Wednesday, May 4, 2022

"Green Energy" is Undermining Grid Reliability

Remember the good old days, when grid reliability was a "given" in the United States? No one feared that the lights would go out every time a summer heatwave or winter coldsnap rolled through. But now -- not just in California and Texas, but also in Arizona and Michigan -- officials worry aloud about whether formerly routine surges in energy use will bring down the grid.

This wasn't a problem ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. Blackouts sometimes occurred due to equipment malfunctions, but those were anomalies and highly memorable events -- "where were you when the lights went out"? Countries that couldn't reliably keep the lights on were scoffed at by Americans as backward and "third world."

So what happened?

What changed?

How did our formerly stable, reliable, world-class grid become the finicky, vulnerable, frail thing it is today?

The answer is obvious to anyone with eyes to see. The trumped-up "climate crisis" gave politicians and special interests an engraved invitation to meddle with the grid -- which is like trusting an incompetent backyard mechanic to tear down and rebuild your Ferarri. And grid reliability has predictably been on the decline ever since. It's not a coincidence that the biggest breakdowns in reliability are happening where the "renewables revolution" has been pushed most aggressively, in California and (somewhat ironically) Texas. The too-hasty push to "transition" the grid from reliable to unreliable energy tech, from the tried-and-true to pie-in-the-sky, is turning the US into an embarrassing third-world Banana Republic.

That's perfectly acceptable to eco-Luddites and climate cult members. Third-world countries have "sustainable economies," don't ya know. Green central planners actually welcome energy scarcity and energy unreliability, along with rising energy costs, if this will put prosperous people on the crash energy diet they/we must endure if the planet is to be "saved." America's grid isn't faltering by chance, or from neglect. It's faltering because the revolutionaries driving this agenda either never think thru the long-term implications of their war on reliable energy, or they have thought it through and welcome the collapse of a system they see as threatening to the planet's survival.

Unless the silent majority wakes to this menace and loudly supports energy realism over energy fantasy, millions more Americans will be sitting in the cold and dark one winter day, shaking their heads and wondering how the hell this happened to them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Another "Rewilding" Bait-And-Switch Is In The Works

When then-Gov. Bill Owens agreed to import an "experimental" population of Canada lynx into Colorado, based on the promise that they wouldn't be weaponized by green extremists and federal ecocrats to lock-up public lands, I knew this would happen eventually -- because no good deed goes unpunished when it comes to the Endangered Species Act.
What's the lesson here, Colorado?

Never, never, never trust what rewilders tell you when they bring allegedly endangered species into your state. They'll say anything to get them into the state; but once they're there, they'll change the rules of the game in a way that takes animal control off the table and puts public land users at a disadvantage.

It. Happens. Every. Time.

Alert Coloradans already are seeing the first inkling of what's to come when voter-approved wolves arrive here en masse. Ranchers that fall victim to predation by a pack of naturally-migrating wolves along the Wyoming border can't ask for the pack to be removed -- that's a non-starter -- or take matters into their own hands. The most they're permitted to do is to try harassing the attacking pack, by standing out in their pastures all night, banging pots and pans, presumably. That doesn't work once wolves have developed an appetite for prime sirloin. And the rewilding bait-and-switch we see occurring in other wolf-impacted states, most notably Oregon, Washington State, and California, where politicians totally beholden to the Green Lobby are in charge, tells Coloradans all they need to know about how things will go here, once imported wolves are unleashed on rural Colorado.

But wait, Colorado. More might be coming.

It's been reported that Gov. Jared Polis (D) and this animal-activist husband are keen on rewilding the state with wolverines, one of which recently killed 18 sheep in a single Utah attack. U.S. cases of wolverine predation are rare, because wolverines are rare. But as we've seen -- initially with wolves, then with grizzlies -- predation cases naturally tend to rise in tandem with predator population increases -- who da thunk it? This could soon have Colorado livestock growers facing a double-whammy if the disconnected Boulderite occupying Colorado's governor's office gets his way and reintroduced wolverines follow in the paw-prints of wolves.

Friday, April 22, 2022

This Celebrity Grizzly is On Borrowed Time

Meet Grizzly 399, AKA "the Queen of the Tetons," the most famous "wild" animal in the world thanks to doting, den-to-den press coverage and a gaggle of grizzly groupies who document and follow her every exploit through every summer tourist season in the Tetons.

This bear's celebrity status and avid following among Timothy Treadwell types (Google him if you don't get the reference) has done her no favors, however, since it has discouraged wildlife professionals from relocating her to more remote areas, for fear of a grizzly groupie backlash, no doubt. She's enjoyed a level of tolerant treatment that no other grizzly enjoys, enabling behaviors that eventually will come back to bite her (and maybe an overly-friendly tourist).
How long before 399 and her lovable and cuddly cubs (a number of whom also have grown up to be human-habituated problem bears) cross the line into behavior that forces removal or even worse? Will this be the season when the inevitable happens? Only time will tell.
I don't wish 399 or her offspring ill. Maybe, when the time for removal comes, she'll be spared relocation to the wilderness, where there are no easy handouts from humans and she wouldn't last long, and end up in a zoo instead, where her career as a gawked at celebrity can continue. I just recognize that grizzly recovery has clearly met its aims (and arguably exceeded them) when 399 and other celebrity roadside grizzlies begin mingling with tourists on an almost routine basis. I also understand that responsibly and humanely managing these animals, in a manner that keeps them wild and minimizes the potential for dangerous human-bruin conflicts, can't happen until Congress delists the bear and allows states to take a firmer hand in managing them, just as states manage other big game.
Why is it on Congress to do the long-overdue delisting? Because federal ecocrats repeatedly have been stopped from following the law and the science by green extremists and their "friendlies" on the federal bench. The Endangered Species Act has been hijacked by special interests and no longer works as it should -- turning animals like Grizzly 399 into pawns in a larger struggle for control over Western federal lands. Those seeking to "rewild" the modern West with apex predators pose as animal lovers and animal advocates. But they're actually perpetuating animal cruelty by pushing the concept beyond reasonable limits, since it's the animals that most often pay the price when rewilding conflicts inevitably result.
Catch this major roadside attraction while you can. It's only a matter of time before Grizzly 399, through no fault of her own, also falls victim to the folly called "rewilding."

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Polish MiGs, White House Incompetence

This administration is dangerously inept, and here's the latest evidence that the folks in charge don't know what the hell they're doing.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Tony Blinken told CBS News that NATO nations had a "green light" to share warplanes with Ukraine if they choose to. He added that he was in consultations with Poland to do just that, with the U.S. planning to resupply Poland with U.S.-made planes to "backfill" donated aircraft. (That this might be a major provocation, and mark a potentially dangerous escalation of the war, seemed not to register with the nation's top diplomat, given the way he just blurted it out on national television, with all the discretion of a New Orleans streetwalker.)

On Monday, Poland put forward a proposal to do just that, through an admittedly roundabout way, by flying their Russian-made MiGs to an American base in Germany, from where they would (somehow) be transferred to Ukraine. On Tuesday that offer was summarily rejected as "untenable" by the Pentagon, contradicting what the State Department said Sunday.

Aren't the State Department and the Pentagon part of the same administration? Why aren't they reading from the same script?

A number of news reports published yesterday indicate that the United States was "surprised" by Poland's actions, although we couldn't have been TOO surprised if Blinken was talking about this -- and "green-lighting" such arms transfers -- on a Sunday morning news show. These stories were obviously intended to blame Poland for a Biden administration debacle, which can't be good or NATO unity or for U.S. relations with Poland. Now we've dispatched Kamala Harris to sort the mess out -- just like she sorted out the mess at America's Southern Border. I guess the White House feels that having Harris talk to key allies as though they're 4th-graders will help patch-up any rifts.

We're supposed to be alarmed by the fact that Putin controls nuclear weapons. I'm almost as alarmed by the fact that Biden and his inept minions have access to nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

We'll Rue the Demise of Trump's Energy Doctrine


Joe Biden's election will be the death of a domestic energy revival that was good for the economy, great for energy consumers and a bold stroke in terms of national security. It wasn't by chance that you saw your price at the pump drop dramatically during the Trump years. That's just one of many benefits Americans enjoyed as a result of the Trump energy boom. On energy, Trump saw the stakes, global and domestic, clearly. Reversing his policy of "energy dominance" will be seen in time as a major mistake. 

I routinely see America's Green Media gleefully writing obituaries for evil oil and gas, as if the pie-in-the-sky transition to "100% renewables" is easy, feasible, affordable and a done deal. That's a misleading and dishonest fantasy. And reports of traditional energy's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

A look abroad suggests that the global struggle for energy dominance still hinges on fossil fuels, and that it's far from over. We see China making an even bigger move into Africa (though it's been quietly dabbling there for years, daring to operate where Western oil companies won't). The energy-rich Arctic has become a bigger bone of contention, with China surprising many observers by asserting itself there as well. Russia and China seem to be moving toward an energy detente that seems designed to sideline the US, if it doesn't sideline itself in the Biden eraRussia isn't giving up on its most potent revenue source and tool (read: weapon) of energy diplomacy. 

Explain all the Russian and Chinese energy plays if fossil fuels are a thing of the past. These countries apparently didn't get the memo about the imminent demise of traditional energy. What do they know that US pundits and media prognosticators don't?  

As Americans retreat to the self-punishing, scarcity-producing, cost-hiking policies of the Obama years, smarter countries are busily maneuvering for advantage and securing reliable energy supplies for the future -- and none of it has anything to do with building more wind farms or spreading more solar sprawl. China and Russia aren't acting as if the sun is setting on fossil fuels. On the contrary, they're scrambling during this Covid-induced lull to strengthen their energy position and corner the reliable energy market where they can -- while dreamy-eyed Americans gulp green Kool-Aid and return to taking our energy security for granted. 

Silly Americans; when will you ever learn?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Western Wildfires are Another Self-Inflicted Wound

It's wildfire season in the West again; time for a lot of typically-revisionist claptrap about why we're seeing fires of such unprecedented ferocity.  Of course, the sweeping and simplistic explanation for everything, “climate change,” conveniently gets most of the blame, as does Trump. But the root causes of the crisis, as I understand them, go much deeper than that.

It's a complicated question, worthy of book-length treatment, but the bottom line, from the point of view of someone who has been carefully watching the issue for more than 20 years, is that this is largely a man-made catastrophe. 

Western wildfires largely result from more than a century of lousy, short-sighted forest management, compounded by disease outbreaks that bureaucracy-bound Washington failed to address in a timely fashion. The idiots blaming Trump for a crisis many decades in the making are either misinformed or willfully stupid.

Then, conveniently for the bureaucrats and organized extremists who helped build this tinderbox trap, "climate change" came along as the intellectually-lazy, simpleton-satisfying, catch-all explanation for how we got here, further dooming any practical efforts to get a handle on the situation. Why try tackling the beetle blight problem, after all, if "climate change" is the root cause? You can't manage your way out of such an insurmountable problem; no steps short of overthrowing capitalism and reversing the industrial revolution will do!! Meaning, once again, that "analysis paralysis" and climate hysteria blocked any meaningful effort to fix our forests.

The lesson of the Western wildfire crisis, if you're looking for one, is that massive federal bureaucracies can't manage anything well, including (and maybe most of all) our far-flung Western lands, This should make Americans extremely wary of putting any additional power or authority in Washington's hands -- unless they want the bureaucrats mismanaging their healthcare (and the rest of your lives) the same way they historically mismanaged "federal lands." 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Where's Tom Wolfe When We Need Him?

Just imagine the fun the late Tom Wolfe (author of "Radical Chic" and other pieces skewering the counterculture) would have had with the zany idea that looting Macy's and the Rolex Store constitutes a legitimate form of reparations for slavery. 

The days of looting the corner liquor store or food store, of running off with diapers and Mad Dog 2020, largely seem behind us in America. That's so 1967 or 1968 (or maybe 1992, in LA's case). Most of today's looters have developed much more refined -- dare I say "bourgeois" or even "capitalist"? -- tastes in the businesses they plunder, which is especially ironic given the Marxist slogans many of the new revolutionaries spew. 

How and when did our poor and downtrodden develop such expensive tastes in clothing and accessories? What does that say about the way we define "poverty" and "the underprivileged" today? Wolfe would have had such a ball tackling such questions. But we have no journalists today who can even see the ironies and absurdities, much less bring them to life in print.