Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dictatorship of the Landlords - The Green Roots of the Housing Crisis

William Kay
 
The methodology underpinning this posting consisted of a representative survey of land-use and housing documents published by leading free market advocacy groups. Of the 100 groups investigated, 21 were found to have both prominence within the pro-market advocacy community, and to have devoted conspicuous resources to the land/housing issue. From these 21 groups (Cato Institute, Heartland Foundation, Fraser Institute, Frontier Centre, Institute for Public Affairs et al), 33 reports and 35 articles were dissected. To clarify certain statistics, several additional articles and reports from the mainstream media and from government agencies were summoned. A recent Harvard study on housing and a paper on commercial property from the Journal of Real Estate Management also proved helpful. To keep things germane, the canon was restricted to documents published during the last decade.
 
From the 2,000 pages of free market think tank literature perused, some preliminary observations can be made. The groups surveyed self-identify as advocates of: deregulation, privatization, free enterprise, limited government, property rights, individual liberty, lower taxes, and competitive entrepreneurialism. While some hold up this agenda as an end unto itself, most promote this agenda as a means to achieve: economic growth; poverty alleviation; efficient resource use; and the general enhancement of opportunity, innovation, and prosperity.
 
While this entire community could be categorized as “classical liberal,” only the UK’s Adam Smith Institute keeps the “liberal” flag flying. The word “liberal” has been anathematized across the English-speaking world’s pro-market community, especially in the USA. Despite this, surprisingly few of the surveyed groups embrace the term “conservative.” Most prefer epaulette collages wherein “free market” and “limited government” find salience......To Read More...

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: July 24, 2017

The newest edition of the Energy and Environmental Newsletter is now online. To start to balance the incessant Russian “news” stories, below I’ve supplied a few pertinent articles that you won’t see in the mainstream media.

By -- July 24, 2017

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult WiseEnergy.org for more information).

A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.
Some of the more important articles in this issue are:

Property and wind turbines: A missing point in the discussion
Tourists shun areas hit by wind turbine ‘blight’
Navy: Interference From Wind Farms Dangerous to Military Aircraft
Study: A New Methodology for Investigating Turbine Infrasound Complaints
Wind turbines damage human health says Portuguese scientist
Wind and Solar Energy Are Dead Ends
The Best of Alex Epstein (so far)
73% Of World’s Renewable Energy Is Made By Burning Wood & Dung
The Trump Doctrine on Energy
Environmental Progress: a worthwhile site on nuclear power
Agenda Behind Global Warming Alarmism
A Step Toward Scientific Integrity at the EPA
Study: Temp Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Climate Data
Most of what you’ve read about Greenland is wrong
Looks Like Global Action On “Climate Change” Is Dead
Leading Climate Scientist Says Debating Scientific Theories Would Be ‘Un-American’
EPA plans to challenge climate science in series of debates
Pittsburgh, Not Paris: Explaining the Climate Hysteria
Since Russia is in the news, here are some related recent stories not in the mainstream media:
Short Video: Russians Funding US Environmental Groups
Russia’s Propaganda War on Fossil Fuels
Why the Russians Conceived the Global Warming Scam
Russia as Media Manipulator: Nothing New
The Nazi Origins of Renewable Energy (and Global Warming)
Ecofascists Needed an Enemy, So They Chose Fossil Fuels

Greed Energy Economics:

Property and wind turbines: A missing point in the discussion
Study: Initiative to Save American Jobs
Short Video: Russians Funding US Environmental Groups
The left’s misleading green jobs claims
Oil and Gas in the Capitals
Wind and Solar: The Special Interest Effect
The Nazi Origins of Renewable Energy (and Global Warming)
California dumps millions of dollars of unusable renewable electricity to other states
World’s First Carbon-Capture Plant: The Worst Investment In Human History
How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA
Few benefit from many govt preferential treatment, everyone pays the price
Renewmaggedon – Solar, Wind Industries Dying as Subsidies Dry Up
Maryland to Prohibit Offshore Wind closer than 24 Miles

Turbine Health Matters

Wind turbines damage human health says Portuguese scientist
Study: A New Methodology for Investigating Turbine Infrasound Complaints
Wind turbine syndrome: infrasound and fury
Wind Turbine Accidents: A Data Mining Study
Wind Turbine Accidents as of June 1, 2017

Renewable Energy Destroying Ecosystems:

Birding groups score win against proposed turbine project
An Environmentalist perspective: Wind Energy Has Vastly Damaged Vermont
Montana doing Bird and Bat Study

Miscellaneous Energy News:

Wind and Solar Energy Are Dead Ends
Navy: Interference From Wind Farms Dangerous to Military Aircraft
The Best of Alex Epstein (so far)
73% Of World’s Renewable Energy Is Made By Burning Wood & Dung
The Trump Doctrine on Energy
Environmental Progress: a worthwhile site on nuclear power
Study: Utility Electric Generation ‘in crisis’ Across US
Federal Govt May Try To Pre-empt State Renewable Energy Policies
A Day in the Life of a State Utility Commissioner
Russia’s Propaganda War on Fossil Fuels
Some NY Towns Saying NO to Wind Projects
A Quick Guide to Spotting Graphics That Lie
Defeating the Trolls
NYS Has a Serious Wind Energy Problem
Court Upholds Connecticut’s Renewable Program
K-12 Teachers are “Educated” about Renewable Energy
Insanity and hypocrisy Down Under
The Nation’s Power Grid and the Broken Window Fallacy
Grid Threat as EV Demand Surge & Consumers misled on Engine Efficiency
The Senate Should Approve Pending FERC Nominees
The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Millennial Problem — and How To Solve It
Ecofascists Needed an Enemy, So They Chose Fossil Fuels
Gas Plant to be Built to Augment Renewable Energy

Manmade Global Warming Articles:

Agenda Behind Global Warming Alarmism
A Step Toward Scientific Integrity at the EPA
Study: Temp Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Climate Data
Most of what you’ve read about Greenland is wrong
Looks Like Global Action On “Climate Change” Is Dead
Leading Climate Scientist Says Debating Scientific Theories Would Be ‘Un-American’
EPA plans to challenge climate science in series of debates
Pittsburgh, Not Paris: Explaining the Climate Hysteria
Big Green Radicals
Why Christians Can’t Believe in Man-Caused Global Warming
Tired of Being Wrong, Climate Alarmists Move Doomsday to Next Century
China Urges The West To Reduce Emissions—While They Burn Coal & Get Rich
Germany is hypocritical regarding climate change
Why the Russians Conceived the Global Warming Scam
Russia as Media Manipulator: Nothing New
Response to MIT President: Paris Exit Scientifically Sound (Part 1 + Part 2)
Left-wing climate report claims Trump’s policies will kill millions — facts tell a different story
Study Blows Greenhouse Gas Theory Out of the Water
The Crisis of Integrity-Deficient Scientists
How to become a climate skeptic in 5 minutes
Environment: We’re in Era of Mass Extinction — of Reason
Who’s afraid of the big bad climate monster?
Will the sun put the brakes on global warming?
Research Team Slams Global Warming Data In New Report
Climate Lawsuit Brewing?
From Russia With Love

See Prior AWED Newsletters

Attachments area

The ‘real’ Russian collusion story is not what you think …
 

RINOs: The Viet Cong of Political Warfare

By Don Bendell July 23, 2017

The Democrats are at least declared enemies who confront the Republican majority, proudly stating their goals and trying  to filibuster, rabble-rouse, slander, and essentially disrupt any republican attempts to get things done. They are akin to the North Vietnamese Army I fought against in South Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. I do not mean shooting and trying to kill my comrades or me, but the NVA were an organized, well-equipped, well-trained, motivated army who believed in their communist cause, were patriotic in their own way, and  who effectively used strategy and military tactics against our forces.

RINOs, (Republicans in Name Only) however are more akin to the Viet Cong guerillas I also had to fight against in South Vietnam. They could be more dangerous, because most of the time the VC, or Viet Cong, worked alongside us during the day as interpreters, members of our allied South Vietnamese Army, local farmers, merchants, and rice growers, or laborers. Friends we trusted, foreign nationals we employed. At night, they would, like serpentine predators, slither into their damp dark holes and hidden tunnels under their villages, secure their weapons, and come out to ambush the very men they had worked for and befriended during the day......... More

'Gun them down' - Indonesia's president orders cops to shoot drug dealers

July 23, 2017

Pacific Rim countries tend to imitate one another because they are so integrated by trade, and the questionable trend of shooting drug dealers without trial has now come to Indonesia, following similar practices in Thailand and Philippines. It would not be surprising if Malaysia followed.............What's behind Indonesia's sudden interest in gunning down drug dealers? It might be a worry about its coincident problem: Islamofascism............. More

Jeb Bush, at it again...

July 23, 2017

What does it take to get Jeb Bush to learn?   Nine months after the losing the primaries and then watching his rival Donald Trump go on to win the presidency, he's still displaying the same passive aggressive hostility, the same entitlement mentality, and the self-congratulatory accolades enveloped with a bow in fake claims of civility.

He's out shooting spitballs at Trump, offering his words of 'wisdom' to big dollar hedge fund groups in the sad hope of turning his own situation around and browbeating voters into voting for him maybe in 2020. It's as transparent as the light of day.    From MSN.com, Jeb offered his 'rules' for politics or living or something, showing his audience that after all these months for reflection, he hasn't changed a bit:......Get the hook.  .....Read more


Pop Star Admits To Using Witchcraft To Put a Hex on Trump

By Andrew West July 24, 2017

There have been a number of preposterous plans floated by the progressive left to “resist” the President of the United States, but this latest asinine action will leave you spellbound in its stupidity.

The loose-knit “resistance” to the President has been steaming ahead for months at the behest of celebrities, liberal politicians, and violent radical leftists around the nation. The concept is deceptively simple: Oppose every single thing that Donald Trump says, does, likes, or believes. At its core, the idea is simply unAmerican, and is being utilized to undermine the office of the President, yet the left has continually upped the ante on the ridiculous ways that they choose to exert this force......To Read More....

My Take - Hollywood loons are a gift that keeps on giving.  Of course, no matter how idiotic they may look to the rest of us - they're thoroughly impressed with themselves trapped in their own self delusion that what they think is important to the rest of us, that what they say is meaningful to the rest of us, and what they do will make a difference in the views of the rest of us. Mostly - they're preaching to themselves - loons and hypocrites of the left.

"So ride boldly ride, to the end of the rainbow.
Ride, boldly ride, till you find El Dorado ."

Klayman: Mueller Must Be Fired Now!

Larry Klayman on special counsel: 'His band of leftist legal hacks have to go'

By Larry Klayman WND July 23, 2017

It is now known, not surprisingly given Special Counsel Robert Mueller's apparent vendetta against President Donald Trump and his family, that Mueller hired a Clinton Foundation lawyer, Jeannie S. Rhee, along with other Clinton and Obama loyalists, to do a hit job on the president. But what is not generally known is that, as recently as 2016, Rhee represented the Clinton Foundation against my racketeering lawsuit's allegations that Hillary Clinton sold government favors in return for bribes, including by approving the sale of 20 percent of America's uranium mine reserves to Russia and concealed the racketeering enterprise with her private email server. Now, not surprisingly given Mueller's highly politicized and leftist legal team, Jeannie Rhee is investigating Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign as one of Mueller's top lawyers. Will she and the others conjure Trump illegality? As they say in the South, "Do bears — these ones Russian bears — live in the woods?".........Continue Reading.....


Mueller probe: Meet the lawyers who gave $$ to Hillary, now investigating team Trump

By Brooke Singman Fox News July 24, 2017

President Trump's tough criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller signals a renewed effort to challenge his investigators' credibility over their track record of pro-Democratic political donations and other associations.

There is no shortage of examples to fuel the president's case.

Of the 15 attorneys currently on staff for Mueller, at least seven have donated to Democratic candidates and campaigns, including Trump's 2016 rival Hillary Clinton. The rest have not made political donations, according to federal records; and none of the attorneys on Mueller's roster donated money to Trump............Continue Reading.....

Jeff Sessions: Wildly Wrong on Civil Asset Forfeiture

July 24, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
Because America’s Founding Fathers properly wanted to protect citizens from government abuse, the Constitution has several provisions (presumption of innocence, ban on warrantless searches, right to jury trial, 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination, and other due process legal protections) to protect our liberties.

So one can only imagine how Jefferson, Madison, Mason, et al, must be rolling in their graves as they contemplate the disgusting practice of civil asset forfeiture, which basically allows agents of the government in the modern era to steal property from people who have not been convicted of any crime. I’m not joking.

Even worse, government agencies are allowed to profit from this form of theft, creating a terrible incentive for abuse.

Like certain other bad government policies that trample our rights (i.e., money-laundering laws that require banks to snoop on law-abiding customers), civil asset forfeiture is largely a result of the government’s failed War on Drugs. In other words, a classic example of one bad policy leading to other bad policies.

Widespread condemnation of civil asset forfeiture led to a tiny step in the right direction by the Obama Administration. And there have been positive reforms at the state level.

However, the Trump Administration and Justice Department are now pushing in the wrong direction.
Writing for USA Today, Professor Glenn Reynolds correctly castigates the Attorney General for his actions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to steal from you. Oh, he doesn’t call it that. He calls it “civil forfeiture.” But what it is, is theft by law enforcement. Sessions should be ashamed. If I were president, he’d be fired. Under “civil forfeiture,” law enforcement can take property from people under the legal fiction that the property itself is guilty of a crime. …It was originally sold as a tool for going after the assets of drug kingpins, but nowadays it seems to be used against a lot of ordinary Americans who just have things that law enforcement wants. …Once in America, we had a presumption of innocence. But that was inconvenient to the powers that be. The problem is pretty widespread: In 2015, The Washington Post reported that law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did. …Sessions is doing exactly the wrong thing by doubling down on asset seizure. The message it sends is that the feds see the rest of us as prey, not as citizens. The attorney general should be ashamed to take that position.
David French of National Review is similarly disgusted.
…civil asset forfeiture. It’s a gigantic law-enforcement scam (in 2014 the government took more money from citizens than burglars stole from crime victims), and it’s a constitutional atrocity. It’s a constitutional atrocity that Donald Trump’s Department of Justice just expanded. Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revived an abusive program that allows state authorities to seize property and then transfer the property to the federal government to implement the forfeiture process. Once the Feds obtain forfeiture, they then share the proceeds with the seizing state agency. This allows state law enforcement to explicitly circumvent state forfeiture restrictions and profit while doing so. …civil forfeiture allows the government to deprive citizens of their property even when it doesn’t even try to prove that the citizen committed a crime. …if the last 30 years of constitutional jurisprudence have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t count on courts to protect the Constitution when the War on Drugs is at issue. Forfeiture expanded dramatically as part of the War on Drugs, and the Supreme Court has proven that it will undermine even the First Amendment when constitutional rights clash with drug-enforcement priorities.
Erick Erickson adds his condemnation in the Resurgent.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions…has decided to expand a positively unconstitutional policy that should be ruthlessly fought in courts and legislatures around the country. Jeff Sessions wants to seize the property of Americans accused of crimes even if they are never found guilty by a jury. …According to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, the Drug Enforcement Agency alone has seized more than $3 billion from people not charged with a crime. …What is appalling here is that many states are enacting prohibitions on civil asset forfeiture, but the Attorney General wants to allow state and local law enforcement to use federal asset forfeiture laws to continue seizing property. Local law enforcement will thereby be able to get around their own states’ laws, so long as they share the spoils of their ill gotten gains with the federal government. This turns the concept of federalism on its head.
In a column for Reason, Damon Root of Reason adds his two cents.
…civil asset forfeiture is not a “lawful tool.” It is an unconstitutional abuse of government power. The Fifth Amendment forbids the government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Civil asset forfeiture turns that venerable principle on its head, allowing government agents to take what they want without the bother of bringing charges, presenting clear and convincing evidence, and obtaining a conviction in a court of law. It is the antithesis of due process. …Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas…recently explained in a statement respecting the denial of certiorari in the case of Leonard v. Texas, not only has civil asset forfeiture “led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses” by law enforcement agencies around the country, but the practice is fundamentally incompatible with the Constitution.
Last but not least, the editors of National Review make several important points.
Like the Democrats’ crackpot plan to revoke the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens who have been neither charged with nor convicted of a crime simply for having been fingered as suspicious persons by some anonymous operative in Washington, seizing an American’s property because a police officer merely suspects that he might be a drug dealer or another species of miscreant does gross violence to the basic principle of due process. No doubt many of the men and women on the terrorism watch list are genuine bad guys, and no doubt many of those who have lost their property to asset forfeiture are peddling dope. But we are a nation of laws, which means a nation of procedural justice. If the DEA or the LAPD wants to punish a drug trafficker, then let them build a case, file charges, and see the affair through to a conviction. We have no objection to seizing the property of those convicted of drug smuggling — or of crimes related to terrorism, or many other kinds of offenses. We object, as all Americans should object, to handing out these punishments in the absence of a criminal conviction. …No American should be deprived of liberty or property without due process.
Amen.

For those of us who honor the Constitution, civil asset forfeiture is a stain on the nation.  Let’s close with an amusing take on the issue. Even though he’s referred to me as insane and irrational, I think Matthew Yglesias wins the prize for the most clever tweet.

  • Matthew Yglesias    
  • @mattyglesias
  • Look, just because Sessions hasn't actually been convicted of a crime is no reason we can't start seizing his property now.  · Washington, DC

Revealed: Whopping 73 Percent of CBO's 'Lost Coverage' Estimate Comes From Individual Mandate Repeal

Guy Benson

Conservative healthcare policy wonk Avik Roy, a strong supporter of the imperiled Senate healthcare bill, wrote an eye-opening analysis over the weekend.  He examined and applied leaked data in order to demonstrate how the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office would score any GOP Obamacare replacement bill as "denying" coverage to at least 16 million Americans.

That's due to CBO's fanatical belief in the power of the existing law's individual mandate tax, an article of faith to which they've clung, despite hard contradictory evidence.  For the first time, Roy is able to reveal exactly how heavily -- and dubiously -- CBO leans on the strength the individual mandate in producing its coverage numbers.  This is vitally important context for the current healthcare debate, both in terms of swatting down Democrats' favorite attack line, as well addressing as moderate Republicans' top hesitancy.

He begins by noting the bizarre stability of Congressional bookkeepers' "lost" coverage figures, no matter how vastly various Republican-backed 'repeal and replace' measures may differ:....To Read More....

As a Teen Cashier Seeing Food Stamp Use, I Changed My Mind About the Democrat Party

J.D. Vance///

Mamaw encouraged me to get a job—she told me that it would be good for me and that I needed to learn the value of a dollar. When her encouragement fell on deaf ears, she then demanded that I get a job, and so I did, as a cashier at Dillman’s, a local grocery store.  Working as a cashier turned me into an amateur sociologist. A frenetic stress animated so many of our customers. One of our neighbors would walk in and yell at me for the smallest of transgressions—not smiling at her, or bagging the groceries too heavy one day or too light the next. Some came into the store in a hurry, pacing between aisles, looking frantically for a particular item. But others waded through the aisles deliberately, carefully marking each item off of their list.......To Read More......

The Left Is a Greater Threat to America Than Putin

By Dennis Prager July 18, 2017  @ The Daily Signal comments

Last week, I tweeted, “The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does.” To my surprise, the tweet went viral. And while there were more likes than dislikes, 99 percent of the written reactions were negative.   Typical reactions were:
  • –“F— you.”
  • –“Move to Russia.”
  • –“Your very full diapers pose a very great danger, please change them.” That received 1,880 likes.
  • –“I’ve wiped s— off my shoes more trustworthy and patriotic than your sorry a–.” That received 606 likes.
You get the idea. 

But it wasn’t the ad hominem insults that I found troubling. What was troubling was the low state of logical thinking that so many responses reflected. 

This was exemplified by their reminding me how important a free press is to democracy (as if attacking the behavior of the media were the same as denying the need for a free press); their asking how many nukes the media have compared with Russia (as if a threat to lives were the same as a threat to a civilization); and their thinking that my tweet was about President Donald Trump (he was never mentioned, and the words were just as true when Barack Obama was president).

My tweet was about the Western left undoing Western civilization. My one regret is that I did not mention universities along with the media.

The tweet had nothing to do with the existence of a free press. Attacking what the media is doing is not the same as attacking the existence of the media—any more than attacking Trump is attacking the existence of the presidency.

With regard to Russia having more nukes than the media, those who noted this fact so missed the entire point of the tweet that it is almost breathtaking.

When one speaks about dangers to a civilization, one is speaking ideologically, not physically. Of course, if Russia were to unleash its nuclear weapons against the West, it would kill vast numbers of Westerners.

However, that would no more mean the end of Western civilization than the Holocaust meant the end of Jewish civilization. Civilization connotes a body of ideas and a value system.

Furthermore, a Russian nuclear attack threatening the West’s physical existence is an utterly remote possibility. Russian leaders, just as Soviet leaders before them, fear what is known as MAD (mutually assured destruction).

The real nuclear threat comes from North Korea and, above all, Iran, which constantly announces its intent to exterminate Israel. But while The New York Times cannot stop writing about the threat Russian President Vladimir Putin poses, it accuses Trump of “demonizing” Iran.

The real threat to Western civilization is Western civilization ceasing to believe in itself. And, in that regard, Russia poses no danger, while the left-wing-dominated media and universities pose an existential threat.

That’s why the most depressing of the negative reactions were those from people calling themselves conservatives. If conservatism isn’t about conserving Western civilization first and foremost, what is it about?

Students in college have voted the American flag off their campus. Where did these students learn their unprecedented contempt for America and patriotism, if not from their schools and the media?

European countries continue to welcome in millions of Muslims, adding to the tens of millions of Muslims already in Europe—many of whom, if not most, have no interest in adopting Europe’s values.

Do the critics of my tweet conclude nothing about the left’s role —meaning the role of Western media and academia— in promoting multiculturalism, the doctrine that holds that no cultural, religious, or value system is superior to any other?

At the University of Pennsylvania, its left-wing English department has removed its long-standing portrait of Shakespeare because he was white and male. Is that not a direct hit on Western civilization?

The left-wing prime minister of Canada has proudly announced, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” and that Canada is “the first postnational state.”

What produced him? Putin?

Is it Putin who is removing American flags from American campuses?

Is Putin destroying the notion of male and female?

Has Putin convinced half of America’s millennials that socialism is preferable to capitalism?

Did Putin convince Pope Francis that Islamic terrorists are no more of a threat to Europe than baptized Catholics who kill their girlfriends?

Is Putin the reason Oxford University students voted that Israel is a greater threat to peace than Hamas?

Putin is indeed a murderous quasi dictator. But all this contempt for Western civilization comes from the Western media and the Western universities.

The smoking gun was provided just two weeks ago in the media’s reactions to Trump’s speech in Warsaw, Poland, in which he called for protecting Western civilization.

Virtually the entire Western media said it was a call to protect white racism —because the media deem Western civilization to be nothing more than a euphemism for white supremacy.

That’s what my tweet was about.

Three Times Interventionists Moved the Goalposts

Part 1 of 3

One of the most frustrating things in debate is when you decisively win the initial point of contention, only to have your opponent “move the goalpost” to a different claim. To be sure, this is a human failing, not unique to any particular political perspective. I’m sure I myself do this too. But I have certainly noticed it when people use it against me, and so in this series of posts I’ll review three times that interventionists moved the goal posts in a political debate.

Episode #1: Paul Krugman on the 2013 Budget Sequester

As part of the bipartisan compromise to raise the debt ceiling, a combination of tax hikes and budget cuts was activated in February 2013 when certain conditions hadn’t been met. At the time, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was aghast, calling the automatic measure a “fiscal doomsday machine” that would cost 700,000 jobs.
By April 2013, the economy didn’t seem to be in great shape. Krugman was confident that the budget cuts were taking their toll, even though the Federal Reserve had launched QE3 (in September 2012). Some economists—calling themselves “market monetarists”—had argued that easier money could offset the effects of the Republican austerity measures. But Krugman disagreed, writing in April 2013: ......To Read More...


Episode #2: Basing Climate Policy on the Peer-Reviewed “Consensus” Science

It is well established in the debates over climate change that people who question the orthodox views are denounced as “deniers.” The United Nations publishes a periodic report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that codifies the latest peer-reviewed results so that the public and policymakers can be informed by the genuine scientific consensus, rather than using cherry-picked authors or studies to justify their preconceived political views.

It’s also well established in the debates over climate change that the bare minimum humanity must do, is to take steps to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Indeed, the Paris Agreement (out of which President Trump recently pulled the United States) had, as its central component, a goal for all the participating nations of “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels...”.....To Read More....

Episode #3: The Oregon Medicaid Experiment

Back in 2008, the state of Oregon had the funds to expand Medicaid coverage for its residents, but not enough money for all applicants. Therefore the state government employed a lottery to see who would get Medicaid and who would be denied. It was a great setup for an academic study, because it was one of the few times when researchers would have a literally controlled experiment. An academic team—including MIT’s Jonathan Gruber, the (in)famous proponent of the Affordable Care Act—received approval to go ahead with a two-year study of 10,000 Oregon residents, some of whom received Medicaid and some of whom were denied.

Normally, studies of Medicaid are plagued by a selection bias, because the people who are on Medicaid would tend (for other reasons) to be in poorer health. Additionally, the states that can afford to expand Medicaid might do so because they have a booming economy, which itself might promote better health outcomes. In such a context, researchers may quibble over the relevance of the results because of the confounding factors. The absence of such factors is the reason Oregon’s lottery design was such a unique opportunity for researchers......To Read More.....

Why Republicans Can't Pass A Health Care Bill

Conservative Columnist: After Years of Obamacare Promises, Force These GOP Senators to Vote

Guy Benson  Posted: Jul 24, 2017

And now, a practical follow-up to my item this morning about CBO's deeply misleading and flawed projections of coverage in a post-Obamacare world.  Democrats have been beating the drum about 22 million people "losing coverage" under the GOP plan, causing angst among wavering Republicans.

But that talking point is rooted in an unsupportable fiction, as exposed by Avik Roy over the weekend.  Anxious Republicans may also be spooked but the horrific polling numbers attached to their Obamacare alternatives, which can largely be traced back to lockstep liberal opposition, incoherence on the Right, and the GOP's confounding unwillingness to proactively sell their bill while forcefully rejecting lies about it.  But even the most timid of Senate Republicans should not mistake status quo bias and discomfort over replacement proposals with enthusiastic support for the wheezing, imploding status quo.  As I also highlighted earlier, that's emphatically not the case:.....To Read More....

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Rosenberg story never changes

(Editor's Note:  The left unendingly attempts to use our own values against us.  I watched this segment and it still amazes me how even after these people are completely exposed by release of the formally classified Venona intercepts - they still try to bleach their activities in an attempt to make the good guys bad and the bad guys good.  They were part of a massive Soviet effort to destroy the U.S.  And their kids are as seriously flawed as their parents.  They keep saying the mother didn't deserve what she got, but one of the things all these kind of programs leave out is these are people who praised and deified Stalin -  one of the most brutal monsters in history - a man responsible for the deliberate murders of tens of millions of innocent people - the man they clearly were working to bring into power in the U.S. who would presumably do the same thing here.  Those murdered by Stalin - whom they supported - is where society's sympathy should be placed - not at the feet of the Rosenbergs or their children.  RK)

"60 Minutes" had a long section on the sons of the Rosenbergs, whom you may remember were American Jewish Communists who were part of a Soviet espionage ring. This espionage ring had been active for many years, and they were found guilty relaying information on the Manhattan Project, the U.S. effort to construct an atomic bomb, to the Soviet Union and were sentenced to death. "60 Minutes" interviewed the sons, who go under thei adoptive name "Meeropol," at length, and the interview was a tear jerker about how much pain they had gone through as children before, during, and after their parents’ execution. Words like “Joseph McCarthy” (who had nothing to dow itht he case) and the “50s” were strategically voiced. Decades later, with the help of various leftist “activists,” they tried to rehabilitate their parents, claiming that they were innocent.

 However, examination of documents by a sympathetic academic revealed that, lo and behold, they, indeed, had been guilty of espionage; the investigation were written up in The Rosenberg File and the writer, Ronald Radosh, lost a lot of leftist friends as a result. Incidentally, the very same change of mind happened regarding an investigation of Alger Hiss, another Communist spy, by Allen Weinstein, documented in Perjury.

The two brothers have since that time changed their efforts from declaring both parents to be innocent to having only their mother declared innocent. In this, they rely on arguing that one of the Communist witnesses at the trial lied to save his skin, and, that her role in the espionage ring was relatively minor and did not merit the electric chair.

There is an additional factor that comes into play here which was not brought up in the sympathetic "60 Minutes" segment. It comes from the history on the KGB as detailed in Col. Oleg Gordievsky’s book, KGB, The Inside Story. Gordievsky defected to the West in 1985 and provided a massive amount of information. In regards to the Rosenbergs, a tactical ploy was used very effectively. Since the Rosenbergs were a couple whose children would end up orphaned, they were ordered by Moscow to constantly proclaim their innocence.

The Communists would then organize a worldwide campaign agitating against the cruel, heartless, evil United States for its persecution of innocent people falsely accused of being Communist spies. When the pair – including a woman! -- were sentenced to be executed, this martyrdom went beyond their wildest expectations. Julius Rosenberg, in particular, was perfect for the role, with his puny frame and his facial expression of martyrdom. Massive demonstrations took place -- secretly organized by Communist organizations. Instead of the Rosenbergs being denounced for betraying their country, it was America that was denounced as being evil. It was a great propaganda victory.

What is also interesting is that both Rosenbergs were told that if they came clean about their operation, the death sentence would be rescinded. Even with the knowledge that her husband had been executed and her sons would be orphaned, Ethel, the true believer, refused. This would not have been surprising to those who had firsthand knowledge of Communists: many persons in the Soviet Union had denounced relatives for the mildest negative comments, and some Communists who had ended up in the Gulag still proclaimed themselves as Marxists and praised the genius of Josef Stalin.

Breitbart Editor: Our Goal Is ‘Full Destruction and Elimination of the Entire Mainstream Media’

By Michael W. Chapman | July 21, 2017

Speaking at an event for college conservatives at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, Breitbart News' Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, said it was the goal of his organization and like-minded new media to destory and eliminate "the entire mainstream media."
“The goal eventually is the full destruction and elimination of the entire mainstream media," said Matthew Boyle at the Eagle Forum Collegians D.C. Summit held at Heritage near Capitol Hill. "We envision a day where CNN is no longer in business; we envision a day where The New York Times closes its doors. I think that day is possible, I think that we can get there.”......To Read More.....

Two Reasons Why Policy Stability Means Economic Decline for Italy

July 22, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I’m rather pessimistic about Italy.

Simply stated, it’s economy is moribund. If you peruse the OECD’s economic database, you’ll see that both inflation-adjusted GDP and inflation-adjusted private consumption expenditure (in some ways a more accurate measure of actual quality of life) have grown by an average of just slightly over one percent annually this century.

And even though Italy’s population growth has been anemic, there are more people. And when you add a larger population to the equation, you get per-capita changes in output and living standards that are even less impressive.

But not everyone shares my dour outlook. I recently exchanged views with someone who said that Italy hasn’t increased the burden of government in recent years.

And that person is right. Sort of.

Here’s a chart showing Italy’s score from Economic Freedom of the World since the start of the 21st century. As you can see, it’s been remarkably stable.



But I have two reasons why I think policy stability is a recipe for economic decline.

First, you don’t win a race by standing still if others are moving forward. If you look closely at the above chart, you will see that Italy used to be ranked #36 in the world for economic freedom but it now ranks #69. In other words, Italy’s absolute level of economic freedom barely changed over the period, but its relative position declined significantly because other nations engaged in reforms and leapfrogged Italy in the rankings.
 
Second, Italy is in the middle of dramatic demographic changes that will have a huge impact on fiscal policy. People are living longer and having fewer children, but Italy’s welfare state was set up on the assumption that there would be lots of working-age taxpayers to finance old-age beneficiaries. In other words, policy stability will lead to fiscal crisis thanks to changes in the composition of the population. Think Greece, but on a bigger scale.
 
And when I refer to Greece on a bigger scale, I’m thinking another fiscal crisis.

Demond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute is pessimistic about Italy and warns that high levels of red ink could cause a big mess.
We’ve got an Italian economy that is categorized by extremely high public debt. Their public debt level is now something like 132% of GDP, they’ve got a banking system that is bust, that banks have something like 18% of their loans non-performing, that is a huge amount, the economy is completely sclerotic, that the level of Italian GDP today is pretty much the same as it was some fifteen years ago. There’s been practically no growth, declining living standards… What also makes Italy very important from a global point of view is that we’re now not talking about a small country like Greece which doesn’t have that much systemic significance. We’re talking about the third largest country in the Eurozone. We’re talking about a country that has the world’s third largest sovereign bond market with something like two and a half trillion dollars of debt.
And don’t forget that these grim fiscal numbers probably mean even higher taxes on Italy’s young workers.

But those taxpayers aren’t captives. Cristina Odone, in a column for CapX, points out that young people are getting the short end of the stick.
Gerontocracy, stifling regulations and huge unemployment have hindered Italy’s prosperity for decades now. The country hailed for its economic miracle and famed for its creative and industrious entrepreneurs (at the helm, usually, of family-run businesses such as Gucci, Prada, and Ferrero) today comes second only to Greece (among EU countries) for the size of its national debt. …Italy’s unemployed youngsters, who constitute 40 per cent of under-24-year-olds, gnash their teeth at the unfairness of national life, where fossils control the levers of power while flouting their sinecures. A quarter of under-30-year-olds classify as NEETS, young people who are not in education, work or training. Contrast this with the UK, where only one in 10 under the age of 30 is in the same position. …Labour laws continue to blight young people’s prospects. …This sclerosis risks turning Italy into the sick man of Europe.
No wonder many young Italians are migrating to nations with more economic opportunity. AFP has a story on the dour outlook in Italy.
With the country struggling to kick an economic slump, some 40,000 Italians between 18 and 34 years old set out to seek greener pastures elsewhere in 2015, according to the Migrantes Foundation. “Just talking with people (in Italy) it’s clear going away might be the only solution,” said D’Elia, 26, who has spent the last five years in London, where he currently works as a barman, and intends to stay for now despite high living costs. …most of Italy’s youths are unwilling to return — and the country is seen as offering little to attract foreign graduates. …GDP is forecast to inch up just 1.3 percent this year. The jobless rate hovers at over 11 percent, well above the euro area average of 9.3 percent. Among 15 to 24-year olds it leaps to 37 percent, compared with a European average of 18.7 percent. …Sergio Mello, who set up a start-up in Hong Kong before moving to San Francisco, said Italy “does not offer a fertile environment to develop a competitive business”. …Mello says there are other problems: “The bureaucracy wastes a lot of time”, the red tape “drives you crazy”.
Unfortunately, rather than ease up on government burdens so that young people will have some hope for the future, some Italian politicians want new mandates, new spending, new taxes, and new restrictions.

I’ve previously written about new destructive tax policies that shrink the tax base. And I’ve written about wasteful new spending schemes, like a €500 “culture bonus.”

And now there’s something equally silly on the regulatory front being proposed by politicians. Here are excerpts from a report by Heat Street on the initiative.
Italy could soon become the first Western country to offer paid “menstrual leave” to female workers. …If passed, it would mandate that companies enforce a “menstrual leave” policy and offer three paid days off each month to working women who experience painful periods. …The Italian version of Marie Claire described it as “a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability.” But the bill also has critics, including women who fear this sort of measure could backfire and end up stigmatizing them. Writing in Donna Moderna, another women’s magazine, Lorenza Pleuteri argued that if women were granted extra paid leave, employers would be even more reluctant to hire women, in a country where women already struggle to integrate the workforce. …Miriam Goi, a feminist writer, …fears that rather than breaking taboos about women’s menstrual cycle, the measure could end up perpetuating the idea that women are more emotional than men and require special treatment.
It’s unclear if this policy was actually enacted, but it’s a bad sign that it was even considered. Simply stated, making workers more expensive is not a good way to encourage more job creation. Even a columnist for the New York Times acknowledged that feminist-driven economic policies backfire against women.

The bottom line is that Italy needs sweeping reductions in the burden of the public sector. Yet the nation’s politicians are more interested in expanding the size and scope of government. Perhaps now it’s easy to understand why I fear the country may have passed the tipping point. You can be in a downward spiral even if policy doesn’t change.

Gingrich: Harvard Says CNN is 93% Negative -- That's an 'Attack Network,' 'Propaganda Network'

By Michael W. Chapman | July 18, 2017 |

Commenting on how the White House is taking new approaches with its daily press briefings, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said he would exclude CNN from the briefings because a study by Harvard determined that CNN's coverage of President Trump was 93% negative, which makes them an "attack network," a "propaganda network."
In the study of Trump's first 100 days in office, the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that CNN's coverage was 93% negative, as was NBC's reporting. The New York Times was 87% negative towards Trump and the Washington Post 83% negative. The most blanced was Fox News, with 52% negative and 48% positive.....To Read More...

The American People, Not Unelected Judges, Must Control U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy

By Daniel Greenfield

By ignoring the courts, President Trump will restore respect for his authority, for the separation of powers, and for the power of the people to rule themselves. And he will be following in the tradition of Jefferson, Lincoln and Jackson. The majority of Americans support his policy. The law, in both the legislative text and judicial precedent, supports his actions. As the death toll in Europe mounts, they are waiting for him to do the right thing...........Read More

Economic Sanctions and Private Property Rights

By José Azel

Fifty-six years ago, President John F. Kennedy sent a reasonable message to the international community that governments choosing to expropriate the properties of U. S. citizens need to compensate them for their losses. Governments that choose to simply steal the properties of U. S. citizens should expect some form of retaliation from the U.S. government.  That message remains valid today as an expression of a government’s duty to protect the private property rights of its citizenry in foreign countries where the rule of law does not prevail.............Read More

My Take - These are large corporations who've had their property stolen, and they need to accept the responsibility of investing in unstable regions. They had to know the risks and they had to know the rule of law is not just fluid outside the U.S., it's often times non-existent.  These are smart people - they had to know that.  

This idea the people of the United States need to do something about it is a mistaken concept.  That's what got American into WWI when Woodrow Wilson pushed the idea the sinking of the Lusitania - a British ship that we now know was carrying contraband - was an attack on America because Americans were on board and some died. 

That was a novel concept at that time and the media played it up generating mass emotion which stopped all rational thought.  That's the foundation for Kennedy's actions and as far as I'm concerned, not one American life is worth billions in stolen foreign investments. 

This article deals with both sides of this argument and worth your time.

The European Spring Was Sprung, But Only a Fool Would Imagine Euroscepticism Is Dead in the UK

By Alexandra Phillips l July 17, 2017

As I have made plain before, there is no such thing as a soft and a hard Brexit. This is little more than a narrative device enabling politicians to adopt a multitude of contradictory opinions in order to appease all constituents. Leaving the European Union means leaving the Single Market and all that goes with it. The EU has said this ad nauseum, the EU’s treaties underscore this ad nauseum and during the referendum campaign, every actor repeated this ad nauseum, as both thrill and threat. How fast we conveniently forget when massaged by a market hungry media......To Read More....

A “Trans-racial” Black Woman is Causing Liberal Heads to Spin


A blonde German model named Martina Big transformed herself into a black woman.

This is now creating tension between different liberal groups. In theory, in this modern progressive era of “name-it-and-claim-it” gender-racial identity, a natural-born black woman should be treated no differently from a transracial black woman.  But in reality, that’s not how things are playing out. Liberal gossip blogger Perez Hilton reports:............Did you catch that — “mental issues.” Can you imagine if a white man, following Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner, said that Jenner had mental issues? Or even if a white woman said that? Those kinds of remarks are off-limits in the liberal media.............To Read More....

Hungary's leader: EU and Soros seek to "Muslimize" Europe



BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- European Union leaders and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros are seeking a "new, mixed, Muslimized Europe," Hungary's anti-migration prime minister said Saturday.  Prime Minister Viktor Orban said during a visit to Romania that Hungary's border fences, supported by other Central European countries, will block the EU-Soros effort to increase Muslim migration into Europe.  While Hungary opposed taking in migrants "who could change the country's cultural identity," Orban said under his leadership, Hungary would remain a place where "Western European Christians will always be able to find security."  Orban, who will seek a fourth term in April 2018, said Hungary's opposition parties were no match for his government.......To Read More...

How Capitalism Saved the Bees

A decade after colony collapse disorder began, pollination entrepreneurs have staved off the beepocalypse.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Primary Glioblastoma and John McCain

By Rich Kozlovich

On July 19, 2017 Doctor Jamie Wells posted an article, Understanding Sen. McCain’s Glioblastoma Diagnosis, on the American Council on Science and Health website discussing Senator John McCain’s cancer situation and I got the impression he had a good chance of recovery.  I'm not so sure of that. 

From other articles I 've read being diagnosed with "primary glioblastoma" is pretty much a death sentence.  It's a type of brain tumor that's considered particularly aggressive and malignant, meaning the cancer cells divide uncontrollably.  While starting in the brain or spinal cord it has the ability to "invade and stay within normal brain tissue", but it can also invade sourrounding tissue including other parts of the body through the blood stream or pumped through lympahatic system.  All of which means he'll being going through a lot more treatment involving chemotherapy and radiation.

So then why is this a death sentence?  Some cancers can be pretty much cured or at the very least held at bay for long periods of time but some cancers are so devastating the end result is often short from the day of diagnosis, much like pancreatic cancer.  While there may have been some survivors - a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is normally a short term death sentence.

Apparently 10% of patients with glioblastoma may live five years or longer, but the "average survival time for malignant glioblastoma is around 14 months, and that's with treatment".  Both Ted Kennedy and Beau Biden died from this affliction. 


Tesla battery, subsidy and sustainability fantasies

More subsidies from exhausted California taxpayers cannot compensate for hard realities

Paul Driessen

The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.

Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.
 
In recent months, Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark, as huge government subsidies were eliminated. Now Tesla’s U.S. subsidies face extinction. Once its cumulative sales since 2009 reach 200,000 vehicles in the next few months, federal tax rebates will plunge from $7,500 per car to zero over an 18-month period. The same thing will happen to other EV companies that reach 200,000.
 
Subsidies clearly drive sales for EVs, which are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Free charging stations, and access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, further sweeten the deal. For those who can afford the entry fee, the ride is smooth indeed. In fact, a 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer EV subsidies.
 
Where were all the government “offices of environmental justice” when this was happening? How much must we subsidize our wealthiest families, to save us from manmade planetary disasters that exist only in Al Gore movies and alarmist computer models?
 
Perhaps recognizing the reverse Robin Hood injustice – or how unsustainable free EV stations are for cash-strapped cities – Palo Alto (where Tesla Motors is headquartered) announced that it will charge 23 cents per kWh to charge plug-in vehicles in city parking garages. Others communities and states may also reduce their rebates, HOV access and free charging, further reducing incentives to purchase pricey EVs.
 
Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are also decreasing the justification for shelling out $35,000 to $115,000 or even $980,000 for an electric car that gets very limited mileage per charge. Long excursions still need internal combustion engines or long layovers every few hundred miles to recharge EV batteries.
 
Intent on advancing its renewable energy and climate change agenda, the California legislature recently enacted a new cap-and-trade law that will generate revenues for Tesla and the “bullet train to nowhere,” by increasing hidden taxes on motor fuels, electricity and consumer products – with the state’s poor, minority and working class families again being hit hardest. State legislators are also close to passing a $3-billion EV subsidy program, primarily to replace the $7,500 federal rebate that Tesla could soon lose. Electric vehicle buyers could soon receive up to $40,000 for buying Tesla’s most expensive models! Coal-billionaire and California gubernatorial hopeful Tom Steyer vigorously supports the new subsidy.
 
We can also expect a battle royale over extending the federal EV subsidy beyond 200,000 vehicles – demonstrating once again that lobbyists are now far more important to bottom lines than engineers, especially when lobbyists can channel enormous contributions to politicians’ reelection campaigns.
As U.S. government agencies prepare to reassess climate change science, models and disaster predictions, it’s a good time to reexamine claims made about all the utopian electric vehicle and renewable energy forecasts, expanding on the land and raw material issues I raised in a previous article. 
 
In his Forbes article on Battery Derangement Syndrome, energy and technology analyst Mark P. Mills notes that Tesla is also getting $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies to build a huge $5-billion lithium battery factory in Nevada. Batteries, it’s often claimed, can soon replace fossil fuels for backing up expensive, intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable wind and solar power. Mills explains why this is … deranged.

In an entire year, all the existing lithium battery factories in the world combined manufacture only enough capacity to store 100 billion Watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. But the USA alone uses 100 times this capacity: more than 10,000 billion Wh per day. Worldwide, humanity uses over 50,000 billion Wh daily.

Focusing on solar power, Mills notes, that means storing electricity for 12 hours a day – to power homes and businesses around the globe for the 12 hours per day that photovoltaic systems will generate power on sunny days in the 100% solar world of the utopian future – would require 25,000 billion Watt-hours of battery power (ignoring future electricity needs to recharge electric vehicle batteries).

Replacing the gasoline in the tanks of 1.4 billion vehicles worldwide with electric power would require another 100,000 billion Watt-hours. That brings total global demand to well over 125,000 billion Wh of storage. That means it would take 1,250 years of production from every existing lithium battery factory worldwide to meet this combined demand. Or we would have to build 1,250 times more factories. Or we could build batteries that are 10 to100 times more powerful and efficient than what we have today.

Says Mills, the constraints of real world physics on battery storage mean this latter option will not happen.
 
In a world where we are also supposed to ban nuclear (and most hydroelectric) power, the very notion of eliminating the 80% of all global energy that comes from oil, natural gas and coal – replacing it with wind, solar and biofuel power – is fundamentally absurd. Can you imagine what would happen when the power goes off and on repeatedly while we are smelting iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt or lithium ores … forging or casting metals into components … or running complex fabrication and assembly lines?
 
In the sustainability arena, has anyone calculated how much lithium, cobalt and other metals would be required to manufacture all those batteries? Where they would be mined – with nearly all the best U.S. metal prospects off limits to exploration and production, and radical environmentalists increasingly rallying to block mining projects overseas? The mines would have to be enormous, and operated by huge corporate consortiums. Will anti-corporate activists on our campuses suddenly have a change of heart?
 
Will homes, neighborhoods and communities have the electrical service (200 amperes or more per home) to handle all the lighting, computing, entertainment, air conditioning, medical equipment and other requirements of modern living – AND the power required to charge all the predicted electric vehicles? What will it cost to upgrade neighborhood power grids, and home and commercial electrical systems?
 
Lithium batteries and their component metals pose unique fire and explosion risks. What safeguards will be established to minimize those dangers, in battery factories, homes and public parking garages?
 
Some factories and batteries will invariably be poorly built, handled or maintained. Some will invariably malfunction – causing potentially catastrophic explosions. The bigger the factory or battery, the bigger the cataclysm. Will we apply the same precautionary principles to them as more rabid environmentalists insist on applying to drilling, fracking, pipelines, refineries, factories, dams and nuclear power plants?
 
What is the life expectancy of batteries, compared to engines in gasoline-powered cars? Two or three times shorter? What does it cost to replace battery packs compared to engines? Two to three times as much? What is the true overall cost of owning an EV? Four to six times higher than a gasoline car? How will we dispose of or recycle millions or billions of batteries and their dangerous, toxic components?
 
Is the real goal of all this crony-corporatist wind, solar and battery enthusiasm – and anti-fossil fuel activism – to slash living standards in industrialized nations, and ensure that impoverished nations are able to improve their health and living conditions only marginally?
We would do well to raise – and answer – these and other essential questions now, before we let activists, journalists, legislators and regulators con us into adopting more of their utopian, “planet-saving” ideas.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.