Climate Czar Kerry: Emissions From Agriculture Must be “Front and Center”

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Farmers and ranchers who assume that their main job is to produce food to feed hungry people stand corrected. John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy on climate, wants to enlist them in the global struggle to combat the “climate crisis.”

“A lot of people have no clue that agriculture contributes about 33% of all the emissions in the world,” Kerry said during his May 17 keynote address at the Department of Agriculture’s AIM Climate Summit. “We can’t get to net zero, we can’t get this job done unless agriculture is front and center as part of the solution. So all of us here understand the depths of this mission.”

“Food systems themselves contribute a significant amount of emissions just in the way we do the things we’ve been doing,” he continued. “With a growing population on the planet – we’ve just crossed the threshold of 8 billion fellow citizens around the world – emissions from the food system alone are expected to cause another half a degree of warming by mid-century.”

“Needs Innovation More Than Ever”

“This sector needs innovation now more than ever,” Kerry went on. “We’re facing record malnutrition at a time when agriculture, more than any other sector, is suffering more than ever from the impacts of the climate crisis. And I refuse to call it climate change anymore. It’s not change. It’s a crisis.”

“We need economic, social, and policy innovation in order to scale adaptation of these technical solutions and get them into the hands of the folks in the fields of small farmers on a global basis. This is the promise of AIM for Climate Summit.”

Farmers won’t have to wait long for the “innovations” Kerry mentioned to come their way. The Biden administration has already pledged to take an “all of government” approach to address the “climate crisis,” and they mean business. Every agency of the federal government – from the Pentagon and HUD to the energy and agriculture departments – are pouring taxpayer-supplied resources into ever-expanding climate programs. The Department of Agriculture is already exhorting farmers to adopt “climate-smart” policies when it comes to producing food. It is even dangling “climate-smart” grants before agricultural groups to get them to change their ways and grow food the way John Kerry and his ilk want them to do.

Though the Department of Agriculture has yet to elaborate on what it means by “climate-smart,” it most certainly entails the agricultural sector severing ties to fossil fuels, either “voluntarily” or through coercion in the form of regulations. But because of natural gas’s role in making fertilizer, the government-forced transition will be a messy one. Farmers in places as far apart as Sri Lanka and the Netherlands were ordered by their respective governments to shrink their carbon footprint by reducing their nitrogen emissions. Protests in the Netherlands have been widespread, and in Sri Lanka, the government was overthrown, with the president forced to flee the country.


This article was published by CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

Debunking Another Misleading Green Energy Study

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

A popular talking point among green energy evangelists is that gas, oil, and coal are, in large part, successful because they are highly subsidized. Wind and solar, so the argument goes, would win in a fair fight, but, alas, the playing field is far from fair. But the supposed data they are drawing on to come to such a conclusion is misleading and geared more toward generating headlines than good policy.

A primary source used to back this claim up is a working paper presented by a group of International Monetary Fund authors titled “Still Not Getting Energy Prices Right: A Global and Country Update of Fossil Fuel Subsidies.”

The paper claims that hydrocarbon-based fuels—like gas, oil, and coal—enjoy $5.9 trillion in subsidies annually. Though often presented in the media as an IMF paper, it is specifically not an official publication of the organization but rather a working paper that is meant to, according to the IMF, “elicit comments and to encourage debate.”

Well, here is your debate, IMF.

As is often the case with so-called academic studies, the top-line number here makes for a much better headline than it does a basis for public policy. Indeed, even a cursory look into how the study came to its fanciful conclusions shows how misleading it ultimately is in general and how trivial it is for the United States.

There are three basic problems with the study.

First, it so broadly defines “subsidy” as to be completely meaningless. In fact, the study states that only 8% of its reported costs reflect actual, direct subsidies. The rest predominantly comes from the amorphous “undercharging for environmental costs” that supposedly occur from the extraction, refining, transportation, and use of fossil fuels. Such environmental costs include “underpricing for local air pollution” (42%) and “global warming costs” (29%). What’s left goes to the equally tenuous congestion and road accidents costs (15%) and forgone tax revenues (6%).

Though characterizing any of these so-called indirect subsidies as a pro-hydrocarbon bias is problematic, we will focus on the undercharging environmental costs, which are divided between global warming and local air pollution, because they represent the preponderance of their calculations.

The problems with the global warming number are many. For example, there is virtually no evidence that man-made global warming is having any costly impact on today’s world. The real costs, if one buys into global warming alarmism, come in the future—thus the study relies on the extremely tenuous and theoretical social cost of carbon calculations.

As my Heritage Foundation colleague Kevin Dayaratna has pointed out, the use of the social cost of carbon is so unreliable that it is virtually useless as a basis for public policy.

Second, the study presents its overall findings in global terms when the numbers only have meaning at local and regional levels. For example, the largest contributor to its bottom-line number is local air pollution. Putting aside the fact, as my colleague Travis Fisher points out, how easy it is to cook the books and exaggerate the assumed costs of things like small particulate matter in the air, the other problem is that regional variances for local air pollution are so immense that any broad policy conclusion, such as “tighten local air pollution standards,” would be irrelevant.

It would make no sense to apply the same policy response in the U.S.—where local air pollution levels are very low and getting lower—that you would apply to countries in the East Asia and Pacific region, where, according to the study, local air pollution levels are high. The study undermines its own credibility by presenting a cumulative, global number that serves no purpose other than to inflate its bottom line.

And third, the study provides no accounting for the massive contribution to human flourishing that has resulted directly from the use of hydrocarbons. This is perhaps the biggest problem with this study specifically, and the modern environmental movement more broadly.

The truth is that human well-being has skyrocketed in terms of wealth, health, and life expectancy since the Industrial Revolution, which was fueled by hydrocarbons. No statistic demonstrates this more clearly than the fact that climate-related deaths are down a staggering 92% since the 1920s, when the statistic was first recorded.

Nonetheless, the IMF authors took the time to give us their number on the alleged subsidy costs associated with gas, oil, and coal; so, in the spirit of fairness, a look at the benefits associated with fossil fuels seems appropriate.

Let’s break it down, and for the sake of consistency, all numbers will be adjusted to 2019 dollars. Prior to 1700, per capita gross domestic product (the sum value of all goods and services produced within a nation’s borders) in the West stagnated at around $955 per year. Today, the average North American can expect a per capita GDP of around $66,935.

While historians and economists may debate at the margins, most can agree that two things were key to this astronomical rise in economic production. First was the spread of free enterprise (thank you, Adam Smith), and second was the broad availability of affordable, scalable, and efficient energy (thank you, hydrocarbons).

For hundreds of years, people in Western nations made around $955. Then they started using coal, then oil, and then natural gas. Now, Americans make around $66,935. So, the average income, one could argue, has increased nearly $66,0000 as a direct and indirect result of hydrocarbons (using the same rationale as the study authors). That’s a big number, for sure.

Of course, the study authors took their localized numbers and globalized them. For the sake of comparing apples to apples, let’s do that for the United States.

There are approximately 331,900,000 Americans today. Had we stayed on the same GDP trajectory that we had been on for hundreds of years prior to the use of hydrocarbons, we would have a GDP today of around $316,964,500,000. Subtract that from 2022’s GDP of approximately $22.24 trillion and you get $21,926,692,686,448! That’s nearly $22 trillion in a single year in increased economic output and wealth due to free enterprise and the use of hydrocarbons.

Now, to be fair, let’s subtract the $5.9 trillion ($5.5 trillion in 2019 dollars) in alleged direct and indirect government subsidies for so-called fossil fuels that the working paper cites, which, remember, is a global number; it’s not just limited to the United States. When you subtract those alleged subsidies from the increased economic output, you still get over $16 trillion in direct and indirect benefits from hydrocarbon use. And that’s just for the United States—globally, the benefits would be immensely more!

Oh, and by the way, the environment—despite what the authors suggest—is getting better and better all the time, even with those pesky local pollutants that they pin 42% of their costs on. While some regions of the world do have work to do, the United States shows that gas, oil, and coal use and economic growth do not dictate poor air and environmental quality; and, indeed, Americans have enjoyed ever increasingly clean air for decades.

On its face, my benefits of hydrocarbons calculation could look like a version of the same screwy math used by the IMF working paper. That would be a fair critique. The point is, however, any broad assessment of the alleged costs of using coal, oil, and gas must also be paired with the immense benefits those fuels have brought all of society. When that is done, the only logical conclusion is that these fuels have made the world a better place for all of us, and any contention otherwise is about as valuable as a solar panel at midnight.


This article was published at The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Great Reset: WEF Demands Fewer Private Cars, Increase in Public Transport

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The insidious World Economic Forum (WEF) of the “Great Reset” is now pushing cities, countries, and companies around the world to adopt a new “scorecard” to encourage the expansion of supposedly “green” energy and public transportation, and fewer private cars. You will own nothing, you will ride public transport, and you have no say in the matter. You’re welcome.

WEF’s May 2023 briefing paper, “The Urban Mobility Scorecard Tool: Benchmarking the Transition to Sustainable Urban Mobility,” produced in collaboration with Visa, specifically states the goal to “reduce the number of vehicles on the road.” Why? People dependent on public transport are also dependent on those who control public transport. It’s all about reducing independence and freedom and increasing top-down control.

Recall that WEF is also working with at least two governments to roll out a digital ID required to do or buy anything. In China, the way a similar digital ID works is, if you say or do something the government doesn’t like, you are not able to travel anywhere or do anything. That’s exactly what WEF has planned for your future.

Indeed, public transport and a total absence of private cars for ordinary citizens are essential parts of WEF’s plan for how it wants the world to be in 2030. “It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car,” WEF wrote. Ah, paradise, where a single tweet critiquing the government leaves you transportation-less! In that same piece, WEF let the cat out of the bag about the stark reality of this supposed future utopia:

“Once in a while I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. Nowhere I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.”

Meanwhile, in its recent briefing paper, WEF says, “By 2050, almost 70% of people will live in urban areas.” The globalist push to make the vast majority of people live in cities, particularly “15 minute cities,” is all part of the vision I just quoted from above where everything is owned by the government. Control is easier in a city. In fact, WEF specifically demanded “more compact cities” in the briefing paper. Yes! 15-minute cities with an insane amount of surveillance and complete dictatorial control! All to save the planet, of course.

WEF went on, “electrifying private vehicles is not enough to achieve the emissions reduction targets agreed in the Paris Agreement on climate.” Of course, climate change alarmists have been wildly and consistently wrong in their predictions for 50 years now, but we should definitely trust them this time, right? I have noted many times how supposedly “green” energy is actually worse for the environment, and how it is impossible to produce enough electricity for modern societies using green energy, which involves destructive and toxic sources like windmills, solar panels, and toxic batteries. Yet WEF pontificated:

“Electrification needs to be accelerated in sync with a powerful push towards more efficient, accessible and connected public transport, improved infrastructure and priority for cycling and walking…It is only with a combination of these solutions that we can cut emissions to address the urgent climate emergency, reduce the number of vehicles on the road to make our streets safer and more accessible, all while transporting a growing urban population.”

That section was written by Visa’s “Chief Sustainability Officer” and WEF’s “Head of Urban Transformation.”

To ensure this utopian future happens, WEF is pushing a “user-friendly scorecard tool, trialled with cities and backed by the private sector, to help cities track progress towards shared, electric and connected mobility.”

Don’t be fooled—the climate alarmist movement is merely the tool for achieving a one world dictatorship, with your housing, transportation, everything dependent on the whims of the elites. That’s all WEF’s “scorecard” is about.

This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

Without Economic Freedom, None of the Others Matter

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

[One Fine Spring Day, Over the Phone…]

“Oh, and by the way, your background check says there’s a warrant out for your arrest.”

This is not, mind you, the kind of thing one expects to hear updating teaching credentials in a very staid University bureaucracy. Nevertheless, there it was.

“Oh?,” I retorted, a bit stunned. “Anything indicating why?”

“It says something about a zoning infraction?” the all-too-chipper HR Department lady replied.

“I’m sure it will be fine—it’s no issue for us, but we thought you might like to know.”

Why yes, yes I would.

It turns out that my little experiment in entrepreneurial civics had gone horribly wrong, and I was one short step away from spending time in the clink. I had, you see, committed the jailable offense of putting up a tent.  On my own land.  Without permission from the State. I won’t rehash the details but feel free to get the skinny here.

The long and short of it is this: our county sent us a nastygram some time back informing us that our AirBnB platform tent was strictly verboten without first going through the labyrinthian protocols of special use exemptions, business licensing, and building permits. We dutifully took the listing down and began the unconscionably dumb process of doing it the “right” way — Site Plan Reviews, public meetings, fights with a water district that wanted us to buy a water meter for a tent with no plumbing, the whole deal.

That all was bad enough, but somewhere along the line, a local county zoning official acting on the basis of an “anonymous tip” referred our case to the prosecutor’s office because she had been “told” we were still operating in contravention to guidelines.

I called her up.

“Can you confirm that there is an open arrest warrant in my name, on the basis of a zoning violation?”

“That is correct sir.”

“Are you telling me that I could be stopped at any moment and incarcerated, that I would be arraigned for a tent infraction?”

“Yes, sir, we have policies which you have not conformed to.”

“But didn’t I tell your office personally that we have taken the listing down, and haven’t we been working diligently with your own staff to get this thing resolved? Aren’t you even now reviewing the oodles of forms, maps, and requests we sent you?”

“Yes sir, but we were told you were still operating the tent as a rental, which means you are still in noncompliance.”

“Told by whom?”

“I can’t relay that information, sir.”

Ah. I see.

**Spoiler Alert**

I’m not writing this from a Platte County prison cell. It turns out that petty official X just needed to hear me say that I wasn’t breaking their rules, and she would call the prosecutor’s office and have the warrant rescinded based on “proof of compliance” or some such.

Everything, just as University Human Relations predicted, is “fine.”

Except that it isn’t.

There are two issues at stake here.  The first, of course, is a flagrant yet ultimately trivial matter of basic professionalism and due process — Platte County clearly has some deep house cleaning to do. But it is tangential to the much larger matter, which is that the bureaucratic indiscretions on display here can only occur in an administrative system that weaponizes regulations to consolidate power. This overregulation, in turn, is the inevitable outcome of our collective giveaway of rights to the forces of “planning,” “safety,” and “zoning.”

We have a real crisis on our hands in the form of basic property rights arrogation. In an age of “epic crisis,” it’s difficult to know which looming threats are real and which are hyped fantasy, but this one surely tops the list, if for no other reason than that it is so subtly devious: zoning rules have been quietly adopted nationwide and have led inexorably to administrative despotism and bureaucratic sclerosis. This isn’t just irritating red tape, it is a reflection of basic freedom lost.

Ludwig von Mises properly noted that economic freedom undergirds the rest of them:

Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of what is called economic freedom. Where there is no market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead letter.

And indeed, economic freedom has been dragged into the deep end by the dead hand of zoning restrictions. For a citizen to be forbidden from such a simple economic act as offering a tent for rent on his own land means that state administration has metastasized into an all-encompassing prohibition on economic activity more generally. Forbidding entrepreneurial ventures that have not been granted prior approval and design review by unelected officials is, practically speaking, state ownership of the means of production. This has enormous implications not only for the economic outlook of our nation, but for the broader freedoms it prides itself on.

The United States is on a precipitous plunge into the inky waters of a command economy. We have fallen from the top-tier of economic freedom indexes to 25th in just a few short years and the trend is getting worse. To fix this, it is high time to repeal vast swaths of local zoning laws and recover our rich heritage of Life, Liberty, and Property.


This article was published by AIER,  American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.

Here Are 7 Major Cases The Supreme Court Has Yet To Decide This Term

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Among the dozens of opinions yet to be released by the Supreme Court this term are cases on affirmative action, compelled speech and social media companies’ liability for content posted on their platforms.

To date, the Court has released 18 opinions, issuing rulings that enabled those facing complaints from administrative agencies to press constitutional challenges in federal court and allowed a death row inmate’s request for a DNA test to proceed. But opinions in 40 more cases are expected to be released before the end of June, including some of the most consequential cases on this term’s docket.

Affirmative Action

Two cases heard in November, Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina (UNC), and Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard, weighed whether universities’ use of racial preferences in the admissions process is constitutional.

After five hours of oral arguments on the two cases, experts noted several justices appeared to be leaning towards ruling against affirmative action, which would force many institutions of higher education to reevaluate their policies.

Some colleges are already taking a second look at their admissions process in anticipation of the decision. The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers advised its members in January to “begin to examine any admissions or recruitment practices that target populations of a specific race” in preparation for “possible major change.”

Compelled Speech

Lorie Smith, the plaintiff in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, challenged the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) because she wants to create wedding websites that reflect her belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. But Colorado’s law, which bans companies deemed public accommodations from restricting services based on sexual orientation, would compel her to also create websites for same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court’s decision in her case will impact creative professionals in 22 states with similar laws, including multiple states with pending lawsuits in the lower courts, clarifying whether the government can compel artists to express a message with which they disagree.

It could also finally put an end to years of legal troubles for Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips. Despite the Supreme Court’s narrow 2018 decision vindicating his refusal to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding, Phillips is still fighting activist lawsuits—in April, he appealed his latest case, which stems from his decision to decline a request for a custom cake symbolizing gender transition, to the Colorado Supreme Court.

“We’re hopeful the Supreme Court affirms that artists are free to create consistent with their beliefs,” Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Bryan Neihart previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

Biden’s plan to grant loan forgiveness to nearly 40 million Americans could be undone, depending on how the Supreme Court’s decisions comes down in Biden v. Nebraska, and Department of Education v. Brown, two cases it heard on February 28.

The Biden administration justifies its plan to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for non-Pell Grant recipients and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients by citing a section of the 2003 HEROES Act that allows the secretary of education to “waive or modify” provisions of student financial assistance programs during a national emergency. Justices appeared skeptical during oral arguments that Congress intended the emergency authority to extend this far, raising separation of powers concerns.

Yet plaintiffs in both cases, a group of six states in the first, and two individual loan holders in the second, were faced with questions of standing that could allow the Court to sidestep the core issue if it is determined they lack the grounds to sue.

Social Media Companies’ Liability

The Supreme Court is considering a case on the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, a hotly-debated law designed to protect online platforms from being held liable as the speaker of third-party content hosted on their website while providing leeway for them to restrict “objectionable” material.

The plaintiff in Gonzalez v. Google, the family of a 23-year old American student killed in a 2015 ISIS terrorist attack in Paris, argues YouTube aided and abetted in the attack through its targeted recommendations of ISIS videos designed to recruit members. The question before the Court is the extent of Google’s liability for content recommended by its algorithms under the law.

During oral arguments on February 21, justices appeared wary of wading into an area of policy Congress has yet to clarify: “We’re not the nine greatest experts on the internet,” Justice Elena Kagan quipped.

Religious Accommodations

In 2019, Gerald Groff sued his former employer, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), for failing to exempt him from working on Sundays, a religious exemption he argues is required under federal law.

His case, which came before the Supreme Court on April 18, will have broad impacts for religious liberty in the workplace—potentially overturning decades-old precedent that found protections for religious employees could be limited if the accommodation would impose more than a trivial burden on the employer.

‘True Threats’ And The First Amendment

Speech ranging from online jokes to religious expression could be impacted by the Court’s definition of “true threats” in Counterman v. Colorado, a variety of groups who filed amicus briefs noted.

Billy Raymond Counterman was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for repeated Facebook messages he sent to a local musician — saying things like “Die” and “Was that you in the white Jeep?” Counterman says he did not intend his words to be threatening and asks the Court to consider his mental state, rather than deferring to Colorado’s test of how a “rational person” would interpret the statement.

Now, the Court is tasked with answering the question: what constitutes a “true threat?” Oral arguments on April 19 revealed at least some justices are concerned that failing to account for the speaker’s intent will chill speech under the First Amendment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Regulations

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on October 3 for Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a case that considers the agency’s “waters of the United States” rule, which defines what waters are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. The case stems from a couple’s 15-year-long legal battle against the EPA, which told them they cannot build a house on land they own near Priest Lake, Idaho, because it contains wetlands.

The decision in Sackett could roll back the extent of the EPA’s authority to regulate under the Clean Water Act and force the Biden administration to reconsider its expansive new WOTUS definition. The administration’s rule has already been blocked in some states by a federal court pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

This article was published by The Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.

Death of the EV Dream, Er, Nightmare

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Now that the American Dream has been turned into a nightmare in part by overspending that has led to the highest interest rates in the 21st Century, it is high time to admit that, as Melanie Mcdonagh writes in The Telegraph, the electric vehicle dream, too, “has turned into a nightmare.”

Mcdonagh, who admits she does not drive, points out many problems, among them the horrific impact when a heavy, quiet-running electric vehicle hits an unsuspecting pedestrian or a cyclist. She also notes that some of these “vehicles” are collecting data on route history and road speed that governments (and corporations) can use for remote surveillance (and marketing gimmickry). Another problem is that the much heavier EVs could collapse bridges and force lengthy detours.

Mcdonagh, however, has barely scratched the surface of the mess created by the hipster culture that believes everything sacred must be sacrificed before the god of carbon (dioxide) reduction. It turns out that manufacturing electric vehicles has to date been a bad investment for automakers, despite all the subsidies.

Ford Motor Co. says it will lose $3 billion on EV sales this year, after losing $900 million in 2021 and $2.1 billion in 2022, when the company sold 96,000 units. Price drops by Ford and Tesla (and doubtless other companies) are not coming because the vehicles are cheaper to manufacture but because demand has slowed despite the new Biden subsidies. As Robert Bryce points out, Ford in the first quarter of this year lost $66,446 on every EV it sold.

One reason for the huge losses is the increasing price of battery materials, reflected in the 7 percent increase in the volume-weighted average for lithium-ion battery packs from 2021 to 2022. The Biden subsidies are supposed to offset such costs, just as the Biden build in America plan (in Michigan, at least, by Chinese companies) has no chance of diminishing China’s huge lead in EV battery and vehicle production.

Senator John Kennedy (R, LA) recently asked, “If electric cars are so swell. why does government have to pay people to drive them?”

A new J.D. Power report points to a number of reasons that American consumers are sticking with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. While the highest objections to EVs are high prices and lack of public charging infrastructure, vehicle range, charging times, and the threat of grid disruptions that render EVs useless are also deterrents. Other concerns are fires, power surges that lead to accidents, towing capacity and range, and performance in bad weather.

Even a third of Gen Z shoppers, who have been bombarded with pro-EV propaganda for most of their lives, admit they are unlikely to buy one.

It is obvious that the EV boom, such as it is, has been powered nearly entirely by heavy subsidies and marketing hype initiated by bureaucrats and politicians, most of whom have no background in auto sales or any service industries. Their M.O. is bribery and thuggery (forcing people into unwanted choices through market manipulation). Automakers are beginning to balk at these techniques, if only because they see their customer base shrinking once people cannot buy the vehicles they have used for decades.

While Ford and other companies are now boasting of the towing capacity of their EVs, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. MotorBiscuit last month reported that the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T can be souped up to tow 10,000 pounds, far short of the gasoline-powered F-150, but with an average range of only 88 miles. That hardly works for multiple tows in a day or for towing a trailer to a campsite 100 or more miles from home.

Imagine putting your family into the truck, hitching up the Airstream, and driving out to the mountains for a weekend at the lake. Finding a charging station where you don’t have to unhitch the trailer to get to the plug-in is a huge challenge, and you have to do this multiple times on a 300-mile trip. With a maximum 90-mile range, you need to recharge every 60 or 70 miles, taking 30 minutes or more for each recharge. You lose an entire day each way. So practical.

Far worse, though, are the risks and challenges to tow truck drivers with an EV that has stopped running. Not only are the vehicles heavy, they are dead weight, locked in park, and potentially suspect to spontaneous fires that ordinary extinguishers cannot put out. A 2021 National Transportation Safety Board report notes that “the energy remaining in a damaged high-voltage lithium-ion battery, known as stranded energy, poses a risk of electric shock and creates the potential for thermal runaway that can result in battery reignition and fire.”

Of course, the bean counters with their glorious visions for an all-electric future (replete with blackouts, price increases, and other tricks to keep the majority of people off the roads entirely) do not take into consideration ANY of the real reasons people drive cars and trucks. Their ONLY consideration appears to be the imaginary reduction in carbon dioxide emissions their computer models insist can only happen by inconveniencing “the little people.”

But should those “little people” elect leaders who will end the inflationary subsidies and dictatorial mandates (including those that ban gas appliances, cripple the performance of dishwashers and HVAC units, etc.), the automakers who have heavily invested in EVs will adjust to real market conditions and continue improving long-cherished technologies.

In today’s increasingly top-down world, Mcdonagh points out that “you can’t even discuss the problems with electric cars without getting jumped on.” That is already beginning to change, especially in a freedom-loving America that has had a century-long love affair with the open road.

Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows is an option that could both reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and keep ICE vehicles on the road. Hydrogen-based synthetic e-fuels may be expensive today, but they can power ICE vehicles today and tomorrow without sacrificing a nation to the whims of China’s maniacal leadership.


This article was published by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

Sustainable Development: Sustainability

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The World Economic Forum (WEF) held its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 16–20 of this year. It is difficult to overestimate the WEF’s influence on the Western world. Attendees included political leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Emanuel Macron, Biden Administration “Climate Czar” John Kerry, Current U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska and many others. Corporate leaders included BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and some 1,400 more.

A WEF poll of 1,200 world business and political leaders conducted by Bloomberg prior to the event found that among their top concerns were “energy inflation, food and security crises,” with cost-of-living increases the top immediate concern. Over the next 10 years “climate change” will take precedence.

Despite all this hand-wringing, WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab announced last summer that fuel prices—a major driver of inflation—aren’t anywhere near high enough. He wants to see gasoline prices higher by multiples in order to “safeguard democracy.” Schwab claims the answer will require an unprecedented level of “public-private cooperation.”

We had our first big taste of that with President Barack Obama’s “green energy” program, where the only “green” from that list of multi-billion-dollar failures went to Obama’s political allies and supporters. Ironically, given the past two years of endless left-wing name-calling against “fascist” America, public-private “partnerships,” in which private companies are recruited to serve government interests, are the essence of Fascism. And seeded everywhere within the WEF agenda and statements by political and corporate leaders is the term “sustainability.”


Sustainability has become a household word. We see it on product labels and hear it discussed in relation to everything from electrical generation to financial investments. Most people remain unaware, however, of its origin, true nature, or the goals pursued under this seemingly innocuous word.

“Sustainable development” was first articulated in 1987 in Our Common Future a paper produced by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development.[5] What came to be called the Brundtland Commission was led by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Socialist International leader and former prime minister of Norway. As derived from the commission report, the UN defines “sustainable development” as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet its own needs.” To accomplish this, Brundtland stated that it constituted, “A global agenda for change.”

Other luminaries on the Brundtland Commission included UN heavyweight Maurice Strong (more about him later); William Ruckelshaus, first head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the only American), and luminaries from such enlightened states as Zimbabwe, Communist China, Russia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Cote D’Ivoire.

Sustainable development is found at the intersection of the three “Es” of economy, environment and (social) equity. It implies government restraint of economic growth to limit the depletion of natural resources over time and prevent anthropogenic climate change, while redistributing resources to achieve “equity”—i.e., socialism.

This socialist aspect of “sustainability” was emphasized throughout the Brundtland Report. For example, on page 22, point 70, it states, “Many essential human needs can be met only through goods and services provided by industry, and the shift to sustainable development must be powered by a continuing flow of wealth from industry.”

This article was published by Capital Research Center and is reproduced with permission.

China-Russia Axis is Dangerous for Fossil Fuel Disarming America and the West

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The relationship between China and Russia poses the greatest danger faced by America and the West since the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1939 initiated WWII. If alarm bells are not ringing all across Washington, D.C. — they should be. China was already a global power based on its expanding economy, modernizing military and diplomatic reach, but the burgeoning relations with Moscow provide Beijing with renewed energy, literally and figuratively. What does that mean for the rest of the world?

The China-Russia symbiosis is easy to understand. Russia provides the oil, gas and raw materials at discount prices, while China trades their high technology and endless amounts of manufactured products. It’s a win-win.

Russia is fueling China’s technology-based economy and their military. Not to mention Russian agricultural production, which helps feed China’s 1.5 billion people. The relationship fulfills the long-term basic needs of the respective partners. It’s no wonder China’s President Xi Jinping gloats that “this hasn’t happened in 100 years.”

For the foreseeable future, China’s vast purchases of Russian natural resources perpetuates the war in Ukraine, making China wholly complicit in the ongoing death and destruction. Because of the China lifeline, Russian President Vladimir Putin can conceivably keep fighting until Western electorates lose patience and quit.

Since the Russians went on the warpath, the resulting global sanctions have so far not seriously wounded its economy and fossil fuel sales have buoyed it, thanks mostly to China — but also India, and to Europe itself! Russia’s GDP only fell by 2 percent in 2022, well below predictions, thanks to fossil fuel sales keeping it afloat.

Conversely, America’s economy is struggling with high inflation, bank failures and experiencing a pressing need to mobilize its defense industries to keep up with its critical role in the war in Ukraine — producing ammunition, in particular. And given present climate change policies, there’s been no mobilization of a vast American fossil fuels capacity to push back on the current Russia and Saudi energy dominance.

Outside of America (add Canada, Western Europe and Australia), the rest of the world, including Eastern Europe, see Western democracies denuding themselves of the very fossil fuels that still-developing countries need to grow their economies and feed their people. These nations are committed to using fossil fuels and may only be giving lip service to climate change because they want friendly and financial relations with the West. At the same time, the West will not assist developing nations to harness their own fossil fuel capacities. This is true for institutions like the USAID, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, among others.

Developing nations like, India and Brazil are on the sidelines over the war in Ukraine largely because they see the West fossil fuel-energy disarming in the present while over-focusing on the risks of climate change for the future. These countries need oil, gas, coal and fossil fuel-derived fertilizers and petrochemicals to survive, no less prosper. Unfortunately for the West but fortunately for developing nations, these resources are readily available from Russia and the Middle East along with manufactures from China, thus marginalizing the U.S. and Europe.

America’s leadership is no longer the guiding North Star in the Global South as the investments, products and markets of China and the fossil fuels and related products of Russia and the Middle East begin to supersede the advantages of tying their futures to Europe and the United States.

Adding to the West’s dilemma, most of these countries have traditional populations and governance that are not ready for the kind of revolutionary social policies sweeping over the West. In the meantime, Putin lays claim to “protect traditional values” and such social policies have no traction in China.

The West faces a serious predicament. How to weigh the value of guarding against the potential long-term effects of climate change vs. the current phasing out of fossil fuels at the risk of geopolitical failure. Unfortunately, the West is not even actually considering its options — it is denouncing and repressing fossil fuel production, thus inadvertently strengthening the China-Russia axis. Iran is already in the China-Russia bag and Turkey is more and more leaning that way.

Recently, oil and gas giant Saudi Arabia has made stunning moves in the China-Russia direction, in some large part because fossil fuels are their lifeblood, now and into the future and they see America downgrading that life blood while at the same time seeking to cut back its presence in the Middle East.

Adding to the dilemma, China totally dominates the world in green energyraw materials, technology and production. In that regard, “going green” means greater U.S. energy dependence on China for the foreseeable future.

The fact is that fossil fuels are by far the indispensable component of all the worlds’ economies and the dominant weapon of war as militaries are built and run on fossil fuels. In fact, 85 percent of the world’s energy consumption comes from fossil fuels and we see China, ostensibly our main adversary, going full steam ahead on an “all-of-the-above” approach that focuses on oil, gas and coal plus renewables wind, solar and hydropower. They are actively engaged in nuclear power: 43 plants have been built, 13 are under construction and 45 are planned.

Recently, U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that while the Biden administration is pushing for net-zero “carbon” emissions by 2050, a policy with potentially enormous negative impact on the economy and military preparedness, the U.S. will still derive some 65 percent of its energy from fossil fuels as compared with some 79 percent today. But what will the geopolitical cost be for a 14 percent reduction?

A long-term China-Russia axis is dangerous for a fossil fuel disarming America and the West. France and the European Union recently urged Xi to hold back on supporting Russia, but that’s not enough to make us safer. Add a still developing, natural resource dependent Global South, going along, by energy necessity, with this fossil fuel-strong new world power structure, and the situation becomes even more precarious. Perhaps giving rise to some sort of civilizational shift or existential threat. The “alarm bells” only ring for those willing to listen. It’s high time the West re-evaluates its energy and climate change approach before it is too late.

This article was published by CFACT, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow  and is reproduced with permission.

Climate Danger

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Americans are becoming neurotic worriers.  Covid brought out the worst in us, as politicized medical leaders rushed us into a panic response that did far more harm than the disease itself without fundamentally affecting the net outcome of the pandemic.

But Covid is hardly the only example of Americans overestimating the dangers in their lives. We fret about everything from “Christian nationalism“ arising from court decisions protecting religious freedoms to alien-bearing UFOs.

Many Americans fear police officers kill unarmed blacks by the thousands when the real number is about 10 to 20 annually. College students expect “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces“ to provide protection from exposure to opposing opinions and the literal physical harm they are thought to cause.

Part of the problem with imagining all these boogeymen is that real threats can get lost in the shuffle. Impending financial doom, a rapidly changing world order, and millions of unassimilated aliens crossing our borders could all use better-focused attention.

There is no better example of the trivial deflecting us from the critical than climate change. Sixty percent of the developed world truly believes that it will spell the end of humanity.

The World Health Organization declared climate change the most important public health issue of the 21st century. The savants of the World Economic Forum named climate action failure as the greatest policy risk of the next decade.

Third World countries, unfortunately for them, find most of their foreign aid these days linked with resources to address climate change, rather than more pressing needs like economic development, malnutrition, clean water, education, or healthcare.

The fact that some degree of warming is real and related to human activity hardly justifies the catastrophe narrative. Facts derived from official sources tell a different story, for example, that 98 percent fewer people are dying from climate-related disasters than a century ago.

Those who express doubt about any aspect of the catastrophe narrative are dubbed “climate deniers“ by the mainstream and depicted as science-adverse Neanderthals. Joe Biden claimed he could change their minds just by showing them the climate-related fires he had personally witnessed.

About those fires, Joe. The undisputed fact is that 4.2% of the land in the world burned yearly in the early 1900s. Today it has fallen to 3% due to less heating from open fires, better forest management, and more resources available for fire suppression.  Tilting at climate change will produce far less harm reduction from fires than will common sense, risk management, and prevention.

Bjorn Lonborg, a Danish economist gives other reasons to doubt climate change deserves its reputation as an existential threat. Hurricanes, despite claims to the contrary, are not increasing. On the contrary, the number of hurricanes in 2022 was unusually low, the second weakest batch of hurricanes since satellite data became available in 1980.

Landfall hurricanes, the most accurate way of charting hurricane frequency, appear to have declined slightly since 1900. Hurricanes each year cost 0.04 percent of global GDP. Projections from the scientific journal Nature, taking into account changes in climate as well as improved ability to protect ourselves from hurricane harm, indicate that by 2100 the damage will be 0.02% even without new climate policies.

The WHO claims that 95,000 worldwide deaths annually from malnutrition will be attributable to unchecked climate change between 2030–2050. That sounds like a lot, but the global total of deaths from malnutrition is 30 million or so annually, a number that is sure to come down as crop yields increase and economic development improves.

Even polar bears, the subject of one of Al Gore’s apocalyptic predictions, are doing okay. Polar bear specialists estimate that, due to hunting limits, the worldwide population is 21,000 to 31,000, up from 12,000 in the 1960s.

Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus estimates that if we stand pat, climate change will cost  4% of GDP by 2100. But the UN predicts that global GDP will rise by 450% in that tie, dwarfing the climate-induced harm.

Big-government tyrants love crises because of the power and prestige they bring. Instead of impoverishing ourselves with impractical boondoggles, we need to bear down on economic growth and innovation to pull us through. That’s what Americans do best.



Biden’s ‘Green’ Policies Following Europe Straight Into the Dark

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

President Biden and congressional Democrats constantly fret about “climate change.” Indeed, they have made it such a high priority they are taking an “whole of government approach” to addressing it. In fulfilling their aims at curbing emissions, the entire Biden Administration has been systematically and intentionally dismantling the powerful, reliable energy system America has built over the past century, and offering in its place little more than vague promises of a “clean, renewable” system will miraculously appear to replace it.

It’s a bold promise. It’s also a foolish one.

The reason why is that there really isn’t a solid example, anywhere in the world, that Green energy has proven itself to be a “success” as a main supplier of energy. Team Biden insists we should follow Europe’s lead on “green energy,” because our friends across the Atlantic have shown the “energy transition” works. To the contrary, actual news from Europe should shake even the most ardent climate activists out of their extreme weather nightmares and green utopia fantasies.

Despite warmer than expected winter weather, banning fracking for gas in Europe and then embargoing Russian gas over Putin’s war in the Ukraine forced EU countries to spend $1.2 trillion importing energy between January 2021 and February 2023. LNG imports in 2022 were 60% and $25 billion higher than in 2021, as Europe outspent China, Japan and South Korea combined on imported fuels.

Russia merely sold its gas elsewhere, using the profits to finance more weaponry and prop up its economy.

EU households have struggled for years to pay their bills, as jobs disappeared and food, gasoline and electricity prices shot upward. Food costs rose 18% on average across the continent in 2022; 32% in Lithuania; 48% in Hungary. Average new cars in Britain cost 43% ($14,400) more than five years ago, beyond the reach of middle class families.

Experts say Germany’s electric rates could hit 40 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2023-2024, and then rise to 50 cents. Britain is not far behind. (By comparison, the average US price is 12.5 cents/kWh, ranging from 8.4 cents in Wyoming to 18.3 in New York, 21.0 in California and 42.4 in Hawaii.)

Even worse, the German government wants to force families to replace gas furnaces with heat pumps that are powered by that pricey electricity, but don’t even keep homes warm. Families that don’t comply would be fined 50,000 euros ($53,600).

The entire UK auto industry could go belly-up, as Net Zero policies make manufacturing (especially electric vehicles) increasingly non-competitive against China. The Middle Kingdom’s low-cost, coal-based electricity, control of essential metals and minerals, minimal environmental standards, and cheap, slave and child labor give it dominance over automobile, battery, wind turbine and solar panel markets. 900,000 German automotive jobs, and tens of thousands in Italy, face extinction.

Not surprisingly, one-tenth of German companies plan to relocate operations to other countries. The huge German chemicals company BASF is shedding 2,600 jobs, because of soaring costs, limited gas supplies, excessive bureaucracy and exorbitant taxes. Green Europe is staring into the abyss.

Meanwhile, China and India are on the ascendance – using coal and natural gas (and a dash of wind and solar for good PR and ESG scores) to electrify homes, factories, schools and businesses. “China goes for cheap coal to beat green West,” while “India cheers the return of King Coal,” says Reuters.

No wonder Europeans are getting restless, and angry. A British town chosen to be the country’s “first Net Zero village” revolted against the heat pumps they were to get, and the bureaucrats backed down. Facing outrage over the looming automobile death knell, Germany, Italy and five other EU nations have formed an alliance to oppose proposed bans on internal-combustion engines.

So maybe “yes,” we should look to Europe for good, practical lessons on Going Green. But perhaps we shouldn’t draw the same conclusions about it as do those in the Biden Administration.

This article was published by CFACT, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.