In the art of distorting scientific facts for political purposes, California has to earn a global Lysenkoism medal. Its politicians are seemingly wedded to the idea that man is responsible for global warming and reducing fossil fuel use will reverse this trend. They have engaged in a series of misdirected actions that will only increase fossil fuel emissions worldwide while creating more poverty, famine and death .
Even assuming for the sake of argument what cannot be proven—that man can control the earth’s climate—California continues to enact legislation and regulations at cross purposes with this aim and at a perilous cost to its citizens and the world.
Rather than developing readily available energy sources under rational federal environmental regulations, that state—like the Biden Administration—demonizes them. Its unique regulatory environment has made manufacturing difficult if not impossible and as a consequence it relies on imports to meet the state’s energy and other needs. Unfortunately, in catering to the green crazies who have extraordinary political clout there, they only are creating more very dangerous air pollutants.
Trofim Lysenko, the man who starved millions.
Ronald Stein explains: " You see most of what Californians import enters the states on cargo ships, and they are the biggest transport polluters in the world, using low-grade bunker fuel, the cheapest, most polluting fuels ,fuels known to emit cancer and asthma-creating pollutants. Worldwide “90,000 ships…burn approximately 370 million tons of fuel per year, emitting 20 million tons of sulfur oxides.” This level of pollution is equal to that of 50 million vehicles.
Among the cargo ships unloading in the state are those carrying hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil—58 percent of the crude oil used in the state -- largely as feedstock to refineries for manufacturing oil and derivatives necessary for military use, medical supplies, airlines, cruise and merchant ships, among countless other things.
Here's the tradeoff California governor Gavin Newsom has made, instead of allowing production in-state of crude oil in one of the most oil-rich states in the Union:
At 2 million barrels of crude oil per super oil tanker, that’s more than 180 polluting oil tankers per year that Newsom supports unloading at West Coast ports because of his refusal to produce crude oil in-state.
The governors’ multiple restrictions on in-state oil production leaves California and its economy unnecessarily reliant on foreign governments for the states’ crude oil needs and creates a national security risk for all of America. Increasing dependency on foreign countries to meet the growing crude oil demands of the state while kneecapping abundant California oil production is next-level stupidity of whoever is advising the Governor.
The governor in his green fancy wants to go further and rid the state of crude oil altogether.
Instead of protecting Californians’ health by forbidding production in-state and ridding the state of crude oil altogether without any viable replacement in the name of stopping "climate change," the result will instead be millions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition and weather-related deaths.
If you think that is a hyperbolic description of the consequences, consider the problem created by California’s banning of gas-powered generators, lawnmowers and leaf blowers. This month the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to ban the sale of off-road generators in equipment starting in 2024 and portable generators in 2024. All are to meet zero-emission standards in 2028.
Gavin Newsom, the man who killed California.
The standards set by the CARB are so unrealistic, it’s likely to be impossible to find any such equipment by 2024. (Of course, the run on them in Nevada and a burgeoning black market then is predictable because these are such valuable tools.) But aside from reducing noise, which bothers neighbors who are rich enough to afford to pay for the extra labor it takes to mow the lawn and rid their property of fallen leaves or strong enough to manage these tasks, there are serious consequences.
Banning generators could have countless and dangerous consequences. In fact, just last year, many Californians had to use generators to charge their electric vehicles so they could leave their homes during outages and reduce strain on the grid... California's electric situation is so problematic that earlier this year the state actually paid people to ignore emissions standards and use gas-powered generators to lighten the load on the failing power grid... This option will be drastically reduced and could create massive and deadly problems for the state's residents.
But there’s more. Banning generators could seriously endanger lives of these who depend on them. People who need oxygen and other life-support equipment like CPAP machines, wheelchair lifts, elevators, and air conditioners, rely on home generators. And then there are RVs, often a choice of full time living quarters for retirees and the less affluent in the state’s pricey real estate market. These need generators. California state legislators in Sacramento are unconcerned with such things as they are of the consequences to remote construction and lumber production in areas far from the electric grid, occupations dependent on portable energy generation.
Lysenko’s fancy of hardened seeds and crop rotation led to widespread famine in the old Soviet Union. Newsom’s fantasy of life without fossil fuel will lead to disaster, too, unless somehow checked.
The Real Energy Crisis
Instead of handing out treats for Halloween on October 31, the Biden Administration and the green industrial complex supporting it are lining up the tricks to commit America to a green future that looks bleak, and promises morehardship here, particularly for seniors and the poor, just as in Europe.
The switch from coal to renewable energy has left Europe, and especially Britain, vulnerable to a natural-gas supply panic that at one point this week had sent spot prices up by over 60 percent. …[M]ake no mistake, the deeper forces behind the shortage economy are not going away and politicians could easily end up with dangerously wrong-headed policies. … [G]overnments… may have to meet shortages by relaxing emissions targets and lurching back to dirtier sources of energy. Governments will therefore have to plan carefully to cope with the higher energy costs and slower growth that will result from eliminating emissions. Pretending that decarbonisation will result in a miraculous economic boom is bound to lead to disappointment.
As a direct result of bad policy choices, this is the real “climate crisis.” We can only hope the Economist is correct about the possible political “backlash.” The question is whether that comes too late.
To the rescue?
With dire warning signs out of Europe over a feared cold winter amid record-low fossil fuel supplies due to green mandates, and a green energy infrastructure unable to meet demand, green-industrial complex voices are already pre-butting assignment of responsibility saying, whatever you do, blame “anything but the greens.”
Of course, if you’ve ever had, or even been, teenagers, you know that a chorus of voices piping up in early October that “December’s not my fault” is a good sign that December is their fault. During California’s 2020 rolling blackouts, Governor Gavin Newsome“pointed to California’s shift to renewable resources as part of the reason for the supply shortage. ‘Shutting down polluting gas power plants as created gaps in the state’s energy supply,’ he said.” And while he is apparently still committed to a “green” future, Newsome said, “we cannot sacrifice reliability.” Too late.
Anyone truly surprised by the perils created by politicians has not been paying attention. Enron executives predicted this in 1999, as they organized and funded what has become the climate industry. One internal emailnoted, “more than any other U.S. corporation [Enron] has helped legitimize the case of apocalyptic climate change and today is carrying the Kyoto flag more than any other U.S. corporation.….” Another, however, acknowledged that this politicization of energy markets posed great systemic risks such as what we are seeing unfold today:
Maybe Enron can dodge the macro problem and have our micro benefits, but then again I have to think that a politicized international energy market for any reason will create as much or more downside than upside.
Although Enron is long gone, the harms visited on the U.S. and global economies by its agenda continue. And with climate activists embeddedthroughout the government in key energy and climate roles, there is even less regard at present for the need for public support or political legitimacy.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regansays he’s willing to wield broad regulatory power to enact President Biden’s climate agenda if Congress fails to pass meaningful climate legislation. Regan says his agency will issue a robust greenhouse gas rule for power plants, a stringent methane rule for oil and gas infrastructure, and sweeping emissions standards for new cars, regardless of Congress's actions.
Similarly, White House aide Gina McCarthy repeated the line from the Obama-Biden EPA when it comes to imposing the climate agenda: “The Biden administration will use its ‘regulatory authority’ to act on climate change if it can’t get Congress to” pass its desired legislative agenda.
Don't cross the Queens...
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey even promised a Michael Bloomberg group that, if it gave her privately funded attorneys to be embedded in her office, she would use them to enforce “the long-term commitments set forth… in the Paris Agreement.” Those were supposedly voluntary, we were told, in order to keep the U.S. Senate from voting on the pact.
Those promises are about to be made more painful. On October 29, keep an eye on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the Biden Environmental Protection Agency is expected to roll over in a sue-and-settle lawsuit, State of New York et al. v. EPA. In a filing due that day, EPA is likely to announce plans to issue new ozone National Air Ambient Quality Standards (NAAQS), seemingly obscure but in fact “Biden’s back door climate plan,” as the main vehicle to impose this “climate” agenda.
Historysuggests this also will re-run an Obama Year 1 move to obtain praise at and energize the Rome G20 meeting the next day, and climate pact talks in Glasgow beginning two days later. At both, Biden is expected to deepen President Obama’s GHG emission-reduction promises based on the Clean Power Plan, tossed out by the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA.
None of these moves has popular support or political legitimacy. It will take until the end of Biden’s term to conclude their legality. History also shows that is enough time to destroy communities as industry redirects investment decisions. Already we see, with the unfolding energy crisis, how these plans increase costs, and reduce energy security and reliability. That’s the real “climate crisis.”
Guess Who Will Recall Newsom: Democrats
Proving once again that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, California Democrats are on the road to doing something right. I believe that the recall effort to oust Governor Gavin Newsom from his perch in Sacramento will find enough Democrat support to tip the scales to remove him. As crazy as it sounds, there is plenty of reasoning behind this prediction.
Recalling a government official is a rare event in American politics. It was astonishing that Gov. Gray Davis was booted out of office in California in 2003. The inciting incident for that recall effort was when he signed a bill to triple the car registration fees on all Californians. This had reversed his predecessor’s action to significantly reduce the fees.
While it was inciting incident, it was really the straw that broke the camels back. Public sentiment towards Davis was severely eroded in 2000 and 2001, when California suffered a major energy crisis that resulted in rolling blackouts and exorbitant energy bills. If there's one thing that people don't like, it's having your power go out for any reason. One would've expected Democrats to let this slide, except for the fact that Davis had made a number of sweetheart, inflated agreements with the energy companies to fatten their pockets at the expense of Californians. If there's one thing the Democrats don't like, it's corporations.
The idea that Californians were not only getting reamed on electricity costs, but having to deal with rolling blackouts, and that the state was facing a massive $38 billion budget shortfall which would be filled by a tripling of the registration fees, was too much for voters to handle. Even a Democratic governor can see his base turn on him, and 55 percent of the electorate voted to have him kicked out.
It was no surprise that Gavin Newsom won the gubernatorial race in 2018, given how far left the state had moved in the intervening years. While it seemed that Californians would have to suffer through another eight years of lousy governance, fate has intervened. The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a series of awful decisions from the Governor’s office – ones that even Democrats cannot tolerate.
Most Democrats have been more than happy to live their lives in fear, wear 15 layers of masks and face shields everywhere they go (while insisting others do the same), and demanding that everything be closed down and stay closed down. That's not where Gov. Newsom's problems arise.
Up in smoke.
There are quite a few business owners in California who happen to be Democrats. While they may be comfortable with their virtue signaling and demands of ludicrous levels of caution, the fact that they own businesses which have been put into permanent peril is not lost on them. Even if you are a Democrat, and you are a small business owner – particularly of a restaurant or in another sector that has been damaged the most – there's a good chance you're facing bankruptcy. If you aren't facing bankruptcy, you have some massive back rent due, and you've been struggling to stay current with whatever loans you may have.
When you're faced with losing everything, it's more likely you will have a sudden realization that it was Gavin Newsom that helps put you out of business. Especially when Newsom was caught going to a fancy-shmancy restaurant where he dined indoors, without a mask, and without even social distancing.
The utter hypocrisy on display in that moment, when viewed by another restaurant owner who hasn't been allowed to operate four months and/or has invested tons of money into equipment necessary for outdoor dining, is infuriating. It may be one of those few times when Democrats realize politicians really do not care about the people.
But the hypocrisy of the French Laundry incident carries even greater emotional weight. It suggests that there really was nothing to ever be afraid of, meaning that all of these closures over all of these months were unnecessary. That's the message Gavin Newsom sent.
Gray Davis: auf Wiedersehen.
As with Gray Davis, whose recall was driven by a cascading series of really bad optics, Newsom has placed himself in the same situation. The incoherence and apparently arbitrary nature of virus restrictions sends a message that he has no idea what he's doing in regards to managing the pandemic. State guidelines were not only very restrictive to begin with, but have since been revised upward twice. In the meantime, county orders may or may not contradict the state orders, and city orders may or may not contradict both the county and state orders.
This is partially what did in Donald Trump. His big mistake was not using the presidency as a bully pulpit to establish and communicate firm and specific guidelines on what he thought was best. Newsom appears to simply be running scared, listening to the so-called "experts," and can't seem to decide what is best for California.
It should also come as no surprise, given his lack of leadership, that the vaccine distribution has been a disaster. The vaccine has been slow to rollout, many Californians are wary of the state's supplying certain groups based on "equity," and other states have been vaccinating populations in a far more efficient manner.
You may have heard a collective statewide gasp when it was announced that Blue Shield was going to be managing the rollout of the vaccine going forward. Most Californians are stuck with some form of Blue Shield insurance, and they know from experience that Blue Shield is a decentralized bureaucratic nightmare that operates in a ridiculously inefficient manner, so there's no reason to expect that they will do a better job. That's another black mark against Newsom.
Finally, the data suggests that Democrats are signing the recall petition. Although the source is unverified, a screenshot of LA County’s recall petition data appears to show 52 percent Democrat support for the recall. A recall campaign organizer said 31.5 percent of signers were “other than Republican."
There are roughly 22 million registered voters in California, where Democrats hold a 10.1 million plurality. Republicans have 5.3 million (46% - 24%), with another 24 percent as “no preference.” It seems unlikely that only Republicans account for the 2 million signatures the recall effort has collected. That’s 40 percent of the registered GOP electorate.
L.A. County generated 1.14 million votes for Trump in 2020 – 11 percent of the county population. Yet only 138,000 signatures (1.4 percent) have come from the county in the recall petition.
Democrats are going to help push Newsom out.
What COVID and 'Climate Change' Have in Common
There’s a line in the original “Star Wars” movie where the Grand Moff Tarkin says, “Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station."
Leftists use the same weapons all totalitarians do when it comes to pushing their policies: lies and fear. We’re used to the lies. They happen all the time. The past year has given the Left the greatest gift they could have ever desired: an excuse to push fear onto the population.
Less than a year ago, we could all walk around our cities normally. Today, everything has changed. We see the same sorry sight everywhere: healthy people walking around outside wearing a mask. They wear masks even when alone. If they pass by someone who isn’t wearing a mask, they give them a wide berth.
Fear of Covid-19 has been seized by the Left and weaponized in a way we have never experienced before. Fear is now celebrated, while being cloaked as merely “following the science.” The Left has successfully brainwashed people into believing the restriction of their liberties, which they apparently didn’t value in the first place, isn’t actually fear but a rational response to the situation.
We know the fear surrounding climate change is unjustified because we know climate change is a lie. Is the fear surrounding Covid at all justified or is there a larger lie behind it as well?
The first thing we must do is look at the latest data to make sure we are being ruthlessly honest with ourselves. The more information we have, the more we can determine our own individualized risk, and then adjust our behavior.
There is supposedly a “surge” in Covid-19 cases, yet this claim alone should tip us off that things aren’t quite right in the reporting. All we get are case counts, yet we are never provided context for those counts. For these numbers to be analyzed we must know all of the following: Who is testing positive? What are the precise demographics of those testing positive? What are their ages? What are their ethnicities? What exact locations, down to zip code, are they in? Do they have any co-morbidities and if so, which ones? Have they given information as to where they might have been exposed to the virus? Just how many of these cases are asymptomatic?
We are offered none of that. Perhaps it is sheer incompetence of the media that prevents us from getting that information. Perhaps the reporters are intentionally obscuring it. Or maybe both. Here is what we do know, and this is where we learn fear is not justified:
According to the CDC, 81 percent of Covid deaths are in people aged 65 and older, yet they only account for 16 percent of the U.S. population. Some 97 percent of deaths are those aged 45 and older.
Fewer than 600 people under age of 25 have perished from Covid-19, which comes to under 0.3 percent of the entire US virus mortality volume. Kids generally don’t get the virus and even if they do, most don’t die from it.
A whopping 93 percent of virus deaths are associated with vexing co-morbidities, but we knew that. What you may not know is that the average number of co-morbidities in those who died was three. Thus, those who are dying of Covid-19 aren’t just dying from the virus. It isn’t because they are dying from having one other condition. They’re dying because they usually have at least three other conditions. The most likely are pneumonia, respiratory failure, adult respiratory distress syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. We’ve heard a lot about obesity as a co-morbidity, yet it’s a factor in less than 6 percent of deaths.
The CDC now estimates that between 30 percent and 40 percent of those testing positive may be asymptomatic.
So, no, the fear isn’t justified. That brings us to the question of why the fear is being perpetuated. I actually do not believe this is a mad power-grab by the Left. That implies our Betters are actually intelligent. I believe what’s generating the fear…. is fear itself.
It’s easy to forget that our vaunted elected officials are basically nobodies. They are just crafty hacks with nothing better to do who've figured out how to work the political system instead of getting a real job. Most don’t actually have much knowledge about anything, much less expertise in anything useful. God knows, none of them have a lick of understanding concerning viruses.
The first rule of politics is that all politics is about getting power. The second rule of politics is that all politics is about maintaining power. There is no third rule. Power is itself an end. While ideology is driving climate policy, along with countless thousands of parasites gobbling up funding from offshore accounts to enrich themselves, Covid policy is driven entirely by the need to maintain power.
You'll take it, and like it.
Ideology does drive the desire to get and hold power, but power is the gateway to pushing policy forward, and more effort and attention is necessary to maintain power than to push policy.
So when it comes to such mediocrities as California governor Gavin “Lock It All Down” Newsom and his equally mindless counterpart, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, the lockdowns are all about their own fears of losing power. Blowhards like them only see a binary choice: lock it all down or open it all up.
The latter is what they fear, because if lots of people die, they fear they will be blamed and be voted out of office. So they reactively leap to the opposite end, and lock it all down, thinking that couldn't possibly result in a worse outcome.
The irony, of course, is that the data from Florida and other open states is nearly identical to California’s. In fact, the data all over the world is virtually identical. Yet because of the very fear they have instilled in the public, politicians generally cannot move off the lock-down position.
Nor do they have the vision to generate common-sense policies that quarantine and provide for those at high-risk, and let everyone else go about their business and make decisions about their own level of risk tolerance. So they rely on the “experts” who are equally fearful about being blamed, so they err on the side of insanely unnecessary caution. This is why you see Newsom and others breaking their own rules. The rules aren’t actually based in science, but fear of losing a job.
This leaves us with a question. How does it play out? Sadly, it appears many Americans choose to go along with the fear-mongering and others aren’t fighting back as we’d expect. That’s where the real danger lies.
This isn’t about a power grab. But as more malevolent forces realize nobody is fighting back, it’s the next crisis that will become the power grab.
Time to Take a Breather on Climate Politics
Not so long ago, we were all getting ready to freeze. In 1971, the Global Ecology network forecast the “continued rapid cooling of the earth; in 1975 The New York Times brooded that the earth “may be headed for another ice age,” as did Newsweek; in the March 1, 1975 issue of Science News, we were informed that “the approach of a full-blown 10,000-year ice age [was] a real possibility,” and in the July 1975 issue of National Wildlife, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization warned that “the cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”
A few years later, we are all in danger of frying to a crisp. Over the past decades, as we know to our cost, a consensus has developed that the world is warming as a result of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). There is, apparently, no room for doubt.
The trouble is that the “science” involved has been commandeered by an army of political pulpiteers whose underlying purposes are distressingly suspect. Some of the movement’s advocates, to put it bluntly, are more concerned with saving their careers than saving the planet; others are building new careers at the expense of public credulity, the perks and salaries being just too good to give up. I imagine that a great number of them are dealing from the bottom of the deck.
Thus William Gray, professor emeritus of the Atmosphere Department of Colorado State University, laments that “fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong. But they also know that they’d never get any grants if they spoke out.” Consequently, they must insist that “the science is settled”—an unscientific statement if ever there was one.
Gray received unlikely support from culture-hero James Lovelock who, in his various books on the apotheosis of Gaia, had been an ardent proponent of the Global Warming conjecture. In a late interview, Lovelock more or less reversed course, claiming that the science is far from settled and that “our university and government scientists might fear an admission of a mistake would lead to a loss of funding.”
In adding his réclame to the debunking of climate conformity, Lovelock -- who's now 100 years old -- showed both honesty and courage, rare attributes for climate commentators. If so-called climate skeptics need nerves of steel to oppose the reigning ideology, it takes even more courage for a “Warmist” to buck the trend. Lovelock, who in The Revenge of Gaia prophesied the charring of the planet, now confides he had been “extrapolating too far.” Despite predictably hedging his bets and deferring catastrophe into the indefinite future, he avers that “we don’t know what the climate is doing” and disparages his previous work, as well as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, as “alarmist.”
Financial Post journalist Peter Foster believes that progress toward a more sensible accord on climate may be occurring: “alarmist science, grand schemes of UN-coordinated global governance, carbon taxes, and government promoted ‘technologies of the future’—are crumbling.”
But is that really the case? Our professional elites seems not to be aware—or interested—as they continue to promote a failed ideology. National governments and ambitious politicians are still beating the climate drum, whether Justin Trudeau in Canada or Gavin Newsom in California, leading their people down the road to economic perdition.
Thankfully, authentic scientists, men of courage and integrity, have no intention of surrendering to the climate commissars of the day. Their persistence in disseminating truth may eventually pay off. Perhaps people may gradually become aware that the so-called greening of the earth is actually leading to the blackening of the earth.
Where good intentions go to die.
The toxic waste flowing from Green renewables, unreported in the mainstream media, is off the charts. Writing in Forbes, Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, cites reputable figures showing that by 2016 there were 250,000 metric tonnes of solar panel waste to deal with, producing carcinogens washed into the soil by rainwater.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), he continues, “projected that this amount could reach 78 million metric tonnes by 2050.” In addition, costs are unsustainable. Today, “recycling costs more than the economic value of the materials recovered, which is why most solar panels end up in landfills.”
Additionally, burning e-waste materials, which include plastic components, produces fumes that are teratogenic. Wind farms create their own waste issues regarding the disposal of uncrushable, 100-to-300 feet long, used wind turbine blades, “a waste problem,” writes Christina Stella at NPR, “that runs counter to what the industry is held up to be.”
Perhaps people are also beginning to twig to the fact that, as P.F. Whalen writes in American Thinker, “the climate change cult’s agenda, is less about climate change and more about Socialism; maneuvering for the redistribution of wealth and increased government control over our lives, while disguised as well-intentioned activists striving for cleaner air.”
There’s nothing like the threat of an imminent apocalypse to advance a suspect agenda.
The scientific consensus today, as Foster believes, may be slowly shifting away from the catastrophism of the climate gurus, despite official and partisan resistance. True, the shift has been tentative. Carbon-driven global warming was an easy sell, but it will be a hard buyback—too many professional reputations are on the line.
Nonetheless, the evidence is growing to suggest, variously, that the human contribution to global warming is far less than originally assumed, that there may be no global warming, and that in any event a meteorological calamity is highly unlikely. As far back as 2008, two-thirds of the scientists attending the 33rd International Geological Congress were “hostile to, even dismissive of, the U.N.’s IPCC report” on catastrophic climate.
In addition, a coalition of 49 former NASA scientists and seven Apollo astronauts, including the deputy director of the space shuttle program, has accused the bureaucracy of both NASA and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), with which NASA is affiliated, of diddling with the facts. They write: “We believe that [their] claims that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.”
And a little child shall mislead them.
If Lovelock is right and we don’t know what the climate is doing, then it is surely time for a moratorium on oracular pronouncements foretelling climate doom and vaticinal prescriptions for drastic and irreversible action.
The sickly obsession with "green energy" has to be put out to pasture. It behooves us to proceed gingerly and with humility when engaging in practices that can alter and even destroy livelihoods, that can profoundly affect the industrial and economic infrastructures on which prosperity depends, and that may meddle harmfully with natural processes. Scientists are neither soothsayers nor sorcerer’s apprentices no matter how many degrees and laurels they have acquired.
Meanwhile, civilization is in no danger of collapsing—at least, not from natural causes; the earth is not about to become an orbital cinder; hydrocarbons are not about to be exhausted; and there is time to reflect, plan, experiment and test a diversity of sustainable energy replacements. Nuclear power plants, for example, are not only increasingly secure but create 300 times less toxic waste per unit of energy than do solar panels. Working in proportionate tandem with oil-and-gas, a safe, plentiful and affordable energy source can supply the energy needs of the future while preserving the environment as well as the job economy.
Precipitate action may benefit crony capitalists, corrupt politicians, academic imbeciles, Reset leftists and scientific sell-outs at the cost of planetary degradation and common suffering. The possibilities for creating fear and panic to further the schemes and purposes of Green profiteers are endless. “Some say the world will end in fire,/Some say in ice,” wrote Robert Frost. In the 1970s it was ice; now it’s fire.
A pandemic, a Biblical flood, erupting volcanoes, the separating of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates that may release the hell of Tartarus upon the planet, as James Rollins fantasizes in his Sigma Force thriller The Last Odyssey—all are equally plausible, which is to say, implausible scenarios. Perhaps it’s time to stop fetishizing cataclysmic theatrics, whether for lucre, reputation or political control. Moreover, the untutored enthusiasms of credulous multitudes need to be treated with unqualified skepticism as well.
In short, informed and honorable people know it’s time to take a breather on climate politics. Too little is known and computer models are notoriously unreliable, often reflecting their programmers’ biases or ineptness rather than the real world. This practice of presuming on results is called by those in the field “climate model tuning” or “parameter estimation targeting a chosen set of observations.”
According to the American Meteorological Society, “tuning methodologies may affect fundamental results of climate models, such as climate sensitivity.” There are, as the AMS goes on to admit, “consistency issues across the model and its components,” as well as “limitations of process studies metrics,” such as sampling issues, and also the fact that “the climate system itself is not observed with sufficient fidelity to fully constrain models.” The language is technical but the meaning in layman’s terms is clear: the results of current climate and environmentalism studies, given the “arcane aspect of model construction,” are untrustworthy and corrupted.
What is needed is not ad hoc adjustments to confirm a theory or ratify an antecedent conclusion, but, as the AMS advises, “a vigorous debate on model tuning and evaluation.” There is far too much uncertainty arising from the inductive procedures currently in play.
Michael Crichton was right when he urged in State of Fear that we need “more people working in the field, in the actual environment, and fewer people behind computer screens.” No matter how sophisticated the regressive correlations and projective parameters used in computer simulations may be, there can be no substitute for concrete empirical work. Ultimately, we should agree, at the very least, that a large amount of comprehensive research still needs to be done before the science is sufficiently stabilized to yield results that are not perennially contestable.
The old Latin maxim applies: In dubio non agitur: when in doubt, don’t act. Or at any rate, act circumspectly and with gradually accumulated knowledge rather than with the doctorings of desire, the existence of prior convictions, or a raft of maniacal assumptions.
Gavin Newsom's Hotel California
The song “Hotel California” warns: “We are programmed to receive/ You can check out any time you like/ But you can never leave...”
Residents of California have a different, view. They are not only checking out, but they are leaving for elsewhere in significant numbers. In 2019 California was the “fourth-ranked top out bound state” (691,000 left last year, and the exodus shows no sign of abating. You can check out—and people and businesses increasingly are-- but moving out of the state is getting more and more expensive because so many people are doing it .
One indication of this is the U-Haul truck rates. U- Haul moving truck rental rates from San Francisco to Austin, Texas have more than doubled and are five times the difference from a trip in the opposite direction. A similar pattern from Los Angeles to Austin is reflected in the moving truck rental fees.
Ignoring his state’s shortage of electric capacity and rolling blackouts, the massive wildfires caused by his mismanagement and the economic devastation caused by his Covid-19 lockdowns this week, governor Gavin Newson ordered that by 2035 it would be phasing out all gasoline-powered cars.
Like all the political figures in this one-party state, he’s under the thumb of an aggressive environmental lobby, which has seemingly persuaded him that such a move would mean a job boom for the 34 companies in California, which produce electric vehicles.
Plenty of room at the Hotel California?
Demand for such vehicles is very low, and they cost a great deal more to purchase. “Zero-emission vehicles in 2019 made up only about 2% of the cars on California’s roads, 560,000 out of more than 28.4 million.”
Given the present housing patterns and transportation systems in California, and the fact that people are already having difficulty during blackouts to charge these cars, the mandate for more of them seems preposterous.
Since California is such a big market, many of its more onerous regulations, based on the fantasy of anthropogenic climate change tend to be voluntarily accepted by manufacturers, throughout the country, something the President has been fighting by refusing to grant waivers for standards that exceed those set nationwide:
California has already pledged to not buy cars for government fleets from automakers that spurned its clean car deal, including General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota. And at a meeting with the California Transportation Commission last year, Nichols spoke vaguely of “potentially looking at things like fees, taxes and bans on certain types of vehicles and products.”
But Nichols’ prewritten remarks, obtained by Bloomberg, were starker, saying that federal clean car rollbacks could prompt the air board to look for other ways to curb pollution, including “an outright ban on internal combustion engines.”
At the time, Meredith Hankins, then a Shapiro fellow in Environmental Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law, told CalMattersthat such a ban would be difficult to get past the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
“It may be sort of dead on arrival under this current administration,” Hankins said last year. And going around the EPA is “an untested legal question.”
Under the Clean Air Act, California must receive permission from the US EPA in the form of a waiver to implement clean car rules that differ from the federal government’s. And this would be no exception, said Ann Carlson, an environmental law professor at the University of California Los Angeles.
“So the policy is highly dependent on who is elected President,” Carlson said. Trump’s EPA already has revoked the waiver for California’s tailpipe greenhouse gas standards, which California is fighting in court. “There’s no chance he’d grant an even stronger one,” Carlson said.”
California greenies are fighting for more than one kind of climate change, it seems, one that would subject us all to the dictates of an ever more aggressive green movement in that state. As for the direction California’s rules are designed to head, it looks to me quite obvious: a state free of that troublesome middle class and those small businesses —a depopulated state with a smaller much richer population and bigger businesses served by those too poor to be able to leave.
California’s most productive residents and companies are changing in ever larger number for a different climate than Newsom’s and the state’s legislators mandate, places free of such fantastical thinking.
To Save California from Fire, Burn It
As the state of California slowly returns to the state of Nature, politicians such as Gavin Newsom -- the worst governor in Golden State history, so bad he makes one yearn for the second coming of Gray Davis -- and the arsonists in Sacramento propose to make things worse, not better. Newsom, whose name should be changed to Noisome, blames the outbreak of fires during, um, fire season on "global warming" and "climate change."
“The debate is over on climate change,” Newsom added. “Just come to the state of California.”
Well, governor, I've lived in California multiple times in my life, including growing up in San Diego, working as a reporter and critic in San Francisco, and writing in Hollywood. I love California -- or at least what it used to be. I knew California -- and your state ain't no California any more. But that's what happens when the same few interlocking wealthy families control the state's destiny for far too long: it becomes Mexico, ruled by aristocrats and cauldillos as they punish the peasants for their penury.
The fact is, the current wildfires are not, as the Huffington Post would have it, "among the largest wildfires in state history." Maybe in recorded state history, but that doesn't go back very far. Bjorn Lomborg, the "Skeptical Environmenalist," has a few words for the governor:
The massive fires raging in California are being blamed squarely on climate change. Alongside ominous photographs of orange skies, the front page of the Sunday Los Angeles Times blared: “California’s Climate Apocalypse.” Golden State Gov. Gavin Newsom says the cause is climate change. Anyone who thinks differently, he insists, is in denial.
The governor is right that climate change is real, man-made and something we need to deal with smartly. But the claim that the fires are caused by climate change is grossly misleading. To understand why, it helps to know that California wildfires used to be much bigger. This past decade, California has seen an average burnt area of 775,000 acres. Before 1800, however, California typically saw between 4.4 and 11.9 million acres burn every year.
In other words, up to 12 percent of the entire area of the state — had its modern boundaries existed in the 18th century — burned every year. This all changed after 1900, when fire suppression became the norm, and fire declined precipitously. In the last half of the 20th century, only about 250,000 acres burned annually.
But because most fires were stopped early, this left ever more unburnt fuel in the forests. According to one estimate, there is now five times more wood-fuel debris in Californian forests than before Europeans arrived. Californian fires are slowly coming back to their prehistoric state because of the enormous excess fuel load. Putting up solar panels and using biofuels will be costly but do virtually nothing to fix this problem. Prescribed burns will.
Ah, but the Left -- which systematically discourages the study of history -- believes (as did the French revolutionaries and the Soviet communists) -- that the world began anew with them. As far as the modern California Left is concerned, the Golden State sprang into being fully formed, like Athena from the brow of Zeus. They never give a thought to the white male easterners and midwesterners who came out west and made the desert bloom, who dammed the Sierra lakes and rivers, tamed the Colorado River, built the beautiful neighborhoods of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and most of all, learned to prevent forest fires via brush clearing and controlled burns (so, by the way, did the Indians).
That couldn't stand -- why, didn't they know that managing the fire threat was inflicting pain on Mother Gaia? The Left is nothing if not superstitious and anthropomorphic, and in the guise of "environmentalism" is hurtling the state back to the stone age.
Here's Michael Shellenberger, who like Lomborg believes that the warming trend is in part attributable to human activity, giving the governor a meteorological lesson. Please watch the video:
People are missing what's important about fires & climate change so I made this short vid
- Well-managed forests surviving despite cl. ch.
- 5x more wood fuel in forests means mega-fires were likely w/o cc
The climate hysterics don't want to hear this, of course. It's critical to their view of the world to believe in the innate evil of mankind, the better to salve their consciences as they punish their fellow citizens with ever higher taxes to appease the angry climate gods who do not, in fact, exist. Of such delusions are the ruination of once-great states made.
Smoking Out the Golden State's Green Utopia
Into the grandest of fantasies, reality intrudes. And so, it may be that Mother Nature in the form of annual forest fires, will force a key California agency to face reality and modify the overly ambitious and unrealistic renewable energy fantasy that has characterized the state’s energy planning for a decade.
On Sept. 1, the California State Water Board will have to decide whether the four natural gas plants that provide desperately needed power in energy-short California must be shuttered or whether to grant them an extension in the midst of devastating state electricity blackouts by amending the policy use of on coastal waters for power plant cooling. .
There are four natural gas plants along California’s coast, in areas much desirable to developers: Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Oxnard and Redondo Beach. Because they rely on seawater cooling they are deemed environmentally unsound. The Clean Water Act requires the location, design and construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact, but there are no applicable nationwide standards implementing this section for existing power plants.
That task in California fell to the California Water Board. It determined that these four plants had not been able to comply with the Board ruling in 2010 that they had to create power without use of seawater cooling, and they were unable to do so. The companies involved begged for extensions citing the drastic shortfall if they were decommissioned. All four were slated to close early this decade. The largest, in Redondo Beach was to close in 2023 and has asked for an additional year. The other three plants have asked for three-year extensions. (In February of this year, the state began dismantling its sole nuclear power plant, San Onofre.)
Up to now their efforts for further extensions seemed unlikely to succeed, but policy makers considered the impossibility of compliance in a time of no great consequence. California planned to have 60 percent of all its power needs produced by "green" sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045. Unfortunately these best laid plans were hindered by the inability to increase battery capacity to store solar power overnight when the sun doesn’t shine, or wind power when the wind doesn’t blow.
Oh, and then there’s the perfectly predictable problem that when it gets hot in California people need air conditioning, and when it gets dry in California there are massive forest fires which block the sunlight. This summer those perfectly predictable events occurred and the state is now suffering rolling blackouts -- certainly uncomfortable, if not dangerous, for many people and disruptive to industries already in trouble because of Gov. Gavin Newsom's one-party state lockdowns and other environmental, tax, transportation, housing, immigration ,law enforcement, employment, and assorted budgetary idiocies.
Newsom or Noisome?
So next Tuesday, the Control Board is faced with a dilemma: should they amend their regulations to permit the Huntington Beach, Long Beach and Oxnard plant to stay open for another three years and the Redondo plant for another additional year? Naturally, environmentalists are opposing the extensions.
City leaders where the plants are located also are opposing the extensions; Redondo Beach, for example, has already made plans for the site with a mixed-use developer and the mayor, Bill Brand has, according to reporters covering the story, staked “his legacy on getting the plant removed,” which may be delayed. Other plant owners have sweetened the pot with expensive concessions to sway local politicians. Also fighting any extension are citizens living near the plants because if the plants go and are replaced with more desirable structures their property values will increase.
So the board is facing a lot of pressure to sacrifice electric reliability—in fact, cause even more disruption to the already failing electrical power supply, or satisfy the environmentalists, citizens and political interests in shutting down the plants on schedule. As their proposed final amendment states “the compliance dates in this Policy may require amendment based on, among other things, the need to maintain reliability of the electrical system.”
This may sound technical, and you may think that Californians deserve to sit in the dark for electing such bad policymakers, but perhaps the plaint of its citizens so well-documented by Victor Davis Hanson might make clear the human suffering caused by such ill-conceived proscriptions by the neo-feudalist democrats who run the state.
We can expect power outages, because we don’t believe in releasing clean heat to make energy. Note that we do not mind people heating up in their 108-degree apartments without power. The planet is always more important than the non-privileged people who inhabit it.
For some reason, solar panels don’t create much power when the state is engulfed in dust, haze, and smoke.
Note the synergism of the California postmodern apocalypse: The hotter it gets, the more fires burn on ecological fuel and hillside natural “compost,” the smokier the air becomes, the less efficiently California’s solar pathway to the future generates, the more power outages ensue, the more real people are put in danger from either being incinerated by fire or suffocated by smoke or boiled inside without air conditioning.
Last week, I asked an elderly patient at the allergy clinic whether, in the 108-degree heat, he preferred to stay outside to breathe smoke and haze, or stay inside his uncooled apartment. He gave a novel answer: He didn’t care about the power outages since he couldn’t pay the exorbitant electricity charges anyway to turn on his air conditioner. And he added that, in California these days, you can’t tell whether mask wearers are fighting the virus, the smoke, or the police.
Davis says Newsom is worried about the state’s “Frankensteinian Green New Deal,” which the Governor earlier helped create: "We cannot sacrifice reliability as we move on,’” Newsom said.
Davis translates this as something like “we built so many subsidized solar and wind farms, and retired or canceled so many clean-burning natural-gas power plants, that we don’t have enough electricity for 40 million sweltering residents when the annual green napalm hits, who would have figured?”
So, how will the Board vote on Tuesday? Before the electric grid failed, probably they’d have denied the extension, but now their hand may be forced into being pragmatic and approving them. It doesn’t hurt that the governor has signaled his concern about even more electrical power disruptions.