People for the West newsletter for October 2020 now online

The People for the West newsletter for October is now online:

Some of the subjects covered:

Electoral College – get a new free ebook from the Heritage Foundation

Are coronavirus lockdowns constitutional?

Coronavirus tests, which should you get?

Wildfires are not related to global warming


NASA data show that global fires are down by 25%

Astrophysicist Asserts The Globe Will Cool ~1°C During 2020-2053 Due To An Oncoming Grand Solar Minimum

Farmers’ Almanac Forecast: Brutally Cold Winter For 2020-21

Read and act,


Wildfires Not Related to Global Warming

With the outbreak of large wildfires in California, the “mainstream” media is once again blaming it on global warming. However, the real evidence shows that the main causes are bad forest management, failure to clear brush near power lines, arson, and accidents. Note that ancient native Americans did controlled burns to manage the forest and make it more habitable for animals they hunted. But now, controlled burns and clearing brush are politically incorrect.


Here are some recent articles on the wildfires.

Irrefutable NASA data: global fires down by 25 percent

by Anthony Watts

Using satellite technology, NASA determined that between 2003 and 2019, global fires have dropped by roughly 25 percent. This makes the “climate change is worsening wildfires” argument completely moot. (Read more)

Minimizing California Wildfires

by Jim Steele

How do we focus our resources to minimize the devastation caused by California’s wildfires? First, we can reduce ignitions. California’s deadliest fire, the Camp Fire and California’s 2nd largest fire, the Thomas Fire were ignited by faulty powerlines during high wind events. California’s sprawling power grid has rapidly expanded since 1970 to accommodate the influx of 20 million people. Accordingly, powerline-ignited fires increased area burnt by five times relative to the previous 20 years.

California’s largest fire (Mendocino Complex), its 3rd largest (Cedar Fire), 5th largest (Rim Fire), and 7th largest (Carr Fire), were all ignited by accidents or carelessness. Uncontrollably, more people cause more accidents, suggesting California’s wisest course of action requires creating more defensible space.

In contrast, the August 2020 fires, which will likely rank in the top 10 of burned area of California, were all naturally started by an onslaught of dry lighting. (Read more)

Dr. Judith Curry on wildfires:

The mantra from global warming activists that manmade global warming is causing the fires, and therefore fossil fuels must be eliminated, is rather tiresome, not to mention misses the most important factors. More importantly, even if global warming is having some fractional impact on the wildfires, reducing fossil fuels would fractionally impact the fires but only a time scale of many decades hence.

Here are some of the more intelligent articles that I’ve seen on the California fires. (Read more)

See also:


This 1994 article from the New York Times (back when NYT still did journalism) puts things in perspective.

New York Times debunks climate-caused California wildfires

California can either manage its forests better or watch them burn for another 200 years, according to the New York Times. All you need to know about California drought and wildfires:

Beginning about 1,100 years ago, what is now California baked in two droughts, the first lasting 220 years and the second 140 years. Each was much more intense than the mere six-year dry spells that afflict modern California from time to time, new studies of past climates show. The findings suggest, in fact, that relatively wet periods like the 20th century have been the exception rather than the rule in California for at least the last 3,500 years, and that mega-droughts are likely to recur. (Read more)

See also the following articles from my blog to gain more perspective.

Mega-fires in Southwest due to forest mismanagement

North American wildfires and global warming

Wildfires and Warming – Relationship not so clear

Claim: “Worsening Wildfires Linked to Temp Rise”

Media hype about forest fires and global warming

Tucson City Council and the “Climate Emergency”

On September, 9, 2020, the Tucson City Council unanimously passed a very politically correct resolution that declares a “climate emergency” and vows that Tucson will become “carbon neutral” by 2030. You can read the entire 14-page resolution here. In my opinion, this quixotic resolution demonstrates the incredible ignorance of the council on matters of climate and energy. So far, I have not seen any figures on what this quest will cost the taxpayers.

The first eight pages of the resolution contain the “whereas” clauses citing the reasons for the resolution, most of which are political propaganda that have been scientifically debunked.

For instance: “WHEREAS, in April 2016 world leaders from 175 countries recognized the threat of climate change and the urgent need to combat it by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep global warming “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C;”

Debunked: If the Paris Agreement were to be fully implemented by the whole world it will cost only $12.7 Trillion and prevent global warming of 0.17°C by 2100. (Source)

See also: Who Is Afraid of Two Degrees of Warming?s (We’ve been there and done that already.)

The “be it further resolved” section begins on page 9. These are what the Council hopes to do.

A sample: “…the City of Tucson commits to a citywide urgent climate mobilization effort to reverse global warming and the ecological crisis, which, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from local, state and federal authorities, reduces citywide greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible towards carbon neutrality by 2030; immediately initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere through massive tree planting…and the Tucson Million Trees campaign. ” Where will the water come from? One of the “whereases” is to reduce water use.

The effort will be very, very politically correct: “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City of Tucson recognizes that the full participation, inclusion, support, and leadership of community organizations, faith communities, youth, labor organizations, academic institutions, businesses, non-profits, Indigenous groups, and racial, gender, family, immigrant, and disability justice organizations and other allies are integral to the climate emergency response and mobilization efforts;”


For some real science, see my blog article: A Review of the state of Climate Science

This will give you an overview of climate issues and provide links to more detailed articles.

Cornavirus – politics and science

Here are some recent (as of Sep 4, 2020) stories about medical findings and politics concerning the way we should be handling the pandemic.

Coronavirus tests: which one should you take?

New coronavirus tests are being developed every day. The Trump administration just ordered 150 million rapid antigen tests from Abbott Laboratories, but how do they stack up against other tests like the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test? Top infectious disease doctors from Harvard and Johns Hopkins break down the differences between the two tests to determine which diagnostic tool might be better at curbing transmission rates.

Rapid antigen tests have around a 97% sensitivity to detect people in the first week of infection of symptoms. And that, we know, is when people are most likely to transmit to other people. An antigen test looks for proteins of the virus or the actual shapes of the molecules that make up the virus. The test is done with a nasal or throat swab at a hospital or doctor’s office, but the hope is that these tests will soon be available for home testing in the near future. The biggest benefit, some say, is the fact that the test costs $5 and can deliver results within 15 minutes.

The diagnostic tool that is considered the “gold standard” for COVID-19 testing is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR tests, also known as molecular tests, are performed at a hospital or medical office. One of the biggest differences between PCR and antigen tests is the speed of the test. The sample taken during a PCR test is typically sent to a lab where results are turned around between 24-hours up to a week, depending on lab capacity. Although antigen tests may not be as sensitive as PCR tests, frequent testing will be key to staying ahead of the curve. (Read more)

Charts compare COVID deaths in countries that used hydroxychloroquine early and those that didn’t

By James Stansbury

The bottom line is that total deaths to date per million for countries using HCQ averages over 80% lower than in countries with limited use. (Read more)

The Big COVID Con Exposed

By Brian C. Joondeph, M.D.

In the past week, two pillars of the COVID Con collapsed: deaths and positive tests. The first crack in the pillar occurred in early May when task force member Dr. Birx claimed, “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust.” She believed the CDC was inflating Wuhan flu mortality by as much as 25 percent.

The pillar of COVID deaths crumbled just days ago when the CDC updated their mortality numbers to reflect deaths “from COVID” versus deaths “with COVID.”

Death with COVID means that George Floyd is counted a COVID death because he tested positive at autopsy. This is similar to the case of a Colorado man dying of alcohol poisoning but the death was later blamed on COVID. Washington public officials counted gunshot fatalities as COVID deaths.

The new CDC statistics show that only 6,640 deaths are due to COVID alone, rather than the commonly reported 164,280 deaths allegedly associated with COVID. In other words, only 4 percent of media sensationalized deaths were due solely to COVID and not other underlying medical conditions. (Read more)

Dr. Fauci’s Hydroxychloroquine Denial

By Mikko Paunio

As an epidemiologist, I believe that America has been profoundly ill-served by the contribution of its public health authorities to the debate on the efficacy of treating vulnerable COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). It is a debate with a direct link to whether America’s schools should reopen next month. Even those who reject the World Health Organization’s misleading comparison of COVID-19 with the horrendous 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and its presumption that humans lack any immunity against SARS-CoV-2 would welcome improvements in our ability to treat patients with COVID-19, in order to reduce the risk in reopening schools.

Distinguished Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch has written extensively on the meticulous research demonstrating the efficacy of the early administration of HCQ in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin and zinc. Conclusions from this research are based on criteria developed by British epidemiologist Sir Bradford Hill and Sir Richard Doll, two of the first scientists to discover the causal link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, criteria that laid the foundations of modern epidemiology and that are used to this day to determine whether an observed association can be ascribed to causation. (Read more)

It seems that the Wuhan virus’s risks have been grossly exaggerated

By Andrea Widburg

Without the Wuhan virus, the Democrats have no meaningful opposition to Trump. Not only have the Democrats weaponized the Wuhan virus to destroy the economies under their aegis, but they’ve also repeatedly claimed that Trump killed 161,000 Americans. However, new CDC data show that, of those Americans who died in the past seven months, only 6% died from the virus alone. The other 94% had serious comorbidities that (sadly) put them at a higher risk of death from anything that came along — and certainly from having sick people funneled into their nursing homes. (Read more) See also: The Latest CV19 Conspiracy Theory — Only 9,210 Dead

The vast majority of CV19 deaths would not have occurred without comorbidity risk factors triggered by the virus. But according to the CDC, there have been 9,210 deaths where no other risk factor or cause of death was noted. As the CDC page in question makes clear: “Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.”

Why Wind and Solar Generation of Electricity Fail – California learns the hard way

The Science and Public Policy Project (SEPP) publishes a weekly newsletter (on Mondays) that review the week’s happenings in energy and climate. The newsletter is called “The Week That Was” (TWTW). The often 20+ pages provide commentary and links to many papers. You can get the newsletter in PDF form from SEPP at .

The newsletter is also published at on Mondays. See the August 22 issue here.

The following are comments by Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP):

I’m shocked! Shocked! To protect the energy system which provides electric power for most of the state, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) was forced to create rolling blackouts during unusually hot days this past week. Immediately the chief executive of the state, Governor Gavin Newsom began blaming others for these needed actions, sending a letter to CAISO and the Public Utility Commission. According to the state constitution, the Commission “consists of 5 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, a majority of the membership concurring, for staggered 6-year terms.” CAISO has no authority over the Commission.

Newsom’s letter claimed: “These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” and he later declared “This cannot stand.”

For years, CAISO has been warning anyone who will listen of the dangers of relying too heavily on unreliable renewables, particularly solar power, which requires rapid increases in reliable power in the late afternoon of sunny days when the sun goes down. These power outages are a result of legislative and executive errors from failure to recognize the serious damage that relying on untrustworthy power will do.

To illustrate the risks involved, CAISO used its Duck Chart [presented in the links below] showing the risk of overgeneration from solar power during the middle of the day as compared with the net load and the rapid ramp-up needed to meet the net load in the early evening. From 2012 to 2020, each year the belly of the beast descended, showing the overgeneration risk increased, and the ramp-up needed from reliable generation increased. As estimated on March 31, for 2020 the ramp need was about 13,000 megawatts in three hours – about one-half of the maximum net load (consumption or demand) which occurs around 8 pm.

Providing such ramp-up is highly inefficient. If realized in time, hydro-electric can do it, but the cost is excessive wear on heavy turbines. Pumped hydro storage can do it, but the power needs to be replenished daily, something that cannot be assured if the primary sources of power are unreliable solar or wind. The likely choice is gas turbines which can ramp-up in about 15 minutes. But these are far less efficient than modern natural gas combined cycle (NGCC). Straight gas turbines have about 35% to 44% efficiency, depending on the model, its age, and the amount of ramping up and down it has to do. The efficiency diminishes when run at variable speeds. Thanks to continued innovation, the efficiency of NGCC is exceeding 60% Thanks to continued innovation, the efficiency of NGCC is exceeding 60%.

Blackouts in California have provided a stark example of how green ideology has so blinded some government officials that they ignore stark warnings that their policies are leading to economic disasters. There is no magic technology or pixie dust that can make unreliable solar and wind reliable. Government officials who claim the problems have been solved are irresponsible.

While the California officials have been congratulating themselves on green power, as Steve Goreham notes, from 2008 to 2017 the state had the most power outages of any state, 4297, more than 2.5 times the number of the next highest state, Texas. And, as Robert Bryce notes some of the highest electricity rates in the country, “19.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is 47% higher than the national average of about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.”

Destabilizing Wind: As discussed above, the Duck Curve illustrates how overreliance on solar power can destabilize the grid, especially on hot, sunny days with evening approaching. The question is, does wind power have similar weaknesses? In a presentation titled “The Storage Delusion” at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) physics Professor emeritus Howard Hayden shows that it does and explains why.

Wind power can ramp up and down very quickly and unpredictably, based on wind speed and unrelated to time of day. This can destabilize the grid without warning. Thus, a grid with a high percentage of wind power is subject to not only sudden drops in power, but also rapid increases requiring equally rapid decreases in conventional power. It is exceedingly difficult to keep the grid stable with a lot of wind power on it.

To illustrate the weaknesses of solar and wind, Hayden asks, Can you buy electricity from it at midnight or when the wind does not blow? The answers are obvious. But usually advocates claim you can store it, or the wind is blowing somewhere. The latter response is foolish, one cannot build wind turbines everywhere, and the cost of providing transmission lines to carry it to wherever it may be needed is prohibitive.

In addressing storage, Hayden shows that the only proven storage on a utility scale is pumped-hydro storage. As for other types, most hydrogen comes from natural gas, creating CO2, which contradicts the goal of avoiding creating CO2. Compressed air has been tried but has not been well received. The earliest system, Huntort CAES was created in Germany in 1978.

As Hayden states, flywheels just spin and are excellent for brief backup in data centers and electronic manufacturing such as computer chips until other generating systems such as diesel can be brought online.  They are certainly not grid scale. Capacitors are unsuitable on a grid scale, and a solar/molten-salt scheme has been tried in Nevada and failed.

All backup and storage systems involve a loss in energy. Hayden uses an estimate of the loss from pumped storage which was based on a dated (not clear) table by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA’s most recent estimate of loss in a closed system where water is pumped uphill is from 15 to 30%. Discussed in the June 13 TWTW, the largest pumped-storage facility in the world, Bath County Pumped Storage Station, in Virginia, reports an operating loss of 20%.

As presented by Hayden, wind and solar cannot be considered reliable forms of electricity generation, and except for pumped-hydro storage, energy storage is a delusion. Electricity storage is only in batteries which are not feasible on a utility scale. Until this problem is addressed, deployment of wind and solar will continue to be unreliable and a waste of resources. Please note that Howard Hayden is a director of SEPP.

Click the links above to read more.





PFW newsletter for September, 2020 now online

The People for the West newsletter for September, 2020, is now online:


Some of the subjects:

California Electrical Blackouts – A Result of Political Correctness

States that Switch to Renewable Power Suffer High Costs, Lagging Growth

How Bad Eco-Policies, Weather Are Fueling California’s Wildfires

The Dirty Secrets of “Clean” Electric Vehicles

For some time I have been hearing about the conspiracy theories of “Q” or Qanon. Here is what is happening

President Trump’s Handling of The Virus Was Not a Failure

The Case for Fossil Fuels

Below is an excerpt from a large study: “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by  Alex Epstein, Center for Industrial Progress.

Read the full study here, 11 pages.

What does it mean to be moral?
This is an involved philosophical question, but for our purposes I will say: an activity is moral if it is fundamentally beneficial to human life.

By that standard, is the fossil fuel industry moral? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. By producing the most abundant, affordable, reliable energy in the world, the fossil fuel industry makes every other industry more productive—and it makes every individual more productive and thus more prosperous, giving him a level of opportunity to pursue happiness that previous generations couldn’t even dream of. Energy, the fuel of technology, is opportunity—the opportunity to use technology to improve every aspect of life. Including our environment.

Any animal’s environment can be broken down into two categories: threats and resources. (For human beings, “resources” includes a broad spectrum of things, including natural beauty.) To assess the fossil fuel industry’s impact on our environment, we simply need to ask: What is its impact on threats? What is its impact on resources? The moral case against fossil fuels argues that the industry makes our environment more threatening and our resources more scarce.

But if we look at the big-picture facts, the exact opposite is true. The fossil fuel industry makes our environment far safer and creates new resources out of once-useless raw materials.

Let’s start with threats. Schoolchildren for the last several generations have been taught to think of our natural environment as a friendly, stable place—and our main environmental contribution is to mess it up and endanger ourselves in the process. Not so. Nature does not give us a healthy environment to live in—it gives us an environment full of organisms eager to kill us and natural forces that can easily overwhelm us.

It is only thanks to cheap, plentiful, reliable energy that we live in an environment where the air we breathe and the water we drink and the food we eat will not make us sick, and where we can cope with the often hostile climate of Mother Nature.  Energy is what we need to build sturdy homes, to purify water, to produce huge amounts of fresh food, to generate heat and air-conditioning, to irrigate deserts, to dry malaria-infested swamps, to build hospitals, and to manufacture pharmaceuticals, among many other things. And those of us who enjoy exploring the rest of nature should never forget that oil is what enables us to explore to our heart’s content, which preindustrial people didn’t have the time, wealth, energy, or technology to do.

The energy we get from fossil fuels is particularly valuable for protecting ourselves from the climate. The climate is inherently dangerous (and it is always changing, whether we influence the change or not). Energy and technology have made us far safer from it. The data here are unambiguous. In the last 80 years, as CO2 emissions have risen from an atmospheric concentration of .03% to .04%, climate-related deaths have declined 98%. Take drought-related deaths, which have declined by 99.98%. This has nothing to do with a friendly or unfriendly climate, it has to do with the oil and gas industry, which fuels high-energy agriculture as well as natural gas-produced fertilizer, and which fuels drought relief convoys. Fossil fuels make the planet dramatically safer. And dramatically richer in resources.

Broken: a new murder mystery by Lonni Lees

My wife,  Lonni  Lees,  often  has  murder  on  her  mind. Check out the Lonni’s Murder Mystery Page to see her other books.


A series of seemingly unrelated murders rattles a small desert town. As one death follows another, the only common thread is that all of the victims had their necks broken. When clues begin to point to one of the two cops on the case, the officers become more determined than ever to find the real killer.

A skeletal hand, buried in the desert, holds a clue.

Available on Amazon   and Barnes&Noble


Review ‘Helvetia-Rosemont: Arizona’s Hardscrabble Mining Camp’

I was invited to write a review of a new paper by fellow geologist David Briggs.

This review appears in Arizona Geology e-Magazine.

David Briggs tells a compelling story of the Helvetia-Rosemont Mining District in the Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona from the 1690s to the present day. The paper describes the history of the Helvetia subdistrict on the west side of the mountains and the Rosemont subdistrict on the east side of the mountains. It is a well-told story of the people, conditions, conflicts, businesses, and development of transportation and mining technology in the area.

LINK: Helvetia-Rosemont: Arizona’s Hardscrabble Mining Camp

The story includes the ups and downs of mining ventures, fortunes made and lost, and politics of the region. Briggs gives us a glimpse of what life was like in the mining towns, describes some of the colorful characters, and what conditions miners endured within the mines.

The paper includes a brief explanation of porphyry copper deposits in general and the specific geology of the mines. He describes the smelter which processed ore from the district and ore imported from other areas. There is a section on the historic production of the area. There were three main periods of copper production, one from 1900 until 1910, a second during World War I and a third that began during the early 1940s and continued until 1960.

Briggs provides a history of regulation in the area beginning with establishment of the Santa Rita Forest Reserve in April 1902. Augusta Resources acquired the properties in 2005 and after extensive exploration sold them to Hudbay Minerals in 2014. Briggs describes their modern exploration and the still on-going regulatory controversies.

Historic and contemporary photos and maps enhance the narrative. The story is well-documented by an extensive list of references.

As a whole, the story of the Helvetia-Rosemont area is very interesting and presents a picture of the colorful history of mining in Arizona.

Briggs ends his story with this: “A victim of competing visions of Arizona’s future, efforts to resume production in the Helvetia-Rosemont remain on hold as appeals work their way through the courts. Only time will tell, whether the Helvetia-Rosemont Mining District remains Arizona’s hardscrabble mining camp or assumes its hard-earned place as one of America’s largest  copper producers.”

Reviewer Jonathan DuHamel is a retired exploration geologist.

Citation: Briggs, D.F., 2020, Helvetia-Rosemont: Arizona’s Hardscrabble Mining Camp. Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report CR-20-A, 65 p.

Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy: A Reality Check

Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy: A Reality Check
by Mark P. Mills, Manhattan Institute
As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy. Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars. Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

This paper turns to a different reality: all energy-producing machinery must be fabricated from materials extracted from the earth. No energy system, in short, is actually “renewable,” since all machines require the continual mining and processing of millions of tons of primary materials and the disposal of hardware that inevitably wears out. Compared with hydrocarbons, green machines entail, on average, a 10-fold increase in the quantities of materials extracted and processed to produce the same amount of energy.

Among the material realities of green energy:
Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.

A single electric car contains more cobalt than 1,000 smartphone batteries; the blades on a single wind turbine have more plastic than 5 million smartphones; and a solar array that can power one data center uses more glass than 50 million phones.

Replacing hydrocarbons with green machines under current plans—never mind aspirations for far greater expansion—will vastly increase the mining of various critical minerals around the world. For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.

By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.
(Download full report)