Saturday, November 30, 2019

10 Things Climate Alarmists Don't Want You to Be Thankful For

Group of unrecognizable people toasting with wine during Thanksgiving dinner at dining table.
(Getty Images)
This Thanksgiving, Americans have a great deal to be thankful for, but climate alarmists would ruin much of it. Thanks to free markets, relative global stability, and the explosion of technology involving fossil fuels, Americans enjoy an unprecedented degree of prosperity — and the blessings have spread to billions across the world. Climate alarmists warn that this progress is unsustainable if not somehow evil, but there are many reasons to celebrate it.
The Heartland Institute released videos celebrating "the ten facts climate alarmists don't want you to be grateful for."

10. Global greening

Vegetation growth has increased across the earth thanks to carbon dioxide.

9. Higher life expectancy

In the past 60 years, global life expectancy has increased by 48 percent. In 1950, people could expect to live 48 years, on average. In 2015, the number had increased to 71.4 years.

8. Failure of the Green New Deal

The Heartland Institute celebrated that "Americans unequivocally rejected the Green New Deal," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's plan to change the entire economy — I mean, "save the earth." Her resolution called for rebuilding every single building in America, among many other things. It has been estimated to cost between $49.109 trillion and $93 trillion — and there's good reason to believe both are underestimates. The first five years of the Green New Deal would cost $250,000 per household, on average. Even taxing the rich at 100 percent would fall trillions short of the bill.
The U.S. Senate rejected the Green New Deal, and the House has not yet voted on it. Sadly, I think this video celebrating its defeat is premature. Many of the Democrats running for president in 2020 have endorsed the Green New Deal or some version of it. All the same, Americans should celebrate the temporary defeat of this dangerous bill.

7. Exiting the Paris Climate Accord

The Heartland Institute is right to celebrate America's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord under Trump.

6. Transportation

We should all be thankful for modern transportation. Not only can we cheaply travel across continents and oceans, but trucking transported $721 billion worth of goods across America in 2017. Modern city life would not be possible without it.

5. Where's the beef?

Climate alarmists have encouraged Americans to consume less meat, and emphasized the detrimental environmental impact of cow farts. An unofficial document connected to the Green New Deal — and later withdrawn by AOC's staff — mentioned cow farts, and Bill Nye wants to tax them. Other alarmists have suggested we go vegan to save the earth.
Beef is the second-most consumed meat in the U.S., and cows represent only about 2 percent of the U.S.'s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Americans should be thankful for their beef.

4. Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing has revolutionized American oil production, leading the U.S. to become a net exporter of oil for the first time in decades in 2018. According to some estimates, fracking saved Americans $1.1 trillion over the last decade.

3. Warmer weather saves lives

If the globe really is warming, that may be something to be thankful for. Cold weather kills 20 times more people than hot weather.

2. Petroleum

Alarmists may demonize oil, but without petroleum, we wouldn't have: Aspirin, bicycle tires, cell phones, chewing gum, computers, toothpaste, water bottles — oh, and solar panels!

1. The American patriot

Heartland's last video praises the Americans who fought and died for our freedom. While I heartily agree that we should be extremely thankful for our veterans, the Founders, and the founding generation, I don't think climate alarmists necessarily demonize American patriots. Let's be thankful for our veterans, and on this point at least, climate alarmists should agree with us.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.



Before I left the country last week, the biggest news on the Democratic nomination contest front was Pete Buttigieg’s surge. This was big news mainly because of the threat Buttigieg suddenly posed to Elizabeth Warren in Iowa, not because Buttigieg has much chance of winning the nomination.
But now, the big story for the Democrats is the decline in national support for Warren. A month ago, polls consistently showed Warren’s support to be in excess of 20 percent. Nearly all of them had her in second place, and many had her within six to eight points of Joe Biden.
However, the current Real Clear Politics average (Nov. 17-26) places Warren third, 12 points behind Biden and 2.5 behind Bernie Sanders. Buttigieg, who a month ago had about one-third the support of Warren, now trails her by only four points.
What happened? My sense is that Warren committed a strategic error. She passed up the opportunity to occupy a lane that would likely have given her a clear path to the nomination — the lane between Sanders and Biden.
Sanders, a socialist, and Biden, a mainstream Democrat, have always defined the outer bounds of a nominee acceptable to the party. This makes them inherently vulnerable — Sanders for being too extreme and hard to elect; Biden for being too cautious and out of step with the emerging party base.
Absent a Biden implosion, therefore, the most promising path to the nomination for any candidate other than Biden or Sanders has always been located in the middle of the ideological gap between these two. And, given the power of identity politics within the Democratic party, the ideal candidate to fill that lane has always been a woman.
For a short time, Kamala Harris looked likely to sprint through this lane. Among other problems, however, she seemed too self-consciously trying to split the difference between Biden and Sanders. She came across as wishy-washy and inauthentic.
Harris’s collapse left the lane between Sanders and Biden wide open for Warren. Unlike Harris, Warren possessed the policy chops to navigate that lane. In addition, she had managed to gain credibility with the left without unduly alienating the party’s establishment.
But instead of filling the lane between Sanders and Biden, Warren opted to compete head-to-head with Sanders in the far left lane. It is Buttigieg, not Warren, who has filled the “middle” lane, to his great benefit.
By declining to increase her ideological distance from Sanders, Warren has saddled herself with the Vermont socialist’s vulnerabilities. To an increasing number of Democrats, she too seems extreme and difficult to elect.
Nor, despite her gender, does Warren have an advantage over Sanders when it comes to winning the support of far left Democrats. To many in this cohort, Sanders comes across as more ideologically genuine. It’s hard to out socialist a longtime socialist.
Warren hasn’t always been a hard leftist. It shouldn’t have been difficult for her to distance herself from Sanders. Yet, she chose not to. Why?
Maybe she has become a true believer. I doubt it, though, because Warren now, belatedly, is trying to tack back towards her party’s center.
My guess is that Warren simply blundered. She overestimated the leftism of actual Democratic voters, underestimated the desire of Democratic voters to defeat Trump no matter what it takes, and underestimated both Biden and Sanders.
This is not to say that Warren’s candidacy is doomed. I’m pretty sure she’s not going the way of Kamala Harris. She will remain relevant. Indeed, there may still be enough time for Warren to tack away from Sanders, and she remains the only strong female contender in a party many of whose members want to nominate a woman.
Still, I believe that Warren has blundered her way into a hole. And suddenly, not all that much time remains to dig herself out.

Friday, November 29, 2019



There are lots of reasons, actually, but Charles Rotter of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) does a good job of explaining some of them:
Ask them for details, and their responses range from evasive to delusional, disingenuous – and outrage that you would dare ask. The truth is, they don’t have a clue. They’ve never really thought about it. It’s never occurred to them that these technologies require raw materials that have to be dug out of the ground, which means mining, which they vigorously oppose (except by dictators in faraway countries).
Using wind power to replace the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours that Americans consumed in 2018, coal and gas-fired backup power plants, natural gas for home heating, coal and gas for factories, and gasoline for vehicles – while generating enough extra electricity every windy day to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days – would require some 14 million 1.8-MW wind turbines.
Those turbines would sprawl across three-fourths of the Lower 48 US states – and require 15 billion tons of steel, concrete and other raw materials. They would wipe out eagles, hawks, bats and other species.
Fifteen billion tons. That’s 30 trillion pounds.
Using solar to generate just the 3.9 billion MWh would require completely blanketing an area the size of New Jersey with sunbeam-tracking Nellis Air Force Base panels – if the Sun were shining at high-noon summertime Arizona intensity 24/7/365. (That doesn’t include the extra power demands listed for wind.)
Solar uses toxic chemicals during manufacturing and in the panels: lead, cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, cadmium gallium (di)selenide and many others. They could leach out into soils and waters during thunderstorms, hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and when panels are dismantled and hauled off to landfills or recycling centers. Recycling panels and wind turbines presents major challenges.
Because wind turbines don’t last long–20 years–those massive disposal problems are now coming to the fore. Every wind turbine contains 45 tons (90,000 pounds) of non-recyclable plastic that must be disposed of in landfills. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to decommission each wind turbine.
Using batteries to back up sufficient power to supply U.S. electricity needs for just seven straight windless days would require more than 1 billion half-ton Tesla-style batteries. That means still more raw materials, hazardous chemicals and toxic metals.
I have never seen a coherent explanation of how batteries can be produced and deployed so as to store the vast quantities of electricity needed in the U.S. alone. It would cost a prohibitive $133 billion to buy batteries sufficient to store one state’s electricity–Minnesota’s–for 24 hours. Minnesota is an average sized state, so that corresponds to around $6.6 trillion for 24 hours storage for the U.S. That is much more than the entire budget of the U.S. government. This assumes that such batteries exist, which they don’t.
Bringing electricity from those facilities, and connecting a nationwide GND grid, would require thousands of miles of new transmission lines – onshore and underwater – and even more raw materials.
Providing those materials would result in the biggest expansion in mining the United States and world have ever seen: removing hundreds of billions of tons of overburden, and processing tens of billions of tons of ore – mostly using fossil fuels. Where we get those materials is also a major problem.
If we continue to ban mining under modern laws and regulations here in America, those materials will continue to be extracted in places like Inner Mongolia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, largely under Chinese control – under labor, wage, health, safety, environmental and reclamation standards that no Western nation tolerates today. There’ll be serious pollution, toxics, habitat losses and dead wildlife.
Even worse, just to mine cobalt for today’s cell phone, computer, Tesla and other battery requirements, over 40,000 Congolese children and their parents work at slave wages, risk cave-ins, and get covered constantly in toxic and radioactive mud , dust, water and air. Many die. The mine sites in Congo and Mongolia have become vast toxic wastelands. The ore processing facilities are just as horrific.
Meeting GND demands would multiply these horrors many times over. Will Green New Dealers require that all these metals and minerals be responsibly and sustainably sourced, at fair wages, with no child labor – as they do for T-shirts and coffee? Will they now permit exploration and mining in the USA?
“Green” energy is basically a hoax. The world runs on fossil fuels, and will continue to do so until nuclear energy is adopted on a mass scale, or another reliable, high-intensity energy source is discovered.
This video is short–15 seconds–but has some good data:

Democrats just might reelect Trump, and they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

Democrats just might reelect Trump, and they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

All Democrats have to do is be marginally reasonable, and they can't even do that. They shouldn't be surprised when another election passes them by.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Opinion columnist
If President Donald Trump is re-elected next November, he’ll owe a lot of his victory to the army of activists working tirelessly to put him over the top. No, I’m not talking about the red-hatted MAGA crowd, tireless as they are. I’m talking about the army of leftist activists whose nonstop craziness is moving moderates into the Trump column day by day.
Anti-Trump conservative Rod Dreher shares a letter from a reader who notes the unpersoning of feminist Posie Parker (her crime: not believing that transwomen are women) and the recent attacks on the Salvation Army and writes: “I have never voted for a Republican for president, and I can’t stand Trump. But the 'Tolerant Left' is making me so angry with them that I am thinking of voting for him. Since I live in Massachusetts the Electoral College makes it irrelevant, but it would be a protest vote.”
Likewise, since the Democrats’ the-mountain-labored-and-brought-forth-a-mouse impeachment circus began, Trump has moved to a net-positive in one poll, picked up a lot of moderate voters and moved into the lead in swing states like Wisconsin. The assault on Trump brings to mind the old saying about wrestling with a pig — you get dirty, and the pig likes it. 

Democrats had one simple task

All the Democrats had to do was not be crazy, and they couldn’t even do that. They started out after the last election demanding that Donald Trump not be “normalized” as president — and then proceeded to act as abnormally as possible. Weirdly, this strategy seems to be backfiring.
The conventional wisdom has always been that when you lose an election you accept it — thereby showing your loyalty to the American system — and endeavor to show the voters that you’re worthy of being elected next time. That involves working with the other party where you can, to show that you put the good of the country first, and acting sensible and responsible the rest of the time. That, to put it mildly, is not the approach the Democrats have chosen.
Mission High School students Hope Robertson, left, and Cat Larson yell as they protest with other high school students in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory in front of City Hall in San Francisco, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) ORG XMIT: CAJC116

Protestors in San Francisco on Nov. 10, 2016.
The current impeachment clown show was not made more credible by the fact that his opponents began talking impeachment even before President Trump was sworn in to office
Nor has the endless talk of Trump’s opposition as “the Resistance,” as if 2019 America were equivalent to France in 1940, done a lot for credibility. When much of the opposition to Trump comes across as fantasy role-play by people who didn’t get enough validation in high school, it robs the entire enterprise of its seriousness.
We’ve been told repeatedly that Trump is Hitler, even as he backed Israel in the UN and moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. We’ve been told that Trump is a Putin puppet even as he sold anti-tank missiles to Ukraine (something Obama never did) and championed fracking in the United States, the success of which has done more to weaken Putin than anything the Obama/Hillary “reset” ever managed. (You could make a better case that the current Democratic candidates who vow to ban fracking are Putin puppets than you could for Trump.)

This isn't just the fringes of the party, it's the mainstream

And even beyond the “resistance,” the left in general seems determined to move as many moderates into the Trump camp as possible. In left-leaning Howard County, Maryland, the school board adopted a 1970s style busing program over the objections of constituents. This despite the fact that comments on the bill were overwhelmingly negative. The board then scolded the community for its opposition. 
All over the country, universities are going crazy over anonymous fliers that read, simply, “It’s okay to be white.” This, we’re told, is a hate crime, and the FBI is investigating to find the perpetrators. 
At this year’s Harvard/Yale game “climate protesters” took over the field and delayed play. As double Ivy League alumnus (Dartmouth and Yale) Roger L. Simon writes, the level of idiocy there is making him think we should abolish the Ivy League as unserious. “In the middle of this year's Harvard-Yale game, the great activistes spewed out onto the field to demand, what else, action on climate change — delaying the game for over an hour. But all these Ivy League smarty-pants couldn't come up with a slogan more original than 'Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go.' Who'd they learn that from, their grandparents?  Decades ago, during Vietnam, it was 'Hey hey, ho ho, LBJ has got to go.'"
They want to take the party too far left:Progressive Democrats let their 'policy freak flags' fly
Like I said, it’s fantasy role-play, in this case by people sad that they were born too late for the 1960s. Anyway, if you care about climate, you should be protesting outside the Chinese embassy — China is adding vast numbers of new coal-fired power plants — unlike the United States, which has actually seen carbon emissions drop thanks to fracking. 
I could go on and on, but pretty much any random day’s survey of the news makes my point. The conventional, sensible way to beat Trump would have been to demonstrate the sort of sensible, competent, non-threatening approach that would win over moderate voters. The Democrats and the left have chosen a different approach. Let’s see how it works out for them, but if they lose, it’ll be because their “activists” were actually working on behalf of the very man they purport to hate.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and the author of "The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself," is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Biden and Bloomberg: Trump as “existential threat”

Biden labeled Mr. Trump an existential threat to decency, America’s standing in the world, and democracy.
We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.
The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America.
Is anything going on here other than hyperbole and propaganda? Neither Biden nor Bloomberg really explains what each means by “existential threat.” Why not just label him as a simple “threat”?
I think the word “existential” is in there partly because it sounds highfalutin and intelligent (Sartre, anyone?), as well as being an intensifier. It’s not enough to say that Trump merely threatens the Democratic Party, (which he does) or the Deep State bureaucracy (which he does), or even certain leftist causes such as increased gun control. He doesn’t just threaten to turn the judicial system to the right by appointing conservative judges and justices.
“Existential” indicates it’s not just leftist causes he threatens, or the left. No, he threatens the very existence of decency, of democracy, of our country itself.
Is the existence of “decency” so very tenuous, is it hanging by such a slender thread, that one man’s tweets can obliterate it?
And he’s an existential threat to “democracy”? Is that a reference to the persistent idea that Trump stole the 2016 election, or do they mean something more than that? They usually don’t bother to explain; we listeners are supposed to know.
Our standing in the world seems fine to me. The economy is booming, but Bloomberg – who certainly must know something about finance and economics – insists that America must be “rebuilt.” Strange; I don’t see it collapsing around me.
However, these messages of “existential threat” conform to what liberals and the left (and a lot of people on the right, too) thought prior to Trump’s presidency and still think now—that Trump will either cause the world to end (through climate change or nuclear war, for example) or will wreak irreparable damage on the US (though those two mechanisms or countless others—economic and racial strife for starters).
Prior to Trump’s presidency some of those fears were at least somewhat plausible. He’d never held office. He seemed like a loose cannon. He was a rich real estate developer, self-promoter, and reality TV star. It was difficult to picture him dealing with world leaders or a country such as North Korea (not that any other president had dealt well with it either, but Trump’s bombast seemed especially worrisome).
Three years of Trump’s presidency has proven those particular fears wrong. Most people on the right have abandoned them by now, but the left and liberals not only (bitterly) cling to them, it sometimes seems that such fears have increased rather than decreased. The MSM and Democratic politicians and pundits have been fanning the flames of the panic, and although some (or much) of what they do is tactical and cynical, I know many people who listen and are sincerely and deeply afraid.
It’s interesting that Biden and Bloomberg – candidates who present themselves as the most moderate of the Democrats – are using this kind of apocalyptic language to stoke the already-existent fears about Trump. It belies the idea that they are moderate at all. But to play to the base, candidates have to speak in the language of the base. And that’s what they’re doing.