Don’t Combat Covid Hysteria with Vaccine Hysteria

Conservatives are supposed to be rational, thoughtful, and logical, relying on data and reason to reach supportable conclusions. These conclusions form the basis for our beliefs and policy, and is one of the ways that we distinguish ourselves from Leftists. Regrettably, however, there is a disturbing trend that runs counter to these tenets regarding the Covid-19 vaccines. If we are to fight Covid-19 hysteria, we must do it with data and facts, not unsupportable hysteria surrounding the vaccines or anything else. Vaccinations, like everything else, are a matter of choice, so let's choose wisely.

All of the data in this article is consistent across the USA and the world.

About the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization

The FDA has a rigorous process for drugs to earn approval from the agency. In circumstances like a pandemic, there is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process. The process is exactly the same, but occurs on an expedited basis. What matters the most is not the timeline so much as number of participants. All three vaccines cleared Phase I and II. For Phase III trials, Pfizer had 43,000 participants, Moderna had 30,000, and J&J had 40,000. Patients were followed for 60 days after treatment. All trials included a placebo group, so we’re concerned with events in the vaccine group.

All vaccinations may result in “adverse events,” i.e. relatively minor side effects. Those don’t concern us. Serious Adverse Events (SAE), or “any untoward medical occurrence that resulted in death, was life-threatening, required inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, or resulted in persistent disability/incapacity,” were almost non-existent.

The CDC’s data since the advent of the EUAs has shown similar lack of serious adverse events.

Statistically, you're safe.

On the basis of aggregate population, a given individual is ten times more likely to die from Covid-19 than from a vaccine. After eliminating the Covid-19 deaths from people age 65 or older, a person is four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than the vaccine, with the chances of a SAE being roughly equal to dying from the virus.

If we are going to call out the absurdity of locking the world down over a virus with a 0.2 percent chance of killing the general population, in which 94 percent of deaths were in those 65 or older with an average of three comorbidities, it is incumbent that we call out equivalent absurdities regarding vaccines fears.

What About the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) Data?

Anyone can make an entry into the VAERS. There is no supporting evidence required. There is no medical professional follow-up required. Covid-19 reports have been tracked down per the above link, supporting the low rate of SAEs.

Some 551,172 reports regarding the vaccines have been made to VAERS. Even if all of them were legitimate and verified, they represent 0.17 percent of the 321 million doses administered in the U.S. thus far. The unverified count for death, permanent disability and life-threatening reports numbered just over 29,000, representing an infinitesimal 0.009 percent of the vaccine population. That’s on par with each manufacturer’s data. Again, those numbers are unverified. The actual number is likely less.

Interestingly, the number of reported deaths from the virus is 598,624 out of a population of 328 million. The total VAERS reports are nearly identical to the number of deaths attributable to the virus for almost exactly the same size data population.

Are The Vaccines Effective?

The aggregate incidence of Covid-19 in the U.S. is about 11 percent, assuming testing is accurate, which it probably is not. It is likely that PCR-testing gives a significant number of false positives. It is also unclear just how many deaths are truly attributable to the virus alone.

However, we can look to data from Johns Hopkins to determine any correlation between vaccine administration and case count. By clicking on the map of virtually any state or country, vaccinations are correlated with a decline in case count. It’s critical to note that this is merely a correlation, and does not prove causation. A rigorous statistical analysis would be required to determine the rate of case decline at various points before and during vaccination periods. Indeed, case count had already started to decline from their peak when the vaccines began to be distributed.

However, Pfizer reported 95 percent effectiveness with its vaccine, Moderna reported 94 percent, and J&J reported 64 percent. “Effective” does not mean you are immune. It means your body will respond as designed to limit the severity of any illness.

"Vaccinated" doesn't mean "immune."

Are the Vaccines Necessary?

It is notable that 94 percent of all virus deaths occurred in people who had an average of three comorbidities. 80 percent of deaths were in those persons aged 65 and older. About 74,000 people under age 54 have died from Covid in the U.S., or about 12 percent of the total. Roughly 14,000 have died under age 39, of which slightly more than 1,000 were under age 24.

In Sweden, where restrictions were far looser than in equally-populated Los Angeles County, there are fewer confirmed Covid cases (10.8 percent vs 12.6 percent). Sweden’s population is 37 percent vaccinated, while L.A. County is at 70 percent. Sweden’s death rate is 1.46 percent vs. L.A. County’s 2 percent.

The fairly strong inference here is that the lockdowns made no difference. Yet one other possible inference is that vaccinations made no material difference. That’s because the virus had already burned through the most vulnerable populations (the sick and the elderly).

No More Myths:

  1. No, the vaccines don’t “change your RNA.”  This presentation offers a solid explanation of how the mRNA vaccine works.
  2. No, the spike protein doesn't make you ill. See above.
  3. No, the vaccines are not some sinister plot by Bill Gates to reduce population.
  4. No, Big Pharma is not in league with the government to put poison in your body. The only way to encourage private enterprise to develop vaccines was to remove liability.
  5. No, the CCCP did not intentionally release the virus. It would make for a really lousy bioweapon that only kills old and/or sick people. China depends on the global economy, especially that of the U.S., for its own economic health (for now). Had this been intentional, multiple people would have been deliberately infected and flown around the world to spread it. That didn’t happen.

World's worst bio-weapon? Or yummy soup!

As sad as it is to hear stories from people who have lost a loved one as an apparent result of a vaccination, it is critical to recognize that these are anecdotal incidents no different from those of people who say they know someone “young and healthy” who died from Covid. The chances of either occurring are extremely remote. In neither case can any broad conclusion be drawn.

Why is the government at every level pushing everyone to get vaccinated? It isn't some conspiracy. It's because politicians have been reactionary from the start, terrified that people will die, they will get blamed, and lose their jobs and power. They are doing what they always do -- covering their collective and individual asses.

Reason.  Logic.  Data.  Analysis. That’s what makes us special. Keep it that way.

'Climate Change' vs. the Uyghurs

Pretty shocking -- Politico reports on growing tensions within the Democratic coalition, with the environmental activist faction of the party objecting to even the mildest attempts by the Biden administration to confront China over its human rights violations and international aggression.

As a new Cold War takes shape between the U.S. and China, progressives fear the result will be a dramatically warming planet. Over 40 progressive groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden and lawmakers on Wednesday urging them to prioritize cooperation with China on climate change and curb its confrontational approach over issues like Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong and forced detention of Uyghur Muslims.

The problem for the Biden administration is that American public opinion has shifted significantly against China in recent years, such that according to a recent Pew survey, 89 percent of Americans "consider China a competitor or enemy, rather than a partner." This move began with Donald Trump calling out China's predatory trade policy and intellectual property violations before he was even president and continued through then-President Trump and Chairman Xi's trade war. It was cemented, however, by the CCP's handling of the Covid-19 outbreak last year, which, if the no-longer-a-conspiracy-theory lab leak hypothesis turns out to be true, would mean that China is responsible for the most significant man-made disaster in human history.

Which is to say Americans' anger with China is real and entirely justified such that Biden can't simply ignore it. Consequently, when the G-7's leaders met last month, the president urged them to condemn China's human rights abuses, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a point of addressing the “ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing” of China's Uyghur minority during a recent phone call with his Chinese counterparts.

But for the environmentalists, none of this really matters. They've convinced themselves that climate is the preeminent political issue, and no other consideration comes close. Many of them would even argue that American capitalism and climate change are inseparable -- even indistinguishable -- political problems, never mind the fact that, while the U.S. has led the world in total carbon emissions decline since 2000, China's new coal-fired energy capacity alone outstripped the rest of the world by 300 percent in 2020.

Like the tankies of old, who invariably defended the Soviet Union's various atrocities, the modern variety can't imagine any bad actor on the world stage aside from the United States. For them, China's signing emissions reductions pledges which they don't intend to honor is evidence that they're the good guys, while America's banning the import of a single Chinese company's solar panels over some pesky forced labor allegations suggests that we aren't taking climate change seriously enough.

Thus far in his presidency, Biden has felt it necessary to appease his environmentalist flank at every turn. But considering the burgeoning anti-CCP sentiment, will that trend come to an end? Perhaps. But the activist class is very persistent and has friends and fellow travelers in high places. My money's on their winning out and us backing down against China. Again.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Styling

It’s official! According to Judith (mummy), their phone in St John’s Wood has been ringing nonstop with calls from my former school chums, (and some I wasn’t all that chummy with) ever since I was on the cover of Paris Match. I’m not sure how that ranks higher than my place on the Olympic Equestrian Team but perhaps they share a keen interest in the environment. Although frankly I doubt it.

One such call really got under Judith’s skin as it was a reporter asking if she too ate bugs, and if it were a habit she’d picked up in China. According to Daddy she corrected them and hung up. After all, it was British Hong Kong (not China) and I doubt mummy ventured outside of the shops where she saw other Britons in Karl Lagerfeld or Prada. It was quite the fashion parade according to the pictures she kept and well… if you knew Judith she doesn’t even eat Chinese food here in England. After that, Daddy took the calls and deftly provided my email. His is the kind of voice one knows not to ask probing questions.

Bugs aren't really animals, are they?

Out of a half dozen or so emails I’m now set to appear on This Morning with Gino D’Acampo and the morning programme Breakfast out of New Zealand. This I will do by video conference as New Zealand has decided not to let me in unless I’ve been fourteen days in Australia or the Cook Islands, (as if) and there certainly isn’t time enough for all that. Oh the nerve of these people! Maybe they should have a look at their very own flag and realise the Union Jack figures rather prominently. I’ve just had it with draconian restrictions that make no practical sense, especially given I didn’t contract anything during my actual travels… it was when I was holed up in Annabel’s country estate that we both took ill, and recovered just as quickly.

I’m also rather put off after reading so many horror stories—like that of the footballer who got stuck in an Indian airport for three months or the Australians who were basically arrested for finding a clever way back home and I just don’t want to have to call Daddy, or Patrick, or (God forbid) my fabulous new client to wrest me free from some horrible lockdown.

The main question now is what to wear. I’d had several Dahlia Macphee options overnighted to me which are known to be (mostly) vegan clothes but unfortunately they were all gowns…and not appropriate for a morning show. Umasan sent me loads of ‘ethical’ separates—none of which became an ensemble, and thankfully one other ethical/sustainable/vegan designer who fit the bill perfectly—bright colours and reasonably flattering… or at least nothing that a good clamp in the mid-back wouldn’t fix for the camera.

I just needed a good forty-five minutes with Daddy to explain to me just what was going on with China’s new push to non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency. One of the talent bookers asked me some questions about it and I needed to be ready in case it came up on the show. He mainly asked why China is now moving away from the eco-disaster that is created by mining iBtcoin and if I believed my exposé had any effect. Daddy answered:

‘Jennifer’s press secretary how can I help you?’

‘Very funny’ I countered. ‘But I do need to ask a few things.’

‘She was always a wonderful child… helpful, kind… walking and talking at six months…’

‘Daddy! I need to ask about cryptocurrency. More specifically China’s departure from mining Bitcoin in favour of something more eco-friendly.’

‘I should think you’d be thrilled. Clearly China’s gone green.’

Going green for fun and profit, Chinese-style.

‘Do you really think so?’ I asked.

‘Do YOU?’

UGH! Two minutes in and I’ve asked a stupid question.

‘No, not really I guess. So why then?’

‘I’m not an expert on China’s but it’s always safe to say if China is doing anything, it’s because it benefits China.’

‘So…’ I began again, ‘Can I just frame this as China being in step with a green future?’

‘If you can say it with a straight face—then by all means, yes, say it! But if you are looking for my advice, I would suggest you don’t frame it at all, and in this way you don’t have to backtrack when China continues to find new and worse ways to destroy the planet you love so much.’

I wasn’t sure if I felt better or worse but he had saved me from looking as foolish as Greenpeace falsely extolling China’s green virtues. With this in mind I felt prepared for my video conference which was fast-approaching due to the ten-hour time difference between Saint Tropez and New Zealand.

Just then I got a call from my oh-so-ethical wardrobe supplier. It seems ’after consideration’ they will to ask me NOT to wear their clothes as their PR focus had been animal organisations, and ‘couldn’t risk being seen supporting blatant animal cruelty’. WHAT!? ME? I literally held the phone away from my head as I pondered what absolute rot she was on about. Apparently she was under the very misguided belief that eating bugs was eating animals, which OKAY technically it is, but it is the more green option.

I wanted to scream I’M THE GOOD PEOPLE but I just let her adenoidal rant continue. That was until she said the word ‘standards’ —meaning she was questioning mine and at which point I just hung up. What cheek! If they sent anyone to collect their clothes I was going to tell her I’d recycled them with the other trash. And little did she know I’d never actually eaten one of the crispy critters but then I wasn’t exactly advertising that. It was far too late to get any other clothes shipped to me so I just fumed for a few minutes while deciding what to do. I went back to the Dahlia MacPhee gowns and decided to make a full go of it— glam hair, earrings, lipstick and dramatic lighting. Done.

Home sweet home, fraught but bug-free.

I was ready with plenty of time to spare and took a tip from Judith in her debutante days… I lay perfectly still on my back with a silk scarf under my head and set my alarm for one hour. She would have been rather proud of me as I woke up—hair and make-up still impeccable and then sipped on lemon water until we were live. Frankly I looked fabulous. And thank God for that because five seconds in I found they did not want to talk about China’s crypto-at all. It was the bug show all over again. “Our International bug hostess… Jenny Kennedy!"

I smiled even wider knowing it now made perfect sense for a hostess to be dressed for entertaining until they asked if (OMG not again!) I’d eat a bug for the camera. I felt that familiar bile creeping up the back of my throat. Luckily, I mean ‘Sadly’ I corrected…  'we’ve set up our entire spread for an after party that I’ll be hosting later.’ It was a small lie but it beat the heck out of losing it on international television. Just one last smile and we were out. Whew! I clapped shut my computer and opened a hard-earned bottle of champagne. It’s possible it goes well with crickets but cheers to standards.

Godzilla vs. King Kong

Late last month during a multi-day interview with a Chinese virologist and researcher who is in hiding in the U.S, I had a revelation about how the largest institutional banks feign having principles, while they avoid actually being principled. While the country is being beaten about the head with a counter-factual accusation that the two greatest threats to America are systemic racism and climate change, there exist actual geo-political and economic threats that require real leadership and genuine principle.

I had driven to the secure location to meet the doctor and followed extensive protocols to ensure her safety. What Dr. Li-meng Yan reveals about the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese military’s malevolent misdeeds surrounding the release of the SARS CoV-2 virus left me pondering how reason has been replaced by such rhetoric.

COVID-19 is an "unrestricted bioweapon" that slipped from a Wuhan facility. This claim was according to a Chinese virologist who fled to the United States after claiming that China covered up the coronavirus epidemic. Dr. Li Meng-Yan, a whistleblower, claims that a trove of Dr. Anthony Fauci's emails backs up her assertions. In an interview with Newsmax, the Chinese whistleblower said she had emailed Dr. Anthony Fauci about her theory and "discovery."

The messages - obtained through the Freedom of Information Act - implied that the White House virus expert knows the possibility of the virus being manufactured. However, The Sun claimed Fauci downplayed it publicly. 

Dr. Li said that Fauci's emails revealed on Tuesday by Buzzfeed and the Washington Post show he knew about the Chinese tinkering with viruses to make them more lethal. "Frankly, there is a lot of useful information there [Fauci's emails]," she said in The Sun's report. "He knows all these things," she insisted of Fauci in a New York Post report.

Ground Zero.

So how has "climate change" superseded Covid-19 as an existential crisis, as Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, in his annual ‘letter to CEOs’, thinks it has? China’s continued cunning and sinister shenanigans, in all their variations, have been conspicuously overlooked; instead of identifying the Chinese Communist Party, and all its many tentacles, as the greatest existential threat of our time, Fink posits a counter-factual. China after all makes money for BlackRock  through investments. Having actual corporate values guided by principle does not.

Dr. Yan, a medical doctor and published researcher who specializes in immunology and vaccine development, and is an independent coronavirus expert, was forced to flee Hong Kong last year because she declared that the SARS CoV-2 virus had been engineered in a lab and that it indeed had gain-of-function characteristics -- in other words, it was weaponized expressly to increase virulence in humans. While  more will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead about Dr. Yan’s knowledge of these events, it is clear that Larry Fink may need to spend a bit more time using the BlackRock’s annual RAND Corporation subscription. In his letter to CEO’s he writes,

I believe that the pandemic has presented such an existential crisis – such a stark reminder of our fragility – that it has driven us to confront the global threat of climate change more forcefully and to consider how, like the pandemic, it will alter our lives. It has reminded us how the biggest crises, whether medical or environmental, demand a global and ambitious response.

In the past year, people have seen the mounting physical toll of climate change in fires, droughts, flooding and hurricanes. They have begun to see the direct financial impact as energy companies take billions in climate-related write-downs on stranded assets and regulators focus on climate risk in the global financial system. They are also increasingly focused on the significant economic opportunity that the transition will create, as well as how to execute it in a just and fair manner. No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities. They ask us about it nearly every day.

How Fink jumped from a pandemic to climate change being a global threat while overlooking China as the global threat that demands a global and ambitious response, requires the flexibility of a Shabari submissive.

Enter the oil and gas industry. Under the false narrative of "climate change" representing an existential threat, oil and gas is described as the industry most responsible for said climate change. Neuter the industry and climate change disappears is the contrived narrative espoused by the politicians and their corporate collaborators.

To date, the oil and gas industry has been slow to counter punch. Instead of its  being the cause of climate change, the oil and gas industry has single-handedly led the reduction of American emissions to levels lower than defined in the Paris Climate Accord. By producing inexpensive, reliable, and abundant energy safely and without political objectives, the oil and gas industry has fueled global economic activity and improved lives of people throughout the world.

By contrast, in the skinny jean-wearing world Fink envisions, the economic vitality fueled by the oil and gas industry is blunted, and only a few are permitted to economically benefit. Every aspect of life in this brave new "Great Reset" world becomes more expensive, more confiscatory, and more Socialist if the climate change narrative is left unrebutted. Enter China.

China’s record of environmental degradation and abuse is well known and well documented. With 1.4 billion people, many living in utter poverty, a manufacturing sector whose carbon emissions are suffocating, and largely unregulated, and a Party that controls society via a digital surveillance state the Chinese people refer to as the "Great Wall," China is the actual existential global threat, not the climate change bogey man.

Tomorrow belongs to us.

Since 2012 when Xi Jinping began his tenure as party General Secretary (he became President the following year), more than 2 million Uyghurs have been sent to Mao-style "re-education" camps. At these camps, estimated to number more than thousand, Muslim Uyghurs have been abused, tortured, sexually assaulted, forcibly sterilized, and even killed. But climate change is the real threat?

Beyond environmental degradation, human rights abuses and corruption, the Chinese practice censorship with the help of tech companies, manipulate currency markets, steal intellectual property, have militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea, and most recently, according to Dr. Yan, have used unrestricted novel bioweapons, intended to harm people and to arrest economic activity around the world in their stated pursuit of world dominance by 2035. But institutional racism and climate change are the problem?

With Help from the Media, the Bioweapon Worked Perfectly

There’s a remarkable line in the documentary, “Collective,” about Romanian journalists who discover private corruption and government incompetence following the infamous 2015 Bucharest fire at the music club, Collectiv. The lead journalist says, “We have blindly trusted the authorities… When the press bows down to the authorities, the authorities will mistreat the citizens. This happens worldwide and it has happened to us.”

There’s plenty of reason to suspect China intended to use Covid-19 as a bioweapon. Even if it wasn’t the intent, that was its effect.  Yet as bioweapons go, it delivered unimpressive results.  Without minimizing those who have suffered from Covid, the data from across the world shows Covid-19 was exceptionally effective at killing older people who were already very ill. For everyone else, not so much.

The virus was most successful in destroying the American economy, while also creating social chaos and suppressing liberty. The Chinese government must be delighted that their middling bioengineered weapon turned out to be a foreign social re-engineering bonanza.

I’ve summarized the data from the CDC, sources which culled data from it, and applied some math.  Here are the highlights on Covid-19’s US data:

This has all been apparent since the first few weeks of the “pandemic.” Then again, it wasn’t the virus that did the job. It was our own media and “authorities.” Too many Americans trusted them both. Together, they formulated protocols that were utterly ineffective, pointless, and did more harm than good.

Who was that masked man?

Masks don’t work. Not only does this study show no difference in transmission rates for high and low transmission areas, but the infection rate across every state is virtually identical. Nor would masks be expected to work. The vaunted “honest” media never bothered to mention that Covid-19 has a diameter of 12.5 microns.

The only mask that might stop transmission is the N95, which can protect down to 10 microns. Yet that’s not a guarantee, and it would only be effective if used once and fitted properly. Most Americans didn’t have access to N95 masks, and instead wore surgical masks (which permit Covid-sized particles through), or cloth or sponge masks which let just about everything through. So not only do masks not work, but mandating their use on children was utterly foolish, given that children were the least likely to get infected and generally don’t pass it on to others.

The CDC itself says keeping kids home from school was unnecessary, particularly in areas of low to moderate transmission. This again highlights the hyper-localized differences in communities that still resulted in many children being needlessly penalized.

Based on the data available, in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission…Some studies have found that it is possible for communities to reduce incidence of COVID-19 while keeping schools open for in-person instruction.10,20 A study comparing county-level COVID-19 hospitalizations between counties with in-person learning and those without in-person learning found no effect of in-person school reopening on COVID-19 hospitalization rates when baseline hospitalization rates were low or moderate.

When kids are forced to stay home, adults then must find child care or stay home from work themselves, further harming the economy.

This policy will prove to have been catastrophic. Children and teens were kept out of school for over a year, which will negatively impact their educational development. As it is, we have a lousy education system and keeping kids engaged is a challenge. The worst effects will be seen on the youngest, where socialization and schoolroom protocol is critical. There is no substitute for in-person group socialization, or for the confidence that elementary teachers instill in children. Learning facial cues and expressions of others will be stunted. Thanks to the media and governmental authorities, our younger generation’s ability to succeed and develop has been set back.

China must be delighted.

Since the beginning, common sense and science indicated that transmission while outdoors is negligible.  Yet municipalities like the city of Los Angeles shut down outdoor dining, prevented TVs from being turned on lest people gather to watch them, and even instituted a 10 p.m. curfew, presumably because the virus only hunted people at 10:01 p.m.

All of this nonsense destroyed some 200,000 businesses, and put tens of millions of people out of work.  The very people the Left proclaims they protect – minorities – bore the brunt of these policies. Minorities experienced the highest levels of unemployment after reaching historic lows mere weeks before. Minorities experienced the highest levels of food insecurity as well as the highest levels of missed rent. They will soon experience the highest level of evictions when federal and local moratoriums expire.

Crime of the century.

Worst of all, China’s social re-engineering bioweapon leveraged Trump Derangement Syndrome and pried open the political divide in the country to its widest gulf yet. Americans were at each other’s throats over wearing masks. Communities, marriages, and friendships have been torn apart.

The frustration over housing, income, and food insecurity unquestionably contributed to the summer 2020 riots. The violent tyrants known as ANTIFA and the anti-Semitic race-hustling BLM destroyed even more businesses. America descended into chaos.

And the Chinese government was laughing all the way to the CCP banquets. I have to wonder if China knows just how incompetent government is from experience, and knew American government at every level would be catastrophically unprepared for a manufactured contagion.

There’s a horrible parallel to 9/11 here. Those terrorists took advantage of the flaws at every level in our system, from lax private airport security to accessible cockpits and most important, of Americans' natural inclination to trust and obey authority. The Muslim terrorists told passengers to stay seated or they would detonate (fake) bombs. Americans did what they were told. Tragedy ensued.

The one glimmer of hope is that United 93’s passengers took matters into their own hands. Let’s hope that in the next “pandemic,” American conservatives don’t just give in like they did this time.

Net-Zero: the West's Suicide Note

In the 1983 U.K. general election, the Labour Party under the amiably leftish leadership of Michael Foot published a manifesto that amounted to a wish-list of extreme socialist policies long sought by the party’s Marxist wing. It leant so far to the left that one of Foot’s closest colleagues, the late Gerald Kaufman, described it privately (in a bon mot that was soon leaked) as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Not any longer. The last few weeks have seen two longer suicide notes by two organizations more important than an opposition U.K. party. They are the G7 nations, which Marx might have described as “the executive committee of the global capitalist democracies”—aka the West—and the International Energy Agency which is a specialized committee of the United Nations system and as such the globalist bureaucracy serving all U.N. member-states.

The distinctions between the two organizations are not trivial, but they usually say the same things, especially on climate change. Indeed, the global organization of anxiety over climate change was initially launched by the U.N. Secretariat in a series of international conferences—Rio, Kyoto, Copenhagen—at the end of the Cold War. Its greatest support to date has been found in the G7 countries, especially in the United Kingdom and the European Union (minus coal-producing countries such as Poland) where it has become unchallengeable dogma.

America has been the exception to the G7’s enthusiasm, having repeatedly refused to ratify any of the climate change treaties even when, as now, the U.S. administration was in the hands of climate “emergency” zealots who signed them. Partly as a result, the United States under the Trump administration was able both to reduce its carbon emissions and to re-emerge as an energy super-power by liberating “clean, green” natural gas from the land by fracking.

Everybody agrees: the end is near!

Oddly, even masochistically, President Biden was elected to reverse this policy and to embrace the Paris conference aim of achieving Net-Zero emissions by 2050. Seeing this as an opportunity to entrench Net-Zero as a legally-binding international obligation on all governments, the G7 and the IEA each issued a report at around the same time, respectively making the political and the technical case for the inevitability of Net-Zero.

There was neither deception nor coyness about this simultaneity; the G7 applauded the IEA for its help. And the joint advocacy is expected to generate overwhelming diplomatic endorsement all the way to the next climate conference this fall in Glasgow. You can read the G7 report here and the IEA report here.

But you should read both with a skeptic eye. Here, for instance, is one of the most important paragraphs in the G7 report [italics mine]:

In this context, we will phase out new direct government support for carbon intensive international fossil fuel energy, except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country, in a manner that is consistent with an ambitious, clearly defined pathway towards climate neutrality in order to keep 1.5°C within reach, in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and best available science. Consistent with this overall approach and recognizing that continued global investment in unabated coal power generation is incompatible with keeping 1.5°C within reach, we stress that international investments in unabated coal must stop now and commit to take concrete steps towards an absolute end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support. We commit to reviewing our official trade, export and development finance policies towards these objectives. We further call on other major economies to adopt these commitments.

Sounds impressive, right? It’s a wordy elaboration of the idea—relentlessly canvassed in climate emergency propaganda—that we can kill coal by cutting off government subsidies to it and thus making it a bad investment. But as my italics show, the governments are building escape hatches into their commitments at almost every point. They will phase out new and direct government subsidies to coal except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country, i.e., when a government wants to subsidize coal.

Similarly, they’ll take concrete steps to end subsidies for unabated coal. That’s interesting. The official definition of unabated coal is “the use of coal without any technologies to substantially reduce its CO2 emissions, such as carbon capture and storage.” Carbon capture is the technology, still in large part theoretical, that’s cited as one important way in which carbon emissions can be reduced or eliminated in, for instance, the manufacture of concrete. You can be sure that when carbon capture has become a more practical possibility—or even before that—the governments of coal-producing countries will find that their coal is magically no longer unabated.

And they would have a point. The possibility of carbon capture makes the case against fossil fuels much less strong than it otherwise seems—and certainly more attractive than the policies and lifestyle changes that the IEA report lists as necessary to the achievement of Net-Zero.

I’ve written many times before about the lifestyle changes and their lack of electoral appeal. Here’s Irwin Stelzer, the U.S. economist and entrepreneur, making those points with dispatch:

It is simply unrealistic to expect the world’s politicians to rally support for net-zero emissions by 2050 by telling them there can be no more oil and gas furnaces for sale by 2025, half of air travel will have to cease unless emissions-free fuels are developed, car trips must be replaced with walking and cycling, no permits will be issued to develop new oil and gas fields, and no coal plant will be constructed unless fitted with currently unavailable emission-catching equipment.

That unrealism becomes more risky when we look at the IEA’s coldly realistic analysis of the innovations that will be required to make these lifestyle sacrifices worthwhile in terms of emissions reduction:

Innovation cycles for early stage clean energy technologies are much more rapid in the NZE  than what has typically been achieved historically, and most clean energy technologies that  have not been demonstrated at scale today reach markets by 2030 at the latest. This means  the time from first prototype to market introduction is on average 20 percent faster than the fastest  energy technology developments in the past, and around 40 percent faster than was the case for  solar PV.

What’s being proposed by the G7 and IEA is a vast leap into the dark—maybe the literal dark unless renewables become much more reliable than they have been to the present.

And away we go!

That may be why the  G7’s final plea in the quote above: We further call on other major economies to adopt these commitments” shows no sign of being accepted and implemented by either the big energy-producing countries (Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia) or the big energy-consuming countries (India, China, and most of the Third World).

Maybe the G7 should heed the IEA’s warning that without such international cooperation, Net-Zero simply can’t be achieved. And if possible, before we’ve spent our children’s and grandchildren's inheritance on it.

Talking the Talk on 'Climate Change'

What are we to make of an article by William Hague, a former U.K. Foreign Secretary from 2010 to 2014, that predicts Britain’s armed forces may one day be sent into action abroad to safeguard the natural environment from such predators as oil companies and loggers? Quoted by the Daily Mail from an article in the journal Environmental Affairs, Lord Hague writes:

In the past the UK has been willing to use armies to secure and extract fossil fuels. But in the future, armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environments.

That prediction is startling from several standpoints. To begin with, it could be read as confirming a frequent left-wing allegation—hitherto hotly denied by the British and other Western governments—that in the two Gulf Wars the West intervened not to prevent Iraqi aggression or to stabilize the Middle East but to get its hands on Arab oil. I don’t think that’s true, as a matter of fact, but if it is, it’s a big admission and a big news story. And it was merely the first of several startling predictions.

The Mail’s succinct report was a paraphrase of a 6000-word article, “The Great Convergence,” by the former foreign secretary in a new journal, Environmental Affairs, in London. I don’t suppose Mr. Hague thinks the paper’s summary did any favors to his long and detailed argument which seeks to show how Britain (and by extension the West) should bring about a convergence between its policies on climate, foreign affairs, and towards China to ensure their all-round success.

He may be wrong about the Mail, as I shall argue below, but there’s little doubt that Hague’s article kicks off a serious attempt by the U.K. and international establishments to explain how their policy of Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050 fits comfortably, even necessarily, into their other principal foreign policies like a missing jigsaw piece.

Go on, give it a try!

The signs of a political influence operation are all there. Policy Exchange is one of three influential conservative think tanks close to the government. Environmental Affairs is an impressive new venture. Its contributors include leading figures from the global climate change establishment and the U.S. foreign policy establishment, notably General David Petraeus. And its first publication arrives at just the point when governments are suddenly nervous of two fundamental political problems with Net-Zero:

For already there are growing symptoms of domestic and international resistance to Net-Zero—as Hague himself points out. His “Great Convergence,” rather like the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset,” is a rhetorical device to shore it up by combining it with policies supported by other influential constituencies such as the defense establishment and China hawks. Hague’s opening gambit therefore is to establish that climate change is a threat not only to the prosperity of nations but also to their national security and thus to global security as a whole.

That’s a theme increasingly heard from Western governments—and I’ve expressed skepticism about it before. But the former Foreign Secretary said it first in 2010, and he thinks his forecast has been borne out by events:

In Iraq, farmers were driven to join ISIS once opportunities to provide for their families dried up along with local water sources. In Somalia, jihadists have cut off water supplies to punish areas of the country outside of their control. And in Syria, social unrest, exacerbated by droughts driving Syrian farmers into cities, spilled over into civil war just a few short months after my remarks, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and millions scattered across the world.

But the problem with these examples is that they are the effects of civil war, terrorism, and oppressive government rather than of "climate change." It’s possible that climate change may have played a part in making them worse—as the Russian winter complicated Napoleon’s invasion of Russia—but it would never have caused them in the absence of war, terrorism, and oppression. Most of Syria’s neighbors, after all, have helped refugees rather than persecuting and robbing them. And there are far easier and less dangerous ways of adapting to small rises in temperature than press-ganging your neighbors or ethnically cleansing them.

One way to stop climate change.

Not that Hague, a prudent statesman aiming at pacific solutions, is anxious to send in gunboats. His main stress is on diplomacy and trade which he would send in ahead of the troops:

[A]s climate change climbs the hierarchy of important political issues, it will be increasingly difficult to square our climate change policy with agreeing to a free trade deal with a country that clears a football pitch-sized area of the Amazon rainforest every minute.

He's talking here about Brazil, but he could equally be talking about China and coal-powered stations, or Saudi Arabia and oil, or Russia and pipelines. So let’s not underestimate the boldness of Hague’s statement here. It overturns something very important.

Free trade is a central element in the kind of liberal conservatism that Hague, Cameron, and Boris all represent—and that global economic institutions have upheld in practice since the end of the Cold War. It’s how they believe mankind makes progress—by developing and trading new ideas and products in peaceful competition between nations. Hague’s willingness to subordinate that method of human progress to the stern sacrifices of Net-Zero shows the extent to which climate policy has become an dogma overriding all other considerations in Western policy. It’s now an unquestionable article of faith.

Yet if we are to base military, diplomatic, and even trade policy on the economic and security consequences of climate change, shouldn’t we also take into account the consequences of the policy of combatting climate change? Governments candidly admit that Net-Zero is likely to impose heavy costs on the economy and to require seriously unwelcome life-style changes from their populations.

But it seems shortsighted and rash to ignore the likelihood that these consequences would create tensions--tensions at least as serious as those Hague predicts from climate change—between different social, ethnic, and religious groups within countries. And that goes double for international tensions between countries.

Welcome to Syria.

After all, the potential international conflicts that Net-Zero seems likely to foster include: angry demands from the developing world for decarbonization subsidies from the West; broken Net-Zero promises from a China surging ahead on cheap, reliable fossil fuels; and attempts by a declining West to compel the rest of the world to implement Net-Zero targets—attempts that fail and prompt airy talk of intervention.

Hence the value of popular journalism—seen here in the Daily Mail’s selective compression of Hague’s 6000 words into one simple conclusion: “In the future, armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environments.” It brings us hard up against reality.

Under whose authority would these troops be sent abroad? Obviously, Hague was not proposing a Western coalition of the willing to halt Brazilian logging or shut down Bahrain. That would be too much like a re-run of the Iraq War for comfort’s sake. There would have to be a U.N. force of some kind under the authority of the Security Council. Consider, then, the following three points:

  1. Russia and China are among the world’s largest energy-producing and energy-consuming countries respectively.
  2. Both countries are also two of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and enjoy the right of veto on any U.N. use of force.
  3. And there is zero chance that either country would allow any U.N. use of force that threatened its vital economic interests.

Indeed, only last month a Security Council debate on whether climate change should be treated as a threat to international security revealed (not surprisingly) that there was support from India and other energy-rich and energy-hungry countries for Chinese-Russian skepticism on the point. Only a very small country is at risk of being invaded by British or other Western troops for crimes against the climate.

Lord Hague makes a fair point when he says about climate policy that Britain "cannot get away with talking the talk without walking the walk" indefinitely. Since we can’t walk the walk in reality, however, maybe we should be a little more careful about talking the talk.

What Price 'Infrastructure'?

It seems like just yesterday then-President Obama put Joe Biden in charge of that “three-letter word: J.O.B.S.,” and while he failed in that mission, as president he’s back at it, this time with incoherent strategies and massive graft opportunities for all his Democrat constituencies.

The proposed $2 trillion giveaway, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, only thinly disguises the graft-enabling nature of the proposal. And the means to pay for this giveaway -- higher taxes on persons, investments and businesses -- are more likely to destroy the economy, most particularly regarding small businesses, long the generator of jobs in this country, than the expenditures proposed for actual infrastructure are to increase job opportunities and prime the economy already reeling from the Covid lockdowns.

But let me begin with the most ludicrous of Biden’s ideas, supersonic jets and a national high speed railroad, something not specified in the Plan, but Buck Rogers-ish notions he keeps talking about nevertheless, perhaps under the misguided notion that these are in the Plan. Perhaps even to deflect from what is in it.

Biden claims, “If we decide to do it, be able to traverse the world in an hour, travel at 21,000 miles an hours.” Earth’s circumference is slightly short of 25,000 miles. To circumnavigate it these imaginary planes would have to fly 25,000 miles per hour, coincidentally the escape velocity of the earth. The last supersonic jets were the Concorde fleet which took 3 1/2 hours to fly from New York to Paris to London, so noisy and at an operating cost so high that these factors  caused its demise in little over two decades.

Of course, it would be interesting to see how supersonic jets could, in any event, function without Biden’s hated fossil fuels. Maybe some sharp engineers can rig up solar panels and windmills on them without jeopardizing reliability or reducing air speed.

All aboard the Shanghai maglev express!

Equally unrealistic is his advocacy for a cross-continental high speed railway, something once bandied about, then scrapped for decades. To my knowledge, the fastest trains operating today still move at less than conventional air speed: “ Shanghai Maglev has the highest run speed of 431 kph for an operational train covering a 30.5 km distance in 7 mins 20 secs.” Japan’s L0 Series Maglev due to be operational in 2027 will travel at 310 miles per hour, slightly less than half the speed (about 570 mph)of a Boeing 747.

It’s almost 3,000 miles from New York City to Los Angeles. To be of any value, any cross-national high-speed train will have to connect major urban areas, and the difficulty of obtaining the right of ways through already well-developed tracts in a country with so many litigation opportunities available to opponents seems as difficult as getting high-speed trains operating on such varied topography and wind speeds as a national railway would encounter.

Even without the delays and legal costs to obtain rights of way, the last estimate I saw for construction of high-speed rails was $60 million per mile. The Chinese have fewer property rights they can defend in court, and Shanghai’s 30 km Maglev line cost 1.2 billion to build. This, of course, doesn’t cover recurring capital costs --Shanghai’s train is losing about $33 million per year on those. Given the way Amtrak is run (it manages to lose money even on $9.50 cheeseburgers, we can expect to lose far more on our national railroad.

But the final kicker, it seems to me, is that like the push for all-electric vehicles, Maglev high speed trains require a great deal of electricity (between 1 and 3 kilowatts per ton ), but nothing in any of the administration’s grand plans includes increasing electric-power generation. If it did, fossil fuels would still be needed to create the electricity unless the administration has some super-secret plan to create much more nuclear energy generation. Do you see that on the horizon? I don’t. And there's not a whisper of it.

Just as fantastical as Biden’s wish list for things not in the Plan, are the items in it. This is how the Democrats who like this infrastructure bonanza define “infrastructure":

Translation: It’s everything they want to use tax revenues to pay for. Like Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, the Democrats seem to think ,”when I choose a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.”

In the real world, however, infrastructure is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.”

In real infrastructure terms only 5 percent of the  $2.7 trillion  would go for roads and bridges. More than half the plan is designed to eliminate fossil fuels. $213 billion would go to build and retrofit energy-efficient homes and buildings. Elsewhere, retrofit investment costs came to almost twice the actual energy savings with an average return of minus-7.8% annually. The plan calls for $85 billion for regional mass transit, just as mass transit ridership is collapsing because Covid-19 has warned people of the dangers of it.

Of course there is no mention of continuing high capital costs, safety concerns and the demonstrably poor management of such systems. In Washington, D.C., we had a multi-billion dollar federally financed mass transit system which has been so poorly managed it has become unreliable and dangerous to passengers. People in ever larger numbers are refusing to ride it. To lure riders back, the management is now offering lower fares, further increasing the operating deficits which were already high. It’s estimated that by 2025 the revenue shortfall over expenses for this single system is expected to be some $2 billion. Taxpayers, of course, will be making up the difference.

Moral: you can build these things at great expense but you can’t make us ride them. And you can’t ignore the fiscally painful experience that huge continuing capital outlays will be needed to keep them afloat.

The D.C. Metro: if only it worked like it looks.

As the Administration works to banish fossil fuels, which presently make up more than half of American electric generation, Biden works to boost the wind and solar industries and is making the power grid less reliable in the process. His idea of providing tax credits for battery storage and high-voltage transmission lines to places now reliant on fossil fuels, is equally unrealistic.

I've already discussed here the plans to pay states, cities and schools to buy electric vehicles and build 500,000 charging stations, and how ludicrous this is without a plan to increase electric generation. Biden plans to shell out $178 billion in grants to create these charging stations along the 50,000 miles of interstate highways and thousands of other major highways. How to decide who gets those grants and where the charging stations will be built? If you live in a Democrat-run city you can figure this out. If not, ask a savvy friend who lives in one.

Less remarked upon are the tranches of cash for things no one would actually consider infrastructure:   building and upgrading schools and child-care facilities and extending broadband service to all Americans.

The plan to spend $100 billion on K-12 facilities includes $50 billion in direct grants for facilities and $50 billion in construction bonds. Another $45 billion in Environmental Protection Agency funds would be used to reduce lead exposure in schools and early-childhood facilities. In addition to expanding broadband, Biden’s plan would seek to lower the cost of internet service.

Also not well-publicized is the plan to kill the suburbs, a refuge for middle class Americans from crime, bad schools and high taxes -- this would be done not only by making transportation by cars more expensive, but also by “diversifying” neighborhoods through forced changes to local zoning laws that would end single-family-home neighborhoods. Placing low-income, multiple-unit rental housing in single-family suburbs, something that overturns the long established right of municipalities to create their own zoning preferences, will likely face a mountain of legal challenges.

Meanwhile, zoning is now racist.

The Plan, is manifestly unrealistic and expensive. Will it create the 19 million new jobs the administration claims? No way. Moody’s chief economist estimates that the plan will net only 2.7 million new jobs, 600 percent smaller than Biden's claim. To however many jobs are created by building charging stations and upgrading nursery schools to be more energy efficient, subtract the large number of jobs lost in the fossil fuel and carbon-intensive industries.

But they even have a plan for that: some $40 billion is to be allocated for a "dislocated workers" program and $10 billion for a Civilian Climate Corps. How wonderful will it be for oil rig workers and coal miners to learn to code from Democratic functionaries or to have your homes and schools retrofitted by people who've never done this work before and are unlikely to have the skills to do it properly?

In sum, the plan is built on fantastical notions respecting transportation choices, is littered with graft opportunities and means to pay off supporters without doing much to improve actual infrastructure, transportation, energy use or that “three-letter word, J.O.B.S." -- which in Biden's mouth now really does seem like a four-letter word.

The Democrats are attempting to ram through an expensive, job killing, neighborhood destroying, pelf-increasing, waste of money. In Congress, they have the slimmest of majorities. At the moment they hold the House by only six votes (218-212) and the Senate is 50-50. One can only hope the Republicans will stand firm and that enough Democrats will see that their political survival depends on their joining the opposition to kill this monstrosity.

John Kerry in La-La-Land

"Climate czar" John Kerry made a particularly tin-eared comment recently which demonstrated how ignorant liberals are about the world outside of their utopian fantasies. Kerry was asked what he would say to oil and gas workers who would "see an end to their livelihoods" should the Biden administration's climate agenda be fully implemented. He responded, "What President Biden wants to do is make sure that those folks have better choices... That they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels."

This was justly mocked as a modern-day rendering of the apocryphal Marie Antoinette quote, "Let them eat cake." But it's worth noting that there's something more shocking about Kerry's blockheadedness. Does he really not know how ridiculous it is that Green Energy jobs could replace the natural resource ones he wants to disappear?

The U.S. government subsidizes wind and solar power to the tune of $7 billion per year to make it even somewhat competitive with traditional energy sources. Even if the Biden administration doubled that, so-called renewables wouldn't come close to filling the gaping hole left by lost oil and gas jobs. In an editorial about green jobs, the New York Post offers a relevant anecdote:

[Andrew] Cuomo spent $950 million in public money to put up a solar plant in Buffalo. The first tenant, SolarCity, went bust; Elon Musk had to have Tesla take SolarCity over. Panasonic was lured in to help Tesla make a go of the plant, only to flee a year ago. With nearly a billion bucks down the drain, the project has never come close to offering the jobs once promised for it.

Pouring money into renewables isn't going to create the jobs they claim it will, and certainly not in Appalachia or the Rust Belt, which would be hit hard by a fracking ban.

It's worth noting that 70 percent of the world's solar panels are manufactured in China, and that isn't going to change anytime soon. Meanwhile, China's preferred power source is carbon-intensive coal. In fact, China's new coal-fired energy capacity in 2020 outstripped the rest of the world by 300 percent.

Which is to say, whatever his intentions, Kerry's energy preferences don't amount to blue collar job creation, but to increased American investment in Chinese renewables in order to subsidize China's addiction to coal. Maybe if he came down off his private jet for awhile he'd realize how crazy that is.

Enemies of the People: China