Tag Archive for: EnvironmentalLeft

ESG Is A Non-Starter That We Are Being Pushed Into

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The world of finance is turning bullish on ESG, an investment strategy directing funds to corporations with woke environmental, social, and governance policies. Trillions of dollars have already flowed into ESG funds, projected to hit $50 trillion in two years.

ESG boosters claim the funds enable investors to do well by doing good. You can make good money while simultaneously bettering the world.

Wish it were so. In fact, ESG funds do neither.

Investing goals that compete with shareholder profitability have predictable results. A recent NYU study compared investment results created by firms with high versus low ESG scores, which are generated by professional rating agencies. Over the past five years, high ESG funds have returned 6.3% compared with 8.9% for others. Over time, that’s a chunk of change.

Thus, Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron warned his state’s pension fund managers to avoid funds that “put ancillary interests before investment returns” which would “violate statutory and contractual fiduciary duties” to the pensioners depending on them. Seniors deserve better than to have their retirements hijacked by an ideology they might not share.

The basic tenants of ESG are radical environmental policy, primarily the elimination of fossil fuels woke social policies promoted by the company, and corporate governance that replaces merit with preferences based on race or gender.

The driving forces behind the growth of ESG are three very powerful financial firms. BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are among them the largest shareholders in 80% of the companies in the S&P 500. Their financial heft gives them the ability to force companies to implement ESG, making them in effect upstream controllers of these companies.

ESG is based on the foundational principle of progressivism – the notion that the most beneficial governance comes from giving experts, the best and the brightest, control over our lives. Personal freedoms and democratic processes must yield to a governing elite that knows best.

No goal is pursued more tenaciously than the elimination of carbon-based fuels.  Consumers must be pushed into using renewables, principally by regulating fossil fuels into being scarce and expensive.

Green New Dealers may be thrilled to have the backing of the ESG behemoths, but the problem is that Europe is already experiencing a full-blown energy crisis, with America not far behind. For a year now, a post-Covid demand surge, combined with nuclear plant closures worldwide, long-standing over-investment in impractical renewables, and a global drop of over 50% in oil and gas investment since 2014 have combined put serious pressure on economies worldwide.

Aluminum smelters, glass factories, and other EU manufacturers have had to shutter plants for lack of affordable energy. In the UK, the number of people behind on their energy bills ballooned from 3 million to 11 million earlier this year. Even in relatively secure Germany, there is deep concern over looming shortages of heating oil this winter after being shut off by Russia.

The hard fact is that, in our current state of technology, fossil fuels are the mainstay economic resource, whether we like it or not. We need more oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy, not less.

The hard-core environmental left, now join by ESG interests, has worked itself into a lather insisting we can only avoid global catastrophe by achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050. Environmental alarmists achieve about the same accuracy with their predictions as the apocalyptic preachers of yesteryear. But even in the early stages of the project, it’s becoming obvious that it’s simply can’t be done.

Even if eliminating all emissions of carbon would significantly reduce atmospheric temperatures, even if humans are the main villains of global warming and even if we could somehow convince China and India to not sabotage the effort, it doesn’t matter. It’s neither economically nor politically possible to deprive humankind of the benefits of carbon fuels.

The financial titans pushing ESG are blowing an opportunity to do some real good. We need respected leaders who can stand up to the hysteria and exaggerations to propose practical, feasible solutions that would protect humanity from the worst effects of atmospheric warming.

Instead, the self-appointed experts are using other peoples’ trillions to push us down the road to dystopian government and perpetual poverty.

What Litter Says about America

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Especially telling is a water bottle that is marketed as eco-friendly.

Like an archeological dig, the litter that my wife and I pick up on our daily five-mile walk says a lot about American society.

The daily debris comes from all socioeconomic classes. Receipts found among some of the items show that they were bought miles away in impoverished parts of town. Other litter comes from a nearby resort, where guests pay a few hundred dollars a night and then throw stuff out of the window of their luxury car upon departure. 

We’ve walked in every region of the United States, in both urban and rural areas. Judging by the amount of litter and trash along roadsides, public places, and even hiking trails and national parks across the country, civic-mindedness, civic pride, and manners are in short supply in America.

On our daily walks, we’ve picked up fast-food debris, beer cans, and bottles, liquor bottles, water bottles, shards of glass, Styrofoam cups, face masks, latex gloves, cigarette packs, vaping devices, nitrous oxide cartridges, drug paraphernalia, plastic bags, Swiffer cleaning cloths, cardboard boxes, Styrofoam peanuts and other packing material, car parts from accidents, construction materials blown out of the beds of pickup trucks, and even a leather briefcase full of vomit.

On two occasions, we found a wallet that contained a driver’s license, credit cards, and cash. Each time, we promptly mailed the wallet to the owner, who never thanked us.

The volume of litter is greatest the day after Memorial Day and Independence Day. It’s as if Americans show their patriotism by trashing America.

The most telling and ironic piece of litter that we’ve ever picked up was a white and blue designer water bottle, or carton, with the brand name of “Just Water.” The particular bottle was found next to plastic carry-out food containers, which indicated that the items had been discarded together.

Marketed as eco-friendly, Just Water bottles are plastered with feel-good homilies about sustainability and greenness. Let’s look at the wording on the bottles before returning to the commentary.

One side of the square bottles says:

100% Spring Water

+ naturally alkaline

+ plant-based carton

+ sustainably sourced

Another side says:


This carton is made almost entirely from plants, which pull CO₂ from the air (instead of adding more). And because the premium we pay for our water goes directly into improving local water infrastructure, we’re actually helping the small American city we source from.

One carton might not save the world, but it’s a start.



A third side says:

A system that’s out to change everything.

We partner with a small city [Glens Falls] in upstate NY

to buy their excess spring water at 6X the municipal water rate.

which puts more $$$ into their local economy.

Then we package it up in a carton made from 54% paper

and 34% plant-based plastic, totaling 88% renewable content,

which means up to 74% less carbon emissions vs. similarly sized plastic bottles.

So if you’re going to buy packaged water, this one’s better for everyone.

A fourth side gives the following packaging facts, among other information:

Paper 53.9%

Plant-Based Plastic 34.6%

PE [polyethylene] Plastic 8.1%

Foil 3.4%

None of the information says how much energy was used to pump the water, to fill the bottles, to warehouse the bottles, and to ship the bottles across the country from Glens Falls, New York, to Tucson, Arizona, where I found the bottle in question. Nor does it mention that paper production is one of the most energy-intensive and environmentally harmful industries.

Also unsaid is how Just Water compares to municipal water in price, purity, and environmental impact. No doubt, the city water that I drink out of reusable, non-BPA glasses and hiking bottles—after running the water through filters that remove chlorine and other substances—comes out way ahead in these measures.

In any event, Glens Falls can better afford bottled water than Tucson. The New York town has a poverty rate of 14.7%, which is seven percentage points lower than the poverty rate in the City of Tucson. One reason for the disparity is that Glens Falls is 89.6% non-Hispanic white, versus only 43.3% for the City of Tucson. When Tucsonans buy Just Water, they are sending money to New York.

It also should be noted that spring water isn’t necessarily good water. As a case in point, my father-in-law lived in a bucolic hamlet in the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Penn., not far from the New York border. The hamlet’s unofficial water system was connected to a spring. Sounds good, unless one happened to know that the spring is in the middle of old oil fields and near a former charcoal/chemical plant. Because the water had a strange-looking sheen to it, I didn’t drink it and reluctantly showered with it.

Moreover, if left untreated, spring water can contain lead and arsenic, since these elements occur naturally in the ground.

The discarded bottle of Just Water is a perfect illustration of how Americans fall for green marketing but are oblivious to the trashing of America.   


Why We Eat and Breathe

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: The following essay is the basic and real science about the absolute role of carbon dioxide in the existence of both plant and animal life on this planet. The radical environmental left (think John Kerry, Al Gore, WEF, et al) has used climate and CO2 disinformation (think lies, myths, fraud) to push a socialist agenda to control the lives of all citizens in the must fundamental aspects. It is a path to tyranny. The miracle of life and the true science of life on this beautiful and bountiful earth should not and cannot be despoiled by an elite, powerful class of politicians and globalists claiming ‘settled science’ (there is no such thing as settled science) for their agenda of ever increasing power. Consider the following fact: today the earth’s atmospheric CO2 in parts per million (PPM) is approximately 400. In the age of dinosaurs, it was 6,400 PPM, 16 times as much. The earth was incredibly verdant, warmer than the temperatures today with many cooling periods and ice ages to follow over many millions of years and the dinosaurs evolved into weighing many tons because of the enormous food supply. There were no automobiles, trucks, planes, burning of fossil fuels or annual meetings at Davos. Gosh!

Spring and summer is the time of growth, with blossoms everywhere we look. Leaves and fruit on the trees, grass in the yard and pastures, vegetables in the garden, and crops in the field.

Did you know that all of this lush abundance is almost entirely composed of just two things? These are carbon dioxide and water. There are tiny bits of other stuff but basically, it is all carbon dioxide and water. This is the true miracle of life. Every living thing we see is made from air and water. So are we.

Have you ever wondered why we eat and breathe? Here is how it works, the miracle of life.

We eat and breathe because the cells that make up our body eat and breathe. All cells eat and breathe. Yes, plants inhale and exhale just as we do. They also consume food and water.

Our breathing and eating actually go together. We are part of what is called the carbon cycle, which is the cycle of life. Plants come first, then us.

The plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into big organic molecules. These molecules are circulated to every cell in the plant’s body, where they do two things. If the plant is growing then some become the building materials for that growth. In any case, they are also combined with oxygen to release the energy that came from the sun. All living cells need the energy to live.

The plants basically eat the carbon dioxide and water, while breathing in the oxygen. When the organic molecules combine with oxygen to produce energy, the byproduct is carbon dioxide and water, which are then exhaled. We are back where we started so this completes the cycle. Carbon dioxide + water –> life –> carbon dioxide + water.

When we eat the plants, or animals that ate the plants, we join and lengthen the cycle. Our digestive system converts the food molecules into organic molecules that we can use. Then our circulatory blood system distributes these molecules to all of our cells. There are trillions of cells in your body so that is a lot of mouths to feed, as it were.

We also inhale oxygen, which goes to our cells as well. Then just as in the plants, our cells use some of the molecules to grow with and combine some of them with the oxygen to extract the solar energy that the plants originally stored.

When things combine with oxygen it is called oxidation and the product is an oxide. The “di” in carbon dioxide is because it is a carbon atom combined with two oxygen atoms and di means two. This is why carbon dioxide is also called CO2. (Water is actually di-hydrogen oxide but we do not call it that.)

Oxidation releases energy. You can see and feel this with fire, which is very fast oxidation. Rust is very slow oxidation so you do not feel the energy coming off. When our cells oxidize carbon and hydrogen it is faster than rust but slower than fire.

The result is water and carbon dioxide which we exhale. And that water and carbon dioxide is again available to feed and power plants, so the cycle is complete.

Where do your carbon atoms come from? Given the carbon cycle, it is fun to wonder where the carbon in your body comes from? There are really two questions here.

First, where was the plant that started the cycle? Given our global trade that can be a lot of places. For example, my kitchen has orange juice from Florida, grapes from California, blueberries from Chile, bananas from Honduras, Coffee from Brazil, etc. I routinely eat this stuff so definitely have some carbon from each. Since I am not growing it is mostly used for energy, so I get some solar energy from each place. I like that idea a lot.

Second, where did the carbon dioxide come from before these plants ate it? Carbon dioxide circulates globally so it could be from anywhere. Some might have come from the plant’s own exhalation or the plant next door, or from thousands of miles away. Also, some might come from fossil fuel use or limestone weathering, making it millions of years old.

Speaking of circulation, the input and output of plants is so great that about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is replaced every year. So when people say that our emissions are building up in the atmosphere, that is just wrong. Our emissions from burning fossil fuels may or may not be causing the carbon dioxide to increase, but in no case is that increase composed of a build-up of these emissions. Plants eat our emissions.

In conclusion, carbon dioxide is feeding a growing world. More CO2 is a blessing. If you hear someone call carbon dioxide “pollution” just say “That is our food you are talking about.”

Think about your place in the miraculous carbon cycle and enjoy the carbon dioxide.


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

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Stop to Rosemont Mine in Arizona

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note: As the reader will note, the court held the mining claims were invalid because no valuable minerals were found.  It is certainly not common for mining companies to dig large holes costing millions just for the fun of it. Let’s suppose rich mineral deposits were found? Would environmental groups still oppose the mine? How does that square with the Green agenda that posits a complete change over in our energy grid and transportation system, which requires extensive exploitation of minerals like copper, nickel, lithium, and cobalt? You can’t get the quantities of minerals out of the ground for the Green revolution without disturbing ocelots. It is either that or let the dirty mining be done in China, leaving us as dependent on them for minerals as we are on Middle East dictatorships for oil. All economic decisions have trade-offs and you can’t back the “Green Agenda” on the one hand, and block the mining of necessary minerals on the other. Not unless your intention is to destroy the economy, that is.


A federal appeals court upheld a ruling to invalidate the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of an open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ plans for the $1.9 billion Rosemont Mine in the Coronado National Forest.

The court said Thursday that Hudbay’s mining claims were baseless. “Because no valuable minerals have been found, the claims are necessarily invalid,” the court’s decision read. “The district court was therefore correct in holding that the Service improperly assumed their validity.”

The Center for Biological Diversity was pleased to see the court uphold a previous ruling in this one.

“This momentous decision makes it clear that Hudbay’s plan to destroy the beautiful Rosemont Valley is not only a terrible idea, it’s illegal,” Allison Melton, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release. “The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important for Tucson’s water supply, jaguars, ocelots, and many other species of rare plants and animals. We won’t let them be sacrificed for mining company profits.”

Hudbay wants to blast a mile-wide, half-mile deep pit in the Santa Rita Mountains. The environmentalist organizations say that this would have harmed more than 5,000 acres of land.

Hudbay issued a statement on Thursday reiterating that it isn’t giving up on the project yet, and will seek other avenues to get it done.

“In the Decision, the Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court’s ruling that the U.S. Forest Service relied on incorrect assumptions regarding its legal authority and the validity of Rosemont’s unpatented mining claims in the issuance of Rosemont’s Final Environmental Impact Statement,” the company said in a statement. “While Hudbay reviews the Decision, in any event, the company will continue to pursue its alternative plan to advance its Copper World project.”


This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Biden Pledges His U.S. Penalized Energy to Europe

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Biden’s energy policies are even worse than gunning acceleration of a car in stop-and-go traffic … more like trying to move forward with one foot jamming the gas pedal and the other simultaneously clamping down on the brake.

What you wind up with is lots of smoke, a burned-out engine, and a vehicle destined to go nowhere.

Take, for example, Joe’s recent offer to help self-inflicted energy-starved Europe replace Russia as its main natural gas supplier as he works to put American producers out of business.

The White House posted a joint March 25 statement by President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: “We’re going to have to make sure the families in Europe can get through this winter and the next,” it said in announcing a deal to “provide 15 billion cubic meters of gas this year, though not all from the U.S.”

The statement added: “At the same time, this crisis also presents an opportunity” that will “drive the investments we need to double-down on our clean energy goals and accelerate progress toward our net-zero emissions future.”

So, according to plan, this is somehow magically to be accomplished by maintaining a regulatory environment in which U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will only be permitted to the extent that they reduce overall greenhouse emissions — for instance, by running on “clean energy.”

Read that clean energy means their preferred intermittent wind and solar panaceas.

And by the regulatory environment, the Biden administration is referring to a very formidable army of die-hard climate crusaders who are dedicated to eliminating fossil energy in all forms.

As White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy clarified to attendees at a March American Council on Renewable Energy forum, U.S. climate policy is not a fight about coal anymore. It is a challenge about natural gas and infrastructure investments because we don’t want to invest in things that are time-limited. Because we are time-limited.”

Herein lies one of the big obstacles to Joe Biden’s European LNG export bailout offer: a shortage of pipeline capacity due to permitting delays that discourage industry investment.

The time required to obtain federal Energy Department permitting can take four to five years for a pipeline that can be constructed in six to nine months. Since it can require decades to recoup the costs, McCarthy’s comment about “time limits” will lend no investor confidence to future such ventures.

Although the Energy Department scrambled to finally approve two LNG export permits that it had been sitting on for more than two years, Secretary Jennifer Granholm again made it clear that this was a temporary circumstance premised upon the Ukraine invasion.

Speaking on March 9 in Houston, Granholm said: “We are on a war footing — an emergency — and we have to responsibly increase short-term [oil and gas] supply where we can right now to stabilize the market and to minimize harm to American families. … And that means you producing more right now, where and if you can …”

Adding to this investment discouragement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently voted 3-1 on a proposed rule requiring public companies to disclose climate risks attributed to greenhouse gas emissions generated both by their operations (e.g., refining oil) and from their energy consumption.

Republican SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who voted against the proposal, warned that the rules will enrich “the climate-industrial complex” while hurting investors, the economy, and the SEC.

In November, the Labor Department also proposed a new rule that scraps and reverses a Trump administration proviso within the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requiring retirement plan fiduciaries to act “solely in the interest” of participants and based upon a “material effect on the return and risk of an investment.”

Many LNG projects are stalled due to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) pipeline constraints. Encouragingly, FERC recently voted 3-2 to revise a gas pipeline and export terminal approval policy which added greenhouse gas emissions to its permission analyses premised on climate impacts.

Meanwhile, Europe is finally waking up to the fact that its dependency on Russian natural gas and oil for about half of its energy in the wake of the current Ukraine experience presents greater threat risks than climate change.

Germany, a dominant EU economic power that now depends on Russia for over half of its natural gas and a quarter of its oil imports, has sabotaged itself to become even more dependent on that imported gas by already shutting down three nuclear plants in December, with three more to be mothballed this year.

Recognizing Russia’s opportunity to weaponize Germany’s vulnerable dependency, President Donald Trump sanctioned the Nord Stream 2 trans-Baltic gas pipeline development, a policy that President Joe Biden reversed upon taking office.

The Trump administration, which had presided over an America that was not only energy independent, but also a leading global exporter, had pressed Germany to build LNG import terminals to diversify its gas supply, as Poland, the Netherlands and Lithuania have done.

All that has changed over slightly more than a year as the Biden White House and Democrat-controlled Congress have devolved U.S. energy prosperity to conditions of an energy pauper pathetically pleading with Russia, OPEC, Venezuela, and Iran for help to reduce painful fuel price and inflation consequences of their policies here at home ahead of 2022 midterm elections.

Recall that soon after taking office, Joe Biden revoked a permit essential for the Keystone XL pipeline to deliver oil from Canada, empowered his agencies to slow-walk others, and launched an effort to overturn an oil drilling program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.

Let’s also remember that U.S. gas prices began going up long before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine recently provoked a bipartisan ban on Russian oil, gas, and coal imports, as did most all of America’s 40-year high of 7.9% inflation.

There should be an obvious message in all of this for Europe.

If it can’t continue to rely on Russia as a reliable energy supplier, then why would it imagine that it can count on America to make up any substantial difference so long as we have an administration headed by someone who campaigned on the pledge that “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.”

Meanwhile as Joe, with one foot on the gas, the other on the brake — revving the engine and belching lots of smoke — America urgently awaits what may be described as a “MAGA tow truck,” driven by our 45th commander in chief; that vehicle that can’t possibly arrive soon enough.


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

Medicare Ads And Other Inane Policies

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve all seen them, the Medicare TV ads exhorting seniors to apply for enhanced benefits. The government appears to be coaxing often reluctant retirees into greater dependence.

But this is a colossally bad idea, even for those of us who support helping citizens in their sunset years. It stimulates greed (it’s freeeee!) and entitlement in the demographic which government programs have already made into the most wealthy. It expands the reach of government into our lives.

But it’s worse than that. The ads are pitching benefits in a program already teetering on bankruptcy.  Americans were told that their mandatory payroll contributions were put in a fund to finance payouts in retirement, but that was a lie. Politicians raided the trust long ago and today’s retirees are dependent on the (inadequate) contributions of today’s payers – yes, like any other welfare program.

The rational response would be reforms that include reducing expenses where possible. Instead, we spend untold millions to pump up program outlays. Not smart. Consequences to follow.

But screeching Medicare ads aren’t the only government initiative which, partisan disagreements aside, simply don’t make sense. Take electric cars. They’re touted as a big key to a carbon-free future. We’re pouring public funds into subsidies, charging stations and other enticements for owners.

We may disagree over the feasibility of carbon reduction strategies to ultimately reduce climate change, but it doesn’t matter. Electric cars aren’t the answer. They still require energy that must be produced somehow.

The pollutants may come from an electricity generating plant instead of a car’s exhaust, but the damage done isn’t greatly different. The environmental costs of battery production and disposal as well as the extra power sources needed to service a national fleet of autos make EVs an environmental loser.

But politicians use them anyway to bolster green credentials. Buyers like the subsidies, the perks, and driving a cool car. Manufacturers are joining the ranks of the uber-rich. So the beat goes on.

EVs could have some environmental benefit if nuclear generation sourced their electricity. Once again, stupidity intervenes.

The environmental Left decreed long ago that nuclear was off-limits. Nuclear power plants would henceforth be discouraged by excessive regulation and harassment. The strategy has basically worked, but it’s a shame.

It’s still true that nuclear is by far the most environmentally friendly, non-emitting energy source available. Nuclear-producing France pays 50% less for energy with 10% the amount of pollution experienced by Germany, which sanctimoniously exited the nuclear market years ago.

Here’s more lunacy. A year ago, America had finally achieved energy independence, after decades of kowtowing to Arab sheiks and oil-rich autocrats. Within days, the Biden administration returned us to supplicant status. Pipeline permits were canceled, offshore drilling cut back and even the remote ANWR oil deposits were shut down.

Meanwhile, with our consent, Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline was approved, which will dominate Western Europe’s natural gas supplies. Biden unsuccessfully begged OPEC to increase oil production, so US gas prices have predictably skyrocketed and a cold winter looms.

Again, the environmental benefits of our foolishness are nil. Pipelines are the most environmentally safe way of transporting natural gas. The fuels from Russia and the Middle East are no cleaner than ours.

We have more inane policies. Children too young to vote, drink, smoke, or drive are now permitted to change their socially constructed gender by irreversibly altering their bodies-without parental consent.

$450,000 payouts are seriously proposed for illegal immigrants who were separated from their children in a humane effort to avoid mixing children with adults during detention. In spite of causing no known harm, GMO bans limit the amount of food available to starving Africans.

The driving force for these nutty, harmful policies is the relentless pursuit of electoral success by pandering to special interest groups. We’ve come a long way from Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a “wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another…“.

Listen to political analysts uncritically predicting the fate of multi-trillion-dollar spending bills based solely on how the vote would affect legislators’ prospects for remaining in office another term.

It’s disgraceful, but we expect no more, so that’s what we get.


Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute