Energy and Environmental News: When Will We Ever Learn?

One of the main blessings of accurately understanding history, is that it gives us an unprecedented opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others — for free!  What sense does it make to repeatedly go down a path likely to fail?

If we look back at government policy decisions, it’s abundantly clear that good intentions + time and effort lots of money does NOT assure a successful outcome. Indeed, after all of these, the way-too-often actual result is:

a) the costs turn out to be enormously more than projected, and
b) the benefits are significantly less than promised, and
c) the negative “unintended” consequences are crippling, and
d) the guilty legislative parties are long gone when the results are in.

So how do we avoid this groundhog day (Russian Doll) repetition? Genuinely learn from history… Separate the wheat from the chaff… On technical issues: take the route of Real Science, not political science.

With those objectives, I’ve drafted reports on never-been-done-before perspectives about two of the pre-eminent issues of our time: climate change and wind energy.

Report #1: Climate Change

Let’s say we are having a polite, serious discussion with a legislator, scientist, environmentalist, journalist or citizen who is a climate change believer. We ask them to explain the rationale behind their position.

Inevitably the justification for their concern will be based on one or more of four different arguments (which I’m calling the four pillars). That’s fine, but the question is: do each of these pillars actually hold up to closethoroughobjective scrutiny? 

That’s what the first Report analyzes — and the answer is NO. (Although this is a complex complex matter, I’ve tried to keep it understandable to most citizens.)

CONCLUSION: This analysis is NOT proof that the climate change hypothesis is false. Rather it is conclusive evidence that the main arguments of climate change believers are amazingly weak.

That realization should be a red flag that we are again heading down a policy path that history is telling us will likely not be productive… For genuinely altruistic individuals there are many more serious proven problems that we would be better off spending our limited time, money and efforts on.

Report #2: Industrial Wind Energy

Again let’s start with the assumption that we are having a courteous, in-depth conversation with a legislator, scientist, environmentalist, journalist or citizen who is an industrial wind energy supporter. We ask them to explain the rationale behind their beliefs.

Inevitably a primary justification for their support will be that wind energy is a critically necessary component to effectively deal with climate change. The question is: does that claim hold up to comprehensive, objective, in-depth scrutiny? 

The second Report assesses that question — and the answer is NO. (Although this is a technical topic, I’ve again tried to keep this understandable to most citizens.)

CONCLUSION: This analysis is NOT proof that wind energy has zero climate change benefits. Rather it is conclusive evidence that the main justification for legislative support for wind energy is likely false.

Technical note: in almost every state, a wind project must be approved by that state’s utility commission. The number one criteria in essentially all states, is that the wind developer needs to prove to this commission that there is a “public need” for their proposed project. The main “public need” justification presented by almost all wind developers is that their wind project is necessary to meaningfully address the climate change crisis. This Report shows that such a claim has little scientific basis.

The realization of this major disconnect should be a red flag that we are again going down a policy path that history is warning us will almost certainly not be productive. If climate change is an emergency (see Report #1), we have proven solutions (e.g. nuclear power) that do substantially reduce CO2. There is no legitimate “public need” for wind energy, from any perspective.

My hope is that these two unique Reports will assist well-intentioned scientists, legislators, journalists and citizens to avoid the ditch and stick to higher-yield policy paths (with human flourishing as the objective).

If you have any constructive suggestions to improve on either of these Reports, please send me the details. I’ll update them as warranted.

Thank you for your support.

PS — Neither of these has been formally published yet. If you have connections with a major media outlet that might be interested, please let me know.

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: Originally this was a monthly Newsletter. However, as pertinent material proliferated, it has been issued more frequently. As a guideline, once we collect a hundred worthwhile articles, a new Newsletter will be issued on the following Monday. Recently this has resulted in a once every three weeks frequency — and occasionally once every two weeks.

Note 3: To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles, we’ve put together detailed archives — where you can search by year, or over the ten+ years of the Newsletter.

Note 4: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy, environmental and education issues… If you want to know our perspective on current events, please read the Big Picture New Year/New Decade commentary.

Note 5: Please pass the Newsletter on to open-minded citizens, and link to it on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our Energy & Environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off this free distribution, simply send me an email saying that.

Note 6: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. (For wind warriors, the most important page there is the Winning page.)

Copyright © 2020; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

Has Davos got it wrong? Climate change may not be the biggest threat facing the world.

This week’s talkfest at the Swiss ski resort Davos is peak virtue-signalling. “This year we’re sensing a real desire to take action and implement change on the critical issues facing the world,” gushes its website.

Everyone’s trying to make a good impression. On the train to Davos 2020, a writer for the New York Times spoke with a representative of Philip Morris. The tobacco company is “dedicated to a smoke-free future”, she told him, and it had “a duty” to millions of addicted smokers. Hmmmm.

Looking ahead to the coming decade, however, participants seemed overcome by pessimism. The key document published by the organiser of Davos, the World Economic Forum, is “The Global Risks Report 2020”. It lists the five most likely global risks – and for the first time, all of them relate to the environment: extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and man-made environmental disasters.

No wonder Greta Thunberg, the crown princess of pessimism, was such a celebrity at Davos.

And no wonder US President Donald Trump seemed so out of place with his sunny summary of his achievements. “America’s future has never been brighter,” he told his audience. “I am inviting all of you to become part of this incredible future we are building together.” Whether or not the details of his speech survived the scrutiny of media fact-checkers, it was his optimism which was out of tune.

In fact, pessimism about the environment is baked into the ethos of Davos. As long ago as 1973, runaway global population was regarded as a serious risk, if not the main risk. The highlight of that year’s meeting was basically a book launch of The Limits to Growth by the first president of the Club of Rome, Aurelio Peccei, an Italian industrialist. The book’s argument was that computer simulations showed that economic growth could not continue indefinitely because of resource depletion. It went on to sell 30 million copies in more than 30 languages, making it the best-selling environmental book in history. It also inspired China’s one-child policy.

The founder of Davos, German management consultant and über-networker Klaus Schwab, defended his environmental credentials in a 1999 Newsweek interview by referring to Davos’s endorsement of The Limits to Growth.

Perhaps this is why the WEF’s risks have only mentioned population ageing once since 2007, in 2013. Its pessimism is misplaced.

Unlike climate change, the risks associated with a shrinking proportion of youth and a growing proportion of elderly are almost perfectly predictable.

Earlier this month a Stanford professor, Charles I. Jones, published a paper under the provocative headline “The End of Economic Growth? Unintended Consequences of a Declining Population”. He draws on data that shows that “As countries get richer, fertility rates appear to decline to levels consistent, not with a constant population, but actually with a declining population.”

A good outcome for the Davos crowd?

Maybe not.

Like climate change, depopulation is – or ought to be — frightening. Jones writes that in a world with declining fertility, “knowledge and living standards stagnate for a population that gradually vanishes”.

Jones’s study concludes that “the emergence of negative population growth in many countries and the fact that it has profound implications for the future of economic growth make this a topic worthy of further exploration.” In fact, there’s little new in his paper. Others have been warning of a population implosion for years. But the prophets of a climate apocalypse have successfully drowned them out.

The risks faced by countries like China, Japan, Russia, Iran, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, and both Western and Eastern Europe are dire. With more and more aged to support and fewer and fewer taxpayers, welfare services could become unsustainable. Rural areas will become depopulated. Military strength will diminish for lack of personnel. Immigration will become necessary to keep the lights on…

The great economist John Maynard Keynes once warned readers about demographic decline: “the chaining up of the one devil [of population growth] may, if we are careless, only serve to loose another still fiercer and more intractable.” Which is exactly what has happened — not that we heard anything about it at Davos.

It costs companies between US$60,000 and $600,000 for their representatives to attend Davos “depending on the level of engagement” for its future-casting. They may have blown their money.

COLUMN BY

MICHAEL COOK

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. Michael Cook likes bad puns, bushwalking and black coffee. He did a BA at Harvard University in the US where it was good for networking, but moved to Sydney where it wasn’t. He also did a PhD on an obscure corner of Australian literature. He has worked as a book editor and magazine editor and has published articles in magazines and newspapers in the US, the UK and Australia. Currently he is the editor of BioEdge, a newsletter about bioethics, and MercatorNet. He also writes a bioethics column for Australasian Science and contributes occasional op-ed pieces to newspapers and websites in the US, UK and Australia.

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Rock the Monarchy! Climate Hustle 2 is coming . . .

This is HUGE!

Save the date — April 21st — that’s the night you, and everyone you can bring with you, will head to the theater, kick back with a big bucket of popcorn, and join us in our thousands to watch CFACT’s new movie, Climate Hustle 2: Rise of the Monarchy!

In 2016, CFACT showed Climate Hustle, our first ever feature film, in over 400 theaters from coast to coast.

“CH” was a smash!

For one glorious night our movie was the number one film per screen in the entire United States.

CH did so well that our partner Fathom Events wants to go much bigger this time.

On April 21, 2020, Climate Hustle 2 will be shown in over 720 theaters!!!

I can’t believe I just wrote that…  720 theaters!

Climate Hustle 2 is going to rock the climate debate!

Climate Hustle took on the global warming scare with warmth, wit, humor and rock-solid science like nothing that came before, or since.  It opens eyes, minds and adds much-needed balance to the climate debate every single day.

We cut our teeth on CH and we’re proud of it, but we’ve learned a thing or two about movie making since then.

Climate Hustle 2 takes it a giant leap forward.

CH2 looks and sounds great and couldn’t be more fun to watch.  It’s important.  In addition to bringing you a thorough scientific debunking of the distortions, tricks, and outright lies global warming campaigners disseminate through an all-too-willing media every day, CH2 exposes the real agendas behind all that warming humbug.

Can you say money, power and ideology?

Get ready —  Lies will be smashed.  Names will be named.  Hypocrites unmasked.  Grifters defrocked.  Would-be tyrants brought low.

Climate Hustle 2 will be narrated by TV’s Hercules, Kevin Sorbo.  I can’t wait for you to see how good Sorbo is in CH2.  There’s a whole lot more to this demigod than muscle.  He’s dynamite.

Kevin Sorbo joins CFACT’s own Marc Morano, of Climate Depot fame, who returns to the big screen to lay out the facts about global warming as only he can.  Don’t forget, Marc Morano was singled out by a study in the Journal Nature Communications (done by the Left!) as the world’s most effective climate communicator.  Marc Morano is the number one person the warming-Left want’s blacklisted and banned from public discourse.

Boy, is the Left going to lose it on April 21st!

Buy your tickets today!  Encourage everyone to buy them ahead of time so we can gauge how well the theaters are filling up.  Some theaters sold out when we showed the first Climate Hustle.  Let’s do it again!

Our would-be Green overlords want to make climate change the key issue in this year’s elections.  They envision a future in which an army of brain-washed children prop up a new climate aristocracy with them on top.  The role of toiling serf they reserve for you and me.

Climate Hustle 2: Rise of the Monarchy is on the way, just in the nick of time.

See you at the movies — April 21st!

© All rights reserved.

Three Mile Island and the Exaggerated Risk of Nuclear Power

The Three Mile Island accident caused no physical harm, but the event changed public perception of the risks of nuclear energy.


You’ve likely heard of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. It’s often cited as an example of the dangers of nuclear power. It’s usually mentioned in the same breath as Chernobyl and Fukushima.

But what exactly happened there? Was it truly an exemplar of the grave dangers posed by nuclear power?

The answer is no. No one died. No one was injured. The other reactor on the site was still in operation until September 20 (yes, September 20 of last year). The Three Mile Island incident is an example of both the recallability trap and the sometimes negative results of being too yielding to the demands of the precautionary principle.

The main impact of the Three Mile Island accident has been psychological rather than physical. Big events like this one shape public attitudes for decades. People don’t remember the real impact of the event; they remember the feelings of uncertainty and fear that came with it. Those feelings now taint the public image of nuclear power in the United States.

The accident at Three Mile Island Unit 2 occurred at 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979. There was a malfunction in the reactor’s secondary cooling circuit, and the temperature of the reactor’s primary coolant rose, causing an automatic shutdown of the reactor. Control room instruments didn’t alert operators that a relief valve failed to close. Because of this, the reactor did not cool as it should have, and the core was damaged. Later that day, a small amount of gas was released accidentally, but the released gas traveled through air filters, which removed all of the radionuclides save the relatively harmless and short half-lived noble gases.

The accident created public fear but posed no real threat to the public. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the two million people in the area around TMI-2 at the time of the accident received an estimated dose of only 1 millirem above the usual background dose of radiation, less exposure than they would receive from a chest x-ray and a tiny fraction of the 100-125 millirem normal yearly background dose in the area. This is a minuscule amount of radiation compared to what all of us encounter in the normal course of everyday life.

Because of cancer concerns following the accident, the Pennsylvania Department of Health maintained a registry of people living within five miles of Three Mile Island when the accident occurred. The 30,000 person list was kept up until mid-1997 when it was determined that there had been no unusual health trends or increased cancer cases in the area immediately surrounding the accident.

People were frightened by the event, but there was no physical harm. Only the public perception of the risks of nuclear energy was heightened dramatically. The greatest effects were on the future permitting and construction of reactors and on NRC rules and procedures.

Following this accident, it became far more difficult to construct a reactor in the United States, in part because the politics and economics both shifted. Heightened fear makes approval more difficult and causes people to be less supportive of new construction, and changes on the regulatory side of things increase costs, shifting the economics of bringing new plants online. A 1984 New York Times article on the abandonment of construction of the Marble Hill plant in Indiana cites more than 100 plant cancellations following the Three Mile Island Accident.

Significant changes came to the NRC following Three Mile Island. It expanded its resident inspector program in which two NRC inspectors live near each of the plants and provide oversight of adherence to the agencies’ regulations.

It also expanded both safety and performance-oriented inspections and established an operations center staffed 24 hours a day to provide assistance in plant emergencies. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, which is now the Nuclear Energy Institute, was also established to be an internal policing mechanism for the industry, providing a single point of interaction with NRC and other agencies on many issues and allowing them to share a framework for approaching generic issues they all experience.Plants were also required to install additional equipment to monitor certain conditions in order to mitigate future accidents. These and other changes created a far more safety-oriented regulatory environment than previously existed. Safety became a more essential element of the system, but regulatory costs also rose.

This is certainly a case where the downside of the precautionary principle has negative effects. Decisions that account more for the damage caused by rare accidents than by the constant benefits produced operate under an inaccurate cost-benefit analysis. This is even more true in this case, where there was widespread fear but no real off-site damage.

The Mercatus Center’s Adam Thierer made a similar point about the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima disaster in an October 31 piece titled “How Many Lives are Lost Due to the Precautionary Principle?” wherein he pointed out the hidden costs of overly precautionary thinking. Following Fukushima, Japan stopped using nuclear power, which had previously been 30 percent of its energy. Energy prices rose, and in the subsequent four years, there were 1,280 cold-related deaths. Precautionary thinking can lead to costly unforeseen outcomes.

Reliable and affordable energy is essential—a fact no more apparent than when it becomes less affordable and less reliable. Although the Three Mile Island aftermath isn’t quite so dramatic, it’s a similar concept. Fears of worst-case scenarios prevent the development of important resources.

Overprecaution fueled by outlier events means that less nuclear power is constructed, plants are shut down before they need to be, and the public is misinformed about the safety of this technology.

When major events occur, we often fall into the recallability trap, wherein more dramatic events are remembered more sharply and seen as more likely to occur than less dramatic ones. We might be more afraid of a nuclear disaster or a lightning strike than we are of a car crash or heart attack even though we’re far more likely to be done in by the latter than the former.

Rare but dramatic events tend to feel far more likely than statistics indicate. We misestimate the chances of these things happening. The recallability trap is especially relevant to nuclear power. Although there have only been three major commercial nuclear accidents—Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima—and only one of those was in the United States, the general public views these events as far more likely.

According to a CBS News survey, in 1977, 69 percent of Americans favored building new nuclear power plants, but by 1979, after Three Mile Island, support fell to 46 percent. Following Chernobyl in 1986, support had fallen to just 34 percent. By 2008, it had risen to 57 percent, but in 2011, after Fukushima, it fell back down to 43 percent. The public is strongly influenced by accidents in this space, and public perception is quickly changed when they occur.

Following the Three Mile Island incident, attitudes toward nuclear power in the United States shifted.

The impetus to license new plants was all but gone. Public fear was overwhelming enough to discourage new development. From 1978 to 2012, the NRC didn’t approve the construction of any new commercial reactors. As the chart below shows, new reactors were still constructed following the incident, but new permitting did not occur, although various projects were attempted throughout the period. Much of this gap can be attributed to the Three Mile Island accident. Indeed, in 2019, Exelon, the owner of the Three Mile Island plant, announced it would be closing down its final remaining reactor after years of losing money. Following an incident like this one, people become overcautious.

Nonetheless, in the early 2000s, this finally started to change as the “nuclear renaissance” began. Following a few decades of no development, nuclear power was planning a big comeback. But because of a combination of the fears created by Fukushima and economic realities at home thanks to the financial crisis, the renaissance never materialized.

So, even though no one died or was even harmed in the Three Mile Accident, its impact is still clearly seen today. The accident seemed major and ominous, and because it was seen that way, public pressure made new construction far more difficult than it otherwise would have been.

COLUMN BY

Paige Lambermont

Paige Lambermont is a Political Science Major at American University. She is also a Media Ambassador for Young Americans for Liberty.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Some Recent Energy and Environmental News — Australian Fires

One of the top stories globally has been the horrifically bad bushfires in Australia.

Unfortunately the mainstream media has latched onto that as another “proof” that the world has been infected with “global warming” (e.g. here and here).

What this really proves instead is that what seems to be intuitive is often not true.

Below are some sample reports and articles that undermine the climate change connection claims:

Dr. Spencer: Are Australia Bushfires Worsening from Human-Caused Climate Change?
Video: The Truth About the Australian Bushfires
A scientist’s 2015 Warning (that was largely ignored)
Dr. David Packham’s government submission re Australian Bushfires
Audio: Dr. David Packham on what’s really causing the bushfires
Don’t blame climate change for Australian wildfires
Hijacking Australian Bushfire Tragedies to Fear-monger Climate Change
Australia’s Fires Caused By Bad Forestry And Arson, Not Climate Change
Australia Fires … And Misfires
Australia: It has been hotter, fires have burnt larger areas
Environmentalists Made Australia’s Bush Fires Worse
Why Worse Wildfires (part 1)
Why Worse Wildfires (part 2)
Short video about Australia’s Forest Mismanagement
The Insane True Cause Of Australia’s Bush Fires
The disastrous fires in Australia are man-caused, but not by climate change
Report: Arson Epidemic, Not Climate Change, Behind Australia’s Bushfires
Archive: Green ideology, not climate change, makes bushfires worse
The Green Agenda Is Exacerbating Australia’s Wildfire Problem
In Australia, Fires Expose Green Folly
Australian wildfires were caused by humans, not climate change
Record Heat and Cold Expose Climate Alarmists’ Bias
2019 Australian bush fires same as the great fire of Rome of the year 64
There’s Only One Way To Make Bushfires Less Powerful: Take Out The Stuff That Burns
Natural Resilience: Photos Show The Australian Bush Coming Back To Life Just Weeks After Being Decimated By Fires

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: Originally this was a monthly Newsletter. However, as pertinent material proliferated, it has been issued more frequently. As a guideline, once we collect a hundred worthwhile articles, a new Newsletter will be issued on the following Monday. Recently this has resulted in a once every three weeks frequency — and occasionally once every two weeks.

Note 3: To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles, we’ve put together detailed archives — where you can search by year, or over the ten+ years of the Newsletter.

Note 4: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy, environmental and education issues… If you want to know our perspective on current events, please read the Big Picture New Year/New Decade commentary.

Note 5: Please pass the Newsletter on to open-minded citizens, and link to it on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our Energy & Environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off this free distribution, simply send me an email saying that.

Note 6: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. (For wind warriors, the most important page there is the Winning page.)

Note 7: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or the WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent, licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues.

Copyright © 2020; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

Australia’s fires are not climate

CFACT recently traveled to Australia where we did some serious policy work.  Over the years the bonds of friendship we forged with our Australian friends and colleagues have become unbreakable.  This is personal.

The massive bush fires plaguing Australia are a nightmare.  The toll they have taken on Australia’s people and wildlife are heart-rending.

Those exploiting this tragedy to push the global warming agenda are a nightmare all their own.

Hollywood actors, despite host Ricky Gervais joking that they tend to have less schooling than Greta Thunberg, used the Golden Globes to push the warming narrative.  “The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-change based,” Australian Russel Crowe said in a message.  “When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster, so we’re in it together,” Cate Blanchett said.  This is nonsense and is being parroted throughout the media.

If there’s a human element to Australia’s bush fires it is Greens preventing forest management coupled with arson by rogues. The rest is natural, historically normal, and NOT climate.

CFACT recently featured a pair of hard-hitting articles that thoroughly debunk the Australian climate hype.

Dr. Jennifer Marohasy is an Australian environmental scientist.  She shared the hard data at CFACT.org that reveals that this year’s temperature in Australia, though certainly scorching hot, is also historically normal, with the summer of 1938-1939 possibly Australia’s hottest.  Australia’s hottest ever reliable temperature recording was 51.7 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit) at the Bourke Post Office on January 3, 1909.  In addition, this year’s bush fires, despite their terrible toll on people and wildlife, are by no means Australia’s largest.

Australia’s most widespread fires likely occurred “on 13th January 1939 (Black Friday), 2 million hectares burnt with ash reportedly falling on New Zealand. That was probably the worst bush fire catastrophe in Australia’s modern recorded history in terms of area burnt and it was 80 years ago.”

James Delingpole skewered those conflating Australia’s fire with climate employing his signature take-no-prisoners approach.  CFACT featured it on Facebook.

While Australia may be bone dry, its rainfall is historically normal.  Check out the 1950s on the graph above.  Delingpole never minces words.  “So, to be clear, there is zero evidence of any change in climatic conditions that might have increased the likelihood or severity of these bush fires. This is not — repeat NOT — a man-made climate change story, and anyone who claims otherwise is either a gullible idiot or a lying charlatan.”

While the conditions that made Australia ripe for bush fires are normal weather, there may indeed be an “anthropegnic” link.  Green campaigners have been deliberately interfering with efforts by their government to clear brush and conduct controlled burns to create fire breaks.  Then there’s arson.  Well over one hundred arsonists have been arrested.  The Greens were idiots.  The arsonists evil.

None of this has anything to do with your free economy or use of energy.  Once again your over-the-top lifestyle, SUV and refrigerator are off the hook.

Let us all pray for Australia, and follow up our prayers with whatever generous and effective aid is required.

The next time you hear someone shamelessly using Australia’s fires to push the global warming agenda, or even worse, Socialism, show them the facts.

We love you Australia.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Recent Energy and Environmental News

This is our first Energy & Environmental Newsletter for 2020! For the full version of this issue, please click here…  To review some of the highlights, see below.

For those who took some time off over the holidays, there were two Special Editions of the Newsletter that you should check out:

1 – A full archive of all past 11± years of Newsletters, and
2 – My no-holds-barred commentary on the New Year & New Decade.

Here is a fascinating exposé about renewables — by a radical environmental (Left) group! If they get it, why don’t all Conservatives and Republicans?

My votes for the most outstanding articles this cycle are:

Short Video: What I Wasn’t Told About Climate Change (from IPA)
The Green Road to Serfdom
Prager Video: Should Decent People Support Trump?
Tomorrow’s Gods: What is the future of religion?
The Religion of Climatism
How The U.S. Navy Remains The Masters Of Modular Nuclear Reactors
Short Video: The Top Climate Crisis Scam of 2019
The End of a Decade When Climate Change Alarmism Tipped Into Climate Change Hysteria
How Billionaires Steyer and Bloomberg Corrupted Climate Science

Energy Economics

The world is investing less in renewable energy
Big Green Lobbies to Steal from the Poor and Give to the Rich

Climate alarmist banks go carbon-colonialist
Video: What the Divestment Movement Doesn’t Understand
AWEA Applauds Another PTC Extension
I thought the wind industry didn’t need subsidies any more?

Wind Energy Health & Ecosystem Impacts

Watch 30 seconds of this video re wind turbine blade toxicityMosquitoes and Climate Change (and Turbines)The Environmental Costs of Renewable Energy Are Staggering

Nuclear Energy

US to lose 1.7 GW of nuclear power next year

Energy Misc

The Green Road to Serfdom
The decade that blew up energy predictions
China Adding New Coal Power Equal to Entire European Union Capacity
The Future of Oil, Gas, and Coal: Stranded Assets or Safe Refuge?
Renewables ‘hit a wall’ in saturated Upper Midwest grid
Citizens Use Civil Disobedience to Protect Their Rights (e.g. vs wind energy)

Manmade Global Warming (other)

Short Video: What I Wasn’t Told About Climate Change (from IPA)
Short Video: The Top Climate Crisis Scam of 2019
The End of a Decade When Climate Change Alarmism Tipped Into Climate Change Hysteria
How Billionaires Steyer and Bloomberg Corrupted Climate Science
Lomborg: Your electric car and vegetarian diet are pointless virtue signaling
350 Peer-Reviewed Papers Since 2017 Subvert Climate Change Claims
It will take more than science to convince climate activists that they’re wrong.
Who Is Winning The Climate Wars? (2)
We’re Getting a Clearer Picture of the Climate Future — and It’s Not as Bad as It Once Looked
2019 Science Data Refutes Climate Alarm On Every Front
TedX video: Climate Change Realities

Misc US Politics

Prager Video: Should Decent People Support Trump?
Powerful video: Spygate One Year Later
Impeachment: Big Ego’s, Bad Attitudes
Economic vs. Cultural Marxism: The Most Important Distinction
A Few things We Could Live Without in 2020
China a Big Military Threat in Key Tech Arenas
The Killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani | Initial Observations
Generation Z and its implications (note charts!)

Science and Misc Matters

Australia: It has been hotter, fires have burnt larger areas
Archive: Green ideology, not climate change, makes bushfires worse
Tomorrow’s Gods: What is the future of religion?
The Religion of Climatism
Alex Epstein video: The most important New Year’s resolution
Why Americans Fear Trial by Jury

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: Originally this was a monthly Newsletter. However, as pertinent material proliferated, it has been issued more frequently. As a guideline, once we collect a hundred worthwhile articles, a new Newsletter will be issued on the following Monday. Recently this has resulted in a once every three weeks frequency — and occasionally once every two weeks.

Note 3: To accommodate numerous requests we got about prior articles, we’ve put together detailed archives — where you can search by year, or over the ten+ years of the Newsletter.

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Note 5: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. For wind warriors, the most important page there is the Winning page.

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Copyright © 2020; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

My New Year/New Decade Message — The Big Picture

Successful, happy people typically have the wise habit of periodically stepping-back to get a broader perspective as to what’s going on in their life, and society in general.

Since we are now not only beginning a New Year, but also a New Decade, it seems that doing such a careful analysis is strongly advisable.

You’ll have to decide about the pros and cons of your own life, but here is my perspective as to what is societally going on — what I’m calling the Big Picture.

On the one hand, a competent review of the last ten years would indicate that a LOT of good things have transpired. I’ve seen no better summary of this progress than:

We’ve Just Had the Best Decade in Human History. Seriously!

Please read that carefully so that you have a strong understanding of that unpublicized (and accordingly, not popularly appreciated) reality.

Based on the facts, the logical conclusion is that global citizens should be experiencing widespread happiness, satisfaction, and enthusiasm for the future.

Is that the case? Generally NO.

Well why not?  Because we still have good and evil.

For example, there are diabolical, well-connected parties who have a lust for power. Citizen contentment is a major obstacle to their taking over control of the planet. The most effective way they can get people to want to change, is to make them unhappy with the way things are now…

To deal with substantial good news, their strategy is to resort to three proven tactics:

a) instill fear into the masses,
b) undermine the pillars of the current, successful society, and
c) sow societal discord.

Consider that the leader of the free world is under an intense, incessant, coordinated attack — including removal from office — primarily because of his policies.

The subversives are leaving no stone unturned to try to make the public afraid of him and his policies (e.g. his rightfully withdrawing from the Paris sham).

They claim that they are opposed to his “lying,” but the reality is that they are actually angered by the swamp-exposing truths that he has said.

His opponents — actually OUR opponents — are also:

1 -Willfully eroding the Judeo-Christian principles that our society was built on.
2 – Purposefully corroding our democratic form of government (a Republic).
3 – Aggressively diluting our academic system (to produce propagandized lemmings).
4 – Consciously sabotaging true Science (as it is a barrier to their agendas).
5 – Knowingly subverting our economic system (Capitalism).
6 – Deliberately undermining our Electric Grid (the foundation of our economy and national security).

What’s even worse, in all of these campaigns, these parties have no apparent standards (note #1 above) regarding truth, fairness, rights, freedoms — yet they speciously claim the moral high ground!

As mentioned, one of their main strategies for pulling off their political agenda is to sow divisiveness and discord — so that we fight among ourselves.

In this vile effort they are pitting: men vs women, whites vs minorities, young vs old, wealthy vs not-so-much, hard workers vs entitlement advocates, citizens vs immigrants, traditional religions vs secular religion, etc., etc.

Once one fully understands these attacks, it should be very clear that we are in the biggest war ever experienced in history.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

In the face of such adversity, it may seem that nothing YOU do will make any real difference. That is yet another lie they are feeding us, so don’t buy it!  The truth is what Margaret Meade insightfully said:

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

A less well-known insight she also wrote:

“Prayer does not use up artificial energy, doesn’t burn up any fossil fuel, doesn’t pollute.”

My recommendation is to be aware of what is going on, and then consciously oppose the efforts of those who wish to bring us down, e.g. by actively supporting:

1 – the Judeo-Christian principles that our society was built on (e.g. more love and unity, less hate and alienation),
2 – our democratic form of government (a Republic),
3 – our academic system (to produce critical-thinking graduates),
4 – real Science (which is apolitical by definition),
5 – our economic system (while working to make it better), and
6 – our Electric Grid (by not allowing any alternative energies on it that haven’t been scientifically proven to be a NET societal benefit).

By doing all that you will be doing the Right Thing.

The world may (or may not) change because of your efforts, but your positive actions will assure you and yours of having a genuinely Happy New Year, and New Decade.

PS — I’ve shared this before, but it bears repeating. I’m aware of no better videos that insightfully explain some of the larger picture of what is going on, than these two five-minutes movie trailers:

 Agenda: Grinding America Down plus Agenda 2: Masters of Deceit.

Copyright © 2020; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

Greta Thunberg: A Living Explanation of the Left

It is not easy to understand what the left—as opposed to liberals—stands for. If you ask a Christian what to read to learn the basics of Christianity, you will be told the Bible. If you ask a (religious) Jew, you will be told the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud. If you ask a Mormon, you will be told the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Ask a Muslim and you will be told the Quran.

But if you ask a leftist what one or two books you should read to understand leftism, every leftist will give you a different answer—or need some time to think it over. Few, if any, will suggest Marx’s “Das Kapital” because almost no leftists have read it and because you will either not finish the book or reject it as incoherent.

So, then, how is one to understand what leftism stands for?

The truth is it is almost impossible. What leftist in history would have ever imagined that to be a leftist, one would have to believe that men give birth or men have periods, or that it is fair to women to have to compete in sports with biological males who identify as females?


Next year, absolutely everything is on the line. Defend your principles before it is too late. Find out more now >>


There are two primary reasons it is so difficult, if not impossible, to define leftism. One is that it ultimately stands for chaos:

  • Open borders.
  • “Nonbinary” genders.
  • Nonsensical and scatological “art.”
  • “Music” without tonality, melody, or harmony.
  • Drag Queen Story Hour for 5-year-olds.
  • Rejection of the concept of better or worse civilizations.
  • Rejection of the concept of better or worse art.
  • Removal of Shakespeare’s picture from a university English department because he was a white male.
  • The end of all use of fossil fuels—even in transportation (as per the recent recommendation by the head of the U.N. World Meteorological Organization).
  • The dismantling of capitalism, the economic engine that has lifted billions of people out of abject poverty.

And much more.

The other major reason it is impossible to define leftism is that it is emotion-based. Leftism consists of causes that give those who otherwise lack meaning something to cling to for meaning.

Two things about Greta Thunberg, Time magazine’s 2019 person of the year, embody these explanations.

With regard to chaos, here is what Greta Thunberg wrote at the beginning of the month: “The climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice and of political will. Colonial, racist and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all.”

Thunberg, like all leftists, seeks to dismantle just about everything. As former President Barack Obama said five days before the 2008 election, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

As regards emotion and meaning, The Guardian reports, this is what Thunberg’s father just told the BBC:

Greta Thunberg’s father has opened up about how activism helped his daughter out of depression … how activism had changed the outlook of the teenager, who suffered from depression for ‘three or four years’ before she began her school strike protest outside the Swedish parliament. She was now ‘very happy’, he said … ‘She stopped talking … she stopped going to school,’ he said of her illness.

The post-Judeo-Christian world the left has created has left a vast number of the West’s citizens, especially more and more young people, with no meaning. This Grand Canyon-sized hole is filled by leftist causes.

The fact is life is better, safer, and more affluent, and offers more opportunities for more people, than ever before in history. Just about all emotionally stable, mature people should be walking around the West almost delirious at their good fortune. Americans in particular should feel this way.

But leftists (again, as opposed to many liberals) are not usually emotionally stable and are certainly not mature. That is why depression among young Americans (and perhaps Swedes) is at the highest levels ever recorded.

So, like Thunberg, they look to left-wing causes to find meaning and emotional fulfillment. Until she embraced climate crisis activism—a chance, as she sees it, to literally save the world—Thunberg was so depressed “she stopped talking.” But thanks to climate activism and other left-wing activism, she is now “very happy” (an assessment I suspect many observers find hard to believe).

Feminism and “fighting patriarchy” (in an age when American women have more opportunities than ever before and more opportunities than women almost anywhere else in the world), fighting racism (in the least racist multiracial society in history), fighting white supremacy (which has almost disappeared from American life), and fighting on behalf of myriad other leftist causes—in other words, fundamentally transforming society—gives meaning to people with no meaning.

None of that is morally or rationally coherent. But it is very emotionally satisfying. Just ask Greta Thunberg’s dad.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Dennis Prager is a columnist for The Daily Signal, nationally syndicated radio host, and creator of PragerU.


A Note for our Readers:

As progressives on the far Left continue to push for greater government control under the disguise of “free stuff,” our lawmakers need conservative research and solutions to guide them towards promoting your principles instead.

That is why we’re asking conservatives to unite around the key values of limited government, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense by making a special year-end gift to The Heritage Foundation before December 31.

Next year, absolutely everything is on the line. The Left won’t pull any punches. They stand ready to trade the principles of the American founding for the toxic European socialism that has failed so many times before.

That is why finishing this year strong is so critical. The Heritage Foundation is challenging you to rise up and claim more victories for conservative values as we battle socialism in 2020.

LEARN MORE NOW >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Climate Change Protesters’ Traffic Tie-Ups Are No Way to Win Friends or Influence People

The environmental zealots who regularly take to the streets of the nation’s capital for climate change protests clearly have never read Dale Carnegie’s classic self-help bestseller “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

That’s evident from the demonstrations the global warming alarmists stage at downtown D.C. intersections during morning rush hours, unapologetically snarling traffic and creating commuter gridlock.

Causing motorists to be late for work and/or miss appointments is hardly the way to win friends among those they’ve seriously inconvenienced or to influence them to buy into the climate-calamity hysteria. It’s far more likely to alienate them.

For more than seven hours on Dec. 6, for example, hundreds of “Shut Down DC” coalition environmental activist demonstrators lived up to their billing, snaking through downtown Washington, blocking intersections with their bodies, banners, and other props, and forcing traffic to be diverted and detoured.


Next year, absolutely everything is on the line. Defend your principles before it is too late. Find out more now >>


All the while, they beat on drums, chanted mindless left-wing couplets (“Hey, hey, ho, ho! / [Fill in the blank] has got to go!”) and barked calls and responses (“What do we want?” / “Climate justice!” / “When do we want it?” / “Now!”).

What the amorphous “climate justice” they “want now” entails is anyone’s guess, but it presumably tracks closely along the lines of the radical multitrillion-dollar Green New Deal scheme hatched by far-left freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.-N.Y.

This much is certain, however: The enormous taxes and spending the Green New Deal would mandate would do a grave injustice to the nation’s economic climate.

According to news accounts, the demonstration in early December began at about 7:30 a.m. with a march from George Washington University to World Bank headquarters along Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, with gridlock ensuing at the height of the morning rush.

Later in the day, for two hours, seven of the protesters reportedly chained themselves to the door of a Wells Fargo bank branch, preventing customers from entering. Cheered on by octogenarian actress Jane Fonda—a longtime agitator who never met a leftist cause she didn’t reflexively support—demonstrators mindlessly chanted, “Wells Fargo, hey, you! / We deserve a future, too.” (Just as an aside, what’s with the left’s obsession with rhyming couplets?)

The bank, presumably targeted for supposedly helping finance the fossil fuel industry, should sue them all for restraint of trade.

When all was said/chanted and done, The Washington Post reported, “Despite hours of disruptions and tense moments between protesters and D.C. police, officials said no arrests were made.”

How is that even possible? Why does the city blithely allow these protests to disrupt traffic and inconvenience motorists and pedestrians, as well as businesses and their employees and customers? At minimum, why weren’t the most disruptive and unruly among the protesters not fined and/or arrested?

These protests, organized by groups with names like Extinction Rebellion, surely cost the city thousands of dollars for policing and security, so District of Columbia taxpayers are in effect subsidizing them.

There was no indication, however, that that seems to faze the ultraliberal city’s officials, many of whom no doubt support the protesters and their cause. Did either D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser or D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham issue to police a stand-down order? One has to wonder, inasmuch as 32 people were arrested during a similar protest on Sept. 23.

Regardless, do these climate change extremists really think they’re winning “hearts and minds” to their cause by grossly inconveniencing commuters, businesses, and others? To the contrary, one would reasonably expect they’re having the exact opposite effect, turning off those who aren’t already global warming “true believers.”

In the demonstrators’ self-righteous view, the end justifies the means, even if it’s counterproductive in terms of public relations. They went so far as to insist to those who complained of the inconvenience: “We’re doing this for you. It’s your planet, too.”

But this smug notion—“It’s for your own good”—is belied by a January poll conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. It found that 68% of respondents oppose paying an additional $10 a month to combat climate change, while 43% aren’t even willing to pay an extra $1 a month on their electricity bills for that purpose.

More telling, the poll failed to include any mention of how much warming supposedly would be abated by paying an additional $1, $20, or $50 per month. In each scenario, the answer is next to nothing, and that would only decrease even further their willingness to pay such a tax.

Another irony, lost on these climate change Chicken Littles, was that the traffic tie-ups they caused resulted in long lines of cars idling, spewing more—not less—of the tailpipe carbon emissions they claim are contributing to the supposed impending climate catastrophe.

On its website, Shut Down DC insists that there’s “no time left for business-as-usual,” but regardless of how righteous the protesters consider their cause to be, D.C. officials and police need to remind them, forcefully, that the right to swing one’s fist ends where someone else’s nose begins.

COMMENTARY BY

Peter Parisi is an editor and writer for The Daily Signal.


A Note for our Readers:

As progressives on the far Left continue to push for greater government control under the disguise of “free stuff,” our lawmakers need conservative research and solutions to guide them towards promoting your principles instead.

That is why we’re asking conservatives to unite around the key values of limited government, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense by making a special year-end gift to The Heritage Foundation before December 31.

Next year, absolutely everything is on the line. The Left won’t pull any punches. They stand ready to trade the principles of the American founding for the toxic European socialism that has failed so many times before.

That is why finishing this year strong is so critical. The Heritage Foundation is challenging you to rise up and claim more victories for conservative values as we battle socialism in 2020.

LEARN MORE NOW >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

The World’s Recycling System Is Falling Apart. What’s Going On?

All recycling in history, in all its innovative variants—and at levels from individual scrap collectors to energy-conserving industries—had been economic. What happened?


Recycling was one of those great ideas of the 1970s, right?

One of the first great movements to save the earth from resource depletion and the land and sea from human refuse?

Who could even imagine, now, a modern nation without recycling bins, recycling plants, and yogurt containers made with recycled materials? And everybody, always, sorting what used to be called their “garbage,” now their “recyclables,” to participate in the eternal renewal of earth’s resources?

Environmentalists and, as always, the media—and governments eager for a new job—used every resource of propaganda to plant the idea that recycling was just good terrestrial citizenship.

And inseparable from the parable was that anything this important had to be a matter of law, the responsibility of government. Recycling was so good that people had to be forced to do it. We needed new laws at every level of government. The private actions of private citizens, business, and industry could not be relied on—not without coercion.

In fact, of course, arguments for recycling can be found in the writings of Plato, according to no less a source than Wikipedia. Athens launched the first known municipal dump program in the Western world, with laws requiring citizens to dispose of their waste at least a mile outside the city walls (no curbside collection). History records every variant of reclaiming trash by people—and, in time, businesses built upon recycling.

For times before records were kept on such matters, archeologists discovered that what was thrown into dumps differed markedly over time. Layers corresponding to periods of economic shortage and hardship tend to be stripped of everything reusable; layers corresponding to periods of economic abundance and plenty are far less picked over.

As the Industrial Revolution took hold in Europe, and goods of all kinds flowed from new factories, mines, and mills—and arrived from around the world on trading ships—entrepreneurs began to develop processes and plants to recycle even rags (rewoven with virgin wool to produce a new material unpretentiously called “shoddy”).

At war with the British Empire in 1776, Americans turned to salvage and reuse both to fight the wars and to stretch out the use of all the manufactured goods they bought from England.

Cities in Europe and then America spawned armies of thousands of scavengers for valued recyclables like iron, aluminum, tin, and copper. In England, in 1865, the new Salvation Army organized them. Railroads went into the sideline of reclaiming iron.

It was during WWI that recycling went into high gear in economies on all sides of the war. In part, it was again individuals and families driven by shortages to reclaim and use refuse; in part, it was collection by individuals, sometimes organized by government, to collect desperately needed war materials. In England and Scotland, grand old iron gates and fences were melted for munitions, shipbuilding, and other weaponry.

A turning point in history was WWII’s huge acceleration of government intervention in virtually every area of life. Perhaps prefiguring the 1960s and 1970s, recycling became a patriotic duty, a war-winning strategy on the home front. Social pressure increased on every hand to reclaim and reuse resources. The U.S. military continues to this day to recycle certain scarce metals, including depleted uranium for artillery shells.

An impetus to nationwide recycling, before it became a parable of salvation of the Earth, was the energy savings to be achieved by recycling metals, paper, and, to a much lesser extent, plastics. Depending on the material, with metals such as aluminum being the best, it requires significantly less energy to produce a useable material by recycling than from the raw ore or other resources. Recycling aluminum uses only 5 percent of the energy required by virgin production. Savings on glass and paper are less but very significant. That made the energy crisis of the 1970s a major motivator for recycling.

All recycling in history, in all its innovative variants—and at levels from individual scrap collectors to energy-conserving industries—had been economic. They had been activities justifiable by economic calculation, for-profit—including wartime scavenging undertaken simply because that was the available economic source of what was needed. There was little or no recycling mandated by law or regulation; all of it simply made economic sense in a given context. As time passed and economies grew, more production meant more refuse. Accordingly, economic forces drove more research and innovation, and recycling grew.

The interventionist thrust in the United States, accelerating in the 1960s and 1970s, produced the usual arguments for a government takeover of recycling—because it must become universal and it might not be profitable. A prime ideological justification was supplied by the “limits to growth” movement of the Club of Rome and others, taking advantage of the fear spurred by the energy crisis of 1974 to argue that all necessary natural resources on earth were rapidly depleting. Economies would crash and populations would starve, left cold and in the dark, without drastically curtailing economic growth (translation: rein-in free markets, economic growth, and “consumerism”) … and without urgent, mandated recycling. “Almost overnight, it seemed, recycling was embraced by the public as a kind of all-purpose absolution for our environmental sins,” Popular Mechanics noted in 2008.

Since then, the “limits to growth” movement and its ideology have faded as resources such as oil—but all others, too—have been produced and shown to be available in huge quantities thanks to new technologies such as fracking, new mining technology, and new means of using heretofore wasted resources such as natural gas.

But that has been the triumphant achievement of semi-free markets—succeeding in spite of every obstacle created by regulation—and of the advance of technology. In contrast, the ideological twin of the limits to growth movement—recycling—became the domain predominantly of government and laws. It has therefore been more or less impervious to any “market test” of benefits versus costs. Driven by ideology, the analyses of recycling have been plagued by a “confirmation bias” and by the argument, offered for everything that government does, that “Even if it isn’t profitable, it’s a good thing, and we’ve got to do it.”

Back in 2008, a typical article was like the one in Popular Mechanics, which promised “some real answers” about recycling. It reported:

To resolve the environmental debate … experts have begun to conduct detailed life-cycle analyses on recycled goods, calculating the energy consumed from the moment they’re picked up by recycling trucks until they are processed into brand-new products. When compared with the amount of energy required to send the same goods to landfills or incinerators and make new products from scratch, the results vary dramatically, depending on the material.

But, of course, the whole history of salvage and recycling as a normal economic activity has been guided solely by considerations of costs versus benefits.

In fact, however, the course run by government intervention in recycling was predictable from the outset. Taken out of the context of the market economy, so that economic calculation by prices and profits no longer is possible, the benefits versus the costs of a process as complex as recycling simply cannot be known. Libraries of books and articles have reported studies, arguments pro and con, and the most esoteric efforts to identify “externalities” and make cross-national comparisons, and we know no better today than 50 years ago if recycling is “good” or “bad.”

Core arguments for recycling, such as panic over available landfills, fell by the wayside. According to one calculation, all the garbage produced in the U.S. for the next one thousand years could fit into a landfill 100 yards deep and 35 miles across on each side—not that big (unless you happen to live in the neighborhood). Put another way, it would take another 20 years to run through the landfills the U.S. has already built. So the notion that we’re running out of landfill space—the original impetus for the recycling boom—turns out to have been a red herring.

What we do know is that the complex admixture of government programs, private contractors, profits and subsidies, media propaganda, and stark realities have now reached the point of collapse. For decades, the economic growth of communist China created a voracious demand for every resource, introduced labor rates a fraction of those in some developed countries, and showed a willingness to accept some pollution and waste as the price of economic growth.

To an extent almost unimaginable, the developed world “recycled” literally billions of tons of waste over decades—metals, plastics, paper, wood—by shipping it to the People’s Republic of China on Chinese ships returning from delivering Chinese goods for sale in developed countries. China accepted it all, paid for it, and used its huge and eager workforce—paid often less than one-tenth of comparable U.S. labor—to transform whatever was in truth recyclable into materials for its industrial-manufacturing-construction powerhouse.

In fact, though, as we now know, somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of what was promiscuously shipped out of the developed economies to be “recycled” was actually dumped by China, as unusable, into landfills and the oceans of Southeast Asia, where it has become a major cause and poster-child of environmentalists as an “island” (sometimes) or a “sea” (sometimes) of floating plastic waste.

Today, we know this in far more detail and know that the developed world never really faced the “economics” of recycling—impossible without the market pricing system. We know it now because, on the first day of 2018, China announced to the world its “National Sword Policy.”

No longer would China accept and pay for the hundreds of millions of tons of often unrecyclable trash from the developed world, trash arriving in China so hopelessly mixed, dirty, and loaded with impurities that China was polluting its own country and also its coastal waters. China was finished with this arrangement. Henceforth, “recyclables” shipped to China must be 99.5 percent pure or, to put it another way, limited to one-half of one percent impurities. Plastic imports to China have plummeted 99 percent.

China’s action may have been triggered by the decision of recycling programs to make recycling even easier for households, making a switch from “sort trash” to what is called “single stream.” This hugely increased the number of people recycling—because it wasn’t recycling.

Today, some 25 percent of everything recycling-eager consumers put into recycling bins cannot possibly be recycled by the programs that collect them. For example: food waste, rubber hoses, wire, low-grade plastics—all tossed into bins by over-hopeful recyclers. They waste haulage, jam recycling machinery, contaminate what is valuable, and are dangerous to recycling plant workers. China had been taking all this from the United States for “processing” but actually dumping it—hence the new, aggressive “China Sword” policy. China had handled almost half of the world’s supposedly recyclable waste for at least a quarter of a century.

In the period since China’s dramatic announcement, the developed world’s “recycling” system has fallen apart. In many states and municipalities, trash is still collected in blue recycling bins and carted away, but the media began to break stories like that of The New York Times: “Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe or Maybe Not.”

Or Stanford Magazine: “How Much of Recycling Actually Gets Recycled?”

Or The Guardian: “’Plastic Recycling Is a Myth’: What Really Happens to Your Plastic?”

Or Forbes: “These Three Plastic Recycling Myths Will Blow Your Mind.”

Or Wired: “The World’s Recycling Is in Chaos. What Has to Happen?”

Recycled trash was still being collected, including plastics—among the most problematic, least profitable materials to recycle—but they were being dumped in landfills, like in the old days, or they were being sent to incinerators. Wired reported:

Globally, more plastics are now ending up in landfills, incinerators, or likely littering the environment as rising costs to haul away recyclable materials increasingly render the practice unprofitable. In England, more than half a million more tons of plastics and other household garbage were burned last year.

The Australian news show 60 Minutes lamented in April of this year: “When you throw this stuff in your recycle bin at home you might like to think again …” Australia alone has unloaded some 71,000 tons of plastic in Malaysia in just the past year. There, the mountains of plastic waste tend to end up in illegal processing facilities and junkyards.

The European Union has invested vast sums in recycling plants of all kinds, and in the EU (of course), recycling is the most intense in the world, with the strictest legal mandates. But EU countries are shipping the bales of “recycled” waste that used to go to China to Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, and other Southeast Asian nations—who were willing to buy it, even if China was not? Recent reports are that some countries are being paid to take it, and, since it can’t really be recycled, dumping it in the ocean.

Government takes over an economic activity deemed “in the national interest.” It is too important to be left to private economic activity and the market—as it had been throughout history. Government codifies the activity into law and regulation. At first, it seems to work all right, and, after all, is a “very good thing.” Initial claims are that its economic benefits are evident and extraordinary.

Then, some remnant of critical thinking catches up with the propaganda. Arguments fly back and forth with recycling bins full of statistics and increasingly complex considerations. There are studies and experiments, but mostly, lots of theories until it becomes obvious that there is no means by which the benefits actually can be compared with the costs. Without the economic calculation that is fundamental to the market—the radically decentralized decisions and economic exchanges of hundreds of millions of individuals reckoning their own costs and profits—it is impossible to determine if resources are being used optimally to satisfy needs and wants.

And then, at some point, the government system is revealed to be unworkable. For example, it stakes everything on a single short-term strategy that cannot be expected to continue—and abruptly fails. No alternatives, no choices, are in place.

What supposedly had been a “system” is revealed as a series of makeshifts—now increasingly desperate. No one had thought about what might happen next because the “mind” of government had dictated a single answer.

Where do we go from here? The inevitable course of government is that when it fails, either the “free” market is blamed or the terms of debate are abruptly and arbitrarily switched.

In our time, the left’s quest to justify government command and control of the economy—a fascist variant of socialism—has shifted the grounds of its entire argument to the “crisis” of long-term climate change. No surprise: the argument for recycling is mutating before our eyes, from the broken “limits to growth” argument to the new climate change arguments.

Who would have guessed back in the 1970s that we were recycling to control the long-term surface temperature of the planet?

This article was reprinted with permission from The Savvy Street.

COLUMN BY

Walter Donway

Walter Donway was a program officer for the Commonwealth Fund, a New York City foundation supporting biomedical research. He was program officer for the Dana Foundation and editor of “Cerebrum: The Dana Forum on Brain Science.” With David Kelly, he was involved in founding what is now known as the “Atlas Society.”  His most recent books are Not Half Free: The Myth that American is Capitalist and Donald Trump and His Enemies: How the Media Put Trump in Office.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Energy and Environmental Newsletter — Special Notice

We get many requests for studies, reports and articles on a specific topic (e.g. wind energy infrasound) that were in previous Newsletters. Although Master Resource has generously posted some prior issues of the Newsletter, there was no way to quickly search over multiple prior Newsletter issues — until now!

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Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: Originally this was a monthly Newsletter. However, as pertinent material proliferated, it has been issued more frequently. As a guideline once we collect a hundred worthwhile articles, a new Newsletter will be issued on the following Monday. Recently this has resulted in a once every three weeks frequency — and occasionally once every two weeks.

Note 3: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy, environmental and education issues… As always, please pass the Newsletter on to open-minded citizens, and link to it on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our Energy & Environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off this list, simply send me an email saying that.

Note 4: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. For wind warriors, the most important page there is the Winning page.

Note 5: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or the WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues.

Copyright © 2019; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

Millions Died Thanks to the Mother of Environmentalism

On Jan. 24, 2017, PBS aired a two-hour special on Rachel Carson, the mother of the environmental movement. Although the program crossed the line from biography to hagiography, in Carson’s case, the unbridled praise was well deserved – with one exception.

Rachel Carson was an American hero. In the early 1960s, she was the first to warn that a pesticide called DDT could accumulate in the environment, the first to show that it could harm fish, birds, and other wildlife, the first to warn that its overuse would render it ineffective, and the first to predict that more natural means of pest control – like bacteria that killed mosquito larvae – should be used instead.

Unfortunately, the PBS documentary neglected to mention that in her groundbreaking book, Silent Spring, Carson had made one critical mistake – and it cost millions of people their lives.

Carson’s Literary Acclaim

On Nov. 1, 1941, Rachel Carson published her first book, Under the Sea-WindAlthough written for adults, the book had a child-like sense of wonder. Under the Sea-Wind told the story of Silverbar, a sanderling that migrated from the Arctic Circle to Argentina; Scomber, a mackerel that traveled from New England to the Continental Shelf; and Anguilla, an American eel that journeyed to the Sargasso Sea to spawn. “There is poetry here,” wrote one reviewer.

On July 2, 1951, Carson published her second book, The Sea Around Us. Two months later, The Sea Around Us was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, where it remained for 39 weeks: a record. When the dust settled, The Sea Around Us had sold more than 1.3 million copies, been translated into 32 languages, won the National Book Award, and been made into a movie. Editors of the country’s leading newspapers voted Rachel Carson “Woman of the Year.”

In October 1955, Carson published her third book, The Edge of the Sea, a tour guide for the casual adventurer. The New Yorker serialized it, critics praised it and the public loved it: more than 70,000 copies were sold as it rocketed to #4 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Today, most people under the age of 40 have probably never heard of Rachel Carson. But in the early 1960s, almost every American knew her name.

Demonizing DDT

On Sept. 27, 1962, Rachel Carson changed her tone. Her next book, Silent Spring, which she called her “poison book,” was an angry, no-holds-barred polemic against pesticides: especially DDT.

The first chapter of Silent Spring, titled “A Fable for Tomorrow,” was almost biblical, appealing to our sense that we had sinned against our Creator. “There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change… the cattle and sheep sickened and died… streams were lifeless… everywhere there was the shadow of death.”

Birds, especially, had fallen victim to this strange evil. In a town that had once “throbbed with scores of bird voices there was now no sound, only silence.” A silent spring. Birds weren’t alone in their suffering. According to Carson, children suffered sudden death, aplastic anemia, birth defects, liver disease, chromosomal abnormalities, and leukemia – all caused by DDT. And women suffered infertility and uterine cancer.

Carson made it clear that she wasn’t talking about something that might happen – she was talking about something that had happened. Our war against nature had become a war against ourselves.

In May 1963, Rachel Carson appeared before the Department of Commerce and asked for a “Pesticide Commission” to regulate the untethered use of DDT. Ten years later, Carson’s “Pesticide Commission” became the Environmental Protection Agency, which immediately banned DDT. Following America’s lead, support for international use of DDT quickly dried up.

The Global Killer

Although DDT soon became synonymous with poison, the pesticide was an effective weapon in the fight against an infection that has killed – and continues to kill – more people than any other: malaria.

By 1960, due largely to DDT, malaria had been eliminated from 11 countries, including the United States. As malaria rates went down, life expectancies went up; as did crop production, land values, and relative wealth.

Probably no country benefited from DDT more than Nepal, where spraying began in 1960. At the time, more than two million Nepalese, mostly children, suffered from malaria. By 1968, the number was reduced to 2,500; and life expectancy increased from 28 to 42 years.

After DDT was banned, malaria reemerged across the globe:

  • In India, between 1952 and 1962, DDT caused a decrease in annual malaria cases from 100 million to 60,000. By the late 1970s, no longer able to use DDT, the number of cases increased to 6 million.
  • In Sri Lanka, before the use of DDT, 2.8 million people suffered from malaria. When the spraying stopped, only 17 people suffered from the disease. Then, no longer able to use DDT, Sri Lanka suffered a massive malaria epidemic: 1.5 million people were infected by the parasite.
  • In South Africa, after DDT became unavailable, the number of malaria cases increased from 8,500 to 42,000 and malaria deaths from 22 to 320.

Since the mid-1970s, when DDT was eliminated from global eradication efforts, tens of millions of people have died from malaria unnecessarily: most have been children less than five years old. While it was reasonable to have banned DDT for agricultural use, it was unreasonable to have eliminated it from public health use.

Costing Lives

Environmentalists have argued that when it came to DDT, it was pick your poison. If DDT was banned, more people would die from malaria. But if DDT wasn’t banned, people would suffer and die from a variety of other diseases, not the least of which was cancer. However, studies in Europe, Canada, and the United States have since shown that DDT didn’t cause the human diseases Carson had claimed.

Indeed, the only type of cancer that had increased in the United States during the DDT era was lung cancer, which was caused by cigarette smoking. DDT was arguably one of the safer insect repellents ever invented – far safer than many of the pesticides that have taken its place.

Carson’s supporters argued that, had she lived longer, she would never have promoted a ban on DDT for the control of malaria. Indeed, in Silent Spring, Carson wrote, “It is not my contention that chemical pesticides never be used.” But it was her contention that DDT caused leukemia, liver disease, birth defects, premature births, and a whole range of chronic illnesses.

An influential author can’t, on the one hand, claim that DDT causes leukemia (which, in 1962, was a death sentence) and then, on the other hand, expect that anything less than that a total ban of the chemical would result.

In 2006, the World Health Organization reinstated DDT as part of its effort to eradicate malaria. But not before millions of people had died needlessly from the disease.

Reprinted from The Daily Beast.

COLUMN BY

Paul A. Offit

Paul A. Offit is a professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the author of Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong (National Geographic Press, April 2017).

RELATED ARTICLE: Germans using children to make climate hysteria propaganda. Again.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Recent Energy and Environmental News

This is our last Energy & Environmental Newsletter for 2019. For the full version of this issue, please click here…  To review some of the highlights, see below.

To accommodate the diversity of interesting material, the Newsletter articles are subdivided into ten (10) categories (see below).

My votes for the most outstanding articles this cycle are:

We’ve Just Had the Best Decade in Human History. Seriously!
Science and the West: Then and Now
100 Scientific Papers: CO2 has Minuscule Effect on Climate
Video: False to claim health & climate benefits from coal plant closures
In 2020 Climate Science Needs To Hit The Reset Button, Part One
Madrid Climate Conference Ends in Failure
Greta Thunberg Is the Perfect Hero for an Unserious TimeExxon Wins Against NY’s Hypocritical Legal Lunacy
The Rise and Fall of CELDF
President Trump Video Clips: Nothing is More Powerful than God

Energy Economics

It’s time to hit the off switch for solar, wind power tax breaks
U.S. House spending bill holds win for wind energy, setback for solar
Subsidized Wind, Noncompetitive Wind
Tax deal in hand, US spending package grows in size
Report: Financial groups gave $745 billion for 258 new coal power plants

Wind Energy Ecosystem Impact

The Renewable Fuel Standard is killing the environment
Bird Conservation Groups File Federal Lawsuit over Icebreaker Wind Project

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Power’s Phoenix Moment in Canada and Abroad
The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy
NuScale’s SMR Design Clears Phase 4 of Review Process

Energy Misc

Alex Epstein’s Clear Thinking on Climate and Energy

Global Warming and Madrid (COP25)

Madrid Climate Conference Ends in Failure
Global Climate Income Transfer Scheme Doesn’t Go Well
UN’s Climate Change Strategy is a Wealth Confiscation Game
COP 25: Climate Alarmists wage a war of words, but where’s the beef?
COP 25: Paris Accord destroyed

Global Warming and Greta

Greta ‘Ignored’ By World Leaders, Admits Protests Have Achieved ‘Nothing’
Greta wins TIME Award: It’s a symptom of a sick & confused world
Greta Thunberg Is the Perfect Hero for an Unserious Time

Manmade Global Warming (other)

100 Scientific Papers: CO2 has Minuscule Effect on Climate
Toxic climate propaganda is poisoning US public policy
In 2020 Climate Science Needs To Hit The Reset Button, Part One
Report: Climate Truth File 2020
Exxon Wins Against NY’s Hypocritical Legal Lunacy
Memo to the Media: Don’t Use Bad Words!
Short video: Michael Moore and Me
How Wrong Can One Article Be?
EU states reject green finance law in setback for climate goals
“Emmas” to be annual celebration of achievement in world-leading eco-hypocrisy

Misc Education

How Secularism Fuels Campus Outrage
Social Justice Education in America
How Medical Schools Are Polarizing Tomorrow’s Doctors
Seattle Public Schools Will Start Teaching That Math Is Oppressive
Good Book: Restoring the Promise Higher Education in America

Misc US Politics

President Trump Video Clips: Nothing is More Powerful than God
Video: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation
President Trump’s Letter to Nancy Pelosi, regarding Impeachment
FISA court slams FBI over surveillance applications
Court rules that Obamacare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional
US Spending Deal Buoys Science Agency Budgets
UK election sends ‘catastrophic warning’ to 2020 US Dems

Science and Misc Matters

We’ve Just Had the Best Decade in Human History. Seriously!
Science And The West: Then And Now
The Internet is 50 Years Old. Will we Survive the Next 50 Years?
Video: How Deep-fakes Undermine Truth and Threaten Democracy
Important EPA Advisory Letter on Pollution Regulations
The Rise and Fall of CELDF
The Subconscious and Climate Change

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: Originally this was a monthly Newsletter. However, as pertinent material proliferated, it has been issued more frequently. As a guideline once we collect a hundred worthwhile articles, a new Newsletter will be issued on the following Monday. Recently this has resulted in a once every three weeks frequency — and occasionally once every two weeks.

Note 3: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy, environmental and education issues… As always, please pass the Newsletter on to open-minded citizens, and link to it on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our Energy & Environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off this list, simply send me an email saying that.

Note 4: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. For wind warriors, the most important page there is the Winning page.

Note 5: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or the WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues.

Copyright © 2019; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

Greta Sails To Hong Kong To Lecture Protesters On Their Carbon Footprint

HONG KONG—Many have criticized climate activist Greta Thunberg for lecturing Western countries on their inaction on climate change when most of the pollution comes from developing countries like China and India. Well, Greta has finally gone to Hong Kong to address what she believes to be a major source of carbon emissions: the Hong Kong protesters.

“How dare you burn things as part of these protests when our planet is in crisis!” she said in her scathing rebuke of the pro-democracy protesters. “Every time you throw a gasoline bomb at the totalitarian police officers, you rob a little more of my childhood from me.”

Beijing thanked Thunberg for her “important work” in identifying the real root of the problem: democracy. “Thunberg is an example of true Person of the Year material, using her platform to call out the villains who would disrupt our safe, efficient, government,” Beijing wrote in a statement.

Time Magazine quickly gave the Hong Kong protesters “Villain of the Year” awards for not using green protest methods.

Thunberg also condemned the protesters’ use of tear gas when there are carbon-neutral options like throwing rocks or using pointy sticks.

RELATED SATIRE:

JJ Abrams Reveals Whole Sequel Trilogy Was Just A Dream Rey Had While On Some Kind Of Island In Purgatory

Middle East Leaders Working On Peace Plan For America


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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. All rights reserved.