Lord Percy and the Green Climateers

Skint and owing £1000, Lord Blackadder faces the wrath of the perverted Bishop of Bath and Wells and the fate of being buggered by a red-hot poker. Valiantly trying to save him by making gold, his incredibly dim-witted friend Lord Percy instead makes ‘pure green’. Not gold! Blackadder points out.

Think of Percy’s quest as a metaphor for the quest of today’s climate activists. Instead of gold, they’re after carbonless energy. Alchemy rethought through a climate prism. And, to boot, with a religiously-convicted single mindedness. Pure "green."

Consider the attitude of those working for the myriad of agencies in each western country dedicated to completely greening the production and consumption of energy. I’m not a mind reader, but in Australia I can’t spot doubt. Just group-think. No evidence of robust internal debate. None escapes into public view in any event. Presumably no one is hired who doesn’t fit the mould.

Catastropharians all -- skeptics shunned -- they’ve fixed on their fanciful quest without at all questioning its feasibility. Percy’s problem. Fortunately, Blackadder found another way. If sense is not soon restored, we might be stuck with pure green and, figuratively speaking, with Blackadder’s blazing nemesis.

One way to appreciate the infeasibility of decarbonisation is to lay bare the fantastical plans for its achievement; by whichever climate agency, in whichever country. Incidentally, this is not necessarily straightforward. Common to all plans are grand visions and longwinded bafflegab. Thus, I was unsurprised to learn of the length of New York’s Draft Scoping Plan to radically reduce emissions. All 330 pages plus appendices were released on December 20.

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Everything’s bigger in New York. So, Australia’s reports tend to be shorter but remain competitive in the visions and bafflegab stakes. Which brings me to Australia’s equivalent of the DSP, the Integrated System Plan (ISP) to transform the production and consumption of energy. This plan, released also in December, was issued by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO); the agency responsible for keeping the lights on.

The ISP is just ninety-nine pages long. Even so, I admit to not reading it all. Too little fortitude. However, the eight-page executive summary suffices to reveal its innards. Net-zero by 2050 is the goal of course but, to ease concern, we are told that power will remain “affordable, reliable and secure.” Take it to the bank. Every pie-in-the-sky plan to do away with fossil fuels contains the same placating, empty assurance.

The plan calls for ‘delivered electricity’ to nearly double by 2050; from 180 terawatt hours (TWh), to 330 TWh. Bear in mind, we are told, this electricity is needed “to replace much of the gas and petrol currently consumed in transport, industry, office and domestic use.” And this, seriously folks, without coal and natural gas which presently account for about 75 percent of electricity generation.

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To stretch credulity even more, the forecast in the plan of how much electricity will be required by 2050 looks way too low. The economy will at least double in size over the next 28 years, under conservative assumptions about immigration and per-capita economic growth. But hold on. I'm assuming, naively perhaps, that people in 2050 are still enjoying unrationed heating and cooling, red meat, freedom of personal travel, and other dissolute pleasures.

And from unreality to beyond, the plan contemplates, without quantification, the need for even more additional electricity power to make hydrogen. Readers are referred to another AEMO report called 'Hydrogen Superpower'. Yep, Australia along with many other countries, intends to be a superpower in producing and exporting green hydrogen. Why the additional electricity? Well, to make green hydrogen, lots of electricity is lost in translation. How is all this extra electricity to be generated?

Note, excluding the hydrogen bit, by “a nine-fold increase in utility scale variable renewable capacity.” Meaning in common parlance, nine times the current number/size of wind and solar farms. Where will they be built?

Much of this resource will be built in renewable energy zones (REZs) that coordinate network and renewable investment, and foster a more holistic approach to regional employment, economic opportunity and community participation.

Blue-collar workers and their families can relax. Look forward to holistic experiences. Starry-eyed boys and girls with university degrees have the conn.

Also required, we’re told, is “a five-fold increase in distributed photovoltaics capacity [and] substantial growth in distributed storage.” To again interpret, this means many more solar panels on roofs, complemented with household battery storage. Are there enough bribable and/or willing roof owners?

I presume this hypothesised blanketing of land with turbines and solar panels has been fed into a computer model. Hence, I’ll gullibly take it as given that on a good day all of this wind and solar infrastructure, in the extremely improbable event it is ever built, together with existing hydro, would do the job. But then there’s night, and stormy days and nights, and windless days and nights.

According to the plan, three times the current amount of standby power, equal to 620GWh, will be required to underpin the system. Or to put it into plan-speak: “significant investment is required… to treble the firming capacity that can respond to a dispatch signal.”

Again, I have no informed view about the numbers being spat out. But just suppose the envisaged standby power is not enough. Modelling has been wrong before, I vaguely recall; and wind capricious. Result blackouts? Am I being vexatiously querulous?

And a little child shall lead them.

Apropos the wind- and sun-dependent state of South Australia over the Christmas to New Year week. Renewable energy hit a peak of 130 percent of demand, a trough of just 4 percent and everything in-between. Not unusual. Is that any basis for delivering dispatchable power, adults might once have asked? Ah, the old days, when common sense had a look in.

Where is the so-called firming to be sourced? Gas is in the mix but, as the plan says, “over time, its emissions will need to be offset, or natural gas will need to be replaced by net-zero carbon fuels such as green hydrogen or biogas.” These zealots are not for compromising.

What else is in the mix? Predominantly batteries and pumped hydro. Good luck in getting dams built to supply additional pumped hydro. Environmentalists detest new dams as much they detest coal and human fecundity. Finally, demand responses are brought into play to help manage peak loads. A euphemism for rationing supply.

Shambles ahead, from Sydney to New York. Indelicately speaking, I foresee the Bishop of Bath and Wells, poker in hand, ready to collect a debt.

The 'Climate Change' Casino—and the Risks Thereof

There's a lot of risk involved in "global warming." The first and most basic is whether it will occur at all according to the model put forward by the United Nations IPCC. The public can actually wager on whether it's unfolding as officially predicted. "Last week, MyBookie unveiled odds on global warming. Yes, you can bet on the Earth’s 2020 global land/ocean temperature index being greater than or less than 2019’s 0.99 degrees Celsius. Right now, the “no” is a surprising favorite at -700. A “yes” gets you +400."

A more sophisticated version of theory verification uses long-short equity funds.  "The concept is simple: Investment research turns up expected winners and losers, so why not bet on both? Take long positions in the winners as collateral to finance short positions in the losers." If climate change really exists then those who follow the model will do better than the deniers and one can make money wagering in contrasting pairs. According to an investor document seen by Bloomberg:

[Finance veteran] Carrasquillo and her former CPPIB colleague Savironi Chet have joined AllianceBernstein Holding to start a hedge fund called 1.5 Degrees, named after scientists’ warning that the Earth could warm by that much within the next two decades. The long/short equities fund is expected to start trading this quarter... '1.5 Degrees' aims to make high single digit returns by focusing on climate change opportunities and companies benefitting or losing out from events such as rising sea levels, shifting consumer preferences and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

You can't win if you don't play!

Still another approach is to utilize weather risk contracts of the sort traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to hedge against definite outcomes. "The use of derivative markets for hedging climate-related risk has been around for over 25 years... By indexing CME Weather futures and options, it makes it possible to trade weather in a way comparable to trading other index products such as stock indexes." (A hedge is an investment that is made with the intention of reducing the risk of adverse price movements in an asset. Normally, a hedge consists of taking an offsetting or opposite position in a related security).

A more general measure of climate fear is the level of property and casualty insurance that people, not just activists, buy. Although McKinsey recommends buying insurance they can't even put a number on it. "McKinsey research shows that the value at stake from climate-induced hazards could, conservatively, increase from about 2 percent of global GDP to more than 4 percent of global GDP in 2050. And the risks associated with climate change are multiplying..."

This is disconcertingly vague. In the absence of definite projections so much insurance may be required to protect against the nebulous magnitudes of climate change that some observers fear the whole industry may collapse.

As companies and investors get to grips with the risks of rising global temperatures, climate stress testing is becoming more commonplace across many parts of the world — with eye-opening results for insurers. France’s central bank, for example, released the first results of its climate stress tests earlier in 2021: It found that natural disaster-related insurance claims could increase up to five-fold in the nation’s most affected regions. That would cause premiums to surge as much as 200 percent over 30 years.

In fact preparing against "global warming" creates other risks associated with wind and solar power under-production,  principally the higher likelihood of blackouts. To hedge against crippling outages, provision for keeping dirty fossil-fuel backup generator sets must be made. Moreover there are independent risks inherent to renewables themselves. They are often dependent on exotic material like rare earths (much of it controlled by China) without which green technology could rapidly grind to a halt. They can cause environmental damage by their operation. Solar panel arrays are toxic unless disposed of carefully and wind farms generate a continuous low-level hum that can cause multiple health problems including ruined sleep, headaches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, depression, irritability, and panic episodes.

What risk? The science is settled!

Renewable energy devices are also prone to damage from weather events. Windmills are torn apart by high winds, acres of solar panels are toasted by brush fire.  The answer? Insure it. There is insurance against the sun not shining.  There is insurance against the wind not blowing. Would there were insurance against the public going broke. There is in a way: as Brits face a massive increase in energy bills, largely as a result of wind power shortfalls, Labour wants BP and Shell to pay for the no-show of renewables:

The UK government is coming under mounting pressure to increase taxes on oil and gas companies, including BP and Shell. The aim: to help British households cope with skyrocketing energy bills. The main opposition Labour Party this weekend called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose a windfall tax on companies pumping oil and gas from the North Sea, saying that the money raised could be used to cut roughly £200 ($272) from soaring household bills.

That there are risks everywhere is not surprising, except to those who regard the climate future as exact, settled science. Risk is in fact another way of expressing our lack of knowledge about the exact probability of each outcome of or whether we have actually anticipated all possible outcomes. Indeed it would be impossible to create all the bookie bets and insurance policies associated with risk management cited here were it not for the presence of uncertainty. A market for bets requires something which isn't completely known, hence the odds as an incentive to bet.

Far from being a sure thing, there is much that is unsettled about the way the earth's climate works. Although these knowledge gaps may be denied by governments and many in the media, they are tacitly admitted by the risk management instruments contrived to deal with them. These force us to quantify climate prediction in specifics that show up the uncertainties lurking behind the bureaucratic façade of infallibility. The official global warming forecasts are neither as definite nor precise as they are made out to be, and though officials have gone to great lengths to conceal doubt, they have not been able to hide risk, which is the shadow of doubt.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Boris?

Boris Johnson, who has dominated British politics since the middle of 2019, is now facing a possible ejection from office and the end of his political career for the sin of attending parties at Number Ten Downing Street during the period that his government was enforcing anti-Covid regulations that forbade ordinary citizens from attending not only parties but also funerals, marriages, and the bedsides of dying family members. This scandal, inevitably named party-gate, has aroused extraordinary public anger against Johnson because it crystallizes the widespread public feeling after two years of Covid lockdowns that “there’s one law for Them [i.e., the political class] and another law for Us."

That’s an especially damaging charge against him because until recently Boris was seen by a large slice of the British public, especially blue-collar Tories and Brexit supporters, as their defender against a remote and corrupt establishment. Not to mention that the charge comes at a time when Boris is losing popularity more generally because several groups in the broad conservative coalition oppose his other policies.

I dealt with his plight which is a serious one—and how he might succeed in keeping his job—in a recent article in National Review Online:

The odd truth is that although he helped to put together an election-winning coalition, he is now alienating all the major Tory factions one after another by his various policies: Thatcherites by his reckless over spending and abandonment of tax cuts; patriotic Tories by failing to counter the deracinated ideas of Wokeness conquering so many British institutions; younger and less affluent Tories by not tackling the unavailability of affordable housing effectively; small savers and investors by allowing inflation to revive; cautious pragmatic Tories by “big government” projects on an almost Napoleonic scale such as Net-Zero; even Brexiteers by the long-drawn-out negotiations over the Northern Ireland protocol; and much else. (My emphasis).

That’s a formidable list of disasters, but the one that will spring out at The Pipeline readers is the reference to Net-Zero and more broadly to Boris’s passionate embrace of a radical, expensive, and life-altering program of left-wing environmentalism and global redistribution. He was the impresario of the COP26 U.N. conference at Glasgow that was meant to entrench Net-Zero as a legally-binding international obligation on the West. It failed in that, but he probably hopes to revive that campaign as soon as he can. Should global “lukewarmers” (i.e., those who think, like The Pipeline, that the costs of climate alarmist policies are heavier than the costs of climate change) want therefore to see Boris brought down over party-gate on the grounds that Net-Zero would perish with him?

Shrinking in stature by the day.

That’s a serious question because the fall of Boris would be a major international sensation and some of the commentary on it would cite Net-Zero as a contributory factor in his demise. Having made two recent visits to London, however, I would argue the opposite case on four grounds:

  1. If Boris fell, Net-Zero wouldn’t be brought down with him. Serious skepticism towards the policy is growing as people realize the extraordinary costs of moving rapidly from fossil fuels to renewables in both taxes and energy prices; the risks of relying on renewables when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind blow; and the futility of making enormous sacrifices in order to reduce the U.K.’s 1-2 percent of global carbon emissions when China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and other fossil fuel users and producers will be pumping out carbon with little or no change. I’ve had several recent conversations with economists and politicians who make these and other points. But they all accept that the U.K. establishment and all party leaderships have committed themselves so completely to the climate orthodoxy that turning around the tanker will be a slow business.
  2. Indeed, if Boris were to be forced to resign in the near future, all of the potential candidates to succeed him as prime minister and Tory leaders would almost certainly pledge their support for Net-Zero, giving it a new lease of political and intellectual life. That’s not likely to happen while Boris is in Downing Street. The Tory Party consensus on climate policies has been breaking down as its dire consequences became clearer. A new Tory backbench group has just been formed to support Net-Zero in response to the rise of the skeptical lukewarmers. More significantly, Boris’s great ally on Brexit, Lord (David) Frost has been describing Net-Zero as a policy that lacks realism or any connection to conservatism as commonly understood. As with Brexit, once the leadership’s policy was exposed to criticism and debate, it turned out to have less support than everyone believed—and the rebellion spread.
  3. More time is needed to accomplish this, however, and to develop and promote an alternative set of policies that would compete with climate alarmism at every level of society. Those policies are beginning to emerge: reviving nuclear power, using clean natural gas as a “bridge” fuel to a lower emissions world, legalizing fracking which would incidentally foster a Trump-style energy boom in parts of Britain that are currently “left behind,” and encouraging the market to search out new innovations with tax incentives rather than have Whitehall “picking winners.”
  4. And, finally, if Boris survives party-gate, he is as likely as any of the other contenders for the Tory top job to reverse course on Net-Zero and adopt a more realistic and prudent policy. Maybe more likely. Boris is highly flexible intellectually, as he showed on Brexit, and his radical-left environmentalism is already beginning to fail and to damage him as it fails. He won’t drive his car into the ditch for the sake of consistency. He also knows that one of the largest contradictions in his overall political strategy is that between Net-Zero and his policy of “levelling up” the North of England to the output and living standards of Middle England by infrastructure and transport developments. Levelling up implies a slower transition to a world without the fossil fuels that currently supply eighty percent of its energy. Finally, when Boris looks at the Tory factions in the parliamentary party, he can see that those most sympathetic to his kind of politics are also those most skeptical towards Net-Zero and the socialist hairshirt economics that it requires. He needs them as allies.

Fun while it lasted.

To sum up, a world in which the Government is urging voters to travel by bus, cut down on foreign vacations, eat less meat, and accept colder homes in the winter while ministers and CEOs travel by official cars and private planes to pleasant climates where they discuss the sacrifices that must be made to realize Net-Zero looks awfully like a world in which “there’s one law for Them and another law for Us.” Boris is acutely vulnerable to—and so most anxious to avoid—that suspicion at present.

My conclusion therefore is that climate realists should not be too keen on seeing Boris ousted any time soon. The argument is moving in our direction and Boris is losing the authority and perhaps the desire to halt or reverse that.

From Secret Passages to Burning Bushes

In November last year, a paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It describes a geological "secret passage," located nearly 62 miles (100 km) below Earth's surface. Researchers think it allows a flow of mantle materials to travel from beneath the Galápagos Islands to beneath Panama. It may offer an explanation for why rocks from Earth's mantle have been found more than 1,000 miles from where they originated. What's significant about the secret passage is that until now, no one knew it even existed.

Such revelations are increasingly common. They deepen our understanding of things considered to be already understood or reveal things where little is understood. Whether revelations in physics, cosmology, or math and computer science, these discoveries have led society to develop technologically, economically, and even socially in an exceptionally brief period of time. Making new discoveries reminds us that we don’t always know as much about things as we think we do.

What lies beneath?

Enter climate change. It has been ascribed the pejorative cause for so many circumstances and events with a certitude that defies scientific reality? How has climate change made its way into corporate investing strategies and board room battles? How has it become the nagging cry from those in politics around the world, who seek to use it as a tool for greater control over every part of our lives?How has climate change become a religion for some while becoming a punch line for others?

At a time when we understand how much we still don’t know about so many things, how has this single narrative become the culprit for every foul weather event, thawed acre of tundra or fuzzy creature wandering in a forest too close to human populations? Climate change it seems, is the grim reaper of the 21st century. It is so predictable that it's become… boring.

As 2022 opens, perhaps a quick dip into climate change calamities of the past will remind us that from secret passages to burning bushes, climate change isn’t the cause of everything.

Star(fish) Power
Beginning in 2013, starfish began dying on a scale not previously seen. The starfish fell apart… with pieces of their arms walking away, or their bodies disintegrating into mushy piles. With no understanding of what was causing these deaths, climate activists quickly snatched up the opportunity to assert that they knew the mush-inducing mess was caused by climate change. The assertion, after all, is the proof. It requires no more than a non-profit newsletter to make the claim and NPR to report on the newsletter and…boom… case closed.

"What we think is that the warm water anomalies made these starfish more susceptible to the disease that was already out there," says Joe Gaydos, the science director at the University of California, Davis' SeaDoc Society and one author of a study out today in the journal Science Advances.

He and co-authors analyzed data collected by scuba divers and found that divers were less likely to see living sea stars when the water temperatures were abnormally high. "To think that warmer water temperature itself can cause animals to get disease quicker, or make them more susceptible, it's kind of a like a one-two punch," Gaydos says. "It's a little nerve-wracking."

RIP. Gotta be climate change.

But what of the truth? It turned out to be a virus.

Eventually dubbed "Sea Star Wasting Syndrome," the phenomenon caused a massive die-off of multiple species of starfish stretching from Mexico to Alaska. Tissue samples of sick and healthy starfish were ultimately analyzed by a team of international experts. They sought all the possible pathogens associated with diseased starfish. The research team then conducted DNA sequencing of the viruses and compared them to all the other known viruses. Once they had identified a leading candidate, they tested it by injecting the densovirus into healthy starfish in an aquarium. Then they watched to see if the disease took hold. And sure enough it did. The virus killed the starfish in the aquarium the same way it had been killing them in nature.

The die-off was also linked with an increase in urchin population and a reduction in kelp, according to a study published in Science Advances. In other words, there was more going on than merely the vague, all-encompassing, "climate change" theory. Thankfully, scientific inquiry won out over political postulating and the actual cause was ascertained. Spoiler…it wasn’t climate change.

Burning Bushes
Wildfires are a well-understood aspect of living in the western United States. But so too are forest-management practices. Fail to manage forests and wildfires will be more frequent and more devastating. But like flies to honey, the media rallies around the "climate change" narrative without a scintilla of interest in understanding the real causes of wild land fires.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior, as many as 85 percent of wild land fires in the U.S. are caused by humans. That’s right, humans, not climate change. Human-caused fires result from unattended camp fires, the burning of debris, downed power lines, negligently discarded cigarettes, sparks from vehicles or equipment and intentional acts of arson. The remaining 15 percent are started by lightning or lava.

Definitely climate change.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 7.6 million acres burned in the U.S. in 2021 due to wildfires. That's about 2.6 million fewer acres than in 2020. California's Dixie fire was the largest 2021 wildfire, burning more than 960,000 acres and destroying more than 1,300 homes and buildings before being contained. Activists asserted that drought, caused by climate change, was the reason the fire had started. However, just recently Cal Fire said investigators have determined that a tree contacting Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines caused the Dixie Fire. Proper forest management -- the kind California used to be able to do in its sleep -- likely would have prevented the destruction.

The 2020 fire season was no different. The 7,000-acre El Dorado fire, was started by electronic equipment that malfunctioned at a "gender-reveal" party. That particular fire was reported in the media as being the result of climate change. Other fires throughout the state that year were started by lightening. California’s poor forest management practices allowed all of the fires to grow out of control, not climate change. Worth remembering to never blame on climate change that which can be explained by general governmental incompetence or ideologically-driven political messaging.

Tornados, Tragedy, and Ghoulish Politicians

There’s an old saying that to a carpenter equipped only with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. It is much the same in the weird world of climate alarmists: any bad weather must be caused by what they call “the climate crisis.” There’s really no need for professional meteorologists in their world. Climate change causes everything.

Case in point are the devastating series of tornados that hit Kentucky and neighboring states last weekend. President Biden claimed that he understands the root cause of the problem. “The fact is that we all know everything is more intense when the climate is warming,” the President said. “Everything. And obviously it has some impact here, but I can’t give you a quantitative read on that.”

News flash: nobody can give us a quantitative read on that. In the first place, tornados are too small to resolve on the climate change models currently in use. The models can’t deal with tornados, because they can’t see them. Moreover, nobody actually knows what causes tornados to form. Meteorologists understand how supercells form, which often turn into the most severe form of thunderstorm, but what causes some supercells to spawn tornados? Scientists that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration admit that they don’t really know.

With the prevalence of Doppler radar in the U.S. today and that technology’s ability to get finer resolution than other types of radar, tornados that were small enough to escape detection in decades past are now part of the annual total. This while it might look to folks like the President that there has been a drastic uptick in tornados in recent years, there is little indication that is the case. 

In fact, the most devastating years for tornados in recent times was 2011, when a late spring/early summer outbreak killed more than 580 people and cost more than $21 billion in property damage.  By that standard, the Kentucky event is not all that unusual. It’s just part of living in North America.

Blaming a tornado outbreak on a non-existent pattern of bad weather caused by climate change is intellectually lazy in the extreme. The story that alarmists are trying to sell is that as our system retains more energy, that energy has to be dissipated somewhere and naturally that’s going to cause severe weather. That model may work when you overfill a balloon to the point of bursting, but it has no place in evaluating a complex and dynamic global climate system.

Not "global warming," either.

Supercells sometimes spawn tornados. Wind variables spawn supercells. So does it follow that increased temperatures equates to more wind? Winds are created by pressure differentials, which are related to temperature differentials, not by increased temperature. Abhorring a vacuum as they do, masses of air tend to flow from high pressure to lower pressure regions, creating wind. How these wind patterns converge and diverge and sometimes come together in just the right way to cause a severe weather event is process that involves a wide array of variables. Shining the spotlight on a single one, temperature, is the opposite of how science works.

There is something depressing and ghoulish about politicians and pundits rushing in to shed crocodile tears over the bodies of the victims after a natural disaster strikes. For we know that however much grief climate change zealots like Biden display in public, there is also glee inside as they contemplate how well the tragedy will serve their radical agendas.

The Shape of Things to Come

Our rulers have recently completed another greendoggle on foreign shores, flying in on their private jets to congratulate one another on their plans to deprive us of liberty and property; life, too, if they’re all up for it. How much easier it would be for them if we all just died.

The primary job of any politician is communication. Communications nowadays are instantaneous and global. No reason exists for this gathering to disgorge thousand of metric tons of GHG to gather to communicate about excess GHG. If our entire $20 trillion economy can work from home and on video-calls for well over a year, these few penny-ante taxpayer-and-corruption-funded millionaires can, too.

If they must get together, if drinking maskless and telling happy lies and sitting around watching the same old PowerPoint presentations they heard last year and the year before (which can be emailed to them) are critical to their well-being, well – again, as comms are global (and if they absolutely refuse to videoconference) they can take the train, or a ship and then a train, all of which emit less GHG per passenger than Gulfstreams and Lears and Cessnas and 85-car motorcades. The longer they are in-transit, the less harm they are to the productive middle classes. If they want to extend these ridiculous and childish meets to 24 x 7 x 365, who are we to complain? As long as they are out of our hair and pocketbooks.

Look who's here.

If Congress wanted to pass a useful bill and work seriously on revitalizing friendships with our European “allies,” and do the world a favor, they could strip the citizenship from Uncle Joe while he’s gone, sell Air Force-1 to the French in exchange for screwing them on the Aussie sub deal, and purchase an abandoned castle somewhere in the U.K. for President Brandon to live out his daze.

But – they seem to think they know best, so let’s take a brief look at some of the scare stories in the media being drummed-up by our betters, and the reality behind them. After all, if we’re going to have our liberty and property taken-away extra-judicially, it’s a good idea to understand the problems causing our unprecedented loss of freedom by those who would rule us without our permission. Normally when people are asked to sacrifice, there’s a good reason for them to comply. Invasion, Global War, stuff like that. So let’s take a quick look at some of the things for which our sacrifice (is it a “sacrifice” when it’s not voluntary?) is demanded.

Arguably the biggest problem of Baby Boomers in government (other than they’re not retiring and just going away to prattle amongst themselves and stop damaging the rest of us) is that they have this childish idea that nothing changes – ever. That everything has been the way it has been over their pampered, safe, wealthy lives enriched by the Industrial Revolution they now demand to reverse;  that the world they see through Disney’s lens is the real world. For the rest of us to listen to them is absurd. Seas rise, mountains slump and volcanoes volcano.

Here in the real world, actual data show none of the “ills” with which our betters were entertaining one another in vodka-fueled stories around the Glasgow campfire at COP26. The Lancet, in fact, (via the WSJ) a journal the elite rely on when it tells stories they like, reports that, no, we’re not all going to die from the heat in 12 years.

The Lancet published what is arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two clear conclusions: cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures, and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining. Referencing data on more than 130 million deaths from 43 countries, located in five continents they found that 5,083,173 deaths were associated with non-optimal temperatures per year, with most of these excess deaths tied to cold temperatures.

Maybe our betters are complaining that we aren’t dying fast enough? Perhaps we’re reading the entire global warming fantasy incorrectly and they want us to get colder so we can die more quickly?

Who needs heat?

It’s also what those searching for extra-terrestrial life are saying by looking for an off-world home that is five degrees C warmer than earth for optimal conditions for human life. And, of course, all food plants thrive at warmer temperatures and increased CO2, thus allowing the poor to be fed. I guess the elites don’t really care about the poor.

I’m with 'em – let’s find a warmer place and ship Davos Man there. Better for them. Better for us. Less hot air, too.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Mad Hatting

I’m back in Old Blighty where we seem to want to party like it’s 1999. Judith (mummy) asked me to come back because she’s afraid of the stupid new Covid variant—of which there are three cases and no deaths. So I appeased her, but truth be told, I’d had enough of Silicon Valley and their oppressive mask-wearing. Plus Californians are living in abject fear because their state is going to hell in a handbasket. And they’re in full denial over Florida’s bragging rights. They’ve thrown a wobbly, but if lockdown really happens I’m headed straight back to Lyford Cay. It won’t be another spate of take-away curries and skulking off to underground parties from my childhood home.

When I arrived I found Daddy sadly away, so I let myself be dragged to a Mad Hatter Party. Rather early on I got separated from my friends, and found myself recognised as ‘the bug hostess.’ I guess I should be flattered but sometimes even talking about it gets me rather queasy. I took a big gulp of my ‘million dollar cocktail’ and tried to change the subject. Now outed as an eco-warrior, I was being asked about Bill Gates’ plan to blacken the sky. Like I know? ’He’s not really a client of mine,’ I said to a girl with a Viking ship on her head, and anyway why do I have to be responsible for him?

"Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am."

‘But you do know him…’ She pressed.

‘I don’t !’ I insisted. ‘I mean…he comes to the WEF and sure—I’ve met him but…’

‘TELL !’ She squealed, ‘Did you go to his daughter’s wedding?’ Seriously? This was getting nuts. I almost wanted to tell her who my real client was and I excused myself under the guise of needing the loo. Moments later I was bombarded again. This time she had a friend with her and it was rapid-fire from the two of them --

But he wants to obscure the sun, right?

Why does he own more farmland than anyone else in the States?

Why does he want to vaccinate all of Africa?

What about the fake meat—does it really grow in a lab?

Are you dating him—?

‘Excuse me.’ I said, this time making no excuse and getting far away from them. It seemed they knew more about Mr Gates than I did and I just didn’t want to be talking about my job when it wasn’t my job. And certainly not about a client that wasn’t my client. How childish they were! I pushed through until I found a quiet place to make a call.

‘Yes, Jennifer.’ Daddy answered. ‘How’s mummy?’

‘Dunno exactly. I’m at a Mad Hatter party.

‘How mad exactly?’ he asked.

‘Reasonably so… they seem to think that just because I care about the planet and attend the World Economic Forum in Davos that I personally know every big climate enthusiast, including Bill Gates.’

‘Well don’t you?’

‘Daddy!’

‘It’s a fair question, poppet.’

‘Not at a party it isn’t.’

‘Ah. Only green during bankers hours are we? Sorry, that was unkind. How was California?’

‘I was in Northern California… I flew in with my client. But I wanted to ask what you know about Bill Gates and shooting calcium into the atmosphere to block the sun.’

He thought for a moment. ‘Is it calcium now? Originally it was sulphur. Either way it’s reason for concern.’

‘Why exactly?’ I asked, not wanting to face this party uninformed. 

‘Think, Jennifer. It’s the whole atmosphere we’re talking about. There are still pieces of the very first atom bomb in every corner of the atmosphere… I think you call it the ecosphere, but don’t you imagine we’d have done something to remove them if we could? Add to that nothing they say rings true, it’s more double-speak than even your green-science allows.’

‘But what if…?’

‘If what? If they’re right? Einstein was right—the atom bomb worked as intended. But would we sign up for that a second time? Not likely. And to what end? Most of Europe’s gone fascist again anyway. Sweetheart, I’m surprised at you. And to solve what problem exactly? The possibility of lowering the temperature of a planet by two degrees? It’s not going to happen. Even they admit it could make things worse than having done nothing.’

‘Worse isn’t good.’ I said. Ugh.

Bear in mind it was not that many years ago you were begging me to buy land on the equator because your science reader told you we were headed toward an ice age.’

‘Daddy— I was a kid!’

‘Yes a kid quoting science. And now without any additional proof, you are convinced of the polar opposite. And likely part of the team who also—without much more knowledge or education, will install the deciders. Why do you think they brought in Prince Charles instead of MIT?’

Did somebody mention Prince Charles?

Double ugh. Daddy was right about that. Neither me, nor my client, nor Bill Gates nor Klaus Schwab, nor Prince Charles for that matter, had any science or engineering cred. This was embarrassing. He was right calling them space cowboys and I felt like an idiot.

With the sun rising over this party our host came round with sausage rolls and Alka-Seltzer. I watched the reaction of the fizzy tabs in water. Calcium bicarbonate—stable until plunked into the water. The dramatic change made me shiver because SCoPEx -- the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment at Harvard -- had argued that calcium was stable… and the ideal compound to be jettisoned into space.

I realised too, I’d missed the obvious. They just want to be the ones in charge. They want to tinker and manipulate because when you’re playing chess games with God, you can afford the really big toys. This wasn’t what I’d signed up for. This wasn’t about the planet. I looked round and remembered the Mad Hatter’s words to Alice: ‘People who don't think shouldn’t talk."

Make sure of it Alice, make very sure.

The New Buzzword: 'Climate 'Resilience'

These are the two buried headlines regarding the just-signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (aka "the $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill"). The first story nobody is talking about is the curious migration of climate nomenclature from “climate change” to “climate resilience.

The second story nobody is talking about is the $270 billion that has been earmarked for so-called “climate resilience”. We might refer to it as "pork" or "subsidies", but the fact is that it's money being thrown at the same con artists behind the climate movement.

We must not dismiss the change in terminology.  Climate “change” has always been a vague term that can be challenged by opponents, usually by pointing out that the “change” in Earth’s temperature is not significant enough to warrant hysteria.  Congress and the Climate Alarmists have gotten progressively craftier in the use of language.  Here’s how “resilience” is officially defined in Section 11103.(4) of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

The term `resilience', with respect to a project, means a project with the ability to anticipate, prepare for, or adapt to conditions or withstand, respond to, or recover rapidly from disruptions, including the ability-to resist hazards or withstand impacts from weather events and natural disasters; or to reduce the magnitude or duration of impacts of a disruptive weather event or natural disaster on a project; and to have the absorptive capacity, adaptive capacity, and recoverability to decrease project vulnerability to weather events or other natural disasters.

This is insidiously brilliant.  By simultaneously using a more specific term, it permits the government to actually broaden the arenas to which grants can be made.  The bill does not contain language that limits or further defines these terms, which means just about anything goes as long as it can be related to making any form of infrastructure more “resilient.”

Old whines in new bottles.

When one digs into the specifics of Section 11405 of the bill, which is subtitled “The Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation program' or the "PROTECT program," it mostly involves anything having to do with roads, water, and drainage.  The language again demonstrates how it’s a big giveaway to the climate alarmists, because “eligible activities” for the grants include increasing “the resilience of surface transportation infrastructure from the impacts of changing conditions, such as sea level rise [and] flooding…”

Sixteen approved activities are listed, but the seventeenth is where things become a free-for-all, because “any other protective features, including natural infrastructure, as determined by the Secretary” are included.  That is, the money goes to wherever the Biden Administration wants it to go.

Here’s where some of rest of the billions are going.

Yet this goes beyond just improving highways. The government specifies that grants will be given to reduce or shift highway use to off-peak travel times, institute more toll roads, more of those pointless HOV lanes, and increase the cost of parking.  Also, just as you may have heard, there will be grants offered to development systems for “congestion pricing.”  The minimum grant in this portion of the bill is ten million dollars. But don’t worry, any projects approved “may include mitigation measures to deal with any potential adverse financial effects on low-income drivers.”

Not detailed enough?  It gets worse.  These assessments should then be compared to those assessments done in low-income and disadvantaged communities for the sake of “equity.”  Once all that is done, the heat island hot spots will be presumably cooled down by the installation of – ready? – “cool pavement.”  What is “cool pavement”?  That which has a reflective surface with higher reflectivity to decrease its surface temperature. Reflectivity is also known as “albedo” which naturally relates to climate change…. er…. I mean, climate resilience.

"Resilience" is the solution.

If one checks out the usual suspects in the world of climate change, it’s easy to see that they all supported the bill.  What’s distressing is that 13 Republicans also supported the bill.  Several of them claimed that by voting for this bill, it would hamstring the Democrats from getting the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill passed.  Fat chance.

As usual, a little research demonstrates why some of these politicians actually voted for the bill.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania was the top recipient of donations from transportation unions.  Rep. Don Bacon’s district in Nebraska includes one of the designated alternative fuel corridors mentioned above. Marathon Energy, a natural gas supplier, was the top donor to Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York’s 11th District. Th the list goes on and on.

The good news is that any other hogs who wants to get into this line of work should have job security for a very long time.  There’s plenty of money sloshing around the pig sties.  It just happens to belong to the rest of us.

The New CCCP

The consequences of the actions of the ruling Covid-CRT-Climate Party (CCCP), unsupported by the Constitution through which the sovereign States created the federal government (Article 7, “Establishment of this Constitution between the States”) to do specific things for the States as their servantlikely are existential.

Using the phantasm of a “vaccine,” the ahistorical “1619 project” and Marxist Critical Race Theory to indoctrinate our children, and the hoax of Climate Change as the basis of CCCP governance, our health, our prosperity, and our future as a free nation intentionally are being destroyed.

Western governments are proving power-mad, simultaneously anti-data and anti-science, and seem to have decided to bend us to their will when they exist only to serve ours. In America, the Biden presidency “wildly” contravenes our Constitution and laws, destroying our liberty, education and prosperity in the massive fundamental transformation promised by his predecessor.

Did somebody say "handlers"?

Rarely mentioned in the unprecedented number of articles from all sides about the conflicts between the administration and the country regarding Covid, CRT racism, and Climate is the increasingly-common, entirely new construct: “Biden’s handlers."

While clear to thinking people that Joe Biden is not in charge of the federal government, people from across the spectrum don‘t find it at all alarming that the world’s most powerful economic and military nation has no widely accepted chief executive; indeed, is being run by a junta elected by no one, visible to no one, accountable to no one, and doing the bidding of who-knows-whom-but-certainly-not-the-People, while wreaking untold and generational damage on our prosperity, freedom and liberty. That this is not supposed to be how America works is obvious to the citizens who care about America’s future.

This anti-American junta has led, predictably, to the emergence of columns and books about secession. Since we have nothing in common any longer, why pretend that we do, or that we still have a nation in any form but geographic? While secession may be the answer, it ought not be the go-to argument for those supporting the Constitution, the rule of law, and what has come to be called “legacy” (i.e. as-founded) America. This is true for an abundance of reasons. Two stand out:

The first of these is that, as with immigration law (the fourth major area of divisiveness after Covid, CRT, and Climate), it is not correct to say that what is not being tried is “broken.” (How would we know?) And what is not being tried is the enforcement of “the supreme law of the land,” the Constitution. How do we fix this? Simple, really – get governors to recognize that they are not in Triple-A ball awaiting a callup to The Show in D.C.; they – the governors – are The Show.

The States as superior to the federal government; this is how the country was designed to work. It ought to be no surprise that when the nation is not working as designed… it’s not working. And it is not working in executive decrees about climate, Covid, education, immigration, transportation, bathrooms – and a host of other things. A host in which the federal government has neither legal nor Constitutional authority for involvement, yet which is being allowed by our governors.

Look to the statehouses, comrade.

For those worried about five unelected persons in black robes – they are a part of that same federal government specifically limited by the States. Did the States, when creating the federal government, grant authority over marriage? Bathrooms? Medical jabs? Nope. When the SCOTUS branch of the federal government colors outside the lines by taking and ruling on cases outside their authority, the legal and Constitutionally-expected action of governors is: ignore them.

Can we fix this? Do we have governors willing to step-up? More importantly, have we citizens and voters willing to reject the overreach of the feds by electing governors putting their state above federal usurpation, as per the Ninth and Tenth amendments to the Constitution?

Based on the Virginia election, the answer is, “Yes.” Governors of eighteen States have said “No” to Biden's unconstitutional "vaccine mandates," suing that the mandate is a violation of federal law. Arizona, the nineteenth State suing the feds has sued the mandate as a violation of the 14th amendment’s Equal Protection clause. Why? Because the federal government has neither the authority nor the legal power to make or enforce rules or laws (or mandates) outside its enumerated powers.

These 19 governors are doing their jobs pretty much as the Founders designed, and as currently accepted. Exactly as designed would be to ignore the mandate and SCOTUS. Asking permission for a right already theirs has no upside; it implies a willingness to accept a negative answer the Court lacks authority to give, as well as making it more difficult to exercise that right in the court of public opinion. States are beginning to take back their reserved powers – and it is about time.

Diversity is our strength.

Let’s use immigration law as the example for the second reason.

The difference between authority and responsibility is that the former can be delegated while the latter cannot. The States delegated the authority to the federal government to deal with immigration. Because America is a union of sovereign States, the responsibility for immigration remains with those who made that delegation: the States. The federal government refusing delegated authority does not remove the responsibility from the States to deal with the issue. In SCOTUS’ ruling on Arizona v. United States, the federal government mistook (by an ahistorical, false assumption that the federal government is superior to the States that created it) its delegated authority for responsibility and unconstitutionally usurped the latter; the States retain the responsibility for immigration and should so act.

If governors followed the Constitution, the fact of a barely-sentient president with incontinence issues. would not matter, nor would a Supreme Court making up whatever it wants. Because they don’t, these do.

If California voters want to die of thirst as they go bankrupt in the dark – that’s their choice. If Blue states want to increase their infection rates, they can vax to their heart’s myocarditis content. If adult states recognize that it is better to treat patients using therapeutic drugs successfully all over the world (and which is how herd immunity is achieved) than to deny therapies, they should use ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and monoclonal antibody all they want.

Only governors can make America work again. Virginia is the 20th State to say, “Enough!” and begin working as designed again. Let’s hope we have more to come.

Billionaire Barbarian at the Gates, Part Two

As noted yesterday, Bill Gates is particularly dangerous as a vaccine pusher. It is pretty well common knowledge by this time—or should be—that the vaccines are “leaky,” that the vaccinated are no less prone to viral infection and transmission than the unvaccinated, causing a virtual war between shedders and skeptics, and that an indefinite number of booster shots will be deemed necessary to fight the proliferation of novel variants, or viral mutations. There seems to be no end in sight of these variants, which now include Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, Lambda and Mu. Even the variants are spawning variants. Delta variant AY.4.2. has just appeared on the scene, 10 percent more infectious than its parent. Indeed, there are now 56 Delta offspring, one short of the Heinz number. Variants are coming thick and fast, outstripping the effort to keep up with them—in effect, making the pandemic permanent. Could that be the plan?

To put it bluntly, we are experiencing not a pandemic but a vandemic. Reputable virologists, like Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier and mRNA inventor Robert Malone, have argued that the vaccines may be responsible for the variants owing to a process called Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE). The virus is clever; it recognizes the vaccine and mutates its way around it, thus causing viral replication. Yet Gates continues to laud the potency of the vaccines and to grubstake their production.

“One way the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation secures its conducive policy environment,” the Navdanya report continues, “is through its direct influence over international research institutions.” The Foundation “stands as… a product of recent, precarity-inducing history, and will only serve to continue to corrode life in the future.” Gates and his private business partners, the report concludes, create worse problems than the one they purport to solve, “while simultaneously working to concentrate ever more power into corporate hands [via] million-dollar grants to private corporations and private market interests.” Patent lock-ins may also be an issue. 

Meet the new boss, same as the old Boss.

Gates is now, Forbes writes, “pouring money into synthetic biology,” a megatrend which “involves reconfiguring the DNA of an organism to create something entirely new.” Interfering with the human genome is by no means a fail-proof program, as the profusion of adverse reactions to the vaccines attests.

The International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research warns that “manipulation of the code of life could lead to completely unanticipated negative effects, potentially long term or even permanent, [and potentially] transgenerational.” This is tempting fate. Some people feel that the laws of nature should not be tampered with, forgetting that most medical cures do in fact tamper with nature. But changing the genetic structure of the human being is changing the human being into something else, a kind of bioengineered hybrid. It is doing God’s work, so to speak. And hubris always seems to come with too high a price, which the Greek tragedians called nemesis

Of course, conducted in the proper sphere, there are benefits to synthetic biology as well, particularly in agricultural production that can improve and prolong the lives of millions of people, an outcome that clearly works against Gates’ project of reducing world population. Contradictions abound.

Gates’ latest venture involves partnering with the U.K. in a £400 million investment package to boost the development of Green technologies, cementing the deal with Boris Johnson at a Global Investment Summit at London’s Science Museum. Henry Deedes at The Daily Mail was not impressed. Johnson told his audience, he writes, “how much money they could make out of alternative energy. Wind power, for example, was a ‘licence to print money’.” Even if, Johnson joked, we have to sacrifice a goat to the wind god, success—and profit—are assured. Much festivity all around. 

This new investment scheme is foreshadowed in Gates’ recent book How To Avoid A Climate Disaster, chock full of fantasy-laden initiatives and elysian imaginings. Gates admits that his “background is in software, not climate science,” and it shows. He champions climate modelling—as Michael Crichton observes in State of Fear, a very dodgy way of charting and predicting future climate events, most likely to be wrong. A cascade of constantly revised simulations does not inspire confidence. Gates believes in the validity of the U.N.’s discredited IPCC prognostications, and assumes that Green will provide “massive amounts of reliable, affordable electricity for offices, factories and call centers.”

Call centers? Seriously? The book reads like a piece of stargazing divination and one wonders what Gates is really up to here. Does he really believe in his fantasia? Has he been seduced by his own rhetoric? Is he trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance? Or does he have other, clandestine intentions? Is he involved, as many fear, in the most significant extension of corporate and political power in historical memory? In his speeches and books, Gates sounds too good to be true—literally.

Put 'er there, partner.

Peter and Ginger Breggin arrive at the same conclusion. In their encyclopedic COVID-19 and the Global Predators, they present a summary of Gates’ ambitions, which reads like “a list of the essential elements of totalitarian globalism.” Gates’ investment in the pandemic, as they show in prodigious detail, “probably goes into the multibillions… Gates does not give money away to the people… He is making a market of them.” In fact, Gates was wargaming the pandemic in January 2017, announcing in “a series of filmed talks surrounding Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum” that he was “funding and implementing plans… to rush through vaccines for an anticipated pandemic.” Something is going on here, obviously.  

Personally, I do not trust Bill Gates any further than I could throw Klaus Schwab. The goal of systematically reducing human population, even if well-intentioned, comes with disturbing historical baggage, a fact of which Gates should be aware. I cannot peer into his soul and say without any doubt what his drives, impulses, designs and objectives may actually be. But I do not trust anyone who promotes a vaccine that is really a gene-therapy drug developed without adequate safety trials, whose benefits are unknown and which may indeed be harmful, as the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research fears, “prim[ing] the immune system toward development of both auto-inflammatory and autoimmune disease.”

I do not trust environmental zealots. I do not trust a member of the Davos set, plutocrats who fly into that elite Alpine village on emission-belching private jets under the pretext of saving the world from carbon in the name of those who fly economy class—if they are permitted to fly. Can anyone who owns two Gulfstream G650s and promotes “jet zero” be taken at face value? 

Bill Gates is an inordinate meddler with a Prometheus complex. His pixilated and imperial view of the world can lead to nothing good. Trust him at your peril.