A Misguided Approach to Nuclear Power in ‘Energy Innovation’ Bill

Being “well intentioned” isn’t the same as doing well. Look no further than the recently introduced American Energy Innovation Act.

The bill proposes an extensive federally funded and directed research, development, and demonstration program for advanced nuclear technologies through the Department of Energy.

It’s Act 2 of the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, the first half of which was quietly passed in December’s massive spending bill.

The proclaimed purpose is to help the nuclear industry innovate and compete, both now and in the future, and in competitive markets at home and abroad.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


But rather than improving private-sector access to federal assets, reducing regulatory barriers, and addressing the political risks that nuclear energy faces, it quite literally proposes that the government do the work of private companies for them—to improve their product, acquire financing, and find potential customers.

Such a program is far outside the responsibility of the federal government—and of the federal taxpayer. But it could also erect new barriers for companies that don’t go through the Energy Department program.

In the end, it makes the nuclear industry politically dependent, and consequently politically vulnerable. But what’s worse is, we’ve tried this all before, and the track record isn’t good.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 set out on the same grand mission. In that not-so-distant past, Congress authorized, among many other favors for the nuclear industry, $1.25 billion for a public-private partnership, the Next Generation Nuclear Power Plant. Congress spent $528 million through 2010, only to abandon it in 2011 during the pre-licensing process.

The Energy Policy Act also created a subsidy for 6,000 megawatts from new nuclear reactors. Even with the enthusiasm of the hailed “nuclear renaissance” and an extension of the subsidy, we got less than that. Rather than fix underlying government-imposed issues challenging the nuclear industry, Congress subsidized two reactors that were half-built before being canceled and another pair that have doubled in cost and construction time.

In fact, one could argue that the industry is worse off because of the Energy Policy Act, having shaken customer confidence and convinced others that nuclear energy can’t be built affordably.

Instead of bringing about a “nuclear renaissance,” subsidies have tied nuclear energy investment and innovation to political whims rather than smart business decisions, common sense, and good ideas.

Additionally, the American Energy Innovation Act creates a program of the same flavor for existing light-water reactors (the class of reactors operating today around the U.S.).

For a few examples, the bill declares it the responsibility of the government (aka the taxpayer) to “enable the continued operation of existing nuclear power plants,” to “improve [their] performance and reduce operation and maintenance costs,” and to develop an “integrated investment strategy” for nuclear technologies and capabilities.

This is industrial policy, plain and simple.

On the whole, Congress did good work with the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act in 2018 and the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act in 2019.

What the American Energy Innovation Act proposes is a bridge too far.

Unfortunately, the bill totally ignores issues where congressional leadership is desperately needed and is uniquely suited to address.

If Congress were really interested in helping the nuclear industry—both existing nuclear power plants and the advanced reactors of tomorrow—it should address the regulatory burdens and uncertainties created by government itself.

One painfully obvious place for Congress to start is the nuclear waste impasse. That an “all-encompassing” energy bill misses such a critical issue for the industry, and a costly one for taxpayers, is baffling.

COMMENTARY BY

Katie Tubb is a policy analyst for the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research.

RELATED ARTICLE: Senate’s ‘Energy Innovation’ Bill Wasteful, Redundant


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Winning World War III

I have a PhD ally who recently wrote me saying that we should be fighting harder regarding the CO2 issue.

My response was that I thought that this was not the best strategy because:

1 – we have already won the CO2 debate (so why waste time, effort and dollars in beating a dead horse?), and

2 – we are actually in a much bigger War (where Climate Change is a battle, and the CO2 part is just a skirmish).

To demonstrate these two points:

1 – I put together a brief outline of the CO2 case (which should make it crystal clear that we have won), and

2 – I wrote an outline of the bigger War that we’re now engaged in. Clearly we have little chance for success if we aren’t aware of what’s going on.

To my knowledge, neither of these Reports has been done elsewhere before — so I hope they both are informative. Please pass them on!

My perspective is: Forewarned is Forearmed.

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

PS — FYI, if our Defense of CO2 is sustained (and it should be), then there are two extraordinary consequences:

a) the worldwide global warming campaign will collapse, and

b) the main justification for renewables will evaporate!

What could be more significant that those two consequences?

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

12 Times Gun Owners Defended Themselves and Others

Many lawmakers around the country welcomed in the new year by pursuing legislation that would severely curtail the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens began 2020 just as they ended 2019—by showing repeatedly just how instrumental that right is to the security of a free state.

According to almost every major study on the issue, Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. Even if we assume the lower end of this range, it means an incredible number of times that Americans relied on the Second Amendment—not government getting there on time—to protect their inalienable rights.

During every month of last year, we highlighted some of the stories of average, everyday Americans who used their guns to protect their lives and livelihoods from criminals.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


The first month of 2020 provided still more examples of citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights in defense of themselves and others. Here are 12:

  • Jan. 1, Dublin, California: A lawful gun owner relied upon his Second Amendment rights to defend his life when an ex-girlfriend and her armed acquaintance assaulted him in his own home. Police said the ex-girlfriend and acquaintance showed up purporting to want some of her possessions back, but instead threatened the resident with a gun. He fired at his two attackers as he fled and called police. The ex-girlfriend was killed, and her acquaintance wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Police determined that the lawful gun owner acted in self-defense. The armed acquaintance was charged with her death under the state’s Provocative Act Doctrine, since he ultimately provoked the violent confrontation.
  • Jan. 4, Columbus, Indiana: A homeowner shot and killed an intruder wielding a baseball bat who broke into his home in the middle of the night. The intruder may have been in the middle of a mental health crisis, as the Department of Veterans Affairs recently had requested that local law enforcement take the man to a hospital, but he refused to go. Neighbors reported that, in the minutes before the shooting, the man was seen walking up and down the street in a highly agitated manner, smashing windows and cursing loudly.
  • Jan. 7, Pascagoula, Mississippi: A man suspected in a string of burglaries picked the wrong house to break into, at the wrong time. The armed homeowner returned in the middle of the morning to find the burglar in his bedroom. The burglar tried to pull his gun, but the homeowner instead shot and killed him.
  • Jan. 10, Dallas: A concealed-carry permit holder was socializing with guests at a home cookout when three armed men attempted to rob them all at gunpoint. The permit holder drew his own handgun and fatally shot one of the robbers. The other two fled.
  • Jan. 11, Tulsa, Oklahoma: A homeowner’s son was asleep in the living room when he was awoken by the family dogs barking at a man on the porch. The man demanded to see his fiancée but was told he had the wrong house and needed to leave. Instead, the man broke into the family’s car, then tried to kick in the back door. The homeowner’s son warned the man multiple times that he was armed and would shoot him if he stepped foot in the house. Nonetheless, the man barged inside. True to his word, the son shot and wounded the man, who retreated and was later arrested.
  • Jan. 12, Pittsburgh: A young father used his handgun to defend himself, his fiancée, and their 10-month-old child after an intruder broke into their apartment and threatened them at gunpoint. The man shot and killed the intruder.
  • Jan. 14, Pierce County, Washington: The driver of a pickup truck began passing cars dangerously on a winding two-lane road, then took offense when another driver honked at him. Police said the pickup driver stopped his truck, halting traffic, then climbed out with a gun, pointing it at the people in the car behind him. A passenger in that car also was armed and ultimately was forced to shoot and kill the pickup driver in defense of himself and those around him.
  • Jan19, Danville, Illinois: When several armed men in ski masks kicked in his door one night, a 31-year-old homeowner defended himself with his handgun, firing multiple rounds at the intruders. One was killed and the others fled, police said.
  • Jan. 22, Warren, Michigan: A young man with a concealed-carry permit was returning home from a late night out at a show when he was accosted on his doorstep by a man with a gun. A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the next harrowing moments: The permit holder drew his gun in self-defense and fired approximately 10 rounds at his would-be attacker. The attacker, wounded, fired back but did not hit the permit holder. About 20 shots were fired, police said, most apparently by the permit holder. Police arrested the intruder.
  • Jan. 24, Cape Coral, Florida: A good Samaritan with a firearm in his truck defended three women from a man who followed them out of a bar in a threatening manner. The women yelled at passing vehicles for help, and the truck driver stopped and allowed the women to take refuge inside as he confronted the aggressive man. The man retreated to his own vehicle when he saw that the truck driver was armed. He then rammed the truck several times while the women were still inside. The truck driver fired a couple of rounds into the tailgate of the man’s vehicle and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Police charged the man with aggravated assault and determined that the truck driver acted in lawful defense of himself and the women.
  • Jan. 27, Brown County, Texas: A 13-year-old boy used the family rifle to protect his grandmother during a domestic violence incident, shooting and wounding a man because he was “fearful that his grandmother was going to be killed,” police said. Investigators said the man was “actively assaulting” the boy’s grandmother and threatened other family members, including a juvenile.
  • Jan. 31, Detroit: A woman shot and wounded a man who broke into her apartment in the middle of the night. A neighbor told reporters that it is a dangerous neighborhood and that there are regularly “gunshots up and down the area.” This time the gunshots were from a law-abiding citizen defending herself against a criminal.

As we noted in closing out 2019, it’s vital that Americans routinely hear these stories.

The “good guy with a gun” is not a myth but an integral part of American society, serving to protect individual liberty and increase public safety.

We all want safe communities, but our focus should be on doing the right thing instead of just doing “something.” The right thing certainly includes protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, who regularly rely on those rights.

COMMENTARY BY

Amy Swearer

Amy Swearer is a senior legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Recent Energy and Environmental News

Our latest Energy & Environmental Newsletter is now available… For the full version of this issue, go here…  To review some of the highlights, see below.

My votes for the most outstanding articles this cycle are:

Plymouth (MA) Board of Health Declares Turbines a Nuisance
Renewable Energy Fairy Tales
US Green Agenda: Nationalize Energy
How the Left is Trying to Kill America
About the slow-mo revolution by the Left
Archive: Is Ideology Becoming America’s Official Religion?
Deceptive Economic Rhetoric At Davos Could Bring Disaster
DIRE WARNING: The EU’s new Taxonomy Regulation
A Climate Blacklist That Works to Make Skeptics Unhirable
The Left’s Doomsday Stories
Climate Not About Controlling The Weather, It’s About Controlling You!
Extinction Rebellion Cofounder Wants To ‘Sabotage’ Civilization
The Left’s Solution to Climate Change: Human Extinction
Foundational Principles of Biblical Earth Stewardship
An autopsy of the climate policy debate’s corpse
Here’s How to Get Out of the Trap Humans Have Put Themselves In
Harsh medicine to fix America’s universities
Chinese: Happy Subjects No More

Greed Energy Economics

Deceptive Economic Rhetoric At Davos Could Bring Disaster
Central banks change global monetary policy to embrace “climate change”
Attack of the carbon counters as business world reduced to tallying emissions
The Bloomberg Family Foundation and the Future of American Energy
Trump’s Environmental Review Reforms Vital for U.S. Economy
Renewable Power Theatre of the Absurd
Wind Energy Feeding at the Government Subsidy Trough for 28 Years!
Wind Giants in Germany Are Not So Keen on Market Rates After All

Wind Energy Health & Ecosystem Impacts

Plymouth (MA) Board of Health Declares Turbines a Nuisance
Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills
Waste Problems for Wind and Solar
Turbines Killing Millions of America’s Bats: Endangered Species Under ThreatFederal Government Moves to Relax Rules Against Killing Birds?
Anglers oppose Lake Erie wind turbine project
Hawaii’s Push For Renewable Energy Could Stall Over Public Opposition
Whales Deafened By Offshore Wind Turbine Noise Die Stranded Onshore

Solar Energy

Much-touted Crescent Dunes solar plant goes bust
Major contractor dramatically quits Australian solar sector

Nuclear Energy

Fungi that eats radiation found inside Chernobyl nuclear reactor
Raising the Next Generation of Nuclear: A Road Map for Deployment
Bringing SMRs to the Pacific Northwest
New US DOE Nuclear Project funding
Archive: Stop Letting Ridiculous Fears Of Nuclear Power Kill The Planet

Natural Gas Energy

Gas Switching Reforming: making Hydrogen to balance variable Wind, Solar
New Mexico Gov credits gas as main driver for state’s budget surplus
Fake News Is Endemic In Environmentalism
CO2, The Big Picture No One on the Fractivist Fringe Can Apparently See

Energy Misc

Renewable Energy Fairy Tales
US Green Agenda: Nationalize Energy
Europe’s Green Deal: Same Hysteria, Same Destruction
DIRE WARNING: The EU’s new Taxonomy Regulation
Green Deal Law To Make EU’s ‘Tectonic’ Energy Shift Irreversible
Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants
U.S. coal plants pinched between economic pressures and inefficient cycling
Alternative Energy Can’t Replace Hydrocarbons
Short video: RGGI Reality
Onshore wind low hanging fruit has already been picked

Manmade Global Warming – Some Deceptions

A Climate Blacklist That Works to Make Skeptics Unhirable
The Left’s Doomsday Stories
Climate Not About Controlling The Weather, It’s About Controlling You!
Climate doomsayers keep putting sell-by dates on their credibility
“Ethically misguided & downright dangerous” NOT to Censor Climate Deniers
A Challenge to Evangelical Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe
Study: Economic Impact of Energy Use Change Caused by Global Warming
Luke-warming: The climate campaign’s cottage industry

Manmade Global Warming – Misc

Excellent Short Video: Real Climate Science
Superior short video: Hide The Decline
Thesis: Climate Change and Marxism
Extinction Rebellion Cofounder Wants To ‘Sabotage’ Civilization
The Left’s Solution to Climate Change: Human Extinction
Foundational Principles of Biblical Earth Stewardship
An autopsy of the climate policy debate’s corpse
Fight climate extremists before they upend society
440 scientific papers last year disputed climate alarmism
Saturation is the Demise of Global Warming CO2 Fakery
Climate Bills Supported by Some House Republicans are Bad Policy
Americans Just Don’t Believe in the ‘Climate Change’ Fairy
Unlike in Europe, the US approach to climate change is actually working

Education Related

Here’s How to Get Out of the Trap Humans Have Put Themselves In
Harsh medicine to fix America’s universities
Christian Colleges Are Worth the Investment
The Myth of the Entrepreneurial University
Rising CO2 levels may hinder cognitive function

Other US Politics and Related

How the Left is Trying to Kill America
About the slow-mo revolution by the Left
Archive: On Destroying America
Archive: The Civil War is Here
Officials warn of growing Chinese threats
President Trump’s State of the Union Address (written)
Short video: The Market Will Set You Free
Short video: Immigration in the US
Short video: The New Way Forward Act

Science and Misc Matters

Archive: Is Ideology Becoming America’s Official Religion?
Chinese: Happy Subjects No More
Coronavirus Death Smog: Is China Burning Thousands of Infected Bodies?
John Hopkins Tracking Information for Worldwide Coronavirus
The Urgent Need for a United States Space Force
Report: Russian satellites tailing advanced US spy satellite
Archive: Sustainable Development — The Evil Facing America
Short Video: What is really happening in Sweden, Greta?
Africa locust invasion may become ‘most devastating plague’ in memory

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)

Rep. Omar: America Causes Floods Around the World

America is awesome. Is there anything we can’t do?

When a butterfly flaps its wings in Michigan, Somalia floods. When a butterfly flaps its wings in Manhattan, Somalia undergoes a civil war between quarreling Islamists. And when a butterfly flaps its wings in Malibu, then Rep. Omar gets elected to the House.

“When you see a Somali refugee or an Iraqi refugee or a Libyan refugee, we often are like ‘this is my neighbor, they must have survived some struggle,’ we don’t ever pause to think ‘what American policy made them come over here?’” she said at a Democracy Now! and Rising Majority event in Washington, D.C., receiving loud applause.

Whenever anyone comes to America, it’s because we did them wrong. That’s why they come here. Like Rep. Omar, for revenge.

“When you see flooding happening in a country abroad and you are urgently raising money for these lives to be saved, you don’t think about, ‘How have I contributed to the climate warming that has led to these floodings and these catastrophes that are taking place abroad?’” Omar said.

How have Omar’s own endless plane trips contributed to these catastrophes? Every time she flies to campaign for Bernie Sanders, another country floods.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Obama judge orders Iraqi interpreters to be brought to US; interpreters have included rapist and ISIS member

Indonesia won’t take back its nearly 700 nationals who joined the Islamic State

UK: Manchester jihad mass murderer used government benefits to buy bomb parts

Afghanistan: Muslims shoot female athlete’s dog, “they said I was a girl and have no right to keep dogs”

Iran’s “Victory” satellite fails to reach orbit: “sometimes life does not go the way we want it to”

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

Why we should be wary of blaming ‘overpopulation’ for the climate crisis

Heather Alberro discusses Dr. Jane Goodall’s recent remarks.


The annual World Economic Forum in Davos brought together representatives from government and business to deliberate how to solve the worsening climate and ecological crisis. The meeting came just as devastating bush fires were abating in Australia. These fires are thought to have killed up to one billion animals and generated a new wave of climate refugees. Yet, as with the COP25 climate talks in Madrid, a sense of urgency, ambition and consensus on what to do next were largely absent in Davos.

But an important debate did surface – that is, the question of who, or what, is to blame for the crisis. Famed primatologist Dr Jane Goodall remarked at the event that human population growth is responsible, and that most environmental problems wouldn’t exist if our numbers were at the levels they were 500 years ago.

This might seem fairly innocuous, but its an argument that has grim implications and is based on a misreading of the underlying causes of the current crises. As these escalate, people must be prepared to challenge and reject the overpopulation argument.

A dangerous distraction

Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb and Donella Meadows’ The Limits to Growth in the late 1960s and early 1970s ignited concerns over the world’s burgeoning human population, and its consequences for natural resources.

The idea that there were simply too many people being born – most of them in the developing world where population growth rates had started to take off – filtered into the arguments of radical environmental groups such as Earth First! Certain factions within the group became notorious for remarks about extreme hunger in regions with burgeoning populations such as Africa – which, though regrettable, could confer environmental benefits through a reduction in human numbers.

In reality, the global human population is not increasing exponentially, but is in fact slowing and predicted to stabilise at around 11 billion by 2100. More importantly, focusing on human numbers obscures the true driver of many of our ecological woes. That is, the waste and inequality generated by modern capitalism and its focus on endless growth and profit accumulation.

The industrial revolution that first married economic growth with burning fossil fuels occurred in 18th-century Britain. The explosion of economic activity that marked the post-war period known as the “Great Acceleration” caused emissions to soar, and it largely took place in the Global North. That’s why richer countries such as the US and UK, which industrialised earlier, bear a bigger burden of responsibility for historical emissions.

In 2018 the planet’s top emitters – North America and China – accounted for nearly half of global CO₂ emissions. In fact, the comparatively high rates of consumption in these regions generate so much more CO₂ than their counterparts in low-income countries that an additional three to four billion people in the latter would hardly make a dent on global emissions.

There’s also the disproportionate impact of corporations to consider. It is suggested that just 20 fossil fuel companies have contributed to one-third of all modern CO₂ emissions, despite industry executives knowing about the science of climate change as early as 1977.

Inequalities in power, wealth and access to resources – not mere numbers – are key drivers of environmental degradation. The consumption of the world’s wealthiest 10% produces up to 50% of the planet’s consumption-based CO₂ emissions, while the poorest half of humanity contributes only 10%. With a mere 26 billionaires now in possession of more wealth than half the world, this trend is likely to continue.

Issues of ecological and social justice cannot be separated from one another. Blaming human population growth – often in poorer regions – risks fuelling a racist backlash and displaces blame from the powerful industries that continue to pollute the atmosphere. Developing regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America often bear the brunt of climate and ecological catastrophes, despite having contributed the least to them.

The problem is extreme inequality, the excessive consumption of the world’s ultra-rich, and a system that prioritises profits over social and ecological well-being. This is where where we should be devoting our attention.The Conversation

COLUMN BY

HEATHER ALBERRO

Heather Alberro, Associate Lecturer/PhD Candidate in Political Ecology, Nottingham Trent University.

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

CLIMATE CHANGE: Two big wins for freedom!

Let’s celebrate two big wins for freedom!

The first was a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in the Juliana, et.al. v. United States. It was ruled that a group of children assembled by climate campaigners from the group “Our Children’s Trust” lacked standing to sue the U.S. government over global warming.

The warming folks hoped this lawsuit might help them bypass all that nettlesome business about sound science, cost benefit analysis and representative democracy by simply having unelected judges foist a radical climate agenda on the American people. Miraculously they didn’t succeed, especially because it was the 9th Circuit that turned them down.

The second involved the Trump EPA rolling out new rules to govern the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act, effectively ending an Obama-era attempt to assert federal power over every muddy puddle in the nation.

As explained by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at a press conference on Thursday, “Today, thanks to our new rule, our nation’s farmers, ranchers, developers, manufacturers and other landowners can finally refocus on providing the food, shelter and other commodities that Americans rely on every day, instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on attorneys and consultants to determine whether waters on their own land fall under the control of the federal government.”

These are indeed important victories on two key issues CFACT has been working on for years.

Margaret Thatcher used to talk about something she called “the Socialist ratchet.”  When the Left had power, they would tighten the screw on individual freedom.  When reformers took charge there might be a pause, but the tension would never let up.  Government’s wrench turned only one way.

When reformers find the rare courage to use that great big government “wrench,” loosen things up, and move our laws and regulations back toward individual choice and freedom, it is time to celebrate!

Take a look at CFACT’s massive archive on both the  Waters of the United States rule and climate change. With your help we’ve sent in petitions, submitted testimony, went on the airwaves, and covered every aspect of these issues and how the Left has been using them to achieve control.

With your help we pushed back and won!

I’d like to call your attention to two of our most recent articles we’ve posted to CFACT.org.

Pete Murphy initiated immediate coverage when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the climate industry’s attempt to use children as pawns for a climate lawsuit.  Can you imagine what a staggering blow it would have been had the courts actually bypassed Congress and taken control of our entire energy sector?

Dr. Jay Lehr wrote a great piece on the importance of EPA’s new rule returning control of our local waters to individuals and the states.  This is a big win for farmers, homeowners and businesses.  The notion that every muddy ditch and puddle in the nation qualifies as the “navigable” waters of the United States, as contemplated by the legislators who wrote the Clean Water Act is absurd.

Rare and precious indeed are the days when freedom advances.

This weekend, let’s raise a glass to the sweet taste of victory.

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

VIDEO: Faulty Assumptions Lead to Fake News About Climate Change

Climate change soon will constitute “a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters,” one government study predicted.

By 2020, according to a report on the study in The Guardian, “abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.”

That was 16 years ago. Now that the year 2020 is upon us, are any of these “doom and gloom” scenarios actually occurring? Far from it.

Indeed, the planet has experienced a bit of lukewarming. However, claims of increases in extreme weather are vastly overstated.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


If anything, societies have been able to grow wealthier over time, and, as a result, have been more capable of weathering the extreme events that have come their way.

In fact, here at home, the economy is thriving. Unemployment remains at historical lows. And by achieving energy independence, we have transformed the global energy landscape.

So where did all this alarmist rhetoric come from? Well, faulty computer modeling is a big part of the explanation. Computer models are sometimes based on assumptions that have been beefed up to satisfy a particular regulatory agenda.

This is part of a new study I published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Economics and Policy Studies with Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, Ontario, and Pat Michaels of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank.

The study examined some of the assumptions made in one model used to estimate the economic effects of climate change. Called the FUND model, it is used to estimate a construct known as the social cost of carbon, which refers to the economic damages associated with carbon dioxide emissions over a particular time horizon.

Unlike other models the government has used before, however, the FUND model actually incorporates benefits of carbon dioxide emissions into its modeling.

All of these computer models are based on assumptions. In this study, we focused on assumptions regarding climate sensitivity as well as agricultural benefits.

Although it long has been understood that carbon dioxide emissions affect temperatures, the question is to what degree (pun intended). We found that updating these assumptions in line with more recent research can have a significant effect on the social cost of carbon.

In fact, under some realistic scenarios of moderate warming, we found that the social cost of carbon is essentially zero and might even be negative. That’s right: The benefits associated with a moderate amount of warming may outweigh the costs. Typically, such benefits result from longer growing seasons and increased agricultural output.

Bottom line: The FUND model, under very reasonable assumptions, indicates that a moderate amount of warming has practically no negative impact and might even be a good thing.

This study is just one of many in a stream of research on the social cost of carbon published by The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. My prior research with colleagues demonstrated that the computer models used to estimate the economic impact of climate change are extremely sensitive to reasonable changes in other assumptions as well.

These assumptions include foolish attempts to make projections 300 years into the future and ignorance of recommendations by the Office of Management and Budget regarding cost-benefit analysis.

In our research, we varied these assumptions by altering the model’s projections in a more reasonable manner, incorporating the OMB’s recommendations for this type of analysis and updating assumptions regarding climate sensitivity.  We found that tweaking these assumptions can reduce the social cost of carbon by as much as 80% or more compared to estimates made by the Obama administration.

Our conclusion:

The Obama administration deliberately beefed up estimates of the social cost of carbon to justify its policy agenda. Ever since, Heritage has advocated that these computer models are so prone to user manipulation that it is not only naïve but dangerous to put them in the hands of lawmakers, regulators, and bureaucrats:

This work has been recognized by Congress as well as both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Yes, statistical models can be useful for understanding real-world phenomena.

Any model, however, is only as a good as the assumptions from which it is composed. Improperly specified models can deceive the public, misguide policymakers, and result in big costs for ordinary Americans.

COMMENTARY BY

Kevin D. Dayaratna specializes in tax, energy and health policy issues as senior statistician and research programmer in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: How Faulty Assumptions in Climate Predictions Could Mean Big Costs for Americans


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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

Some Recent Energy and Environmental News

Our next Energy & Environmental Newsletter is now available… For the full version of this issue, go here…  To review some of the highlights, see below.

My votes for the most outstanding articles this cycle are:

Short video: President Trump’s remarks at Davos
FERC Orders PJM to Expand Minimum Offer Price Rule
Wind power in France: a lie and a swindle?
Iowa cardiologist shares health concerns over wind turbines
Top Solar Execs Plead Guilty to Participating in a Billion $ Ponzi Scheme
Study: Solar can be a net energy loser
Nuclear Waste Recycled into Diamond Batteries with “Near Infinite Power”
The Unexpected Consequences Of Germany’s Anti-Nuclear Push
Gov Cuomo would like to accelerate the race to the bottom
Notes From Meeting at Rockefeller Mansion Shed Light on Climate Politics
A New Road to Serfdom
The ‘Global Citizen’ Fraud
Top Scientist Describes “Global Warming” as Pseudo-Science
Robust Scientific Evidence that Clouds (not CO2) Control Earth’s Climate
Media ‘impartiality’ on climate change is ethically misguided and dangerous

Greed Energy Economics

FERC Orders PJM to Expand Minimum Offer Price Rule
Another perspective on the important FERC ruling
Intermittent & Unreliable Wind & Solar the Greatest Subsidy Scam in History
The Evolution of Electricity Rates
Mnuchin: Greta should study economics
Archive: The Disastrous Economics of 100% Renewables
Rockefeller Fund Behind “Climate Polluters” Lawsuits, etc.

Wind Energy Health & Ecosystem Impacts

Wind power in France: a lie and a swindle?
The Left’s Opposition to Mining Threatens Its Green Dream
Iowa cardiologist shares health concerns over wind turbines
Archive Study: People near turbines report having a lower quality of life
Watch 30 seconds of this video re wind turbine blade toxicit

Solar Energy

Top Solar Execs Plead Guilty to Participating in a Billion $ Ponzi Scheme
Study: Solar can be a net energy loser
The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans
U.S. continues to dump funds into an electrical sinkhole

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Waste Recycled into Diamond Batteries with “Near Infinite Power”
The Unexpected Consequences Of Germany’s Anti-Nuclear Push
Germany’s overdose of renewable energyWorried About Cutting CO2 Emissions? Then Nuclear is the Only Solution
Don’t like CO2? Advanced nuclear power is the answer
Russian Scientists Reveal Plans for Fusion-Fission Reactor

Natural Gas Energy

Epstein Video: Fossil Fuels are Not Mankind’s Enemy
CO2 Emissions Expected to Decline Yet Again. Thank Natural Gas.
Energy Paradoxes Put Europe In a Precarious Position
Note to U.S. Politicians – oil and gas is an International industry
Yale Says Fracking Causes Sexually-Transmitted Infections

Energy Misc

Gov Cuomo would like to accelerate the race to the bottom
Cuomo Proposes Radical Reshaping of Siting Process for Renewable Projects
The Six Energy Paradoxes that slow the sector’s progress
Short Video: BERNing Down America
Imagine A World Without Oil
Economist says Governor is wrong about offshore wind job claims
IEA expects coal consumption to rise through next five years
US House Draft of Climate Change Bill

Manmade Global Warming – Some Deceptions

Top Scientist Describes “Global Warming” as Pseudo-Science
Global warming goals impossible, Nobel laureate tells Swiss paper
Earth’s Climate History: What the Doomsayers Don’t Want Voters to Know
CLINTEL Manifesto blasts climate scaremongering
Worst case emissions climate scenario ‘exceedingly unlikely’
Was 2019 a Hot Year, or Was There Just Lots of Hot Talk?
Archive: The Two-Degree Delusion

Manmade Global Warming – Misc

Notes From Meeting at Rockefeller Mansion Shed Light on Climate Politics Robust Scientific Evidence that Clouds (not CO2) Control Earth’s Climate
Another Of The “Stupidest Litigation” Contenders Dies — But Just Barely
The Taming and Shaming of RCP8.5 – Climate Scientists Carry On As Usual
Climate Serfdom Is No Future, It’s the Road to Destruction
The Physician and ‘Climate Change’
2019 Global Temperatures: Down and Up
Report: CO2 Reduction is a Mass Murder Policy
Why we should be wary of blaming ‘overpopulation’ for the climate crisis
Climate Policies Harm Minorities

Education Related

Californians Turn a Cold Shoulder on Bill Requiring Climate Education
Social Justice Revisionism Comes for Washington and Lee
The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research

President Trump’s Impeachment

After Trump, Whom Will They Impeach Next?
The 10 biggest lies in President Trump’s impeachment trial
Three Lessons of Impeachment
Impeachment, the End of an Era, and the Conservative Challenge
Democrats’ impeachment case: all words, no point

Other US Politics and Related

Short video: President Trump’s remarks at Davos
Ignore the Fake Climate Debate
Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list
Sanders staffer calls for left-wing violence while living lavish lifestyle
Short Video: How to End White Privilege
What’s in Republicans’ new climate-change push
Former CIA Officer On What The ‘Deep State’ Looks Like: Part 1 and Part 2
Report: China cracks down on Christian religious funerals
Time-lapse video shows massive turnout for the 2020 March for Life. (Did you see that in the news?)

Science and Misc Matters

Media ‘impartiality’ on climate change is ethically misguided and dangerous 
A New Road to Serfdom
Rule From Afar By the UN
The ‘Global Citizen’ Fraud
‘Cancel Culture’ Comes to Science
When Science Is Literally under Attack: Ad Hominem Attacks
The Mess That Is Science Publishing
The top 10 FAKE SCIENCE stories of 2019

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)

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

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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.