Environmental and economic insanity

“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.” [Sam] Ricketts [Climate director for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)] greeted this startling notion with an attentive poker face. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” [Saikat] Chakrabarti continued. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Saikat Chakrabarti, was chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Was” chief of staff. But he perpetrated too many outrageous gaffes even for AOC. Starting with the insanity of Green New Deal, a totalitarian aspiration of which Chakrabarti was the primary author, and culminating with a Tweet “comparing a Native American congresswoman to the Ku Klux Klan.

Yes, it’s a “change-the-entire-economy thing;” to levels of misery not seen since feudalism. And, in exchange for that, we get environmental degradation.

The Environmental Disaster of Solar Energy
“[T]he volume of waste produced by solar panels and wind turbines vastly exceeds that associated with reliable power sources…

“Vastly” is right, and solar panels are the worst offender. Check the chart at the link above.

There’s a lot of highly toxic cadmium behind the glass in those panels.

For Most Things, Recycling Harms the Environment

But for most other things [aside from aluminum cans and corrugated cardboard], recycling harms the environment. I’m not (just) saying it’s costly. I’m saying recycling is harmful. If you care about the environment, you should put your bottles and other glass in the regular garbage, every time.”

There’s a lot of glass in solar panels, which should be put in landfills – except for the Cadmium… Maybe we can put the solar panel waste in Yucca Mountain.

And wind isn’t any better:
Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy
(That article is from 2017, and the only change is that wind has gone from .46% to 2% of electricity generation, according to some more recent articles. Whether that’s all usable power is another question.)

…world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years…

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000.. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry…

…that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale…

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal… Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

…you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year… just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

If the envirostatists really believe we have only a few years to “save the planet,” they should be pushing for a crash program to build nuclear plants. Financed by the money they could save if they stopped flying their private jets to environmental conferences.

See also, The “New Energy Economy”: An Exercise in Magical Thinking.

Earth hour

Apparently that’s today. Easy to lose track. Unless you’re in Venezuela or North Korea, where it’s every day.

It’s “A celebration of ignorance, poverty and backwardness.”
-Ross McKitrick.

My lights are all on, and I think I’ll go start my diesel tractor just for a sniff of the fumes. I’ll drive my car 200 feet to the barn.

Which clueless totalitarian are you?

We need a Facebook quiz to find out which Atlas Shrugged character Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is like.

There might not be a match. Ayn Rand’s fiction has been criticized for unidimensional characterization, but even she would find AOC unbelievable.

Here Are The Most Shocking Proposals From Ocasio-Cortez’ “Green New Deal”

Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t provide any insight into how the trillions of dollars in spending will be paid for other than claiming, “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit”. But as Ocasio-Cortez says, “the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity”.

Provide free, mandatory classes for every citizen in speaking ‘Venezuelan?’

(Update, 12:48PM here‘s one estimate of the cost.)

Here’s a snippet from an FAQ document, published by proponents, describing the wonders of the ‘Green New Deal:’

Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.

Maybe “our new shared prosperity” will pay for little solar-powered methane suction devices attached to the rear of every cow.  “Methane Disposal,” you ask?  Well, we just inject it into the natural gas supply lines…  Oh wait, natural gas will be banned.

OK.  More likely, the cow problem solves itself when meat and milk are banned.

This manifesto attracted so much ridicule that they tried to disappear it from the internet. They forgot the internet is forever. It is humorous reading.

This great leap forward is on top of universal free college education and medicare for all. So, they desperately need the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, King Midas, and the Pope (for divine intervention).

What they’ve got is Modern Monetary Theory:

MMT Sounds Great In Theory, But…

If you haven’t heard about Modern Monetary Theory your IQ is higher than it would have been if you had. It is really neither modern, nor a theory (it’s not actually testable*); and it misapprehends the meaning of the word ‘monetary.’ However, it could be in your future as a general government policy.

This theory of infinite currency printing does not admit to being limited by inflation. Any excess currency is simply taxed back. Inflation is something that cannot happen with a proper implementation of MMT.

Proper. Implementation. By the ‘best and brightest.’ Like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

MMT has an obvious attraction for politicians. We’ve been playing at the edges of it for quite some time.

Let’s close with a last word from Ocasio-Cortez on the “Green New Deal”:

“I think one way that the right does try to mischaracterize what we’re doing as though it’s like some kind of massive government takeover. Obviously it’s not that because what we’re trying to do is release the investments from the federal government to mobilize those resources across the country.”

Obviously! Release! Investments! Mobilize! That explains the whole thing: She’s hired a fluent Newspeak expert. ‘Obviously’ means, “If you don’t understand, it’s because you’re stupid.” ‘Release’ means, oh, I don’t know, “the vast Federal budget surplus being held hostage by Trump’s wall proposal?” ‘Investments’ means, “Impossible government spending.” ‘Mobilize’ means, “At gunpoint.”

*Proponents will say, “It is testable, but it’s never been tried.” Well, that’s what they say about Communism, too. But, let’s even ignore the actual workings of an economy and admit that MMT depends on the refined judgment of virtuous politicians zealously balancing currency flow. And if you imagine that can be accomplished, you run into an even bigger problem: To do their job, these paragons also have to possess instant, encyclopedic, perfectly accurate information about every aspect of that economy.

Colluding with the Russian Oiligarchy

Russian trolls’ post-election task: Disrupt Florida and other U.S. energy pipelines

Russia’s hidden hand in the Florida pipeline protests was extensive, according to sources familiar with the operations. At least eight Russian accounts, most tied to the troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency, sent at least 16 social media messages excoriating the Sabal Trail pipeline or retweeting messages from one of its most prominent opponents, a frequent guest on RT. The tweets were sent to a total of more than 40,000 followers as well as anyone else who saw them via hashtags.

This is just one example of Russian manipulation of useful Green idiots. The Russians do a lot of this in Canada, too.

If we’re worried about Russian election shenanigans, we should be equally concerned about this tampering. It’s gone on longer, involved more money,  is intended to reduce US national security and divide Americans, while boosting Russian oil revenues and world-political influence.

Some environmental news

In case you missed these.

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy
Supporting wind power is virtue signaling, but it should be called virtue noise.

The real strike price of offshore wind
If you oppose nuclear power, you don’t care about the planet.

Climate scientists admit they were wrong on climate change effects
Thank you, Captain Obvious. It’s been clear the models are wrong for quite some time. I guess it’s time to start walking back the credibility destroying apocalyptic predictions.

IS THE EARTH’S CLIMATE HISTORY LARGELY A FRAUD?
Fudging the numbers?

Annnd… we have to visit the hurricane claims:
New book: ‘Why Hurricanes Can’t Be Blamed On Global Warming ‘
Since we’ve had 12 years without any, there’s a pent up need to blame ‘climate change’ when we get some.

Objectionable

Impossible Environmentalism: Green groups promote utopian fantasies

The contradictions are easy to understand when you realize most “environmentalist” poobahs care nothing about the environment: They care about power.

Any solution to their hyperbolic doom-saying reduces that power.

From edible veggie-burgers to carbon free nuclear power, they object to anything which could remedy their objections.

The sky continues to fall

World has three years to prevent dangerous climate change, warn experts
— Chicken Little

What would we do without experts?

Doom predictions on the first Earth Day in 1970:

Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.
— George Wald, Harvard Biologist

It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.
— Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
— Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.
— Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Oops. Guess the science was less settled than we thought.

Of course, failure has not diminished this heated rhetoric over the last 47 years. We’re always just a few years from climate catastrophe.

For another 107 examples, see this.

No, really

The WaPo says, The electoral college is thwarting our ability to battle global warming

[T]he electoral college will have a lasting legacy on all of our lives through climate change. The combination of two administrations headed by presidents who lost the popular vote has and will slow our progress down, and that delay contributes to an ever worsening global climate problem.

You needn’t bother to RTWT.

Picking losers

From National Review:

SunEdison, which billed itself as the “largest global renewable energy development company,” is on the verge of bankruptcy after sucking up $650 million in federal grants and tax credits and $846 million in federal loans, loan guarantees, tax-exempt federal bonds, and federal insurance.

Also in April, Spanish energy company Abengoa SA filed for bankruptcy in Delaware, having disappeared $2.6 billion in federal loans and loan guarantees, as well as $986 million in federal grants and tax credits.

That adds up to about $5 billion taxpayer dollars, 70% of it to a foreign company.

Maybe MIT Technology Review should revisit its story on the limits of “clean coal” for balance.

#Cleanfail

Since I posted Headline at MIT Technology Review: (April 15, just below), it has been nagging at the back of my mind that “clean coal” projects probably were not exempt from the crony capitalist excesses of the eco-industrial complex. So there was likely more to the Peabody Energy bankruptcy story than simply deploring all the failed wind/solar/battery #Greenfail projects we’ve funded. I had some time this morning to check.

Turns out, the Feds spent $2.5 billion between 1978 and 2008 on “clean coal.”

In 2002, the Bush administration picked up the baton and allocated almost $2 billion (of which $200 million was actually spent) over 10 years to the idea. They killed it in 2008.

It was revived in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package before being killed again in 2015.

So, “clean coal,” even though industry had to pay 50% of project costs, is another example of the government promoting failed environmental projects. In this case, deciding to go the additional mile to make sure the entire coal industry disappears.

All that money could have resulted in quite a bit of carbon-emissionless nuclear power, and it would have been financed entirely by industry – if they’d been allowed to.