People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, July, 2022
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
In this issue we continue our examination of energy and climate policies that are hurting our economy, our national security, and our well-being. We begin with an essay I wrote for the November, 2001, issue of this newsletter. Many of the issues apply today.
Thoughts on Freedom and Security
Recent polls indicate that many people would willingly give up some of their civil liberties in return for more “security.” I find that appalling. Maybe these unthinking people are comfortable about giving up some rights when the question is posed as a generality, but would answer differently if asked about giving up specific rights. One can only hope. For instance, maybe they think freedom of the press should be curbed when television news programs show the poor judgment of broadcasting Taliban propaganda, but would balk at being prohibited from expressing an unpopular opinion themselves. Or maybe, too many of us take our rights for granted and don’t appreciate how unique and hard-won they are.
In Germany of 1933, citizens signed away their rights “for the protection of the people and the state.” We know how that turned out. But that was an extreme case. It can’t happen here, right? Besides, we don’t have to actually sign away our rights, just bend the fourth amendment a little so we can more easily go after the domestic terrorists; just give up some of our privacy so the government can search our papers, tap our phones and email without obtaining specific warrants to do so. No harm in that is there? James Madison thought there was when he wrote: “there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
Some would argue that war time is an extraordinary time, requiring extraordinary measures. However, be warned, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” (William Pitt in a speech to the House of Commons, Nov. 18, 1783). It was “necessary” during World War II to send Americans of Japanese decent to camps in the name of national security.
Our Constitution applies all the time, not merely when it is convenient. We can’t make exceptions just because it might be easier to catch the bad guys. To do so puts us all in danger.
What we can and should do, is better enforce our existing laws, with common sense, unhampered by political correctness. Our intelligence agencies must talk to each other and share data; the INS must keep better track of legal aliens; our borders must be better secured against illegal aliens; yes, we should use “profiling” as one characteristic in judging who might be dangerous if ethnicity or national origin is relevant.
Security is risk management; we can never be completely secure in a free society. But we can do those things which truly minimize our risks rather than just give the illusion of security. When airlines resumed flying after September 11, we saw reports of baggage checkers confiscating anything sharp, even such innocuous items as nail clippers. However, they apparently did not confiscate ballpoint pens which are just as dangerous as daggers if one knows how to use them as weapons. And, later in October, airport security failed to detect a loaded derringer which a businessman inadvertently carried aboard a plane. Do baggage handlers and airport ground crews receive adequate security checks? Is our transportation industry more secure now or is it still just an illusion?
In our open society, we try to be accommodating to all and treat each individual with proper respect and deference. But we have to pay attention to both bureaucrats and would-be bombers; vigilance is still the price of liberty. ☼
100 Ways Biden and the Democrats Have Made it Harder to Produce Oil & Gas
from American Energy Alliance
Joe Biden and the leadership of the Democratic party have a plan for American energy: make it harder to produce and more expensive to purchase. Since the Biden took office, his administration and Congressional Democrats have taken over 100 actions deliberately designed to make it harder to produce energy here in America.
32 of these anti-energy proclamations were enacted after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Biden regularly touts as an excuse for rising gas prices.
This is exactly what the Green New Deal agenda is, making the sources of energy needed every day for families around the country too expensive to afford.
The Democratic plan for lower gas prices is simple: blame everyone else, buy an electric vehicle, and don’t be poor. The Biden administration has made it clear they value the support of the radical environmental lobby more than lowering prices at the pump.
The Economic Cost of Eliminating Fossil Fuels
by Andy May
The debate on how much impact humanity has on climate change continues. As nearly everyone knows by now, there is no observational evidence that humans have a significant impact on climate, so the debate is mostly over which future climate projection is likely. It also isn’t clear that the changes we might cause are bad, most of the evidence suggests that additional CO2 and warming have been beneficial so far and will likely be beneficial in the future. But what if we do decide to eliminate fossil fuels? What is the economic impact?
Gregor Semieniuk, and nine co-authors have just published an open-access paper in Nature Climate Change discussing this option. The net present value of future lost fossil fuel profits exceeds $1.4 trillion, with $0.4 trillion lost in the U.S. alone. Most of the risk falls on private investors who are overwhelmingly in OECD countries, especially in the U.S. and U.K.
The article claims that compensating the entire loss of the oil and gas companies would “only” cost one to two percent of GDP. However, they do not count the losses of oil and gas service companies or the total resulting unemployment, which is likely more than nine million job losses in the U.S. alone. Oil, gas, and coal underpin all of modern life. Besides energy, they are essential to feed, clothe, and shelter us. He calls ammonia, steel, concrete, and plastics the four pillars of modern civilization, and currently these can only be made with fossil fuels. These four indispensable materials use 17% of the worlds primary energy supply and produce 25% of all CO2 emissions. (Read more) ☼
The Green Energy Chickens Have Come Home to Roost
by Bruce Thornton
This year will graphically demonstrate the malign consequences of the misguided efforts to replace cheap, reliable fossil fuel energy with unreliable, inefficient “renewable” energy like wind and solar. Never in history has a civilization willfully embarked on destroying its material foundations, based solely on a hypothesis rather than scientifically established fact. Net-zero carbon is a dangerous fantasy that in the West puts at risk our economy and national security, and in the developing nations hinders their ability to improve their economies and quality of life. (Read more) ☼
[Note: As we showed last month, carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels constitute just 0.1% of total greenhouse gases. ]
Biden Administration’s LNG Barriers Hinder Economic Growth, Threaten American Interests, and Undermine Geopolitical Stability
by Linnea Lueken
President Joe Biden has called for the United States to increase exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe in order to help U.S. allies wean themselves from Russian natural gas. Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s climate policies have directly subverted this goal, as well as the U.S. energy dominance care fully crafted under the Trump administration.
A previous report by The Heartland Institute, “The History and Importance of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG),” served as a primer on LNG and discusses the transition from the United States being a net importer to a net exporter of LNG. This paper discusses the current status of LNG exports and how government policies impact the U.S. LNG industry.
The energy in nuclear waste could power the U.S. for 100 years, but the technology was never commercialized
by Catherine Clifford
There is enough energy in the nuclear waste in the United States to power the entire country for 100 years, and doing so could help solve the thorny and politically fraught problem of managing spent nuclear waste.
That’s according to Jess C. Gehin, an associate laboratory director at Idaho National Laboratory, one of the government’s premier energy research labs.
The technology necessary to turn nuclear waste into energy is known as a nuclear fast reactor, and has existed for decades. It was proven out by a United States government research lab pilot plant that operated from the 1960s through the 1990s.
For political and economic reasons, the technology has never been developed at commercial scale. Today, there’s an increased urgency to address climate change by decarbonizing out energy grids, and nuclear power has become part of the clean energy zeitgeist. As a result, nuclear fast reactors are once again getting a serious look. (Read more) ☼
The Democrats’ Energy Disaster
by Paul Homewood
Biden demands energy companies invest tens of billions more in new drilling infrastructure, when everyone knows that tomorrow, when prices recede, Democrats are going to go right back to passing laws and regulations that undercut their business. Democrats have spent decades warning that the United States must stop using the most efficient and affordable energy sources or it will be consumed by heat waves, fireballs and cataclysmic weather events. Every flood, every hurricane — every natural event, really — is now blamed on climate change. We have burdened our children with an irrational dread over their future. (Read more) ☼
Why Wind And Solar Will Never Meet The World’s Energy Needs
from Prager Univ.
Are we heading toward an all-renewable energy future, spearheaded by wind and solar? Or are those energy sources wholly inadequate for the task? Here’s the reality.
Oil, natural gas, and coal provide 84% of the world’s energy. That’s down just two percentage points from twenty years ago. And oil still powers nearly 97% of all global transportation. Contrary to headlines claiming that we’re rapidly transitioning away from fossil fuels, it’s just not happening. Two decades and five trillion dollars of governments “investing” in green energy and we’ve barely moved the needle.
This was supposed to be easy. Why is it so hard? In a word: rocks. To get the same amount of energy from solar and wind that we now get from fossil fuels, we’re going to have to massively increase mining.
By more than 1,000%. This isn’t speculation. This is physics. (See video) ☼
Beware: 100% Green Energy Could Destroy The Planet
by Stephen Moore
The untold story about “green energy” is that it can’t possibly be scaled up to provide anywhere near the energy to replace fossil fuels. (Unless we are headed back to the Stone Age, which is what some of the “degrowth” advocates favor). Right now, the United States gets about 70% of its energy from fossil fuels. To go to zero over the next 20 years would be economically catastrophic and cost tens of millions of jobs.
Some environmentalists are pointing to a little-noticed study by the World Bank showing that moving toward 100% solar, wind, and electric battery energy would be just as destructive to the planet as fossil fuels. According to the Foreign Policy analysis, moving to a “carbon-free” energy future “requires massive amounts of energy, not to mention the extraction of minerals and metals at great environmental and social costs.” (Read more) ☼
Electric Cars: Unsafe At Any Speed? Electric Cars Keep Catching Fire ☼
STATE OF THE UNION
Biden sneaking amnesty through for a million illegal border crossers
By Monica Showalter
Who says crime doesn’t pay?
When you can cross the border illegally, and not only be allowed to stay here, collect big benefits, and actually be allowed to apply for citizenship as a reward for your lawbreaking, why wouldn’t you come without papers instead of come the legal way? You’d be a fool not to. Applying legally and waiting years for entry at great personal expense with no adjacent benefits is a fool’s errand, given the Biden administration’s current policies.
That’s the shocking reality revealed in a report from the Washington Examiner showing that the Biden administration is now …. ever so quietly … dropping charges against tens of thousands of unvetted illegal border crossers and visa overstayers, leaving them with clean records and incredibly, the “right” to apply for green cards and U.S. citizenship. If the current pace of that continues, at least a million are going to be effectively amnestied by 2024. (Read more) ☼
Our Supply Chains and National Security Require American Minerals
from National Mining Association
Mineral security means national security. Mineral demand has never been higher, and is poised to grow exponentially to meet the needs for new technologies, infrastructure, manufacturing, electric vehicles, and energy generation. Despite the immediate need for massive amounts of these materials and the fact that we have them in abundance here at home, it still takes more than ten years to permit a mine here in the U.S., forcing us to look abroad – most often to geopolitical rivals – for the mineral resources that are essential to our supply chains.
Some in Washington, D.C., are trying to limit our national domestic mineral supply chain and, by doing so, restrict our nation’s national security. Congress is considering H.R. 7580 and S. 4083, the “Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act of 2022.” If enacted, this legislation will jeopardize the U.S. mining industry with new taxes and new regulations at a time when the metals and minerals we produce domestically are, according to the White House, “essential to our national security and economic prosperity.” All these bills will do is deepen U.S. import reliance and put China in the driver’s seat for decades to come when it comes to the supply of the crucial minerals we need.
Continuing to streamline the permitting process through commonsense steps like increasing coordination and reducing duplication between federal and state agencies, setting and adhering to reliable schedules and timelines for permit review, and transparently tracking progress to provide accountability, will all make a difference. (Source) ☼
Biden’s rollback of NEPA reforms may haunt Green energy projects
By Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.
In a long-expected move, the Biden administration April 19 restored federal regulations requiring rigorous environmental reviews of proposed major infrastructure projects, undoing policies of the Trump White House aimed at streamlining the process laid out in the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The NEPA process was notorious for its red tape and litigation, which put many projects on hold indefinitely and led to the abandonment of numerous others. Over the decades, environmental groups became skillful at using NEPA to scuttle highways, bridges, mining operations, oil and gas pipelines, oil and gas wells, and anything else not to their liking. Large infrastructure projects require significant upfront capital investments, and the prospect of drawn-out litigation and bureaucratic foot-dragging common to NEPA gave investors an incentive to put their money elsewhere.
In 2020, the Trump White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued new rules designed to speed up a process that could take years just to get a permit. Under the 2020 changes to NEPA, timelines for environmental reviews and public comments were shortened, and federal officials were allowed to disregard a projects “cumulative effects” on such things as climate change. (Read more) ☼
The SEC’s Costly Power Grab
by Richard Morrison, Competitive Enterprise Institute
The concept known as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing has gained an increasingly high profile in recent years, with advocates producing a large volume of publications, conferences, corporate policies, and even entire new organizations dedicated to advancing it. The general premise of ESG theory is that corporations should deemphasize their traditional responsibility to maximize value for shareholders and instead make new, binding commitments to multiple alternative stakeholder groups. Some of those stakeholder groups are traditional and easy to define, like employees and suppliers, while others are more amorphous, like “the local community,” “the global environment,” or “society at large.” In the United States, on March 21, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require public companies to make detailed public disclosures of their energy use and planning for climate change-related financial risks. (Read more) ☼
16 Governors Urge Biden To Rescind Costly SEC Climate Rules
by Thomas Catenacci, Daily Caller
A coalition of 16 Republican governors sent a letter Tuesday to President Joe Biden, urging him to rescind a proposal introducing a series of climate requirements for companies.
The recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal, which forces publicly-traded companies to share so-called climate-change risks and greenhouse gas emissions, would harm businesses and investors by adding high compliance costs, the governors argued in the letter addressed to both Biden and SEC Chairman Gary Gensler.
The climate disclosure rule, they added, would also represent an overstepping of the SEC’s authority. ESG is the acronym for Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance, the three broad categories or areas of interest for what is termed “socially responsible investors.” (Read more) ☼
A Global ESG System Is Almost Here. We Should Be Worried
by Jack McPherrin
Day two of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland started off on a concerning note.
Some of the chief architects of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores met during a session called “Global ESG for Global Resilience,” and have clearly decided to double down on their objective for a new global economic order that transcends national borders and replaces free-market capitalism.
Destroying free-market capitalism in favor of a new “stakeholder” model, in which global elites hold all the power, has been their objective for years. A single ESG system gets them much closer to this goal, and will be significantly more effective at eroding national sovereignty, circumventing democratic processes, coercing companies into compliance, and ultimately restricting individual choice. (Read more) ☼
Biden’s Virtue-Signaling: The Costs of Climate Policy
By David Simon, MasterResource
“Perhaps the most tragic aspect of Biden’s horrendous climate policy is that not only is there zero scientific evidence that it will have any significant impact on world carbon emissions or global temperatures, the scientific evidence is strong that global warming is not harmful and instead is beneficial.” President Biden’s climate policy is not “the root of all evil,” but it’s close. Instead of improving the earth’s climate, it is causing or at least substantially worsening several economic and national security problems.
Biden’s climate policy seeks, as he stated during his campaign, “to end fossil fuel …” To do this, he is regulatorily strangling U.S. fossil fuel production.
Diesel fuel and jet fuel prices also are sky high. They raise prices for everything shipped by trucks and planes, as well as for airline tickets.
There’s more. Plastics and many other materials are made from petroleum. High oil prices raise costs of production and prices for everything from laptop computers to Patagonia vests to, perhaps of greatest current importance, fertilizers. High fertilizer prices, of course, raise food prices.
The consequences resulting from Biden’s restriction of U.S. natural gas production may be even worse. The price of natural gas price has tripled, from about $3 per million British thermal units in June 2021 to about $9 by May 2022. This has raised not only utility bills but also prices of goods manufactured by gas powered plants.
But higher prices may not be the worst of it. The longer-term climate campaign against natural gas use has resulted in utilities having less power-generating capacity. (Read more) ☼
The failure of government science
The June 18, 2022, issue of the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s “The Week That Was” discusses:
The science used by the US government to claim a climate crisis or climate emergency fails to understand and explain the realistic influences of greenhouse gases on the earth’s temperatures. That science ignores the proper field of physics, the proper mathematics, and the proper databases to correctly capture the maximum influence of a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The proper physics and mathematics have been long established, The databases of what is actually occurring in the atmosphere have been established for over 40 years with the use of instruments on weather balloons and satellites. In declaring a climate crisis, the US government ignores modern advances in our understanding of what is occurring in the atmosphere and relies on global climate models which fail to capture these over forty years of advances in understanding. (Read full report) ☼
The Unsustainable Costs of President Biden’s Climate Agenda
from the Heritage Foundation
One of President Biden’s first actions in office was to recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on global warming. This Backgrounder details the harmful economic implications of doing so by modeling a theoretically efficient carbon tax designed to achieve the Administration’s emissions reduction targets. While the Paris Agreement’s climate impact will be minimal at best, it will impose significant costs on American families and businesses. Instead of implementing an agenda that will decrease Americans’ access to energy and cost trillions, President Biden and Congress should pursue a policy agenda that advances economic freedom, rejects symbolic but ineffective climate policies, and reduces barriers to innovation and economic opportunity. (Read full report – 38 pages)
Inaccurate Climate Models Undergird Costly Net-Zero Agenda
by Jack Dini
Climate change prophecy hangs its hat on computer climate models. But the models have gigantic problems.
According to Kevin Trenberth, once in charge of modeling at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, “None of the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate of the Earth.”
The models can’t properly model the Earth’s climate, but we are supposed to believe that if carbon dioxide has a certain effect on the imaginary Earth of the many models it will have the same effect on the real Earth.
The Wall Street Journal and Powerline report climate models’ projections of future temperatures have gotten worse over time.
As new generations of supposedly improved climate models are produced and refined, the accuracy of their temperature simulations decreases. (Read more) ☼
New Findings Show Gulf Stream “Has Strengthened” Over Past Century…”Heat Transport Has Increased 30%”!
By P Gosselin
A recent flurry of scientific publications refute climate model claims of a weakening Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Climate panic-makers like the Potsdam Institute like to claim the Gulf Stream is showing ominous signs of slowing down and thus threatening to send Europe into a deep freeze. Their dodgy models have predicted a decline of its strength, due to anthropogenic climate warming. (Read more) ☼
Climate Madness: Prince Charles Backs Face Masks For Cows In Bid To Tackle Climate Change (link) ☼
California court rules a bumblebee is a fish under environmental law
by Lawrence Richard, Fox News
A bumblebee is a fish under California law, a California court said in a ruling this week. And thus, the bumblebee should be protected by the state’s endangered species ordinances, court documents show. (Read more) ☼
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
“If you want to know who controls you, look at whom you are not allowed to criticize.” -Voltaire
“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” -Voltaire
Brandolini’s law: “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”
“Any man can make a mistake; only a fool keeps making the same one.” — Cicero
“Social Engineering – The art of replacing what works with what sounds good.” – Thomas Sowell
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” —Patrick Henry (1788)
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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:
If you like murder mysteries, try Lonni’s novels. See descriptions and links at:
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
People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.