Sunday, October 11, 2020

More Green denial by Kamala Harris

The Democratic presidential ticket has, during the first two debates, effectively denied ownership of the Green New Deal. What gives?

Last week, former Vice President Joe Biden said, “I don’t support the Green New Deal,” even though he has supported it for more than a year. Biden’s “Unity Task Force” recommendations issued jointly with Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed the tenets of the Green New Deal, and his campaign’s website embraces it.

At the Vice Presidential debate this week, Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, was asked about Biden’s denial of supporting the GND and her own co-sponsorship of the plan in the Senate. She dodged the question by claiming Biden supports hydro-fracturing for natural gas, and that he will create jobs. Harris also mentioned the wildfires in California and storms on the Gulf Coast, and claimed, “the science is telling us this.” Climate change, she said, is “an existential threat to us as human beings.”

Curiously, Sen. Harris never mentioned the words “Green New Deal,” perhaps because it has never polled well. It is hugely expensive, in the multi-trillions of dollars, and envisions replacing fossil fuels, destroying jobs and empowering government with far greater control over the private economy and lifestyles of Americans. In the abstract, Americans may like “green energy” and “carbon free” concepts when push-polled, but they mostly oppose the socialistic specifics of what is required to get there. This explains why not a single senator, including Harris, supported the GND when it was put to a vote last year on the Senate floor.

Another factor is that every version of the Green New Deal is anti-fracking. Throughout the Democratic presidential primaries, Mr. Biden, Sen. Harris, Sen. Sanders and the other two dozen candidates were tripping over each other to tout their support for banning fracking. There were no caveats or ambiguity from Biden or Harris. The general election is a different matter since at least two battleground states, Pennsylvania and Ohio, have a large energy sectors dependent on fracking natural gas.

Sen. Harris claimed in the debate, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact.” Considering her own emphatic commitment to ban fracking, and Biden’s repeated prior statements to do likewise, her reassurance falls flat. I was next expecting her to don a Pittsburgh Steelers helmet to claim she was a fan since her days riding the school bus in suburban California.

The GND’s original sponsor in the U.S. House of Representatives is the one-and-only Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who happened to co-chair the committee that drafted the climate provisions of the Biden-Bernie Unity Task Force. AOC responded to Harris after the debate by saying “fracking is bad, actually.”

As with the first debate, the “moderator,” Susan Page of USA Today asked several loaded questions to Vice President Mike Pence, including on climate change. She asked, “Do you believe, as the scientific community has concluded, that man-made climate change has made wildfires bigger, hotter and more deadly? And it made hurricanes wetter, slower and more damaging (emphasis mine)?

Whatever inchoate description one can make of the “scientific community,” it has not “concluded” any such connection between a changing climate and wildfires and hurricanes. Yet, Ms. Page, a lifelong journalist, incuriously embraces such trope. At least she eschewed debating the subject with Pence, in contrast to the impervious Chris Wallace in the first presidential debate.

The Vice President properly responded with mention of the Trump administration’s environmental record that is impactful on people in the present day, namely, cleaner water and air, and investments in national parks and conservation. He also dismissed any connection to hurricanes, which haven’t changed in frequency in a century; and wildfires, which are caused by mismanaged forests. Pence then turned to challenge Sen. Harris on her and Biden’s embrace of the Green New Deal and their anti-fracking positions.

Mr. Pence also avoided the directly the issue whether climate change is “an existential threat” to humanity. His careful response stated, “Climate is changing. We’ll follow the science.” He returned to criticize the Green New Deal and its threat to American jobs, though he could have added that the climate was much warmer in centuries past.

A more robust climate discussion should involve “moderators” challenging politicians who insist on trillions of taxpayer dollars to attempt to lower global temperature by a single degree. Make them justify reducing America’s energy sources, job market and economy by explaining the actual science and data that purports to necessitate such drastic action. Instead, both debates peddled climate shibboleths.

Americans lose when alarmists—politicians and journalists alike— emotionally continue to invoke “science” generically to promote destructive and foolhardy climate policies.


Why wind won’t work

Unreliable and expensive renewables won’t give us the energy abundance we need.

Does Boris want to shut down the country long-term? I’m not talking about the Covid-19 lockdown (which will be over when the public tires of it), but the PM’s eyecatching announcement that wind farms could power every home by the end of the decade.

Johnson vowed to make the UK into the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind’. ‘As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind – a place of almost limitless resource, but in the case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment’, he told the Conservative Party conference.

Before we get swept away by Johnson’s breezy chatter, it’s worth putting this pledge into context. He was careful to use the word ‘homes’, which account for only a third of the UK’s electricity demand (the rest going mainly to industrial and commercial uses).

But even so, is wind really the cheap, limitless resource the PM claims it is? Unfortunately not, for the quite simple reason that the wind doesn’t blow how we want it to. When the wind blows too much, wind turbines have to be switched off. When it blows too little, back-up power sources need to be identified.

Wind power comes with a hefty price tag, too. In the UK, over a hundred million pounds is paid each year to wind-energy companies to reimburse them when they switch off their turbines during high wind. And when not enough energy is generated from wind, other sources (usually natural gas) have to be on hand to provide a backup. These generators also have to be switched on and off again to meet demand, pushing up the price further.

Wind’s unreliability is just one reason why it makes electricity more expensive, even as the construction cost of the turbines themselves is falling.

Reliance on renewable sources alone is simply not an option. Green-energy experiments across the world have led to disaster. California now experiences rolling blackouts, having tripled its supply of renewables and phased out the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Germany’s electricity prices are now among the highest in the world since embracing the Energiewende (energy transition), while carbon emissions remain stubbornly high as coal has made a comeback as a bridging fuel. But the track record of green failures and the unreliability of renewables never seem to be enough to dent enthusiasm for various ‘Green New Deals’ or, in Boris Johnson’s vision, the ‘green revolution’.

The bigger problem is that energy policy has for so long been based around constraint – politicians have tasked themselves with limiting demand and cutting carbon emissions. Instead, our priority should be creating a cheap, reliable and abundant supply of energy that can power the serious growth we need.


Uh Oh, Joe: Even PA Voters Know You’re Full of Crap When It Comes to Fracking

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are two unlikable candidates on the 2020 Democratic ticket, who have refused to answer whether they’ll pack the Supreme Court and have been caught lying regarding fracking. Energy issues are key in a state like Pennsylvania, which Biden has to retake this November if he has a shot of winning the presidency. With an anti-fracking stance, he may find conquering the Keystone State to be all but impossible. Natural gas has been great to Pennsylvania and the local economy. Both candidates have declared they will ban it. We have the receipts. We have the videos. On Biden’s campaign website, it says he supports the Green New Deal, which kills fracking. It also bans the internal combustion engine, but that’s for another time.

The point is that Pennsylvania voters know where both of you stand, guys. You’re not going to lie your way through this, and even if you didn’t want to ban it—you’re stuck. You’d owe too big a debt to the environmental left to do nothing on this. You’d have to subject scores of American families to economic destitution.

MSNBC went to Beaver, PA and found that voters here know exactly where these two clowns stand on energy and what will happen should they get elected.

And as of now, there’s not enough time to turn that ship around. There’s too many statements and videos showing them dead set on killing this industry.


Australia: The Black Summer bushfires that killed a billion animals and destroyed a fifth of the continent’s forests last summer were a normal outcome of fluctuating weather patterns, a new book has claimed

‘Climate Change: The Facts 2020’, written by biologists, atmospheric physicists and meteorologists, rejected the claim that climate change could be linked to the devastating fires between October 2019 and March 2020.

A number of scientists have blamed the changing weather patterns and drought for the fires but the book says there is ‘nothing unusual about the current rate or magnitude of climate change’.

Its authors state the earth regularly goes through cycles of dry and wet weather and that the fires were not unprecedented.

It claims the naturally occurring cycle was combined with poor hazard reduction burns and fire management which set the grounds for a catastrophic blaze.

Editor and Institute of Public Affairs senior research fellow Jennifer Marohasy said Australia had a history of bushfires that burned up large parts of the country as early as 1851.

Thirty-three people died directly from the fire while more than 400 are estimated to have lost their lives because of the smoke pollution.

More than 2,000 homes were burned almost 20 million hectares destroyed.

‘A similarly vast area of 21 million hectares was lost to unplanned fires as recently as 2012-13,’ Dr Marohasy told Daily Telegraph.

‘However, this is not the largest area burned by uncontrolled fires. In 1974–75, 117 million hectares burned.’

Dr Marohasy went on to dismantle a number of studies that showed a string of unseasonably dry years had contributed to the ferocity of the fires.

She noted that Australia had recorded its wettest summer since 1990 as early as 2010.

‘If anything, these official statistics suggest it is getting wetter, rainfall statistics for the entire Australian continent, available for download from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, also indicate that more recent years have been wetter, especially the past 50 years,’ she said.

University of Melbourne’s Andrew King conducted a study that looked at a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which has a direct effect on rainfall levels in Australia and elsewhere.

Since 2017 much of Australia has experienced widespread drought, something the study attributed to a relative lack of negative IOD events.

This sees warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the east Indian Ocean with cooler waters in the west.

These events tend to shift weather patterns and typically bring greater rainfall to southeast Australia, and are made less frequent as global sea temperatures warm.

Dr King and the team examined rainfall statistics and found that the winter of 2016 saw extremely heavy precipitation and a corresponding negative IOD event.

Since then, the Murray-Darling Basin has experienced 12 consecutive seasons with below-average rainfall, the longest period on record since 1900.

‘With climate change there have been projections that there will be more positive IOD events and fewer negative IOD events,’ King said.

‘This would mean that we’d expect more dry seasons in Australia and possibly worse droughts.’

A comment piece from two researchers, from the CERFACS in France, claim the fires are unequivocally related to climate change.

‘Mean warming levels are now sufficiently large that many high temperature extreme events would be impossible without anthropogenic influence,’ Dr Benjamin Sanderson and Dr Rosie Fisher wrote.

‘In the case of recent events in Australia, there is no doubt that the record temperatures of the past year would not be possible without anthropogenic influence, and that under a scenario where emissions continue to grow, such a year would be average by 2040 and exceptionally cool by 2060.’

Climate Change: The Facts 2020′ is now available for sale.



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