The Riddle of Climate Change

The Riddle: What climate does climate change change?

The Answer: The political climate of course.

Let me explain.

Pollution and climate change are two separate issues. Environmental pollution is a man-made problem that humans can and should remedy. Taking responsibility for our behavior is a necessary part of civilized life and eliminating environmental horrors like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is something we all need to support. So far so good.

Climate change, on the other hand, is a natural phenomenon that is an intrinsic part of the earth’s environmental history. For the past millions of years the natural climate on Earth has fluctuated between warm periods and ice ages in approximately 100,000 year cycles. 80-90,000 years of ice age are followed by 10-20,000 years of a warm period. 

Climate change was originally called global warming but environmental politicians had to change its name because the earth was embarrassing them by cooling. A rose by any other name is still a rose and so is climate change. The cooling and warming patterns of climate change are a natural, enduring, and ongoing phenomenon. 

It is absurd to insist that man is responsible for changing the earth’s climate so why does the narrative persist? Let’s find out by identifying who the the climate activists are and by determining who benefits from the narrative of man-made climate change. 

Radical leftist political ideologues have taken control of legitimate environmental concerns and torqued them to promote their own agendas. In a previous article titled, “The Humanitarian Hoax of Climate Change: Killing America With Kindness” I explain how the original mission of environmental groups like Greenpeace was abandoned in support of the unscientific politically motivated insistence upon man-made climate change. Greenpeace founding member Dr Patrick Moore unequivocally rejects the pseudo-science being used to support the unsupportable claims of man-made global warming and climate change. 

Why do leftist politicians and environmental lobbyists continue to support their climate change narrative? Because man-made climate change is not scientific – it is a political scheme designed to transfer the wealth of industrialized nations, particularly the United States, to non-industrialized nations. It is globalized socialism where assets of productive countries are confiscated and awarded to non-productive nations using the ruse of “saving the planet.”

America-first President Donald Trump withdrew from Obama’s commitment to the costly anti-American Paris Climate Accord. Americans for Tax Reform reports that the Paris Agreement was the product of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris where Obama committed to reduction goals that would reduce the US GDP by over 2.5 trillion dollars and a shortfall of 400,000 jobs by 2035. Unsurprisingly, President Trump’s withdrawal was loudly criticized by the globalist nations seeking to diminish the manufacturing capabilities of the USA. 

The leftist Democrats recently unveiled their latest scheme to advance their man-made climate change narrative – the economy killing Green New Deal. In a scathing indictment of the plan Investor’s Business calls it enviro-socialism which describes its foundational objective perfectly. Like the Paris Climate Accord, the Green New Deal is designed to be the death knell to free-market capitalism because that is the goal of the leftist Democrats insistence upon man-made climate change.

More doomsday fear mongering is featured in a Breitbart article discussing David Wallace-Wells’ new book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming that predicts there will be 100 million climate refugees by 2050. SERIOUSLY? Wallace-Wells defends his cataclysmic predictions saying that he worked from the worst warming scenario presented by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A stunning Forbes article published 2.5.13 titled, In Their Own Words: Climate Alarmists Debunk Their ’Science’ quotes Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of 2001 and 2007 IPCC report chapters, who admits, “None of the models used by the IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed state.” 

The same Forbes article quotes former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev who “emphasized the importance of using climate alarmism to advance Marxist objectives saying, ‘The threat of environmental crisis will be the international key to unlock the New World Order.’” Gorbachev was referring, of course, to the new world order of an internationalized world community administered under the auspices of the United Nations.

So, what climate does climate change change?

The political climate of course. 

Climate fearmongering advances the international political agenda to internationalize the world into a new world order. Climate alarmism is political science masquerading as environmental science. It is part of the despicable effort to de-industrialize the United States of America and collapse her economy.

Radical leftist Barack Obama, the most anti-American president in US history, pledged to make climate change a second-term priority during his 2013 inaugural address. In an exceedingly condescending message of epic hyperbole he prophesied, “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and powerful storms.”

What made America the freest, wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth was the United States Constitution and free market capitalism. The war against America targets both.   

Obama’s foreign policy willingly subsidized European socialized economies and military readiness through our disproportionate NATO contributions. His parting gift to our enemy Iran was 150 billion US dollars and 1.8 billion more in pallets of cash. Obama’s crushing domestic economic policies deliberately sent businesses and jobs out of the country and increased our welfare rolls. 

Obama utilized the Cloward-Piven political strategy to collapse the US economy by overloading the public welfare system but that still was not enough to do the job. Open borders and climate change policies were required to destroy America’s economy and replace it with socialism.

The Green New Deal is a continuation of the redistribution of American wealth through the United Nations globalization efforts. The UN’s global man-made climate change campaign unfairly targets the United States and ignores Russia, China, and India’s non-compliance. Why? Because the goal of the deceitful campaign is to collapse America’s economy. 

Politics is war.

The next big battle in the war between Americanism and Socialism will be fought in 2020 at the ballot box. War makes strange bedfellows and the radical leftist Democrats have allied themselves with the RINOs and Islamists to bring down America. Here is the problem.

The RINOs are closet globalists who represent the most dangerous element in this unholy anti-American alliance because globalists consider socialism and Islamism to be temporary means to an end. The long term objective of globalism is the New World Order of one world government ruled by the globalist elite of course. 

Socialism promises prosperity and delivers poverty. Islamism promises peace and delivers supremacist religious tyranny. Globalism promises both peace and prosperity but delivers a return to feudalism where a small ruling class has absolute power over a world population of serfs that it rules. 

We the people have the power to reject the radical leftist political climate and make America the freest, wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth again. We can preserve and protect our Constitutional freedom and free market economy by voting for Americanism in 2020.

Make America great again. It is very presidential.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ocasio-Cortez: People Maybe Shouldn’t Reproduce Due To Climate Change

EDITORS NOTE: This Goudsmit Pundicity column is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Obama EPA Regulations Blamed for Closure of 100-Year-Old Coal Plant

A coal-fired power plan that’s operated for more than 100 years is shutting down, and its owners say Obama-era regulations are to blame.

Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas will officially close in April. It’s only the latest coal industry casualty, driven by Environmental Protection Agency regulations and market forces.

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“We recognize that Plant Gorgas and the men and women who have operated it have brought great value to Alabama Power, our customers and the local community,” Jim Heilbron, Alabama Power’s senior vice president, said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“We are also concerned that more regulations are on the horizon that could require additional, costly expenditures at the plant,” Heilbron said.

Heilbron said federal regulations for handling coal ash and wastewater made it too costly to continue operating Plant Gorgas. Those regulations were put in place under the Obama administration.

Coal plant retirements spiked during former President Barack Obama’s time in office as his administration put in place costly regulations amid a boom in natural gas production. Low natural gas prices have persisted, putting more pressure on coal plants facing high compliance costs.

Obama-era regulations for wastewater, for example, were estimated to cost coal operators $2.5 billion a year, though utilities said EPA vastly underestimated compliance costs.

The Trump administration put the wastewater rule under review in 2017, but nothing seems to have happened since. Trump’s EPA put the rule under review in response to a petition from utilities.

Alabama Power estimates it would cost $300 million to comply with federal environmental regulations and keep its three remaining coal-fired generators running. Plant Gorgas has been in operation since 1917.

The company said closing down Plant Gorgas would not impact reliability, and that federal regulations are forcing them to take a hard look at their power portfolio.

“Alabama Power is focused on providing our customers reliable, affordable electricity while protecting the environment we all share,” Heilbron said.

The effects of Plant Gorgas’ closure will likely ripple upstream to its suppliers. More than half of U.S. coal mines have closed since 2008 as coal plants close their doors and suppress demand.

COLUMN BY

Mike Bastasch

Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @MikeBastasch.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured image is by Pixabay.

The True Meaning of That Green New Deal

It would be easy to dismiss the Green New Deal as an impossible progressive dream, but that would be a mistake.

The Green New Deal is not the bucket list of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow travelers, but a blueprint to turn America into a socialist state. It is the culmination of a 90-year campaign, begun with FDR and the first New Deal.

“The first obligation of government is the protection of the welfare and well-being, indeed the very existence, of its citizens,” presidential nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt said at the 1932 Democratic National Convention.

Roosevelt said that in the depths of the Great Depression. In electing him, a panicky American people, faced with 25 percent unemployment, a plummeting stock market, and cashless banks, accepted a new leading role for the federal government after 150 years of free markets and representative democracy.

Since then, successive waves of progressives have worked to expand and extend the government through Harry Truman’s Fair Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, Bill Clinton’s Third Way, and Barack Obama’s transformative Obamacare. The only president who sought to reverse the swing to socialism was Ronald Reagan, and even he said he would not attempt to do away with the New Deal.

Sponsors of the Green New Deal—including Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.—list these goals: Phase out conventional fuels (that is, oil, natural gas, and coal) by 2030, only a decade from now; implement a federal jobs guarantee; retrofit all U.S. buildings; overhaul transportation with high-speed rail; and provide universal health care.

Scant mention is made of the cost of this radical “retrofit” of America and who would pay for it. It’s easy being green when all you have to do is pick other people’s pockets.       

No wonder that, according to one poll, half of millennials say they would prefer to live under socialism rather than capitalism. Entitlement is all they and their parents and their grandparents have known. They think they are entitled to a free education, free health care, a job whether they want one or not, subsidized housing, and (who knows?) free pot.

No one has bothered to teach millennials the lessons of socialism, such as the tragic story of Venezuela. Once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, it is now ravaged by runaway inflation and massive government corruption and ruled with an iron fist by a socialist dictator.

No one has bothered to teach millennials about the miracle of India, which has switched from a broken socialist system to an expanding, neocapitalist economy that has created a middle class of 300 million, the largest in the free world.

No one has bothered to teach millennials the first law of socialism—abolish private property. So, millennials, hand over your iPhone and iPad.

No one has bothered to teach young Americans that the second law of socialism is that religion is an opiate of the people and will be terminated. Instead, you will be obliged to worship Big Brother.

No one has bothered to teach millennials that neither Denmark nor Sweden is a socialist country, but have put their industries in the hands of entrepreneurs who live by the rules of a free market economy.

The Green New Deal is a direct threat to the American spirit, which would be transformed irretrievably if it became law. But its introduction as a nonbinding resolution in Congress represents an opportunity to promote the American spirit.

As Ed Feulner and Brian Tracy wrote, in 1776 the American spirit—courageous, optimistic, enterprising, devout, generous, and devoted to liberty—gave rise to a novus ordo seclorum, a “new order for the ages” that allowed ordinary men and women to chart their own destiny. 

As it was then so it is now, if Americans are willing to accept their destiny.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Lee Edwards

Lee Edwards

Lee Edwards is the distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. A leading historian of American conservatism, Edwards has published 25 books, including “Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty.”

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The Green New Deal Mirrors Mao’s Great Leap Forward

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Facebook page.

The Green New Deal Mirrors Mao’s Great Leap Forward

The Mises Institute’s William L. Anderson published an article titled “AOC and the Green Great Leap Forward.” Anderson wrote:

When Baby Boomers were in college a half-century ago, many saw Mao as their political hero, a man with great vision who had the political will to do what was necessary to advance the fortunes of his own people. That he was a murderous tyrant who presided over mass death that exceeded even the killings of World War II was irrelevant or even ignored.

Today, we are told by her adoring press that Alexandria Occasio-Cortez is the New Visionary, a person who is far-seeing and knows what we have to do in order to survive the coming consequences of climate change. That her grand vision is little more than a mass-depopulation scheme is ignored, and we ignore it at our peril.

I believe that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a clear and present danger to our Constitutional Republican form of government.

The Great Leap Forward

It is important to understand history in order to realize how dangerous the Green New Deal is. Let’s look at the last time this type of massive government reorganization of society happened. It was tried in China under Mao Zedong. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Overall, the radicalization of policy that led to the Great Leap Forward can be traced back to the anti-rightist campaign of 1957 and a major meeting of China’s leaders at the resort city of Qingdao in October of that year. 

In the Encyclopedia Britannica’s study of the Great Leap Forward found:

[I]n Chinese history, the campaign undertaken by the Chinese communists between 1958 and early 1960 to organize its vast population, especially in large-scale rural communes, to meet China’s industrial and agricultural problems. The Chinese hoped to develop labour-intensive methods of industrialization, which would emphasize manpower rather than machines and capital expenditure. Thereby, it was hoped, the country could bypass the slow, more typical process of industrialization through gradual accumulation of capital and purchase of heavy machinery. The Great Leap Forward approach was epitomized by the development of small backyard steel furnaces in every village and urban neighbourhood, which were intended to accelerate the industrialization process.

[ … ]

After intense debate, it was decided that agriculture and industry could be developed at the same time by changing people’s working habits and relying on labour rather than machine-centred industrial processes. An experimental commune was established in the north-central province of Henan early in 1958, and the system soon spread throughout the country.

Under the commune system, agricultural and political decisions were decentralized, and ideological purity rather than expertise was emphasized. 

What were the outcomes of the Great Leap Forward?

Encyclopedia Britannica’s study of the Great Leap Forward found:

The program was implemented with such haste by overzealous cadres that implements were often melted to make steel in the backyard furnaces, and many farm animals were slaughtered by discontented peasants. These errors in implementation were made worse by a series of natural disasters and the withdrawal of Soviet support. The inefficiency of the communes and the large-scale diversion of farm labour into small-scale industry disrupted China’s agriculture seriously, and three consecutive years of natural calamities added to what quickly turned into a national disaster; in all, about 20 million people were estimated to have died of starvation between 1959 and 1962.

This breakdown of the Chinese economy caused the government to begin to repeal the Great Leap Forward program by early 1960. 

In an article titled “AOC’s Green New Deal Is a U.S. Version of Mao’s Disastrous Great Leap Forward” the Foundation for Economic Education’s Dr. William Anderson, a Professor of Economics at Frostburg State University, wrote:

In what its supporters have claimed is “visionary,” congressional media darling Alexandria Occasio-Cortez (AOC) has released her short-awaited Green New Deal, and she has called for nothing short of the destruction of life as we have known it:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she has no qualms about acknowledging a so-called “Green New Deal” will mean unprecedented governmental intrusion into the private sector. Appearing on NPR, she was asked if she’s prepared to tell Americans outright that her plans involve “massive government intervention.”

We cannot predict what would be the outcome if the Green New Deal Resolution was fully implemented. What we can say is it would require a massive government takeover of all means of production with the stated goal of “saving the planet.”

As George Santayana wrote, ” “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

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Great Leap Forward

AOC’s Green New Deal Is a U.S. Version of Mao’s Disastrous Great Leap Forward

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Alfonso Castro on Unsplash.

AOC’s Green New Deal Is a U.S. Version of Mao’s Disastrous Great Leap Forward

Support for this proposal demonstrates a profound ignorance of even basic economic concepts.

In what its supporters have claimed is “visionary,” congressional media darling Alexandria Occasio-Cortez (AOC) has released her short-awaited Green New Deal, and she has called for nothing short of the destruction of life as we have known it:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she has no qualms about acknowledging a so-called “Green New Deal” will mean unprecedented governmental intrusion into the private sector. Appearing on NPR, she was asked if she’s prepared to tell Americans outright that her plans involve “massive government intervention.”

On one level, AOC is being honest; such a plan would be unprecedented, at least in the United States, but it would hardly be the first government-led massive intrusion into a nation’s economy. The 20th century was full of such intervention, beginning with World War I and continuing through the years of communist governments. The century was full of intervention, and the earth was full of the dead bodies to prove it. What AOC and her political allies, including most Democrats that have declared they will run for the U.S. presidency, are demanding is the U.S. version of Mao’s utterly-disastrous Great Leap Forward.

For all of the so-called specifics, the Green New Deal (GND) reads like a socialist website that is full of rhetoric, promises, and statements that assume a bunch of planners sitting around tables can replicate a complex economy that feeds, transports, and houses hundreds of millions of people. The New York Times declares the plan to give “substance to an idea that had been a mostly vague rallying cry for a stimulus package around climate change, but its prospects are uncertain.”

Actually, there is nothing we can call “substance” in this proposal if we mean “substance” to be a realistic understanding that it would be impossible to redirect via central planning nearly every factor of production in the U.S. economy from one set of uses to another, since that is what the proposed legislation actually requires. For example, the following is what AOC and others call the “scope” of the proposed law:

(A) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed with the objective of reaching the following outcomes within the target window of 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:

  1. Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources;
  2. Building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
  3. Upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
  4. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;
  5. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;
  6. Funding massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases;
  7. Making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.

It is hard to know where to begin in analyzing such an ambitious plan, especially when one understands the ramifications of what is in this bill. No doubt, many will believe it to be bold and long overdue. The CNN website breathlessly declares:

Public investments should prioritize what the resolution calls “frontline and vulnerable communities,” which include people in rural and de-industrialized areas as well as those that depend on carbon-intensive industries like oil and gas extraction.

And in a move that may draw support from a broad range of advocacy groups, the resolution sweeps in the full range of progressive policy priorities: Providing universal healthcare and affordable housing, ensuring that all jobs have union protections and family-sustaining wages, and keeping the business environment free of monopolistic competition.

However, CNN adds that the specifics—paying for the whole thing—are not included, at least not yet. In addition, the news organization adds the following for those worried that the entire operation might prove to be prohibitively costly:

… the New Dealers argue that a federally funded energy transition would stimulate growth by providing jobs, improving public health, and reducing waste. In addition, they argue that the government could capture more return on investment by retaining equity stakes in the projects they build.

In other words, this whole operation allegedly will generate so much new wealth that it will pay for itself, lift millions from poverty, and transform the entire U.S. economy. The plan is so generous that it promises, according to the Democrat’s press release, that even people who refuse to work will still be provided a “living wage” income.

The plan also is famous not only for what it purports to create (outright utopia) but also what it calls to ban: cows and airlines. The plan calls for phasing out air travel within a decade to be replaced by a network of high-speed rails, as though this were even feasible. Cows, as the released document acknowledges, have flatulence, so they must be totally eliminated from the earth and meat from the U.S. diet, but there is nothing to address the massive disruption to life as we know it in order to implement such a plan.

Not surprisingly, The Atlantic is nearly breathless with praise for this monstrosity, but even that publication admits that the scale of AOC’s “vision” is beyond anything we have ever seen before:

Yet even in broad language, the resolution clearly describes a transformation that would leave virtually no sector of the economy untouched. A Green New Deal would direct new solar farms to bloom in the desert, new high-speed rail lines to crisscross the Plains, and squadrons of construction workers to insulate and weatherize buildings from Florida to Alaska. It would guarantee every American a job that pays a “family-sustaining wage,” codify paid family leave, and strengthen union law nationwide.

To be honest, “untouched” is not the appropriate term here, as “smashed” or “destroyed” is much more accurate and descriptive. We are not speaking of ordinary government intervention that marks most of the U.S. economy but does allow for something of a price system to continue to exist. Instead, something of this magnitude would require a complete government takeover with central planning on a scale so huge that it would have to surpass the grandest dreams of the old Soviet Gosplan.

One of the most-asked questions, of course, is: “How do we pay for this?” Perhaps it is natural to ask such things, but we are not speaking of a particular project for which we have to purchase materials and pay those who create it. Instead, this plan would simply redirect nearly every resource, almost all labor, and every other factor of production away from current uses to something as determined by government planners and overlords. There is no other accurate way to describe what we are seeing.

The resolution naively assumes that all that needs to be done is for government to “finance” these projects through huge increases in taxes, borrowing, and (of course) printing money, and that such infusions of money will enable the government to “pay” for all of these new projects as though one were building a new skyscraper in Manhattan:

  • Many will say, “Massive government investment! How in the world can we pay for this?” The answer is: In the same ways we paid for the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs, the same ways we paid for World War II and many other wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments, new public banks can be created (as in WWII) to extend credit, and a combination of various taxation tools (including taxes on carbon and other emissions and progressive wealth taxes) can be employed.
  • In addition to traditional debt tools, there is also a space for the government to take an equity role in projects, as several government and government-affiliated institutions already do.

Such statements demonstrate a profound ignorance of even basic economic concepts. The authors and supporters of this document believe that all it will take is for the government to direct massive amounts of money toward these new projects, and everything else will fall into line. But that is not even close to reality, as the only way to redirect such massive amounts of money would be to use force, and deadly force at that.

First, and most important, much of the present capital in the USA is geared toward the kind of economy that AOC and the Democrats demand be made illegal, so huge swaths of the capital stock would have to be abandoned, as little of it could be redirected elsewhere. One cannot overestimate the kind of financial damage that would cause, and it would impoverish much of the country almost overnight.

Second, the entire economy would be required to pivot toward capital development that would not be possible, given current technologies and opportunity costs, to create, especially in the 10-year time frame the Democrats are demanding. Diverting new streams of finance toward such projects would be useless and even counterproductive, as the system simply would be overwhelmed. It would not be long before scarcity itself would mean that entire projects either would be stalled (like what we see with the infamous “Bullet Train” in California) or even abandoned. The human cost alone would be staggering.

As pointed out at the beginning of this article, for all of the “grand vision” rhetoric that accompanies the rollout of the AOC plan, this is nothing less than an attempt to re-implement Mao’s Great Leap Forward, albeit with high-speed rails instead of backyard steel mills. One cannot overestimate the disaster that would follow if this were forced upon the American economy.

So-called political visionaries rarely are willing to be truthful about the destruction that follows their schemes. When Baby Boomers were in college a half-century ago, many saw Mao as their political hero, a man with great vision who had the political will to do what was necessary to advance the fortunes of his own people. That he was a murderous tyrant who presided over mass death that exceeded even the killings of World War II was irrelevant or even ignored.

Today, we are told by her adoring press that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the New Visionary, a person who is far-seeing and knows what we have to do in order to survive the coming consequences of climate change. That her grand vision is little more than a mass-depopulation scheme is ignored, and we ignore it at our peril.

This article was reprinted from the Mises Institute.

COLUMN BY

William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson

Dr. William Anderson is Professor of Economics at Frostburg State University. He holds a Ph.D in Economics from Auburn University. He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

New Congress Members Support Green New Deal

This opinion originally appeared in the Detroit News on February 13, 2019. 

Right before Election Day a Gallup poll ranked voters’ top concerns: number one was healthcare (a major issue for 80 percent), followed by the economy and immigration (both at 78 percent). The rest of the list trickled down through sexism, guns, taxes, foreign policy, trade, Brett Kavanaugh, etc. Way down in 11th place out of 12 spots there was “climate change.”

The new Congress was elected by Americans whose biggest concerns (healthcare, economy, taxes) revolved around goosing a growing economy to thrive even more. But a radical agenda to rip up that economy and start over is guiding 73 members of Congress – including Michigan’s Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) – who co-sponsored the so-called “Green New Deal.”

Who got them thinking this way? Talking points released by the proposal’s sponsor declare its goals for just the next ten years to be upgrading or replacing “every building” in the United States, replacing “every combustion-engine vehicle,” and even beginning the process of eliminating air travel and “farting cows.”

The sticker price for what is described as a “massive transformation of the economy” is not provided, but there is an admission that to “pour all the resources” of “every billionaire and company” into this agenda still won’t pay for it.

It has more in common with Mao Zedong’s ruinous Great Leap Forward than FDR’s New Deal.

It is impossible to know what this “Green Leap Forward” will cost to accomplish the impossible, but we can we affix a price to what was paid to get an otherwise practical nation discussing a Maoist fantasy. The estimate starts at around $100 million—in campaign cash. And, we also know who paid the big bucks to turn this into a priority for Michigan.

Four left-wing political action committees plunked down a combined total of $99 million to get their candidates elected to Congress last year. For example, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is a supporter of the Green New Deal. Michigan’s Levin and Tlaib are two of the 56 brand-new U.S. Representatives the LCV describes as its “environmental champions.” The Center for Responsive Politics reports the LCV Victory Fund spent $28.9 million on the 2018 midterm election. Those 56 freshmen are a potentially influential caucus promoting the Green New Deal in a chamber Democrats control by fewer than 20 seats.

NextGen Climate Action and the Sierra Club also support the Green New Deal. NextGen Climate Action Committee, run by leftist billionaire Tom Steyer, spent $63.8 million on federal politics last year, aimed at the same priorities LCV was promoting. Similarly, the Sierra Club’s political committee ponied up $1.5 million.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) says the Green New Deal is an “important step forward.” EDF’s Environmental Defense Action Fund chipped in $4.8 million to win eleven House and two Senate seats for Democrats.

And this is just the political spending. EDF is also an educational non-profit that spends more than $100 million per year advocating for the same policies as the candidates explicitly boosted by its political action committee.

Similarly, the Sierra Club Foundation spends more than $50 million annually, the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund $10 million per year, and Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate America adds another $3 million annually. All together that’s likely another $300 million or more spent over the last two years.

A month into the new Congress they’re well on the way to getting what their $400 million-plus investment paid for.

But is this what Michigan voted for?

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for InfluenceWatch.org and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…+ MORE BY KEN BRAUN

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EDITORS NOTE: This CRC column with images is republished with permission.

Science is Falsifiable. Take Climate Change As An Example.

The Clear Energy Alliance produced the below video on global warming stating:

In order to know if a theory could be true, there must be a way to prove it to be false. Unfortunately, many climate change scientists, the media and activists are ignoring this cornerstone of science. In this bizarre new world, all unwelcome climate events are caused by climate change. But as legendary scientific philosopher Karl Popper noted, “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing.” Guest host Marc Morano explains.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Global Warming Theory Scientific?

EDITORS NOTE: This video by Clear Energy Alliance is republished from their YouTube channel. The featured image is from Pixabay.

Energy & Environmental News

Again a cycle with a lot of news: Energy and Environmental Newsletter.

A continued very hot topic is the Green New Deal proposed by US Progressives. There is a separate section in the full Newsletter that addresses it. Here are some good commentaries from that collection:

The 10 Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a leftist politician’s worst enemyGreen New Deal: The Devil Is in the Details

Green New Deal: Looks Like A Dem Parody Bill

The Green New Deal is a Prescription for Poverty

Green New Deal Would Be a Giant Leap on the Road to Serfdom

Study: Internal Contradictions of the Green New Deal

Some of the other more interesting Energy related articles are:

Bill Gates about the foolishness of renewables

Short Anti-wind video by Ohio citizens

Study: The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the gridEvolution of Electricity Rates

New Huge Study: Wind Turbines Devalue nearby Homes

Abstracts for upcoming 8th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise

PhD Letter re Turbine Health Impacts

German citizen anti-wind effort results in installations slump

Electoral Platitudes = Energy Truama for Citizens

Goodbye to a misguided war on coal

Hot Day in Australia results in massive blackoutsWind + Natural Gas

Study: Grid Scale Electricity Storage Can’t Save Renewables

Some of the more informative Global Warming articles are:

Physicist: Don’t fall for the argument about ‘settled science’

Greenhouse-warming theory does not appear to even be physically possible

Revised: Deficiencies In the IPCC’s SR15 Special Report

Stop The Climate Stupidity

Why the Left Loves and Hates Science

The Three Major Problems with a Carbon Tax

Three New Studies: Sea Level Rise Whiplash

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone. Some documents (e.g. PDFs) are easier to read on a computer. We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize issues.
Note 2: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy and environmental issues… As always, please pass this on to open-minded citizens, and link to this 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 3: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. The most important page there is the Winning page.
Note 4: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or our 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.

There’s Not A Damn Thing Mankind Can Do to Change The Climate!

I have learned three absolutes about the climate from former White House space program adviser, consultant to NASA, and space shuttle engineer John Casey, the author of Dark Winter,

  1. The climate changes.
  2. These changes in the climate follow naturally recurring cycles.
  3. There is noting mankind can do to change these naturally recurring cycles.

QUESTION: If mankind cannot control the weather, a subset of the climate, then why does anyone believe mankind can control the climate?

The New Green Deal


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Socialist Democrat-NY) Photo; Facebook.

Having said this, Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes that government can control the climate. Ocasio-Cortez is so sure that she has drafted a Green New Deal resolution to address the “impending disaster” of climate change.

Click here to see a screen shot of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal website (which she has since taken down).

This Green New Deal resolution includes:

  1. (C) meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including— (i) by dramatically expanding and up grading renewable power sources; and (ii) by deploying new capacity;
  2. (E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;
  3. (H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in— (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and (iii) high-speed rail;
  4. (G) ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition;
  5. (H) guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;
  6. (I) strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;
  7. (O) providing all people of the United States with— (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.

The Green New Deal is a massive government takeover of every aspect of the U.S. economy and individual choice: from wages and benefits, to healthcare, to unionizing all jobs, to housing, to controls on all water and food supplies, to transportation, to energy supplies. Each of these areas, and more, would be 100% under the control of the federal government should the New Green Deal become law.

The Green New Deal is Socialism on steroids.

A new Utopian society remade in the name of saving the planet.

Where Communists want to control the means of production, socialists, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, want to regulate the means of production.

Everything would be subject to government approval, government control, government regulation and government over site. Life itself would be at the whim of government bureaucrats. If you are deemed not productive then you become useless to society and harm the planet. Therefore, you must be eliminated.

All of the key features of the New Green Deal are already available via the free and open market system. What the New Green Deal does not allow is individuals to choose life, liberty and their own pursuit of happiness. Thinking is no longer tolerated, obeying is the new mantra.

Leon Trotsky wrote:

“In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.”

Under the New Green Deal all decisions about all aspects of human life and living would shift from individual choice to government mandates.

Under the New Green Deal the employer is the State!

Read the Green New Deal resolution.

RELATED ARTICLES:

There’s Nothing New About the Green New Deal

California’s High-Speed Rail Failure Shows the Insanity of Green New Deal

RELATED VIDEO: Climate Change: What’s So Alarming?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash.

Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the Marie Antoinette of the Democratic Party?

In the 1930s Stefan Zweig wrote this about Marie Antoinette, “perhaps the most signal example in history of the way in which destiny will at times pluck a mediocre human being from obscurity and, with commanding hand, force the man or woman in question to overstep the bounds of mediocrity.”


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Socialist Democrat-NY) Photo; Facebook.

Fast forward to 2018 and the unexpected election of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Socialist Democrat-NY).

Ocasio-Cortez was certainly plucked from obscurity. The question: Is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mediocre (of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance)?

Like the young Marie Antoinette, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is beloved by the Socialists in the Democratic Party. This makes her, like Marie Antoinette, a very dangerous person.

Marie Antoinette’s fairy tale turned into a tragedy when the French Revolutionary people’s court condemned her to death and she was executed just two weeks shy of her 38th birthday, when the guillotine sliced off her head.

In Smithsonian Magazine Richard Covington wrote:

Marie Antoinette would likely have been perfectly happy to have played only a ceremonial part as queen. But Louis’ weakness forced her to take a more dominant role—for which the French people could not forgive her. Cartoons depicted her as a harpy trampling the constitution. She was blamed for bankrupting the country, when others in the high-spending, lavish court bore equal responsibility. Ultimately, she was condemned simply for being Louis’ wife and a symbol of tyranny. 

Unlike Marie Antoinette, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken upon herself a dominant role in public policy with her “Green New Deal.” Many look at this, 10 year “Green New Deal” plan to save the planet from destruction from climate change, as trampling the U.S. Constitution and ultimately bankrupting the United States of America. A lavish Democratic Party policy initiative that will cost the American taxpayers trillions of dollars.

Via Americans for Tax Reform:

This morning, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released an overview of her “Green New Deal” which threatens “a massive transformation of our society.”

Below are the details of the proposal.

Rebuild every single building in the U.S.

“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”

Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.

The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.

“It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

Build trains across oceans and end all air travel!

“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”.

Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead!

“We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”

Mandates all new jobs be unionized.

“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”

May include a carbon tax.

“We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal.”

May include cap and trade.

“…Cap and trade may be a tiny part of the larger Green New Deal plan.”

How much will it cost?

No estimate of the total cost of implementing the Green New deal is offered by Ocasio-Cortez.

In a GRABIE NEWS column titled “Ocasio-Cortez: Fixing Global Warming Requires ‘Massive Government Intervention’” Tom Elliott writes:

Democrats’ plans to counteract climate change will involve “massive government intervention” into Americans’ lives, one of the chief proponents admitted in an interview Thursday morning.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she has no qualms about acknowledging a so-called “Green New Deal” will mean unprecedented governmental intrusion into the private sector. Appearing on NPR, she was asked if she’s prepared to tell Americans outright that her plans involve “massive government intervention.”

Elliott noted, “In her weekly press conference today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ducked two questions on the more radical components over Ocasio-Cortez’s plan. Asked twice about remodeling every building in the United States, as the plan calls for, Pelosi said, “I haven’t seen it,” before ending the press conference.” [Video]

Will Ocasio-Cortez’s New Green Deal be the Socialist straw that breaks the back of the Democratic Party? Will Democrats face a political guillotine, slicing off their collectivist heads in 2020 and ensuring that Donald J. Trump gets a second term with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress?

Time will tell.

As President Trump stated in his State of the Union address:

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country.  America was founded on liberty and independence –- not government coercion, domination, and control.  We are born free, and we will stay free.  Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Washington Post Calls Ocasio-Cortez’s Claim of ‘Doctored’ Green New Deal Documents ‘Misleading’

Green New Deal: “Air Travel Stops Becoming Necessary”

Here’s Every Democrat Who Supports Ocasio-Cortez’s Crazy “Green New Deal”

State of the climate

In delivering his State of the Union before a joint session of Congress last night, President Trump spoke about the nation’s burgeoning economy, strong national defense, and improved opportunities being opening up for the poor and middle class.

One thing he didn’t mention, however, was climate change. And that put CNN’s John King into a tizzy:

“Every leader, whatever his party should be talking about climate change. You can have a debate about what to do about it. But that the President of the United States, at this moment in the world, did not mention climate change in even a sentence is, just frankly, a disgrace.”

Of course, global warming was dutifully mentioned in the Democratic response to the President’s speech. It was, to be sure, a throw away line. All Georgia’s Stacey Adam’s simply said was: “We can do more, [like] take action on climate change.” Apparently that was enough for Mr. King to praise her as delivering the “best response” he ever heard.

Other Democrats were similarly put off by the President’s attack on socialism. After denouncing the Venezuela’s authoritarian government, Trump boldly proclaimed, “We will never be a socialist country.”

It was a good line. A great line. It brought almost everyone, even Nancy Pelosi, to their feet.

Not, however, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She remained plopped down. Frozen. “Is this a campaign stop or a State of the Union?” she would later chirp to a reporter. As for the President’s “socialism” remarks, “I thought it was great – I think he’s scared.”

One doesn’t have to read between the lines to understand the Democrats are not happy today. The president scored well last night. They are left to nit pick.

They are right about one thing though: No, the president didn’t directly mention “global warming.” Perhaps he should have. Of course, not in the manner the Greens would suppose.

It might have been nice if the President mentioned how he saved America from the disastrous Paris Accord, redirected priorities away from enforcing senseless climate regs that hamper businesses and our military, and steered the EPA away from imposing costly rules that would have shuttered countless energy plants, lost jobs, and driven up prices. These are indeed noteworthy achievements, we believe, but probably wouldn’t have earned him any additional good will from across the aisle.

The truth is the president did talk about the environment, albeit indirectly. How so? By letting us all know how well America’s economy is humming along.

The fact of the matter is that a growing economy is good news for the environment. Countries which have full employment, robust economic growth and provide law and order are precisely the ones that can best furnish for their citizens clean air and water. Socialistic countries like Cuba, Venezuela, China and the former Soviet Union stand as rich examples of the opposite.

The President, by pushing America’s economy to perform better through tax cuts, less regulation, and unleashing our energy potential, is doing more than his predecessor did in helping us keep America’s environment better protected.

If only Mr. King and Ms. Cortez had a clue.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column with images is republished with permission.

Climate modeling illusions

By Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr

For the past three decades, human-caused global warming alarmists have tried to frighten the public with stories of doom and gloom. They tell us the end of the world as we know it is nigh because of carbon dioxide emitted into the air by burning fossil fuels.

They are exercising precisely what journalist H. L. Mencken described early in the last century: “The whole point of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The dangerous human-caused climate change scare may well be the best hobgoblin ever conceived. It has half the world clamoring to be led to safety from a threat for which there is not a shred of meaningful physical evidence that climate fluctuations and weather events we are experiencing today are different from, or worse than, what our near and distant ancestors had to deal with – or are human-caused.

Many of the statements issued to support these fear-mongering claims are presented in the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 1,656-page report released in late November. But none of their claims have any basis in real world observations. All that supports them are mathematical equations presented as accurate, reliable models of Earth’s climate.

It is important to properly understand these models, since they are the only basis for the climate scare.

Before we construct buildings or airplanes, we make physical, small-scale models and test them against stresses and performance that will be required of them when they are actually built. When dealing with systems that are largely (or entirely) beyond our control – such as climate – we try to describe them with mathematical equations. By altering the values of the variables in these equations, we can see how the outcomes are affected. This is called sensitivity testing, the very best use of mathematical models.

However, today’s climate models account for only a handful of the hundreds of variables that are known to affect Earth’s climate, and many of the values inserted for the variables they do use are little more than guesses. Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Laboratory lists the six most important variables in any climate model:

1) Sun-Earth orbital dynamics and their relative positions and motions with respect to other planets in the solar system;

2) Charged particles output from the Sun (solar wind) and modulation of the incoming cosmic rays from the galaxy at large;

3) How clouds influence climate, both blocking some incoming rays/heat and trapping some of the warmth;

4) Distribution of sunlight intercepted in the atmosphere and near the Earth’s surface;

5) The way in which the oceans and land masses store, affect and distribute incoming solar energy;

6) How the biosphere reacts to all these various climate drivers.

Soon concludes that, even if the equations to describe these interactive systems were known and properly included in computer models (they are not), it would still not be possible to compute future climate states in any meaningful way. This is because it would take longer for even the world’s most advanced super-computers to calculate future climate than it would take for the climate to unfold in the real world.

So we could compute the climate (or Earth’s multiple sub-climates) for 40 years from now, but it would take more than 40 years for the models to make that computation.

Although governments have funded more than one hundred efforts to model the climate for the better part of three decades, with the exception of one Russian model which was fully “tuned” to and accidentally matched observational data, not one accurately “predicted” (hindcasted) the known past. Their average prediction is now a full 1 degree F above what satellites and weather balloons actually measured.

In his February 2, 2016 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology, University of Alabama-Huntsville climatologist Dr. John Christy compared the results of atmospheric temperatures as depicted by the average of 102 climate models with observations from satellites and balloon measurements. He concluded: “These models failed at the simple test of telling us ‘what’ has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to ‘what’ may happen in the future and ‘why.’ As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”

Similarly, when Christopher Monckton tested the IPCC approach in a paper published by the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, he convincingly demonstrated that official predictions of global warming had been overstated threefold. (Monckton holds several awards for his climate work.)

The paper has been downloaded 12 times more often than any other paper in the entire 60-year archive of that distinguished journal. Monckton’s team of eminent climate scientists is now putting the final touches on a paper proving definitively that – instead of the officially-predicted 3.3 degrees Celsius (5.5 F) warming for every doubling of COlevels – there will be only 1.1 degrees C of warming. At a vital point in their calculations, climatologists had neglected to take account of the fact that the Sun is shining!

All problems can be viewed as having five stages: observation, modeling, prediction, verification and validation. Apollo team meteorologist Tom Wysmuller explains: “Verification involves seeing if predictions actually happen, and validation checks to see if the prediction is something other than random correlation. Recent CO2 rise correlating with industrial age warming is an example on point that came to mind.”

As Science and Environmental Policy Project president Ken Haapala notes, “the global climate models relied upon by the IPCC [the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and the USGCRP [United States Global Change Research Program] have not been verified and validated.”

An important reason to discount climate models is their lack of testing against historical data. If one enters the correct data for a 1920 Model A, automotive modeling software used to develop a 2020 Ferrari should predict the performance of a 1920 Model A with reasonable accuracy. And it will.

But no climate models relied on by the IPCC (or any other model, for that matter) has applied the initial conditions of 1900 and forecast the Dust Bowl of the 1930s – never mind an accurate prediction of the climate in 2000 or 2015. Given the complete lack of testable results, we must conclude that these models have more in common with the “Magic 8 Ball” game than with any scientifically based process.

While one of the most active areas for mathematical modeling is the stock market, no one has ever predicted it accurately. For many years, the Wall Street Journal chose five eminent economic analysts to select a stock they were sure would rise in the following month. The Journal then had a chimpanzee throw five darts at a wall covered with that day’s stock market results. A month later, they determined who preformed better at choosing winners: the analysts or the chimpanzee. The chimp usually won.

For these and other reasons, until recently, most people were never foolish enough to make decisions based on predictions derived from equations that supposedly describe how nature or the economy works.

Yet today’s computer modelers claim they can model the climate – which involves far more variables than the economy or stock market – and do so decades or even a century into the future. They then tell governments to make trillion-dollar policy decisions that will impact every aspect of our lives, based on the outputs of their models. Incredibly, the United Nations and governments around the world are complying with this demand. We are crazy to continue letting them get away with it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Dr. Jay Lehr is the Science Director of The Heartland Institute which is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column with images is republished with permission.

Schumer’s Green Energy Subsidies Cost Much More Than Trump’s Wall

The government is shut down over border wall funding, but only a month ago Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked President Donald Trump to support billions in green energy subsidies.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, in early December asked Trump to support “permanent tax incentives for domestic production of clean electricity and storage, energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, electric vehicles, and modernizing the electric grid.”

“If left unchecked, the damage caused by climate change will cause untold human suffering and significant damage to the U.S. economy,” Schumer wrote to Trump on Dec. 6.

Extending tax subsidy provisions primarily benefiting wind and solar power would cost nearly $32 billion over the next four years, according to Joint Committee on Taxation estimates. Permanently extending these tax subsidies could add billions more to the tab. The committee estimates solar and wind tax subsidies will cost more than $7 billion in 2019.

Based on committee estimates, continuing solar and wind tax subsidies is nearly six times the $5.7 billion Trump is asking from Congress for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The total cost of a wall to cover the nearly 2,000-mile southern border could be as high as $25 billion, according to the White House, though other estimates have put the cost of a border wall as high as $60 billion based on the projected per-mile cost.

The battle over border wall funding forced Congress to sideline its year-end debate over “tax extenders,” which includes 11 green energy-related tax benefits that would cost roughly $53 billion over 10 years if they were made permanent, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Extending these tax credits just one year is estimated to cost roughly $5 billion.

These energy tax subsidies expired at the end of 2017, the costliest of which are tax incentives for biodiesel, alternative fuels, and residential energy efficiency. If made permanent, those programs would cost more than nine times what Trump asked from Congress in border wall funding.

The two costliest green subsidies, the production tax credit and investment tax credit, primarily benefit wind turbines and solar panels, respectively. Many Republicans and conservative groups have called for eliminating green tax subsidies.

Both the production tax credit and investment tax credit are set to expire at the end of 2021. However, given the White House’s opposition to some green energy tax subsidies, some conservatives suggest ending those and put the funds toward a border wall.

“This only makes sense, and with the additional funds we could paint it green,” Dan Kish, a senior distinguished fellow at the free-market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s a win-win.”

But could a deal like this ever be cut? Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, doesn’t think so.

“Given its strong bipartisan support, this seems like a nonstarter,” Whitten told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“As for the notion of terminating the existing ITC (investment tax credit), that is something we would strenuously oppose,” Whitten said. “It is one of the most successful energy incentives to date, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic activity.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association has not asked Congress to extend the investment tax credit, which is set to sunset at the end of 2021. However, there is a permanent 10 percent investment tax credit for solar and geothermal installations.

The American Wind Energy Association did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Sixteen days after Schumer sent his letter, Trump refused to sign legislation to keep the federal government open without $5.7 billion in border wall funding. Congressional Democrats refused and the government shutdown began.

The ongoing shutdown tied with the 1995-1996 shutdown during the Clinton administration, which lasted for 21 days. On Saturday, the current shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history if no deal to reopen the government is made.

Schumer’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

COLUMN BY

Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @MikeBastasch.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column by The Daily Signal with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured photo is by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash.

The Two Energy Futures Facing America

Energy improvement does not depend on geography or race but on the right institutions. Sustainable energy—available, affordable, and reliable—requires private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law.

here are two energy futures for America. One is freedom and prosperity. The other is politics, conflict, and waste. As with other goods and services, energy’s availability and affordability will depend on whether natural incentives and economic law are respected or hampered by government policy.

The future of free-market energy is bright and open-ended. “It’s reasonable to expect the supply of energy to continue becoming more available and less scarce, forever,” Julian Simon wrote in his magnum opus, The Ultimate Resource II. “Discoveries, like resources, may well be infinite: the more we discover, the more we are able to discover.” 

Resourceship, entrepreneurship applied to minerals, explains the seeming paradox of expanding depletable resources. Statistics confirmed Simon’s view, yet Malthusian critics belittled him as a naïve romantic. To which Simon responded: “I am not an optimist, I am a realist.”

Julian Simon had once feared overpopulation and resource depletion. The contradictory data, as he explained in his autobiography A Life Against the Grain, reversed his thinking. More people, greater wealth, more resources, healthier environment was the new finding that Simon turned into articles, books, and lectures in the last decades of his life.

Energy coordination and improvement do not depend on geography or race but on the right institutions. Sustainable energy—available, affordable, and reliable—requires private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law. Cultural and legal freedom unleash human ingenuity and problem-solving entrepreneurship, what Simon called the ultimate resource.

Philosopher Alex Epstein has reframed the energy-environmental debate in terms of human flourishing. Under this standard, consumer-chosen, taxpayer-neutral, dense, storable mineral energies are essential and moral.

Free-market energy is a process of improvement, not a state of perfection. There is always room for betterment as the good is no longer the best and as problems and setbacks occur. Profit/loss and legal consequences propel correction in a way that government intervention does not.

Problems spur improvement in ways that otherwise might not occur. “Material insufficiency and environmental problems have their benefits,” noted Julian Simon. “They focus the attention of individuals and communities, and constitute a set of challenges which can bring out the best in people.”

Government interventionism has plagued domestic energy markets in pronounced and subtle ways. Price and allocation controls during wartime and in the 1970s caused shortages of gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, and other essential products. More subtly, tariffs, quotas, entry restrictions, efficiency edicts, punitive taxes, tax subsidies, forced access, profit guarantees, and other government intervention distort energy markets away from consumer demand.

Socialism has reversed resource abundance in nations around the world. Venezuela is today’s example and is not unlike Mexico’s plunge into nationalism a century ago. International statism is responsible for much of the price volatility experienced in global oil markets.

American citizens must be educated on the perils of politicized energy and corporate cronyism at all levels of government. Capitalist institutions need to be introduced in state-dominated oil regions. Subsoil mineral rights and infrastructure privatization are golden opportunities for wealth creation and wealth democratization around the world.

“The world’s problem is not too many people,” Julian Simon concluded, “but a lack of political and economic freedom.” He explained:

The extent to which the political-social-economic system provides personal freedom from government coercion is a crucial element in the economics of resources and population…. The key elements of such a framework are economic liberty, respect for property, and fair and sensible rules of the market that are enforced equally for all.

This message for 2019 will be the same a century hence. It is optimistic and realistic. And it points toward a continuing open-ended role for natural gas, coal, and oil as the master resource.

Let freely functioning supply meet demand, and let market demand meet supply. Banish alarmism, pessimism, and coercion—the very things that incite and define government intervention and socialism where markets can and should prevail.

COLUMN BY

Robert L. Bradley Jr.

Robert L. Bradley Jr.

Robert L. Bradley Jr. is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research.

EDITORS NOTE: This column by FEE with images is republished with permission.

Find Out The Cost Of Electricity In Your State. . .

Choose Energy has produced information on the cost of residential electricity by state. The data is most reveling.

According to Choose Energy :

Where you live affects your electricity rate

October 2018 data, the latest available, show that the average U.S. price – 12.87 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) – rose 0.5% compared with a year ago. If you live in Louisiana, you paid the lowest average residential electricity rates of any state in the country – 9.11 cents per kWh. The next lowest rate is in Arkansas, where residents pay an average of 9.34 cents per kWh.

Below are the cheapest 10 states to live in based on residential electricity rates:

RankStateOctober 2018 Electric Rate
1Louisiana9.11
2Arkansas9.34
3Washington9.68
4Utah10.32
5Idaho10.33
6Tennessee10.70
7Missouri10.71
8Kentucky10.77
9North Dakota10.83
10Georgia10.96

Below are the 10 most expensive states to live in based on residential electricity rates.

RankStateOctober 2018 Electric Rate
1Hawaii32.46
2Alaska22.51
3Connecticut21.87
4Rhode Island21.46
5Massachusetts21.30
6New Hampshire20.23
7New York19.29
8Vermont18.42
9Maine16.47
10California15.73

Residential Electricity Rates by State

(cents per kWh for latest month available)

StateAverage Electric Rate:October 2018Average Electric Rate:October 2017% up/downChoose Energy Price Index(see below)Index rank
Alabama12.4212.661.9130.348
Alaska22.5121.783.4114.841
Arizona13.2612.783.8118.044
Arkansas9.3410.178.287.412
California15.7315.700.274.44
Colorado21.8721.292.773.63
Connecticut22.0521.263.7134.449
DC13.6013.441.294.5
Delaware13.8914.202.7113.739
Florida11.6711.851.5113.337
Georgia10.9611.524.9107.834
Hawaii32.4629.3010.8141.750
Idaho10.3310.260.785.110
Illinois13.2313.120.883.89
Indiana12.3912.752.8104.430
Iowa12.8211.778.995.719
Kansas13.3213.380.4103.527
Kentucky10.7711.173.6104.329
Louisiana9.119.938.397.623
Maine16.4716.052.677.75
Maryland14.1914.371.3122.046
Massachusetts21.3020.454.2110.336
Michigan15.4215.122.089.015
Minnesota13.7213.362.790.617
Mississippi11.2211.101.1116.743
Missouri10.7111.153.996.421
Montana11.4811.232.280.77
Nebraska11.2310.893.194.418
Nevada12.1612.794.997.222
New Hampshire20.2319.871.8105.632
New Jersey14.9614.662.089.316
New Mexico12.9712.960.170.72
New York19.2918.742.999.225
North Carolina11.9411.454.3113.638
North Dakota10.8310.941.097.924
Ohio12.4812.812.696.120
Oklahoma11.0011.171.5103.928
Oregon11.2410.893.288.513
Pennsylvania14.1014.603.4102.526
Rhode Island21.4619.559.8108.735
South Carolina12.4313.014.5124.147
South Dakota12.3512.481.0104.731
Tennessee10.7010.610.8114.540
Texas11.6911.095.4116.844
Utah10.3210.511.866.91
Vermont18.4217.972.587.411
Virginia11.9011.790.9115.242
Washington9.689.760.879.96
West Virginia11.2711.975.8107.333
Wisconsin14.9414.711.688.214
Wyoming11.0811.564.281.48

EDITORS NOTE: This column by Choose Energy is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Brian Patrick Tagalog on Unsplash.