If At First You Don't Secede... Wexit

The idea of secession seems almost inevitably to surface in times of national turmoil, political disarray, ideological and ethnic pillarization and economic resentment. In the wake of the Great Fraud, aka the 2020 American election, there is a whiff of secession in the air.

Rush Limbaugh worries that America is “trending toward secession.” Texas GOP chairman Alan West suggested that law-abiding states should “bond together and form a union of states that will abide by the constitution.” Though he asserted “I never say anything about secession,” the implication was certainly present. Texit is in the wind. Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) said “I am committing to file legislation this session that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation.”

Canada has undergone two secession movements originating in the province of Quebec, based on a founding schism between two distinct peoples—which novelist Hugh MacLennan called the “two solitudes” in his book of  that title—culminating in a clash between two legal traditions, Quebec’s Napoleonic civil code and the ROC’s (rest of Canada) common law, and two languages, French and English.

Two referenda were held, in 1980 and 1995, the second defeated by the narrowest of margins, 50.58 percent to 49.42 percent. It is hard to say if separation would have been a “good thing,” whether Quebec would have prospered and Canada grown more coherent. I would hazard that the first prospect would have been enormously improbable, the second at least remotely possible.

Sunrise in Calgary? Or sundown?

The independence movement is alive today, but in another province. Alberta, which is Canada’s energy breadbasket, has suffered egregiously under the rule of Eastern Canada’s Laurentian Elite, beginning in modern times with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s low-pricing, high taxing National Energy Program (NEP) in 1980, which devastated Alberta’s oil industry.

According to the BOE report, “Economic disaster quickly followed. Alberta’s unemployment rate shot from 4% to more than 10%. Bankruptcies soared 150%.” Home values collapsed by 40 percent and the province plunged into debt. The debacle has climaxed with son Justin’s Green-inspired economic destruction and effective shutdown of the province’s energy sector. Unemployment has risen to more than 11 percent, thousands of residents are leaving the province, debt is soaring and cutbacks have severely impacted daily life.

As a result, a potent secession movement, known as "Wexit," has gathered momentum and solidified into a new political party. In addition, the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta registered as a political party on June 29. Its platform includes asserting the independence of the province, redefining the relationship with Canada, developing natural resources, and creating a Constitution of Alberta.

After having increased the job-killing carbon tax during—of all times!—the COVID pandemic and lockdown that had already pulverized the nation’s economy, prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced he will raise the tax almost sixfold to $170 per tonne by 2030, thus breaking the Liberal government’s promise “not to increase the (carbon) price post-2022.” According to the Toronto Sun, “That will increase the cost of gasoline by about 38 cents per litre, plus the cost of home heating fuels such as natural gas and oil.”

And according to Kris Sims at the Sun, “Based on the average annual use of natural gas in new Canadian homes, it would cost homeowners more than $885 extra in the carbon tax.” Filling up a light duty pickup truck will cost a surplus $45 per tank, and an extra $204 for the big rigs that deliver dry goods and comestibles. But that “won’t be the end of the increased cost the Canadians will face, starting with a $15 billion government investment in other climate change initiatives.” 

All Canadians will be hard hit, but Albertans, who once fueled the engine of Canadian prosperity and who have the resources to do so again, will feel the provocation and injury even more profoundly. As Rex Murphy writes in the National Post, it is “the province that carries most of the weight, bears the most pain and has the least say in this mad enterprise.” The tax, he continues, will “injure the very farmers who have been stocking the supermarket shelves during COVID, put oil workers (at least those who still have jobs) out of work, increase the cost of living for everyone, place additional strain on the most needy and antagonize a large swath of the Canadian public.”  

Kyle Biedermann is on the money when he says that “The federal government is out of control.” This is as true of Canada as it is of the United States, at least with respect to the major agencies of government. For this reason, I support the secession movement in Alberta. The province has no alternative if it is to survive a faltering and repressive Confederation saddled with an out-and-out Marxist prime minister, a de facto alliance with Communist China, an infatuation with an unworkable and unaffordable tax-subsidized Green technological program, a $400 billion deficit, a national debt exploding past the $1 trillion mark, and, in short, nameplate disasters like Trudeau’s A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy cabaret. 

Alberta’s survival depends on restoring its energy sector to full capacity and shucking off the federal burden of over-regulation, crushing taxation, Green fantasy-thinking and unpayable debt. Murphy again:

This new carbon tax will throw a spike in the heart of the oil and gas industry. Keep in mind that it is but the most recent in a long string of policies designed to hamstring the industry, block its exports and drive investment out of the province.

For Alberta, it’s leave or die. Other provinces may eventually have to follow the same route as Canada disintegrates under the brazen incompetence and global-socialist doctrines of the current administration, with no relief in sight.

As oil executive Joan Sammon writes, Inexpensive energy is imperative for a thriving economy, manufacturing excellence, economic mobility, job creation and a future of prosperity.” Clearly, there must be citizen pushback against the economy-killing decrees of a myopic and virtue-signaling government. People must put pressure on their elected representatives to resist the deliberate dismantling of the free market that will cost them the life of material abundance and comfort they take for granted. They must rid themselves of their infatuation with leftist memes, policies and hypocrisies.

I have a neighbor, a staunch adherent of our high-taxing, socialist administrations, who drives across the border to the U.S. to fill up her car at around one third the domestic price of fuel. She remains oblivious of the cognitive dissonance that governs her practice. Such thinking and behavior are what qualify as ultimately “unsustainable.” 

It's now or never.

The industry, too, Sammon writes, “needs to take back control from the preaching class and remind them that their lifestyles have been brought to them by the men and woman of the oil and gas industry.” The “green zealotry” that drives their anti-market efforts will destroy Alberta and lead eventually to the economic collapse of the entire country. Alberta, however, is at present the only province with a robust secession movement and, given its resource-rich milieu and the independent character of a large segment of its inhabitants, the only province in a position to save itself.

In any event, the message to Alberta is simple and straightforward. If at first you don’t secede, try and try again. The Overton Window is closing fast.

The Way We'll Live, Then

In the last week Europe’s political leaders in and out of the European Union have been engaged in the over-production of promises to transform the continent into a Net-Zero carbon-free green utopia. A few examples:

  1. Even before the week began, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, had pledged that the U.K would reduce its climate emissions by 68 per cent from their 1998 figure by 2030—the largest single Net Zero promise of any major economic power.
  2. Soon afterwards but still early in this week, Britain’s official Climate Change Commission produced its sixth report giving its statutory advice to the government on how to reach its Net Zero target beyond That advice was bold: “Our recommended pathway requires a 78% reduction in UK territorial emissions between 1990 and 2035. In effect, bringing forward the UK’s previous 80% target by nearly 15 years.”
  3. Not to be outdone, the heads of EU governments, meeting as the EU Council this weekend, announced that they were adopting the emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent by the year 2030. It had originally been a 40 per cent target. But the European Parliament would prefer an even more ambitious target reduction of 60 per cent.

And in the current atmosphere of an auction on speed, who would bet against the Parliament getting its way?

For children and other living things...

Now, going carbon free will be extremely expensive both for governments (i.e., taxpayers like you) and for individuals and households. Just how expensive we’ll get to in a moment, though with some difficulty: governments have been very cagy about spelling out its costs clearly. But the financial costs may not give as accurate a picture of the scale of these promises—think how hard it is to grasp what a billion dollars is, let alone a trillion—than a look at what they would mean in visible and practical terms.

On that Climate Change Commission report is extremely illuminating because it breaks down the main effects of going Net Zero under four headings with examples of how we’ll be living under each one. Again, here are a few (with some editorializing in italics by me):

  1. Take up of low-carbon solutions. People and businesses will choose to adopt low-carbon solutions, as high carbon options are progressively phased out. By the early 2030s all new cars and vans and all boiler replacements in homes and other buildings are low-carbon – largely electric. By 2040 all new trucks are low-carbon. British industry shifts to using renewable electricity or hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, or captures its carbon emissions, storing them safely under the sea. [Choose? We’ll be choosing these changes because the government will prohibit the sale of the cars, vans, and boilers we use now. It’s what we used to call a Hobson’s Choice. And we won’t like all of it because—to take one example—the low-carbon heaters don’t keep people as warm as their current oil and gas-based ones. And what then?]
  2. Expansion of low-carbon energy supplies. U.K. electricity production is zero carbon by 2035. Offshore wind becomes the backbone of the whole U.K. energy system . . . New uses for this clean electricity are found in transport, heating and industry, pushing up electricity demand by a half over the next 15 years, and doubling or even trebling demand by 2050. Low-carbon hydrogen scales-up to be almost as large, in 2050, as electricity production is today. Hydrogen is used as a shipping and transport fuel and in industry, and potentially in some buildings, as a replacement for natural gas for heating. [Let me be sure I get this thing straight: we intend to electrify the entire country to heat people's homes, fuel their cars, provide power to industry, and do a hundred other things while at the same time making our electricity supply dependent on unreliable renewables, mainly wind (of which perhaps Boris Johnson himself will supply a large percentage.) But I’m being unfair—we’ll also rely on hydrogen (not yet available in sufficient quantities unless we make it from forbidden fossil fuels) and carbon capture (still to be developed.)]
  3. Reducing demand for carbon-intensive activities. The U.K .wastes fewer resources and reduces its reliance on high-carbon goods. Buildings lose less energy through a national programme to improve insulation across the country. Diets change, reducing our consumption of high-carbon meat and dairy products by 20 percent by 2030, with further reductions in later years. There are fewer car miles travelled and demand for flights grows more slowly. These changes bring striking positive benefits for health and well-being. [That all sounds very jolly? But what if our diets don’t change voluntarily? Or consumers don’t actually like the new low carbon foods predicted here? Or they want to use their cars and fly on vacation more often than the planners predict? Will the planners change the plan? Or ration the foods, car trips, and vacations that the consumers (who are also voters) want to enjoy?]
  4. Land and greenhouse gas removals. There is a transformation in agriculture and the use of farmland while maintaining the same levels of food per head produced today. By 2035, 460,000 hectares of new mixed woodland are planted to remove CO2 and deliver wider environmental benefits. Some 260,000 hectares of farmland shifts to producing energy crops. Woodland rises from 13 percentof U.K. land today to 15percent by 2035 and 18percent by 2050. Peatlands are widely restored and managed sustainably. [Producing energy crops? Ah, they mean like the U.S. cellulosic ethanol program that according to an article in the Scientific American  was supposed to produce energy from wood and plant wastes, reducing greenhouse gases substantially, but that by 2017, after development over three administrations, produced not the predicted 16 billion gallons but ten million gallons or, as one energy expert put it, “enough fuel to satisfy approximately forty minutes of U.S. fuel consumption last year.” You know, there are times when the damn plane just can’t take off from the drawing board.]

After looking at this list of the industrial,, economic and personal lifestyle changes needed to bring about Net Zero in Britain, it seems inevitable that together they must amount to a massive sum. But the report’s chairman sums up the costs in a single breezy paragraph:

Some of our most important work is on the costs of the transition. Low carbon investment must scale up to £50 billion each year to deliver Net Zero, supporting the UK’s economic recovery over the next decade. This investment generates substantial fuel savings, as cleaner, more-efficient technologies replace their fossil fuelled predecessors. In time, these savings cancel out the investment costs entirely – a vital new insight that means our central estimate for costs is now below 1% of GDP throughout the next 30 years.

How credible is that? Let me point out some warning signs in it. The first is that to think the argument that “in time these savings (from going from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies) cancel out the investment costs entirely” is a “vital new idea” is dotty on at least three counts: It’s the rationale for almost all investments. What’s vital about it is the qualification “in time” which for investments of this scale might be centuries. And the timescale might even be never if, as seems highly probable, the price of fossil fuels remains stubbornly lower than the price of technologies still to be invented.

And that risk is illustrated be the following comparison: the sum of 50 billion pounds cited as the annual cost of making Britain and the British virtuously Green is almost exactly the same figure as the 50 billion Euros given by the E.U. heads of government to Poland this week as compensation for killing its coal industry. The two programs are so different from each other in scale and risk that they could hardly cost anything like the same budgetary figure.

Forward into the glorious red, er, Green future, comrades.

Even if the figures added up, however, the Climate Change Commission’s program would still face the larger political problem that its proposals depend on the support or at least acquiescence of the great majority of their fellow citizens in massive potentially unwelcome changes in how they live, work, travel, eat, and enjoy themselves not for a short period but forever. When we see the growing discontent with the privations and regulations that governments have temporarily imposed for protection against a pandemic, it doesn’t seem likely that whole populations will agree to live out their dystopian fantasies.

I wondered how governments would respond to that? Then I remembered something:

“Communism is Soviet Power + Electrification of the Whole Country.” Vladimir Lenin, Report on the Work of the Council of People’s Commissars. December 22, 1920

Goodness gracious. That report was issued exactly one hundred years ago. Next week.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Resetting

Paradise at last! I couldn’t take one more day in St John’s Wood as London goes into yet another lockdown and daddy grumbles about Boris. One day leading to another… and all of them leading nowhere.

But I am alive again in Lyford Cay, having arrived late last night—and mask free! I got up rather early today, put on lipstick and perfume, availed myself of a golf cart and got myself down to the club. I was so excited you’d have thought I was sneaking into Buckingham Palace. I wasn’t hungry in the least but wanted to feel part of a living breathing world. Surely my hosts here wouldn’t miss me — I’d  only just met them over Thanksgiving at Annabel’s anyway.

In minutes I was drawn into familiar noises… silverware, and ice being poured from a pitcher… oh it was just like the movies! Or every single day prior to coronavirus.

Now this is what I call green.

Lyford (the former Cay) was hopping! And nearly everyone dressed in white which could only mean they have an all-white rule for tennis or croquet or maybe everything. The substantially older women—the ones who delineated between jewellery and breakfast jewellery, were none of them in white, so it must indeed be a sporting requirement.

I looked around the room like a tourist might do. I felt as though I were looking through a window only because I hadn’t seen humans with coiffed hair or gold sandals or anything even remotely resembling civilisation for so long. I signalled the waiter for more tea, more berries, a paper if possible? Just more of everything because I wanted to bask in the glow of what was officially called… breakfast.

There were no papers but the waiter provided me with a card that allowed me to read several publications on my phone. “Even better!” I squealed. Lyford was green! Peering over my phone so that I could secretly scan the room, I settled on a conversation of a group of businessmen across th way…”the Great Reset”. Whatever could that be?

I googled on my phone to very little success… just links to a conference in Davos with futuristic looking businessmen talking intently. Was it staged? They were yellowish and pocket-sized. I googled and found it’s meant to be a global green push—post Covid. Things really were looking up. But I was very confused about seeing Prince Charles and Yo-Yo Ma in the promo and I was a little iffy on “a brighter, better and more sustainable future" from the ashes of Covid-19.

I texted daddy to ask him about the great reset and he texted back: “A lie.”

Really? A lie? I texted back, “What about financing sustainable recovery?

His response, “A lie.”

I started another text but before I could even finish he texted back -- 

“Also a lie." Followed by, “I can keep this up all day.”

As I made my way to the pool  I got another text from him: “And don’t bother your nice hosts about this unless you are prepared to return via commercial flight. Mummy and I miss you. Take pictures.”

What I know is there is no stopping him when he’s in one of these moods. I know deep down inside he is committed to our planet but no one is willing to do the heavy lifting. I got out my laptop and decided I’d write about this very important opportunity. This may be the biggest pro environmental initiative of my lifetime.

After sketching out my outline, I took a short swim and returned to my notes. Somehow my arguments weren’t so clear. I called father for help. “Hi, so…  I’m a bit wobbly on why the presentation features people like Meghan Markle instead of…”

“An economist with credibility?" he replied. "Because this is not an economic plan, it is just a lie, disguised as an economic plan, disguised as a way to save the planet. But it’s also about demilitarisation, and, independent media… oh and saving the arts. Shall we also throw in the whales?”

“Please just go with me for a minute… the great reset will ensure that every recovery stimulus from now on must include green conditions. To my mind this can’t be bad.”

“But specifically what?” He asked. Green stimulus money… to be spent on what? Tearing down infrastructure and rebuilding it to be more carbon neutral? Poof- our house in an adobe."

“But what about, you know, infrastructure… and trains?”

“You mean a tax! You want to tax everyone to build a train, even if everyone doesn’t ride on this train because it is better for the planet, yes?”

“Yes, but it is better.” I insisted.

“Perhaps but we are talking about things in places where they don’t exist -- take your new hometown. A train in Los Angeles would be prohibitively expensive, and would require a huge tax increase, so really we are talking about a tax.”

“Well, Tesla managed with private money.”

“Tesla sells carbon points, to other polluters, and makes a profit from it, so what have you achieved? It’s a shell game, darling. Listen, you know I’m all for environmentally ethical rules but that is not the role of business, the singular motivation of business is to make a profit, and profits make for better economies, better economies are better caretakers of the land-without exception.”

“And their promise of one hundred new carbon-neutral cities?” I continued.

“Find me the carbon-neutral city that you both want to live in and which respects the environment.”

The carbon-neutral city of the future!

He had me there. And I imagined my life with no luxury, no air travel, no country house, and sharing of all IP. This wasn’t going to work. I’m not giving up on the planet but I’m not giving up thousands of years of progress to these people whose main accomplishment, as far as I can tell… is to hold forums. Something to ponder tomorrow after my morning swim.

Beware the 'Green Energy' Narrative

In the face of the most historic collusion between political activists, mainstream media, and big tech, it has never been . clearer that not every narrative being foisted upon America is actually true. Narratives are curated and shaped to achieve alternative objectives ranging from things like confiscatory tax and regulatory policies for business to increased environmental constraints on the public to political advantage in all its many forms.

With the complete collapse of the media’s credibility and big tech’s manipulation and censorship of what one sees on their social media feeds, we must now be even more vigilant when scrutinizing the merits of the assertions made in the name of “green energy.” We must constantly seek actual truth, not accept fabricated facts describing a future envisioned for us by others.

Consider the climate change narrative around renewable energy like wind farms or the destructive forces of wildfires allegedly caused by climate change. Wind, considered the least expensive clean energy, is commonly referred to as the future of energy production. The storyline is that fossil fuel is evil, renewables like wind and solar are good. Good people obviously embrace the wind and solar vision while those that support the fossil fuel industry or related by-products are bad. It is considered blasphemous for meteorologists, scientists, engineers or other professionals to assert alternative perspectives about the voracity or plausibility of the green narrative. If experts reject the narrative they are labeled anti-science, or are professionally harassed or altogether canceled. Agreement is the goal, not truth. Facts matter not.

Ah, the promise of Utopia...

But on the stage of the "green revolution," right next to the dehydrated fruit and composting toilets, there are a couple irritating little facts that make the utopian green dream a little less… green or utopian. First, according to the U.S. Department of Interior, as many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans.

That’s right, humans, not climate change. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, downed power lines, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson. The remaining 10 percent are started by lightning or lava. Do any of those causes sound like climate change?

The 2020 fire season in Washington, Oregon and California was no different. One of the larger California fires this season was started by electronic equipment that malfunctioned at a gender-reveal party. That particular fire was repeatedly reported in the media as being the result of climate change. Other fires throughout the state were started by lightening. In fact, it was California’s poor forest management practices that allowed all of the fires to grow out of control. None were because of so-called climate change.

Thanks to California’s failed man-made forest management strategies, there were no controlled burns and too much fuel vis-s vis downed trees, branches and undergrowth that California state officials had failed to properly remove, setting up the forest lands for utter destruction. Incompetence by government officials should never be substituted with climate change.

Next, there are the thousands of windfarms and the tens of thousands of blades that spin the turbines of these monster-sized windmills. The green narrative claims wind is the cheapest kind of clean energy. But is it really? Not only do the composite blades wear out, they are doing so at a faster rate than was promised to investors, municipalities and policymakers alike. This means that tens of thousands of these aged-out blades will need to be replaced worldwide.

Further, their massive size is outweighed only by their large carbon footprints from manufacture to disposal. Currently, these blades can be used for nothing else after removal. They will literally lie forever in the landfills in which they are disposed.

There are some 8,000 blades per year for the next four years slated to come down in the U.S. alone. The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, will be the final destination of 870 defunct blades, some of which are longer than the wing of a Boeing 747 jet. The other landfills where these blades are laid to rest are in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Lake Mills, Iowa. The days of these blades generating renewable energy came to an early end and now their only role is to take up large swaths of acreage at a landfill in otherwise beautiful states. Many will agree that an outcome like this requires one reframe the narrative that environmental stewardship is being achieved by using wind to generate electricity.

But the maintenance isn’t the only issue with these metal monsters. There are a slew of problems now evident that make windfarms far less ideal than the green narrative would have us believe. Not only are the old blades not recyclable, maintenance costs for wind farms are also high relative to their output.

It also turns out that wind is an erratic source of power and as such, according to a recent Harvard study, will require five to 20 times more land to sufficiently scale for the needed power generation into the future. Windfarms are also esthetically glum, quite dreadful against any landscape whether onshore or off-shore. And it turns out, windfarms are dangerous to birds, having created a change in migratory behavior in multiple species. All this while also interfering with weather radar.

Ugh... the reality of Dystopia.

Windfarms also create micro-climates that may be creating conditions in which grass fires are more common and larger in some western states by increasing temperatures and effecting relative humidity.

Perhaps most significant of all, is the issue of infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN). Experts and researchers now confirm that the spinning blades create a constant low frequency noise that engulfs homes and rural areas near where these windfarms are built and can cause an array of health symptoms for those living proximal (within approximately 18 miles) to the windfarms. Symptoms range from sleep disturbances, dizziness and headaches, to panic attacks and depression.

So while the public is constantly beaten about the head with the green narrative that it is saving the planet, it would behoove the oil and gas industry to go on the offense and begin to shape its own narrative about its  positive impact on the global economy, job creation, and U.S. energy independence. If not, thanks to a lack of narrative storytellers, fossil fuel will be written out of its own future. And that future is very bleak indeed. 

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Distancing

Oh, Boris, you have got to be kidding me! I thought we went over this… herd immunity only comes if we have exposure. I don’t understand how he thinks it’s OK to shut us down again. The small businesses that managed to survive will surely perish in an additional lockdown.

Now what? No restaurants, no gyms, and no chance I can return to California any time soon. Worse yet, this means daddy is having one of his crusty old MP friends round -- to discuss god knows what… probably the 2008 Climate Change Act,  which apparently never changes. And Judith (mummy) is headed to a friend’s house for a socially-distanced coffee; and to avoid getting the dreaded Covid from daddy’s MP friend.

And that’s the thing Boris doesn’t understand… the behaviours of a virus, and the behaviours of a people. Let alone the fact that he wasn’t elected Prime Socialist. But with daddy’s meeting now moved here, I’ll just stay up in my childhood room and avoid all of it.

I want you... to stay at home and cower in the face of the dreaded Covid!

I don’t know how long daddy’s friend was downstairs but I woke up with my legs over the exercise ball and a crick in my neck. Is this what you wanted Boris? I decided to head downstairs and see what we were doing about dinner. Judith’s coffee must have turned into a gin and tonic. She’s nowhere to be found and daddy reported we have frozen steaks and fish fingers, but he’s sure everyone that was open yesterday is doing delivery today. He clicked off the radio and announced,

“We had to know we couldn’t trust a fat man who bicycled around London to be a true conservative.”

“Daddy!”

“Have you seen his bum on a bike or one rational decision since he caught the dreaded Covid? No, you have not.”

I hadn’t. And I knew the £800m cycling initiatives were mostly Sadiq Khan and not Boris but daddy would make the point that the invading cycle lanes had ruined London, and he would be right.

“Well, we know what we are getting with Biden at least” I beamed, “…and it will be fantastic for the environment.”

“Yes, fantastic”, he scoffed. “He promised to decimate the energy industry and I’m sure he’ll do damage enough. Unlike your boyfriend Trudeau… who promised legalised pot and Canada was too stoned to realise that when Alberta goes, so too goes Canada.”

... to ride a bicycle in the dark and the rain.

I knew on this point he was right. I’d heard he and Patrick discussing the death of so many pipeline projects in Canada compared to the very real gains in the US, better for the economy and the environment.

“Well, be that as it may”, I began, “having a green president in the White House has got to be a good thing at the end of the day.

“Got to be?”

“Yes!” I said emphatically.

“Yes, indeed. Let’s look at… you, shall we? You’re a U.S. taxpayer now, and forgetting that your energy-efficient flat and car were provided by the money your dear father earned as a geophysical engineer and responsible oil executive… what will be the really big gains? Top three…”

I ran through a million things in my head, knowing that they all led to higher taxes, lower profits, and business busting results. But I wasn’t giving up on my beloved planet that quickly.

“ Well… upgrades to infrastructure, and a carbon tax, and jobs guarantees…”

“That’s three taxes actually. But the point is I want you to think about the consequence of your passions. The consequence of a carbon tax will mean higher airline fares and might mean fewer seminars for your clients, fewer clients, less income… you see the result, yes?”

"Yes, of course but what’s the alternative?”

“The alternative to what? Socialism?”

“Daddy, it’s not the planet or socialism -

“No, but everything you suggested is,” he said, with a sad finish.

Forward, into the glorious energy future of a carbon tax!

I can’t talk to him when he’s like this. And also I didn’t have any good argument. I went back up to my childhood room to change for dinner and decided to find some evidence in my favour before I let it rest.

My search just kept taking me to coal vs natural gas, and although I already knew that some radical environmentalists despised natural gas, I also  knew their argument was indefensible.

I had covered all this with my father years ago, lest I continue to go on making unfounded arguments. Truth was, that by every metric natural gas is cleaner than coal, it emits 40X less sulphur dioxide, a fraction of the nitrous oxide, almost no mercury, less water, and it’s why carbon emissions from energy declined. Perhaps I’m not in the mood to be right.

Just then I noticed a text from a client asking how I was, and if it was true that Christmas was cancelled in England? Boy, she had some nerve! I had half a mind to write back and ask if it was true that Thanksgiving was cancelled in New York or only moved outside? But I realised that would be as tough to swallow as dry turkey. And mean.

Lockdown redux was getting to me. But apparently not to Judith who I heard coming in downstairs, and by the sound of it had many bags with her. I scrolled past another article entitled How Greed, not Greenpeace Saved the Whales. OMG enough for tonight. I hope she bought cake.

Be Afraid: Biden's Plans for the Energy Industry

As governors in a slew of upper mid-western states are held to account for their inability to correctly manage their state’s election and protect the system from fraud, the oil and gas industry has problems of its own, some of which will assuredly get more complicated under a Biden administration.

the year 2020 has already been a fierce year for oil and gas. It’s the kind of year that drives some to drink, some to stop drinking and still others to call their life coaches or therapists. While there are economic principles that the market historically can rely upon to guide recovery, two unusual tangents have crossed. Covid-curated economic closures that have smashed demand, combined with the supply glut that had already brought pressure to the energy industry

Together they have created an exceptionally challenging landscape. With more than 120,000 layoffs across the industry to date, Europe again closed up tightly, and no additional PPP legislation on the horizon, executives anticipate there will be more layoffs coming in the weeks ahead.

While there are many versed in the realm of Covid recovery theory, such uncertainties create a landscape such that no economist, futurist or medium can reliably describe how or when the market will fully recover. While communities across the U.S. respond in a variety of ways, some with an eye toward liberty and economic recovery, others with an eye toward tyranny and shutdowns (think Seattle and the entire state of California), the O&G industry is based on a global market.

As such, it won’t be until the economies in Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S. fully open and recover that the O&G industry can again fully stretch out into a comfortable stride. If a heathy oil and gas industry is akin to trail running, this current market has been more like running straight up a mountain while holding a martini carrying an F-150 or Dodge Ram 1500 on its back. It has been exceptionally difficult, and we aren’t up the mountain yet.

So where is the industry left under a Biden administration? Let’s look at several areas:

We'll always have Paris?

Paris Climate Accord: A Biden administration will immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Accord. By all accounts this will be done via an executive order signed on inauguration day. Legislative gaming is of course ahead, led by the thousand -year old House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats will pass loads of "green" legislation to support the accord’s climate goals.

However, because of American natural gas development, the U.S. has already delivered levels below those outlined in the accord. Natural gas is an exceptionally clean-burning fuel that has helped reduce emissions and lead to U.S. energy independence. The accord and all legislation framed around it will represent classic political symbolism over substance. Regardless, the Republican-controlled Senate, hopefully secured by upcoming Georgia run-offs, will largely keep legislation pertaining to the accord at bay.

Federal Land: Obviously, permits for drilling on federal land are legitimately threatened with under a Biden administration. According to industry experts, about seven percent of domestic assets are located on federal land. The threat of “ending fracking” was promised during both of Biden's debate appearances and his limited interactions with young children and sycophant media at ice cream stops during his Weekend at Bernie’s-themed campaign.

Producers that hold active permits will be permitted to carry on, but no new permits will be issued. That leaves only conventional drilling on federal land, which reduces the potential value of said wells. Even if producers find that they have sound legal ground on which to challenge the administration on this change, fighting the government is like tussling with a special forces operator: they have more than one method of neutralizing their target. The bottom line is that the day to day interaction with a Biden administration-led Bureau of Land Management will create added grief and discord for producers, presumably lending to higher lease operating expenses and certainly lower returns on investment on assets on federal land.

Regulatory Environment: The favorite tool of Democrats is regulation. Regulations always cost industry money. Industry leadership understands that the the strongest headwinds under a Biden administration will be new regulatory mandates and tightened regulation that will start coming fast and furious for upstream, mid-stream and downstream sub-sectors. Regulation is to a Democrat, what corn is to bourbon.

There will be plenty of both in the oil plays across the U.S. under a Biden administration. Regulation currently costs the industry between $3-$5 per barrel. That is a direct pass-through to the consumer. The variables depend on the size of a company, their lobbying efforts and whether reporting is done in-house or with outside consultants. The bottom line is that regulation is expensive and considered a barrier to business. Under a Biden administration, there will be more of it.

So What’s Next?
While each individual business and all industry sub-sectors have already been modeling how a Biden administration might affect their respective asset portfolios and businesses, it is essential the industry also prepare. While expert at finding, producing, transporting, refining and marketing O&G and related products, the industry lacks self-awareness about how the world sees it as an industry.

The industry has stood largely silent in the face of the solar and wind crowd framing what we do as treacherous and ruinous of the environment and the planet. The energy industry has abandoned its own narrative to those who seek its demise. In the face of an administration that will fight every day to denigrate, damage and dismantle the O&G industry, we must define ourselves to the country and to the world. Oil and gas must develop its own brand. We must constantly remind the country that, without the work we do, the geo-political landscape from which the economy and country benefit would look more like Dresden, 1945 and less like HGTV’s "Fixer Upper."

The False Promise of Energiewende

Here is Michael Schellenberger writing about Germany's "ambitious" (as it is always called) green energy transition known as die Energiewende (energy transition, or turning point) For some background, Energiewende is a series of policies first passed in 2010 with the object of completely transitioning the country away from conventional, carbon emitting energy sources including coal, oil, and natural gas, and towards ones classified as low-to-zero carbon like nuclear, solar, wind, and biomass.

After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, it was decided that Germany would move away from nuclear energy as well, with the aspiration of having the country run exclusively on so-called renewable energy by 2022.

As Schellenberger notes, since its passage Energiewende has been a constant source of hope for leftists the world over, because it gives them something to aim for. Their contention is that it will show the world that cheap green energy is possible, and that it can easily be reproduced anywhere in the world.

Of course their panegyrics have been light on specifics. In fact, the actual results of Energiewende have been mixed so far:

[L]ast year, Germany was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and would not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments. It announced plans to bulldoze an ancient church and forest in order to get at the coal underneath it.

That's right -- as the fracking revolution has contributed to America's leading the world in carbon emissions decline, green Germany is bulldozing forests for the purposes of mining coal.

The problem is twofold. First, green energy sources produce much less energy than traditional ones. This was once treated as a feature, not a bug, by environmentalists, who believe that modern society requires too much energy, and the best way to fix that is, to borrow a phrase, "starving the beast."

But as this Luddite attitude is a hard sell to most people, modern environmentalists have adjusted by promising exciting new technologies which are always just over the horizon.. "Governments and private investors poured $2 trillion into solar and wind and related infrastructure" since 2000, according to Schellenberger, though with not a great deal of substantive advancement to show for it.

This touches on the second problem -- the expense. Schellenberger points out that average Germans are increasingly frustrated with the cost (€32 billion annually) of the project, an amount which is only projected to increase -- "Der Spiegel cites a recent estimate that it would cost Germany “€3.4 trillion ($3.8 trillion),” or seven times more than it spent from 2000 to 2025, to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050." Public opposition will put heat on the move to renew the twenty year wind and solar energy subsidies which expire this year, the loss of which would be devastating.

What's more, the obsession with "net-zero" has led to the type of environmental despoliation which oil and gas companies are often accused of -- "Solar farms take 450 times more land than nuclear plants, and wind farms take 700 times more land than natural gas wells, to produce the same amount of energy." As bad as bulldozing churches and forests is for coal sounds in modern Germany, it will apparently be much worse if they ever do go completely renewable.

Time to Take a Breather on Climate Politics

Not so long ago, we were all getting ready to freeze. In 1971, the Global Ecology network forecast the “continued rapid cooling of the earth; in 1975 The New York Times brooded that the earth “may be headed for another ice age,” as did Newsweek; in the March 1, 1975 issue of Science News, we were informed that “the approach of a full-blown 10,000-year ice age [was] a real possibility,” and in the July 1975 issue of National Wildlife, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization warned that “the cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

A few years later, we are all in danger of frying to a crisp. Over the past decades, as we know to our cost, a consensus has developed that the world is warming as a result of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). There is, apparently, no room for doubt.

The trouble is that the “science” involved has been commandeered by an army of political pulpiteers whose underlying purposes are distressingly suspect. Some of the movement’s advocates, to put it bluntly, are more concerned with saving their careers than saving the planet; others are building new careers at the expense of public credulity, the perks and salaries being just too good to give up. I imagine that a great number of them are dealing from the bottom of the deck. 

Thus William Gray, professor emeritus of the Atmosphere Department of Colorado State University, laments that “fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong. But they also know that they’d never get any grants if they spoke out.” Consequently, they must insist that “the science is settled”—an unscientific statement if ever there was one.

Gray received unlikely support from culture-hero James Lovelock who, in his various books on the apotheosis of Gaia, had been an ardent proponent of the Global Warming conjecture. In a late interview, Lovelock more or less reversed course, claiming that the science is far from settled and that “our university and government scientists might fear an admission of a mistake would lead to a loss of funding.”

In adding his réclame to the debunking of climate conformity, Lovelock -- who's now 100 years old -- showed both honesty and courage, rare attributes for climate commentators. If so-called climate skeptics need nerves of steel to oppose the reigning ideology, it takes even more courage for a “Warmist” to buck the trend. Lovelock, who in The Revenge of Gaia prophesied the charring of the planet, now confides he had been “extrapolating too far.” Despite predictably hedging his bets and deferring catastrophe into the indefinite future, he avers that “we don’t know what the climate is doing” and disparages his previous work, as well as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, as “alarmist.” 

Financial Post journalist Peter Foster believes that progress toward a more sensible accord on climate may be occurring: “alarmist science, grand schemes of UN-coordinated global governance, carbon taxes, and government promoted ‘technologies of the future’—are crumbling.” 

But is that really the case? Our professional elites seems not to be aware—or interested—as they continue to promote a failed ideology. National governments and ambitious politicians are still beating the climate drum, whether Justin Trudeau in Canada or Gavin Newsom in California, leading their people down the road to economic perdition.

Thankfully, authentic scientists, men of courage and integrity, have no intention of surrendering to the climate commissars of the day. Their persistence in disseminating truth may eventually pay off. Perhaps people may gradually become aware that the so-called greening of the earth is actually leading to the blackening of the earth.

Where good intentions go to die.

The toxic waste flowing from Green renewables, unreported in the mainstream media, is off the charts. Writing in Forbes, Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, cites reputable figures showing that by 2016 there were 250,000 metric tonnes of solar panel waste to deal with, producing carcinogens washed into the soil by rainwater.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), he continues, “projected that this amount could reach 78 million metric tonnes by 2050.” In addition, costs are unsustainable. Today, “recycling costs more than the economic value of the materials recovered, which is why most solar panels end up in landfills.”

Additionally, burning e-waste materials, which include plastic components, produces fumes that are teratogenic. Wind farms create their own waste issues regarding the disposal of uncrushable, 100-to-300 feet long, used wind turbine blades, “a waste problem,” writes Christina Stella at NPR, “that runs counter to what the industry is held up to be.”

Perhaps people are also beginning to twig to the fact that, as P.F. Whalen writes in American Thinker, “the climate change cult’s agenda, is less about climate change and more about Socialism; maneuvering for the redistribution of wealth and increased government control over our lives, while disguised as well-intentioned activists striving for cleaner air.”

There’s nothing like the threat of an imminent apocalypse to advance a suspect agenda.

The scientific consensus today, as Foster believes, may be slowly shifting away from the catastrophism of the climate gurus, despite official and partisan resistance. True, the shift has been tentative. Carbon-driven global warming was an easy sell, but it will be a hard buyback—too many professional reputations are on the line.

Nonetheless, the evidence is growing to suggest, variously, that the human contribution to global warming is far less than originally assumed, that there may be no global warming, and that in any event a meteorological calamity is highly unlikely. As far back as 2008, two-thirds of the scientists attending the 33rd International Geological Congress were “hostile to, even dismissive of, the U.N.’s IPCC report” on catastrophic climate. 

In addition, a coalition of 49 former NASA scientists and seven Apollo astronauts, including the deputy director of the space shuttle program, has accused the bureaucracy of both NASA and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), with which NASA is affiliated, of diddling with the facts. They write: “We believe that [their] claims that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.” 

And a little child shall mislead them.

If Lovelock is right and we don’t know what the climate is doing, then it is surely time for a moratorium on oracular pronouncements foretelling climate doom and vaticinal prescriptions for drastic and irreversible action.

The sickly obsession with "green energy" has to be put out to pasture. It behooves us to proceed gingerly and with humility when engaging in practices that can alter and even destroy livelihoods, that can profoundly affect the industrial and economic infrastructures on which prosperity depends, and that may meddle harmfully with natural processes. Scientists are neither soothsayers nor sorcerer’s apprentices no matter how many degrees and laurels they have acquired.

Meanwhile, civilization is in no danger of collapsing—at least, not from natural causes; the earth is not about to become an orbital cinder; hydrocarbons are not about to be exhausted; and there is time to reflect, plan, experiment and test a diversity of sustainable energy replacements. Nuclear power plants, for example, are not only increasingly secure but create 300 times less toxic waste per unit of energy than do solar panels. Working in proportionate tandem with oil-and-gas, a safe, plentiful and affordable energy source can supply the energy needs of the future while preserving the environment as well as the job economy. 

Precipitate action may benefit crony capitalists, corrupt politicians, academic imbeciles, Reset leftists and scientific sell-outs at the cost of planetary degradation and common suffering. The possibilities for creating fear and panic to further the schemes and purposes of Green profiteers are endless. “Some say the world will end in fire,/Some say in ice,” wrote Robert Frost. In the 1970s it was ice; now it’s fire.

A pandemic, a Biblical flood, erupting volcanoes, the separating of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates that may release the hell of Tartarus upon the planet, as James Rollins fantasizes in his Sigma Force thriller The Last Odyssey—all are equally plausible, which is to say, implausible scenarios. Perhaps it’s time to stop fetishizing cataclysmic theatrics, whether for lucre, reputation or political control. Moreover, the untutored enthusiasms of credulous multitudes need to be treated with unqualified skepticism as well.

In short, informed and honorable people know it’s time to take a breather on climate politics. Too little is known and computer models are notoriously unreliable, often reflecting their programmers’ biases or ineptness rather than the real world. This practice of presuming on results is called by those in the field “climate model tuning” or “parameter estimation targeting a chosen set of observations.”

According to the American Meteorological Society, “tuning methodologies may affect fundamental results of climate models, such as climate sensitivity.” There are, as the AMS goes on to admit, “consistency issues across the model and its components,” as well as “limitations of process studies metrics,” such as sampling issues, and also the fact that “the climate system itself is not observed with sufficient fidelity to fully constrain models.” The language is technical but the meaning in layman’s terms is clear: the results of current climate and environmentalism studies, given the “arcane aspect of model construction,” are untrustworthy and corrupted.

What is needed is not ad hoc adjustments to confirm a theory or ratify an antecedent conclusion, but, as the AMS advises, “a vigorous debate on model tuning and evaluation.” There is far too much uncertainty arising from the inductive procedures currently in play.

Michael Crichton was right when he urged in State of Fear that we need “more people working in the field, in the actual environment, and fewer people behind computer screens.” No matter how sophisticated the regressive correlations and projective parameters used in computer simulations may be, there can be no substitute for concrete empirical work. Ultimately, we should agree, at the very least, that a large amount of comprehensive research still needs to be done before the science is sufficiently stabilized to yield results that are not perennially contestable.

The old Latin maxim applies: In dubio non agitur: when in doubt, don’t act. Or at any rate, act circumspectly and with gradually accumulated knowledge rather than with the doctorings of desire, the existence of prior convictions, or a raft of maniacal assumptions.

The Tangled Web of Climate-Change Funders

In our last article, we detailed how a wealthy family established an offshore trust, and funneled tens of millions of dollars from that trust to a 501(c)(3) called The Sea Change Foundation.  This “charitable entity” is a major hub of funding for the climate-change alarmists.

In this article, we’ll trace where the Sea Change Foundation directs these “charitable funds”, and what each of its recipients do with the money.  We shall quickly discover that the money trail becomes a tangled web of Leftist organizations all dedicated the climate alarmism in various forms.

Sea Change’s Form 990-PF for the year ending July 2011 describes its activities in appropriately vague terms:  “Private foundation dedicated to achieving meaningful social impact through leveraged philanthropy that address the most pressing problems facing the world today.”

Could this be any less specific?

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Fortunately, the next four pages make it very clear what “meaningful social impact” on “the most pressing problems” means: anti-fossil fuel and clean energy propaganda, along with and “education” initiatives.

An entity known as “The Energy Foundation” located in – where else? – San Francisco is a favored recipient of funds from Sea Change. There were 16 separate grants made to The Energy Foundation totaling over $17 million.  The “purpose of funds” is sometimes described as to “promote energy efficiency,” sometimes as “educate public about climate and clean energy,” and other times as “reduce reliance on high carbon energy.”

For the period ending July 2015, some 33 separate grants were made to The Energy Foundation (out of 79 total), for more than $16 million.  At least this year, the disclosure was much more transparent.  Every single grant’s purpose was listed as “mitigate climate change.”   Every year it’s pretty much the same pattern.

Sea Change isn’t the only benefactor of The Energy Foundation.  The entity receives hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars from other organizations.  The ClimateWorks Foundation, itself the recipient of over $870 million in contributions between 2010 and 2018, sent $165 million to The Energy Foundation between 2010 and 2012.

Le Rouge et le Noir.

So what is The Energy Foundation?  Sure enough, those diligent Senators that issued a 2014 minority report on these climate change shenanigans figured it out.  It is a pass-through public “charity,” which aggregates hundreds of millions of dollars from Sea Change and other organizations, and then passes much of that money on to other climate activists.  In doing so, the report says:

… they are providing two services: distance between the donor and the activist, and enhancing the clout of the donors as their individual influence is maximized by pooling resources….[and is] utilized by the most powerful EGA members to create the appearance of a more diversified base of support, to shield them from accountability, and to leverage limited resources by hiring dedicated energy/environment staff to handle strategic giving.

Indeed, The Energy Foundation made nearly 500 grants between 2015 and 2017 alone. That’s a lot of passing through of funds, and those funds often aren’t used for charitable purposes but for political activities – and that’s forbidden under federal law.

The IRS strictly prohibits 501(c)(3) entities from “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in a political campaign for or against a candidate for political office.”  So instead, the 501(c)(3) tries to skirt the law by contributing funds to a 501(c)(4), which is permitted to engage in political activities.  There is an oversight issue here, however.  The donation made to the 501(c)(4) must be restricted to a charitable purpose that aligns with the organization's mission, and does not violate the 501(c)(3) nonprofit's eligibility.

Who is watching to make sure these laws are being followed?  Nobody, really.  The IRS should do it, but given the complexity of how money is moving around through all these different entities (and we haven’t even scratched the surface), actual oversight appears non-existent.

It should come as no surprise that the 501(c)(4) entities that are the recipients of such generosity from 501(c)(3) entities are often closely aligned.  The Senate report describes one such example:

For example, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is a 501(c)(4) group with an affiliated 501(c)(3) nonprofit almost identically named the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCV Education Fund). In 2012, LCV Education Fund had total assets of just over $8 million and net assets of over $7.3 million.  According to LCV, LCV Education Fund is “separate from the League of Conservation Voters, with its own mission, programs, and Board of Directors.” Even so, the two groups are very closely intertwined. Forty percent of LCV Education Fund’s Board of Directors also serve on LCV’s Board of Directors.

Yet unless one went hunting for this information, the tangled web of funding would never be exposed.  A visit to The Energy Foundation’s website reveals an optimistic website that talks in vague terms about how great clean energy is, bringing solar power to consumers all over America, providing thousands of jobs in the sector, and to “modernize the power grid.”

Then again, maybe not.

Yet behind all the pretty pictures and generalized terminology, there is nothing of substance.  It’s all sizzle designed to target the ignorant, feel-good nonsense that doesn’t offer specifics.  Take a look at the mission and vision statements of The Energy Foundation:

Mission Statement
Securing a clean and equitable energy future to tackle the climate crisis.

Vision Statement
A healthy, safe, equitable economy powered by clean energy. We believe a thriving clean energy economy can create sustainable opportunities, spur innovation, and protect our climate—for today and future generations.

Nothing on the website discusses the downsides of “clean energy,” or acknowledges the truth about how much fossil-fuel energy is necessary to create solar panels and wind turbines. Few of the stories listing the foundation’s successes go into specifics about a given grant’s success, or the costs incurred by harming the fossil fuel sector.  It also delivers falsehoods about nuclear, coal, and natural gas.

The website touts the Southern Environmental Law Center, which “successfully push[es] regulatory commissions to scrutinize utilities’ operations and long-term planning, and to promote alternatives to proposals for more coal, gas, or costly nuclear plants.” Rather than address the truths about nuclear plants, which produce more energy with the greatest possible existing efficiency, it dismisses its very existence as being “too expensive.”

One becomes dizzy very quickly trying to track all the different recipients of The Energy Foundation’s grants, but the sheer number of happy stories it touts on its websites demonstrates that the climate-change activists have tons of money to spread around and seem keen on hiding how it all gets distributed.

Why?

Beware the Environmental Emojis

It needs to be said: radical environmentalism is both a scam and a destroyer, hiding behind a smiling-face-with-hearts emoji.

I have little doubt that Jim Jones and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, once much-loved messianic figures, would today be staunch environmentalists. In fact, Jones’ “apostolic socialism” movement was called the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, which culminated, as we recall, in “revolutionary suicide.”

And one of the central concepts in the Reverend Moon’s Divine Principle is the responsible stewardship of the earth and a caring attitude for the entirety of nature. This doctrine did not prevent him from incarcerating and brainwashing the members of his Unification Church, while operating among his many businesses a car manufacturing plant in North Korea, a sea food consortium, media and estate agencies, and a munitions racket that funded his mansions, castles and large properties around the world. For some of the shadier characters in the salvation business, a tenderness for nature can become a most profitable proposition.

In fact, liberal environmentalism is the cutting edge of the movement for bureaucratized state control of both private life and free market economics, not only conscripting the media, the NGOs, government departments and the intellectual classes to advance its agenda but shrewdly operating through the very corporations it seeks to regulate by offering tax and other incentives to ensure compliance. And it seems to be working.

The former Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, author of Blue Planet in Green Shackles, is on the mark when he warns of the irrationality of the bullish “global warming” industry: “As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism… Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives.”

Like Vaclav Klaus, we might one day find ourselves living under a regime that would in many ways resemble the Communist nightmare from which half of Europe has only recently emerged. Similarly, in Left in Dark Times, Bernard-Henri Levy speaks of “the former Reds who have now turned Green and the friends-of-nature type of Greens who have now become greens of the revolutionary jihad variety.”

Green has become big business even though its effects have been largely counter-productive. It should be obvious by this time that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the ecological fence. What we see at work is the bizarre confluence of leftist autocracy and wealth known as fascism, that is, corporate totalitarianism, in which capital wealth is placed at the service of but also facilitates the rule of the managerial state. As Jonah Goldberg (among others) elucidates in Liberal Fascism, fascism and communism are kissing cousins, totalitarian movements and regimes that differ only in the disposition of industrial authority, but to the same end.  

Hitler with Opel, 1937.

Corporate totalitarianism is now an internecine phenomenon, predicated on corruption. Robert Morton points out in the first of a multi-part series for The Pipeline that the major “charitable” foundations enjoy lucrative dealings with national competitors while at the same time aiming for oligarchic control of the very nations they putatively serve—all in the name of creating an egalitarian society where the environment is preserved by its self-appointed custodians and stewards, and men can live in harmony with nature. But the underlying motive is almost always money and power.

Morton mentions, for example, the Sea Change Foundation, Renaissance Technologies, Klein Ltd. and their umbrella entity the Lord Jim Trust. These organizations, which have “funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States,” are run by “executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests.” Cui bono? Clearly neither the environment nor the climate. The founders and managers of these firms and trusts are profiting handsomely, as is the state-owned Russian oil company, Rosneft

These left-wing, faux-environmental trusts, foundations and endowments tend to breed like rabbits on steroids. They are owned and managed by obscenely wealthy people who flourish in a privileged milieu of money, influence, business deals and political connections. The Tides Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation (which “contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world,” according to its promo), are among the most notorious of these progressivist organizations. 

Other such concerns, reported by the Capital Research Center, include the California Endowment, the Chicago Community Trust, the Ford Foundation, the Pew Memorial Trust, the Union Square Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Novo Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Ben and Jerry Foundation, the Sierra Fund and of course the George Soros Open Society Foundations.

No names, please.

These enterprises are collectively awash in billions of dollars which they use, under the guise of public charity, to promote their own interests. What author Hayden Ludwig says of Tides seems true across the board: “Using a sophisticated funding model, Tides has grown into a leading platform for laundering away ties between wealthy donors and the radical causes they fund—while generating hundreds of new organizations along the way.” That is, many of these groups are conveniently set up to obscure the connection between donors and grantees, many of these latter violent activists who blockade railways, disable pipelines and foment riots.

Such consortiums, then, are designed “to maximize the flow of donations to far-left nonprofits while minimizing donors’ public exposure to the fruits of their largesse.” The motives behind these left-wing philanthropists and groups are a blend of fiscal and political objectives, promoting a “social justice” agenda, a single-party state governed by a plutocratic and technological elite (called “democratic socialism” and “the Great Reset”), and ultimately a monopoly controlling the nation’s wealth.

The environment in which these plutocratic pseudo-philanthropists function, and which galvanizes their interest is not river, land and air but finance, stocks and power. The only hedges they care about are hedge funds. The only power they are interested in is not electrical but political. The fact that the engine of Green energy will render the landscape unsightly, leak toxins into soil and water, remain variously unreclaimable and undisposable, fail to supply sufficient power to sustain a nation’s infrastructure without oil, gas and coal back-up, cost hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of jobs, and crush the population under a punitive tax-and-utility burden is of no account to them. After all, they are our gracious benefactors, complaisant and benign, “friends of nature” laboring to save the planet, just like Jim Jones and the Reverend Moon.

One thinks of Hamlet: “A man may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”

As responsible citizens, we must do our utmost to put the brakes on hasty and poorly thought-out Green infatuations and should proceed carefully and slowly to develop and introduce so-called “renewables” to offset a portion of our energy consumption without collapsing the economy and without fattening the revenues of parasitical corporations intent on political domination.

Above all, caution, thorough study and robust skepticism should be our watchwords. Beware the smiling emojis.