Four Blunders in EU Climate Plan

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Pieter Cleppe writes at Real Clear Energy Four Flaws With the EU’s New Climate Plans Excerpts in italics wtih my bolds and images.

Last week, the European Commission presented its so-called Fit for 55 proposals, a raft of legislative initiatives intended to adapt EU law to the 2030 target of reducing CO2 emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels. The idea is to adapt legislation originally intended to achieve a 40% reduction.

This undertaking, however, is marked by serious shortcomings. Herewith, I summarize what’s wrong with it, listing four main flaws.

  1.  The European Commission is employing a top-down approach, riddled with taxes and spending

The European Commission seems to take former U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s characterization of “government’s view of the economy” as a manual, rather than as a warning. As Reagan summarized government’s approach: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

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Most remarkable here is the Commission’s intention to impose a de facto ban on gasoline and diesel cars by 2035, even if France seems keen to extend this until 2040. When even France is less restrictive, you’re not in a good place. Feeling the need to resort to outright prohibition, the Commission is clearly not putting great trust in innovation to come up with economically efficient, CO2-neutral cars.

A notable change is the expansion of the EU’s cap and trade scheme, which puts a price on emitting CO2 but allows companies to buy and sell their right to do so. The Commission wants to expand this so-called Emissions Trading System (ETS) – set up 16 years ago and covering power plants, intra-EU aviation, and energy-intensive industries – to include buildings, road transport, and shipping. The expansion would start gradually in 2023 and be phased in over three years, as the emission-rights regime for aviation is being tightened up and sectors not covered by ETS are made subject to emission-reduction targets, with binding targets per member state. EU minimum excise-duty rates on various energy sources, like motor or heating fuel, would also need to be increased, and a jet-fuel tax would need to be introduced on intra-EU flights, on top of a tax on maritime fuel.

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Opponents of the proposals, which still need to be approved by both EU member states and the European Parliament, include the shipping industry, which hasn’t exactly welcomed its inclusion into the ETS system. The International Chamber of Shipping described the proposal as “an ideological revenue raising exercise, which will greatly upset the EU’s trading partners,” as it would involve “non-EU shipping companies to be forced to pay billions of euros to support EU economic recovery plans.”

This doesn’t even account for another part of Fit for 55, whereby the Commission intends to create the world’s first carbon border tariff, to be levied on imports of goods including steel, cement, and aluminum, to be phased in from 2026. This step is deemed necessary because two-thirds of CO₂-emissions are likely to continue, only now outside of the EU, causing “carbon leakage” – a phenomenon notably hard to estimate, although we know that China has long outpaced the U.S. and the EU in terms of carbon emission.

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In response, Belgian employer federation VBO-FEB issued a warning about this “carbon border adjustment mechanism,” stating that “policy makers must be careful that (…) this will not cause other countries to impose countermeasures or cause supply chain distortions, leading us to import more finished products than raw resources.” The question remains as to whether this is not a protectionist measure in violation of the WTO agreement – especially when certain European producers would be exempt. In any case, it will unleash lots of extra bureaucracy, especially for small companies.

Also in line with Reagan’s description of government thinking is the European Commission’s plan to spend billions of euros to compensate for the damage done by its own measures – such as its proposal for a new “social climate fund” “to prevent fuel poverty,” using one-fifth of ETS revenue, on top of another fund, the €100 billion Just Transition Mechanism to help coal-dependent countries like Poland make the transition away from coal. Combined with the Commission’s demand to get at least 50% of the income derived from the new ETS transport and buildings revenue, this would mean that the ETS system would morph into an outright EU tax – a dream eurocrats have been pursuing for years.

2.  The proposed measures disproportionately hurt the poor

The European Commission itself has admitted that measures like putting a carbon price on heating fuels “will not affect households equally, but would likely have a regressive impact on disposable income, as low-income households tend to spend a greater proportion of their income on heating.” It is testimony to how divided opinion is even within the Commission, where many are questioning the rather extreme approach of EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans.

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The predicted hardship for the poor then serves as yet another excuse to spend money – now to alleviate the damage done by the measures. The Commission is seemingly unaware that to finance spending, taxes are needed, and even corporate taxes are ultimately disproportionately borne by low-skilled workers. There is no free lunch, even when paying tribute to the Climate Gods.

Over the last few years, as exemptions for the CO2 emission-trading system have been reduced, this scheme has put upward pressure on energy prices, so it can be feared that this will cause more damage to the economy, particularly hurting the poor. The Commission thinks that CO2 prices in Europe will increase by 50 percent by 2030 if its plans are implemented – but some hedge funds already project an increase of almost 100% by the end of this year, with the more modest current arrangement in place.

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Pascal Canfin, chair of the European parliament’s environment committee, who started his career with the greens but is now a key ally of French president Emmanuel Macron, has called the plan to create an emissions trading system (ETS) for transport and buildings “politically suicidal” and “a huge political mistake.” He stated: “It’s a very bad idea,” adding that the Commission was “going to trap” lower middle-class families, noting that those hit the hardest would be people in regions with poor public transport and residents who could not pay for energy-efficiency upgrades to their homes. This follows the French government’s experience with the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) protesters, who managed to get Macron to abandon a fuel-tax hike in 2018.

France will take over the EU’s rotating presidency in 2022; let’s see how much then remains of the European Commission’s grand plans.

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Germany’s automobile industry has also warned that the proposed measures may have a “substantial” impact on jobs at auto suppliers – so even if the greens form part of the new German government, this may not all sail through so smoothly.

3.  The European Commission is not respecting the idea of “tech neutrality”

It’s one thing to impose a target to reduce CO2 emissions. It is quite another to try to micromanage how this can be achieved. Nevertheless, that is what the European Commission is doing with its so-called “EU taxonomy for sustainable activities,” a classification system meant to clarify which investments are environmentally sustainable, in the context of the “European Green Deal,” of which Fit for 55 forms a part.

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Several MEPs (mainly Greens) hold up anti-nuclear posters at the debate.

Despite all the evidence that nuclear power is CO2 neutral, the Commission refuses to acknowledge this reality. This denialism is the result of pressure by Germany, which decided to shut down all its nuclear plants, a policy that has driven energy prices in that country to record levels while also supporting the coal-energy sector. Germany thereby goes against the in-house scientific body of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre, which declared earlier this year that nuclear power is a safe and climate-friendly energy source and should be considered as “green” under the EU’s classification system.

To add insult to injury, the Commission considers biomass a renewable energy – despite the fact that burning wood for energy, which is what biomass is ultimately all about, typically emits 1.5 times more CO2 than coal and three times more than natural gas. The EU is the world’s largest net importer of wood pellets; the main net exporters are the United States, Canada, and Russia.

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Green campaigners have been complaining about EU member states like Estonia that allow intensive clear-cutting of trees in forests protected under EU Natura 2000 rules. One NGO, the Estonian Fund for Nature, has also pointed out there is a direct connection between the subsidized growth in the biomass industry and EU renewable-energy policies.

More than 500 scientists have urged the EU to stop treating biomass as carbon-neutral. Even if one disagrees, and believes that biomass can be sustainable and renewable, it still doesn’t make sense to privilege biomass over nuclear power.

Biomass represents almost 60% of renewable-energy consumption in the EU, so the implications of no longer considering it as renewable energy would be grave: wind and solar power contribute only marginally to the EU’s energy provision, irrespective of their environmental downsides. Changing biomass’s renewable status would make it almost unavoidable to recognize nuclear power, which would be embarrassing for the likes of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been putting so much political capital into defending Germany’s nuclear exit.

4.  The EU’s grand plans may not do that much for climate change

At the end of the day, the goal of all this is to counter CO2 emissions in a bid to halt climate change.

Here, an interesting contrarian view comes from Danish economist Bjørn Lomborg, author of the bestseller “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”

Lomborg has highlighted UN Climate Panel estimates that the negative impact of climate change in the 2070s would be equivalent to reducing the average income between 0.2% and 2% – meaning that global incomes would increase only by 356% by then, and not by 362%. He then contrasts this with the enormous cost of EU climate policies, which would “quadruple electricity wholesale prices in just a decade,” and he cites academic studies showing the real costs of EU climate policies to be four times higher than optimistic EU estimates, ultimately amounting to a whopping €4 trillion to €5 trillion.

Lomborg estimates that the new EU target of 55% carbon-emission reduction will reduce the global temperature by the end of the century by an immeasurable 0.004°C – “equivalent to postponing global warming by six weeks in 2100.”

Surely we can agree that it is hard for both proponents and skeptics of expensive climate policies to provide hard proof that they are right in their arguments. But these estimates should make even the most committed EU Commission climate fanatic pause for reflection.

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Global warming is in our mental models.

Systemic Election Malpractice in Maricopa County

On the technical operations of election processing, the audit in Maricopa County, AZ, has provided this overview published at Gateway Pundit Cyber Ninjas Found So Many Issues with the Voting Machines and Processes in Maricopa County It’s a Wonder the Previous Auditors Didn’t Find These Issues Too.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Ben Cotton’s team is auditing the IT-related practices and policies in the 2020 Election in Maricopa County. He shared some important items during his presentation last week that any good IT auditor would find.  We pointed out previously that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hired two election firms because they knew these firms would give them a clean bill of health.

But Ben Cotton and his team were selected by the Cyber Ninjas to address the IT work related to Maricopa County’s results in the 2020 Election.  Investigator Cotton from CyFIR performed work that the previous auditors should have covered.

It’s a difficult task for these auditors because Maricopa County has been completely uncooperative, even with basic questions, referring auditors to lawyers.  This all provides more support that the subjects under audit, the auditees, are guilty and doing everything they can to postpone the evaluation.

Dominion has two full-time staff onsite servicing the Maricopa County election system. The current Dominion software was installed in August 2019. Since that date, there have been no antivirus updates, no operating system updates, or any security patches. Administrator accounts were also created on that date, each having the exact same password. These are actions of a ‘worst in class’ IT Department and it is a deliberate subterfuge of an election system.  Common practice is to update patches on a much more regular basis.

Below is a list of items addressed by Cotton during his presentation to the Arizona Senate last Thursday.

  1. Auditors have collected over 2,000 Terabytes of data, the vast majority is video footage.
  2. What Maricopa County has told the public is often drastically different than their response to the legal subpoena.
  3. Maricopa didn’t use a forensically secure process to clone drives. Dates and times were altered by their cloning process.
  4. On March 11th, 2021 someone with Admin access to the (EMS) election management system ran a script that produced 37,646 queries looking for blank passwords. The system has only 8 user accounts. (see below)
  5. Windows Security Event Logs before February 5th, 2021 are missing.
  6. Every election Administrator account, no matter the user, all have the same password.
  7. When the Dominion software was installed in August 2019, Administrative passwords were created, and haven’t been changed since.
  8. The vulnerabilities that exist on the Maricopa election systems would take an average script kiddie less than 10 minutes to gain access to these systems.
  9. Maricopa’s election system uses ibutton key fobs as the 2nd step in logins. Maricopa and Dominion have refused to provide these fobs to auditors. (see below).
  10. It’s become readily apparent there are severe cybersecurity problems with the way the election management system and network was maintained.
  11. We are seeing anonymous logins at the system level that do not follow that pattern of normal Windows behavior.
  12. After both sides agreed on a solution, Maricopa County then refused to release that router data.
  13. Maricopa can’t check the configuration of its own election system without relying on Dominion employees.
  14. The two EAC audits hired by Maricopa earlier in the year appear not to have addressed cybersecurity aspects, not even shared passwords.
  15. Not a single bit of data was changed on any device in the auditor’s possession. Use of a “write block” device prevented this. Images were made bit by bit, then an MD5 hash value was applied. There is no need to purchase new machines.
  16. There have been no antivirus updates, operating system updates, or security patches applied to the election system since August 2019, the date Dominion software was installed.

Maricopa repeatedly told the public the election system did not touch the internet but this was not true. If so the system could not have comingled with other Maricopa County department’s data. To prevent the release of router information, the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff then said election router data DID mingle with critical information from other county departments. By using EAC auditors, Maricopa told the public election machines were safe and secure. They now say those same auditors can’t be hired to test the same machines. This week they approved the purchase of new Dominion machines at $3 million.

The use of ibuttons is unusual for PC logins, and is very old technology. These ibuttons are typically used to verify a location or for access control. For instance, a security guard touches his ibutton to various doors to verify he walked his patrol. In Maricopa County, after you login as an election Admin, you must also use a preprogrammed ibutton to obtain access to the Dominion election system. Maricopa County stated only Dominion staff have the Admin ibuttons and both organizations have refused to help the auditors obtain them.

Overall, the IT-related observations of control practices to date are horrible. In some cases, the County is using old technology. In other cases, the processes are broken or even non-existent. With such as mess, how did the IT election auditors hired by the county not notice them?

A Look into Arizona Ballot Forensics

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At Gateway Pundit is an article explaining the techniques for validating ballots used in 2020 elections Maricopa County Auditor Bob Hughes Shares How They Are Using High Tech Forensic Digital Cameras and OCR to Validate Ballots.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Any massive vote fraud in Maricopa County Arizona is going to be identified. The Democrats must be terrified.

One of the auditors working for the Arizona Senate, Bob Hughes, discussed the audit and the reasons why the Democrats are absolutely frightened of the Arizona audit and it being performed in other states:

The other thing that I think is interesting is they keep saying, ‘They don’t know what they are doing’. ‘They’re idiots’. ‘These people are ridiculous’. ‘They have no idea what they are doing’. ‘They’ve never done this before’.

This is the first time in the history of the United States, number one, that it’s ever been done, but more important it’s the first time it’s ever been needed. And it was done.

I can tell you that I could go over all the process and you’d all understand, but when a ballot gets created, think about this. It’s like your bill being paid from SRP. They go out and get your voter identification number and they find out what precinct you live in, what city, what county, where your school districts are. All that information has to be accessed to create the proper ballot exactly for you. Because you have to vote for the right candidates in a city mayoral election, council elections, JP elections, the legislative district, the congressional district. [In fact, in 2020 there were 667 different versions of Maricopa County ballots.]

Think of those as maps that overlay the Maricopa County area and it creates all these little sections, and all these people get a very different ballot. So if somebody did what we were told they might have done, which is gone out and just duplicate a bunch of ballots, or put the same ballot in many times, or any of these kinds of things, I knew there was a way to find that out.

And so what we did is we, the cameras are not only cameras. They’re digital cameras. Digital cameras that are forensic. They’re actually police forensic cameras. They’re very, very high speed, high definition digital cameras. They make a scanned ballot.

So we scan that ballot. We then use optical character recognition (OCR). We’re looking at what’s in place on that ballot. Based on who that ballot is. How many should be? Can there be this many?…

What I can tell you is you now will have the most authentic count of every legal authentic ballot you could possibly have.

See Hughes’ speech in the video here.

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Georgia Ballot Review Case Going Forward

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AP reporter Kate Brumback writes at SFGATE Judge allows Georgia ballot review case to move forward.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge on Thursday allowed a lawsuit alleging fraud in Georgia’s most populous county during the November election and seeking a review of absentee ballots to move forward.

Originally filed in December, the lawsuit says there is evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper ballot counting in Fulton County. The county, county elections board and county courts clerk had filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit. They argued, among other things that the the lawsuit was barred by sovereign immunity, a principle that says state and local governments and can only be sued if they agree to it.

After holding a hearing on those motions Monday, Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero, who was specially appointed to preside over the case, agreed. He ruled that the constitutional claims against those three entities are barred by sovereign immunity and dismissed them. But he also granted a request by the petitioners to add the individual members of the county election board as respondents in the lawsuit instead.

The suit was filed by nine Georgia voters and is spearheaded by Garland Favorito, a longtime critic of Georgia’s election systems. As part of the suit, they are seeking to inspect some 147,000 absentee ballots to determine whether there are illegitimate ballots among them.

Several election workers and volunteers have signed sworn statements saying they saw absentee ballots during the audit that weren’t creased from being mailed, appeared to be marked by a machine rather than by hand and were printed on different paper. The lawsuit also repeats a widely circulated claim of fraud based on security video that shows cases of ballots being pulled from under a skirted table and counted while observers and the news media weren’t present.

Fulton County officials have consistently defended the integrity of the election and have criticized the ballot review effort. The secretary of state’s office says it has investigated the claims and found no evidence of fraud. An independent monitor who observed Fulton County’s election operations as part of a consent agreement said he witnessed sloppy practices and systemic mismanagement but said there was nothing that should cast doubt on the county’s election results.The ballots are kept under seal in the custody of the clerk of Fulton County Superior and Magistrate courts. Amero in April ordered the court clerk to release the scanned absentee ballot images. At a hearing last month, Amero ordered that the paper ballots themselves be unsealed so that the petitioners who filed the lawsuit can inspect and scan them.

He had set a meeting for May 28 with the parties to sort out the logistics of how that review and scanning of paper ballots would proceed. But that meeting was canceled so he could hear the motions to dismiss first.

VoterGA Comment:

“We are pleased that the court has ruled in our favor again for the fifth time. The ruling substitutes Defendants by replacing currently named government organizations with individual board members we named originally in our lawsuit. It also moots Don Samuels’ attempt to dismiss our case. This continues the string of victories we have including how we obtained the original protective order, conditional approval to inspect ballots, access to ballot images, and the order to unseal the ballots.”

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Heartland Wisdom from Iowa

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Todd Blodgett writes at the Des Moines Register Biden paving the way for Trump to win again.  (Full disclosure:  My mother, Dagmar Henningsen was born near Des Moinres, and I am 1/2 Danish because of her.)  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Only a smidgeon of popular votes would flip the few states needed for Trump to net 270 electoral votes.

In 2020, had 23,000 votes, spread across Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, flipped, the Electoral College would’ve been tied, at 269-269. And with Republicans holding a majority of the states’ congressional delegations, the U.S. House of Representatives would’ve chosen Donald Trump as president.

But after five months, Joe Biden’s agenda and actions on several critical issues are diminishing Democratic prospects for 2024, and even for 2022. If the GOP retakes the House next year, it will be disastrous for the Biden-Harris administration.

But even if that doesn’t happen, the border crisis that Biden singlehandedly created has already caused many of his voters to suffer a severe case of buyers’ remorse. Nixing the Keystone pipeline was stupid and killed tens of thousands of jobs and indicated to oil-producing nations that the United States is impeding domestic petroleum production — which, under Trump’s policies, made us net energy-independent.

Increasingly, many Americans now see that Trump was the kind of president that they always wanted — but they didn’t realize they had.

After all, most Americans appreciate straight talk from their elected officials and distrust career politicians, especially lawyers. Many voters prefer no-nonsense, business-style governance. Most Americans also favor “America First” policies and expect their president to prioritize their interests above those of foreign nationals — particularly lawbreakers. As well, most Americans despise clueless leftists who advocate defunding the police. Polls reveal that most likely voters want presidents to appoint judges who are pro-victim, not pro-perpetrator, and who favor taxpayers over indolent, able-bodied, welfare scammers.

Americans expect their leader to understand that China not only isn’t our friend, but represents a clear and present danger to us.

Trump, not Biden, was that president.

Most taxpayers also strongly oppose Biden’s unprecedented, irresponsible spending spree. Even some Democrats detest Biden’s planned tax hikes and his costly boondoggles, which includes fancy hotels for immigrants, bailouts that discourage employees from returning to work, and paying the disreputable World Health Organization $200 million to reinstate America’s membership. Biden’s absurd claim that Trump caused this border disaster only exacerbates the scorn which scores of millions of Americans have for this liar.

Biden even released Mexico from its agreement — negotiated by Trump — to post federales (troops) on Mexico’s side of the border, to block border-crashing immigrants. As the Washington Post reported on May 25: “Under new Biden administration rules curtailing immigration enforcement, ICE carried out 3,000 deportations last month, the lowest level on record. Biden has placed ICE deportation officers on a leash so tight that some say their work is being functionally abolished.”

As Biden and Kamala Harris foment this destructive insanity, many pro-USA citizens justifiably feel like horrified, handcuffed, blindfolded passengers in the back seat of a vehicle being driven by a drunkard at 100 mph. When Ronald Reagan visited Des Moines in the fall of 1980, he told me that his opponent, President Jimmy Carter, made it “easy” for him, “because of how badly he’s screwed things up.” Will Biden do the same?

Trump will be the same age (78) in 2024 that Biden is now. However, Trump moves, acts, and looks 15 years younger than Biden — who, in 2024, will be 82. By 2024, old Joe could easily look like Jimmy Carter. If so, his predecessor may well become his successor. Only a smidgeon of popular votes would flip the few states needed for Trump to net 270 electoral votes.

Biden is basically setting the stage for Trump’s comeback.

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Biden Climate Agenda Heads into Perfect Storm

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Michael Shellenberger writes at Forbes Why Biden’s Climate Agenda Is Falling Apart.  He suggests that there are multiple forces opposing it,  not only political but also laws of physics. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Gathering Storm

Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden and Democrats have projected confidence that they will be able to pass climate infrastructure and budget legislation to expand renewables.

But in recent weeks, that confidence has rapidly faded. “I don’t think the votes are there in a reconciliation bill for the climate infrastructure-type issues,” an insider told the Washington Post.

Senate Democrats are not likely going to be able to use this year’s budget resolution to put together what is known as a reconciliation package. “Senior Democrats privately don’t believe they can finish work on a second reconciliation package,” noted a political reporter, “using the 2021 budget resolution by the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.”

What that means is that “the debate over [climate] infrastructure could drag well into the fall, which will put it on a collision path with the government funding and debt-limit skirmishes.”

“Liberals and environmental groups are wary that a narrow infrastructure deal now may lead centrist lawmakers to lose interest in advancing other expensive legislation,” wrote the Post, “which could leave climate and other progressive priorities on the cutting-room floor.”

Biden and Democrats may win some federal money for transmission lines and electric car refueling stations, and declare victory, seeking to prosecute the rest of their 100% renewable energy vision at the state level. The White House and Governor Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week plans to build a massive industrial wind energy project along California’s coastline.

And there is strong renewables advocacy within large, multinational corporations. A Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its emissions by 45 percent by 2030. Chevron CVX -1.1% shareholders voted to cut customer emissions. And Exxon, worried about losing directors to a climate activist resolution, halted a shareholder meeting to count late votes.

But the court orders and shareholder activism are, like United Nations treaties, mostly noise. The U.S. reduced emissions more than any other nation in the world between 2000 and 2020, and more than President Obama had promised America would, because of the fracking revolution, not because of the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump pulled out of.

Nations (and states like California) that cannot for economic reasons meet their climate commitments simply change the target to farther off in time, while adding targets that sound more aggressive to journalists with little awareness of history. Corporations will do the same.

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If Shell, Exxon, and Chevron do anything that harms their bottom lines, then they will be punished by shareholders, and other companies will emerge to take over their markets. The vast majority of human beings want high rather than low economic growth, and so politicians ultimately choose policies that make energy cheap, not expensive.

And the limitations of weather-dependent renewables are more visible than ever. If California’s large wind energy project is built, it will provide less than half of the energy of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant Newsom is planning to close in 2025, and it will be unreliable. During the heatwave-driven blackouts last summer, there was little wind in California or other Western states, meaning we can’t count on wind energy when we need it most.

In other words, the Democrats’ climate change and renewable energy agenda is rapidly falling apart, and the reasons have far more to do with physics than with politics.

The Democrats Plan to Increase Energy Dependence

The Biden Administration announced earlier this week that there would not be a significant expansion of lithium, rare earth, and other mining in the U.S. for electric car batteries and renewables, dashing the hopes of labor unions.

Already unions were upset since they stand to lose tens of thousands of members if Congress follows through on Democrats’ plans to switch the country from natural gas and petroleum-powered vehicles, homes, and power plants to ones powered by solar panels made in China and minerals imported from abroad.

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The trouble for Democrats in the U.S. and greens in Europe is that they are not only attempting to make energy significantly more expensive and less reliable, as California and Germany did, they are also proposing to make their economies more dependent on foreign nations. That position was problematic before 2021. Now, it is unethical.

It’s now obvious that China made solar panels cheap not through innovation but rather through heavy subsidies, dirty coal, and enslaved ethnic Muslims, the Uyghur (pronounced ‘we gur’), against whom China’s totalitarian government is committing genocide, according the U.S. State Department and Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag.

Republicans will have little trouble attacking the Democrats’ climate infrastructure agenda on 30-second TV and radio ads, perhaps even paid for by labor unions, in America’s heartland, during the 2022 midterm elections. Moderate Democrats like Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb knows this, as does Nancy Pelosi.

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Democratic frustration spilled out into the open on Monday. “You cannot negotiate a climate bill with climate deniers,” tweeted U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). Markey’s tweet inspired an angry response from Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw. “You aren’t, you liar. We aren’t denying climate change, we are just pointing out that your ‘solutions’ will hurt people, and do nothing to prevent climate change.

I testified six times before Congress over the last year and not once did a Republican in one of the climate change, science, or agricultural committees deny the reality of climate change or humankind’s contribution to it. When I pointed this out on Twitter, people responded by posting articles claiming to offer evidence of widespread climate denial among Republicans in Congress. But what they call “climate denial” was often Republican denial that weather-dependent renewables can power America.

Without a doubt there are still some Republican climate skeptics in Congress. “Maybe perhaps we live on a ball that rotates around the sun, that flies through the universe, and maybe our climate just changes,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. But the vast majority of other Republicans, including all of the ones I interacted with through my testimony, accept the reality that humans are warming the planet.

More problematic for Democrats is that Greene’s energy message is far more popular than the Green New Deal with many Democratic voters. “Our ability to export oil and gas,” she tweeted, “gives the US great negotiating power in the world,” a statement that has the added benefit of being true.

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The Real Reason They Oppose Nuclear

Meanwhile, efforts by Democrats from Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez to Senator Ed Markey to California Governor Gavin Newsom to shut down nuclear power plants are increasing carbon emissions, which undermines their assertion that climate change is the most important problem in the world.

And conflicts of interest are becoming more visible. “BlackRock recently replaced one departing White House insider with another,” noted Bloomberg. “Paul Bodnar, an Obama-era climate-policy aide, is now the firm’s sustainable investing head, taking over from Brian Deese, who returned to politics as President Joe Biden’s National Economic Council chair. The firm has hired more than a dozen alumni from the Obama administration over the years.”

It is hard not to get the impression that the real reason Democrats, Blackrock BLK 0.0%, and Chinese solar makers don’t like nuclear power is because it means we don’t need renewables to address climate change. While Democrats could get away with using renewables to greenwash their anti-nuclear agenda in the past, those days are coming to an end.

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In November, the European Union’s watchdog ruled that the European Commission had failed to fully consider why BlackRock’s investments in Chinese solar, wind, and electric cars created a financial conflict of interest in its ability to create supposedly objective environmental, social, and governance criteria for so-called “ESG” investing.

It turns out that BlackRock manipulated ESG criteria to favor solar over nuclear, even though solar requires 300 – 400 times more land than nuclear, demands 18 times more steel, and produces 300 times more hazardous waste.

The dark truth about China’s solar panel production should have been enough to force Democrats to seriously reconsider their 100% renewables agenda, but it may require another highly visible defeat in Congress to make them appreciate why increasing America’s reliance on inefficient, weather-dependent, and made-in-China energy sources is bad politics, in addition to being bad physics.

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Election Skimming Program Exposed in NH

I have been patiently hoping for some truth to emerge out of the murky 2020 election.  Some flares have been lit in Arizona and Michigan, and a lamp lit this week in Georgia, and a few candles in places like Pennsylvania and, improbably New Hampshire.  This last one involves an audit in Windham, New Hampshire, a town of 14,853 people, which has long been a stalwart Republican stronghold in an otherwise Democrat state.  The pattern of election skimming shows up very clearly, as explained in an article at American Thinker An election audit in New Hampshire may be the pebble that diverts the stream.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  

Windham, New Hampshire, a town of 14,853 people, has long been a stalwart Republican stronghold in an otherwise Democrat state. As was the case throughout New Hampshire, it relied on AccuVote machines to collect and tally its 2020 votes.

When the election in Windham ended, Kristi St. Laurent, the Democrat candidate, had lost by only 24 votes. With that close a margin, she naturally demanded a hand recount.

The hand recount revealed something peculiar: St. Laurent hadn’t lost by 24 votes; she’d lost by 420 votes. In a small election, that meant that her margin of defeat wasn’t 0.005% but was, instead, 9.6%, which is a significant loss.

That same recount revealed an even greater anomaly: across the board, in every Windham election, Republicans had been shortchanged, and Democrats had been overcounted:

Windham NH results


Windham election results by Ken Eyring.

Those kinds of numbers manifestly demanded a full recount, which is what’s happening now in Windham. And as with counts and recounts elsewhere, funny things are happening — not funny-ha-ha, but funny-peculiar:

An audit team sent to conduct a forensic examination of the 2020 election results in Windham, N.H. started the process off well enough on Tuesday. But by Wednesday, they hit a major snag: The live stream cameras that had been broadcasting the audit room around the clock went offline for close to 90 minutes, potentially obscuring any problematic intervention.

The team decided Thursday morning to reinspect the ballot machines on camera in an attempt to maintain observers’ faith in their process. They needed to determine whether the machines had been tampered with over night when the cameras mysteriously went down.

Even if the camera failure is nothing, the consistent Republican deficits cannot be shrugged off as a series of random errors. When a “mistake” repeatedly runs in only one direction over a separate series of events, the hand of man becomes apparent.

New Hampshire was called for Biden, but if the “mistake” was state-wide — that is, if Republicans were undercounted and Democrats overcounted in every county — perhaps Biden didn’t win New Hampshire. And if he didn’t win New Hampshire, maybe he didn’t win in some other states called for him, either.

Our elections need to be tightened — and doing away with voter ID is not the way to do it. Although I seldom look to England for anything good lately (sorry, England, I once loved you as only a true Anglophile could), its approach to voting is superb and getting better. Funnily enough, though, that’s one policy that the left — which is always anxious to show how badly America measures up to the rest of the world — doesn’t want to copy.

Update on Georgia Election Audit:

Georgia Judge Calls For Emergency Audit After Suspicious Discrepancies Found

Back in March, a judge gave an order to unseal absentee ballots in Fulton County so a government watchdog can investigate allegations of voting fraud in the November election.

A lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court contends that fraudulent ballots were cast and other irregularities occurred as workers counted ballots at State Farm Arena on election night. Those allegations were investigated and dismissed by the secretary of state’s office. Nonetheless, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero — who is overseeing the case — said he’s inclined to order the ballots to be unsealed and reviewed by experts hired by Garland Favorito, a voting-integrity advocate.

And today, May 21, 2021, the same judge went even further called for the motion to unseal ballots after suspicious discrepancies were found.

During a hearing, VoterGA.org lawyers “described large discrepancies (21%) between the number of ballot batches reported by the GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who certified the election, and the number of ballot batches actually provided by court-ordered access in the previous April hearing in the case,” according to CD Media.

“A high number of ballots appear to have been counted twice,” said one witness.

VoterGA.org has been examining the ballot images at a low resolution since the hearing in April, and declared they need the actual physical ballots to understand the number of counterfeit ballots certified.

Favorito is seeking to review absentee ballots in Fulton County. He says county workers likely fabricated ballots and counted some ballots multiple times on election night. As evidence, his lawsuit cites video of the counting, as well as sworn statements from people who were present.

The observers were suspicious of ballots that were printed on a different stock of paper than regular ballots, appeared to have been printed instead of marked by ink in a voter’s hand or were not creased, indicating they had not been placed in an absentee ballot envelope and mailed.

Background from previous post  Election Skimming Program Detected

Update Nov. 13, 2020 at the End

Dr.SHIVA LIVE: MIT PhD Analysis of Michigan Votes Reveals Unfortunate Truth of U.S. Voting Systems

MIT professor Dr. Shiva and colleagues discovered a pattern in Michigan voter data whereby tens of thousands of Trump votes were taken away and added to Biden totals.  As the video describes the program was designed to skim more votes away from large pools of Trump votes and avoid small pools, in order to be less noticeable.  The proportion of straight ticket Republican voters serves as the indicator of precincts where larger numbers of Trump only votes can be switched to Biden only votes (only refers to a vote not part of a party line ballot.  The linear relationship is quite striking and abnormal.  The more voters in a precinct voted Republican party line, the more Trump only votes in that precinct were taken away.

From Jo Nova website:

A “Transistor Function” algorithm has been used to alter voting patterns in Michigan. It has a “Weighted Race” feature.

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT engineer and Fulbright Scholar, with Phil Evans B.S.E.E. and Benny Smith (election commissioner and data analyst) have back-analyzed the pattern of voting in Michigan and figured out the electronic algorithm used to alter votes. Voting patterns are distorted in a way that can only be explained by a linear transformation (an algebraic equation) and he can approximate that equation and slope of the line. This means he can calculate how many votes were flipped and he does, and it’s massive.

This one form of fraud alone is enough to flip the election to Biden. That’s without all the postal vote backdating, the dead people voting, the out of state votes, the discarded ballots, the crooked media coverups, the pollsters fakery and the Pfizer hiding of the Covid Vaccine news. Trump won the election despite all the other trickery. If there had been real media coverage, honest vaccine headlines, exposure of Hunter Biden and honest polling the election probably could have been called by 8pm on Election day.

The action analysis starts at 13:30 minutes.

In disconcerting news, votes are stored as a decimal fraction. They are not even trying to record votes as whole numbers, as individual choices.

The dashed orange line should be a flat line, instead the downward slope “cuts in” and votes are increasingly distorted in precincts where more Republicans vote.  The ratio depends on the percentage of Republican voters in a precinct. The more Republicans there are, the more likely they are to abandon Trump and vote a Biden-then-Republican ticket.

The slope of that line is “too perfect” — it’s almost perfectly linear. The transistor effect kicks in and shows that the same algorithm was used in different counties across all precincts. The pattern is non-random. Even if you wanted to believe that Rep voters were tired of Trump it would not happen in a perfect line that depended on the number of Rep voters around you. (45 mins.)

Update Nov. 13, 2020


Paul Sperry writes at RealClearInvestigations, Pro-Biden Bug Also Suspected in Georgia’s Vote-Counting Software. Excepts in italics with my bolds.

A curious thing happened as Fulton County, Ga., election officials counted mail-in ballots at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena in the days after the election. In the early hours of Nov. 5, a surge of some 20,000 mail-in votes suddenly appeared for Joe Biden, while approximately 1,000 votes for President Trump mysteriously disappeared from his own totals in the critical swing state, where Biden holds a razor-thin lead.

A poll watcher noticed the suspicious shift in votes while monitoring the interim election results on the Georgia secretary of state website.

“I concluded from looking at these results that this was an irregularity, since there was no obvious reason for President Trump’s totals to have decreased while former Vice President Biden’s totals increased dramatically,” Voter GA co-founder Garland Favorito swore in an affidavit he filed this week with the secretary of state’s office.

Favorito suspects a variety of factors, including that votes were “artificially inflated” for Biden while using the same Dominion Voting system used by Antrim County, Mich., which erroneously transferred 6,000 votes from Trump to Biden. Last year, Georgia contracted with Dominion to automate vote tabulations in all 159 of its counties.

“The software appears to have thrown votes from Trump to Biden here too,” he said in a RealClearInvestigations interview. “Or Biden ballots were manufactured.”

The large disparity of gains between the two candidates “was something I had never witnessed before in my years of election monitoring,” said Favorito, a career IT professional who has been a leading advocate for election integrity in the state over the past two decades. He says he is not a Republican or Trump supporter.

On Nov. 10, Favorito sent his affidavit to Georgia Secretary of State recommending a full, by-hand ballot recount. The next day, his office announced it will conduct such an audit for the presidential race. Biden currently leads Trump by more than 14,000 votes in the state.

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The Actual Letter from 120 Generals and Admirals

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Notably, biased journalists like those at Politico published their own disparaging comments about this open letter, including ad hominem attacks against some of the signers.  Read below the actual text of the letter and judge for yourself whether their concerns are reasonable, despite the backlash from progressive media. Thanks to Thinking Conservative for posting the letter.  My bolds added.

Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals

Our Nation is in deep peril. We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776. The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.

During the 2020 election an “Open Letter from Senior Military Leaders” was signed by 317 retired Generals and Admirals and, it said the 2020 election could be the most important election since our country was founded. “With the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.” Unfortunately, that statement’s truth was quickly revealed, beginning with the election process itself.

Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the “will of the people” our Constitutional Republic is lost. Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc. Today, many are calling such commonsense controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic. Additionally, the “Rule of Law” must be enforced in our election processes to ensure integrity. The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020. Finally, H.R.1 & S.1, (if passed), would destroy election fairness and allow Democrats to forever remain in power violating our Constitution and ending our Representative Republic.

Aside from the election, the Current Administration has launched a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights in a dictatorial manner, bypassing the Congress, with more than 50 Executive Orders quickly signed, many reversing the previous Administration’s effective policies and regulations. Moreover, population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression are all direct assaults on our fundamental Rights. We must support and hold accountable politicians who will act to counter Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism, support our Constitutional Republic, and insist on fiscally responsible governing while focusing on all Americans, especially the middle class, not special interest or extremist groups which are used to divide us into warring factions.

Additional National Security Issues and Actions:

Open borders jeopardize national security by increasing human trafficking, drug cartels, terrorists entry, health/CV19 dangers, and humanitarian crises. Illegals are flooding our Country bringing high economic costs, crime, lowering wages, and illegal voting in some states. We must reestablish border controls and continue building the wall while supporting our dedicated border control personnel. Sovereign nations must have controlled borders.

China is the greatest external threat to America. Establishing cooperative relations with the Chinese Communist Party emboldens them to continue progress toward world domination, militarily, economically, politically and technologically. We must impose more sanctions and restrictions to impede their world domination goal and protect America’s interests.

• The free flow of information is critical to the security of our Republic, as illustrated by freedom of speech and the press being in the 1st Amendment of our Constitution. Censoring speech and expression, distorting speech, spreading disinformation by government officials, private entities, and the media is a method to suppress the free flow of information, a tyrannical technique used in closed societies. We must counter this on all fronts beginning with removing Section 230 protection from big tech.

Re-engaging in the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal would result in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons along with the means to deliver them, thereby upsetting Mideast peace initiatives and aiding a terrorist nation whose slogans and goals include “death to America” and “death to Israel” . We must resist the new China/Iran agreement and not support the Iran Nuclear Deal. In addition, continue with the Mideast peace initiatives, the “Abraham Accords,” and support for Israel.

Stopping the Keystone Pipeline eliminates our recently established energy independence and causes us to be energy dependent on nations not friendly to us, while eliminating valuable US jobs. We must open the Keystone Pipeline and regain our energy independence for national security and economic reasons.

Using the U.S. military as political pawns with thousands of troops deployed around the U.S. Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat, along with forcing Politically Correct policies like the divisive critical race theory into the military at the expense of the War Fighting Mission, seriously degrades readiness to fight and win our Nation’s wars, creating a major national security issue. We must support our Military and Vets; focus on war fighting, eliminate the corrosive infusion of Political Correctness into our military which damages morale and war fighting cohesion.

The “Rule of Law” is fundamental to our Republic and security. Anarchy as seen in certain cities cannot be tolerated. We must support our law enforcement personnel and insist that DAs, our courts, and the DOJ enforce the law equally, fairly, and consistently toward all.

The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night. Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.

Under a Democrat Congress and the Current Administration, our Country has taken a hard left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government which must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic. The survival of our Nation and its cherished freedoms, liberty, and historic values are at stake. We urge all citizens to get involved now at the local, state and/or national level to elect political representatives who will act to Save America, our Constitutional Republic, and hold those currently in office accountable. The “will of the people” must be heard and followed.

 

Biden Turns Gift into Train Wreck

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Ben Shapiro comes to the same conclusion but with a different metaphor in his article Biden Sets Everything on Fire at Town Hall.  He does provide a photo of the feckless Conductor.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

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Joe Biden is the luckiest man to ever assume the presidency.

He succeeded an unpopular figure. He was inaugurated just two weeks after the dramatic storming of the U.S. Capitol by extremist Donald Trump supporters seeking to stop the certification of the 2020 election, which was also the beginning of the year after widespread race riots. He inherited COVID-19 vaccines and a vaccine rollout plan, and could rightly expect to ride the tsunami of natural economic recovery that was predicted for the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic; he inherited a series of historic Middle Eastern peace deals.

In other words, President Biden had it easy. All he had to do was nothing. He could expect a new era of good feelings emerging from a tumultuous time. He could expect a booming economy, a more peaceful Middle East, a solution to the pandemic. All he had to do was calm the waters.

This, after all, was what Americans voted for: not a transformational figure or a figure of radical change but a stodgy, supposedly empathetic grandfather figure who could barely be bothered to leave his basement for the entirety of the presidential campaign. Normalcy could be restored by installing a nearly inanimate object as president.

Instead, Biden has served as a facade for the most radical administration in modern American history.
And America is already paying the price.

In his first few months in office, Biden rammed through a $1.9 trillion spending package that completely rewrote the bargain between individuals and the state, shifting the incentive structure for people to go back to work. He simultaneously proposed another $4 trillion in spending — to go along with the annual $4 trillion budget. The result: skyrocketing inflation in commodities, along with dramatic labor shortages resulting in an April shortfall of three-quarters of a million new jobs.

Simultaneously, he downplayed the efficacy of a vaccine he insisted was the key to ending the pandemic. His Food and Drug Administration pressed pause on a highly successful vaccine based on six cases of blood clots; his Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rewrote its school reopening guidelines, apparently with input from the teachers unions. He wore a mask publicly despite being vaccinated, despite being outdoors, despite being indoors with others who had been vaccinated — and declared such activity “patriotic.” The result: widespread vaccine hesitancy and a tremendously uneven national reopening, with red states going back to normal and blue states continuing nonsensical shutdowns.

He ramped up the rhetoric with regard to racial polarization, injecting the terms “anti-racist” and “equity” into every element of federal policy, supplanting meritocracy and individual rights with equality of outcome and outright discrimination. The result: undercutting police forces nationally, resulting in a continuing crime wave in America’s biggest cities.

And he abandoned the Trump administration’s Middle East policy, refunding the Palestinians with money that will obviously go to terrorist groups and defy the Taylor Force Act; making concessions to the Iranian terror regime; and pressuring Israel. The result: riots in Jerusalem, chaos on the Temple Mount and an increase in regional Iranian aggression.

We’re only four months into Biden’s presidency. He’s going for broke: He wants his legacy, and if that legacy comes at the cost of the economy, the polis and international stability, so be it. If the conflagration we’ve seen thus far is any indicator, Biden won’t leave a lot standing when he’s done.

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The True Cost of Imaginary Money

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Lionel Shriver explains in his Spectator article The true cost of make-believe money

Biden commands trillions in the way previous presidents have commanded billions

I like Bill Maher. He’s a rare practicing left-wing comic who’s actually funny. But last week, his routine on cryptocurrency hit eerie harmonics.

That monologue was broadcast in the same week Joe Biden promoted the third of his gargantuan spending programs, bringing his first 100 days’ total discretionary spending proposals to $6 trillion. (Context: total US GDP is $21 trillion.) This lavish largesse would be slathered atop the annual (and growing) nondiscretionary budget of nearly $5 trillion, against $3.5 trillion in tax revenue.

Let’s tweak Maher’s routine, then:

‘I fully understand that our financial system isn’t perfect, but at least, or so I’ve imagined, it’s real. But the American dollar increasingly resembles Easter bunny cartoon cash. I’ve read articles about Modern Monetary Theory. I’ve had it explained to me. I still don’t get it, and neither do you.

‘Dollars are now made up out of thin air and comparable with Monopoly money. We thought we knew that money had to originate from and be generated by something real, somewhere. Modern Monetary Theory says, “No, it doesn’t”… Or as another analyst put it, “Quantitative easing is an open Ponzi scheme”. The Federal Reserve is like having an imaginary best friend who’s also a banker.

‘Our problem here is at root not economic but psychological. People who have been raised in a virtual world are starting to believe they can really live in it. Much of warfare is a video game now; why not base our economy the same way? The conjuring of “borrowed” money from ether, only to have that debt swallowed by a central bank and disappear, is literally a game.

‘Do I need to spell this out? There is something inherently not credible about the Fed creating not just hundreds of billions, but trillions in wealth, with nothing ever actually being accomplished, and no actual product made or service rendered. It’s like Tinkerbell’s light. Its power source is based solely on enough infantilized citizens believing in it.’

Somehow that monologue isn’t as funny in the second version.

While Maher decries the electricity squandered on crypto ‘mining’, at least the color of the Fed’s money is genuinely green. Tap a few keys, and voilà: trillions from pennies on the energy bill. So in the past year, the Fed effortlessly increased the world’s supply of dollars by 26 percent and is on track for a similar surge in 2021.

But is drastic monetary expansion truly without cost?

I’ve made Maher’s Tinkerbell analogy myself, but to explain how traditional currency functions. I noted in an essay accompanying my novel The Mandibles, about America’s 2029 economic apocalypse: ‘Currency is a belief system. It maintains its value the way Tinkerbell is kept aloft by children believing in fairies in Peter Pan.’

In the novel, a fictional economics professor pontificates: ‘Money is emotional. Because all value is subjective, money is worth what people feel it’s worth. They accept it in exchange for goods and services because they have faith in it. Economics is closer to religion than science. Without millions of individual citizens believing in a currency, money is colored paper. Likewise, creditors have to believe that if they extend a loan to the US government they’ll get their money back or they don’t make the loan in the first place.

So confidence isn’t a side issue. It’s the only issue.’

My confidence is going wobbly. Biden commands trillions the way previous presidents have commanded billions, while the public is so dazzled by zeros that they don’t know the difference.

I’ve my quibbles with the particulars. Spending in inconceivable quantity courts waste and fraud. Biden’s American Families Plan casts so many freebies upon the waters as to constitute a de facto universal basic income, and government dependency doesn’t seem characteristic of a good life. Pandemic-relief unemployment supplements (which many Democrats would make permanent) are so generous that small businesses can’t find employees willing to work even for two to three times the minimum wage. Biden is effectively reversing Clinton-era welfare reforms, which moved so many poor Americans from state benefits to self-respecting employment. Financing all these goodies by hiking corporate taxes is popular, but only because few people realize that every-one pays corporate taxes through lower pension-fund returns, job losses from corporate flight, lower wages and higher prices.

But it’s the bigger picture that unnerves me. Zero interest rates have installed an accelerating debt loop. Governments, companies and individuals borrow because money is free. Central banks won’t raise interest rates, lest the cost of servicing all this burgeoning debt bankrupt the debtors. Governments, companies and individuals borrow still more because money is free. The Federal Reserve has already announced it won’t raise interest rates even if inflation climbs, while refusing to cite what level inflation would have to hit before reconsidering. I’ve plotted this story before. It doesn’t end well.

Background on Modern (Magical) Money Theory see MMT: Magical Money Theory

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