Climate Crusaders Poised to Claim Oregon

A drama playing out in Oregon this week exemplifies, at best, the vast and growing distance between Left and Right in America today.

At worst, it exemplifies the relentless onslaught of corporate leftist tyranny, in all things, and everywhere at once, and the rising fury of an abused population that is slowly awakening. In Oregon’s case, a handful of Republican state senators are fighting an uphill battle to protect the people they represent from yet another attack of the climate crusaders.

While the Left Coast of America may be deep blue, the disenfranchised interior is an equally deep red. Almost invariably, to drive east from Seattle, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles, is to drive into a GOP controlled hinterland. A political map depicting Oregon’s 2018 gubernatorial election makes this plain – the entire eastern two-thirds of the state is Republican, along with the entire south coast and rural stretches of the north coast. The Democratic political machines in Portland, Salem, and a handful of college towns deliver enough votes to control the state, effectively denying a voice to everyone else.

Democrats in Oregon hold what Ballotpedia and others refer to in state politics as a “trifecta,” control of the lower house, the upper house, and the governor’s mansion. But in the Oregon State Senate, the Democrats are still one seat short of being able muster a quorum to pass legislation without Republican participation, and last week the Republicans rebelled.

The issue was proposed […] Read More

Biden’s “Climate Plan” Requires a Savvy Response

Front running 2020 presidential contender Joe Biden has just released his “climate plan,” claiming that with a $1.7 trillion federal investment, U.S. carbon emissions will reach zero within 30 years.

You can say this for Biden, the canny old campaigner isn’t highlighting his climate plan as a cure all for social injustice. Unlike the “Green New Deal,” Biden is leaving out of his blueprint guaranteed jobs, healthcare, and housing. And while he includes the obligatory obeisance to inclusion, diversity, equity, indigenous peoples, vulnerable communities, people of color, and every other paint-by-number platitude, that isn’t his main focus.

Nope, Joe is marketing the lunch box issues. Union jobs. Infrastructure. Energy leadership. Exports. Industries of the future.

Moreover, Biden’s plan, unlike the Green New Deal, does not read like a college term paper. If you’re a climate skeptic, or if you’re skeptical that bigger government is the answer, this plan should have you worried. Because it comes very close to offering a consensus plan that even some of Trump’s swing voters might support: which is to fund technology initiatives and infrastructure projects that should be funded anyway, regardless of whether or not rising levels of atmospheric CO2 are a threat to our existence.

How Biden’s plan comes across depends on who is reading it. This ambiguity permeates the document. For example, the plan calls to “double down on the liquid fuels of the future” by developing “advanced biofuels.” But what are the details? If Biden is referring to land-dependent […] Read More

Trillions and Trillions

If the old saying were coined today, it would be “a few trillion here, and a few trillion there, and pretty soon we are talking about serious money.” Who knows what trillions mean anymore – is the U.S. a $15 trillion economy, or are dollars fluid, and benchmarks meaningless?

Deficits are now counted in trillions of dollars, joining quantities previously ascribed only to global reserves of major commodities, or the annual output of large nations. One trillion. A thousand billion. A million million. Debts and deficits are now routinely counted in trillions with a T. Will requiring counting and auditing CO2 emissions, then taxing and assessing fees on CO2 emissions – and auctioning permits to emit CO2 – become the mechanism for governments to address their exploding debts and deficits, now denominated in trillians, and will such policies best advance the interests of humanity and the earth?

Commodities, along with the value of economic output, or economic capacity, wax and wane in the flux of the global market. If you try to completely regulate all this capitalism, if you try to eliminate all the waxing and waning, you are very likely to create a political economy resembling either fascism or communism. Enforcing a regulatory scheme so comprehensive as to encompass literally all combustion, concerned not merely about clean burning but burning itself, cannot help but require such tyranny.

“A trillion here, and a trillion there, and pretty soon we are talking about serious money.” Is the output of the entire […] Read More

The Climate Alarm Industry

On May 22nd, 2009, in the Wall Street Journal there is a commentary by Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg entitled “The Climate-Industrial Complex,” and that description says it all. One would think Lomborg is pointing out the obvious – that climate alarm is the pretext to orchestrate a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich – but sadly, this observation is still obscured by overwhelming and terrifying visions of planetary meltdown.

Lomborg has never said global warming isn’t a reality. Like most skeptics, he acknowledges there has been about a 1.0 degree (centigrade) increase in the average temperature of the planet in the past 150 years. Lomborg doesn’t even question the latest and greatest climate models, which, despite the disastrous worst case scenarios that are constantly emphasized, only predict minor sea level rise and moderate temperature increases over the next century. Lomborg’s primary mission has been to simply perform basic cost-benefit analysis on the measures being proposed to allegedly reverse global warming, such as it is. When you do these cost-benefit exercises (read “How Much for a Degree“), the rhetoric of those who think we can actually control climate quickly is seen for what it is – misguided and often misanthropic.

In his May 22nd commentary, however, for the first time, Lomborg went a step further, and exposed the agenda of the “climate-industrial complex.” He quoted U.S. President Eisenhower, who coined the phrase “military-industrial complex,” and said of […] Read More