Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

20 May 2019

Ending Obama EPA climate deception by Paul Driessen

Let’s finally review Endangerment Finding used to justify trillions in climate and energy costs

In December 2009, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency issued its Endangerment Finding (EF) – decreeing that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) endanger the health and welfare of Americans. In the process, EPA ignored the incredible economic, health and welfare benefits of fossil fuels – and the fact that (even at just 0.04% of the atmosphere) carbon dioxide is the miracle molecule that enables plants to grow and makes nearly all life on Earth possible.

EPA turned CO2 into a “dangerous pollutant” and ruled that fossil fuels must be eradicated. The agency subsequently used its EF to justify tens of billions of dollars in climate research, anti-fossil fuel regulations, and wind and solar subsidies; President Obama’s signing of the Paris climate treaty; and proposals to spend trillions of dollars a year on Green New Deal (GND) programs.

And yet, despite multiple demands that this be done, there has never been any formal, public review of the EF conclusion or of the secretive process EPA employed to ensure the result of its “analysis” could only be “endangerment” – and no awkward questions or public hearings would get in the way.

Review, transparency and accountability may finally be on the way, however, in the form of potential Executive Branch actions. If they occur – and they certainly should – both are likely to find that there is no valid scientific basis for the EF, and EPA violated important federal procedural rules in rendering its predetermined EF outcome. (One could even say the EF was obtained primarily because of prosecutorial misconduct, a kangaroo court proceeding, and scientific fraud.) Failure to examine and reverse the EF would mean it hangs like Damocles’ sword over the USA, awaiting another climate-focused president.

To the consternation and outrage of climate alarmists, keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground radicals, and predictable politicians and pundits, President Trump may soon appoint a Presidential Committee on Climate Change, to review “dangerous manmade climate change” reports by federal agencies.

Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed a formal petition with EPA, asking that the agency stop utilizing and relying on the EF – and instead subject the finding to a proper “high level” peer review, as required by the Information Quality Act. The reasoning presented in CEI’s succinct and persuasive petition is compelling. Its main points are these.

* EPA’s Endangerment Finding and the Technical Support Document (TSD) that supposedly justifies it did not meet Information Quality Act (IQA) requirements for how the work should have been done.

* The agency’s evaluation of the then-current climate change and related science was clearly a “highly influential scientific assessment” (HISA), which triggered important IQA and OMB rules governing rulemakings that have “a potential impact of more than $500 million in any year” … or present “novel, controversial or precedent-setting” changes … or would likely raise “significant interagency interest.”

* EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” to shut down coal-fired power plants alone would cost $2.5 billion in annual compliance costs, EPA admitted. Its motor vehicle rules would cost tens of billions. The Paris agreement and GND would add trillions per year in costs to the US economy. All are based on the EF. And all were certainly controversial and generated significant interest by multiple other government agencies.

* EPA deliberately downplayed the significance of its review and decision, ignored the IQA and OMB requirements, and refused to allow citizens, independent energy, climate and health experts, or even scientific and professional societies to nominate potential reviewers or participate in the EF analysis.

* Instead, the agency utilized an entirely internal review process, designed and conducted entirely by its own federal employees. Those employees had substantial conflicts of interest, because they were reviewing their own scientific work; would be writing, implementing and enforcing regulations based on that work; and had jobs and professional status that might be affected by the outcome of their review.

[The review team even summarily dismissed one of EPA’s most senior energy and economic experts, because his probing analyses and comments “do not help the legal or policy case” for the EF decision.]

* EPA never allowed the general public or scientific, energy, health or economic experts to review its draft scientific assessment; never sponsored any public meetings; and never let its internal peer reviewers see any of the public comments that outside experts and organizations submitted to the agency.

* In fact, none of the EPA peer review panel’s questions and responses have ever been made public.

Each of these actions violated specific IQA and OMB peer review guidelines. Indeed, two years after the Endangerment Finding was issued, even EPA’s own Inspector General found that that agency had violated rules governing all of these matters. And yet even then nothing was done to correct them.

The entire Obama EPA process smells like a crooked prosecutor who framed CO2 and was determined to get a conviction. The agency built its entire case on tainted, circumstantial evidence, and testimony from agency officials who had conflicts of interest and their own reasons for wanting CO2 convicted of endangering Americans. EPA reviewers ignored or hid exculpatory evidence and colluded to prevent witnesses for the CO2 defendant from presenting any defense or cross-examining agency witnesses.

A full reexamination now is essential, and not just because the Obama EPA violated every procedural rule in the books. But because EPA ignored volumes of climate science that contradicted its preordained EF finding. Because real-world climate and weather observations consistently contradict alarmist computer models and headlines. Because science is never settled … must never be driven by ideology … and must be reevaluated when new scientific evidence is discovered – or evidence of misbehavior is uncovered.

We know far more about Earth’s climate and have far more and better data than a decade ago. But climatologists still cannot explain why our planet experienced multiple ice ages and interglacial periods, Roman and Medieval warm periods, the Little Ice Age, or Anasazi, Mayan and Dust Bowl droughts.

And yet some of them insist they can accurately predict calamitous temperatures, weather events and extinctions 10, 20, 100 years from now – based on computer models whose temperature predictions are already a degree Fahrenheit above what satellites are measuring … and that rely primarily or solely on carbon dioxide, while downplaying or ignoring fluctuations in solar energy and cosmic ray output, the reflective properties of clouds, El NiƱo events, ocean current shifts, and other powerful natural forces.

And then, in the face of all that uncertainty and politicized science, they demand that the United States slash or eliminate its fossil fuel use – and that the poorest nations on Earth continue to forego fossil fuel development, and instead remain wracked by joblessness, misery, disease, malnutrition and early death.

Thankfully, poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are building or planning more than 2,000 coal and gas-fueled generating plants. They deserve to be freed from dictatorial carbon-colonialism and eco-manslaughter – and to become as wealthy, healthy and vibrant as modern industrialized nations that also relied on fossil fuels to develop … and are still 80% dependent on those fuels today.

But if those countries are building fossil fuel power plants, driving millions more cars and trucks, and emitting multiple times more CO2 and other GHGs than the United States – why should the USA slash or eliminate its coal, oil and natural gas? Why should we roll back our job creation, living standards, health and welfare, based on the IPCC’s junk science and EPA’s fraudulent Endangerment Finding?

For unfathomable reasons, a few White House advisors still oppose any PCCS or IQA-triggered review of the EF or junk/fraudulent science behind it. Perhaps they are too closely tied to the Deep State or invested financially or ideologically in the $2-trillion-per-year Climate-Industrial Complex. But whatever their reasons, they must be ignored in favor of science and the national interest. Let’s get the job done – now!

Write to President Trump: Ask him to appoint his Presidential Committee on Climate Science – and instruct the EPA to agree to the CEI petition and review the 2009 Endangerment Finding forthwith!

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of many articles and books on energy, environmental and human rights issues.

I have posted this article at Paul Driessen's request.  I was a signer of the petition to the President in support of a Presidential Committee on Climate Change, along with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heartland Institute, Heritage Action for America, CFACT, the Institute for Energy Research, Americans for Limited Government, Institute for Liberty, Caesar Rodney Institute, Ethan Allen Institute, John Locke Foundation, Rio Grande Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and many other organizations and individuals.

14 May 2019

CEI Brings Out Its 2019 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has issued its 2019 Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.  Because the government never provides the legally required accounting for the costs of regulation, CEI Vice President for Policy, the indomitable Wayne Crews, provides a conservative estimation of the costs of regulation every year.  That low-ball estimate for 2019 is $1.9 trillion.  Because the government has no desire that we know what its bewildering bureaucratic hurricane of mandates costs us, this task of making a realistic estimate of its costs is herculean.

Are you sure that a regulatory cost of $1.9 trillion can be justified by the benefits of regulation?  This is more than the entire GDP of Canada and nearly equal to the entire GDP of Brazil.  The federal government budget is $4.412 trillion.  This additional regulatory cost of $1.9 trillion makes the entire burden of the federal government at least $6.312 trillion.  Do you really think you received a reasonable value in government benefits from the $6.312 trillion?

Kent Lassman, President of CEI, in announcing the issuance of the 2019 Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments, says
.... we have recently seen some exciting progress on the regulatory front. In 1993, the Federal Register, where all new regulations are published, clocked in at 61,166 pages. Like the debt, it grew year after year, unchecked and seemingly uncontrollable. By the end of the Obama era, the year’s Federal Register took up 95,894 pages. The first year of the Trump administration, however, things changed. In 2017, the annual total was back down to 61,950 pages. In 2018, we saw only a slight increase to 63,645 pages. In other words, the annual mountain of new regulations was the smallest in a generation—and some of those pages actually contained de-regulatory actions.
While this is great progress, it is totally unreasonable to expect everyone, though mostly businessmen, to read 63,645 pages every year, to know and remember the entire sum of all prior regulations, to be aware of every court ruling on regulations of this magnitude, and to additionally know about every other memorandum issued by the regulatory agencies, of whose identities the federal government itself has no central account.  Most regulations are aimed at businessmen so this avalanche of mandates puts them at huge risk, even when one has the best of intentions with respect to the welfare of one's fellow man.  There being no cost-benefit analysis of any worth for almost any regulation, one cannot figure out how to be compliant simply by applying reason to the issue of what one can and cannot do.  Indeed, some of the best examples of completely irrational governmental requirements are to be found among our federal government's regulations.

Here are some further highlights of the report according to the CEI webpage:
  • Each U.S. household’s estimated regulatory burden is at least $14,600 annually on average. That amounts to 20 percent of the average pre-tax household budget and exceeds every item in that budget, except housing.
  • In 2018, the Trump administration issued 3,368 rules. That’s more than the 3,281 final rules in 2017, which was the lowest number of regulations coming out of federal agencies in a single year since the National Archives began publishing rule counts in 1976.
  • In 2018, Washington bureaucrats issued regulations at a rate of 11 for every one law Congress enacted. The average for this “Unconstitutionality Index” for the past decade has been 28 to one. The five agencies issuing the most rules are the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Transportation, and the Treasury.
  • President Trump should ignore his regulatory impulses on issues like antitrust, social media and technology, infrastructure, trade restrictions, telecommunications, food and drugs, subsidies, and more. Given divided government and the absence of Congressional action, the president should use executive orders to compel regulatory agencies to: put out an annual regulatory report card, implement a regulatory cost budget to keep his reform agenda on track, and address the misuse of agency guidance documents.

While writing this post, I discovered an error in the first bullet on the CEI web page which stated:
The estimated $1.9 trillion “hidden tax” of regulation is greater than the corporate and personal income taxes combined. If the cost of federal regulations were a country, it would be the 9th largest, behind India and just ahead of Canada. 
I have sent an e-mail message to Kent Lassman and Wayne Crews to alert them to this error.  I pointed out that:
It is true that $1.9 trillion is less than the GDP of India.  In order of 2019 projected GDPs, it is less than that of USA, China, Japan, Germany, India, France, United Kingdom, Italy, and Brazil and ahead of Canada.  Canada is number 10, so the burden of the $1.9 trillion of regulatory cost shoves Canada to the #11 rank as our regulatory burden takes the #10 ranking. 
So they need to change India to Brazil and #9 to #10.  I am sure they will.

12 May 2019

The Brainwashing of a Nation by Daniel Greenfield

From campus identity politics cults to the media, brainwashing is bigger than ever.

Greenfield says:

The human mind, like the human body, adapts to a crisis with a fight-or-flight response. Brainwashing forces the mind into a flight response. Once in flight mode, the mind can rationalize a new belief as a protective behavior that will keep it safe. Even when, as in the case of the suspect, the new belief will actually destroy his life. Fight or flight mode inhibits long term thinking. In panic mode, destructive and suicidal behaviors seem like solutions because they offer an escape from unbearable chemical stresses.
There’s a good biological reason for that. Our minds stop us from thinking too much in a crisis so that we can take urgent action, like running into a fire or at a gunman, that our rational minds might not allow us to do. But that same function can be ‘hacked’ by artificially putting people into fight-or-flight mode to break them down and shortcut their higher reasoning functions. Decisions reached subconsciously in fight-or-flight mode will then be rationalized and internalized after the initial crisis has passed.

Cults, abusive relationships and totalitarian movements maintain ‘total crisis’, shutting down higher reasoning, creating a permanent state of stress by triggering fight-or-flight responses unpredictably. This leads to Stockholm Syndrome, where the captive tries to control their fate through total emotional identification with their captor, pack behavior, loss of identity and will, and eventually suicide or death.

Total crisis leads to burnout, emotional exhaustion, detachment from friends and family, and violence.
How do you brainwash a nation?
Control the national environment, force a crisis on the country, and tap into their fear and guilt. And then you can outlaw planes, cows, skyscrapers, straws, plastic bags and the rest of the Green New Deal.
The environmental crisis is just one example of how leftist movements can brainwash a nation.
The growing number of millennials who say that they will not have children because of environmental panic is an example of how brainwashing can make suicidal behavior seem like self-preservation.

Since the Left still lacks total control over the United States, it relies on repetition, itself a form of control and stress, to create fear and panic. It makes up for its lack of physical control by bombarding Americans with messages meant to inspire fear, love, hate and guilt through the media, through the educational system, through entertainment and through every possible messaging channel.

Global Warming panic is one of a succession of manufactured leftist crises in America that began with a class crisis. transitioned to a racial crisis, and then to an environmental crisis.

He also says "Human beings don't behave rationally." Most people do behave relatively rationally in certain compartments of their life, but largely irrationally in other compartments. Unfortunately, moral philosophy is about the most irrational compartment of most peoples lives.

I do not think intelligence itself makes you more vulnerable to brainwashing, expect insofar as unintelligent people seem much less likely to give thought at all to moral philosophy and they are usually only captured by the education system for about 12 years, not 16 years or more. It is the amateurs of moral philosophy who spend 16 or more years trying to please nearly universally leftist teachers and professors who are most likely to fall victim to the Left. A social metaphysician in the hands of leftist educators for 16 years is a goner.

Before the education system played this role, it was largely religions that played it. However irrational the religion, one of them was usually able to secure a monopoly on moral philosophy over a substantial region of the earth, demonstrating that most people are social metaphysicians.

With these qualifications, much of what Greenfield says is correct. In 1965 when I was a freshman at Brown University, I had many moral and political discussions with very committed leftist products of the nation's finest private schools. Over and over, I had the experience that someone would reluctantly concede that I was right about my limited government and generally libertarian individualist philosophy on an issue. The next day they were still spouting the belief they had conceded was wrong the day before as though we had never had our discussion. The same thing happens now when I explain why catastrophic man-made global warming is a failed hypothesis.

Greenfield is right about this: "That is why the Left cannot be defeated through policy debates and intellectual abstractions. It is a belief system. Though it traffics in seeming abstractions, these are a language, but not the meaning. The esoteric languages of policy and pop culture in which it speaks are vehicles for a deeper language of primal emotions. Behind the theories and manifestos is a great darkness of fear and terror, of love and hate, of emotional instability and vulnerability on which its lies and propaganda are built."

The only way to defeat this brainwashing is to be there constantly throughout children's and young people's lives encouraging them to apply reason to every problem and every situation. Without that encouragement, few children and young people are able to make that commitment to reason. Being there does require having the rational arguments to defeat the leftist belief system and making those argument over and over throughout a child's upbringing. One needs to take care that children really do understand the basis of rational individualism and that they do not just adopt it as a religion themselves.

I remember literally making a compact with myself when I was 5 years old to always put reason first. I did not always succeed, but I did put a lot of effort into that commitment. I realized even then that many adults, teachers, and, later, authors were wrong about many things. Whatever they said had to be subjected to critical evaluation before it was believed. I sorted what I learned into three categories: This I have evaluated and is true, this I have evaluated and is false, and this I have not yet evaluated so its truth is unknown.

Unfortunately, few people at any age make such a commitment to reason and far too many accept the word of authorities all too readily. Most students simply try to remember all they are told and assume it must be true. This often makes then "fast learners", which is interpreted as intelligence. That sort of false intelligence does make such people very much more likely victims of brainwashing.

28 April 2019

Fake climate science and scientists by Paul Driessen

Alarmists game the system to enrich and empower themselves, and hurt everyone else

The multi-colored placard in front of a $2-million home in North Center Chicago proudly proclaimed, “In this house we believe: No human is illegal” – and “Science is real” (plus a few other liberal mantras).

I knew right away where the owners stood on climate change, and other hot-button political issues. They would likely tolerate no dissension or debate on “settled” climate science or any of the other topics.

But they have it exactly backward on the science issue. Real science is not belief – or consensus, 97% or otherwise. Real science constantly asks questions, expresses skepticism, reexamines hypotheses and evidence. If debate, skepticism and empirical evidence are prohibited – it’s pseudo-science, at best.

Real science – and real scientists – seek to understand natural phenomena and processes. They pose hypotheses that they think best explain what they have witnessed, then test them against actual evidence, observations and experimental data. If the hypotheses (and predictions based on them) are borne out by their subsequent findings, the hypotheses become theories, rules, laws of nature – at least until someone finds new evidence that pokes holes in their assessments, or devises better explanations.

Real science does not involve simply declaring that you “believe” something, It’s not immutable doctrine. It doesn’t claim “science is real” – or demand that a particular scientific explanation be carved in stone. Earth-centric concepts gave way to a sun-centered solar system. Miasma disease beliefs surrendered to the germ theory. The certainty that continents are locked in place was replaced by plate tectonics (and the realization that you can’t stop continental drift, any more than you stop climate change).

Real scientists often employ computers to analyze data more quickly and accurately, depict or model complex natural systems, or forecast future events or conditions. But they test their models against real-world evidence. If the models, observations and predictions don’t match up, real scientists modify or discard the models, and the hypotheses behind them. They engage in robust discussion and debate.

They don’t let models or hypotheses become substitutes for real-world evidence and observations. They don’t alter or “homogenize” raw or historic data to make it look like the models actually work. They don’t hide their data and computer algorithms (AlGoreRythms?), restrict peer review to closed circles of like-minded colleagues who protect one another’s reputations and funding, claim “the debate is over,” or try to silence anyone who dares to ask inconvenient questions or find fault with their claims and models. They don’t concoct hockey stick temperature graphs that can be replicated by plugging in random numbers.

In the realm contemplated by the Chicago yard sign, we ought to be doing all we can to understand Earth’s highly complex, largely chaotic, frequently changing climate system – all we can to figure out how the sun and other powerful forces interact with each other. Only in that way can we accurately predict future climate changes, prepare for them, and not waste money and resources chasing goblins.

But instead, we have people in white lab coats masquerading as real scientists. They’re doing what I just explained true scientists don’t do. They also ignore fluctuations in solar energy output and numerous other powerful, interconnected natural forces that have driven climate change throughout Earth’s history. They look only (or 97% of the time) at carbon dioxide as the principal or sole driving force behind current and future climate changes – and blame every weather event, fire and walrus death on man-made CO2.

Even worse, they let their biases drive their research and use their pseudo-science to justify demands that we eliminate all fossil fuel use, and all carbon dioxide and methane emissions, by little more than a decade from now. Otherwise, they claim, we will bring unprecedented cataclysms to people and planet.

Not surprisingly, their bad behavior is applauded, funded and employed by politicians, environmentalists, journalists, celebrities, corporate executives, billionaires and others who have their own axes to grind, their own egos to inflate – and their intense desire to profit from climate alarmism and pseudo-science.

Worst of all, while they get rich and famous, their immoral actions impoverish billions and kill millions, by depriving them of the affordable, reliable fossil fuel energy that powers modern societies.

And still these slippery characters endlessly repeat the tired trope that they “believe in science” – and anyone who doesn’t agree to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” to stop climate change is a “science denier.”

When these folks and the yard sign crowd brandish the term “science,” political analyst Robert Tracinski suggests, it is primarily to “provide a badge of tribal identity” – while ironically demonstrating that they have no real understanding of or interest in “the guiding principles of actual science.”

Genuine climate scientist (and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology) Dr. Judith Curry echoes Tracinski. Politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren use “science” as a way of “declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand…. The purpose of the trope is to bypass any meaningful discussion of these separate questions, rolling them all into one package deal – and one political party ticket,” she explains.

The ultimate purpose of all this, of course, is to silence the dissenting voices of evidence- and reality-based climate science, block creation of a Presidential Committee on Climate Science, and ensure that the only debate is over which actions to take first to end fossil fuel use … and upend modern economies.

The last thing fake/alarmist climate scientists want is a full-throated debate with real climate scientists – a debate that forces them to defend their doomsday assertions, methodologies, data manipulation … and claims that solar and other powerful natural forces are minuscule or irrelevant compared to man-made carbon dioxide that constitutes less that 0.02% of Earth’s atmosphere (natural CO2 adds another 0.02%).

Thankfully, there are many reasons for hope. For recognizing that we do not face a climate crisis, much less threats to our very existence. For realizing there is no need to subject ourselves to punitive carbon taxes or the misery, poverty, deprivation, disease and death that banning fossil fuels would cause.

Between the peak of the great global cooling scare in 1975 until around 1998, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperatures did rise in rough conjunction. But then temperatures mostly flat-lined, while CO2 levels kept climbing. Now actual average global temperatures are already 1 degree F below the Garbage In-Garbage Out computer model predictions. Other alarmist forecasts are also out of touch with reality.

Instead of fearing rising CO2, we should thank it for making crop, forest and grassland plants grow faster and better, benefiting nature and humanity – especially in conjunction with slightly warmer temperatures that extend growing seasons, expand arable land and increase crop production.

The rate of sea level rise has not changed for over a century – and much of what alarmists attribute to climate change and rising seas is actually due to land subsidence and other factors.

Weather is not becoming more extreme. In fact, Harvey was the first Category 3-5 hurricane to make US landfall in a record 12 years – and the number of violent F3 to F5 tornadoes has fallen from an average of 56 per year from 1950 to 1985 to only 34 per year since then.

Human ingenuity and adaptability have enabled humans to survive and thrive in all sorts of climates, even during our far more primitive past. Allowed to use our brains, fossil fuels and technologies, we will deal just fine with whatever climate changes might confront us in the future. (Of course, another nature-driven Pleistocene-style glacier pulling 400 feet of water out of our oceans and crushing Northern Hemisphere forests and cities under mile-high walls of ice truly would be an existential threat to life as we know it.) 

So if NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and other egotistical grand-standing politicians and fake climate scientists want to ban fossil fuelsglass-and-steel buildings, cows and even hotdogs – in the name of preventing “dangerous man-made climate change” – let them impose their schemes on themselves and their own families. The rest of us are tired of being made guinea pigs in their fake-science experiments.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of articles and books on energy, environmental and human rights issues.  I have published his article here at his request.

19 April 2019

What Do Freedom-Loving People Do When Government Comes to Take Your Arms

On 19 April 1775, the British army entered Lexington, Massachusetts on its way to Concord, Massachusetts to take weapons and rounds from the militia which Great Britain had come to fear.  The Americans were determined to prevent the loss of their ability to defend themselves.  The result that day was the battles of Lexington, Concord, and the severe punishment of the British troops as they retreated back to Boston.

Most of the people of Massachusetts outside of Boston were previously in a state of rebellion in that the Americans were no longer obeying many of the commands of the government of Great Britain.  The people had had enough of a legislature passing laws that did not have their interests in mind and that did not act to protect the exercise of their individual rights.  The British Parliament had too often restricted the means of Americans in earning their living in favor of businesses in Great Britain.  Great Britain was too ready to tax Americans, often claiming that Americans needed to pay more for British armed forces protections, which the Americans actually found highly wanting.  Great Britain was also acting to prevent Americans from owning huge areas of the continent.

Today, the federal government of the United States of America fails to protect the individual rights of Americans also.  Our Congress daily shows its contempt for the interests of most of the American people.  Our government too often tramples upon our efforts to exercise our individual rights.  The federal government restricts our ability to earn a living in many ways, with a great deal of help in doing this from state and local governments.  The governments too often grant privileges at the expense of the People to special interests such as labor unions, green energy companies, large financial institutions, excessively complex laws necessitating the hiring of highly paid lawyers and accountants, favoritism of educators, the fostering of hordes of bureaucrats who eat out the substance of the land, and huge grants to dishonest environmentalists and global warming alarmist scientists.  The federal government holds ownership of a huge fraction of the land area of the USA, preventing private ownership and its use in productive enterprises.  And the Democrat Socialist Party is an enthusiastic advocate of draconian gun controls and the confiscation of any significant weapon capability on the part of the People.

Few Americans today would stand up to their government if it were to come to Lexington and Concord or anywhere else in the USA and demand that they give up their weapons.  It is an amazing thing that 244 years ago, Americans had the strength of their convictions to stand up to the mighty army and navy of Great Britain and buy us a couple of hundred years of comparative freedom.  It is important to remember those brave and hardy freedom-loving men on this important anniversary.

The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement and Compounded Growth

The Associated Press has distributed an article claiming that the International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, says that Trump's new USMCA trade agreement will only yield an increase to the GDP of 0.35%.  To claim that this is a negligible effect is to be ignorant of compounded growth and the many other possibilities that government has for avoiding putting burdens on the private sector that impede economic growth.

If the US private sector economy grows by 2.9% a year or it grows by 3.25% instead, this can make a bigger difference than most people think it will.  The average American is going to live another 40 years, so let us project the effects of this difference in annual growth rate over a 40 year period.  An economy growing at a rate of 2.9% rate will be 3.138 times larger in 40 years than it was at the start.  An economy growing at a rate of 3.25% a year, or a 0.35% higher rate, will be 3.594 times larger.  This projected higher growth rate economy is 14.5% larger than the projected slower growth rate economy is.  That is a substantial difference.

Now some readers are going to say that the USMCA trade agreement will not increase the economy's growth rate by 0.35% every year over 40 years.  That is probably correct.  A really good agreement might be able to do that, but the Trump agreement probably will not do that.  However, there are a plethora of ways that the federal government can take actions year after year that will allow the economy to grow by an additional 0.35% that year than it would otherwise.  The government can roll back expensive regulations with little rational reason to exist.  It can desist from instituting new regulations that cost more than they are rationally worth.  A decrease in the number of expensive and irrational regulations would give American companies much assurance that investing money in increased production in the USA will be profitable.  It is immensely damaging when a President declares that he intends to wipe out an industry he does not like and in so doing hurt supporting companies and the jobs of tens of thousands of Americans, as Obama did to the coal industry and his party threatens to do to the oil and gas industries.  It could stop over-withholding income taxes so that money could be circulating in the private sector economy at a higher velocity.  It can and should reduce taxes.  It should release many government employees so they can do productive work in the private sector.  It should release millions of acres of land it holds so that land can be put to much more productive use in the private sector.  It could take steps to greatly reduce absurd burdens due to excessive legal actions against companies simply because they may have deep pockets.

There are so many ways the federal government and state and local governments could act to see that future private sector growth rates are 0.35% larger year after year.  In fact, when Obama was suppressing the growth rates to levels of about 2%, the 40 year result compared to a 3.25% growth rate result is even more dramatic.  After 40 years at a growth rate of 2%, the economy is 2.208 times larger, while at a rate of 3.25% growth it is 3.594 times larger.  The higher growth rate economy at 40 years is 1.628 times larger than the Obama normal growth rate economy.  Imagine how much of an impact that added growth then has on the every day lives of Americans.  That larger society will provide much better medical care, produce much more advanced technology, have a much greater understanding of reality, provide individuals with many more options in life, and will surely allow a massive increase in charitable giving.

It is very foolish to minimize even seemingly small improvements in the economic growth rate.  The growth of the private sector is the basis for improvements in the richness and security of our lives.  We have the option of allowing the economy to grow at compounded higher growth rates that will make huge differences in the quality of our lives in our lifetimes and in those of our children.

09 April 2019

The price of electricity in Germany and renewable energy as manipulated by Physics World

According to Physics World on 27 March 2019, a publication of the Institute of Physics, 
between 2008 and 2015 renewable energy deployment “caused an electricity market price reduction of 24% in Germany and of 35% in Sweden”.
Yet, according to Clean Energy Wire:

We see that the average cost of electricity for a German household using 3,500 kWh/year of electricity from 2006 to 2019 went up 55.3%.  From 2008 to 2015, it went up 32.6%, which is a far cry from falling by 24% as stated by Physics World.  The only major component of the household cost that fell from 2008 to 2018 was the Aquisition/sales component and it fell by only 2.4%, not 24%.

The case for "renewable energy" even from the Institute for Physics and Physics World is much akin to the magician's use of misdirection.  There no doubt is some way to parse out energy costs that allows one to claim that an electricity market price reduction of 24% occurred in Germany between 2008 and 2015, but this is highly irrelevant to the consumer who has to pay for electricity.

Note in the graph above that the grid fee has gone up, which is exactly what one expects when one has to collect energy from many small sources such as wind generation and solar panels tend to be.  The value added tax went up, no doubt in part so the German government could use a part of that tax money to enforce a transition away from hydrocarbon fuels, pay for its own higher operational costs due to its higher electricity costs, and to pay for its extensive propaganda about how catastrophic man-made global warming justified forcing the nation to use more expensive and unreliable wind and solar power.

Note that the Renewables surcharge went up from 2008 to 2015 by 532%!  What was the purpose of that fee?  Why its purpose was to subsidize wind and solar power generation.  Why is there a need to subsidize renewable power generation if the cost of electricity is falling as Physics World claims it is?  The answer seems clearly to be that they are quoting a cost that has the subsidy paid out by the Renewables surcharge built into it.

So, let us just focus on the sum of the Acquisition/sales cost and the Renewables surcharge cost from 2008 to 2015 to get a more realistic understanding of the effects of the governmental push for renewable energy on the German consumer.  The sum of these costs in 2008 was 8.38 Euro cents per kWh/yr.  In 2015, the cost was 13.22 Euro cents.  From 2008 to 2015, the cost to the consumer went up by 57.8%, which is a very different story from going down by 24%.  From 2006 to 2019, this measure of the cost of the electricity went up by 227%.

No fear that the Physics World magician will saw the case for renewable energy in two.  Physics World will not spill any of its blood, no matter what measures of reader misdirection are required.  Note that it is most curious that an article published in 2019 terminated its cost claim with data from 2015.  But that is itself a small act of misdirection compared to ignoring such costs increases as the Renewables surcharge or the increased grid costs, which I am sure are among the added costs that make wind and solar possible at all on the grid.

I sure do hate to see the dishonesty of such institutions as the American Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics, based in the United Kingdom on all matters pertaining to catastrophic man-made global warming.  The major institutions of physics have become sorry prostitutes, with far less necessity to justify their behavior than most prostitutes probably have.  There is no heart of gold there.  You only have to look at what they are perfectly happy to do to the German household consumer and how they want to extend that to everyone else in the world.

Who can you trust?  Not the major scientific institutions.  Real evil resides in the Institute of Physics, as it also does in the American Institute of Physics and many another professional scientific organization.  

01 April 2019

Why I Don't "Believe" in "Science" by Robert Tracinski

I recommend this excellent article by Robert Tracinski.  Here is a brief quote from it, but please read his entire article:

Some people may use “I believe in science” as vague shorthand for confidence in the ability of the scientific method to achieve valid results, or maybe for the view that the universe is governed by natural laws which are discoverable through observation and reasoning.
But the way most people use it today—especially in a political context—is pretty much the opposite. They use it as a way of declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand.
And Robert also says:
The problem is the word “belief.” Science isn’t about “belief.” It’s about facts, evidence, theories, experiments. You don’t say, “I believe in thermodynamics.” You understand its laws and the evidence for them, or you don’t. “Belief” doesn’t really enter into it.
So as a proper formulation, saying “I understand science” would be a start. “I understand the science on this issue” would be better. That implies that you have engaged in a first-hand study of the specific scientific questions involved in, say, global warming, which would give you the basis to support a conclusion. If you don’t understand the basis for your conclusion and instead have to accept it as a “belief,” then you don’t really know it, and you certainly are in no position to lecture others about how they must believe it, too.

I have long maintained that most of the people who claim they believe in catastrophic man-made global warming and a scientific consensus that it is a proven theory, do not have a coherent understanding of the science or the economics to rationally support their beliefs.

For instance, those scientists said to constitute the consensus cannot even agree on the scientific basis for the claims themselves.  Those who create the climate computer models produce results which are highly divergent from one another and also highly divergent from reality.

There is a very good reason for this.  They do not understand the physics of the atmosphere and thermal radiation.  Their ideas are commonly in error and the very principles of physics they say they believe in are not consistently applied.  The resultant theories produced by those scientists who even try to put forth a theory have an incredible number of combinations of errors.

Given the bias toward catastrophic man-made global warming, any output that concludes there is significant warming due to carbon dioxide or other man-made infrared-active gases is said to support the consensus.  Garbage in -- dogma out.  There is no scientific consensus at all.

31 March 2019

The Electoral College is Vitally Important

The Democrat Socialist Party wants to eliminate the Electoral College.  Others are pushing a compact among the states to have each state ignore the votes of its own citizens and award their electoral college votes to the Presidential candidate who won the plurality of votes in the nationwide election.  This interstate compact does not eliminate the Electoral College, but it does eliminate its purpose.

Both of these ideas would have awful consequences.  Among them are:

  • Already extensive voter fraud will explode.  Contrary to the oft repeated claims of academics, who are in the pocket of the Democrat Socialist Party, that voter fraud is insignificant, actual election managers have known for decades that every Democrat Socialist Party Presidential Candidate has 150,000 fraudulent votes in Philadelphia.  New York City, Boston, Providence, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago will all deliver large numbers of fraudulent votes to the Democrat Socialist Party also.  Voter fraud can only operate on a massive scale where one political party has long held power over an area with a large population for a long period of time.  A nationwide plurality contest will make it much harder to triage the many cases of voter fraud for investigation.  With the Electoral College, one can focus voter fraud investigations on those areas where the vote will actually change the outcome of the state-wide election and the way its Electoral College votes are cast.

  • The Democrat Socialist Party presidential candidate will spend even less time in rural areas of the country and in towns and small cities than they already do.  It is a great advantage to have the richest lode of one's voters crowded together in a few large cities.  Limited time and money can be far more effectively focused on these high density ant-nests of humanity than is possible for a candidate who seeks the votes of Americans living in lower population density areas of the nation.  Post-election maps will show even more of the nation in red even as a few dots of blue carry the Presidential election.  Future Presidents will be less and less able to claim that they are the President of all the People.  It will become ever easier for them to disregard those who live in fly-over country and to designate them the Deplorables.

  • Legitimate government is government that protects the exercise of every citizen's individual rights.  Unfettered democracy is actually pressed to trample the rights of many citizen's in order to purchase the votes of a plurality of citizens.  In many cases, the interests of people living in cities and high density areas are different than those who live in lower density areas.  The city-dweller may be very happy to have all the products he needs that require natural resources as inputs to come from China, Africa, and South America.  He may be more ready to buy into environmental scare tactics than some who live in a mining area.  The city-dweller might be susceptible to using the government to drive down food prices at the expense of farmers and those who process and transport food materials.  The city-dweller likely has no interest in the fate of fishermen.  He is likely to want federal tax deductions for heavy state and local taxes at the expense of more rural people with less expensive governments.  The city-dweller will push for expensive subsidies for public transportation at the expense of people from lower density population areas.  City-dwellers and the Democrat Socialist Party are already very often seeking to force employers to pay high minimum wages such as the commonly demanded $15/hour wage.  Even in cities a minimum wage requirement does great harm to those who are little educated, have low work skills, or are little motivated to work.  But minimum wage requirements on the national level are even more devastating in rural areas where businesses have fewer potential customers and where the cost of living is commonly much lower.  Our Republic, under which the Electoral College is a key leg, was designed to discourage a portion of the disregard that an unfettered democracy has for individuals and minorities of the electorate.

  • That party most eager to have a federal government which provides goodies to its voters while showing a great willingness to harm those who do not vote or who vote for another party will benefit most from keeping the Electoral College from doing the task it was set up to do by the Framers of the Constitution.  The Framers knew the dangers of democracy.  They knew that governments are biased in favor of increasing their power over the People.  They put many checks and balances into our system of federal governance in order to provide for our welfare by minimizing the dangers to individuals and minorities that democracies are inclined toward and by making it harder for governments to increase their power and control over the lives of the People.  When the state legislatures were no longer allowed to designate the electors to the Electoral College, the federal system was undermined.  The power of the states was diminished.  This made it easier for a party to ignore many states as it sought power at the federal government level.  

  • A constitutional amendment is required to eliminate the Electoral College.  Such amendments are hard to pass.  An amendment ultimately requires the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.  This is pretty much an impossible task for the Democrat Socialist Party to achieve, since so many of the states are clearly to be ignored by them once they have eliminated the Electoral College.  The idea that everyone's vote should count in a Presidential election has a lot of naive appeal to many Americans, so the compact between the states that each state will cast its electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote across America has some appeal.  It requires the approval of many fewer state legislatures than does an amendment to the Constitution.  Many of the states to be ignored by the future government can also be ignored in the process of putting this compact into play.  I do wonder if once the People of a state have voted for candidate A, but candidate B wins the national popular vote, how stable the compact of legislatures will be when the People of that state find their own legislature betraying their state-wide vote.  For instance, imagine that Trump had won the popular vote.  Can you imagine the uproar in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California when their electoral votes were cast for Trump?

  • The entire plurality that Hillary Clinton won over Donald Trump was based on the vote in California, where Republicans are largely disenfranchised by a state election system that places Democrat Socialists running against Democrat Socialists for virtually every state-wide office in the general election and few if any Republicans are on the ballot.  This Democrat Socialist voting system is a strong voter suppression factor.  The interstate compact to award each state's electoral votes to the popular vote winner will encourage more states solidly controlled by a party to adopt this form of voter suppression.  All evidence to this point is that Democrats are more willing to suppress the vote of Republicans than Republicans are eager to suppress the Democrat vote. 

Most of the support for weakening the Electoral College is in the Democrat Socialist Party.  That is the same party that wants to have children, felons, and non-citizens vote, a $15 minimum wage, welfare for those who choose not to work, Medicare for all, no power except intermittent wind and solar, ever more federal land, regulations against any environmental harm that can be imagined by Chicken Little, catastrophic man-made global warming based on faulty physics and lacking any catastrophe, open borders with a welfare state, and which discourages people from having children.  There is no lunacy too loony for the Democrat Socialist Party which is well-represented by the donkey or ass and in some states also by the white segregationist rooster.

Hilary Clinton's loss of the last election brought on a new sense of urgency to undermine the Electoral College with her claim of a majority of the votes.  Actually, she only had a plurality.  What is more, the sum of the votes to the smaller government parties such as the Republican, Libertarian, and Constitution parties was greater than that for the likes of the Democrats, Green, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Socialist Workers parties.

Rather than more unfettered democracy, we need more institutions and laws that protect individuals and minorities of all kinds -- not just racial, gender, or sexuality -- from the brutal use of force and the harms that a plurality of voters and their chosen power-hungry politicians are all too often eager to inflict upon them.

19 March 2019

Letter to President Trump Recommending a President's Commission on Climate Security

I recently defended Prof. William Happer from an absurd and highly irrational attack upon his qualifications to head a President's Commission on Climate Security which was published on the front page of the Washington Post.  Many of the alarmist advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming are adamantly opposed to any critical review of the science and the claims of catastrophe resulting from increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or from small temperature increases should they occur.  They are terrified that further debate and evaluation of these claims that would drain many trillions of dollars out of our economy and lower the standard of living of all Americans will reveal to the public many of the errors in their physics and their hugely exaggerated claims of harmful effects.

There are many critics of the so-called consensus science of catastrophic man-made global warming.  Some of us have just sent the following letter to President Trump recommending the formation of a President's Commission on Climate Security.  I am publishing a copy of that letter, which I have signed, below:

The point of posting the letter here is to take full responsibility for my action in signing this letter.  Those who will damn me are welcome to do so, though it would be much more effective if you can provide a rational reason for doing so.  I am confident that in subsequent decades my action in standing up for my evaluation of the claims of catastrophic man-made global warming will be proven to be correct and courageous.  I am willing to bet my reputation that I am among the American heroes who advocated strongly against the horrendous mistake of believing in catastrophic man-made global warming and the highly destructive acts that have and likely will continue to occur as a result of that erroneous and not infrequently larcenous claim.  A man is not a real man unless he stands with integrity for his ideas and his principles.

17 March 2019

Comments on Green Fantasy: The GND and Renewable Energy by Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute and Tom Harris of International Climate Science Coalition wrote an interesting article on the absolute absurdity of the Green New Deal (GND) program of the Democratic Socialists which is on-line at American Thinker, entitled Green Fantasy: The GND and Renewable Energy  It is well worth reading in its entirety, but I am going to note some of its interesting points here and make some comments of my own on GND.

As you should know, the Green New Deal aims to eliminate the use of hydrocarbon fuels removed from the ground over the next 12 years, because its advocates claim that once again the Earth will die along with all humans in that time-frame if we do not do so.  This sort of doomsday prediction is a common claim of religious people who are frustrated by a lack of attention.  Believe our religion or the world will end.  The Green Religion has already given us many the world-will-end deadlines, yet we have managed to survive them all to date.  There have not even been any close calls!

The GND also wants to rid us of nuclear power plants and as many hydroelectric dams as possible in 12 years as well.  For all fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, and lost hydropower we are to substitute solar, wind, and biofuel power.  The biofuel option is an odd one, since most of the argument against fossil fuels is based on the false claim that the carbon dioxide emissions their use entails will cause catastrophic global warming.  It is as though the Green Religion advocates are ignorant of the fact that the use of biofuels also results in carbon dioxide emissions directly upon their use.

Lehr and Harris make some particularly interesting comments on solar power limitations.  Solar power farms based on silicon photovoltaics produce a national average of 5 to 7 watts per square meter.  The U.S. Energy Administration says that making the photovoltaic material uses 3,370 kilowatt hours of energy per square meter of solar collector surface.  Lehr and Harris noted that solar collectors take up a little over 50% of the area of the land of a solar farm, so one can calculate that even at the 7 W per square meter high end of the solar farm efficiency range, it takes 27.5 years of solar farm operation simply to recover the energy input cost of making the solar collector material, assuming that the collector material covers half of the solar farm land area.  Note that Lehr and Harris say it takes more than 50 years, but they forgot that the collector material covers only a little over half of the area of the solar farm. This does not even count the energy that otherwise went into building the solar farm and operating it for those 27.5 years.  It has to be noted that many solar farms to date have not operated more than a small fraction of 27.5 years before they were abandoned as uneconomical to operate.  No one actually thinks that the average solar farm of the next decade is going to last 27.5 years either.

They also note that even in very sunny areas of the U.S., a 1,000 megawattt solar farm would take 51 square miles of land.  Note that the U.S. uses energy at about the rate of 1.3 x 1014 W, which requires about 13,000 of these 1,000 megawatt solar farms to replace.  This would require about 663,000 square miles of solar farms, assuming that all of them were in the sunniest parts of the USA.  This is almost exactly the size of Alaska, but Alaska is hardly suitable and even though it is the least inhabited of our states in terms of population density, the Green Religion would never allow its being turned into nothing but solar farms.  Much of southern California might be relatively suitable, but getting all of the Democrat Socialists who live there to move out and make way would meet with their resistance and only provide less than a tenth of the necessary land area.  Probably much less than a tenth given the interference of mountain ranges.  Building such solar farms will always meet with much local resistance.  Before a few hundred such solar farms could be built, the Green Religion would turn massively against them being built anywhere with claims that some subspecies of animal would be threatened or some scenic view ruined.

The Green New Deal is indeed a fantasy.  It is also a nightmare.  Many of its backers have given no thought to whether it is possible.  Many know it is not possible and only want it to be pursued because it will destroy the energy industries we all rely heavily upon. The GND will provide much more power to the government which the Democrat Socialists plan to use to exercise ever greater control over our individual lives.  Controlling our energy use and our healthcare with a government controlled single payer system will make the people nothing but slaves to the Democrat Socialist elite.  Raw and brutally exercised power is the real motivation for the GND and for single-payer healthcare.

Jay Lehr and Tom Harris say that much of their article is based on data and arguments by Bruce Bunker, Ph.D., in his 2018 book The Mythology of Global Warming, published by Moonshine Cove.