Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Climate Change Hysteria

From across the pond come some sobering thoughts by one Peter Hitchens. Brother of the late Christopher, Hitchens blogs for the Daily Mail. He opens with a salient point, one that is slightly more fitting for Great Britain, but that, we will see, echoes a point made by Joel Kotkin, who writes from the West Coast.

Hitchens opens with the notion that Green Dogma, the conviction that we must immediately do something to change the climate, lest our beloved planet become an arid wasteland, has become so pervasive that dissent is no longer allowed. Groupthink has invaded and taken over the minds of Britain’s best and brightest. 

It might not be very popular with the populace-- witness the cratering ratings of the woke Oscars-- but this is all the more reason to impose these policies by executive fiat. Besides, the woke intelligentsia has a monopoly on the dissemination of information, so, you can just shut up.

Hitchens explains:

There are so many things that it is now impossible to discuss without being driven into the wilderness. Dissent on these subjects – you know what they are, though there will soon be more – is a suicide mission, which can even bring the police to your door.

And I suppose for most people this is just a nuisance on the edge of life. But the Green Dogma – which has taken over every major government on the planet, and is now pretty much accepted by all media, publishing houses and educational bodies – is different. Anyone who challenges or doubts it might as well build his own guillotine, stick his head in the hole and drop the blade on his own neck.

Joel Kotkin, writing from our very own verdant shores, echoes the point in a Spiked article:

Remarkably, despite this record of distortion, climate hysteria has become the abiding faith of the dominant media, universities and a large swath of the corporate establishment, particularly on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. Some have even embraced the hardly capitalist notion of degrowth, an ideology which suggests, in essence, the Western working and middle classes must sacrifice comfort and aspiration to save the planet. (Often at the urging of the world’s wealthiest people, with their grand estates and private jets!)

We have discovered that coal power generation is the root of all evil. So, Britain and countries like Germany are shutting down their coal power plants. In the meantime, China and India are happy to promise that they will do so themselves at some point in the distant future. Since they are dealing with a traitorous buffoon named John Kerry, why not play him for the fool that he is.

Hitchens explains the truth about coal in Great Britain:

So far, the main thing we have done is to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations. Well, you might say, so much the better for the atmosphere. But China, with vast, newly discovered coalfields in Inner Mongolia, keeps opening such stations. In fact, China’s coal-fired power generation is more than ten times bigger than Britain’s entire electricity output from all sources. It is not just China. India is also a greedy consumer of coal to make electricity. Both countries make airy promises that one day they will stop doing this, but as long as they carry on, our efforts make as much difference as trying to empty the Atlantic with a teaspoon.

Self-sabotage in order to save the planet. Hitchens explains that nations who follow the Green Dogma are destined to join the Third World. In Great Britain this is being implemented by a conservative government, no less.

My guess is that it is the means by which we in the West will join the Third World, finally and irrevocably. How amusing that this should be brought about by a government that calls itself Conservative, and claims to be patriotic.

As for the situation in America, Kotkin, surely not a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, speaks truth to Biden administration greening policies. Considering that the apocalypse is imminent, we must do something. I would note in passing that these people are claiming to base their thinking on science, all the while trafficking in apocalyptic thinking, a product of Scripture:

The deep-seated sense of pending apocalypse that grips Western elites is driving the shift to draconian and radical policies. Some politicians, like Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, have called on Biden to declare ‘a climate emergency’, which would essentially give the White House a blank cheque and unlimited power to impose its vision.

For environmental puritans like Blumenauer, climate sin is equivalent to sex and gluttony in the original Massachusetts version. For a generation, environmentalist advocates have prophesied an imminent climate disaster that would, if not met with extreme action, threaten the very future of humanity.

So, Kotkin asks how realistic the Biden climate policy is. He discovers that it has nothing to do with realistic possibilities:

Biden’s proposals for transportation spending, which counts for a surprisingly small part of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, embrace the Green New Deal notion of substituting trains for roads and planes. By some estimates, the infrastructure bill allocates $165 billion for public transit and rail against only $115 billion to fix and modernise the roads and bridges Americans drive on – which doesn’t exactly meet the needs of most Americans.

Most Americans do not and will never use public transport. I would offer up some thoughts about the horrors of the New York Subway system, but I am sure that you know all about it already.

Kotkin explains cogently:

This is in a country in which 95 per cent of people do not use public transport to get to work. It accounted for less than two per cent of all urban travel before Covid, with the vast majority of Americans either driving or working from home.

The fundamental problem is not that Americans dislike public transport, but rather that you ‘cannot get from here to there’. In the US, more than 90 per cent of metropolitan-area jobs are dispersed into the suburban and exurban areas. On average, in the nation’s major metropolitan areas, cars provide access to about 50 times as many jobs as public transport....

Besides, activists like the idiot bartendress from Queens who is leading the charge for the Green New Deal tell us that if we don’t go to war against the weather, we are racists.

The truth, Kotkin explains, is that the green agenda mostly hurts people of color. Tell me you are not surprised:

Climate activists today often mouth slogans about how climate change is also ‘racist’, but historically disadvantaged minorities are most likely to be negatively affected by a Green New Deal. In California, a test case for Green New Deal-style policies, extreme climate measures have driven the loss of traditional blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, construction and energy, while other environmental regulations have boosted housing prices. The biggest losers have been African Americans and Latinos. Overall, minorities in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco do far worse economically than in historically less regulated and taxed places like Kansas City, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Dallas or Nashville.

In another instance the cerebrally challenged Biden offers an absurd proposal:

 President Biden suggests that we ‘imagine a world where you and your family can travel coast to coast… in a high-speed train, close to as fast as you can go across the country in a plane’. This is all but physically impossible. The fastest high-speed rail trains in the world average about 200 miles per hour – compared to the routine 500-miles-per-hour average speed of long-distance jets.

And, as noted here and elsewhere, producing high speed railroads is going to come a cropper against environmental regulation and our legal community:

It is also highly unlikely that Washington could build transit systems as efficiently as the Chinese state, with its top-down autocratic system. In the US, new routes would have to withstand a far more demanding legal system, environmental checks and high costs by international standards. World Bank research has estimated that US high-speed-rail construction costs would be a third higher per mile than in Europe, and nearly 150 per cent higher than in China.

Those places that have adopted Green policies have discovered “energy poverty.” 

Daily life under the Green New Deal would not only be more crowded, it would likely also leave more people poorer. Virtually all places like California, Germany, as well as the EU, that have made dramatic moves towards a ‘renewable’ energy policy also suffer higher prices and rising levels of ‘energy poverty’. The Jacques Delors Institute estimates that already some 30million Europeans cannot adequately heat their homes this winter. Deutsche Bank’s senior economist Eric Heyman predicts the green policies will create ‘a European mega-crisis’ and a ‘noticeable loss of welfare and jobs’.

Kotkin closes on a sobering note. In their mindless zeal to save the planet the Green New Dealers have ignored the imperative to preserve society.

Eventually a conflict between red-leaning greens and the plutocratic ‘green’ oligarchy seems likely. If this divide opens widely, there may be an opportunity for a more reasoned, gradual and less socially regressive environmental approach – one focused on preserving the health not only of the Earth, but society as well.


jmod46 said...

It's very simple. Green "sustainability" projects and policies are religious and political in nature. They are only incidentally related to science.

David Foster said...

Biden has some very odd ideas about transportation and energy; see my post The Mental World of Joseph Biden--Technology Department:


Sam L. said...

"Hitchens opens with the notion that Green Dogma, the conviction that we must immediately do something to change the climate, lest our beloved planet become an arid wasteland, has become so pervasive that dissent is no longer allowed. Groupthink has invaded and taken over the minds of Britain’s best and brightest." I would say, worst and blightest...but that's just me. I think England and Europe have passed their pull dates.

"Besides, activists like the idiot bartendress from Queens who is leading the charge for the Green New Deal tell us that if we don’t go to war against the weather, we are racists." WHAT? AOC wants to rage war against the weather? That girl is crazier than I thought!

hayek said...

Steven Koonin's new book Unsettled exposes the mask of catastrophic climate change. He is a highly claimed physicist who was the chief scientist at the Dept. of Energy in the Obama administration no less. In a nutshell he documents from standard data sources that there is no emergency and the science is far from settled.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for the reference to Koonin. I posted about him last week: https://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-truth-about-climate.html

Craig C said...

The only solar/wind project that is economically sound is a clothes line, and progressive neighborhoods ban them.

Sam L. said...

I forgot to mention that "the Climate has been changing ever since our planet has had an atmosphere".