How is your climate emergency going so far? We seem to be hanging in well at my house.
The media hype around this fairly typical July hot spell has been off the charts, but my favorite headline of the season appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (home of at least one climate jeremiad per day) weeks ago: “Extreme weather hits every U.S. region and won’t let up.” Such an honest example of the game being played demands recognition.
Fifty years ago I experienced my first 101 degree day in this part of Virginia and discovered that 101 degrees on the Mojave or even the Sahara Desert of my childhood was a very different thing than 101 degrees on a sidewalk in Colonial Heights. Humidity matters. So far, despite all the hype, that 1972 day has not been equaled yet this summer. There is still time.
Younger people not approaching my almost 70 summers probably do believe they are suffering through something extraordinary, but I just see the national, state and local media demonstrating their mad desire for audience and their lack of even basic understanding of reality. Even Fox Weather the other day had a bubblehead announcer state that the heat in France had “sparked” fires near Bordeaux.
It was hot and dry, but hot and dry doesn’t “spark” anything. As with the recent Yosemite fire (notice how that dropped out of the news when no Sequoia exploded on camera?) most fires are started by careless or criminal people. And the reports of hot and dry weather in Bordeaux have me eager for the 2022 vintages in a few years. We were there in a hot and dry 2015. You see a ’15 Bordeaux, grab it.
There is no climate emergency. There is no emergency in Richmond, or France, or Texas. It might be hotter-than-average, but within recent parameters, it is weather. Weather is not climate. Climate is measured on 30-year data increments, and there probably has not been a 30-year span in the history of the planet that didn’t demonstrate “climate change.” Ironically, my first very hot and humid day in Central Virginia was during a period when the overall ground temperature trend really was cooling.
What is going on is a push to convince people to accept the destruction of our modern energy economy. They want us to meekly accept heat pumps instead of gas or oil furnaces, variable offshore wind instead of reliable natural gas generation, and electric vehicles that must be charged six hours to run 200 miles rather than cars you can fill in three minutes and run for 500 miles. Let’s hope they never measure the emissions from a tandoori oven.
Billions of dollars are riding on this forced transition to all-electric, and the people passing out the bucks to the propaganda specialists expect a big return on investment. As I’ve mentioned before, when Dominion Energy Virginia is charging 22 cents a kilowatt hour and natural gas is $10 per hundred cubic feet, the rich can pay for it. Others will discover energy poverty.
We are witnessing (and directly suffering from) the world’s first solar and wind energy war. President Biden is correct that the high price of fuel is largely a result of that war, but he doesn’t mention the “how.” The “how” is the European vulnerability its own political poseurs imposed, pretending to run their economies on wind and solar when in reality they were paying Putin the Merciless for massive amounts of gas, oil and coal. The “how” is the U.S. under Biden getting on the same mistaken path.
Pay very close attention to this coming winter in Europe. You will see our future.
The Sierra Club’s Ivy Main was writing for Virginia Mercury the other day, claiming the solution is more wind and solar. That is exactly wrong. If the U.S. had a rational energy policy and was producing enough fossil fuels for our own use and then for export, Putin would never have moved his tanks. It wasn’t weakness in Afghanistan, but Green New Deal insanity that emboldened and enriched him (and continues to pay his troops). Biden is reduced to licking the boots of a murderous Arab dressed in a sheet, begging for oil so he can keep stifling U.S. production.
But Main, just like climate propagandist Sean Sublette at the Times-Dispatch, and just like that unnamed weather dolt at Fox News, are all part of the same (quite brilliant and omnipresent) messaging machine. The one that constantly repeats that heat kills more people than any other weather event, when the truth is that cold kills more by several factors. (And the real untold story behind that claim is how deaths from floods, fire and famine have plummeted in our modern fossil-fueled economy with early warnings and mitigations.)
At this moment of typing, at the peak of Saturday’s sunny heat, the PJM Interconnect website (really cool, check it out) reports 132,500 megawatts of demand through all its states, less than 3,000 of it from solar and less than 5,000 of it from wind turbines. If you want to be this comfortable on a day like this at a reasonable price ten years from now, you’d better pray those numbers change only a bit. Coal and gas are providing almost 65 percent of the load today. Take them fully away, and the AC really will turn off at the worst possible times.
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