Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power is causing an increase in the use of fossil fuels, which is causing more than 1,100 additional deaths each year

This is a quote from a scientific paper on Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power:

“Put another way, the phase-out resulted in more than 1,100 additional deaths per year from increased concentrations of SO2, NOx, and PM. The increase in production from hard coal plants is again the key driver here, making up roughly 80% of the increase in mortality impacts.”

Source: Page 25 at this link https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w26598/w26598.pdf

Either the people who support this phaseout are extremely illiterate when it comes to science, or they are deliberately killing these people. I wonder which one it is.

September 29, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Scooters Are Replacing Biking, Walking and Taking the Bus [scooters cause a net INCREASE in pollution]

https://obrag.org/2019/11/scooters-are-replacing-biking-walking-and-taking-the-bus/

Scooters Are Replacing Biking, Walking and Taking the Bus

By Frank Gormlie

November 12, 2019

Joshua Emerson Smith, at the San Diego Union-Tribune, earlier this month asked the question, “how green are e-scooters?” He proceeded, of course, to attempt to answer his own query. Here below is a summary of sorts of his findings.

In general, he says – as reflected in the sub-head – studies do find that dockless e-scooters are more eco-friendly than driving – but buses, biking and walking remain the greenest travel modes.

According to studies, many people are currently cruising around on e-scooters as an alternative to cleaner forms of transportation, such as biking, walking and taking the bus.”

The scooter craze may not be as green as advertised; Smith summarizes that a growing body of research contradicts what scooter companies have been touting the last couple of years – that their devices are “not only convenient but a win for the environment.” Also, some local elected leaders have been promoting scooters as environmentally friendly. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called the devices “game changers” that can help the city realize its ambitious Climate Action Plan goals; Assemblyman Todd Gloria thought he was helping the environment by getting legislation passed that removed the helmet requirement for the scooters.

Why, just recently at a public hearing in San Diego, Lime’s director of government relations claimed to members of the City Council that scooters are what was getting people out of their cars.

Research and studies show that actually scooter rides are replacing biking and walking as travel options. Scooters are getting people off their bikes. Data from recent municipal surveys in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon show About 40 percent of scooter rides have replaced biking or walking trips. A Paris survey was worse – it found 85 percent of scooter rides replaced either walking, biking or public transit trips.

The scooter companies take user polls, and these have “found that on average about a third of scooter trips are replacing car trips, including a sizable 41 percent of the time in San Francisco. Lime said that figure is 35 percent in San Diego.”

The carbon footprint of scooters is very low, but not a net gain for the environment – given how people are now using them, according to a scientific study published in August from North Carolina State University. The first of its kind study, “measured the greenhouse-gas emissions per mile for a dockless shared e-scooter and then compared that against the the average car, bus and bicycle.”

Smith quotes Jeremiah Johnson, a researcher and co-author of the report:

It looks like an increase in environmental impacts … because about half of the scooter rides are displacing walking and riding bikes. If you are one of the riders who is displacing a car ride, you are almost certainly reducing your environmental emissions.”

Everything was taken into account for the lifecycle analysis for scooters; the emissions created

from manufacturing

from shipping

to disposal and

to the gas burned while workers drive around searching for scooters to charge and repair.

The study found, “more than 90 percent of emissions were from building the devices and shuttling them around by car.”

Making scooters last longer would go a long way toward shrinking their carbon footprint; the co-author of the study, Johnson, stated, “These are changes that are quite feasible. Extending the scooter lifetime, improving the efficiency of the collection and distribution system, those are achievable things. They don’t require new technology. They don’t require enormous changes in the system.”

Some scooter companies have been re-working their original models and have been regularly rolling out new ones. Scooter companies Bird and Lime claim their newest models on average last more than a year. The North Carolina study, however, used a lifespan of 15 months. For comparison, research shows the earlier scooters averaged “between a month to six months.”

Smith continues:

Some transportation researchers have questioned whether such tweaks to the scooter industry will lead to any significant environmental gains. While shrinking the carbon footprint of a device may improve a company’s image, that doesn’t guarantee it will lead to large cuts in greenhouse gas.

“Even if it can have lasting effects on daily travel, unless they connect to transit, the actual vehicle miles that are substituted are just miniscule,” said Dillon Fitch, a researcher who studies travel patterns and commuter behavior at UC Davis. “It’s just a drop in the bucket.”

More suggested improvements that could bring the technology to an overall bridge to greenland?

Increase personal ownership of such devices;

Get rid of the free-for-all collection systems “that employ gig-economy workers to compete with each other at the end of the day to scoop up as many devices as possible.” It creates a lot of needless driving around in vehicles. Some companies have begun “employing workers to round up scooters that need charging and maintenance. This costs more but allows companies to more efficiently deploy their collection fleets.”

invest in devices that log more miles before being scrapped for parts;

Establish charging stations – as they have in places such as Chicago, Tampa and Washington, D.C. “We believe charging stations can make our operations more eco-friendly, in that they’ll limit the number of trips our drivers need to make to pick up and charge scooters,” said company spokeswoman Maria Buczkowski. “Eventually these stations will be retrofitted with solar panels.”

Still, there is a promise the technology can improve enough to potentially overturn our reliance on vehicles with emissions and change the urban mode of travel.

September 21, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

In Search of… The Coming Ice Age (originally broadcast in 1978)

In Search of… The Coming Ice Age (originally broadcast in 1978):

https://www.bitchute.com/video/XRdppyW94gOx/

Also be sure to read: New York Times, January 5, 1978: International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30‐Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere:

https://web.archive.org/web/20161228140705/https://www.nytimes.com/1978/01/05/archives/international-team-of-specialists-finds-no-end-in-sight-to-30year.html

 

September 5, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

California is so crazy that its environmentalists are actually PREVENTING bike lanes from being built

https://web.archive.org/web/20160410070501/https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-enviro-bike-lanes-20160407-story.html

Want a bike lane in your neighborhood? It’s not so simple in California

By Liam Dillon

April 7, 2016

For many years, Berkeley bike advocates have pushed for their own lane on a two-block stretch of Fulton Street. The conditions seem ripe for one. It would connect two existing bike lanes in a bustling area between UC Berkeley and downtown. Bike racks already line the sidewalk.

But when asked, the city delivered an answer the advocates say they have heard time and again: The bike lane couldn’t go in because of the state’s premier environmental law.

The California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA, has stymied bike lanes up and down the state for more than a decade. Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have faced lawsuits, years of delay and abandoned projects because the environmental law’s restrictions often require costly traffic studies, lengthy public hearings and major road reconfigurations before bike lanes are installed.

All told, bicycle advocates say the law has blocked hundreds of miles of potential bike lanes across the state.

“The environmental law is hugely frustrating,” said Dave Campbell, advocacy director for Bike East Bay, which has pushed for the Fulton Street bike lane. “It’s a law that allows you to say no. It’s not a law that lets you say yes.”

The bike lane issue is just one frustration state leaders have faced in trying to overhaul CEQA. Gov. Jerry Brown has called efforts to reform the law “the Lord’s work.” Major efforts in recent years to make it easier to build urban residential development and reduce businesses’ costs under CEQA have failed.

But as lawmakers face difficulty in changing the landmark law, a solution appears to be on its way for bike lanes. Thanks to a provision tucked into a bill that allowed the Sacramento Kings arena to be built more than two years ago, bike lanes might finally get a green light.

The issue has festered for a long time. A decade ago, a lawsuit against San Francisco’s citywide bike plan stalled the city’s plans to add more than 30 miles of bike lanes for several years. After that lawsuit, Los Angeles decided to conduct a full environmental review of its master bike plan to ward off potential legal challenges. And two years ago, a neighborhood activist in San Diego sued under CEQA after the city painted a bike lane on a main road.

Even without the threat of litigation, the environmental law can stop bike lanes in their tracks. When city of Oakland officials wanted to narrow a wide road near a major transit station and add two bike lanes, they realized it would be difficult to comply with the environmental law’s rules and didn’t proceed, said Jason Patton, Oakland’s bike program manager. About a decade later, the road remains a six-lane highway.

“CEQA is an incredible burden to doing work in urban areas,” Patton said. “And I say that as a committed environmentalist.”

The environmental law requires proponents of new projects — including bike lanes — to measure the effect the project would have on car congestion. When a traffic lane is taken out in favor of a bike lane, more congestion could result along that road. That result can put proposed bike lanes in peril. And traffic studies to show whether installing a bike lane would lead to greater congestion can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Oftentimes, cities won’t bother with the effort.

Twice in recent years, state legislators have passed laws aimed at making it easier for bike lanes to dodge the environmental law’s restrictions. Bike advocates say these efforts have helped, but because they have not eliminated requirements to produce traffic studies and hold public hearings, they haven’t fixed the problem.

Dave Snyder, executive director of the California Bicycle Association, said his organization was preparing to lobby legislators to propose another bill on the matter when SB 743 emerged in late 2013.

That bill’s main purpose was to exempt the new Sacramento Kings basketball arena from lengthy review under the environmental law. But tucked into the measure was a provision that changed the way projects would gauge their effects on traffic under CEQA. Once SB 743 passed, Snyder dropped his own proposal.

“It solves our problem completely,” he said.

The new law says that traffic congestion is no longer the preferred metric to be used. In its place, cities will measure how much a project impacts the number of miles cars will travel along nearby roads. Since replacing a traffic lane with a bike lane won’t increase the number of cars on the road, the new standard should allow cities to install bike lanes without environmental conflict.

Now the standards must be put into place. SB 743 called on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research — a state agency that handles guidelines related to the environmental law — to write the new traffic rules. More than two years have passed, and the agency is still writing them.

Based on state regulators’ current schedule, the Kings will have built and started playing in their new arena before the traffic guidelines will have gone into effect in early 2017.

By changing the way all projects measure automobile traffic, environmentalists and urbanists hope the new regulations will lead to fewer car-centered developments and help the state meet its climate change goals. Others fear the new rules will derail projects already in the pipeline. The Southern California Association of Governments, a regional planning organization with jurisdiction over 18 million people in and around Los Angeles, is warning that the new traffic rules could endanger major plans for highway widening.

Darrell Steinberg, the former Democratic leader of the state Senate who authored SB 743, said it was difficult to understand the consequences of changing the environmental law. Dealing with CEQA, Steinberg said, was the hardest thing he did as a legislator.

“You take any substantive provision of CEQA and an advocate can credibly cite an example where that provision was used to save an environmental treasure,” Steinberg said. “You take the same provision and someone from the other side can cite an example where it was misused in some way.”

In February, a car hit and dragged a Berkeley research scientist on Fulton Street as she was cycling home after work, causing major injuries. After that accident, there were renewed calls for a bike lane, but Berkeley city officials again cited the state environmental law as the reason one couldn’t go in immediately.

Campbell and other bike advocates continued pushing until Berkeley’s mayor finally said the city would do whatever necessary to install a lane by May due to the safety concerns. If the city hadn’t, Campbell said, his group had an alternative in mind.

“We said if you don’t do it, we’re doing it,” Campbell said. “We have paint.”

July 22, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

White environmentalists pat each other on the back for hurting low income black people. Environmental racism is real, and it’s caused by white liberals.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

July 13, 2021

This is absolutely disgusting. Western European countries claim to be “green” because so much of their energy comes from biomass. But this CNN article explains that this “green” biomass actually wreaks major havoc and destruction on the environment in areas of the southeastern U.S. which are home to low income black people.

The fact that white environmentalists are patting each other on the back for doing this is totally reprehensible.

From now on, whenever I hear American liberals praise western Europe for its “green” use of biomass, I’m going to show them this CNN article.

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2021/07/us/american-south-biomass-energy-invs/

How marginalized communities in the South are paying the price for ‘green energy’ in Europe

By Majlie de Puy Kamp

July 9, 2021

Andrea Macklin never turns off his TV. It’s the only way to drown out the noise from the wood mill bordering his backyard, the jackhammer sound of the plant piercing his walls and windows. The 18-wheelers carrying logs rumble by less than 100 feet from his house, all day and night, shaking it as if an earthquake has taken over this tranquil corner of North Carolina. He’s been wearing masks since long before the coronavirus pandemic, just to keep the dust out of his lungs.

Some nights, he only sleeps for two or three hours. Breathing is a chore.

“I haven’t had proper rest since they’ve been here,” he said.

That was eight years ago, when the world’s largest biomass producer, Enviva, opened its second North Carolina facility just west of Macklin’s property in Garysburg. The operation takes mostly hardwood trees and spits out biomass, or wood pellets, a highly processed and compressed wood product burned to generate energy. Enviva is one of nearly a dozen similar companies benefiting from a sustainability commitment made 4,000 miles away, more than a decade ago.

In 2009, the European Union (EU) pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions, urging its member states to shift from fossil fuels to renewables. In its Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the EU classified biomass as a renewable energy source — on par with wind and solar power. As a result, the directive prompted state governments to incentivize energy providers to burn biomass instead of coal — and drove up demand for wood.

So much so that the American South emerged as Europe’s primary source of biomass imports.

Earlier this year, the EU was celebrated in headlines across the world when renewable energy surpassed the use of fossil fuels on the continent for the first time in history.

But scientists and experts say it’s too early to celebrate, arguing that relying on biomass for energy has a punishing impact not only on the environment, but also on marginalized communities — perpetuating decades of environmental racism in predominantly Black communities like Northampton County, where Macklin and his family have lived for generations.

Macklin’s elderly aunt lives right behind him, a tall Magnolia tree provides shade to both their homes. His mother’s house is just down the street. They used to have large family cookouts in his garden while the kids played on the lawn, but they haven’t done that in years. Between the noise and the sawdust from the plant, his home is no longer a safe place to gather.

But it’s the pollution that worries him most.

“You don’t know what’s coming out of the smokestack,” said Macklin. “That’s my main concern.”

To say cutting down trees and burning them for power is a renewable energy source feels counterintuitive and, in reality, it is.

Burning wood is less efficient than burning coal and releases far more carbon into the atmosphere, according to almost 800 scientists who wrote a 2018 letter to the European parliament, pushing members to amend the current directive “to avoid expansive harm to the world’s forests and the acceleration of climate change.” President Joe Biden and other world leaders received a similar letter from hundreds of climate scientists earlier this year.

The EU directive that encouraged the pivot to biomass also left a loophole — it did not prevent the leveling of rooted trees for wood pellet production.

“I can’t think of anything that harms nature more than cutting down trees and burning them,” said William Moomaw, professor emeritus of international environmental policy at Tufts University.

Yet by burning wood, European power plants can reduce their carbon footprint — at least on paper.

The American Southeast is the largest wood-producing region in the world.

In 1996, scientists at the United Nations devised a method to measure global carbon emissions. To simplify the process and avoid double counting, they suggested emissions from burning biomass should be calculated where the trees are cut down, not where the wood pellets are burned.

The EU adopted this methodology in its Renewable Energy Directive, allowing energy companies to burn biomass produced in the US without having to report the emissions.

The accounting method — which was never intended to assign national responsibility for carbon emissions, according to climate experts — has created a lot of discussion and disagreement among advocates, scientists and policymakers.

But ultimately it is not the accounting of carbon that is the problem, it’s the emissions.

“It doesn’t change the physical reality,” said Tim Searchinger, senior research scholar at Princeton University. “A law designed to reduce emissions that in reality encourages an increase in emissions … has to be flawed,” he said, referring to Europe’s directive.

Logs are strapped onto a truck at a clear-cut site in Northampton County, North Carolina.
The blade of a felling saw used to cut down trees.

Ultimately, Europe is not reducing emissions by burning American trees — it’s just outsourcing them to the United States.

“The idea was to curb our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Bas Eickhout, Dutch politician and member of the European Parliament. Biomass was an attractive option for EU countries at the time, he explained, because it was much cheaper than solar or wind power and could be “mixed in” when burning coal.

However, European decision-makers didn’t fully consider the repercussions of importing biomass, Eickhout said, adding they “were too naïve.”

“The production of biomass has become an industrial process which means something has gone fundamentally wrong,” he said. “The professionalization of the biomass industry is a problem that needs attention.”

‘The math doesn’t add up’

The directive led to troubling consequences across the Atlantic. By failing to restrict biomass to the byproduct from manufacturing paper, furniture or lumber, Europe created a strong incentive to cut down whole trees and turn them into wood pellets.

Encouraged by government subsidies, European power plants began importing biomass from the largest wood producing region in the world: the American Southeast.

North Carolina has been “ground zero” for the wood pellet industry, said Danna Smith, co-founder and executive director of the environmental advocacy group Dogwood Alliance. One hundred and sixty-four acres of the state’s forests are cut down by the biomass industry every day, according to an analysis by Key-Log Economics.

Enviva owns four wood pellet plants in North Carolina, including this one in Northampton County.

US-based Enviva, which owns four wood pellet plants in North Carolina, says their product is fighting climate change.

“When sourced responsibly wood-based biomass is recognized by the leading international organizations and scientists as climate friendly, renewable and carbon-neutral energy source,” Enviva wrote in a statement, adding that they require the forests they source from ”will regenerate, either naturally or through planting.”

Yet, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the UN body that came up with the carbon accounting methodology — states its guidelines “do not automatically consider or assume biomass used for energy as ‘carbon neutral,’ even in cases where the biomass is thought to be produced sustainably.”

Trees are harvested at a logging operation in Northampton County.

And, North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan notes that biomass “does not advance (the state’s) clean energy economy.” The plan goes on to acknowledge that most of the wood pellets produced in the state are exported to Europe, and even that “the science regarding carbon neutrality and accounting methods are contentious issues.”

Biomass is renewable only in the sense that trees can grow back, said Grant Domke, who leads a team researching and reporting on carbon stocks and changes on forest land at the US Forest Service. “But that is different than it being carbon-neutral.” When it comes to Europe reducing carbon emissions by burning American biomass, “the math doesn’t add up.”

Still, the biomass industry is not showing any signs of slowing down. Drax, a British company that operates the largest UK power plant, has acquired several wood pellet plants in the American South and is developing others. Enviva, too, is building new facilities and is expanding existing ones — including the plant in Northampton County, North Carolina, where Macklin and his family live.

‘We’ve been disrespected all our lives’

It’s here where once grand country homes stand dilapidated, overrun with weeds and abandoned in a jigsaw puzzle of cotton, grain and sprawling pine plantations. Strip malls, restaurant chains and expansive parking lots comprise the commercial landscape. Gas stations line the roads but grocery stores are few and far between. The temperature was already scorching in May — residents kept their curtains drawn and many stayed inside, the hum of air conditioning providing the only sign of life.

For the last decade, the population in Northampton County has been declining and, despite a clear need for health care, there was only one primary care physician serving the entire county, with a population of just under 20,000, in 2018.

That same year, a health assessment by the county health department asked residents if they had ever been diagnosed with certain ailments. The report showed more than 60% of the participants said they had high blood pressure, more than half said they were overweight and over 20% said they suffered from depression or diabetes. Nearly 11% of residents said they had heart disease.

The latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that more than one in 10 adults in Northampton had asthma in 2018. Asthma hospitalizations in the county, however, are lower than in the state as a whole, according to the NC Department of Environmental Quality.

Macklin, a father of two and lifelong Northampton resident, is living these statistics. Two years ago, the 44-year-old’s heart condition worsened, requiring him to quit his job at a meat packaging plant and leaving him with a disability, like more than 16% of county residents under 65.

Andrea Macklin wipes dust off of his car. He says he has to wash his car frequently because of the dust coming from the Enviva plant behind his house.

Macklin’s wife and 21-year-old son both suffer from asthma, a condition that Macklin said is exacerbated by the pollution and dust coming from Enviva’s plant behind his house. Since the plant started operating, he said, his wife and son can’t spend more than five minutes outside without coughing.

Before Enviva opened its Northampton mill, the 551 square miles that make up the county were already home to three major air pollution sources — facilities required to a request a permit under Title V of the Clean Air Act for emitting large amounts of air pollutants. Another three such facilities are located within two miles of the Northampton border in neighboring Halifax County.

In 2013, Enviva became the fourth Title V permit holder in Northampton County, emitting tons of dangerous fine particles, or PM2.5, carbon monoxide and a number of what the Environmental Protection Agency calls “Hazardous Air Pollutants” — including formaldehyde and methanol

“All of our plants operate in compliance with their permits and federal and state prescribed emission legal standards under the permits, presenting no risk or issue to public health or environment,” Enviva said in a statement, adding that a state air quality monitor five miles from its facility found that PM2.5 levels did not “present a health risk” to county residents.

Yet federal standards for fine particulate matter are too high and do not protect public health, according to twenty scientists who served on an EPA panel on particulate matter in 2018 and urged the administration to impose tougher pollution standards.

The EPA did not take action at the time but announced last month it is taking another look at the federal standards for PM2.5 saying “scientific evidence and technical information indicate that the current standards may not be adequate to protect public health and welfare, as required by the Clean Air Act.”

Exposure to year-round PM2.5 pollution — particles at least 20 times thinner than a strand of human hair — has been linked to asthma and slowed lung function in children and increased risk of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and death from cardiovascular disease, according to the EPA. The health problems in Macklin’s community have not been directly linked to the Title V facilities in the county.

The population of Northampton — which, according to CNN’s analysis, has one of the highest numbers of major air polluters per capita in the state — is predominantly Black, underscoring long-standing concerns over environmental racism.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the agency tasked with granting air quality permits in the state, declined to comment for this story.

“We’ve been disrespected all our lives,” said resident Belinda Joyner, 68, who has been fighting environmental racism in her community for decades, “and we’re still being disrespected.”

PM2.5 polluters in the United States “disproportionately and systemically affect people of color,” according to a recent study that noted this type of exposure is responsible for up to 200,000 excess deaths in the United States every year.
When there is “degradation of the air and the land, we simultaneously see degradation of the community,” said Smith, of the Dogwood Alliance.

‘They can’t sleep at night’

All but one of Enviva’s nine operating plants in the country are located in communities that have higher percentage of Black residents than their states as a whole, according to a CNN analysis of census tract data from the American Community Survey. The only exception was the company’s plant in southeast Georgia.

In addition, all of Enviva’s plants are in census tracts that have lower median household incomes than their states, and eight of the nine — all except the one in southern Virginia — are in tracts with higher poverty rates than their states as a whole.

To some, like Macklin, Enviva’s presence has hardly benefitted the community.

“They just feel like they come in and do what they want to do,” said Macklin, adding later, “All the noise and the dust and stuff, it was never like that, it’s always been quiet around here … that plant is on 24 hours a day. It don’t stop. Seven days a week.”

Kathy Claiborne, 59, who lives on the other side of the Enviva plant in Northampton, anticipates the sleepless nights by trying to take a nap when she gets home from work. The noise is worst around 2 a.m., she said.

“I never really thought about noise as being a health hazard until I talked to the communities that live next to the Enviva facilities and they say they can’t sleep at night,” said Smith. “Not being able to sleep is depriving people of one of the most important foundations of human health.”

Enviva’s Northampton plant glows against the night sky. Nearby residents say noise from the plant is the worst overnight.

In its response to CNN, Enviva said the company takes “environmental justice concerns raised with respect to our operations very seriously. And, we work closely in our communities and community leaders to ensure our operations bring both positive economic and environmental impact.” The company also said it had not received noise complaints other than “generic complaints” at a recent hearing raised by “the same activists we’ve heard from before.”

Enviva pointed to an environmental justice analysis for its operations in Northampton done by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, claiming the report ensures “there is no negative impact on disadvantaged or minority communities from out plants or operations.”

However, the 2019 Environmental Justice Impact Statement merely describes the demographics around the plant — noting high disability and poverty rates in a majority Black population — it does not give recommendations or reach conclusions about the impact the industry would have on the community.

Still, in June, the county Chamber of Commerce awarded Enviva with the “Corporate Business of the Year” award — noting the company “continuously supported, donated, and invested their time and talents into local organizations and causes.”

Earl and Kathy Claiborne live next to the Enviva plant in Northampton County.

Kathy says the noise from the plant is the worst around 2 a.m.

Though the relationship between local officials and Enviva is “good now,” inviting them in had drawbacks, said Franklin Williams, the county’s economic development director. The company wants to be “good partners,” he said, applauding its outreach efforts and noting that Enviva has provided school supplies to local schools and helped sponsor food banks in the community during the pandemic.

Joyner and the Claibornes recalled a Christmas when Enviva sent some residents hams — but the outreach felt almost insulting.

“The next thing you know that plant is up and running and we’re getting a ham,” said Claiborne’s husband, Earl. “It was a good gesture but you know you’re getting pulled into something.”

To Joyner, school supplies and holiday meals do little to counter the impacts Enviva’s operation has had on the people of Northampton. This is where her mother bought the land that her house sits on — it’s where she raised her two daughters.

“All I want to do is take care of it,” she said. “I don’t have the privilege to get up and move. Where am I going? This is home.”

‘We aren’t renewing thousand-year-old ecosystems’

Just across the border in Virginia — less than an hour from Joyner’s house — sits a rare, protected ancient wetland forest.

“We’re looking at trees around us that are over a thousand years old,” said Smith, as she maneuvered her kayak through the Cypress trees, pointing out different species and identifying birds whose habitats are threatened by industrial logging. It’s an “incredible jewel of an ecosystem,” she said.

It’s a humbling place, in stark contrast with the hot and dusty clear-cuts — land where trees have been leveled and not replaced — and rows of newly planted pine trees that make up Macklin and Joyner’s neighborhood.

Cypress trees, some with trunks wider than a sedan, stand tall between lily pads and beaver dams. In the winter, the water rises and hides those massive, cracked and often hollow tree trunks that are visible in the warmer months. Noise from the nearby highway is drowned out by an orchestra of birds. Fish jump out of the water as if in an animated film.

It’s peaceful, green and surprisingly cool on an otherwise sweltering summer day.

The 535-acre forest — surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of pine plantations and clear-cuts — is a precious needle in a haystack.

Danna Smith is the co-founder and executive director of environmental advocacy group Dogwood Alliance.

“The forestry industry and the wood pellet industry says that trees are renewable,” said Smith, but “we aren’t renewing thousand-year-old ecosystems. They’re renewing forests for commercial production. So you’ll see trees on the landscape that are maybe, you know, 30 years old. That’s not an ecosystem — that’s a fiber farm.”

As long as trees are replanted, Enviva and supporters of the biomass industry argue, burning them can be considered renewable energy. But the reality is not so simple.

When trees are cut down and burned, all the carbon they stored is immediately emitted into the air, Moomaw, the professor at Tufts University, explained. For a new tree to grow and re-absorb the same amount of carbon takes decades — making the worldwide attempts at going carbon neutral on deadline, like the EU wants to by 2050, a daunting goal.

At best, planting a seedling for every downed tree keeps carbon emissions neutral over time — it’s not removing any more carbon out of the atmosphere, Moomaw stressed.

“It’s preventing us from getting worse, but it’s not making it better,” he said.

A Cypress tree rises out of the water in a wetland forest in Courtland, Virginia.

Or, as Smith put it ominously, “we’re losing decades of time every time forests are clear cut — time we don’t have.”

Traveling back to Northampton from the protected Cypress wetlands, Smith points out clear cuts along the way. A 50-acre plot of decades-old trees cleared in the fall still bore the smell of pine — serving a jarring image less than an hour from the lush wetland forest to the east.

Enviva received 15% of those once living, standing trees — deemed “lower-value wood” by the biomass industry because it doesn’t meet the specifications for lumber.

“This is our nation’s sacrifice zone for unsustainable consumption of wood products and products we don’t need,” Smith said. “These wood pellets aren’t even producing electricity here … this is completely unnecessary.”

‘We bring positive economic impact to rural communities’

Thomas Garner has been logging — cutting down trees and loading them onto trucks — since he was 16 years old. He remembers pulling logs onto his back and loading the trucks by hand. Big machines — aptly called log loaders — have made his work much easier, but even at 83 he drives fully stocked 18-wheelers to wood and paper mills all over Northampton County and beyond.

Enviva has been good for his business as an independent contractor, he said, a sentiment echoed by others who spoke to CNN.

But the jobs come at a hefty price for Northampton County.

Local officials eager to pull Northampton out of its Tier One status — a designation by the state for its 40 lowest ranking counties in terms of economic well-being — lured companies, including Enviva, to the area with financial incentives. But these incentives actually set Northampton back, said Williams, the current Director of Economic Development in the county.

Thomas Garner has been logging since he was 16 years old and says Enviva has been good for his business.

In Enviva’s case, among the conditions the company agreed to was the creation of 62 full-time jobs, Williams said, adding that in return, Northampton County would pay the company $360,556.70 each year, in addition to 120 acres of land and upwards half a million dollars toward water, sewer and gas lines among other support.

But instead of boosting the economy out of the lowest tier, the five-year agreement was among the drivers of higher property taxes in the community.

“I think they over-incentivized their efforts to get these businesses here and it caused the tax rate to go up in order to meet the budget,” said Williams.

Between 2011 and 2019, the property tax rate in Northampton County increased nearly 6%. The county has had the third highest property tax rate in the state for the past five years.

It’s a burden many residents can’t shoulder.

Cut logs sit on a truck in Northampton County.

Northampton has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state — which almost doubled during the Covid-19 pandemic — and nearly 22% of its residents are living in poverty.

“If the wood products industry and biomass were a way of growing strong rural economies in the southeastern region, these rural communities should be some of the wealthiest on the planet,” said Smith. “We are in the world’s largest wood producing region. But you don’t see any evidence in these rural communities of thriving rural economies. The opposite is actually true.”

Enviva currently employs 98 people at their Northampton facility and pay roughly 37% more than the average wage in the county, the company told CNN in a statement, adding that they strive to hire locally if workers have the right qualifications.

The salary is one of the reasons that even Macklin applied for jobs at Enviva, most recently about two years ago. He said he worked in wood mills before and had hoped for a job close to home, but he never heard back from the company. Macklin, who recently had major heart surgery, said he won’t apply again out of concern for his health.

“I wouldn’t want to be around all that dust,” Macklin said. “I don’t want to be inhaling it.”

‘We don’t recognize the costs of this destruction’

On a hot Wednesday morning at the end of May, Joyner and fellow community activist Richie Harding, drove an hour and a half to Raleigh to protest against the wood pellet industry and deliver a petition to the governor’s office, asking him to keep future biomass operations out of North Carolina.

At a news conference, Joyner stressed that her community was a “dumping ground” for industries that nobody else wants to live near.

Harding, another lifelong Northampton County resident, called out what he perceives to be environmental racism targeting his hometown: “If Black lives matter, why is my community the desired location for a facility that would not only shorten my life, but the lives of my children?”

Despite wide-ranging arguments against biomass, Enviva has received more than $7 million in subsidies since 2013 from federal, state and local agencies to produce wood pellets for export to Europe.

Throughout the South, the biomass industry continues to grow. Twelve new plants across six states, including two proposed Enviva facilities in Alabama and Mississippi, have requested permits, according to data from the Southern Environmental Law Center. Existing plants, like the Enviva operation in Northampton, are expanding.

A log loader moves freshly cut trees in Northampton County.

The EU, which aims to be climate-neutral by 2050, is set to revise its Renewable Energy Directive this summer and is expected to update sustainability criteria for biomass. Critics hope they will restrict biomass imports from overseas, exclude whole, living trees as “waste product” and properly account for carbon emissions from cutting and burning wood.

But a draft document that surfaced this past spring does not suggest substantial changes are coming for Europe’s directive.

None of the options offered will address the two main problems with biomass: burning wood for energy is worse than burning coal, and cutting down trees “profoundly damages ecosystems and biodiversity,” Mary Booth, scientist and director at the Partnership for Policy Integrity, wrote in a critique of the draft document.

The European Commission declined to comment on the draft, but confirmed the revised directive will be published on July 14.

In the US, federal policymakers have not yet determined the fate of wood pellets.

Timber scraps cover the ground of a clear-cut site in Northampton County.

“Biomass is categorically incompatible with our climate, justice and health goals,” Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who successfully opposed the permitting of a biomass energy plant in his state, said in a statement to CNN. Neither the planet nor the United States, he said, can “afford to make the same … mistake that allowed the European Union to put biomass on the exact same level as truly renewable energy sources like wind and solar.”

Under former President Donald Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency planned to follow in Europe’s footsteps and classify biomass as a carbon-neutral energy source, but that never happened. Despite the Biden administration’s commitment to fight global warming, activists worry they won’t acknowledge the threat of biomass and industrial logging.

“It’s almost like in the US, all we see of value in a forest is a dollar bill,” Smith said. “We don’t recognize the costs of this destruction.”

Back in Northampton, Macklin feels just as defeated.

“Us being in a poor area… I mean, what can we do?” he said. “A company like that with money… we don’t got money to fight against it and it seems like we don’t got no one fighting for us. Not the state, no one.”

July 13, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Since we started burning fossil fuels on a widespread, global scale, the number of people killed by natural disasters has gotten smaller, not bigger

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 28, 2020

Since we started burning fossil fuels on a widespread, global scale, the number of people killed by natural disasters has gotten smaller, not bigger.

Does this mean that we have fewer natural disasters now than in the past?

No.

Instead, what it means is that the huge amount of wealth that we have created by burning fossil fuels has made us better able to withstand natural disasters.

This chart shows the number of people killed (per 100,000 population) by natural disasters by decade.

You can see a bigger version of the chart by clicking this link: https://www.businessinsider.com/natural-disasters-used-to-be-so-much-worse-2015-2

 

September 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

California’s Bay Area may require telecommuting, even after the pandemic wanes

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/california-s-bay-area-likes-telecommuting-so-much-it-might-n1240898

California’s Bay Area may require telecommuting, even after the pandemic wanes

A proposal would have employees at large companies working remotely three days a week, even after the pandemic, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By David Ingram

September 23, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO — Many office workers are doing their jobs from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the trend has given some authorities in California an idea: Make it mandatory.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional government agency in the San Francisco Bay Area, voted Wednesday to move forward with a proposal to require people at large, office-based companies to work from home three days a week as a way to slash greenhouse gas emissions from car commutes.

It’s a radical suggestion that likely would have been a non-starter before Covid-19 shuttered many offices in March, but now that corporate employees have gotten a taste of not commuting, transportation planners think the idea has wider appeal.

“There is an opportunity to do things that could not have been done in the past,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a member of the transportation commission who supports the proposal. She said she felt “very strongly” that a telecommuting mandate ought to be a part of the region’s future.

The proposal was wrapped into a much bigger 36-page package of policies about what the Bay Area should look like in the year 2050, and what steps the area could take to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The commission voted to approve the overall plan 11-1, with some absences.

Although the proposal is in its early stages, it appears to be the most extreme example yet of pandemic life seeming to become permanent.

Some of the nation’s largest companies are headquartered in the Bay Area, including not only tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel and Netflix, but Chevron, Levi Strauss and Wells Fargo.

Some corporations, such as Facebook, have embraced remote work as a longterm strategy. But many, including Apple, have built flashy and car-centric campuses in anticipation of having employees generally on-site in non-pandemic times.

The idea of a mandate was a surprise to residents, many of whom first learned of the idea this week from social media and then flooded an online meeting of the transportation agency Wednesday to try, unsuccessfully, to talk commissioners out of the idea.

“We do not want to continue this as a lifestyle,” Steven Buss, a Google software engineer who lives in San Francisco, told the commission.

“We are all sacrificing now to reduce the spread of the virus, but no one is enjoying working from home,” he said. “It’s probably fine if you own a big house out in the suburbs and you’re nearing retirement, but for young workers like me who live in crowded conditions, working from home is terrible.”

Many callers pointed out that the situation exacerbates inequality because only some types of work can be done from home. Others worried about the ripple effects on lunch spots, transit agencies and other businesses and organizations that rely on revenue from office workers.

Still other residents said that if car emissions are the problem, the commission should focus on cars, not all commutes.

“Yes, yes, yes, we want to reduce greenhouse gases, but why aren’t you considering transit? Walking? Biking?” said one caller, Stacey Randecker.

Dustin Moskovitz, a cofounder of Facebook who usually keeps a low public profile, mocked the idea as an indictment of the Bay Area’s general failure to plan for growth.

“We tried nothing, and we’re all out of ideas,” Moskovitz, now CEO of software company Asana, tweeted Tuesday.

The mandate would apply to “large, office-based employers” and require them to have at least 60 percent of their employees telecommute on any given workday. They could meet the requirement through flexible schedules, compressed work weeks or other alternatives.

Though a broader project planning for 2050 has been in the works for months, the work-from-home mandate was a late addition and came before commissioners only two weeks ago, said Nick Josefowitz, a member of the commission who expressed concern about it.

Josefowitz tried Wednesday to amend the mandate to allow for walking to work or taking transit, but opponents said any delay to the plan could cause the commission to miss a key funding deadline or fall short of targets for reducing emissions.

“If we start amending this plan at this late hour, do you have any rabbits in your hat that’s going to get us to the finish line?” asked Jim Spering, a commission member from Solano County, north of the bay. Commission staff said they had no such rabbit, meaning another way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much.

A member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s planning staff, Dave Vautin, said the idea seemed to be popular in surveys, with about three-quarters of Bay Area residents supporting the concept.

“We were really being responsive to the public feedback,” he said.

Therese McMillan, the commission’s executive director, said there would be time to flesh out the details and account for green types of commutes like walking. The plan will come back before the commission again before the end of the year, and then there would be an implementation period — which may overlap with the pandemic anyway.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a member of the commission, said he wants to see significant changes, in part because of the disproportionate impact on low-income residents.

“We’re going to find that the impacts — socially and psychologically — of this isolation will be with us for a generation, and working from home is certainly not the ideal solution,” he said.

September 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

In the past five years, in order to protect the environment, California has shut down 9,000 MW of natural gas capacity – enough to power 6.8 million homes

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 23, 2020

In the past five years, in order to protect the environment, California has shut down 9,000 MW of natural gas capacity – enough to power 6.8 million homes.

I can understand shutting down the natural gas plants – if they were being replaced by new nuclear plants.

But instead of building new nuclear plants, California has been shutting down its already existing nuclear plants, and is planning to close the very last last one in 2025.

Solar power doesn’t work when the sun isn’t shining.

Wind power doesn’t work when the wind isn’t blowing.

Anyone in California who opposes both fossil fuels and nuclear power, but also complains about electricity blackouts, is a hypocrite.

August 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. 3 comments.

Michael Shellenberger: On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

https://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2020/6/29/on-behalf-of-environmentalists-i-apologize-for-the-climate-scare

On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

By Michael Shellenberger

June 29, 2020

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s

Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level

We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

I know that the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism.

In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse.

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.”

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence.

And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress

The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land

The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium

100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%

We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities

Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did

“Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions

Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon

The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants

Why were we all so misled?

In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism

Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped.

Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it.

The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop.

The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.

Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.

The invitations from IPCC and Congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same.  Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets.  Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism.

I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

July 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Scientists Who Didn’t Predict A Single Thing Accurately For Last Two Months Confident They Know What The Weather Is Going To Be Like In 100 Years [satire]

https://babylonbee.com/news/scientists-who-whiffed-on-every-covid-19-prediction-confident-they-know-what-the-weather-is-going-to-be-like-in-100-years

Scientists Who Didn’t Predict A Single Thing Accurately For Last Two Months Confident They Know What The Weather Is Going To Be Like In 100 Years

April 29, 2020

WORLD – Authorities in the scientific community who touted faulty COVID-19 models are “pretty confident” they know what the weather is going to be like in 100 years, sources confirmed Wednesday.

“Yes, we were off by a factor of about 1 billion in our predictions for what happened over the last few months, but trust us: we know exactly what the climate is going to be like in a century,” said leading scientific authority Dr. Garth Wendybrook at a press conference. “See, I have this lab coat and this Bunsen burner here.” At this point, he gestured toward a Bunsen burner sitting on the table in front of him, but he accidentally caught his sleeve on fire. “Fire hot! Fire hot!” the scientist cried before diving in a nearby vat of acid to put it out.

Post-press-conference analysis indicated his observations were correct, and the fire was hot.

The scientists say they have settled on a climate model that confirms the earth’s average temperature will be either 1 million degrees Celsius or below freezing, give or take 1 million degrees.

May 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

One year after her first false denials, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still trying to pretend that she doesn’t want to ban airplanes and cows

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 29, 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just stated  the following:

“… as we’ve discussed the Green New Deal, I’ve noticed that there’s been an awful lot of misinformation about what is inside this resolution – a tremendous amount of wild claims – everything from saying we’re seeking to ban airplanes to ending ice cream…”

You can see and hear her saying those words in this video. Skip to 1:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Fma_esNe4

While it’s true that the specific resolution that she is referring to does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows, Ocasio-Cortez herself does support such a ban.

A year ago, Ocasio-Cortez put a document on her official Congressional website which said she wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

After a huge number of people criticized her for this, she took the document down.

Fortunately, the internet archive has a copy of that same webpage from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207191119/https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

The original link (which no longer works) to the page at Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

In addition, NPR (a highly reliable source, which liberals love) published a copy of the same document at this link: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

And in case NPR ever takes that page down, here is the internet archive of that NPR page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207164217/https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

Here are Ocasio-Cortez’s exact words, as reported by NPR:

“Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”

The version from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is slightly different, as it replaces the phrase “farting cows” with “emissions from cows.” Since the version that she gave NPR is funnier, that’s the version that I quoted.

Anyway, that’s proof and more proof that Ocasio-Cortez really does want to ban airplanes and cows.

So her recent statement that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows is a lie.

And this is not the first time that she tried to pretend that she never said she wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

Her earlier denial from a year ago, as reported in this article by the Washington Post, was that Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

The Washington Post reported that Chakrabarti said:

“People are trying to take the focus away from the big picture to these little typos.”

Typos?

Seriously?

I’m not buying that.

A “typo” is when you type “pwn” instead of “own.”

There is no way that the following text from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is a “typo”

“The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

There’s no way that those words are a “typo.”

Someone deliberately typed those words into the document.

And who might that someone be?

Well, as I explained in this previous post, the document’s metadata proves that the document was created by Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff.

That’s the same Saikat Chakrabarti who blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

Chakrabarti’s lie about “typos” is just as unbelievable as the other lie that I mentioned in my previous post, where Ocasio-Cortez advisor and Cornell Law School professor Robert Hockett blamed “Republicans” for starting a rumor about the document being on Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website. Here’s the video of that again. Skip to 1:06

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qyx6eDkrmw

At the end of that previous post, I wrote:

“Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. So I’m 100% certain that he is familiar with the laws against defamation. I hope that he will apologize to the “Republicans” that he falsely accused of lying about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s positions on the above issues.”

Hockett must have read my post, because he later admitted that he had been wrong.

So first they blamed this on “Republicans.”

And then later, they’re blamed it on “typos.”

And now, with Ocasio-Cortez’s most recent statement, she’s still trying to pretend that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows.

Again, to be clear, Ocasio-Cortez was telling the truth when she said that the current resolution does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows.

Her lie is when she said that it’s a “wild claim” that she wants to ban airplanes and cows.

It’s not a “wild claim,” because she said it on her own Congressional website, as well as in a document that she gave to NPR.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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February 29, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders makes global warming and income inequality worse by spending his campaign donations on private jets

Bernie Sanders has repeatedly spoken out against global warming and income inequality.

However, I just came across this Politico article from last year:

In his campaign launch video last week, Bernie Sanders singled out the fossil fuel industry for criticism, listing it among the special interests he planned to take on. But in the final months of the 2016 campaign, Sanders repeatedly requested and received the use of a carbon-spewing private jet for himself and his traveling staff when he served as a surrogate campaigner for Hillary Clinton.

In the two years following the presidential election, Sanders continued his frequent private jet travel, spending at least $342,000 on the flights.

Increased scrutiny of his travel practices, which are at odds with his positions on wealth inequality and climate change, are among the challenges Sanders will face as he makes his second White House run.

Actions speak louder than words.

Sanders’ use of private jets proves that he’s lying when he says he’s against global warming and income inequality.

Here are some of my other blog posts about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders said it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food. Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food in Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Here’s a bunch of horror stories from the Canadian health care system that Bernie Sanders wants the U.S. to copy

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders says it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about getting paid less than $15 an hour

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders changes his tune on “millionaires and billionaires” after the media reports that he is one of them

Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries

I have four questions for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and anyone else who calls themselves a socialist

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

Bernie Sanders says he’s too busy campaigning to answer reporter’s question about the failures of socialism in Venezuela

Bernie Sanders says Uber’s employees are treated unfairly, so why does his campaign use Uber for 100% of its taxi rides?

Bernie Sanders supports $15 minimum wage, but only pays his interns $12 an hour

An open question to Bernie Sanders regarding your recent comment about deodorant

Bernie Sanders’ war on women

 

January 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Save the World with Nuclear Power – Leslie Dewan – TEDxUniversityofRochester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAcntoAVXE

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Global warming hypocrite Al Gore says he supports the Green New Deal, but his actions are the exact opposite

Al Gore just spoke out in favor of the Green New Deal.

However, his actions are the exact opposite.

This video is called, “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description includes links to sources to verify the statements that are made in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr37Xn9IL8

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Humor. Leave a comment.

Environmental hypocrite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flies to Denmark to tell everyone else to reduce their use of fossil fuels

https://nypost.com/2019/10/08/aoc-takes-first-international-trip-as-lawmaker/

AOC takes first international trip as lawmaker

October 8, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking the Green New Deal global.

The New York Democrat posted an Instagram story Tuesday afternoon showing herself walking through the airport as she headed for her first trip abroad as a freshman lawmaker.

She’s off to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the C40 World Mayors Summit.

“After a very busy week in district, I’m headed to Copenhagen for a global C40 conference where mayors and a lot of other public servants are going to be convening to discuss what we’ll be – what actions we need to take for the climate crisis,” she told her followers.

Mayors from Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia, among others, will all be in attendance. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not attend, The Post confirmed.

October 16, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.