The 'Climate Change' Casino—and the Risks Thereof

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What risk? The science is settled!

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

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

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

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

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Cancelling

I took an extra long shower, after a very hard workout and two glasses of champagne, to keep me from calling my client and screaming like a crazy person. Truth be told he deserves to be yelled at.  We have a planet to save and we act like it can just wait.  For the third time in two years, Davos is being cancelled as if we have no resource or ability to get it managed. Produced by the WEF, it is the pet project of the world’s most facile and capable billionaires turned eco-warriors, and yet here we are—crouching behind a closed door as if scheduling a conference is a Sisyphean task.

Trust me I could do it.  Singlehandedly.  Not to mention the people who are sitting in air-conditioned cubicles for this express purpose.  I understand Switzerland wants no part of us, having locked down tighter than a drum, but surely there are dedicated folks who arrange software conferences and wedding fairs. Where might they be? Las Vegas? Orlando? I just can’t sit idly by while our planet heats up and our oceans fill with covid masks and PCR tests.  

Don’t think me callous for turning on lovely Davos so readily. Some of the best parties and fondest memories have happened there over the years. But THE POINT was to save the planet, and it just can’t wait for zero-Covid. But oh how I’m going to miss seeing the jets from every conceivable country lined up—like united soldiers in service of winning the war on climate change. Last year only a literal handful of us went… those of us with meetings that couldn’t be rescheduled or ski holidays that had already been booked. The promise was, that we would do the work in Singapore eight months later, but that got cancelled too. 

Do you have any idea how expensive this is?

But first things first. Calm down sufficient to have a sane conversation with my client, and then propose other options. Probably not a good idea to sound like mean mommy even if he could use a spanking now and again.  If only St Barts or Lyford could accommodate us all, half of us are already there.

After ordering sandwiches and a large pot of tea to clear my head, I came up with the conclusion that I needed some new blood—someone else to help me poke a stick at the bottoms of these eco-snorers. Enter the swashbuckling young eco-warrior currently embracing vivariums and eco-conscious social media whom I had hoped to connect with in Davos anyway.  I decided to reach out to him and propose a partnership to produce a sophisticated, and effective eco-summit. This could work. I’d have him—the debonair young CFO— to help with scope, but the overseeing would require someone like me, with the vast connections, maturity, and experience to chart the course.  Wiping some butter from my fingers I rang…

‘Yes, Jennifer.’ Daddy answered.  

‘I need your help with a brilliant endeavour I’ve in mind—and alternative to Davos.’ I said.

‘An alternative? Would that be one in which you don’t blame mankind for the natural course of things?’

‘No, not that.  One in which we don’t reschedule. One that actually happens.’

‘So you’re talking virtual?’ 

‘NO! I’m talking the States.’

‘… where you haven’t wanted to live since Covid began.’

‘Well…yes’. I said. ‘But that’s—California. I was thinking more like… Florida.’ 

‘I see. So you propose to ring up Klaus Schwab and suggest…The Magic Kingdom.’

Wilkommen, Klaus!

‘NO, Daddy. Forget him! What has he done? Preside over three cancellations while both the planet and my blood boil? No! I was thinking of the young man you were talking to at Balnagown—he was planning a biosphere II.’

‘Ah yes. Because the first one was such a success.’

‘Daddy! Forget that!’

‘I can’t possibly forget.  The first attempt was an unmitigated disaster and he now plans to re-stage this debacle—in outer space.’

‘What’s wrong with that? The idea is to build a fully recycling ecological system.’

‘Which we couldn’t even manage on earth. Sweetheart, you may not remember that cock-up that dominated every news programme, in painstaking and sanctimonious detail, but scientists had to open the thing up and go in—several times.  Early on they ran out of food.  Then it was the air, and then the water, and two of the scientists, I mean brave heroes, had a near meltdown. Eventually they had to let the poor folks out and scrap the whole lot. It was an unqualified disaster. No— a manmade disaster. Which just proved that our planet is indeed the place to be.’

‘Fair enough, but he’s done other things.’ I huffed.

‘Like drop out of school at sixteen.’

‘Like start a whole company that sold electronics and phone chargers.’

‘…That were manufactured in China, sweetheart, I’m not sure he’s your poster boy. And he was particularly proud of an LSD trip that he said retooled his mind, of which I have no doubt.’

‘Right.’ I said, taking a breath. 

I was thinking something along these lines.

‘You see Jenny, it’s not just the absurdity of building a biosphere on another planet, his actual plan was space as a teaching tool—that if we could engineer a way to live in space, we could use those same systems to navigate more responsibly on this planet. Surely you must see the idiocy of trying to engineer a way to live in a place where we don’t know how to live, in order to live where we already know how to live.’

Of course he had me with that. I took a gulp of water, and steadied myself.  ‘Daddy, listen, I am determined not to let another year go by where we don’t actually DO something about this planet.’

‘OK, I’m sorry, baby. Let’s figure this out. He had some success with locally sourced food, am I right?’

‘No. Total failure. ,You’re thinking of my friend, Sheherazade. Hers was a success. But then she quit it, and married Zac Goldsmith. And then they divorced, and he ran for mayor, and then she dated that Mexican movie director who won all the awards, and then she dumped him and he lost every nomination the next year doing that film you called the dog poop movie.’

‘Right. So, what about a totally green conference? One where you do it virtually and no one increases his carbon footprint.’ 

‘That’s the worst idea you have ever had.’

‘I’m glad you think so. I just never know how far you green-niks are willing to take things. Listen, why don’t you finish up there, come home, get dressed and we can all go to the New Year’s party together.  We could share a cab… it’s very green.’ 

‘Daddy, he’s an OIL BILLIONAIRE! I’m not saying I don’t want to go… I’m just saying it’s silly to be talking about green.’

"I’m so glad you think so.’

Build Back Biden

Want to know why gas prices are so high? The Daily Signalthe publication of the Heritage Foundation, has prepared this short video to explain it all for you.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit via Executive Order 13990. With the stroke of a pen, Biden canceled a project that would have boosted U.S. gross domestic product by more than $3 billion, carried 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada to the United States, and directly and indirectly provided up to 26,000 jobs—11,000 of which were instantly lost.

Climate czar John Kerry lent a sympathetic voice to the plight of the newly laid-off workers: “Go to work to make the solar panels.”

At least there's no more mean tweets!

Higher Prices? Ho Ho Ho, Yes

During a recent White House briefing, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was asked by a reporter how much oil is consumed on a daily basis in the U.S. She was outlining Biden’s strategy to release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Reserves. By adding to the national supply of oil, goes their thinking, "adequate supply" can be maintained amid global shortages and increasing gas prices. However, there are a couple problems with their ill-conceived strategy.

Granholm was  unable to answer the reporter’s question, instead insisting that she would need to check the number. What everyone already knew is that the amount the administration is seeking to release from the U.S. Strategic Reserves represents about 2.6 days of added supply… hardly a game changer in a supply constrained market.

It will take a lot more than a press conference and a paltry 50 million barrels of oil to repair the economic damage brought upon America by this administration’s policies. Joe Biden’s policies have been devised to create oil and gas shortages, thus ensuring higher prices for consumers, and moving toward parity with wind and solar sources. It is a strategy the Left has been working on for years, and one they unleashed upon this country within hours of taking office. It is the reason America is now experiencing inflation, supply chain pressures, and economic malaise.

Dress warm this winter!

Charged with regulating the oil and gas industry, the depth of Granholm’s ignorance about how the industry she regulates works, is surpassed only by her lack of understanding of the economics of oil and gas. Up until the Biden administration's war on the oil and gas industry, the men and woman of the industry have achieved countless efficiencies through technological innovation that have repeatedly overcome industry challenges and difficult market conditions. Reliable, inexpensive energy after all is the backbone of any robust modern economy.

Granholm's jaw-flapping was further punctuated by her attempt to blame the oil and gas industry for supply shortages that her administration has worked hard to create. Asserting that oil and gas companies are simply trying to make lots of money, Granholm revealed the second problem with her strategy.

The supply and demand curve is one of the most basic concepts in economics. Almost immediately upon entering office, the administration and its surrogates began working to disassemble the infrastructure that until their arrival had delivered inexpensive energy to all corners of the country and overseas. Offering up "climate change" and institutional racism as the cornerstones of their destructive strategy, the administration has diligently worked to increase the price of oil and gas by attempting to remove the systems in place that inexpensively distribute oil and gas. Consider their impact in less than one year.

Hope they don't fart.

But the administration went even further. They engaged multiple other agencies to harangue businesses outside the oil and gas industry. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration -- part of Pete Buttigieg's crack Department of Transportation -- will push utilities and gas companies to "fix" leaks in natural gas distribution lines. The Department of Agriculture will be forcing farmers and ranchers to reduce methane emissions from manure, and the Department of Energy recently launched a program to force the adoption of heat pumps and induction stoves to reduce the need for natural gas inside homes and apartments. The Bureau of Land Management is planning to charge companies royalties for any gas that is vented or flared on public lands. One need not be an economist to understand that the heavy-handed regulatory maneuvering being undertaken by this administration will increase the price of oil and gas, and just about everything else.

So while Secretary Granholm touts the need for less expensive gas, perhaps the most obvious place to look is inside her own administration. Repeatedly devising plans, and launching initiatives intended to hamper the markets and diminish economic activity, will deliver higher prices to all. Merry Christmas America.

At the Pump, Grasping at Straws

Score one for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party:

As the official twitter account of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows above, Joltin' Joe has successfully turned around the elevated gas prices that have been bedeviling his administration and dragging down his poll numbers. Looks like smooth sailing ahead, perhaps with an increased seat count in the upcoming mid-terms! Might as well call off the 2024 election, because Biden already has it in the bag.

Except... if you look a little closer at this chart, maybe it isn't all that impressive. First of all, the Y axis isn't showing price changes in dimes or even pennies. It's showing them in fractions of cents. Consequently, in the two weeks depicted in the graph above, the average price of gasoline went down by all of two cents. Which is to say, almost not at all.

Apparently what happened here, as Abigail Marone helpfully illustrates on Twitter, is that heterodox liberal commentator Matt Yglesias sarcastically tweeted out the above graph (sans numbers) with the comment "Gas prices steadily falling since Biden signed the infrastructure bill and fixed inflation." White House Chief of Staff (and de facto president) Ron Klain saw the tweet and, assuming it was legit, liked it and fed it to the DCCC as if it actually meant something. Which it doesn't.

All of which is to say, 1) We're led by idiots who, 2) Can't understand graphs or statistics (cf. our national Covid response), and 3) as the 2024 elections near, the Dems are getting desperate.

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:

Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Cringe

This is painful:

Of course, while Secretary Granholm was doing her best Dusty Springfield, a federal judge was issuing a nationwide injunction halting the Biden Administration's attempt to end all oil and gas exploration on federal land. I'm just glad she was having fun as her life's work began to go up in smoke.

A Magic-Pudding Antipodean Plan to Reach Net-Zero

The Liberal and National Parties form Australia's current coalition government. As leader of the Nationals, the junior coalition partner, representing regional and rural areas, Barnaby Joyce is Australia’s deputy prime minister. He came to global attention, you may recall, in 2015 when he threatened to “euthanise” Johnny Depp’s illegal-alien dogs, Pistol and Boo, unless they were removed tout de suite back to California.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison needed Barnaby to bring the Nationals onboard the concept of net-zero. The supposedly right-of-centre Liberal politicians all now embrace climate change. Morrison himself has no philosophy except to be re-elected. Barnaby is a climate skeptic as are some of his party colleagues. But they voted, and pragmatism won the day.

Nirvana ahead! All aboard!

What does pragmatism look like? In this case, twelve Nationals against nine voting in their party room to keep the government together and heighten their chances of being returned to power when the federal election is held early next year. Was there any high principle or conviction involved? Hardly.

This is Barnaby just a little over a year ago: “prospects of getting out of that [party] room as leader [having agreed to net zero] would be zero.” And here he is a few days ago on October 25: “The party has clearly said that they are in favour of a goal of net zero by 2050. I am now absolutely onboard…”

What we have is the deputy prime minister of the country being personally opposed to the very centrepiece of government policy; a policy that will define the battle lines in the forthcoming election. He should resign you might think. Not if you like being deputy prime minister.

There is an excuse of sorts for all of this. Morrison needed to go to Glasgow promising net-zero or risk Australia's becoming an international pariah and suffering retribution from international capital markets. It’s expedient for the U.K., Europe, the United States, woke corporates, and billionaires to point the finger at Australia (less than 1.2 percent of global emissions). No good blaming much bigger fish: China, India, Russia. They’ll shrug it off or, worse, take umbrage. Better to pick a more compliant mark. Kick the cat, so to speak. And Boris Johnson repaid Australia’s redemptive compliance by calling it “heroic.” Morrison purred.

If he only had a brain.

My own view is why stop at net-zero? Go for broke, gross-zero. Anything is possible with Morrison’s costless plan. It won’t cost Australians a cent and will lead to higher incomes and more jobs, he promises. I don’t know why it wasn’t thought of before now. Years ago. And surely, logic says, if net-zero is so beneficial, gross zero would be even better?

The costless plan involves public spending of many billions of dollars; though, apparently, Australian taxpayers won’t be touched for the tab. It’s one of those magic-pudding plans (“The more you eats the more you gets”) which more than pays for itself. So, what is the plan?

Here it is below in a nutshell. It has to be in a nutshell. There are no costings or details.

First, the plan banks the fact that emissions are already 20 percent lower than in 2005. I don’t quite know how that works. Never mind, most of another 40 percent comes from green hydrogen. Australia’s former chief scientist, Alan Finkel, says that the export potential “is almost beyond imaginings.” He’s right, for once. It is beyond imaginings. It’s worthwhile to continually remind ourselves why coal, oil and gas, of which Australia has plenty of the first and third, are so good. It’s because they are the energy. Dense energy. They readily burn without much ado.

Green hydrogen is only energy once much more energy is expended making it into energy. To begin with, energy is required to purify copious quantities of water. To end with, energy is required to convert hydrogen to ammonia, for safe transportation, and to convert it back for use. In the middle is an energy intensive electrolysis process to isolate hydrogen from water. And all the while, solar farms and wind turbines occupying vast areas of land are needed to supply “clean” energy to make it all possible.

Quite apart from its sheer inefficiencies and costs, and assuming it can be done at all at scale, it poses untenable national-security problems. When all of your power plus fuel for transport is sourced from untold acreages of solar panels and wind turbines, the targets are expansive and unmistakable and the effect of them being hit is catastrophic.

Sitting ducks.

The hallmark of the plan, its electoral selling point, is net zero through "technology not taxes." Ergo, another 15 percent of the descent to net-zero is achieved by piggybacking on global technological developments, which are apparently afoot. Yes, I’m not quite sure what that means either. Another 10 percent comes from storing carbon in soils and plants and from buying offsets from abroad. The final 15 percent comes from unknown technological breakthroughs. Something will turn up. Not making this up. I’m essentially quoting from the plan, if not Mr Micawber his own good self.

The plan, of course, isn’t a plan at all; it’s a wish list. Hopes and dreams. Suspend disbelief, and you will be able to look forward to 2050 when there will be more than 100,000 more jobs than would otherwise exist. Each Australian will be $2,000 better off. Electricity bills will be lower than they are today. Australian exports will more than triple between 2020 and 2050, even though global demand for coal and gas will plummet.  Hydrogen will more than take up the slack. Warp-speed travel will also take Australians to the stars and beyond. I made that last bit up. It isn’t in the plan; unlike the rest of the faery tale.

All isn’t fantasy. Realism breaks through when it comes to methane. Australia is one of the few countries which has more cows and (many) more sheep than it has people. Awa’ to Glasgow and pressure on Australia to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent on 2020 levels by 2030. Apparently, Biden’s handlers are keen. Suspecting, I imagine, that Trump supporters eat lots of hamburgers.

Cows belch methane; as do sheep to a lesser extent. And there is little you can do about it apart from culling. Barnaby and his mates would never agree to that. Millions of disappeared animals is just too tangible. Best to remain in technological never-never land where nothing is remotely tangible. Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain.

St. Gaia's Academy for Brainwashed Children

Another day, another example of children being indoctrinated by Green ideologues. This one is out of London, Ont., where John Paul II Secondary School has proclaimed itself "Canada's first self-sufficient, carbon neutral high school." JPII spent $9.7 million installing a geothermal heating and cooling system as well as 2,700 solar panels to provide electricity. According to the school, this will "reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near zero, and remove almost 277 tons of carbon every year."

I am, of course, skeptical of those numbers -- projects like this tend to be at least partially eye wash, running the place on solar panels until, you know, it rains, at which point they plug into the local power grid and keep the juice flowing just like everyone else. And then there is the fact that solar panels themselves require many times more mined materials to produce compared with machines that run on hydrocarbons. Plus they need to be replaced every 25 years or so, and are nearly impossible to recycle, often ending up in landfills where they leach chemicals into the ground.

But whatever -- it's the school's money! (Or, half of it is -- the rest comes from the government, that is to say, tax-payers). If you think of this as a giant science-fair experiment, equivalent to generating an electrical current by poking a bit of zinc and a piece of copper into a lemon, then it isn't so grating.

But what I find concerning is the way the students speak about the project -- "I've watched as the world has slowly deteriorated and I want so desperately to be part of something that I know will cause good change," said one. And another, "I believe that it's very important to be part of this project in order... to help our Mother Earth who is suffering right now," a creepily pagan image for a student at a purportedly Catholic school.

I don't mean to mock these kids. They're obviously just parroting what they've been told. And if their high school is anything like the one I attended, for every go-getter involved in a project like this, there are likely ten kids rolling their eyes or just happy to miss calculus to go to the solar panel ribbon-cutting.

Still, I can't help think of the poster child for eco-anxiety, Greta Thunberg, who has her parents and teachers around her to blame for her seemingly compromised psychological state. Sure she's famous -- maybe that's part of the problem -- but her worldview is extremely bleak. And, what's more, she's traded any semblance of a normal childhood to become an activist in a cause whose end goal -- net-zero carbon emissions within a few decades -- just isn't going to happen. It's a grift, and she is a victim more than a perpetrator.

Greta, and her confreres at John Paul II, would have been better off if they'd had a few sane adults around them to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Biden's Line 5 Fecklessness is No Laughing Matter

Looked at from a certain angle, there's a delicious irony to the worldwide energy crisis going on while the world's leaders gather in Scotland to celebrate the ongoing energy transition which is, you know, the cause of the crisis. Europe's transition to so-called renewable energy hit the world's most predictable snag when the North Sea's wind stopped blowing and the wind turbines stopped turning, leading to an explosion in energy prices. The situation in Europe (plus the intransigence of OPEC) is having knock-on effects in the American market as well, but those have been exacerbated by the fecklessness of the Biden administration, whose policies -- from the Keystone XL cancelation to the oil and gas leasing ban -- have helped transform the U.S., in record time, from a net energy exporter to a nation facing shortages and sky-rocketing rates.

Ironic and amusing, but also scary. Our leaders have made no attempt at course correction, even as it becomes increasingly clear that they're building our foundation on sand. To stick with the domestic situation for a moment, even reliably leftist organs have begun to say that last week's loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race and near-loss in the race in New Jersey signal widespread voter discontent with their radicalism. Biden ran as the Return-to-Normalcy candidate, and a majority of Americans were happy to vote for that. But when he got to the White House he began to govern like the love child of White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo and enviro-truant Greta Thunberg, embracing policies he didn't run on and Americans don't want.

Even so, Sleepy Joe doesn't look like he's backing down. Take the drama surrounding Enbridge Line 5, for example. Regular Pipeline readers know all about Line 5 -- it's a pipeline which carries 540,000 barrels of Canadian petroleum products per day from Alberta to Ontario by way of Michigan, where governor Gretchen Whitmer and her environmentalist cronies are trying to shut it down. That would be a catastrophe for Ontario and Quebec, immediately costing the provinces tens of thousands of jobs and cutting off a major oil and gas artery to some of the coldest parts of populated Canada. The U.S. wouldn't fair so well either -- half of the propane used in Michigan is transported through Line 5, and much of the oil and gas that ends up in Ohio and Pennsylvania as well.

Naturally, the anti-energy Biden Administration is openly flirting with the idea of giving Whitmer what she wants:

White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the administration is considering shutting down [Line 5], as President Biden finds himself caught between an environmental promise and looming gas price hikes. The administration is exploring the possibility of terminating the Line 5 pipeline... and gathering data to determine if shutting down the line will cause a surge in fuel pricing. 'Yes, we are,' Jean-Pierre said, asked in a news briefing if the administration is 'studying' the impacts of a potential shutdown.

They're "gathering data to determine" if this will cause a surge in fuel prices? An Intro to Economics textbook should contain all the data they need. And, failing that, the evidence of the past ten months or so.

Asked about the consumer costs associated with shutting down Line 5, and their anti-resource policies generally, Biden's Canadian-born energy secretary Jennifer Granholm laughed and  proclaimed that energy prices are going to spike no matter what they do. "Yeah, this is going to happen. It will be more expensive this year than last year," Granholm told CNN. It's as if they haven't considered how bad this can actually get.

It's all one big joke to them: