Thursday, March 28, 2019

Obama’s First ‘Green New Deal’ Flopped Too

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal has been widely ridiculed for its massive disruption to the economy and a price tag of tens of trillions of dollars.

Now some Democrats are countering that this isn't the first Green New Deal in America. They point to President Barack Obama's fiscal stimulus plan of 2009-2010 as an example of how spreading around tax dollars for green energy programs can be good for the environment and the economy.

Think again. That isn't at all what happened during the Obama "Green New Deal." By every objective criteria confirmed by every independent investigation, the avalanche of green dollars in Obama's first term was a colossal waste of money. The House Oversight Committee' exhaustive investigation of the $14 billion renewable energy loan guarantee program exposed widespread "dysfunction, negligence and mismanagement by DOE officials." The report concluded the Obama administration routinely "turned a blind eye" to the mismanagement.

In all, Obama (and George W. Bush before him) spent some $100 billion on giveaways to wind and solar power producers, electric cars and for weatherizing homes and buildings. It was arguably one of the largest corporate welfare experiments in American history, enriching an industry and its investors. Most of this money went for research to speed up commercial applications of green energy or was pipelined directly into bank accounts of individual companies.

The most infamous of these was, of course, Solyndra, the solar energy company that received $530 million of taxpayer handouts and was touted many times by Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden, as the next big thing in green energy. It never produced any energy to speak of before it went bankrupt.

That was the similar fate for dozens of other companies including the Department of Energy's half-billion dollar bet on the showcase electric car company Fisker — which also went belly up.

The New Green Deal calls for the government to retrofit all of the homes and businesses in America so they are energy efficient. The Obama administration launched a $5 billion program for this purpose and DOE Secretary Steven Chu referred to this program as "one of our signature programs."

The House investigators found a "stunning lack of oversight of this program" with "no one checking the quality of the work performed, allowing poor workmanship to go undetected and undeterred. Many DOE contractors did not do the work promised by DOE and many of them actually damaged homes." The inspector general for the DOE fumed that the weaknesses of the program "pose health and safety risks to residents."

Anyone want these people coming into your home?

What about the grandiose promise of retraining Americans who lose their jobs due to the Green New Deal? Under the Obama administration, the feds allocated $500 million for "green" worker training. This was supposed to train 124,893 people, but in 2012 the Labor Department Inspector General found the program only trained 52,762 (42 percent of the target), and only 8,035 actually got jobs (10 percent of the target). No wonder coal miners, truck drivers and oil and gas employees aren't thrilled about losing their jobs.

There was much more green fraud and waste uncovered, but the bottom line was this: After more than $100 billion spent on the first Green New Deal, by 2016 only about 1 percent American energy was coming from solar energy. Less than 2 percent of cars on the road were electric vehicles — even with the government offering thousands of dollars of cash rebates to buy the vehicles.

Meanwhile, the clean energy source that the government ignored, natural gas, exploded from 25 percent of electricity production to almost 40 percent. No one in Washington saw the shale revolution coming. The Obama administration was openly hostile to fracking. There was no "natural gas new deal" and, in fact, this industry received hardly a penny of federal subsidy. There were no mandates at the state level requiring people to use natural gas. Fracking and horizontal drilling were developed out in the hinterlands of Oklahoma, North Dakota and Texas, not in a Department of Energy lab inside the Washington Beltway.

Yes, Obama gave us a test run on the Green New Deal. The return on investment was miserable. Many people got rich on the government largesse and the taxpayers got fleeced. Incredibly, Democrats never called for a Mueller-type investigation into the grifters who pulled off this heist of tens of billions of dollars from the government.

The sane conclusion would be: Never again. But failed lessons of government as venture capitalists have been ignored and covered up.

Instead, AOC, the environmental groups and at least four major Democratic presidential candidates want to try it all again. But this time with trillions of dollars.


Students Love The “Green New Deal” Until They Hear What’s In It

We’ve told CHQ readers about the deleterious effects of the “Green New Deal," a Socialist plan aimed at taking hold of American economic life under the guise of drastically reducing carbon emissions in the next ten years.

One of the principle reasons Democrats have launched the “Green New Deal” is because they think climate change hysteria among young people has reached critical mass politically and it is time to capture those votes.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to my future. And just because I can’t vote right now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice. I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who is scared and afraid for their future," Lily Gardner, a 15-year-old student from Eastern Kentucky, told Refinery29 of why she joined a protest outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. "It’s not a question of who knows more or who has been in the business for longer, it’s the question of who is going to be disproportionately impacted by climate change. When people don’t take me seriously, they are not taking my future seriously.”

The “Green New Deal” has already received the endorsements of Democrat presidential candidates, like Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, so our friends at Campus Reform, the group that exposes the liberal bias and abuse against conservatives on America’s colleges and universities decided to go to a college campus and ask students what they think of the “Green New Deal.”

Wanting to know if the same people who support the New Green Deal would still support it after hearing what was actually in it, Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips headed to the University of Miami to find out.

Some of the college students made clear, like the high school student quoted above, that they perceive global warming as an apocalyptic concern. "I think if we didn't do that, then we're going to be killing ourselves, basically," said one student. "So, we need to take care of ourselves."

"Anything that would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is really important," agreed another. "I definitely support this movement," said one student generally.

“I like that it’s progressive, that it’s gonna push the world forward,” another student said, while another added, “just from knowing who’s endorsed it and some other little things, it sounds great.”

"I view it favorably. I think that we need to cut our reliance on fossil fuels," said another.

However, when asked by Phillips about the Green New Deal's ultimate goals of eliminating all use of fossil fuels, including natural gas, in the next decade and other radical elements, the students' enthusiasm about the plan quickly dwindled.

“That’s a reach” was the consensus opinion.

Some of the strongest negative responses came to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's since-deleted FAQ that included the plan to give every American "economic security" even if they are "unable or unwilling to work."

Upon hearing that the students quickly changed to saying, “if you’re not willing to contribute to society other people should not pay for you” and “people definitely need to get a job and need to work.”

As the Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti explained, the "Green New Deal" veers away from the "green," and into, well, the red. Included in the "supplemental" part of the proposed legislation are a handful of fully-socialist programs including:

Job training and education for all

"Direct investments in frontline and deindustrialized communities" that would inevitably feel the pain of eliminating industries such as coal and natural gas

A full complement of union jobs (the "Green New Deal" proposes no jobs that are not unionized, provide a "fair wage," or involve hiring foreign workers)

A guaranteed job with "family-sustaining wages" for all Americans, particularly for those "unable" and, more importantly, "unwilling" to work

"Safe, affordable, and adequate housing" for every American

And to top it off, "high-quality health care, housing, economic security, and clean air, clean water, healthy food, and nature to all"

Talk radio Superstar Rush Limbaugh has regularly visited the subject of children being scared to death over bogus claims of climate change Armageddon and it is worth reviewing some of his comments in light of the Campus Reform video.

In the segment “Global Warming Hoaxers to Traumatized Kids: Cure Climate Anxiety with Activism” from May 6, 2014 Rush explained how children have been scared into “climate change” activism:

RUSH: Let us review how the left has attempted to corral people to agree with them and sweep them up into this political movement that’s called climate change. It used to be called global warming, and then when the warming stopped they had to change the term. The main technique that they’ve used is fear combined with guilt, and it has worked well. They have approached people, not directly, but in the form of just everyday news stories, blog posts, movies, cartoon shows, television shows. (Emphasis ours)

The idea is that humanity’s destroying the planet, and not just any humanity, but highly advanced, economically highly advanced humanity is destroying the planet, primarily the United States. Capitalism, where people’s progress, economic progress, is destructive to the planet. This has been the message. We’re destroying it, greenhouse gases, with the giant cars and trucks that we drive and all the airplanes that we’re flying and all the miles we’re flying and all the fossil fuels that we’re burning. We’ve got 10 years or 20 years or 30 years or 50 years or a hundred years, depending on the report, to fix it or we’re all gonna die. (Emphasis ours)

And then the polar bears are dying, and they put up fraudulent pictures of polar bears on little ice floes, three square feet, claiming that’s all that’s left for Little Timmy the polar bear. And of course giant, total, fraudulent lies, all designed to impose guilt and fear, even among kids. I mean, Ted Turner was one of the early entrances into this with his cartoon series on Saturday morning called Captain Planet. It was about a guy saving the world from evil corporate CEOs who were destroying it simply by running their businesses. Capitalists, Republicans, conservatives didn’t care what they destroyed, didn’t care who they destroyed. All they wanted was to get rich and make everybody else poorer.

The problem for Democrats is now obvious: Having created their army of brainwashed little climate change monsters, the have to keep moving Left to satisfy their appetite for bigger government, more regulations and more laws and more limits on what we can do, more restrictions on what we can think and say and become, and the “Green New Deal” is just the start.


California’s Anti-Green Land-Use Policies Increase Global Warming

Much of California enjoys year-round pleasant weather, without the harsh winters of the midwest and northeast, and without the heat and humidity of the deep south. One result is that California homes use less heat and air conditioning than homes in other parts of the country.

Harvard economist Edward Glaeser says that a household in San Francisco has a carbon footprint 60 percent smaller than a similar household in Memphis.

Meanwhile, California has the nation’s most restrictive land-use policies, which prevent new housing from being built, keep housing prices high, and prevent people from moving to California.

In 2016, California had the second highest out-migration among the states (second to New Jersey). The most common destinations of California out-migrants were Texas, Nevada, and Washington. The state with the highest net in-migration was Florida.

While at first glance California’s stringent land-use policies that keep people from moving to the state might appear environmentally friendly, the opposite is true. People have to live somewhere, and when California’s land-use policies keep them from moving to California, they end up living in states that give them a much higher carbon footprint.

Every retiree who ends up in Florida instead of California raises the nation’s carbon footprint. Every worker who ends up in Texas, Nevada, or Washington, rather than in California, raises the nation’s carbon footprint.

If Californians were really serious about mitigating global warming, their policies would be designed to encourage people to move to their state, where people’s carbon footprints are naturally lower because of the favorable climate. Instead, California has an anti-green environmental agenda that pushes people to live in places with higher carbon footprints.

Californians often act as if their state is environmentally friendly, but its land-use policies that push people into states where people have higher carbon footprints add more to global carbon emissions than the policies of any other state.


Do water bottles cause cancer? Chemistry expert fact-checks the thriving myth

Tom Brokaw said he does not drink out of plastic water bottles anymore after a 'leading cancer researcher' suggested they are linked to cancer.

The 79-year-old news anchor, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, stoked the years-old bottle-cancer debate on Tuesday in a video for cancer site SurvivorNet, in which he also revealed he uses medical marijuana.

'I said, "how come, John, we've not been able to get a grip on this and we're out hunting?"' Brokaw recalls.

'He picked up a water bottle and he said, "I'm not sure these are not involved in some way. We're working on it." That was a revelation to me quite honestly. I don't drink out of them anymore. It was this leading cancer researcher saying, "I don't have it nailed down but it worries me."'

Joe Schwarcz, PhD, a leading chemist and director of the Office for Science and Society at McGill University, told this thriving myth is problematic.

'It's a true statement: yes, we don't know that it [water bottles] isn't involved. We also don't know that cosmic radiation isn't involved,' Dr Schwarcz said. 

'You can never prove that something can't happen. But... there's a lot of confusion about the material those water bottles are made of.'

Regardless of the material, he says: 'Only the dose makes the poison. Just because something is deemed to be a carcinogen doesn't mean it causes cancer in humans.'

The main concern, he says, is over Bisphenol A (BPA), a recognized carcinogen that was once used in baby bottles before they were pulled from the market. Now, BPA, though occasionally used in water cooler carboys, is not used to make the water bottles we drink out of.

Today, the water bottles we buy in stores are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is regarded as safe for one-time use.

Another plasticizer recognized as a carcinogen is diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), which is used in bottle caps, but it cannot 'leach' chemicals into water to any significant degree.

According to Dr Schwarcz, any phthalates (plasticizers) used in the production of bottled water are trace amounts in larger molecules that cannot leach into the water.

'Hazard does not equal risk,' Dr Schwarcz said.

'The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the IARC, lists known cancer-causing agents, including BPA, but also bacon, that have been shown to be a hazard.

'That means some dose causes cancer. But that's a completely different thing to saying that exposure causes cancer. 'In science, we are interested in exposure. Numbers matter.

'Does he [Tom Brokaw] eat bacon? One could make a far, far stronger case for not eating bacon than not drinking out of water bottles.'

Dr Schwarcz does not, in fact, drink out of plastic water bottles - not for health reasons but environmental ones. 'It's an environmental disaster to produce these,' he said. 'Every week there's enough discarded to encircle the globe twice. That's a tremendous amount of plastic that ends up in the great Pacific garbage patch, which breaks down and is ingested by wildlife. And the plastic is made from oil, which is a non-renewable resource. There's just no reason for the existence of these water bottles.'

But if cancer is your concern, he says, don't waste your energy worrying - as many have done over the past decade.

The debate was given a boost in 2007, when breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow made the same suggestion in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, saying she was concerned that dangerous chemicals leach from water bottles into the water, particularly after they are left in the heat.

It's not only celebrities.

Last year, researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia found significant levels of microplastics in bottled water from various brands.

But another study last year, by researchers at North-West University in South Africa, found high levels of microplastics in tap water, too.

The issue is, Dr Schwarcz says, you would be hard-pressed to cut all carcinogens out of your life, including microplastics which have seeped into all areas of consumption.

'Cancer is a devastating illness which is multi-faceted,' Dr Schwarcz said.

'There are numerous things in the environment that can cause cancer, like chemicals from cooking meat, or arsenic powder, which naturally occurs naturally. We live in a slog of cancer-causing compounds. Some are natural some not.'


The Greatest Generation VS the Greenest Generation

Viv Forbes writes from Australia

My grandfather was part of the Great Generation. Toughened by wars and depression they were patriotic nation builders.

Their monuments are long-term productive assets like the Mount Isa and Broken Hill mines, smelters and refineries, the Wollongong Steelworks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the transcontinental railway, the overland telegraph line, the Yallourn coal mines and Power stations, the Renison and Mt Lyell mines and railways, the Kalgoorlie Goldfields, the Weipa and Gladstone bauxite industries, Pilbara Iron, the Perth-Kalgoorlie pipeline, the Kidman Cattle Empire, the world’s biggest merino flock, QANTAS, the Holden car, Southern Cross windmills, the Sunshine Harvester and a network of roads, railways, towns, power lines, ports and airports.

The pioneers survived floods, droughts, bushfires and plagues of mice, rabbits, locusts and prickly pear to develop an agricultural industry that provides food and fibre for millions of consumers. They were frugal and inventive. They built everything themselves with corrugated iron, shingles, guttering, poles, posts, nails, rivets, solder and wire – houses, humpies, haysheds, milking barns, sheep yards, shearing sheds, water tanks, grain stores, dairies, meat houses, dog kennels, chook sheds and the dunny up the back. They created parks and planted orchards and forests for timber and paper.

They welcomed boat-loads of hard working migrants from many countries to farms and factories and celebrated the arrival of “clean coal energy by wire” to every home.

The Great Generation made sure their kids behaved at school and did their home-work. Mostly kids were “seen but not heard”. The kids walked, rode bikes or horses to school, and parents reinforced school discipline. That generation loved and trusted the ABC which provided unbiased news and weather forecasts and wholesome entertainment.

Our lives are now controlled by the Green Generation, who follow a Globalist agenda. This generation has devalued science, engineering and trade skills and pollute education curricula with the mantras of the green religion. They encourage the climate alarm, anti-enterprise, anti-family bias evident on the staff-controlled, taxpayer-funded ABC. And now they mobilise noisy truant kids for political rallies.

Too many of the Green Generation specialise in obstruction, destruction and delay, while themselves consuming the assets of the past. They cheer the demolition of coal-fired power plants and use green law-fare to stop or delay almost everything else. Among their battle trophies are South Australian and Victorian coal mines and power stations, most new industry proposals in Tasmania, much offshore oil exploration, new dam proposals in every state, and every new proposal for coal development, gas exploration or fracking. They hope to hang the scalps of Adani Coal, Rocky Point Coal, Wandoan Coal and all Galilee Basin developments on their trophy wall. Australia has a huge uranium resources but nuclear power is banned.

Nowhere is the contrast between the generations more stark than in the Snowy Mountains.

The Great Generation planned, financed and built the Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme (without UN direction or advice). This nation-building project captures Snowy water, uses it to generate reliable electricity, and diverts the water to irrigate towns, orchards and crops on the dry western plains.

The Green Generation supports Snowy Hydro 2, a hollow-shelled project that steals electricity from the grid and water from Snowy 1 to pump water uphill and then recovers part of that electricity by letting the water run back down again (when their intermittent green energy fails). It will be a big, power-consuming, expensive battery.

The sad history of Whyalla is instructive. The Great Generation built an iron mine, a steel works and a great shipbuilding enterprise there. Most of it is idle now. This generation of techno-phobes looks like trying to build foreign nuclear-powered submarines there but with diesel-electric engines (presumably running on bio-fuel.) The British navy that ruled the world ran on coal for the war-ships and bread, salt beef, lard, limes and rum for the sailors. Today’s green dreamers hope to feed the multi-sexual crew on nuts and raisins and use the alcohol to power the motors.

The Great Generation created our present world and left many useful assets as their monuments.

The Green Generation is destroying our future. The way things are heading, the lasting monuments to the Green Generation will be the skeletons of abandoned solar “farms” overgrown by lantana scrub, the concrete foundations of bankrupt wind “farms”, and spider-webs of useless sagging transmission lines and towers.

These memorials will serve to remind the next generation of the long, costly and futile war on hydro-carbon energy and the many failed climate forecasts.



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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