People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, June, 2019
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands
Six Issues the Promoters of the Green New Deal Have Overlooked
by Jonathan DuHamel
Although the Earth’s climate has been changing for more than 4 billion years all by itself, we are now told that we can stop climate change simply by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.
Ignorance-based plans such as the Green New Deal propose that we terminate electricity generation by fossil fuels and replace all of it with renewables such as wind and solar. Proponents of such plans have not considered the environmental nor economic implications.
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
1)The Enormous Land Requirements of Wind and Solar Electricity Generation
The enormous land requirements for enough wind and/or solar to replace fossil fuel generation will wreak havoc with agriculture, and will destroy wildlife and their habitats.
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, for the contiguous U.S.:
If all electricity was supplied by nuclear generation, it would require 3,553 nuclear stations with a total footprint of 4,619 square miles.
If all electricity were to be supplied by solar generation it would require 11,674 solar farms with a total footprint of 525,312 square miles.
If all electricity were to be supplied by wind generation, it would require 6,954 wind farms with a total footprint of 1,808,166 square miles. (Source)
A minor problem: Because wind and solar generation are unreliable and intermittant, these methods would still require backup generation with is usually natural gas or coal generation.
Carbon dioxide (which makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere) is continually being emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, plants, formation of limestone, etc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy annual emission reports, humans are responsible for about 3% of total CO2 emissions; the rest is from natural sources. Carbon dioxide constitutes about 3% to 4% of total greenhouse gases by volume (water vapor is the main greenhouse gas); therefore anthropogenic CO2 represents just over one-tenth of one percent (0.12%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year. The U.S. is responsible for about 18% of global emissions, so elimination of U.S. emissions will make a difference of about 0.02% of total emissions. Is stopping U.S. emissions worth spending trillions of dollars and disrupting our economy? Will that save the planet?
2) The deadly toll on wildlife from all these additional wind or solar installations:
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats. Newer studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year. See also: Avian mortality from solar farms
3) The Green New Deal Would Have ‘No Effect’ On Climate Change
By Emily Zanotti
A new study from the American Enterprise Institute questions whether the Green New Deal would have any real impact on climate change at all — leaving it little more than an effort to dismantle industry.
The AEI report breaks down the GND into bite-sized policy proposals, assessing not simply the cost, but the proposed effectiveness of each legislative item to address the core goal of the GND: reducing American carbon emissions to a “net zero” by 2050.
The researchers’ ultimate conclusion? “It is not to be taken seriously.”
The “net zero” emissions proposal is particularly nonsensical, AEI warns, given that such an effort would require an estimated $490 billion per year investment in “green energy” ( $3,845 per year per household) and a sharp decrease in land available for agriculture. It also fails to address a very specific problem when it comes to U.S.-specific plans for climate change abatement: it fails to consider that the U.S. is only one of several heavy carbon-emitting nations, and that the vast majority of industrial pollution comes from the developing world and from countries like China and India.
In total, completely enacted, funded, and efficiently meeting goals, things AEI does not anticipate the GND would ever do — the full plan would cut the global increase in temperature by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius, by 2100, a number, the report says, is “barely distinguishable from zero.” (Source) ☼
4) Another part of the Green New Deal is retrofitting all buildings to be more energy efficient.
A study in the UK estimated that retrofitting British homes would cost $5.6 trillion and retrofitting U.S. homes would cost $26 trillion while achieving only a 50-60% CO2 reduction. (Read more)
5) For most of geologic history, there is no correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2 content. Water vapor is the major greenhouse gas, about 25 times more abundant than carbon dioxide.
A major ice age occurred during the Ordovician Period 450 million years ago even thought atmospheric CO2 was 4,000ppm, 10 times higher than it is now. Carbon dioxide dropped during the Carboniferous Period because many of the Earth’s coal deposits formed then. By coincidence, a major ice age occurred at the end of the Carboniferous related to the 145 million year cycle of ice ages. Temperatures rose prior to rise of atmospheric CO2 at the end of the ice age. During the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods,150 million years ago, CO2 began a long slide from about 2,500ppm to about 350ppm. However, global temperatures remained steamy for 50 million years during the Cretaceous Period at about 13°C warmer than now. The Cretaceous was another period of coal formation.
There is an apparent correlation during the glacial-interglacial cycles of our current ice age. But ice core data shows that temperature changes preceded changes in CO2 by about 800 years (because temperature controls CO2 solubility in the ocean). During the latter part of our current ice age, glacial-interglacial cycles occurred with a periodicity of about 100,000 years which correlates with the changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun as it changes from nearly circular to elliptical with an eccentricity of about 9%. Read more ☼
6) How Infrasound from Wind Turbines Can Cause Cancer
This article from the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions reviews several research studies that show infrasound from wind turbines can cause cancer. Read the full paper at http://wiseenergy.org/Energy/Health/LFN_and_Cancer.pdf
Here is an introduction:
Recently, President Trump made a statement about the possibility of wind turbine noise causing cancer. Predictably much of the press scoffed at this claim. Even some Republican legislators objected. But what are the facts?
Since this is a technical matter, let’s clarify some basics… Infrasound is Low Frequency Noise (LFN)… Industrial wind turbines generate substantial LFN… A variety of wind turbine LFN caused human and animal health problems have been well-documented (see this small sample of studies)… But what about cancers?
The medical term genotoxins is separated into three main groups: carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens (i.e. toxins that cause cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects)… LFN has been identified as a genotoxic agent of disease, capable of inducing blood vessel wall thickening as seen in autopsy, as well as through light and electron microscopy studies. This can lead to well known consequences such as tumor development, cardiac infarcts and/or the need for cardiac bypass surgery. The pathology caused by excessive exposure to LFN is termed vibroacoustic disease (VAD), and has been diagnosed among several occupational and environmentally exposed populations.
To read about other health problems see: Health Hazards of Wind Turbines
For more on the Green New Deal read the lead article in the February issue of this newsletter: The “Green New Deal” Will Send US Back to the Dark Ages.
For a review of all the scary environmental predictions see the April newsletter: A Review of Failed Environmental and Climate Predictions.
THE SPECIES EXTINCTION SCARE
The United Nations biodiversity panel recently issued a scary report claiming that one million species were vulnerable to extinction due to global warming. But:
Recent Studies Indicate Species Extinctions Decline With Warming – Mass Extinction Events Due To COOLING
By Kenneth Richard
During the last few hundred years, species extinctions primarily occurred due to habitat loss and predator introduction on islands. Extinctions have not been linked to a warming climate or higher CO2 levels. In fact, since the 1870s, species extinction rates have been plummeting.
In the past it has been widely reported that high and abruptly changing CO2 concentrations led to climate conditions that were “too hot for complex life to survive” on the planet. More recently, though, scientists have determined that the opposite may have been true: mass extinction events occurred during periods of global cooling, expansive ice sheet growth, and marine-habitat-destroying sea level drops of more than 100 meters.
In fact, of the 5 previous mass extinctions, volcanism-induced glaciation is thought to be responsible for the 1st, 3rd, and 4th events, with the 2nd unknown and the 5th from an asteroid impact. None of these explanations have ties to CO2 concentrations or sudden warming. Read more (Article includes references and abstracts of recent papers.) See also: from the Washington Examiner – How capitalism will save endangered species
Extinction – Truth Behind The Climate Slogan
By Robert Walker
This is a long and interesting article. Some main points:
Though many species are becoming extinct, we are blessed with a far more diverse world than is usual. Much of the time the entire land masses form a single continent or many closely connected continents as for the dinosaurs. The present situation where we have ecosystems in Australia, Africa, and the Americas with few species in common – that’s rather unusual. That 27% of species at risk of extinction is in a world that has many more species than Earth usually has.
The biologist Christ Thomas says that many of the extinctions are a result of merging of ecosystems. He says that it is much like what would happen if our continents were to merge together into a single new supercontinent, but happening due to humans moving the species around rather than continental drift. Many of the ecosystems are actually becoming more diverse. For instance the UK is actually more species rich as a result of human activity and the species we introduce rather than less so.
And our crops, pets, domesticated insects like bees, garden plants and flowers like roses, peonies, carrots, apples, peaches, walnuts or whatever, they aren’t going to go extinct because we will preserve them. We could grow such things even on the Moon with no ecosystems at all.
Here are some central points:
The species we cultivate – our garden plants, crops, pets, domesticated insects, the seeds in our seed banks – they won’t go extinct. We could grow those even on the Moon.
We are also acting to preserve biodiversity for both agricultural land and natural habitats worldwide
Our world is more diverse than is usual due to the many isolated ecosystems in continents and large islands.
While species are going extinct, many regions of the world are becoming more species diverse due to the extra habitats created by humans and introductions from other parts of the world. But how many are from climate change? So far, though there have been local extinctions, only one mammal species is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.
Even 12°C warmer, which we are not headed for, changes most climates to ones already present elsewhere in the world. The main risk is migration, not extinction, except for species with a narrow temperature range and unable to move fast enough. ☼
New Study: U.S. States That Imposed Renewable Energy Goals Resulted In Consumers Paying An Additional $125 Billion
Every country that has attempted to force solar and wind energy sources on their national grid have all discovered the same thing: the cost of retail electricity jumps with the consumer being the ultimate chump that has to fork over more money to the providers.
A study out of University of Chicago has determined the same result happened in the 29 U.S. states that imposed Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).
“RPS “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11% (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17% (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.”…”All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy.” ☼
Related: New Mexico residents beware: Newly-elected Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the “Energy Transition Act” in March. This law requires that New Mexico move to 100 percent carbon-free energy – the same long-term goal as the “Green New Deal.” This destructive law is essentially a hidden carbon tax and will threaten the jobs of thousands of energy workers, raise utility rates, cut state revenue, and make green energy companies rich at the taxpayers’ expense. (Source) ☼
The Blueprint for Balance
The Heritage Foundations has released a detailed, 330-page plan that offers 250 specific, actionable proposals to rein in spending, reform taxes, and right-size the federal government. If implemented, in total, the Heritage’s blueprint would reduce spending by $10.8 trillion over 10 years and eliminate deficits by 2029. It does this while also permanently extending the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, reducing taxes by $800 billion. Download the plan here:
(Short link) ☼
Grijalva’s Proposed Change to Mining Law Would Be Disastrous for America
by Jonathan DuHamel
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is at it again with his proposed H.R. 2579 Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019 which would probably make future mining in America uneconomic. Among other things, the law would impose a 12.5% royalty on production and eliminate valid mining claims after 20 years (read full text). The royalty is extremely punitive to an industry that already pays over 45 percent of its earnings to federal, state and local governments, in the form of taxes, fees, royalties and other assessments. Currently, the U.S. is 100% import-reliant for 18 minerals – 14 of which have been deemed “critical” by the departments of defense or interior. (Read full article in the Arizona Daily Independent)
The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) notes that:
The sweeping changes in Rep. Grijalva’s legislation are unnecessary and a disaster in the making for the domestic mining industry and for America.
The fact is, hardrock mining is fundamentally different than oil, gas, and coal because it is much more difficult to find and develop hardrock mineral resources. This bill ignores these differences and seeks to force-fit royalty and leasing programs for coal, oil, and gas on hardrock mining. Without question, the Grijalva bill, if enacted, would substantially chill private-sector investment in exploring for and developing minerals on federal land and dramatically increase our already extensive reliance on foreign sources of minerals.
This bill poses a significant threat to our Nation’s economic security and to our defense, technology, manufacturing, infrastructure, and renewable energy sectors, all of which rely on minerals from mining. The country will suffer as high paying family-wage jobs are exported, and our rural communities will experience disproportionately severe economic hardships.
Geologist Ned Mamula (adjunct scholar in Geosciences at the Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute) opines that:
Mining is a long-term investment process and, although two decades is a long time, some hardrock mines now take 10 years or more just to get approved. What company would be willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a new mine only to see its mining claims suddenly revoked?
Remarkably, the timing of this “reform” is just as bad as the substance. U.S. demand for minerals is climbing steadily: for hundreds of defense, aerospace, electronic, energy, medical, computing, transportation and other applications. Yet, our dependence on China for minerals is at an all-time high and growing, despite increasingly tense diplomatic relations. (Read full article)
Matthew Kandrach, President of Consumer Action for a Strong Economy notes:
The taboo against hard-rock mining in the United States is nonsensical and should be abandoned. Instead, America should embrace a far wiser policy of ensuring greater access to minerals on our public lands, since it’s in our national and economic interest. This would help reduce our heavy dependence on foreign nations for minerals that are needed in the production of advanced weapons systems and a multitude of consumer technologies.
The current problem stems from America adhering to a highly duplicative and inefficient system of regulatory permits and oversight that governs domestic mining. Over all, the mining industry is struggling with a regulatory system that forces them to wait seven to 10 years to obtain a mining permit, in contrast to Canada and Australia where the process takes two to three years.
The permit system was set up during a very different era when the U.S. dominated the production and use of minerals. But those days are long past. China is now the world’s leading producer and exporter of minerals and metals, supplying many that are critical to U.S. manufacturing, our technology and energy sectors, and national defense. Our ongoing dependence is not only a potential vulnerability during a time of increased global tensions, but greatly limits our nation’s ability to capitalize on our mineral wealth. (Read more)
See also: A Short History of Mining Law ☼
China’s Dangerous Monopoly on Metals
By Michael Silver
Control of the rare-earth supply gives Beijing both economic and military advantages over the U.S.
As trade talks between the U.S. and China have focused on manufacturing, American negotiators seem to be ignoring China’s growing domination of raw materials that are crucial to both countries’ security and standard of living.
Rare-earth metals are essential for producing most technological equipment. It is impossible to build a car without cerium, a smartphone without europium, a guided missile without neodymium. China now controls the supply of all 16 strategically critical rare-earth metals. In fact, 96% of global mining output for rare-earth metals comes from within China’s borders.
Yet U.S. trade negotiations with China have ignored the future availability and cost of rare earths. Is this because freemarket principles have kept prices and availability stable? No. China has been using its monopoly as an economic and strategic sword. In 2010 it cut off Japan over the Senkaku Island dispute in the East China Sea. Japan quickly backed down in light of the devastating potential economic impact of even a short-term supply disruption.
More recently, China established a clever pricing strategy that made these metals cheaper inside China than out. That induced European, Japanese and U.S. companies, including General Electric Lighting, to move production into China and transfer valuable technology to Chinese companies so they could access competitively priced rare earths—taking jobs with them. This pricing scheme was stopped by the World Trade Organization in 2014, but not without China’s filing an appeal, fighting hard for every inch of advantage.
U.S. negotiators appear blind to the issue of rare earths, as WTO protection masks the Chinese threat for now. But Beijing is establishing a potential replacement multinational arrangement to WTO membership through its Belt and Road Initiative. At some point China may be in a position simply to leave the WTO in favor of its own group, empowering it to do what it clearly wants to do: use its domination of rare earths to pressure companies to situate their plants in China.
It would be even worse if the U.S. withdrew from the WTO first, as President Trump has repeatedly threatened to do. In that case, only America’s economy would sit outside China’s global supply chain. China could simply cut off the U.S., as it did to Japan. A trade agreement with China must include provisions requiring the same availability and pricing of rare-earth metals inside and outside China, with strong enforcement and transparency mechanisms. Otherwise, China will need only to quit the WTO to be in a position to stymie the promised U.S. manufacturing renaissance, have overwhelming leverage in all future trade disputes, and, in the longer term, gain a decisive strategic military advantage over the U.S. (Source) ☼
“The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.” —James Madison (1788)
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)
A Wyoming rancher’s summary of the Mueller report and Democrats’ hapless ongoing efforts in one sentence: “While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it.”
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1) Support private property rights.
2) Support multiple use management of federal lands for agriculture, livestock grazing, mining, oil and gas production, recreation, timber harvesting and water development activities.
3) Support a balance of environmental responsibility and economic benefit for all Americans by urging that environmental policy be based on good science and sound economic principles.
Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
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