Environment

The Renewable Portfolio Scam

Featured image Twenty-nine states have adopted renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to get a specified percentage of power from wind and solar sources. (I believe some enlightened jurisdictions include hydro power; I am not sure whether any include nuclear, as they obviously should. But there is no money to be had there.) This video from the Clear Energy Alliance explains why such standards are extraordinarily expensive and do zero good. But »

Climate Confessions and Liberal Voodoo

Featured image It would take a better psychologist than I am to untangle the liberal mind. For some reason, liberals are wracked by guilt, convinced that they are somehow destroying our planet, even though the scientific evidence is all to the contrary. So they engage in a sort of voodoo: ritual behavior intended to ward off evils, even though there is no rational basis to believe that there is any connection. NBC »

What’s the Environmental Crisis?

Featured image Liberals think that an increase of a few ppm in a trace gas like carbon dioxide is an environmental crisis, even though it has no apparent effect on the environment. (Don’t get me started on “extreme weather events.”) On the other hand, there are parts of the U.S. where the environment, in very practical ways, is in steep decline. Like San Francisco. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Environmental »

The Environmental Fiasco of Wind Energy

Featured image Wind turbines only last for around 20 years, so many of them are now wearing out. That raises serious questions about disposal of defunct wind turbine parts. The turbines’ giant blades are not recyclable, so they must be dumped in landfills. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports on one South Dakota landfill that is saying no mas to wind turbine blades: [T]he Argus Leader reports that more than 100 wind »

The Left Discovers Eco-Fascism

Featured image How charming: the left has belatedly discovered something conservatives have known for 50 years or more—that environmentalism, especially in its dominant ideological forms, is prone to fascism. Remember that “environmentalism” very quickly replaced “ecology”—the more generic scientific term—not long after the first Earth Day in 1970. Keep in mind that the left was initially indifferent or even hostile to “the ecology craze” (as some leftist critics called it at the »

“Green” Energy Is Sinister

Featured image We conservatives tend to argue that “green” energy (wind and solar) is unreliable, inefficient, expensive, and virtually useless, even if we accept the climate change gospel*. But the truth is worse than that. Far from being well-intentioned, as most assume, “green” energy is the great corporate scam of our age. And green energy is not kind to the Earth as school children are taught. Rather, wind and solar are terrible »

Climate Solution? Trees

Featured image CO2 is plant food, which is why the Earth is getting greener as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. This is a negative feedback, since the more plant life, the more CO2 gets absorbed. Planting more trees has long been offered as a potential solution to CO2-induced global warming, and the Clear Energy Alliance notes a new study that argues planting large numbers of trees can neutralize man-made »

The Most Influential Research of 2019

Featured image I have written a couple of times about a paper titled “Doubling Down on Failure” which was published by Center of the American Experiment, the policy organization that I run, in March. The paper exposes the real costs of “green” energy and is, I think, enormously important. First, though, a Power Line note: “Doubling Down on Failure” builds on an earlier American Experiment paper, “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High »

Stop at Zero

Featured image When Paul and I were seniors in college, we roomed together along with a friend who was a year or two younger than we were. One day our roommate turned up sporting a button that said “Stop at two.” Paul and I were puzzled. We tried to guess what it might mean, but finally gave up. Our roommate explained that it meant not having more than two children, for the »

It’s time to confirm Daniel Jorjani

Featured image One of the pleasures of the Trump administration for me has been seeing highly qualified friends receive nominations for important positions. But as with many pleasures, there’s a downside. I have seen these friends attacked, slandered as racists, and blocked from confirmation. In some cases, they haven’t been confirmed yet. Take the case of Daniel Jorjani. I met Dan 20 years ago, when we both were just starting with the »

Yelling “Fire” in a Crowded River: The Cuyahoga Story at 50

Featured image As mentioned in our podcast with Jonathan Adler yesterday, today is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland. The fire continues to be a prominent and compelling image of man’s relationship to the environment. Immortalized in song (Randy Newman’s “Burn On” and R.E.M’s “Cuyahoga”), and fodder for countless Cleveland-bashing jokes from standup comics, the incongruously short-lived fire (it was put out in about 20 minutes, causing »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 130: The Cuyahoga On Fire, 50 Years Later, with Jonathan Adler

Featured image Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of one of the iconic moments of modern environmental history—the infamous Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland. Things were so bad, the legend goes, that rivers were catching fire! But most of what you think you know about that story is incomplete or inaccurate, argues Jonathan H. Adler, the Johan Verheij Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In a now-famous article, »

Transformative Technology Needed?

Featured image The United States, and much of the Western world, has gone badly off the rails on the subject of energy. Obsessed with CO2 emissions, a minor factor in the Earth’s climate, Western policymakers have turned to archaic technologies like wind energy as though they were futuristic. The Science and Environmental Policy Project comments: Energy expert Mark Mills has produced five parts of a series in Real Clear Energy discussing the »

“Green” Energy Policies Hurt the Environment, Another Case Study

Featured image Britain has a fracking industry–or could have one, anyway, if it weren’t for the Greens’ political clout. It finally became too much for Natascha Engel, Britain’s “fracking czar,” who quit with a blistering letter of resignation: Natascha Engel’s decision to walk away from such a high-profile role is driven, she says, by her dismay that Ministers are jeopardising Britain’s energy security because they would rather appease noisy green campaigners than »

A Green New Deal Smackdown Omnibus

Featured image It is long past time to revisit the Green Nude Eel, or whatever fantasy the climatistas have in mind. My pal Ben Zycher has a comprehensive analysis of it out this week from AEI, The Green New Deal: Economics and Policy Analytics. Ben is a superb quantitative analyst of these matters, to which he adds a refreshing and blunt directness in his conclusions: The GND’s central premise is that such »

Happy Groundhog Day!

Featured image Happy Groundhog Day Earth Day everybody! You can see how it is possible to confuse the two, since Earth Day is the same every year—we’re doomed unless you hand over complete power to the government to manage people and resources. Think I exaggerate? Well, here’s The Guardian to remind us once again: Ending climate change requires the end of capitalism. Have we got the stomach for it? By Phil McDuff limate »

Polar Bear Populations Booming

Featured image Liberals apparently chose the polar bear as a poster child for global warming because the bears are considered cute, although no one who had a close encounter with a polar bear would describe it that way. Why global warming would be harmful to polar bears was never persuasively explained, nor was there any explanation of how the bears had survived many climatic changes over hundreds of thousands of years. In »