Tag Archive for: GreenNewDeal

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.

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.

Biden’s Fascistic EV Edict

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

President Joe Biden is set to “transform” and “remake” the entire auto industry—“first with carrots, now with sticks”—notes The Washington Post, as if dictating the output of a major industry is within the governing purview of the executive branch.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing draconian emissions limits for vehicles, ensuring that 67% of all new passenger cars and trucks produced within nine years will be electric. This is state coercion. It is undemocratic. We are not governed; we are managed.

In fascist economies, a powerful centralized state—often led by a demagogue who plays on the nationalistic impulses of people—controls both manufacturing and commerce and dictates prices and wages for the “common good.” Any unpatriotic excessive profits are captured by the state. All economic activity must meet state approval. And crony, rent-seeking companies are willing participants.

Now, I’m not saying we already live in a fascist economic state. I’m just saying the Democratic Party economic platform sounds like it wishes we were.

The coverage of Biden’s edict has gone exactly as one might expect. “Biden makes huge push for electric vehicles. Is America ready?” asks Politico, for instance.

The conceit of so much modern media coverage rests on the assumption that the Left’s ideas are part of an inevitable societal evolution toward enlightenment. The only question remaining is when will the slaw-jawed yokels in Indiana and Texas finally catch on.

I’m sorry, EVs are not a technological advancement—or much of an environmental one—over vehicles with internal combustion engines. Most of the comforts EV makers like to brag about have been a regular feature of gas-powered cars for decades. At best, EVs are a lateral technology. And, as far as practicality, cost, and comfort go, they’re a regression.

If EVs are more efficient and save us money, as administration officials claim, manufacturers would not have to be compelled and bribed into producing them.

The problem for Democrats is that consumers already have perfectly useful and affordable gas-powered cars that, until recently, could be cheaply fueled and driven long distances without stopping for long periods of time.

Fossil fuels—also the predominant energy source used to power electric cars—are the most efficient, affordable, portable, and useful form of energy. We have a vast supply of it. In recent years, we’ve become the world’s largest oil producer. There are tens of billions of easily accessible barrels of fossil fuels here at home and vast amounts around the world.

By the time we run out, if ever, we will have invented far better ways to move vehicles than plugging an EV battery—which is made by emitting twice as many gases into the air as a traditional car engine—into an antiquated windmill.

“I want to let everybody know that this EPA is committed to protecting the health and well-being of every single person on this planet,” the EPA’s Michael Regan explained when announcing the edicts.

No one is safer in an EV than a gas-powered vehicle. The authoritarian’s justification for economic control is almost always “safety.” But the entire “safety” claim is tethered to the perpetually disproven theory that our society can’t safely—and relatively cheaply—adapt to slight changes in climate.

If the state can regulate “greenhouse gases” as an existential threat, it has the unfettered power to regulate virtually the entire economy. This is why politicians treat every hurricane, tornado, and flood as an apocalyptic event. But in almost every quantifiable way, the climate is less dangerous to mankind now than it has ever been. And the more they try to scare us, the less people care.

So let the Chinese communists worry about keeping their population “safe.” Let’s keep this one innovative, open, and free.

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

Arizona Town Changes Climate Plan After Finding ‘Green New Deal’ Items Included

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

An Arizona town is moving forward with an amended environmental plan its conservative officials originally said resembled California’s green initiatives.

The Fountain Hills, Arizona, town council narrowly passed an altered version of its environmental plan after some conservative council members expressed concern that it echoed progressive climate goals.

The plan passed in a 4-3 vote, with the four conservative-leaning council members voting in favor due to the changes made. The amendments included removing a section that said it would focus on “alternative transportation modes” to lower carbon emissions and a section that said it would encourage less “automobile dependence,” among other items.

One item originally pushed to “continue to require the utilization of native, drought-tolerant landscapes that eliminate the use of gasoline-powered landscape equipment.” It was then changed to saying they would “work towards” eliminating it instead.

“We’re not California, and I don’t want to slowly slide into California either. We are America, this is Arizona. I like it as amended, and I would argue for that and that’s why I made the motion to do it as amended,” Councilman Allen Skillicorn said at the Feb. 21 meeting. “And I don’t want to go back to California language, period.”

Skillicorn worried that the original version could have led to the banning of leaf blowers, for example.

However, Mayor Ginny Dickey, who voted against the amended plan, told The Center Square that she believes it became politicized.

“The majority saw fit to change wording that had been approved by voters in 2020. They altered the Environmental Plan as created and recommended to Council by a citizen’s Strategic Plan Advisory Commission 6-1,” Dickey said in an email statement.

“While accusing the proposal… again, created from the General Plan approved by largely conservative voters… of being ‘politically charged,’ they used phrases such as ‘Green New Deal,’ ‘becoming California,’ and ‘virtue signaling’ which have far more divisive connotations than any words cited in the Plan,” she added.

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

Free to Choose: Your Car

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Outside of the purchase of a home, the purchase of an automobile or two is likely the largest purchase a consumer makes.  Given it is your money at stake, the reliability of the transportation, the economy to operate, and the safety of your family, it seemed reasonable just a few years ago that this decision should be made by the consumer.

The style of car one chooses can say something about you as well.  Having a midlife crisis or looking for something utilitarian?

Today, however, socialists use the weak reed of “global warming” to determine what choices you will have if any regarding personal transportation.

By use of propaganda, subsidies, tax breaks, and hectoring, progressives want you in an electric vehicle.  Some Democrat states like Washington and California now have set due dates beyond which you will not be allowed to purchase a car of your choice.

If having an electric vehicle is such a wonderful idea, why is all this subsidization and coercion necessary?  And why are some Progressives now turning cool on the idea?

For the sake of brevity, we will not discuss the scientific arguments about global warming, other than to say that despite claims made otherwise, the science is hardly settled.  Not only are there good reasons to dispute the theory, many who accept the theory think there are much better ways to deal with the problem than trying to alter the climate of the entire earth.  There just are too many independent variables such as the fluctuating power of the sun, the wobble of the earth, undersea volcanic activity warming currents, to think what man is doing will make much of a difference.  We all know these variables exist because the climate has always been changing long before man was powerful enough to have an influence.

In addition, it makes no sense whatsoever for the US to unilaterally destroy its standard of living while giving the Chinese, the Indians, and the Third World in general, a free pass on their carbon emissions.  The idea, after all, is global warming and environmental leaders can’t demonstrate it is possible to coordinate all the global players to accomplish their ends.

The current period is one of the few instances in history where politicians determine which technology consumers should and can use.  We have gone from wood to coal, to kerosene, to gasoline, to nuclear power without the government telling market participants what their choices should be or stopping those choices from being exercised altogether.

When the internal combustion engine first made its debut in 1876, it was not clear what direction things would take.  The marketplace is very much a system of trial and error, profit and loss, where the applicable technology gets translated into goods people desire to own. When steam engines were first used, it was to pump water out of mines.  No one thought they could pull a train of wheeled cars on steel rails.

Those businesses that innovate and recognize what consumers really want make a profit.  Those that don’t, go out of business.  Since the beginning of the auto industry in the US, there have been some 3,000 firms involved in automobile production.  That does not include foreign firms.  Only a handful survive today.

As suggested,  there were technological advancements, but it was still a process of trial and error, voluntary choice, and profit and loss.  That is not what we have today.  Instead, we have top-down mandates and orders from political authorities who are largely unchecked in their quest for power over the choices of individuals.  It does not look like free enterprise in America but rather like Soviet-style planning along the lines of Gosplan.

Early automobiles included those powered by steam, electric, and gasoline-powered. The gasoline-powered car was not mandated by the government and all other alternatives were not banned from the marketplace.  The government did not pick winners and losers.

No one picked a time when a consumer could not use a horse or mule.

By 1908, costs and reliability were achieved by the unbelievably successful Model T Ford.  The use of automobiles and other types of equipment using gas engines really took off.

There was no call to ban the use of existing alternatives, however.  In fact, the use of horses continued for quite some time afterward.  More than 30 years later, for example, less than 25% of American farms used tractors.  Farmers and consumers were free to make their own choices using their own money.

It may surprise some to learn that as late as World War II, 3 million horses were used by the vaunted German Army.  Yes, the army of Blitzkrieg.  The one of mechanized armor and infantry that overran the whole of Europe was in fact supplied largely by horse-drawn transport.

It was much the same on the vast front in the war in Russia, or at least at first.  However, thanks to American lend-lease and 200,000 Studebaker trucks, the T-54 tank and Stalin’s artillery was supplied by gasoline-powered trucks.  This allowed the Soviet Army to be more mobile than horse transport and accounted for about two-thirds of the German casualties during the war.

No one banned the use of horses.  It took many years for the internal combustion engine to replace the preexisting mode of transportation.

No one banned competition from rail,  airplanes, ships, barges, or fuels like diesel that competed with gasoline engines.

Our point here is the evolution in technology, voluntary choices by consumers, and the profit and loss system are better at making these decisions than politicians, and worse yet, children of the very rich that staff NGOs who are neither elected nor held accountable for their theories and mandates.

In the marketplace, you vote with your dollars.  In politics, you vote with a ballot you hope will be counted correctly.  Who elected Klaus Schwab or Bill Gates to rule over us?

In the total life cycle of a vehicle, studies have shown that electric vehicles may hardly reduce “greenhouse gases” at all.  And, they are much more expensive.  Moreover, we are shutting down existing energy capacity before new alternatives have been both proven and installed.  This has an excellent chance of causing an energy crisis that involves very basic things like providing heating and food necessary for human survival.

Whether it be charging times, the robustness of the existing power grid, the shortage of minerals necessary to make car batteries, the use of energy in mining, EV battery fires, variance in performance in temperature extremes, to recycling issues; let people choose.

If consumers want to try electric vehicles, let them choose and we will all learn in the real world of experience and free competition. But if we don’t think they are such a great idea, we should not be forced to buy electric vehicles.  Nor should we be forced to subsidize other people’s choices.  Besides being morally unfair, the true cost of choices is obscured by both hidden and overt subsidies.

Within my own family, one family member has a Toyota T-2000 pickup truck with over 450,000 miles on it.  When electric cars prove as dependable and thrifty as a Toyota, rest assured yours truly will buy an electric car.  No coercion or subsidy will be necessary.

What our elites really want to argue is that human flourishing is damaging to the environment and that the “environment” is more important than our flourishing.  They want us to have a lower standard of living and follow their dream picked up by the summer they had in college spent in Copenhagen, living in a small apartment and riding on public transportation.  Their dream is small living quarters, no independent transportation, and for most of us to survive by eating crickets and vegetables.

Democrats want us in EVs but will not use nuclear power to power them nor will they allow copper mining.  They want us dependent on China for solar panels, EV batteries, and windmills.

Increasingly, however, the environmental Left is starting to recognize that EVs, the technology they are mandating in timelines, may do more harm than good.

If you think that is overstating the case, a new study by the Climate and Community Project, a network of Left-wing academics and activists, generally concedes that forcing everyone to buy an electric vehicle will not do the job of stopping global warming.  They really want to ban cars altogether so you don’t have independence of movement.

Left-of-center newspapers now concede that mining the minerals necessary to support the widespread use of EVs would severely damage the earth.

So, we are mandating a technology that leaves us dependent on our strategic enemy, does not do the job of lowering temperatures, fouls the earth, and deprives people of their freedom of choice in transportation.

But it is even broader than your choice of transportation. They don’t like you eating meat, cooking with natural gas, washing your clothes, living in a large home, or driving the car of your choice.

They don’t like you and consider you a menace to “the earth.”  So, it would seem they soon will be coming after your electric car as well.  Then what?

Well, there is always the horse but they emit methane.

The best thing for all of us to do is just die for the sake of the earth, provided we are recycled in a compost heap.  We are looking for environmental leaders to set the example.



Net Zero Will Lead to the End of Modern Civilisation, Says Top Scientist

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Devastating consequences

A damning indictment of the Net Zero political project has been made by one of the world’s leading nuclear physicists.

In a recently published science paper, Dr. Wallace Manheimer said it would be the end of modern civilisation. Writing about wind and solar power he argued it would be especially tragic “when not only will this new infrastructure fail, but will cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment, and be entirely unnecessary”. The stakes, he added, “are enormous”.

Dr. Manheimer holds a physics PhD from MIT and has had a 50-year career in nuclear research, including work at the Plasma Physics Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He has published over 150 science papers. In his view, there is “certainly no scientific basis” for expecting a climate crisis from too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the next century or so. He argues that there is no reason why civilisation cannot advance using both fossil fuel power and nuclear power, gradually shifting to more nuclear power.

There is of course a growing body of opinion that points out that the Emperor has no clothes when it comes to all the fashionable green technologies. Electric cars, wind and solar power, hydrogen, battery storage, heat pumps – all have massive disadvantages, and are incapable of replacing existing systems without devastating consequences.

Manheimer points out that before fossil fuel became widely used, energy was provided by people and animals. Because so little energy was produced, “civilisation was a thin veneer atop a vast mountain of human squalor and misery, a veneer maintained by such institutions as slavery, colonialism and tyranny”.

This argument hints at why so many rich, virtue-signalling celebrities argue not just for Net Zero but ‘Real’ Zero, with the banning of all fossil fuel use. King Charles said in 2009 that the age of consumerism and convenience was over, although the multi-mansion owning monarch presumably doesn’t think such desperate restrictions apply to himself. Manheimer notes that fossil fuel has extended the benefits of civilisation to billions, but its job is not yet complete. “To spread the benefits of modern civilisation to the entire human family would require much more energy, as well as newer sources,” he adds.

The author notes that the emphasis on a false climate crisis is becoming a “tragedy for modern civilisation”, which depends on reliable, affordable and environmentally viable energy. “The windmills, solar panels and backup batteries have none of these qualities,” he states. This falsehood has been pushed by what has been termed a climate industrial complex, comprising some scientists, most media, industrialists and legislators. Furthermore, he continues, this grouping has “somehow” managed to convince many that CO2 in the atmosphere, a gas necessary for life on Earth, one which we exhale with every breath, is an environmental poison…..


Continue reading this article at Summit News.

Settled Science and the Politics of Knowledge

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Climate catastrophe keeps getting delayed, yet our doom remains imminent.

Over the last decade, “The Science is Settled” has been a major refrain of American life. As so many critics have noted, this phrase is not an empirical statement. People who challenge the “settled” state of science explain that science is a process of discovery and not a conclusion. They aren’t wrong, but they unfortunately assume that “the science is settled” is meant in good faith. It’s not. The slogan is a form of rhetorical bullying. Its singular purpose is to create an illusion of certitude in order to preempt any meaningful debate about the natural world, public policy, and the role of scientific knowledge in democratic deliberation.

“The Science,” we are told, is “settled” about many topics, but global climate change is the one where the science is most settled. The Earth is getting dangerously hot (and cold), and if we don’t take decisive action immediately, civilization as we know it may end. But as the years pass with no “comprehensive” action taken to fight climate change, the moment of civilizational collapse is quietly moved down the line, in increments of a few years at a time. The climate apocalypse is always just close enough that we should all be terrified, and just far enough away that we still have time to get serious and implement the sweeping (leftist) reforms that could save us. Convenient, isn’t it?

Nevertheless just because the logic is ludicrous doesn’t mean that the science isn’t settled. There is, in fact, a broad consensus of scientific experts on climate change. A popularly-cited statistic is that 97 percent of experts believe global climate change is manmade and that it presents a considerable threat. The unstated premise of “The Science is Settled” is that if there is a large consensus, then the consensus view must be right. Fortunately, though, there are ways to measure experts’ degree of certitude when it comes to the consensus on climate change. This is because the scientists can’t resist the urge to prophesy. The implementation of the Left’s broad climate policies depends on conveying the urgency of the problem, which requires that “the Science” depict the hell that awaits us if we opt for inaction.

Scientists would be horrified at my use of the term “prophesy.” They call their predictions “projections.” It’s true that there is a small difference: prophets have more skin in the game. After all, a prophet is discredited when his predictions don’t come to pass. By calling their prophecies “projections,” scientists get to be wrong without undermining their credibility. When they (wrongly) prophesied that there would no longer be glaciers in Glacier National Park by 2020, they were simply extrapolating from the best data available at the time, which was fed into models. Strange though that when it comes to climate change, the “best data available at the time” always leads to projections that we realize (after the fact) overestimated the effects (rather than underestimating them). This tendency toward hyperbole begs the question: just how much certitude is required for the science to be “settled”?

The Prophecy of “NCA4”

By law, the U.S. Global Change Research Program must provide a “National Climate Assessment” report to Congress “no less than every four years.” As empirical documents, these reports naturally quantify the level of confidence that the experts have in the accuracy of their prophecies. The last report (referred to as “NCA4”) was submitted in early 2019, which means that we are due for NCA5 later this year. Indubitably, NCA5 will receive significant media attention since its covert purpose is to draw attention to (and therefore advance) the climate agenda. Thus climate reports are decidedly rhetorical documents despite experts’ insistence that science has no interest in rhetoric.

NCA5 will allow us to assess the accuracy of the prophecies foretold in NCA4, and we’ll also learn whether the apocalypse is unfolding on schedule. But in preparation for the new report, we not only have a duty to revisit the “projections” of NCA4, we must refresh our memories on just how much confidence experts had in those projections to begin with. The answer, it seems, is “not much.”

NCA4 was full of dire predictions. For example, the report warned, “Many millions of Americans live in coastal areas threatened by sea level rise; in all but the very lowest sea level rise projections, retreat will become an unavoidable option in some areas” (emphasis added). Note the certainty of the phrasing: “will become.” Although the quote explicitly acknowledges that some “projections” don’t foresee the U.S. coast being inundated, the writers make sure to emphasize that these (allegedly flawed) projections don’t undermine the “scientific consensus.” But then what of the curious assertion that “retreat will become an unavoidable option”? Here we see the rhetorical sleight of hand: by definition something that is “unavoidable” is not an “option.” And if retreat will be an “option,” then the hypothetical flooding would necessarily be negligible.

Elsewhere, though, the report stresses that there is no uncertainty about these matters at all: “Across the United States, many regions and sectors are already experiencing the direct effects of climate change. For these communities, climate impacts—from extreme storms made worse by sea-level rise, to longer-lasting and more extreme heat waves, to increased numbers of wildfires and floods—are an immediate threat, not a far-off possibility.”

Oddly, the bold prophecy quoted above comes after an admission: “The world we live in is a web of natural, built, and social systems—from global climate and regional climate; to the electric grid; to water management systems […]; to managed and unmanaged forests; and to financial and economic systems. Climate effects many of these systems individually, but they also affect one another, and often in ways that are hard to predict. […] A key factor in assessing risk […] is that it is hard to quantify and predict all the ways in which climate-related stressors might lead to severe or widespread consequences.”

Even the oft-repeated platitude that climate change causes more severe storms (an idea routinely touted as “settled science”) is cast in doubt: “Some storm types such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms are also exhibiting changes that have been linked to climate change, although the current state of the science does not yet permit detailed understanding.”

“Projection” and the Confidence Game

What, then, are we to think? How reliable are these (often contradictory) prophecies? Fortunately, the report gives some guidance. The writers say that the reliability of each “projection” is determined by two metrics: “confidence” and “likelihood.” The former is a qualitative measure of how confident researchers are in a given conclusion; the latter is a quantitative assessment of the statistical probability that the prophecy will come to pass.

When it comes to “confidence,” the report classifies its predictions with one of four descriptors: low, medium, high, or very high confidence. When you hear someone say that they have “high confidence” in a particular outcome, you probably think that means “almost certain.” But when readers peruse the fine print that explains how the report defines these terms, they find that only “moderate evidence” and “some consistency” in research findings is required in order to designate a “high confidence” prediction. Not only that, but “high confidence” projections are ones where “methods vary” in the supporting research “and/or documentation [is] limited.” Finally, the report says that its “high confidence” conclusions are drawn from a “medium consensus.”

In short, then, the definitional threshold for “high confidence” only seems to require a modicum of evidence. By design, readers of the report would miss this little trick unless they read the fine print in the preliminary materials of the report. And on the off-chance that a journalist was aware of the shockingly-low level of certitude required for such “high confidence,” most reporters wouldn’t mention it. After all, that would undermine the entire rhetorical purpose of the document. So much for the measure of “confidence.”

How do we fare on the scale of “likelihood”? Here the report offers five descriptors: “very likely” (defined as “≥ 9 in 10” chance), “likely” (defined as “≥ 2 in 3” chance), “as likely as not” (“1 in 2”), “unlikely” (“≤ 1 in 3”), and “very unlikely” (“≤ 1 in 10”). Of course, this scale is completely useless as the deliberative weight of these measures wholly depends on the case in question.

If a bag held nine red slips of paper and one green one and you told me that if I draw the green one wearing a blindfold that I will win a million dollars, I would see “1 in 10” as surprisingly good odds. I wouldn’t call winning the million a “very unlikely” outcome (as the report’s metric would). In the same vein, if you told me that a horse had a 66 percent chance of winning the race, I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “likely” outcome (as the report would), and I certainly wouldn’t place a large bet on it. After all, “experts” often make “very likely” predictions with a 99 percent chance of happening—only to get it wrong. Let’s assume, though, that scientists’ estimates of likelihood are accurate when it comes to climate change. Is a 70 percent chance of catastrophe a high enough likelihood to justify costly, sweeping reforms that would fundamentally change the nation’s way of life?

With all its inconsistencies and misdirection, the authors of the report still find ways to congratulate themselves: “climate models have proven remarkably accurate in simulating the climate change we have experienced to date, particularly within the past 60 years or so when we have greater confidence in observations.” Older readers might find this praise strange given that the expert narrative as recently as the late 1970s was that we were entering a new ice age. Has the reliability of their prophecies improved since then? It doesn’t look like it. Some who are inclined to climate alarmism will be tempted to think that I am cherry-picking. Maybe I’ve just chosen isolated, egregious passages from NCA4? Maybe other climate reports don’t play these rhetorical tricks? Readers who harbor these doubts can read my much longer analysis that demonstrates the same tendencies in reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Resisting Scientific Clerisy

The NCA5 will be just as thick with prophecies, masquerading as “projections” that never seem to come true. It will surely warn us that the global threat is even more dire than it was when NCA4 was published, but it will also silently move doomsday a few more years down the road to give us time to pass the preferred legislation. Who knows? Perhaps the climate apocalypse really is “the day after tomorrow.” But the deep, dark secret of climate science is that it will always be the day after tomorrow. That’s because when it does arrive, there will be no more research funding to be had for climate research. Worse, all hope for passing a “Green New Deal” would be extinguished. Those things can’t happen, so the charade rolls on.

This article was published by The American Mind and is reproduced with permission.

UK Close to Blackout, While 12% of Germany GDP Pays for Energy Crisis

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

Last Monday in Great Britain the entire steel industry shut down because the wind stopped and wholesale prices reached £2,586 a megawatt-hour. As winter cranks up, British factories are getting ready to shutdown, as the threat of small, medium and blockbuster blackouts loom. In the fifth largest economy in the world, thousands of people are using communal warm spaces because they can’t afford electricity any longer, and the largest North Sea gas producer has decided not to drill for more gas just when the country needs it. The government has slapped a new tax on it, thus achieving the exact opposite of what the government aimed for.

Meanwhile over in Germany one eighth of the entire national economy is now consumed with paying for the energy crisis of 2022. They tried to hold back the seas in 2100 but forgot to secure their own electricity a year in advance.

These are very expensive experiments. They aren’t telling you this but UK is close to nationwide blackouts.

This article was published by CFACT and is reproduced with permission.

Is There an EV in Your Future?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Discussions about converting the American fleet of over 275 million vehicles to EVs keep accelerating as more car companies begin to offer EV models.  In California, the enlightened leadership has dictated that no internal combustion vehicles will be sold in the state after 2034.  Let us look at the practicality of this conversion.

This investigation began in conversation with a friend who knows the vehicle market as well as anyone.  Not only is he one of my go-to guys regarding his in-depth knowledge of cars, but he operates a leasing/car acquisition company and has detailed knowledge of the vehicle market.  The discussion was during the highest gas pricing phase in California. He stated he regularly gets calls from people wanting EVs. He advised clients that the additional cost of an EV – even at that moment when gas prices had hit their highest point – did not make economic sense.  Overall, you will still pay more for the EV in total cost than with a gas-fueled vehicle, and that includes rebates.  This was before the price of EVs escalated significantly because of the soaring cost of lithium and cobalt — essential to the building of EV batteries. 

Is that all the costs for converting to an EV?  I had some discussions with a general contractor and electrical contractor who work with these issues regularly.

I inquired what it would cost to retrofit my home for an EV.  The electrical contractor said though not every home would have the same costs, this is what it would cost for my home.  I would have to retrofit my electrical panel and that would run around $2,500. He cautioned not every home needs that.  I would need to run a line for the EV to my garage costing from $850 to $2,000. The price of that would go up if both the Beautiful Wife and I were to get EVs. 

The general contractor pointed out that Siemens, an international company, in coordination with an American company, ConnectDER, had developed a simplified EV connector.  The device is a collar to your home electrical meter.  The cost of the collar has not been announced yet.  The reception of the power companies having a device connected to the meter which derives power for an EV has not been sorted out either.  This device is supposed to cut the cost of adapting your electric panel from the current thousands of dollars.  This may work for single-family detached homes, but it does not resolve the bigger problem – apartment buildings and condos.

This discussion came from a story the general contractor told me about consulting with the owner of an eleven-unit building who wanted to add eleven charging stations.  The building original conceived as condos was being renovated to be sold off as condos after the renovation.  The cost to put in charging stations for all the units was budgeted at $10,000.  They had discussions with DWP (the Los Angeles power company).  The DWP would not drop in a new service just for the EVs.  DWP was requiring a new main distribution panel/electrical closet at a cost of over $100,000.  The owner passed on putting in the charging stations.

Whereas a single family detached home may have enough room on their electrical panel to expand for an EV, an apartment or condo building is built without that level of flexibility.  In a 50-unit building the panels are designed for the anticipated load of the existing units.  The electrical contractor pointed out each vehicle would need a charging station and they would not be operated by credit card as they are in commercial areas. 

The building would need to be rewired for the charging to be billed separately to each unit. The electrical contractor estimated the cost for retrofitting the building at between $400,000 and $500,000.  Also, the entire electrical service in the building would have to be shut down for an unknown period.

The electrical contractor then conveyed that the power company (DWP in LA) must redo their lines to accommodate the load capacity of the new EV chargers.  Since often there is a street with multiple apartment/condo buildings, the power company would need to completely re-engineer their delivery system to accommodate all these new EV charging stations.  The electrical contractor would not begin to estimate the cost and inconvenience of that or how long it would take to redo the entire city. 

The two contractors suggested the power company was in no way prepared to handle the huge demand that would be generated by the statewide dictate to convert to EVs.  I set out to check with the DWP of Los Angeles.  The community affairs spokesperson directed me to their annual glossy report.  The most recent one spoke only of having 45,000 commercial charging stations by 2025 and 120,000 by 2030.  This is in a city of four million people and an estimated two million residences.

I asked her the following, “How is DWP going to rewire for every apartment building, condo and single-family residence that will need to install EV chargers as dictated by the Governor?  What would the costs of that be?  That is what I am seeking.  Also, how much additional energy draw would there be?” She said she would get back to me.  When she did, she stated “The information from our Briefing Book is our answers to your questions.”  My reply was “Otherwise you have no real plan to deal with millions of charging stations.”

Many people have seen a few charging stations added to commercial buildings.  You may be thinking what is the big deal?  Commercial building owners do not need to rewire their buildings because they only have a few stations.  Those stations allow charging by credit card.  The cost of the installation is not borne by the building owner.  The owner typically passes those costs through to tenants as operating expenses under terms of their leases and recoups the full cost of those installations within a year.  Once there are mainly EVs on the road, the home charging stations will function as the principal source of energy.

Apartment owners have no such means to recoup their extensive costs.  In most cities in America (certainly in California), there is rent control.  There are no discernible means to recoup the funds.  They cannot increase rents.  That will not stop the city councils of many cities to fall in line with this “Dreamsville” plan for EVs to dictate that building owners install these charging stations.  Renters will, of course, say the “rich” apartment owners can afford to install the charging stations.  It is not their money.  And then there is the condo building where anyone who has lived in a condo knows the boards are designed to wreak havoc.

This is the end game of what happens when you elect people to run your state/city who have never run anything in their lives.  They dictate idealistic plans while not thinking their way through to the end of the scenario.  Gallivanting Gavin will be off running for president touting this as one of his accomplishments while leaving us with his unachievable, idealistic mess.

Let me leave you with this thought: If EVs are so good why do they have to be mandated? Why has the federal government had to commit billions of dollars and recommit more billions of dollars to subsidize their purchase?


This article was published by Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

It Is Still a Dilemma for Investors

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Editors’ Note: The author’s warning and advice at the end of this article are so important. The economic problems plaguing much of the world are related to Democrat and Biden administration governance in many areas of public policy and economic management. The Inflation Reduction Act (misnamed – it is the Green New Deal Slush Fund Act), environmental and energy policy with its war on fossil fuel, cozy energy relationships with China enriching a determined enemy (solar panels, windmills, battery technology, critical minerals, et al), misguided and dangerous foreign policy (Russia/Ukraine) and other error prone policy areas are all contributing to a slowing national and world economy with punishing inflation for all. The November 8th midterm election truly is a critical one for this nation. Both the U.S. Senate and House must be replaced by the ‘other’ party and elections at every level of state elections must also force this change (down to the local school boards). This election must address and stop the damaging and dangerous progressive policies hurting our nation and all its citizens.


We wrote an earlier series of articles on markets and the economy where we talked about the investor’s dilemma.

Put briefly, we saw the FED having to raise interest rates to fight inflation, which would take the easy money environment away that supported the “everything bubble.” This bubble included sharp simultaneous price increases in stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and real estate.

We were correct in that just about all these markets began to retreat and a reversal of negative trends does not seem yet at hand. We are likely still in the middle innings of this ball game. Retreating to cash which we recommended, has buffered against severe losses, but cash is losing value at 8%-10% a year, so there has been no really good place to hide.

The stock market rallied this summer but stalled out at important resistance. It would seem more pain is to come.  Bonds are falling to new lows. Real estate prices are starting to weaken. Even oil, which had provided good profits in a generally retreating market has now stumbled. Prices as of this writing have dropped from about $130 bbl to around $82 bbl. It would seem the markets are starting to factor in demand destruction stemming from a worldwide slowdown. Factoring in a drop in corporate earnings seems the next logical step.

The economy itself is putting out contradictory messages; flirting with a recession, but not really in one. Real GDP has been down for two quarters, yet the official arbiter, the National Bureau of Economic Research has not rendered an official verdict. Employment data still looks strong, but freight rates are weak, container prices are falling, and lumber prices are weak. The US leading economic indicators have now been down for five months in a row. By the time the NBER gets around to its official declaration, we could already be well into recession. Meanwhile, it is important to remember markets move six months to a year before the economy. Their job is to discount the future, not necessarily reflect the present.

Equally important, the FED continues to tighten in the face of growing weakness. Some feel the FED will soon whimp out, others suggest they are serious about curtailing inflation. Markets move spasmodically on every FED statement.

Precious metals, which historically have generally gone up while other things are going down, have not worked well as a hedge, at least so far in this cycle. The reasons for that remain mysterious and are a subject for another day.

Our general thesis was correct. The dilemma is that there is not really a good place to go to make a decent positive return. This recalls one of the dictums of the great market analyst Richard Russell: in a bear market, he who loses the least is the winner. That may be about as good as most of us will be able to do.

However, some things have come along that we did not anticipate.

The war in Ukraine in particular has created great additional expense for defense and will be hitting government budgets already hemorrhaging from Covid lockdown, wild socialist spending, and an energy crisis. This is adding hugely to government deficits around the world and we have likely not even seen the worst of it. How will central banks finance such additional deficits and fight inflation at the same time?

In addition, many governments are now rushing to subsidize drastically higher energy costs stemming from a lethal combination of war disruption of supply, excessive reliance on Russian energy, and the green attack on traditional energy sources. These subsidies are also causing fiscal deficits to expand.

If all the bonds to finance these deficits were sold in the marketplace, it means lower bond prices (higher interest rates), which presses the fragile everything bubble even harder. If the central banks buy the government debt, it means they have to reverse their stated policy to reduce their balance sheets. The credibility of the central bank’s efforts to fight inflation is on the line, and the risk of policy error on their part is uncomfortably high.

Soaring energy costs and outright shortages for winter pose a severe problem for Europe in particular. Government spending for added defense measures plus likely more spending to stabilize a contracting economy still lie ahead.

We did anticipate the bursting of the Chinese real estate bubble, and policymakers there are making things even worse with the unjustified continuation of Covid lockdown policies. It is not clear how the second largest economy in the world is going to cope with the economic blowback generated from these events. Recently, China lowered interest rates, while everyone else in the world is raising them. Why would they do that?  Because things are weak at home.

We also did not fully anticipate that policymakers would be so fanatically wedded to the “Green New Deal”, and impose energy production contraction on top of war-related shortages. There seems no evidence capable of dissuading these fanatics from imposing an additional burden on the economic system of the world. 

Even with self-evident soaring electricity costs, soaring natural gas prices for winter, and the destruction of industrial capacity,  European policymakers march forward towards their mythical environmental goals like they are characters out of the Walking Dead.

Not only will they freeze likely millions in the process, the shortage of fertilizer and restrictions on farmers, are likely to create food shortages. There was already supply disruption, particularly in grains, due to the Ukraine war. As a consequence of rising food and fuel, unrest is spreading in many countries and political stability issues will become an additional burden for markets to figure out.

It is worth emphasizing that war, Covid lockdown, the destruction of cheap available energy, and food shortages, are all products of government policy. But watch, they will be eager to blame the free market for these maladies.

The bad news is these policy errors will likely make what was already a tough economic cycle even worse.

One of the areas little covered by the financial press is currency rates. Generally, moves of 5-10% are considered large in these markets. The reason is it can throw international trade into turmoil.

So far, the British Pound is down 20% from recent highs, the Japanese Yen is down 28%, and the Euro is breaking the buck down 20%. All this and we are not even into winter when the self-induced energy crisis will have its full impact.

If the Yen is down 28%, then Japanese goods are 28% relatively cheaper than US goods in the global market. If you were a company in Brazil, would you buy Komatsu or Caterpillar equipment?  What if in the US, you could buy a good Japanese product cheaper than US made? But it also means Japanese goods are more competitive with Chinese goods, and with Korean goods as well. See the problem? There will be fierce competition for dwindling demand. These currency moves are massive and will have an impact on world trade.

In some ways, we are seeing an echo of the “beggar thy neighbor” policies; competitive currency devaluation, which made the Great Depression of the 1930s much worse.

These are really big currency moves and have the potential to create a world trade crisis, which again, will exacerbate economies already contracting.

In an economically integrated world, you can’t have huge economies like Japan, Europe, and China all get into trouble and not have an impact on us.

These conditions have also created an ultra-strong US dollar, which makes US exports more expensive and will hurt the earnings of many US-based multinational corporations. This very strong US dollar is also a factor in causing gold to misbehave.

There are some signs of sanity. Japan will be reopening many closed nuclear power stations, but the German greens would rather burn coal and wood than concede their mistaken policies towards nuclear power. Britain’s new government just allowed fracking once again. California may delay taking offline just one remaining nuclear plant, while at the same time mandating the use of electric vehicles. They are already importing a third of their electricity.

Chile thankfully rejected constitutional changes that would have ruined one of the few good economic stories out of Latin America.

In the US, the fall voters will make absolutely pivotal decisions whether or not to reign in the wild spending, energy-destroying regulations, and Constitutional overreach of the Biden Administration. Its abuse of power, and its terrible economic policies, need to be solidly rejected.

If you care about your household budget, having a car and air conditioning, and your 401K; you better make an extra effort in the next few months to have your voice heard.

The markets and the economy will still be in tough shape, but stopping Biden and the Democrats may be our only hope to keep things from getting even worse.