Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Economy • Energy • Environment • Post • Technology

The Democratic Washing Machine

Hang onto your legacy appliances. Call your appliance repairman. Maintain what you’ve got, because you surely will miss it when it’s gone.

What on earth is a Democratic washing machine? Is it a metaphor? Is it to say the Democrats and their social justice cadres are washing away our history and traditions and culture? Is it conjuring the image of Democrat machine politics, selectively laundering corruption into barely legal schemes, backed by avaricious billionaires? Maybe it’s the Democratic media, brainwashing America’s gullible half?

No. Nothing so grand. The Democratic washing machine is just that: a washing machine. The sort of washing machine you will find on the display floors of retailers throughout California, coming soon to the rest of the nation. An over-engineered monstrosity, inflicting inconvenience and expense into something that, for earlier generations, had become easy and cheap.

The Democratic washing machine is so named because it was Democrats who decided to ruin a durable product in a mature industry. In the name of saving electricity and saving water, they couldn’t save just a little electricity and a little water. No, they had to force manufacturers to create a product that used almost no water. And to save electricity, they turned the control panel on the washing machine into something resembling the bridge of a starship, with so many options you have to study a detailed manual even to figure out how to turn on the device. Do you want to delay its start cycle in order to wait for a low-electricity price today? Select Option 7 from Menu 3, unless it’s after 6 p.m., in which case select blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah . . .

Who came up with this crap? A Democratic washing machine in its default setting can take over an hour to do a single wash cycle, assuming you successfully have overridden its programmed default to connect to the internet and check the spot price of electricity before starting.

The Democratic washing machine is front-loading instead of top-loading, because that will save a few gallons of water, but your clothes flop around inside a drum that’s on a horizontal axis. Clothes get damaged and they don’t get very clean, and you have to get onto your knees on the floor to load and unload them, but hey, if you do this, the ice caps won’t melt, right?

Some especially over-engineered Democratic washing machines, presumably taking their inspiration from the military’s V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, are top-loading, and then once the lid is shut the drum rotates 90 degrees to establish that water sipping horizontal axis. Flop, flop, flop. But unlike a V-22 Osprey, the Democratic washing machine—although absurdly expensive—is not engineered to military specifications. Things break regularly. Better buy a warranty.

Did someone say “warranty”? How quaint. We’re not supposed to purchase washing machines anymore. Instead, manufacturers think we should “subscribe” to our washing machines. This way, as the greenie/techie axis comes up with ever more “innovations,” the lucky consumer can install the new module, or receive an entirely new unit. Sometimes upgrades can be remotely downloaded onto the platform (oops, “washing machine”) because we all know that washing machines need to be filled with chipsets and firmware and connected to the internet!

What is this madness? Since when was it in the interest of consumers to use washing machines that are confusing to operate, difficult to load and unload, do a poor job washing clothes, damage fabrics, break down every few months, can’t really be repaired at home by “owners,” and inflict lifetime costs many times what legacy machines cost?

Blame the Democrats.

Yes, there is a Republican washing machine. Do you remember those television commercials with the Maytag repairman, sitting at an empty workbench in his shop, surrounded by shelves filled with unneeded spare parts, bored out of his wits? That was a rare example of honesty in advertising. Because in response to foreign competition, but before the Democrat coalition of greenies and techies got out of control, washing machines were built to last. Not for three years, or even 10 years, but for 30 years or more.

The Republican washing machine takes 20 minutes to do a wash cycle instead of 60 minutes, it starts when you push the “start” button, and it doesn’t take several seconds to “boot” its software systems because it doesn’t have any software systems. Its lid is on the top so you don’t have to be a contortionist to load and unload it, it does a good job washing clothes, it doesn’t cost much, and it lasts pretty much forever.

Why? Because Republicans don’t try to micromanage our lives for the most part. Because Republicans don’t have the audacity to hide behind trial lawyers working for big environmentalist nonprofits and grasping high-tech “entrepreneurs” who want to force people to buy their components so they can get even richer.

The Democratic washing machine may or may not be a metaphor for liberal attempts to erase and rewrite our history, or for crooked machine politicians, or for the brainwashing media, but it is nonetheless a metaphor. It represents every overwrought, “wired,” overcomplicated product that’s being crammed down our throats. Ostensibly the point is to save the planet, but really it’s just to pad corporate profits with the support of Democratic politicians.

It has its counterparts everywhere.

Faucets that you have to wave your hands in front of to turn them on, which (maybe) will issue eight thin, 1-millimeter-diameter jets of water that can’t possibly rinse away soap, and will stop after a few seconds before you have to start waving your hands in front of them again.

Light switches that look like a cell phone menu instead of a simple mechanical on/off switch, that once you’ve figured out how to turn them on, they turn off automatically after a few minutes unless you find the right option to disable that feature. Yes. These types of light switches are now required by law in new construction in counties throughout California.

And of course never forget that the Democratic washing machine is not only “washing” your clothes, it’s watching you. Collecting data designed to “help” you live a more productive and earth-friendly life. Expect a smart and observant Democratic toilet in the near future.

Never mind that all indoor water used is by definition impossible to waste, since it flows to a treatment plant where it is either discharged right back to a river ecosystem or aquifer, or it is further treated and pumped right back uphill. What an inconvenient truth!

The sad fact is we could build appliances today that use the latest innovations to cut back on water and energy consumption without having to go to extremes, that are easy to use, that last even longer than the legacy products, and cost less. But we choose not to.

Blame the Democrats.

It’s time to push back, hard, against products that put consumers through these absurdities. Meanwhile, hang onto your legacy appliances. Call your appliance repairman. Maintain what you’ve got, because you surely will miss it when it’s gone.

America • Center for American Greatness • Cities • Environment • Libertarians • Post • Technology • The Culture • The Left

The Coming Socialist-Libertarian Feudalism

Wishful thinking among many libertarian and socialist idealists is that an alliance might form between them. After all, members of both ideological camps believe that anything goes when it comes to sex and drugs, neither of them believe in national borders, and both are repelled by conservative ideologues.

The problem with such an alliance of idealists, of course, is that at the core, the socialist believes in big government and the libertarian believes in no government. No matter how you further define those core beliefs, they are incompatible. But the powerful special interests behind the libertarian and progressive movements, respectively, are not idealists, they are pragmatists. And in the dirty realm of real-world politics, socialist and libertarian elites have formed a powerful alliance.

Underscoring issues of personal liberty while ignoring the ultimate collision their worldviews portend, socialist and libertarian mega-donors back candidates and causes that share common immediate policy goals: the densification of American cities, mass immigration, alleged “free” trade, and a hands-off policy with respect to Big Tech monopolies.

Urban “densification” is one of the most transformative—and cruel—epic policy trends in American history. And hardly anyone is talking about it.

In a recent article by Joel Kotkin, a moderate Democrat, he refers to “conservative free-market fundamentalists” as the group that’s “advancing plans that would divorce capitalism from the small property owners whose pieces of property secure the system’s popular support.” Kotkin is referring to libertarians who favor “densification” of cities because they support the property rights of those who own the land and choose to build high-density housing.

What these libertarians are supporting, while ideologically pure, is absurd. Just because you own a half-acre property, you’re not necessarily allowed to demolish the single-family home on that property in order to build a 20 story building. For the same reason, you can’t demolish that home and build a rent-subsidized fourplex. In the real world, there are zoning laws that restrict property rights to protect the neighbors and the community at large. These zoning laws are what people rely on when they purchase a home in a neighborhood filled with similar homes.

Kotkin writes: 

That [densification] includes California State Senator Scott Wiener’s effort to force high-density on residential areas by allowing fourplexes on virtually any parcel, which produced one of the strangest alliances in recent political history. Free market advocates—many of them funded by the Koch brothers—linked arms with left-wing and green activists reprising the arguments made in the Soviet Bloc against middle-class single-family neighborhoods.

Densification is going to destroy tranquil residential neighborhoods, everywhere, and it is backed by socialists in the name of providing affordable housing, by environmentalists in order to prevent “sprawl,” and by powerful financial special interests that benefit from an ongoing real estate bubble. 

Libertarians support densification on principle, without even recognizing that they are ignoring—much less opposing—the flip side of densification, which are new policies to suppress land development outside of the “urban containment boundary.” Densification, also known as in-fill, or “smart growth,” will never provide sufficient new housing to make homes affordable unless it is balanced by similarly relaxed approval processes for homebuilding on open land.

The topic of “smart growth” exposes another special interest favoring densification, the Silicon Valley high tech industry. California’s Silicon Valley is an epicenter not only of concentrated political and economic power, but it is also one of the world’s largest ideological fermentation tanks containing potent strains of socialism, progressivism, and libertarianism. 

And in this “do no evil” caldron of visions, plans, and stupefying power, innovators are building the “internet of things,” so that not only shall we live in stack-and-pack housing, we will survive on algorithmically managed micro sips of water and energy. And depending on what time we run our clothes dryer, we will pay a bit more or a bit less depending on the spot market price for electricity and water—such a libertarian concept!

More immediately visible is Silicon Valley’s control over the online universe—search results, video suggestions, remarks on Twitter, posts on Facebook—where two salient facts elude libertarians. First, the companies that now control the online universe are monopolies, and the big five—Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook—are the five biggest companies in the world based on their stock market capitalization. 

Equally important, these companies have been having their cake and eating it, too, insofar as they receive an exemption from liability due to their status as a “platform,” yet exercise biased censorship on platform contributors as if they were a publisher. 

Each of these facts has consequences. Monopolies do not make for healthy market economies. Platforms cannot be publishers. But where are the libertarians?

The vision shared by socialist and libertarian oligarchs alike is what Kotkin calls a “Wall Street-dominated rentership society . . .” where “people remain renters for life, enjoying their video games or houseplants when not coding or doing gig jobs.”

This vision is not only furthered in densification policies that are fruitless in terms of making housing affordable but dazzlingly effective in turning nearly everyone into apartment renters, but also in the internet of things. In the future, you will not own your clothes dryer or any other major appliance, nor will you own your car, much less video games and software services. Instead, you will “subscribe” to these gadgets, so you can receive the latest updates and services. “Subscriptions” will replace lease payments, loan payments, and warranties. Owning anything will become increasingly impossible. Green conservation mandates will ensure compliance. But, hey—you’ll be able to watch algorithmically curated videos on your refrigerator!

It is a fatal misconception to consider pragmatic socialists as indistinguishable from communists. Socialist nations, particularly those in Northern Europe that are frequently cited by defenders of socialism as exemplars distinct from hellholes like Venezuela, are not ruled by politburos. These socialist nations are ruled by an influential cadre of extremely wealthy, propertied elites, who manage public opinion through their ownership of the primary media sources and through their donations to effective politicians, regardless of party. Does this sound familiar?

It is also a fatal misconception to overstate the differences between America’s elite socialist oligarchy and America’s elite libertarian oligarchy. In both cases, they subscribe to the policy of mass immigration, at the same time as they support environmentalist conventional wisdom that condemns Americans to pay taxes to fund the settlement of these tens of millions in rent-subsidized apartments crammed on to every lot that flips, in every neighborhood where people aren’t wealthy enough to hire attorneys to stop it.

Is it even possible for a populist libertarian movement to offer meaningful support to a conservative American political agenda? Or will their “thought leaders” continue to please the donor class, writing predictably bland justifications for free trade, open borders, urban densification, and out-of-control communications monopolies? Will libertarians support privatization to the point where a meter runs every time anyone steps onto a public road, and perpetual subscriptions replace ownership? Why not?

Where do libertarians draw the line? Will they accept Libra, the new cyber-currency that Facebook is about to launch? Will they squawk when cyber-currencies issued by mega-corporations dominate commerce? Will they care when monopolistic “private” companies erase not only the speech platforms of dissidents but their ability to use their proprietary cyber currency? Why not?

Libertarians don’t have a fully realized political ideology, they have a perspective. As a perspective—smaller government—they are a useful part of the mix. But libertarians aren’t recognizing the real-world limitations on libertarianism; if they did, they would choose sides. They would rebel against the donor fueled socialist-libertarian axis. They would ask: Will you fight to preserve your nation and your culture, or won’t you? 

The libertarian and socialist elites have made their choice, and they are working together under the assumption that nations and culture don’t matter, only profit and power do.

The only viable, real-world version of a libertarian ideology ought to be unrecognizable and troubling to the idealist. It is corporate-controlled feudalism that incorporates just enough socialist populist demands to avoid an unpleasant conflagration. The beneficiaries of this political economy are the super-rich and the myriad poor. In this world, nationality means nothing, heritage is irrelevant, and the middle class and mid-sized companies alike are exterminated. Tradition and culture become a commercialized and sanitized afterthought, micro-marketed to the various vestigial niches along with soap and virtual reality.

Idealists do not govern America today. Rather it is a pragmatic axis of socialist and libertarian oligarchs, each with their own gullible constituency, moving together towards a futuristic version of feudalism.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.’

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Center for American Greatness • Economy • Environment • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Left’s Industrial Counter-Revolutionaries

George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” He should have added that the ahistorical are also immune to irony, as in the case of the Left calling itself “progressive.”

In the continuing quest to note that the Left is not progressive but, in fact, regressive, let us cast our gaze back to early 19th century Great Britain during the infancy of the Industrial Revolution, say, between 1811 and 1816. At the time, many of the crown’s subjects were adamantly opposed to the emergent technological wonders because of their concomitant and unpleasant ramifications. These original industrial counter-revolutionaries were known as “Luddites” and their rejectionist movement was termed “Luddism.”

While Luddism had many sympathetic adherents in the arts and in the press—those who were chiefly concerned about the loss of a wholly romanticized bucolic England—the ranks of the Luddites were composed of textile workers whose foremost concern was the economic harm to themselves caused by the increased use of machinery in the production of goods. Rightly worried they and their skills would be rendered obsolete, Luddites expressed their displeasure in protests and by sabotaging the offending machines, in a futile effort to spare their jobs from the flood of economic progress that ultimately improved the lot of humanity.

Fast forward to the early 21st-century Left, wherein reside the ideological progeny of the Luddites: namely, the industrial counter-revolutionaries of the climate change cult.

True, there are distinctions between the 19th-century Luddites and the Left’s 21st-century industrial counter-revolutionaries. Unlike the original Luddites who were concerned about saving their jobs, today’s industrial counter-revolutionaries aren’t particularly concerned about workers’ jobs, airily promising those at risk of losing their “blue collar jobs” that “green collar jobs” will replace them—someday.

So, too, though there is some overlap, today’s industrial counter-revolutionaries should not be confused with Neo-Luddites, which is a philosophy encompassing “one or more of the following practices: passively abandoning the use of technology, harming those who produce technology harmful to the environment, advocating simple living, or sabotaging technology.”

No, the industrial counter-revolutionaries do not condemn all past, present, and emerging technologies—only those they deem culpable in contributing to human-made climate change, such as those powered by fossil fuels. Theirs is a long list of offending technologies, nevermind that these once unimaginable innovations have enhanced people’s quality of life and, yes, have saved lives.

Thus, what their cumulative objections and demands constitute is a rejection of the Industrial Revolution in favor of a romanticized—indeed, delusional—future unsullied by any of what they arbitrarily deem “climate-destroying” technologies. But this is not really a vision of the future; it is an embrace of the past prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Consider the industrial counter-revolutionaries’ “cure” for my hometown of Detroit.

Founded by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701, Detroit began as a farming and Great Lakes port town. By the 20th century, the “Motor City” was renowned as the city whose workers “put the world on wheels”; and, during World War I and World War II, as the “Arsenal of Democracy” after it shifted domestic manufacturing production to help win those wars.

Sadly, since that time, Detroit has experienced many difficult moments, including race riots, a mass exodus of population, the loss of manufacturing jobs and facilities, and other ills that finally culminated in bankruptcies of two of its “Big Three” automakers and, later, the city, itself.

While many across the political spectrum supported the people of Detroit and worked to find solutions for returning manufacturing jobs to the city, in particular, and America, as a whole, the Left’s industrial counter-revolutionaries were less sanguine about the city’s quest to return to its former manufacturing greatness. Detroit was viewed as the epitome of America’s Industrial Revolution—and everything the industrial counter-revolutionaries hated about it, however real or imagined.

So what was the industrial counter-revolutionaries’ “solution” to Detroit’s economic situation?

To turn the Arsenal of Democracy into an urban farm.

Leftist pundits hailed this proposal as a visionary “reimaging” of the Motor City. It wasn’t. It was a return to 1701.

So why was such idiocy entertained, let alone hailed by the climate change cult? Because this unhelpful and illusory “solution” would advance the industrial counter-revolutionaries unhelpful and illusory goal of replacing capitalism with a return to socialism’s “hunter-gatherer” economy, where the government hunts and gathers your money in order to give it to its cronies.

On the plus side, the new socialist government will protect you from the scourge of air conditioning, if not from America’s enemies who are not so cavalier about the fates of their arsenals, which have nothing to do with democracy.

Speaking of air conditioning, this calls to mind another distinction between 18th-century Luddites and their 21st-century heirs: the original Luddites didn’t luxuriate in the benefits of the Industrial Revolution’s technological advances during their hardscrabble lives. Not so today’s wealthier industrial counter-revolutionaries, who can take to their laptops on a private jet or yacht to bitch about someone else’s carbon footprint and call for the repeal of the Industrial Revolution.

Which brings us to one more distinction between the original Luddites and today’s industrial counter-revolutionaries: hypocrisy, a vice rife throughout history.

Yet, despite such distinctions, what ideologically links an original Luddite and today’s “progressive” industrial counter-revolutionary and motivates their mutual regressive quest to return to a pre-industrial world is their fear of the future.

Nevertheless, perhaps I’m mistaken about the climate change cult’s industrial counter-revolutionaries. If so, after we don’t implement socialism in time and climate change kills us all in less than 12 years, then I’ll apologize.

But what I’ll never do is fear the future.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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America • Democrats • Donald Trump • Economy • Energy • Environment • Post

Street Smarts in the White House

President Trump went to an Ivy League school, but he came out still talking like a New Yorker, with his street smarts intact. What does it mean to have street smarts? It’s knowledge of how to spot trouble coming, how to cope with mean bastards, and thrive. It is knowledge gained from gritty life, which gives you “a bank of courage to depend on when you are tested.” Your knowledge is based in your life experience, not conventional wisdom or academic notions, so it is actually real.

Street smarts combines common sense, self-preservation, and assertiveness. Think President Trump.

The person with street smarts has a great bullshit detector. You know how to deal with bullies and cheats, whether they be elite media or political opponents. As Willie Dixon put it, “You can’t mess with the messer, the messer’s gonna mess with you.”

Trump’s success dominating his dirty-dealing opponents has amazed and dumbfounded Democrats and the old GOP alike. They don’t understand his strengths. Like a martial arts master, Trump doesn’t absorb his enemies’ attacks. He transforms their assaults into his own energy to win.

President Trump’s street smarts go way beyond dealing with enemies. It is the key to how he carved his own successful path in life, and in the White House. The key to street smarts is noticing life as it is and dealing with it. In high falutin’ psychology terms, it is reality testing, the highest order of brain functioning.

Reality testing is essential to good judgment and effectiveness in life. It means dealing with the world as it is, not as you want it to be, nor as you fear it to be. No socialism, no global warming, no free lunch.

Good judgment requires facing things as they are. Democrats lack it almost entirely. President Trump has it in excess. Reality testing is a rare gift. It is called common sense, but it is not common.

This is why President Trump has managed to accomplish so much that was deemed impossible in the two difficult areas of the economy and foreign affairs. He pays no attention to the received truths of other people. He looks simply and without equivocation at what’s in front of him. Like any builder, President Trump has his two feet solidly on the ground at all times.

It has been a delight to conservatives to discover that President Trump is against suffocating government not because of ideology, but as a practical man. A bloated government sucking up the wealth of the country and churning out stultifying regulations is not a force for good. It is not good for the economy or opportunity or fairness or freedom. So, he’s done more to deregulate than any president before him.

Common sense without courage gets you nowhere. President Trump also has uncommon courage. He loves to be loved, but if you are in the opponents’ camp, he doesn’t give a damn about what you think of him. His big ego, for which he gets so much flak, enables him to focus on his goal, laughing at the screaming and hysteria around him. They just make it more fun and satisfying to win.

Consider: what did it take for President Trump to turn America into an energy superpower in two short years? The simplicity of accepting reality: we need energy, we have energy, energy development is good. Demonizing fossil fuels is nonsense. So, President Trump had the smarts and the guts to set a reality-based goal of a booming energy sector.

This one policy is crucial to America’s self-interest, to our economy, and to our national security. It took courage to ignore decades of stupid energy policies enacted by play-it-safe, conformist Republicans and Democrats corrupted by green energy boondoggles.

Courage, common sense, love of country.

Kim Jong Un is nearing nuclear weapons and threatening Japan and our West Coast? North Korea is a real threat, which means it has to be dealt with, not just going through conventional and useless diplomatic motions. Trump understands punk psychology. Give Kim Jong Un the respect and security he craves, while punishing his bad behavior until it is untenable. The handshake across the DMZ was brilliant diplomatic theater, but very real progress.

President Trump’s successes in stabilizing the Middle East show the same character traits of common sense, courage, and coping with bullies. Funding terrorism had to stop. Allowing ISIS to grow had to stop. Encouraging Iran to develop nuclear weapons had to stop. It’s basic reality testing, backed by the guts to follow-up with the necessary actions.

Trump’s iconoclasm went far beyond reversing Obama, although that was the first gutsy step. It was a no-brainer to reverse Obama’s phony war against ISIS, in which the rules of engagement rendered our forces vulnerable and impotent. It was a Trump no-brainer to reverse Obama’s anti-American, pro-Iran policies.

Trump broke with decades of bipartisan consensus. He stopped kowtowing to the oil sheikhs and their toadies in the European Union. Previous presidents, Democrat and Republican, turned a blind eye to the Saudi financing of terrorism. They humiliated America by pandering to Arab anti-Semitism and anti-Israel aggression. That was their idea of an energy policy.

President Trump knows you can’t survive on the streets and be intimidated by bullies. And he’s too proud of America to cringe before threats. He has the reality testing to realize that cringing brings attacks, not safety. He stands his ground.

He easily faced down the alarmist warnings the Middle East would explode like a powder keg if he kept his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, where it clearly belongs. The embassy moved, world leaders fell in line, powder keg fizzled, and the Palestinians were forced to live in the real world. Another notch on President Trump’s belt. And the world is safer for it.

President Obama, the unhappy Marxist prep school kid, stayed in his comfort zone of preachy rhetoric, not reality. Obama spoke about national unity, while pushing identity politics, the war on cops, racial animosity, demographics is destiny, and all his underhanded ways of dividing the country. For eight years, Obama did nothing on the economy, ISIS, China, Korea and Russian expansionism. He didn’t do a thing for the black community except sabotage their police protection and incite racial division.

Trump is the polar opposite of Obama. Trump the builder is all about getting things done. He has delivered the best job numbers in history for the very minorities Democrats claim to champion.

Trump has the confidence, energy, and aggression to take on every challenge and move toward victory. Democrats don’t even believe in victory.

President Trump earns his bragging rights. If he then enjoys bragging with gusto, so what? His supporters share his happiness in all he has accomplished for them as individuals, and for the country. They are richer, freer, and more secure because of his capable leadership, and they are grateful, even giddy.

Democrats think they can smear, bribe, bully and cheat their way to the White House. Their voters like the hate, the bull, and the promises of free stuff, and they did very well with those weapons in the midterms. But nothing the Democrats warn about or promise is real. In 2020, they will be coming up directly against President Trump, a master of reality. Reality is a stronger hand.

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America • Environment • Post • Pro-Life • Satire

B.S. News: How You People Can Save My Planet

This week, I’m turning over my column space to Madam Henrietta Von Wanderlust, vice president of external affairs for Prune Our Planet. Madam (her preferred personal pronoun) Wanderlust’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of B.S. News—unless you agree with them.

***

In my capacity as vice president of external affairs for Prune Our Planet (POP), I have engaged in extensive online research and exhausted millions of taxpayer grants (and the patience of my estranged spouse). To what end? 

To the end of the earth. 

Yes, Virginia, there isn’t a Santa Claus and the science is settled about climate change. Hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes, income inequality, undocumented migration, the return of once thought extinct diseases amongst California’s homeless, our non-profit’s annual “POP’s Global Gala, Vegan Picnic, and Cornhole Extravaganza” fundraiser being rained out—the number of catastrophes explained by climate change is rising even faster than sea levels.

Even as we resist the ravages of climate change and request a new park permit, another threat to our global village has emerged to hasten the impending climate apocalypse, one which many experts, some of whom may well be scientists, feel is already less than twelve short years away.

This climate change exacerbating new threat is populism; and, yes, that means you people—namely, deplorable climate deniers.

Regrettably, because of the Russian usurper Trump, populism is too often narrowly construed as a political problem for people better than its supporters. This is understandable given Trump’s pernicious, oppressive impact upon a more socially just and equitable world, such as the booming economy that is generating oodles of carbon into the atmosphere without offsets or a mitigating tax. Going deeper, one need not possess the genius of Rob Reiner to glean the dire social, cultural, sexual, environmental, and financial ramifications for the survival of the earth and my non-profit. 

So consider this a “woke up” call for you somnambulant, deplorable climate deniers. Bluntly, there are just too damn many of you people scurrying about the earth; despoiling her primordial beauty for vanity items like shelter and warmth; and devouring her scare resources to feed yourselves and your children at the expense of future generations. In short, on the defining issue of our time—climate change!—Goddess Gaia is calling to say, “it’s not me; it’s you people.” 

Given the now settled fact that you people’s selfishness is expediting Doomsday for your betters, how can you live with yourself?

That was a rhetorical question.

Madam Henrietta Von Wanderlust

But there is good news: You don’t have to. And we at POP are here to help.

Despite the Malthusian epithets hurled against those who love the planet by you people who don’t, we hold no grudge, because that would entail valuing your opinion. Rest assured, then, we are genuinely concerned for you people’s ultimate wellbeing, for being pro-planet is being pro-people. And what are we pro- you people doing? We are all in on helping you people stop being selfish and start saving my planet. 

Inspired by Margaret Sanger, the champion of the “Addition by Subtraction” school of boosting the common good, to eradicate the threat of populism we, the enlightened few here at POP, have commenced a bold, inclusive initiative embracing without reservation all manner of you people: “Get Woke and Go Night-Night.” (And, if we’ve inadvertently omitted any manner of you people, let us know who and where we might reach them.) 

Presently, far too many of you people lack the moral courage to off yourselves for the common good. Nonetheless, eternal optimists that we are, we at POP expect that eventually you people still clinging to your God and guns will realize that weapon is your highway to heaven; and our ticket to an earthly utopia without you people. It’s a win-win.

Larry the Polar Bear: Will you follow his glorious example?

Now before any populist demagogues and their allied Russian trolls take to Twitter to twist our words and incite you people into grabbing your pitchforks and torches to storm the guarded gate of our non-profit’s lavish headquarters, I’m going to tell you about Larry the Polar Bear. POP’s senior staff, partners, family, friends, journalists, local community activists and two hitchhikers we picked up on the way to LAX, were on our latest taxpayer-funded fact-finding expedition, this time to Canada’s frigid climes to study ice levels and gauge how long we had until climate change killed us all—again, thanks to you people. Outside the ski lodge, we spied a celebration of polar bears, with Larry perched on his hind legs majestically hovering above his furry friends on the (oddly) still frozen tundra. Playfully baring his teeth, Larry took a few menacing steps in our direction, which only deepened our angst about how he and his fellow polar bears were doomed because of you people. Quickly, we took Larry’s measure; and, hearts breaking, we raised an anguished, appreciative cheer for the regal beast while our ski instructor Jacques leveled a shotgun and did what needed to be done. 

It is comforting to wonder that, if Larry knew he could help stop climate change and if he had opposable thumbs, he voluntarily would have made his sacrifice for the common good. What one doesn’t have to wonder about is the established fact that Larry’s demise benefited the common good of his grateful polar bear peers, because they now have more resources to sustain them until we stop climate change by implementing our “Get Woke, Go Night-Night” all-inclusive package for you people’s permanent vacation. As for the altruistic polar bear to whom so many owe so much? Fittingly, the altruistic Larry graces a place of honor in that awkwardly shaped corner of my office.

As he stared down both barrels, did Larry know his sacrifice would bring such benefits to his fellow polar bears and such joy to my interior decorator? Of course not. Dr. Doolittle isn’t real, you people! But Larry and his sacrifice are, kind of, thanks to the best taxidermist your tax dollars can hire.

Due to the vicious vagaries of evolution, Larry never had the chance to peruse our online brochure, How You People Can Save My Planet, or contribute to our non-profit. But he did kick the bucket to save the planet; and, as the settled veterinary science suggests: Larry likely didn’t know he had to go for the common good, but would have done it just the same if he did. You people, on the other hand, have no excuse for denying climate change and wanting to go on, despite all the credible evidence you people are the problem. 

Thus, I muse for the common good: Given the stakes for our planet and your betters, will you people follow Larry’s glorious example of self-sacrifice? Can you people stop being selfish; put your Mauser where your mouth is; and “Get Woke and Go Night-Night”? Bluntly, can you people do you—for the future . . . for the children! 

I know you people will—some voluntarily. 

Remember: when you’re planted, my planet will thank you. 

Copyright © 2019 B.S. News

Photo credit(s): Getty Images

 

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Energy • Environment • Post • The Left

Climate Crusaders Poised to Claim Oregon

The best that may be said of the drama playing out in Oregon this week is that it exemplifies the vast and growing distance between Left and Right in America today.

To see it in its worst (and, perhaps, clearest) light, however, it exemplifies the relentless onslaught of corporate leftist tyranny, in all things, and everywhere at once. It also illustrates the rising fury of an abused population slowly awakening. In Oregon’s case, a handful of Republican state senators are fighting an uphill battle to protect the people they represent from yet another attack by the climate crusaders.

Although the Left Coast of America may be deep blue, the disenfranchised interior parts of those states are an equally deep red.  Almost invariably, to drive east from Seattle, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles, is to drive into a GOP-controlled hinterland. A political map depicting Oregon’s 2018 gubernatorial election makes this plain—the entire eastern two-thirds of the state is Republican, along with the entire south coast and rural stretches of the north coast. The Democratic political machines in Portland, Salem, and a handful of college towns deliver enough votes to control the state, effectively denying a voice to everyone else.

Democrats in Oregon hold what Ballotpedia and others refer to in state politics as a “trifecta”: control of the lower house, the upper house, and the governor’s mansion. But in the Oregon State Senate, the Democrats are still one seat short of being able to form a quorum to pass legislation without Republican participation, and last week the Republicans rebelled.

At issue is House Bill 2020, which would establish a “Climate Policy Office” to bring cap and trade to Oregon. The measure had cleared the House and after a floor debate, was poised to pass in the Senate, after which Oregon’s Democratic governor would have signed it into law. But the Republicans had one option left, and they used it. All 11 Republicans are at an “undisclosed location.” Some reports say they’ve gone to Idaho.

In response, Governor Kate Brown threatened to send state police to round up the absent legislators. Reacting to the governor’s threat, State Senator Brian Boquist, a former special forces lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, stated in a local television interview that “the governor better send Oregon state troopers who are ‘bachelors’ and ‘heavily armed.’” Boquist later said he would “refuse at all costs to be arrested as a political prisoner in Oregon, period.”

It’s important to recognize that these confrontations could easily move beyond rhetoric. Kate Brown is a dangerous puppet. Shown on the CNN website flanked (of course) by children wearing t-shirts that say, “I will be 25 when my climate fate is sealed,” Brown probably has no idea that she is a tool of the most anti-American, fascist gang of profiteers and power-mongers in modern American history.

The New Road to Serfdom
The climate propagandists have succeeded in brainwashing a generation of K-12 children, who now parrot apocalyptic sound bites with the same fervor that motivated China’s Red Guards back in the 1960s. Instead of Mao Tse-tung, we’ve got Al Gore, and instead of the transparent oppression of Orwell’s 1984, we have the softer fascism, the Soma-induced stupor of Huxley’s Brave New World. That makes sense. Because the entire “climate” movement is being marketed expertly by multinational corporations that stand to profit handsomely from green hysteria. Behind the sincere fanatics and befuddled children, serious, powerful people are setting themselves up to make trillions in profits, obliterate all competition, turn nations into fiefdoms, and rule the world.

When you examine the “solutions” demanded by the climate change crowd, there isn’t another logical explanation. It is impossible to replace fossil fuels with renewables, and every rational observer knows this. It is also ridiculous to expect other nations, most notably China and India, to follow America’s lead and even make the attempt, and every rational observer knows this as well. Finally, the solutions themselves are unlikely even to reduce CO2 emissions—consider the embodied energy in wind turbines and batteries, consider the ecological disaster of biofuel, consider the necessity of backup plants running on fossil fuel to compensate for darkness or lack of wind.

Moreover, if the climate crusaders are serious, why are they shutting down nuclear power plants instead of building new ones? Why are they tearing out hydroelectric dams? Why aren’t they demanding more research into commercializing fusion energy?

Yet “climate change” is the moral axe that cuts through every objection. If someone helpfully tries to point out the stupefying expense climate legislation inevitably imposes on ordinary working families, they’re called “denier” and silenced. They can lose their jobs, their reputations, their research funds, even their friends.

The “denier” epithet is leveled on people merely for pointing out the impracticality of “climate change” mitigation, even if they refrain from reminding us that CO2’s alleged harm is still a theory, not a fact.

Foreseeable Consequences
Thanks to earlier state legislation pushed by the climate crusaders, Oregon is already beginning to experience unaffordable housing because most new development must now take place within the footprint of existing cities.

An in-depth study by Oregon’s Cascade Policy Institute patiently ticks through the futility of these policies in a spacious, nearly empty state. But supposedly if you have uncongested roads and people don’t live on top of each other like rats, there’s more “greenhouse gas.”

Hardly anyone dares question this nonsense. Instead, people buy homes they can barely afford and become mortgage slaves. And for those who don’t work or don’t make enough to pay that mortgage, the government increases taxes so they can subsidize construction of “affordable housing.”

This is a perverse, oppressive, profiteering scam. To make housing affordable, simply permit builders to expand the urban footprint of cities. But in Oregon, the scammers were just getting started. It wasn’t enough to ruin the housing market so wealthy real estate investors could get wealthier, so government agencies could collect more property tax, and so major land developers could make more profit selling overpriced homes.

Now the climate crusaders want to create a huge new state bureaucracy that will team up with Wall Street bookies to skim a few dollars off of every unit of conventional energy that’s ever bought or sold. It’s called carbon emission trading.

Cap-and-Trade Scheming
It’s hard to imagine a bigger scam than carbon emissions trading. The scheme relies on incredibly subjective “carbon accounting” whereby every business has to assess how much CO2 they emit each year. The bureaucrats at the “Climate Policy Office” come up with a baseline allocation for each business, which documents how much CO2 they emit in the first year. Then, systematically, these businesses either have to emit less CO2 each year, or to purchase CO2 emissions permits that make up the difference.

People who plant trees, or in some way come up with projects that supposedly reduce CO2 emissions, are permitted to sell “carbon credits” to the companies over-emitting. Are you confused yet? They’re counting on that. And through it all, the bureaucrats get their salaries, and the trading bookies on Wall Street get their commissions. Trillions are on the table.

It’s worth noting, as an aside, that the policy of “emissions trading” often seduces libertarians, especially since it is a new profit center for their donors. Libertarians view emissions trading as preferable to a simple tax on gas and oil. But when you’re infatuated with your own mind, byzantine schemes to rob the public are always more seductive than simple theft. And after all, “market forces” are harnessed. Thanks so much.

Libertarians, when it comes to borders, trade, online censorship, getting Republicans elected, and now climate change, are always there when you need them to make things worse.

Meanwhile, as ordinary Americans work like dogs to pay mortgages on overpriced homes that sit on lots with yards too small to grow a tree or set up a trampoline, and spend twice as much for gasoline and electricity, and as American manufacturers relocate because of energy costs, the Chinese prepare to take over the world.

Has America’s corporate Left not thought this far ahead? Perhaps we’ll fight the next war with battery operated tanks and planes.

The solutions being proposed for “climate change” are so obviously unworkable and so obviously repressive that it is terrifying that more people cannot see it. Oregon’s Republican Senators should not back down. Not this time. Not ever.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Energy • Environment • Post

Biden’s Climate Plan Requires a Savvy Response

Front running 2020 presidential contender Joe Biden has just released his climate “plan,” claiming that with a $1.7 trillion federal investment, U.S. carbon emissions will reach zero within 30 years.

You can say this for Biden—the canny old campaigner isn’t highlighting his climate plan as a cure-all for social injustice.

Unlike the “Green New Deal,” Biden leaves out of his blueprint a federal job guarantee, universal healthcare, and housing. And while he includes the obligatory obeisance to inclusion, diversity, equity, indigenous peoples, vulnerable communities, people of color, and every other paint-by-number platitude, those aren’t his main focus.

Nope, Joe is marketing the lunch box issues. Union jobs. Infrastructure. Energy leadership. Exports. Industries of the future.

Moreover, Biden’s plan, unlike the Green New Deal, does not read like a college term paper. But if you’re a climate skeptic, or if you’re skeptical that bigger government is the answer, this plan should have you worried. Because it comes very close to offering a consensus plan that even some of Trump’s swing voters might support: which is to fund technology initiatives and infrastructure projects that should be funded anyway, regardless of whether or not rising levels of atmospheric CO2 are a threat to our existence.

How Biden’s plan comes across depends on who is reading it. This ambiguity (likely intentional) permeates the document.

For example, the plan calls to “double down on the liquid fuels of the future” by developing “advanced biofuels.” But what are the details? If Biden is referring to land-dependent cellulosic ethanol, he is potentially set to fund a technology that would strip thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of square miles of land of replacement nutrients from decaying foliage, even if the expensive processes necessary to convert that foliage to ethanol were finally rendered cost-effective. If, on the other hand, he is referring to ethanol grown in tanks using genetically enhanced algae, that process, if the technology ever matures, has potential.

These are very big ifs, but they’re not just plain stupid.

The merit of Biden’s plan rests in the eye of the beholder. How this is so is found in his reliance on funding breakthrough technologies. “Grid-scale storage at one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries.” “Using renewables to produce carbon-free hydrogen at the same cost as shale gas.” “Capturing carbon dioxide from power plant exhausts and using it to make alternative products.”

Is this all pie in the sky? Or are the doubters just Luddites? Shall we believe in the power of innovation, except when it comes to cost-effective batteries, electrolysis of hydrogen, and direct synthesis of CO2? Biden is attacking the center with this line of reasoning. It requires a reasoned response, not ridicule.

New Infrastructure, But Who Pays?
Another area where Biden offers good sense instead of the usual nonsense is with respect to nuclear power. He calls for “small modular nuclear reactors at half the construction cost of today’s reactors.” Furt,her in the document, he calls for an investigation into the “future of nuclear energy,” to resolve issues of cost, safety, and waste disposal. This, too, is a position that is likely to earn Biden more voters than it loses.

When Biden calls for spending on “climate resiliency,” he’s really just talking about infrastructure upgrades: new bridges, new levees, a hardened electrical grid. Some climate skeptics will read between those lines and see sound logic; for alarmists, it’s all good.

It’s easy to pick Biden’s plan apart, of course. There is no chance the U.S. will achieve zero emissions by 2050. And, to date, the environmental side effects of massive deployment of renewables technology are catastrophic. Biden’s plan calls for “conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030.” Has he thought about how much of America’s lands and waters would have to be consumed by solar farms, wind farms, and biofuel farms, if his plan is aggressively funded and implemented? Has he considered the impact of sourcing the materials for all these solar farms, wind farms, and “grid-scale” battery farms, which are far more resource intensive than conventional energy?

Then there’s the money. Per the plan: “Biden’s climate and environmental justice proposal will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years, leveraging additional private sector and state and local investments to total to more than $5 trillion.”

But where is this 10-year budget? One might argue the U.S. economy, with a GDP of roughly $20 trillion, could absorb new government expenditures of $500 billion per year. If you like bigger government, why not shift another 2.5 percent of U.S. economic output from the private sector to the government sector? But where is the money going? Remember Obama’s “shovel ready” projects? That money bailed out the banks and public-sector pensions. Will this be more of the same?

Theories, Not Facts
Despite the fanatical arrogance of the environmentalist zealots and their institutional backers across every sector of America’s corporate establishment, the science of “climate change” is not beyond debate.

Every premise the establishment advances as fact relating to climate change—the cause, intensity, velocity, severity, urgency, and impact (mostly good or mostly bad)—are not facts; they are theories.

But when it comes to solutions, one of the biggest establishment “facts” is actually a very big, and very obvious lie. Biden’s document is called “The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.” That second part, “environmental justice,” is pure B.S. Biden was smart enough to not make “environmental justice” the focal point of his plan, but nonetheless, he lays it on pretty thick. According to Biden’s proposal: “The impacts—on health, economics, and overall quality of life—are far more acute on communities of color, tribal lands, and low-income communities.”

That assertion, backed up by a handful of cherry-picked statistics, leads to the following: “[Biden] will make it a priority for all agencies to engage in community-driven approaches to develop solutions for environmental injustices affecting communities of color, low-income, and indigenous communities.”

Oh, come on. What does that even mean, besides hundreds of millions per year going to Democratic proxies masquerading as nonpartisan community organizers?

Here’s the reality that Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the establishment Bidenesque uniparty Democrats, and the insurgent “social justice” Democrats will never admit: aggressive legislation designed to move the United States to zero-carbon emissions in 30 years will devastate low-income communities. The price of every necessity will rise—housing, heating, electricity, gasoline, water, and food. The multinational corporations providing these necessities will profitably navigate the regulations, collect the subsidies, charge higher prices, and drive out smaller competitors.

For anyone who still doubts this fact—that the cost of extreme energy efficiency, extreme land use restrictions, extreme renewables mandates, are imposing crippling burdens on ordinary people—come to California. While there, ask why, inexplicably, California’s low-income communities continue to vote, by the millions, for the Democrats who have made their lives so difficult.

The answer isn’t hard to find: Leftist oligarchs who make obscene amounts of money from unnecessarily strict “green” regulations are Democrats, who along with their token RINOs, spew the same rhetoric nonstop: “vote for us, or the planet will burn up.”

It’s really that simple. And it works.

This is why fomenting climate alarmism is the top priority of Democrat-controlled public schools, Democrat-owned mass media and social media, and Democrat-dominated government bureaucracies. Along with the obsession with “social justice” and identity politics, climate catastrophizing engages the lizard brain in most humans. Primal fears and anxieties are stimulated by images of floods, hurricanes, and raging wildfires. The urgent need to do whatever is necessary, whatever the cost, is reinforced continuously, at every level. For far too many, emotion overwhelms reason.

Outside of California, most Americans, to their credit, remain split on the urgency of climate change. Which is why Biden’s new plan is a savvy bit of political reckoning.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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Democrats • Elections • Environment • Post • Progressivism

Hickenlooper Does NPR

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is back in the news for the first time since his “Am I A Capitalist?” tour on the late-night talk shows right he announced his presidential candidacy in March. His latest re-emergence is based on his interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, as part of its “Opening Arguments” series of interviews with Democratic hopefuls.

Hickenlooper’s interview has drawn interest from Republicans in particular. He argues that Democrats must base their appeal on economics as opposed to social issues in order to win back the swing voters in 2020.

“But we’ve also got to recognize to win in Ohio and Michigan and North Carolina and Wisconsin, we’re going to have to get more to those kitchen table issues that have to do with somebody’s job, or how many jobs they’re having to work just to balance a household budget,” he said.

Almost as condescending as some Republican efforts to court minorities, the approach isn’t entirely wrong. If adopted, it would at least have the merit of sanity.

Unfortunately for Hickenlooper, he spent much of the rest of the interview proving he’s a flawed messenger. And unfortunately for Democrats, they probably won’t listen to much of what he has to say, anyway. (When Hickenlooper appeared before the California Democratic Party’s state convention over Memorial Day weekend, the crowd booed when he declared “socialism is not the answer.”)

Hickenlooper endorses raising the federal minimum wage, and then immediately laments the slow pace of business formation, as though they were two independent phenomena. His chosen villain—red tape—has been around since at least the first Reagan Administration.

While he rightly distinguishes between excess process and regulation, he accuses the Trump Administration of “get[ting] rid of all the regulations.” The more than 60,000 remaining pages of the Federal Register suggest Hickenlooper is an adept practitioner of rhetorical hyperbole.

Thus, according to Hickenlooper, it’s the process, not the rules themselves, that raise the costs and risks of doing business.

And no surprise. He condemns elements of the Green New Deal like the promise of government-guaranteed jobs. And indeed, as governor, he helped protect the state’s oil and gas industry from the progressive zeal exhibited by his successor, Jared Polis.

But overall, Hickenlooper championed a pro-renewable, anti-consumer energy and electricity plan for Colorado. Xcel will prematurely shutter 700 megawatts of coal plants, replacing them with 2400 megawatts of renewables, earning a guaranteed 10 percent return by passing the costs on to consumers. The state’s taxpayers will build new electric vehicle charging stations for the state’s affluent. That’s a double-whammy for most of us, who will now have to live with California’s vehicle emission standards.

Taken together, these policies wage war on the traditional middle class, transferring their wealth to the upper-middle class, and making his professions of concern for the average worker ring hollow.

None of this should be entirely surprising, given his backers. Hickenlooper has always been popular with the new tech oligarch class in Denver and Boulder. When asked about monopolies, he immediately pointed to Lowe’s and Home Depot making it unlikely that someone could start a neighborhood hardware store. With respect, that’s probably not where most people’s minds go when they hear the word “monopoly.”

Only when pressed did he bring up Amazon’s effects on smaller businesses, and ability to use its data to undercut those who use its platform. It’s what he didn’t say about tech companies that was most telling. Ever since Microsoft’s rise, the big tech companies have used their financial and legal leverage to gobble up potentially competitive innovations. In the context of job creation, there was no room to discuss the galloping strangulation of free speech by the current keepers of the public square.

On closer examination, even Hickenlooper’s choice to de-emphasize social issues looks more like hiding the ball than changing the game. He appointed the members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission who tormented Jack Phillips, and later shelved additional complaints against him mostly to preserve their powers, rather than see them lost altogether in the courts.

And he’s still the guy who signed the 2013 gun controls in the aftermath of the Aurora movie theater shooting. In NPR interview, he calls them “tough” laws and uses them as an example of getting things done. But in 2014, he sang a different tune to the state’s sheriffs, saying he didn’t have as many facts as he wanted. A little later in 2013, he didn’t have as many Democrats in the State Senate as he wanted, with Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron both being recalled by their solidly Democratic districts over those laws.

Hickenlooper brags about “nearly universal” health care, with 93.5 percent of the state covered. Of course, a huge fraction of that increase came not from loosening rules and allowing more insurance competition, but from increasing the state’s Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare. The result has been more coverage, but also higher costs and fatter hospital profits.

In short, Hickenlooper is the pro-business entrepreneurial capitalist who likes only the “right kind” of jobs; the pragmatic centrist who wages social justice war in his spare time; the non-socialist who loves Medicaid expansion.

It’s a brand that, unlike his beer, nobody seems to be buying.

Photo Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Economy • Environment • Post • Progressivism • Republicans • The Left

How the Left Embraced Globalization

On November 30, 1999, the largely theoretical question of globalism exploded into reality with the spectacle of 50,000 demonstrators shutting down a major meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. News coverage of this unexpected sensation, with expertly rendered video montages of police phalanxes, black-clad anarchists, smashed glass, snarled traffic, accompanied by animated commentary, provided American television media with a daily potboiler for a few days. Then globalism was again forgotten.

In 1999, America’s progressive Left viewed globalism as the root cause of poverty, environmental destruction, and the disintegration of ancient cultures. They perceived globalism as the movement by multinational corporations, and their client organizations, the supranational World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to control the development and growth of supposedly sovereign nations.

Instead of allowing developing countries the opportunity to grow diverse, self-sufficient economies, in the hallowed name of “free trade,” they were force-fed loans that required them to spend on mega-projects, cash crops, mines, dams, low-wage manufacturing plants—all built by multinationals that destroy the economic independence of the countries they enter.

In 1999, Americans who bought running shoes produced by slave labor overseas, ate hamburgers made from cattle that grazed on the lands of a former rainforest, or drank coffee grown in pesticide drenched monocrops where cloud forest once stood, could only with effort conceive of such remote despoliation. What was obvious was the cheap footwear, fast food, and excellent coffee.

Globalization, to the extent Americans thought about it at all, was perceived only as providing material benefit. The catastrophes wreaked elsewhere in the world were abstractions. At the time, one of the core missions of the populist progressive Left was to expose globalization, and stop it in its tracks by changing American public opinion.

That was then. Today the progressive Left has become the champion of globalization, joining, perhaps unwittingly, America’s establishment uniparty in supporting its updated agenda: open borders, free trade, and “climate action.”

While the progressives may disagree with the establishment on questions of degree—how much redistribution of wealth, how many migrants, how aggressively to implement climate action—they’re in remarkable agreement on the premises.

Today the foes of globalization are on the Right. The same black-clad anarchists who used to smash glass to disrupt the meetings of the WTO, IMF, and World Bank, now take to the streets to silence the anti-globalist Right.

What happened?

Probably the most significant change was the growing realization that economic globalization was not simply a matter of developed nations exploiting developing nations. The reality is far more complex.

In general, free trade is supposed to optimize the rate of global economic growth, but the primary beneficiaries are the less developed nations. Exporting jobs to less developed nations with cheaper labor may have been characterized as exploitation of those workers, but the big surprise was that most of them didn’t see it that way. Just compare the rates of economic growth in developing nations between 2000 and today—China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia—to the growth rates over the same period in developed nations including the United States, Japan, and members of the European Union. But for a while, the topic of globalization faded from the public mind.

The events of September 11, 2001 and the War on Terror that followed took center stage, pushing globalization to the sidelines. Then, right about the time the public had begun to get used to the new era of endless wars, came the great recession.

Until the great recession, the downside of globalization hadn’t really struck Americans. Sure, at the same time as jobs were being exported to low wage nations, citizens of the high wage nations were losing those jobs. If you don’t have a job, it doesn’t matter if the giant flat screen television made in China is available at Walmart for $600 or $1,200. But for years, millions of Americans compensated for lower income by borrowing money on their bubblized home equity. That came to a screeching halt in 2009.

Where was the progressive Left during the great recession?

Yes, there was Occupy Wall Street and a succession of encampments around the country to protest the injustice of a financial industry that escaped almost any consequence for derailing the economy. But to a large degree, the Obama presidency obscured the transition of the Left from foes of globalization to proponents of globalization.

Barack Obama’s charisma, his status as the first African American president, and his ability to pacify his leftist critics with big legislative initiatives such as Obamacare, somehow either overshadowed, justified, legitimized, or overcame objections to his other policies, which were to be just as globalist as those of his predecessor. It wasn’t until Trump came along in 2016 that the debate over globalization returned to center stage. But this time it was a very different debate.

Donald Trump disrupted the debate over globalization by focusing on the impact it was having on Americans. He challenged what had become truisms for the establishment—trade deficits don’t matter or can actually be beneficial, free trade is always good, mass immigration helps more than it harms.

What the establishment had ignored was that the benefits of trade deficits are financial bubbles (as American asset prices are bid up by foreign investors) that only enrich wealthy speculators. Free trade isn’t free when other nations cheat. Mass immigration only benefits businesses who want cheaper labor. Meanwhile, homes became unaffordable debt traps, good manufacturing jobs migrated overseas, and immigrants took away jobs from America’s most vulnerable workers.

Trump also clarified the debate over globalization by forcing the progressive Left to reveal its true colors. It became clear that the Left’s only concern was how globalization affected the developing world, and exposed their indifference, even hostility, toward the workers in their own nations.

You can make a moral case that globalization should harm the workers of the developed nations more than it harms the workers of developing nations. You can turn that unavoidable truth into an altruistic virtue, although one that is rather hard to defend in the nations that are being harmed.

You can also embrace globalization on those terms because it does the bidding of the wealthy elites and multinational corporations who are most enriched by “free” trade and open borders.

America’s progressive left did both. They’ve disguised their desire to see the traditional American worker disenfranchised in their own nation with attacks on “white nationalism.” They’ve come to accept the premises of free trade economists that they’d once despised, with the caveat that climate activism and all that it entails—namely, the mass redistribution of wealth—will mitigate the impacts of globalism on developing nations which had once bothered them so much.

The fatal flaw in the Left’s new embrace of globalization, however, is that socialist redistribution has never made societies better off, and achieving 100 percent renewable energy would be environmentally disastrous to say nothing of economically impossible.

These unresolvable conflicts doom the undeclared alliance between progressive leftists and economic globalists. The result? A steady stream of defections by progressive leftists into alternative platforms, many of them likely to embrace the various forms of nationalism they now claim to deplore. Just watch.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • Energy • Environment • Post • Technology • The Constitution • The Courts

The Climate Case of the Century

Twelve years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPAthat greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act. The decision in effect gave the Environmental Protection Agency massive additional regulatory authority. This year, another landmark climate case appears headed for the high court: Juliana v. United States. This time, the stakes are even higher.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday will hear arguments in Portland from both sides. The hearing was preceded by a wave of well-funded protestsacross the United States in support of the plaintiffs, who are a group of 21 children and teenagers who were recruited in 2015 from places around the country deemed particularly vulnerable to climate change.

While environmental lawsuits have been around for 50 years, “climate rights” and climate liability lawsuits blaze new legal territory. As “60 Minutes” explained in a favorable story in March, the young plaintiffs allege the U.S. government’s use of fossil fuels is “causing climate change, endangering their future and violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.”

The prospects for this case to reach the Supreme Court and provoke a strong ruling in favor of the plaintiffs cannot be ruled out. Over the past few decades, the fossil fuel industry has embraced the climate change activists. The industry has determined that challenging the basic premises of climate change activists is no longer good for business.

Rather than continue to fund unbiased scientific inquiry, the fossil fuel industry recognizes that if it is harder to extract oil and gas, the price of oil and gas will rise, increasing their profits. They also recognize—unlike every climate activist on earth, evidently—that it is impossible to pursue economic development without fossil fuels. Therefore, their industry will continue to thrive no matter what climate activists accomplish through litigation or legislation.

Government Has a Tough Case to Make
A similar pattern of appeasement describes the federal government’s approach to climate activism over the past 30 years. Across Republican and Democratic administrations, the federal bureaucracy, usually staffed by individuals who were themselves climate activists, generated mountains of correspondence that will be used to allege the government knew that fossil fuels were causing climate change and did nothing to stop it.

This evidence has left the defendant, the federal government, with a much tougher case. The plaintiff’s attorneys have accumulated documents going back decades that they will offer as proof of liability.

Whatever the fossil fuel industry’s motivations were—protecting their public image, taking the path of least resistance, short-term thinking, or cynical, profit-oriented stratagems—they now face consequences beyond anything they may have imagined. The plaintiffs in Juliana want the court to compel the federal government to develop a plan to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 parts per million or less by 2100. Global CO2 concentrations are currently around 400 PPM.

This is an impossible goal. Not difficult. Not tough. Impossible.

Critical Questions
What will decide the case in the Supreme Court, however, is not the feasibility of this remedy. Rather, the case will hinge on whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to a healthy planet; do CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuel cause an unhealthy planet; and if so, did the U.S. government know this and do nothing?

The case could turn on any one of those questions, but the second one—do CO2 emissions caused by burning fossil fuel cause an unhealthy planet—is the most critical to future policy.

The “endangerment finding” in Massachusetts v. EPA was a missed opportunity for climate skeptics to have an honest debate on the entire scientific basis of climate activism. The failure of climate skeptics to successfully argue their position in Massachusettshas created a powerful precedent that favors the plaintiffs in Juliana.

Nevertheless, if and whenJuliana reaches the high court, it would be a mistake for the federal government’s attorneys to focus primarily on the question of whether or not U.S. citizens have a constitutional right to a healthy planet. Instead, they could use the opportunity to challenge every scientific premise of the climate activist lobby.

For example:

What proof is there that anthropogenic CO2 is the primary contributor to global warming? What about changes in solar cycles, other astronomical variables, the multi-decadal oscillations of ocean currents, the dubious role of water vapor as a positive feedback mechanism, the improbability of positive climate feedback in general, the uncertain role (and diversity) of aerosols, the poorly understood impact of land use changes, the failure of the ice caps to melt on schedule, the failure of climate models to account for an actual cooling of the troposphere, the credibility of climate models in general, or the fact that just the annual fluctuations in natural sources of CO2 emissions eclipse estimated human CO2 emissions by an order of magnitude?

What proof is there that global warming is occurring at an alarming rate, that it won’t stabilize, or that it isn’t actually causing more good than harm in the world by stimulating the expansion of the world’s forests, increasing agricultural productivity, increasing global precipitation, and reducing deaths from freezing?

What if species loss is overstated, happening for other reasons, or countered by adaptation? What if anthropogenic CO2 is the reason the Anthropocene era hasn’t already been catastrophically obliterated by what is now the past-due next ice age?

What if the environmental consequences of a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions actually would be worse than alleged global warming? What are the cumulative environmental impacts of carbon-neutral solutions such as the heat island effect of hundreds of thousands of square miles of photovoltaic panels, or millions of square miles of biofuel plantations? What are the wildlife impacts of these solutions, along with others such as millions of large wind turbines?

What about the environmental impact of mining for millions of tons of rare earth minerals and other extractive nonrenewable resources in order to construct these massive energy projects? What about the environmental impact of recycling and reprocessing these renewables assets which have useful lives of only 25-50 years?

These are some of the scientific arguments that the government should bring to bear when Juliana v. United States reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. But decades of cowardice and opportunism by members of industry and government who knew better make it harder than ever to make those arguments.

Appeasement and Unwitting Nihilism
The choice was made a long time ago by most of these special interests to appease and accommodate the climate activists. As a result, the arguments they ought to be making have been banished and toxified for so long they have become heresy in the eyes of virtually the entire mainstream and online media along with a generation of America’s youth.

Which brings us back to the absolute impossibility of implementing the remedy that the plaintiffs in Juliana seek. What a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs will do, however, is create powerful momentum for a “Green New Deal” of far greater scope than whatever compromise package would otherwise eventually find its way for a signature from a friendly White House in 2021 (they hope). This, in turn, would be devastating to America’s prosperity, freedom, and ability to compete economically and militarily in the world.

The saddest part of the entire climate activist movement is its unwitting nihilism. Fossil fuel development is the only way that people in the world will be quickly lifted out of poverty. Fossil fuel provides 85 percent of global energy production, and for every person on earth, on average, to consume half as much energy per capita as Americans do, global energy production has to double. This cannot possibly be achieved without ongoing development of fossil fuel, along with whatever renewable technologies we can muster.

America should be encouraging the development of clean fossil fuel, at the same time as it pours research into leapfrog energy technologies: safe nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, the industrial development of outer space including satellite solar power stations.

If environmentalists really believe what they say, they would support such endeavors—along with technologies to lower the human footprint: aquaculture, fish farming, high-rise agriculture, urban agriculture, smart agriculture, lab-grown meat, and innovations certain to come that we haven’t even thought of yet.

Cheap energy is the primary enabler of prosperity, literacy, urbanization, female emancipation, reduced infant mortality, and voluntary population stabilization. Without it, throughout the teeming tropics, women would continue to gather wood for the cooking fires, men would hunt bush meat, and forests and wildlife would continue to disappear.

These privileged American children and their manipulative activist parents may pat themselves on the back as they drive their Priuses to the courthouse. But their utopian vision delivers a dystopian fate to the less fortunate on the other side of this world.

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America • Energy • Environment • Post • The Left

The Hypocrisy Behind Climate Change Litigation

Democratic politicians and environmental activists claim any attempt to limit frivolous climate change lawsuits are really nefarious schemes to protect the wealthy and powerful. In reality, the litigation they defend supports their own wealthy and powerful backers.

Six California cities and counties recirculated a letter last week that argued a business-backed plan to deal with climate change is not enough. Many corporations have offered concessions, such as the acceptance of a carbon fine and carbon dividends, in the Baker-Schulz Carbon Dividends Plan.

That plan is insufficient, according to these California municipalities. “Wealthy, powerful corporations should not get to decide whether they are subject to the same laws as everyone else,” the letter says. The letter was signed by the cities of Imperial Beach, Richmond, and Santa Clara, along with Marin County, San Mateo County, and Santa Clara County.

All six municipalities have filed lawsuits against energy companies, and they’re not exactly Little Guy America. San Mateo and Marin Counties are home to some of the wealthiest people in America. The median household income in San Mateo is $108,627; it’s $103,845 in Marin.

Most of the “David” municipalities who have sued the wealthy and powerful “Goliaths” are comprised of wealthy and powerful constituents with counter-interests. Other locales that have filed climate litigation include New York City, San Francisco, and Boulder, Colorado—all places of wealth, power, and privilege.

Similarly, the lawsuits are backed by the wealthy and powerful. One of the leading players in climate change litigation is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Nothing better represents the little guy than the Rockefeller brand. The Rockefellers lavished the Niskanen Center, which is serving as co-counsel on multiple climate change lawsuits, with $200,000 in 2018. Another lawsuit proponent, EarthRights International, touts the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as one of its primary funders.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also served as a major donor to lawyer Matt Pawa’s Global Warming Legal Action Project, which aimed to “develop and apply a tort law approach to global warming that will require major greenhouse gas emitters and fossil fuel companies to internalize the costs of their contributions to global warming.”

Another wealthy donor to these lawsuits is liberal billionaire Tom Steyer. Steyer’s super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, has played an instrumental role in pushing litigation against Exxon. Steyer, of course, is heavily invested in so-called green and alternative energy companies. The group was briefed on the legal strategy in 2015 and then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought campaign contributions from Steyer as a reward for his lawsuit against Exxon. Steyer has denied any involvement in the lawsuits, but the evidence says otherwise.

And no left-wing action would be complete without support from billionaire George Soros, who got rich manipulating currency markets and who has invested billions attempting to do the same with energy markets. Soros’s Open Society Foundations is a major donor to EarthRights International, contributing six-figure donations to the climate activist group every year. Soros-backed district attorneys are pursuing “climate justice.” One such person is Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. Ogg has brought charges against Arkema North America for “poison[ing] our environment” after chemicals at the company’s facility exploded during Hurricane Harvey. Ogg received a $500,000 campaign contribution from Soros in 2016.

There also exists evidence that Russia—the great liberal bogeyman—may be involved in some of these efforts. Russia has actively supported anti-fracking propaganda to benefit its own energy interests.

Climate litigation is not the David versus Goliath struggle its advocates envision. It’s a shady alliance of liberal and left-wing billionaires, radical environmental groups, and wealthy municipalities trying to harm America’s energy industry. The real little guys who will be hurt are the thousands of Americans who will lose good paying jobs and the millions of Americans who will lose access to affordable energy sources should these lawsuits succeed. Americans will pay far more for energy, jobs will be lost, and we will rely more on foreign resources in the aftermath.

The only people who would gain are foreign nations, overzealous bureaucrats, and self-satisfied coastal elites. Don’t believe the faux-populism ginned up by the fanatics behind these lawsuits.

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Center for American Greatness • Environment • Post • The Left

Crichton’s Rational Environmentalism Needs a Reawakening

Just over 10 years ago, the world lost Michael Crichton, bestselling author and screenwriter, who succumbed to cancer at age 66. His loss was greater than we could have known at the time. During the final years of his life, Crichton became increasingly focused on the politicization of science. Few critics of this corruption, if any, are as articulate and influential as Michael Crichton was in his time. And now politicized science, and the justifications it provides activists, journalists, politicians, and corporate opportunists, is more dangerous than ever.

Crichton’s scientific background—he obtained a medical degree in 1969, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies—distinguished him from the typical author of thrillers, and informed his life-long interest in science and technology. Whenever Crichton expressed skepticism about the latest environmental crisis of the century, he had credibility.

One of the most succinct and moving examples of Crichton’s thoughts on this topic came in the form of a speech he gave in 2003 at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, titled “Environmentalism As Religion.” The transcript offers a compelling defense of rational environmentalism vs. environmentalism as a religion, and warns against the politicization of science. Here are some of the key points he makes:

  • “DDT is not a carcinogen . . . the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people . . . ”
  • “Second hand smoke is not a health hazard and never was.”
  • “The evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit.”
  • “There is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere in the 21st century.”
  • “The percentage of U.S. land that is taken for urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5 percent.”

These are contrarian assertions, but they’re based on facts, not faith.

Crichton’s observations remain correct about DDT, and assessing DDT—along with incidental second hand smoke—as nontoxic to humans rests on basic toxicology. Properly applied, DDT was a fantastic weapon against malaria. Banning it instead of properly regulating its use was a tragic mistake. When DDT was banned worldwide in 1972, malaria was on track to be eradicated like smallpox was before it. Instead, malaria continues to kill over 1 million people per year, and there is no end in sight.

As for second hand smoke, obviously it can be dangerous under prolonged, extreme exposure, but Crichton was saying the criteria used to justify smoking regulations were far below genuinely harmful levels.

Crichton’s statement regarding low levels of urbanization is another area where facts contradict environmentalist faith. There is plenty of open land in the United States that could be developed without mowing down pristine wilderness. Declaring “open space” to be endangered is ridiculous. This fatally flawed argument—now buttressed if not guaranteed by widespread fanaticism over global warming—is the justification used to force people into ultra-dense, punishingly regulated and taxed urban bantustans inside the “urban growth boundary.” This is dangerous nonsense.

Here’s one more of Crichton’s contrarian zingers: “The Sahara . . . is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing.”

It is difficult to find consistent data to support or refute either of these assertions, especially considering how fundamental they are towards assessing global climate change. But there is evidence supporting Crichton’s claim that the Sahara is shrinking. And while there is conflicting data on Antarctic ice volume, you wouldn’t know it from recent headlines. Behind the alarmist hype lie nuances. Volcanic activity, not global warming, may be causing melting of West Antarctic ice. Increased snowfall in the Antarctic interior, very hard to measure, may be offsetting ice loss. But only the alarmist reports find their way into the establishment media. Politicized science, perhaps?

Despite his well founded skepticism, and contrary to the attacks from his critics, Crichton was an environmentalist. He was a rational environmentalist rather than a religious environmentalist—but nonetheless he was someone with environmentalist sentiments. Consider this:

It is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. 

Environmentalism, according to Crichton, has gone well beyond these principles, and has become a movement that cannot admit to past or present mistakes or excesses.

Crichton believed that environmentalism fulfills an innate urge that urban atheists may embrace as an alternative to religion. This may be a bit much at least insofar as environmentalists, including Crichton himself, come from a wide diversity of faiths and personal ideologies. But Crichton was on to something when he questioned the reactions he would sometimes elicit from many environmentalists.

Why is debate closed on these questions when they can be challenged on a factual basis? Why can’t the facts speak for themselves?

The intense reactions environmentalists displayed toward Crichton during his lifetime, and toward his legacy today, are unfounded unless something more powerful than reason is involved—belief, ideology, passion, a primal inner need for meaning and mission.

Crichton’s opening remarks included compelling reminders that humanity has always adapted and humanity relentlessly has improved the collective well being, and this is continuing. In his closing remarks he warns how politicized and entrenched environmental organizations have become:

what more and more groups are doing is putting out lies, pure and simple, Falsehoods that they know to be false

Fast forward to 2019. Does that sound familiar?

How about this?

At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. It is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

That is exactly what President Trump is trying to do. And it is driving everyone crazy.

Of course, not everything Crichton said is true, just as everything the current environmentalist establishment maintains is not false, or unhelpful. But in his final remarks, he also described his state of fear, shared by many of us—and to paraphrase former Czech President Vaclav Klaus—what is at stake, our global climate or our freedom? The answer, according to Crichton:

In the end, science offers us a way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race.

Had he lived, Crichton today would have been the same age as Bernie Sanders, and hopefully would have been striding the national stage with similar energy. Imagine what Crichton would have had to say about the Green New Deal, renewable portfolio standards, “we’ve got only 12 years left” alarmism, and the whole raft of climate activist rhetoric. Imagine him using his celebrity pulpit to expose and criticize the high-tech complicity in silencing debate on these issues.

Crichton’s intellectual clarity was matched by a charismatic and persuasive style. Ten years ago, the world lost a great man before his time.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Economy • Energy • Environment • Post • The Left

A New Way to Deal With Green Oligarchs

As it stands today, more than half of the Democratic candidates for president support the Green New Deal, a “deeply ambitious” plan that backers say would bring America to “net-zero” carbon pollution by the middle of the century.

While the Green New Deal is framed as a selfless effort to save the planet, it is really just another political hustle. One need look no further than at the monied interests behind the bill to see that Democratic donors get the goldmine and the rest of the country gets the shaft.

The billionaire class happens to support the idea because it also happens to speculate in the market for renewable energy.

Take Tom Steyer, a left-wing billionaire who poured nearly $100 million into the Democratic campaigns of 2016. As the founder of Farallon Capital and a former coal investor, Steyer is now looking to protect his investments in clean energy—even as he crows about saving the planet and mobilizing the country’s resources to stop climate change.

When speaking to reporters last month, Steyer made it clear that “there’s no way we’d support somebody who wasn’t absolutely crystal clear and credible on climate. If they’re not a climate warrior, we’re not for them. Period. Period, the end.”

And like clockwork, just as Washington Governor Jay Inslee made climate change the single issue of his fledgling campaign, Steyer pounced to provide immediate financial support from his SuperPAC.

The list of billionaires does not end with Steyer. Nathaniel Simons, founder of the Meritage investment group who is heavily invested in “net-zero” real estate, is also a top donor to environmental causes promoted by the Democratic Party.

But affirming before God and man the benefits of green energy are not just a run-of-the-mill sacrament to our country’s billionaires. For some members of the professional class, it is also a highly lucrative jobs program.

Green energy legislation is a prime case of corporate cronyism—where trillions of dollars in taxpayer money will be moved to the tech sector, the wind and solar industry, and other well-connected lobbies for the purpose of producing clean energy tools and zero-carbon technologies.

Wherever green energy legislation is passed, the activists, media tycoons, researchers, and academics working in the green-industrial complex are sure to escape unemployment.

And just as the Green New Deal would benefit much of the professional class, the impact of the bill on America’s middle class will be equally devastating. The plan as envisioned by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her democratic-socialist friends would affect the way normal Americans produce energy, farm land, raise cattle, construct homes, drive automobiles, and manufacture products—things city-dwelling liberals will likely never do in their lives.

According to a Heritage Foundation forecast, the Green New Deal would:

  • Decrease employment by 1.4 million jobs
  • Bring on a total income loss of more than $40,000 for a family of four
  • Increase the average electricity bill by 12-14 percent

In other words, green energy harms working-class families. They are the ones who spend a much higher percentage of their household income on energy for their homes and would be unable to afford green energy vehicles.

If you want to see how green energy policies would impact the working- and middle classes of America, look no further than Australia. In the Land Down Under, you see a development in their Labor Party that is similar to the affliction now consuming America’s party of limousine liberals.

“The Labor Party and its putative green allies have been transformed into an instrument of the bureaucracy and ‘progressive’ gentry, well-positioned to flourish in a hyper-regulated state,” wrote Joel Kotkin at City Journal.

As for Australia’s middle class, Kotkin notes, the number of households “earning between three-quarters and double the average income—has been dropping by more than a percentage point per decade since the 1980s.”

Australian elites, meanwhile, have little stake in the domestic forms of production which center on Australia’s natural resources. They continue to profit “from the flow of natural resources to East Asia, through tax policies or financing deals, or by pushing climate-change mitigation programs . . .”

Could not the same be said of the professional classes of America and the new political tensions  with the country’s “deplorables” working in the coal industry and in fossil fuels?

What Kotkin hints at, but does not fully develop in this piece, is how this new party divide goes far beyond economics—a commitment to green energy penetrates the social fabric of a country by making family life more difficult.

All across America, even in places like New York City, the Green New Deal would increase land use regulation and drives up the costs of housing. In some cities, especially high-cost places like New York and San Francisco, small families making less than $100,000 a year would be priced out completely.

The professional classes, meanwhile, will continue to afford a traditional conception of the American dream, while embracing policies that unwind it for the less fortunate. Having a family, a four-bedroom home, and a couple of cars would be a luxury available only to a privileged few. Everyone else, lawmakers suggest, should get used to multi-family homes and use public transportation.

For anyone who does not have a stake in building this green utopia, there is a remedy: we must continue to drive the class wedge in American politics between labor and the elites, while expanding the issue to encompass middle-class interests, which include access to things considered (until recently anyway) mainstays of American middle class life.

Just as those who traditionally vote for the Labor Party in Australia have found no place in the Labor/Green alliance, the coalition of GOP voters that continues to emerge in the United States has no stake in a green energy future. Preserving the portfolios of liberal and leftist billionaires is unlikely to be a winning issue in our democratic republic.

The good news is that the appeal to working-class voters for Republicans may not stop with the white working class. Minority groups, too, may soon ask themselves how they benefit from green energy policies.

Last year, for instance, when former U.S. Representative Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) lost to Green New Deal champion Ocasio-Cortez, many commentators saw his defeat as a sign that a new, “diverse,” wave of voters, enthusiastic for green energy, were ready to take the country by storm.

What few mention, however, is that Crowley beat Cortez among African American voters at a rate of more than two-to-one. Further, contrary to the identity-politics narrative, an Irish guy named Joe managed to split the Hispanic vote with Ocasio-Cortez almost right down the middle.

Green energy legislation, and the urban activists who represent it, are really nothing more than a wave of Millennials moving in to gentrify the district. That is, the “AOC vote” is mostly childless, white, university-educated liberals, whose tony parents will pay their energy bills no matter how high the costs may soar.

Demonstrating how liberal Democrats have become a class-conscious party, with the Green New Deal as their instrument, may be the best way to siphon off the traditional Democratic base against the professional class. We may soon have a healthy majority, united in scorn against the new green oligarchs.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Economy • Environment • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • The Left

The ‘Packed White Nationalist’ Rally That Wasn’t

It’s no secret that the mainstream media is biased to the left. A 2018 survey conducted by researchers at Arizona State found that only 4.4 percent of journalists consider themselves “right-of-center.” A similar 2014 study found that only 7.1 percent of journalists were registered Republicans. Examples of this bias are relentless, from two years of hyping an investigation into “collusion” between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia that came up empty, to slanderous attacks on the Covington Catholic High School students.

It isn’t just obviously distorted coverage of current events that taints American journalism, it’s the way they continue to mischaracterize past events, knowing they can get away with it. “Trump defended neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.” No, he did not. “Trump mocked a disabled reporter.” No, he did not. Yet the anti-Trump “journalists” routinely repeat these lies and others, using them to reinforce the negative context of whatever it is they’re currently reporting about Trump.

One of the most shameless propagandists against President Trump in particular, and conservatives in general, is “ABC Nightly News” anchor David Muir. If he weren’t such a partisan hack, one might feel sorry for him.

Every afternoon at 5:30 p.m., Muir begins his broadcast by uttering the same phrases as if he’s saying them for the first time: “Welcome on a very busy Monday, there are several developing stories as we come on the air.”

Managing to look both solemn and dashing at the same time, Muir paces through the same formula, day in and day out. Here’s the sequence: Anything semi-newsworthy that can be spun to make Trump look bad. Weather report (“severe winter storm moving through the Midwest”) to keep our minds on “climate change.” A heinous murder somewhere in America so we’ll approve “gun control.” Anything else to make Trump look bad. Anything else to make Trump look bad. A few additional snippets of infotainment (daring rescue, lost dog found), and a “feel good” moment at the end.

If you want to know what’s going on in North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, or even on America’s southern border, don’t bother with ABC News. Apart from major developments, these ongoing stories won’t get one minute of coverage. Unless, of course, whatever is happening there will make Trump look bad. No real news seems to be news on ABC. On April 11, SpaceX landed all three of its Falcon Heavy rocket boosters for the first time. This was a triumph of American aerospace and an historic accomplishment. Not one word from David Muir. But he took plenty of time to spew Trump-bashing trivia. Why ABC calls its 30 minute national newscast “news” is anybody’s guess.

On April 29, ABC’s “anything to make Trump look bad” moment took the form of the “packed white nationalist rally in Long Beach” that wasn’t. Muir was reporting on the FBI arrest of Mark Domingo, an army veteran who was planning a terrorist attack. It’s important to understand exactly how Muir distorted his reporting. He said Domingo planned to bomb “a packed white nationalist rally in Long Beach.”

There was no such rally. There was a Facebook event announcement, subsequently taken down. The Facebook post was created by a group with “ties to white nationalists.” The rally never took place. But why let that detail get in the way?

What Muir inferred, unambiguously, was that a “right-wing” rally had taken place, and that it was “packed,” and then he moved on with his coverage of Domingo’s arrest. Oh, and by the way, Domingo had converted to Islam. But that wasn’t part of the story. The story was about the “packed white nationalist rally.” Adding the adjective “packed” was an especially juicy embellishment, since the event was canceled and nobody showed up but counterprotesters.

This is an example of how media bias translates into lies too subtle to be called out as blatant lying. A “packed white nationalist rally in Long Beach.” When you hear this, even when mentioned in passing, it reinforces the desired perception that America is awash in a tide of dangerous white nationalism. That’s the goal. It’s not by accident. If television journalists were recognized for their acting ability, David Muir would get an Oscar.

What television news anchors like Muir will not report are the thousands of “direct actions” by tens of thousands of far-left activists, who have plagued America’s cities and colleges for years, escalating sharply since Trump was elected. When President Trump truthfully and accurately describes America’s extremist Right as “a few sick people,” the media mocks him and accuses him of providing cover.

It’s true that right-wing extremism is a problem in America. But the perpetrators of these tragic acts are invariably loners, usually coping with mental illness. The violent extremists on the American Left, by contrast, are organized in militant cadres, each with hundreds if not thousands of members, active in nearly every major city in America. Their actions are condoned and often supported by the mainstream Left.

Comprised of anarchists, eco-terrorists, communists, socialists, and “anti-fascists,” these militants are the violent auxiliary of liberal Democrats. Antifa, and like minded militants, have sympathizers not only on college campuses and in liberal communities, but also inside much of big business and big finance, in one of the great ironies of our time.

The extremist Right is racist. That, along with the violence, is what makes them extremists. But they will never become a mass movement, as the Left appears convinced will happen at any time. Why? Because there are very few Americans left who tolerate racism. The populist uprising that frightens the Left is not a resurgence of racism; it’s a resurgence of American nationalism. The goal of the Left, with the full complicity of David Muir and his elite clique of professional counterparts, is to make these terms interchangeable. Whites are racists. Racists are nationalists. Nationalists are white racists.

Expressions of nationalism that terrify the Left revolve around core issues that will define where we end up as a nation over the next few decades. Will we import new residents, by the millions, who are educated and skilled, or who are illiterate and unskilled? Will we develop conventional energy including nuclear power, or will we handicap our economy with renewables at a time when rising powers around the world have no such delusions? According to the American Left, if you want skilled immigrants you are a racist, and if you want an all-of-the-above energy strategy, you are a “denier.” And they are prepared to intimidate anyone who acquires enough influence to shape that debate against their wishes.

Stoking fear of white nationalism is a powerful propaganda tool, because the phrase imposes a racist stigma that inhibits honest discussions about immigration and affirmative action, along with debates over America’s energy policies. The concept of “environmental justice,” and other leftist initiatives such as in the Green New Deal, further the goal of linking racists and “deniers” together in a toxic unity.

The problem the Left has with all this, however, is that almost everything they’re trying to do violates common sense. The Left has to try to convince us that any expressions of nationalism or balanced discussions of environmental issues are a slippery and dangerous slope leading towards the abyss, because otherwise they can’t win those arguments.

Trump’s greatest gift to America may be his complete disregard for this tactic of the Left. Thanks to Trump, Americans are finally having a long overdue conversation about immigration policy. Increasingly, against overwhelming odds, and also thanks to Trump, Americans are finally reopening the debate over “climate change,” what causes it, how severe it is (or isn’t), and what (if anything) should be done about it.

In a way, media bias and leftist extremism are doing America a favor. Their obvious lies and odious antics are stimulating what may be a great awakening. The populism that terrifies the Left isn’t white nationalism, it’s American nationalism. It’s a coalition, already forming, of not just the “white working class,” but assimilated “ethnics” who are equally fed up with mass waves of illegal immigrants who compete for jobs and services. It’s construction unions deciding to stop allowing billions of infrastructure dollars to flow to bureaucrats instead of builders. It’s common sense environmentalists who have realized that “climate change” is just a Trojan Horse for socialism. It’s African Americans who have realized that Leftist victimology has done nothing for their communities, and never will. It’s parents rebelling against the teachers union. All these people will join the backlash. Together. Unstoppable.

So keep it up, David Muir. Keep telling your lies with a straight face. We’re sorry you won’t get an Academy Award.

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America • Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Energy • Environment • Post • The Left

The Climate Cult’s Missal

The sanctimonious Climate Cult never ceases to amaze and amuse in its incessant, condescending appeals to enlighten—by any means necessary—we recalcitrant heretics who refuse to cede our liberty to the state upon the pretext of their politicized science.

Now, they’re going to nuke us with a missal.

To wit, this May 1 tract by Hannah Fairfield, “The Facts about Food and Climate Change” in the “Climate Fwd: newsletter,” with which “The New York Times climate team emails readers once a week with stories and insights about climate change.” In fact, to produce this extra, super, special edition of said newsletter, the newspaper’s “[climate team] joined with our colleagues in the food section to bring you information about how to shop, cook and eat in a warming world.”

And you thought they just wanted to take away your hamburger? “I’ll have the meat-loathe, please….”

But of course, per the Climate Cult’s missal, rarely have the stakes been so great:

We generally have options about what to eat every day, and those choices have climate consequences. About a quarter of all planet-warming greenhouse gases emitted each year are a result of how we feed the world. Does what you eat have an effect on climate change? The answer is yes, absolutely.

In case one thought “the answer is yes, maybe,” Sam Sifton food editor of the Times (and, evidently, an amateur climatologist) reinforced the gospel of Algore: “The science, after all, is clear. The climate is changing.”

Yes, we must all gird our loins to accept weather changes; but what’s worse, per Mr. Sifton, the ignorance of the best intentioned regressives as to how they can eat and still save the planet has spawned an epidemic of emaciating indecision:

And a lot of home cooks have been left paralyzed at the stove or in the marketplace as a result, choosing between the farmed salmon and the pasture-raised chicken, the organic tofu, the fair-trade coffee, the heritage carrots.  Which is best or safest for the environment? Which hurts it the least? What, in general, are we supposed to buy and cook, if we want to help reduce our carbon footprints, the carbon footprints of our nation, our world?

Fear not for the starving self-righteous, however, because in their missal the Climate Cult and their cooks have some sage suggestions to get their queasy “woke” acolytes to nosh again:

“Your Questions about Food and Climate Change, Answered;

“These Five Cuisines Are Easier on the Planet;

“From Apples to Popcorn, Climate Change Is Altering the Foods America Grows;

“The Climate-Friendly Vegetable You Ought to Eat;

“Reinventing the Tomato for Survival in a Changing World.

“How Does Your Love of Wine Contribute to Climate Change?”

And, for those who lapse, the Climate Cult and their cooks’ missal thoughtfully provide an opportunity for self-reeducation: “Quiz: How Does Your Diet Contribute to Climate Change?”  Someday soon, perhaps, should one fail, the next stop will be a vegan reeducation camp?

But at present, they find politeness useful, so the Climate Cult and its cooks hope we like their extra, super, special missal, “because it’s part of our mission here at The Times to help readers understand the world.”

The inference is, if one disagrees with them, one doesn’t understand the world. Equally, we who dig diner fare probably don’t know that much about their ritzy world of “fair-trade coffee” and “heritage carrots”, etc….  But the best part—for us, anyway,—is we still possess the freedom not to give a whit about their cuisine or their cult. So, no, the Climate Cult’s missal won’t make for “happy reading”; and, no, we shan’t “find something inspiring to cook and eat.”

What we free people find inspiring, we emulate, we don’t masticate.  And one thing to admire is the witty riposte of the incomparable Salena Zito to the clichéd weatherworn “wokeness” of these noxious Malthusians’ missal:

A subset of a subset of a subset of people think they should in theory think this way.  A subset of a subset of them will actually shop this way. A subset of a subset of them will adopt it as their religion & preach it at the next cocktail party they go to where they refuse to eat.

Which, then, raises the critical question to fore: “You gonna finish that?”

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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America • Energy • Environment • EU • Europe • Post • self-government • Technology

Why Don’t Climate Activists Support Nuclear Power?

For several days in mid-April, downtown London was paralyzed by thousands of “climate activists” protesting the failure of the British government to act swiftly enough to combat climate change. In mid-March, thousands of students across the United States staged school “walkouts” to demand action on climate change as well.

These protests are ongoing, but the underlying logic is hard to see. The primary sources of anthropogenic CO2 are no longer Western nations, which are only responsible for about 30 percent of all global emissions. The biggest single culprit, if you want to call it that, is China, responsible for 28 percent of global emissions, nearly twice as much as the United States, and 28 times as much as the United Kingdom.

Rapidly industrializing India, responsible for 6 percent of global CO2 emissions, is on track to become the most populous nation on earth. The chances that China and India will sacrifice their national future in order to reduce CO2 emissions are zero. The same holds for every emerging nation, including the demographic heavyweights Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, along with all the rest.

The logic of these protestors also fails when it comes to the science of climate change, although to suggest something might be off in their thinking is heresy. So rather than point out that moderate warming might actually be beneficial to the planet, or that extreme weather is more highly correlated with a cooling planet, let’s accept all the popular wisdom with respect to “climate science.” So what? According to their own theories, it’s already too late. Climate alarmists have repeatedly said we had just a few years left—or else.

In 1989, a “senior U.N. environmental official” said “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Then in 2006, former Vice President Al Gore told the Washington Post that “humanity may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan.” Fast forward to 2019, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joins today’s alarmist chorus, telling us “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

So where’s the logic and reason behind these protests? The biggest emitters of CO2 are not going to stop emitting CO2, and it’s too late anyway. But there’s an even more obvious flaw in the logic of these protestors, and more generally, in the entire agenda of the climate change lobby: They will not support nuclear power.

The Case for Nuclear Power
While it’s disingenuous for those of us who don’t believe anthropogenic CO2 is a mortal threat to humanity to use the emissions-free argument to promote nuclear power, it’s important to recognize that nuclear power plants don’t emit anything into the atmosphere. Even so-called “deniers,” if they’re intellectually honest, acknowledge that burning fossil fuel still causes genuine air pollution. Although carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, and particulates are scrubbed out of most modern power plants in America, the rest of the world lags behind in cleaning up their smokestack emissions.

Even in America, where auto tailpipe emissions are cleaner than ever, air pollution can accumulate around busy intersections in large cities and remains a health hazard. Whether used to recharge car batteries or to otherwise power the electric grid, nuclear energy is 100 percent emissions-free.

Although fear of a nuclear accident continues to animate anti-nuclear activists around the world, nuclear is also safer than ever. But all the nuclear accidents in history—including the big three, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island—have caused at most 200 deaths. Even that number is based on generous speculation since it is impossible to positively identify the cause of illnesses people develop decades after an exposure.

Of course, there have been accidents while mining for nuclear fuel, or during construction of nuclear power plants. But as this chart shows, using data from the International Energy Agency, coal mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, and harvesting of “renewable” biomass are all far more harmful to human health.

Absent from the above chart are renewables, but this doesn’t mean renewable energy doesn’t have a cost in human life. Renewable energy relies primarily on photovoltaic panels, wind generators, and batteries, all three of which are incredibly resource intensive. Hundreds if not thousands of miners have already died, working under slave conditions, to extract the cobalt and lithium needed for modern batteries. As renewables increase their share of global energy production, this human catastrophe will increase in scale, and to-date there are minimal reforms, and no viable alternative materials.

Not only does nuclear power have an exemplary safety record when compared to other forms of energy, the next generation nuclear power technologies are safer than ever. These new reactors employ even more resilient cooling systems, they can reprocess their own spent fuel, and they are being designed as modules of various power outputs that require far less maintenance.

Nuclear fuel is also abundant. The world’s present measured resources of uranium are enough to last for about 90 years at current global rates of consumption. According to the World Nuclear Association, “this represents a higher level of assured resources than is normal for most minerals.”

This is an important point. Just as the concept of “peak oil” was popularized in the late 1990s, and debunked about 10 years later as new reserves were discovered and new methods of extraction were developed, it is unlikely the global supply of nuclear fuel would diminish precipitously, especially as reprocessing technology improves. The history of resource extraction, at least when market forces are allowed to operate, is that innovation and alternative solutions are always sufficient to offset looming scarcity of any particular resource.

Renewables Are Overrated
Wind, solar, and biofuels are touted as the answer, but the fact is they cannot match the efficiency and reliability of nuclear power. There are a lot of aspects to this, from the incredible waste of land, to the devastating toll on wildlife, to the resource intensity, to the monstrous recycling challenge as these massive installations wear out and have to be replaced. But what should be relevant to the climate activists is the intermittency of renewables, which cannot produce energy when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

To compensate for the on again off again nature of renewable energy, fossil fuel has to be employed as backup. This not only guarantees ongoing CO2 emissions, but it has economic consequences. Because natural gas power plants now have to be shut on and off depending on the availability of renewable energy, they cannot efficiently recover their construction costs. This artificially distorts upward the actual cost of fossil fuel energy, making renewable energy look more economical by comparison. Nuclear power plants, which have zero emissions but cannot be rapidly turned on and off, are in some cases being decommissioned to make room for hybrid renewable/fossil fuel systems. In states where this has happened, CO2 emissions have actually risen.

We Need an “All-of-the-Above” Energy Strategy
Global civilization depends on cheap, reliable, abundant energy, and it needs as much of it as it can possibly get. Just in order for average worldwide per capita energy consumption to reach half of what it currently is in the United States, global energy production has to double. This is an immutable fact.

Of course we should continue to develop renewable energy, just as we should continue to research breakthrough energy technologies such as fusion power. But fossil fuel use is not going to go away, its use is going to increase for at least the next 20-30 years until something better comes along. And clean, safe, abundant nuclear power should be part of our global energy portfolio, no matter what anyone believes regarding CO2 and “climate change.”

It is interesting to wonder who is behind the massive demonstrations around the world demanding “climate action.” Whoever they are, perhaps the single biggest challenge to their sincerity is their unwillingness to support nuclear power as part of the solution.

Cultural Marxism • Education • Environment • Post • The Culture • The Left

Manipulating Science in the Data Age

Who are you going to believe—my academic paper/editorial/meme or your lying eyes?

It’s a pressing question in today’s world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, faked videos, and tendentious scientific claims—and particularly pressing in light of ambitious, far-reaching policy proposals based on data analytics and models.

Perhaps you remember Climategate 1.0, when emails from the UK’s East Anglia Climatic Research Unit were hacked (or leaked). Many who read through them saw clear evidence that climate researchers in the United Kingdom and the United States worked to suppress legitimate research results and data that mitigated against their claim of catastrophic human-caused global warming.

Among those researchers was Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael E. Mann, who was accused of having deliberately cherry-picked tree ring data in order to assert a “hockey stick” shaped graph in which global temperature spiked over the last century or so. That cherry-picked data, it was said, served to “hide the decline” in overall global temperatures that others saw using different data sets, leading to this satirical video.

What followed were two investigations which sort of, kind of, exonerated the participants of offenses that would otherwise cut off their research funding from government agencies.

And now we have . . . drumroll . . . another email dump and Climategate 2.0. Emails that include passages like these:

Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive . . . there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC. Tom Wigley, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary … I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run. —Peter Thorne, UK Met Office

Wigley’s caution is particularly interesting given that, in a Climategate 1.0 email, he urged his colleagues to “get rid of” a scholarly journal editor who committed the offense of publishing research papers that did not fit the catastrophic human-caused global warming narrative.

Heaven forbid scientists actually, you know, acknowledge all the data and how we analyze it.

And “hide the decline”? It looks like that’s still going on, with the active help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. government agency responsible for maintaining official temperature records. Investor Business Daily reports:

NOAA has made repeated “adjustments” to its data, for the presumed scientific reason of making the data sets more accurate.

Nothing wrong with that. Except, all their changes point to one thing—lowering previously measured temperatures to show cooler weather in the past, and raising more recent temperatures to show warming in the recent present.

A New Deception Primer
So how do you lie in the Data Age? Let me count the ways.

Human ingenuity (not to mention our ability to deceive even ourselves) is boundless. But there are three main approaches.

First, you can simply lie about research results or other statistical data. For instance, you might deliberately mislead the public about the impact of recent tax law changes. Once you’ve achieved the election results you wanted, you might boast about it (as Matthew Yglesias did in a now-deleted tweet). Or, if you’re the New York Times, you can pretend you just realized on April 14 that a majority of Americans got a tax cut after all.

Second, you can use misleading analytic or predictive methods. Say your approach uses machine learning algorithms. These basically are different methods for discovering patterns within a set of data. A beginner classroom exercise is to apply different algorithms to the same data to see which ones correctly find a pattern that is already known—distinguishing male and female faces in photos, for instance. For extra credit, the student can analyze how the algorithms developed their results. Neural nets that analyze photos often end up depending heavily on combinations of features that we humans aren’t conscious of using in our own recognition.

“Show me the man and I will show you the crime,” boasted Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police. But in the Data Age, it’s not always necessary to invent evidence. Often one can get a desired outcome simply by choosing the data set and algorithm to apply.

Or if you are applying a model of how different phenomena interact to create a complex situation, your model might be misleading or inadequate. For instance, a climate change model that failed to include variations in solar radiation might give misleading results if those variations were an important factor in the real world. Otherwise the model might be basically sound even if it doesn’t include that factor in its calculations.

There’s one complication: knowing what matters gets tricky in the case of what are technically called complex systems. These systems have non-linear responses to some events, the so-called “butterfly effect” in which a small change produces a very large effect. And if the system elements are adaptive—i.e., able to vary their individual responses to what is happening around them—it gets interesting and sometimes non-intuitive pretty quickly. Think of preference cascades and elections.

Killing Science—and Self-Government
The third way to lie, mislead, or be mistaken in the Data Age goes to the heart of things. Garbage data in, garbage results out. This is the claim at the center of Climategate 1.0—that poorly chosen, and sometimes deliberately cherry picked or even modified, data was fed into climate models to produce predetermined desired outcomes.

What critics of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis note is that those pushing for its acceptance have in many cases refused to make their data, models, and intermediate results available for review by other scholars. Since the legitimacy of science rests on the ability of other researchers to validate (or offer critiques of) research outcomes, such a refusal is deadly to the enterprise of science as a whole.

And at a practical level, it does more than undercut the authority of science—it makes it impossible for us to discuss the pros and cons, and the tradeoffs, associated with policy initiatives.

And so we get both sides of the climate issue making emotion-laden claims, pointing to weather as if this week’s temperatures said anything about a whole planet’s complex, dynamic climate system, and demanding that government “Take Action Now”—either to force far reaching, disruptive changes with major second and third order side effects on us all, or to cut government funding for science research and wash our hands of it.

For “climate change” substitute “gun violence.” Or “education outcomes.” Or “poverty and inequality.” Or any other issue in which the overall phenomenon is the result of many factors interacting.

If we have any hope whatever at bettering our society and our world, it must—must—start with honesty about what we know and what we don’t. It must include the ability of people with differing policy preferences and priorities to examine data and analyses in detail. And it must rest on a degree of humility that increasingly is an endangered species.

Manipulating science, or simply the facts around tax legislation, can be tempting as a means to a desired goal. But it is indeed “too clever in the long run” for the Data Age.

And it is deadly to consent of the governed in a republic.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Education • Energy • Environment • Post • The Left

The Great Cull . . . or the Long Boom?

When people look back on world history 100 years from now, what will they see? It is reasonable to think they will see a global civilization, back in 2020, that faced unprecedented challenges and transformations.

The primary challenge, arguably, is a global population that has quintupled between 1900 and 2020. The most transformative factor: an explosion of technology that has taken us from steel and steam in 1900 to quantum mechanics and genetic engineering in 2020.

An optimist would look at the last few decades and conclude, despite the challenges, humanity is on a relentless march towards a better quality of life for everyone. An article published by the BBC earlier this year lists several reasons “why the world is improving,” including rising life expectancy, falling infant mortality, falling rates of fertility, ongoing GDP growth, less income inequality, the spread of democracy, and fewer armed conflicts.

This argument for what Wired once called the “Long Boom” is embodied in the philosophy of “New Optimism,” with its principal proponent the Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg. According to Lomborg, “air and water are getting cleaner, endangered species and forests are holding their own, and the risks associated with global warming are exaggerated.” He contends that “more people than ever before, living in all parts of the globe, are becoming healthier, richer, and better educated; that the human race is living longer and more peaceably; that we’re considerably freer to pursue our happiness.” Lomborg predicts that in 100 years, today’s most underdeveloped nations will enjoy per capita wealth two to four times what developed nations enjoy today.

These are encouraging thoughts, but clearly there is another point of view. A deeply negative, pessimistic, alarmist point of view, oriented around two obsessions—environmentalism and racism.

With respect to the planetary environment, headlines scream apocalyptic warnings every day. From the Washington Post in January: “We only have 12 years to save the planet.” From the Guardian: “We have twelve years to limit climate change catastrophe.” From Smithsonian: “The World Was Just Issued 12-Year Ultimatum On Climate Change.” And on, and on, and on.

Rooted in climate change alarmism is a deeper malaise that addresses economics and culture. In general, the more alarmed someone is about climate change, especially if their political leanings are left-of-center, the more likely they are also to believe that European capitalism and European racism is to blame, not only for the alleged imminent climate catastrophe, but also for economic inequality.

Their answer is to adopt socialism and multiculturalism. In parallel, they are likely to believe that the planet has passed well beyond its “carrying capacity,” with resource scarcity and ecosystem collapse inevitable unless dramatic changes are made.

Who is right? The optimists or the pessimists? Are we on the verge of the great cull, or the long boom?

Back in 2004, Bjorn Lomborg convened a panel of economists with the goal of identifying the most urgent challenges facing humanity, and coming up with practical solutions. While his critics would say he relies too heavily on cost/benefit analysis, his findings remain compelling. Lomborg’s so-called “Copenhagen Consensus” was updated most recently in 2012. The projects identified as most promising, based on a hypothetical $75 billion budget, were the following:

Towards the Welfare of HumanityThe Copenhagen Consensus

  1. Bundled micronutrient interventions to fight hunger and improve education
  2. Expanding the Subsidy for Malaria Combination Treatment
  3. Expanded Childhood Immunization Coverage
  4. Deworming of Schoolchildren, to improve educational and health outcomes
  5. Expanding Tuberculosis Treatment
  6. R&D to Increase Crop Yields, to decrease hunger and fight biodiversity destruction.
  7. Investing in Effective Early Warning Systems to protect populations against natural disaster
  8. Strengthening Surgical Capacity
  9. Hepatitis B Immunization
  10. Using Low‐Cost Drugs in the case of Acute Heart Attacks in poorer nations.
  11. Salt Reduction Campaign to reduce chronic disease
  12. Geo‐Engineering R&D into the feasibility of solar radiation management
  13. Conditional Cash Transfers for School Attendance
  14. Accelerated HIV Vaccine R&D
  15. Extended Field Trial of Information Campaigns on the Benefits From Schooling
  16. Borehole and Public Hand Pump Intervention

The prevailing theme in these suggested priorities is their practicality, and their focus on the individual’s quality of life. They rest on the assumption if we can eliminate disease and malnutrition, primarily through targeted investments in technology and infrastructure, most of the other challenges facing humanity will become much easier to solve. Contrast this program with the “Green New Deal” as proposed by America’s “democratic socialists”:

Towards the Welfare of HumanityThe Green New Deal

  1. Ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change.
  2. Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.
  3. Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.
  4. Zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing.
  5. A Green New Deal must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses.
  6. Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities.
  7. Ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers.
  8. Ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages.
  9. Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.
  10. Obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous people for all decisions that affect indigenous people and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous people, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous people.
  11. Providing all people of the United States with (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.

The contrast between these two visions is reflected in several contexts. One is practical, the other is ideological. One focuses on specific projects, the other devotes inordinate space to “process.” One is optimistic and inclusive (without making a point of it), the other emphasizes restitution and redistribution. One is global in scope yet sets achievable priorities, the other is tribal in tone and presumes to solve everything at once. One is specific and concrete, the other is grandiose. One is derived from cost/benefit analysis, the other is heedless of economics. One faces reality, the other engages in fantasy.

We may question whether the world is on the invariably improving trajectory that Lomborg promotes. But the apocalyptic warnings of the climate alarmists and their backers in the Democratic Party are likely to be self-fulfilling.

The goals of the Green New Deal—government-funded universal healthcare, guaranteed employment, guaranteed housing, 100 percent “renewable” energy, and “equity” (whatever that means) for “frontline and vulnerable communities” (whatever that means)—are self-contradictory. Empowering the government to guarantee all of these benefits requires full-blown socialism, and socialism has always failed, and always will fail, because it removes the incentives for ambitious people to do honest work.

Whether humanity over the next century will endure a great cull, or enjoy a long boom, depends on which vision of the future prevails in the next few decades. Will it be the New Optimism of Bjorn Lomborg, or the “democratic socialism” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? And it’s worth wondering: Do people smarter than Ocasio-Cortez welcome the rise of socialism precisely because socialism will cause societies to endure catastrophic failure?

Do some of the elites wish for the great cull?

A recent blockbuster superhero film, “Avengers: Infinity War,” pits the entire Marvel Comics menagerie, including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Black Panther, Star Lord (of “Guardians of the” Galaxy fame) and others too numerous to mention, against Thanos, an “intergalactic despot” who wants to “rebalance the universe” by destroying 50 percent of all biological life.

What was surprising about the film was its conclusion (spoiler alert): Thanos wins. Moreover, his character is not depicted as malevolent, but rather as resolved to “make the hard choices.” During the film, when Thanos attempts to justify his objective, he discusses the unsustainable burden of biological life on available resources in the universe. While everything will no doubt be unwound in the sequel, opening this week, the moral message of the movie was ambiguous, and this is unlikely to have been an accident.

Embedding and popularizing apocalyptic themes in culture is nothing new, but usually the good guys win, and the world survives.

But why wouldn’t there be cadres among the elites who desire a rapid cull of human population? Why be an optimist, or, more to the point, why be so unselfish as to care about the common hordes? Why work, as Lomborg and others do, promoting practical steps that will lead eventually to a prosperous global civilization, stabilized at around 9 billion souls? Why try to help so many people? Why muster the courage to hope that much?

Here is where democratic socialism is most dangerous. Behind the popular rhetoric and deluded masses lurk fanatical eco-fascists and implacable elites who dismiss concern for human life as mere sentimentality. Conspiracy theorists may go overboard when they suggest that such overt evil may have inspired Agenda 21, or the Georgia Stones, but they’re not wrong to be concerned. To anyone who thinks like Thanos, the great cull is nothing more than a tough moral choice. It offers the greatest shortcut of all to a sustainable future, and socialism takes us down that cataclysmic path.

Here as well is where American leadership offers the best hope for humanity to escape the great cull, and fitfully continue to pick its way to a better life and a healthier planet. But for America to have the strength to midwife the emergence by the 22nd century of a peaceful, prosperous world, better off than ever, Americans have to reassert their cultural and economic identity today.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

America • Democrats • Economy • Environment • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Giving Leftists Money for Socialism Won’t Change the Climate

Climate alarmist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) recently said, “Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?’”

I love end-of-the-world stories. Cormac McCarthy wrote perhaps the most compelling work along these lines, The Road, which depicts the granular detail of a father’s desperate struggle to protect his son in a post-apocalyptic world. The Pixar movie “Wall-E” will change the way you look at mobility-assist scooters after you see this depiction of future human impotence resulting from over-dependence on robots. Another favorite of mine is “Snowpiercer,” about a post-disaster world in which the last of humanity must survive on a train perpetually doomed to circle a dead planet.

“Snowpiercer” is of particular interest because it shows a world destroyed by counter-climate change efforts. Foolish climate alarmists apparently destroy the world in a misguided effort to save it. It may have been inspired by an idea from the book SuperFreakonomics, in which the authors credibly hypothesized that if global warming ever became truly dire, humans could offset the warming with simulated volcanic activity. I can remember in my childhood the ash from the Mount St. Helens eruption cooling the continental United States. Scientists noted that the volcanic plumes of the eruption caused a net cooling resulting from the loss of solar radiation due to scattering, reflection, and absorption by the volcanic ash.

The authors of SuperFreakonomics made the point that the Earth has a demonstrated record of adjusting to volcanic ash. Reintroducing ash back into the atmosphere artificially would allow humans to cool the planet without departing from what nature periodically does anyway. Their solution, notwithstanding the warning of “Snowpiercer,” is cost-effective and scientifically proven.

In other words, the solution might just be pollution.

But, if you’re a liberal, the solution to climate change is money. I’m reminded of a “South Park” episode years ago in which Magic Johnson discovered that the cure for AIDS could be found by turning comically large stacks of money into liquid form. The parody made the point that untold money can be misdirected by the good intentions of activists. The authors of SuperFreakonomics, argued that feel-good, Ocasio-Cortez-style climate change solutions are ineffective at addressing global warming and so costly that they will do more harm than good.

Questioning the proposition that the world is about to end could place you in legal jeopardy. In March 2016, 17 state attorneys general held a press conference with former Vice President Al Gore announcing their plan to sue ExxonMobil for opposing President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” which I believe involves stuffing money into the pockets of allies until they begin belching electricity. The Washington Times cataloged other efforts to punish people criminally for expressing skepticism: “Climate change denial should be a crime,” declared the Sept. 1 headline in the Outline. Mark Hertsgaard argued in a September 7 article in The Nation, with the understated title, “Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us,” that “murder is murder” and “we should punish it as such.”

Because that’s how we resolve scientific debate: by prosecuting dissent like murder.

The Heartland Institute recounts another example of how climate science is debated, “when physicist Dr. William Happer, then-Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy, testified before Congress in 1993 that scientific data did not support the hypothesis of manmade global warming. Gore saw to it that Happer was immediately fired. Fifteen years later, Happer quipped, ‘I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly.’”

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, federal funding for climate change has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014 and $13.2 billion in 2017. According to FiveThirtyEight, in 2018 the U.S. government spent an eye-popping $154 billion on climate-change-related activities since 1993.

Are these programs working? The GAO recommended that the government conduct a detailed analysis of federal climate change programs it considered to be fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative. In July 2018, the Office of Management and Budget sent a letter disagreeing with this recommendation. If climate change is an emergency, shouldn’t supporters demand that money for that purpose be deployed and stewarded effectively?

As Investor’s Business Daily noted, taxpayer money was used fraudulently to adjust data so it would support the conclusion that the scientists were ordered to find: that the earth is getting warmer. A detailed analysis of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration fraud may be found here. One wouldn’t want to find something that challenged settled climate change science or one could be labeled a “denier” and lose his job. The climate change studies costing taxpayers billions always arrive at a pre-determined conclusion—or else. That makes one wonder why we should study something that nobody is allowed to dispute? But, of course, there’s money involved in the studying, too.

Prosecuting climate deniers like murderers, faking data to support predetermined conclusions, firing dissenting scientists, and refusing to review current climate change funding for effectiveness—these are not the hallmarks of the scientific method or reasoned debate. Am I the only one noticing the remarkable resemblance between the persecution of Galileo for heresy (for saying the Earth was not the center of the universe) and the tactics of modern climate change believers?

The essence of the climate change hoax is not that the climate isn’t changing. It always is. Or that the levels of CO2 in the environment aren’t rising. CO2 is going up. The hoax is the solution. The climate change hucksters are like unscrupulous contractors defrauding homeowners after a hurricane with phony promises to fix a roof with bricks of cash that you will never see again. Giving leftist activists trillions of dollars to build their socialist dystopia will not change the climate.

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Environment • Post • Technology • The Culture • The Left

Earth Day: Opposing Progress Trumps Protecting the Planet

Today is Earth Day, a celebration originally conceived by then-U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) and first held in 1970 as a “symbol of environmental responsibility and stewardship.” In the spirit of the time, it was a touchy-feely, consciousness-raising, New Age experience. Most activities were organized at the grassroots level.

In recent years, however, Earth Day has become an occasion for professional environmental activists and alarmists to warn of apocalypse, dish anti-technology dirt, proselytize, and raise money more to sustain their movement than to sustain the planet. Provability inevitably takes a back seat to alleged plausibility.

The Earth Day Network, which organizes Earth Day events and advocacy, regularly distorts or ignores science and exaggerates fears in order to advance its anti-technology, big government agenda. With a 2019 theme of “Protect Our Species,” this year’s event is no exception. Predictably, “our species” refers not to us humans, homo sapiens, but only to the other species on the planet, which we are destroying.

How dire are the threats to the planet’s species? According to the Earth Day 2019 website, nothing short of apocalyptic: “The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few.”

Unprecedented global destruction? That isn’t hyperbole—it’s hysteria.

By injecting a toxic mix of politics and junk science into Earth Day, its organizers forfeit an opportunity to promote the kind of environmental awareness that might lead to worthwhile initiatives. They turn genuine environmentalists (like us) into Earth Day skeptics.

The Earth Day campaign itself isn’t about saving species; it’s about limiting or ending the benefits of science and technology that spur progress on so many fronts. Consider this assertion, for example: “Worldwide bee populations are in decline, including the honey bee and many of our wild native bees.” And the number one bullet on their list of threats? “Widespread use of pesticides, neonicotinoids and GMOs.” It’s remarkable that so much misinformation could be packed into two short sentences.

First of all, contrary to the claims of environmental activists, honey bee populations in North America and Europe have been steady or rising throughout the two decades that neonicotinoids have been on the market. Honey bee populations have nearly doubled worldwide since 1961. The challenges that honey bees do face are principally attributable to three factors: parasites, like the tenacious varroa destructor mite; pathogens, such as the widely-prevalent gut fungi Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae; and, yes, habitat loss.

Second, neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics,” for short) are state-of-the-art crop protection products that anti-pesticide zealots have been campaigning to eliminate for the better part of a decade. Applied mostly as seed coatings—which eliminates the need for foliar spraying—they are absorbed into crop plants and control crop-destroying pests. They are safe for humans and animals, and the way they are used minimizes exposure to beneficial species such as bees and other pollinators.

Third, so called “GMOs,” or genetically modified organisms, are actually beneficial to bees and other species, because their increased yields conserve water and arable farmland; obviate the need to spray huge amounts of chemical pesticides; and promote no-till farming, which reduces soil erosion and the runoff of chemicals into waterways.

The various marches and demonstrations this Earth Day won’t be limited to supposedly imminent species extinction, of course; they’ll feature many other causes as well. Many of those stumping for Earth Day on Monday will oppose environment-friendly advances in science and technology, such as fracking, nuclear power, and genetic engineering to produce new crop plants and microorganisms that can clean up toxic waste.

And if past is prologue, another recurrent theme will be disdain for the capitalist system that provides the wealth to expend on environmental protection and conservation.

The Earth Day Network has a “Greening Our Schools” initiative, so it’s not surprising that kids holding signs they’re too young to understand are a fixture of Earth Day events.

A frequent Earth Day assignment kids get in schools is to read Rachel Carson’s best-selling 1962 book, Silent Spring, an emotionally charged but deeply flawed condemnation of the widespread spraying of chemical pesticides for the control of insects.

As described by Roger Meiners and Andy Morriss in their scholarly yet eminently readable analysis, “Silent Spring at 50: Reflections on an Environmental Classic,” Carson exploited her reputation as a well-known nature writer to advocate and legitimize “positions linked to a darker tradition in American environmental thinking: neo-Malthusian population control and anti-technology efforts.”

Carson’s proselytizing and advocacy led to the virtual banning of the pesticide DDT and to restrictions on other chemical pesticides, even though Silent Spring was replete with gross misrepresentations and scholarship so atrocious that if Carson were an academic, she would be guilty of misconduct.

Carson’s observations about DDT were meticulously rebutted point by point by San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards, a longtime member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society, and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

In his stunning 1992 essay, “The Lies of Rachel Carson,” Edwards demolished her arguments and assertions and called attention to critical omissions, faulty assumptions, and outright fabrications in the book.

One of the United Kingdom’s great contemporary thinkers, Dick Taverne—also known as Lord Taverne of Pimlico—discusses the New Age philosophy that motivates the organizers of Earth Day in his book, The March of Unreason. He deplores the “new kind of fundamentalism” that has infiltrated many environmentalist campaigns—an undiscriminating back-to-nature movement that views science and technology as the enemy and as a manifestation of an exploitative, rapacious, and reductionist attitude toward nature.

That eco-fundamentalism is out of step with current events, at least in the United States. Congress, the Trump Administration and many Americans are now firmly on the side of more sensible, more limited regulation. We are not naïve enough to expect it, but it would behoove the Earth Day activists to collaborate in good faith and to support advances in environment-friendly technologies and business models. A more evidence-based approach would advance civil society, alleviate human suffering, and even help to protect the planet’s species.

Photo Credit: Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images