Sunday, December 06, 2020

Biden’s Socialism Will Be Green, Not Red

‘Red’ socialism may have been vanquished at the ballot box, but Americans need to be aware that its green successor is just as much of a threat to their freedoms.

One of the most interesting results of our recent elections was that Americans rejected socialism — or at least its close American equivalent — despite its seemingly growing popularity. Successfully labeling their opponents as socialists propelled many Republican candidates to victories in down-ballot races, particularly in areas with immigrants who had fled avowedly socialist regimes. Socialist-style policies were also defeated in ballot-measure votes, even in progressive states such as California.

Many commentators have noted that Joe Biden’s record of moderation in the Senate made it difficult to paint him as socialist. That does not mean, however, that socialism in all its variations has been defeated outright. As we are seeing in other parts of the world, what we once would have called socialism has evolved: Its future is green, not red.

This is most apparent in Europe. Across the western half of the continent, old-style socialist and social-democratic parties have seen their vote shares plunge in recent years. Green parties have risen in their place. Indeed, the Guardian characterized their successes in the 2019 European Parliament elections as a “quiet revolution.”

Yet the Greens are no less radical than their red predecessors. As the Guardian put it, “they have consolidated a manifesto that puts social justice and human rights at the heart of the fight for the planet, drawing in voters disillusioned with mainstream centre-left parties.”

We can discuss what the Greens mean by “human rights” on another occasion.

Meanwhile, the British Green Party is touting not just a Green New Deal for energy, but ones for housing (building 100,000 new state-owned homes) and income (introducing a universal basic income of $120 per week), among many others.

Climate change is at the heart of this radicalism. It represents the perfect excuse for socialist central planning. Industry and individual choices such as automobile driving, the argument goes, are wrecking the planet, and therefore must be centrally controlled and regulated so that emissions are reduced to a level that constrains climate change.

The regulations to achieve this end must be introduced now on an emergency basis and exist in perpetuity. According to the climate warriors, there is virtually no aspect of American economic life that does not have some effect on climate. It’s misbegotten, of course, but to be expected: If climate is at the heart of your policy, you will need to control all the myriad human actions and interactions that might affect it.

Since the early days of the Biden campaign, climate activists have happily proclaimed that his climate agenda is “a Green New Deal in all but name.” The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force document on environmental policy, coauthored by the newly named special envoy for climate, John Kerry, is entitled “Combating the Climate Crisis and Pursuing Environmental Justice.”

The transition team’s summary memo on how to approach climate aspects of the transition includes policies not just for the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, and the Departments of the Interior, Energy, and Transportation, but for the Departments of Agriculture, State, Justice, and Treasury, as well as the Office of Management and Budget. Personnel is policy, goes the saying in Washington, and, evidently, the Biden transition team’s plan to staff all these departments with climate activists.

The memo envisages “new authorities that allow for structural and systemic changes.” Without control of the Senate, the new administration will find it difficult to set these up. However, thanks to excessive delegations of power from Congress to the executive over the years, President Biden will be able to do a lot through regulation via executive order — with the power of the “pen and phone,” as President Obama put it.

We can expect significant restrictions on the use of fossil fuels and machines that use them. Massive amounts of public funds will be spent on promoting “green jobs” — and the administration will use its powers under labor law to ensure that these are union jobs. Non-union jobs such as independent contracting will come under increased fire, with emissions-heavy delivery services probably in the crosshairs once the COVID crisis eases. Trade tariffs will be raised on the basis of emission levels in the trading partner’s country — which will hit the developing world hard.

Even financial regulation will likely play a role in this bout of central planning. Regulators can use an array of supervisory powers to intimidate bankers into not lending — or denying other banking services — to fossil fuel-related businesses. This was the model the Obama administration used to try to drive the payday loan industry out of business, in something called Operation Choke Point. We can expect the new administration to try again, with a wider array of targets this time.

The tech industry is likely to be another target. We have already seen how tech companies have used the power of moderation to target sources of “disinformation” regarding the election and the pandemic. The threat of antitrust action by the new administration is likely to make them take more action against climate-change skeptics. The chances of an article like this being shared over social media will diminish.

“Red” socialism may have been vanquished at the ballot box, but Americans need to be aware that its green successor is just as much of a threat to their freedoms.

Get ready for NATION- wide blackouts under Biden

California’s climate and energy policies will bring thousands of blackouts to entire country

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

The power disaster unfolding in California will soon occur across the country, if Joe Biden gets his way. The Golden State has been sweeping away the forms of energy that have provided reliable electricity for decades, under the same agenda the former Vice-President is planning for America as a whole.

Power outages are now commonplace in California. Last summer, the state suffered its first rolling blackouts in nearly 20 years. Imagine if this happened in Chicago in the middle of winter.

California’s trouble is explained by officials who now openly admit to an over-reliance on wind and solar power. The governor said there was not enough wind to keep the turbines going, while cloud cover and nightfall restricted solar power. The Los Angeles Times recognized the root of the problem:

“… gas-burning power plants that can fire up when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing have been shutting down in recent years, and California has largely failed to replace them …”

Consequently, the state has fallen thousands of megawatts behind its needs. Governor Gavin Newsom admitted, “we failed to predict and plan for these shortages” and took (nominal) responsibility for the rolling blackouts. Now he wants everyone to conserve power, while the state looks for new sources of energy, most likely fossil fuel-generated power from neighboring states.

All this is happening while California continues its intention to transition to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% “climate-friendly energy” by 2045, as required by state law.

Indeed, in their October 6 open letter to Newsom, the heads of the California’s Energy Commission, Independent System Operator and Public Utilities Commission wrote: “We are unwavering in our commitment to meeting California’s clean energy and climate goals.”

Team Biden plans to go even further, committing to making the entire nation 100% renewable within 15 years. The United States would fall tens of millions of megawatts behind on its electricity needs.

Like the California government, the incoming Biden-Harris administration is acting entirely under the unfounded belief that climate change is a manmade calamity that can be stopped by eliminating fossil fuel use. They are clearly unaware of the Climate Change Reconsidered series of reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

These documents summarize thousands of studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals that either refute or cast serious doubt on the climate scare. They conclude that we are not causing a climate crisis.

Yet, in their October 6 report, Preliminary Root Cause Analysis – Mid-August 2020 Heat Storm, the same heads of California’s Energy Commission, Independent System Operator and Public Utilities Commission highlighted the “climate change-induced extreme heat storm across the western United States” as the first cause of the blackout.

In their view, apparently, shutting down coal, gas and nuclear power plants in California and in states from which California imports electricity played only minor roles.

California’s determination to shift to so-called “green” energy – which is actually anything but clean, green, renewable and sustainable – is being echoed by politicians across the nation. The result, especially in states that don’t enjoy California’s mostly benign weather, is going to be that those in the poorest neighborhoods and those on fixed incomes may be forced to choose between heating and eating.

It also means people trying to run their homes, offices, factories, hospitals and schools on intermittent, weather-dependent, much more expensive wind and solar power will have to get used to never knowing when or for how long their electricity will be on or off. Now in California; soon in the entire USA.

Coherent energy systems are designed with the understanding that portions of the system will be offline from time to time. Power companies compensate for this with reserve power at the ready. However, California has closed its margin for error in response to anti-nuclear and anti-fossil fuel sentiments and climate change concerns. Team Biden intends to do this for the entire United States.

Power outages cannot always be avoided and are more common than one may think. For example, between 2008 and 2017, Illinois had 871 outages, the tenth most by state. Texas had nearly twice as many, giving it the dubious distinction of ranking number two in the list.

But these pale in comparison to California which has the least reliable electrical power system in the nation. It leads in power outages every year. Between 2008 and 2017, it had 4,297 power outages!

The origin of the problem is partly California’s Senate Bill 1368, which in 2006 established the state’s emission standards to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants. Following that year, eleven coal-fired power plants were closed and three were converted to biomass. Only one coal-fired plant remains.

The state also reduced its normal reliance on energy from out of state coal plants.

Yielding to anti-nuclear activists, the state also closed all but one nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon. That plant generates about 18,000 Gigawatt-hours of reliable electricity every year, fully 8.6% of California’s total generation.

But Diablo Canyon will soon be closed too. Not surprisingly, during its construction and operation, anti-nuclear protests were common; nearly two thousand people were arrested for civil disobedience during a two-week period in 1981. In response, in 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a Pacific Gas & Electric Joint Proposal to phase out the state’s remaining nuclear power. That means the operating licenses for Diablo Canyon’s two units will not be renewed when they expire in 2024 and 2025.

Ironically, the Commission did not approve Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposal for resources to replace the station’s output. It does not appear to matter that nuclear reactors produce no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. They are hated by the enviro-radicals who drive California’s energy policy and are steadily putting the state even further behind the 8-ball.

It gets worse. California now requires that all new homes be nearly entirely electric. It wants citizens to switch their natural gas stoves to electric, as part of their global warming initiatives. More than 30 cities have already enacted bans on gas appliances, including San Francisco. The state also hopes to eliminate all gasoline and diesel cars in favor of plug-in electric automobiles.

This means demand for reliable, affordable electricity will rise by leaps and bounds, just as supplies are steadily reduced, and partially replaced by expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent power.

Just as Mr. Biden promises for the nation as a whole, California is sacrificing reliable electrical power as part of its impossible crusade to “stop climate change.” Of course, this will have no impact on our planet’s climate, because (a) climate change is mostly natural and not driven by carbon dioxide, and (b) all those wind turbines, solar panels and backup batteries will be manufactured overseas, mostly in China, using fossil fuels and simply moving the source of ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it will certainly spur sales of candles, flashlights, propane heaters, and natural gas, gasoline and diesel generators.

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Stunning satellite photos show Pacific Islands that are GROWING despite sea level rises

They rise and fall naturally

An island in the Pacific Ocean has grown dramatically in size despite rising sea levels, which has been blamed for sinking many others over the last four years.

New Zealand and Canadian researchers have been studying a chain of volcanic islands, known as the Marshall Islands, located between Hawaii and the Philippines, over the last 70 years.

Satellite images, aerial photographs and radio carbon dating have shown an island that sits on top of Ailinglaplap Atoll​ has grown by a staggering 13 per cent.

The island measured just 2.02 square kilometres in 1943, and is now 2.26 square kilometres in size.

The discovery comes despite rising sea levels around the world which has caused a number of islands to disappear in the Pacific region since 2016.

Sea level rises have been linked to thermal expansion caused by warming of the ocean and increased melting of land-based ice.

In the South Pacific, the sea has risen almost three times the global average, rising around seven to 10 millimetres every year since 1993.

Five reef islands in the Solomon Islands disappeared in 2016 while another three islands in the central Pacific vanished in 2019.

Despite their disappearances researchers have discovered some islands are still continuing to grow.

The New Zealand and Canadian scientists have provided a simple explanation for the growth at the Ailinglaplap Atoll​.

An atoll is a ring shaped coral reef that produces sediment, like sand and gravel, to help build the island on top of it.

As the reef flourishes, more sediment is produced, increasing the build-up and size of the island.

The Ailinglaplap Atoll​ began as two separate islands, but they merged because of sediment build-up over the decades.

A spit at the western end of the island has also been gathering more sediment, growing bigger in size.

University of Auckland senior lecturer Dr Murray Ford told Stuff radiocarbon dating showed the sediment had been building up since as early as 1950.

'The big picture with this is the modern day coral reef can build an island even though the sea level is rising,' he said.

'The nice thing about these islands is everything that builds the island comes from the reef.'

Professor Ford said it was important coral reefs remained healthy so islands could continue to grow.

'It's all about the reef health, being able to produce sand and gravel to help make these islands and maintain them.'

At the moment, many coral reefs are at threat of ocean acidification, reef bleaching and pollution.




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