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19 Jun 2024 | News Roundup
  • More from the “you can just say anything on climate” file: Canary Media intones via email that “There’s no room for fossil fuels in a carbon-free world.” A carbon-free world? We’re going to punch a hole in the periodic table? We’ll have a world with no CO2 in it, no complex carbohydrates, no diamonds, no living things? Shades of Greenpeace deciding chlorine was the “devil’s element” and must be banned, apparently unaware that the oceans are salty mostly because of, um duh sodium chloride.
  • Also from that file, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Xes out “Building climate-resilient communities is more important now than ever before, as extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity.” Mainstream journalists never even ask him which events he thinks have increased, let alone why he thinks it. It’s just rant, rinse and repeat. As for the thing he cited, from that impeccably neutral source his own ministry that “Investing in #ClimateChange #adaptation makes financial sense – every $1 spent can save up to $15 in costs”, doesn’t someone wonder where that math came from? What spending is so fabulously efficient, in the hands of an omnipotent and all-merciful state, as to achieve such results in the face of Weathermageddon? Isn’t anyone even slightly curious? But no, on climate you can say just anything.
  • There’s a cartoon we haven’t been able to source, and won’t reprint without permission, showing a climate activist looking at a bucolic farm going “What a terrible polluting environment” then strolling past wind turbine and solar panels, with the only visible wildlife two dead birds at the foot of a turbine, going “Ah, that’s better”. And we were reminded of it when Canary Media (which, to repeat, does not post its newsletters online for some reason hence no link) said as if it were a positive that “If you want to build big offshore wind installations, you first need to build some big onshore infrastructure. The blades and the towers need to be stored somewhere; the workers need a home base. This week, construction started on a major offshore wind hub in Brooklyn that fits that bill – and Maria Gallucci attended the groundbreaking ceremony.” In short, even offshore wind has a huge footprint, generating much CO2 and, of course, waste products hard to recycle. As Bjorn Lomborg reminds us, “there is a gigantic environmental problem with recycling spent wind turbine blades and exhausted solar panels. One study shows that this trash cost alone doubles the true cost of solar.”
  • All politics all the time. Scientific American whines that “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s last-minute decision to halt congestion pricing in Manhattan will likely hurt similar efforts across the country.” Why are they writing about the politics of congestion pricing? And what exactly has “powerful and deep-pocketed business interests have opposed the plan” to do with science? Or are you now just the sort of publication that thinks there’s only one side to any issue, and doesn’t bother citing one person who even understands the decision let alone agrees? Even David Wallace-Wells in the New York Times had some idea what prompted the policy, though he seemed to think allowing mere strong public opinion to change public policy was contemptible.
  • Remember planned obsolescence? That conspiracy theory wasn’t really built to last, but back in the 1960s and 1970s a lot of people thought corporations engaging in “cutthroat competition” deliberately created “wearing out” so you’d have to buy more of their products. That so-called “cutthroat competition” created incentives to produce better and longer-lasting products eluded these deep thinkers, as did the option of doing it themselves and getting rich making people happy. But now, The Atlantic “Weekly Planet” bolts the thing back together that “EVs Could Last Nearly Forever – If Car Companies Let Them”. And drawing on his technical background in “History and Literature with a focus on Ethnic Studies”, author Matteo Wong explains that “Unlike gas-powered engines – which are made up of thousands of parts that shift against one other – a typical EV has only a few dozen moving parts.” Yeah, like wheels and axels? But evidently as with the iPhone the evil corporations will make you sorry you trusted them because “with every software update” your once-shiny new things “seem to slow down just a bit more until the devices are no longer eligible for updates at all.” Still, don’t let us discourage you. Build one. Sell it. Laugh at us all the way to the bank.
  • Nature red in tooth and ballot: Euronews whinges “Pigeon problems: German town votes to have birds killed, outraging animal rights’ activists”. But if we’re going to live with nature, it has to meet us half-way. A lesson climate alarmists might also learn, especially if journalists didn’t treat “Critics say” as a trump card over “voters say”.
  • Speaking of voters, Canada’s deputy minister of environment and climate change was recently asked in the House of Commons public accounts committee what benefits had accrued from an $8 billion subsidy program for industry and shrugged it off. The Net Zero Accelerator was launched in 2021 “to subsidize factory refits” according to Blacklock’s Reporter and this spring Canada’s increasingly frustrated Environment Commissioner said it might be spending as much as $523 per tonne of emission reductions but he wasn’t sure because they didn’t seem to be tracking emissions reductions due to this bonanza. But deputy minister Jean-François Tremblay said “I think the question has to be asked of my colleagues at the Department of Industry, I am sorry.” When an MP persisted, quoting the environment minister’s formal Mandate Letter to support industry, Tremblay said “We are there to support them. We are not there to speak on their behalf on their programs.” “‘Do you know the target?’ asked MP [Dan] Mazier. ‘I didn’t see those documents,’ replied Tremblay. ‘Do you know the target?’ repeated MP Mazier. ‘I don’t,’ replied Tremblay.” But hey, it’s just other people’s money. “‘Do you think Canadians deserve a right to know?’ asked MP Mazier. ‘No comment,’ replied Tremblay. ‘I am not even part of those discussions.’” To borrow a line from Monty Python, “It’s people like you what causes unrest.”
  • So easy from afar: Canary Media reports that given the crisis in building transmission lines to carry power alternative energy isn’t generating to electric vehicles and heat pumps Americans aren’t buying, Minnesota has ended “a decade-long prohibition against siting utility infrastructure on the land along state and interstate highways owned and managed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation”, which it thinks if it went national could significantly reduce the cost and delay in building a huge new high-voltage network. Perhaps. Some say. It then concedes that “states have been slow to shift from long-standing policies that aim to keep highway rights-of-way clear of other infrastructure that could compromise safety, burden transportation departments with unforeseen costs, or restrict the option of expanding highways in the future.” And when red tape meets zealotry it’s hard to know who to mistrust more.
  • So that’s what it takes. Inside Climate News crows “Mexico Elected a Climate Scientist.” And Claudia Sheinbaum does in fact have a PhD in environmental engineering, which should satisfy all but the diehards who insist that, for instance, distinguished atmospheric physicist Will Happer “is not formally trained as a climate scientist”. However it immediately frets “But Will She Be a Climate President?” because, inexplicably, she “remains committed to oil and gas.” Then, for an unbiased look, “‘Which side of her is going to win?’ said Claudia Campero, a long-time environmental activist in Mexico City… ‘It’s still up in the air.’” Right. Will she turn off the power and sink Mexico’s struggling efforts to lift its people out of poverty in pursuit of polite progressive applause, or care how people live or whether? Stay tuned.

5 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. The trouble with EVs is not the lifespan of the wheels, gears and motors, it is the lifespan of every single one of the many hundreds of cells in their batteries...

  2. Kathy Hochul must next reverse the decision to close down the Indian Point nuclear power station, as the Braying Vicar, gruesome Gavin Newsome has had to do for California's Diablo Canyon nuclear power station. When the lights go out, governors have to govern...

  3. Yes. If I want to drive the same car for half a million miles, the best chance is a gas or diesel car. The old diesel Mercedes cars were famous for going that far. Those EV batteries aren't going to go half a million miles. Not even close.
    And "“Unlike gas-powered engines – which are made up of thousands of parts that shift against one other – a typical EV has only a few dozen moving parts” is a gross exaggeration. Gasoline engines do not have thousands of moving parts shifting against each other. Most of the parts are nuts and bolts that don't move. The rest adds up to a few dozen, at most.

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