Tag Archive for: GreenNewDeal

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?

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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.

Musk: “Civilization Will Crumble” Without Oil and Gas

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: Elon Musk is hard to categorize. On the one hand, he is selling a lot of cars because of government subsidies, tax breaks, and coercion. But on the other hand, he notes such policies are anti-human and will lead to great misery and chaos. His space business gets a lot of both government and private sector business, largely because NASA could not do the job and left the world reliant on Russian rockets. He seems to believe in having children, yet he has them with multiple women. But with his comments below,  he recognizes that we are destroying cheap, healthy, and dependable energy sources, seeking to replace that technology with new methods that are unproven and way behind the curve. He recognizes that environmentalism today puts a mythical “earth” above the needs of people, and thus is a secular religion that will likely kill a lot of people in the process. More ironic is that solar panels and windmills could not even be made without material and the energy created by fossil fuels. The “new energy” is completely dependent on the “old” energy it seeks to eliminate. But so is just about everything that provides our high standard of living almost totally dependent on fossil fuels. He seems to understand all this while our political leaders do not. Given his following, this is a good thing, even if we may disagree with some aspects of his business and personal life.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke out about the need for more drilling and exploration of fossil-fuel resources for decades to come while addressing attendees at the ONS 2022 energy conference in Stavanger, Norway, on Monday.

“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters at the conference.

When asked if Norway should continue to drill for oil and gas, Musk said, “I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time.”

“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy,” he said.

“That will take some decades to complete.”

Warning the conference participants who are quite aware of the world’s energy woes, especially in Europe, Musk stated, “We actually need more oil and gas, not less.” This is in line with the current concern that Europe’s energy issues will get much worse over the upcoming winter. There is also the risk of continued high gas prices and the fact that the power grid is being rendered more unstable in the United States by reliance on so-called sustainable energy.

The Blaze reported,

Musk’s theme of civilizational collapse as a response to a premature transition off of fossil fuels is taken up in scientist and policy analyst Vaclav Smil’s recent book “How the World Really Works.” Although Smil discusses the impact more broadly, he zeroes in on our food supply’s link to fossil fuels: “Our food supply — be it staple grains, clucking birds, favorite vegetables, or seafood praised for its nutritious quality — has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels.”

Smil, like Musk, anticipates a transition, but does not think it can be rushed. “Even if we try to change the global food system as fast as is realistically conceivable, we will be eating transformed fossil fuels, be it as loaves of bread or as fishes, for decades to come.”

He is certain that the coming transition “will not be (it cannot be) a sudden abandonment of fossil carbon, nor even its rapid demise — but rather its gradual decline.”

Last week Musk, the electric-vehicle pioneer and disciple of renewable energy sources, tweeted, “Countries should be increasing nuclear power generation! It is insane from a national security standpoint & bad for the environment to shut them down.”

response to Elon’s tweet stated, “Nuclear is clean, efficient, and could replace fossil fuels entirely if it was embraced. It’s not, because so-called environmentalists aren’t pro-clean energy, they are anti-human.” Musk agreedposting, “Some are indeed sadly anti-human.”

Germany is suffering from the “anti-human” environmentalists’ effect on their nation’s green-energy goals. They have gone from 17 nuclear power plants to just three in an aggressive transition to wind and solar power, which has not worked. Germany still heavily relies on fossil fuels for more than 75 percent of the nation’s energy needs.

Musk’s comments come after California Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Air Resources Board voted to require all new vehicles in the state to run on electricity by 2035. California, the nation’s most populous state, is likely to suffer grave consequences from this massive government-forced regulation.

California’s “ground-breaking” effort to lead the nation and world with Zero Emission Vehicle goals can only lead the state into an economic abyss brought forth by renewable energy grand illusions. The infrastructure and technology required to even get the ball rolling toward being free of fossil fuels is at the very least decades away.

Joining California last week, the far-left Marxist states of Massachusetts and Washington also issued mandates requiring the purchase of electric vehicles. In what can only be pure nonsensical “green madness” lemming behavior, those states passed legislation in 2019 to follow whatever guidelines are enacted by the California Air Resources Board. Sadly, all of these states are falling victim to the policies of their hubris-infected, green-energy politicians.

Elon Musk’s warning that civilization will crumble could very well come to pass if the Democrat-supported leftist green-energy evangelists continue to impose their oppressive agenda. The Great Reset is in play, and the world as we know it is rapidly changing.  So, it is up to all of us to continue to challenge our leaders and keep them on a path away from the evils and falsehood of “sustainable” energy.

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

What Would Global Decarbonization Actually Cost?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As those who write frequently on climate policy issues, we are often asked, What will decarbonization cost?. Decarbonization is the term used to refer to effectively eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases, usually measured in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent, allegedly to stop human-caused global warming. In practical terms, that means ending use of hydrocarbons (oil, natural gas, and coal), and the energy services provided by them. According to the agreement reached at the United Nations COP25 conference in Paris in 2015, the goal is to achieve decarbonization by 2050.

Looking back less than 200 years, we had a decarbonized society with no coal-fired power plants, no natural gas power plants, and the Beverly Hillbillies had not yet discovered oil. Its easy to see how civilization has benefited from more than 250 leading-edge, hydrocarbon processing licensed refining technologies used by the more than 700 refineries worldwide that serve the demands of the eight billion people living on earth with more than 6,000 products made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of raw crude oil at refineries. None of these products were available to society before 1900.

This is all very silly to consider. A better question might be how much life on earth would be lost on the way to eliminating fossil fuels. Certainly, all medical facilities could not function without hundreds of critical products derived from petroleum. How long would the public be willing to put up with the life their ancestors left behind in the middle of the 19th century, think 1850?

Everyone would begin to look toward life in the poorest area where electric power and continuous clean running water are not available. Like we said the discussion is silly but as an intellectual exercise, we will pursue it in a series of articles in the next few weeks here at CFACT.org, your home for some of the most interesting scientific developments.

The short answer to the initial question is of course, Nobody knows.” And sensible people dont care knowing it is a pipe dream of the not-too-smart liberal, progressive, socialist, and communist communities. That lack of knowledge, nobody knows” is a rather astounding statement, in that 196 governments of the world agreed in principle that they will pursue an objective whose costs are completely unknown. Keep in mind their primary goal has never had much to do with climate or temperature but rather a way to destroy capitalism and create the communist world foreseen over a century ago in Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution.

There have been no engineering studies, no feasibility analyses, and no benefit/cost analyses to which one might refer. This, however, has not stopped several western countries from embracing the goal with religious fervor. That should be a tip-off to the impossibility, as religion and politics or business never mixTo come up with even a partial answer in this fictional world we will examine it as an intellectual exercise from different perspectives.

How much have the countries of the world spent so far on measures that are intended to reduce emissions by reducing energy consumption, encouraging substitution to low or zero emission fuels, or promoting the research and development of new emissions-free sources of energy? What have been the costs to consumers? These are relatively easy questions to answer.

Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society. Being mandated to live without the products manufactured from crude oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800s and could be the greatest threat to civilizations eight billion residents.

What are the projected costs of future measures out to 2050, is it a little more difficult but still an amusing attempt at calculation? A simple way to address this hopeless effort of Decarbonization is to try and calculate the costs to eliminate each ton of carbon dioxide emissions.

We hope our efforts here and the next two weeks are an enjoyable read which can only end with an optimistic outlook.

What Complete Decarbonization Means

First things first. Let us establish what full decarbonization – the complete elimination of the use of oil, natural gas, and coal – would mean for life in the countries of the world better yet Life on Earth.

History offers the answers. Before 1800 the earth, our nation, and the world had no active carbon derivatives other than our bodies and animals, and plants all constructed of carbon by Mother Nature. Essentially none was used to enhance life other than allowing plant food to grow throughout the world and then increased dramatically by human agriculture.

The invention of the steam engine allowed coal to be used to power industrial plants, trains, and ships. The discovery of large oilfields and ways to produce from them in the late 19th century, followed by the invention of the internal combustion engine to power cars and trucks in the early part of the 20th century, revolutionized the way people and goods moved. The invention around the same time of electricity and of ways to transport and apply electricity for lighting and heating allowed the application of energy to hundreds of new uses, a process that goes on today. Energy made work easier and allowed a massive increase in economic activity (investment, employment, and trade) that improved living standards and expanded peoples choices of what to do and how to spend their time.

Today, about 84% of the energy used in the world comes from fossil fuels. The rest comes from a variety of sources, the most important of which are nuclear energy, hydroelectricity, and traditional biomass (wood and dried animal dung). New renewables, like wind and solar energy, account for about two per cent.

Oil and natural gas are also extremely important sources of feedstock (i.e., building materials) for petroleum and petrochemical products. Without them, we would not have access to hundreds of products that most people consider either essential or highly valuable for modern life. The examples are almost endless but allow us to cite a few that young people in the richer countries might miss if they were gone – televisions, cell phones, computers, most clothes and footwear, refrigerators, air conditioners, hand lotion and cosmetics, antiseptics, deodorant, purses, pantyhose, eyeglasses, luggage, and credit cards. There would be no plastic products to supply a huge range of things varying from water pipes to ice cube trays. Life as we know it would have much less variety.

Neither wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society

What would ending oil consumption mean? Well, the largest energy-consuming sector is transportation, where oil-fueled vehicles and other modes of transport constitute about 97% of consumption.

Without fossil fuels Air Force One would be grounded along with all sections of the Military.

People like to hope that electric cars will catch on, but up to now, they constitute only 3% of new car sales, even with government subsidies of up to $7,500 per vehicle. Would we really be able to eliminate all internal combustion light duty vehicles regardless of cost? Would people be glad to go everywhere by foot, bicycle, or (if you were lucky) by bus at all times and in all weather conditions? The fastest growing source of transportation emissions is commercial trucks. Electric-powered trucks are barely on the horizon. How would we move products around if we eliminated the trucks? The most emissions-intensive mode of transportation is aviation. There simply are no technologies available or on the horizon that would fuel aircraft or marine vessels in the absence of oil products (unless marine shipping reverted to the use of sail). The long-distance transportation of freight and people would be severely limited, with resulting effects on global trade and tourism.

All the parts of vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels are made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. Eliminating crude oil would eliminate vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels

Everything we have said in Part 1 of this three-part series on the idiocy of decarbonizing the world would be intuitively obvious to the least knowledgeable among us. Do they ignore it, do they know its an exercise in futility and stupidity? How has this project actually become mainstream? We will explore this next week here at CFACT.org.

Note: Robert Lyman is an economist who served in the Canadian government for 38 years

Note: Ron Stein contributed to this article.

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

Rethinking Climate Change: Are the Apocalyptic Models Wrong?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The passion of the green movement has captured the world’s attention with its incessant demands for solutions to taper carbon emissions. Unfortunately, these appeals are rarely questioned due to the clout of environmental activists. We are automatically expected to endorse the assumptions of climate activists or be accused of science denialism. But closer introspection exposes the unscientific approach of climate activism.

Climate activists propose that we embrace the argument that COis a pollutant as an article of faith without delivering compelling evidence. Noting that COwarms the planet by trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere is an inept argument because warming has positive and negative effects. The strength of the green movement is predicated on the belief that warming is a deleterious activity that must be abated at all costs.

But this is a false proposition that fails to consider the ameliorative effects of global warming. Global warming is associated with the greening of the planet and rising biodiversity. In fact, NASA satellites have observed that the greening of the earth during recent decades has been considerable. Moreover, NASA even computed that the earth is greener today than in the 1980s.

Global greening implies that the increasing availability of farmlands for agricultural production can avert fears of an impending food crisis. Global greening will also limit threats to wildlife by providing habitats for them to thrive. Blanket denunciations of global warming as a pollutant obscure the complexity of climate science.

Instead of worrying about global warming activists should be concerned with outlier possibilities and doing so is difficult because the optimal level of warming is debatable. Although Nobel Winner William Nordhaus describes 4°C as the optimal level of warming, some scientists disagree with his conclusions. The uncertainty surrounding the optimal level of global warming indicates that policymakers should approach the management of warming-related risks with caution rather than alarmism.

And for all the discontent that warming has caused, a 2011 study by Roy Spencer and William Braswell found that the earth’s atmosphere is not as adept at containing heat as activists have suggested. Even more important is that recent research shows that climate models are overestimating warming. One study avers that cloud processes are a possible reason for outlandish estimates:

Thus, although there appears to be no single property in the current generation of CMIP6 models to which the increased range and higher values on the upper end of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity can be attributed, cloud feedbacks and cloud-aerosol interactions in models with prognostic aerosol schemes seem to be playing an important role.

A survey of the data has revealed that warming is not as dangerous as climate activists would want you to think. Now, let’s consider the benefits of CO2. According to a study from Australia, heightened levels of carbon dioxide have vegetated arid regions through a process known as CO2 fertilization. Speaking to reporters, research scientist Dr. Randall Donohue shares how the process unfolds:

If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. These changes in leaf cover can be detected by satellite, particularly in deserts and savannas where the cover is less complete than in wet locations…. On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in a dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas.

Additionally, international researchers have concluded that carbon dioxide emissions are fertilizing plants and by greening the planet allows vegetation to moderate global warming by consuming carbon emissions. Likewise, examining the effects of carbon emissions on agricultural output, Jan F. Degener found that CO2 is crucial for obtaining higher yields:

Rising CO2 concentrations will play a central role in keeping future yields of all crops above or around today’s level … Generally, yields will increase when CO2 rises and decline when it is kept constant.

Aside from vilifying COand global warming, climate alarmists mistakenly think that climate change is a preventable event. The climate is always changing and it will change without human beings. Human beings can only manage their response to climate change to minimize damage. Furthermore, the global effects of climate change are unequal. Russia, China, and the US could record an increase in arable land due to climate change, while tropical and subtropical regions might experience losses.

Also interesting is that scientific evidence argues that contrary to the doomsday predictions of alarmists global agriculture and welfare appear unthreatened by climate change and instead “problematic agricultural policies aimed at mitigation should be relaxed.” On the other hand, Chiu-Ming Hsiao in a 2022 paper opines that climate policies should be compatible with a country’s level of development: “Not all countries should take carbon reduction actions immediately. Under the consideration of global economic growth, countries have their own economic growth needs and carry out appropriate economic activities.”

Another defect in the climate alarmist movement is the promotion of renewables. Renewables generate significant waste and have been proven to be an unreliable source of energy that is powered by fossil fuels. But it’s quite hilarious that advocacy for renewables has unleashed a new problem that would not exist if climate activists were reasonable.

The demand for rare earth minerals that are used in the creation of renewables is driving terrestrial mining, but because activists oppose terrestrial mining some have proposed deep sea mining. As expected, activists are opposing deep sea mining with equal vigor. Compared to terrestrial mining, deep sea mining is less toxic and disruptive. The conundrum is that activists want renewables but dismiss both forms of mining. However, a true dilemma doesn’t exist because renewables are costly, toxic, and inefficient.

The real problem is that unscientific activists are shaping public policy to the detriment of ordinary people. Consequently, it is the inability to halt the success of climate alarmism that presents a genuine existential threat. It should trouble us that a movement led by misguided people has the influence to derail industrial progress and make millions suffer.

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This article was published by The Ludwig von Mises Institute and is reproduced with permission.

Energy Shortage and Mineral Dependence

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editors’ Note: Although the November 8th election here in Arizona will be focused on economic issues and our southern border invasion, the Inflation Reduction Act should be a central issue for the Senate race between Blake Masters (R) and incumbent Mark Kelly (D). Similarly, incumbent Kyrsten Sinema (D) will attempt to remain in her Senate seat in 2024. Both of these leftist Senators represented a 51st vote that passed the dishonestly named Inflation Reduction Act. It was really a disguised Green New Deal bill passed by reconciliation (50 Democrat votes + the VP) and represents enormous threats to America’s national security and economy. The following article factually describes these threats and the absurdity and danger of Mark Kelly’s and Kyrsten Sinema’s votes. They claim to be voting in Arizona’s interests but the reality is the opposite. Both deserve to be defeated in the November and 2024 elections respectively. In Blake Master’s senatorial quest, be assured he would never support such a bill, including the obscene weaponization of the IRS with 87,000 agents new agents.

 

The Biden Administration got its key legislation through Congress, thanks in large part to Senators Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona. Previously, they had opposed key provisions of the larger Build Back Better, but caved to this latest spending travesty. As Bloomberg News put it ” it is a climate bill, just don’t call it that.”

The misnamed Inflation Reduction Act contains large provisions for suppressing oil and gas production and forcing a change over to so-called “renewables” and electric vehicles. It embraces what has become known as the Green New Deal.

This is coupled with the Biden policy of selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, largely to help Democrats in November by temporarily putting pressure downward on gasoline prices.

The typical news report will tell you that sales from the reserve now push America’s reserves back to levels last seen in 1985.

That is true as far as it goes, except the economy is larger than in 1985, which means the level of reserve is even lower in relative terms to total output and population.

Per capita, oil consumption has fallen from 1985 largely because of increased efficiency. But overall consumption is about  26% greater.

In comparing levels of the reserve with 1985, you must consider the economy is much larger than in 1985, and the population is considerably greater as well.

Presently, the US uses approximately 19.78 million barrels a day, versus 15.69 million barrels in 1985.

Real Gross Domestic Product, which is GDP adjusted for inflation, a more accurate measure of the size of the economy, was just under $20 Trillion in 2021, versus about $8.5 trillion in 1985. In other words, our economy is almost 2 1/2 times larger. That we have that kind of economic growth and only increased oil consumption by 26% is a remarkable testament to increased efficiency, which of course means less “greenhouse gases.”

The population has grown from 238 million people in 1985 to over 338 million today.

The problem is, that it leaves the country much more vulnerable to energy shocks caused by geopolitical events. The SPR  must support a much larger economy and a substantially greater population. So the result is to leave us much worse off than we were in 1985.

Moreover, all the oil taken from the reserve needs to be replaced, which means all that was provided to the economy to help moderate gasoline prices in the short term for election purposes, will have to be reversed at some point, lest the country is left in a bad state of energy insecurity. This oil needs to be replaced at the same time Biden and his green goblins are reducing production. This obviously adds to demand at some point while production is falling, a formula for higher prices.

Meanwhile, it appears that the forced transition to electric vehicles is hitting some significant snags, that potentially are extremely dangerous. However, no consideration is given to these issues as the legislation pushes demand for electric vehicles through loans, and subsidies,  even while battery production cannot possibly meet demand.

No less than the left-leaning Economist Magazine, a reliably anti-Trump screed, points out the problem in their most recent issue. In a remarkable article, “Could the EV boom run out of juice before it really gets going?”, the magazine points out a total lack of capacity to meet demand and extreme dependence on China for both production and the minerals necessary for production.

To quote from the article:

Most troubling for Western carmakers is China’s dominance of battery-making. The country houses close to 80% of the world’s current cell-manufacturing capacity. Benchmark Minerals forecasts that China’s share will decline in the next decade or so, but only a bit—to just under 70%. By then America would be home to just 12% of global capacity, with Europe accounting for most of the rest.

Other metals such as cobalt come from unstable areas such as Congo, and much of the lithium comes from Chile.  Chile this fall will vote on a revision of its constitution that if passed, will nationalize natural resources.  This recalls the famous quote attributed to Milton Friedman to the effect that “if the government were to take over the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in five years.”

Moreover, it takes 5 to 25 years to build new mines, and Chilean production using ponds consumes enormous amounts of water in extremely arid regions.

And then there is the extreme dependence on China, a country that is hostile to the US. As the Economist puts it:

“Even if the West’s EV industry somehow managed to secure enough metals and battery-making capacity, it would still face a giant problem in the middle of the supply chain, refining, where China enjoys near-monopolies. Chinese companies refine nearly 70% of the world’s lithium, 84% of its nickel and 85% of its cobalt… as with battery manufacturers, Chinese refiners gobble up dirty coal-generated electricity. On top of that, according to Trafigura, both European and North American firms are also expected to rely on foreign suppliers, often Chinese ones, for at least half the capacity to convert refined ores into the materials that go into batteries.”

Burning coal to make batteries.  Make sense to you?

Besides battery assembly and raw material supply issues, there is evidence charging stations don’t work.

And when batteries catch on fire, they can electrocute first responders and are almost impossible to extinguish.

Readers need to appreciate that this is not a normal transition in energy sources such as we have had in the past. This is a top-down, politically driven effort based on the dubious science of global warming. Since when have politicians ever designed anything as complex as this without making a complete hash out of it? Rather than adapting to climate change (which is naturally occurring all the time), they are attempting to change the climate of the earth and the very basic way we live.

It would seem appropriate that new systems to replace existing systems should be thoroughly tested before implementation. But the green industrial complex is in a hurry lest we get wind of their failures.

That is dangerous enough. The track record of the Department of Energy is strewn with failures. But clearly, this effort is coupled with a policy to suppress that which we have (domestic oil, gas, and coal capabilities) which in fact makes us very dependent on both production and refining of essential minerals from countries with shaky politics. And in the case of China, the US is made dependent on an outright hostile regime for the production and refining of vital materials. Finally, we are about 80% dependent on battery production itself.

Ironically, if we do get Chinese production, it will be on the back of massive coal consumption. How does that move the needle on global warming, the underlying cause for this incredibly arrogant attempt to alter the climate in 100 years?

Is it wise to leave a nation’s energy grid and transportation sector in the hands of hostile powers? Are there any realists left in the Departments of State and Defense anymore? Is the security of the nation of no consideration here?

We are moving from energy independence to energy dependence, and almost complete production and mineral dependence on a country that is our enemy. Given the nature of the world, as it is, this is a move beyond stupid to suicidal.

Senators Kelly and Sinema, do you care?

 

 

 

Time to Deal With Politicians Who Keep Bringing Us Massive Needless Spending Bills.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: Thomas Patterson’s excellent review of the deceptive and punishing Inflation Reduction Act ends with a statement about Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona. He is accurately labeled as the 51st vote for the Inflation Reduction Act causing incalculable damage to Americans’ economic well-being and liberty and should be a major focus of the November 8th election. He is a political fraud – he is no ‘bipartisan centrist’. In addition, he has a long history of involvement and economic enrichment with Tencent Holding, Ltd., a giant Chinese tech and multimedia company with very close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The ‘Senator from Beijing’ (Mark Kelly) should be voted out of office by Arizonans in less than 90 days, in part for the reasons well described below.

 

Manchin and Sinema had a chance to go down in history as heroes. They courageously withstood withering criticism to save the republic from trillions of dollars of inflation–fanning intergenerational theft.

But finally, they fell for the oldest trick in the book – the “dad can I have a pony“ swindle, traditionally practiced by clever youngsters who were willing to settle for a puppy in the first place. Exhausted by the mental energy required to resist intraparty pressure and not wanting to be responsible for poor election outcomes, they caved.

They supported the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for $740 billion after sinking (again, thank you) the original $3.6 trillion version.

But what they got was possibly the most deceitful bill in the history of bills. The “IRA will reduce the deficit by $300 billion“ claimed huckster-in–chief Joe Biden. “And we’ll do it without raising taxes a penny on those making less than $400,000 per year“.

Are you joking? Let’s start with the IRS, which received an $80 billion spending boost, an amount the Treasury Department reported would result in 87,000 new FTEs, mostly auditors and examiners.

That’s bad news for the middle class. Only 1.8% of American taxpayers earn more than $400,000 yearly. It’s inevitable that the other 98.2%, who make about 75% of the total income, will also receive increased scrutiny.

The only purpose of hiring an army of new auditors would be to increase collections. Anyone familiar with IRS audits knows that even taxpayers who have done no wrong often capitulate to aggressive harassment. The bottom line is that the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that 70% to 90% of the money raised from unreported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 per year.

The bill writers, sensing the problem, added this gem: “Nothing in this section is intended to increase taxes on any taxpayer or small business with a taxable income under $400,000.“.

Get it? Nothing here provides actual protection to any lower-income taxpayers. Instead, the party of good intentions is attempting to avoid accountability, while claiming any unfortunate outcomes won’t be their fault.

The Inflation Reduction Act, it is now well established, will not reduce inflation and won’t reduce the deficit either, according to the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. Instead, all of us will pay for this boondoggle by 1) forking over more money to the IRS (see above) 2) the effects of the new 15% corporate minimum tax passed on to workers and consumers and 3) another government spending spree which will (again) be inflationary. Even Bernie Sanders gets it this time.

But the damage doesn’t stop there, as Steve Moore recently noted in the Wall Street Journal. The IRA would transfer $250 billion from Big Pharma to Big Climate.

Bad idea. Pharmaceutical companies spend $100 billion yearly on R&D, bringing us life-saving and misery-reducing drugs which have, among other benefits, reduced death rates from cancer and heart disease by half in the last 50 years.

The IRA price controls would inhibit innovation with a resulting cost in lost years of life estimated to be 30 times that from Covid, in addition to the increased human suffering and economic losses.

The climate change funds will go mainly to subsidies for wind and solar, which after decades of “start-up” funding produce 7% of America’s total energy. They’re not only unreliable but expensive too. A University of Texas study showed subsidies per megawatt hour of electricity range from 50 cents for coal up to $43 to $320 for solar. Yet we’re going to spend $380 billion more to chase the chimera of avoiding mostly inevitable climate change by vastly reducing our quality of life.

Americans deserve better governments than this. Passing trillion dollars spending bills for no essential reason has become the new normal.

It’s tempting to feel helpless, but what we can do is vote smarter. For starters, Arizonans should remember this in November: Mark Kelly was a tie-breaking vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. With just 51 votes, it couldn’t have passed without him.

He campaigns as a bipartisan centrist but votes like a socialist. It’s time for us to wise up.

*****

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.

 

Democrats’ Green Energy ‘Transition’ Costs You Way More And Gives You Way Less

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Inflation Reduction Act raises taxes on the middle class and will sabotage the country’s power grid by making green energy unavoidable.

 

Democrats and their leftist allies are celebrating the U.S. Senate’s passage of the misnamed “Inflation Reduction Act.” Subject to a vote out of the Rules Committee mid-week, it’s expected that H.R. 5376 will be voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday or over the weekend at the latest. 

The Democrats’ tax and spending bill weighs in at more than 750 pages and covers a wide range of issues from health care to energy. What it doesn’t do is reduce inflation. What it does do is raise taxes in a recession. Violating a key campaign promise of Joe Biden, the bill raises taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year.

When natural gas prices are approaching historical highs, the bill also raises taxes on natural gas, including for household use, by $6.5 billion. This amounts to an average family shelling out 17 percent more for natural gas. With $12 billion in additional taxes on oil and $1.2 billion on coal, Democrats are aggressively pursuing a large-scale “transition” to green energy.

Perhaps Congress should have first asked the Germans how their transition — known there as “Energiewende” — is working out. With German power prices soaring even before Russia invaded Ukraine, Germans are increasingly turning back the clock to coal and, in some cases, even further back to wood. 

Ironically, the Inflation Reduction Act has a provision that provides $2,000 for the installation of “A biomass stove or boiler which (has) a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.” A “biomass stove” is a fancy term for a wood-burning stove.

Burning wood is terrible for air quality. California’s chief air quality regulator warns that burning wood generates carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen (volatile organic compounds that make photochemical smog), ozone, particulates, sulfur dioxide, lead, and mercury. In parts of California, wood burning is banned during air quality alerts. So that fancy $3,000 high-efficiency biomass stove that the federal government underwrote for $2,000 may sit idle on those cold winter days.

The bill also has provisions aimed at preventing tax credits from subsidizing wind, solar, electric vehicles, and batteries that use material from China. But these measures will simply result in substitution: Chinese steel not used in a federally subsidized wind turbine will instead be used in a commercially built high rise.

In 2020, America imported more than $4.6 billion in wind turbines and parts. It’s unclear how rapidly American manufacturing can fill the gap to meet the federally spurred demand. Just in case, the bill has a provision that allows the secretary of energy to waive American provisions if the costs of domestic materials are 25 percent higher than imports from China.

However, an even larger problem hides in plain sight regarding our electric grid. The Inflation Reduction Act doubles down on federal support for wind and solar installations and the costly transmission lines to connect these typically rural facilities with the urban areas that use their power. This problem can be seen in two states that have, for differing reasons, embraced renewable energy: California (mostly solar) and Texas (mostly wind). 

In 2020, the wind power industry installed hardware capable of generating 16.9 gigawatts of wind capacity, almost double the prior year. For perspective, on hot summer days, Texas consumes about 80 gigawatts of power.

But wind power is highly variable. Depending on the location and season, wind turbines produce about 40 percent of their installed capacity.

In Texas, on Aug. 9, the state’s more than 15,000 wind turbines had an installed capacity of about 38 gigawatts — some 29 percent of America’s total wind power — but only generated a peak of 10.4 gigawatts at 2 a.m., falling to 1.4 gigawatts at noon when the power demands were far higher. Thus, Texas’s vast wind farms generated 27 percent of their theoretical capacity at night and less than 4 percent during the day. This is pretty common.

To be useful in a modern nation, an electric grid must reliably generate energy every single hour of every day. As the output from wind power jumps around, it tends to displace reliable hydrocarbon-based power at night, forcing those facilities to curtail their output. Armed with the federal Production Tax Credit, wind producers often pay the grid to take their power — the federal government more than making up for the loss. 

The government constantly reimbursing wind production facilities distorts the marketplace, discouraging investment in power plants that generate dispatchable power. Power plants are able to produce power on demand, unlike wind or solar installations, and the government chooses to subsidize the less effective means of energy production.

H.R. 5376 continues this power grid investment distortion. As a result, every year that sees more wind and solar added to the grid will mean greater pressure on natural gas and coal-fired power plants to close. Without adequate dispatchable power on hand, the grid will become more prone to blackouts or “demand reduction” measures where the “smart grid” will tell your air conditioner to turn off on a hot day.

Further, the cost of electricity will necessarily skyrocket. While federally subsidized wind and solar are “cheap” — if we ignore the billions in needed new transmission lines and the lack of reliability — dependable energy becomes increasingly more expensive as the requirement for standby power and massive battery farms grow.

Thus, H.R. 5376 dumps federal funds on wind and solar while making the grid more unstable and electricity more expensive.

Not to fear, though, the bill appropriates $100 million for studies and modeling to look at the effect of climate change on the grid, batteries, “demand-side management” (which is little more than the remote turning up of your thermostat), and nationalizing the electric grid. So once federal policy makes the grid unstable, the feds will have a plan to take over the mess they created.

*****

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

An Open Letter to Senator Sinema

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words cannot express my disappointment in your vote on the completely mis-labeled Inflation Reduction Act that was recently voted on. The nation’s inflation rate has never been effectively reduced by spending another pile of tax-payer money that has yet to be collected. In the words of Milton Friedman: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

Most economic analysts suggest that this bill will retard economic growth, reduce jobs and increase inflation. How can this be in the best interests of Arizona’s residents? Only a complete simpleton would look at the content of this senatorial pork-fest and cry: “victory” unless your goal is to drive this nation from recession into the depths of depression.

I was not very enthusiastic about your election to the Senate but you have at least not voted in lock-step with the DNC as your colleague Mr. Kelly has done. It appears now that you have abandoned any economic sense and decided that going ‘green’ at the expense of your constituents is somehow a good idea. 

Bear in mind that the nation of China (which has a greater carbon footprint each month than the US does for the year) will be quitting any and all climate conversations as a result of Ms. Pelosi’s ill-timed and politically provocative trip to Taiwan. I have not seen any outcry from you or any of the other politicians on the Hill for that stupidity. Now, we are supposed to believe that this bill is actually good for the average household.  Try this novel approach – stop spending money you don’t have!  

If you are really interested in reducing the world’s carbon footprint and affecting global warming, stop all this congressional pontification over ‘green’ energy, and let’s get back to energy independence in this country. You will never convince me that the Venezuelans, the Iranians, or the Saudis can produce oil for our nation at a lower climate cost than American producers, and it is certainly not a lower economic cost. 

It may have been a long time since you had to actually produce something to earn your living but, for those of us who do, I cannot find anything in this bill that will make my life any easier and it will undoubtedly raise my cost of living. Thanks for your part in pushing this nation from recession into an outright depression.

No Farmers, No Food, No Life

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

The world is now facing a man-made food catastrophe. It is reaching crisis levels.

Current policies in many parts of the world place a priority on climate change for realizing a green new deal. Meanwhile, such policies will contribute to children dying from severe malnutrition due to broken food systems, with shortages of food and water, stress, anxiety, fear, and dangerous chemical exposure.

More negative pressure on farmers and the food system is asking for a catastrophe. The immune system of many people, especially children, has lost its resilience and has weakened too far with high risks for intoxication, infections, non-communicable and infectious diseases, deaths and infertility.

Dutch farmers, of whom many will face a cost of living crisis after 2030, have drawn the line. They are supported by an increasing number of farmers and citizens worldwide.

It’s not the farmers who are the most heavy polluters of the environment, but industries who make the products needed for a technocracy revolution to green energy, data mining, and Artificial Intelligence. As more of the WEF plans are rolled out by politicians, inequalities grow, and conflicts are rising all over the world. 

The strong farmers’ revolt in the Netherlands is a call for an urgent transition to a people-oriented, free and healthy world with nutritious food cultivated and harvested in respect to natural processes. The cooperation of ordinary people worldwide is on the rise to prevent a mass famine catastrophe caused by the plan of scientism and technocracy to rule and control the world by unelected scientists and elites.

Enough food, access to food is the problem

Farmers around the world normally grow enough calories (2,800) per person (while 2,100 calories/day would be sufficient) to support a population of nine to ten billion people worldwide. But still over 828 million people have too little to eat each day. The problem is not always food; it is access. The UN which wrote in 2015 in the Sustainable Development Goals goal 2: No hunger and malnutrition for all in 2030 will not be reached.

Throughout history many times natural or manmade disasters led to food insecurities for longer periods of time, resulting in hunger, malnutrition (undernourishment) and mortality. The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation. Since the global pandemic began, access to food estimates show that food insecurity has likely doubled, if not tripled  in some places around the world.

Moreover, during the pandemic, global hunger rose to 150 million and is now affecting 828 million people, with 46 million at the brink of starvation facing emergency levels of hunger or worse. In the hardest hit places, this means famine or famine-like conditions. At least 45 million children are suffering from wasting, which is the most visible and severe form of malnutrition, and potentially life-threatening.

With global prices of food and fertilizers already reaching worrying highs, the continuing impacts of the pandemic, the political forces to realize climate change goals and the Russia-Ukraine war raise serious concerns for food security both in the short and the long term.

The world is facing a further spike in food shortages, pushing more families worldwide at risk for severe malnutrition. Those communities which survived former crises are left more vulnerable to a new shock than before and will accumulate the effects, diving into famine (acute starvation and a sharp increase in mortality).

Furthermore, the growth of economies and the development of nations are currently slowing down due to a lack of workforce a sharp decrease in well-being, and higher mortality rates.

In the wake of new nitrogen limits that require farmers to radically curb their nitrogen emissions by up to 70 percent in the next eight years, tens of thousands of Dutch farmers have risen in protest against the government.

Farmers will be forced to use less fertilizer and even to reduce the number of their livestock, in some cases up to 95%. For smaller family-owned farms it will be impossible to reach these goals. Many will be forced to shutter, including people whose families have been farming for up to eight generations.

Moreover, a significant decrease and limitations of Dutch farmers will have huge repercussions for the global food supply chain. The Netherlands is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter after the United States. Still, the Dutch government pursues their agenda on Climate Change while there is currently no law to support the implementation, while they will not change much in the planet’s major air pollution. Models used to arrive at the decision of the Dutch government are debated by acknowledged scientists.

In no communication have Dutch politicians considered the effects of their decision on breaking a most important goal in the UN agreement: ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all in 2030.

Unfortunately, Sri Lanka, a country whose political leader introduced zero Nitrogen and CO2 emissions policy, is now facing economic problems, severe hunger, and difficulties to access food upon a political decision that farmers were not allowed to use fertilizers and pesticides. Still, politicians responsible for Nitrogen emissions/climate change in other countries pursue the same green policy. 

Furthermore, experts are warning that heat, flooding, drought, wildfires, and other disasters have been wreaking economic havoc, with worse to come. Food and water shortages have been in the media.

On top of that, Australian experts announce a risk for an outbreak of a viral disease in cattle. This could cause an A$80 billion hit to the Australian economy and even more real supply chain issues. Countless businesses and producers go bankrupt. The emotional toll they are facing to euthanize their healthy herds is immense and hardly bearable. It is pushing more farmers to end their life.

Hopefully, the need for the Danish government to apologize, as an investigative report on the cull of more than 15 million minks in November 2020 criticized the action that led to the misleading of mink breeders and the public and the clearly illegal instructions to authorities, will help politicians to reconsider such drastic measures on farmers.

Worldwide, farmers’ protests are rising, supported by more and more citizens who stand up against the expensive mandates for changes to “green policies” that already brought massive miseries and instability.

At a ministerial conference for food security on June 29 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that worsening food shortages could lead to a global “catastrophe”.

Malnutrition responsible for more ill health than any other cause

The increased risk of food and water shortages the world is facing now will bring humanity to the edge. Hunger is a many-headed monster. For decades conquering world hunger has become a political issuein a way that it could not have been in the past. The use of authoritarian political power led to disastrous government policies, making it impossible for millions of people to earn a living. Chronic hunger and the recurrence of virulent famines must be seen as being morally outrageous and politically unacceptable, says Dreze and Sen in Hunger and Public Action, published in 1991.

“For those at the high end of the social ladder, ending hunger in the world would be a disaster. For those who need availability of cheap labor, hunger is the foundation of their wealth, it is an asset,” wrote Dr. George Kent in 2008 in the essay “The Benefits of World Hunger.”

Malnutrition is not only influenced by food and water shortage, but also to exposures of extreme stress, fear, insecurity of safety and food, social factors, chemicals, microplastics, toxins, and over-medicalization. No country in the world can afford to overlook this disaster in all its forms, which affects mostly children and women in reproductive age. Globally more than 3 billion people cannot afford healthy diets. And this is in contradiction to what many people think is just a low-income country problem.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic began, about 8% of the population in North America and Europe lacked regular access to nutritious and sufficient food. A third of reproductive-age women are anemic, while 39% of the world’s adults are overweight or obese. Each year around 20 million babies are born underweight. In 2016 9.6% of the women were underweight. Globally in 2017, 22.2% of the children under the age of five were stunting, while undernutrition explains around 45% of deaths among children under five.

As stated by Lawrence Haddad, the co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report independent Expert Group, “We now live in a world where being malnourished is the new normal. It is a world we must all claim as totally unacceptable.” While malnutrition is the leading driver of disease with nearly 50% of deaths caused by nutrition related non-communicable diseases in 2014, only $50 million of donor funding was given.

Malnutrition in all its forms imposes unacceptably high costs – direct and indirect – on individuals, families and nations. The estimated impact on the global economy of the chronic undernourishment of 800 million people could be as high as $3,5 trillion per year, as was stated in a Global Nutrition Report in 2018. While child deaths, premature adult mortality and malnutrition-related infectious and non-communicable diseases are preventable with the right nutrition.

This will be much more at this precious moment, as the population sharply increases in excess mortality and non-communicable diseases among the working age people as recently shown by insurance companies.

Famines cause transgenerational effects

Famine is a widespread condition in which a large percentage of people in a country or region have little or no access to adequate food supplies. Europe and other developed parts of the world have mostly eliminated famine, though widespread famines that killed thousands and millions of people are known from history, like the Dutch Potato famine from 1846-1847, The Dutch Hunger winter 1944-1945 and a Chinese famine of 1959-1961.

The latter was the most severe famine both in terms of duration and number of people affected (600 million and around 30 million deaths) and led to widespread undernutrition of the Chinese population in the period from 1959-1961. Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen are countries with recognized famine.

Unfortunately, global destabilization, starvation and mass migration are increasing fast with more famines to be expected if we do not act today.

Epidemiological studies of Barker and later of Hales showed a relation between the availability of nutrition in various stages of pregnancy and the first years of life and diseases later in life. Their studies demonstrated that people with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases were often small at birth. More and more research proves the role of nutrition-related mechanisms influencing gene expression. Even the period prior to pregnancy might influence a later risk for insulin resistance or other complications of the fetus.

As demonstrated in a study with 3,000 participants in Northern China, prenatal exposure to famine significantly increased hyperglycemia in adulthood in two consecutive generations. Severity of famine during prenatal development is related to the risk for Type 2 diabetes. These findings are consistent with animal models that have shown the impact of prenatal nutritional status on neuro-endocrine changes that affect metabolism and can be programmed to transmit physiologically across multiple generations through both male and female generations. Early life Health shock conditions can cause epigenetic changes in humans that persist throughout life, affect old age mortality and have multigenerational effects. Depending on which trimester the fetus is exposed to food deprivation or even stress alone a related disease later in life may vary from schizophrenia, ADHD to renal failure and hypertension among others. Other studies of famine exposure in people have produced evidence of changes in the endocrine system and to prenatal gene expression in reproductive systems.

The effects of periods of famine or undernutrition have predominantly been seen in people with low social economic income. However, 1 in 3 persons in the world suffered from some form of malnutrition in 2016. Women and children are 70% of the hungry. There is no doubt that undernutrition increased further during the past six years. Stunting and wasting increased in the most vulnerable. Two out of three children are not fed the minimum diverse diet they need to grow and develop to their full potential.

The hungry people in countries like Sri Lanka, Haiti, Armenia, and Panama are the tip of the iceberg, opening the eyes of many citizens worldwide to a fast-growing problem as a result of the lockdowns, mandates and coercive policies in climate change, drought and the Ukraine war.

Citizens of the world have been facing for years: excess mortality, a fast decline in infertility and childbirth with a threat to human rights for women and more diseases.

Shocking reports of the UN and WHO acknowledged the health of people and environment is declining. The world is moving backwards on eliminating hunger and malnutrition. The real danger is that these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead.

The truth is that food innovation hubs, food flats (vertical farming), artificial meats and gene and mind manipulations will not be able to tackle the depressing state humanity is facing.

Zero-Covid policy has brought humanity at risk in its existence. Covid-19 vaccines with a risk for harmhave been rolled out even for children under five years, hardly at risk for a severe disease, but undernourishment that greatly increases susceptibility to major human infectious diseases has not been taken care of.

Conflicts are growing worldwide, increasing instability. Citizens will no longer accept policies without a clear harm-cost benefit analysis.

We need to act now to decrease food and fuel prices immediately by supporting farmers and effective food systems for nutritious food to heal the most malnourished (children and females of childbearing age) in the population.

Let us hope for a return of Hippocrates’ principle: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

*****

This article was published by the Brownstone Institute and is reproduced with permission.