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.

In California, the left is eating itself – excessive regulations are making it very difficult for the state’s legal sellers of recreational marijuana

This is hilarious. Instead of reducing the excessive regulations, the government is planning to spend $100 million to help business owners deal with the regulations.

In addition, seven different environmental organizations have complained about the effects of legal marijuana on the environment.

In California, the left is eating itself.

As a libertarian, I am in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, and I am against excessive regulation of businesses. The fact that California wants to spend this $100 million, instead of reducing the excessive regulations, is hilarious.

Here’s the article:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-14/california-struggling-marijuana-industry-cash-grants-budget

California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry

By Patrick McGreevy

June 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO —

The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.

Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.

“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.

As a result, about 82% of the state’s cannabis licensees still held provisional licenses as of April, according to the governor’s office.

The funds, including $22 million earmarked for L.A., would help cities hire experts and staff to assist businesses in completing the environmental studies and transitioning the licenses to “help legitimate businesses succeed,” Ting said.

The grant program is endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said in a letter to legislators that the money is “essential in supporting a well-regulated, equitable, and sustainable cannabis market.”

Separately, the governor wants to give cannabis businesses a six-month extension beyond a Jan. 1 deadline to transition from provisional licenses by complying with mandates of the California Environmental Quality Act. That extension, which faces opposition for delaying promised environmental safeguards, was not included in the state budget bill approved Monday and is still being negotiated with lawmakers.

The governor’s proposal to extend provisional licenses has drawn objections from a coalition of seven environmental groups including Sierra Club California, Defenders of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy.

They said in a letter to Newsom that the proposal allowing the extension of provisional licenses and interim alternatives to CEQA rules goes against what voters were promised and is “wholly inadequate to protect local communities and the environment.”

At the same time, industry officials say the governor’s proposals do not go far enough in helping businesses struggling to stay open with provisional licenses while meeting what they see as burdensome rules under the state’s environmental regulations.

“It is a significant amount of money, but I don’t know that it actually answers the problem of provisional licenses making it through CEQA analysis in a timely manner to get an annual license,” said Jerred Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Assn.

He said delays in cities adopting rules, their limited staffing and lack of resources by cannabis firms mean some face two to four years to get through the licensing process. Many would face the prospect of shutting down, at least temporarily, if they don’t get a regular license by current state deadlines, Kiloh said.

California voters paved the way for state licensing of cannabis stores, farms, distributors and testing when they approved Proposition 64 in 2016. State officials initially expected to license as many as 6,000 cannabis shops in the first few years, but permits have been issued only for 1,086 retail and delivery firms.

In 2019, industry officials estimated there were nearly three times as many unlicensed businesses as ones with state permits. Although some industry leaders believe enforcement has reduced the number of illegal pot shops, a study in September by USC researchers estimated unlicensed retailers still outnumbered those that were licensed.

Supporters of legalization blame the discrepancy on problems that they say include high taxes on licensed businesses, burdensome regulations and the decision of about three-quarters of cities in California not to allow cannabis retailers in their jurisdictions.

The bill approved by the Legislature on Monday includes $100 million and identifies 17 cities and counties earmarked to receive grants, including Los Angeles, which would get the largest grant. Other cities that will get grants include Long Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Commerce, Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs.

Originally, pot businesses were supposed to transfer from temporary licenses to regular annual licenses by 2019, but many businesses were unable to comply in time, so the state allowed provisional licenses until Jan. 1, 2020, and then extended the deadline again to Jan. 1, 2022.

A key requirement to convert from a provisional license is to conduct a CEQA review to indicate how pot farms and other cannabis businesses will affect the surrounding water, air, plants and wildlife, and to propose ways to mitigate any harms.

However, Kiloh said, some cities are just setting up ordinances and staffing to process licenses, meaning many businesses cannot meet the looming deadline.

Each cannabis grower must provide evidence that they met the requirements for environmental review. If their city and county do not provide the required document, the applicants must prepare one, which often means hiring environmental consultants.

A bill by state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) would have allowed the state to extend provisional licenses six years until 2028, but she shelved it after it drew opposition from the coalition of environmental groups.

The groups sent a letter to lawmakers saying that the bill “does not provide adequate environmental protection.”

The governor’s proposal, which is being considered by lawmakers, would allow the extension of existing provisional licenses by six months.

Environmentalists still hope the budget trailer bill can be changed to address their concerns, according to Pamela Flick, California program director of Defenders of Wildlife.

The group “opposes the proposed trailer bill language because it needs stronger environmental protections consistent with the original commitments made in Proposition 64, in which the voters intended meaningful and timely compliance” with environmental laws, Flick said.

The Newsom administration is warning of dire consequences if pot businesses are not given more time to get a regular license.

“Absent this extension, it is possible that a significant number of these licensees could fall out of the legal cannabis system, significantly curtailing the state’s efforts to facilitate the transition to a legal and well-regulated market,” the administration warned in its budget proposal.

The $100 million would go to local agencies with the most provisional licenses for growing, manufacturing, distribution, testing and retail operations. Some of the money can be used by cities offering equity funding to cannabis businesses owned by people of color.

Lawmakers welcomed the budget proposal from Newsom, who has an interest in seeing the legal market succeed because he was a leading proponent of Proposition 64.

“Gov. Newsom is dedicated to the success of the legal cannabis industry in California,” said Nicole Elliott, the governor’s senior advisor on cannabis. “The purpose of this one-time $100 million in grant funding is to aid locals and provisional licensees, many of which are small businesses, legacy operators and equity applicants, in more expeditiously migrating to annual licensure.”

Garcetti said in his letter that it will help Los Angeles “in creating a robust CEQA compliance program and comprehensive assistance programs to aid licensees in meeting annual licensure requirements.”

However, industry officials note the money will go to a small fraction of California cities, and only those that have already decided to allow cannabis businesses.

“It’s not incentivizing localities who have cannabis bans to get their ordinances up and running,” said Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path cannabis store in Sherman Oaks.

“The real problem is CEQA analysis is a very arduous process,” he added. “I think it would be good to have more reform of the licensing system instead of just putting money to it.”

June 14, 2021. Tags: , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants

https://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/6/21/are-we-headed-for-a-solar-waste-crisis

Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.

If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).

solar waste

June 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

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

International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30‐Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere

By Walter Sullivan

January 5, 1978

An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.

In some, but not all cases, the data extend through last winter. They include sea surface temperatures in the northcentral Pacific and north Atlantic, air temperatures at the surface and at various elevations as well as the extent of snow and ice cover at different seasons.

In almost all cases it has been found that the year‐to‐year variations in climate are far more marked than the long‐term trend. The long‐term trend often becomes evident only when data from a number of years are displayed.

The report, prepared by German, Japanese and American specialists, appears in the Dec. 15 issue of Nature, the British journal. The findings indicate that from 1950 to 1975 the cooling, per decade, of most climate indexes in the Northern Hemisphere was from 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius, roughly 0.2 to 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Data from the Southern Hemisphere, particularly south of latitude 30 south, are so meager that reliable conclusions are not possible, the report says. The 30th parallel of south latitude passes through South Africa, Chile and southern Australia. The cooling trend seems to‐extend at least part way into the Southern Hemisphere but there have been indications of warming at high southern latitudes.

The various indexes were reported as follows:

¶Average surface air temperatures recorded at 358 stations north of latitude 20 degrees south from 1951 to 1975 have been analyzed by Drs. R. Yamamoto and T. Iwashima of Kyoto University in Japan on regional and season bases. A general cooling is evident with “an intensive cooling episode” from 1961 to 1964.

¶Generally similar trends are evident in temperatures of the lower 18,000 feet of the atmosphere as charted by Dr. Horst Dronia of the Weather Office in Hannover, West Germany. For the period from 1949 to 1976, he has calculated, for 220 points in the Northern Hemisphere, the average temperature of the atmosphere from the separation between the pressure levels near the surface (at 1,000 millibars) and one high up (at 500 millibars). An increase in separation indicated expansion and hence warming. A decrease, for example, of 20 meters (66 feet) was taken to mean atmospheric shrinking, indicating a cooling in that case of I degree Celsius (almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit).

¶Observations extending higher into the atmosphere confirmed the trend. The authors were Drs. J. K. Angell and. 1. Korshover of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratories. in Silver Spring, Md.

¶North Pacific water temperatures compiled by the same agency’s Marine Fisheries Service have been analyzed by Dr. Jerome Namias of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at La Jolla, Calif. The original source was temperature readings of cooling water intake made by ships at a rate of more than 20,000 a month. The data, plotted for 153 locations, show a gradual cooling broken by a sharp warming in 1967‐68.

¶A similar study based on data from weather ships in the North Atlantic has been done by Dr. Martin Rodewald, former head of the Oceanic Division of the German Weather Service. Since the seven American weather ships were withdrawn in 1973 only two have remained, but observations of a cooling trend have continued.

¶A gradual increase in area of the northern circumpolar vortex, the massive flow of frigid air around the Arctic, has been recorded by Drs. Angell and Korshover. In 1976 its southern’ extent was the greatest in 10 years and last winter it was 1 percent larger than in any previous winter observed.

¶Snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere have varied greatly but there has been a net increase according to a satellite photograph analysis by Dr George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont‐Doherty Geological Observatory. This has been most marked in the spring when so highly reflective a cover returns much solar energy into space at a time of intense solar radiation.

¶Antarctic sea ice coverage, after increasing to 1972, has been shrinking.

The observations come, at a time when a warming trend could have been expected from the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to extensive fuel burning. The gas inhibits the escape of solar heat from the earth. Dr. Kukla, in a telephone interview this week, said that the cause of the apparent cooling remained unknown and that no scientific attempt to predict whether the trend would continue was possible. Monitoring of the various indexes is continuing, he added.

April 23, 2021. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Areas controlled by Democrats have way more racism, violence, hate crimes, gun violence, police brutality, and environmental destruction than areas controlled by Republicans

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/04/12/nolte-rural-trump-voters-already-live-in-the-safe-tolerant-utopia-leftists-claim-to-want/

Rural Trump Voters Already Live in the Safe, Tolerant Utopia Leftists Claim to Want

By John Nolte

April 12, 2021

If I had to boil down the political wisdom I’ve learned over four decades of observing, studying, writing, and debating, it would be this…

Life in Rural America (which is where Republican Trump voters live and govern), is clean, safe and racially tolerant. Most places in America where life is dirty, polluted, dangerous, violent, and plagued with racial hate and race riots, are cities that are almost exclusively populated by and governed by Democrats.

Outside of these Democrat-run cities, America is peaceful, safe, clean, and racially tolerant.

What’s more, if you remove these Democrat-run cities from our national statistics, you will find an America that is overwhelmingly peaceful, safe, clean, and racially tolerant.

Nevertheless, Democrats and their fake-media allies still blame Republicans for all of their problems.

According to them, it is Republicans who are responsible for racism, pollution, and gun violence — even though, out here where we all live, our air, water, and streets are safe and clean… We all own guns, but where we live there is no gun violence crisis… We are all supposed to be racists and responsible for all the hate crimes, but out here where we all live, there is no hate crime crisis.

Now, there will be exceptions, but those exceptions only serve to prove the rule.

Let me lay this out for you…

OPENING

Leftists say they want to live in a Utopia free of gun violence, free of pollution, and free of racism…

Well, that place already exists.

It’s called Rural MAGA Land.

Out here in Rural America the environment is clean, no one worries about getting shot, and there are no racial tensions.

Let me start with a personal example…

For a total of 20 years now, I’ve lived in rural North Carolina. My wife is a Mexican immigrant. Our interracial marriage has never been a problem with anyone. My wife has never had a problem with anyone.

For six years, my next door neighbor was a mixed-race family. Black and white. They never had a problem.

On the other side of me is a couple with mixed-race grandkids. Black, white, and brown. They’ve never had a problem.

Riddle me this fake-media and Democrats: If Rural America is where all the racists are supposed to live, where’s all the racism in Rural America?

Everyone I know out here in Rural MAGA Land owns guns (plural), and yet I can’t remember the last time we had a shooting in my county, a county where shoplifting still makes the front page.

Oh, and get this… We’re all  supposed to be anti-environment, and yet out here in Rural MAGA Land, our waterways, streets, parks, forests, and neighborhoods are clean and filled with greenery.

Think about that. I mean really think about it.

You would think that instead of blaming us for all their problems, Democrats who live in these shithole cities would be asking us for advice on how to live, how to fix their neighborhoods, how to ease racial tensions — advice we would be happy to give.

Let me give you some concrete data…

RACISM

According to the Department of Justice, out here where I live in rural North Carolina, throughout all of 2019, there were a total of only 20 hate crime allegations in our 13 rural counties where the population adds up to 668,000. That means that throughout 2019, there were only 2.9 hate crime allegations per 100,000 people.

Guess what the hate crime number is in some of the most progressive, left-wing cities in America? Well, you don’t have to guess, because I have those numbers for you….

Portland, OR = 5.75 reported hate crime incidents per 100,000

Boulder, CO = 7.9 incidents per 100,000

San Francisco, CA = 7.2 incidents per 100,000

Alexandria, VA = 3.1 incidents per 100,000

Arlington, VA = 4.7 incidents per 100,000

Seattle, WA = 40 (not a typo) per 100,000

Washington DC = 29 (not a typo) incidents per 100,000 (this is where the elite media live LOL)

I think you are starting to get the point, but let’s close with my personal favorite…

Berkeley, CA = 6.5 per 100,000

Golly, gee, will you look at that! It is two and three times — and even ten times safer for a minority to live in Rural MAGA Country than it is in a oh-so progressive city populated and governed by Democrats.

How is that possible when we’re told that we are the racists? How is it possible that where all of America’s so-called racists live, where we all congregate, gather, own guns, and govern ourselves, there is less racism — and in most cases — MUCH less racism, than there is in cities filled with Democrats?

Shouldn’t there be more racism where all we “racists” live?

Look at those hate crime numbers again and what you will see is that a racial, sexual, and religious minority is around twice as safe in Rural Trump Land than they are in America’s most left-wing cities, and TEN TIMES safer than they are in Washington, DC, where Joe Biden won 93 percent of the vote!

Now that your left-wing head is spinning, you might begin grasping for straws to explain this away. Allow me to disabuse you of all your bad arguments…

You might want to believe no minorities live in Rural America, which means there are fewer opportunities for we yee-haw racists to commit hate crimes. Wrong, wrong, wrong….

Now while it’s true that there’s a smaller percentage of minorities living in Rural America than your shithole cities, that only proves further that Rural America is much more tolerant than Democrat-run cities. Think about this…

Out here in Rural America, minorities are outnumbered by white people much more than they are in your cities, and yet, out here, even though they’re outnumbered, they’re much safer living among those of us smeared as racists.

Here’s a timely example…

The Asian population in Rural America is less than one percent. That means that out here in Rural MAGA Land, Asians are outnumbered by white Trump voters by, let’s say, 100-to-1… And yet, even though we are being falsely blamed for this recent wave of anti-Asian hate crimes, no one in MAGA Land is committing hate crimes against these vastly outnumbered Asians. There is no anti-Asian hate crime crisis in MAGA Land; the place where Asians are at risk are in cities populated and governed by Democrats.

Bottom line: Where Trump voters live and govern, there are almost zero hate crimes. Ahh, but where Democrats live and govern, look at all those hate crimes.

But somehow, even though we Rural Trump voters don’t live there, we’re still blamed for all the hate crimes that happen in cities mostly populated by and solely governed by Democrats.

Fact: There are no racial tensions in Rural America. People of all races and creeds and backgrounds live here together in relative peace and harmony. And it’s glorious. It’s a wonderful, wonderful way to live.

And to those of you who are stupid enough to believe that the only reason there are no racial tensions in MAGA Land is because “black people are afraid or intimidated,” look at what happened in my little town just last year. And guess how many hate crime allegations there were in my county (Watauga) in 2019…?  ONE. Or, as I like to put it, 303 fewer than in left-wing Seattle.

Anyone of any race, religion, color, sexual preference, or creed is welcome in MAGA country. As long as you leave us alone to live our beliefs, we will not only leave you alone to live your beliefs, if you ever need help, we will be there for you.

GUN VIOLENCE

Almost everyone in rural MAGA Land owns guns (plural). I own nine guns. And yet, the gun violence crises happen in cities that have been populated and governed by Democrats for years. In some cases, decades.

If guns cause violence and Trump voters are violent, why are there no gun violence crises in Rural America?

If gun control ends gun violence and Democrats are less violent, why is there so much terrible gun violence where there’s the most gun control and in Democrat-run cities where Democrats live?

If Trump voters were indeed violent, instead of being idyllic and peaceful, Rural America would look like Dodge City circa 1875.

Here’s a list of the top 15 cities in 2020 with the most murders and which party runs those cities…

Chicago – Last Republican mayor was 1931

New York City – It took Democrat Bill de Blasio six years to destroy Republican Giuliani’s miracle.

Philadelphia – Only Democrat mayors since 1952

Baltimore – Only Democrat mayors since 1967

Houston – One GOP mayor since 1974

Los Angeles – One Republican since 1961

St. Louis – Only Democrats mayors since 1949.

Dallas – One Republican mayor since 1995

Kansas City – One Republican mayor since 1930

Indianapolis – Since 2000, eight years of GOP rule, 12 years of Democrat rule

Washington DC – Only Democrat mayors

New Orleans – Democrat mayors since 1872 (not a typo)

Jacksonville – Two Republican mayors and one Democrat since 2003

San Antonio – officially a non-partisan office, but leftists have run that city for two decades

Atlanta – Run by democrats since 1879 (not a typo).

Except for Jacksonville and Indianapolis (which have had both Republican and Democrat rule in recent years), every one of America’s most  murderous cities has been run exclusively by Democrats for decades, and not a single one of those cities  — not one! — has been run exclusively by Republicans.

Here’s a list of 2020’s top ten most dangerous cities per capita (violent crime incidents per 100,000 residents) and which party runs those cities… Spoiler alert: Democrats.

Detroit – 1,965 per 100,000 – Democrats have run Detroit since 1962

St. Louis – 1,927 per 100,000 – Democrats have run St. Louis since 1949

Memphis – 1,901 per 100,000 – Democrats have run Memphis since 1992

Baltimore – 1,859 per 100,000 – Democrats have run Baltimore since 1967

Springfield (MO) – 1,519 per 100,000 – mayoral office is non-partisan, but the city is left-leaning

Little Rock – 1,517 per 100,000 – ruled by Democrats for decades

Cleveland – 1,517 per 100,000 – Ruled by Democrats since 1990

Stockton – 1,397 per 100,000 – Alternates between GOP and Dem mayors.

Albuquerque – 1,352 per 100,000 – One Republican since 1985

Milwaukee – 1,332 per 100,000 – Only Socialist and Democrat mayors since 1906

Want to know the violent crime rate out here in Rural America where I and a whole lot of other gun-toting Trump voters live? Ready for this… 132 per 100,000. The overall crime rate in my Trump-loving county — even though our poverty rate is higher than Baltimore’s (more on this below) — makes it “one of the safest regions in the United States.”

Here are the violent crime numbers from my neighboring cities and towns: Lenoir (pop. 19,000), 436 per 100,000. Wilkesboro (pop. 3500), 434 per 100,00. Hickory (pop. 41,000) 401 per 100,000.

In the rural and more Republican areas outside of those small towns and cities, it’s even safer.

How is this possible in areas populated by “violent” Trump supporters who almost all own guns?

What’s more, how is it possible that all these oh-so progressive cities filled with oh-so progressive citizens and oh-so progressive political leadership are so full of violence and racism?

Are you still blaming Trump voters? Well, get this….

We North Carolina Trumptards, with all our guns, still have a MUCH LOWER violent crime rate than even the 50th most violent city in America (Rochester, NY – 748 per 100,000). Oh, and Rochester has been run by Democrats since 1974.

You want to blame the crime rate on density? Well, I invite you to take a look at parts of Hickory and Lenoir and even Boone. We don’t have the sprawl of a Chicago or Los Angeles, but we have plenty of densely populated areas, and they are nowhere near as unsafe as your oh-so progressive shitholes.

Besides, if density causes crime and racism, why are Democrats pro-density? If density causes crime and racism, why are crime and racism blamed on guns and Trump voters? How about you idiots make up your sick minds?

SIDE NOTE

I urge you to go through all 50 of the cities on the list linked above and look up who’s in charge. Yes, you will probably find some Republican-run cities, but once again, those are the exceptions that prove the rule. And I would like to add that there are places run by Democrats that are safe and clean and free of racial tensions. In fact, although my rural areas are Republican, Boone has a Democrat mayor.

That’s not my point.

So let me restate my point…

Out here in conservative, rural, Trump-loving America, we have no gun violence, pollution, or racial crises. But…. Nine times out of ten, when there is one of those crises, they are unrolling in places where Democrats live and govern.

DRUG PROBLEMS

Yes, like the rest of the country, Rural America definitely has a serious and troubling drug problem. Nevertheless…

Unlike Democrat-run cities, we have none of the murder, gangs, gun violence, carjacking, or homeless crises that go with it. No riots, no lootings…

POVERTY

The poverty rate in my county is higher than the poverty rate in Baltimore. Nevertheless…

Unlike Democrat-run cities, we have none of the murder, gang, gun violence, carjacking, or homeless crises that go with it. No riots or lootings…

CLEAN ENVIRONMENT

Rural America is populated by Trump voters who are constantly accused of being anti-environment, but… My God, it is beautiful out here where we live. Green and lush, clear streams and rivers, clean streets, blue skies… Unlike the polluted, toxic waste dumps that are so many Democrat-run cities, we take care of our environment.

SUMMATION

Democrats blame Trump voters for violence, racism, and pollution, but the truth is that where we all live and govern ourselves, we have no gun violence crisis, no racial tensions, and our air, water, and streets are safe and clean.

But in these shithole cities where Trump voters and Republicans have NO SAY AT ALL when it comes to governing and policy, where Democrats all live and govern themselves, there’s one gun violence, hate crime, pollution, and homeless crisis after another.

How can Democrats blame us for their own problems, especially when where we live we don’t have any of these problems?

If Democrats were truly interested in solving these problems, instead of blaming us, they would be emulating how we live, not criticizing and ridiculing it.

BOTTOM LINE

Until it interferes with someone else’s right to live their life how they wish, everyone is America has the right to live their life however they wish. So if you moron-Democrats want to live with violence, filth, pollution, racial tensions, hate crimes, feces-covered sidewalks, race riots, gangs, smog, mass-shootings, and homeless encampments, you have every right to. Godspeed. And if you want to live your life blaming the problems you are solely responsible for on us Trump voters, you have every right to do that, as well.

I could not care less how you live your miserable lives, because out here in Rural MAGA Land, life is sweet and the closest we come to your filth and crime and violence and racial tensions is when we watch the news. And when the news blames us for your problems, we just lean back in our Lazy Boys and LMAO.

You get what you vote for, and the idiots who live in Democrat-run shitholes are getting everything they deserve.

April 13, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Guns, Police brutality, Racism, Social justice warriors, Violent crime. 1 comment.

Pete Buttigieg caught unloading bike from SUV before riding to Cabinet meeting in apparent botched environmentalist photo-op

https://www.theblaze.com/news/buttigieg-unloads-bike-from-suv

Pete Buttigieg caught unloading bike from SUV before riding to Cabinet meeting in apparent botched environmentalist photo-op

Whoops

By Phil Shiver

April 2, 2021

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was seen riding a bike with multiple SUVs in tow on his way to a Cabinet meeting on Thursday in what appears to have been an attempt at an environmentalist photo-op.

The secretary — who has been leading the charge on the Biden administration’s efforts to battle climate change — likely wanted to showcase his efforts to arrive at the White House meeting in a climate-friendly way. Only he was caught by CNN reporter DJ Judd unloading the bike from a gas-guzzling SUV just moments before.

“Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg biked to the White House for today’s Cabinet Meeting, it would appear,” wrote Judd, who covered Buttigieg in Iowa and Georgia during the 2020 Democratic primary, in a caption for the video.

A longer version of the video posted by WFMZ-TV clearly shows security personnel unloading the bike off a bike rack situated on the back of the SUV. After that, the former Democratic presidential candidate mounts the bike and appears to wait until several security agents’ SUVs are ready to escort him. Then he takes off with the vehicles following closely behind.

https://twitter.com/DJJudd/status/1377714183270240260

April 3, 2021. Tags: , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Video: Environmental protestor who was protesting against oil pipeline climbs building, falls, and spills oil all over the sidewalk

https://twitter.com/ScooterCasterNY/status/1378089432255959045

https://freedomnews.tv/2021/04/02/protester-plummets-after-climbing-bank-wall-in-midtown/

Protester Plummets After Climbing Bank Wall in Midtown

April 2, 2021

A man climbing up to the awning of a Chase Bank in Midtown Manhattan fell about 15 feet to the sidewalk during an Extinction Rebellion protest on Friday. He was yelling in pain after hitting the ground. The original plan had been to splash oil onto the bank, but once he hit the ground, the oil began pouring out of his backpack and drip into the gutter in a dramatic scene.

An ambulance was requested to the scene and paramedics took the injured protester away in a neck brace.

The protest was originally scheduled to bring attention to big banks in the city who are funding an oil pipeline called Line 3.

Multiple locations in the city had climbers scaling walls and scaffolding to deliver their message.

Information about Pipe Line 3 from http://www.stopline3.org: “Line 3 is a proposed pipeline expansion to bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. It was proposed in 2014 by Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the US. Enbridge seeks to build a new pipeline corridor through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior. “

Extinction Rebellion are a climate activist group who do creative performative actions for causes.

April 2, 2021. Tags: , . Environmentalism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

Biden kills pipelines at home but promotes them for the Taliban

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/biden-kills-pipelines-at-home-but-promotes-them-for-the-taliban

Biden kills pipelines at home but promotes them for the Taliban

By Michael Rubin

February 8, 2021

On his first day in office, President Biden canceled permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. Environmentalists and anti-fossil fuel activists should not have applauded his move.

After all, Canada will not stop extracting oil from the tar sands of northern Alberta. Instead, it will simply export oil over existing pipelines or to the Pacific Ocean, where the damage from a potential spill would be harder to address. Biden’s cancellation cost jobs and pushes Canada toward greater economic cooperation with China. It also shakes confidence in U.S. business. Who would invest in the country if any future administration can simply renege on deals with the stroke of a pen? Especially, that is, when the investments involved here reach into the billions of dollars?

Biden’s move was both political theater and an indulgence of his liberal base. But his hypocrisy was stunning even for a politician who has spent a half-century in Washington. Consider that while the Biden administration is killing a pipeline from which the public could benefit, Biden is promoting a pipeline to enrich both one of the world’s worst dictatorships and a group responsible for thousands of U.S. deaths.

The government has apparently brokered a meeting between the Turkmenistan government and the Taliban for a trans-Afghanistan pipeline to bring Turkmen gas across Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. If this scheme sounds familiar, it should: It was the same deal that now-Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad sought to make with the Taliban in the years before the Sept. 11 terror attacks when he was a consultant for the Unocal Corporation.

Khalilzad’s scheme was bad policy two decades ago, and it is even worse now.

Put aside environmental arguments and consider profit. Freedom House’s latest Freedom in the World report ranks Turkmenistan as among the world’s worst offenders, below even North Korea in terms of freedom and civil liberties. To promote the export of Turkmen gas is to entrench its regime even further. Part of the deal is then paying the Taliban protection money or transit fees for the pipeline transiting Afghan territory. Not only would this undermine the elected Afghanistan government even further, but it would also reward the Taliban for insurgency to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each month. Who needs Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers when the State Department has crafted a scheme to reward the Taliban beyond their wildest dreams?

One issue here is Khalilzad’s penchant for using diplomacy as a stepping stone to cut side deals. But the other issue is U.S. strategic interests. Perhaps a misunderstanding of the Taliban agenda was an excuse 20 years ago. It should not be one now. If the Biden administration says no to pipeline jobs in the Midwest, it should not then turn around and help enrich the Taliban to ship Turkmen gas to the Indian Ocean. It is time for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to call his envoy, end this hypocrisy, and to stop coddling some of the world’s most anti-American movements.

February 15, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Islamic terrorism, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

Icy weather chills Texas wind energy as deep freeze grips much of U.S.

https://news.yahoo.com/icy-weather-chills-texas-wind-030156166.html

Icy weather chills Texas wind energy as deep freeze grips much of U.S.

By Steve Gorman

February 14, 2021

(Reuters) – Ice storms knocked out nearly half the wind-power generating capacity of Texas on Sunday as a rare deep freeze across the state locked up turbine towers while driving electricity demand to record levels, the state’s grid operator reported.

Responding to a request from Governor Greg Abbott, President Joe Biden granted a federal emergency declaration for all 254 counties in the state on Sunday, authorizing U.S. agencies to coordinate disaster relief from severe weather in Texas.

The winter energy woes in Texas came as bone-chilling cold, combined with snow, sleet and freezing rain, gripped much of the United States from the Pacific Northwest through the Great Plains and into the mid-Atlantic states over the weekend.

An Arctic air mass causing the chill extended southward well beyond areas accustomed to icy weather, with winter storm warnings posted for much of the Gulf Coast region, Oklahoma and Missouri, the National Weather Service said.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s grid operator, issued an alert asking consumers and businesses to conserve power, citing record-breaking energy demands due to extreme cold gripping the state.

“We are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units,” the agency said.

Wind farms in West Texas, stricken by weekend ice storms, were particularly hard hit.

Of the 25,000-plus megawatts of wind-power capacity normally available in Texas, some 12,000 megawatts was out of service as of Sunday morning “due to the winter weather event we’re experiencing in Texas,” ERCOT spokeswoman Leslie Sopko said.

Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of energy in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies last year, behind natural gas, which represented 45%, according to ERCOT figures.

Forecasts call for heavy snow and freezing rain to spread across a larger swath of central and eastern sections of the country through Monday, with a storm front in the West likely to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow in the Cascades and northern Rockies through Tuesday, according to the weather service.

February 15, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Achtung Baby! (It’s Cold Outside) – Germany’s ‘Green’ Energy Fail Rescued by Coal and Gas

https://21stcenturywire.com/2021/02/09/achtung-baby-its-cold-outside-germanys-green-energy-fail-rescued-by-coal-and-gas/

Achtung Baby! (It’s Cold Outside) – Germany’s ‘Green’ Energy Fail Rescued by Coal and Gas

February 9, 2021

Barely a week after Davos luminaries met with world leaders and Silicon Valley oligarchs to plot their latest phase of the Great Reset, the underlying provenance of their entire ‘climate emergency’ thesis is still struggling to correspond with reality.

Their much-celebrated “Zero Carbon” agenda which virtue-signaling leaders like Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden are currently advocating for – is proving to be a lot more difficult to achieve in reality than it is on their elaborate UN Agenda 2030 Powerpoint slides, computer modeled projections and Zoom calls.

No one is being hit with this sobering reality more than the Europe’s premier green trailblazer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is currently in the grips of Europe’s record-breaking freeze this winter.

Stop These Things reports…

Germany’s held up as the world’s wind and solar capital. But, at the moment, the ‘green’ stuff can’t be purchased, at any price.

Its millions of solar panels are blanketed in snow and ice and breathless, freezing weather is encouraging its 30,000 wind turbines to do absolutely nothing, at all. [Note: don’t forget about the constant supply of electricity from the grid that these things chew up heating their internal workings so they don’t freeze up solid!]

So much for the ‘transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future – aka the ‘Energiewende’.

Despite being the object of consternation and much vilification over the last 20 years, Germany’s coal-fired plants are now being appreciated for what they are: truly meaningful power generation sources, available on demand, whatever the weather. With a Nationwide blackout a heartbeat away, the German obsession with unreliable wind and solar is like a time bomb set to explode.

Last month, Pierre Gosselin from No Tricks Zone explained how tradition energy sources like coal, nuclear and gas have bailed out Germany’s failing solar and wind green boondoggle…

Berlin On The Brink! Winter Blackouts Loom As Coal Plants Run At 100% Capacity, Struggle To Keep Lights On In

Wintertime wind and solar energy “between 0 and 2 or 3 percent – that is de facto zero,” says German power distribution professor. 

Berlin’s power supply severely strained:

Germany now finds itself in the dead of winter. Much of the country has seen considerable snowfall, meaning solar panels are often covered by snow and thus rendered useless. Even without snow cover, the weeks-long overcast sky prevents any noteworthy solar power generation.

Moreover, this winter there have been many long windless periods, and so Germany’s approx. 30,000 wind turbines have been largely out of operation. In a world 100% reliant on green energies, this would mean near 100% darkness at home.

Luckily Germany’s still existing coal and nuclear power infrastructure is (still) there to step in and keep the power on and the country running. This has been the case for Berlin this winter an RBB German television report reveals:

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

German RBB (Berlin-Brandenburg) public broadcasting recently aired a report (above) on the region’s winter energy woes titled: “Germany’s green energies strained by winter.”

Coal to the rescue

The report acknowledges that all the power is “currently coming mainly from coal, and the power plants in Lausitz” are now “running at full capacity”.

Strangely the RBB report has been taken down from the archives, yet is fortunately available on YouTube thanks to wind energy protest group Vernunftkraft.de.

In the report Daniel Bartig, a mechanic at the LEAG Lausitz plant, tells RBB he is skeptical that green energy can do the job, and says “the greatest share of power is currently coming from coal.”

Green energies will not keep pace with demand

Next in the report, RBB interviews Harald Schwarz, professor of power distribution at the University of Cottbus, who tells RBB he’s very skeptical of wind and solar energy doing the job. As Germany moves to shut down its reliable nuclear and coal power plants, the gap between supply and demand will grow dangerously wide.

Physical reality “totally neglected” by policymakers

According to Prof. Schwarz:

With this supply of wind and photovoltaic energy, it’s between 0 and 2 or 3 percent – that is de facto zero. You can see it in many diagrams that we have days, weeks, in the year where we have neither wind nor PV. Especially this time for example – there is no wind and PV, and there are often times when the wind is very miniscule.  These are things, I must say, that have been physically established and known for centuries, and we’ve simply totally neglected this during the green energies discussion.”
Will have to rely on foreign energy in the future

RBB then warns of the increased odds of blackouts for the region, like the blackout in Berlin in 2019.

So what will happen in the future?

The reporter says the plan is that Germany will have to rely more on natural gas (from Russia), coal power from Poland and nuclear power from France.

Green energy dumbness and obstinance on full public display.

February 11, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Video: Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki gets upset because a reporter asked her when the laid off oil workers will get the green energy jobs that Biden had promised them

A reporter asked Jen Psaki when the laid off oil workers will get the green jobs that Biden had promised them.

Psaki refused to cite any specific date.

She even seems to be mad that the reporter would ask such a question.

I think it was a great question:

https://twitter.com/CurtisHouck/status/1358830482167848962

Here is a blog post that I wrote about Democrats’ previous broken promises about green energy jobs.

February 8, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

Canceling the Keystone pipeline has everything to do with virtue signalling, and nothing to do with actually reducing carbon emissions, because the cancellation will actually cause emissions to go up, not down 

A new report shows that canceling the Keystone pipeline will cause carbon dioxide emissions to go up by the equivalent of putting 490,000 more cars on the road. This is because without the pipeline, the oil will be transported by train, which burns fossil fuels.

In other words, canceling the Keystone pipeline has everything to do with virtue signalling, and nothing to do with actually reducing carbon emissions.

February 8, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

John Kerry took private jet to Iceland for environmental award, called it ‘only choice for somebody like me’

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/john-kerry-private-jet-iceland-climate-award

John Kerry took private jet to Iceland for environmental award, called it ‘only choice for somebody like me’

Kerry defended move in interview with Icelandic reporter

February 3, 2021

President Biden’s recently appointed climate czar, John Kerry, took a private jet to Iceland in 2019 to receive the Arctic Circle award for climate leadership, Fox News has learned. 

Kerry defended his high-pollution ride at the time, calling it “the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle” in an interview obtained by Fox News. The incident had not been previously reported in the American press.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who led the Arctic Circle Roundtable, criticized Kerry for traveling to the event via private jet, Icelandic outlet RUV reported.

Kerry received the award, which took the form of an iceberg sculpture, for being “a consistent voice pressuring the American authorities to commit to tackle environmental matters,” the outlet noted.

Icelandic reporter Jóhann Bjarni Kolbeinsson confronted Kerry at the event over his choice of transportation, asking: “I understand that you came here with a private jet. Is that an environmental way to travel?”

Kerry responded by claiming that it was the only way. “If you offset your carbon — it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle,” Kerry said.

“I negotiated the Paris Accords for the United States,” he added, referring to the multilateral climate agreement signed while he was secretary of state under President Obama.

“I’ve been involved with this fight for years. I negotiated with [Chinese] President Xi to bring President Xi to the table so we could get Paris. And, I believe, the time it takes me to get somewhere, I can’t sail across the ocean. I have to fly, meet with people and get things done,” Kerry said, sidestepping the fact that he chose a private jet over a commercial flight.

“But, what I’m doing, almost full time,” he continued, “is working to win the battle on climate change, and in the end, if I offset and contribute my life to do this, I’m not going to be put on the defensive.”

Private jets have been estimated to emit upward of 40 times as much carbon per passenger as commercial flights.

It’s unclear how Kerry has been offsetting his carbon output, as he claimed, but flight logs indicated that his family’s private jet spent over 20 hours in the air over the past year — culminating in an estimated 116 metric tons of carbon emissions. 

For comparison, a March 2018 report from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that the typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. That calculation assumed a car that drives around 11,500 miles per year with a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon.

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

As Fox News previously noted, the Kerry family owned a private charter jet company from which the longtime Democrat appeared to benefit financially. As late as 2013, his executive branch personnel financial disclosure showed Kerry owning “over $1,000,001” in assets for the charter company Flying Squirrel LLC through his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune.

Kerry’s financial disclosures from 2009-2012 also showed that amount. In his 2013 disclosure, the former secretary of state reported between “$50,001-$100,000” in rent and royalties for the company. That figure was over $1 million in his 2012 form and between $100,001-$1,000,000 for 2013. Other disclosures showed rental income of over $1 million for 2011, “$100,001-$1,000,000” for 2010, and “$100,001-$1,000,000” for 2008.

Revelations about Kerry’s outsized carbon footprint came as Democrats have considered proposals to overhaul the nation’s energy economy, with potentially skyrocketing costs for households and individual Americans.

Biden’s climate proposal is estimated to cost at least $1.7 trillion. That could grow, however, depending on how Democrats negotiate with him in Congress, where progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been adamant about passing the ambitious Green New Deal.

During the campaign, Biden said he would use the Green New Deal as a framework for his climate plan, although his proposal cost significantly less than other plans that adopted that framework. Regardless, Biden’s plan aims for the type of economy-wide transformation advocated by more left-leaning members of his party.

That included achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, which the Heritage Foundation has said would cost the economy millions of jobs, thousands of dollars in lost household income, and trillions erased from the nation’s gross domestic product.

The conservative nonprofit used the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) National Energy Model to forecast the impact of steep carbon taxes aimed at reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

Not only did the model crash, it failed to approach anywhere near the goal outlined in the GND. The closest Heritage was able to get was a 58% reduction in emissions, achieved through a $300 carbon tax  — taxes above $300 crashed the EIA’s model.

t estimated that just a 58% reduction would, by 2040, cost the economy $15 trillion in lost gross domestic product and an average of 1.1 million jobs per year. The average family of four would also see a total income loss of $165,000, or nearly $8,000 each year.

Within just weeks of assuming power, the Biden administration had already cost American jobs by revoking the federal permit for constructing the Keystone XL pipeline. TC Energy, the company that owns the pipeline, warned on Inauguration Day that doing so would “directly lead to the layoff of thousands of union workers.” Rob Darden, CEO at Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), similarly said completing the pipeline “would have created 10,000 good-paying American union jobs.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., maintain that the cost of inaction on climate change is unsustainable. According to Sanders, solutions like infrastructure and investment would boost the U.S. economy as well. Biden’s campaign website predicted his climate response could create 10 million “well-paying jobs.”

Sanders previously warned that without action on climate change, the U.S. would “lose $34.5 trillion by the end of the century.” He also predicted savings as high as $70.4 trillion over 80 years by “averting climate catastrophe.”

February 3, 2021. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Democrat John Kerry’s Family Owns Private Jet Despite His Role Combating Fossil Fuels In Biden Admin

https://www.dailywire.com/news/democrat-john-kerrys-family-owns-private-jet-despite-his-role-combating-fossil-fuels-in-biden-admin-report

Democrat John Kerry’s Family Owns Private Jet Despite His Role Combating Fossil Fuels In Biden Admin

By Ryan Saavedra

January 28, 2021 

The family of U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry, a Democrat, owns a private jet, even though Kerry has been tasked with overseeing aspects of the Biden administration’s climate agenda.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “registry shows a Gulfstream Aerospace jet owned by Flying Squirrel LLC, the name previously reported for Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s private charter jet company. The company’s listed address matches that of the Heinz Family Foundation,” Fox News reported. “According to FAA records, the jet’s registration certificate was issued in July of 2005 and expires in October of 2023.”

Honeywell Aerospace noted in a 2019 report that private jets “burn 40 times as much carbon per passenger as regular commercial flights,” The Guardian reported.

“During his 2004 presidential run, Kerry’s campaign made 60 payments to his wife’s charter jet company, totaling $273,171,” Fox News reporter Peter Hasson added. “As late as 2013, his executive branch personnel financial disclosure showed Kerry owning ‘over $1,000,001’ in assets for ‘Flying Squirrel LLC’ through his wife.”

The mere appearance of hypocrisy by the climate-concerned Kerry is similar to a 2017 report that accused former Vice President Al Gore, also a Democrat, of using significantly more electricity at his mansion per year than the average American.

The National Center for Public Policy Research said Gore’s electric bills from his Nashville home were “at least” 21 times higher than the average American household “because they only looked at the energy consumption at Gore’s Nashville home, not his other two houses,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“In one peak month, September last year, Gore’s power consumption at the Nashville home reached 34 times that of a typical American home,” THR added. “The study indicates that Gore’s 20-room, 10,070 square-foot mansion used nearly 231,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in the last 12 months compared with less than 11,000 for an average American house. One of his findings, Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter, is that the amount of electricity Gore uses to heat his pool each year could power the average U.S. home for six years.”

Kerry has faced criticism for remarks he made this week about green energy jobs and how those who work in the fossil fuel industry can get new jobs making solar panels.

“What an arrogant, out-of-touch statement for a centimillionaire to say,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in response to Kerry’s remarks. “You know, ‘You little people, you know, I don’t like the choices you’re making,  and so your jobs go away,’ as John Kerry said right there. Quelle surprise that the Democratic elites have decided that blue-collar workers, that union members, that men and women with calluses on their hands, they’ve made the wrong choices, in John Kerry’s words.”

“I’ve asked multiple Biden nominees what they would say to the union workers who just lost their jobs because Joe Biden decided they didn’t deserve a job,” Cruz added. “And essentially nominee after nominee after nominee has said, ‘Well, tough luck.’”

January 28, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

3 Unions That Endorsed Biden Seem Like They’re Already Regretting It

https://www.westernjournal.com/3-unions-endorsed-biden-seem-like-already-regretting/

3 Unions That Endorsed Biden Seem Like They’re Already Regretting It

By Erin Coates

January 22, 2021

Three unions seemed to be regretting endorsing President Joe Biden after his first day in office.

Biden revoked the construction permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Wednesday, destroying thousands of union jobs.

“Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives,” Biden said, according to The Associated Press.

Keystone XL President Richard Prior said more than 1,000 unionized jobs would also be eliminated in the next few weeks as it slowly shuts down the construction of the 1,700-mile pipeline.

https://twitter.com/660NEWS/status/1352272270060900355

The United Association of Union Plumbers was one group that endorsed Biden last year, saying he would help it “win more work with good wages and benefits.”

“This endorsement is about putting UA members to work and fighting for fair wages and good benefits,” General President Mark McManus said in August.

https://twitter.com/UAPipeTrades/status/1295490141402861574

Less than a year later, the union has expressed disappointment in Biden.

“In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1,” McManus said in a statement.

“Sadly, the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction.”

North America’s Building Trades Union, which also endorsed Biden last year, said it was “deeply disappointed” in the decision to revoke the permit.

“Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project,” NATBU president Sean McGarvey said in a statement.

“On a historic day that is filled with hope and optimism for so many Americans and people around the world, tens of thousands of workers are left to wonder what the future holds for them.

“In the midst of a pandemic that has claimed 400 thousand American lives and has wreaked havoc on the economic security and standard of living of tens of millions more, we must all stand in their shoes and acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety this government action has caused.”

The Laborers’ International Union of North America “proudly” endorsed Biden in September.

https://twitter.com/LIUNA/status/1302971085466611712

Four months later, the LIUNA called Biden’s decision to revoke the construction permit “insulting and disappointing.”

“We had hoped the new Administration would make a decision based on the facts as they are today, not as they were perceived years ago,” general president Terry O’Sullivan said in a statement.

https://twitter.com/GOP/status/1352304266405433347

“The Biden Administration’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on day one of his presidency is both insulting and disappointing to the thousands of hard-working LIUNA members who will lose good-paying, middle class family-supporting jobs.

“By blocking this 100 percent union project, and pandering to environmental extremists, a thousand union jobs will immediately vanish and 10,000 additional jobs will be foregone.”

January 23, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism, Joe Biden, Unions. Leave a comment.

‘That’s not how you treat a friend’: Alberta calls on Ottawa to impose U.S. trade sanctions in wake of Keystone XL cancellation

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/that-s-not-how-you-treat-a-friend-alberta-calls-on-ottawa-to-impose-u-s-trade-sanctions-in-wake-of-keystone-xl-cancellation-1.5276150

‘That’s not how you treat a friend’: Alberta calls on Ottawa to impose U.S. trade sanctions in wake of Keystone XL cancellation

By Mark Villani

CALGARY — Alberta’s premier is touting the idea of a Canada-U.S. trade war if President Joe Biden doesn’t revisit his decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Biden put pen to paper on a series of executive orders on his first day in office, and made good on his election campaign promise to cancel the $8 billion USD pipeline project.

Jason Kenney took to Twitter late Wednesday to express his disappointment, noting “Alberta’s deep economic ties to the United States with $100 billion worth of exports and strong connections that go back over a century.”

He likened the situation to when former President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

“That’s not how you treat a friend and ally,” said Kenney. “We are not asking for special treatment, simply the same response that Canada’s government had when other areas of our national economy were under threat from the U.S government.”

TC Energy has since suspended construction on the 2,735-kilometre (1,700-mile ) pipeline from Hardisty, Alta. to Steele City, Neb., which would have carried more than 800,000 barrels of bitumen each day from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement of his own Wednesday, saying Canada championed for the project and “made its case to high-level American officials” last November.

“Canada is the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.”

Trudeau acknowledged Biden’s commitment to a campaign promise but says the decision to halt the pipeline will hurt workers in the energy sector. He pledged “workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and across Canada will always have support.”

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman notes that Canada has to accept the project’s fate.

Duane Bratt, a political analyst at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, says imposing sanctions on the United States could potentially lead to retaliatory moves against Canadian industries and increased costs for consumers.

“I supported KXL and I believed that Ottawa should have been given an opportunity to discuss with Biden before he signed the EO (executive order),” read a tweet from Bratt. “But launching a trade war over a partially completed pipeline is a really bad idea.

“The comparison with steel and aluminum tariffs is not the same. If Biden had put tariffs on Canadian oil exports that would be a comparison.”

Premier Kenney says Alberta won’t go down without a fight. The premier did not say how Alberta would respond if Trudeau did not act on imposing U.S. sanctions, only saying it would “force us to go further in our fight for a fair deal in the federation.”

The Govermment of Alberta has retained legal counsel in both countries to give advice on seeking compensation.

January 21, 2021. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

Oceanfront property tied to Obama granted exemption from Hawaii’s environmental laws

https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/11/18/hawaii-news/oceanfront-property-tied-to-obama-granted-exemption-from-hawaiis-environmental-laws/

Oceanfront property tied to Obama granted exemption from Hawaii’s environmental laws

By Sophie Cocke

November 18, 2020

Officials in Honolulu have granted the developers of a luxury, oceanfront estate tied to Barack Obama a major exemption from environmental laws designed to protect Hawaii’s beaches.

The shoreline permit, issued by Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting on Monday, clears the way for the controversial multimillion dollar renovation of a century-old seawall in the heavily Native Hawaiian community of Waimanalo.

Under state and county laws, such projects are typically banned. Scientists and environmental experts say seawalls are the primary cause of beach loss throughout the state, and officials expect older ones to fall into obsolescence.

But the property owners, including Marty Nesbitt, chair of the Obama Foundation, argued they needed an exemption to protect the sprawling compound they are building in eastern Oahu. State officials and community members say the former president, who was born and raised in Hawaii, is expected to be among the property’s future occupants. Representatives for Nesbitt and Obama did not return requests seeking comment for this story.

As the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica reported this summer, the so-called shoreline setback variance is just one of several loopholes that developers have exploited across the islands over the past two decades to get around policies that are supposed to protect the state’s treasured beaches and sensitive coastlines.

The consequences are stark. Oahu has already lost about a quarter of its beaches to seawalls, which essentially cause beaches to drown. Future projections are more dire, with scientists warning that most of Hawaii’s beaches could be lost if hundreds of homes, condos, hotels and roads that line the coasts aren’t moved inland.

Beach advocates and some community leaders in Waimanalo had urged government officials to require Nesbitt to take down the crumbling wall, or at least move it farther inland to restore a portion of the public shoreline. The beach there is virtually gone. The turquoise ocean now slams up against the seawall most of the time, leaving no room for the public to fish or sit along the coast.

Opponents also cited a Honolulu County ordinance, which stresses that it’s the “primary policy of the city to protect and preserve the natural shoreline, especially sandy beaches,” as well as to maintain public access and open space along the shoreline. Secondary to these priorities is the protection of private property from coastal hazards and flooding.

But on Monday, Kathy Sokugawa, the director of the Department of Planning and Permitting, sided with the property owners, approving their request to revamp and expand the seawall. She agreed with the owners that not allowing them to renovate the structure would create a hardship, depriving them of “reasonable use of the land.”

In her decision, Sokugawa noted the seawall fronting the property is at risk of failing and said it was important to repair the wall so that its collapse wouldn’t endanger coastal homes, the nearshore water and public safety.

At the same time, the department is also requiring the property owners to participate in plans to restore a beach right beside the estate.

Critics, however, blasted the decision, saying it was an extraordinary departure from county policy.

Hardship exemptions are typically given out to property owners seeking to protect existing homes. In this case, the owners of the property bulldozed the structures on the site and started construction of new homes before applying for the shoreline setback permit.

Doorae Shin, coordinator for the local Surfrider Foundation, said she’s concerned that the approval sets a “dangerous precedent” for the expansion of many old seawalls, noting similar arguments could be made in their favor.

Sokugawa, who declined an interview request, didn’t address the issue in her final written decision.

The permit marks the last significant regulatory hurdle for developers of the Waimanalo property, which according to building permits will include three new single-family homes, two pools and a guard post. Construction has been underway for the past year.

As the Star-Advertiser and ProPublica reported this summer, the property was purchased by Nesbitt, co-CEO of a Chicago-based private-equity firm, and his wife for $8.7 million in 2015, and they subsequently subdivided the site into two lots. The overall development triggered the state’s Shoreline Protection Act, which requires coastal projects to get an environmental permit from the local government. But the owners skirted the requirement by building homes on each lot just under 7,500 square feet — the threshold under the law.

Consultants for Nesbitt later argued the $3.2 million seawall renovation was necessary in order to protect the property from erosion and ocean-related hazards. The plan will increase the height of some sections of the wall, while two new walls totaling 70 feet in length will be built behind it for support.

During a public hearing last month, the Oahu Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club testified in opposition to the renovations, as did neighbors concerned about the potential impact of the project on the beach fronting their properties.

A Native Hawaiian community group restoring a historic turtle pond that fronts the property also registered opposition to the project, worried that it will cut off freshwater flowing into the ocean that’s needed for limu, or seaweed.

Honolulu Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi told county officials that she was gravely concerned that the primary purpose of the seawall repair project was to protect the private estate, as opposed to environmental and cultural resources. She urged planning officials to require the owners to go back and obtain the environmental permit they had skirted. She said that exemption violated the spirit of the law. The county declined.

“I’m just disappointed that this project wasn’t more fully vetted because of the sensitivities of the area,” she said.

November 18, 2020. Tags: , , . Barack Obama, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Kamala Harris supports the Green New Deal. Let’s see what that entails.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

October 9, 2020

Kamala Harris supports the Green New Deal.

Source: https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/harris-statement-on-the-green-new-deal

According to NPR, the Green New Deal offers “economic security” to people who are “unwilling” to work.

Source: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

This proves that the people who created the Green New Deal have zero understanding of human nature.

According to the same NPR link, the Green New Deal wants to get rid of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

I wonder what they will do when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Also, acccording to the same source, the Green New Deal also offers “safe, affordable, adequate housing” to everyone.

Meanwhile, I’d like to point out what government provided housing is actually like in the real world.

In the four minute video posted below, the housing conditions at a three bedroom apartment at a public housing project in the Bronx in New York City are absolutely horrible.

There are rats, roaches, and black mold.

There are leaks in every room.

And every time the tenant calls maintenance to ask for repairs, the government employees always make up some bogus excuse for why they can’t fix anything.

And why should the government employees fix anything, when they know they can’t get fired?

And as all of this is going on, the federal government is giving them $30 million per week to make these repairs.

Since they’re not actually making these repairs, what are they really spending that money on?

The video also says that at other apartments in the same building, sometimes there is no heat, sometimes there is no hot water, and sometimes there is even no running water at all.

Here’s the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz9PJOrDaXk

October 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 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.

California governor Gavin Newsom, who supports green energy, demands an investigation to find out why clouds and weak wind caused widespread blackouts

California Governor Gavin Newsom is against nuclear power and fossil fuels. He has been getting rid of those reliable sources of electricity, and replacing them with solar power (which only work when the sun is shining) and wind power (which only works when the wind is blowing).

California recently had widespread blackouts.

California’s Independent System Operator had been warning for years that the state’s growing dependence on solar and wind power could lead to blackouts. The organization blamed the state’s recent blackouts on clouds and weak wind. And now Governor Newsom is demanding an investigation to see how and why clouds and weak wind prevented California’s solar panels and windmills from operating at their maximum possible capacity.

Governor Newsom is a hypocrite and an idiot.

Here’s an article about it from the Wall St. Journal:

https://archive.is/fOpT5#selection-2543.0-2543.41

California’s Green Blackouts

If you eliminate fossil fuels, power shortages are inevitable.

By the Editorial Board of the Wall St. Journal

Aug. 19, 2020

Millions of Californians have lost power in recent days amid a brutal heat wave, and state regulators warn of more outages in the days and perhaps years to come. Welcome to California’s green new normal, a harbinger of a fossil-free world.

“These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Monday while ordering regulators to pull out all stops to keep power on. “This cannot stand.”

Mr. Newsom is demanding an investigation, though he can start with his party’s obsessions over climate and eliminating fossil fuels. Even former Gov. Gray Davis admitted the culprit is the state’s anti-fossil fuel policies. “The bottom line is, people don’t want lights to go down,” he told Politico. “People also want a carbon-free future. Sometimes those two aspirations come into conflict.” They certainly do.

California’s Independent System Operator (Caiso) has been warning for years that the state’s increasing dependence on intermittent renewables, especially solar, is making it harder to ensure reliable power. Renewables currently make up about 36% of California’s electric generation, and Democrats have set a 60% mandate for 2030 and 100% for 2045.

Caiso in part blamed cloud cover, weak winds and failures at a couple of power plants for this weekend’s power outages. But this happens when you rush to shut down power plants to meet government diktats and reduce the amount of reliable baseload power. Unlike fossil-fuel plants, solar and wind can’t ramp up quickly when other power generators go down. Solar power also plunges in the evening, and the state didn’t have enough backup power to compensate to meet high demand.

Dozens of natural-gas plants that can ramp up power on demand have closed since 2013 – enough to supply about four million households—so California is relying more on energy imported from other states when needed. In normal times it imports about 15% of its energy. But the Golden State’s neighbors are also experiencing heat waves, and many have also been replacing fossil fuels with renewables too.

Over the weekend, Caiso imported hydropower from the Pacific Northwest, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released emergency water flows from the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to generate hydroelectricity. Californians are fortunate that reservoirs were relatively full this year after a somewhat wet winter.

Los Angeles’s Department of Water and Power, which draws nearly 20% of its electricity from out-of-state coal, also chipped in supply. And Mr. Newsom on Monday waived the state’s emissions standards to allow businesses and utilities to run fossil-fuel generators, many procured for emergency power outages during wildfire seasons.

The power outages will get worse and more frequent as the state becomes more reliant on renewables. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has directed utilities to triple their battery storage for electricity by 2026. But this won’t make up for the natural-gas and nuclear plants that are slated to shut down in the interim – or the state’s power shortfalls during the heat wave.

Batteries are also expensive and present their own environmental hazards. Caiso has warned that the PUC isn’t accounting for battery recycling and replacement costs or how several days of cloudy weather could reduce solar energy storage. Batteries need to be replaced after 10 or so years, and disposing of their toxic metals is expensive.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the capital costs for a solar plant with an attached battery system run between 50% and 150% higher than for a new natural-gas plant. Natural-gas plants are still much less expensive after accounting for fuel costs, and they generally have a lifespan of 30 or more years.

Mr. Newsom on Monday acknowledged “gaps” in reliability amid the state’s transition to renewables while affirming the state remains “committed to radically changing the way we produce and consume energy.”

In other words, Democrats in Sacramento are so committed to ending fossil fuels that the hoi polloi are simply going to have to make some sacrifices – such as living with blackouts as if the state were a Third World country. So shut up and broil, and wait for the Green New Deal to do this for the rest of America.

August 20, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

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