuels

China is about one month ahead of the United States in exiting the Covid-19 shutdown. That country’s rush-hour traffic jams now equal or exceeded pre-lockdown levels, even in Wuhan. This quick reversal happened despite claims that telecommuting would “change everything,” especially old-fashioned commuting and, thus, oil demand.

At a global level, the pandemic didn’t change the fact that oil powers 97 percent of transportation. All commerce requires moving materials, food, finished goods, and people. Thus the oil used by planes, trains, and automobiles serves as the fuel gauge for the economy. The reaction to the coronavirus was, effectively, an x-ray of this reality.

The March lockdowns, which kept so many people and goods from moving anywhere, crushed global oil demand by 30 percent. Shortly thereafter, data showed that global GDP had collapsed by nearly 10 percent. Now that U.S. gasoline demand is starting to rise, many claim we are headed for a long, slow rise back to pre-crisis levels of congestion and oil use. But perhaps not.

Consider the view that communications will now replace commutes—an idea dating to the dawn of the Internet and even to the dawn of telegraphy. But most of what most people do at work requires showing up, not video conferencing. And, by now, many Zoom-weary people have rediscovered that in-person meetings are not only more time-efficient but also reveal important cues that get lost in flat, tiled images. Teleconferencing will surely continue, and grow, but post-Covid, most people will still travel to work. This is because we’ll rediscover that “ideas have sex,” to borrow zoologist Matt Ridley’s expression. Centuries of experience show that innovation, inspiration, and commerce happen with close, regular human interaction.

There is one thing the pandemic will change and that’s the trend to cram employees closer together in open-plan offices, and simultaneously reduce air-exchanges in buildings to make them more energy-efficient. More space between employees and more (clean) air will boost electricity demand in the summer and heat in the winter. Meantime, in the travel sector, reservations for fuel-guzzling recreational vehicles are reporting all-time highs. That mirrors a trend seen after 9/11, when Americans bypassed foreign vacations for domestic ones, traveling to those destinations mainly by cars, which use more energy per passenger mile than aircraft.

Then there are the other energy-related trends that predate the coronavirus crisis but will now likely accelerate. Young professionals, for example, were already moving to the suburbs. Odds are that the urban exodus will only intensify, with many baby boomers joining in. Car commuting and suburbia are essentially synonymous. As for mass transit, in post-recovery China, ridership remains down some 30 to 50 percent. Absent massive subsidies, travel by (crowded) mass transit—at least as we knew it—might be finished.

An agriculture-labor shortage is another pre-Covid trend that figures to continue. Those proposing that unemployed citizens pick crops are, to put it gently, naïve. Urban dwellers abandoned such tasks within days when France tried it earlier this year. Picking crops is a skill. A solution is coming from automated harvesting and robotic fruit-picking technologies that are just now becoming viable—but mechanized labor always uses more energy. And machines that operate all day in the fields will likely burn oil; even Tesla batteries aren’t nearly good enough for widespread use there.

Finally, the virus has exposed geopolitical supply-chain vulnerabilities that will accelerate the reshoring of manufacturing. For energy accountants the implications are obvious; it takes three to four times more energy to produce a dollar of industrial GDP than a dollar of services-related activity. In recent years, much of our national efficiency gains came from off-shoring energy-intensive industries.

In 1776, Adam Smith pointed out in The Wealth of Nations that prosperity is anchored in “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.” That truth remains unchanged and is also relevant for Silicon Valley. Even digital “exchange” is anchored in energy-using physical machinery. Each person-hour of streaming video uses—in the network, not on the desktop—about as much fuel as taking a four-mile train commute. Tens of millions of students attending school online are guzzling massive amounts of power-plant electrons.

No doubt, we’ll soon get back to pre-Covid debates about how best to fuel cars and power plants. But in an age of cheap oil, will a recession-riddled world show the same tolerance for subsidizing expensive alternatives like wind or solar?


Paper bags are back

Woolworths is Australia's biggest retailer

Woolworths shoppers across the country will now be able to carry out their groceries in paper bags for the first time in four decades.

From today, all Woolies stores will offer customers the option of a paper bag option alongside reusable carry bags.

The old-school bags are being rolled out after a successful trial in 20 stores late last year and to meet increased demand from customers for easily recyclable bag options.

In decades gone by, paper bags were a common sight in Australian supermarkets, but they haven’t been widely available in most stores for around 40 years.

The new bags are made from 70 per cent recycled paper and will be sold for 20 cents each, while Woolies’ existing reusable plastic bags, foldable bags and Bag for Good options will also still be available at the checkout.

They will be able to hold up to 6kg of grocery items per bag, and are made from responsibly sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

There are plans to offer the paper bags to online customers for home delivery and pick-up in the future.

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said the bags were already proving to be a hit with shoppers. “While the vast majority of our customers bring their own bags, we know customers sometimes drop by a store unplanned or can forget their bags when they’re on the run,” Ms Peters said.

“For some time, customers have told us they’d like the option of a strong paper bag option, so we’re pleased to now offer that choice at our checkouts, alongside our existing reusable plastic bags.

“These paper bags resonated really well with customers when we trialled them in 20 stores last year and we expect to see a positive response from the customers who’ve been asking for this option nationwide.”

Meanwhile, each Bag for Good costs 99 cents but can be replaced free of charge if it is damaged, no matter when it was purchased.

The proceeds from those bag sales go to the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program.

Woolies’ reusable bags cost 15 cents each, are made from at least 80 per cent recycled plastics and can be returned to the store, along with other soft plastics, for recycling in REDcycle bins.

And in another major bag shake-up, shoppers will have an eco-friendly alternative for holding their fruit and veg, with reusable nylon plastic bags launching today.

They will cost $4 for a three-pack, are compatible with Woolies checkout scales and can be found in the fresh produce section at all Woolworths Metros and selected Woolies stores.

Woolworths began phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags in 2018, and the company claims since then, more than six billion of them have been removed from circulation, with just 15 per cent of customers now purchasing new bags when doing their grocery shop.



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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