WHERE IS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC? WHY THE FULL LOCKDOWN?

WHERE IS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC? WHY THE FULL LOCKDOWN? ANNUAL TOTAL DEATHS IN ALBERTA AND CANADA SHOW NOTHING UNUSUAL TO 30June2020

Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., April 3, 2021
From the total deaths plotted for Alberta and Canada, there were NO significant excess total deaths to 30June2020, and so there was NO justification for the incredibly costly Covid-19 lockdown, which is estimated to have caused 10 to 100 times more current and future harm than the Covid-19 illness.  

From the total deaths plotted for Alberta and Canada, there were NO significant excess total deaths to 30June2020, and so there was NO justification for the incredibly costly Covid-19 lockdown, which is estimated to have caused 10 to 100 times more current and future harm than the Covid-19 illness.  

The important question is why the lockdowns were ever enacted, and why the tried-and-tested Alberta Emergency Management Plan was tossed out and a young medical officer given the impossible task of managing the alleged pandemic – that in the first half of 2020 was a hugely exaggerated, false crisis.

In addition to needlessly destroying the economy, the impacts of the lockdown continue to cause harm:

  • Hospitals were emptied for ~2 months to make room for a “tsunami of Covid-19 cases” THAT NEVER HAPPENED;
  • Cancer tests, surgeries and other needed medical procedures were delayed and backlogged;
  • Deaths from opioid overdoses more than doubled, resulting in an increase of tens of thousands of years-of-life-lost;
  • Societal problems including substance abuse, family violence, poverty, and mental illness all increased;
  • The education system was disrupted and the harm to students will continue for years.

There is ample evidence that lockdowns and masking had little impact on Covid-19 mortality. Sweden and South Dakota that did not lock down had similar or better mortality outcomes to those that did.

In fact, the lockdowns encouraged the longevity of the Covid-19 illness and the development of more deadly variants. Most flu’s die out in the summer season, but lockdowns and masking allowed Covid-19 to survive through the summer. The Covid-19 problems since 30June2020 with renewed contagion and more dangerous variants were enhanced by the lockdowns – the lockdowns were a total debacle.

Furthermore, the incessant testing and reporting of positive PCR tests as “cases” is harmful nonsense, needlessly creating fear and bad policy. A “case” exists NOT from a positive test, which is often asymptomatic, but from a real illness that requires treatment.

I correctly concluded that the Covid-19 lockdowns were a huge error in early March 2020, and published that conclusion on 21&22March2020. All we needed to do, which I published at that time, was over-protect the very elderly and infirm (which we failed to do) and get everyone else back to work and school. The data shows that the lockdowns were not justified and were hugely harmful.

Alberta and Canada are now in a far worse situation than if we had done nothing – no lockdowns, no masking, etc. How do we get out of the needless mess our governments have created? First, stop reacting in panic to overblown test results and other scary propaganda. Adults should take 4000IU of Vitamin D3 daily. Cease all lockdowns, masking and distancing measures now. Get everyone back to work and school.

Let’s walk out into the sunshine and get back to enjoying our lives.

Regards, Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.

Notes on the Data

The data is from Statista.com, a private company, which sourced its data from Statistics Canada.

At 30June2020 the population of Alberta was 4,421,876 and that of Canada was 37,742,154.

Alberta has a younger population than Canada and a significantly lower death rate per capita.

The upward slope in both plots reflects increasing populations and the aging of those populations.

After a high-mortality-winter like 2014-2015, the subsequent year is typically lower-than-trend, because there are fewer very-elderly-and-infirm remaining to die the next winter. The reverse is true after a low-mortality winter, such that the total mortality numbers tend to oscillate above and below the trend line.

Data from other countries may show similar results. The abysmal quality of Covid-19 data from some countries, such as the USA, makes analysis difficult. It is clear that many USA deaths from other causes have been falsely attributed to Covid. It is also clear that the panicked response by so many countries to a relatively mild flu, which was only dangerous to the very elderly and infirm, destroyed the credibility of health authorities around the world. The Covid-19 lockdown did much more harm than the illness.

Wind and solar reliance would black out the US

If Biden goes to undependable renewables without nuclear, expect exploding power costs, rationing and blackouts.

By JONATHAN TENNENBAUM MARCH 8, 2021

This is Part 5 of the series Watch Out! Biden wants to save the planet. Click to read Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.

US President Joe Biden has made fighting global warming a top priority in all spheres of government activity and vows to make the US electric power system 100% carbon dioxide-free by 2035. He has not, however, spelled out how the administration intends to achieve this goal. The choice of technology plays a key role.

Many climate activists – but by no means all – are pushing for a plan based exclusively on so-called renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar power, without any use of nuclear energy. But without nuclear energy, Biden’s green effort will be doomed to disaster.

If the magnitude of financial and physical resources that would need to be invested are taken into account, it is clear that this scenario will never be carried through to the end. 

Instead of the promised nirvana of 100% renewable energy, the overhaul would inevitably end in chaos with exploding electricity costs, frequent blackouts, rationing of electricity consumption and repressive measures to cut energy consumption. Many power plants would most likely still be burning fossil fuels, as the country would not be able to get along without them.

Long before that, a powerful political backlash would likely have swept the Democratic Party out of power – along with anyone else identified with the plan. So what is so problematic about the “100% renewable” scenario?

First: the output of wind turbines and solar cells fluctuates over a wide range on time-scales of minutes, depending on weather conditions. Solar cell output varies depending on cloud cover and time of day, being zero at night.

Due to the erratic variations in wind strength, the average output of an onshore wind turbine is generally only about a third of its maximum rated capacity (the figure is about 38% for an offshore turbine). About 2000 typical-size 1.5 megawatt wind turbines are needed to generate as much average electric power as a standard one-gigawatt nuclear power plant. Unlike wind turbines, nuclear plants generate a constant, controllable flow of electricity.

To obtain a dependable supply based on wind and solar, supplementary electricity sources are needed to step in when their output drops. That costs money. In most present-day practice – where fossil fuels have not yet been banned  – this is done mainly with the help of auxiliary gas turbines, diesel generators or –  when nuclear plants are available – by “load-following” that constantly adjusts nuclear plant outputs. Load-following can work as long as the ratio of nuclear to wind-plus-solar is large enough.  

Otherwise, the only alternative is to import electricity from somewhere else, assuming it is available when you need it, or to store part of the output of wind and solar sources and inject stored electricity back into the grid when their output falls. The most-cited option is to use batteries – a lot of them.

The second basic problem is the low power density of wind and solar energy. Aside from hurricanes and tornadoes, wind is a diffuse form of energy that requires large areas to “harvest” it. The same applies to sunlight on the surface of the Earth.

Compared to nuclear plants or state-of-the-art fossil fuel plants, wind and solar require hundreds of times as many individual units, hundreds of times more land area and tens of times larger amounts of steel, concrete and other materials to produce a given average power output.

The figure below illustrates what low power density means: a 260-meter tall 12 MW GE Haliade X offshore wind turbine, compared with the size of a nuclear power plant – in this case an advanced-generation reactor being developed by the ThorCon company for Indonesia.

GE’s Heliade X is two-thirds the height of the Empire State Building, or half the height of the former World Trade Center! But for a nominal rating of 12 megawatts, we will be lucky to get 5 MW average output – a hundredth of the output of the “tiny” nuclear power plant at the right.

That’s similar for land use. Michael Shellenberger, a staunch environmentalist who has become an outspoken advocate of nuclear energy, compared the land area required for a given level of power production by typical nuclear plants, wind farms and solar parks in various countries.

For example, the nuclear plant in Borsella, Netherlands, occupies about .16 square kilometers of land and produces 3.46 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, while Holland’s Gemini Offshore Wind Farm occupies 68 square kilometers and produces 2.6 billion kilowatt-hours. The nuclear plant produces 570 times more power per unit area than the wind farm – and 370 times more than the solar park Sunport Delfzijl.

In South Korea the factor was 625 times for nuclear versus onshore wind and 468 times for nuclear versus solar. Figures in the nine other countries examined are analogous.

Note also that wind turbines degrade the quality of life of people unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity. Ironically, irrational environmentalism has caused an unprecedented scale of destruction of the natural landscape.

This has given a new meaning to the term blowback. In Germany, the resistance of local populations has brought the expansion of wind energy to a standstill. Large solar parks are not popular, either. 

There is no question that wind and solar power are mature technologies, that have an important role to play as complementary energy sources in specific contexts. But as far as the economics of large-scale use is concerned, the lobby of commercial interests linked to wind and solar energy – which is now much larger than the nuclear lobby ever was – has done everything possible to pull the wool over the eyes of the public.

We are constantly told that the cost of wind and solar energy has dropped dramatically and that they are already the cheapest power sources.

Common sense, and the electricity prices in California, Germany, and Denmark – which have all gone big on renewable energy – tell a different story, as do many independent studies. See for example the detailed study by Gordon Hughes of the University of Edinburgh, “Wind Power Economics – Rhetoric & Reality.”

The real costs of wind and solar are obscured by subsidized prices, renewable energy credits, production tax credits, green bond discounts, accelerated depreciation, property tax exemptions and tax credits.

Competing fossil fuel sources are “punished” by imposing carbon taxes and by giving first preference to renewables in the purchase of electricity by network providers. (See Chapter 3 of the excellent book Electrifying Our World, by ThorCon co-founder Robert Hargraves.)

The real costs of wind and solar energy also include the investments needed to integrate them into a national power system that must reliably meet demand. A 100% renewable energy scenario means transforming a vast electrical system that was designed to operate on the basis of stable fossil fuel and (later) nuclear energy sources.

During the Windpower 2019 conference, Dan Shreve, head of global analysis at Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, stated that achieving 100% renewable energy would require doubling the length of the high-voltage electric transmission lines in the US.

That means putting up over 320,000 kilometers of new transmission lines. In addition, the US would need huge amounts of additional electricity storage capacity. How much electricity would have to be stored in batteries and other storage systems to make sure the lights don’t go out when it gets dark and the wind drops off ?   

This is a complicated question, but it is worth citing a couple of crude estimates.

Willem Post, a former engineer and frequent writer on energy issues, addresses this issue: “According to weather data, the US has multi-day, wind/solar lulls covering at least 25% of the land area. They occur at random times throughout the year. A lull is defined at 15% of normal electricity output for that time of year.”

Estimating how much electricity would have to be supplied by storage systems in order to make up for missing wind and solar output during such a one-day lull, he comes up with 67 billion kilowatt-hours.

For comparison, the battery of a Tesla model S electric car can store about 85 kilowatt-hours. Dividing that into his estimate, we get the equivalent of 788 million fully-charged Tesla S batteries.

Tesla founder Elon Musk has promised that battery storage costs will come down to $100 per kilowatt-hour – a 30% improvement from today. The price-tag would then be $6.7 trillion for the first full set of batteries. Let’s hope they will not have to be replaced too often.

Results of a much more elaborate study were reported last year in the engineering magazine Bridge. The authors utilized data for the hourly electricity load and weather conditions in the seven New England states of the US during 2018, scaling up wind and solar capacities to match the annual energy consumption. The study takes into account the entire regime of operation of the system of sources and storage, which shows strong seasonal variations.

The authors come up with an estimate of 14 billion kilowatt-hours for the amount of electricity storage capacity that would be needed to ensure a reliable supply for New England in a “100% wind and solar” scenario. If we scale this estimate up to the whole US – whose electricity consumption is 35 times larger – we get the terrifying figure of 490 billion kilowatt-hours.

Assuming all-battery storage at the optimistic price of $100 per kWh, the price-tag would be $49 trillion!

The actual amount of storage capacity required would presumably be much less than this extrapolation suggests. Among other things, climate and weather conditions differ greatly among US regions.

In addition, building 320,000 kilometers of new transmission lines, as mentioned above, would allow electricity to be constantly shipped back and forth all across the country, according to the weather and time of day.

But whatever the millions or billions of batteries will cost, the very prospect of a nation basing its entire energy security on intermittent, weather- and climate-dependent power sources ought to frighten any sane person.

Meanwhile, some climate activists such David McDermott Hughes have come up with a much cheaper and quicker solution: Abandon the traditional goal of providing a reliable energy supply to meet the demands of society. Instead, require the population to adapt its consumption to the available supply.

Under this prescription the US population should simply come to accept rationing and power interruptions, of the sort that are unfortunately still common in underdeveloped countries. That would be the necessary price for averting the climate apocalypse.

Caution: read this before the lights go out.

Jonathan Tennenbaum received his PhD in mathematics from the University of California in 1973 at age 22. Also a physicist, linguist and pianist, he is a former editor of FUSION magazine. He lives in Berlin and travels frequently to Asia and elsewhere, consulting on economics, science and technology.

French Herder Believes Family Health Ailments, 400 Dead Cows “Clearly Linked” To Nearby Wind Park

By P Gosselin on 16. January 2021 Share this…

More than 400 cows have died mysteriously since a wind park was built near a herd in 2012. Local residents also suffering health issues: “permanent fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, insomnia”

Earlier we wrote about the adverse health impacts of wind turbines and on humans and animals, read here and here. Also search NTZ zone using the search word “infrasound”.

Cause unknown

Recently French farmer Didier Potiron reported that 400 of his cows had died since a wind park was built close by in 2012. Veterinarians cannot find a cause and remain puzzled. People are also feeling ill.

According to French site actu.fr, “In Puceul, near Nozay (Loire-Atlantique), cow breeders Didier and Murielle Potiron registered in mid-December 2020 their 400th dead cow since the construction of the wind farm.” Since the unusual deaths began in 2012, that’s a rate of about 1 lost cow a week.

Image: © Potiron family.

Three more deaths in January

Then on January 4th, 2021, the Potiron family announced that three more cows had died – again due to unknown reasons. Since the wind park was built, the family has seen significant excess mortality among the herd, and health issues among the family.

The Potiron family have even stopped autopsies being performed by the veterinary school in Nantes because they always got the answer: “no explanation as to the cause of death”.

“Clearly linked” to nearby wind park

“For Didier and Murielle Potiron, but also for their neighbor breeder Céline Bouvet, the origin of this excess mortality of their animals is clearly linked to the nearby wind turbines,” reports actu.fe. All the more so since they themselves have been suffering the effects on their health for all these years: permanent fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, insomnia… so many problems that disappear as soon as they move away from their farms.”

The family pushed to shut down the wind park for seven days, but the wind park operator refused, reminding that the park “complies with French installation standards”.

A New Abnormal of Rolling Blackouts Under Biden Energy Plan

By Professor Larry Bell October 5th, 2020

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https://spkt.io/a/1101983

Power blackouts that rolled across California cities and towns during an August 13-14 heat wave offer a warning glimpse of much more dire consequences we can absolutely count on occurring with enactment of the Biden campaign’s “Build Back Better” proposal to immediately eliminate fracking on all public lands, and virtually eliminate fossil-fueled power plants over the next 15 years.

In concert with the aspirational Green New Deal co-sponsored by his running mate Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Biden’s plan calls for humongous expenditures in renewable energy, including installing 500 million solar panels and manufacturing 60,000 wind turbines.

Add to this that Biden proposes to have taxpayers finance a half-million electric car chargers across America – along with funding to help car makers convert their factories to electric vehicle (EV) production.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newson has now ordered his state to ban new gas vehicles by 2035 in order to weaponize its gigantic car market as a hammer to force automakers to concentrate on EVs.

All of this, of course, will shift even greater energy demand from petroleum to the electrical power sector. Producing and recharging those EVs will require that energy sufficiency is constantly available. That wasn’t the case when that August heatwave left millions of perspiring Californians in the dark as power demand outstripped supplies.

Now imagine adding several tens of thousands of EVs to drain further dwindling supplies of reliable energy. Not explained are any bright ideas regarding how to recharge all those power-hungry plug-ins on windless nights.

For a reality check, let’s first recognize that about 80 percent of all U.S. energy (always measured in BTUs) comes from fossil sources, with another 8.6 percent contributed by nuclear. Of that total U.S. energy amount, solar and wind combined presently contribute barely over three percent, with solar contributing less than 0.1 percent.

Even the best wind power and sunlight systems produce energy averaged over the year at 25%-30% of the time or less. By comparison, conventional natural gas plants have very high availability in the 80%-95% range, and often higher.

Wind and solar energy intermittency demand an equal amount of “spinning reserve” power typically provided by natural gas turbines that must be inefficiently throttled up and down like a car driving in stop-and-go traffic to balance the energy grid.

Any excess energy that is produced must either be dumped or stored for times when it will be useful – like, for example at night when large populations of EV owners will simultaneously wish to replenish their large power-thirsty batteries.

There’s also another big problem with producing those batteries.

China controls about 70% of the world’s lithium supply and 83% of the anodes to make them. And a lithium project that has been seeking approval to mine the material in a Nevada desert has been blocked from doing so for more than a decade by environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity.

Nevertheless, limited capacities and unreliability issues aside (and they are big ones), wasn’t that “green energy” still supposed to be environmentally clean?

Certainly not when we consider what goes into making those systems.

As reported by my friend Mark Mills at the Manhattan Institute, building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building equivalent systems using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy.

Consider the massive material requirements needed to replace a single 100-MW gas-fired turbine about the size of a typical residential house with at least 20 wind turbines, each about the size of the Washington Monument and covering about 10 square miles of land.

Wind and solar power also require huge amounts of more land and expansive transmission lines to deliver electricity from remote sites to high power demand metropolitan centers. Those long-distance power transfers also add significant transmission losses.

The wind alternative would consume about 30,000 tons of iron ore and 50,000 tons of concrete, as well as 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the huge blades. A solar plant with the same output – enough power to supply about 75,000 homes – would require half again more tonnage in cement, steel and glass.

Adding to that, also imagine periodically replacing a utility-scale battery storage system for that same 100-MW wind farm comprising at least 10,000 tons of Tesla-class batteries. Producing each of them requires mining, moving, and processing more than 500,000 pounds of materials using hydrocarbon-fueled equipment. This amounts to some 20 times more than the 25,000 pounds of petroleum that an internal combustion engine uses over the life of a car.

Applied for transportation, and averaged over a 1,000 pound EV battery life, imagine that each mile of driving an electric vehicle “consumes” about five pounds of earth moved by hydrocarbon powered devices, whereas a comparable petroleum-fueled vehicle only consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Again, for comparison with hydrocarbons, it requires the energy equivalent of about 100 barrels of oil to fabricate a quantity of storage batteries that can store a single barrel of oil-equivalent energy. Put still another way, about 60 pounds of batteries are needed to store the energy equivalent to that in one pound of hydrocarbons.

Mark Mills reminds us that by 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out, non-recyclable solar panels will double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades.

By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries, including rare earth elements such as dysprosium they contain, will become landfill garbage.

As a 2017 World Bank study concludes, “Technologies assumed to populate the clean energy shift … are in fact significantly more material intensive in their composition than current traditional fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems.”

In addition, banning gasoline vehicles is going to cost California lots of funding needed for roads and public works, including the state’s bullet train to nowhere.  The state currently collects about $8 billion in fuel taxes and $3 billion in cap-and trade revenues annually.

Getting to 100% electric by 2035 will require massively more money for subsidies to pay for those cars and an enormous vehicle-charging network to expand from a mere 6.2% of the auto market represented by EV sales last year.

Finally, as for wind, solar and EV’s eliminating either “carbon pollution” or climate change, don’t believe that for a moment. The only thing “green” about any of them will come from the pocketbooks of taxpayer subsidies and hiked-up energy cost consumers.

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About the Author: Professor Larry Bell

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including “Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity” (2019), “Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations” (2018), “Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), “Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self” (2016), and “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom” (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, “Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles.”

Just Who Is The Real Blue-Collar President?

Stephen Moore | Oct 6, 2020 | Commentary | 

Just Who Is the Real Blue-Collar President?

One thing we learned from the debate in Cleveland last Tuesday, when Trump wasn’t interrupting, is that Joe Biden makes up numbers on the fly. There was a lot of fibbing going on. Consider this exchange between the two candidates:

BIDEN: We handed (Trump) a booming economy. He blew it. He blew it.

TRUMP: It wasn’t booming.

WALLACE: Sir, wait. Is it fair to say he blew it when … there was record low unemployment before COVID?

BIDEN: Yeah. Yeah, because what he did, even before COVID, manufacturing went in the hole. Manufacturing went in the hole.

He went on to say that President Barack Obama created manufacturing jobs, but they fell under President Donald Trump.

The claim that Trump “blew it” when he became president is quite a claim given that the unemployment rate, the poverty rate, the interest rate and the inflation rate hit all-time lows in 2019, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Labor. Employment, wages, median incomes and wealth hit an all-time high. Median households saw a $6,400 gain in real income in three years under Trump, compared with the approximately $4,000 increase made in eight years under Obama and Biden. As one who served as an economic adviser for Trump, I can say definitively that these were exactly the results from our tax cuts, deregulation efforts and pro-America energy policies. They worked like a charm.

One of our proudest results was the surge in blue-collar employment under Trump.

Here are the numbers for the eight years of Obama’s presidency and the first three years under Trump (prepandemic):

Manufacturing

Obama: -192,000

Trump: 475,000

Mining

Obama: -112,000

Trump: 63,000

Construction

Obama: 280,000

Trump: 746,000

Yes, under the early months of the pandemic, when government-imposed shutdowns ground industrial production to a virtual halt, the factories were bolted shut. That would have happened if Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Mother Teresa or Hillary Clinton were president during this public health crisis. What matters is the status of blue-collar jobs before the pandemic and since the economy has started to reopen.

Since the shutdowns ended, blue-collar jobs have been surging back. Several hundred thousand manufacturing jobs have come back, and many factories and construction sites now have “for hire” signs in the windows.

Biden is right that we still need to get hundreds of thousands of these high-paying blue-collar jobs back in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Jersey, among other states. Trump wants to do that by continuing to cut taxes and promote American energy production. Biden wants to do it by raising taxes by $4 trillion. Americans will have to decide which approach will work better.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy.”

German Power Prices Soar; Taxes, Green Fees Make Up 54% Of Cost

WRITTEN BY PIERRE GOSSELIN ON OCT 7, 2020. POSTED IN LATEST NEWS

Thanks to the Energiewende (transition to green energies), which is tantamount to a vegan energy diet, Germany’s electricity prices have soared 27% over the past decade to become the most expensive in Europe, if not the world, according to the STROM-REPORT.

Taxes, surcharges, and a catalog of other fees make up 53.6% of Germany’s electricity price, only Denmark has a higher share at 67.8%.

Only five European countries have seen electricity prices drop over the last 10 years.

Soaring prices in Latvia and Great Britain

No country has seen electricity rates rise more than in Latvia and Great Britain, where the price has risen a whopping 55% and 46% respectively over the past 10 years.’

Source: Infografik “Strompreise in Europa 2020”, STROM-REPORT.de, Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND

What’s behind the high electricity prices? According to the STROM-REPORT:

“The biggest intra-European differences are caused by taxes and duties. The EU average is 36.6%. But the values vary from country to country and are highest in Denmark with 63.7%.

“In Germany, where the government-induced price components also account for more than half [52.3%] of the price, the EEG levy, which enables the expansion of renewable energies, is included at 21.5%.”

Read more at No Tricks Zone

California’s on fire, and so are climate change alarmists

California Policy Center

California’s on fire, and so are climate change alarmists: Fires are burning out of control in California, and the environmentalists and Sacramento politicians are seizing the opportunity to blame global warming. They’re laying the groundwork for new legislation that will transfer even more power to the state and government unions.

Gov. Newsom said this week that he has “no patience” for those skeptical that the historic fires are anything other than a direct result of climate change: “You may not believe it intellectually, but your own eyes, your own experiences, tell a different story….” To paraphrase Groucho Marx: Who are you going to believe, Newsom or your lying brain?

Former coal and oil investor Tom Steyer added, “We didn’t have to be here. Corruption and inaction are what got us here, and only immediate, bold, transformational action will prevent these climate tragedies from getting even worse.” Climate change is real, but is it the sole culprit of the fires ravaging the state?

Green radicals are responsible for red forests: In his most recent analysis, CPC contributor Edward Ring brings much-needed balance to the discussion. He explains how the environmental movement fiercely prevented – and continues to prevent – basic forest management. Ed is an expert in this field. Before cofounding CPC, he founded EcoWorld.com and the popular “GoingGreen” investor conferences. His piece is required reading for anyone looking for a more nuanced view of why the state is on fire. He writes:In 1999, the Associated Press reported that forestry experts had long agreed that “clearing undergrowth would save trees,” and that “years of aggressive firefighting have allowed brush to flourish that would have been cleared away by wildfires.” But very little was done. And now fires of unprecedented size are raging across the Western United States.

“Sen. Feinstein blames Sierra Club for blocking wildfire bill,” reads the provocative headline on a 2002 story in California’s Napa Valley Register. Feinstein had brokered a congressional consensus on legislation to thin “overstocked” forests close to homes and communities, but could not overcome the environmental lobby’s disagreement over expediting the permit process to thin forests everywhere else.

Fire suppression along with too many environmentalist-inspired bureaucratic barriers to controlled burns and undergrowth removal turned the hillsides and canyons of Southern California into tinderboxes.
Climate change spares private forests: Katy Grimes, editor of the California Globe, points out that the disparate impact of climate change on public and private forests suggests another factor is at play, namely the lack of proper forest management in government-run forests:
 For decades, traditional forest management was scientific and successful, until ideological, preservationist zealots wormed their way into government and began the 40-year overhaul of sound federal forest management through abuse of the Endangered Species Act and the no-use movement…Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) … has warned, “Our forests are now catastrophically overgrown, often carrying four times the number of trees the land can support.  In this stressed and weakened condition, our forests are easy prey for drought, disease, pestilence and fire…. Forest fires, fueled by decades of pent up overgrowth are now increasing in their frequency and intensity and destruction… Excess timber will come out of the forest in one of only two ways.  It is either carried out or it burns out….”The same climate change impacts private lands as public lands, but private forests are not burning down because they are properly managed. Or if a fire does break out on privately managed forest land, it is often extinguished more quickly and easily because the trees aren’t so close together and the underbrush has been cleared away. 

Unions have cartelized firefighting: As Steven Greenhut explains in Reason, firefighter unions’ exorbitant compensation demands have led to fewer boots on the ground. Citing CPC’s own analysis, Steve argues that if firefighters were paid a market salary, California would have a lot more troops necessary to fight these fires:
 Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies. The median compensation package for firefighters has topped $240,000 a year in some locales. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters earn less, but their packages still total nearly $150,000 a year. The number of California firefighters who receive compensation packages above $500,000 a year is mind-blowing. Obviously, if the state spends scarce resources in this manner, it will have fewer resources to hire additional firefighters and buy equipment that’s now in short supply…

We all appreciate the work that firefighters do, especially during another grueling fire season, but we shouldn’t forget that firefighting resource shortages are caused by a legislature that is more interested in preserving union wage levels than in creating a firefighting system that works best for the public.

Firefighters unions block fire suppression strategy: Over at Flash Report, Richard Rider explains his decades-long quest for a simple yet significant fire suppression strategy: supplemental volunteer firefighters:
 The most significant reform I have proposed — over and over through the years — is the establishment of a large supplementary volunteer fire brigade for just such conflagrations.

Our professional firefighters need our help. But the sad part is that they definitely don’t WANT our help.  For brush fires, they want “boots on the ground,” but only UNION boots on the ground.  Their goal is to get California governments to hire more professional union firefighters at $180K+ cost annually — to sit around at more and more firehouses 24/7 until — every few years — a major brush fire sweeps the area.  And even then, they will not be able to save most homes in such a fire.

Jordan Bruneau
Communications Director
jordan@calpolicycenter.org

Climate Change Barely Registers Among Americans’ List of Top Concerns, Gallup Poll Shows

H. Sterling Burnett

Just 1 percent of Americans surveyed identified the combined category of “Climate change/Environment/Pollution” as “the most important problem facing this country today,” in a newly released Gallup poll.

Coronavirus the Top Concern

The Wuhan Coronavirus remained the top concern among the 1007 adults polled by Gallup between July 1 and July 23, with 30 percent of those surveyed identifying it as “the most important problem facing the country today.” “Government/Poor Leadership,” came in a distant second among the list of concerns, with 23 percent of respondents saying it is the top problem facing the nation.

All economic problems combined were identified by 9 percent of those polled as the most important problem facing the country, with 4 percent saying the “Economy in general” is the top problem and 2 percent saying “Unemployment/Jobs” is the nation’s top concern.

With protests and riots continuing to plague parts of the county, “Race Relations/Racism” ranked as the third most important problem facing the country, with 16 percent of respondents listing it as such. This represents a significant increase in concern about race relations since April, at which time only 1 percent those polled said it was America’s top problem.

Climate Ties for Last

Only 1 percent of those polled identified all environmental issues combined, including climate change, as the most important problem facing the country.

This result indicates strong disagreement with Democrat Party leaders who regularly refer to climate change as the most dangerous threat facing the United States and the world, and with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who said, “There’s no more consequential challenge that we must meet in the next decade than the onrushing climate crisis,” when presenting his Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.

Five percent of poll respondents ranked “Crime/Violence” as the nation’s most important problem, 3 percent cited the “Judicial System/Courts/Laws,” and 2 percent said “Ethics/Morals/Religious/Family Decline,” “Lack of respect for each other,” “The media,” or “Healthcare” is the most important problem facing the country, ahead of environmental problems in general and climate change in particular.

This article was originally published at HeartlandDailyNews.com.

Kamala’s Dangerous Agenda

By Peter Murphy CFACT

Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has made his vice presidential choice, and he chose wisely among a half dozen considerations who are women of color: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California. Congratulations to her.

Sen. Harris is a “wise” choice from a Democratic political standpoint – she is presentable on the national stage and malleable on policy issues. She also fully embraces man-made global warming to the extent America and the world should rapidly transition to “renewable” energy from carbon-emitting fossil fuels. Hence, Sen. Harris readily signed on as a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal early in 2019.

Ms. Harris’ own presidential campaign crashed and burned last year for reasons that do not reflect well on her, as reported in the New York Times at the time. Nonetheless, the experience prepares her for this new, high profile role.

I met Sen. Harris at an event in New York in early 2017 shortly after she became Senator. Her presence left me no doubt she was running for president, as had another first-term senator named Barack Obama. Her similar ambition has thus far borne fruit.

As I have written, the Democratic Party is all in on an extreme climate agenda. Nearly every candidate who ran for the Party’s presidential nomination proposed some version of the Green New Deal, which only differed on how many trillions of dollars it would cost.

Neither Biden nor Harris is a political “moderate” or “pragmatic” despite the coordinated, dishonest attempts by mainstream media organs to label them such. Rather, they are liberal politicians who reflect the prevailing positions and progressive direction of their Democratic Party; Harris even more so, according to her most leftward Senate voting record.  They are who they are – why pretend otherwise?  This is not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton in the 1990’s, much less the economic Party of JFK in the early 1960’s.

In 36 years as a U.S. senator from Delaware, Joe Biden was not among the Senate’s extreme environmentalists. None of that matters today, as he has dutifully evolved.  His climate agenda reflects the extremist vision of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kamala Harris made her bones (figuratively speaking) in San Francisco politics, is now thrice elected statewide, and a leader of California’s political class. The state’s energy and environmental policies are her policies for the nation.

Sen. Harris’ home state leads the way in environmental extremism. CFACT has well documented the costly and destructive climate policies of the Golden state, which has the nation’s highest energy costs and is driving away the middle class and businesses to other states. California is steadily becoming an unlivable place unless you are super-wealthy (e.g., Hollywood actors and Silicon Valley techies) on the public payroll, or dependent on the state’s vast welfare system.

On the issue of hydro-fracturing of natural gas, Sen. Harris supports a nationwide ban, which goes further to the extreme than her own state that allows it on a limited basis. Her stance also contrasts with the Obama administration, which understood its economic and political importance, and Biden, who has more recently equivocated on the issue.

According to the Global Energy Institute, a nationwide fracking ban would eliminate more than 19 million jobs by 2025 and reduce America’s economy by $7 trillion. Energy prices would sharply increase, not just for natural gas, and would add nearly $5,700 to the cost of living for the average American. Plus, carbon emissions, the bane of all things global warming, would increase since the global production and consumption of oil and coal would expand.  [Addendum:  Vlad Putin’s Russia, a major oil producer, would be delighted, along with Middle Eastern dictatorships like Iran.]

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris embrace climate extremism because it is Democratic Party dogma and a priority of its billionaire donor class. Accordingly, they are no less committed to “fighting climate change” by reordering the nation’s economy, with the job losses, higher cost of living, and curtailment of freedom that would result.

Not since 1944 has a vice-presidential nominee loomed so large. That year, President Franklin Roosevelt, whose physical health was rapidly declining, replaced incumbent V.P. Henry Wallace, a socialist, with Sen. Harry Truman. Eleven weeks into the new term, FDR died and Truman became president.

If elected president, Joe Biden will turn 78 and be older than was Ronald Reagan at the end of his eight-year presidency. His cognitive decline is increasingly obvious. A President Harris could come soon, without Biden physically dying.  Such would make history, and have transformative, deleterious consequences if she or Biden beforehand impose their climate policies on America.

Polar bears thriving

Is The Demise Of Polar Bears being Exaggerated?
Ross Clark, The Spectator, 23 July 2020

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could debate climate change for five minutes without hearing about polar bears or being subjected to footage of them perched precariously on a melting ice floe?

But that is a little too much to expect. Polar bears have become the pin-ups of climate change, the poor creatures who are supposed to jolt us out of thinking about abstract concepts and make us weep that our own selfishness is condemning these magnificent animals to a painful and hungry end.

Needless to say, the Guardian and BBC jumped on the opportunity for more polar bear coverage when a paper appeared in the journal Nature Climate Change, predicting that a high carbon emissions scenario ‘will jeopardise the persistence of all but a few high-Arctic subpopulations by 2100.’ The paper uses a new predictive model by Peter Molnar of the University of Toronto.

A BBC report, as usual, upgraded the claims made in the paper in order to state: ‘Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts.’ Except that the paper doesn’t quite say that. The high emissions scenario used in the study isn’t what would happen if the world continued on its current trajectory of fossil fuel use. Instead it uses a worst-case scenario called ‘RCP8.5’ dreamed up in 2014, which envisages that coal-burning will globally increase fivefold between now and 2100. This could be a challenge, because it would mean burning through more coal than, according to some estimates, exists on Earth. In fact, global coal-burning likely peaked in 2013. Even Nature Climate Changes’ mother journal Nature published a think piece in January calling for scientists and campaigners to stop using RCP8.5 as a ‘business as usual’ scenario, on the grounds that it is highly improbable.

But even if we were to jack up carbon emissions to the level envisaged by RCP8.5, and Arctic sea ice was to melt in accordance with the models, would it really mean the end of most polar bear populations? Given that polar bears feed on seals they catch by punching through sea ice, this may seem a reasonable claim. Yet the relationship between sea ice and polar bear population isn’t quite so simple.

A lot of the assumptions about polar bears and sea ice have been made on the back of the animals’ decline in the Western Hudson Bay area of Canada. Compared with the 1980s, sea ice there now breaks up on average two weeks earlier and refreezes a week later. As a result, polar bears are spending five months on land – where they struggle to find food – rather than four as before. Their estimated numbers fell by 22 per cent between 1987 and 2004, although this has levelled off since then. Polar bear numbers have also been falling in Canada’s Southern Beaufort Sea.

Yet it is a very different story in the Barents Sea, which lies to the north of Scandinavia and European Russia. There, the retreat of seasonal sea ice has been far more dramatic – it now hangs around, on average, 21 weeks less than it did 40 years ago. Yet polar bear numbers are stable. On Svalbard their numbers have increased by 40 percent – and the females seem to be in better physical condition now than they were 15 years ago. It is a different story, too, in the Chukchi Sea, which lies to the north of Alaska and Russia’s far east. There, sea ice forms for 41 days fewer than it did 40 years ago – yet the polar bear population seems to be stable, with no decline in the bears’ physical condition. The Kane Basin, off north western Greenland, has lost 53 days’ of sea ice in recent decades, yet the estimated number of polar bears more than doubled between 1997 and 2013.

All of which seems to indicate that polar bears, like many other creatures, have proved rather adaptable to changes in their environment. The assumption that they can only catch seals through sea ice, and will inevitably decline if their opportunities to do this disappear, seems simply to be wrong. Somehow or other, most populations of polar bears are finding enough to eat.

The end of polar bears has been predicted many times before. Indeed, one of the authors of the Nature Climate Change paper, Steven Armstrup, claimed in 2007 that the decline of sea ice would lead to a two thirds reduction in polar bear numbers by the middle of this century. The failure of overall polar bear populations to follow this downward trend, in spite of a decline is sea ice, was documented in a book The Polar Bear Catastrophe that Never Happened by anthropologist Susan Crockford. What happened to her follows a familiar story for those who refuse to toe the line on climate change: shortly after publication last year she was relieved of the post of Adjunct Assistant Professor at Victoria University, which she had held for 15 years.

The Denial by Ross Clark will be published by Lume Books in September.