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.

'Green Energy'? Let's Do the Math

Rather than argue climate politics and ideology, let’s look at math, the language of the universe. Americans own approximately 270 million private gasoline vehicles (GVs) and drive 3.2 trillion miles per year, consuming 123 billion gallons of gasoline.  Why? Because we want to. Because we (still) are free to do what and go as and where we want. Democrats don’t like this. They prefer that we little people live in little boxes wedged-in with a hundred other little boxes, next to the (subsidized) light rail and the (un-air-conditioned) workplace and the (un-air-conditioned) grocery store selling bugs instead of food.

President Brandon read from his teleprompter that he wants to build 500,000 EV charging stations. By comparison, our 279 million GVs require only 115,000 “charging” (gas) stations. “Charging” a GV for the next 400 miles takes about 10 minutes. Absent fast chargers, charging an EV for the next 400 miles can take up to eight hours.  Spending less time per person charging requires having more stations – about four times more. How much CO2 will be expelled into the atmosphere to build this costly infrastructure? As with windmills, arguably more than using them will reduce.

America generates annually, using 99 percent traditional power sources (hydro, coal, oil, natural gas, uranium) about four trillion kilowatt hours (Kwh) of electricity to power our grid and run our homes, offices, stores, internet, etc. NOT in charging 270 million EVs. The additional one percent of electricity generation comes from small-scale solar. The EPA has created a metric, “MPGe,” for EVs. An EV will use 33.7 Kwh of electricity to travel as far as a GV on one gallon of gasoline. Replacing 123 billion gallons of gasoline will require four trillion Kwh, or double what the nation generates and uses today. See the problem? California can’t even keep the lights on today.

Not as easy as it looks.

Let’s add physics to math. How does the electricity we use get to a charging station, whether commercial or at our home? Electrons – electricity – travel in the vacuum of free space at the speed of light, which is the speed of electromagnetic radiation, of which light is a frequency. This speed is three million meters, or about 186,272 miles, per second. Through wire here on earth the electrons travel more slowly, but the speed of the electrical charge moving through a wire is nearly the same as in free space.

The transmission wires from a power plant to an outlet are not batteries; no charge is “held” in them to be used when turning on a light switch or plugging in an EV. The instant the switch is flipped to charge an EV and apply that load to the circuit, that electrical charge is created by releasing water at the dam, burning coal, natural gas or oil, or using the heat of fission at a nuclear plant.

What’s the point? If 270 million cars are sitting at home plugged-in overnight for their change, how much sun is shining? How much wind is blowing? None, and not much. As noted previously, the planet lacks the elements and minerals, and certainly the mining capacity, to create the amount of battery storage required to store all the energy hitting the earth daily from the sun to charge our vehicles overnight.

[A] rough conclusion is that getting all of our electricity from wind, solar and batteries would consume around 70 percent of all of the copper currently mined in the world, 337 percent of global nickel production, 3,053 percent of the world’s total cobalt production, 355 percent of the U.S.’s iron output, and 284 percent of U.S. steel production. Along with unfathomable quantities of concrete–which, by the way, off-gases CO2.

Plugging in the car, closing that circuit, requires that the electricity is created at that instant. Simply – this cannot happen with “sustainable” electricity generation and storage. It is mathematically impossible to replace America’s GVs with EVs and retain anything close to our rate of progress or standard of living. It also is culturally impossible; why do you think the elites have been attacking Western Culture?

Been around for thousands of years.

Economists talk about removing friction from the economy. Removing economic friction ostensibly is why we are going to (be forced to) go cashless, though the reality for that forcing may be entirely different. Moving to EVs will add friction to our everyday lives, to food and material consumption, to transportation, to the entire supply chain and the variety and quantities of goods and services we have come to expect and which all our jobs are designed to extract, produce, move, sell and dispose of. Removing friction aids progress; adding friction reduces progress.

Progress is the more productive use of natural and human resources, including energy. If we want to consume fewer resources, to use less energy, we need more progress...  and more electricity.

This seems to be a conundrum. Do we use less energy shopping online than going to a dozen stores around town on a Saturday? Sure. But do you know how much electricity the data centers hosting our online shopping used over a decade ago…?

In 2010, over 10 percent of electricity in the U.S. was due to computer and IT equipment usage…  assorted US data centers use a collective 7000 megawatts… ; this is more power than is used by the State of Mississippi.

We need electricity to create and maintain our standard of living, to continue to progress. “Sustainable” energy cannot replace hydro, fossil and nuclear, let alone double it. We can neither sustain our current standard of living nor advance it without more energy. This doesn’t factor-in the developing world’s need for more energy to achieve equity in living standards with the first world.

Can we generate the additional electricity we need to continue our current, and future-desired, standard of living? Of course. Can we do so and reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere (which may not be necessary at all, given that the CO2 levels have increased for years without warming)? Yes. How? Nuclear. No other generation capability can do so. Nuclear is such a good idea that even the founder of Greenpeace is all for it. It’s pretty hard to refer to him as an “anti-environmentalist.” But the left won’t allow nuclear, and our rulers don’t want us to have the freedom it provides.

Only way this works, greenies.

Friction – the Green Dream – is anti-progress. Which makes it anti-employment, anti-prosperity, anti-humanity, anti-liberty, anti-freedom, anti-natural resource and anti-future. The only people supporting adding this friction are those not understanding the ramifications, and those not having children so who do not care about the future. The former need to be educated and the latter ignored. The Green Dream is cultural and civilizational suicide. Because math.

Our elites know this. They aren’t stupid. The also aren’t replacing their motorcades with EVs, their seaside homes with inland apartments, and their steaks with bugs. Because they aren’t stupid. The Klimate Kult isn’t about the environment, the planet, the climate. It’s about control.

The Green Dream is about getting us in on the plot to destroy liberty and enable tyranny by brainwashing us to vote for our own demise. To destroy prosperity and spread poverty. To destroy the educated, productive middle class on which civilization depends.

Bernie Sanders may remark that we don’t need one thousand different kinds of deodorant that capitalism can provide and Marxism can’t, but I’m not at all sure I want a government that can’t win a war, can’t keep the homeless off the streets, can’t stop Capitol Cops from rioting against and murdering peaceful citizens, can’t stop BLM from burning down our cities and assassinating law enforcement officials, can’t stop meth and heroin junkies from shooting-up in the streets, can’t stop “teachers” from “teaching” 6-yr-olds how to masturbate, can’t stop pedophiles from attacking our children, can’t police our own border, can’t stop printing money to repair the damage from their last money-printing… telling me I can’t drive my GV to Yosemite or to a steak house.

Do you?

Biden's Energy Policy: Something for Nobody

Imagine being a Biden White House aide tasked with writing this week’s State of the Union address. Having spent weeks crafting an opus of appeals to Congress over Biden’s “climate” agenda, reality barges in and scrambles the planned approach. After all, squandering the inheritance of energy dominance, and ushering in a U.S. equivalent of Germany’s disastrous energy policies here — with a reliance on China for rare earth-mineral dependent "renewables" and  increased reliance on Russian oil — has gone from being weirdly out-of-touch with Americans to utterly disconnected from reality. What to do?

Unfortunately, adjusting to events and scrapping old plans until better times hopefully return was not the option chosen. Acknowledging how policy mistakes have brought the world to this week’s deadly and further-perilous point was therefore plainly out of the question.  Instead, Tuesday night’s speech, after opening with supportive words for Ukraine itself, was otherwise oblivious to the fact of Western Europe now lying prostrate — cornered by its own obsession with Green New Deal policies (called “Net-Zero” over there) into near-total reliance on intermittent energy and unreliable foreign sources of traditional hydrocarbons.

Germany: the old ways are best.

For a few days the line coming from Europe and the Biden administration was a unified one, that the “Ukraine turmoil” shows “fossil fuels” are clearly bad and it’s time to go harder on the windmills-and-sun-catcher fantasy. Apparently, the world only just recently started down that path, and has been insufficiently committed to it or something.

Germany has spent the most time and money pushing the "green" agenda and, as is now well-known, is the worst off among its neighbors for the effort from both economic and national security perspectives. Encouragingly, over the weekend Germany made several “about-face” announcements giving hope that maybe the dogmatic slow-learners in government there are somewhat teachable. A Monday Wall Street Journal story noted, “Germany’s Climate Left Gets Serious: Greens in Berlin start to make responsible energy trade-offs. Is President Biden listening?”.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday made energy a central plank in his overhaul of his country’s foreign policy. In response, leaders of the Green Party in his coalition government have offered the political left around the world a lesson in how to translate lofty ideals into responsible governance. Germany’s overreliance on Russian oil and natural gas has long been a dangerous vulnerability, which Berlin can no longer ignore after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

That said, as of now Germany—spooked by Japan's Fukushima accident a decade ago— still plans to shut down three nuclear power plants this year, in favor of more reliance on Putin’s gas. Dogma and donors are cruel mistresses.

Back here, pre-speech trial balloons told us that, because real energy infrastructure “would take years,” that’s a no-go. And Tuesday night, we heard the now-ritual, “We’ll build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations," and the apparently immediate solution of “double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind and so much more [and] lower the price of electric vehicles, saving you another $80 a month that you’ll never have to pay at the pump.”

That computer won't run on plant fumes, lady.

In normal times, the most galling line might have been the promise that more Green New Deal-style policies will “cut energy costs for families an average of $500 a year by combating climate change.” After years of confessions that energy costs will have to skyrocket “necessarily,” and that “climate change needs higher energy bills,” joining headlines blaring that “Energy bills will have to rise sharply to avoid climate crisis, says IMF,” this cynical gamble on public amnesia showed that selling an ideological agenda is what matters.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki previewed this business-as-usual approach on ABC’s "This Week." A mere eight of the past nine presidents have used the State of the Union speech to push expensive governmental interventions in the name of a renewable energy agenda to replace what works and is found underneath American soil in abundance (the virtues of which Trump deviated from the norm to extoll). Tuesday made that 9 of 10.

Like the Europeans now reaping the climate-policy whirlwind, President Biden and his party are too heavily invested in the matter with their base and (like a growing flock of Republicans) with their donors to let go.

Biden’s use of the State of the Union reflected an unnerving resistance to change course when certain inevitable consequences of the “green” agenda are coming home to roost. Demanding more of the same last night, faster, was simply irresponsible. Failing to exploit one’s own, plentiful resources in fealty to the Green Blob has proved a “lesson in energy masochism” and Russian energy blackmail.

Western Europeans for years have complained that the U.S. was too slow to follow their examples on “climate” and energy policy. Biden's speech was a plea for ideological priorities. Existing law allows Biden to resume energy policies actually grounded in real-world experience. The world should hope that in coming weeks the administration joins, yes, the German Left to acknowledge the world we live in, chucks the green dogma, and does what’s really best for the planet.

Biden's Commie Nominee Falls on Her Hammer and Sickle

Joe Biden has pulled the nomination of totalitarian leftist law professor Saule Tarikhovna Omarova to be his Comptroller of the Currency after her radical, un-American beliefs about banking, energy, markets, and economic freedom received the public airing the democratic process requires.

As reported here, the Kazakh-born immigrant whom Biden chose to oversee the banking system wanted to nationalize Americans’ bank accounts, nuke the energy sector, and deindustrialize the world’s largest economy by building a gargantuan new bureaucracy to implement aspects of both the Green New Deal and the Great Reset.

When Senate Republicans grabbed the low-hanging fruit and threw the would-be banking commissar’s own chilling words back at her during the confirmation process, the Left was predictably outraged at the dirty right-wing tactic of reciting facts. Omarova reportedly claimed she was shocked at the “depravity” of the truthful attacks on her nomination.

Too close for comfort, tovarish.

As justifiably frightened, less-radical Democrat lawmakers ran away, U.S. senator and former bankruptcy law professor and former American Indian Elizabeth Warren tried to save the nomination of her Soviet-raised doppelgänger from an unrelenting onslaught of relevant evidence, accusing Omarova’s critics of red-baiting.

“Saule Omarova will stand up to the giant banks that repeatedly break the law and hurt consumers, which is why Republicans have launched a shameful smear campaign against her nomination,” Warren tweeted the day of the confirmation hearing.

Biden, or whoever actually does his job while he bumbles, off-gasses, and gropes, lamented Omarova’s Pearl Harbor Day withdrawal from consideration for the top banking oversight post:

As a strong advocate for consumers and a staunch defender of the safety and soundness of our financial system, Saule would have brought invaluable insight and perspective to our important work on behalf of the American people. But unfortunately, from the very beginning of her nomination, Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale.

This is obvious nonsense. Nothing “inappropriate” was said about Omarova –her background and personal history were fair game— and she was a perfect fit for today’s Democrats. Omarova failed as a nominee not because she was a small-c communist –the Biden-Harris regime is bursting with such people— but because she was so brazen about it. Her voluminous paper trail of Marxist drivel was easy to find and could not be dismissed as the mere thought experiments the nominee belatedly claimed they were.

In the old Soviet Union of her birth, whose ideas remained so dear to Comrade Omarova, someone like her who became an embarrassment to the regime might be disposed of by mysteriously suffering a heart attack or a traffic accident. Because she's in America, she got off easy.

Partiya Lenina, Sila Narodnaya!

The Biden-Harris regime’s embattled nominee to oversee the banking system is a dishonest small-c communist who aspires to nationalize Americans’ bank accounts, crush the energy sector, and deindustrialize the world’s largest economy by creating a mammoth new bureaucracy to implement aspects of both the Green New Deal and the Great Reset. What could possibly go wrong?

She's not alone. Plenty of Democrats share Comptroller of the Currency nominee Saule Tarikhovna Omarova’s view that the economy is a plaything to be manipulated for political ends.

Fortunately for your wallet, five of the more survival-savvy Democrats –including Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Mark Warner of Virginia— are reportedly defecting from Comrade Omarova’s camp, so it seems unlikely she will survive the confirmation process. Republicans have also vigorously criticized her nomination and the regime is fighting back.

Of course, anonymous comments fed to friendly reporters are often the best way to disseminate smears. In that vein, Bloomberg News reported that an unidentified “White House official said the attacks on Omarova, a Cornell law professor who has been sharply critical of big banks and cryptocurrencies, were so unfair that they smacked of the red-baiting smears leveled by Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.” Except McCarthy was right, though that is a discussion for another day.

Even if the nomination craters, these retrograde Soviet-era policies will live on because they enjoy significant support in Democrat circles, academia, and in the halls of government.

Omarova shares the Leftist regime’s antipathy to American energy independence and said she wants the coal, oil, and natural gas industries to die. “A lot of the smaller players in that industry are going to probably go bankrupt in short order – at least we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change,” she said.

The White House formally sent the nomination to the Senate on Nov. 2 but unveiled the pick two months ago, hyping the demographic boxes she checked – as if her sex and skin color might make her a better commissar. “If confirmed, Omarova will be the first woman and person of color to serve as Comptroller,” the Sept. 23 announcement stated. Omarova was born in Kazakhstan and is a graduate of Moscow State University. A Cornell law professor, she holds a J.D. from Northwestern University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She was also arrested for shoplifting from a T.J. Maxx store in Madison in 1995.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent branch of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, supervises some 1,125 national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches and associations of foreign banks, representing $14.9 trillion in assets, or 65 percent of all U.S. commercial banking assets.

Omarova, 55, claims to be a capitalist –even an anti-communist in her youth— but her recent writings tell a different story. At a Senate confirmation hearing Nov. 18, Omarova portrayed herself in prepared testimony as someone who learned firsthand about the dangers of all-powerful government, saying she grew up “under a totalitarian regime presiding over a failing economy.”

Druzhby Narodnov, Nadyozhny Oplot!

In her charm offensive, Omarova said she was raised by her grandmother “who was orphaned and barely escaped death when, in the 1920s, Stalin sent her entire family to Siberia.” Their crime was “that they were educated Kazakhs who did not join the Party.”

These issues are deeply personal to me. Having grown up in an oppressive state-run system, with no free enterprise and no economic opportunity for people like me, I have a unique appreciation for our dynamic and diverse markets. It is what made my life and success possible, and for that I am forever grateful. Every American family should have the same opportunities that my family has had.

Despite giving lip service to freedom, Omarova supports the abolition of deposit-based banking and imposing a totalitarian banking architecture that would put private deposits in the hands of the government. Put another way, she supports communism, except perhaps for all the messy murders of people deemed obstacles to progress like her grandmother’s relatives.

In “The People’s Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy,” published in Vanderbilt Law Review in October 2020, Omarova argued for the abolition of the current banking system. “After decades of rising inequality, systemic instability, and relentless concentration of economic power, ordinary Americans are demanding a greater say in the distribution and use of financial resources,” she wrote.

She urged that all bank deposits be transferred into “FedAccounts” at the Federal Reserve, a move that would kill off banks funded by deposits. “The Fed’s entire balance sheet should be redesigned to operate as … the ‘People’s Ledger’: the ultimate public platform for both modulating and allocating the flow of sovereign credit and money in the national economy.”

In a draft paper published in July, “The ‘Franchise’ View of the Corporation: Purpose, Personality, Public Policy,” Omarova proposed that corporate charters be issued subject to pledges from the companies that they serve government-approved purposes. This is needed to curb “serious societal harms caused by contemporary corporations’ pursuit of their perfectly lawful business activities—rising inequality, exploitative labor practices, environmental degradation, erosion of democratic process, to name a few…”

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Not willing to allow a crisis to go to waste, Omarova also urged in an August 2020 white paper titled “The Climate Case for a National Investment Authority,” that the “economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic” be used for “a speedy and deliberate move to a massive infrastructure-led rebuilding and ‘greening’ of the U.S. economy.” Such an authority would pursue “the long-term goals of sustainability and decarbonization.” This is the essence of the so-called Great Reset being proposed by the Davos elite led by Klaus Schwab and others.

The Green New Deal movement “has successfully propelled this programmatic vision of an environmentally clean, just, and equitable future to the top of the national policy agenda. The Democratic Party is responding to this enthusiasm accordingly.” Omarova has also proposed the creation of a multi-trillion-dollar National Investment Authority (NIA), “a public entity that would design, execute, and finance a comprehensive nationwide program of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive growth and revival.”

Drawing on the experience of the New Deal era’s logrolling, hopelessly corrupt Reconstruction Finance Corporation that the Eisenhower administration wisely dismantled, the NIA, she wrote, “offers a novel institutional solution to multiple organizational, financial, and operational challenges associated with an ambitious national project to combat climate change." The United States, she wrote, needs “to shoulder its share of the decarbonization load”:

Estimates of the amount of global investment in clean energy required to meet climate targets between now and 2050 range from about $1 trillion to over $3 trillion annually. The NIA will step into this gap and use innovative financing tools to mobilize and boost the flow of public and private capital into socially beneficial ‘green’ infrastructures.

So much for Omarova’s claimed “deeply personal” commitment to free enterprise and economic opportunity. Actions speak louder than words, so cue the marching bands:

Green is the New Black

The entire industrial world is suffering from needless energy shortages caused by efforts to  precipitously switch from conventional  fossil fuels. It’s not true that simply mandating a switch from reliable power sources to intermittent wind, sun, and water will make the change workable when we need it. There’s scarcely a place in the modern world that will not be feeling the high cost and discomfort of a shortage of energy supplies and their increasingly soaring prices. Lebanon already is. Due to a shortage of oil, the two power plants that supply 40 percent of that country’s electricity simply shut down recently.

It’s an extreme case, but even the United Kingdom, the E.U., the U.S., and China are running up against diminishing ability to obtain the necessary energy supplies to keep things running smoothly. Nature has a way of fouling up such plans. Some of the shortages are due to accidents, like the cutting of an undersea cable to the U.K.; some are due to flooding of mines (China has closed down some mines because of it);some are due to draught in other places like America’s West which at the best of times has limited hydropower; some is due to extreme cold or lack of wind that has limited wind power; some is due to hurricanes which shutdown Gulf oil refineries.

These things are not exceptional occurrences, but reasons why redundancy must be built into energy planning. But most of these shortages are due to green policies and stupid political choices, ironically shutting down oil and gas-fired power plants and fossil fuel exploitation and transport at the demand of the greens, who grossly overestimate both global warming and the ability of air, sun, and water to take their place. Indeed, just today the Biden administration announced a new federal project to develop wind farms in American waters, including one near New York City.

Hard to kill King Coal.

Ironically, this means coal -- the dirtiest possible fuel -- is back in huge demand. The U.S. has lots of it, but the greens forced closing of most of the mines and mining is today a highly skilled job requiring substantial training. The miners who left for other work, are not easily replaced so that source is now not readily available to take up the demand.

Despite an import ban on Australian coal, China relented and has begun unloading Australian coal because of an extreme power crunch. Coal is now in demand in Europe as gas prices soar and the E.U.’s energy policies are in large responsible:

The ideological split will drive a wedge between the European Union, a long-time champion of a coal phaseout, and corporate interests as market conditions favour gas-to-coal switching. The switching ratio has slid in coal’s favour in the last weeks of June 2021 and judging by the current futures structure, it will stay in place until at least Q2-2022...

The current coal demand surge should force the European Union to reconsider its position on coal -- as polluting as it might be, it could still help alleviate energy crunches across Europe when the situation demands it. As things stand today, the upcoming four years would see at least seven countries phasing out coal: Portugal (2021), France (2022), UK (2024), Hungary, Italy, Ireland and Greece (all 2025). As Europe has seen nine consecutive year-on-year increases in aggregate coal burns, perhaps more switching flexibility and less bans could still be the way forward.

It’s no secret that the cleanest most reliable fuel – nuclear -- was murdered by the greens (except in France where Macron refuses to shut it down). Then natural gas, the second cleanest, became their target, so now many places are desperate for coal, the dirtiest option.

Was there any point to the war on fossil fuels? Probably not. Judith Curry, one of the most reliable climate researchers, explains how even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits finally that the dire climate models off of which they were working were in substantial error.  The latest report from the IPCC indicates previous models were predicting a hotter climate than warranted.

A substantial number of the CMIP6 models are running way too hot, which has been noted in many publications. In its projections of 21st century global mean surface temperatures, the [report] provides ‘constrained’ projections (including climate models with reasonable values of climate sensitivity that reasonably simulate the 20th century).

GCMs [Global Climate Models] clearly have an important role to play particularly in scientific research.  However, driven by the urgent needs of policy makers, the advancement of climate science is arguably being slowed by the focus of resources on this one path of climate modeling.  The numerous problems with GCMs, and concerns that these problems will not be addressed in the near future given the current development path, suggest that alternative frameworks should be explored.

The shortage of energy supplies is causing food prices to rise, in fact, everything from food to  gasoline to heating and cooling is becoming more expensive. Inflation is not the only rational worry connected to energy shortages. Scarcities in everything from adhesives and paints to auto parts  are already showing up. Russia which is now a major natural gas supplier for Europe  is not only growing richer for the reduction of its usual  energy sources from elsewhere (and Europe’s incomprehensible reduction of its conventional sources) but it has now a more powerful lever to bend the gas dependent E.U. to its will. 

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.

Polling to date has shown people are generally in accord with their propagandized perception of the ill-considered green agenda, but unwilling to pay higher prices and undergo impoverishment to fund it . Expect continued pressure on the government leaders who bowed to the green propaganda (often because it allowed them to shovel government revenues to favored friends and donors) to now shift gears. Even the pork-rich proposed budget framework of the Democrats, contains a unanimously adopted provision to bar implementation of the Green New Deal, an amendment to prevent the promulgation of regulation to ban hydraulic fracturing -- fracking -- which made this country a global leader in oil and gas production, and two amendments barring the Agriculture Department from denying financing to fossil-fuel burning power plants and regulating emissions from farm animals.

It’s a small beginning to what will likely be a multi-national citizen pushback against this nonsense. The one thing politicians worldwide prize over everything else is retaining their personal power, and it’s looking more and more like the Green New Deal will either falter or a lot of political leaders who fell for this irrational program will be shortly out of office.

Enemies of the People: AOC

The Church of Global Warming Will Now Come to Order

Intercessional prayers at my local Anglican church never fail include asking for God’s help in tackling climate change. Suppose I was to ask those expressing concern about climate change whether their concern was related to increased water vapour in the atmosphere, caused by warming engendered by CO2 emissions from burning hydrocarbons fuels; and which, in turn, markedly multiplied the initial warming effect of CO2. If I were ever to ask this question, the odds are that I would get a blank look.

Understandably, people have little knowledge of climate science. And when I say people, I include most politicians, media commentators, Greta Thunberg, Prince Charles, David Attenborough even and, being brutally honest, me too.

Poor sods like me are easily bamboozled by science. The IPCC brigade know that. You might recall “the science is settled” catchcry being used to quell dissent among the hoi polloi. However, such a contradiction in terms proved to be too laughable to survive and it’s now never heard. Nevertheless, to put it mildly, debate is not encouraged. Scientists in institutional settings risk being cancelled for questioning any aspect of the received wisdom. Best to be retired before voicing a discordant opinion.

So we're all agreed then?

The problem is that climate science is no longer in the backroom; delving into esoterica remote from the everyday lives of people in the street. The catholic church stuck too long with Ptolemy’s geocentric theory of the solar system. But, really, did this matter much for trade and commerce? No, it didn’t. That doesn’t apply in this case. In this case, science is in process, through the agency of governments, of upturning the world. And we are told not to ask awkward questions.

After a while, I thought, let them have their theory. The important thing is what’s being done about it. If they would support nuclear energy, then let’s swallow hard and go along with it. For example, you can easily come away with that point of view from reading Michael Shellenberger’s Apocalypse Never. It is a grave mistake.

We are not dealing with rationale beings. For instance, consider AOC and her fellow supporters of the Green New Deal. To them, climate change is a gateway to a brave new world. And that’s not to a world of efficient, affordable, zero-emission nuclear energy. That’s anathema to them. They want to remake society into an inclusive (white men excepted), equitable, diverse, green, nirvana. In reality it would be a Marxist-like hellhole but, hey, they have the best of intentions. Hmm? I wonder. Did Stalin have good intentions?

Our calculations are irrefutable!

For us there is no option. We must go back to the beginning and do “violence” to their inviolable scientific premise. With this in mind, I was attracted to a recent essay I might otherwise have put into the too-hard basket. By Christopher Monckton, it was put up on the site Watts Up With That?

Albeit colourful, Monckton’s a clever guy. Saw him speak in Sydney maybe fifteen or so years ago. I believe, at the time, he described global warming as a monstrous hoax. I don’t think he’s changed his mind. But to his essay. I can’t warrant its worth. I can say, with approval, that it tackles the science. I found it interesting. This is his thesis in summary point form for easy digestion.

In a nutshell, Monckton’s claim is that all of the heat of the earth is complicit in generating feedback warming not just the 8.5 K down to greenhouse gasses. It would explain why model predictions have overegged anthropogenic warming and markedly overshot actual temperatures. Does he have a point? I might have mentioned. Science is not my forte. However, I do believe that science is the turf on which the battle must be reengaged and fought.

Global warming alarmism is like a deep-rooted infection. You’re not going to cure it by trying to make its manifestation more benign. As we speak, parasite upon parasite is gnawing on the supine body-politic of our peerless civilization.

That's the ticket!

Want evidence of these parasites? Look at gargantuan wind turbines, at massive solar farms, at electric cars, at zillions of lithium batteries, at pumped-hydro ventures, at green hydrogen escapades. And what about replacing gas for heating tens of millions of European homes with wind and solar driven electric heat pumps supplementing geo-thermal energy extracted, say, from flooded disused underground coal mines. What could be simpler?

Parasitical boondoggles one and all. Sucking on the taxpayer teat. None able to stand on its own two feet in the marketplace. They will enfeeble us and eventually may lead, one way or another, to our demise.

The received scientific wisdom is wrong. We know that because all of its predictions have been wrong. Normally that would have been sufficient to down the theory. Not this time. Vested interest is at play among institutional scientists, politicians and the aforementioned commercial parasites.

Vested interest is powerful. Some churchmen and papal-court astronomers kept Ptolemaic theory on life support. But it eventually succumbed. Got to keep on. Truth will out. And hopefully, before it is too late.

Green Energy v. Unions, Part Deux

Just a quick follow-up to Michael Walsh's post the other day about the tension between Joe Biden's pro-union rhetoric and the reality of his administration's green energy agenda. The New York Times (of all places) has an article which backs up his point with some pretty shocking numbers:

Accelerating the shift to wind and solar power is likely to create tens of thousands of construction jobs.... But those jobs typically pay far less than those in the fossil fuel industry... [A] standard solar project [employs] about 250 workers for just under a year. About one-third of the workers make $30 an hour or more; the other two-thirds have fewer skills and make hourly wages of less than $20. By contrast, the construction of a gas-powered electricity plant typically lasts two to three years and employs hundreds of skilled, unionized tradesmen — electricians, pipe-fitters and boilermakers — who make $75,000 a year or more, including benefits....

“When you’re talking about the transition to the new green economy, the first question has got to be how are people going to make a horizontal economic move,” said Sean McGarvey, the president of North America’s Building Trades Unions... “I can tell you that in the onshore wind and solar industry, for my members we’re talking in some cases a 75 percent pay cut and they’re losing benefits.” Jim Harrison, the director of renewable energy for the Utility Workers Union of America, said that it typically takes hundreds of workers to operate and maintain a nuclear or coal plant, several dozen at a gas plant — and about a dozen at a wind farm. Solar fields can often operate without a single worker on-site.

Is it any wonder that the Democrats -- with their increasingly radical cultural, economic, and environmental priorities -- have been bleeding private sector union support for years?

In the Union Halls, Strange Bedfellows

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. At what point to labor unions finally figure out that the Democrat Party is not their friend, that modern Democrats are anti-capitalist, anti-working class socialists of at least the limousine-liberal variety, and that members of the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition are simply not to be trusted with vital matters of public policy, especially at election time?

Such reflections arise after reading this Politico story, in which once again the blind and the gullible have fallen for Joe Biden & His Media Robinettes:

Biden's green energy plans clash with pledge to create union jobs

President Joe Biden touted his $2 trillion infrastructure plan as a "once-in-a-generation" effort to tackle climate change while creating millions of "good paying jobs." Some unions warn that it may ultimately cost a lot of jobs, too.

Labor groups, echoed by Republicans in Congress, are cautioning that Biden's plan to hitch the jobs recovery to massive green energy investment could backfire because of the quality of employment it will create and the economic devastation it could cause on rural communities.

The president's push to decarbonize the economy will mean eliminating the kind of steady, fixed-location jobs that come with coal mines or fossil fuel power plants. The Biden plan would require the construction of vast numbers of solar, wind and battery projects, along with potentially new pipelines for carbon dioxide and hydrogen. But construction jobs are temporary and require mobility, and once those projects are complete, they'll need few workers to maintain them and keep them operating.

"The jobs that he talked about yesterday were construction jobs," said Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America, a day after the Biden speech. "We're not seeing anything concrete that our members can look at and say, 'OK, that's where I'm gonna fit in.'"

Well, how about that! The chimera of "clean energy" should always be read as "bogus energy," not to mention "no jobs." One of the lies behind the claims of "renewable" energy is the implication that such energy will always be readily available and will take next to no effort to extract from Mother Gaia. The wind blows and the sun shines most every day, right? And once your solar panels and scenery-disfiguring windmills are up and running, presto!

It's witchcraft...

No more brutal rape of the virgin Earth. No more big sweaty men with dirty paws and grimy fingernails laboring in claustrophobic coal mines or broiling in the west Texas oilfield. Why, this is energy that even the most fastidious Ivy League poetaster can be proud of: just flip a light switch and you're good to go. Why, you can even plug in your electric car as you would a toaster and know that while your muffin is browning up the Earth has begun healing.

The complaints underscore the difficulty Biden will have in pursuing his two most ambitious goals: reviving the labor market by generating millions of jobs for unions — which traditionally thrive in old-line industries — and transforming the U.S. into a clean economy where electric vehicles and battery storage replace coal, natural gas and oil as energy sources.

Difficulty? Impossibility is more like it. There aren't "millions of jobs" lurking in "green" technology, except may in dumping the wind turbines at the bottom of the Marianas Trench when civilized people finally wake up to the environmental destruction they've created in the name of... preventing environmental destruction.

Environmentalists defend the plan as a necessary move away from old technologies to battle climate change. And others say Biden's plan does include tax incentives for manufacturing and a vision for developing a supply chain that could provide the kind of blue-collar, high-skill jobs that used to be in power plants.

Note the operative words in bold. Any story that includes the word "could" in a context of advocacy is lying to you: the word should be "won't."

While unions are strongly supportive of the administration's pro-labor stance, they worry that the end-goal — if not executed properly — could have devastating effects on their members. “From our perspective, if the jobs aren't there when the mine closes, this plan fails," Smith said. "There's a very large disconnect between what the aspirations are here and what's going to end up actually happening on the ground.”

Biden fought to bring white, blue-collar workers back into the Democratic fold after the party lost them to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, and the administration is seeking to prove that this can be both the most pro-labor and anti-carbon presidency in history. But the reality may prove troublesome.

Ya think? Oh well, sin -- or vote -- in haste, repent at leisure. And learn to code, because unless traditional sources of energy production survive, union members will be looking for new jobs in the great green near-future.