Another Big Win: the Court Clips Regulatory State's Claws

On its last day of the current session the Supreme Court by a 6-3 majority finally clipped the talons of the Environmental Protection Agency, denying the agency power to issue broad regulations regarding "climate change." In the process, the Court sent a warning shot to the administrative state and Congress: legislation on broad matters (“major questions”) must come from the legislative branch (Congress), not from the executive branch via "regulation." The decision upends decades of government rule by D.C. bureaucrats, a practice set in operation by Franklin D. Roosevelt who created and empowered some 70 offices and agencies under presidential control. The EPA was established by Richard Nixon in 1970.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal regulators exceeded their authority in seeking to limit emissions from coal plants in a decision that sharply curtails the executive branch’s authority to make policy actions on a range of issues without congressional direction. In a blockbuster 6-3 decision penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said the Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped when it devised the Obama-era regulatory scheme, known as the Clean Power Plan. The plan had been challenged by West Virginia and others.

The court said that when federal agencies issue regulations with sweeping economic and political consequences—in this case, rules to address climate change—the regulations are presumptively invalid unless Congress has specifically authorized the action.

The case, which must certainly be electrifying the D.C. poohbahs, is West Virginia, et al v. EPA et al. It is a clear threat of a continuing unraveling of the administrative state. How big a deal is this? Far bigger than the earlier decision on abortion (Dobbs v. Jackson), which simply returned the power to regulate abortion to the states. This decision, however, does something arguably even more important to our democracy: it forces Congress to start taking its job seriously again.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

The case began six years ago and has continued through a series of shifts occasioned by a change in presidents, traveled upward to the Supreme Court following a number of court proceedings ,and clarified the capacity of affected parties to sue in the face of indefinite suspension of the regulation to which they object.  The issue was first joined when the Obama administration's EPA issued a plan for reducing carbon dioxide from power plants. Under this "Clean Power Plan," plants would get credits for generating more power from lower-emitting sources. A coalition made up of states and coal companies sued on the ground that the Clean Air Act, the purported authorization for these regulations, gave the EPA only authority to restrict pollution at steam-generating coal power plants, not to require power companies to adopt the government's choices of fuel.

Not so tough anymore.

The Supreme Court blocked enforcement of that rule. Then President Trump changed the rules. Under his administration EPA could only regulate emissions from individual coal-fired steam plants (the Affordable Clean Energy Rule). This shift was challenged by a different coalition made up of environmental groups. The new rules were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, leaving the area open for the Biden administration to act.

It was feared the new administration would simply resurrect the earlier Obama approach and require a shift to so-called "renewables." As you might expect, leaving such matters to administrative agencies creates a kind of legal roller coaster, the very sort of thing impossible to contend with in industries that require extensive planning and tremendous capital outlays. Such a fear prompted this case. The West Virginia-led coalition contended that the EPA was seeking to dictate “the big picture of how the nation generates its electricity.” Which was, of course, true.

Like the abortion ruling in Dobbs, this decision is a return to federalism. In Dobbs the power to regulate abortions was returned to the states. In this case the power to regulate power plant fuel is returned to Congress. Imagine congressional debates and action now, in an era when "climate change" polls poorly, and will continue to do so because the costs—the price of gas, home heating, all transported goods—continue to rise as a direct result of  the energy constraints of this fantasy. The responsibility for such nonsense and the pain consumers endure would be squarely on them.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, doesn’t have to imagine.  He knows this is a disaster for his party. With a paper-thin majority in both houses (one currently in jeopardy in the tied Senate as senator Patrick Leahy currently is sidelined with a broken hip), a predicted red wave in November, and the country already in a recession, passage of a law to  curb inexpensive energy in order to meet a posited "climate emergency" is not likely.

Pelosi and Schumer: over a barrel.

Politico reports:" Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that 'just like last week’s dangerously misguided and abhorrent decisions on gun safety and abortion, the extremist MAGA Court’s ruling today in West Virginia v. EPA will cause more needless deaths — in this instance because of more pollution that will exacerbate the climate crisis and make our air and water less clean and safe.'" It's more likely, in my opinion, that the decision will lead to fewer opportunities for graft and the deaths of some Democratic careers. As professor  Jonathan Turley tweets,  

It is a curious sight of a congressional leader denouncing a decision that prevents the circumvention of Congress. It is a virtual statement of self-loathing like a player complaining of being sent back into the game by the coach... This is not the first time that Democrats have called for a president to usurp the authority of their own branch. It undermines the faith held by figures like Madison that ambition would combat ambition in the protection of the separation of powers.

Of course, in reality they are not complaining that they’ve been given more power. They know their side is not in a position to deliver what its green base demands. How far from reality is the Democrat saber rattling on this issue? This far according to Politico:

 Congressional Democrats whose efforts to pass legislation to fight climate change have been blocked for years — both by Republicans and, more recently, by Democrats’ own troubles unifying their razor-thin Senate majority — said their party must take action in response to the Supreme Court’s decision. However, the party has so far failed to garner the 50 votes in the Senate needed to move climate legislation amid resistance from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and supporters see the next few weeks as the last chance to pass a measure.

It's not just the EPA which should be drawing in its belt. This is a significant reduction in the power and grasp of the administrative state. Professor Jonathan Adler notes: "This is also a warning for other federal agencies, including FERC and the SEC. It makes clear that if the federal government is going to take meaningful action to mitigate the threat of climate change (as it should) that action will have to come from Congress."

The Democrats can see the political chessboard as clearly as can I, that’s why you won’t see any debate on "climate change" legislation this year. Instead they’ll be demagoguing about packing the Supreme Court, something even their idol FDR was unable to pull off. Anything to avoid accepting public accountability, and thus scrutiny, for their actions.

Stop the 'Ministry of Truth' (Again)

Too few understand the scale of the Left’s attack on America. This lack of understanding stems from a rejection of what our senses are telling us and our refusal to think critically about our nation and the future liberty of our children. The now-renamed federal “Disinformation Governance Board” (more accurately, Orwell’s 1984 Ministry of Truth) the Covid “vaccine,” “climate change,” “transgenderism,” have nothing to do with truth, health, climate or one’s sex.

The Ministry of Truth… is concerned with erasing the truth of the past and present and replacing it with whatever the Party deems “correct.” Those in charge of the ministry decide what “truth” is.

What the Mis-Dis-Mal-information gang does have to do with includes spying on Americans and monitoring elections to ensure removal of any information that might be found in an abandoned laptop, for example, and preventing the investigation of voter fraud.

Federal authorities searched the suburban Virginia home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark Wednesday... Clark features heavily in the House Select Committee hearing today that focuses on former President Donald Trump's efforts to push the Justice Department to do his bidding in the weeks before the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

His crime seems to have been believing that the 2020 election had irregularities that might be worth investigating.

Forgotten, but not gone.

In March, President Biden issued an executive order to federalize the mid-terms that all polls show Democrats losing badly. You didn’t think Progressives were going to allow their accelerating fundamental transformation of America to be stopped by a silly mid-term, did you? As the reach of this column by Mollie Hemingway broadens, be assured it will be labelled MDM: Mis-Dis-Malinformation.

Executive Order 14019 ignores that the Constitution does not give the executive branch authority over elections. That power is reserved for the states, with a smaller role for Congress. With H.R. 1 and other Democrat Party efforts to grab more control over elections have thus far failed, Congress hasn’t authorized such an expansion.

Did the labeling of Hunter Biden’s laptop as "disinformation" alter the election outcome? We will never know. What we do know is that 48 percent of Americans believe it did and 16 percent of Biden voters would not have voted for him had they known about it. This is what happens by design when the government monitors and is allowed to label information rather than letting speech and thought survive, or not, in a free marketplace of ideas.

Having told the American people that this attack on speech and thought had been “paused” and Minister of Truth Nina Jankowicz fired, the administration gave the task of  truth assignment to the ever-vacuous Kamala Harris, and now, quietly, the Ministry of Truth is back in action.

Why was this clear violation of the primary right of all humans, to use our unique gift of speech to speak our unique thoughts freely – reinstated so quickly?  Because the truth of the costs of going green must be hidden until those paying these costs have already been impoverished.

White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy wants them to censor content on the costs of a force-fed green energy transition, and "We need the tech companies to really jump in,” she said, because highlighting the costs of green energy is “equally dangerous to denial because we have to move fast."

"Highlighting," not lying about, "the costs" is disinformation. It is axiomatic that if free speech and thought enabled rather than hindered the goals of this Administration, censorship would not be on the table. The idea of censoring speech in America is a blatant and unconstitutional attempt to force the public to “choose truth over fact,” raising the questions, “Whose ‘truth’?” and, more importantly, "Who gets to decide?"

Those familiar with the totalitarian movements of the last century will see the demand to accept a "vaccine" (which does not prevent infection, does not prevent re-infection, does not prevent transmission, and so fits no previously-known definition of the word, “vaccine”), the acceptance of the "climate change" fiction, and the required approval and celebration of the sexual mutilation fantasy of "transgenderism," as exactly what they are: Party membership. Refuse Party membership by speaking against the Klimate Kult, refusing the “vaccine,” rejecting gender “re-assignment,” and be removed from school or your career and excluded from professional, social and economic life by the Party.

You will be made to care.

In 1945, General Eisenhower, the WW2 Supreme Allied Commander, European Forces, on finding the infamous death camps, marched the local townspeople through the camps to force the them to understand the evil to which they had turned a blind eye as millions were murdered and incinerated. No moral or ethical difference, only a difference of scale, exists between those German townspeople and those continuing to demand the “vaccine” be forced on others regardless of Pfizer's own documentation, “Cumulative Analysis of Post-authorization Adverse Event Reports,” that at least 1,223 recipients of their vaccine died and another 42,000 experienced “serious” adverse events in the first 90 days of injections. In the world of professional athletes, FIFA has noted the 420 percent increase in athlete deaths in 2021That the FDA accepted this “vaccine” as “safe and effective,” is indicative of a government that "choose[s] truth over fact.”

We are ruled by those not interested in freedom, liberty or truth. This is what former president Trump meant when, in his inauguration speech, he said,

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning because, today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.

It was that giving back power to those to whom it belongs that got him run out of town on a rail.

For those not yet connecting the dots, here is Obama campaigning in 2008:

We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

A straight line connects that speech to our new Truth Ministry. From here on, things will only get worse unless our own national socialists are stopped, now.

THE COLUMN: Dead on Arrival

At the opening of the 1950 classic film noir, D.O.A., Edmund O'Brien strides purposefully into a big-city police station, proceeds down long, endless corridors, and finally arrives at a door marked Homicide Division. "I want to report a murder," he says to the head detective. "Who was murdered?" asks the cop. "I was," replies O'Brien.

In this, year two of the dreadful administration of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., we Americans know just how he feels. From the moment this blustering blowhard of a United States senator of no accomplishment from a meaningless state took office in January 2021, he has been busily poisoning the country for the simple reason that he can, he wants to, and there is no one to stop him.

The beneficiary of the hinkiest election in modern American history thanks to the illegal changes in balloting occasioned by the unnecessary Covid panic, and given the narrowest possible margins of control in both the House and the Senate, the superannuated chief executive has done everything in his power to show his contempt for the American people, to damage our patrimony, and make our lives increasingly miserable. 

And yet, like O'Brien, we're not quite dead yet, and still staggering around trying to catch our murderer before time runs out. Barring the hand of God, the first opportunity we'll have to put Biden out to pasture won't come until November 2024, and while the congressional elections this fall could possibly remove both houses of Congress from the geriatric clutches of the bibulous Nancy Pelosi and the baleful Chuck Schumer, that can only stanch but not stop the country's internal hemorrhaging. Like the hapless Frank Bigelow, desperately searching in his last hours for the psycho killer who poisoned him before the "luminous toxin" kills him, we're unsure whom to trust, with both friends and foes suspects alike. 

"This can't be happening," we think, but it is. Under the cloak of Covid "emergency"—the punitive lockdowns, the destruction of our education system, the loss of social contact, the delusion that our fellow humans were carriers of a deadly disease who needed to be shunned or even imprisoned—Americans' constitutional freedoms were summarily abrogated without a shot being fired, and we were consigned to effective house arrest (and worse in places like Australia and Canada). Our freedom of movement—essential to life in a country as large as the United States of America—was drastically curtailed and our transportation system deliberately wrecked. Meanwhile the "climate change" canard continued apace, and the push for electric vehicles was intensified, even as the nation's electric grid was tangibly collapsing.

Since Robinette took office, gas prices have more than doubled, part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been emptied, our hard-won energy independence achieved during the Trump era has been frittered away, and we've been reduced to begging erstwhile enemies like the "kingdom" of Saudi Arabia to do the jobs Americans just can't be allowed to do. If this looks like a conspiracy to you, don't worry: it is. And one that the conspirators have been quite open about for decades. They're a suicide cult, hell-bent on killing us as well as themselves:

Analysis has now shown that the carbon embedded in existing fossil fuel production, if allowed to run its course, would take us beyond the globally agreed goals of limiting warming to well below 2˚C and pursuing efforts to limit to 1.5˚C. The global carbon budgets associated with either temperature limit will be exhausted with current fossil fuel projects, and in fact some currently-operating fossil fuel projects will need to be retired early in order to have appropriately high chances of staying below even the 2˚C limit, let alone 1.5˚C.

Therefore, we, as over 400 civil society organizations from more than 60 countries, representing tens of millions around the world, call on world leaders to put an immediate halt to new fossil fuel development and pursue a just transition to renewable energy with a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry.

The first step in this effort is a simple one: Stop digging. No additional fossil fuel development, no exploration for new fossil fuels, no expansion of fossil fuel projects. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Just about every word in this screed is either a false premise or an outright lie. The notion of keeping global temperature increases to under 2℃ is purely arbitrary, while the idea of carbon being a pollutant is anti-humanism at its most pernicious, since we are carbon-based life forms who breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide—the very stuff of life for the green trees and fields the Left constantly celebrates, the concept of symbiosis being apparently beyond them. The unsightly forests of Brobdingnagian windmills currently uglifying landscapes around the world testify to the success of their monomania. 

Their blatantly dishonest attempts to link "climate" with weather, however, have had their intended effects on public opinion, pushed largely by propagandistic media outlets such as NPR and the New York Times, which has a whole "hub" devoted to the subject as well as a regular section on "climate and environment." It's important to note here that the Times's reach extends far beyond its direct readership, since its news judgment sets the table for every other media outlet in the country, while your tax dollars subsidize NPR's increasingly deracinated fixations on "climate change," race, and trannies. And naturally you know who's on board with the whole thing:

So those high prices for gasoline and the long, chaotic lines and canceled flights at the airports are not a bug, they're the lynchpin of the whole scheme, which is itself part and parcel of the entire Great Reset project (about which much more tomorrow; watch this space). In order for the Lords of Davos to control you they must first curtail and control your freedom of movement, and what better way to do that than to make the price of oil prohibitively expensive? First your cars stop moving, then the trucks that deliver almost everything of value, including food, to the stores. An inability to move freely and without government oversight will vanish as computers take over your automobiles and which, when they are fully electric, can be disabled at will. As they like to say: You'll own nothing, and you'll be happy
 
What better metaphor, then, for the parlous state of our national affairs than the sight of Biden on his keister after toppling off his bike over the weekend. This frail, thoroughly nasty man with some very peculiar tendencies and an immediate family that might best be described as Caligulan in its behavior, not only embarrassed himself but the country he pretends to lead. "I'm good," he said after his tumble, which may be his biggest and most brazen lie of them all.
 
In the the meantime, we keep rushing around in the dark, trying to figure out why this happening and who is doing it to us. We know the answer, but feel there's nothing we can do about it. Like Bigelow, we'd like to see the man in charge, but nobody is, not really. We can breathe and we can move, but we're not alive because we took that poison, and nothing can save us. We know who the psycho killer is, half our fellow countrymen voted for him, and the murder is taking place in full view from sea to shining sea.
 
Unless a miracle happens, we're D.O.A. and our final destination is dead ahead. 

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Trooping

The Jubilee is upon us and it’s time for the literal rubber to hit the road. The green road that is. I just flew back to London from Davos where I received a Schwab Foundation Award and it occurred to me, the queen herself was the one who needed to deliver our message, and it was up to me to tell her. The question was exactly how? There would be no tree-hugger shenanigans on my part (one can’t save the planet from jail). And one can’t expect to be taken seriously if one looks (and likely smells) like a Neanderthal. So I committed to use my not-inconsequential influence and hoped it wouldn’t end with a call to Daddy’s solicitor. 

It had been nearly a year since the queen addressed the world at the COP26 (the Conference of Parties) and it was then that climate change had gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority. But with so many other things on her mind, (like those pesky Sussexes) I assumed she could use a little help. Britain, at this year’s World Economic Forum, had made a rather dismal showing: No Prince Charles, no Bono, no Elton… not even Swampy, who incidentally has changed his name back to Dan.  

1952: The King is dead. Long live the Queen!

First things first—I’d have to ditch my parents.  Daddy was taking us to view the activities from the roof of Westminster Abbey before making our way over to The Goring for the ceremonial cutting of Her Majesty’s royal fruit cake.  All in all, a very special day no matter the occasion.  My parents are generally not such the social rovers, but Daddy is a Briton through and through, a traditionalist, a conservative, a Tory (we forgive him) and a monarchist. And the Queen’s Jubilee was not coming around again.

He was an engineer by trade, and in service of the crown when I was born in British Hong Kong. I don’t think Judith (Mummy) ever fully adjusted to living abroad. Or London. Or anything terribly domestic for that matter, but her great-grandfather had come up the hard way, and was crestfallen when the Queen Charlotte's Ball was ended; and she had to marry a promising engineer over the prospects of a proper coming-out. Any way you sliced it, this was the closest they would come to the monarchy, or paying their grateful respects to a life spent in service of the British people. 

From the roof of Westminster Abbey, Daddy pointed out the characteristic Gothic features, and of particular interest to him, the continental design of geometrical proportion and wide English transepts. He also pointed out the most recent restoration—decay that was caused by weathering and pollution from coal smoke. I saw this as my sign to head out. ‘Ma’am’ I would say…’I’ve just come from atop the Abbey, where coal…’ Hmm…maybe no.

The perfectly modern monarch.

I’d called in half a dozen favours… not one of which had come back to me with any good news but no matter, off I went—through the maze of security and crowds the likes of which London has never seen. I had, on my phone, pictures of my recent meeting with Prince Charles, my Davos award, my Paris Match cover photo, and for added measure… older photos of me on the British Equestrian Team. Of course I didn’t imagine I’d use these photos to gain entry but I’d used positive visualisation techniques to prepare for this day, and well… they couldn’t hurt.

It also didn’t hurt that I looked like a million bucks.  Mummy had turned up with this hat before I looked for the dress. We’d sort of reverse-engineered the ensemble but it worked, as did my plan.  I’ll never, ever give up the details of how I got in, but suffice it to say, a Cheltenham girl’s got to have a few tricks up her sleeve and once Charles recognised me… he moved toward me in the most welcoming way, as though I’d been expected all along. And up we went. 

It nearly killed me not to want to look up to where Daddy and Judith were perched, sort of like not being able to look at oneself in the monitor when taping a segment, but I was now the model of calm reserve and focus. And I had work to do.  Charles broke the ice by saying ‘I don’t think we can count on monkeypox to cut down on commuters, and production and CO2 output this go round’. Of course he was right, Britons—and really the world, had had it. They were not going to be locked down again even if it helped the planet.

But the queen took a more sanguine tack. She was all smiles, and enjoying the day, knowing her commonwealth was in good hands. I mentioned to her that everyone agrees, the most important message she had delivered in the last decade, had been in Scotland for COP26.

Just then a text from Daddy: ‘Oh for God's sake Jennifer. DO NOT mention Charles’ delusion that his Jaguar actually runs on wine and cheese’.  Followed by ‘And do not bang on about eating bugs either!’.

We’d discussed their so-called ‘Green Champions’ that getting new efficient boilers for all the royal residences was just good stewardship, (albeit a £369 million expenditure of public funds). That turning Gloucestershire organic just meant Charles wanted to eat organic produce himself, and preservation efforts meant no future development infringing on any of the royal retreats. 

They won’t be asking for windmills at Sandringham’, Daddy had once quipped. Imaginary solutions to imaginary problems he called it.

The planet's in good hands, Mum.

But today, in the queen, I saw a mother. One who wanted the best for her subjects and her children. She had just been protecting the things that mattered to her, as she had always done. Different times, different things. Once it had been Norman or Saxon or Celt.

And I wondered if Daddy was right, that there was no correlation between atmospheric CO2 and mean global temperatures, but today we needn’t discuss all that. And after a small push for eating bugs in schools, I assured her that the planet was in good hands. Just then she asked me, ‘Have you any siblings, Miss Kennedy?’ 

‘I do not, Your Majesty’, I replied. 'It's just the three of us'.

‘Pity', she said. 'I should think you’d thrive in a large family. Who knows what the future holds? Fate can surprise you’.

Now, what do you suppose she meant by that?

Let Them Eat Cake

At the Louvre in Paris the other day, a 36-year-old man who had disguised himself as a crippled old woman rolled into the famous museum in a wheelchair. His path eventually led him to view what is arguably the most famous painting on planet Earth: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

The old girl has had some hard times over the years, having been kidnapped, scalded by acid and, most recently, having a would-be Russian emigre fling a coffee cup at her visage charmant. She deserves better, what with being more than 500 years old. So the French did what they could to protect her, establishing a security zone with ropes and covering her visage with shatterproof glass. Neither of these measures were enough to stop our intrepid eco-warrior (designated at birth male, but apparently transitioning to an aged female), from carrying out his/her/its plan.

He rolled as close as he dared to his target, leapt out of his chair and revealed himself to be not la grand-mère but rather a wannabe sauveur de la Terre. And then he brandished the weapon he would use to attack the grand dame of the Louvre: cake.

My Polish ancestors still get mocked for sending the cavalry out to do battle with German Panzers in World War II. I’ll accept that criticism, but will also offer that charging a tank on horseback with lance in hand is a hell of a lot braver than attacking a masterpiece with baked goods. What’s next, throwing crullers at Michelangelo's David? What was the impetus for this act of craven culinary malice? The answer, in the vandal's own words:

Think of the Earth. There are people who are destroying the Earth. Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That's why I did this.

Sacré bleu!

Poor, dying planet earth. Of course. Why else would at attention-seeking SJW manqué attack a treasured work of art with a weapon that could be – and was – rendered impotent by a wash-cloth? It would have been poetic justice had some heretofore unknown fault line in France opened up just enough to swallow the self-righteous idiot after which la terre Mère would crack a small, enigmatic smile to rival the Gioconda's.

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche, as a famous French queen once said.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Circling

I kind of can’t believe I am finally headed back to Davos after a two-year hiatus. We cancelled and rescheduled, and cancelled, and rescheduled, then moved location…and cancelled anyway. All because… don’t even make me say it—the dreaded you-know-what. All of which I found both maddening and embarrassing. Here we are, the smartest people on the planet… coming together to save the planet and… oops… let’s just cancel, and cancel, and cancel. Like schoolteachers saying there’s no need to teach. I know on this point I depart from my colleagues but let’s be honest; there isn’t a six-year backlog for Gulfstreams because we all sat home.

But never mind any of that… I picked up the slack. One of the projects of the World Economic Forum was to scale-up production of alternative protein sources… otherwise known as bugs. They had committed land and resources to this worthwhile endeavour—the proof of which was meant to coincide with our Singapore conference. But Covid had other plans and neither the conference nor the project got off the ground. Based on stories (with pictures!) from the WEF website, I had planned a series of high-end cocktail parties to introduce these mega-proteins to the glitterati. And only when I went to order, did I find the project had gone bust. It was a near-disaster, saved only by clever little farmers in Thailand and China who had apparently been farming and eating the critters for years.

Deep cleansing breath… and we move on. This year’s conference is so packed full of great ideas—I’m sure this is the reason I can’t get onto the website. I am needing to research because I am receiving one of the Schwab Foundation Awards, and all I can find is a news article saying we have collectively impacted the lives of 100 million people. Hmm. Impressive but truth be told I wanted to see how my picture looked on the site. Also I wanted to see just how many of the 100 million lives the other awardees have impacted.

Hostess with the mostest.

I surfed my inbox for the invite that praised my ‘dedication, and compassion to serve the most marginalised populations of society'. And then it hit me like a sock to the gut: how had I not seen that? The MOST marginalised populations?? Oh boy. Images of me on the cover of Paris Match flashed through my mind. St Tropez is only dwarfed by Monaco. Not exactly marginalised. This was bad. I rang Daddy in sheer panic.

"Yes, Jennifer’, he answered. "What—'

‘Never mind all that…’ I said. ‘I’m in a pickle, I’m getting an award for something I didn’t do’. 

‘Hmm. As a parent… imagine my shock’. 

‘Daddy!’ I yelled. ‘Not helping!’ 

‘Jennifer’ he shot back. ‘Helping! Anyway, what are you supposed to have done? I thought you were an environmentalist. Aren’t you saving the world every single day?’

‘Yes, but no. I’m a social innovator now’.

‘I see. So you’re a jobs creator then. Problem solved. But does it really matter what you say? The WEF offers so few details, it leaves little to oppose’.

Ugh! He had a point. ‘Okay, but we are the trustees of society’, I said, trying not to sound full-on wobbly.

‘Listen, sweetheart, call it what you like, but everyone over there has a planning mentality, and to those kind of people the natural order of the world seems irrational. So they will ram their ideas down our throats and into our policy but in truth, they often do the things before we need them’.

‘Which is a good thing!’ I said.

Saving the planet, one private jet at a time.

‘No', he replied, 'it’s a planning mentality. Flying came before airports. It could not have been the other way around, but if you’re Klaus, sitting around a table designing something, you might think you need airports first. Uber was meant to be a carpooling app… groups of people piling into a van to share one ride. But now we see Uber drivers actually need small cars that fit only one or two passengers. Some places are just now installing telephone cable—because they paid for it, and planned for it, but everyone is already using cell phones as cables are stretched beneath their feet’.

This was making my head spin. I had to ring off. Daddy had made some good points but I was committed to the planet, and to making a good representation for myself and my clients. Plus my dinner was served.

I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until I realised we were circling—some security issue and we couldn’t land. We had been warned security would be tighter than ever with a record $20 million being spent and more than 5,000 armed forces personnel on guard. The delay was something about safeguarding airspace that had us circling for the last hour. I glanced outside—it looked like an anaemic-airshow.

Just then my phone buzzed. ‘This is Jennifer’. I answered even though I knew it was my father.

‘Maybe delete your tweet complaining about circling for the last hour, sweetheart? It’s not the best look for the carbon-conscious…’

UGH!

‘You see? Helping!’ he said.

‘Yes, Daddy, helping. Thank you.’

Time to Ditch 'Climate Models'?

Just about every projected environmental catastrophe going back to the population bomb of the late 1960s, the “Club of Rome” and “Global 2000” resource-exhaustion panics of the 1970s, the ozone depletion crisis of the 1980s, and beyond has depended on computer models, all of which turned out to be wrong, sometimes by an order of magnitude. No putative environmental crisis has depended more on computer models than "climate change." But the age of high confidence in supercomputing and rapidly advancing “big data” analytics, computer climate models have arguably gone in reverse, generating a crisis in the climate-change community.

The defects of the computer climate models—more than 60 are used at the present time—which the whole climate crusade depends on have become openly acknowledged over the past few years, and a fresh study in the mainstream scientific literature recently highlights the problem afresh: too many of the climate models are “running hot,” which calls into question the accuracy of future temperature projections.

Did somebody say, "hot-model problem"?

Nature magazine, one of the premier “mainstream” science journals, last week published “Climate simulations: recognize the ‘hot model’ problem,” by four scientists all firmly established within the “consensus” climate science community. It is a carefully worded article, aiming to avoid giving ammunition to climate-change skeptics, while honestly acknowledging that the computer models have major problems that can lead to predictions of doom that lack sufficient evidence.

“Users beware: a subset of the newest generation of models are ‘too hot’ and project climate warming in response to carbon dioxide emissions that might be larger than that supported by other evidence,” the authors write. While affirming the general message that human-caused climate change is a serious problem, the clear subtext is that climate scientists need to do better lest the climate science community surrenders its credibility.

One major anomaly of the climate modeling scene is that, as the authors write, “As models become more realistic, they are expected to converge.” But the opposite has happened—there is more divergence among the models. Almost a quarter of recent computer climate models show much higher potential future temperatures than past model suites, and don’t match up with known climate history: “Numerous studies have found that these high-sensitivity models do a poor job of reproducing historical temperatures over time and in simulating the climates of the distant past.”

What this means is that our uncertainty about the future climate is increasing. To paraphrase James Q. Wilson’s famous admonition to social scientists, never mind predicting the future; many climate models can’t even predict the past.

Some models might be larger than those supported by evidence.

A quick primer: in general  the average of computer climate models predict that a doubling of the level of greenhouse gases (GHGs), principally carbon dioxide (CO2), by the end of this century would increase global average temperature by range of 1.5 degrees C to 4.5 degrees C. At present rates of GHG emissions, we’re on course to double the GHG level in the atmosphere about 80-100 years from now.

Why is the range so wide, and why does it matter? First, the direct thermal effect of doubling GHGs is only about 1.1 degrees. So how do so many models predict 4.5 degrees or more? Two words: feedback effects. That is, changes in atmospheric water vapor (clouds, which both trap and reflect heat), wind patterns, ocean temperatures, shrinkage of ice caps at the poles, and other dynamic changes in ecosystems on a large scale.

Yet it is precisely these feedback effects where the computer models are the weakest and perform most poorly. The huge uncertainties in the models (especially for the most important factor—clouds) are always candidly acknowledged in the voluminous technical reports the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues every few years, but few people—and no one in the media—bother to read the technical sections carefully.

Why are climate models so bad? And can we expect them to improve any time soon? Steven Koonin, a former senior appointee in the Department of Energy in the Obama administration, explains the problem concisely in his recent book Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t and Why It Matters. The most fundamental problem with all climate models is their limited “resolution.” Climate models are surprisingly crude, as they divide up the atmosphere into 100 km x 100 km grids, which are then stacked like pancakes from the ground to the upper atmosphere. Most climate models have one million atmospheric grid squares, and as many as 100 million smaller (10 sq. km) grid squares for the ocean. The models then attempt to simulate what happens within each grid square and sum the results. It can take up to two months for the fastest supercomputers to complete a model “run” based on the data assumptions input into the model.

The problem is that “many important [climate] phenomena occur on scales smaller than the 100 sq. km. (60 mile) grid size, (such as mountains, clouds, and thunderstorms).” In other words, the accuracy of the models is highly limited. Why can’t we scale down the model resolution? Koonin, who taught computational physics at Cal Tech, explains: “A simulation that takes two months to run with 100 km grid squares would take more than a century if it instead used 10 km grid squares. The run time would remain at two months if we had a supercomputer one thousand times faster than today’s—a capability probably two or three decades in the future.”

Two words: feedback effects.

But even if the models get better at the dynamics of what happens in the atmosphere on a more granular scale, the models still depend on future GHG emissions forecasts, and there is a wide range of emissions scenarios the modelers use. The high-end temperature forecasts depend on extreme projections of future emissions that are no longer credible, such as one model included in previous U.N. reports that relied on a six-fold increase in the use of coal over the next 80 years, an outcome no one thinks is going to happen (or only with massive carbon-capture technology if it does).

Emissions forecasts made just 20 years ago turned out to be much too high for today. Nearly all of the most alarming claims of the effects of future warming depend on these discredited forecasts, but the media has failed to keep up with the changing estimates. It’s a classic garbage-in, garbage out problem.

The Nature article is candid about this problem:

The largest source of uncertainty in global temperatures 50 or 100 years from now is the volume of future greenhouse-gas emissions, which are largely under human control. However, even if we knew precisely what that volume would be, we would still not know exactly how warm the planet would get.

The authors of the Nature article are taking a risk in dissenting from the politicized party line on climate science, however cautiously worded, and deserve credit for their candor and self-criticism of climate modeling.

'Disinformation' Tyranny Brooks No Debate

To give credit where credit is due, the recent announcement from the White House establishing the “Disinformation Governance Board” as part of the Department of Homeland Security did not actually utilize the terms “Goodthink” or “Ministry of Propaganda.” References to Goebbels appear to have been minimized as well.

It is clear that no one can possibly define what is purported to be potentially harmful “disinformation” unless one has the God-like ability to determine what qualifies as unquestionably truthful information and that this information is being used to reach unquestionably accurate conclusions.

That distinction is vital. Any collection of true propositions can be used to defend a flawed conclusion. It is true, for example, that a ball placed on a sloped surface will roll toward the bottom of the slope. It is true that the floor of most everyone’s home is not a sloped surface. It is true that a ball placed on the floor of most everyone’s home will remain in place. One can put those three truths together and conclude that planet earth is flat, not a sphere.

Looks pretty flat to me.

There are indeed people who sincerely believe that planet earth is flat and they use selected facts in a selective manner to buttress their argument. In a free society they are not only able to do so, they should be encouraged to do so. If the folks in power ban any discussion of a flat earth, more than one person is going to wonder why. If this idea is as ludicrous and unscientific as is claimed, why can not any person be allowed to examine the idea and bear witness to its ludicrousness? When a censor insists that something must be covered, it only increases one’s curiosity to discover what's under the cover.

It seems certain that former President Barack Obama has much more to do with this attack on free speech than the current occupant of the White House. President Biden appears as unlikely to create a board whose name includes a five-syllable word as he is to successfully pronounce it.

As part of a speech at Stanford University on April 21, Obama applauded social media platforms for their attempts at censorship. But, he concluded that those platforms do not and can not handle the important work of suppressing opinion by themselves. He claimed that while “…content moderation can limit the distribution of clearly dangerous content, it doesn't go far enough.” Six days later, the Biden administration rolled out the new Ministry of Propaganda. Coincidence? I think not.

Three words stand out in the former president’s statement: “clearly dangerous content.” There is certainly content on the interwebs that is “clearly dangerous” to general acceptance of outdated and fanciful ideas promulgated by the former Organizer in Chief and his party. There are certainly people who are “clearly dangerous” to the continued success of people who want to divide Americans based on appearance and identity and people who want to turn gender into an amorphous idea rather than a biological fact.

I suppose I myself must be “clearly dangerous” because I don’t believe that climate change is wholly man-made, that we can and should attempt to manipulate the climate, and that the economic and human cost of most of the schemes proposed to limit future use of fossil fuels is far too high a price to pay. One can and should accept the facts that carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, that mankind is responsible for increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrialized era and that mean global temperatures, which have fluctuated throughout the industrial era, seem to have risen slightly in recent years. None of those facts, which I agree with and with which I am professionally qualified to evaluate, leads me to the conclusion that climate change is entirely man-made and necessarily catastrophic.

On the other hand, maybe it can.

Does my interpretation of those commonly accepted facts make me dangerous in Barack Obama’s eyes? Do similar interpretations by scientists like Roy Spencer and Judith Curry make them dangerous to Forty-Four? I suspect he thinks so.

From all I know of Barack Obama, he is what a colleague who served alongside him in the Illinois Senate described as “a nice guy, but an empty suit.” I place him squarely in the class of what I think of as the simple-minded scholars. These are people who have learned so much about so little that they have managed to disconnect themselves from objective reality and that great human instinct we call common sense.

This is not a new phenomenon.  Plato preached mysticism, while Aristotle was a champion of practicality. Plato imagined. Aristotle observed. Both philosophies have their place, but neither should dominate.

It has been nearly eight hundred years since Thomas Aquinas, that towering figure in both theology and philosophy, dragged the western world back to reality by its ear. Aquinas reiterated what should be an obvious point: if you see something, then what you’re seeing is what it is. If what you see is in fact something else, then the whole of Creation is kind of pointless, ain’t it? So let’s stop all this Platonic speculation about the nature of reality and simply accept that it’s real, that it’s God’s creation and that in revealing more of it, we get closer to our Creator.

In order to continue on this noble journey, more ideas are needed, not fewer. Discussions need to be open, not restricted. Ideas, even stupid ideas, even hateful ideas, are not dangerous. Actions alone are dangerous. The leftist conception that passionate expression necessitates violent action is simple-minded and offensive. It presumes a level of stupidity and subservience among the human race that should disgust us all.

In Barack Obama’s tiny world, Patrick Henry would have banned from speaking in public again after he dared to utter his defiant choice: “give me liberty, or give me death!” Fighting words do not, as the left seems to believe, necessarily or even frequently result in physical confrontations. They instead are part of battles that involve ideas. No one, and certainly no arm of government, has the right to intervene on that sacred battlefield.

Drinking, Drowning From the Regulatory Firehose

Recently, I had occasion to speak with a friend who works for the E.P.A. He commented on the changes in his job under the current Administration using this phrase: “we’re being asked to drink from a firehose.” Within the context of the conversation, the meaning of his message was clear. It wasn’t a complaint as much as it was a compliment. Whereas the Trump administration had chocked down hard on the plumbing of environmental regulation, the Biden administration has opened the stopcocks as fully as possible. “Drinking from a firehose,” from my friend’s point of view, was a metaphorical way of saying that my friend would never lack for something to do under the Biden administration.

I do not begrudge my friend his choice of making a living, Nor do I begrudge him a particular world-view that may – in a particular opinion – place unintended and unearned weight on propositions I believe to be at least somewhat faulty. My friend may be right in part or in whole, just as I may be. My personal obligation as a member of the human community is to constantly and objectively re-assess what I believe to be the truth and to relate the truth as I understand it to be as clearly and concisely as possible, without resorting to personal animus, unless of course resorting to animus elicits a cheap laugh or two.

Broadly-speaking, Donald Trump’s political opponents in both politics and the press defined Trumpism’s attitude toward the entrenched bureaucratic class as both assault and battery. In the case of the government’s role in environmental protection, Democrats and their mainstream media allies essentially painted Trumpism in colors that were certainly not reliable shades of green, but were decidedly smears of a soiled, brownish hue. According to them, President Trump did not really want to restore some balance to the entirely worthy propositions of environmental protection and economic equity, which is essentially how he and his supporters defined their mission in these areas. Instead, the President’s opponents insisted that he was determined to sabotage the supposedly fragile purity of the environment in order to supposedly protect sordid, favored economic interests.

Trumpism, as seen by the Left.

When dealing with this and virtually any other part of what has become known as “the swamp” of the entrenched ruling class, the ultimate message of Trumpism is to say: “bureaucrats, know thy proper place!” Biden, or more likely Biden’s handlers, have replied with an angry, more defiant message: “Bureaucrats, assume Thy Rightful Place!”

What might appear at first blush to be roughly equivalent themes are, upon closer examination, not even closely related. The attempt to limit bureaucracy  to its most advantageous mode of behavior and no farther is simply about understanding the proper role of bureaucrats in an increasingly complex world. The attempt to make bureaucracy immune from censure is about surrendering the rights of the governed to the frozen, unemotional “wisdom” of a governing class. It's about further empowering power, not about monitoring the equitable and therefore wise distribution of power.

Truly representative government thrives from – nay, demands – challenge from within. This is common ground that bitterly-opposed political theorists like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were willing to cede to the other. Each was a towering figure who influenced and continues to influence the direction of this marvelous experiment of a nation in proportions that go far beyond the number of years they were citizens of it.

Adams foresaw a nation that relied upon centralized principles and authority. He believed that federalism (as then defined) was necessary to maintain a consistence of purpose that would in turn ensure its continued success. Jefferson foresaw a nation that relied upon decentralized thought and discovery. He believed that democratic-republicanism (as then defined) was a necessary perquisite to the survival of the Republic. What we now know as America remains essentially an amalgam of these contrary, yet complimentary, points of view.

What united Adams and Jefferson – until what was literally their mutual dying day: July 4, 1826 – was the revolutionary idea that it might be possible to create a system of governance that would allow the governed to retain some degree of power over those engaged in governing.

Adams tended toward the republican ideal of representative government, which demanded a certain standard of care among those privileged to represent its citizens. Jefferson tended toward the more purely democratic ideal of representative government that demanded no more of a representative than assurance that he or she continued to breathe. In hindsight, neither Adams nor Jefferson was wholly right, nor was wholly wrong. One can reach the peak of Everest via the Southern Col or the Northeast Ridge. Each has its perils. What really matters is getting to the summit, not how you got there. Though they chose different paths, Adams and Jefferson were united in their vision of their summit of representative government.

Ah, heaven on earth...

Our goal, as both the supervisors of our republic and those who are supervised by it, ought not to be so concerned whether the vision of Adams or Jefferson prevails almost two centuries after they've passed on. We should rather concern ourselves with the proposition that the intellectual heirs of both Adams and Jefferson have abdicated their responsibilities, turning over more and more power to faceless minions accountable to no one but themselves.

President Trump showed it was possible to drain at least some of the swamp, despite the fierce response that doing so elicited among many of the fierce creatures dwelling there. Sadly, the current administration seems to determined to refill it until we drown. We can, and we must, resist these denizens of the deep.

Bugs: They're What's for Dinner

A billowing concern of some on the left is the exhalation of CO2 and the expelling of methane by cows. The Klimate Kult is concerned by the effect of cow burps and farts on the oft-disproved “greenhouse” effect and the warming of the planet. Keep in mind that even if the planet is warming (and no uncorrupted global temperature data supports this), scientists are looking for a planet about five degrees C warmer than earth for future human habitation because a warmer planet has more food, less extreme weather and is a better home for humanity.

The solution to cow flatulence by some, including Bill Gates, the owner of more privately-owned farmland in the United States than anyone else, is for us to eat insects instead of food. Let’s say we replace food with bugs. To appease the Klimate Kult. To pretend against all evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming exists. To signal our virtue to the universe. How many insects would we need to eat to replace beef... real food?

We would need to slaughter around 363,000 crickets to get the same number of calories that comes from one slaughtered cow. But we slaughter 1.5 billion cows every single year, meaning that to get the same number of calories that we get from all the cows we slaughter would mean around 550 trillion crickets would need to be slaughtered instead.

[I]t would be basically impossible to quantify how many insects would need to be killed to replace the other 70 billion land animals, and around 1.2 trillion marine animals, that are currently killed for animal products every single year.

But there's a problem. Something of which many are unaware, evidently, is that insects feel pain. Those same folks asking (demanding?) we reduce the human population of the planet to save it, are worried about the moral considerations of killing bugs. Oh, the humanity:

[I]n the case of crickets, they have been shown to react to receiving morphine, staying in a box that was getting progressively hotter for a longer period than the crickets who were not given morphine. After five days of being given morphine, they even started exhibiting signs of addiction when they were no longer given the opiate.

So whilst scientific knowledge on insect sentience is still in its early days, what we already know about these animals makes their lives morally valuable, and makes creating a system that would end up slaughtering an entirely incomprehensible number of them, a serious moral concern that we are ethically obligated to avoid.

Hmm… And how do we feed and water 550,000,000,000,000 crickets? And house them in such a way that they are healthy and that they successfully reproduce? And care for their pupae? And dispose of the waste of half-a-quadrillion crickets? How many concrete (which releases CO2) buildings would need to be built for housing and nurseries and abattoirs for these bugs? What would be the impact to waterways of this huge amount of concentrated waste?

Bon Appétit!

What would be the electrical cost of maintaining an insect habitat for hundreds of trillions of insects? Would the carbon footprint of these huge bugatoriums be larger than that of the food they are “replacing?” Does anyone know? It’s vanishingly rare for the left to do a cost-benefit calculation on their various emotional cults.

How would we consume these trillions of bugs?

Now, you can order insect protein bars and cricket flour on Amazon. For those with a sweet tooth, there are cricket flour chocolate chip cookies.

The beef industry in America, calf-to-table, employs about 900,000 Americans, is the 47th-largest industry in the U.S., producing $30.2 billion of fresh beef, $4.8 billion of ground beef, $11.6 billion of sirloin steak, at a growth rate of 3.2 percent annually in 2022.

As someone who has worked in the birthing of calves, who has herded, roped, cut, thrown and branded calves and yearlings, has milked cows and slaughtered beeves, I have a bias toward steaks and burgers. The iconic American cowboy never will be replaced in the mind of a boy or girl, or on a Hollywood screen, by a cricket wrangler. And, no, that independent lifestyle that much of the world admires and which those who have tried it find hard to give up, cannot be replaced by cricket ranches. But mine will be deemed an emotional and adolescent response to a global crisis…. that does not exist.

Will Bill Gates and his pals at the WEF get their tyrannical way, destroying the beef industry? Here’s an interesting thought: Elon Musk just offered a significant portion, 16 percent, of his billions to change an industry. Makes one think of Bill Gates and his desire for us to eat insects and fake meat.

Did somebody say "fake meat"?

In America in January of 2019, we had about 94,000,000 cattle. The average price In April, 2022, for a 750-lb steer was $1,150. Assuming about one-third of those 94 million cows are three-year-old, 750-lb steers, Gates could buy the entire 2022 American beef production for $35 billion, or about 27 percent of his wealth, leaving himself a paltry $100 billion to live on. If he also bought the entire crop of yearlings and 2-year-olds at half that price, he would spend a total of $61 billion, just under half of his wealth of $132 billion.

This is a future desired by Gates and his WEF cronies. Making us eat fake meat and insects instead of food. For no reason other than they can, we’d have no more beef.

Bill Gates Says He Will Force You to Eat Fake Meat

Bill Gates states that rich countries should give up all beef in favor of synthetic fake meat, a transition that can be supported by changing people's behaviors or enacting regulations to shift demand.

Think about that.

"... or enacting regulations" to make us eat bugs....

Then ask yourself this: Who or what is going to stop him?