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“Green New Deal” Is Old Socialist Despotism

November 30, 2018

Climate Change Weekly #306

Many Democrats are becoming more open about their socialist inclinations, although they still tell fairy tales about socialism’s ability to make the world a better place.

Socialism kills. From the former Soviet Union to Cuba, from North Korea to Venezuela, everywhere socialism has been tried it has robbed people of freedom and their property, produced economic stagnation and misallocation of resources, and resulted in millions of deaths, caused either directly or indirectly.

Blithely ignoring these realities, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told New York Magazine he pines for government control over everyone’s property, saying, “I think there’s a socialistic impulse. … [I]f I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed.” Of course—because that’s brought happiness, prosperity, and better living conditions to the people of Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela.

Then we come to the energy socialism being pushed by self-described socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, newly elected Democratic representative from New York, among others. Despite a salary topping $174,000 a year, Ocasio-Cortez complained (with a straight face) after being elected it will be hard for her to find a place she can afford to rent in Washington, DC—a city, by the way, almost perfectly satisfying de Blasio’s desire for all the property in the city being owned by or its uses directed or sharply delimited by various levels of government. I’ve got a news flash for Ocasio-Cortez, most people, even those in DC, live on much less that she now makes.

Despite her struggle to find affordable housing on a princess’s salary, Ocasio-Cortez has the hubris to claim Congress and federal bureaucracies in DC have the wisdom to control and direct people’s energy choices across the nation.

Ocasio-Cortez led protests outside longtime Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi’s office last week, demanding the frontrunner for Speaker of the House push for greater government control over the nation’s energy system in the next Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez has proposed what she calls a “Green New Deal,” requiring “the investment of trillions of dollars,” to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is just warmed-over socialism on steroids, applied to energy.

Ocasio-Cortez is not alone in her uninformed view of economics and history. Energy socialism has captured many Democrats’ imaginations. Hundreds of Democratic candidates for local, state, and federal offices in the 2018 midterm elections signed a pledge to push for the 100 percent renewable energy makeover. I haven’t had time to check how many of those candidates won, but undoubtedly many did and now have the power to restrict people’s use of inexpensive, reliable fossil fuels and impose costly renewable energy mandates on us.

After the gains so-called progressive Democrats made in the 2018 midterm elections, the number of Democrat lawmakers who support the radical Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (Off Act) undoubtedly have grown. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced the OFF Act with relatively little public notice in September 2017. The bill would require “100 percent renewable energy by 2035 (and 80 percent by 2027), places a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, bans the export of oil and gas, and also moves our automobile and rail systems to 100 percent renewable energy.”

These policies, supported fully by environmental extremists, would destroy millions of jobs and put the United States at a huge disadvantage when competing against other countries, especially China, India, Russia, and other nations whose environmental laws are much less stringent than ours.

Energy is the lifeblood of the economy, powering everything we do. Giving government even more control over energy development and use than it already has, including directing or limiting people’s fundamental choices over how to move about the country, what kind of electronics they use and how and when they can be charged, how to light, heat, cook in, and exercise climate control in their homes, what types of energy investments they want in their retirement portfolios, and what types of energy sources companies can develop, supply, and use, would result in chaos and misery.

Wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy are more expensive and less reliable than traditional energy sources such as natural gas and coal, which explains why states that require or subsidize renewable energy sources or impose high taxes on fossil fuels have higher electric power and gasoline prices than those with lower gas taxes and that don’t mandate the use of renewables.

The U.S. economy is the envy of the world, built on a power system reliant primarily on relatively inexpensive, reliable fossil fuels. Adopting the energy socialism being pushed by Democrats threatens to impoverish families, cause greater unemployment, and bring the power grid and the economy crashing down.

Energy socialism can’t fix our problems, but it sure can make things a lot worse.

  • H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: Environment & Climate News; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; New York Magazine


IN THIS ISSUE …

Climate contrarian explodes alarmist ocean studyNASA finds dearth of sunspots likely means colder temperaturesClimate science politicized, can’t be trusted


CLIMATE CONTRARIAN EXPLODES ALARMIST OCEAN STUDY

Researchers with the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University have been forced to issue a major correction to a recent study published in Nature on October 31. Their study claimed ocean temperatures have risen roughly 60 percent higher than estimated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The flawed paper got through Nature’s peer review process, but a climate realist—mathematician Nic Lewis, who publishes regularly on the Climate etc. blog—found methodological errors in paper.

Eschewing hard data recorded by the Argo array of robotic devices that float at different depths in oceans around the world recording actual temperatures, the study’s authors—Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Laure Resplandy of Princeton University—proposed a novel way of calculating temperature measurements based on the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide rising off the ocean, by filling round glass flasks with air collected at research stations around the globe.

The IPCC’s controversial recent report estimates net greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by 2050, to keep warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which it claims would result in dangerous climate changes. Based on their proxy temperature calculations Keeling and Resplandy estimated emissions cuts would have to be 25 percent steeper than IPCC called for in the coming decades to avoid exceeding the two degree cap.

Despite the idiosyncratic approach to calculating ocean temperatures and lack of confirmation or retesting from outside researchers, numerous mainstream-media outlets uncritically (and hysterically) reported the study’s conclusions. Although Keeling and Resplandy quickly acknowledged making the errors Lewis identified, many major media outlets have failed to cover the correction.

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” Keeling told various news outlets. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

After correcting their mistake, Keeling found their margin of error range was far larger than they initially believed, between 10 and 70 percent, making their observations virtually worthless as a calculation of ocean temperatures.

“Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said according to the San Diego Tribune. “We really muffed the error margins.”

SOURCES: San Diego Union Tribune; National Review


NASA FINDS DEARTH OF SUNSPOTS LIKELY MEANS COLDER TEMPERATURES


A pronounced lack of sunspots combined with data from NASA’s Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics Project indicates the Earth could be headed for a period of prolonged cold temperatures—the coldest period on record since the “Space Age” began.

Sunspots send ultraviolet radiation across the solar system, agitating particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing them to heat up, contributing to warming. Sunspots have been absent from the solar surface for most of 2018, causing the Earth’s upper atmosphere to lose heat quickly. This lost heat could result in temperatures in the thermosphere—a layer of gases around 60 to 180 miles above the planet’s surface—to plummet.

In an interview with Spaceweather.com discussing NASA’s findings, Martin Mlynczak, Ph.D., of NASA’s Langley Research Center said the lack of solar activity could bring record cold in as little as a few months.

“High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy,” Mlynczak told Spaceweather.com. “If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold. We’re not there quite yet, but it could happen in a matter of months.”

SOURCES: Ice Age Now; Daily Mail


CLIMATE SCIENCE POLITICIZED, CAN’T BE TRUSTED

During the question and answer period of an invited lecture at the Cambridge Union, the oldest debating society in the world, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson said “you can’t trust the data” behind the science used by climate alarmists to demand government action to end fossil fuel use to fight climate change, because it has been grossly politicized.

Peterson, who served on a United Nations sustainable development committee for two years where he worked on environmental issues, including purported global warming, said,

“[I]t’s very difficult to separate the science from the politics. …. Here’s one of the worst things about the whole mess, so, as you project outwards with regards to your climate change projections, which are quite unreliable to begin with, the unreliability of the measurement magnifies as you move forward in time, obviously, because the errors accumulate. If you go out 50 years, the error bars around the projections are already so wide that we won’t be able to measure the positive or negative effects of anything we do right now. So how in the world are you going to solve a problem when you can’t even measure the consequence of your actions?”

Peterson cited Germany as an example of the harm resulting from futile government efforts to fight supposed anthropogenic climate change. Despite investing hundreds of billions of dollars on wind and solar energy, Germany will miss its 2020 goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Peterson noted.

“[Germany’s climate program] was a complete catastrophe, and all that happened was the price of electricity shot up,” said Peterson. “That’s not a solution.”

Even if humans are contributing to climate change, the sacrifices necessary to mitigate it are far worse than harms that might result from it, Peterson argued.

“Well, what are we going to do?” Peterson said “Are you going to stop having heat? You’re going to stop having electricity? You’re going to stop driving your cars? You’re going to stop taking trains? You’re going to stop using your iPhones? You’re not going to do any of that, and no wonder.”

SOURCES: Daily Caller

Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org