Supposedly good ideas that may not be good at all

Aside from the bad environmental news you may have heard about the items listed here and here, you may also have heard good things (from the government and from TV "news" programs) about things that aren't necessarily harmless, beneficial, feasible or affordable, such as the items listed below.

The information about ethanol has been moved here, because there was so much of it.  Ethanol is a prime example of an environmental fad that has become a "sacred cow" that no politician dares to oppose, even though it has failed to live up to the hype, and it comes with its own set of adverse unintended consequences.

Somewhere around here, there are two pages about compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, a real environmental boondoggle, and an outstanding example of what this page is all about.  The second of those two pages shows a handy cost analysis:  Ordinary incandescent bulbs are much more economical.  But unfortunately the ordinary incandescent light bulb is being phased out, and the CFLs will be mandatory soon, along with 1.6 gallon toilets.

Note:  This list of supposedly good ideas has now produced a series of spin-off pages:

      Windmill generators

      Solar power

      Plastic bags

      Renewable energy


      Compact fluorescent light bulbs

      Mass transit and car pooling

      Green jobs

      Global warming "geo-engineering" solutions that are sure to be worse than the problem

      Electric cars

In addition, there is another page about environmental false alarms.

Subsections on this page:

      1.6-gallon toilets and low-flow shower heads


      Fluoride in the Public Water Supply

      Organic food



      "Green" buildings

      Earth day

      Earth hour

      The "smart" power grid

      Geo-thermal energy

      "Sustainable growth," "green buildings," low-traffic ("15 minute") neighborhoods, and "net zero" construction

      Insects as food

      Saturated fat

      Antibacterial Soap

      Wood as fuel


      Self-driving cars

      Dockless bicycles and scooters

      Miscellaneous / everything

1.6-gallon toilets and low-flow shower heads:

Biden Doesn't Want Us To Have Nice Things.  The current administration announced last week that it intends to force low-flow showerheads on the country that popularized showering, overriding an effort by the Trump administration to give consumers more options and reining in a government that believes it has no boundaries.  Donald Trump, like so many of the rest of us, had grown weary of the trickling drip from showerheads that caused us to stay in the shower longer so we could thoroughly rinse ourselves.  His Department of Energy proposed to change the 2013 federal rule that set a limit on water flowing through shower heads to 2.5 gallons per minute, a flow rate that was initially established by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992 — signed into law by President "kinder and gentler" George H.W. Bush[.]  Had the revision gone through, the 2.5 GMP [sic] limit would have been applied to each individual nozzle in a shower head, rather than an entire head or unit, as was defined under the Obama administration, allowing for a greater flow of water.  This is what many consumers wanted.  They said so when they bought shower heads with multiple nozzles that were made to work around the 1992 rule.

The Automotive Low Flush Toilet.  You may recall.  The government decided that people were using "too much" water in the bathroom.  The solution was a fatwa outlawing toilets as they had been and requiring that new toilets be designed to use less water (1.6 gallons, about half the volume of water used in the old, "wasteful" toilets).  Everyone knows what the result was.  It now took two or more flushes to get the job done — which ended up using twice the water.  Sometimes the job didn't get done at all.  Eventually, the problems caused by the low-flow toilets was fixed by modifying the toilet to operate at higher pressure, so as to make more effective use of less water.  These toilets, of course, cost more than the old "water waster" toilets, now outlawed.  Instead, people waste money.

California Imposes Tough New Rules For Efficient Toilets, Faucets.  State officials took emergency action on the drought Wednesday [4/8/2015], imposing tough new standards for toilets, urinals and faucets sold in California starting January 1st.  In an unprecedented move by the California Energy Commission, made possible by the Gov. Jerry Brown's executive action last week, retailers won't be allowed to sell any of their remaining less efficient models after that date.

Exploding toilets force recall of pressure-assisted flushing system.  A pressure-assisted flushing system is being recalled because it can burst and cause the toilet tank to shatter.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recall affects the Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system that was installed in 1.4 million toilet tanks between 1996 and 2013.  The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure.  This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazards to consumers and property damage.

Seven Inferior Products, Courtesy of the Green Movement.  The Green Movement's worship of scarcity has changed the consumer landscape for the worse.  Instead of big, powerful, and, most importantly, effective products, in 2012 consumers must suffer with pansy products.  Sure, they are designed to save energy and make you feel good.  But they just don't work as well as the old, and usually cheaper, versions.

The EPA's War on Home Appliances.  The 1992 Energy Policy Act states that all toilets sold in the United States use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  These water restrictions are the reason why we have to use plungers far more often than we used to.  As strange as it may seem, there used to be a thriving black market for Canadian toilets that actually flush.  As the executive editor of Laissez-Faire Books Jeffrey Tucker writes, "What we have in these regulations passed since the 1990s is therefore a step backwards from a central aspiration of mankind to dispose of human waste in the best possible way.  We have here an instance of government having forced society into a lower stage of existence."

Low-flow toilets cause a stink in SF.  San Francisco's big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.  Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission.  That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.

San Francisco's Crapper Control Goes Foul.  This summer, as the San Francisco Giants were steaming toward winning the World Series, there was a noticeable stench surrounding their home field, AT&T Park.  The Giant's ballyard hugs the San Francisco Bay.  During low tide, as the bay water ebbs, and microscopic organisms in the mud are exposed to air and rapidly begin to decay, creating a rotten smell.  During past baseball seasons, fans continually complained of the low-tide stink.  However, the sulfur-like scent wasn't the result of the ways of the sea.  It was caused by environmentalists having their way with Mr. Crapper's invention — the flush toilet.

California Hotels Go Green With Low-Flow Toilets, Solar Lights.  Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won't find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer.  Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth," former Vice President Al Gore's book about global warming.

Planet Parenthood.  People on the leftward side of the political spectrum say they want to "keep government out of your bedroom," by which they usually mean they oppose restrictions on abortion. … But it's an oddity of today's politics that abortion proponents tend to be allied with environmentalists, and environmentalists want government in every room in your house, from the bathroom (mandatory low-flow toilets) to the kitchen (energy saving appliances) to the garage (fuel-economy standards) to — well, any room with artificial lighting (the bulbs had better be the compact fluorescent variety).

Unflushable:  Not content to turn the bathrooms of the western world into chambers of low-flushing horrors, some environmentalists have a new target:  toilets as such.  They want to make sure they "save water" by preventing developing countries from installing any flush toilets at all.

Rand Paul and the 19-Year Libertarian War on Low-Flow Toilets.  [Scroll down]  The low-flow (1.6 gallon) limit on toilets was instituted with the 1992 Energy Policy Act, signed into law by George H.W. Bush.  Prior to that, toilets used anywhere from 3.5 to 5 gallons, according to major toilet manufacturer American Standard.  In 1999, then-Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) introduced a law to repeal the restriction, along with other efficiency standards for faucets, showerheads and urinals instituted in the 1992 bill.

Somewhat related...
Trying to Avoid Regulations? The Department of Energy is Not Amused.  Last month, the Department of Energy issued a "Showerhead Enforcement Guidance" related to flow standards through consumer showerheads.  You see, it turns out that "efficiency standards" tend to upset people, as it usually leads to products being outlawed that people really like.  What happened was that certain showerhead manufacturers were taking a bit of creative license in interpreting the definition of a "showerhead," and selling showerheads that (by the DOE's standards) exceeded the maximum allowable 2.5 gallons per minute.

Banning Toilet Paper:

Going Back In Time.  What sort of future are green groups pushing us toward?  If they get their way, it will be one that won't look much different than the world our great-grandparents were born into.  While some want to put an end to soft toilet paper, the Brits are moving toward a regime in which workers who discharge "more than their fair share of carbon emissions" will have their pay docked.  Meanwhile, in California, regulators are hoping to ban big-screen TVs.

Environmentalists Seek to Wipe Out Plush Toilet Paper.  There is a battle for America's behinds.  It is a fight over toilet paper... The reason, they say, is that plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old.  They want Americans, like Europeans, to wipe with tissue made from recycled paper goods.

The March Of The New Luddites:  Global-warming alarmists now want to limit our use of toilet paper.  What's next, one-room shacks with bamboo fences?  Don't laugh.  That's also on their list of recommendations.

Live Green, Die Green.  The media have been all over stories of eccentric families' toilet paperless lifestyles and their green weddings, but now CNN has pushed the peripheries of ecological awareness to the end of life by making the case for a green funeral.


Halt use of biofuels to ease food crisis, says green group.  Governments should put a moratorium on the use of biofuels and lift bans on genetic modification of crops, a green campaigning group has urged, in the face of a growing global food crisis that threatens to engulf developing nations.  Ending the EU's requirement for biofuels alone would free up about a fifth of the potential wheat exports from Ukraine, and even more of its maize exports, enough to make a noticeable difference to stretched food supplies, according to analysis by the campaign group RePlanet.  About 3.3 m[illion] tonnes of wheat were used in 2020 as feedstock for EU biofuels, and Ukraine's 2020 wheat exports came to about 16.4 [million] tonnes.  About 6.5 [million] tonnes of maize was also used for EU biofuels, compared with about 24 [million] tonnes exported from Ukraine the same year.

Biden Admin to Reverse Trump-Era 'Conscience' Exemption for Healthcare Workers.  The Biden Administration's Department Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that it plans to eliminate a policy implemented during the Trump Administration that allows healthcare workers to cite religious or moral beliefs when seeking exemptions from performing certain acts in the line of duty.  According to Politico, a spokesperson for HHS said that "we are in the rulemaking process" when it comes to the policy in question.  The conscience exemption, first announced in 2018 and fully implemented in 2019, allows medical professionals to refuse to perform certain operations, including abortions and "gender transition" surgeries, if such acts violate their moral or religious values.  The decision was celebrated by far-left pro-abortion groups that had previously sued the Trump Administration over the rule in question.  Leila Abolfazli, spokeswoman for the National Women's Law Center, said "there is so much to unravel," and that she was "encouraged that they have been working through all these pieces."

DOC Targets Biodiesel Dumping.  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced the affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  The Commerce Department determined that exporters from these countries sold biodiesel in the United States at more than 60 percent less than fair value.  As a result of the decisions, the DOC will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers based on these final rates.  In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million, respectively.  The petitioner is the National Biodiesel Fair Trade Coalition, which is composed of the National Biodiesel Board and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.

Biodiesel worse for the environment than fossil fuels, warn green campaigners.  Instead of reducing them, using biodiesel in transport will increase polluting emissions by 4%, the same as putting an extra 12 million cars on the road in 2020, green campaigners have said.  Biodiesel is touted as one way to decarbonise the EU's transport sector.  But, according to NGO Transport and Environment (T&E), using it is actually worse for the environment than traditional fossil fuels.

Man gets 20 years for 'huge' biofuels scam.  Joseph Furando also will have to pay restitution of $56 million and give up a million-dollar home, a Ferrari, artwork and two biodiesel-powered motorcycles under the sentence imposed Thursday [1/7/2016] by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indiana's Southern District.  According to the Department of Justice, from 2007 through 2012, Furando and Tracy Pattison, a 27-year-old Ridgewood resident, worked with a company called E-Biofuels to falsely label their products as high market, pure biodiesel, according to authorities.

USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack announces $91 million in support for biomass plant.  Tom Vilsack, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced a $91 million loan guarantee from the federal government to help build a biomass fuel plant in Louisiana.  Vilsack traveled to Baton Rouge on Friday [10/3/2014] to make the announcement.  He said the plant could have a "profound impact" on agriculture in America.

A World Turning Against Biofuels.  The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suddenly reversed its support for biofuels.  The panel now admits growing crops for fuel "poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity."

Five Things You Can Do About Climate Change.  [#4] Reduce Emissions In Transit:  The key thing here is to avoid electric cars. [...] Avoid also using bio-fuels, one of the most environmentally damaging forms of energy available.  In Asia and Africa, the demand in the West for mandated bio-fuels has led to the replacement of rainforest with plantations of industrial palm oil; it has also driven up food prices by diverting agricultural land for food production, thus harming the world's poor who are especially vulnerable to starvation.

Navy Captain Guns Down Biofuels.  [Scroll down]  Now comes one of the Navy's best and brightest, Captain T.A. Ike Keifer.  In March, Keifer, an aviator who has been deployed seven times and spent 21 months in Iraq, published a scathing indictment of the biofuels sector in Strategic Studies Quarterly, the U.S. Air Force's most-prestigious journal.

EPA's fuel folly.  [Scroll down]  In 2010, the first year of the mandate, EPA projected that 5 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels would be available.  In fact, there were none.  In 2011, EPA increased the mandate to 6.5 million gallons.  Again, the actual amount available was zero.  Undeterred, in 2012, EPA increased the required amount to 8.5 million gallons.  The actual available amount was 25,000 gallons.  Since it is impossible to comply with the mandate to use this phantom fuel, EPA is effectively taxing the industry.  This tax is passed to consumers in the form of higher gas prices.  EPA's overestimates are part of an intentional strategy.

Another Made Up Mandate on Energy that Doesn't Exist.  The dream to "achieve" is cellulosic biofuel or ethanol — which has an admirable goal of producing a renewable transportation fuel without impacting the world's food supply.  Different from corn- or sugar-based ethanol — which is technologically achievable (with questionable benefits) — cellulosic ethanol is made from wood chips, switchgrass, and agricultural waste, such as corn cobs.  The problem is the dream doesn't match reality.

Judge rules EPA can't mandate use of nonexistent biofuels.  The court sided with the country's chief oil and gas lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, in striking down the 2012 EPA mandate that would have forced refineries to purchase more than $8 million in credits for 8.65 million of gallons of the cellulosic biofuel.  However, none of the biofuel is commercially available.

Biofuels benefit billionaires.  Biofuels will serve the interests of large industrial groups rather than helping to cut carbon emissions and ward off climate change, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Environment and Health this month.

U.S. Navy Sails the Ocean Green.  On Friday June 29 a U.S. Navy carrier strike group set sail from Puget Sound to participate in "Rim of the Pacific" maneuvers.  More than 20 nations are involved in the six-week maneuvers, which featured a key difference for the American fleet.  The carriers had filled up on biofuel at a cost of nearly $27 a gallon, more than seven times as high as the usual $3.60 a gallon of conventional fuel.  The massive cost increase is the result of President Obama linking the national security of the United States to his own environmental agenda.

The Navy offers a rebuttal:
Navy: We'll Never, Ever Overpay for Biofuels.  Last week, [Wired magazine's] Danger Room published a critical look at the Navy's efforts to launch a renewable-powered "Great Green Fleet" — and kickstart the market for biofuels in the process.  Not surprisingly, the Navy's leadership had all sorts of objections to the piece.  But they took particular exception to the section about the price of the biofuel.  A Pentagon-sponsored study says that the Navy could spend as much as $1.76 billion annually for all the biofuel they've promised to use by 2020.  In this exclusive op-ed, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Tom Hicks says the Navy will never pay that kind of premium.

Greens Bicker as EPA Frowns on Palm Oil Fuel.  Environmental activists are in disarray over a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision that transportation fuel made from palm oil does not produce sufficient environmental benefit to qualify as a renewable fuel under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Fraud Case Shows Holes in Exchange of Fuel Credits.  Gary L. Miller knew something was afoot in the garage rented out behind his auto equipment business.  Through an open door, Mr. Miller glimpsed piles of pipes, polyethylene tanks and pumps.  But nothing was hooked up.  Nothing was being made.  So it came as a surprise — to say the least — when he learned that the tenant, Rodney R. Hailey, had told a federal agency that he would produce millions of gallons of biodiesel fuel there.

Getting burned by biofuels.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implement a Renewable Fuel Standard forcing fuel refiners to dilute their petroleum products with vegetable oil, corn, algae and animal fat so companies that label themselves "green" would reap a financial windfall. [...] As this is an entirely artificial market that serves no purpose other than to make politicians and their political donors happy, it's rife with fraud.

Derided as fraud, Baldwin alternative energy company draws interest from Canadian investor.  A trial in Mobile's federal court in 2009 appeared to expose a Baldwin County company's alternative energy operation as a fraud, but that has not stopped investors' interest in the Bay Minette-area plant.  A bankruptcy plan approved by a judge this month hinges on a Canadian company's ability to borrow millions of dollars to buy the plant built by Cello Energy.  If successful, most Cello creditors would get paid.  If not, the judge could dismiss the bankruptcies of the company and the estate of Cello's founder, the late Jack W. Boykin.

Green Obama's latest: airport biofields.  John Deere combines will be landing at the nation's 15,079 airports soon if President Obama and his green energy team get their way.  Seemingly dead set against drilling for more fossil fuels, the administration is eyeing an unusual idea of turning airports into biofuel producers, planting grasses that can be brewed into ethanol.  But there's a hitch:  they first have to figure out which grasses won't attract deer and birds that could get in the way of fast-moving aircraft.

The Editor says...
Once again, the tree-hugging earth-worshiping big-government environmentalists apparently haven't considered the potential unintended consequences:  Grass doesn't attract birds, but bugs do.  Suppose the birds show up to feast on the bugs, an airplane makes a noisy takeoff, the birds take flight right into the engines, and the plane crashes.  Then what have you gained?  America has no shortage of wide-open spaces (on government property or elsewhere) on which to perform such experiments.  Only a fool would think that an airport is a good place to grow crops.

McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending.  The Navy's push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a "Solyndra situation" for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today [3/15/2012].  During Tuesday's [3/13/2012] hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) compared the now-bankrupt solar energy company, into which the White House sank $535 million in loan guarantees, to Navy-led efforts in alternative energy.

Sapphire in the Rough:
$100M in federal money; 36 jobs created.  The federal government awarded Sapphire Energy, a green energy concern, more than $100 million for a project that is behind schedule, has only created a fraction of its expected jobs, and is, according to some experts, at least a decade away from creating a viable product.  Founded in 2007, Sapphire is working to develop algal biofuel — a replacement to crude oil made from algae and able to be refined into gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel.

Draft EPA report:  Biofuels threaten habitat, water quality.  A draft Environmental Protection Agency report concludes that expanded production of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel carries an array of ecological risks in the U.S. and other nations, and calls for improved policies to mitigate these harms.  The report is required under a 2007 energy law that vastly increased the national biofuels mandate but also called for new analysis of the ecological effects of expanded development.

The Biofuels Scam.  Since 2007 the price of food around the world has just about doubled.  Bad harvests, inflation, or George Bush didn't cause this price increase.  According to a secret report from the World Bank, reported in the UK's Guardian, 75% of the increase in price has one source:  "Biofuels."  This contrasts with US claims of only a 3% biofuels-caused increase.  The World Bank also says that rising food prices have pushed 100 million people worldwide below the poverty line.  Riots have been sparked from Bangladesh to Egypt.  Where is the outrage?  Where are the MSNBC stories on food riots?

It Doesn't Take a Rocket Scientist….  [Here]'s what has been happening in the fuel tanks of trucks across Minnesota because of the biodiesel mandate that was put into effect last year.  Over 60% of the diesel trucks in the state have had their fuel tanks and fuel filters gummed up by the soybean oil that the government forced into the fuel tanks.

Biodiesel is now slightly cheaper than regular diesel.  While soaring fuel costs are the bane of most businesses, Oregon makers of biodiesel are celebrating.  Their product now is cheaper than the stuff that comes out of the ground.

Orang-utans home destroyed for bio-diesel.  The Orang-utans of Borneo are facing an unprecedented threat as their habitat is destroyed to satisfy increasing global demands for bio-fuel.  As jungles are rapidly replaced by palm oil plantations, the great apes starve and are hunted, mutilated, burnt and snared by workers protecting their crops.  At a rehabilitation centre run by the charity Borneo Orang-utan Survival, there are more than 600, mostly orphaned babies.

Green Tech Defined:  Remember the local news headline where the science teacher converted his '82 Volvo wagon to run on the grease from McDonald's?  The press, fellow teachers, and students swooned at how green-conscious and forward-looking the teacher was.  Not surprisingly, no student asked if there were enough burger joints to power a lot of cars and, if there were, whether or not the infrastructure (e.g., gas stations) to distribute French Fry Fuel exists.  [This is an example of] technology that seems visionary but whose "Green" value is illusory because the real environmental or financial costs are concealed, or the widespread adoption of the technology is impossible, or because it is financially unavailable to most Americans.

Biofuel:  Bad for the Environment?  Two new studies released Thursday [4/10/2008] call into question the global movement toward biofuel.  According to these researchers, production of biofuel actually contributes to global warming, doing more harm than good.

Biofuels may harm more than help.  Biofuels, championed for reducing energy reliance, boosting farm revenues and helping fight climate change, may in fact hurt the environment and push up food prices, a study suggested on Tuesday [9/11/2007].  In a report on the impact of biofuels, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said biofuels may "offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal".

A New 'Green' Body Count Begins.  Biofuels have turned out to be a lose-lose-lose proposition.  Once touted by the greens and the biofuel industry as being able to reduce the demand for oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels have accomplished neither goal and have no prospect for accomplishing either in the foreseeable future.

Chinese Demand Sends Christmas Tree Prices Soaring.  Demand for Christmas trees is rising due to increasing exports and the growing number of single-person households.  Meanwhile the supply of trees has decreased because several thousand hectares of tree plantations in Germany have been given over to more profitable uses, such as lucrative biofuel crops.

Pollution Is Called a Byproduct of a 'Clean' Fuel.  After residents of the Riverbend Farms subdivision noticed that an oily, fetid substance had begun fouling the Black Warrior River, which runs through their backyards, Mark Storey, a retired petroleum plant worker, hopped into his boat to follow it upstream to its source.  It turned out to be an old chemical factory that had been converted into Alabama's first biodiesel plant, a refinery that intended to turn soybean oil into earth-friendly fuel.

D1 Oils says US subsidies have forced it to shut UK refineries.  The enormous damage being done by "splash-and-dash" imports of American biodiesel was highlighted yesterday when one of the UK's leading operators, D1 Oils, said it was closing down all its refining operations in Britain after running up a £46m annual loss.

Biofuels under fire at International Energy Forum.  Biofuels, once seen as a key factor in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, are behind the current global food crisis, major oil producers and consumers charged at an energy forum here on Monday [4/21/2008].

Rush to biofuels leaves a world of emptier plates.  In early 2007, two University of Minnesota economists forecast that biofuels would sharply increase food prices by 2020, leading to a steep rise in the number of empty bellies in the world.  How wrong they were.  Soaring rates of hunger didn't take a generation.  It took a year.

Gore Ducks, as a Backlash Builds Against Biofuel.  In an interview last year, Mr. Gore expressed his support for corn-based ethanol, but endorsed moving to what he called a "third generation" of so-called cellulosic ethanol production, which is still in laboratory research.  "It doesn't compete with food crops, so it doesn't put pressure on food prices," the former vice president told Popular Mechanics magazine.

Feeling blue over trying to be green:  Two papers, in the journal Science, rocked the biofuels world by claiming that plant-based fuels cause more greenhouse-gas emissions than dirty, evil old oil.  The reason is that it takes land to grow fuel.  That inevitably leads to the destruction of forests and grasslands, the studies say.

Repeal the MN Biodiesel Mandate — Do It for the (Frostbitten) Children!!.  All schools in the Bloomington School District will be closed today after state-required biodiesel fuel clogged in school buses Thursday morning and left dozens of students stranded in frigid weather, the district said late Thursday.  Rick Kaufman, the district's spokesman, said elements in the biodiesel fuel that turn into a gel-like substance at temperatures below 10 degrees clogged about a dozen district buses Thursday morning.

Montana Biodiesel Producer Owes Farmers $1.2M For Last Year's Crop.  A Montana biodiesel company, which has received more than $1.6 million in grants and loans from the state and a regional economic development corporation, owes farmers in Montana and North Dakota $1.2 million for crops grown last year.

How Government Botches Biofuels.  Biofuels were originally conceived as the fuel of choice for automobiles when the internal combustion engine was first developed.  Biofuels later re-emerged as a possible alternative to petroleum for our liquid fuel needs.  Proponents touted biofuels as carbon neutral, and possible to generate not only from crops like corn and sugar cane, but also from agricultural or industrial waste like wood chips and bagasse, leftover material from sugar-cane production in southern Gulf states like Louisiana.

Medvedev slams biofuel producers at grain summit.  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has urged countries to switch to non-food sources of biofuel to prevent the spread of hunger in a world where every sixth person is malnourished.  "We are advocating production of biofuel from other, non-food sources," Mr Medvedev said in a speech inaugurating the launch of a global grain summit in his native Saint Petersburg.

When scientific fraud kills millions.  Scientific fraud often ends up killing people. ... The medical truth about the AIDS epidemic, that it was communicated by anal intercourse, especially among men, was suppressed for decades, causing thousands of more young men to die.  And now it seems that the global warming fraud, just one aspect of broader EcoFraud, is killing people in the Third World.  The proximate cause?  A doubling of food prices.  Why?  Because of the diversion of food crops to biofuels.

Hidden EU Analysis:  Biofuels Can Produce More CO2 Emissions Than Fossil Fuels.  Reuters reports that it used freedom of information laws to obtain a copy of text that was stripped from a December 2009 European Union study on biofuels.  The hidden portion of the study found that biodiesel fuel made from North American soybeans has an indirect carbon footprint of 339.9 kilograms of CO2 per gigajoule — about four times larger than standard diesel from petroleum.

Millions unaccounted for in biodiesel fraud case.  A federal prosecutor said Thursday that the government has recovered only a third of the $9 million that authorities charge a Perry Hall businessman with taking from his customers in a massive biofuel fraud scheme.  The businessman, Rodney R. Hailey, president of the now-shuttered Clean Green Fuel, appeared in U.S. District Court for what had been scheduled as an arraignment.  But Hailey surprised prosecutors by not going through with a guilty plea that they said he had agreed to before the proceeding.

Biofuel fraud case puts industry under scrutiny.  On its website, Clean Green Fuel offered customers "a unique blend of biodiesel" made from vegetable oil that would produce less air pollution and help reduce the nation's dependence on petroleum.  But according to federal charging documents, company owner Rodney R. Hailey didn't produce any biodiesel.  Instead, prosecutors charge, he generated and sold more than $9 million worth of credits for nonexistent renewable fuel, using the proceeds to buy a five-bedroom house in Perry Hall, diamond jewelry and more than two dozen cars and trucks, including a Rolls Royce, a pair of Bentleys and a Lamborghini.

Opposing viewpoint regarding biodiesel:
Olive Biodiesel Biofuel Bioenergy.  Olive Trees live 200-400 years, sometimes more; the oldest olive tree on Earth is nearly 5000 years old.  The oil can be catalyzed cold or processed hot into Bio-Diesel.  The remaining pulp can be fermented into ethyl alcohol.  The wood chips of the pruned limbs can be turned into methanol.

More information filed under Ethanol is not such a great idea.

Fluoride in the Public Water Supply:

Another Conspiracy Theory Win; It's Getting Depressing.  The case for putting fluoride in water has always seemed particularly weak to me, not because there is no evidence that fluoride can strengthen teeth but because of its topical application mechanism.  Consuming fluoride is actually bad for your bones and hence, your teeth, at least in higher quantities.  It is called fluorosis.  The NIH has a paper on the positive and negatives regarding fluoridation, which helps explain why it is very uncommon in Europe, where most countries have ceased the practice of adding the substance to drinking water.

Higher fluoride levels in pregnant women tied to children's neurobehavioral problems.  Higher fluoride levels in pregnant women are linked to increased odds of their children exhibiting neurobehavioral problems at age 3, according to a new study led by a University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions researcher.  The findings, based on an analysis involving 229 mother-child pairs living in a U.S. community with typical fluoride exposure levels for pregnant women in fluoridated regions in North America, appear May 20 in the journal JAMA Network Open.  It is believed to be the first U.S.-based study to examine associations of prenatal fluoride exposure with parent-reported child neurobehavioral issues, which include symptoms of anxiety, difficulty regulating emotions and other complaints, such as stomachaches and headaches.

The Truth Exposed Under Oath:  Water Fluoridation Must End.  Many of us have protested fluoridation before the Dallas City Council for the last twelve years.  We have alerted the Dallas City Council to the individual and generational harm from consuming fluoridated water that begins in the mother's womb and child's developing brain.  The neonatal brain is very fragile.  Many chemical toxins permanently scar the developing brain of a child, but when they are combined, their poisonous effect is multiplied.  We have provided the Council and our Dallas media have been given countless documents, scientific references and videos to back our claims.  Science, medical and dental experts appeared before the Council in order to answer all questions, with the data to back their replies.  But no one in Dallas is asking the questions.

Fluoride does NOT protect teeth from cavities, large-scale government study proves.  A recently published and very large government study has revealed that there is zero benefit to drinking fluoridated water as far as dental health is concerned.  The paper out of England states that fluoridation results in a mere two percent fewer cavities than non-fluoridation, two percent being a statistically insignificant figure that might as well be zero percent. Also, fluoridation does not prevent teeth from falling out.  The longstanding claim that artificially fluoridating water results in net economic benefits by lowering public dental costs is also a myth, the study states.  To the contrary, fluoridating water results in a net economic loss when considering the capital costs of doing it.

Lawyer In Landmark Fluoride Trial: 'Fluoridation Violates Informed Consent'.  Fluoride should be banned from drinking water and the U.S. government must warn people — especially pregnant mothers — about the serious health risks of drinking fluoridated water, attorney Michael Connett told journalist Kim Iversen.  Connett is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in a landmark federal trial on the neurotoxicity of water fluoridation brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The trial — which resumed today after a four-year pause — seeks to prohibit the addition of fluoride to water.  The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco set aside nine days for testimony and cross-examination of experts and fact witnesses.

Fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn scientists.  Fluoride could be causing depression and weight gain and councils should stop adding it to drinking water to prevent tooth decay, scientists have warned.  A study of 98 percent of GP practices in England found that high rates of underactive thyroid were 30 per cent more likely in areas of the greatest fluoridation.  It could mean that up to 15,000 people are suffering needlessly from thyroid problems which can cause depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles.

Tooth and Nail: Fluoride Fight Cracks Portland's Left.  In the 1950s, after health authorities began fluoridating U.S. water supplies, they faced opposition from groups like the John Birch Society, which called it "an unconstitutional mass medication of the public." [...] The debate has prompted something of an existential crisis in this self-consciously liberal city, which votes Tuesday on whether to overturn the city council's 2012 decision to fluoridate.  Citizens who pride themselves on tolerance are divided on the appropriately progressive response to fluoridated water:  Is it an intrusion into personal liberty, or a compassionate public health measure?

Pinellas County Removes Fluoride from Tap Water.  Pinellas County, Florida county commissioners voted 4-3 to stop fluoridating tap water for some of the county's residents.  The decision is expected to save the county approximately $205 million per year, but it has angered health advocates who claim the lack of fluoridation will harm dental health and cost county residents far more in higher dental bills.

Fluoride:  Friend or Foe?  Fluoride is a known toxin, slightly less toxic than arsenic and more poisonous than lead.  The industrial chemicals used to fluoridate over 90 percent of fluoridated water in the United States, (fluorosilicate acid and sodium silicofluoride), are by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry and have never been tested for safety or effectiveness.

The Fluoride Deception.  In a society where asbestos, lead, silica, beryllium and many other carcinogens have found their way into the marketplace and then been recalled, one has to wonder why fluoride, so toxic it is used as a rat poison and pesticide, is embraced so thoroughly and so blindly.

Citizens uniting against fluoride.  A group of private citizens in San Diego County is planning to file a large-scale lawsuit in federal court against public water districts and challenge the constitutionality of using industrial-grade hydrofluosilicic acid to fluoridate drinking water.

Fluoride:  Miracle drug or toxic-waste killer?  While few would argue that topical application of minute amounts of fluoride on teeth would reduce cavities, deliberately ingesting it — even in trace amounts — is risky.  The fluoride added to public drinking water is actually fluorosilic acid.  It is described by critics as an industrial waste product.  Supporters prefer to call it an industry byproduct.  Most of it has come from Florida's phosphate fertilizer industry.

Fluoridation:  Mind Control of the Masses.  "At the end of the Second World War, the United States Government sent Charles Eliot Perkins, a research worker in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology, to take charge of the vast Farben chemical plants in Germany.  "While there he was told by the German chemists of a scheme which had been worked out by them during the war and adopted by the German General Staff.  "This was to control the population in any given area through mass medication of drinking water.  In this scheme, sodium fluoride occupied a prominent place.  "Repeated doses of infinitesimal amounts of fluoride will in time reduce an individual's power to resist domination by slowly poisoning and narcotising a certain area of the brain and will thus make him submissive to the will of those who wish to govern him.  "Both the Germans and the Russians added sodium fluoride to the drinking water of prisoners of war to make them stupid and docile."

Why I Changed My Mind About Water Fluoridation:  Large-scale surveys from United States, from Missouri and Arizona, have since revealed the same picture:  no real benefit to teeth from fluoride in drinking water.  For example, Professor Steelink in Tucson, AZ, ... found:  "When we plotted the incidence of tooth decay versus fluoride content in a child's neighborhood drinking water, a positive correlation was revealed.  In other words, the more fluoride a child drank, the more cavities appeared in the teeth".  From other lands — Australia, Britain, Canada, Sri Lanka, Greece, Malta, Spain, Hungary, and India — a similar situation has been revealed:  either little or no relation between water fluoride and tooth decay, or a positive one (more fluoride, more decay).

Organic food:

WHO's Tedros Declares War on Meat, Traditional Farming.  World Health Organization (WHO) head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared war on meat and traditional farming.  "Our food systems are harming the health of people and planet.  Food systems contribute to over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, and account for almost one-third of the global burden of disease.  Transforming food systems is therefore essential," Tedros said in a video message published last Thursday for the COP28 official event.  Earlier this month the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) rolled out its food guidance for first-world countries in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

The Editor says...
People who are starving don't care about greenhouse gases.  One would think a WHO official would understand something as elementary as that.

RFK Jr Wants to Ban Fertilizers.  Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised in his 2019 election campaign to transition the country's farmers to organic agriculture over a period of ten years.  In April 2019, Rajapaksa's government made good on that promise, imposing a nationwide ban on the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordering the country's two million farmers to go organic.  The result was brutal and swift.  Suddenly, these self-sufficient people had to import rice and other crops.  The bottom fell out of tea, rubber, and coconut, among other crops.  Sri Lanka's government collapsed over fertilizer bans, lockdowns, and mismanagement.  As of May, nothing has normalized, even six months after the fertilizer ban was lifted.  Some farmers will never try organic farming again, but some try combining organic with fertilizer.  That hasn't stopped any of the hard left from pushing for fertilizer bans.

Woman buys box of organic spinach that also contained a frog.  A Michigan woman purchased a box of organic baby spinach that came with a nasty surprise inside: a live frog.  In a report by FOX 2 Detroit, a photo showed the frog inside the box of Earthbound Farm baby spinach.

Fertilizer Shortage Puts World On Verge of Food Crisis.  The world is facing a long list of troubles often isolated to specific regions.  Still, one issue experts warn is just on the horizon is a global food shortage that is likely to threaten every country.  Farmers everywhere are already noting there is a shortage of fertilizers needed to keep crop yields at their highest levels to feed the nearly 8 billion people of the world.  Last year, for instance, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and author Michael Yon [says] that all of the 26 major plants in Europe that produce nitrogen-based fertilizers are either closed down or on the verge of closing.  This will lead to famine. [...]"

Netherlands to forcefully shut down 3,000 farms.  The Great Reset is in full gear in the Netherlands as the country's government moves to shut down thousands of farms.  To comply with the European Union's radical climate laws, the Dutch government of World Economic Forum acolyte Mark Rutte will force up to 3,000 farms to shut down for good.  Farmers will be made an offer on their farms, which the government claims is "well over" market value.  According to nitrogen minister Christianne van der Wal, the government purchase will be compulsory.  "There is no better offer coming," claimed van der Wal.  Recent EU nature preservation rules require member states to reduce emissions across sectors of the economy.  As one of Europe's most prominent farming nations, half of the Netherlands' emissions come from agricultural activity.  Rutte has warned that those who refuse to comply could face government force.

Netherlands to close up to 3,000 farms to comply with EU rules.  The Dutch government is planning to buy out and close as many as 3,000 farms in the country, exacerbating an already-bitter dispute with growers as leaders attempt to halve the country's nitrogen emissions by 2030.  Leaders said last week they plan to allocate some $25 billion to the buyout plan, which they will use to purchase between 2,000 and 3,000 Dutch farms and other large nitrogen emitters "well over" their property values.  If farmers do not agree to the plan, the buyouts could become compulsory.  "There is no better offer coming," Dutch Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal told members of parliament last week.  The plan comes as the Dutch government moves to halve its nitrogen emissions by 2030 in accordance with European Union conservation rules.  But to meet that target, the government estimates that 11,200 farms will have to close, and 17,600 others will have to reduce their livestock numbers significantly.

The Editor says...
Nitrogen emissions are not a plausible excuse for this action.  The atmosphere is already 78 percent nitrogen.  Nitrogen is not a pollutant, and the various nitrogen compounds resulting from (or essential to) farm work are not a real threat, either.  Certainly not a threat that justifies shutting off the food supply for millions of people.

Control Freaks and the Guilt Trip Travel Agency.  On April 2, 2007, the Supreme Court of the United States of American ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.  So much for the wisdom and efficacy of courts.  Carbon dioxide is critical to the life chemistry of plants.  Animal life depends on plant life.  Within reasonable limits, and as much as we understand from known history, there have been times when the atmosphere had more carbon dioxide and times when it had less.  Until very recently, these variations were not created by the activities of man.  When there was more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plant life flourished.  In those times, the potential for human life to flourish was greater.  [¶] The advance of technology in the Bronze Age and Iron Age allowed fewer men to feed more people and led to the green revolution of the 1950s and '60s, which allowed farmers to be much more productive.  Critical to this was the Haber-Bosch process, which allowed nitrogen fixation and created ammonia and artificial fertilizer.  Without this artificial fertilizer, farm productivity could not support the current population of the Earth.  Farm machinery depends on fossil fuels, and the Haber-Bosch process depends on methane, which is the main component in natural gas.  [¶] If you reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plant life will decline.  If you reduce the production of energy from fossil fuels, farm production will decline.  If you reduce the production of natural gas, nitrogen fixation using the Haber-Bosch process will decline.  Each of these declines will reduce the productivity of farming.  [¶] If you reduce the productivity of farming, life will become nasty, brutish, and short again.

Climate War on Nitrous Oxide Threatens Starvation.  A climate-inspired war on nitrous oxide (N2O) is threatening the global food supply.  At risk are the viability of modern agricultural businesses and the very lives of the people who consume their plant and animal products.  Fanned by climate alarmists, fears that nitrous oxide — a greenhouse gas — is contributing to global warming are driving some world leaders to promote restrictions on its emission from croplands, livestock pastures and greenhouses.  Nitrogen-based fertilizers make up 56 percent of global fertilizer consumption, thus playing an essential role in enriching soil fertility to increase yields and maintaining food security.  Experts project that just over half of the planet's population could be sustained without nitrogen fertilizer.  In other words, almost half of the world's people would starve without it.

Going Hungry Under Green Policies.  United Nations officials now tell politicians that the climate "crisis" demands countries make all sorts of sacrifices, like cutting nitrogen waste.  Much of that waste comes from synthetic fertilizer, so activists applauded when Sri Lanka's government decided to become the first country to really take their advice.  Sri Lanka banned all synthetic fertilizers.  Oops.  Suddenly, the same farms produced much less food.  Food prices rose 80%.  One result: riots.  As my new video shows, thousands swarmed the president's mansion.  Some had a cookout on his lawn.  The president resigned and fled the country.  It turns out that we need chemical fertilizers.

In Sri Lanka, Organic Farming Went Catastrophically Wrong.  Faced with a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis, Sri Lanka called off an ill-conceived national experiment in organic agriculture this winter.  Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised in his 2019 election campaign to transition the country's farmers to organic agriculture over a period of 10 years.  Last April, Rajapaksa's government made good on that promise, imposing a nationwide ban on the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordering the country's 2 million farmers to go organic.  The result was brutal and swift.  Against claims that organic methods can produce comparable yields to conventional farming, domestic rice production fell 20 percent in just the first six months.  Sri Lanka, long self-sufficient in rice production, has been forced to import $450 million worth of rice even as domestic prices for this staple of the national diet surged by around 50 percent.  The ban also devastated the nation's tea crop, its primary export and source of foreign exchange.

When it comes to America's food supply, leftist ideals clash with reality.  The illogical leftist mind contradicts its own ideas without a care for their destructive nature.  On the one hand, the greenies want everyone to eat a plant-based diet because meat and milk from animals are evil.  On the other hand, they want to eliminate commercial fertilizers and return completely to "organic" agriculture.  See any problems with these two disparate goals?  Fertilizer shortages are making news these days, and not just here in the USA.  Of course, the shortage is being blamed on our catch-all, ubiquitous "supply chain" issues and Putin, especially since many of these products are made of components from overseas. [...] Samantha Power says she's happy about it, as she told George Stephanopoulos, because the shortage will help us move toward "natural" agriculture.  In Sri Lanka, in April, the national government decreed that the country would return to 100% organic agriculture.  It banned fertilizer imports, but then reality set in.  Sri Lanka has now partially rescinded its decree because dire results were predicted — a 43% diminution in crop yields.

Where a push to become world's first 100% organic farming nation has led to catastrophe.  The green agenda often backfires when governments embrace it either as a means of placating militant environmentalists, or as a half-assed attempt to take a short cut to some sort of utopian future where evil petrochemicals no longer are used.  We see plenty of examples of the former, where Americans are paying far more at the gas pump because Biden shut down the Keystone Pipeline and is hobbling domestic oil and gas production, and where Germans are shivering and electricity prices are soaring because coal and nuclear power plants have been shut down.  But the latter path also carries disaster in its wake, as Sri Lanka has discovered.

Pareto Speaks to Us About Environmentalism.  The emotional core of the belief [in global warming] is fear of modern technology.  Global warming is only the latest of a string of, doomsday scenarios, justified by dubious scientific claims, dating back as far as the 1940's. [...] These scares have in common the theme that modern technology is backfiring.  The scares play to and promote this emotional belief.  To many people, technology is an object of suspicion and fear.  There is romantic nostalgia for an idealized simpler time in the past.  For example, the organic food movement basically advocates growing food by restricting technology to that used prior to about 1930.  This is based on the idea that pesticides and synthetic fertilizer is harmful, a belief that is scientifically not supportable.  Plants don't care whether they get nitrogen from synthetic fertilizer or chicken manure.  Pesticides used to kill insects are not passed into the food product except in microscopic, harmless quantities.  The advocates of organic farming don't mention that half the world population would starve if their less productive farming schemes were universally adopted.

The organic industry is built upon a gigantic lie.  The majority of American believe that organic foods are healthier than food grown using conventional methods.  Two systematic reviews turned up no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or lead to better health-related outcomes for consumers.  A landmark study published in 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers at Stanford University's Center for Health Policy aggregated and analyzed data from 237 studies to determine whether organic foods are safer or healthier than non-organic foods.  They concluded that fruits and vegetables that met the criteria for 'organic' were on average no more nutritious than their far cheaper conventional counterparts, nor were those foods less likely to be contaminated by pathogenic bacteria.  A report on how the US Department of Agriculture actually markets the organic label without any standard of certification doesn't do any field testing and, through its bureaucracy grew exponentially during the Obama administration, is driving up imports from China, Turkey, and other countries with disastrous safety records.

Video: Prager U ask whether it is worth paying more for organic food.  Is organic food worth the extra cost to shoppers?  If it were healthier for humans, animals, and the environment, maybe it would be.  But study after study shows that organic food is no better than conventional food, and may even be worse for the environment.

War On Science:  Gluten-Free Madness Needs to End.  Trump appointees to head the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to the contrary, the war on science isn't limited to conservatives.  Liberals have their own anti-science biases.  Where conservatives often reject science based on their literal interpretation of the Bible or due to an abhorrence of federal regulations, liberals appear to be motivated by a belief that all things natural are good, anything with a chemical name is bad, and everything that profits an industry is really bad (unless that industry makes dietary supplements).

Fighting Junk Science.  Some junk science lacks scientific support but catches the public imagination and is used by special interests to make money.  An example is organic food.  Organic food is food grown by methods popular prior to 1930.  The theory is that the old ways were somehow more pure and noble than modern methods.  This is only carried so far.  The shoppers at Whole Foods aren't wearing homespun clothes.  The government has generated regulations defining organic food and thus has bestowed legitimacy on a fad with little scientific basis.

The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture.  Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for.  On both counts, it's not good.  Many people who pay the huge premium — often more than a hundred percent — for organic foods do so because they're afraid of pesticides.  If that's their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture.  Although it's true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most "natural" ones are permitted.  However, "organic" pesticides can be toxic.

Has Whole Foods Finally Figured Out That Organic Foods Are Jaded And Overrated?  Whole Foods has introduced a rating system for produce and flowers, "Responsibly Grown," which is based on a number of factors.  It has enraged organic farmers, who think that the designation "organic" automatically entitles them to superior ratings.  They're wrong.

If Your BS Detector Isn't Shrieking, It's Broken.  We now inhabit a world where virtually everything is a con.  That "organic" produce from some other country — did anyone test the soil the produce grew in?  It could be loaded with heavy metals and be certified "organic" because no pesticides were used during production.  But what about last year?  And the year before?  What's in the water used to irrigate the crops?

Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience.  Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods.  It's all pseudoscience — so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others?

Organic Shmorganic.  When my son was a baby, organic was a synonym for edible. [...] Fast-forward two years and my son is eating Shoprite strawberries for breakfast.  I support the principles of organic farming, for sure, but it can be hard to consistently pay $7 for a pint of something he'll go through in two days.  Plus, I can't help but wonder whether giving my son organic food really makes a difference to his health, considering that he's been known to lick the bottom of his shoes, kiss my poop-sniffing dog, and eat crackers — someone else's — off of the preschool floor.

The myth that organically grown foods are better for you and the environment.  Repeated, sound testing has shown that there is no substantial difference between organically grown food and conventionally grown food.  While it is always more expensive, organically grown food is not safer or healthier.  It is more expensive — often twice as expensive as conventionally grown food.  To those who see something moral in this earlier form of agriculture, it is worth noting that it requires more land — that is, [it] takes it away from other uses like housing and forest land for wildlife — it uses more labor and it takes more conventional energy if grown on smaller plots of land than does conventionally grown food grown on large plots.  There are, moreover, hidden health dangers in organically grown food.

Pediatricians raise doubts about the benefits of organic foods.  While organic fruits, vegetables and meats do offer less exposure to potentially harmful pesticides and drug-resistant bacteria, the American Academy of Pediatrics found no evidence that proves those foods are safer to eat than conventional offerings.

Organic Illusions.  A recent study by a group of scientists at Stanford University found that the nutritional benefits of organic food have, to say the least, been oversold.

The Whole Foods Hustle.  There is no discernible nutritional difference between food from the farmer's market and food from the supermarket, scientists report.  But there is a dramatic price variation, and that status separation was the point all along.  People don't pay for better-for-you.  They pay for better-than-you.

E.Coli in Organic Food Leads to 50 Dead in Germany.  As everyone knows, Mother Nature not only knows best but means us no harm:  and therefore, the less we mess around with her and her products, the better.  Although many people may have remarked, more in sorrow than in anger, how small and shriveled organic vegetables often appear by comparison with those that have been treated with chemicals, it is obvious that they (the organic ones) must be better for us because they are nearer to what Mother Nature intended.  This item of faith took something of a knock recently with the outbreak of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli food poisoning in Germany.  It was no small matter:  more than 4000 people suffered from it and more than 50 died.

Down On The Farm.  Aren't organic fruits and vegetables superior to conventionally grown food?  Shouldn't consumers always choose organic when given a choice?  Not necessarily, says a Scientific American blogger.

Irradiate the Manure in 'Organic' Farming.  Where are the mass protests by "Greens" in Germany over the proven deadly "organic farming" industry?  The answer, of course, is that Organic Farming — which relies upon animal fecal-matter as natural fertilizer — is a politically-correct enterprise akin to environmentalism and therefore ipso-facto above reproach by liberals and the mainstream press.  But facts are facts, and the present practice of organic farming — wherein deadly-germs present in untreated manure can contaminate the food produce — is proven to be massively deleterious to human health.

Food Is Much Safer Than You Think.  It appears increasingly clear that the E. coli outbreak, which as of June 12 has killed 35 people and made another 3,250 or so extremely sick, originated with bean sprouts grown on an organic farm in the north of Germany.  There has been a huge amount written about the outbreak, particularly about the government's feckless response.  And yet — curiously — I haven't heard any of the critics calling for draconian regulations on organics, much less for the dismantling of this still small, and thus readily terminable, component of the food industry.

The Organic Food Scam.  Once, years ago, I was in a Midwestern State talking with a farmer.  I raised the question of how much pesticide he used on his crop to ward off or kill insect predators or, in the case of weeds, how much herbicide.  "Look, my family and I eat a part of what I grow," he said.  "Do you think I am going to put anything on the crop that would endanger them?"  Good answer.

Nature's Toxic Tools:  The Organic Myth of Pesticide-Free Farming.  It is important to address the common misperception that organic farming is "pesticide-free."  Organic farmers are allowed to use a number of toxic chemical pesticides, and many organic crops are routinely sprayed with pesticides. [PDF]

Organic farming 'no better for the environment'.  Organic food may be no better for the environment than conventional produce and in some cases is contributing more to global warming than intensive agriculture, according to a government report.  The first comprehensive study of the environmental impact of food production found there was "insufficient evidence" to say organic produce has fewer ecological side-effects than other farming methods.

Poison bug 'more likely to be found in organic chickens'.  Organic chickens sold by leading supermarkets have been labelled a health threat by a damning investigation.  Researchers claim they are more likely to carry the deadly food poisoning bug campylobacter than factory farmed chicken.  As many as nine in ten of the organic chickens showed up positive for the bug.

Reasons you should buy regular goods:  Companies marketing organic products, and your local grocery chain, want you to think organic food is safer and healthier, because their profit margins are vastly higher on organic foods.  The USDA Organic label does not mean that there is any difference between organic and regular food products.  Organic farms simply employ different methods of food production.

Activism Disguised As Science.  A new study published in an alternative agriculture journal has gained widespread attention by claiming that organic farming not only could adequately feed the world, it might even yield more food and require less farmland.  It is a truly sensational claim.  In science, the more sensational the claim, the more robust the evidence needed to support it.  This time, the evidence doesn't stack up.

The Problem With Organic Food:  Organic food has garnered an extraordinary amount of attention from the media and, along with "local" food, is a darling of foodies and environmentalists, who talk up its civic virtues and benefits to the environment.  There's just one problem with this:  agriculture has moved away from small-scale, local, and organic farming because these types of farms are land- and labor-intensive and don't do a very good job of feeding lots of people.  In addition, they are not definitively better for the environment, and their growth would lead to higher food prices than most Americans are willing to pay.

Organic Failure.  Henry Waxman is at it again.  The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade-climate change bill, which has been called the largest tax bill in history because it would levy a national tax on energy use, narrowly passed the House in late June and is still pending in the Senate, but the California Democrat has already moved on to his next bad idea:  trying to save the nation's populace by making farmlands sterile, so that only organic foods can be grown.

Worse than global warming.  Go on, eat organic food if you like, spend more than you would on ordinary food and dream that it somehow makes you healthier than you would be and the world more ecologically sound, but find time to pray that not too many others emulate you.  It would be an incredible catastrophe if everyone went organic. ... Growing organic food is supposedly kinder to land than growing food by ordinary means, but it consumes enormously more land per unit produced.  One reported estimate is that no forests would be left if you tried to supply total human food needs this way, and that, even then, many would starve.

Organic food is just a tax on the gullible.  A few years ago my wife decided we should have an entirely organic vegetable garden. To this end she refused all man-made fertilisers and ordered a truckload of pigeon droppings. What could be more natural?  Neither was there anything unnatural in the germs I inhaled through the spores of our organic manure, thereby contracting psittacosis.  This developed into "atypical" pneumonia, which was of course resistant to all standard antibiotics.  Had a hospital doctor not guessed the cause and put me on a drip with the appropriate drugs — ooh, chemicals! — I could have become a fatal casualty of the organic movement.  Obviously my wife might have ordered cow manure rather than pigeon poo; then I could have been felled by E coli instead.

Wheat, Yes, Wheat!  Dr. David Bragg, Ph.D., an extension entomologist, recently enumerated the insect pests that can be depended upon to attack wheat.  They include the Russian Wheat Aphid, the Ladybird Beetle, the English Grain Aphid and Rosy Grass Aphid.  Then there's the Haanchen Barley Mealybug and Wireworm Beetle Larvae, as well as the False Wireworm, the Cereal Leaf Beetle, Cutworms and Armyworms.  By no means should we leave out the Wheat Stem Maggot, the Wheat Stem Saw Fly, and the Wheat Joint Worm.  I want you to think about this army of insect predators the next time some environmental group is demanding that all pesticides be banned and that all grains and vegetables be grown "organically."

Benefits of organic food a 'myth'.  In a result that will provoke dismay and anger in the organics industry, the study's authors found that food grown without pesticides or herbicides should not be promoted as healthier because there was no evidence to show that it contained more nutrients than normal food.


The Editor says...
Recycling will stop as soon as it is a money-losing activity.  Curbside recycling will become more and more selective over the next few years:  Your city will gladly recycle your aluminum cans and newspapers, but they don't want glass, pizza boxes, or old computers.

Ain't Fooling Us.  This has to do with the communist methods of subjugating the population.  The video link is of someone who exposed the ruse of recycling for the good of the planet.  [Video clip:  "This man put a GPS tracker in his recycling.  Here's where it ended up."]

The Editor says...
Since a cheap GPS tracker is not easily recyclable, it is no surprise that it ended up in the landfill.  If the GPS tracker had been incinerated at the recycling center, it would have disappeared, with the recycling center as it last known location.  That would have made everybody happy, but it wouldn't have been the desired outcome.

The Dangers Of Reusing Cooking Oil:  Study Finds Link To Neurodegeneration.  Deep-fried foods can be a delicious treat once in a while, but alarming new research is serving up a sobering reminder that these foods should be reserved for special occasions only.  Scientists have discovered higher levels of neurodegeneration among rats consuming reused deep fried cooking oils in comparison to other rodents following a healthier diet.  The team also found the same problems among the rats' offspring.

'They lied': plastics producers deceived public about recycling, report reveals.  Plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not an economically or technically feasible plastic waste management solution.  That has not stopped them from promoting it, according to a new report.  "The companies lied," said Richard Wiles, president of fossil-fuel accountability advocacy group the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report.  "It's time to hold them accountable for the damage they've caused."  Plastic, which is made from oil and gas, is notoriously difficult to recycle.  Doing so requires meticulous sorting, since most of the thousands of chemically distinct varieties of plastic cannot be recycled together.  That renders an already pricey process even more expensive.  Another challenge:  the material degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can generally only be reused once or twice.

Green Energy Waste Overlooked In Climate Agenda.  The amount of waste piling up from solar panels and wind turbine blades can be measured in tons.  And the industry is just getting started.  Almost all spent solar panels in the United States end up in landfills, and many first- and second-generation panels are already tapping out, well ahead of their anticipated 30-year lifespan.  Added to that will be an estimated 9.8 million metric tons of dead panels to deal with between 2030 and 2060, according to a study published in Science Direct.  Tossing a solar panel into a U.S. landfill currently costs about $1, maybe $2.  To recycle that same panel, the cost balloons to $20 to $30, according to an estimate reported by PV Magazine.  Wind turbine parts present a similar challenge, with thousands of blades having already found their way into dumps and fields in Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa.

On Second Thought, Just Throw Plastic Away.  Even Greenpeace has finally acknowledged the truth:  recycling plastic makes no sense.  This has been obvious for decades to anyone who crunched the numbers, but the fantasy of recycling plastic proved irresistible to generations of environmentalists and politicians.  They preached it to children, mandated it for adults, and bludgeoned municipalities and virtue-signaling corporations into wasting vast sums — probably hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide — on an enterprise that has been harmful to the environment as well as to humanity.  Now Greenpeace has seen the light, or at least a glimmer of rationality.  The group has issued a report accompanied by a press release headlined, "Plastic Recycling Is A Dead-End Street — Year After Year, Plastic Recycling Declines Even as Plastic Waste Increases."  The group's overall policy remains delusional — the report proposes a far more harmful alternative to recycling — but it's nonetheless encouraging to see environmentalists put aside their obsessions long enough to contemplate reality.

Summertime in SoCal, and with green recycling, here come the rats, roaches, flies and maggots.  [H]ere in San Diego, where we are under a state mandate to recycle our green garbage — food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard clippings — fresh new environmental problems are abounding.  According to local T.V. station KFMB:  ["] [...] Some people said they're concerned the waste could attract rodents and other animals.  "We understand it's something that people have to get used to and put into practice," said Director of Environmental Services Department, Renee Robertson.["]  Did I hear that right?  Did she just say we need to get used to having rats and roaches around the old middle-America ranch house now going for a million dollars on the market, with property taxes indexed to it?  I think that's what she's saying, because people are reporting problems because they use the government system.

Recycling is Bad for the Environment: Study.  Contrary to what climate activists have claimed for years, plastic recycling is polluting the water and air, a new study has found.  The peer-reviewed study led by Erina Brown, a plastics scientist at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, found that up to 13 percent of recycled plastics become microplastics, tiny particles smaller than five millimeters that pollute air and water, if wash water from recycling plants is not filtered.  Brown and her team studied wastewater at a mixed plastics recycling facility in the United Kingdom and found it could produce up to 6.5 million pounds of microplastic per year.  "The findings are certainly alarming enough that it's worthy of far more investigation and understanding of how widespread of an issue this might be," said Anja Brandon, associate director of U.S. plastics policy at Ocean Conservancy.

Study: Recycling is bad for the environment.  Here's something many of you probably suspected, but now there's even more scientific data to back it up.  A new study from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland has determined that recycling is not only failing to "save the planet" as we've long been promised, but it's arguably producing a net harmful effect on both the environment and human health.  In case that still comes as a surprise to you, the primary culprit in all of this is our old friend plastic.  The ubiquitous use of various types of plastics in nearly everything humans manufacture or use is producing cumulative negative effects.  And recycling really doesn't work as advertised to begin with.

The costly stupidity of the recycling religion.  For decades, we've been told:  Recycle!  "If we're not using recycled paper, we're cutting down more trees!" says Lynn Hoffman, co-president of Eureka Recycling.  Recycling paper (or cardboard) does save trees.  Recycling aluminum does save energy.  But that's about it.  The ugly truth is that many "recyclables" sent to recycling plants are never recycled.  The worst is plastic.  Even Greenpeace now says, "Plastic recycling is a dead-end street."  Hoffman often trucks it to a landfill.

It's Wish-Cycling, Not Recycling.  In local municipalities, townships, counties, and districts nationwide, a quiet yet insidious movement is underway to force the idiocy of zero-waste on citizens (and not just in California). Zero-waste is the misconception that everything (and I mean everything) that you would put in your trash should actually be put into one of several recycling receptacles for ultimate reuse.  And, of course, you will have to pay for the privilege at a much higher cost than for typical trash service.  The concept of zero-waste is cast as something that all sane, decent people should support.  A wonderful new world awaits, where there is no trash, no landfill, no pollution, and with all of our waste going to produce goods.  Who can oppose this? [...] To be successful in the long term, recycling must (1) stem from market demand for the final product, (2) be based on sound engineering, and (3) not require any subsidy unless the product is deemed strategic to security.  If any of these criteria are missing, recycling efforts will not simply fail, but they will result in an overall decline in quality of life.  This is worth repeating:  without market demand, sound engineering, and autonomous economic viability, any recycling effort will result in some combination of greater energy usage, lower productivity, a lower standard of living, and more pollution!  If a market demand exists for a recycled product, the demand for the raw materials used in its manufacture is assured without government interference.

Plastic Recycling Is a Dead-End Street.  Many cities have mandated recycling.  Recycling doesn't save money, it costs money.  If it saved money, a mandate wouldn't be necessary.  The recycled material is sold on the market, but certainly income from such sales doesn't cover expenses.  The reason for recycling is about "saving the planet."  Probably most of those cities mandating recycling include plastics.  Remember hearing in the news a few years ago that China, which recycled most of the world's plastic, wasn't going to do it anymore?  What is happening to all that garbage material collected?  It turns out that plastics can't be recycled, at least in a manner that makes any sense, economic or otherwise.

Greenpeace gives up on recycling plastic.  Recycling almost everything is an uneconomic scam, but that hasn't stopped many localities from enforcing recycling mandates, and employing lots of people to sort through garbage and spend large sums on trying to find another use for the materials.  At great expense to taxpayers.  But finally, Greenpeace has realized that recycling plastic makes no sense.

Plastic recycling [is] a "failed concept," study says, with only 5% recycled in U.S. last year as production rises.  Plastic recycling rates are declining even as production shoots up, according to a Greenpeace USA report out Monday that blasted industry claims of creating an efficient, circular economy as "fiction."  Titled "Circular Claims Fall Flat Again," the study found that of 51 million tons of plastic waste generated by U.S. households in 2021, only 2.4 million tons were recycled, or around five percent.  After peaking in 2014 at 10 percent, the trend has been decreasing, especially since China stopped accepting the West's plastic waste in 2018.  Virgin production — of non-recycled plastic, that is — meanwhile is rapidly rising as the petrochemical industry expands, lowering costs.

Questions the Climate Police Won't Answer.  Why do the greenies keep pushing plastics recycling when making new plastic is cheaper, and recycling plastic produces 55 times more carbon emissions than sticking it in a landfill?

Plastic Recycling Doesn't Work and Will Never Work.  Americans support recycling.  We do too.  But although some materials can be effectively recycled and safely made from recycled content, plastics cannot.  Plastic recycling does not work and will never work.  The United States in 2021 had a dismal recycling rate of about 5 percent for post-consumer plastic waste, down from a high of 9.5 percent in 2014, when the U.S. exported millions of tons of plastic waste to China and counted it as recycled — even though much of it wasn't.  Recycling in general can be an effective way to reclaim natural material resources.  The U.S.'s high recycling rate of paper, 68 percent, proves this point.  The problem with recycling plastic lies not with the concept or process but with the material itself.

The Recycling Police Are Here, and They're Not Happy With You.  It's well established that the recycling system in America is utterly broken.  National Geographic reports that something like 91 percent of recycled plastic ends up in a landfill.  Environmentalists know this.  And now, they have pinpointed the problem:  you.  Yes, you're the one who tossed your yogurt container into the recycling bin.  You're the one who included your styrofoam coffee cup along with your old newspapers.  You're the one who attempted to recycle a slightly dirty paper plate, plastic utensils, sticky notes, straws, and wet paper towels (all no-go's that spoil everything).  Leftists have come up with a solution.  Recycling police officers will come to your property, look into your recycling bin, examine the contents, and place orange or red warning tags on your bin — alerting your neighbors that you are a bad citizen who is directly causing the temperature of Earth to crank up a degree or two.

The Editor says...
The curbside recycling program where I live is very picky.  They don't want plastic bags from Wal-Mart, cardboard pizza boxes, or junk mail.  But they'll gladly accept aluminum cans, bare copper wire, silver, gold, and platinum.  I've heard that nearly everything else ends up in the same landfill as the garbage.  But I'm doing my part, so talk to the city, talk to the contractor, but don't look at me!

Righteous Recycling.  Why should leftists bother to make recycling work when their real objective is reached merely by appearing to practice it?  Recycling is a leftist sacrament.  It fulfills emotional needs for Democrats.  They suffer deep-seated guilt from participating in a materialistic culture that they think results in widespread environmental harm.  For them recycling serves as a kind of visible penance.  Unfortunately, recycling leads to unintended consequences.

The smart way for post-coronavirus pandemic NYC to save money:  Stop recycling.  The financial pressure of the coronavirus pandemic has led Mayor de Blasio to do what he's never done before: propose reductions in New York City's sprawling $93 billion budget.  A good place to start would be the city's recycling collection program.  That may seem like eco-sacrilege but in extraordinary times nothing should be sacrosanct.  For recycling, the numbers don't add up.  By sending recyclables to safe landfills — and avoiding the cost of separate collection — the city could save nearly $200 million.  At a time when COVID-19 puts frontline workers, including the city's 7,000 uniformed Sanitation workers (New York's fabled "Strongest"), at risk and may make staffing more difficult, simplifying garbage collection makes sense — and would save taxpayer dollars.

Good Riddance to Recycling Trucks.  Good news seems to be in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that April 8 was the final local recycling pickup for a while.  As surprising as it may seem, I think this is actually a (small) step toward a (slightly) healthier society, a (slightly) more robust economy, and (surprisingly) a cleaner environment.  Holding everything else constant, I expect a slight improvement in public health with the suspension of curbside recycling for several reasons.  First, there are the emissions associated with curbside recycling.  Fewer recycling trucks on the roads mean fewer emissions from those trucks and smoother traffic — though of course this might be canceled out if enough people drive their recyclables to recycling locations.  Second, recyclables themselves are disease vectors.

Stop the Virus Now, Save the Planet Later.  Consumers face some risk when they gather their items for curbside bins or take them to drop-off sites, but the biggest danger is to the workers who haul the stuff away or sort it by hand as it moves along conveyor belts at processing facilities.  The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has warned that the virus poses a "serious and unique risk" to its members in the recycling industry, which already had some of the highest rates of injuries and illness among all sectors.  The recycling trade press has been steadily chronicling its new woes.  Dalton, Georgia, one of many towns to suspend its curbside collections, explained that "recycling pickup requires sorting by hand and there are many unknowns about how the virus spreads from surface to surface." [...] Yes, recycling does make people feel like they're helping the planet, but at what cost?  Given the minimal environmental benefits — as well as some environmental harms — from recycling, couldn't local governments find more productive uses for their money?

The Perverse Panic over Plastic.  The recycling movement had a superficial logic, at least at the outset.  Municipal officials expected to save money by recycling trash instead of burying or burning it.  Now that recycling has turned out to be ruinously expensive while achieving little or no environmental benefit, some local officials — the pragmatic ones, anyway — are once again sending trash straight to landfills and incinerators.  The plastic panic has never made any sense, and it's intensifying even as evidence mounts that it's not only a waste of money but also harmful to the environment, not to mention humans.  It's been a movement in search of a rationale for half a century.

Baltimore County Admits It Hasn't Been Recycling Glass for 7 Years.  It Still Encourages Residents to Recycle Glass.  Baltimore County residents' have had their perceptions about where their glass ends up shattered.  Over the weekend, news broke that the county — which does not include the City of Baltimore — has not been recycling the glass it's been collecting as part of its recycling program.  For the past seven years, the jars and bottles that residents dutifully placed in their blue bins have been being junked instead.  "There are numerous issues with glass recycling, including increased presence of shredded paper in recycling streams which contaminates materials and is difficult to separate from broken glass fragments, in addition to other limitations on providing quality material," county spokesperson Sean Naron told The Baltimore Sun.

Vermont rolls out mandatory composting.  Food scraps can't go in Vermont landfills beginning July 1.  Residents will have four ways to handle rotten leftovers and items such as peels, eggshells, seeds, pits, coffee grounds and oils, according to the state's environmental conservation department.  Vermonters can use a household compost bin, buy a Green Cone solar digester to break down the scraps, feed scraps to pigs or leave it to the composting professionals.  The universal recycling law will require trucking companies to provide food scrap collection services to nonresidential customers and multi-unit apartment complexes, the Burlington Free Press reported.  Restaurants, supermarkets and cafeterias must also comply with the law, which is the first state law of its kind.  The state hopes to reach a 60% recycling rate through mandatory composting.

24 Things Wrong With Electric Cars Millennials Choose To Ignore.  [#22] Battery recycling:  As it stands today, the electric car industry is expected to boom by the year 2025.  And according to a report from Auto Evolution, 20 years after that, we will have a battery recycling issue from these cars.  After all, you can't expect a car to keep running on the same battery for too long.  Sure, both lithium-ion and Ni-Mh batteries can be recycled.  However, the market for these is currently not significant.  If there is no development in the coming years, it's likely that we will have used batteries just dumped wherever possible because nobody would be willing to go through the hassle of recycling them.

LA targets 'very dangerous dump' after trash pile grows to 22 million pounds.  The owners of a recycling center on the southern edge of Boyle Heights landed in hot water this week with City Attorney Mike Feuer, who accused the facility's operator of improperly storing a two-story-high trash heap that went up in flames in September.  Feuer filed criminal and civil complaints Wednesday against the owners and operators of Clean Up America, a facility at 2900 E. Lugo St., near the Vernon border, that alleges the facility had become a safety and health risk.  He said the "aggressive" action was necessary after multiple violations at the site went unresolved over the past two years.  "What should have been a recycling center became a very dangerous dump," Feuer said Thursday [10/10/2019] during a news conference at L.A. City Hall.

California's Minimum Wage Rules Kill State's Largest Recycling Center.  One might assume that an environmentally-minded firm such as a plastic recycler would enjoy doing business in deep-blue California.  That assumption is entirely wrong.

In China, Big Brother is watching you even as you sort your trash.  The Chinese state is taking surveillance to the next level.  Vast networks of cameras are not just aimed at reducing crime but also enforcing recycling laws, encouraging civic behaviour.  Privacy concerns aside, the tools are reshaping the relationship between government and citizen.

California's largest recycling business closes, 750 laid off.  California's largest operator of recycling redemption centers shut down Monday [8/5/2019] and laid off 750 employees.

Recycling: America's False Religion.  Before climate change became a belief system in which humans are expected to perform penance for their sins against Gaia, recycling was the religion of many in the modern world.  Those who didn't reduce, reuse, and recycle were, and still are, considered heretics.  Nearly a quarter century ago, John Tierney wrote in the New York Times Magazine that "Recycling Is Garbage."  In an article that produced the greatest volume of hate mail in the magazine's history, Tierney said that rather than recycling, "the simplest and cheapest option is usually to bury garbage in an environmentally safe landfill."  With the exception of a few items — aluminum cans, cardboard, office paper — the cost of the recycling equipment plus the process itself exceeded the value of the products created by recycling.  Though recycling rarely makes economic sense and often burns up more fresh resources than would have been used in making new items, Americans recycled.  And recycled.  And recycle still.  Are we better off for it?  It can easily be argued we are worse off.

China Exposes the Recycling Scam's Dirty Secret.  The huge dirty secret of recycling was also one of the world's worst polluters.  Every branch of government from Washington D.C. to your local town council had spent a fortune convincing people that recycling is a magical process that turns your old pizza boxes into new pizza boxes while creating those imaginary "green jobs" in the community.  The reality was a lot dirtier.  All of America's industries, including trash sorting, had been outsourced to China.  And recycling is just a fancy lefty way of saying "trash."  All that recycling, which children in progressive communities are taught to sort as the closest thing to a religious ritual, was really being dumped by the ton on dirty ships and sent over to China.  We weren't recycling it.  The Chinese were.  But now China is banning foreign recycling because it's bad for the environment.  Even the Communists got tired of sorting through the trash of American socialists.  The recycling scam shipped garbage on dirty ships for dirty industries while pretending that they're clean and green.  There was never anything clean about it.  And only the money it brought in was green.

Recycling: Another environmental scam goes bust.  Anyone who has ever been to a recycling plant is invariably surprised at how dirty and nasty America's favorite green activity really is.  Trucks dump the material on a long conveyor belt, where a few dozen people pick through by hand what is supposed to be recyclable material but more and more often is just plain old dirty trash.  The recyclables used to be worth something more than bragging rights about liberal moral superiority.  Plastic bottles, newspapers, and cardboard were just a few of the favorites you could ship to China by the ton and make a few bucks along the way.  No more:  Last year, the Chinese were happy to pay us $100 a ton for newsprint.  Today, $5 a ton is the going rate.

Some Inconvenient Truths About Recycling.  It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good thing.  But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud.

The Reign of Recycling.  Despite decades of exhortations and mandates, it's still typically more expensive for municipalities to recycle household waste than to send it to a landfill.  Prices for recyclable materials have plummeted because of lower oil prices and reduced demand for them overseas.  The slump has forced some recycling companies to shut plants and cancel plans for new technologies.  The mood is so gloomy that one industry veteran tried to cheer up her colleagues this summer [2015] with an article in a trade journal titled, "Recycling Is Not Dead!"

Your resume stinks!
Instead of Using Trees, Scientists Are Making Sustainable Paper Out of Manure.  Paper is a material that we use ubiquitously-for printing, books, and advertisements.  Over 40% of the world's cut timber is used for paper production, and it requires millions of trees to be cut down and uses a lot of water.  A research group from the University of Vienna has created a more environmental friendly way to produce paper — from animal poop.

Recycling is a scam — These Canadian cities throw it into landfills.  Environmentalism is a step backwards in terms of civilization and culture.  Isn't part of social progress that we spend less time — and less mental energy — dealing with gross things, like garbage?  Which brings us to the news of the day:  ["]Calgary has 5,000 tonnes of recyclables and no one to take them["]  They used to ship it to China.  (How on earth did that make sense, environmentally or economically?)  But now China is banning it.

'I Say:  We Let the Planet Die'.  That hilarious and politically incorrect line was spoken by Liz Torres' character on the old John Laroquette show.  She was showing her frustration after doing due diligence recycling and separating her trash into paper and plastic only to watch sanitation crews dump it all together in one truck.  I recycle because in NYC you will get fined by inspectors if they find recyclables in regular trash but I also know that these efforts will do absolutely nothing to save the planet.

Seattle Warrantless Garbage Searches Unconstitutional.  King County Judge Beth Andrus ruled Seattle's warrantless searches of garbage violate Washington State's constitution, banning Seattle sanitation workers from looking in residents' trash for possible violations of the city's composting law.  The ruling in Bonesteel, et al. v.  City of Seattle shows states are able to grant rights beyond those guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.  It was handed down on April 27.  According to the Washington State Constitution, "No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."  "By authorizing garbage collectors to pry through people's garbage without a warrant, the city has promoted a policy of massive and persistent snooping," said Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) attorney Ethan Blevins in a statement.  Blevins was one of the PLF lawyers who represented the eight plaintiffs.

Hundreds of California recycling centers shut down.  More closures may follow, as the state's subsidy payment program, meant to help centers survive market fluctuations, has failed to keep up with rapid decreases in the value of plastic, glass and aluminum.

Judge Rules Seattle's Warrantless Garbage Search Unconstitutional.  King County Judge Beth Andrus ruled Seattle's warrantless searches of garbage violates Washington State's constitution, banning Seattle sanitation workers from looking for possible violations of the city's composting law in residents' trash.  The April 27, 2016, ruling in Bonesteel, et al. v. City of Seattle shows states are able to grant rights beyond those guaranteed in the U.S. constitution.  According to the Washington State Constitution, "No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."

Recycling Makes Greens Go Gaga, but It's a Real Burden for the Rest of Us.  On the surface, the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" may seem like a sensible call to action for those who want to limit carbon emissions or reduce the amount of waste left behind for future generations.  The reality, however, is that the costs associated with the process of recycling almost always outweigh the benefits. [...] Paper mills pay for the trees they process.  If it was cost-effective to recycle scrap paper, producers would be beating down your door to buy it.  But they aren't.  That means it's more expensive and more resource-intensive to recycle old paper than to cut and pulp pine trees and then replant seedlings for processing when mature.

The Urban Religion of Recycling.  [Scroll down]  "If you believe recycling is good for the planet and that we need to do more of it, then there's a crisis to confront.  Trying to turn garbage into gold costs a lot more than expected.  We need to ask ourselves:  What is the goal here?" says David P. Steiner, the CEO of Waste Management, the largest recycler of household trash in the United States.  Others have wondered about recycling even on the basic, common sense level.  On the one hand, you're doing it to save the environment.  On the other hand, you're employing the services, time, fuel, energy and potentially wasteful activities of the recycling trucks, plants, and all other carbon-based activity involved in the practice of recycling.  Why are we so quick to worry about (and even condemn) the alleged wastefulness of carbon-based activity in one context, while blanking out its possible or actual effects in the context of recycling only?

The Reign of Recycling.  If you live in the United States, you probably do some form of recycling.  It's likely that you separate paper from plastic and glass and metal.  You rinse the bottles and cans, and you might put food scraps in a container destined for a composting facility.  As you sort everything into the right bins, you probably assume that recycling is helping your community and protecting the environment.  But is it?  Are you in fact wasting your time?

Seattle recycling
Recycling is now mandatory.
Seattle sued over recycling inspectors keeping tabs on residents' trash.  When it comes to garbage, the city of Seattle has launched a waste war.  Nine full-time solid waste inspectors have been hired as part of a controversial program to check city trash to make sure people are recycling.  Additionally, contracted waste haulers have been effectively deputized as trash police, given the authority to tag bins when people fail to recycle and compost enough.  The program is now the subject of a lawsuit, as residents fume over what some call an intrusive government program.

Recycling Industry Created Its Own Mess.  [Scroll down]  Thanks to the Internet, the actual volume of newspapers that has ended up in bins declined during that 20-year period, from 15.81 million tons to 7.89 tons.  In other words, the U.S. recycling industry has been spending a lot more money to collect a lot less paper.  Unfortunately, the industry failed to change its infrastructure in response to America's changing reading habits.  The high-tech Municipal Recycling Facilities that many recycling companies built during the recycling boom of the 1990s and 2000s were designed to handle — and profit from — lots and lots of paper.  The recycling industry managed to ignore the hollowing out of its business model for a few years because China's commodity boom drove up the price of most recyclables, including paper.  But once the commodity boom went bust in the early 2010s, U.S. recyclers lost their cover.

The Trash Man Is Watching You.  Saving the planet can be a messy proposition.  This is indelibly clear to Ron Zanazzo, who spends mornings rifling through garbage bags, looking for envelopes or documents that can identify to whom the trash belongs.  "In the summer, it can be pretty disgusting," he told me, matter-of-factly.  "In the winter it's not as bad because it's not maggot-infested and all of that."  Zanazzo is a city employee in Malden, Massachusetts, which, as a part of a drive to be more environmentally friendly, now charges residents for their trash (one of many approaches that cities are trying out in order to cut down on trash).

Seattle's Garbage Police Ticketing Those Who Throw Away Food.  Seattle residents, beware:  The garbage police are on the prowl.  If you put too much food — as defined by the Seattle City Council — into your trash, you will be publicly shamed.  And if you keep doing it, you will be fined.  Last September, the city council, in a move the Seattle Times said did not require a public hearing, made formerly voluntary composting and recycling guidelines mandatory for all Seattle residents.  As of January 1, anyone caught with a trash can containing more than 10 percent food or recyclables gets a big red tag stuck on his can and, beginning in July, an extra dollar added to his garbage bill.

Seattle government now going through citizens' trash for public shaming, revenue.  Sure, the incentive to compost is the putative reason for this regulation, but exactly how is it enforced?  In order for city officials and trash collectors to know you have committed the civic sin of disposing of leftover food in your trashcan, they have to examine the contents of your trashcan.  Let's hope the citizens of Seattle and trash collectors can come to some kind of silent truce over this.

No, there shouldn't be a law.  [Scroll down]  How on Earth are they going to enforce this on any kind of consistent basis?  Will garbage collectors be trained by some sort of trash removal Obi-Wan Kenobi, using the Force to sense if residents slipped some leftover tofu in the wrong trash container?  It's not enough that city employees have to collect our disgusting trash, we are going to make them collect tax revenue too?

Household Recycling is State-Endorsed Slavery.  Recycling is authoritarian, demeaning and an unutterable waste of time, energy and money.  No surprise, then, that the European Union is planning to force its vassal states to do much, much more of it.  Last week, the European Commission proposed its most draconian waste disposal legislation yet:  a plan requiring 70 percent of all municipal waste and 80 percent of packaging waste to be recycled by 2030; a total ban of the landfill of recyclable waste by 2025, aiming "to virtually eliminate landfill" by 2030.  As even the Guardian quietly concedes, this is an impossible ambition.

Now we've got to separate everything: EU forces us to get up to 7 different bins by 2015.  Local councils across the country have been told they will have to follow EU rules from 2015 which mean paper, metal, glass and plastic will have to be collected separately.  Some authorities had previously allowed homeowners to mix their recycling waste but under the new plans all recyclables will have to be split alongside garden, general waste and food compostables — leading to many households having up to seven different boxes, bins and bags.

MA Loses $4-6M Per Year Thanks to Fraudulent Recycling.  The state of Massachusetts is experiencing millions of dollars in loss thanks to entrepreneurial can and bottle collectors from other states carpetbagging in their wares to turn them in for $0.05 a piece.  According to CBS Local Boston, trucks from Rhode Island are traveling into Massachusetts loaded up with bottles and cans, which bring no return in Rhode Island, and handing them over for cash in the Bay State.

Now The European Union Starts To Ban Recycling.  No, it's not a spoof.  It really is true that those tasked with running an entire continent, the bureaucrats in Brussels, think that putting home made jam (jelly to you perhaps) in used jam jars should be and is a crime.  With serious penalties too.

Rampant recycling fraud is draining California cash.  Just over 8.5 billion recyclable cans were sold in California last year.  The number redeemed for a nickel under California's recycling law:  8.3 billion.  That's a return rate of nearly 100%.  That kind of success isn't just impressive, it's unbelievable.  But the recycling rate for certain plastic containers was even higher:  104%.  California's generous recycling redemption program has led to rampant fraud.  Crafty entrepreneurs are driving semi-trailers full of cans from Nevada or Arizona, which don't have deposit laws, across the border and transforming their cargo into truckfuls of nickels.

Sweden may have to import garbage.  A Swedish industry association said the country may have to start importing waste from other countries to keep its power plant incinerators in operation.  Swedish Waste Management said the 30 waste-to-energy incinerators in the country currently burn about 6.06 million tons of garbage each year, and planned expansions indicate the country would have to start importing 1.76 million tons of garbage from other countries each year to keep them in operation, The reported Thursday [6/7/2012].

Food sold in recycled cardboard packaging 'poses risk'.  Leading food manufacturers are changing their packaging because of health concerns about boxes made from recycled cardboard, the BBC has learned.  Researchers found toxic chemicals from recycled newspapers had contaminated food sold in many cardboard cartons.

Too much green?  Millions spent on recycling.  Governments across the Washington region spend millions of dollars on recycling each year, but national recycling experts say a lot of that taxpayer cash is going to waste.  Maryland, Virginia and the District [of Columbia] require residents and businesses to recycle, and localities pay millions of dollars to enforce those laws and hit recycling targets.

Compost Conserved, Lifetime Wasted.  A more intrusive regime for the simple act of discarding something could hardly be devised.  There will be  — count 'em — three color-coded bins into which garbage must be classified, as it is assessed for compostability and recyclability. ... This government-in-your-garbage ordinance is in response to a self-inflicted wound.  It is deemed necessary in order to comply with the city's self-imposed goal of 75% recycling by 2010, as a waypoint to zero waste by 2020.  It would be much cheaper to just dig a hole.

Mandatory Recycling Wastes Resources and Harms the Environment.  "In mid-December 2003, the Seattle City Council decided to make curbside recycling mandatory.  The measure, which goes into effect in January 2005, is a misguided step that will burden taxpayers, antagonize residents, and waste resources.  As an economist who has been studying recycling for nearly 15 years, I long ago learned that the desire for curbside recycling is based mostly on misconceptions."

Gang Green:  Many studies have shown that the environmental benefits from household recycling are minimal or at least highly exaggerated (because it uses a lot of energy and those recycling trucks emit a lot of greenhouse gases).  America is not in danger of ever running out of landfill to store our garbage.  For example, a study by Daniel Benjamin, an economist at Clemson, finds that we could store all of America's garbage for the next century within the property of Ted Turner's ranch in Montana, with 50,000 acres undisturbed for the horse and bison.

Eco-activists' Gross Distortions are Behind California's Crusade to Recycle TVs and PCs.  Californians buying a TV, home computer, or laptop must now pay $6 to $10 to finance a costly program to collect and recycle all used machines throughout the state.

Celebrate Earth Day by Ending Mandatory Recycling!  Mandatory recycling wastes resources — it does not save resources.  The belief that it does is one of our great superstitions.  Anyone who has ever bothered to learn the facts knows this.

Recycling — righteous or rubbish?  The economics suggest a middle road.  Careful cost-benefit analysis shows that recycling often isn't cost-effective:  Many programs try too hard, in a sense, by recycling products that cost more to reprocess than is warranted by the associated environmental and economic benefits — essentially going too far in the cause of environmental protection.  But economists also suggest that some level of recycling is entirely sensible from an economic standpoint.

Recycling is 'Like Throwing Money Away'.  Curbside recycling is one of the most wasteful endeavors practiced by local governments, concluded an investigation by an Orlando, Florida television news station.  According to WFTV Channel 9, recycling programs typically fail to pay for themselves and can cost taxpayers tremendous amounts of money — while providing very negligible benefits.

Eight Great Myths About Waste Disposal:  Since the 1980s, many have claimed that the United States faces a landfill crisis.  In fact, the United States today has more landfill capacity than ever before.  In 2001, the nation's landfills could accommodate 18 years' worth of rubbish, an amount 25 percent greater than a decade before.

Recycling:  It's a bad idea in New York.  New York is but the latest of a growing number of cities that have found the cost of recycling garbage is far, far greater than the costs of simply dumping it.  Despite flowery promises and earnest intentions, mandatory municipal recycling programs across the United States have proven an expensive economic and environmental flop.  Little sustains this odd brand of civic religion beyond the quasi-religious devotion of the Green faithful.

It's OK to Throw it Away:  Tell Your Kids.  Rule number one, don't be intimidated by your kids.  They have a misplaced sense of moral superiority on environmental issues.  Polls show that most information adults get about the environment comes from their kids, who in turn get their views from school and children's television.  One poll concluded that 63 percent of school children have lobbied their parents to recycle.  Don't roll over. The kids, their teachers, and Captain Planet are wrong.

A Consumer's Guide To Environmental Myths and Realities.  MYTH #1:  We are running out of landfill space.  All of the garbage America produces in the next 1,000 years would fit in a landfill that occupies less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the continental United States. … MYTH #6:  Recycling is always good.  Recycling itself can cause environmental harm, e.g., more fuel consumption and more air pollution.  As a result, the environmental costs of recycling may exceed any possible environmental benefits. … MYTH #8:  Recycling paper saves trees.  Since most of the trees used to make paper are grown explicitly for that purpose, if we use less paper, fewer trees will be planted and grown by commercial harvesters.  Recycling paper doesn't save trees, it reduces incentives to plant them.

Time to recycle recycling?  What ... Al Gore and many other environmentalists may not appreciate is that recycling paper is actually a carbon positive process. ... Contrary to received wisdom, paper is one of the least recyclable materials in circulation.

Rethinking Recycling:  Doesn't it go without saying that businesses should recycle paper?  No, answers Ken Braun, cofounder and chairman of Pepper's, a retail chain of natural-ingredient personal-care products, and an avid conservationist who has much to say — and do — about recycling.  Braun's concerns once dictated buying only recycled paper for his company's office supplies.  He's changed his mind.  Not because recycled paper is more expensive than virgin (though it is) or less well finished (that, too), but because in talking to suppliers he determined that the chemicals employed in recovering old paper did more harm to the environment than chopping down new trees did.

Markets are Better than Mandates at Determining Recycling Levels.  As conditions become less favorable to the use of recycled materials, the cost of doing so rises, resulting in net social losses.  For instance, under worst-case conditions, requiring 30 percent recycled content in all glass packaging can cost, on average, $119/ton more than using virgin material.  Mandating 30 percent recycled content in all paper packaging can increase costs by an average of $80/ton.

There is a clear reason why recycling participation is so low:  Recycling makes no economic sense.  If the value of recycled goods was as much as or more than the cost of collecting the goods, recyclers would pay people for them.  The fact that recyclers don't pay for used goods tells us a government-financed program is an economic loser.

Regarding the environmental impacts of recycling, sending large, polluting garbage-collection trucks on an additional trip to every house in a municipality worsens air quality and wastes gasoline.  Moreover, the recycling facilities themselves are notoriously harmful to the environment, with recycling facilities at times representing more than 25 percent of EPA's worst superfund sites.

Recycling:  Your Time Can Be Better Spent!  Many people believe recycling either pays for itself or is worth the cost.  Both positions are wrong.  Every community recycling program in America today costs more than the revenue it generates.  The value of recycled materials on the open market has declined dramatically in recent years, and in many cases there is no market at all.

Time for a New Look at Recycling.  Recycling, originally sold as virtually a cure-all for solid waste problems and as an environmental feel-good to boot, has been greatly oversold.

The Utter Waste of Recycling.  Ask yourself about the utility of recycling.  Glass is made from sand.  The Earth is not running out of sand.  Newspapers, when buried, stay intact for decades and, when burned, become mere ashes.  Recycling plastic requires as much or more energy than to produce it.  Its uses, however, are extraordinary, contributing to a healthier lifestyle for everyone.  So, why recycle?

Recycling is a Waste.  Much of the impetus for mandatory recycling programs came from a 1980s Environmental Protection Agency study showing that the number of landfills was decreasing.  While this was true, the landfills themselves were getting bigger, and the total capacity was increasing!  Indeed, the U.S. currently has 18 years worth of landfill even if no new landfills are built.  And at current rates of disposal, a single landfill just 100 yards deep and 35 miles square could contain all the garbage generated in the U.S. for the next 1,000 years.

Recycling goes from boom to bust as economy stalls.  Just months after riding an incredible high, the recycling market has tanked almost in lockstep with the global economic meltdown.  As consumer demand for autos, appliances and new homes dropped, so did the steel and pulp mills' demand for scrap, paper and other recyclables.

Our Widespread Faith In Recycling Is Misplaced.  A decade ago a wandering garbage barge set off a political crisis:  Where will we put our trash?  The media inflamed people's fears of mounting piles of garbage.  A variety of interest groups - particularly "public relations consultants, environmental organizations, waste-handling corporations," according to journalist John Tierney - lobbied to line their pockets.  Politicians seeking to win votes enacted a spate of laws and regulations to encourage and often mandate recycling.

[To make the average German feel superior at a time when, objectively, his life was getting worse] recycling measures were introduced, ostensibly to push Germany along the road to economic self-sufficiency.  This device, adopted in World War I, as well as World War II, certainly had no particular economic impact.  Its real purpose was psychological:  to create a sense of community of shared participation in the war effort.  Even today, elderly Germans, some of whom stuff their cupboards with old string as they were told to do in the Third Reich, still remember warmly the recycling, fuel-saving, and housekeeping aspects of the Nazi era.  It was one of the hidden links that subtly connected the regime with its citizens.

— Adam LeBor and Roger Boyes:  "Seduced by Hitler", page 30.    

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2024 by Andrew K. Dart

Why The Trash You Sort Isn't Recycled:  My neighbors are unhappy to learn that the trash they've carefully sorted for years into brown bottles, green bottles, cans, and paper is being dumped back into one pile at the local landfill.  Except for aluminum cans, no one wants the sorted trash items.  Is this bad for the environment?  Probably not.

Mountains of recycled rubbish spring up across UK.  Experts estimate that up to 15 percent of all recycling is now being stored in warehouses and ports, waiting for a buyer.  Some of the waste could be stuck there for a year. ... Prices have now fallen so far that the cost of making new plastic is cheaper than reusing the recycled material.

UK's growing waste paper mountain as market collapses.  Taxpayers are facing a multi-million-pound bill to store 100,000 tons of waste paper and cardboard as the British recycling industry plunges into crisis.  Rubbish carefully sorted by householders is piling up in vast warehouses as the market for waste paper collapses, and experts have warned that the mountain of garbage could double in the next three months.

Recycling Is Garbage.  Recycling could be America's most wasteful activity. … The obvious temptation is to blame journalists, who did a remarkable job of creating the garbage crisis, often at considerable expense to their own employers.  Newspaper and magazine publishers, whose products are a major component of municipal landfills, nobly led the crusade against trash, and they're paying for it now through regulations that force them to buy recycled paper - a costly handicap in their struggle against electronic rivals.

Recycling program costs Austin $900K.  The City of Austin said its new single stream recycling program is not a big "waste" despite a near $900,000 shortfall.  The environmental group, Ecology Action of Texas, said the program caused the city to lose that amount after going into effect last fall.

However… What to Do with Three Billion Abandoned Tires?  Cement kiln recyclers put them to good use.  Few things are more unsightly than a pile of discarded tires.  Unfortunately, America has quite a few such piles.  There are about 3 billion abandoned tires in the U.S., with another 200 million being added each year.

New recycling bins with tracking chips coming to Alexandria.  Alexandria residents soon will have to pay for larger home recycling bins featuring built-in monitoring devices.  The City Council added a mandatory $9 charge to its residents' annual waste collection fee.  That cash — roughly $180,000 collected from 19,000 residents — will pay for new larger recycling carts equipped with computer microchips, which will allow the city to keep tabs on its bins and track resident participation in the city's recycling program.

Mandatory recycling

Recycling is a bad enough idea without the added element of big-government coercion.

DC Resident Fined Thousands For Not Recycling Cat Litter.  Dupont Circle resident Patricia White says she has been fined eight times for throwing homemade cat litter in her trash.  The fines total $2,000.  White says she shreds old newspaper and junk mail to use as cat litter.  She believes she is helping the environment by reusing the paper and avoiding cat litter you will find in stores.  After being fined several times, White says she called the Department of Public Works inspector who issued the tickets.  According to White, the inspector admitted to digging through trash looking for violations.

UK group fears trash bin spies.  It's the new front in the nanny state: Microchips placed in garbage bins to monitor how much people throw away.

£1,000 fine for using wrong bin.  Householders could be fined up to £1,000 if they fail to comply with complex new rules on refuse sorting.  Food scraps, tea bags and vegetable peelings thrown into the wrong dustbin could land them with hefty penalties under government plans to be unveiled today [3/18/2010].

Recycling bin 'contaminated' by scrap of bread.  A London man has been left stunned after garbagemen refused to empty a recycling bin containing a "miniscule" piece of bread.  South London resident Michael Carter returned from shopping last Monday to find the wheelie bin still full and marked with a red tag.

Hundreds of households hit with bin fines bigger than those given to shoplifters.  Figures obtained by The Sunday Telegraph have revealed that local authorities issued more than 1,240 fixed penalty notices last year for breaking rules on recycling and putting out rubbish.  Councils are issuing fines of up to £110 for such infringements as putting their bins out for collection at the wrong time, over filling bins, or putting recycling into the wrong boxes.

Oh, but that would never happen in this country, right?
High-tech carts will tell on Cleveland residents who don't recycle.  It would be a stretch to say that Big Brother will hang out in Clevelanders' trash cans, but the city plans to sort through curbside trash to make sure residents are recycling — and fine them $100 if they don't.  The move is part of a high-tech collection system the city will roll out next year with new trash and recycling carts embedded with radio frequency identification chips and bar codes.

Green Police Becomes a Reality in Cleveland.  Remember Audi's absurd "Green Police" Super Bowl commercial where green cops arrest citizens for using plastic bags, plastic water bottles and sort through the community's trash cans to ensure they're recycling?  Well, the absurdity is about to hit the streets of Cleveland.

Granny's $100 ticket — for throwing out newspaper.  An elderly Manhattan woman living on Social Security was slapped with a $100 ticket — for throwing away a newspaper in a city trash can.  Delia Gluckin, 80, tossed the paper, which was in a white plastic shopping bag, in a bin right outside her Inwood apartment building Saturday morning [12/4/2010] and was immediately ambushed by a Department of Sanitation agent wielding a handheld computerized ticket book.

Privacy No More!  You may think this is crazy, but the Green Police are coming to a town near you!  I am serious!  Many think the [advertisement] put out by Audi during the 2010 Superbowl is funny and cannot happen here in the United States — think again; it is happening now!  Seriously, your garbage and recyclables are being monitored (in some cities in the USA) via RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) either put on your garbage containers/recycling bins or on your garbage bags.  Plus, there are people who are called "Green Police" or the "Eco Police" that can then give you a fine of $25-$100 for not recycling or not recycling correctly.  In other countries in Europe you can go to court if you do not recycle correctly or not enough — these RFID can even weigh how much garbage is being picked up at each address and then it is used to see if each address is doing enough to recycle.

The Editor says...
The RFID chip is like a bar code.  It can identify the person who has been issued a specific recycle bin, but the RFID chip is not a scale.  The bin can be weighed by the garbage truck easily enough, and that's how they'll determine if you're not recycling enough.  There are numerous ways around this problem, but I'll leave them to the reader as an exercise.  Let's just say I'll never be accused of recycling too little.


The Hydrogen Titanic just sank in Australia because renewable electricity costs too much.  The Great Green Hydrogen dream was killed by the dual impossibility paradox, it has no customers prepared to pay the Gucci level rates, and it can't be made cheaper without using brown coal to which would mean it isn't "green".  The irony is practically radioactive — analysts admit Green Hydrogen is only economic if a company can get electricity at $30 to $40 per megawatt hour, which Australia had for decades, but blew away by adding "renewables".  Like every other nation on Earth, the more unreliable wind and solar we added, the more expensive our electricity got.  These days the only generator that still make electricity at that price now is old brown coal.

Battery Baloney, Hydrogen Hype, and Green Fairy Tales.  "Hydrogen" gets a lot of hype, but it is an elusive and dangerous gas that is rarely found naturally.  To use solar energy to generate hydrogen and to then use that hydrogen as a power source is just another silly scheme to waste water and solar energy.  It always takes more energy to produce hydrogen than it gives back.  Let green billionaires, not taxpayers, spend their money on this merry-go-round.

Appalachian groups call for hydrogen hub pause.  As the federal government lines up billions of dollars to build out hydrogen hubs, a multi-state coalition sent a letter to the Department of Energy demanding a halt to the Appalachian project until officials are more transparent with the public.  "I really can't stress just how few safeguards there are on this," Tom Torres, hydrogen campaign coordinator with the Ohio River Valley Institute and author of the letter, said.  "It's incumbent on policymakers to ask some really tough questions about what are valuable investments, what people in the region deserve, and what are alternative pathways of development that can give people a much better return on investment."

'Hydrogen town' plan cancelled after protests over forced switch from natural gas.  The Energy Secretary has scrapped plans for a pilot "hydrogen town" after a wave of protests against earlier trials.  Claire Coutinho has shelved proposals to force thousands of homes and businesses to replace their natural gas supplies with hydrogen by 2030 to test the fuel's viability.  Aberdeen, Scunthorpe, and two Welsh towns were among those being considered for wholesale conversion to hydrogen for heating.  It was meant to be a trial run to test the use of low-carbon hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas, which was being considered as part of the UK's drive to reach net zero by 2050.  However, ministers have been forced into a rethink following a wave of protests in two smaller communities — Redcar in Yorkshire and Whitby, near Ellesmere Port — that had been earmarked as testbed "hydrogen villages".  Both proposed trials were ultimately abandoned.

Renewable energy is too expensive to make "green hydrogen".  Only 18 months ago the Australian government gave $14 million dollars to Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest to figure out if his team could build a 500MW electrolyser to make hydrogen gas on an island near Brisbane.  It was going to be a glorious Australian green-techno future, the largest hydrogen plant in the world, but it's missed three deadlines in the last three months to greenlight the project.  Instead the Australian company is going overseas.  As Nick Cater points out this part of the made-in-Australia renewable superpower is going to be made-in-Arizona because they still have cheap electricity — a miraculous 7.5c a kilowatt hour!

Can the government create a green hydrogen fuel industry?  World leaders promote hydrogen as a possible low-emissions fuel for transportation and industry, and several nations have announced hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to support the development and supply of hydrogen.  But will governments be able to create a new green hydrogen fuel industry?  When hydrogen burns, the only combustion product is water vapor.  Net zero advocates, such as the International Energy Agency, propose that green hydrogen be used as fuel in place of natural gas and coal in industry and transportation.  But the problems with existing hydrogen technology are many.  For all practical purposes, a hydrogen fuel industry does not exist today.  Ninety-five million tons of hydrogen is produced annually by steam methane reforming using natural gas or by coal gasification methods.  But the vast majority of hydrogen is not used as fuel.  It is used on-site as feedstock for industrial processes.

Hydrogen Bomb.  [Scroll down]  Hydrogen is typically made by reforming natural gas or by using an electrolyzer to split water, not by "a process called carbon capture utilization and storage."  When people refer to "natural gas and coal emissions," they almost universally understand this to mean carbon dioxide (CO2).  There is no "H" in CO2, of course, which makes [Republican Congresswoman Carol] Miller's prose indistinguishable from alchemy.  After having read the entire opinion piece a half-dozen times, our best guess is that Miller must have been referring to the prospect of turning coal bed methane into hydrogen via steam reforming, burning the hydrogen thus produced as a fuel source, executing a water-gas shift reaction to convert the byproduct carbon monoxide into CO2, capturing the resulting CO2 emissions for storage, and having the federal government pay handsomely to have all this done.  But honestly, who knows?

North German Green Hydrogen Project Halted Due To Lack Of Economy, "Major Economic Risks".  Hydrogen will be the technology that will ultimately solve all the world's energy woes, so claim those who are finally realizing that a lithium battery powered economy is a pipe dream after all.  And, so must the green economy show go on.  But not so fast.  Hydrogen has its drawbacks[.]  Blackout News reports that the green hydrogen project Westküste 100 in Heide, Germany, has been "halted prematurely".  The reason:  It's just plain uneconomical.  Obviously, despite having been told hundreds of times already, planners are just finding out that energy from green hydrogen is just too expensive.  According to the Westküste 100 press release: "After intensive examination of all general conditions, the joint venture will not make a positive investment decision.  This is due to the increased investment costs and the associated major economic risks."

Green Hydrogen Needs Vast Subsidies.  To reduce CO2 emissions, world leaders call for heavy industry to switch from natural gas and coal to hydrogen fuel.  When hydrogen burns, the only combustion product is water vapor.  Most hydrogen in nature exists in compounds, such as water (H2O) or methane (CH4).  But hydrogen is not expensive.  When produced from hydrocarbons, it costs only about a dollar a kilogram.  About 99 percent of the world's 70 million tons of annual hydrogen production comes from gas, using steam methane reforming, or from coal, using coal gasification.  But advocates propose to produce green hydrogen from electrolysis of water, using electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources.  Electrolysis uses electricity to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.  Industrial electrolyzers use complex cell structures, catalysts, and electrolytes to maximize efficiency and reduce cost.  But few electrolyzers operate today because the hydrogen they produce is very expensive.  Hydrogen from electrolysis, called green hydrogen, typically costs more than $5 per kilogram, or more than five times the price when produced from natural gas.  Electrolysis is expensive because it uses huge amounts of electricity.

Biden White House Bets $7B on Hydrogen Hubs.  The Biden administration cut a $7 billion check on Friday to launch its vision for a hydrogen-fueled future.  The money augments $40 billion in private investment to build seven hydrogen hubs across the nation that will decarbonize transportation and industrial manufacturing, slashing 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.  The amount "roughly" equates to removing 5.5 million gasoline-powered vehicles from the road, or just under 2% of the estimated 286 million operational cars in the United States.  After calling climate change "the only existential threat to humanity" during a news conference in Philadelphia, President Joe Biden touted federal infrastructure spending as the key to reigning in greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning away from fossil fuel reliance.

The Editor says...
There is nothing wrong with "fossil fuel reliance," because the U.S. has an ample supply of fossil fuels.  Relying on other countries is bad.  Self-reliance is good.

Hydrogen heating revolution feared over before it has begun.  The boss of British Gas has hit back at claims hydrogen will not play a major role in the future heating of homes days after Grant Shapps suggested it was no longer seen as a realistic option.  Chris O'Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, warned that ruling out hydrogen boilers for domestic use risks derailing the push towards net zero and pushing up bills.  His comments will be seen as riposte to Mr Shapps, the Energy Security Secretary, who told journalists that the technical challenges of switching millions of homes from natural gas boilers to hydrogen looked too great.  Along with electrically powered heat pumps, hydrogen boilers have been suggested as a green alternative to gas boilers because burning hydrogen produces no carbon dioxide.

The Editor says...
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  It is a waste of time and money to avoid the emission of carbon dioxide, especially when India and China have no such concerns.

Hydrogen Hoopla All Hyperbole?  A University of Alberta (Canada) mechanical engineer and his team published a study last month in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews on the greenhouse gas reduction potential of blending natural gas with hydrogen in Alberta, Canada.  Albertans can replace 15-20% of the natural gas in their pipes and furnaces with hydrogen using current technology and current pipeline infrastructure.  The team found that a 15% hydrogen/methane blend would cut — at most — 5% off of Alberta's carbon footprint by 2050.  A nothingburger.  But here's the kicker:  Blending hydrogen with methane results in higher average energy prices.  Higher prices, no environmental advantages.  Tell us again why we want to blend explosive hydrogen with methane in our pipelines?

The Trouble With Hydrogen.  While the government wants to add a hydrogen levy to energy bills, this sobering video explains why hydrogen is a dead end technology:  [Video clip]

California's Green Debacle.  Climate change, which serves as the all-purpose villain for every adverse event today, is the driving force behind California's energy policies.  Whether in response to summer drought and wildfires, winter rains and mudslides, or alleged price-gouging by climate-denying oil companies, the state has adopted energy policies that will supposedly vanquish climate change, much as Hollywood's heroes vanquish evildoers.  The state's history of climate-related regulation extends back two decades.  In 2004, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order directing state agencies to build a hydrogen-fueling network on state highways by 2010.  It never happened.  Today, 53 such stations are in operation, concentrated around the Bay Area and Los Angeles, to serve the approximately 10,000 hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles in the state.  The average cost to build each station was about $2 million.  That works out to about $10,000 per vehicle, excluding the cost of the hydrogen itself.

Hydrogen is not a panacea for reaching Net Zero, warn MPs.  The Committee argues that hydrogen will likely have a "specific but limited" role in decarbonising sectors, for example where electrification is not possible, and as a means of storing energy.  MPs urge the Government to give the industry more clarity over how and when it will make decisions about the role of hydrogen in the UK economy.  The Committee concludes that hydrogen is not likely to be practically and economically viable for mass use in the short and medium term for heating homes or fuelling passenger cars due to the significant cost, technological and infrastructure challenges associated, as well as the "unassailable" market lead held by alternatives such as electric cars.  Currently, hydrogen is overwhelmingly produced from fossil-fuel intensive processes.

Has green hydrogen sprung a leak?  The green hydrogen express is gathering pace, but it may have a worrying problem with leaks.  As governments and energy companies line up big bets on the much-touted fuel of the future, some scientists say the lack of data on leaks and the potential harm they could cause is a blind spot for the nascent industry.  At least four studies published this year say hydrogen loses its environmental edge when it seeps into the atmosphere.  Two scientists told Reuters that if 10% leaks during its production, transportation, storage or use, the benefits of using green hydrogen over fossil fuels would be completely wiped out.

Is Hydrogen the Answer to Reaching Net-zero — Apparently, it's not!  Converting "excess" electrical generation by electrolysers (e.g. as built by Hydrogen Optimized in Owen Sound), will permit wind generators (like Enbridge, K2 Wind, etc.) to operate at maximum possible output even when the electrical demand is low (like at night), so that the proponents (like Enbridge at their "Power to Gas" pilot plant in Markham, or Calsun at their proposed plant at the former Bluewater Youth Detention Centre) can make BIG money producing "green" hydrogen, thereby ensuring lots of Government (i.e taxpayer) support.  The wind generators (like Enbridge) will be able to be paid full price for their power, approximately $135 a MWh or so, instead of the somewhat reduced rate paid for curtailed power.  However, they will be able to buy the surplus at about $0 to $10 a MWh, to produce hydrogen, to add to their distribution system, so when electrical demand is high, they can sell it to natural gas generators to produce power to sell at maybe $200 a MWh.  Yes, they certainly win.  The consumer, well, let's see.  We'll pay $135 for the bought wind power, sell it for $10, and then buy it again at $200, so the consumer cost is maybe $125 + $200 = $325 a MWh.  (About 4 x the price paid for nuclear generated power in Ontario).  The more surplus we create, the more we'll be able to sell at low price, and buy back at high price, so the cost for us will go up even more.

'World-first' hydrogen project raises questions about its role in fuelling future homes.  On the northern shores of the Firth of Forth, royal blue waters lap against the weathered walls of Methil Docks.  The quays were once a hub for coal exports but, since the late 1970s, haven't dealt in the black stuff.  Now, the town on Scotland's east coast is flirting with another era in the energy industry — but it doesn't appear to be going to plan.  In what has been dubbed a "world-first project", called H100, about 300 homes in Methil and neighbouring Buckhaven in Levenmouth were planned to be powered by "green hydrogen" gas [beginning] next year.  Customers are offered free hydrogen-ready boilers and cookers under the scheme, scheduled to last at least four years. [...] Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water using electricity from renewables, with minimal emissions.  Under the plans, an existing 7 megawatt, 200-metre-high offshore wind turbine would be used to power an electrolyser on the nearby Fife Energy Park before the hydrogen is stored and transported to homes through a newly laid network of pipes.

The Editor says...
[#1] I suspect the trucks and tractors used to install the new pipes will be powered by diesel engines.  [#2] The consumers participating in this project have a great advantage over most people:  The (hydrogen) gas appliances are being provided to them at no cost.  That doesn't give a good indication of the feasibility of residential hydrogen use in the free market.  [#3] Windmills don't spin all the time.  What happens when the hydrogen supply fails to meet the demand?  I suspect we'll never hear about it.  [#4] How does the energy available from a cubic foot of hydrogen compare to the energy available from a cubic foot of natural gas?  A quick internet search reveals natural gas (methane) has a 3-to-1 advantage over hydrogen, among other advantages.

The Green Hydrogen Swindle.  Hydrogen has two big problems which turn any project into a dead whale exercise.  The first is that pure hydrogen doesn't exist — it's both everywhere and nowhere.  We must generate all the hydrogen we can then use, and this requires a lot of energy.  This is fine when the output of the process is something very valuable to us, such as fertiliser.  But less so when the output of the process must compete with much cheaper commodities, as it must in an energy market.  Secondly, hydrogen's intrinsic physical properties create a whole range of unique problems.  It's a tiny atom that easily escapes confinement.  Keeping it captive for storage is expensive, and moving it around safely even more so, because in liquid form it must be very cold.  Hydrogen advocates tend to shrug off these issues — solving them will be someone else's problem, they reckon.  Individually, none of these factors make hydrogen as an energy carrier or storer impossible, but the whale-like properties are becoming harder to ignore.

New Years Eve Party Nearly Ends in 170 Dead, Ceiling of Balloons Catch Fire, Nearly Kill Customers.  An entire ceiling caught fire during New Years Even festivities in this pub in the UK.  CCTV footage shows one woman being quickly pulled away before the ceiling collapses right where she was sitting just moments before.  No injuries aside for smoke inhilation were reported.  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
Just from looking at the video and reading the summary, one could easily surmise that the balloons were filled with hydrogen.  That is a sensible move, considering the high price and finite supply of helium.  However, hydrogen balloons are unsuitable for indoor use, especially in a room full of drunks (and dried-up Christmas trees) at a New Years Eve party in a bar.  Inevitably some idiot will produce a cigarette lighter and accidentally torch the place — right after saying, "Hey, watch this!"

RWE, Kawasaki to build industrial scale H2-capable gas turbines in Germany.  RWE revealed in November that it would add at least 2 GW of gas-fired power plant capacity to support the energy transition with flexible power.  These new plants will be provided with a clear decarbonization pathway.  For existing plants, RWE is developing a roadmap to convert them ready for clean operations.  Together with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, RWE is planning to build a hydrogen-powered gas turbine in Lingen, Germany.  It will be used to test the conversion of hydrogen back into electricity at RWE's Emsland gas-fired power plant.

Wood for the Trees: rush to green hydrogen masks mammoth plans to wood-chip the forests.  Dominic Perrottet and his new Treasurer, Matt Kean, enthusiastically unveiled their $3 billion "world leading" green hydrogen strategy for NSW last month, with promises of $80 billion in private investment and more than 10,000 jobs created.  What the two politicians didn't say was that NSW forests would be the source feedstock for the so-called "renewable energy".  Nor did they detail that this latest effort to convince the public their government is "serious" about net zero commitment, is in fact yet another massive money pit labelled "renewable energy".  A green light to the corporate cowboys waiting to cash in on the net zero train.  One of the first cabs off the green hydrogen rank is the old coal-fired Redbank Power Station near Singleton.  It is now owned by Verdant Earth Technology, previously known as Hunter Energy.  The project plans to convert the station into a 150-megawatt biomass plant to generate 1,00,000 MWh of green baseload power, equivalent to supplying 200,000 homes with net zero CO2 emissions.

The Editor says...
The avoidance of CO2 emissions is futility.  The money spent in such efforts is completely wasted.  There will always be CO2 in the air.

Homes may have gas cut off if they refuse to take part in hydrogen trial.  Homeowners who refuse to take part in a hydrogen energy trial will be forcibly cut off by gas network operators, under Government plans to test green heating alternatives.  Residents in one village will begin the pilot scheme by 2025 to help the Government assess whether hydrogen gas can be used as a low-carbon alternative for heating homes across the country.  Ministers insisted the powers to enter people's homes and switch off their gas would only be used as a "last resort" if the homeowners had refused to engage with any other options.  A consultation, which ended this week, suggests the Government will seek powers to allow gas distribution networks to enter homes if their owners do not wish to take part in the trial, in order to safely switch them off from the gas grid.

Household energy bills will rise when homes are forced to switch to hydrogen heating, energy minister admits.  Household energy bills are expected to rise amid plans to force homes into using hydrogen heating.  The starting gun for a new 'dash for gas' was fired yesterday [8/15/2021] as the Government launched its strategy for Britain to burn hydrogen and create a £900 million industry in the next five years.  Energy Strategy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that creating a UK hydrogen industry would lead to 9,000 jobs by 2030, by which time the sector's economy would be worth £4 billion.  This would rise to 100,000 jobs and £13 billion in economic benefits by 2050, he said. [...] Hydrogen is considered a 'key pillar' in the quest to make Britain 'net zero' — or emitting zero greenhouse gases — by 2050.

The Editor says...
[#1] Any time a politician promises to create 100,000 "green" jobs, in an industry where no such jobs existed before, you can bet the farm that the actual number of jobs created in the remainder of this century will be about a thousand.  Probably less.  [#2] There is very little energy available from hydrogen gas, as opposed to methane (natural gas) or hydrocarbon fuels (coal, oil, diesel, gasoline).  The government of the U.K. has set as its primary goal the elimination of carbon dioxide.  This is futile, of course, because China and India are making no such effort.  It is also expensive.  Why not let the customers decide which fuel to use for home heating?  We call that free-market capitalism.

A few words on behalf of hydrogen:
Hydrogen gas-fuelled airships could spur development in remote communities.  Unlike the prohibition on hemp, hydrogen gas bans in the United States and Canada are extremely narrow.  It's legal to use hydrogen for almost every conceivable purpose, except one:  as a gas to provide buoyancy for airships, more commonly known as blimps (although there are differences between airships, blimps and dirigibles).  In fact, Canada still has a ban enshrined in its air regulations that states:  "Hydrogen is not an acceptable lifting gas for use in airships."  Canada's ban on this use of hydrogen is strange given that Canada has never had an airship industry.

Are you ready for ... greenie hydrogen?  The reality is that all green generators are unreliable and intermittent — they seldom produce rated capacity for more than a few hours.  "Green hydrogen" would create a messy scatter of expensive equipment for panels, turbines, roads, power lines, electrolytic cells, and specialised storage tanks and freighters — all to produce stop-start supplies of a tricky, dangerous new fuel.  Risking capital in such ventures is best suited to unsubsidized and well-insured speculators.  There are other problems.  Australia, where I am, is a huge dry continent.  Burning hydrocarbons like coal, oil, and gas releases plant-friendly CO2 and water into the atmosphere.  (Every tonne of hydrogen in coal produces 9 tonnes of new water as it burns.)  However, every tonne of green hydrogen extracted using electrolysis will remove more than 9 tonnes of fresh surface water from the local environment.  That water may be released to the atmosphere far away, wherever the hydrogen is consumed (maybe in another hemisphere).  The tonnage of water thus removed (often from sunny dry outback areas) would be substantial.  Farmers will wake up one morning to see their hills covered in wind turbines and power lines, their flats smothered in solar panels, and a huge hydrogen generator draining their water supply.  Not green at all.

Hydrogen, The once and future fuel?  International enthusiasm for a shift towards a hydrogen economy has never been stronger.  However, this interest is not grounded in any recent technological breakthrough, but in the inexorable logic of current climate mitigation ambitions.  Current policy sees in hydrogen a universal free parameter, offering the possibility of decarbonising otherwise extremely difficult sectors in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.  Policy is thus dependent on the current state of hydrogen production, which is essentially a commodity production system, not an energy system, a fact with severely negative implications for round-trip energy efficiency and cost.  It is a desperate measure, and critically dependent on the viability of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) of the emissions arising from the production of hydrogen.

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers Could Soon Use Innovative Fuel Made From Seawater.  The Department of Defense Office of Naval Research has awarded $300,000 to the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Rochester, for an ongoing research project that is developing seawater-to-fuel technology.  The project began in April and will continue for 2 years.  The concept is not a new one and scientists have been working on improving this technology for several years.  The idea behind it is that ships could be able to convert seawater into fuel.  More precisely, carbon dioxide and hydrogen could be extracted from water, by using a nuclear reactor on board, and then transformed into liquid fuel.

The Editor says...
If there is a reliable reactor on board, why bother with the additional step of manufacturing hydrogen?

Experts blow up Boris's hydrogen pipe dream.  Major concerns were mounting today over whether Britain will be ready for Boris Johnson's 'ambitious' plans to ban gas boilers in all new-build homes by 2023, after the target was brought forward by two years.  The proposal was branded 'impossible' because just two hydrogen boiler prototypes exist, a fifth of the pipe network still needs to be relaid and every engineer will be retrained.  The ban on methane gas boilers means new homes must have low-carbon alternatives, such as electric heat pumps or hydrogen boilers — but it has surprised many homebuilders who had been working towards a deadline of 2025.  And 20 percent of the UK's pipe network is not yet ready to safely carry hydrogen — while not a single hydrogen boiler is yet on sale for consumers, with only two prototypes currently being tested.

Boris Johnson's green plan brings ban on petrol cars forward to 2030 and promises UK's first hydrogen-powered town.  Boris Johnson has set out plans for green investment over the coming decade, including a target to generate enough offshore wind to power every home in the UK and a ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.  The prime minister's long-awaited 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution" also promised the UK's first hydrogen-powered town, four carbon capture "clusters" to suck 10 megatons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors.  But green campaigners warned that the £12bn in public funding promised by Mr Johnson fell well short of the scale of ambition needed, while there was dismay at his inclusion of "pie-in-the-sky" plans for zero-emission jet planes.

The Editor says...
How would you like to live in a hydrogen-powered city during a thunderstorm?  Maybe they could name the place Hindenburg.  No smoking, please!

Hydrogen touted as fuel of the future.  Hydrogen will transform the transport industry and could eventually replace natural gas, Arup's environment and resources leader Mike Straughton says.  Speaking at the Australian Financial Review's National Energy Summit, Mr Straughton outlined the increasing importance of hydrogen as a future energy source, saying it had "moved beyond the Hindenburg".

Hydrogen produces only water when it burns.  So naturally people would like to see automobiles use hydrogen as fuel.  But unfortunately there just isn't enough energy available from a gallon of liquid hydrogen to justify the cost.  And liquid hydrogen would require a highly specialized gas tank.  Then there is the problem of hydrogen production.  Hydrogen doesn't gush out of the ground in West Texas.  You can make hydrogen at home with a 9-volt battery and a glass of water ... but not enough to start your car.

California's alternative-energy program under scrutiny.  California is spending nearly $15 million to build 10 hydrogen fueling stations, even though just 227 hydrogen-powered vehicles exist in the state today.  It's a hefty bet on the future, given that government officials have been trying for nine years, with little success, to get automakers to build more hydrogen cars.  The project is part of a sprawling but little-known state program that packs a powerful financial punch:  It spent $1.6 billion last year on a myriad of energy-efficiency and alternative-energy projects.

Hydrogen Conundrum.  Hyundai has just released a new hydrogen-powered car in New Zealand — the ix35 Fuel Cell SUV.  It emits water from its tail pipe, so why isn't it on the front burner for environmentalists? [...] Hyundai indicated the fuel cell pack used in the ix35 Fuel Cell SUV, costs $100,000, although many believe it costs more.  Hyundai expects to bring the cost of the fuel cell pack down to $50,000 by 2015.  This is still several times the cost of an internal combustion engine and five times the cost of the Li-ion battery used in GM's Volt.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells May Have Environmental Drawback:  Researchers have issued a report saying that if hydrogen replaced fossil fuels, large amounts of hydrogen would drift into the stratosphere as a result of leakage and indirectly cause increased depletion of the ozone.

Whatever happened to the hydrogen economy?  Even in Iceland, whose grand ambitions for a renewable hydrogen economy once earned it the title Bahrain of the north, visible progress has been modest.  After years of research, the country now boasts one hydrogen filling station, a handful of hydrogen cars, and one whale-watching boat with a fuel cell for auxiliary power. ... In California, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised a "hydrogen highway" with 200 hydrogen filling stations by 2010, there are just five open to the public.

The Realities of a Hydrogen Economy.  Among other things, (1) It costs about $5 to produce enough hydrogen equivalent to the energy potential of one gallon of gasoline.  (2) Hydrogen's low density would require 21 tanker trucks to haul the amount of energy delivered by a single gasoline truck today, and a hydrogen tanker traveling 500 kilometers would use an amount of hydrogen equaling 40 percent of its cargo.  (3) At room temperature, hydrogen takes up 3,000 times more space as an energy-equivalent of amount gasoline, therefore, compressed or liquefied gas must be used in vehicle tanks; but tanks on today's hydrogen vehicles take up to eight times as much space as a normal gas tank to store an equivalent amount of fuel.

The Great Hydrogen Myth:  Hydrogen is held out as a clean-burning, virtually inexhaustible source of energy, but as a Washington Times editorial pointed out in November [2002], others "suggest it is a gaseous dream rising on the rhetoric of environmental windbags."  If enough billions are spent, it seems reasonable to expect hydrogen to become an energy source, but like most environmental pipe dreams, this one has a silent agenda of eliminating petroleum as an energy source, nor can we reasonably expect a dramatic breakthrough.

Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for 40 Years.  President Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the big automakers agree on this much:  They love hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology and its promise of a zero-emission, petroleum-free future.  Unfortunately, experts say it will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long.  In the meantime, fuel cells are diverting resources from more immediate solutions.

Hydrogen cars and hot air:  Would you buy a car that costs 10 times as much as a hybrid gasoline-electric one, like the Toyota Prius?  What if I told you it had half the range of the hybrid?  What if I told you most cities didn't have a single hydrogen fuelling station?  Not interested yet?  This should be the deal closer:  what if I told you it wouldn't have lower greenhouse-gas emissions than the hybrid? ... Nobody should get terribly excited when a car company rolls out its wildly impractical next-generation hydrogen car.

LA gas station gets hydrogen fuel pump.  The Shell station near Interstate 405, which was charging $4.59 per gallon of regular gas Thursday [6/26/2008], features one pump with a bright blue "Hydrogen" label above a video monitor that dispenses the fuel by the kilogram.  Hydrogen is made and stored in a tank above the dispenser.  For now, the fuel is available to roughly 100 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road in California, all of them being used in demonstration programs by motor companies, said Roy Kim, a spokesman with the California Fuel Cell Partnership.  Because all the cars are in those programs, drivers won't be charged for filling up at the station.

The Editor says...
Notice that hydrogen is dispensed by the kilogram, but there is no mention of the price per kilogram, if someone were to try to make a purchase. Notice also that hydrogen is considered safe in cars but not in blimps.

US govt hydrogen highway runs out of road.  The original hydrogen plan was announced by then President Bush in 2003 and, to date, the US government has spent around $500m (£328m/€367m) on the project.  There's not much to show for it other than some Honda FCX Claritys and Chevrolet Equinoxes running around California, and 70-odd hydrogen filling stations nationwide.  Not so much a case of hydrogen tech being put on the back burner but rather being wrapped in cling film and shoved to the rear of the freezer.

DOE to slash fuel cell vehicle research.  The Department of Energy's proposed budget boosts research on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources but makes cuts in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles because the technology is many years from being practical.  The DOE published details of its $26.4 billion fiscal 2010 budget request on Thursday [5/7/2009], and Energy Secretary Steven Chu held a news briefing to cover the highlights.

"Green" buildings:

New £15million 'carbon neutral' university laboratory goes up in flames.  The Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry at Nottingham University was destroyed after it several fires broke out inside the state-of-the-art building on Friday night [9/12/2014].

Report: DC's green-approved buildings using more energy.  Washington, D.C. may have the highest number of certified green buildings in the country, but research by Environmental Policy Alliance suggests it might not be doing much good.  The free-market group analyzed the first round of energy usage data released by city officials Friday [2/28/2014] and found that large, privately-owned buildings that received the green energy certification Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) actually use more energy than buildings that didn't receive this green stamp of approval.  LEED is the brainchild of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a private environmental group.

'Eco-school' that opened just three years ago is already leaking.  When it opened its timber doors three years ago, this £7million 'eco primary school' was applauded for its environmentally friendly credentials.  It was heated by solar power and its plumbing system relied on rain collected from the roof, which was made of locally grown sweet chestnut.  Sadly, the zero-carbon building is not quite as sustainable as the designers had hoped.

Pixel building in Melbourne named among world's ugliest.  The Pixel building in Melbourne has been named among the world's top 10 building eyesores by travel website and Reuters.  An architectural guinea pig in carbon neutral designs, the building stands out with its quirky design featuring what appears to be shards of glass in bright colours.

Children 'falling asleep in stuffy eco-classrooms'.  Children are falling asleep in class because new eco-friendly schools have appalling ventilation, experts warned today.  Builders have created air-tight classrooms which are intended to reduce heat loss but also stop carbon dioxide escaping.  Higher CO2 levels in newly-built schools are leaving children drowsy and less able to concentrate, researchers from University College London and Reading University found.

Climate Change department keep air-conditioning rather than open windows.  Plans to switch off the air-conditioning and instead open windows at the Department for Energy and Climate Change have been scrapped after staff complained about the noise. ... The trial was abandoned after three days because staff at the department complained about noise from construction works, "the wrong kind of breeze" and the potential security risk.

Green Math Is Bad Math.  [Scroll down] The entire renovation costs $133 million.  The plants are only one component, but the G.S.A. admits that the renovation is being undertaken for the purpose of making the building "green."  Done as a project of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, the renovation is Oregon's largest federal stimulus project.

Chicago officials say pebbles broke windows.  Chicago officials say white pebbles spread on rooftops to reflect sunlight are to blame for some broken high-rise windows in last week's violent storms.

Nancy Pelosi's taxpayer-funded, exorbitantly expensive, eco-friendly office space.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently moved into a new district office, located in the San Francisco Federal Building.  All sorts of reasons were cited for the move — she'd been in the old office for twenty years; the new office's location is more accessible for her constituents; she needed more space; the new office is in a "green" building.  These explanations seem reasonable, until you find out how much she's paying for them. ... Speaker Pelosi is paying $18,736 a month for her lovely new workspace.

How I (Almost) Saved the Earth.  When I started researching the field of green building, as part of the planning for our own home, I learned that, in many cases, you can't get there from here.  Allow me to share some of the things we learned.  It's California-centric, but I think you can generalize from my experience.  As a rule, the greener the home, the uglier it will be.

Earth day:

Earth Day: A Phony Holiday.  Protecting the environment sounds good, if you don't know what the anti-humans behind Earth Day mean by it.  What they have in mind combines a pagan religion, communism — it's no coincidence April 22 is Lenin's birthday — and the "climate change" hoax, which aims to wipe out humanity.  Let's look at these points in more detail.  Pagans want to replace Christianity, which teaches that man has dominion over the earth with a religion of earth-worship.  Marcus Walker Van Every gives a good account of this:  "Tucked nicely into the overarching theme of Earth Day, are core pagan beliefs such as the veneration of Mother Earth, the reduction of human population, the introduction of animistic and pantheistic beliefs, and even the criminalization for man's contribution to climate change.["]

In honor of Earth Day, New Delhi gave the world a massive garbage dump fire.  April 22 is "Earth Day," the annual progressive event that gives a modern makeover to what is nothing more than Gaia worship.  And this year, on Earth Day, a fire has been raging in a New Delhi, India, landfill.  It's a very, very dirty fire that's a reminder about where pollution really comes from[,] and it's not America. [...] Democrats are unmoved by data showing that climate change is a scam from start to finish.  Or, more accurately, "anthropogenic climate change" is a scam.  In fact, the earth's climate has changed unceasingly from Day One.  It gets hot; it gets cold; old life forms die; new life forms come into being.  That is the endless cycle of life on this planet.  We have a moral obligation to refrain from polluting and otherwise despoiling our world, but we're not changing the climate.

Earth Day's radical history.  On April 22, 1970, a trio of radical schemers established the first Earth Day, an event cleverly crafted to assault capitalism, free-markets, and humankind.  The plot was conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WS).  You think AOC and "The Squad" are crackpots?  Nelson paved their paths.  He was Washington's original environmental activist as well the mastermind behind those ridiculous "teach-ins" which were vogue in the Sixties and early Seventies.  During the teach-ins, mutinous school instructors would scrap the day's assigned curriculum, pressure their students to sit cross-legged on the floor, "rap" about how America was an imperialist nation, and converse about Marxist collectivism.  Nelson's teach-in efforts were furthered by a young man named Denis Hayes, formerly Stanford's student body president and well known for organizing anti-Vietnam war protests.

None of the eco-doomsday predictions have come true.  From predicting ecological collapse and the end of civilization to warnings that the world is running out of oil, all environmental doomsday predictions of the first Earth Day in 1970 have turned out to be flat out wrong. [...] Considering the current doomsday predictions scaremonger activists are verbalizing about global warming that will result in the demise of civilization within the next decade, many of those unscientific 1970 predictions are being reincarnated on today's social and news media outlets.  Many of the same are being regurgitated today, but the best prediction from the first earth day five decades ago, yes 50 years ago, was that the "the pending ice age as earth had been cooling since 1950 and that the temperature would be 11 degrees cooler by the year 2000".

Remembering Earth Day's List of Promised Calamities.  Allow me to wish you a joyous Happy Earth Day!  This means, of course — because this is an environmentalist national holiday, after all — that there is nothing at all happy or joyous about today because we need to focus solely on doom and the promise of our demise. [...] Beginning from the very first Earth Day in 1970, there were issues.  Much of the propaganda sermonizing coming from that event concerned us freezing to death from the inevitable approaching ice age.  Also, famine was due to wipe out billions by the end of the century, pollution would block the sun and citizens would need gas masks, acid rain would kill all plant life, and we'd run out of oil... uh, 30 years ago.  To be fair, we have seen some severe starvation, but that was due to Venezuelan political policy.

Celebrate Earth Day With Bright Lights And The Joy Of Internal Combustion.  Saturday [4/22/2023] will mark the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, one full spin of the globe in which we are expected to celebrate the modern environmental movement.  Yet that great cause, if we may paraphrase Eric Hoffer, became a business, then degenerated into a racket that not only became a haven for grifters but also a platform for scolds and eco-religion zealots. [...] The usual scolds expect us "to spend 60 minutes doing something — anything — positive for our planet."  In other words, plunge the world back into pre-modern times.  This might be productive if the point were to show how far man has come — and how far he will go backward if the green zealots get their way.  Instead, it's an opportunity to virtue signal and hector.

Radicals Celebrate Earth Day: 'Maybe Humans Are the Disease'.  Leftists celebrated Earth Day on Friday by using it as a political wedge to cudgel those whom they oppose into compliance.  Earth Day, first designated as an annual event in 1970, has origins that go back to ancient forms of paganism.  For instance, nature worship or "earth religion" includes forms of paganism, such as "animism" (a worldview that all animals and plants have a spirit), "Wicca" (worship of earth mother goddess by magic), and "druidism" (the natural world is synonymous with divinity).  According to Refinery 29, Earth Day is a "sacred holiday" and "a chance for Pagans to show gratitude to nature."  In that sense, "every day is Earth Day," Pagan author Deborah Blake claimed.  Left-wing political pundits use the sacred holiday to push environmentalism, which is different than conservationism.  The radical left has adopted environmentalism as a wedge to promote "climate change," a political cudgel to orient the American economy away from capitalism.

Earth day is coming up.  It is a good time to remind the public what the predictions were 52 years ago.  On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the world was warned that billions would die soon because of a disastrous ice age.  The Earth had been cooling for thirty years and it was about to get much worse.  Crops would not survive the ice age so the people couldn't be fed, The Earth was cooling even though CO2, the population, and fossil fuel consumption was rising rapidly, which we are told causes warming.  The complicit media dutifully repeated these warnings to scare the public with no questions and no research.  The warnings were 100% wrong because they were [wild guesses] instead of based on scientific data.

Dire famine forecast by 1975
Earth Day's legacy of failed apocalyptic predictions.  All the solemnity that attaches to Earth Day, with scolds like Greta Thunberg and politicians attending "virtual" summits, ought to be drowned out by peals of laughter.  The real slogan of the global warming crowd ought to be.  "Fool me once, shame on me.  Fool me fifty times, shame on you."  Yes, fooled by phony proclamations of doom fifty times.  At a minimum.

Earth Day Overshadowed This Year By An Actual Crisis.  Today [4/22/2020] is Earth Day, a celebration conceived by then-U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and first held in 1970 as a "symbol of environmental responsibility and stewardship."  In the spirit of the time, it was a touchy-feely, consciousness-raising, New Age experience.  Most activities were organized at the grassroots level.  In recent years, however, Earth Day has devolved into an occasion for professional environmental activists and alarmists to warn of apocalypse, dish anti-technology dirt, and proselytize.

UN hysteria linking climate change and species extinction mindlessly parroted by media.  Then there were all those looming disasters projected by scientists on the first Earth Day almost fifty years ago.  A quick summary:  We would all be dead by 1985 to 2000.  (I would ask Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez what she thinks of that one.)  We would be out of food either in the 1970s or 1980s.  During the 1980s, four billion people would die, including 65 million in the U.S.  By 1980, urban dwellers would have to wear gas masks to survive.  Soon, none of our land will be usable because of too much nitrogen.  The rivers will be out of oxygen, and freshwater fish will all be gone.  By 1995, 75% to 80% of species will be gone.  And ecologist Kenneth Watt said, because we were going into an ice age, that the Earth would be four degrees cooler by 1990 and eleven degrees colder by 2000.  I thought CO2, humans, and fossil fuels caused warming and it was a consensus, so how did anyone predict a coming ice age?

When Earth Day Predictions Go Predictably Wrong.  As activists around the world recently celebrated Earth Day with warnings about the awful state of our planet, now seems like the right time to share the good news that actually — contrary to countless dire predictions — we're not running out of resources.  In fact, the late economist and scholar Julian Simon was right:  People again and again have innovated "their way out of resource shortages."

18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year.  In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled "Earth Day, Then and Now" to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day.  In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a "torrent of apocalyptic predictions" and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article.  Well, it's now the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 16 years ago:  How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970?  The answer:  "The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong," according to Bailey.  Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the "green holy day" (aka Earth Day) started: [...]

Earth Day:  Opposing Progress Trumps Protecting the Planet.  By injecting a toxic mix of politics and junk science into Earth Day, its organizers forfeit an opportunity to promote the kind of environmental awareness that might lead to worthwhile initiatives.  They turn genuine environmentalists (like us) into Earth Day skeptics.  The Earth Day campaign itself isn't about saving species; it's about limiting or ending the benefits of science and technology that spur progress on so many fronts.

Tonight is Earth Hour:  A celebration of ignorance and poverty.  We are quickly approaching the annual one-hour event in energy self-flagellation and green nitwittery known as Earth Hour, which takes place tonight on Saturday, March 30, at 8:30 p.m (local time). Our friends at Earth Hour are asking people around the world to "set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make noise for the Earth Hour movement."

The Great Earth Day Yawn.  Wait — yesterday was Earth Day!  I must have yawned right through it.  Like most Americans, if you go by the surveys showing increasing public indifference toward environmentalism.  I used to make a big deal out of Earth Day, pointing out for years that the data in rich countries showed an almost unbroken record of significant environmental improvement is just about every major category.

13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970.  In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated — okay, "celebrated" doesn't capture the funereal tone of the event.  The events (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.

Is it "lights out" for Earth Hour?  Power usage spikes on Canada's "Left Coast".  Ten years ago, Earth Hour seemed like a good idea on paper but in practice, the notion people would turn off their lights and electrical gadgets for 60 minutes was farcical and did absolutely nothing tangible.  And now in 2018, it seems more people were celebrating Human Achievement Hour (HAH) than Earth Hour.  Coincidentally, HAH takes place on the same day and time but is all about celebrating technology by turning everything on for 60 minutes.  According to CTV, power usage in British Columbia spiked during Earth Hour so even on Canada's left coast in an NDP-led province with the nation's only elected Green Party MP, it would appear they're no longer buying into Earth Hour propaganda.

Lights go dark for Earth Hour to highlight climate change.  It lasted for just an hour and its power is purely symbolic.

The left's failed civil war.  While tearing down American monuments, such leftists also try to build their own shrines in time or space to celebrate the destruction of capitalism.  They deliberately set April 22 as Earth Day, for example, because its 1970 founding was the 100th birthday of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin.  The left, having made Lenin's birthday an American holiday, has resisted all attempts to change this green-outside, red-inside watermelon day to a natural event, such as the spring equinox, or to a convenient day such as the third Saturday of April.

Flashback: Earth Day Co-Founder Killed, Composted His Girlfriend.  Here's an inconvenient truth about the self-described founder of Earth Day:  He murdered and composted his girlfriend.  Environmental activist and self-proclaimed Earth Day co-founder Ira Einhorn had a dark side.  NBC News reported in 2011 that Einhorn was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend and stuffing her "composted" body inside a trunk.  After five years of being together, Helen Maddux broke up with Einhorn.  Enraged, he threatened to throw Maddux's belongings onto the street if she didn't come by to get them.  She went to Einhorn's apartment to retrieve them on Sept. 9, 1977 but was never seen again.

Reminder: Earth Day Co-Founder Composted His Girlfriend.  You're currently reading this, which means you have Internet access, which means I don't have to tell you that today is Earth Day.  You've been bombarded with it already.  But here's a little something your moral, ethical, and intellectual betters won't tell you, as they're haranguing you about killing the planet by showering too much and leaving your cellphone charger plugged in:  One of the founders of Earth Day is an insane murderer.

Earth Day Roots Include Participation by Convicted Murderer.  Earth Day, originally founded in 1970 by then-U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), is an annual event in which municipalities and communities express their support for preserving the environment in the form of fairs, festivals, and similar events.  Among the festivals and feel-good events that took place this past Earth Day, however, there was no mention of one of the high-profile figures who claimed to have inspired — and to take full credit for the idea — one Ira Einhorn.

We're getting buried in Earth Day trash talk.  Earth Day, the highest of holy days for the Church of Climate Hysteria, has come and, mercifully, gone.  Imagine if it were anything like the Old World's 12 days of Christmas.  We'd never get the National Mall out from beneath the garbage heap sacrificed to Mother Gaia by the climate-change faithful.  Then again, how different are those celebrants' trashy proclivities from a president who burns more than 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to haul Air Force One to the Everglades for a politicized speech he could as easily have delivered from the Rose Garden?

Earth Day: Kwanzaa for liberals.  Earth Day is attractive for a particular variety of liberal.  Young, desiring to be upwardly mobile but maybe finding out now that $250K in student loans and a master's degree in jazz clarinet isn't the ticket, reflexively liberal, lacking in ambition, and, need I say it, white.  At its essence, though, Earth Day is a politico-religious festival much like Kwanzaa.  It was invented out of whole cloth based on pseudo-science.  If one looks at the elements one finds in religions (i.e. creation, fall from grace, redemption, salvation) it is easy to see how Earth Day fits into the religion of environmentalism as easily as the Beatitudes fit into Christianity.

Reminder: Earth Day Co-Founder Killed and Composted His Girlfriend.  It's Earth Day and millions of people across the world are celebrating with events about global warming.  President Obama will travel to Florida via fossil fuel powered Air Force One to give a speech in the Everglades and last weekend people in Washington D.C. celebrated early by trashing the National Mall.  But like many far-left movements, Earth Day has a dark past and was co-founded by a guy who killed and composted his girlfriend.

EPA Administrator to Appear at Broccoli Festival with Willow and Jaden Smith.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy will attend an "environmental justice" Broccoli festival that features performances by Willow and Jaden Smith, who do not believe in school or the concept of time.  "On Saturday, April 25, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will give remarks at the Third Annual Broccoli City Festival's Earth Day celebration," an EPA press release stated.

Obama honors Earth Day by using 9,180 gallons of jet fuel — that's just the start.  President Obama is celebrating Earth Day by flying in his jumbo jet down to Florida so he can tour the Everglades.  The 1,836-mile roundtrip will consume 9,180 gallons of fuel on Air Force One, according to CBS White House reporter Mark Knoller.  And that's just the president's plane.  There will a half-dozen support planes along for the trip, Marine One helicopters, and a 25- to 30-vehicle motorcade belching exhaust into the air.

18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year.  [Scroll down]  Well, it's now the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that [Ronald] Bailey asked 15 years ago:  How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970?  The answer:  "The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong," according to Bailey.

5 Things You're Not Likely to Hear About on Earth Day.  President Obama flew down to Florida this Earth Day [4/22/2015] to give his umpteenth speech on climate change.  That means he'll have added something like 94 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere on his round-trip 747 flight to decry CO2 emissions.  In any case, as with every Earth Day, the public gets an annual dose of fear and loathing about the environmental dangers facing our planet.  Well, here are some inconvenient facts environmentalists aren't likely to tell anyone.

National Mall Trashed After Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Concert.  Yesterday [4/18/2015] was Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, which was celebrated with a concert and other festivities on the National Mall.  While the concert itself was powered by solar energy, the attendees could have learned a lesson or two about taking care of planet Earth.

Earth Day 1970: The 7 Dumbest Predictions Made by the Radical Left Environmental Nutjobs.  [For example,] "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years.  If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000.  This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." — Kenneth Watt

The Rise And Fall Of Earth Day, A Day No One Notices Anymore.  The decline of Earth Day is in part an unintended consequence of its success.  The older among us remember the stinging ozone-laden smog of southern California and the opaque air of Pittsburgh.  These, along with countless other environmental horrors, were pretty much everywhere, and everyone agreed we had tremendous problems.  The EPA was started not by lefty democrats but by Richard Nixon.  People were literally sick and very tired of the obvious pollution of so many of the nation's urban airsheds.

Liberals Litter on Earth Day.  There are many things about liberals that are infuriating, but one of the most aggravating is their unabashed hypocrisy.  From the President of the United States to Earth Day revelers in a San Francisco park, what sets liberals apart from sane people is that they rarely do what they demand from everyone else.

Earth Day co-founder written out of history.  Like many liberal causes that have gone mainstream, powered by partisan media, Earth Day had some very radical beginnings.  First, it's on April 22, the birthday of the ruthless Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin.  If you think that's a coincidence, and it might be, let's learn more about one of Earth Day's founders, Ira Einhorn.  Einhorn was a leftist leader who cheered on the Viet Cong in the 1960s, hoping for a United States defeat.  Then he adopted environmentalism and in 1970 hosted one of the very first Earth Day rallies.  Thereafter, he claimed to be co-founder of Earth Day.

Celebrate Earth Daze!  This Earth Day, we have more to fear from rising gas and food prices than from rising sea levels.  We have long argued that wealthier societies are healthier societies and that reducing emission levels to those desired by such entities as the U.N.'s International Panel on Climate Change and treaties like Kyoto was a recipe for global poverty.  Consider that a 2008 MIT study showed that even the carbon footprint of a homeless person in the United States is more than four times the U.N. recommendation.

Earth Day Denigrates Capitalism — and Humans.  Environmentalists have always admired Lenin.  He was the first disciple of Karl Marx to capture control of a country, and the opening act of his seven-year reign commenced with the abolition of all private property — a Marxist priority.  Despite overseeing a bloody civil war, a devastated economy, and a citizenry without hope, Lenin made it a priority to implement his signature decree, "On Land."  In it he declared that all forests, waters, and minerals to be the exclusive property of the state, and he demanded these resources be protected from use by the public and private enterprise.  Selling timber or firewood, mining minerals, or diverting water for farming was strictly prohibited.

Earth Day and Environmental Insanity:  Anyone who has been paying any attention to the environmental movement has got to have concluded it is insane. ... Environmentalism, worldwide and in the United States of America, is devoted to the collapse of every scientific and technological advance of the past century, along with the capitalist system that made them possible.

Your Non-Plastic Bags Are Killing the Earth, Hippies.  Ah, it's Earth Day: the day when millions of unwitting schoolchildren across this country will be brainwashed into believing there really are 50 simple things that can save the Earth from the devastating effects of modern industry, and where high schoolers will be force-fed copies of An Inconvenient Truth while being excoriated on their rampant embraces of consumerism, right before they drive their gas-guzzling SUVs out of the parking lot and to their jobs at rainforest-depleting fast food restaurants.

The True and Ugly Story of Earth Day.  While Christians across the world marked Easter and Jews marked Passover, liberals marked their annual ode to neo-paganism with hippy-dippy exercises in green self-righteousness.  Of course, they neglected to mention that Gaia herself was a Greek hussy who mythologically created the oceans and the depths by an incestuous relationship with her son, Uranus.  They also neglected to mention that one original co-founder of Earth Day was a murderer, that its first backers were tie-dyed socialists who hated capitalism, and that Earth Day itself was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin.

Earth Day's dark side.  Sunday was Earth Day, the annual jamboree of the green movement held worldwide since 1970.  Unfortunately, a review of the accomplishments of the advocates of environmentalism and population control since that spectacular debut shows very little reason to celebrate.

The True and Ugly Story of Earth Day.  While Christians across the world marked Easter and Jews marked Passover, liberals marked their annual ode to neo-paganism with hippy-dippy exercises in green self-righteousness.  Of course, they neglected to mention that Gaia herself was a Greek hussy who mythologically created the oceans and the depths by an incestuous relationship with her son, Uranus.  They also neglected to mention that one original co-founder of Earth Day was a murderer, that its first backers were tie-dyed socialists who hated capitalism, and that Earth Day itself was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin.

Earth Day Denigrates Capitalism — and Humans.  On this date in 1970, a trio of radical dreamers established Earth Day, an annual event designed to assault capitalism, free markets, and mankind.  The initial concept was conceived by then-Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D.-Wis.).  Nelson was Congress' leading environmentalist, a sort of pre-incarnate Sen. Barbara Boxer in drag.  He was also the mastermind behind those ridiculous teach-ins that were vogue in the '60s and early '70s.  During the teach-ins, mutinous school instructors would scrap the day's assigned curriculum, pressure their students to sit cross-legged on the floor, and "rap" about how America was an imperialist nation, and converse about why communism really wasn't such a bad form of government — it just needed to be implemented properly.

Earth Day instead of Easter?  Some Catholics are concerned with what they see as an attempt by environmentalists to hijack Easter for their own Earth Day purposes.  In a letter dated April 1 to churches across the country, the environmentalist group Earth Day Network encourages priests to remember Earth Day Sunday, even though Easter is that same Sunday.  "This year we again invite you to celebrate Earth Day Sunday and share with your parishioners a story of creation care that will impart to them the importance of protecting a nurturing the planet that was provided to us," the letter reads.

Earth Day — a national establishment of religion.  Friday, April 22, is the 41st anniversary of Earth Day.  The theme this year is "A Billion Acts of Green" and we're asked, like recovering sinners, to reform our ways:  take our baths with less water, turn off the lights, spend less time on the computer, watch less TV, reduce our toilet paper consumption, and make a donation.  Getting an early start, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) observed Earth Day this past weekend (April 16-17) on the National Mall, with 40 exhibits.  As all this suggests, environmentalism has become our newest religion.

The hippie holiday.  Earth Day has become inextricably linked with global-warming mania.  Al Gore — a man with one of the largest carbon footprints in the world — recently likened the struggle to reduce emissions to the civil-rights movement.  This is in keeping with the sanctimonious tone that usually accompanies Earth Day proclamations.  To the radical greens, it's a day for humanity to engage in self-abasement, bow before the altar of Gaia and apologize for the offense against nature of simply being alive.  It's a day to conjure fears, preach limits and condemn the capitalist system that created a country wealthy enough to indulge these shiftless hippies in the first place.

Progressives Against Progress.  [Scroll down]  If one were to pick a point at which liberalism's extraordinary reversal began, it might be the celebration of the first Earth Day, in April 1970.  Some 20 million Americans at 2,000 college campuses and 10,000 elementary and secondary schools took part in what was the largest nationwide demonstration ever held in the United States.  The event brought together disparate conservationist, antinuclear, and back-to-the-land groups into what became the church of environmentalism, complete with warnings of hellfire and damnation.  Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the founder of Earth Day, invoked "responsible scientists" to warn that "accelerating rates of air pollution could become so serious by the 1980s that many people may be forced on the worst days to wear breathing helmets to survive outdoors.

The Annual Green Orgy: Earth Day.  On Earth Day we will have been engulfed by the avalanche of "Green" propaganda that preceded it, fills the day, and then continues relentlessly thereafter.  When I say "propaganda", I am being polite.  Much of the foundation of the environmental movement is pure lies, mind boggling distortions of questionable "science", and a thin veneer for the entire purpose of environmentalism, the imposing of a one-world agenda for the enrichment of a few who dream of a monopolistic control of the world's resources and its human work force.

Environmentalism:  Freedom's Foe.  At the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, some young people, intimidated by the pace and complexity of modern life, were looking either to rebel or to retreat — to tear down "the System," or to withdraw to nature for a "Colorado Rocky Mountain high." ... [T]hey preached the inherent goodness of untouched nature and undisciplined emotion; the corrupting influence of reason, culture, and civilization; economic egalitarianism and small-scale participatory democracy; the mystical infallibility of the collective will and the sacrifice of the individual to the group.  And they were united in their hatred of a common enemy:  modern American, capitalistic society.

Earth Day Is a Holiday For Liars.  I have followed the apocalyptic claims and the legislated mandates of the environmental movement since the 1970s and their single unifying factor has been the lies told to achieve various elements the Green agenda. ... By blocking access to energy such as the ban on oil extraction in ANWR or off the coasts of the United States, by lobbying against the building of coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation plants, by arguing for inefficient, highly subsidized solar and wind alternatives, Greens are creating a national energy crisis.

The Earth Day before yesterday:  "Earth Day" [was founded] by former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.  It's also V.I. Lenin's birthday — which is no coincidence.  Nelson modeled his anti-capitalist protests after anti-Vietnam War demonstrations of that era.  Today, the so-called "environmental movement" he helped spawn has devolved from a gaggle of unwashed adolescent peaceniks into a slick cadre of leftists, lobbyists and lawyers.

The Naked Communism of Earth Day.  It is no accident that April 22, Earth Day, is also the birth date of Vladimir Lenin, an acolyte of Karl Marx, the lunatic who invented communism as an alternative to capitalism.  Earth Day is naked communism.  To begin, it substitutes a worship of the Earth, Gaia, for the worship of God, creator of the universe and the instructor of moral behavior for mankind.  The Earth does not demand a moral code of personal behavior.  Indeed, the lesson it teaches is "the survival of the fittest" and an indifference to suffering.

Earth Day: A Pro-Nature Movement or An Anti-Industrial Religion?  It's been 40 years since the first Earth Day protestors donned their bell bottoms and took over the streets to protest airplane exhaust, traffic, pollution, and litter.  These rallies on April 22, 1970 kicked off the modern environmental movement.  But, when did this quest to lend a hand to mother nature turn into a crusade against modern industry?

Dump Doomsday Dogma.  Earth Day turns 40 today, April 22, a good time for scientists, politicians, journalists and the public to dump climate-change orthodoxy.  Too many facts are interfering with the familiar story line.  The earth is getting warmer and the cause is modern industry.  Unless we curtail industry, and much other human activity, disaster is at hand in the form of catastrophic storms, sea-level rise, and global chaos.  This all comes billed as a matter of settled science, and alarmists have been comparing skeptics to Holocaust deniers.  But as the recent "Climategate" scandal revealed, the alarmists have problems of their own.

Earth hour:

Earth Hour:  A Dissent.  I abhor Earth Hour.  Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century.  Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.  Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores.  Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.  Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible.  The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.  Many of the world's poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung.  This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases. [...] The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity.  I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.  Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness.

'Earth Hour': a celebration of ignorance, poverty, and backwardness.  All you have to do to participate in this annual self-imposed energy blackout is "Switch off your lights for an hour on Saturday, March 27, 2021, at 8:30 pm your local time."  Among the "20+ things you can do from the comfort of your home!" to celebrate Earth Hour tonight include:
  •   Switch off your lights.  This is the DNA of the Earth Hour movement and the easiest way to participate this Earth Hour.  Simply switch off all non-essential lights for an hour!  [What if you have essential lights?]
  •   Dinner-in-the-dark.  Get some candles ready and whip up healthy and delicious meals that will make your taste buds tingle!
  •   Have a night of board games or book readings in candle-light
  •   Try taking portraits of your family and friends in low-light or candle-light!
  •   Challenge your artistic side with a candle-lit paint night
There's just one problem with these candle-based activities to call attention to climate change, your carbon footprint, and fossil fuel dependency — most candles are made from paraffin wax, a byproduct of petroleum refining.  So turning off your electricity that was produced primarily by fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) and burning candles just substitutes one form of fossil fuel-based lighting for another one.  For Earth Hour purists, I recommend NO candle burning tonight!

The Editor says...
You should also refrain from using your cell phone for "candle" light, or for something to do during the hour of darkness, because you'll have to recharge your phone later, so you will save nothing.

Lights-out 'Earth Hour' is 60 minutes wasted.  Few cries for attention are less effective than turning off the lights and sitting in the dark for an hour.  Who can watch if they cannot see?  Nevertheless, the World Wide Fund for Nature is encouraging people around the world to honor, or celebrate, or mourn, or whatever, during "Earth Hour," Saturday night between 8:30 and 9:30.  The idea is to persuade everybody to renounce technology with the flick of a switch, raising "awareness" of the need for big government to rescue the globe, indeed even the universe, from the scourge of global warming.  A surprising number of businesses and organizations have bought into the scheme.

An Hour of Darkness. Or Light!  Earth Hour is a protest against the use of electricity — energy — to light our lives in countless ways.  Anyone who has gone through an outage as I did in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will tell you that life without electricity is an immediate return to primitive times.  Mine lasted a week and included the loss of access to the Internet and the ability to use my computer and every other piece of equipment in the apartment.  It was not fun.

The Darkness of Earth Hour.  Earth Hour shows how far we have come from celebrating human accomplishment to celebrating the lack of accomplishment as an accomplishment.  For all the pretense of activism, environmentalism celebrates inaction.  Don't build, don't create and don't do — are its mandates.  Turn off the lights and feel good about how much you aren't doing right now.  Environmentalism has degenerated into a conviction that all human activity is destructive because the species of man is the greatest threat to the planet and all life on it.

Earth Hour Is a Colossal Waste of Time — And Energy.  The organizers say that they are providing a way to demonstrate one's desire to "do something" about global warming.  But the reality is that Earth Hour teaches all the wrong lessens, and it actually increases CO2 emissions.  Its vain symbolism reveals exactly what is wrong with today's feel-good environmentalism.

Doing the right things for the wrong reasons is a serious mistake.  Earth Hour is yet another symbol of how climate activists have hijacked the environmental movement," said Tom Harris, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) which is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.  "Most people do not realize that, when they turn out their lights for sixty minutes on March 31, they are not supporting science-based environmental protection.  Participants in Earth Hour are unwittingly helping prop up one of the most threatening scientific hoaxes in history — the idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities are known to be causing dangerous global warming and other problematic climate change."

Earth Hour challenged by Human Achievement Hour.  Earth Hour, the annual event that turns off lights as a statement for cleaner energy, marks its fifth year this Saturday [3/31/2012].  But a free-market think tank is trying to get some traction with its alternative:  the Human Achievement Hour, when people are encouraged to leave lights on to show their appreciation for inventions "and the recognition that future solutions require individual freedom not government coercion."

Al Gore's seawater swindle.  [Scroll down]  According to the Montreal Gazette, power usage in Edmonton, Canada, actually increased by 1.01 percent during Earth Hour.  Power usage did drop in Calgary, but as a power company spokesman explained, the drop "was so minuscule that it couldn't even be attributed to that particular event."  As more of the cataclysmic predictions of the global-warming charlatans fail to pan out, these feel-good stunts will become more and more irrelevant.  That's good news because Earth Hour is about hating automobiles and electricity, two of mankind's most important technological developments.

Sitting in the Dark.  Forget the World's Fair, we now have a new way to celebrate human accomplishment.  Instead of going to see a vision of the future, we turn off the lights and sit in the dark for an hour.  Earth Hour shows how far we have come from celebrating human accomplishment to celebrating the lack of accomplishment.  For all its pretentious activism, environmentalism is a movement that promotes inaction.  Don't build, don't create and don't do — are its commandments.

Hour of no power increases emissions.  When asked to extinguish electricity, people turn to candlelight.  Candles seem natural, but are almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light globes, and more than 300 times less efficient than fluorescent lights.  If you use one candle for each extinguished globe, you're essentially not cutting CO2 at all, and with two candles you'll emit more CO2.  Moreover, candles produce indoor air pollution 10 to 100 times the level of pollution caused by all cars, industry and electricity production.

Global warming worriers feel heat of hypocrisy.  It's Earth Hour tomorrow [3/28/2009], warming worriers — your chance to prove how much you don't care.  For a start, you'll prove how much you don't care about being a hypocrite.

No Drop in Electricity Usage in NY and CA at Earth Hour.  The Greenies did not convince the average liberal New Yorkers and Californians to turn off their lights at the appointed Earth Hour of 8:30 PM local time.  By looking at real time data in New York and California, there was no drop in electric usage.

Does lighting candles for Earth Hour defeat the purpose?  During Earth Hour, what will most participants use for illumination?  Candles. ... All these burning wicks raise the question:  Are the emissions from these candles worse for the climate than simply leaving the lights on?  After all, candles emit carbon dioxide too.

The Stupidity, Futility, and Fantasy of "Earth Hour":  Let us forget, for a moment, that "Earth Hour" is a pointless exercise serving only to make environmentalists feel better about themselves by marginally reducing electrical demand for 0.01% of the year.  Let us disregard, for a moment, that the basic reason for having an "Earth Hour" in the first place is fatuous, because global warming alarmism has as much to do with actual science as alchemy does. ... Indeed, a sober analysis suggests that "Earth Hour" doesn't do anything to save a planet that doesn't need saving and that it may in fact rather increase air pollution instead of reducing it.

Earth Hour:  Verging on the Occult.  If previous Earth Hours are any indication, this Saturday's annual ritual will possess a curious blend of contradictory properties.  Switching off the lights for an hour will have little effect on climate change, practical or symbolic, yet it will likely follow the established trend of growing participation each year.  All good contradictions deserve an explanation, but the most likely ones in this case don't bode well for our Western liberal Enlightenment tradition.

Inconvenient questions:  With the fourth global Earth Hour put to bed last night, today let's ask some inconvenient questions of the global warmists.  First, does the real-world failure of virtually all of your ideas ever give you a moment's pause?  From the fiasco in Copenhagen, to the collapse of the UN's Kyoto accord, with its absurd, unrealistic, centrally-mandated, carbon dioxide-reduction diktats, mindful of the old Soviet Union?  Does it never occur to you you've barked up the wrong tree rings?  What about the humiliation of Climategate?

Reality of ooga-booga Earth Hour.  Switch off your lights ... and you've saved the planet.  Have a dance, and you've made poverty history.  Walk over a bridge, and you've ended Aboriginal suffering.  Or, you can do all three at once — dance on a dark bridge — and usher in Paradise itself.

The "smart" power grid:

Compulsory smart meters crucial to fight 'real and growing risk' of drought, experts warn.  Smart water meters must be made compulsory across all households to protect the UK against climate change, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has warned.  The government agency is urging ministers to ramp up the rollout of devices, as it claims water supplies were becoming one of the country's biggest challenges.  Without smart water meters, the NIC said the UK is at heightened risk of drought.  In its latest report, NIC officials said water companies should have the power to compel all homes to accept smart meters as part of a "concerted campaign to reduce water demand".  The UK used about 10 [billion] litres of water a day in 1960 but that has since risen to around 15 [billion].

The Editor says...
[#1] As long as golf courses are irrigated with drinking water, and every city has a municipal swimming pool, and my sprinkler system hasn't been turned on in years, don't talk to me about my water consumption.  [#2] Only a few years ago, when anyone warned about "smart meters," they were referring to electric meters.  Now there are also controversies about "smart" gas meters and "smart" water meters.  Notice that when the government wants to implement an intrusive and objectionable change, they call it "smart" so nobody can complain about it.  For example, "smart cities," in which you can barely move from one place to another.

You'd Have to be Dumb Not to Know Smart Meters Will Soon Be Compulsory.  Last week, the Chief Executive of Centrica/British Gas Chris O'Shea caused outrage when he told a House of Commons committee that so-called 'smart meters' should be compulsory.  But anyone surprised by this hasn't been paying attention.  The 'smart grid' has always required that all domestic and business consumers are fitted with smart meters, and compulsion is the only way that energy companies can manage the scarcity created by the U.K.'s aggressive climate policy agenda.  It doesn't matter how much this policy agenda is wrapped up in fluffy PR, it transforms the relationships between individuals, energy companies and the state.

Smart meters could soon cost you a whole lot more.  What remarkable power climate change has to turn the usual rules of fairness on their head.  The poor pay the taxes and the wealthy get subsidised.  It has happened with electric cars, where well-off early adopters were handed grants of £4,000 to buy a new vehicle — as well as being excused fuel duty and road tax, essentially freeing them from having to make any contribution to the upkeep of roads.  It has happened with heat pumps — whose owners have enjoyed years of subsidies, the latest manifestation of which is £7,500 in upfront grants.  The next phase will be even more painful for the poor and even more rewarding for the wealthy.  The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has put forward proposals to equip smart meters and electric appliances with technology to allow Uber-style surge pricing for electricity, where the price of power will vary on a half-hourly basis.  Under the new system, there would be little warning of when prices would change, unlike the Economy 7 tariff, which has been around for decades and offers consumers cheaper electricity at night.  The reason for the new system is the intermittency of wind and solar, which the government and the green energy industry in general have failed to solve.

How smart meters failed Britain.  Smart meters were sold to Britain as a way of saving energy and ultimately money on our power bills.  However, The Telegraph has spoken to homeowners who say that the devices that send suppliers automatic meter readings are instead leaving them with crippling bills.  It comes as the energy watchdog said on Monday that it was mulling dynamic pricing on smart meters for electricity.  It then emerged that ministers had revised up figures for the number of devices that are faulty to almost four million.  The Government's rollout was supposed to have seen a smart meter installed in every home by 2020.  The programme is forecast to cost more than £13.5 [billion] and is lagging far behind a revised target to install the devices in 80 [percent] of homes by 2025, with currently only 61 [percent] of households using one.

The smart meters scandal is about to explode in our faces.  In reality, the smart meter fiasco risks turning into the next Horizon scandal.  Like so many government-backed technologies, it was sold as a way of making the system more efficient, with the added benefit of helping us hit our net zero targets.  Smart meters installed in our homes would give us more accurate readings of how much electricity we were using, while the little monitors in the corner might gently nudge us towards consuming a little less (which would be helpful, given that the Government has woefully failed to make sure we have enough power to keep the lights switched on).  What's not to like about that?  Well, quite a lot as it turns out.  According to the latest figures from the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero, of the 30 million meters installed in British homes, almost four million are not working properly.  The estimate was 2.7 million in June last year, but has now been revised dramatically upwards.  The results of that can often be painful.  Households may well have been overcharged for the energy use, and at a time when many are already struggling to pay their energy bills.  Some households might now have to go back to manual readings if they want to question their bill, but the technology can make that difficult, too.

Nearly a million Brits face being forced onto controversial smart meters.  The BBC has announced it is switching off a 40-year-old long-wave radio service which will force almost a million household to switch to smart meters or risk paying higher heating bills.  Since the late 1980s, the BBC has broadcast the Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) which tells meters across the country when to change their fees from high to low.  Around 900,000 households, mostly those that are off the gas network and use electricity for heating and hot water, use tariffs such as Economy 7 or Economy 10 which offer cheaper power at night.

Blackouts, Here We Come.  People around the world are increasingly realizing that "green" energy is actually black — as in blackouts. [...] It is extraordinary that no one in any country has actually tried, seriously, to figure out how to power a modern economy with intermittent and absurdly expensive wind and solar power.  We are simply cruising toward disaster with inept and even senile politicians at the helm. [...] A "smart meter" is one that will adjust the temperature in your house, or otherwise reduce your use of electricity, when the utility can't produce enough electricity to meet demand.  In other words, the plan is for us to get poorer through electricity rationing.

Energy Bill Authorises 'Reasonable Force' to Install Smart Meters.  You probably know that a massive Energy Bill is being rushed through Parliament by our fake 'Conservative' Government in the first two days of our parliamentarians' return from their generous summer break.  The Bill is 446 pages long and written in dense, largely-incomprehensible-to-any-normal-person legalise.  Moreover, many clauses in the Energy Bill make reference to other pieces of previous legislation.  So, to fully understand the Bill, you would have to read at least a thousand pages of dense legalistic gobbledegook.  Given that our MPs have just passed the Bill with a mere nine voting against it, one must assume that they have spent their summer holidays diligently reading through the Bill and other relevant legislation in order to fully understand what they were voting for.

Big Brother's Heating & Cooling Service.  As the global energy crisis drags on, the responses to it are going to get more authoritarian.  Here's an example:  the government of Japan are looking into the possibility of remotely adjusting the temperature in private homes which are deemed too warm or cool.  Japan, as the article notes, is hot and humid in the summer and can be chilly in the winter.  The idea of an "Energy Conservation Subcommittee" huddled in a government building in Tokyo somewhere deciding on the optimal temperature of every home in a country of 125 million people should make the citizenry sweat.  Or give them chills, as the case may be.

Peak vs average demand
The peak demand problem that software can't fix.  In the energy world, one of the most vexing problems is in optimally matching electricity supply and demand.  [Chart]  Here the data show that society and the electricity-consuming services that people like are generating a growing gap between peaks and valleys of demand.  The net effect for a hydrocarbon-free grid will be to increase the need for batteries to meet those peaks.

The Biggest Junk Science of 2018.  [#9] Electricity Customers Complain About Dangers From Wireless "Smart Meters."  Utilities across the country are installing "smart meters" in millions of homes in order to futurize America's aging electrical grid, but in North Carolina, thousands of people claimed "sensitivity" to radio-frequency waves was giving them headaches, ear-ringing, and "brain fog."  Such sensitivity to smart meters is not realistic according to the laws of physics, a fact recognized by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.  Nevertheless, North Carolinians are now permitted to opt out of their smart meters thanks to a decision made this summer by the N.C. Utilities Commission.

A botnet of smart irrigation systems can deplete a city's water supply.  Ben-Gurion University of the Negev cyber security researchers warn of a potential distributed attack against urban water services that uses a botnet of smart irrigation systems that water simultaneously.  The researchers analyzed and found vulnerabilities in a number of commercial smart irrigation systems, which enable attackers to remotely turn watering systems on and off at will.

Judges:  Smart Meters are 4th Amendment 'Search'.  Privacy and health activists long have raised opposition to smart meters — the technological wizards that monitor power usage in a home, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis, and report it to the utility that owns them.  And sometimes others.  Now an appeals court has affirmed that their readings constitute a "search" under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which establishes "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."  But the judges also found that the "search" that was done by the devices was "reasonable."  Whether the judgment is rendered in future cases regarding the use of the meters, oftentimes mandated by the utility, remains to be seen.

California Wants to Reinvent the Power Grid.  So What Could Go Wrong?  Two decades ago, when California deregulated the delivery of electric power, lawmakers, regulators and even some environmentalists hailed the decision as a way to lower consumers' bills.  The strategy proved disastrous.  The plan resulted in an energy crisis that sent power bills soaring, prompted billions in penalties against utilities and banks for manipulating the new electricity market, and led Congress to enact laws to help prevent it all from happening again.  Now the state's leaders have a new proposal for an energy makeover, this time to create a single authority to manage the electric grid for most or all of the West.  This plan, too, promises to cut costs for consumers — by as much as $1.5 billion a year — while helping to bolster use of carbon-free power sources.

Dumb Energy.  The core characteristic of wind and solar is that they are erratic sources of electricity.  The supply is randomly intermittent. [...] The wind and solar promoters, in order to accommodate their dumb energy, demand that the electric grid be re-engineered to become a "smart" grid.  Perhaps the idea is that if the grid is smart enough, the dumb energy will be canceled by the smart grid.  That's actually what the smart grid people have in mind.  The smart grid is supposed to be agile enough to fill in the gaps when the wind or solar is playing hooky.

The smart grid has its drawbacks:
Automatic Circuit Reclosers Probed as Potential Cause of California Fires.  Wind-swept fires that killed more than 40 people in California in recent months have also jolted the state's biggest utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE).  The utilities have had to work around the clock to keep power flowing to fire-afflicted communities, even as their equipment and policies face scrutiny as potential contributors to the deadly fires.  California regulators, politicians and trial lawyers are querying SCE and PG&E's tree trimming and line maintenance — common culprits in prior California fires — but they are also examining a utility device that produces sparks by design:  automatic circuit reclosers.  Automatic reclosers are pole-mounted circuit breakers that can quickly restore power after outages, but they can also multiply the fire risk from damaged lines.

'Confusion and resistance' slows down UK smart meter rollout.  Lack of consumer engagement, insufficient information, and inadequate attention to vulnerability has slowed down the UK rollout of energy smart meters, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Sussex.  The £11 billion smart meter programme, which is supported by a £100-million marketing campaign, has not met its targets due to consumer apathy and confusion, especially in the case of vulnerable people, say the researchers.  The UK government planned to install smart meters in every home by 2020 to reduce national household energy consumption by 5-15%, and thereby help meet the UK's climate change targets.

Obama Has Little To Show For His Lavish Spending On Roads, Green Energy And E-Cars.  Obama pushed aggressively for a "smart electric grid," that could better manage electricity use.  But a 2016 report from the Manhattan Institute finds that this push has also made the nation's power grid more vulnerable to cyberattack.  "The push for 'greener' and 'smarter' grids requires far greater grid-Internet connectivity to ensure the continuous delivery of electricity," notes the report's author, Mark Mills.  "These greener, smarter grids will involve a vast expansion of the Internet of Things that greatly increases the cyberattack surface available to malicious hackers and hostile nation-state entities."

Your smart meter is very secure (against you) and very insecure (against hackers).  The meters are designed to treat their owners as attackers:  you are your smart meter's adversary, because if you could control it, you could use it to defraud the power company about your electricity usage.  As a result, the physical security of smart meters is very good.  But the corollary of this adversarial relationship is that your meter's networked insecurities are, by design, impossible for you to remedy or override.

Why Light Bulbs May Be the Next Hacker Target.  Researchers report in a paper that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed "smart home" of the future.  The researchers focused on the Philips Hue smart light bulb and found that the wireless flaw could allow hackers to take control of the light bulbs, according to researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science near Tel Aviv and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

The Great Smart Meter Con.  In the cross hairs of an attack are smart meters, digital devices that replace traditional automated utility meters at individual homes and businesses.  Like their conventional cousins, smart meters measure electric power usage, and some record gas and/or water use, too. [...] But the other side of the coin, opponents say, is that government can spy on and ration your energy use by means of these digital meters.  During the 2015 California drought, for example, bureaucrats used them "to catch citizens consuming more than their government-approved water rations," as Alex Newman reported for The New American.  In what amounted to warrantless search and collection of data, Long Beach Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier bragged, "We are using it specifically for an enforcement tool to go after those customers who we've gotten lots of complaints about," and to fine them for using more than their "fair share" of water.

Hackers could throw off our power grid by manipulating our AC units.  Ingenuity isn't exactly a quality you want in hackers, unless of course, they're on your side.  In a rather terrifying discovery, researchers have found an alarming vulnerability in our security system, and it's one that can be found in most American homes and offices — the air conditioner.  Power grid failures, a topic of great consternation in movies and in real life, would pose a serious problem on a large scale, and as computer hacking and digital warfare grow more advanced, security personnel are looking into some unconventional methods by which certain breaches might occur.

The Editor says...
Hijacking every air conditioner in town in order to cripple the power grid is not a problem.  Keep your air conditioner (and your refrigerator) disconnected from the internet.  Or hide it behind a firewall.  The grid can be overloaded, but this isn't a way to do it.

Smart Meters Used as Law Enforcement Tools.  Opponents of Smart Meters have argued for years that they are monitoring devices that can be used to control home appliances.  Finally, in 2012, NBC ran a report admitting that Smart Meters can indeed spy on households and their activities.  While this article referred to a German manufacturer, similar uses are being reported.  Perhaps what is most disturbing is the ready sacceptance the media and many individuals have to being monitored.

What "Smart Meters" are really all about.  "Smart meters" aren't about saving power; they're about government control.  Witness the latest from Johannesburg, South Africa where authorities are pleading with residents "not to panic" when power is shut off to households that are consuming more than their fair share of electricity.

City Power pleads with residents not to panic.  "City Power has started to roll out a solution called load limiting in its areas of supply in Johannesburg and households have been advised to reduce their consumption by switching off non-essential items such as geysers, stoves and pool pumps when they experience disconnections to ensure a steady supply," City Power said in a statement issued on Sunday [7/19/2015].  Load Limiting is a technology that enables City Power to accurately identify and ascertain household consumption in real time in relation to the available generating capacity.

Governor Moonbeam Regulates Bathroom Activities.  Changing behavior is what liberal fascists are all about.  For them change — specifically, coerced change — is an end in itself.  Stalin figured it out long ago:  control food, control people.  But Democrats are doing him one better.  Control water, control food production and people.  How will the authorities know if you took too long in the shower?  One way is if your neighbors rat you out, just as in any other police state.  Another is the smart meter: [...]

Ontario's Green Energy Subsidies — some of what we know.  We know industrial wind energy developers were given lucrative 20-year contracts and paid to produce electricity guaranteeing 13.5[¢]/kWh no matter the time of day power was generated.  We know that industrial wind energy developers were given 20-year contracts that included a cost of living benefit up to 20%.  We know industrial solar under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program paid contracted parties, e.g., IKEA, the Township of Markham, etc., over 70 cents/kWh for generation, while those same companies/municipalities purchased power for their use at the same rate as the rest of us.  We ordinary customers pick up the tab for the difference.  We know that the Office of the Auditor General (AG) on two different occasions clearly noted the Ontario government failed to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for just about everything associated with the Ministry of Energy's portfolio.  We know "smart meters" cost us about $2 billion but failed to produce any meaningful benefit other than allowing local distribution companies to bill us on a time-of-use basis.  We know energy costs have doubled since 2003.

Smart grid powers up privacy worries.  The next Big Data threat to our privacy may come from the electricity we consume in our homes.  "Smart" online power meters are tracking energy use — and that data may soon be worth more than the electricity they distribute.

Chinese Threat To U.S. Power Grid Closer Than Thought.  As severe as U.S. national security problems are with the militarily resurgent Russia and China, an unguarded southern border and an increasingly barbarous, terrorist Middle East, the stealthy speeding shark under the water's surface may well be the Chinese cyberthreat.  Rogers warned the House Intelligence Committee this week that China and "one or two other nations," after performing constant "reconnaissance" missions on U.S. utility companies, were now in a position to blow out our power grid.  It would be an act of war that would leave the U.S. powerless to retaliate and, worse still, powerless to identify the perpetrators.

60 new state privacy laws in last 12 months.  Utilities in California are restricted in secondary uses of customer data in so-called smart grid technology, which allows precise pricing based on usage.  This is the first such law in the nation.

"Demand-side management": Blackouts by another name.  In a recent speech Ed Davey announced that energy intensive companies would be paid to switch off their machinery during times of high demand.  As many have noted, this not what happens in healthy energy markets.  Although this policy is called 'demand-side management', jargon does not disguise what is still a blackout.

The Future Electric Grid.  It was only a little more than ten years ago that a National Academy of Engineering report ranked the invention of the electric grid at the top of a list of the 20 greatest inventions of the 20th century.  Not just one of the great engineering achievements, but first amongst them.  The Academy ranked the Internet 13th.  Now we hear increasingly that technology is making today's electric utility model "obsolete" and will put its companies into a "death spiral."  Is it possible that so much has changed so quickly?  Post-utility advocates point to three technologies as disrupters:  photovoltaics (PV), batteries, and smart or micro grids.

Com Ed's Smart Meters Poke Holes In Privacy Walls.  With the failure of Cap-and-Trade legislation, so-called smart meters (representing a power takeover), are being forced upon consumers by electric utilities, including Illinois' ComEd, as just another technology that will achieve government-sponsored extortion of American citizens.  It was in 2009 that the U.S. government allocated $11B of taxpayer funds from the 2009 bailout package to develop a "smart" grid, including "smart" meters for every home's electricity, gas and water.  Accordingly, smart meters have now become an integral part of the infrastructure to implement U.N. Agenda 21, the resulting document of the 1992 Rio Conference in Brazil (Informal name:  The Earth Summit), whose principal themes are the environment and sustainable development.

Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get 'Smart Meters' or Pay Fine.  [Scroll down]  The New York Times reported in December 2009 that many customers in California were in "open revolt" over the nearly 4 million new meters already installed by the utility company Pacific Gas & Electric because they claimed the meters were running too fast and charging them for energy they hadn't used.  One meticulous customer interviewed by the Times compared her usage for the month July 2008, before the meter was installed, to July 2009.  She found her recorded usage jumped from 474 kilowatt-hours to 646 kilowatt-hours.  Her bill was more than $20 higher.  Another customer saw an even bigger jump in 2009, from 236 kilowatt-hours to 791 kilowatt-hours.

EPA Wants Gov't To Control How Cold Your Beer Can Be.  In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an "optional" requirement for a "smart-grid" connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider.  The feature lets the utility provider regulate the appliances' power consumption, "including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times."  So far, manufacturers are not required to include the feature, only "encouraged," and consumers must still give permission to turn it on.

Chicago Suburb Arrests Mothers for Refusing Energy Meters.  In Naperville, IL, two mothers were arrested last week for refusing to allow utility workers to install controversial smart meters on their homes.  The city's new Naperville Smart Grid Initiative requires new controversial smart meters to be installed in every home.  Residents opposed to the smart meters have been fighting the initiative for over two years.

Insight Into Smart Meters.  The hype surrounding the smart grid has resulted in smart meters being equated with the smart grid.  Smart meters can improve certain aspects of the distribution system, and can play a very limited role in efficiently managing the grid, but they do not comprise the major components of, what is referred to as the smart grid.  The mystique surrounding the smart grid is being used to entice the public into supporting expensive modifications to the grid, many of which are unnecessary except for integrating intermittent, unreliable renewables.

National power-grid tech blueprints 'stolen by Chinese hackers'.  An espionage attack on Telvent — the maker of power-grid control systems and smart meters — has been linked to a prolific Chinese hacking crew.  Telvent, a division of Schneider Electric, has admitted hackers breached its corporate network, implanted malicious software and lifted sensitive project files.  The raid spanned Telvent systems in the US, Canada and Spain according to a letter sent to the company's customers this month.  Criminals can now study the documents for vulnerabilities in the systems, and potentially devise attacks to sabotage nations' electricity distribution networks.

Smart meter or no power at all.  [Scroll down]  Doesn't Nevada have an 'opt out' choice?  Angel says "Nevada residents only won the right to be placed on the 'delay list', not a full 'opt out'."  In other words, if you wised up before the installation trucks came and still have your analog, NVE has a 'delay list' you can sign to 'delay' your installation date.  But if the power company managed to sneak on your property and install a smart meter — even without permission — then your choice is a smart meter or no power at all, as Mona discovered.  Even if you have a letter from your doctor, the power company apparently thinks it knows best what's good for you.

We Are All Being Exposed [To An] Avoidable Health Hazard .  The powerlines were designed to transmit electricity.  They are using broadband, Dsl, Wi-Fi, wired, unwired, Sat, cell; whatever they choose to use because they have many options on how to operate the Smart Grid Network.  The noise is a by-product of the Radio Frequency interference, radiation and dirty power riding on the wires and radiating through every outlet in to your home, school and workplace.

"Smart Meter" Hearing in Texas Draws Crowds Seeking Opt-out.  Hundreds of activists showed up at a hearing about so-called "smart meters" held by the Texas Public Utility Commission this week, with most of them seeking a way to opt-out from receiving one of the controversial electricity meters that critics link to serious privacy and health concerns.  A Republican member of the state legislature even promised that if the PUC refused to allow consumers a choice, he would introduce legislation to force its hand.  The federally backed meters have long been a source of controversy and criticism in Texas, which has rolled out millions of the devices in recent years and is reportedly almost 90 percent finished with its state-wide installation scheme.

In Australia:
Smart meter data shared far and wide.  Detailed information about electricity customers' power usage, which gives insights into when a house is occupied, is being shared with third parties including mail houses, debt collectors, data processing analysts and government agencies.

Smart Meters: A Dumb Idea.  Smart meters are expensive devices that allow electric companies to track and control electricity usage in an individual household.  Consumers are skeptical that they are worth the $5.4 billion California utilities are charging for them.  Are the meters supposed to save electricity?  No.  Smart meters merely track electric usage, just like their older, dumber predecessors.

Smart Meter Privacy.  Smart meters are designed to collect — and transmit — "real time" energy usage, meaning they update your utility constantly, like a Facebook or Twitter page about how much power you use.  Smart meter collect and transmit an enormous amount of your personal information, with few protections to keep your private information private.

I do not like this, Uncle Sam, I do not like the GO GREEN Scam.  [Scroll down]  What most people have avoided discussing is the fact that the power grid is very vulnerable to disruptions and "catastrophic failure," particularly the Smart Grid.  Currently, not everyone is attached to the Smart Grid because the Smart Meters installation has not been completed.  Some citizens who know what Smart Meters are and do, reject them on the basis of intrusion into their lives without a search warrant; health issues from constant radiation, and loss of control to the power company to shut off electricity during peaks of consumption, usually very hot and very cold days.  The federal government has given utilities hundreds of billions of dollars to install Smart Meters.

The Death of Privacy by Bits and Bytes.  "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them" is attributed to V. Lenin.  Fast-forward to the "digital everything" age, and the 21st-century equivalent is coming to us via the "smart meter" and "smart grid" of your electrical energy provider.  In this case, your personal privacy is going to be hung out and left twisting in the wind via the invasion of smart-chip-equipped appliances into your home communicating with your smart meter and beyond.  These chips never sleep and are able to note your usage of electrical power moment-to-moment, be it via your computer, washing machine, dish washer, heat pump, or electric toothbrush.

Smart Meters and Energy Efficiency.  Smart meters are being promoted as a key part of a strategy for improving energy efficiency.  Some utilities, such as Commonwealth Edison, have sold state legislatures a bill of goods so that utilities can charge customers for installing smart meters.  Whether smart meters can improve energy efficiency is questionable, but they do save utilities money.

What is a Smart Meter?  A smart meter is an advanced meter that can identify consumption of a utility product and communicates this information to a utility for monitoring and billing.  Transmitting smart meters are being installed nationwide on gas, water, and electrical services, driven in part by funding for the Smart Grid Program approved as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Smart meters enable consumers to go online and see how their energy consumption changes as they turn off lights, turn down their heat or make other energy saving measures.  They can operate with wireless microwave radiation, broadband over powerlines, or wired communications. Most smart meters deployed in the United States are wireless.

Restructuring Electric Power Grid for 'Clean Energy'.  In a Mar. 16 memorandum, Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined plans to change the long-standing public-private management of the nation's hydroelectric distribution operations in an effort to advance the Obama administration's green energy agenda, critics charged on Thursday [4/26/2012].  The memo was the focus of a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources to examine Chu's plan, which includes centralizing oversight of the electric power grid to the federal government and setting rates based on criteria that would benefit wind, solar and other "renewable" energies.

Our rights, metered.  Power companies in Vermont have officially declared war on the privacy and wellbeing of their customers.  In a rollout largely funded by a massive Department of Energy stimulus grant, Vermont's electricity utilities have begun replacing standard, analog meters with wireless models known as "smart meters."  While such a technological upgrade may at first glance seem benign, these new meters in fact threaten our health, our privacy and the very values on which this country was founded.  Once your home's analog meters have been replaced, these new, wireless-enabled meters begin tracking your electricity usage in granular detail.

Smart Meters: The Big Brother of Our Day.  Smart meters are designed to decrease peak demand for electricity by turning off electricity to customers by remote.  Remotely controlled thermostats will also turn off air conditioning units.  HVAC contractors are required to install programmable thermostats on all systems in areas where city officials have inspection authority created by city councils.  Thermostats can be overridden by the smart meter so that a home's temperature can also be remotely controlled.  RFID tracking tags will be gradually installed in all items purchased, including digital thermostats.  Non-digital thermostats cannot be tracked and will thus be banned.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine's position on Smart Meters.  The Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine opposes the installation of wireless "smart meters" in homes and schools based on a scientific assessment of the current medical literature.  Chronic exposure to wireless radio frequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.

The Editor says...
I doubt if smart meters transmit RF signals over the air, since they are obviously connected to the power company's facilities by wires.  Even if they do transmit data through radio signals, those signals are most likely triggered by a meter reader out in the street, and the duration is just long enough to send the current kWh total and peak demand numbers.  I don't have any inside knowledge of the electric power industry, but based on my experience in RF communications, that would be my guess.  And in any event, most of the people who seem to be so upset about the issue of RF exposure are probably carrying cell phones wherever they go.

Do President Obama and his fellow Democrats seriously believe that "government should not intrude on private family matters?"  Let us count the ways!
Obama's Government vs. Your Family:  [Scroll down]  If you have a large family, or one with a lot of computers and other electronic equipment, you probably use more electricity than your neighbors, and are willing to pay for it.  But in many communities, there is a sliding scale for usage, so that if you consume, say, 20% more electricity than your neighbors, you pay a 40% higher bill.  This is because liberals believe it is their business how we live, and how much power we consume.

Household Electricity Bills Skyrocket.  Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity.  Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data found.  The jump has added about $300 a year to what households pay for electricity.

Smart Meter Removal Has Begun.  California's Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) has quietly begun replacing Smart Meters with analog meters for citizens reporting adverse health effects.  Consumer rights and other groups demanded immediately that their wireless devices be removed from their homes.  Joshua Hart of reported the good news just as PG&E deploys the last phase of its smart meters in California.  The Department of Energy's promise that the smart grid and smart meters will lower electricity costs has proven incorrect; on the contrary, the utility costs have skyrocketed.

Beware the Smart Electric Meter — It's Coming for YOU!  Many electric companies have installed "Smart Meters" on homes all over the country, and they plan to do the same with every house in America, including yours.  These nifty little electronic wonders track when you turn something on or off, and how many watts your appliances pull. ... The data they collect shows the electric company a variety of things like when you're at home, sleeping, on vacation, or have visitors.  They can see when you turn on your computer, have a cake in the oven, or if you may be running a business out of your home.  In short, it gets inside your home and monitors your living patterns.

The Non-Energy Generating Department of Energy and the Smart Grid.  Smart Meters are digital electricity consumption readers that are installed under the guise that the old ones are either cracked or not reading properly.  Most people acquiesce, without realizing that they have just allowed the installation of a personal surveillance device.  This device will tell a distant data server to whom they do not have access, how many watts they consume, when they turn off and on every lamp in their home, how many computers they have, electric gadgets, when they sleep, when they are on vacation, when they are not home, their living pattern in general, basically a search of their life and home without a warrant.

Smart Meters: Big Brother Has Arrived.  I've heard of these Marxist monitoring devices and was wondering when they'd begin arriving in my town.  So, I stepped outside last night to take a look.  I was quite surprised at what I found attached to the side of my home.  First thing in the morning I was shooting video of what I found.  I suggest you take a look around your home as well.

The "Smart" Meters Cometh.  The last thing I really want is someone, sitting in a remote room somewhere, deciding if and when I have used too much.  While some would chalk up such fear on my part to paranoia, I would like to remind those foolish enough to do so that over the past century many, many things people feared government and their agents might indeed do to strip us of our liberties have indeed come to pass.  Not all, but many.  I would really like to keep my current, "dumb" meter if you do not mind.

Smart Grid:  The Second Biggest Rip-Off in Contemporary Energy Policy.  Ask anyone what a "smart grid" is, and you'll get a different answer every time.  In Boulder, it's a fiber optical network.  In Baltimore, it's a "ZigBee" local area network.  In Oklahoma City, it's GE Smart Meters.  They all were spawned of the stimulus, which showered more than $3 billion to utilities across the country to subsidize any boondoggle that called itself "smart grid."  This is the sort of social policy that makes regulated utilities salivate.  It's ill-defined and capital intensive.

Smart meters are a dumb idea.  Homeowners from coast to coast are growing upset over the "smart meter" devices that utilities are foisting on them by the millions, with the full backing of the administration. ... Smart meters also give the highly regulated utilities the ability to adjust and restrict the flow of electricity to customers.  Some residents are wary that the ability to measure their energy consumption could be used to create a profile of their activities.  Patterns of garage door opening, for example, could indicate when a home is empty and unprotected from burglary.  In California and Texas, other consumers have seen their electric bills rise rather than fall after smart meter installation, belying the promise of savings.

Washington Set to Control Your Light Switch.  Smart Grid sounds harmless and modern, but it will be incredibly intrusive.  Appliances in the future will have microchips installed; when you plug them in, they will handshake with the grid, and a central authority will determine whether that appliance deserves to get power or not.  If a bureaucrat in Washington decides that it's not hot enough for you to put on the air conditioner, your air conditioner will not work.  If the Fed decides that Margaritas lead to too much trouble on Cinco de Mayo, all blenders can be disabled for the day.  They can also turn off radios, televisions and computers.  In the era of electronic information, restricting the freedom of the press is as easy as turning off the light.  The idea is to conserve power, but a Smart Government will be able to use the technology to retain power as well.

What's so smart about 'smart meters?'  Maybe it's just me, but there is something unsettling about having a smart meter tracking my power consumption.  Will there come a day when excessive power usage will be treated as a crime?  Who will determine what is excessive? ... Finding ways for more and more people to use less energy doesn't seem very smart to me.  Why not expand our energy production to meet our growing needs[?]

Nashville Residents' Energy Bills Could Rise Soon.  Older meters are getting replaced one by one with newer digital meters.  NES said the digital ones are more efficient, but some customers who already have the new meter say it isn't as efficient for their bottom line.

Smart-grid hackers could cause blackouts.  Deployments of smart grids should be slowed until security vulnerabilities are addressed, according to some cybersecurity experts, citing tests showing that a hacker can cause a major blackout after breaking into a smart-grid system.

"Smart Grids" & Monitoring Your Power Use.  [Scroll down]  The "Smart Grid" is, for the most part, not about getting power to consumers, but about monitoring and controlling that power once it reaches its destination. ... Whereas present electric meters simply measure the total power consumption of a home or business, "smart" meters will collect far more specific information on power usage.  As Bob Sullivan at the Red Tape Chronicles observed regarding the "Smart Grid," the tale your new electric meter will be able to tell about your life and habits may be of interest to criminals and other people with an inclination to snoop on you.

What will talking power meters say about you?  Would you sign up for a discount with your power company in exchange for surrendering control of your thermostat?  What if it means that, one day, your auto insurance company will know that you regularly arrive home on weekends at 2:15 a.m., just after the bars close?  Welcome to the complex world of the Smart Grid, which may very well pit environmental concerns against thorny privacy issues.

Obama energy official has ties to firms that stand to benefit.  A top Obama administration official who's helping lead a campaign for energy conservation has a major financial interest in two companies that are poised to benefit from the government's spending.  Cathy Zoi, the assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy, owns between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of stock in Landis+Gyr, a Swiss-based manufacturer of special electric meters that are used to create an efficient "smart" grid of electricity use.

Related material:
Time-Of-Day Electricity Pricing:  Most consumers don't know it, but the overnight price for electricity at wholesale can be practically zero.  Utilities and other power producers are sometimes actually forced to pay industrial consumers to use electricity in the early-morning hours — because it's too expensive to shut down power plants at night.  With time-of-day pricing, consumers would be encouraged to alter their habits — running the dishwasher at night, for example — and pounce on such bargains, while evening out demand.

Dallas may be among the first cities to get "smart" electric meters.
Broadband over power lines plan is dead in Dallas.  An ambitious plan for using power lines to deliver fast Internet service to 2 million Dallas-area homes collapsed Thursday [5/8/2008], when Oncor agreed to buy the system.  Current Communications said it will sell its so-called smart grid of networking equipment to the utility for $90 million. ... Here in Dallas, residents should still be among the first in the nation to see how much smart grids can improve power networks.

Power to the People.  Using taxpayer-subsidized solar power panels as a backdrop, President Obama recently announced another $3.4B in taxpayer subsidies to help upgrade the nation's electrical power grid.  The spending includes "smart meters" that theoretically could be used by bribable government officials to throttle back power to the homes of unsupportive constituents.  Not that they actually would engage in such despicable extortion, of course... Okay, maybe in Chicago.  And Detroit.

Meters prove not so smart.  They promised smart would be cheap, but so far it's proving more expensive.  Most Toronto Hydro customers who've been on smart meters and time-of-use (TOU) pricing the longest have actually seen an increase of up to $3 per month.  The cost of the meter itself also adds an extra $3-$4 a month to local utility bills.

National Smart Grid To Transition To More Green Energy Use.  The National Broadband Plan, recently published by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would lay the groundwork for the federal government to establish a nationwide "smart" electrical grid that would change how Americans use and pay for electricity, affecting such things as homes and transportation with battery-powered cars.

PG&E details technical problems with SmartMeters.  After months of denying any technical problems with its SmartMeter program, PG&E publicly detailed a range of glitches Monday [4/26/2010] affecting tens of thousands of the digital meters.  But the San Francisco-based utility said it had found just eight meters that inaccurately reported a customer's energy use, despite thousands of complaints from customers who say the new meters have overcharged them.

Myths Associated with the 'Smart' Electrical Grid.  There is no national "grid."  And a "smart" grid will not "vastly improve" electric power generation or efficiency.

The Smart Grid Trojan Horse.  [Scroll down]  In truth, the [Smart Grid] initiative is but a collection of programs captured in the form of federal standards that separately and jointly advance the Green agenda without raising many eyebrows.  The first effort involves replacing conventional electric meters with Smart Meters.  Smart Meters are key, because they can be programmed to total your energy consumption by time-of-day (among other sophisticated capabilities).  This feature facilitates the application of Time-of-Use (TOU) billing tariffs, euphemistically called "dynamic pricing" in marketing circles.

SmartGridCity pilot project in Boulder won't be repeated or expanded.  SmartGridCity — the $45 million Boulder-based smart-grid experiment — will not be repeated or expanded, David Eves, chief executive of Xcel Energy's Public Service Co. of Colorado, said Monday [8/23/2010].  In the past two years, the projected cost of SmartGridCity, a pilot program designed to better manage electricity distribution and give consumers detailed information about their usage, nearly tripled to $44.8 million.

Probes Find Energy Meters Accurate, Service Lacking.  A four-month investigation spurred by a surge in energy-bill complaints found new smart meters installed in Northern California by PG&E Corp. are accurately measuring energy use.  But the probe found that some utilities are falling down in the way they handle customer complaints and monitor data transmitted by the new digital meters.

Marin County Votes to Ban Smart Meters.  Smart meters allow electric companies to monitor electricity use remotely on an hour-by-hour basis.  This allows the electric company to more efficiently match production with real-time demand and set electricity prices that respond to demand patterns.  Power companies and some environmental groups have long been intrigued by the potential for smart meters to induce people to use less power during peak demand hours.

Nest Thermostat Is Part HAL.  Without going into the hyperbole surrounding the device, the simple explanation is that it is the home heating and cooling thermostat-equivalent of a smartphone.

Geo-thermal energy:

Could A Volcano Power America?  An ambitious experiment is underway to harness the heat of a volcano in central Oregon.  The process is green, efficient... and causes earthquakes.

Hydroelectric, Tidal, and Geo-thermal energy sources.  [Scroll down]  Some of the Greens already hate hydroelectric and for certain they would hate geothermal if they knew the type of facilities that it would entail.  But even with the more radical characters aside hydroelectric and geothermal are very site specific.  One cannot generate new mountains laden with running water nor can a geothermal anomaly with prolific hot water or steam reservoirs can be made to order.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with either hydroelectric or geothermal but they happen where they happen and cannot be manufactured anywhere else.  Regarding tidal energy, this has been just talk for at least forty years, an academic exercise with little relation to implementation reality.

Lights go dim on another energy project.  A geothermal energy company with a $98.5 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration for an alternative energy project in Nevada — which received hearty endorsements from Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — faces financial problems, and the company's auditors have questioned whether it can stay in business.  Much like Solyndra LLC, a California solar-panel manufacturer with a $535 million federal loan guarantee that went bankrupt, Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) has incurred $98 million in net losses over the past several years, has substantial debts and does not generate enough cash from its current operations after debt-service costs, an internal audit said.

Seismic risk of fracking has been wildly overstated.  Hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and gas has become closely associated in the public mind with the risk of triggering man-made earthquakes.  But the risk is not high and it is not confined to fracking.  There may be greater danger from geothermal energy production and pumping carbon dioxide underground as part of carbon capture and storage projects.

"Sustainable growth," "green buildings," low-traffic ("15 minute") neighborhoods, and "net zero" construction:

Edmonton Discusses Becoming The First 15 Minute City.  Travel will be restricted.  Daily needs will be within a 15-minute walk.  And of course Big Brother will eventually be watching.  But don't worry, it's a conspiracy theory.  When the City Plan came out in 2020, districts were designed to be a group of neighborhoods where people can achieve their basic needs with a 15-minute walk, bicycle ride, or public transit trip from their homes.  [Video clip]

At First I Wasn't Willing To Believe This.  For those who don't view videos and don't click links, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, a small community in Canada, attempted to institute a municipal ordinance that requires all persons, resident or transient, to carry a QR code with them, and to show it upon exiting the municipal limits.  Persons who are:
  •   Not residents, or:
  •   Unable or unwilling to present the QR code
...would be charged a "$30 tourist fee" upon exiting the city.  In effect, the municipal council tried to claim ownership of the little city. [...] Remember all the foofaurauw over "15-minute cities?"  You're looking at exactly what their proponents intend to do... to you.  [Video clip]

The Stinking Privilege of the Green New Deal.  A few years ago when I was building my house, I attended a "green" building conference in San Francisco. [...] Buildings, I was told, emit 59 percent of carbon emissions, and green builders would shut that down.  And it would be profitable.  At the time I was neutral but dubious.  I had completed a "green" subdivision and had promised puzzlingly powerful members of "the community" that I would build a "green" house.  It wasn't a requirement but it was an acceptable challenge and I knew I would be fascinated by the exercise.  I followed the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum template, contracted the job myself.  I wanted to build a healthy house, which meant as little chemical off-gassing as possible.  Despite my savings, which were considerable, it still cost 40 percent more than a traditional stick-frame.  The geothermal system cost $35,000 more than traditional heating and no, I have not "made back that money."  Today that cost would be north of $150,000.

Calls for jobsworth councils to scrap speed limits which 'serve no useful purpose' and are fining 'terrified' pensioners for going 22 mph.  Police forces are trying to fine pensioners for travelling just 2 mph above the speed limit in 20 mph zones[,] leaving them 'absolutely terrified', it has been claimed.  The aggressive approach to enforcement in some areas in recent months has seen motorists in Britain face a record number of fines for 20 mph offences last year.  More than 216,000 fines for travelling between 20 mph and 30 mph were handed out by forces across the UK in 2023[,] quadruple the number issued compared to 2018.

Agenda 2030 has arrived in Tempe, Arizona.  A neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona, has been named "Culdesac" and is striving to become America's first full-fledged 15-minute city.  Actually, they're calling this one a 5-minute city as you can see on their website.  For those who haven't heard that term, 15-minute city, it coincides with a vision of the globalist World Economic Forum, which is pitching the concept as being more environmentally friendly.  There is no personal property in this dystopian community.  Everyone lives in a rented apartment.  All modes of transportation are public and shared, whether it's a bike, scooter, an electric vehicle or train.  Everything is electric, digitized and connected to the internet.  Instead of seeing this development as a dystopian nightmare, Culdesac residents are excited at the prospect of living in a digital prison.  They own nothing and they're happy.  At least for now.  Do they have any idea what they have signed up for?  Probably not.

All Their Stupid Ideas Can be Reversed and We Will Make the Deserts Bloom.  [Scroll down]  We are divided into forerunners, innovators, early adopters and late adopters and it holds true for digital products, politics, vacations, and health decisions, across the board.  You cannot overturn it, you cannot say, "people must like this and do this because I am willing to spend a few billion to brainwash them."  No.  Because some renegade soul will say, "I want to move to the country and raise heritage beef rather than swan around New York, London, Paris, Munich going to night clubs and working for a multinational where I destroy the weak and help the strong."  And then all of a sudden there are handfuls of people hiving off the swarm and starting their own thing.  And then, presto, like last year, 66 percent of Americans would, if they could, move to the country or a rural subdivision and become more independent of the murderous cabal that forgot the marketing curve.  That this is the exact opposite of what the U.N./W.E.F. want — which is to force people into fifteen minute prison cities with rural areas left to carbon sinks — is just another example of reality flowing like water around fascist-erected obstacles.

The Terrorist Past of 15-Minute City Inventor Carlos Moreno.  Carlos Moreno may now be a respectable academic, but any psychologist worth his salt would point out that such extreme behaviours in adolescence, the fact that Moreno was willing to kill for his ideological ends, is probably someone you don't want anywhere near public policy making.  You wouldn't want Moreno designing your city any more than you'd want Josef Fritzl building you an extension.  If you don't like Moreno's vision of your city, you are an object to be removed.  Now not with the bullet and the bomb, nothing so crass, but with systems.

Denbighshire village bus service axed following introduction of 20mph speed limit.  Residents in a Denbighshire village say they feel like they are being "cut off" after their local bus service provider told them their stop was being axed following the introduction of the 20 mph speed limit.  Arriva Wales will no longer serve the village of Llandegla [as of] 14 January after reviewing its timetable and service provision in North Wales.  This will have a "huge impact" on everyone who relies on the service, according to Councillor Gwyneth Dillon, from Llandegla Community Council.

20mph speed limit enforcement to start in Wales this month.  The new 20 mph default speed limit in built-up areas in Wales will start to be enforced this month.  The Welsh government has confirmed the £34 m[illion] law, which came into effect last September, will be enforced in January after the "initial bedding in period".  But ministers have said not all drivers breaking the 20 mph limit will initially be prosecuted, just the most dangerous offenders. [...] Ministers said they wanted to reduce deaths, noise and pollution and encourage people to walk or cycle.

Dutch Truckers Launch Lawsuit Against Sadiq Khan's Climate Change Car Tax.  A lawsuit launched by Dutch truckers may derail far-left London Mayor Sadiq Khan's green tax on drivers, arguing that thousands of fines levied on drivers to supposedly save the environment were unlawful.  In the first major challenge against Sadiq Khan's green agenda, Transport in Nood BV, a firm that represents dozens of Dutch trucking companies, has applied for judicial review against Transport for London (TFL) at Britain's High Court.  The move could potentially imperil the draconian Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) tax on cars and similar Low Emission Zone (LEZ) on larger vehicles to further legal challenges.

The European Union walks back its ruinous proposal to mandate minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings.  Everything that comes out of Brussels is a foul multilayered onion.  On the outside is the laughable impossible childish utopian idealism.  As you peel back the layers of abstract aspirations for the concrete prescriptions underneath, you become steadily more terrified.  Thus the European Green Deal, proposed by the European Commission in 2019 and approved in 2020, promised to show member states the way to climate neutrality by 2050.  A key component of this Deal — one layer deeper — is a legislative package called Fit for 55, which sounds like a diet plan for menopausal women, but which in fact aims to reduce EU emissions by 55% by 2030.  This is starting to sound bad, and our creeping suspicions are confirmed when we go deeper still to this thing called the Buildings Directive, which regulates building energy efficiency in the EU.  In 2021, the European Commission proposed extensive revisions to bring this Directive into alignment with its "Fit for 55" aspirations.

The war on motorists is not a myth.  Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.  Lower speed limits.  Punishing green targets.  In Britain today, drivers' lives are being made a misery by a host of eco-initiatives explicitly aimed at reducing car use.  And yet, take issue with the war on motorists and you'll be told that the war on motorists is a myth.  You might even be smeared as a conspiracy theorist, by the very same environmentalists who pushed for these policies in the first place.  Here, Tom Slater takes apart the gaslighting of the green elites to show that the war on cars is very real — and that ordinary Brits are dead right to be pushing back.

LTNs in Oxford cause 'chronic' gridlock and 'exasperatingly' slow bus journeys.  Only "the most physically infirm" would risk taking "exasperatingly" slow bus journeys in Oxford because low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) have caused "chronic" gridlock on some roads, a report has claimed.  Three coach companies say LTNs in east Oxford have severely "jeopardised" public transport, forcing some passengers to abandon buses because services have been so badly affected by congestion from road closures.  A joint report by Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Stagecoach West revealed that journeys can now be "so long as to be entirely exasperating", with some routes "slower than a comfortable walking speed".  The file, submitted to Oxfordshire county council before a key vote on Tuesday about whether to make three LTNs permanent, gives the fullest insight yet into the effects LTNs can have on bus services, which are often relied upon by elderly, disabled and poorer people.  The county council set up six LTNs with £3 million from the Government after ministers announced an "active travel" scheme meant to encourage walking and cycling to combat Covid-19 in 2020.  But, the 18-page report brands three east Oxford LTNs as a "failure in almost all respects", adding that slower journey times means county plans for the "UK's most ambitious zero emission" electric bus fleet have been plunged into doubt.

Modern-day Robin Hood foiling the ULEZ camera system is a must-see.  If you haven't heard, the ULEZ system is an "eye-in-the-sky" surveillance network that identifies, tracks, and fines drivers of vehicles that aren't compliant with current emissions standards — unless these are Ministry of Defense vehicles, or other vehicles used by government elites, which are exempt from the rules because their occupants are important and sacrifices are for the little people.  Paul Sullivan, the dinosaur in orange, said he came across the idea on social media, and was happy to get involved, given the public's overwhelmingly negative response to the ULEZ system.

The Editor says...
If the public has an "overwhelmingly negative response" to ULEZ, that probably means nobody voted for it; that is, nobody was given the opportunity to vote against the idea.  In that case, the government should expect some resistance.

Ministry of Defence vehicles exempt from London's ULEZ rules to avoid any 'disruption' to state business.  Few things are more offensive to me than a ruling class of pseudo-elites, living by the "rules for thee, but not for me" mantra — yet, it's not just "rules" but also taxes, punishments, concessions, etc. [...] You've probably heard of the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) cameras in use across London, a surveillance system to force compliance with the shift towards "net zero" through the use of heavy fines, but what we didn't really "know" (although we could have easily assumed), is that the government exempts itself from the "ultra low emission" standards.  Yesterday, the UK Defence Journal reported that John Hayes, a Conservative Member of Parliament had submitted a written question inquiring about the arrangement between the Ministry and the Transport for London department, which is the government authority in charge of ULEZ.

UK's Keen Grasp of Obvious: 2030 Mandate on Electric Vehicles Is Unachievable.  British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, after first announcing a mandate requiring all fossil-fueled vehicles sold in the U.K. after 2030 to be electric, succumbed to pressure from the Conservative Party and within his own government and announced Wednesday a delay until 2035. His goal remains net zero by 2050. [...] Speed limits have been reduced to 20 mph in central London, which creates rush hour-type traffic jams at all hours of the day.  Bike lanes and motor scooters further complicate traffic, as do traffic lights that turn red it seems after only two or three blocks.  The same speed limit is being proposed for less-populated Wales.  Supposedly reduced speed cuts pollution from gas-powered cars and limits accidents.  British public opinion is mostly opposed to the rapid transition from gas to electricity.  A poll taken last May of readers of the Daily Express newspaper found a whopping 88% would not switch to an electric vehicle.

20 mph is just the start of the stranglehold on Wales.  Things are looking a little grim for the populace in the dictatorship of Mark Drakeford's Wales.  The introduction of the 20 mph speed limit on most roads which were formerly restricted to 30mph is beginning to awaken people to the stark reality of Welsh Labour's seemingly eternal stranglehold on them.  The Welsh Government's claim that the limit has been lowered for reasons of safety is at best disingenuous.  Before the BBC announced that this would be forthcoming (under the news category of 'climate change', interestingly), I had written about this two months earlier in May 2022 here on TCW, since it was outlined in the Future Wales 2040 report of 2021.  One only has to read the 90 pages of the Transport Strategy 'Llwybr Newydd' to see that in terms of road transport, the Welsh Government are seeking a 'modal shift' away from private car use and reducing the need to travel.  My analysis of this can be read here.  It includes the rationale that 'we need to act now to build upon the opportunity created by Covid-19 to think differently about how we work and where we work'.

Dallas will soon look like Gilligan's Island!
U.N. Says:  Build With Bamboo!  Has there ever been a time in world history when so much stupidity has been generated by a patently false ideology?  Well, sure, socialism.  But climate hysteria is making a run for it on the outside, now closing rapidly with socialism.  The latest is the United Nations telling us to completely revamp how we construct buildings.  Actually, its message is to stop building at all.  So as to achieve "net zero," i.e., civilizational collapse.

Harbingers of Europe.  In Europe, the beginning of the end of private ownership of cars has begun.  It's just a question of time before the cost of owning a car is beyond the means of most.  This is by design.  Eventually, only the wealthy, government officials, and other especially important individuals will be the ones driving motor vehicles.  A funny thing about Europe:  What happens there frequently happens here with about a 5- to 10-year delay. [...] ULEZ refers to Ultra Low Emission Zones, beginning to be set up in Europe to reduce emissions.  However, people also see this as a way to change people's behavior and redefine freedom.  Remember, these are mandates created by the government and not voted on by the people.  It's funny how we never seem to have a say in what is about to become of us.  Think this is a one-off?  It's not.  Ireland just passed a draconian bill against agriculture in its own nation to reduce farming emissions by 51% by 2051.  This means Ireland will grow less food, cull cattle as a wasteful use of emission allowances, and more.  Where does this all end?

Birmingham Clean Air Zone pollution cut 'smaller than thought'.  Birmingham's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has had a smaller effect on pollution than was previously thought.  The CAZ is usually said to have reduced levels of pollution by about 13%.  Now scientists at the University of Birmingham say the drop is about half that at about 7%.  Reductions in levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) have been recorded in Colmore Row in the business district and in residential areas.

Cameras Go Up to Punish Drivers in the Name of Climate Change — Then Vigilantes Strike.  A major city has instituted a draconian law to satisfy the climate change religion backed up by a mass surveillance camera network resulting in a defacto tax costing residents hundreds.  And authorities are shocked that citizens are taking matters into their own hands by vandalizing and disabling the Big Brother cameras that monitor compliance.  Citizens of London are furious over the city's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) rules that renders a large section of the city practically inaccessible by car because there are very few vehicles that meet the draconian emissions standards that permit them to enter the zone, according to The Drive.  London city officials have designated a 147 square-mile sector as its pollution-free Ultra Low Emission Zone, supposedly to clean up the air quality in the city that was once derided as "The Big Smoke" due to its air pollution.

Minister Andrew Bowie says low-traffic neighbourhoods could be scrapped if locals don't support them.  Low-traffic neighbourhood projects could be removed if enough locals oppose them, a minister said today amid moves by the Government to appear more 'pro-driver'.  Energy Minister Andrew Bowie said that the LTNs could be scrapped if they are making it harder for people to work and travel at a time when the economy is struggling.  The schemes implemented by local councils are designed to boost cycling and walking by selectively closing off roads to motor traffic.  But critics say they simple move traffic problems to other areas.

Blue state sues Biden admin over climate plan to reduce traffic.  Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday announced that his administration has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its approval of a New York plan to reduce traffic congestion.  Murphy said New Jersey filed the lawsuit against the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and accused the federal agencies of violating environmental laws.  In May, the FHWA authorized a plan from New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to charge commuters an increased fee to enter Manhattan in an effort to reduce congestion and improve the city's air quality.

Fighting back against Smart Cities.  So-called "smart city" technology includes ultra-high resolution, internet-connected cameras, license-plate readers, facial-recognition scanners and speakers.  It will set the framework for digital eyes and ears to spy on citizens 24/7, uploading personal data in real time to be perused and analyzed by law enforcement, financial decision-makers and other third-party stakeholders. [...] The tools of the surveillance state, however, are not just being installed in major cities and international airports.  Kootenai County in North Idaho is also up against a smart city plan.  And the city of Jackson, Wyoming, last week became the latest to install AI-powered mass surveillance cameras. [...] The purpose is not to save lives but to control behavior and effectively cripple Americans' longstanding freedom of movement.  The long-term plan is to entirely automate all transportation, using driverless cars, kill switches and social-credit scoring systems to define and limit the extent to which individuals are allowed to travel.  Essentially, all transportation will be public transportation.

Transport Secretary says anti-car schemes risk putting voters off net zero.  Councils should review unpopular anti-car schemes, the Transport Secretary said, as he warned that low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) have set "people against each other" and risk putting voters off net zero.  In an interview with The Telegraph, Mark Harper said he had put an end to Government funding for projects "that are about... banning cars or making it difficult for motorists".  He suggested that local authorities should now consider scrapping existing LTNs where they are unpopular and were implemented with insufficient consultation of local residents.  Mr Harper separately revealed that he has ordered officials to see how the UK can emulate Japan's "ekinaka" — complexes of shops in train stations — to help draw people back to the rail network and attract new investment.

Get ready for the war on travel.  This story emerged from an unlikely source involving Glenn Beck's recent vacation to Europe.  As reported at The Blaze, while Beck was overseas he had a disturbing conversation with his travel agent.  He was told, "You should see Europe now while you can."  The reason is that the United Nations has been rolling out "sustainability goals" for the travel industry, particularly when it comes to air travel.  They are trying to force airlines to get to "net zero" in terms of emissions.  As we recently discussed here, the technology doesn't currently exist to achieve net zero for commercial airlines without vastly increasing the cost for travelers.  So the alternative will be to simply shut down air travel for "nonessential" purposes such as tourism, at least for "the little people."

Start Walking: NY Cleared to Impose $23 Levy on Drivers Entering City.  Democrat-run New York City is ready to hit residents and visitors alike with a "congestion charge" after federal approval was granted Monday for its first-in-the-nation plan to impose big tolls to drive into the most visited parts of Manhattan.  The program could begin as soon as the spring of 2024, bringing New York City into line with places like London, Singapore, and Stockholm that have implemented similar tax impositions on drivers simply going about their everyday business.  The news was announced within hours of NYC officials ordering pizzerias that use coal or wood-burning ovens to slice their carbon emissions by 75 percent or else face hefty fines, all in the name of protecting the environment.

Are 15 Minute Cities Smart?  Or Isolation Camps?  EV's do not go very far.  They are glorified golf carts that can drive a few miles on the freeway — and harm the environment.  The work from home movement means you never have to leave your bedroom or kitchen.  Education and even church services have gone online.  Government is forcing single family neighborhoods to build massive apartment complexes — with few parking spaces, but lots of bike racks.  Amazon delivers, soup to nuts to bathing suits to computers — no need to leave your home.  This prepares us for the 15 minute city — where do to government regulations you can not, without permission, travel more than 15 minutes from your home — no more Sunday dinners at the grandparents home — too far.

Chatanooga Goes Brave New World.  [I]magine my surprise the other day when I read that Chattanooga is one of the first two cities in the U.S. slated to become one of the World Economic Forum's "15-minute cities."  As you surely know, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is Klaus Schwab's globalist fantasy, the realization of which means we peons will 'own nothing, and be happy."  In short, it's Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, updated.  Before we discuss what a "15-minute city" actually is, though, some background:  In 2006, Mayor Ron Littlefield set targets to reduce greenhouse gases.  In 2009 he created a Climate Action Plan and in 2012 issued an Executive Order to reduce energy, water, and waste by 2020.  The Chattanooga Tea Party circulated a petition to recall Littlefield in 2010, but a county judge ruled that the recall "failed to comply with state law," so Littlefield was able to institute his climate agenda.  In 2015, the city published its first SMART City Plan, and in 2020 Chattanooga was selected by the WEF as one of two pioneer U.S. cities (San Jose, California is the other one) "in a global initiative to use broadband and data to plan and utilize energy, transportation, health care and communications in more sustainable and equitable ways."

Nobody care about "climate change" if there's no food.
John Kerry says farmers need to stop growing food in order to achieve "net zero" climate goals.  Failed presidential candidate and political fossil John Kerry, a Democrat, is back in the news for ominous comments he recently made about how the only way for leftists to achieve their "net zero" climate goals is for farmers all around the world to stop growing food.  The illegitimate Joe Biden regime's Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Kerry told an audience at the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) AIM for Climate Summit the other day that "we can't get to net zero, we won't get this job done, unless agriculture is front and center as part of the solution."  According to Kerry, he and other world leaders' "lives depend" on farmers ceasing their operations.  This will lower agriculture "emissions," Kerry added, noting that he does not even call it climate change anymore — "it's not change; it's a crisis."

The Editor says...
John Kerry will always have plenty to eat, and will always live in a massive house with a really good HVAC system.  Whether the climate changes or not, his life will be unaffected.  If you were to ask him specific questions about trace gases in the atmosphere, or about dairy farming, or exactly how carbon dioxide affects polar ice, he probably would either change the subject or make up an answer that would likely be incorrect or deceptive.  He is a political appointee, not a scientist.

Lord Frost warns: Hurtling towards net zero at any cost will be a mistake.  With 800,000 British car-making jobs on the line because we're not making enough batteries for electric vehicles, leading motor manufacturers are demanding renegotiated trade rules with the EU to give us more time to catch up.  Lord Frost, Britain's chief negotiator for Brexit from 2019 to 2021, is clear where the fault is.  "The underlying problem is that we're rushing at electrification of cars far too fast for the technologies we've got," he insists.  "What it shows is that the expectation we had in the trade agreement when we negotiated it was that things would have moved by 2024, and that is not true."  Vauxhall's parent company, Stellantis, told MPs earlier this week that it would be unable to keep a commitment to make electric vehicles in the UK without changes to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.

Exxon Crushes Progressive Dreams That "Net Zero" Has Any Chance By 2050.  In a world of suffocating snowflakery, ESG hypocrisy and, well... Tranheuser Busch, a corporation telling the truth without fear of reprisals from the Open Society-funded virtue signaling cabal is rarer than an mRNA-injected, genetically engineered hen's teeth.  And yet that's what the company hated by every progressive, Exxon Mobil, did this week when it became the first corporation to denounce the insidious and laughable claims that "net zero" is even a remote possibility by 2050.  The US supermajor pushed back against investors pressing the company to report on the risks to its business from restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and potential environmental disasters when in a reply to proxy advisor Glass Lewis, Exxon said the prospect of the world achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is remote and should not be further evaluated in its financial statements.

Ready for leftists to wreck your neighborhood?  For several decades, one of the major dreams of the middle class has been to own a home in the suburbs.  Now, under the guise of prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion, sex, etc., Democrats have proposed regulations that would force jurisdictions that accept HUD funding to "promote equity in their communities, decrease segregation, and increase access to opportunity and community assets for people of color and other underserved communities."  In other words, the left is saying that the route to upward mobility for disadvantaged minorities is dependent on their relocation to more affluent areas, where they will have access to more services.  One wonders what services they'll receive in a small town that they can't get in a big city.

"No Bricks, No Glass, No Cement" — What Net Zero 2050 Demands According to Government-Funded Report.  No bricks, the walls and foundations made of compacted earth, cement made from clay and glass scavenged from demolition skips are just some of the construction changes needed to comply with Net Zero by 2050.  The latest paper from Government-funded U.K. FIRES looks to "minimise new construction", and notes the shape of the urban environment will change, allowing for "denser living and reduced transport needs".  The latest U.K. FIRES paper seems to have slipped out quietly at the end of last year and has to date attracted little publicity.  But the group, which comprises a number of academics led by Cambridge engineering professor Julian Allwood, made headlines around the world recently with previous work noting that all flying and shipping must stop by 2050, beef and lamb must be banned, and only 60% of energy will be available to cook food and heat homes.

"Roads Create Traffic" Debunked.  [Video clip]  The first two thirds of the video covers other topics, like how economies of scale don't necessarily drive down prices uniformly, and as you scale, you incur new costs that might make a product less profitable.  (One example is China's overbuilt high speed rail network.)  The last portion deals with the "roads create traffic" myth, directly delving into the study the anti-road types cite:
  •   "What [building new highways] doesn't do is create entirely new demand."
  •   "New roadways, especially interstates, tend to be more direct, and can take a larger volume of traffic than alternative routes through urban areas."
  •   "The study itself has also been widely criticized for making assumptions that other economists were not able to replicate in follow-up studies."
  •   "Its methodology was also questionable.  It measured interstate kilometers traveled.  Building out more interstates might make people use those roads more, but that doesn't mean that there are more cars overall, because a lot of that traffic would have been taken away from non-interstate roads, which were not measured in the study."
  •   "More roads won't create more congestion unless they are designed very poorly, and reducing the supply of roads won't ease congestion, either."
  •   The original study authors didn't even suggest reducing roads; they were in favor of congestion charges.

The Editor says...
Roads don't create traffic, high prices don't result in inflation, and flies don't cause garbage.

The 'eco homes' plan so absurd locals thought it was an April Fool joke!  A business consortium has sparked fury in a British village famous for its Cadbury chocolate factory over plans to cut down historic trees and build 'eco homes' instead.  Bournbrook Secret Woods's plan for an 'eco village' has angered residents of Bournville, Birmingham, after it was revealed 70 historic trees would be cut down to accommodate eco homes, a treetop walkway, car park and large community centre.  Residents, who have fought off plans for homes and phone masts on the woodland, thought the plan was an 'April Fool' after discovering the consultation website on April 1 but soon realised it was genuine and have since called on Birmingham City Council councillor Mary Locke to intervene.

Help! I'm trapped in a 15-minute city.  The lesson you learn from Britain's new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs): drive outside your own local district to a place where you don't know the weird local rules, and you'll inevitably make some small mistake and be forced to donate a chunk of money to another borough or county council.  This is not just a London and Oxford problem; LTNs are being planned for Hereford, Brighton, Bath, St Andrews, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Leith, among many other towns and cities.  New road-blocking planters were set on fire in Rochdale last week by angry locals.  Though against civil disobedience, I couldn't stifle a guilty sense of delight at seeing those green but aggressive planters in flames.  I'm not sure which is more loathsome: the 'planters and bollards' method, which makes it physically impossible to drive through the new blockages, and slows emergency ambulances down, or the 'cameras and confusing signs' method, which, though helping ambulances, rakes in fines from inadvertent rule-breakers.  Both methods are highly interfering to us all trying to live our lives, and are imposed on us by money-hungry zealots.

Ministers come under pressure to scrap 'preposterous' and 'dangerous' LTNs as it emerges 240 ambulances were delayed by low traffic schemes.  Ministers were last night under growing pressure from their own MPs and campaigners to scrap 'preposterous' and 'dangerous' low-traffic neighbourhoods.  It came as new figures showed nearly 240 ambulances were delayed from reaching potentially life-threatening callouts due to the controversial schemes.  Experts said the recorded incidents would be 'the tip of the iceberg' as they relate only to London and there are hundreds more low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in other cities.  It is also believed that not all incidents were recorded.

Mainstream Media's New Obsession: Labelling Criticism of 15-Minute Cities 'Conspiracy Theories'.  "Conspiracy theories" about 15-minute cities are "false", "unhinged", "dangerous" and "not to be believed", declare mainstream media in unified chorus.  "In recent years, conspiracy theories that were once almost unheard of have spread like wildfire, with a growing number of Australians now sceptical of things like vaccines, 5G and election results," reports in one such article, titled, 'Inside the 15-minute city conspiracy theory sucking in gullible Australians'.  The article explains that 15-minutes cities (also called Smart Cities) are a common sense way of attempting to boost liveability for residents.  City dwellers in proposed Smart Cities — including Melbourne, Paris, London, Edmonton and Oxford — will have access to everything they need within a 15 to 20-minute walk, cycle or public transport trip, and that's really all there is to it.  "Anyone who has ever faced a long and painful commute will immediately see the appeal of having the daily essentials at their fingertips," the article assures readers.  However, "gullible Australians" who cannot appreciate common sense or convenience have been "sucked in" to a "dangerous conspiracy".  These "unhinged" conspiracy theorists actually believe that Smart Cities are "part of a secret plan by global elites to restrict people's freedom and movements" — a form of lockdown justified by climate action.

The Editor says...
When the government nannies tell you that "you have everything you need" in your neighborhood, they presume to know what you need, every minute of your life.  In a free country, you decide for yourself what you need, and where you would like to go.

NYC Residents Say City's New Climate Law Could Ruin Their Lives.  A New York City climate law regulating emissions is set to impose harsh penalties on larger buildings, many of them residential, that don't comply by 2024, forcing building boards and residents to make difficult financial decisions, according to The New York Times.  Local Law 97 is part of the city's 2019 Climate Mobilization Act and aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 by targeting buildings, which are believed to be the city's largest polluters, according to the NYT.  But the strict regulations put building managers in a difficult position, forcing them to choose between costly energy upgrades and massive fines.  One building manager, Craig Hart, told the NYT he could install solar panels on a roof that's going to need a $650,000 replacement in coming year, install a new boiler system that will have to be replaced in a few years as emissions standards become more stringent, or face massive fines for noncompliance.

The Many Lies of the Housing Crisis Alarmists.  Under the rallying cry of a housing crisis in the New York metropolitan area, politicians have begun a double-barreled assault against affluent suburban communities and the owners of multi-family residential properties.  Their ideologically driven plans are based on false premises and designed to grant developers free rein over local zoning and state environmental laws.  Proposed legislation in New York and Connecticut has ignited a battle between the liberal suburban enclaves and the radical Democrats in New York City and Hartford that could awaken the suburbanites to the malevolent nature of radical progressivism.  In January, New York governor Kathy Hochul unleashed her New York Housing Compact for 800,000 new units over ten years.  Hochul Housing would mandate that each municipality served by the Metro North transit system increase its housing stock by 3% every three years or face punitive measures, including state pre-emption of local land use decision-making.  In addition, she proposed Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zones within a half-mile radius of every train station.

Biden's latest whack at the suburbs will change your neighborhood for the worse.  The goal of "fair housing" would seem to be quite straightforward.  As spelled out in the Fair Housing Act of 1968 — and found in realtors' offices across the country — it precludes "discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings ... based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, and disability."  In other words, those who can afford to rent or buy should not be precluded from doing so for reasons having nothing to do with the ability to pay.  But for the Biden administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development, fair housing is more — much more.  In proposed regulations that would touch any jurisdiction that accepts any sort of HUD funding, fair housing must mean a plan to "promote equity in their communities, decrease segregation, and increase access to opportunity and community assets for people of color and other underserved communities."

Democrats Pass Laws to Destroy Suburbs.  In the name of "equity," the Biden administration and state Democrats have declared war on the suburbs:  ["]The Biden administration and Democrats in New York, Connecticut and other states are fighting local zoning laws in order to build high-rise apartment buildings with "affordable" units in tree-lined, single-family neighborhoods.  All in the name of equity, meaning everyone can live in a tranquil suburb, whether they've earned the money to pay for it or not.  The Biden administration announced Jan. 19 that it will require all towns across the U.S. to submit "Equity Plans" showing how they will make it possible for low-income people to live there by providing affordable housing, transportation and other resources.  Towns that don't meet the cookie-cutter requirement for economic diversity will lose federal funding.["]  The left's seething hatred of the suburbs is readily apparent in popular culture, where movies regularly portray these tranquil, tree-lined neighborhoods as hotbeds of racism, repression, sexual dysfunction, and hatred.

Smart Cities Or Prison Cities?: A Radical Agenda Driven By An Irrational Fear.  Back in 2016, a World Economic Forum contributor wrote an article envisioning life in 2030.  That article contained the now infamous headline, "Welcome to 2030: I own nothing, have no privacy and life has never been better." [...] But while there has been a lot of attention (and concern) around the concept of smart cities, the dominating headline of late has been the concept of 15-minute cities (or 20-minute neighbourhoods if you live in Australia).  Because of a radical agenda driven by an irrational fear of climate change, cities want to adopt a model where everyone's daily needs (groceries, work, leisure activities, education, doctor's appointments, etc) can be undertaken within a 15-20 minute walk or cycle from their home.  The goal of course is to stop people using motor vehicles, which they claim are releasing too many greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Blackouts: another dark consequence of Net Zero.  The way he announced it spoke volumes.  On Monday, John Pettigrew, head of the National Grid, warned that Britain could face blackouts when the weather turns 'really, really cold' this winter.  If energy supply fails to meet household demand, blackouts would have to be imposed between 4pm and 7pm on the 'deepest, darkest evenings' of January and February, he said.  So we may be reaching for our candles on winter evenings next year.  This would be a bleak midwinter indeed.  Tellingly, Pettigrew casually let slip this bombshell at the 'Energy Transition Summit', a plush business event hosted by the Financial Times.  The summit, as its name suggests, aims to help usher in a transition to an apparent idyll of renewable electricity and emissions-free energy.  In our brave new Net Zero world, this is exactly the kind of announcement we will have to start getting used to.  After all, the immediate trigger for the National Grid's blackout warnings may be the current global energy crisis.  But the grid has form in wanting to impose energy rationing on the masses.  Indeed, rationing is a feature, not a bug of the Net Zero policy.

Net Zero is bad for business.  The Financial Post reports that major banks in the United States and Europe are threatening to withdraw from a green banking and investment group committed to pursuing net zero goals due to fears of lawsuits and the impact of increasingly stringent carbon dioxide emission reduction benchmarks on the firms' profitability.  This is a wise decision.  Ending the use of fossil fuels in a vain attempt to prevent climate change is bad for the economy in general and banking and diversified investment funds in particular.  These banks never should have led or participated in such an effort.

Why Democrats Want to Get Rid of the Suburbs.  The war on America's suburbs has opened a new front.  Buried in President Biden's proposed budget for 2023 is a $10-billion bribe for suburban communities to remove zoning barriers to high-density housing.  The federal government promises the suburbs funding for street improvements, traffic control, and water and sewer lines if they adopt "housing-forward policies" that eliminate single-family zoning and open their communities to "affordable housing."  This is no benign endeavor to provide more housing.  It is a strong signal to Democrat-controlled states to gear up the decades-long efforts to bludgeon affluent communities into submitting to "housing justice" and providing their "fair share."

Net Zero is a Stalinist fantasy.  As energy prices soar, behind the scenes, the UK government is planning to make it even harder to heat our homes.  The government is threatening to force manufacturers of gas boilers to switch to making heat pumps.  From 2024 onwards, Whitehall plans to levy severe fines on UK-based boiler manufacturers that fail to meet production targets for heat pumps, hitting them with a £5,000 penalty for each failure to deliver a unit.  These Stalinist reprisals are the latest absurdity to result from the government's hell-bent pursuit of Net Zero.  To meet Net Zero carbon targets, the number of heat pumps installed in homes each year will have to multiply 12-fold over the next six years — from about 50,000 today to 600,000 by 2028.  This would be a remarkable feat, given that to buy a heat pump and install a complete system currently costs between £8,000 and £28,000.  Meanwhile, a working boiler system comes in at just £2,000 to £3,000.

Marshall Fire Victims Blast City Leaders Over New Green Building Codes: 'Why Make it So Hard for Us?'.  Two months after their lives were upended by a wildfire that took everything they owned, hundreds of Louisville residents unloaded on a City Council that they say is taking all they have left — the hope of rebuilding. [...] Louisville is the first and only city in the state to require homes be built with net zero greenhouse gas emissions and Barba Hickman says there are a lot of unknowns[.]  "They keep promising us all these funds.  If they can find funds I'll build, but if they want me to do it while they hope someone else will pay for it?  I mean, I have nothing," Hickman said.  The frustration and fury is shared by their neighbors in Superior.  Superior's Board of Trustees is considering its own less-stringent green building code.  At a board meeting earlier this month, residents begged trustees to exempt homes burned in the Marshall Fire.

Massachusetts Will Now Punish Suburbs That Refuse to Build Apartments.  Build up or pay up.  That is the message Massachusetts is sending to 175 cities and suburbs in the Boston area, as a bill passed last year to boost housing production begins to take effect.  Almost every jurisdiction in Eastern Massachusetts, from the New Hampshire border to Worcester to the Cape Cod Canal, will have to do its part zoning for 344,000 new units of as-of-right multifamily housing — or lose access to some state grant programs.  That mean allowing apartments in many tony subdivisions currently reserved for single-family homes.

Report: 'Unsustainable' Suburban America Contributes to Climate Change.  The iconic American suburban neighborhoods that attract families looking for safe and prosperous areas have been targeted in recent years — first from those who believe zoning is a racist tactic to keep certain people out of the neighborhoods.  And now a report from the left-leaning Brooking Institute is claiming that the "unsustainable" nature of the suburbs means they must be transformed in the name of preventing climate change.  The Brooking Institute report touts President Joe Biden's "ambitious and necessary" goal to reduce greenhouse gas emission to 50 percent of the amount emitted in 2005 by 2030, with even bigger reductions by 2050.

The Editor says...
Since most of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, [1] [2] the relatively small amount of CO2 emitted by human activity worldwide makes no perceptible difference.

'I know I'm making a difference here.' University of St. Thomas builds a residence hall where sustainability is key.  Tommie East Hall, at the University of St. Thomas, is probably unlike any other student housing you've ever seen.  It's a 'smart building,' with COVID-precautions and a green zone, all rolled into one.  "Their number one goal was the embracement of sustainability," says Eric Engh, Senior Vice President of Ryan Companies.  "This will be a great example to see how good can you be.  So it'll be fun to watch."  The University has a lofty goal:  to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

The Editor says...
Carbon dioxide is not carbon, nor is it a pollutant, nor is it the most influential greenhouse gas.  "Carbon neutrality" is probably unattainable, and certainly unsustainable.

When "Smart" Homes Turn Stupid:  Google Users Literally "Left In The Dark" During Monday Outage.  By now, Monday's [12/14/2020] massive Google outage is history for most people.  While it was a minor inconvenience for some, with most Google services being down for hours on end, it was a much larger pain [...] for the tragically hip who have surrendered their "smart" homes to Google.  In fact, of the services that went down, it was Google Home users who were literally left in the dark during the outage on Monday, RT notes.  As a result, "smart home" users were complaining about not being able to perform once-simple tasks at their homes — like turning on the lights.  "I'm sitting here in the dark in my toddler's room because the light is controlled by @Google Drive Home.  Rethinking... a lot right now," one Twitter user tweeted in the midst of the "blackout". Another user from the U.K. said that connecting his lights to Google Home now "feels like a fatal error."

Corporate Propaganda & Indoctrination.  The World Economic Forum (WEF), through its corporate partnerships, has a plan to indoctrinate every citizen on its Great Reset agenda.  According to the WEF, we must all live sustainable lives, with equality in all aspects of life, and that as a result, life will be much better for all.  What isn't mentioned is that it will be corporations, elitists, and most importantly technocrats who will be making the decisions on exactly how this utopian world will work.  Corporate propaganda and indoctrination have been prepping the common people on this for years, enough to the point where the masses have bought into this group think about sustainability. [...] There are eighteen WEF platforms covering every aspect it intends to change in the world, one of which is Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Sport.  This is the platform used for propaganda on sustainability, how society needs to reset their lives and what needs to change for sustainable living, and what WEF predicts for the future.

Cheap insulation in green-compliant new cladding helped spread Grenfell Tower blaze that killed 72.  The inquiry into the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower in London has revealed how the styrofoam thermal insulation layer in newly-fitted wall cladding enabled a small domestic fire to rapidly engulf most of the building, resulting in the loss of 72 lives.  The type of cladding installed complied with advice given to local authorities in 2010 by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to reduce emissions through installing new boilers and insulation in apartment blocks. [...] The Guardian reports that when insulated cladding was installed at the building to reduce its carbon footprint, the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) put cost above safety.  Despite residents having voted for fire-retardant zinc cladding to be used, KCTMO chose a cheaper alternative — aluminum composite material (ACM) with flammable plastic insulation.

'Net-Zero' Carbon Emissions [is] a Suicide Pact.  [Scroll down]  And for what?  "To avoid the worst climate impacts, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will not only need to drop by half in the next 10 years, they will then have to reach net-zero around mid-century."  This is typical global Leftism: assert a counter-factual ("we're all gonna die"), invent a phantom problem (we are carbon-based life forms, therefore we pollute by our very existence"), come up with a ruinously expensive solution, with the ultimate goal of erasing mankind from the planet.

Density Ideology Will Destroy America.  If you're searching for an organizing principle that unites the Left, density ideology should be at or near the top of your list.  Far from being a sideshow, density ideology is behind the leftist drive to cram America's rising population into the footprint of existing cities.  It fulfills the agenda of every big player on the Left.  Environmentalists get to preserve open space.  Social justice warriors get to experiment with forced ethnic and economic integration via mandatory "inclusionary zoning," and investors — and this, above all, is critical — get to make a killing as the price of real estate skyrockets inside the areas where building is still allowed.  Every premise that the densification gang advocates is flawed.

Warren: Under my administration, no new houses or buildings unless they're carbon neutral.  Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren made the striking claim on Wednesday that her administration would mandate that any house or building constructed after 2028 would have to be carbon-neutral.  Claiming on MSNBC's Morning Joe that current climate change science indicates "it's worse than we thought and we have less time" to avert environmental disaster, Warren pledged to institute a zero-carbon-footprint rule for any new construction in the country.  The candidate pledged carbon-neutral mandates for vehicles and a ban on any new drilling offshore or on federally owned lands.  Warren also promised to pour a trillion dollars into cleaning up natural areas devastated by industry.

The Editor says...
Please define "carbon-neutral" construction.  Does that mean the buildings must contain no carbon?  (I'd like to see that, from the outside and from a safe distance.)  Whatever it means, it most likely pertains to carbon dioxide, which is not carbon.

The Coming Socialist-Libertarian Feudalism.  Densification, also known as in-fill, or "smart growth," will never provide sufficient new housing to make homes affordable unless it is balanced by similarly relaxed approval processes for homebuilding on open land.  The topic of "smart growth" exposes another special interest favoring densification, the Silicon Valley high tech industry.  California's Silicon Valley is an epicenter not only of concentrated political and economic power, but it is also one of the world's largest ideological fermentation tanks containing potent strains of socialism, progressivism, and libertarianism.  And in this "do no evil" caldron of visions, plans, and stupefying power, innovators are building the "internet of things," so that not only shall we live in stack-and-pack housing, we will survive on algorithmically managed micro sips of water and energy.  And depending on what time we run our clothes dryer, we will pay a bit more or a bit less depending on the spot market price for electricity and water — such a libertarian concept!

Welcome to California.  Building homes in California requires a significant investment of time, money, and other resources, leading many developers to avoid construction projects.  But in northwest Los Angeles County, one builder has stayed the course since 1994.  On completion in 2021, the 15,000-acre Newhall Ranch — billed as one of the world's first large-scale planned communities — will feature roughly 22,000 homes that follow the curves of the Santa Clara River in the Santa Clarita Valley.  Owned by Orange County's FivePoint Communities, Newhall Ranch is expected "to be 'net-zero,' meaning no greenhouse gas emissions, by implementing several mitigation efforts including solar panels and open space," according to local radio reports.

This unfinished Arizona 'futuristic hippie commune' has a problem.  In the middle of Arizona's desert lies something unexpected:  a rather strange, unfinished "city of the future." [...] A nonprofit group called the Cosanti Foundation has been working for decades to create a city that would inspire the future of urban design by incorporating a range of environmentally-friendly features to reduce sprawl and minimize the need for cars while harnessing solar power and natural vegetation to energy reduce costs. [...] Construction began in 1970, but a new building has not been completed since 1989, Vice reports.

NYC goes stone-age Green.  New York City politicians intend to "lead the way" to combat "climate change."  Last week, the City Council voted almost unanimously for a package of six bills that comprise the "Climate Mobilization Act" for the nation's largest city.  Of the 44 council members voting, only two opposed this legislation.  What will happen that is predictable is the immediate cost.  The centerpiece of this legislation is the $4 billion energy efficiency mandate on the City's largest buildings, on top of the already substantial property taxes and construction costs.  But that is just the beginning of Mayor Bill de Blasio's estimated $14 billion strategic plan — his own "Green New Deal" — unveiled on Earth Day to reduce the City's "carbon footprint... before it's too late."

Stop Trying to Get Workers Out of Their Cars.  If you hate urban sprawl, you're probably familiar with the complaints of the "smart growth" movement:  Roadways blight cities.  Traffic congestion is the worst.  Suburbanization harms the environment.  Fortunately, say these smart growthers, there is an alternative:  By piling on regulations and reallocating transportation-related tax money, we can "densify" our urban communities, allowing virtually everyone to live in a downtown area and forego driving in favor of walking or biking.  Smart growth proponents have been gaining influence for decades.  They've implemented urban growth boundaries (which greatly restrict the development of land outside a defined area), up-zoning (which tries to increase densities in existing neighborhoods by replacing single-family homes with apartments), and "road diets" (which take away traffic lanes to make room for wider sidewalks and bike lanes).  Alas, there are inherent flaws in the "smart growth" approach — beginning with the idea that it makes sense for everyone to live and work in the same small area.

How hackers could turn a 'smart city' into a house of cards.  With hackers targeting city government systems, there's a growing fear that the so-called high-tech "smart city" of the future could be turned into a house of cards.  Cities are adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning to help with infrastructure, yet security experts warn there's a danger of hackers compromising networks, causing widespread pandemonium, and even infiltrating government systems.  Here's an example.  Say a metro area like Minneapolis decides to connect a highway system to robotic cars, which are then directed automatically by GPS to slow down, find alternate routes, or even find a parking spot and wait for congestion to subside.  It's a nirvana state, but it's also a nightmare scenario.  A hacker could find one unprotected access point and, without a lot of effort, tap into the transportation system and instruct all cars to drive much faster.

Germany's National Power Grid Mess: 172,000 Power Outages Annually!  Berlin-Brandenburg BER airport:  Construction began in 2006 with operation scheduled to begin in 2011.  And now as 2017 nears the end, BER is not even close to opening.  Currently it is well over 2000 days behind schedule.  Massive technical deficiencies with the airport's safety systems plague the entire project, and now it is questionable whether the airport will even open in 2021.  BER's original estimated price tage was 2.5 billion euros, but since then the costs have ballooned to 6.6 billion euros today.  Worse:  billions more are expected, nobody knows when the project will be completed, and there's even talk the project might be abandoned altogether!  It is undoubtedly the country's greatest construction and engineering debacle so far this century. [...] At the early design and construction stages, the project was run by Berlin's socialist-green bureaucrats — who thought they could handle it better than real builders.

The Things People Do To Foil Energy-Saving Buildings.  You've built your shiny new high-efficiency building with all the latest energy-saving features:  smart thermostats, motion sensor-activated lights, floors designed to absorb heat during the day and release it at night.  But when you look at your building's actual energy use, the savings are far less than anticipated.  Why?  Well, maybe the building's occupants are putting popsicles on the thermostats so they can force the heat to go higher.  Or maybe they're using a toy to continuously trigger the motion sensor lights, to keep them from turning off when they leave the room.  Bet you didn't think of that.

Green deathtraps: energy-saving renovation blamed for horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London.  In the wake of the ghastly conflagration that engulfed a recently renovated 24-story apartment tower in London, the world is waking up to the dire threat created by energy-saving green zealots.  It turns out that nobody much worried about the fire hazard involved when flammable materials were used to add an outer "skin" of cladding to the building, creating heat insulation thanks to the air pocket between the new cladding and the old exterior wall, but also providing an ideal space for fire to race up the building.

California's drought tolerant landscaping may make heat waves worse.  [George] Ban-Weiss and post-doctoral scholar Pouya Vahmani used a model of the Los Angeles basin to investigate the climate impacts of widespread adoption of drought tolerant vegetation.  Their findings, put forth in the article "Climatic Consequences of Adopting Drought Tolerant Vegetation over Los Angeles as a Response to the California Drought" in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, indicate that in fact, if all lawns were replaced with drought tolerant vegetation, that Angelenos could expect an average daytime warming of 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit due largely to decreased evaporative cooling, as irrigation is stopped.  For the hottest regions of the Los Angeles basin, such as the inland empire and San Fernando valley, the researchers predict a daytime increase in temperature of 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit.  Such temperature increases could exacerbate heatwaves, increase photochemical smog production, and increase air conditioning energy use.

What went wrong in Craik?  The Eco-Centre opened with great fanfare in July 2004.  It was the brainchild of several members of Saskatchewan's environmental community.  Following a series of meetings, the town agreed to finance and operate the $600,000 facility. [...] This August will mark seven years since Craik was placed under a boil-water advisory.  "It seems like it's been forever," said deputy mayor Char Edwards.  The $1-million environmentally-friendly water filtration system recommended by Eco-Village experts never worked.

Cost effectiveness of NC's green schools debated.  A new report for the John Locke Foundation says green schools in North Carolina and nationally fall short of their promised energy savings and can be less energy-efficient than traditional schools.  The report looked at green schools in four North Carolina school districts, including Wake and Durham counties, and found most were less energy-efficient than similar schools in their districts.  The report, which was released this week, says that the failure of those schools to produce energy savings as promised is an "environmental failure."  Proponents of green building say that most schools built according to environmentally sensitive principles do save money and can have other benefits for students.

Masdar's zero-carbon dream could become world's first green ghost town.  Developers have abandoned their original goal of building the world's first zero-carbon city in the UAE desert.  With completion originally scheduled for this year, just how much of the once-revolutionary vision has actually been realised?

The Suburb That Tried To Kill the Car.  It takes, in fact, a few extra minutes in the neighborhood to realize what's different — and what's missing.  Downtown Evanston — a sturdy, tree-lined Victorian city wedged neatly between Lake Michigan and Chicago's northern border — is missing cars.  Or, more accurately, it's missing a lot of cars.  Thanks to concerted planning, these new developments are rising within a 10-minute walk of two rail lines and half-a-dozen bus routes.  The local automobile ownership rate is nearly half that of the surrounding area.

Californians upset that they can't sell their green energy homes.  Trouble has reared its head for Californians who enrolled in a special government program designed to allow them to use taxpayer funds to upgrade their homes with solar panels, wind turbines, unicorn flatulence converters and any number of other green energy improvements.  Tens of thousands of Californians signed up for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program which provided them with funding for installing such energy efficient goodies over the past several years, but now they're finding their homes stalled on the market when they want to sell them.

"Renewable", "Sustainable" And The Brundtland Commission.  The phrase "renewable energy" conjures up visions of wind, solar, tidal power — clean energy sources that last forever and which will power the world into a green, sustainable future that will last forever.  But what, exactly, is sustainability?  How is it defined?  When we examine the official definitions we find two things:  First that renewable energy is not necessarily sustainable and sustainable energy not necessarily renewable:  and second that there's far more to sustainability than just energy.  Sustainability contemplates a complete restructuring of the global economy and the world's social fabric, and energy policy has, unfortunately, been nominated to take the lead in achieving it.

Sustainability is the Left's New Code Word for Social Justice.  Sustainability is the latest buzzword when it comes to advocating for responsible environmental stewardship.  And why not?  Its proper implementation can have positive results.  But sustainability has become a new religion for the Left and its church is the college campus, where converts — the future leaders of America — have twisted the concept into a catch-all for social justice activism bent on transforming socioeconomic and political foundations.  "Sustainability, it turns out, is the new battle cry in an old war," states Katherine Kersten in a commentary for Minneapolis's Star Tribune.  She means that although what is familiar in the cause is age-old environmentalism, it has been rebranded and redefined to include a broader spectrum of social justice issues like gender neutrality, transgenderism, and addressing white privilege and police brutality.

Crushing People Into Tight Housing Won't Cut CO2 Levels.  'Smart growth" projects across the country aim to jam people into high-density housing near mass transit systems.  Proponents think this will make people abandon their automobiles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  But new research shows "stack-and-pack" housing is an ineffective way to reduce carbon dioxide levels.

Net-Zero Busybodies.  International agreements to lower greenhouse gases like the Kyoto Protocol have proven to be unenforceable, but zoning laws have real teeth.  Thus global warming activists have begun to work on the municipal and state level to pass zoning laws that mandate "net-zero" greenhouse gas emissions in new construction, referred to as Net-Zero or "Zero Energy Building" (ZEB) or "Zero Net Energy" (ZNE).

Building The Capacity To Increase Net Zero Construction.  The net zero building movement (where buildings produce as much or more energy than they consume) remains a nascent phenomenon.  As of this time last year, the New Buildings Institute — the organization that tracks such things — had recognized only 21 buildings as net zero structures.  Only two of these exceeded 15,000 square feet.  The concept of net zero construction clearly has a long way to go before it becomes mainstreamed.

EPA: Green Gone Wild.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to vastly expand its power.  Last year, the agency paid nearly $700,000 to the National Academy of Sciences to draft the document "Sustainability and the U.S. EPA."  This manifesto rationalizes why the EPA has the right to regulate every business, community and ecosystem in the country.  The key to the EPA's regulatory control is "sustainability," an illusive and ill-defined term even more broadly applicable than the interstate commerce clause.

National Heritage Sites and Agenda 21.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, how many single-family homes damaged by the storm surge will be rebuilt as high density dwellings?  This is after all, the Smart Growth trend across the country — destroy traditional homes in the suburbs because they are "unsustainable" and build high rises in inner cities.

Quit worrying about "urban sprawl" and start worrying about federal stewardship.  One of the green movement's great gripes with humanity is that people just take up too much [...] room, and ergo put a lot of ecological stress on the land on which they live.  The ever-sprouting world population, they argue, isn't sustainable, as we'll eventually run out of space to put people.  A new graphic from Environmental Trends, however, aptly demonstrates how unfounded these fears are.

Welcome to Sustainable City.  As I walked through Washington, D.C. Ronald Reagan National Airport Terminal C on my way to the gate, a large electronic billboard caught my attention. ... Capturing the site on my iphone, the typical fare of environmentalism popped up, presenting Siemens as the leader in "sustainable development," "green buildings," "intelligent buildings," "smart grid," "sustainable urban development," "sustainable communities," "environmental care," and health care. ... Familiar with the UN Agenda 21 propaganda and its buzzwords preceded either by "sustainable" or "green" everything, in the name of saving the planet from human behavior, a clever and devious attempt to control every facet of human activity and life, I stopped immediately.

The Nazi Roots of Sustainable Development.  Much of the European Union's green sustainable development plans are largely based on government controlled land use planning theories rooted in the lebensraum tradition.  Literally, lebensraum means "living space."  Lebensraum was originally developed by German geographer Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904) and then greatly expanded under the banner of National Socialism (1933-1945).

Smart Growth America!.  I received a robocall two days ago.  It was my Magisterial District Supervisor, inviting me with all his Smart Growth friends to a tour of Belmont Bay, a mixed-used residential area with a new George Mason University environmental science facility.  He called the right person for the wrong reasons. ... The words he used, Smart Growth, flagged my attention immediately, since I recognized one of the euphemisms used by UN Agenda 21 to hide land use control, regulation, and confiscation under the guise of environmental protection.

The Bicycle Overlords.  If you sometimes scratch your head while sitting in traffic and ask yourself why transportation planners and local political leaders make such odd decisions that result in more congestion, wasted fuel, and increased pollution, you may want to check out the urban planning doctrine called Smart Growth (or, New Urbanism) that is the current fad in many communities across the country.  Chances are, your local government is fully wedded to it already.

Urban Texans Lead Nation in Not Biking to Work.  Among large cities with 200,000 or more people, according to a report released this week by the Census Bureau, five communities in Texas led the nation in having the smallest percentage of workers commuting by bicycle.  In the border city of Laredo, Texas, in the five year period from 2008 through 2012, 0.0 percent of workers rode bikes to work.  That topped all large cities for the smallest percentage of workers commuting by bike.  In Garland, Plano, Fort Worth and Dallas, only 0.1 percent biked to work.  These Texas cities tied for next to last.  In four other Texas cities, only 0.2 percent rode bikes to work.  These included Arlington, Irving, San Antonio and El Paso.

How "Smart Growth" Intensifies Air Pollution.  For years, regional transportation plans, public officials, and urban planners have been seeking to densify urban areas, using strategies referred to as "smart growth" or "livability."  They have claimed that densifying urban areas would lead to lower levels of air pollution, principally because it is believed to reduce travel by car.  In fact, however, EPA data show that higher population densities are strongly associated with higher levels of automobile travel and more concentrated air pollution.

The Socialist Phobia of Scarcity.  If you are a socialist, chances are you believe that there is only a limited amount of wealth in the world.  People are impoverished only because rich capitalists are hoarding it.  You probably also believe that global natural resources are scarce, the world's water supply is drying up, and irreplaceable species are becoming extinct.  This irrational fear of scarcity is what drives the socialist advocacy for abortion of the unborn and euthanasia of the aged and infirm.  As it turns out, the "population bomb" has thus far been a dud.  Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book of the same name predicted mass starvation and global social upheavals by the 1980s.  Although this never happened, it has not deterred true believers.

"Smart Growth" Policies Hurt.  There is mounting evidence that smart growth policies have already prevented thousands of American households from their claim of the American Dream of owning their own home.  Designed as an environmentally-sensitive response to perceived suburban overcrowding or "sprawl," smart growth policies crowd housing units together into clusters of dense, skyward structures.

Are the Communists Coming?  [Scroll down]  When a candidate uses terms such as "smart growth," and "sustainability," don't take these words to be meaningless.  Know that they come from Agenda 21, a product of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development.  This is the same conference that produced the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Climate Change Treaty.  Agenda 21, and its policies seek to take elected officials out of the policy-making arena and place that authority in the hands of appointed "stakeholder councils," and the like.  "Stakeholder councils" serve much the same function as "soviets" in the old communist regimes.

Global Warming on Steroids:  We are being subjected to demands that we alter our economy to accommodate an utterly false assertion of global warming.  At the same time, environmentalists are actively involved in schemes to put as much of the U.S. landmass as possible off-limits to any development.  All of this has been neatly spelled out in a United Nations plan alleged to insure "sustainable development", but which in fact is designed to inhibit and prohibit any development anywhere.

Going Green = $4 per Gallon.  [Scroll down]  Such policy is driven by the Sustainable Development lobby.  Led by massively wealthy and powerful special interests like the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, the National Resources Defense Council and Earthjustice, to name a very few.  With their dollars and lobbyists, they are forcing Congress to implement the policies outlined in the UN's Agenda 21 soft law document.  It pretends to be environmental policy, but is really a complete transformation of our society and economy to a top down control, leading toward global governance.  The environment is just the excuse to convince unaware Americans to give up their liberties "to save the earth."

Livable communities is a socialist trap!  Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) has authored a bill S.1619 titled the "Livable Communities Act."  It is one of the most dangerous bills to ever threaten our liberty.  Worse even than the Obamacare scheme.  S.1619 creates a new permanent federal office:  The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities" for the enforcement of this bill the "Development Czar" if you will.  Sen. Dodd is lying when he says S.1619 is purely voluntary.

Al Gore, the United Nations, and the Cult of Gaia (1999):  [Scroll down]  These people believe in Gaia — an "Earth spirit," goddess or planetary brain — and they think that human beings can have mystical experiences or a spiritual relationship with this entity.  In order to protect Gaia, in their view, the U.S. and other industrial countries have to be prohibited from certain uses of the world's natural resources.  This is called "sustainable development."

California Voters Defy Activist Groups, Approve New Home Construction.  Voters in the San Francisco suburbs of Pittsburg and Antioch, reflecting support from key Democratic elected officials, defied the Sierra Club and other activist groups by approving on November 8 two proposed housing developments.  The activist groups have vowed to challenge the new communities in every venue possible, including zoning boards, planning commissions, and the courts.

Smart Growth = Crime, Congestion and Poverty.  Urban sprawl has sparked a national debate over land-use policy, launching a movement in the past decade called "smart growth."  Advocates of such policies contend that urban sprawl causes crime and congestion, and limits opportunities for the poor and minorities.

Testimony on Smart Growth and Public Transit.  I do not favor sprawl.  I favor allowing people to live and work where and how they like.  And there is no reason not to allow it.  Even today, urbanization accounts for less than three percent of the nation's land area.  The "Smart Growth" movement seeks to stop or control urban sprawl.  Proponents claim that it will reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and reduce costs.  It is important to understand that smart growth and containing sprawl require higher densities.  Smart growth's goals simply are unattainable without much higher densities.

"Smart Growth" Research:  As much as 20 percent of federal transportation funding goes to transit, which serves less than 2 percent of travelers. [...] Since transit service is so much slower than cars and is focused principally in the core and central business districts of major metropolitan areas, people who use transit because they do not have a car face limited mobility and diminished job prospects.

Fewer roads for more people.  What does Beijing have in common with Portland, Oregon?  Urban congestion.  It's much worse in Beijing, but Portland's traffic congestion isn't getting any better.  Further, both cities' traffic is worsened by bad government.

What Causes Sprawl?  While many factors spur Americans' shift from urban to suburban living, the main force behind this transition is our increasing wealth.  This has raised living standards and allowed widespread automobile ownership.

The Crusade Against Urban Sprawl:  There is a strong relationship between urban sprawl and air pollution — but not the one the new urbanists suggest.  In the United States, air pollution tends to increase with population density.  Similarly, traffic congestion tends to be worse in higher density urban areas.

San Francisco Imposes Green Building Codes.  Green building codes signed into law by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) may cost city residents and businesses $700 million each and every year in expenses and lost economic output, the city's Office of Economic Analysis is reporting.  The green building codes, signed in August, will force residents and businesses to pay significantly higher construction costs and rents and will likely drive many of them out of the city, the agency warns.

False Solutions and Real Problems.  There were certainly places here and there where it took half a family's income just to put a roof over their heads. ... Almost invariably, these severe local problems had local causes — usually severe local restrictions on building homes.  These restrictions had a variety of politically attractive names, ranging from "open space" laws and "smart growth" policies to "environmental protection" and "farmland preservation."

Insects as food:

Let them Eat Bugs.  [Scroll down]  To be clear, cricket and mealworm flour is being put into all sorts of processed foods in many countries, including the USA, and the labeling of such products is not always clear.  If you see Acheta protein in a product, know that it has been adulterated with insect protein (aka cricket protein powder)[.]

War Gaming How to Get the Peasants to Eat the Bugs.  Big discussion on X yesterday gave us a window into the WEF's absolute consternation with we of the knuckle-dragging crowd's obstinance when it comes to meekly following their dictates.  Just as POTATUS has a blindspot and is uber defensive... okay, about most everything, but this in particular... the benefits of Bidenomics, which we obtuse dullards are too anti-intellectual to appreciate, likewise the Brahmins of the Davos set remain baffled and frustrated by the average Western-civilized human's aversion to ingesting bugs.

CBS [gets] Roasted for Pushing Americans to 'Treat' Themselves to Cicada Recipes.  The media keeps trying to make eating bugs a thing.  They're playing the same game they played with gas stove bans — 1.) they're not happening, 2.) it's a right-wing conspiracy, 3.) okay, it's happening, 4.) here's why it's a good thing it's happening.  We're not eating the bugs.  The journalists at CBS and every other outlet are free to chomp on some deep fried cicadas, but we'll stick with chicken and steak, thanks.  [Numerous tweets]

Chitin:  The Inflammatory Bug Compound the Peasants May Soon Be Forced to Eat.  Purveyors of ze bugs and the technocrats who support replacing red meat with insects are very enthusiastic about the dehumanizing prospect of forcing the peasants to consume crickets for sustenance.  They openly brag about a particular substance called chitin, a long-chain sugar found in the exoskeletons (shells) of insects. [...] Unfortunately, the "great source of fiber" is also a known driver of inflammation in the gut with potentially serious adverse consequences if consumed on a regular basis as a replacement staple for grain. [...] As it is, sans mass consumption of chitin, chronic inflammation is literally the largest driver of chronic illness in humans — more so than obesity, more so than metabolic dysfunction, and more so than any other factor.  If one were so inclined to silently kill people slowly over time, inducing long-term, often subclinical inflammation would be the best way to do it.  Some term this type of murder "soft-kill," because it occurs over time, and attributing the ultimate cause is difficult.

This is propaganda:
What is Chitin?  Edible insects all use the fibrous material chitin to form the structure of their exoskeletons.  Chitin can be found in the exoskeleton of insects, the shells of crustaceans, and even in the wing scales of a butterfly!  There are different modified versions of chitin that are utilized throughout the insect world that make it possible to have the strong exoskeleton of a beetle, for example, and also be used to create the flexible bodies seen in caterpillars.  For those that are interested in entomophagy and eating insects, the chitin is also a great source of valuable fiber and a prebiotic too.

Meat-Producing Giant Tyson Foods is Now Investing in Insect Protein.  Tyson Foods, a major U.S. producer of beef, pork, and chicken, is now making plans to develop products from protein that comes from insects.  ["]The meat processor said on Tuesday that it has invested in Protix, a Netherlands-based insect ingredients maker.  Tyson is not only taking a minority stake in the company, but is working alongside it to build a US factory.  That facility will use animal waste to feed black soldier flies, which will then be turned into food for pets, poultry and fish.  Tyson did not disclose the financial specifics of the deal.  Those flies are not going into human food, at this point. "Today, we're focused on more of [an] ingredient application with insect protein than we are a consumer application," said John R. Tyson, chief financial officer of Tyson Foods.["]

There's something fishy about eating bugs.  [Scroll down]  Like any wide-reaching initiative the Left pushes, the long-term effects are never really thought out, which would also make them lousy chess players, but I digress.  Examples of initiatives (like bug-eating) that have and will fail not only because the premise behind them is fundamentally flawed but because they lack sufficient critical thinking, planning and testing:
  [#1]   Eliminate fossil fuels and go to electric vehicles by 2035.  By now we all know how ridiculous the notion is to push EV's so fast with their unproven reliability and range, lack of any plan for a supportive infrastructure, dependence on foreign nations for raw materials, etc.  But the Left's commitment to this folly us unwavering.
  [#2]   Eliminate coal and natural gas power plant and build solar and wind energy production.  Not only is this notion woefully unreliable and wasteful, but did anyone bother to do the math on this?  I did, and based on the average efficiency of solar panels, the U.S. would have to sacrifice three entire average-size states to have enough solar panels to satisfy our current power needs, and that's without any form of energy storage.
  [#3]   mRNA vaccines are "safe and effective."  Well, now we know they were more harmful to healthy young people than the virus itself, while truly safe and effective mitigation protocols like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were outlawed.
Are we therefore ready to jump on the cricket train and accept that eating bugs instead of steak and spare ribs are the best long-term solution to human survival?  Do we simply accept the premise that bugs don't create so-called "greenhouse gases"?  Well, they do.  "Insects, like people, require oxygen to live and produce carbon dioxide as a waste product."  Oh, and insects also [emit] methane (termites), nitrous oxide (ants) and a whole host of "climate-change" poisons.

Will We Wake Up When We're Hungry?  John Kerry, the man who has almost perfected the art of looking down his nose at the commoners so very far beneath him, told a group of co-elitists at a recent climate summit that, in the words of a Reuters reporter, "cutting greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production is essential to the global fight against climate change."  In Kerry's own words, he claimed "we can't get to net zero, we don't get this job done, unless agriculture is front and center as part of the solution."  The special presidential envoy for climate, a job he is perfectly suited for as it requires no accomplishments, only a membership in a "select group of human beings" and an enormously inflated sense of self, then confused matters by declaring that "a 2-degree future could result in another 600 million people not getting enough to eat." [...] What, then, is their solution for feeding the masses while at the same time lowering greenhouse gas emissions?  Of course — we must reduce food consumption and when eating is absolutely necessary, gobble up some bugs.  The climatistas are focused on a forced austerity.

CBS segment pushes insects as 'low-carbon solution to feed animals and the world's population'.  A news segment featured on CBS over the weekend suggested that bugs are a "low-carbon solution to feed animals and the world's population."  "CBS Saturday Morning" stated that incorporating bugs into the human diet could be a "real solution to the global food crisis."  Host Dana Jacobson introduced the segment by stating, "We all know how important insects are for the environment, but climate researchers say bugs could be a game-changer in the fight to protect the planet in ways you may not have imagined."

The Editor says...
There is no "global food crisis."  The places with insufficient food are all run by communists.  For example, Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket for the whole African continent until the militant blacks took over the white-owned farms, and now everybody's equally hungry.  The same thing is underway in South Africa.

Crickets, worms and grasshoppers are dished out to kids at prestigious £20,000-a-year girls' school.  Chinese crispy crickets, buffalo worm stir fry and grasshopper noodles may sound [bad].  But these are the new environmentally-friendly dishes on offer on the menu of a £20,000-a-year independent girls school.  The prestigious North London Collegiate School (NLSC) [...] is leading the way with meals that are kind to the planet.

Days Before Being Fired, Tucker Exposed WEF Efforts To Force People To Eat Bugs.  Just days before he was fired from Fox News, Tucker Carlson put out an exposé on the efforts of Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum to change the diets of people worldwide by pushing bug eating.  Carlson has been fired apparently for being the most successful and popular anchor on any network.  So, in order to understand why, it makes sense to look at exactly who Tucker wasn't popular with.

Let them eat bugs!  The World Economic Forum is now the self-designated world-saver — not only from climate change, but also from global starvation.  The rationale employed is that climate change is paramount, agriculture is a major culprit, and cows and other livestock are really terrible, so the WEF will embrace insects (and technologies that create fake meat) to replace them.  Cows will disappear, while billionaires profit and dominate global food supplies.  This scam is reminiscent of saving humanity from a disease created in a lab using vaccines that don't work but profit billionaires and consolidate global totalitarianism. [...] A recent global initiative calls to switch all school lunches to bugs, to wean kids off evil meat.  This house of horrors is built on a foundation of lies.

Italy Bans Insect Flour from its Pasta and Pizza.  The Italian government has issued a number of regulations in an effort to ban the use of insects and bugs in its cuisine.  At a news conference held in Rome, three government ministers announced four decrees meant to crack down on the use of insects and bugs, The Times reported.  "It's fundamental that these flours are not confused with food made in Italy," Francesco Lollobrigida, the agriculture minister, said.  "What the decrees provide for is a label with the origin of the product, the risks associated with consumption and the quantity of insect meal present, but we have also provided special shelves where they can be displayed inside the shops..those who want to choose crickets, larvae and locusts can go there and those who don't want to, as I imagine most Italians, can keep away."

Insect Farming Is Booming.  But Is It Cruel?  Insects are strange, wondrous beings.  Butterflies can see parts of the light spectrum that are invisible to human eyes and use these ultraviolet patterns to find their way to tasty plants.  Moths use the Earth's magnetic field to orient themselves on journeys of hundreds of miles.  Bees waggle their butts to tell their hive-mates where to find a juicy stash of nectar.  Insects live in our world — or humans live in theirs — yet we inhabit completely different sensory universes.  But just as we are starting to understand insect senses, something is shifting in the way we treat these creatures.  Insect farming is booming in a major way.  By one estimate, between 1 trillion and 1.2 trillion insects are raised on farms each year as companies race to find a high-protein, low-carbon way to feed animals and humans.  In terms of sheer numbers of animals impacted, this is a transformation of a speed and scale that we've never seen before.  It's a weird twist in our already strange relationship with bugs.

Natural News releases high-magnification cricket snacks, cricket flour and whole cricket microscopy photos from the lab.  Various forms of crickets are now being sold for human consumption as part of the disingenuous "climate cult" lunacy that pretends if enough humans eat bugs, we will change the weather.  While the meat supply chain is being destroyed by governments who claim nitrogen is evil — yes, the very same governments that still claim carbon dioxide is a pollutant even though it's the pillar of photosynthesis — we're all being told to eat crickets and mealworms to save the planet.

Let Them Eat Bugs!  Give up cheeseburgers, and eat bugs instead.  That's what the Davos elite want you to do, while they dine on $50 burritos and slabs of steak.  They would even have you feel good about being a meat- and diary-free insectivore.  To this end, they have carefully manufactured the cult of environmental alarmism, whose virtue-signaling adherents have been duped into thinking an ecological disaster is at hand.  The cult's latest scapegoat is agriculture.  The wise global leaders of the World Economic Forum (WEF) have decreed that farming must be restricted to "save the planet."  By 2030, they dictate, plebs must adopt the ecologically sound practice of entomophagy, or insect-eating.  In sardonic response to this vision — as Orwellian as it's quixotic — Michael Shellenberger, the author of Apocalypse Never and a relentless campaigner against environmental hysterics, says pollution from farming is negligible compared to that from jet-setting around the world promoting bug cuisine.  He calls out the "woke" elite's "festival of narcissism," in which brazen hypocrisy is a flaunting of power.  He describes the WEF as a "cult wrapped in a grift wrapped in an enigma" that seeks world domination through business.

The Bugs Are a Feature.  Leftists, perhaps thinking their war on reliable energy is well in hand, are now making war on scientific agriculture.  The war has two main elements:  opposition to fertilizers, without which billions of people could not be fed, and hostility toward animal husbandry.  Leftists don't want you to eat meat.  When you tell people that liberals' end game is for them to eat bugs, they sometimes think you can't be serious.  Those are the people who aren't paying attention. [...] Like all suppliers, farmers and food companies have the "will" to produce goods that people want.  Like meat.  But liberals have no intention of allowing the market — our preferences — to rule.  They intend to make animal husbandry prohibitively expensive, and ultimately illegal, through regulations that, as with the attack on affordable energy, are justified by the talisman of global warming.  And the end game is, you and I eat insects.  Although I suppose limited amounts of meat will still be available in special stores accessible to those with high enough social credit scores.

Beetleburgers to Hit Mass Production to Help Feed [Bugs to] the World.  The globalists and freaks in the left-wing media are trying to convince people to eat bugs.  Eating bugs is degrading and that's why the elitists are pushing them as a "sustainable" source of protein for the peasants.  According to a new study, 'beetleburgers' made from mealworms will hit mass production to help feed the world.  "Mixed with sugar, the beetles supposedly taste just like real meat.  They could also become alternatives to sausages or chicken nuggets." — researchers say.

The Editor says...
The people who intend to outlaw meat will probably outlaw sugar, too.  Because it's bad for you.  Because there's not enough for everybody.  Because you're ruining the earth.  It's for the children.  Do your part.  We're all in this together.

Push to eat bugs: The creepy, crawly alternative to eating meat.  As many are making New Year's resolutions to eat healthier, would you try adding bugs to your diet?  In many cultures, eating insects is a part of their diet.  In Asia, bugs are invading street food markets in Thailand and Vietnam.  From cricket soup to worms you can get fried, battered, or sauteed with peppers, edible bugs are crawling into a popular nightcap snack.  In Colombia, one region has a species of ant called Atta laevigata, and one of the local names of the ant in Spanish roughly translates to "big-butt ant."  These expensive delicacies are deep-fried to give a crispy, crunchy outside paired with a juicy inside.  Bill Gates and big names in Hollywood are pushing to eat bugs as a way to prevent climate change.

The Editor says...
Thailand, Vietnam, and Colombia are not models for other countries.  Eat bugs if that's all you can find, but eating beef and chicken is not even a minor cause of climate change.  The output power of the Sun changes from one year to the next.  That's a good starting point.  Termites and volcanos have more impact on the climate than your diet.

Mealworms on the menu in one hundred primary schools in The Netherlands.  WEF agenda in full force:  Hundreds of schools in The Netherlands have started a campaign introducing 10-12 y/o kids to mealworms & insects as a 'sustainable' meat substitute.  The goal is to bring about "behavioral changes through unprejudiced children[.]"  [Video clip]

Exactly What is Behind the UN & WEF Insects As Food Agenda?  The two most prominent One World Government nodes in the UN and WEF have been aggressively pushing the bug food agenda for close to a decade now; [...] The CIA-run Hollywood and MSM have been deployed to normalize the insect as food agenda.  Cult puppet and Rockefeller asset Bill Gates is also pushing this bug grub scheme which perfectly gibes with all things eugenics, DEATHVAX™ and technocratic dystopia.  All of this slots perfectly into Agenda 21, Agenda 2030 and the Club of Rome's longstanding PSYOP-CLIMATE-CHANGE.  So why bugs?  What exactly is it in these alleged "sustainable" high protein "food" sources that makes them so important to the Cult's agenda?  Insects contain a natural structural component in their exoskeletons called chitin.  This fibrous polysaccharide happens to be extremely toxic to humans.  Specifically, chitin triggers inflammation and immune responses; [...]

Canadian government invests $8.5 million into insect production facility "to support sustainable food production".  The government said the $8.5 million investment for Aspire was "to support the building of a commercial facility to produce cricket protein."  The government said they choose the company to invest in because "Aspire's goal to tackle global food scarcity led to its focus on edible insect production, which can provide high volumes of nutritious food with a low environmental footprint."  The government says the funding will be used by Aspire to "use the latest smart technology to create the ideal growing conditions for crickets at its facility in London, Ontario" and "allow the company to monitor and grow billions of crickets at a time, producing a nutrient-rich protein for premium health food and pet markets."  The government believes this technology will allow the company to cut its production costs, which would increase its marketability and sales in the domestic and international markets.

Corporate Media Insists Eating Insects Is "Really Delicious".  The World Economic Forum (WEF) has, for years, promoted the idea that "healthy diets" and "sustainable" foods, such as insects, should be introduced into the global food system to save the planet.  These self-proclaimed designers of the future are calling for a reset of the food system to lessen the environmental impact of current food production and solve world hunger.  They're trying to convince people to eat bugs.  The latest sign insect farming is about to takeoff is a South African chemical engineer by the name of Wendy Vesela found ways to transform spiky green and black caterpillars into flour that can be used in biscuits, sweet chocolate protein bars, cereals or smoothies, according to AFP News.

Neil Oliver Will Not Eat the Bugs.  This week Neil Oliver talks about the new Utopia we are being instructed to accept.  A world in which there are no rights, only permissions.  Everything including the modification of diets and the eating of bugs and fake meat; to the type of carbon footprint home we are permitted, to the energy we may use or the acceptable car we must drive; permissions, assuming of course, our social media profile and accompanying score is in line with regulatory inspection.  Nope.  Not happening.  There are more of us than them.  We will not eat the bugs.  [Video clip]

Canada Completes Construction of Manufacturing Facility to Make Food from Bugs.  I'm not sure how everyone feels about this new effort to make bugs into food for humans, but everything about it seems weird.  A Canadian company is now celebrating the opening of a manufacturing facility in Ontario what will generate 9,000 metric tons of crickets for people to eat.  I will not be eating the bugs, slugs or any other creepy crawling critter regardless of "protein transfer efficiency."  Nope.  Not happening.

Schools to Make Kids Eat Bugs in Climate Change Brainwashing 'Experiment'.  Schools are now conducting "science experiments" where kids eat bugs with the intention they will then pressure their parents to adopt a similar diet.  Crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, and mealworms are all on the menu.  [Video clip]

Wow!  If you eat bugs, global warming will stop!
Swapping meat and dairy for INSECT protein and 'cultured' milk could reduce global warming, water and land use by over 80%, study claims.  Swapping animal products for future foods such as insect protein or cultured milk could reduce global warming, water and land use by over 80 percent, a new study suggests.  Researchers used computer modelling to find the optimal diet combination to meet nutritional needs, while also minimising global warming potential, water and land use.  They found that if people in Europe replaced meat and dairy with foods produced through new technologies, such as making fake steak out of bovine cells, it could significantly reduce all environmental impacts.

Let 'Em Eat Bugs.  For those who haven't heard, cattle and pork are threats to the environment.  The farms that raise them are foul greenhouse gas offenders.  Better, say our superiors, that we settle for a nice bowl of insects instead.  A recent New York Times opinion feature headlined "The Joy of Cooking (Insects)" looks at "our broken food system and the three chances you get to help fix it — and save the planet — every day."  "A growing tribe of environmentalists, academics and entrepreneurs are arguing that edible insects must enjoy a wider acceptance to help create a more sustainable global food system," says the Times.  "It's time for bugs.  Whether you regard them as agents of filth or sources of nutrition, integrating more of them into your diet ... is among a suite of dietary changes that we urgently need to consider to deal with food insecurity, biodiversity loss and climate change."

The Editor says...
The people who wail about "biodiversity loss" are the same people who preach survival of the fittest in the public schools.

Vanderbilt Professor Says Bugs, Including Fly Larvae, 'Must Be A Bigger Part Of The Human Food Chain'.  A Vanderbilt University professor argued that insects must compose a larger share of the world's food supply.  In an opinion piece for Bloomberg, Amanda Little — who teaches investigative journalism and science writing at the prestigious university — lauded the European Union's recent decision to approve insects for human consumption.  According to Little, the move ought to be carried out across the globe.

Making Meals From Mealworms Is 'Part of the Answer' to the Climate Crisis, claims CEO.  Increasingly, companies and scientists are viewing insects as an environmentally sustainable alternative source of protein.  Crickets, grasshoppers and beetles are already commercially produced and processed for human and animal consumption.  Ynsect, a 10-year-old French company, is focused on mealworms, the larval stage of beetles.  Ynsect co-founder and CEO Antoine Hubert:  "We are not far from reaching tipping points where then things get worse and it cascades and waterfalls — you can't stop it anymore.  Time is very critical...  There is a huge need to reduce our consumption of beef.  We should keep beef consumption, grazing, on a smaller scale with high levels of fresh products.  But everything that is a processed meat should be 100% replaced at some point by alternatives.  Insects will be a part of the answer."

Some pet food brands are now using proteins from INSECTS so they can reduce their carbon impact and use less land and water.  Pet food companies are swapping meat proteins for that of insects in a bid to reduce your cat or dog's environmental impact or carbon pawprint.  Big name brands like Nestle Purina and Mars have recently joined the move by using dried black soldier fly larvae, while other companies, such as Jiminy's, use cricket protein.  The shift aims to reduce the 64 million tons of carbon dioxide that is emitted each year from producing and the consumption of meat-based products.

If you've ever wanted to eat a cicada, your time is coming.  When you think of cicadas you might not think 'yum, I'd eat that!' But, if you were wondering, you can and many people do.  And with an influx of the 17-year bugs reappearing, it may just be the opportunity for you to try them for yourselves.  In fact, the University of Maryland has even put together an entire cookbook of recipes just for cicadas.

Great Reset:  Eating Bugs is the Future, Proclaims the World Economic Forum.  The unelected self-anointed global elitists at the World Economic Forum (WEF) posted a video preaching to citizens about how "[I]nsect farming is set to play a growing role in our lives — especially in our diets".  The WEF is at the forefront of the so-called "Great Reset," or the idea that the global economy needs to be completely transformed in the post-pandemic world.  According to their moronic video, citizens should be assured that bugs "are rich in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, and can be farmed at scale with minimal footprint."

Why aren't we all eating insects?  The farming of insects for food has been billed as the next sustainable food revolution in western countries many times over in the past few years.  One reason for this is, compared with traditional livestock such as beef and lamb, insects require far fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

The Editor says...
You may eat bugs if you like, but I'll stick with beef, chicken, and fish, because I'm not at all concerned about "greenhouse gas emissions."  Even if global warming was a serious problem, which it isn't, and even if livestock farming contributed dangerous gases to the atmosphere, which it doesn't, I'd never eat bugs for dinner anyway.

Now Alcohol and Sugar Are Even Worse for the Planet Than Eating Meat.  Scientists want us to eat bugs.  Eating actual meat, from delicious cows and chickens and pigs and whatnot, is supposedly killing the planet.  Instead, we should be eating wormburgers and maggot-dogs and cricket tacos.  That's literally what the eggheads want.  They say it's the only way we'll keep everybody from dying of global warming.  Every other day there's another "news" story encouraging us all to eat filthy insects, like the mud-caked peasants they think we are.  So let's say you do what your moral, ethical, and intellectual betters tell you to do.  You stop eating meat.  Maybe you don't choke down cockroach casserole like they keep telling you, but you stop eating dead animals.  You make that sacrifice for the common good.  Now you're off the hook, aren't you?  Now they'll leave you alone, right?  Wrong!

Four Outrageously Insane Climate Proposals.  [#3] Ban Red Meat and Start Eating Bugs:  Meat consumption is a huge obstacle in climate activists' war against climate change.  This is in part why the FAQs of the Green New Deal mentioned getting rid of "farting cows," which emit methane into the atmosphere.  Some progressive activists have proposed banning meat entirely as a solution to stopping climate change. [...] For those who can't bear to ditch meat entirely, some alternatives have been suggested.  Insects have been proposed as not only a potentially sustainable animal feed, but for human diets.  According to some researchers, convincing people to eat mealworms and other grubs and bugs would simply require better marketing.

Let 'Em Eat Bugs, Says Kofi 'Marie Antoinette' Annan.  The topic of global warming has produced a stunning array of hysteria and absurdities. [...] If we were to compile a similar list of crackpot solutions to climate change, we'd probably start with the comments of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who recently said that if it were up to him, we would reduce the "major threat to the climate" posed by "global livestock" by "raising insects as an animal protein source."  "Insects," insists Annan, "have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat.  They make up part of the diet of 2 billion people and are commonly eaten in many parts of the world.  Eating insects is good for the environment and balanced diets."  Yes, fine idea. Let's take human progress back a few millennia and survive on grubs, a handful of leaves and root vegetables we could fight the rabbits for.

The Editor says...
I suspect that if Mr. Annan ever detected even a fragment of an insect in any of his food, he would send it back to the kitchen.

Kofi Annan: Eat Bugs To Stop Global Warming.  Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants you to eat more insects.  Why?  It's better for the environment and your health, he argues.  "Keeping meat consumption to levels recommended by health authorities would lower emissions and reduce heart disease, cancer, and other diseases," Annan told The Guardian Sunday [5/3/2015].

Man in China makes a living breeding cockroaches.  Usually, people can't get rid of cockroaches fastenough, but a farmer in China collects and cooks them up.  Wang Fuming is no ordinary farmer.  He's a roach farmer, and the bug business is booming.

Environmentalists Want You to Eat Bugs.  Science has two speeds:  "proven as fact" and "not sure."  Like it or not, the scientific theory that humans are causing the Earth to warm is still in the "not sure" camp.  Nonetheless, we're racing ahead in an anti-global-warming frenzy.  Some global-warming advocates have turned the issue into a religion — the believers shall be exalted and the deniers shall be burned at the stake.

The Six-Legged Meat of the Future.  Over the past two years, three Dutch insect-raising companies, which normally produce feed for animals in zoos, have set up special production lines to raise locusts and mealworms for human consumption.  Now those insects are sold, freeze-dried, in two dozen retail food outlets that cater to restaurants.  A few restaurants in the Netherlands have already placed insects on the menu, with locusts and mealworms (beetle larvae) usually among the dishes.

Flour made from insects will feed underfed populations.  A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries.  The product is called Power Flour.

Eat a Cricket, Save the World.  Pound-for-pound, crickets pack more protein than cows, chickens, pigs, and the rest of the mammals and birds we've come to associate with barnyards.  And their smaller footprint — both literally and environmentally — makes them a candidate for a more sustainable food source.  Put down 100 grams worth of pure cricket and you've just ingested 69 grams of protein.  That's compared with 43 grams of protein in dried beef protein or 31 grams of protein in identical servings of chicken.  The insects also contain essential amino acids and are high in iron, calcium, B vitamins, and fiber.

Saturated fat:

The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease.  The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease.  We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.

Bacon Is Good for You.  Those who love rib-eye steaks and double-cream Brie will feel better about their guilty pleasures after reading Nina Teicholz's article in this weekend's Wall Street Journal, "The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease." [...] Once the American Heart Association, funded by Proctor & Gamble, makers of Crisco, got behind the crusade, Teicholz argues, "there was no turning back".

Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link.  For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.  But the new research, published on Monday [3/17/2014] in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.

Antibacterial Soap:

FDA Raises Safety Concerns On Antibacterial Soaps.  After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.

Your Antibacterial Soap Is So Dangerous, Minnesota Just Banned It.  It looks like germaphobes in Minnesota are going to have to kiss antibacterial hand wash good-bye and go back to disinfecting their skin with old-school soap and water.  Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a measure banning the antibacterial chemical triclosan from all products sold in the state.  Triclosan is commonly found in a slew of personal care items — everything from body wash, dish soap, and toothpaste to over-the-counter acne medication.  It's found in nearly 2,000 products, but the bad news about the substance keeps piling up.

Wood as fuel:

The Editor says...
If you burn "biomass," you're on the leading edge of environmental responsibility.  If you call it "firewood," you're in trouble.

Climate Change 'Solutions' Are Harming the Environment.  The Scottish Daily Express reports that Scotland has banned the installation of wood burning stoves in new and remodeled homes as part of the push to reduce emissions.  The decision was made even though a government commission specifically found that wood burning stoves actually emit less CO2 than the alternatives pushed by the government: wind turbines, solar panels, and heat pumps.  Indeed, the government study found that wind, solar, and heat pumps produce 48, 105, and 123 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour respectively, compared to just 25 g/Kwh, for wood stoves.  Can someone explain to me, if carbon dioxide is the danger, how mandating technologies that produce more CO2 than good old wood, as a replacement for wood, makes climate sense?  It seems the Scottish government's "headlong rush for net zero" is actually being undermined by its own policies.

Wood pellet producer Enviva files for bankruptcy and plans to restructure.  The largest global industrial wood pellet supplier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, announcing its intention to cut about $1 billion of debt by restructuring agreements with creditors, including those who have invested heavily in new facilities.  Maryland-based Enviva said in the filing that its debts exceed $2.6 billion.  The company owes $780 million to a Delaware bank, $348 million to a German energy company, as well as $353 million in bonds from local development authorities in Mississippi and Alabama.  The announcement came two months after Fitch Ratings downgraded Enviva's default rating following a missed interest payment of $24.4 million.

Burn Those Trees!  We have written a couple of times about biomass, which is a fancy term for burning wood.  If you thought using wood fires for energy was out of date — it has been, actually, for a century and a half — you are behind the times.  Wood burning is considered "green," a wholly political concept, and therefore is heavily subsidized in Europe.  Millions of trees in the U.S. and Canada suffer the consequences. [...] You might think that cutting down trees in the southern U.S., thus preventing them from absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere — do they still teach junior high kids about photosynthesis? — shipping them to Europe on diesel-powered ships, and then burning them, releasing carbon into the atmosphere in the form of CO2, must be the dumbest possible way of generating electricity.  And, while it is appallingly stupid, and not "green" in any coherent sense, it is arguably not as dumb as wind and solar: [...]

The farce of Drax's wood pellets.  When is the government going to stop pretending that chopping down trees in North American forests and shipping them across the Atlantic to burn them in UK power stations is a zero-carbon form of energy?  The environmental-friendliness of Drax power station in South Yorkshire has been called into question yet again this week after BBC Panaroma investigation reported that some of the woodchips being burned there have allegedly been sourced from established 'old growth' forests in Canada rather than recent plantations.  Drax has not commented on those specific allegations, but the investigation has thrown the issue back into the spotlight.  How and where the wood is sourced has a dramatic difference on the overall calculations of carbon emissions from biomass burning — quite apart from the environmental issues involved with chopping down established forests.  But wherever the wood comes from, the whole business of counting biomass burning — which accounted for 11 percent of Britain's electricity generation in 2022 — as zero carbon is deeply flawed.  It isn't just Britain which is doing this — in 2022 the European Parliament voted to carry on doing the same.  Burning wood does, of course, release carbon dioxide.  In fact, unit of energy for unit of energy, it emits more greenhouse gases than does burning coal.

Wood Pellets Aren't CO2 Neutral, Emit More Than Coal; Double Of Natural Gas.  Wood pellets are often viewed as an alternative, climate-friendly energy source, especially for heating.  But an analysis shows this is not the case at all.  Though it is claimed that the CO2 from burning biomass like trees remains in the natural carbon cycle, the CO2-absorbing trees are often commercially chopped down, pelletized and burned, thus emitting years worth of CO2 sequestration in just a matter of hours.  Live trees recapturing that same emitted CO2 and storing it in the form of biomass takes decades.

The contradictory Green policies to limit CO2 emissions.  Currently the burning of Biomass is designated as "CO2 neutral" by Western Nations to give the appearance of reducing CO2 emissions and thus controlling Climate Change.  The designation of Biomass burning as Carbon neutral is essentially self-defeating as:
  •   burning Biomass massively increases the instantaneous output of CO2 emissions.
  •   those instantaneous CO2 emissions from burning Biomass effectively cancel out any and all potential CO2 emissions savings from the deployment of Weather-Dependent "Renewable" technologies
  •   is hugely destructive of natural environments and habitats wherever harvested at the necessary industrial scale.
Germany and the UK are leaders in the development of "Renewable" Energy in Europe.  This post uses 2019 hourly generation datasets showing the scale of various generation technologies over the year.  It combines that power output data with data on the CO2 emissions of different fossil fuels to show the extent of CO2 emissions in 2019.

Schools, parks impacted as fire burns for sixth consecutive day at Florida renewable energy plant.  A fire at a Doral, Florida waste-to-energy plant continued burning as officials announced school dismissal plans, closed parks, and urged residents to stay indoors, multiple outlets reported.  "Miami-Dade Fire Rescue staff are working tirelessly to put out the blaze," Doral's mayor Christi Fraga said in a statement Friday.

Green Energy Plant Has Spewed Toxic Smoke for a Week.  Meanwhile, the bumbling green fascists in charge tell us they have to micromanage our lives and fling hundreds of $billions at alternative energy boondoggles because according to their ideology it will serve the sacred environment by preventing the climate from fluctuating.

As Green Policies Cause Energy Prices To Explode, Deforestation In Europe Accelerates.  It's easy to argue that the "green" movement is causing much more environmental harm than good.  High energy costs are leading to poverty, which in turn leads to less investment in environmental protection and nature conservation.  Biodiversity-rich forests are being cleared away to make room for wind parks and people are increasingly burning wood to stay warm as an alternative to natural gas and heating oil.  Blackout News here reports on how forests in Romania have been falling victim to illegal logging as the energy crisis has propelled the demand for firewood and pellets to rocket speed.  "In Romania, entire nature reserves are disappearing as a result."

Germany: Stockpiling wood in fear of gas shortage.  In search for alternatives to heating with gas, Germans are increasingly turning to wood.  Wood-burning stoves are subsidized by the government, but experts warn of serious health repercussions.  The lumber mill quiets only once Christian Rösgen has turned off his phone.  The owner of this mill in a small town close to Bonn in western Germany removes his headset and begins telling stories of Germans stockpiling wood out of fear of the energy crisis looming due to the war in Ukraine.  One customer just swapped out his brand-new gas heater for a pellet stove in order to be self-sufficient; Rösgen's supplier, the pellet plant, has run out of stock.  The pellets of compressed sawdust are now pumped directly into delivery trucks while still hot.  The plant can barely keep up with production.

Fossil Fuel.  [Scroll down]  Right now, there are three billion people on this planet who burn millions of tons of wood and dung, every single day.  That's how they cook their food and stay warm.  Obviously, three billion people burning millions of tons of wood and dung puts an enormous amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. [...] I'd also love your thoughts on China and India.  Those two countries alone burn over 14 million tons of coal every single day.  They've announced plans to build thousands of new coal-fired plants over the next thirty years — and not the clean-burning kind of coal we've developed over here. [...] It seems to me that CO2 levels around the world could be dramatically reduced if the billions of people currently relying on wood, dung, and coal were able to transition to natural gas.  But that's not what you're proposing, Janice.  In fact, you're proposing the opposite.  You want America to abandon oil and natural gas before we put a viable alternative in place, even as billions of people the world over double down on much dirtier sources of energy.

Germany to raze a 1,000-year-old forest in the name of 'going green'.  Germany, as we well know with its Russian gas capers, is a highly industrialized society in need of a lot of energy.  Fine and dandy.  But how they get it presents increasingly bad options.  They got rid of their nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown after a big earthquake in Japan, (despite Germany not being in a quake zone), driving themselves to dependency on foreign suppliers.  That's presented problems for them what with Russia filling that role, so their other recourse has been the one Joe Biden is touting for America:  Green energy — like wind and solar power.  It's costly, requiring state subsidization, given that Germany is not a big sunshine zone nor particularly windy:  But it's costlier than just the wasted cash.  They also are now looking at the loss of their 1,000-year-old Reinhardswald old-growth forest — known as the Grimm's Fairy Tale forest.

Saving the Rain Forests Will Not Stop Global Warming:  Here's Why.  An existing example of a 'green' initiative that fails to be 'green' is the industry currently cutting down entire forests in North America to produce raw wood-chips which are then transported across vast distances to burn in electricity-generating plants.  But the enormous consumption of fossil fuels to power the entire process means it isn't 'green' at all.  It doesn't benefit anyone other than the big corporations making huge profits from it, and also the politicians who curry favor by handing out the massive government subsidies paid for by hiking taxes.

New Study Debunks Carbon Neutrality of Forest Biomass.  A landmark new report shows that burning biomass for electricity will worsen climate change, rather than reduce carbon emissions as the industry claims.  As American and global policymakers evaluate how to address their climate commitments, "A Bad Biomass Bet," details the immense climate impacts of using wood pellets sourced from forests in the Southeastern United States to fuel power plants, making clear that carbon emissions over the pellets' lifecycle far exceed the average emissions of power generation in the U.S., even if carbon capture and storage was added to power plants.

The 'Green Energy' That Might Be Ruining the Planet.  Here's a multibillion-dollar question that could help determine the fate of the global climate:  If a tree falls in a forest — and then it's driven to a mill, where it's chopped and chipped and compressed into wood pellets, which are then driven to a port and shipped across the ocean to be burned for electricity in European power plants — does it warm the planet?  Most scientists and environmentalists say yes:  By definition, clear-cutting trees and combusting their carbon emits greenhouse gases that heat up the earth.  But policymakers in the U.S. Congress and governments around the world have declared that no, burning wood for power isn't a climate threat — it's actually a green climate solution.  In Europe, "biomass power," as it's technically called, is now counted and subsidized as zero-emissions renewable energy.  As a result, European utilities now import tons of wood from U.S. forests every year — and Europe's supposedly eco-friendly economy now generates more energy from burning wood than from wind and solar combined.

'Carbon-neutrality is a fairy tale': how the race for renewables is burning Europe's forests.  Kalev Järvik stands on a bald patch of land in the heart of Estonia's Haanja nature reserve and remembers when he could walk straight from one side of the reserve to the other under a canopy of trees.  Järvik has lived in the Haanja uplands in the southern county of Võru for more than 10 years.  His closeness to the forest has shaped his life as a carpenter and the fortunes of the surrounding villages, with their handicraft traditions — a substitute for farming on the poor arable land.  Upcountry, travel literature promotes the region to city dwellers, promising its ancient woodlands as a place to rest and reinvigorate the mind.  But in 2015, the Estonian government allowed what is known as clear-cutting in some parts of the Haanja nature reserve. [...] "Sometimes I can't bear to go outside," Järvik says, standing by the stumps left on land stripped by the logging company Valga Puu.  The firm is a subsidiary of Graanul Invest Group, Europe's biggest producer of the wood pellets which are burned on an industrial scale as biomass for heat and light in many of Europe's former coal-fired power stations.

PM 2.5 scale
Burning Wood Produces Extremely Small Particles Harmful to Public Health.  As deleterious as wood smoke is on regional air quality, the effects are much more serious when wood smoke accumulates under stagnant conditions in the neighborhood or general vicinity of the wood smoke source, such as a school, senior center, etc.  When stagnant air conditions occur with near zero wind, a blanket of air traps smoke and other pollutants near the ground.  People most affected by PM and toxic fumes are the elderly, the young and those with heart and/or lung disease.  These conditions result in the rapid build-up of outdoor smoke that can affect all neighbors within the source's immediate vicinity.  Depending on the type of fireplace or insert used and the burning duration, smoke can concentrate under such conditions to many times the allowable Federal 24-hour Particulate Standards within a matter of hours.

The overlooked error with biomass.  When Thomas Edison established his Pearl Street power plant in New York City in 1892, he used coal for fuel, not wood.  Wood fuel could not compete with the cost of coal in 1892 and it still can't today.  Nevertheless, burning of biomass is widely regarded as sustainable and promoted as a solution for climate change, especially in Europe.  Today, Europe produces about 17 percent of its energy and 29 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.  Biomass accounts for about 19 percent of the electricity generated from renewables.

Burn coal not wood if you care about the climate.  It's all very well thinking about how long it takes one year's wood-pellet electricity to become neutral, but power stations need more fuel every year and if we keep razing more land, the carbon debt keeps growing.  In the two scenarios below the biomass industry keeps growing linearly every year.  But [eventually] people settle down on the whole biomass idea and stop razing extra forest in 2050.  Even so, the total industry carbon debt keeps accruing for another 56 years until presumably the regrowth reaches a point where it is pulling in more carbon [than] the yearly raze produces.  It takes 144 years after the industry stops expanding before the net carbon debt is back to zero.

Europe's Lessons Teach Us — Don't Go Green!  In Germany, the world leader in green energy, electricity prices have now reached a level triple those paid in the United States.  Imagine the anger here if middle-class Americans saw a tripling of their utility bills each month.  In Britain, to comply with renewable energy requirements, power stations are burning hundreds of millions of pounds of wood pellets (pellets imported from the U.S.).  Environmental experts confirm that burning wood is much worse for the environment than burning natural gas or even coal.  Australia, another "green energy" leader, saw its electricity prices skyrocket this past winter.  According to an analysis by the Institute for Energy Research, power costs surged unbelievably — from $100 per megawatt hour to $10,000 per megawatt hour.  This was because of heavy dependence on an unreliable renewable energy program.

EPA May Crack Down on Wood Stoves in Alaska.  Many Alaskans rely on wood-burning stoves, which left-wing bureaucrats regard as offensive to environment. [...] A few weeks ago, it got down to -37°F in Fairbanks.  The high for the day was -27°F.  But never mind keeping warm.  According to liberal theory, global warming will see to that.  The important thing is to comply with the dictates of the regulatory bureaucracy.

EPA To Alaskans In Sub-Zero Temps:  Stop Burning Wood To Keep Warm.  [Scroll down]  But alas, now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska's interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter.  The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in "serious" noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.  Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter.  Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in.  The EPA thinks this is a big problem.  Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in "non-attainment" of federal air quality standards.

Wood-For-Fuel Logging Increases CO2 and Damages Forest Health.  The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) states a goal of 90% renewable energy of ALL energy by 2050, not just electrical energy, which is only 35% of all energy.  The plan includes proposals to increase wood-for-fuel logging by 132% over 2014 levels.  To set the stage, well-known pro-logging consultants performed various studies to determine wood-for-fuel quantities.  The standard assumption in such studies is the CO2 from wood burning is not counted, because unfounded claims are made "it is renewable and carbon neutral".  Such studies usually provide cover for bureaucrats and legislators.

Solar is in, biomass energy is out — and farmers are struggling to dispose of woody waste.  It should have been a good year for turning wood and waste into electrons.  A record-setting drought forced growers to bulldoze thousands of acres of trees, and hardly anyone in the Central Valley has permission to light bonfires anymore.  But more than trees have withered in California's sun.  The state's biomass energy plants are folding in rapid succession, unable to compete with heavily subsidized solar farms, many of which have sprouted up amid the fields and orchards of the San Joaquin Valley.  Paul Parreira is painfully aware of the irony.  The third-generation grower and almond processor is running out of dirt roads where he can spread ground-up almond shells, even as he expands a one-megawatt solar array on six acres of his family's property in Los Banos.

Oak Ridge Biomass Steam Plant Already Closed.  When Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Biomass Steam Plant opened in 2012, it was supposed to save the lab money while also cutting pollution.

Wood-burning power plants: Misguided climate change solution?  Is wood the best fuel to generate electricity?  Despite wood's low energy density and high cost, utilities in the US and abroad are switching from coal to wood to produce electrical power.  The switch to wood is driven by regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international organizations.  These regulations are based on the false assumption that burning wood reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

Another Renewable Myth Goes Up In Smoke.  A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity.  The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge.  It makes no sense to steal beetles' lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.


Vegan Fast Food Restaurants Are Learning Economics 101 — The Hard Way.  Poor PETA.  This news must have them so dejected.  The fake meat fad failed, and vegan restaurants aren't far behind them.  Even vegan eateries in the UK are falling on hard times or shutting down completely.  After giving the vegetarian fad a test-drive, many have discovered that it an unsustainable way to live.  Some of the early adopters have scaled back to a part-time reduction in the meat they eat.  (Which is also bad news for vegetarian-only restaurants.)

Eat Meat!  Anti-science liberals deny that human beings are male and female, so it isn't a stretch for them to deny that we are omnivores, too.  But people have always wanted to eat meat and dairy products.  Only poverty has prevented them from doing so, and effects on health are predictably harmful.  Liberals are desperately trying to make our lives worse.  (Not their lives, necessarily, but ours.)  Their attack on meat, along with related wars against fertilizers and agricultural chemicals, are intended to make our diets both much worse and vastly more expensive — the usual liberal double whammy.  Don't let them do it.  Eat meat!  And understand that meat prices are rising because of liberal policies that are deliberately intended to worsen your family's diet.  Don't let them get away with it.

Prog thinks she can change nature:  Suddenly (and hilariously) discovers that she can't.  [Scroll down]  The woman who made the video below, which is less than one minute long, has convinced herself that her dog — whose teeth are all "canine teeth" — has been persuaded to become a vegetarian by her superior wisdom.  I strongly suspect she is childless, and that her dog may be an attempt to fill the void that childlessness produces.  That would partially explain her treating it as if reasoning would persuade it to follow her fantasy of its nature.  But that speculation is not essential to the problem at hand where she discovers that she can't change her dog's dietary preferences.  [Video clip]

Hypocrisy: Fancy 'plant-based' restaurant in New York has secret 'meat room' for the elites.  Leftist elites, appalled by the mass-market luxuries in America, are obsessed with making the hoi polloi give up.  COVID's been a useful shibboleth for it — to force us to give up our freedom of movement and body integrity.  Global warming works even better.  Based on satisfying that ravenous god, they'd like us to give up our cars, airline flights, single-family housing, income (to government taxes), and... meat.  They proclaim all of this to the deplorables as saving the planet, but in each case, they always partake on the side.

The Great Reset of Beef Consumption.  Veganism is being advanced as the most ethical way to sustain the planet, and to promote human health and animal welfare.  But along with that, ranchers and small- and medium-scale beef-packers are being marginalized. [...] Deploying outright lies, a misguided agenda threatens individual liberty and our freedom to farm, own livestock, control our land, and choose our diet.  The socialist roster of lies about meat-eating must be countered.  One of the biggest lies is that veganism protects the environment.  But according to Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality extension specialist at the University of California, Davis, if the entire population of the U.S. became vegan for a year, emissions would be reduced by a mere 2.6%.  He also says advocates of the Green New Deal have been dishonest about the water input assigned to beef.  Cattle mostly ingest green water or rain water.  What's more, they soon release much of that back to earth by urination — which cannot be said of trees.

Study says children on a vegan diet may have stunted growth and other health problems.  A new study found that children reared on a vegan diet may have stunted growth and other health problems compared to those raised on a diet that includes meat.  The study was conducted by researchers at the University College London and the Children's Memorial Health Institute.  They looked at data from healthy children ages 5 to 10 in Poland.  The study found that the children raised on a vegan diet were 3 centimeters shorter than their meat-eating counterparts.  The children were also three times likely to suffer from a vitamin B deficiency.  The vegan children, however, had less body fat and better levels of cholesterol that's linked to heart disease.

Condé Nast Cooking Publication Ends Beef Recipes 'To Encourage More Sustainable Cooking'.  The Condé Nast cooking brand "Epicurious" announced that it will no longer publish recipes that include beef on its website.  "In an effort to encourage more sustainable cooking, we won't be publishing new beef recipes on Epicurious," the company confirmed in a piece published on its website.  "We've cut out beef," it continued.  "Beef won't appear in new Epicurious recipes, articles, or newsletters.  It will not show up on our homepage.  It will be absent from our Instagram feed."  The publication wrote, "Almost 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally come from livestock (and everything involved in raising it); 61 percent of those emissions can be traced back to beef.  Cows are 20 times less efficient to raise than beans and roughly three times less efficient than poultry and pork."

The Editor says...
There are times when reasonable people do not see efficiency as a top priority.  Dinnertime is one.  You may be able to think of others.

Meat-loving resistance tramples Colorado governor's vegan declaration.  Colorado Gov. Jared Polis wanted residents to go a day without eating meat, but instead he spurred a stampede to the steakhouses.  The Democratic governor's "MeatOut Day" proclamation encouraging Coloradans to skip saturated fats on March 20 has backfired spectacularly, feeding resistance with a "Meat In Day" that has carnivores vowing to outdo themselves in celebration of the state's livestock industry.  "I think this is a wake-up call," said Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of Colorado Cattlemen's Association, which launched the Meat In Movement in response to the gubernatorial proclamation.

Vegans are 43 percent more likely to suffer bone fractures, study shows.  Vegans may be significantly more likely to develop bone fractures than meat-eaters, a new study revealed.  The large, longitudinal study published Sunday in the journal BMC Medicine, revealed that there were 19.4 more cases of fractures in vegans and 4.1 more cases in vegetarians for every 1,000 people over 10 years.  "This is the first comprehensive study and the largest study to date to look at the risks of both total fractures (fractures occurring anywhere in the body) and fractures at different sites in people of different habitual dietary habits," the study's lead author, Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, said in an email to CNN.

Switching to keto diet may cause flu-like symptoms.  If you are feeling the aches and pains of what you think is the flu, a trendy diet may be the culprit instead, a new study confirms.  Researchers took a dive into what's become known as "keto flu" — the fatigue, headache, nausea and mental fog that some people develop soon after starting a ketogenic diet.

Vegan influencer eats meat for 30 days, shocks fans by saying she's healthier than she's 'felt in years'.  Alyse Parker, who has over 200K Instagram followers and over 700K Youtube subscribers, explained her decision on Instagram.  In a post, she revealed that she decided to try the Carnivore Diet after hearing about all of the health benefits from friends who switched from being vegan to eating only meat and animal products.  Parker explained, "I had my own fair share of health struggles and eventually reached a breaking point where I was willing to try anything to function properly again."

Scientists say official advice on eating less beef, pork and lamb is based on bad evidence.  Researchers in Canada, Spain and Poland have cast a shadow over eating advice adopted by health organisations around the world.  In a landmark paper, the academics analysed past studies of how eating meat affected the health of more than four million people.  They found no evidence that eating beef, pork and lamb could increase the rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke or type 2 diabetes — despite fears.  And the team also said they found nothing strong enough to signal that people should cut down on red meat, adding that the quality of evidence was too low for findings to be concerning.

Vegetarians Have A Much Higher Risk Of Stroke Than Meat Eaters, Study Finds.  According to a study from the medical journal BMJ, vegetarians had a 20-percent increase in stroke risk than meat eaters.  Lead researcher Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, suggests that the great stroke risk is due to vegetarian diets often lacking nutrients like vitamin B12.

Environmental groups decry meat-heavy menu at climate talks.  Three environmental groups are criticizing the organizers of global climate talks in Poland for having too much meat on the meeting menu.

Study: Women Prefer Men Who Eat Meat.  Sorry, vegetarian and vegan men, but women prefer your meat-eating brethren.  At least according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Padova (that's in Italy).  The study titled "Eating Meat Makes You Sexy:  Conformity to Dietary Gender Norms and Practices" found that when women were presented with fake bios of men that either showed food preferences that included meat or yogurt, they preferred the men who ate meat.  One experiment (out of three conducted by the researchers) asked 50 Italian women to rate the men's bios as "attractive," "sexy," or even "I would date him."  Negative descriptors were also included.

In Defense of Farmers, Hunters, and Meat-Eaters.  I am a monster, and so are millions of Americans who hunt, fish, and raise livestock.  At least that's the argument by Matthew Scully, a former literary editor of National Review, who took to these pages to present the case for the abolishment of animal cruelty. [...] Scully's moral argument against meat eating sounds great, as long as you don't think about the mice, rabbits, squirrels, moles, groundhogs, and other creatures great and small killed by the combines in the cornfields and green spaces where our vegetables are grown.  Anybody who lives in the country has seen turkey vultures circling and swooping down on the fields where the cornstalks have been reduced to stubble, or the murders of crows that gather to slowly hop and pick their way across the earth, taking sustenance in the animals killed in the raising of vegetables.  There's a hard truth in life that many of us either don't think about or choose to ignore:  We all eat to survive, and that means that something had to die in order for you to live.  Chances are, even if you're the most committed vegan you know, animals died in the making of your last, and next, meal.

Save the Environment — from Deadly Lettuce.  ISIS will not be amused.  First, President Barack Obama and Pope Francis have given the inherent danger of their terrorism the heave-ho by declaring that global warming/climate change is a bigger threat to 21st century humanity — and now global warming doctrine dares to suggest that bacon is better for the environment than run-of-the-mill lettuce.

Are vegetarians to blame for climate change?  Sticking to a vegetarian diet may not be as beneficial to the environment as you think — in fact, it might be helping to destroy it.  A study from Carnegie Mellon University has found that many common vegetables require more resources per calorie, and produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than some types of meat.  While lowering the weight of the general population has been shown to positively affect the environment, the researchers found that healthy eating leads to a higher environmental impact.

Lettuce 'three times worse' for environment than bacon, new study says.  According to a new study from Carnegie Mellon, a vegetarian diet could be worse for the environment than a carnivorous one.  Only pork chops can save the ozone now!  Fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood have a more negative impact on the climate than meat, claims the study.  The meat-less diet increases energy use by 38 percent, water use by 10 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by six percent.

People love chickens that are "vegetarian fed." But chickens are not vegetarians.  Many of the largest U.S. sellers of organic eggs boast that their hens are vegetarian, and for an increasingly food-curious public, this may be great advertising.  A carton of Eggland's Best advertises that the company uses "vegetarian fed hens."  Horizon promises that their eggs "come from hens that are fed a 100% organic, vegetarian diet."  Land O Lakes hens have a diet with no animal fat or by-products.  Yet for the chickens, who are natural omnivores that readily devour bugs and small animals when they're available, the forced vegetarianism can be a disaster.

Vegan diet increases the risk of birth defects, scientists warn.  Women who are strict vegetarians or vegans may be a greater risk of having a child with birth defects because they are likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, researchers warned.  Research carried out in Ireland has found that women with low levels of B12, found in meat, eggs and milk, when they conceive are at greater risk of having a child with neural tube defects.

Study: Vegetarians Less Healthy, Lower Quality Of Life Than Meat-Eaters.  Vegetarians may have a lower BMI and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.  A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets.  Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index.  But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products — carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

The Seven Sacraments of Liberalism.  [#3] Organic Food and Vegetarianism:  The dietary restrictions imposed upon the followers of liberalism signify the rise of a new gnosticism.  Liberals feel guilty because of their human status.  They desire to flee the filth of the world.  "Why did I burn those backyard leaves and cause climate change?  How can I have a barbecue with tofu?  Obama, help me, please."  Liberals want to be purified and free from their guilt, especially the guilt associated with eating meat.

84% of vegetarians go back to consuming animals, study finds.  A new study by the animal-friendly Humane Research Council reveals that 84% of vegetarians and vegans return to consuming our farm friends — and the animal rights world is terrified.

Vegetarians warned that 'superfood' tofu may harm your memory.  Eating high levels of some soy products, including tofu and other so-called 'superfoods,' may increase memory loss, scientists say.  Experts funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust found a 20 percent lower level of brain functioning compared with those eating very little of the product.

Why salad is so overrated.  As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic.  Almonds, for their water use.  Corn, for the monoculture.  Beef, for its greenhouse gases.  In each of those cases, there's some truth in the finger-pointing, but none of them is a clear-cut villain.  There's one food, though, that has almost nothing going for it.  It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.

Self-driving cars:

Bodycam shows a driverless Waymo car pulled over by Phoenix police officer after the car drove into oncoming traffic.  What happens when an officer stops a car and there's no driver?  That question, accompanied by a photograph of a Waymo autonomous vehicle that had been pulled over in central Phoenix on June 19, was posted on the social media website Reddit last month.  Phoenix police and Waymo officials confirmed the vehicle was driving in an oncoming traffic lane near 7th Avenue and Osborn Road.  There was no passenger, and no other cars involved.  Just after 11 a.m. on June 19, a Phoenix police officer initiated a traffic stop on the Waymo, according to police dispatch records.  The vehicle drove into oncoming traffic, ran a red light and "FREAKED OUT," said the dispatch records, which are typed in all capital letters.  [Video clip]

Ford owner lets his massive F450 drive itself at 80 mph while he sleeps in the back seat.  We know automation in cars has gotten much better lately, but this still seems like a bad idea.  The video appears to show an F450 on the highway with some sort of weight placed on the steering wheel.  The camera pans back to show the driver resting in the backseat.  [Video clip — profanity warning.]

The future is near for self-driving trucks on US roads.  Late this year, Aurora plans to start hauling freight on Interstate 45 between the Dallas and Houston areas with 20 driverless trucks.  Within three or four years, Aurora and its competitors expect to put thousands such self-driving trucks on America's public freeways.  The goal is for the trucks, which can run nearly around the clock without any breaks, to speed the flow of goods, accelerating delivery times and perhaps lowering costs.  They'll travel short distances on secondary roads, too.  The companies say the autonomous trucks will save on fuel, too, because they don't have to stop and will drive at more consistent speeds.  Also, Aurora says its testing has shown that if a maintenance issue arises while one of its trucks is traveling on a freeway, the vehicle will automatically pull to the side of the road and remotely call for assistance.

The Editor says...
The first time a driverless truck runs into somebody, the resulting litigation will instantly negate any "fuel saving" and other benefits.  The road from Dallas to Houston is already like a linear NASCAR track without this.

This guy wore a stop-sign shirt to prank self-driving cars ... this is a trend I could get behind!  Bro, if I lived in one of these self-driving Waymo taxi hubs (Phoenix in this case) I'd own at least four copies of this shirt and I'd be doing this prank all the flippin time.  [Tweet with video clip]

You won't see this in the "mainstream" news.
Google's Waymo Autonomous Car Is Set On Fire By Mob In San Francisco.  In the lost city of San Francisco, a Waymo self-driving car was vandalized and set ablaze by a crowd, according to statements from the Alphabet-owned company and local authorities.  This incident marks the most severe attack on autonomous vehicles in the U.S. so far.  The white SUV was surrounded by a crowd in the city's Chinatown district during Lunar New Year celebrations.  A witness, Michael Vandi, said that a person jumped onto the Waymo vehicle and shattered its windshield, followed by another person who also jumped on the hood, to the applause of some in the crowd, according to a report by Reuters.  [Video clip]

US to investigate Texas fatal crash that may have involved Ford partially automated driving system.  The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a fatal crash in San Antonio, Texas, involving a Ford electric vehicle that may have been using a partially automated driving system.  The agency said in a statement Friday that a team of investigators from its Office of Highway Safety will travel to Texas and work with police on the Feb. 24 crash on Interstate 10.  The NTSB said that preliminary information shows a Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV equipped with the company's partially automated driving system collided with the rear of a Honda CR-V that was stopped in one of the highway lanes.

Waymo recalls software after two self-driving cars hit the same truck.  Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google's parent company, Alphabet, issued a recall for its own self-driving car software after two of its vehicles hit the same truck minutes apart.  Minutes apart from one another, two Waymo cars came across the same tow truck that was pulling a pickup truck in Phoenix, Arizona.  The pickup was being towed backwards and at an angle rather than being lined up straight behind the tow truck, according to a Waymo blog post published Tuesday.  The pickup's front end was partly in a turn lane next to the lane the tow truck was driving in.  Both Waymo cars incorrectly interpreted what their cameras were seeing and, because of that, wrongly predicted the how the truck was going to move, Waymo said.

GM Slashes Spending on Robotaxi Unit Cruise, in Setback For Driverless Cars.  General Motors (GM) will slash spending in its self-driving car unit Cruise, after an accident last month seriously injured a pedestrian and prompted regulators to retract its operating permit for driverless cars in San Francisco.  The company will "substantially lower" its spending on Cruise next year, according to Mary Barra, GM's CEO.  "We expect the pace of Cruise's expansion to be more deliberate when operations resume," she said in a letter to shareholders.  On an investor call, chief financial officer, Paul Jacobson, said that he expected spending to fall by "hundreds of millions of dollars" in 2024.  Until the accident, Cruise had been operating driverless taxis in three US cities — San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin — with plans to expand.  In October, the company said it would no longer operate its vehicles without safety drivers behind the wheel.

Tesla Wins in Trial Over Autopilot Crash.  There's a huge chunk of good news out this afternoon for Elon Musk and his cutting edge electric vehicle company, Tesla.  In a closely watched trial in California over responsibility relating to a 2019 crash, a jury decided that the autopilot on the Tesla in the accident was not at fault. [...] This is the second time this year that juries have come down on the side of the innovative car manufacturer.

California Suspends Permits For Driverless Vehicles.  The California Department of Motor Vehicles has suspended the permits for General Motors' Cruise driverless cars and ordered the company to remove its cars from state roads, citing public safety concerns.  The suspension went into effect immediately on Tuesday, halting operations at the company that had been running a "robotaxi" service in the state.  Cruise vehicles have faced criticism from lawmakers and the public after a series of concerning incidents.  According to Cruise, the decision to suspend the licenses came after the DMV reviewed an incident that happened on October 2nd.  One of Cruise's self-driving vehicles attempted to brake but was unable to avoid hitting a pedestrian who was hit by another car and hurled into the path of the driverless vehicle.  Cruise explained the accident in a statement.  "A human hit and run driver tragically struck and propelled the pedestrian into the path of the AV."  Despite applying the brakes, the AV still collided with the pedestrian.

Will autonomous vehicles lead to dependent people?  It is not a coincidence that in large inner cities — where most people take the subway, buses, taxis, and other public transportation to get where they are going — they tend to vote 80% to 90+% for so-called progressives, leftists, Democrats.  Whereas in more rural areas, western states, i.e. "flyover country," people vote for conservatives for the most part.  This is because the latter are used to being independent and doing things for themselves. [...] When our vehicles are autonomous, will we need them more than they need us?  By relinquishing our control, will we have swapped our independence for theirs?  Will we have ceded our autonomy — and freedom — to the big corporations and governments that manufacture, monitor, and control them?

Driverless Cars Cause Traffic Jam in San Francisco in Malfunction.  A group of about ten self-driving taxis became stuck in the San Francisco neighborhood of North Beach on Friday evening, causing a traffic jam just one day after regulators voted to allow driverless taxi companies virtual free rein in the city.  The jam was captured by bystanders, as drivers were stuck behind — and between — the driverless taxis, owned by the Cruise company.  [Tweet]

San Francisco residents are stopping driverless cars in their tracks.  Activists in San Francisco have come with a new, yet simple, way to stop driverless cars after deadly incidents and headaches caused by autonomous vehicles.  The protest group Safe Streets Rebel, which advocates for pedestrian safety, has posted multiple videos to their social media platforms showing them disabling the robo-taxis by placing a traffic cone on the hood.  The move comes after robotic vehicles were blamed for a string of incidents, including the killing of a dog in June and plowing into the side of a bus in March.

Tesla's autopilot accused of causing 17 fatalities, 736 crashes, far more than previously reported.  Tesla's autopilot feature is being accused of being responsible for 17 fatalities and more than 700 crashes, far more than previously reported.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last June released a partial report showing that Teslas accounted for three deaths linked to the vehicle's autopilot technology.  Federal data reviewed by The Washington Post on Saturday reveals that Tesla's autopilot was actually responsible for 17 deaths and 736 crashes.  Tesla made up most of the 807 automated-related vehicle crashes, but Tesla's Model X, S, 3 and Y, all of which include some form of autopilot, were in the top ten best-selling electric vehicles for 2022, per technology outlet Eletrek.  The fatal crashes reveal patterns, per the Post's analysis.  For example, four involved a motorcycle and in another, an emergency vehicle was involved.

What Is AI Hallucination, and How Do You Spot It?  Artificial Intelligence (AI) hallucination sounds perplexing.  You're probably thinking, "Isn't hallucination a human phenomenon?"  Well, yes, it used to be a solely-human phenomenon until AI began exhibiting human characteristics like facial recognition, self-learning, and speech recognition.  Unfortunately, AI took on some negative attributes, including hallucinations. [...] Thanks to AI, self-driving cars are gradually infiltrating the auto market. [...] If you own one of such cars, you would want to know if your AI car is hallucinating.  One sign will be if your vehicle seems to be deviating from its normal behavior patterns while driving.  For example, if the vehicle brakes or swerves suddenly without any obvious reason, your AI vehicle might be hallucinating.

Tesla that crashed into firetruck was on autopilot at the time, investigation finds.  The Tesla that crashed into a firetruck in California last month, killing the driver and critically injuring a passenger, was operating on autopilot at the time.  U.S. investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday it has dispatched a special crash investigation team to look into the February 18 accident in Northern California.  Emergency responders had to cut open the Tesla to remove the passenger following the fatal incident which left four Contra Costa County firefighters with minor injuries.

Tesla Bursts into Flames After Hitting Highway Barrier While on Autopilot in Los Angeles.  A Tesla driver was horrified to see another Tesla vehicle burst into flames after hitting a highway barrier in Los Angeles.  The Tesla that was engulfed in flames was reportedly on Autopilot at the time of the crash.  Josh Kaplan was driving his Tesla Model X on a Los Angeles freeway last month when he saw another Tesla ahead of him was stopped on the highway.  As he got closer, he noticed smoke coming from the vehicle.  "I noticed a car facing left against the barrier despite the road veering to the right," Josh Kaplan told Business Insider.  The driver of the other Tesla, who was not injured in the incident, told Kaplan that he was using the Autopilot feature on his 2018 Model X, when "it suddenly veered hard to the left and stopped against the wall."

Robotaxis block San Francisco street for no reason, surprising no one.  On Tuesday night.  A Reddit user posted images of what appears to be a small fleet of Cruise robotaxis just stopped in the middle of the street.  The robotaxis blocked traffic for a couple of hours until fleshy human employees arrived and removed them.  Where's John Connor when you need him?  This peaceful protest happened less than a month since Cruise launched its first fully-driverless, commercial services — and it's not even the first time we've seen the company's autonomous vehicles go renegade.  In April, a rebellious robotaxi tried to evade police for not having its headlights on during night time.

GM Cruise autonomous taxi pulled over by police in San Francisco without humans.  Last week, a GM Cruise-converted Chevy Bolt without a driver was pulled over by San Francisco Police.  In an unexpected turn, the car "bolted" to a safe spot. [...] GM's Cruise vehicles have been operating autonomously in San Francisco at night, giving rides to employees around the city.  Until now we've only seen success stories.

Almost ready to roll:  Self-driving cars face patchwork of regulatory roadblocks.  Perhaps you've seen the YouTube or TikTok videos:  An all-electric Jaguar I-PACE sport utility vehicle picks up a passenger who hops into the back seat and proceeds to record the trip — amazed there's no driver in the front seat.  It's a remarkable demonstration of the current state of driverless technology that fails to represent the current state of regulatory oversight needed to make self-driving cars a common experience.  Only a patchwork of rules in states that are testing autonomous vehicles currently exists.  "We may well now have the technology in place to develop self-driving cars, but the [federal] government isn't ready for them yet and will probably never be," said Walter E. Block, an economics professor at Loyola University New Orleans.

New York Times, FX Team Up for Elon Musk Exposé.  There's an Elon Musk exposé on a possible coverup of Tesla deaths coming to FX next month as part of the network's The New York Times Presents series.  According to Variety, "Elon Musk's Crash Course" will take a critical look at Musk's Tesla automaker and its efforts to create fully self-driving cars:  ["]The film will dive into how Tesla's Autopilot program has resulted in several deaths that Musk and the company has yet to publicly acknowledge, and details Musk's efforts to kill government investigations into the incidents.  Several former Tesla employees will be featured in the documentary, speaking out against Musk for the first time.["]  According to — yes, that's a real site — there have been 254 deaths in accidents involving Tesla electric vehicles since 2013.

Video Shows Confused Police Pulling Over Self-Driving Taxi.  A now-viral video of San Francisco police officers pulling over a self-driving taxi is as dystopian as it is hilarious.  Initially posted to Instagram, the video filmed in San Francisco's Richmond district shows SFPD officers drive up behind the parked autonomous vehicle — only to have it leap forward and pull over again a couple hundred feet up the road.  Throughout the encounter, bystanders can be heard laughing and shouting "[...]" as the confused police officers circle the car, presumably trying to figure out what to do with it.  [Video clip]

You'll arrive at your destination in record time — if you get there at all.
Tesla recalls 54,000 cars with 'self-driving' feature that ignores stop signs.  Tesla will recall 54,000 electric cars in order to disable a self-driving feature that prevents them from coming to a full stop at intersections with stop signs.  The Teslas being recalled have an autonomous "rolling stop" function in which they move slowly through a stop sign without coming to a full halt.  In most states, vehicle are required to come to a complete stop at intersections outfitted with stop signs.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the self-driving feature endangers driver safety since "failing to stop at a stop sign can increase the risk of a crash."  According to the NHTSA, Tesla introduced the rolling stop functionality in October as part of a menu of optional "profiles" that drivers can pick if they choose self-driving features.

Waymo sues California DMV to keep driverless crash data under wraps.  Waymo filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Motor Vehicles to keep driverless car crash data from being made public.  The autonomous vehicle operator, which is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, claims that such data should be considered a trade secret.  The news of the lawsuit was first reported by Business Insider and later by the Los Angles Times.  California's DMV oversees the largest autonomous vehicle testing program in the country, with over 60 companies permitted to operate test vehicles on public roads.  Only a handful are approved to operate fully autonomous vehicles without safety drivers at the wheel, and even fewer have been approved to deploy vehicles for commercial purposes.

Absolve users of legal responsibility in crashes involving driverless cars, watchdog says.  Users of autonomous cars should not be legally responsible for road safety, a legal watchdog in the UK has proposed.  They should be classified as "users-in-charge" rather than drivers and would be exempt from responsibility for infringements such as dangerous driving, exceeding the speed limit, or running a red light.  Instead, the carmakers would be liable in these cases.  However, the user-in-charge would still have responsibility for carrying insurance, checking loads, or ensuring that children wear seat belts.  The new guidelines have been proposed by the Law Commission of England and Wales, and the Scottish Law Commission and were outlined in their report released on Wednesday [1/26/2022].

Deere Goes Autonomous With Its Farmer-Free Tractor.  One of the biggest themes at this past week's CES tech show was electric and autonomous transportation — cars, trucks, bikes, boats.  And, it turns out, tractors.  Farm-equipment giant Deere unveiled a new autonomous tractor with an attached tillage implement at CES.  For those not familiar with farm life, Julian Sanchez, Deere's director of emerging technologies, told Barron's that tillage is a vital, time-consuming, and tedious process of preparing the soil for next season's planting.  If you don't do it fast, the ground could... [Wham!  You hit the Paywall.]

China's driverless vehicles are surveillance tools.  So why are we bringing them here?  Flying cars are still the stuff of Jetsonian dreams, but self-driving cars are already here.  But these semi-autonomous vehicles come with a host of issues.  For instance, they must be able to deal with the erratic driving behaviors of humans, as well as unexpected obstacles on the road, such as a wild deer crossing the highway.  But a critical though lesser discussed problem associated with self-driving cars involves surveillance.  These vehicles look likely to be used as surveillance tools, closely monitoring our every move.  Worse still, China, a country that has expanded mass surveillance and integrated it into every part of Chinese life, is leading the self-driving revolution.  "Self-driving cars will represent a new mode for surveillance," says Luis F. Alvarez León, an assistant professor of geography at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.  "Through a self-driving car's global positioning, system, navigational tools, and other data collection mechanisms, companies will be able to gain access to highly contextual data about passengers' habits, routines, movements, and preferences."

Pennsylvania mother gives birth to 'Tesla baby' while electric car was in autopilot.  A pregnant Pennsylvania woman gave birth in a Tesla after her husband put the electric car into autopilot and helped her deliver the baby before they reached the hospital.  Keating and Yiran Sherry's newborn girl was nicknamed 'Tesla baby' by the nurses after the couple pulled up with their bundle of joy.  The couple recounted their now-three-month-old daughter Maeve Lily's dramatic birth in the front seat of the Tesla after Yiran began having contractions in the middle of the night on September 9.

'It Happened So Fast': Inside a Fatal Tesla Autopilot Accident.  George Brian McGee, a finance executive in Florida, was driving home in a Tesla Model S operating on Autopilot, a system that can steer, brake and accelerate a car on its own, when he dropped his phone during a call and bent down to look for it.  Neither he nor Autopilot noticed that the road was ending and the Model S drove past a stop sign and a flashing red light.  The car smashed into a parked Chevrolet Tahoe, killing a 22-year-old college student, Naibel Benavides.  One of a growing number of fatal accidents involving Tesla cars operating on Autopilot, Mr. McGee's case is unusual because he survived and told investigators what had happened:  He got distracted and put his trust in a system that did not see and brake for a parked car in front of it.  Tesla drivers using Autopilot in other fatal accidents have often been killed, leaving investigators to piece together the details from data stored and videos recorded by the cars.

Tesla is bringing the strategies pioneered by Apple to the auto industry.  Tesla released its futuristic "Full Self-Driving" package last year to great fanfare, criticism and the usual stream of video uploads showing off cars that could seemingly drive themselves.  Then something strange happened.  The electric vehicle giant revoked access for some drivers, it said.  Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter in March that some users who had received access to the company's most advanced driver-assistance features "did not pay sufficient attention to the road."  Tesla did not say how it made the determination or who among the feature's 2,000 beta testers — who shelled out thousands for the package that Tesla now priced at $10,000 — would lose access.  But in Silicon Valley, the decision reflected a well-understood formula:  Consumers are the subject, and tech giants are in control.

Tesla has activated its in-car camera to monitor drivers using Autopilot.  Tesla has enabled the in-car camera in its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to monitor drivers when its Autopilot advanced driver assistance system is being used.  In a software update, Tesla indicated the "cabin camera above the rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged."  Notably, Tesla has a closed loop system for the data, meaning imagery captured by the camera does not leave the car.  The system cannot save or transit information unless data sharing is enabled, according to Tesla.  The firmware update was cited by a number of Tesla owners, industry watchers and bloggers who are active on Twitter.  Tesla has faced criticism for not activating a driver monitoring system within the vehicle even as evidence mounted that owners were misusing the system.  Owners have posted dozens of videos on YouTube and TikTok abusing the Autopilot system — some of whom have filmed themselves sitting in the backseat as the vehicle drives along the highway.  Several fatal crashes involving Tesla vehicles that had Autopilot engaged has put more pressure on the company to act.

Tesla Autopilot system was on during fatal California crash, adding to self-driving safety concerns.  A Tesla Model 3 electric car that was part of a fatal Southern California crash last week had the company's Autopilot system activated when it careened into an overturned truck in the middle of the night, the Associated Press reported Friday [5/14/2021].  The May 5 crash near Los Angeles is the latest of several that are playing into safety concerns for Tesla's self-driving cars.  It was the fourth U.S. death involving the Autopilot self-driving system, the newswire wrote.  And it is sure to further complicate Tesla's already-troubled relationship with transportation safety regulators.  Public affairs staffers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Highway Patrol did not respond to requests for further information Friday afternoon.  Tesla did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Tesla's Autopilot Mode Crashed a Car Right Into a Washington State Cop.  Tesla's infamous Autopilot mode faced its latest reckoning this past weekend after it caused a driver to careen straight into a Washington state deputy's vehicle that was parked at the side of the road.  In a statement posted to the Facebook page for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, the department said that the Tesla did pretty "significant damage" to the deputy's vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder of the road at the time.  From the photos attached to the department's post, it looks like the Tesla rammed straight into the side of the patrol car, denting the back door and nearly ripping off a driver's side mirror.  According to NBC News, the Tesla driver — who was slapped with a ticket over the crash — just expected that his vehicle would sense the deputy's vehicle and maneuver around it, rather than slam into its side.

Tesla crash becomes subject of multiple investigations as it revives questions about self-driving cars.  After a fatal crash in Texas last week involving a Tesla with no one behind the wheel raised interest in self-driving cars, multiple federal agencies are investigating the electric car company.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal auto safety agency, is investigating the crash.  The agency also revealed on Thursday that it has opened nearly 30 investigations into the company over the past several years, 23 of which are currently open.  Many involve the car's much-hyped autopilot feature, which the agency said has been engaged in at least three fatal Tesla crashes since 2016.

Two die in Texas after Tesla 'on auto-pilot with no one in driving seat' crashes into tree and starts massive four-hour fire.  Two men died after a Tesla 'on autopilot with no one driving' crashed into a tree in Houston before starting a huge fire that took 32,000 gallons of water to extinguish.  The fully-electric 2019 Tesla Model S slammed into the tree in Carlton Woods at around 11.25 pm on Saturday night [4/17/2021] before bursting into flames with the passengers still inside.  Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said an investigation had found that 'no one was driving' when the accident happened, with one man sitting in the passenger seat at the front and the second sitting in the back.

Tesla Car With No One In The Front Seats Crashes And Bursts Into Flames, Kill Both Passangers While Self Driving.  Two men died after a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver's seat, crashed into a tree on Saturday night north of Houston, authorities said.  "There was no one in the driver's seat," Sgt. Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.  The 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at a high rate of speed, when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the roadway, crashing to a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.  [Video clip]

Heavy Rain Affects Object Detection by Autonomous Vehicle LiDAR Sensors.  Researchers at the University of Warwick in the U.K. have found that the LiDAR sensors on autonomous vehicles (AVs) are less effective in detecting objects at a distance during periods of heavy rain.  The researchers used the university's WMG 3xD simulator to test an AV's LiDAR sensors in different intensities of rain on real roads; they found that when the rainfall increased up to 50 mm per hour, object detection by the sensors dropped in conjunction with a longer range in distance.  Warwick's Valentina Donzella said, "Ultimately we have confirmed that the detection of objects is hindered to LiDAR sensors the heavier the rain and the further away they are."

Consumer Reports Scores Tesla Autopilot "Distant Second" to GM Super Cruise.  Tesla has been able to dominate the conversation around both electric and autonomous vehicles, for good and bad reasons.  In terms of its Autopilot driver assistance system, which is somewhat deceptively named, the general consensus is that Tesla is leading the auto industry in the technology.  A new comprehensive evaluation begs to differ.  On Wednesday [10/28/2020], Consumer Reports released its findings from a wide-ranging test of 17 different vehicles with active driving assistance systems (ADAS).  The result?  Tesla Autopilot is "now a distant second" to Super Cruise from General Motors.

Advanced driver-assistance systems found to be susceptible to split-second flash phantoms.  A team of researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev has found that at least two advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are susceptible to responding to split-second flash phantoms. [...] Last year, the same team reported that they had found that it was possible to confuse Tesla vehicles equipped with ADAS into responding to "phantom" images projected onto the roadway or nearby objects such as trees.  They found that projecting an image of a person onto the road in front of an oncoming Tesla vehicle, for example, would cause the system to apply the brakes — a move that could prove hazardous if another vehicle was behind the Tesla.  In this new effort, the researchers have found ADAS's are also susceptible to responding to split-second flash phantoms.

NTSB: Tesla Autopilot, distracted driver caused fatal crash.  Tesla's partially automated driving system steered an electric SUV into a concrete barrier on a Silicon Valley freeway because it was operating under conditions it couldn't handle and because the driver likely was distracted by playing a game on his smartphone, the National Transportation Safety Board has found.

Snow and Ice Pose a Vexing Obstacle for Self-Driving Cars.  In late 2018, Krzysztof Czarnecki, a professor at Canada's University of Waterloo, built a self-driving car and trained it to navigate surrounding neighborhoods with an annotated driving data set from researchers in Germany.  The vehicle worked well enough to begin with, recognizing Canadian cars and pedestrians just as well as German ones.  But then Czarnecki took the autonomous car for a spin in heavy Ontarian snow.  It quickly became a calamity on wheels, with the safety driver forced to grab the wheel repeatedly to avert disaster.  The incident highlights a gap in the development of self-driving cars:  maneuvering in bad weather.

Attacking Driverless Cars with Projected Images.  The absence of deployed vehicular communication systems, which prevents the advanced driving assistance systems (ADASs) and autopilots of semi/fully autonomous cars to validate their virtual perception regarding the physical environment surrounding the car with a third party, has been exploited in various attacks suggested by researchers.  Since the application of these attacks comes with a cost (exposure of the attacker's identity), the delicate exposure vs. application balance has held, and attacks of this kind have not yet been encountered in the wild.  In this paper, we investigate a new perceptual challenge that causes the ADASs and autopilots of semi/fully autonomous to consider depthless objects (phantoms) as real.  We show how attackers can exploit this perceptual challenge to apply phantom attacks and change the abovementioned balance, without the need to physically approach the attack scene, by projecting a phantom via a drone equipped with a portable projector or by presenting a phantom on a hacked digital billboard that faces the Internet and is located near roads.

How will Self-Driving Cars Impact Cities?  Today, cars and cities are inextricably linked, and this will continue as the future is dominated by self-driving vehicles.  But the tie-up means both will have to evolve in unison, say experts steeped in autonomous vehicles, smart city technologies and urban studies.  To wit: self-driving vehicles must learn to navigate complex environments filled with pedestrians and other obstacles while cities become modified to accommodate them.

Tesla's 'smart summon' feature is causing fender benders, parking lot jams.  These self-driving cars wouldn't pass a learner's permit test.  A feature unveiled last week by Tesla allows owners to "summon" their rides with a smartphone from up to 200 feet away — but the rollout has not been smooth.  A number of owners using the "Smart Summon" feature have shared videos and photos of their Teslas causing fender benders and other parking lot jams as the unoccupied cars navigated the roadway.

Tesla driver apparently caught sleeping at the wheel going 60 mph.  The driver of a Tesla on autopilot appeared to be asleep behind the wheel while whizzing along a Massachusetts highway, new video shows.  A fellow motorist captured the driver with his head slumped forward — and his passenger equally zonked out — along I-90 on Sunday [9/8/2019].  "Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it)," tweeted fellow motorist Dakota Randall with the clip.  "Teslas are sick, I guess?"

Tesla car was on Autopilot when it hit a Culver City firetruck, NTSB finds.  A government report says the driver of a Tesla sedan that slammed into a Culver City firetruck on the 405 Freeway last year was using the car's Autopilot system when a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn't have time to react.  The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that the driver never saw the parked firetruck and didn't brake.  Apparently the man's 2014 Tesla Model S didn't brake either.

The "New Energy Economy": An Exercise in Magical Thinking.  Green enthusiasts make extravagant claims about the effect of Uber-like options and self-driving cars.  However, the data show that the economic efficiencies from Uberizing have so far increased the use of cars and peak urban congestion.  Similarly, many analysts now see autonomous vehicles amplifying, not dampening, that effect.  That's because people, and thus markets, are focused on economic efficiency and not on energy efficiency.  The former can be associated with reducing energy use; but it is also, and more often, associated with increased energy demand.  Cars use more energy per mile than a horse, but the former offers enormous gains in economic efficiency.  Computers, similarly, use far more energy than pencil-and-paper.

Makers of self-driving cars should study Boeing crashes.  As in-vehicle distractions multiply, drivers are challenged to maintain safe operation.  Self-driving cars are supposed to eliminate distractions by relieving drivers of their operational role, save for command instructions like "Take me to the nearest supermarket."  [Brooke] Masters suggests that human driving skills atrophy from neglect and disuse.  Self-driving vehicle technology deployments will accelerate carbon-based driver skill erosion.

How driverless cars choose who to kill is an ethical dilemma.  Slowly but surely, work on self-driving cars is progressing.  Crashes still happen, tragic accidents come to pass every once in a while, and autonomous vehicles still make stupid mistakes that the most novice human drivers would avoid.  But eventually, scientists and researchers will teach our cars to see the world and drive the streets on a level that equates or exceeds the skills of most human drivers. [...] Accidents will become very rare happenings.  But accidents will happen, and the question is, how should self-driving cars make decisions when a fatal accident and loss of life is inevitable?  As it happens, we can't make a definite decision.

Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars.  The assailant slipped out of a park around noon one day in October, zeroing in on his target, which was idling at a nearby intersection — a self-driving van operated by Waymo, the driverless-car company spun out of Google.  He carried out his attack with an unidentified sharp object, swiftly slashing one of the tires.

Electronic driving systems don't always work, tests show.  Testing by AAA shows that electronic driver assist systems on the road today may not keep vehicles in their lanes or spot stationary objects in time to avoid a crash.  The tests brought a warning from the auto club that drivers shouldn't think that the systems make their vehicles self-driving, and that they should always be ready to take control.  AAA also said that use of the word "pilot" by automakers in naming their systems can make some owners believe the vehicles can drive themselves.

The dream of driverless cars is dying.  I was worried that going to the autonomous vehicle exhibition in Stuttgart would be tantamount to an atheist walking into St Peter's while the Pope was conducting a mass.  There is something religious about the fervour with which adherents to the driverless credo practise their faith and promise us a new kingdom.  Their proselytising has indeed convinced many.  Politicians are making outlandish statements, such as Jesse Norman's two weeks ago, that 'Our entire use of roads is to be revolutionised by autonomous vehicles', and pouring large sums — a promised £180 million so far — into bizarre research projects such as the development of strange robot cars slower than a Reliant Robin and allowed only on pavements in Milton Keynes. [...] The assumption that this technology will soon transform our lives has been speeded along by gullible journalists who fail to look beyond the extravagant claims of the press releases pouring out of tech companies and auto manufacturers, hailing the imminence of major developments that never seem to materialise.

Autonomous cars on US roads with no brake pedals, steering wheels just edged closer.  Road users in the US may soon see self-driving cars without human controls under a pilot program proposed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The agency is seeking public feedback on a proposed pilot to test vehicles "that lack controls for human drivers and thus may not comply with all existing safety standards" and do so in real-world scenarios, it said in a document released Thursday [10/4/2018].  As noted by Reuters, NHTSA said vehicles in the program may need features to disable them if a sensor fails or limit their maximum speeds.  The pilot would aim to test autonomous vehicles rated as Level 4 and Level 5, which are respectively fully autonomous vehicles with a safe fallback mode, and fully autonomous vehicles without human controls, such as brake and accelerator pedals or steering wheels.

Drivers Wildly Overestimate What 'Semiautonomous' Cars Can Do.  Euro NCAP, an independent European car safety assessment group (similar to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US) has just released the results of its first round of tests of 10 new cars with driver-assistance technologies.  It also published the results of a survey of over 1,500 car owners in seven countries, asking them what they believe these cars are capable of.  "Seventy percent of people believe you can buy autonomous cars," says Matthew Avery, head of research at the UK's Thatcham Research, a Euro NCAP member.  Eleven percent said they'd be tempted to have a nap, read a paper, or watch a film while using one of the highway-assist features available today, even though every automaker peddling the tech requires drivers to pay attention to the road at all times.  "It's really worrying that consumers are believing the hype."

Tesla removes 'Full Self-Driving Capability' package from its options due to 'confusion'.  In a somewhat controversial move, Tesla is removing the option to buy its 'Full Self-Driving Capability' package from the online design studios of its vehicles.  The option itself was controversial from the beginning when it was introduced with the Autopilot 2.0 hardware in 2016.  At the time, Tesla said that it would release self-driving capability through over-the-air updates after validating the software and having regulatory approval.

Ford proposes a future without traffic lights.  Vehicle-to-everything communications technology, more commonly referred to as V2X, is poised to change the way cars operate in the very near future.  Numerous automakers are working on V2X systems, some of which are already available.  Among those automakers is Ford which thinks the tech could one day eliminate traffic lights.  The automaker announced Wednesday [10/10/2018] it will trial an Intersection Priority Management (IPM) system on the streets of Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.  The system is Ford's way of demonstrating that cars may not always have to stop for an intersection or traffic sign.

Elon Musk said a Tesla could drive itself across the country by 2018. One just crashed backing out of a garage.  When Mangesh Gururaj's wife left home to pick up their child from math lessons one Sunday this month, she turned on her Tesla Model S and hit "Summon," a self-parking feature that the electric automaker has promoted as a central step toward driverless cars.  But as the $65,000 sedan reversed itself out of the garage, Gururaj said, the car bashed into a wall, ripping off its front end with a loud crack.  He said the damaged Tesla looked like it would have kept driving if his wife hadn't hit the brakes.

Utah woman sues Tesla over 'Autopilot' crash.  The woman who was behind the wheel of a Tesla that crashed into a fire truck at high speeds in South Jordan is suing Tesla and a service provider, saying the Autopilot feature failed to work as advertised.  According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday [9/4/2018], Heather P. Lommatzsch is suing Tesla Inc., Tesla Motors Utah Inc, and Service King Paint & Body over the crash, which occurred in May of this year.  The lawsuit alleges negligence and breach of warranty on the part of Tesla and negligence on the part of Service King, stating that the vehicle's Autopilot mode failed to stop the vehicle before it crashed into the back of a Unified Fire Authority fire truck at a high rate of speed.

Chariots of Death and Indecision.  There was no spontaneous collective cry from the driving public demanding an autonomous car. [...] Insurance industry statisticians provided a compelling case for savings in car accident and medical payouts.  Urban planners saw the future in which a maze of closely spaced cars all moved to their destinations without accidents and with maximum efficiency in roadway use.  Better fuel usage and fewer vehicle emissions appealed to the environmentalists.  Government agencies envisioned a vehicle tracking system able to find any vehicle, anywhere, all the time.

Franken-algorithms: the deadly consequences of unpredictable code.  he 18th of March 2018, was the day tech insiders had been dreading.  That night, a new moon added almost no light to a poorly lit four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona, as a specially adapted Uber Volvo XC90 detected an object ahead.  Part of the modern gold rush to develop self-driving vehicles, the SUV had been driving autonomously, with no input from its human backup driver, for 19 minutes.  An array of radar and light-emitting lidar sensors allowed onboard algorithms to calculate that, given their host vehicle's steady speed of 43 mph, the object was six seconds away — assuming it remained stationary.  But objects in roads seldom remain stationary, so more algorithms crawled a database of recognizable mechanical and biological entities, searching for a fit from which this one's likely behavior could be inferred.  At first the computer drew a blank; seconds later, it decided it was dealing with another car, expecting it to drive away and require no special action.  Only at the last second was a clear identification found — a woman with a bike, shopping bags hanging confusingly from handlebars, doubtless assuming the Volvo would route around her as any ordinary vehicle would.  Barred from taking evasive action on its own, the computer abruptly handed control back to its human master, but the master wasn't paying attention.

Police Want the Ability to Control Self-Driving Cars.  It seems the number of perplexing regulatory questions relating to self-driving cars are piling up as fast as automakers can create workable prototypes.  So will we have it all settled by the time these autonomous vehicles are "street-ready?" A new report suggests — maybe not.  Reuters recently covered a 39-page summary of a March meeting amongst regulatory stakeholders, including the federal DOT and several industry groups, where they settled on a fairly scary thesis:  that the question is not IF but WHEN a massive cyberattack targeting autonomous vehicles would occur, and that it was imperative to spend time now in preparation.

Will Autonomous Autos End Up Legislating You Off the Road?  Bob Lutz, a fixture in the Detroit auto industry for 47 years, told the Michigan Venture Capital Association early this month that "human-driven cars will be forced off the roads by safety regulators" in the near future because they will "mess up the autonomous environment."  "I will absolutely guarantee that electronic technology in autonomous vehicles is going to reduce serious and fatal accidents in the United States by at least 90 percent," said Lutz who was most recently the vice chairman of General Motors until 2010.  And he promised the accident rate would fall even further once human beings were outlawed from sitting behind steering wheels.

Will Government Be Able to Remotely Control Your Car?  In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published its "Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles."  It pointed to a "continuum" of automobile development that "runs from vehicles with no active control systems all the way to full automation and self-driving." [...] But, if the driver does not control the vehicle, who does?

Dockless bicycles and scooters:

An electric scooter company implements a 'no-go zone' over 'Pride' street mural.  From Jackson Walker at The National Desk comes the news that Lime, a San Francisco-based transportation company that leases electric scooters, bikes, and mopeds in big cities, has just implemented a "no-go zone" over the "Pride" street mural in Spokane, Washington as a preemptive measure — there have been repeated instances of vandalism, and the mural has already has at least one new paint refresh this month after someone set it on fire. [...] This "no-go zone" means that if you're cruising on a Lime product, operating it in the street where it belongs, and you attempt to cross into the "Pride" territory?  Whatever you're operating will lose all power, and you'll be forced to walk and push the device out of the zone, which is in the road mind you, at which point power will return.

The Bike-Share Oversupply in China:  Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles.  Last year, bike sharing took off in China, with dozens of bike-share companies quickly flooding city streets with millions of brightly colored rental bicycles.  However, the rapid growth vastly outpaced immediate demand and overwhelmed Chinese cities, where infrastructure and regulations were not prepared to handle a sudden flood of millions of shared bicycles.  Riders would park bikes anywhere, or just abandon them, resulting in bicycles piling up and blocking already-crowded streets and pathways.  As cities impounded derelict bikes by the thousands, they moved quickly to cap growth and regulate the industry.  Vast piles of impounded, abandoned, and broken bicycles have become a familiar sight in many big cities.  As some of the companies who jumped in too big and too early have begun to fold, their huge surplus of bicycles can be found collecting dust in vast vacant lots.  Bike sharing remains very popular in China, and will likely continue to grow, just probably at a more sustainable rate.

E-cycles are faster, heavier and more deadly:  As death toll shows, it's time to end them.  Early this month, after more than 10 years of operation, New York's Citi Bike bicycle-share program marked a grim milestone:  the first-ever death of a pedestrian hit by a Citi Bike rider.  The cyclist wasn't riding one of the traditional blue-pedal bikes when he allegedly hit and killed 69-year-old Priscilla Loke, but rather an electric Citi Bike.  Loke's death is yet another reminder that battery-powered electric bikes — and their new cousins, gas-powered mopeds — are not bicycles but fast-moving motorized vehicles.  Those vehicles' proliferation on New York's dense streets, encouraged by supposed safe-streets advocates and city government, is reversing more than a decade's progress in making New York's streets more hospitable to pedestrians and traditional pedal cyclists.

Two children trapped in NYC apartment die in fire thanks to another exploding e-bike.  Whether the "green initiatives" support Biden's pursuit of greenism or the World Economic Forum's "sustainable solutions" like 15-minute cities, the left's demands for the temple of climate alarmism afflicts us all — and there's yet another tragic case to prove it. [...] The most pronounced hallmark of communist governments and movements is and has always been the impoverished conditions and the excessively high death toll among the people, and "green" communism doesn't stand to be any different.

Some E-bike batteries can explode.  A deadly fire in the basement of a New York apartment that claimed the life of a 9-year-old boy.  Another blaze in Virginia that killed a man.  An explosion that destroyed an apartment in Huntington Beach, Calif., displacing the building's residents and neighbors.  The source of these devastating fires?  Electric bicycle batteries, officials said.  Although there aren't national or international statistics on how often the lithium-ion batteries commonly found in E-bikes or scooters catch fire, these incidents do appear to "happen with some regularity — and the numbers are rising," according to the National Fire Protection Association.  In New York, for instance, the city has seen a dramatic increase in battery-related fires in recent years, with incidents skyrocketing from 30 in 2019 to 220 in 2022, according to data from the New York City Fire Department.  Of the fires last year, six resulted in deaths.

Sick of Self-Service Scooters, Parisians Vote to Ban Them.  Voters in Paris have overwhelmingly decided to ban the use of rented electric scooters in city limits, official figures indicate.  Paris reportedly has the highest rate of e-scooter usage of any European city, with each device logging an average of 3.5 uses per day.  But between the increased congestion and the hundreds of pedestrian injuries caused by the scooters each year, it seems most of the city is sick of them.  Nearly 90% of Parisians who participated in Sunday's referendum supported the measure to rid the roads of the battery-powered personal scooters.

Will our sudden appetite for electric-powered everything cause a trash crisis?  I have designed many innovative and successful products over my long engineering career, so when I started my own manufacturing company 25 years ago, it was with the premise that all products carry a lifetime warranty, no questions asked.  This forced me to think about longevity in design. [...] I also started and owned a bicycle retail store specializing in distance and competitive cycling.  Mechanical bikes could last for decades, and as drivetrains and parts become obsolete, the bicycle could easily be upgraded with new components.  No more.  Electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) have almost taken over the industry.  There has been no attempt at industry standardization so each e-bike has its own customized and integrated battery, computer, motor, and wiring harnesses.  All from China.  The bike shop I started 15 years ago is just now starting to feel the effects.  When an e-bike that is only a few years old fails, it is incredibly difficult (often impossible) to find parts.  You can no longer pick a standard replacement shifter, chain ring, or derailleur off the shelf and send the customer happily on his way in a day or two, but instead we are at the mercy of the manufacturer's unique design incompatible with anything else.  When the bike can't be fixed, it's useless to anyone.  E-bikes, therefore, will only have a useful life no longer than the availability of all the parts to fix it, which is only 7-10 years at best.

Rental scooters and bikes will be back on the streets soon.  Shared rental bikes and scooters will be returning to Minneapolis streets soon, with some new rules to enhance accessibility and equity.  The city announced Monday [4/4/2022] that it signed a new contract with vendors to provide scooters and Nice Ride shared rental bikes.  They should be available by mid-month.  Lyft, Lime and Spin will provide scooters, with Lyft also handling the rental bikes, both traditional pedal and electric-assist.  The city is requiring all three vendors to distribute at least 30% of their scooters in Equity Distribution Areas in north and south Minneapolis.  A maximum of 40% of each operator's scooters are allowed downtown and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

In this case, TN stands for Tamil Nadu, India.
Father, daughter killed in TN as e-bike on charge explodes.  An electric bike plugged in for charging overnight exploded early on Saturday in Vellore resulting in the death of a man and his daughter.  They were found lifeless in the bathroom of the house where they had shut themselves in to escape the smoke and fire.  Police said photographer Durai Varma, 49, had bought the bike a couple of days ago and on Friday night plugged it in for charging in front of his house on the outskirts of Vellore city.  It was parked next to his petrol bike.  He and his daughter Preethi, 13, then retired for the night.  Police said that around 2 am on Saturday, the electric bike exploded leading to a fire.  The fire fed on the petrol in the bike next to it and soon spread inside the house.Thick smoke engulfed the small house that did not have proper ventilation.  Police suspect the father and daughter panicked because of poor visibility in the thick smoke and took refuge in their bathroom.

Lime Wants a Revolution.  Near San Francisco's bustling Fisherman's Wharf in the middle of the afternoon two weeks ago, a 69-year-old woman took what was likely the last e-scooter ride of her life.  It's not clear who struck who at Embarcadero and Bay, but the point is moot.  The scooter collided with a massive cement truck, the sort of cataclysmic transportation asymmetry now endangering lives and disrupting communities all over the world.  The city bears some blame.  It had been tragically slow to deal with the upsurge in e-scooters and e-bikes.

NYC bicyclists are killing pedestrians and the city won't stop it.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has aggressively pushed a bike-friendly agenda, adding about 100 miles of dedicated lanes for cyclists amid a spike in rider collisions, but he's done little to address the danger that bikers themselves pose.  Since 2011, bicyclists have injured more than 2,250 pedestrians — including at least seven who died — according to stats from the city Department of Transportation and published reports.  Injuries are up 12 percent this year, rising to 127 through June 30 from 113 over the same period in 2018, the NYPD says.

Viral video shows youth tossing scooters into Detroit River, damaging property.  Detroit Police have a message for a band of hellions responsible for flinging scooters into the Detroit River, rolling the contraptions downhill in an attempt to knock people down and pushing a man to the ground.  They're coming for you.  The antics were caught in a viral video making the rounds on social media.

Oregon deputies pull out 57 electric scooters, bikes out of Portland river.  A sheriff's office in Oregon recently disclosed it hauled dozens of electric scooters and bicycles out of a major river in Portland.  The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday [6/26/2019] on Twitter the department's dive team recovered a total of 57 scooters and bikes over a two-day period in the Willamette River in Portland.

Boulder to consider emergency moratorium on commercial electric scooters.  Boulder might see a temporary moratorium on commercial electric scooter companies, as well as ongoing restrictions on where e-scooters are allowed in the city.  City council on Tuesday [5/21/2019] will hold a public hearing on an emergency ordinance that would prohibit the issuance of business licenses to commercial operators, as well as the use of e-scooters on sidewalks, bike paths and open space until February.  The temporary moratorium, staff reasoned, would buy the city time to iron out possible regulations for commercial e-scooters in Boulder.

Scooter use is rising in major cities.  So are trips to the emergency room.  They have been pouring into emergency rooms around the nation all summer, their bodies bearing a blend of injuries that doctors normally associate with victims of car wrecks — broken noses, wrists and shoulders, facial lacerations and fractures, as well as the kind of blunt head trauma that can leave brains permanently damaged.  When doctors began asking patients to explain their injuries, many were surprised to learn that the surge of broken body parts stemmed from the latest urban transportation trend:  shared electric scooters.

Lime halts scooter service in Switzerland after possible software glitch throws users off mid-ride.  Just as on-demand electric scooters are trying to pick up speed in Europe, one of the scooter market's most ambitious startups has halted operations in one country after its e-scooters started halting mid-ride, throwing off and injuring passengers.  Lime, the Uber-backed bike and scooter rental company that is reportedly raising money at between a $2 billion and $3 billion valuation, has pulled its full fleet of scooters in Switzerland, in the cities of Basel and Zurich, for safety checks after multiple reports of people injuring themselves after their scooters braked abruptly while in use.

Newport Beach Bans Electric Scooters After 3 Days.  A flock of 50 Bird dockless electric scooters that arrived at the Newport Beach Peninsula last weekend without a permit caused lots of complaints and were promptly banned by the city.  The virally popular dockless scooters that rent at $1, plus $.15 per minute, are the hottest transportation trend in 2018.  Although electric scooter riders are supposed to be 18 years old, have a California driver's license, and wear their own helmets, the bike rental is by cell phone app, and there is virtually no way to prevent underage or reckless riders.

Minneapolis City Council Approves Dockless Bike Pilot Program.  On Friday morning [5/11/2018], the Minneapolis City Council approved a contract amendment with Nice Ride to operate the dockless bike pilot program.  "One of the biggest concerns that I have is how are we going to be able to keep the public right of way clear of bikes just laying all around the city," Councilmember Andrea Jenkins asked.  Seattle, San Diego, and Dallas have similar programs.  Each city has had to deal with bikes that are destroyed, piled up or end up in a river.

Dockless bikes promise the future of transportation, but litter the city of Dallas.  Dockless bike-share startups, already common in China, have been making their way into the U.S. The idea is simple and utopian — easily accessible, low-cost bikes that people can grab, use and leave just about anywhere.  The problem, however, is they do leave them anywhere — and everywhere.

Renewable energy:

This subsection has moved to a page of its own, located here.

Fake meat:

Fake Meat Linked To Heart Attacks & Strokes.  Fake meat is an ultra-processed food, and as such, it has been linked to heart attacks and strokes in a new study.  These plant-based foods are not fit for human consumption, but that won't stop the mainstream media and rulers from trying to get us all to eat them anyway.  Recent headlines denounced plant-based fake meat (such as vegetarian sausages and textured vegetable protein) as unhealthy and claimed that their consumption is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.  These "foods" are ultra-processed and about as far from natural as one could get.  Eating fake meat is similar to eating a Cheeto.  These aren't really foods, but rather food-like products that they are attempting to get the masses addicted to.

Nightmare ingredients of Bill Gates's Impossible Burger.  Just as a review suggests that processed foods can be harmful to every part of our body, fake meat development is being hyped to the max.  Billions are being pumped into an industry that uses tons of the herbicide glyphosate to protect its base ingredient soy from weeds, and production could not only cause more greenhouse gas than traditional farming but the long-term effect on our health is completely unknown.  Bill Gates, the biggest farmland owner in the US, is a major fake meat investor and has pumped money into at least six fake food companies, instead of focusing on traditional farming.  A review of several studies involving 10 million people showed that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are linked with myriad health problems, mainly due to their saturated fat and sugar content and lack of vitamins and fibre.  Mass-produced bread, ready meals, crisps, cakes, biscuits, and sugary cereals were linked with 32 physical and mental health problems.

Alabama, Arizona, and Tennessee move to join Florida with ban on lab-grown meat.  Efforts against lab-grown meat across Red America gained traction this week, with Florida Gov Ron DeSantis signing a first-in-the-nation ban of the products.  DeSantis inked a bill to prohibit anyone from selling or distributing lab-grown meat in Florida.  He said it will 'save our beef' from the 'global elite' that wants to change US diets.  Similar efforts are under way in Alabama, Arizona, and Tennessee.  'Florida is fighting back against the global elite's plan to force the world to eat meat grown in a petri dish or bugs,' the Republican said.

The Editor says...
A gentle reminder to the British press:  Apostrophes are not quotation marks.

Vegan Impossible burgers increase risk of diabetes and heart problems; new study finds you're better off with REAL meat.  They're said to be low in fat, good for cholesterol and an overall healthier choice than the real deal.  But a new trial suggests that plant-based fake meat products are not in fact a nutritious choice[,] and could increase the risk of heart disease.  The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people who ate a diet high in fake meats like Beyond burgers and Impossible burgers for eight weeks had higher blood sugars than those who ate real meat.  This puts them at higher risk for developing heart disease and diabetes down the line, the authors wrote.

Is Fake Meat a Market Failure?  A growing list of potentially intractable problems confronts the alternative meat industry, which includes both plant-based substitutes and cultured "cell-grown" meats.  Consumers have not managed to swallow the fake taste (beet juice may be a sad substitute for beef blood), the Beverly Hills pricing, or the growing awareness that the counterfeits are highly processed and largely dependent on monocultured plant crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat that present their own environmental challenges.  Much as they have in the EV and solar panel markets, buyers are waking up to a triple-shill:  Fake meat "alternatives" seem to be overpriced, unpalatable, and pollute the planet despite claims of climate rescue.

Bill Gates' Lab-Grown Meat Exposed: 'Really Gruesome'.  An international investigation has exposed the gruesome reality being the globalist push to flood the food supply with biotech products such as Bill Gates' lab-grown "meats."  Dutch investigative journalist Elze van Hamelen has published a new report to raise the alarm about the "tsunami of fake foods" being rolled out by the biotech industry.  Despite claims from the green agenda elite, fake meats are not about your health or the environment.  Van Hamelen warns that these products are a tool to phase out farmers and ranchers so the agriculture industry can be replaced with ultra-processed food products that can be controlled by patents.

Beef burgers are back on the menu as demand for vegan food plunges.  Plant-based brand Beyond Meat last week revealed its revenue had dropped by 9 per cent as demand for its animal alternatives stalled.  The company said it would cut around a fifth of its workforce in response to its performance.  Overall industry sales of meat alternatives are down 13.6 percent over the last year, with an expert analyst Carol RatCliffe saying:  "After many years of strong growth, meat alternatives have fallen into decline."  It comes after Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons slashed their vegan ranges by 10 percent, according to the Grocer, and Pret A Manger axed 75 percent of its vegetarian-only stores in December.  There were also "notably fewer" patrons at the UK's biggest indoor vegan event, Vegan Fest, last year, the BBC reported.  Meanwhile, UK meat consumption is on the up.

Synthetic Chicken Will Never Fly.  Recent revelations at a premier lab-grown meat startup suggest techno-mystical visions of cheap, plentiful, vat-cultured meats are a fantastical pipe dream.  Venture capitalists and a climate-anxious public have been lured into believing synthetic animal meat substitutes will solve environmental problems while liberating farm animals.  The chief hurdles for this nascent, aspirational industry are cost and scale:  The alleged misrepresentations by billion-dollar Upside Foods in Emeryville, California, reflect an industry-wide cover-up of the impossibility of achieving cost savings, large-scale production or environmental utility with vat-flesh.

Fake Meat Fails.  It's hard to understand the reasoning behind fake meat.  Bear in mind that everyone is, and should be, free to eat what they like, with no interference from others.  Think about it for a few moments, though.  If you really don't like meat, that's fine, but why then would you go to the time and trouble of buying and eating something that tried to look and tastes like meat?  If you think eating meat is immoral — it's not, but people may believe as they please — then the same question applies.  The real thing is available.  Why go for the poor substitute?  Apparently, that thought is occurring to a lot of people just now.

Bill Gates-backed companies approved to sell 'lab-grown' chicken in the US.  The United States has become the second country in the world to approve "cell-based" chicken for public consumption, joining Singapore, who legalized the experimental food in 2020.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light for the controversial product, which is backed by Bill Gates, earlier this week.  Billed as a major tool in the fight against "climate change," so-called "cultivated chicken" is grown in a lab.  The costly process involves extracting stem cells and giving them a nutrient-dense bath in vitamins, minerals, salt, and even soy inside a steel bioreactor.  An average batch takes about two weeks to harvest.

Study finds lab-grown meat generates up to 25 times more CO2 than conventional beef production.  A new study has found that lab-grown meat generates up to 25 times more carbon dioxide (CO2) than standard slaughtering practices.  The study posted April 21 at bioRxiv noted that the environmental impact of lab-grown meat "is likely to be orders of magnitude higher than median beef production."  The study authors from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) noted that the model they used "generally contradicts previous studies," suggesting that the environmental impact of cultured meat is likely to be higher than conventional beef production systems.  While the prospect of lab-grown meat removes the need for land, water and antibiotics in cattle raising, the process involved in it is far from zero-carbon.  The increased CO2 levels would be necessary for the purification processes that supply nutrients to cultured cells, which are removed from animals or plants and grown in a favorable artificial environment.

Bill Gates' Fake Meat Industry [is] Teetering on [the] Brink of Financial Collapse As Consumers Reject His Vision.  Fake meat products like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, both heavily backed by Bill Gates, advertise their products as healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives to beef.  Both companies soared in popularity in 2019 when they began selling their products with massive fast food chains.  However, the trend was short-lived as consumers quickly turned off the fake produce, resulting in Impossible Foods admitting it was forced to lay off 20% of its staff.

People aren't buying the phony baloney any more.  You have to ask yourself a basic question: If meat is so awful, why is it imperative to make sure the faux meat tastes like meat?

Beyond Meat factory riddled with mold, other dirty conditions: leaked documents.  One of Beyond Meat's key factories was reportedly riddled with mold, bacteria and other health-related concerns, according to leaked evidence provided by a former employee.  A leaked internal document revealed Beyond Meat products manufactured at the plant had tested positive for the harmful bacteria Listeria at least 11 times in the second half of 2021 and the first half of this year, Bloomberg reported on Monday.  The document was reportedly provided by a former employee who was worried about conditions in the plant, which is located within an hour of Philadelphia.  Two other ex-employees confirmed that bacteria had been found at the facility.  The outlet also obtained internal documents stating that various contaminants, including string, metal, wood and plastic, had been found in Beyond Meat products produced at the plant as recently as last December.

South Korean Scientists Claim Eating 'Worm Burgers' Could Solve World Hunger.  The New York Post reports that Dr. Hee Cho of Wonkwang University led a research project which concluded that mixing cooked mealworms, or beetle larvae, with sugar can produce a substance that resembles and allegedly tastes like meat. [...] "Mealworm contains beneficial essential amino acids and is high in unsaturated fatty acids," Cho claimed.  Global warming activists have repeatedly been making the dubious claim that the cost of producing meat from animals is too high, and causes damage to the environment; one commonly-given example is beef made from cows, which produce methane emissions that allegedly harm the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.  But most countries, despite pressure from the far-left and some international organizations, refuse to abandon the long-treasured tradition of eating meat, and insects are generally not considered a viable food in the majority of countries around the world.  As such, Cho said that he is prepared to combat this stigma by proving that worms can be cooked and seasoned to taste like anything else.

The Editor says...
Apples and oranges alert:  Global warming and widespread hunger are two separate issues.  Please stay in your lane.

A New Vertical Farm Will Grow 3 Million Pounds of Mycelium a Year for Fungi-Based Bacon.  Ask meat eaters and most would likely agree that one of the carnivorous delights non-meat-eaters are most missing out on is bacon.  Salty, smoky, chewy, delectable on sandwiches, crumbled up in recipes, or eaten by hand — there's really nothing like it.  Except now there is, according to startup MyForest Foods and its customers in New York and Massachusetts.  The clincher?  The vegetarian-friendly bacon substitute is made from mushroom roots.  Mushroom roots are technically called mycelium, which isn't the sort of root you'd see attached to most plants or trees; rather, it's a root-like structure of fungus composed of a mass of branching, thread-like strands called hyphae.  The hyphae absorb nutrients from soil or another substrate so the fungus can grow.

The Editor says...
How much electricity does a "vertical farm" require, and how much CO2 does all that fungus generate?

Lab-cultured, GMO-laden fake "meat" is a toxic abomination to be avoided at all costs.  It was never enough just to tamper with your produce and grains.  The biotechnology industry is now setting its sights on replacing all meat with genetically engineered (GMO) impostors, too.  Beef, poultry, fish, and dairy products are all on the chopping block as the architects behind the Great Reset shift society away from real, nutritious food and straight into laboratory abominations from hell.  Using technologies like synthetic biology and precision fermentation, mad scientists are concocting cultured "meat" synthetics along with other cell-based and gene-edited parodies of real food.  "Transitioning to cultured meat, made from animal cells grown in a petri dish, is a Great Reset goal for the global food industry," warns Dr. Joseph Mercola.  "The aim is to control populations by creating dependence on private companies that control the food supply."

Beyond Meat stock plunges as Americans reject Frankenfood burgers.  While globalist organizations like the World Economic Forum continue to push people to consume fake meat products "for the climate," Americans are largely rejecting chemical-laden Frankenfoods like the Beyond Burger — and shares of the company behind it are tanking as worries mount about their future.  Beyond Meat dropped by nearly a dollar per share as they reported a net loss during the third quarter of $55 million as demand for their fake meat dwindles and higher costs eat away at profits.  The stock cratered 19 percent during premarket trading on Thursday [11/11/2021].  According to CNBC, they reported third-quarter losses of 87 cents per share, far exceeding the 39 cents per share expected by Wall Street, while revenue also fell short.  They reported a fiscal third-quarter net loss of $54.8 million, which is far greater than the $19.3 million net loss reported a year earlier.  The company blamed higher costs for warehousing and transportation as well as inventory write-offs and operational challenges for its woes, but the truth is that consumers just aren't getting on board with what was once hailed "the next big thing."

As 'meat replacements' grow more popular, experts express skepticism, uncertainty.  The growing popularity of "meat replacements" in the U.S. food economy is tempered in part by the uncertain long-term health and ecological effects that those products may engender, according to experts.  Companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have made waves for crafting "plant-based" foods to closely resemble meat, including the "Impossible Burger" and various other permutations of mock meat products.  This week, Beyond Meat announced a new line of plant-based "chicken tenders" debuting at numerous restaurant chains across the country.  The product is "crafted to look, cook and taste like traditional animal-based chicken tenders," the company said, but it is an entirely "plant-based innovation" with a significantly different nutritional profile from meat.

Banning air conditioning:

This topic is covered here.

Heat pumps:

The heat pump fantasy is dead — only our blinkered elites haven't noticed.  Has there ever been a more pernicious lie spread by government and lobbyists than the claim that net zero will save us money?  Heat pumps, for example, weren't just supposed to decarbonise home heating and thereby save the planet; they were all going to slash our bills as we switched from expensive gas to cheap-as-chips renewable energy from wind and solar farms.  The narrative was always flawed:  if heat pumps really did promise to save us money the government would hardly need to push them at us, offering grants of £7500 through its Boiler Upgrade Scheme.  The government has good reason to bribe, as heat pump installations last year reached only 55,000 — far short of the government's target of 600,000 a year by 2028.  As today's National Audit Office report all but confirms, people are not falling for the bait.  The Boiler Upgrade scheme has been an expensive failure, with consumers seeing through the guff and working out that dumping their gas boiler for a heat pump is not going to save them a bean; on the contrary, it will cost them more to install and more to run.

Next Up, Heat Pumps.  If you've wondered how liberals expect you to heat your house after they have outlawed fossil fuels, the short answer is heat pumps.  Heat pumps have joined "batteries" as the all-purpose "green" solution.  But in reality, they are no solution at all. [...] In this respect, heat pumps are like electric vehicles.  You need them the most when it is cold outside, and that is when performance plummets.  I will say it again:  there is no transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in process, nor will there ever be.

The heat pump fantasy is dead — only our blinkered elites haven't noticed.  Has there ever been a more pernicious lie spread by government and lobbyists than the claim that net zero will save us money?  Heat pumps, for example, weren't just supposed to decarbonise home heating and thereby save the planet; they were all going to slash our bills as we switched from expensive gas to cheap-as-chips renewable energy from wind and solar farms.  The narrative was always flawed:  if heat pumps really did promise to save us money the government would hardly need to push them at us, offering grants of £7500 through its Boiler Upgrade Scheme.  The government has good reason to bribe, as heat pump installations last year reached only 55,000 — far short of the government's target of 600,000 a year by 2028.  As today's National Audit Office report all but confirms, people are not falling for the bait.  The Boiler Upgrade scheme has been an expensive failure, with consumers seeing through the guff and working out that dumping their gas boiler for a heat pump is not going to save them a bean; on the contrary, it will cost them more to install and more to run.

Heat Pumps Could Quadruple Your Electricity Consumption.  A recent article posted by the CBC contained disturbing information about how heat pumps have played a significant role in driving up the demand of electricity by a factor of significant proportions for households in Nova Scotia.  Those having converted their heat source (oil or gas furnaces) from the use of fossil fuels to heat pumps have seen their electricity bills skyrocket with the article noting one household said they tripled.  The article further stated "More than 2,500 people have signed a petition calling on the provincial government to intervene after many of them also experienced rate shock."  It seems ironic that only five days after the article appeared Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change trekked off to New Brunswick with a $20 million dollar handout "to get more New Brunswick households off furnace oil and add heat pumps and insulation, a measure that will help only a small fraction of homes."

Honeymoon is over for Europe's heat pump industry.  Europe's heat pump industry is flagging and has been forced to cut, or temporarily freeze, 3,000 jobs following investments into production capacity that overshot demand growth.  "In 2023, we saw sales fall for the first time in 15 years," Jozefien Vanbecelaere, head of EU affairs at the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), said in a press call on Tuesday (27 February).  Based on 2023 sales data from 14 countries that make up 90% of the European heat pump market, units sold went down by 5% from 2022, she explained.  Heat pumps, that work with ambient air to efficiently heat homes and have been described as "reverse fridges", are central to EU efforts to slash consumption of natural gas and supplant fossil heaters as the dominant source of heat.  European heat pump producers who had invested hoping for a boom in demand have been cutting jobs in response — 3,000 in total so far.

Heat pump and electric car charger size limits scrapped.  The installation of bigger heat pumps and electric car chargers the size of phone boxes will be allowed without planning permission under government plans.  The Government is proposing to abolish a size limit on heat pumps to allow bigger units to be installed in a bid to cut down on noise pollution.  A consultation on changes to "permitted development" rules launched by Michael Gove's Levelling Up Department said current regulations limiting the volume size of a heat pump's outdoor compressor unit to 0.6 cubic metres were "preventing the development of quieter models".  Scrapping the size limit would enable the pump to run at a lower speed and minimise noise levels after concerns were raised by acoustic scientists that smaller models were "too noisy" for millions of homes, the department said.  At the same time, the Government is proposing to ease the rules governing where electric car chargers can be placed within the off-street parking areas of sites such as offices, supermarkets and blocks of flats.  Restrictions preventing chargers being located within two metres of a highway, or facing on to a highway, would be scrapped under government plans, while the maximum height would be increased from 2.3 metres to 2.7 metres — about the height of one of London's red telephone boxes.

Another net-zero retreat?  Tories ditch 'boiler tax'.  The energy secretary is planning to scrap the so-called boiler tax in a move that will be welcomed by homeowners facing the prospect of having to spend money to replace an old appliance.  Under the government's "clean heat" strategy, targets had been drawn up to help phase out gas boilers and deliver 600,000 eco-friendly heat pump installations a year by 2028.  The target was due to come into effect in April, when boiler manufacturers would be required to match, or substitute, 4 percent of their boiler sales with heat pumps or face a fine of £3,000 for every installation they fell short by.  [Paywall]

Electric cars and heat pumps seem destined to make us freeze.  Resilience is the long-forgotten element of net zero — and not just for electric vehicles.  We are being sold a future where almost everything will be powered by electricity — without much thought being put into what happens if the grid fails.  At the moment, if the power goes down as it did in my house for several hours the other week, I can still light a fire, I can still drive, I can still make telephone calls, because for now I still have a phone line which doesn't require broadband.  But in future I may not be able to do any of those things.  A power cut lasting more than a few hours will be a very serious matter for communities, which face being totally cut off, shivering.  Air source heat pumps seem especially vulnerable to these issues, with claims that efficiency drops in cold weather.  In a future where we are trying to use heat pumps to keep us warm, cold weather might well deliver a double whammy:  we will need more power because the heat pump will be working overtime at a lower rate of efficiency, and yet the supply of renewable power could dip, in some weather conditions to disastrous lows.  There is no point in telling us we've got to get to net zero if you can't tell us how we cope when we reach sub-zero.  Yes, it does get cold sometimes, in spite of global warming, and we need to keep society running when it does.

The boiler tax exposes the truth about heat pumps.  The window tax, tried out in Britain in 1696.  The beard tax that was introduced by Peter the Great of Russia in the 1700s.  Or the salt tax, which the French only finally abolished in 1945.  There have been some bizarre levies imposed by governments over the centuries.  When the future economics textbooks are written, however, one point seems certain.  The UK's boiler tax of 2024 will be on the list.  It is a genuinely terrible idea — and MPs are quite right to revolt against it.  If you happen to need a new boiler, [beginning] next year you are likely to have to pay an extra £120 for it.  The reason?  Installers and manufacturers will have to meet a quota of "green" heat pumps.  If they don't install a set number, they will face a fine.  Given that so few people are buying heat pumps voluntarily, the fines will have to be paid, and the cost of that will have to be passed on to consumers.  The bill will be around £120 per unit but could be far higher.  The levy on traditional heating units might encourage some to switch to heat pumps more quickly, but given how expensive they are, both to install and run, it seems unlikely.

Another heat pump myth has just crumbled.  Net Zero will, of course, eventually save us all a fortune.  We know that must be true because the green lobby keeps telling us so.  It is just that the journey there seems to be costing us ever more money in taxes and levies.  The Government has decided to sting taxpayers for another £1.5 billion in order to encourage homeowners to switch from fossil fuel central heating to heat pumps.  At £7,500 a time, the original pot of money for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme would only have funded 60,000 installations.  The additional pot will fund a further 200,000 — assuming, that is, that enough people want to take the bait.  That is looking questionable at the moment.  In the first 18 months that the scheme, only 27,443 homeowners had applied for the grants and only 16,096 installations had been completed.  So does the Government really have any hope of achieving its target of 600,000 installations a year by 2028?  Energy efficiency minister Lord Callanan seems to think so.

Homeowners hit with £120 'boiler tax' to pay for heat pump drive.  >Homeowners face being hit with a "boiler tax" as manufacturers attempt to offset the cost of the heat pump rollout.  Worcester Bosch has announced the price of all its gas boilers will increase by £120 in the new year, while Vaillant is also preparing to increase its prices by £95.  The Government aims to install 600,000 heat pumps a year [beginning in] 2028, but Worcester Bosch said it had "no option" but to raise the price of boilers as the UK market "does not have the scale" to meet government targets.  It said it took the decision following the implementation of new rules designed to incentivise heat pump installations which will result in companies who undershoot government-mandated quotes being fined.

Biden Invokes Wartime Powers to Push Green Energy.  Joe Biden has clearly decided that he can simply violate the rules however he likes to achieve his goals when he can't convince Congress to advance his agenda.  (Or, to be fair, perhaps his aides made the decision.)  For the second time, Biden has invoked the wartime powers of the presidency and declared the use of the 1950 Defense Production Act for something that has nothing to do with warfare or any external threat to the nation.  This time he seized $169 million from the taxpayers to distribute to fifteen sites around the nation for the purpose of building more electric heat pumps.  This is part of the ongoing war against gas furnaces, which the climate cult wants to see replaced by heat pumps.

Biden invokes wartime powers to fund electric heaters as he cracks down on gas appliances.  President Biden invoked a Cold War-era law in a surprising move Friday to pour taxpayer funds into domestic manufacturing of electric heat pumps, an alternative to gas-powered residential furnaces.  In a joint announcement with the White House, the Department of Energy (DOE) said the federal government would award a "historic" $169 million for nine projects across 15 sites nationwide in an effort to accelerate electric heat pump manufacturing.  The significant level of funding was made possible after Biden utilized the 1950 Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase domestic production of green energy technologies.  "Getting more American-made electric heat pumps on the market will help families and businesses save money with efficient heating and cooling technology," said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

The Editor says...
If heat pumps save money and work better than conventional systems, the free market will assure their success.  The government doesn't have to pick winners and losers in such a market; in fact, the more the government stays out of the way, the more efficiently the system will work.

Biden invokes emergency wartime powers to boost heat pump production.  President Joe Biden will use special wartime powers to boost US production of heat pumps, by funding nine manufacturing projects with $169 million from last year's climate bill, the Energy Department said on Friday [11/17/2023].  The awards were granted under the emergency authority of the Cold War-era Defense Production Act (DPA), which Biden invoked on the basis of climate change to boost spending on clean energy technology.  'The President is using his wartime emergency powers under the Defense Production Act to turbocharge US manufacturing of clean technologies and strengthen our energy security,' said Biden's National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi in a statement.

The Editor says...
Nobody is at war with the weather.  Global warming has nothing to do with "defense production."  There is no climate emergency, and even if global warming was a "crisis," heat pumps would not have any effect on it at all.  That much is obvious, to anyone who is somewhat educated and does not watch television.

The heat pump charade is unravelling faster than a pound shop cardigan.  [Scroll down]  I was speaking the other day to a friend who has coughed up something like £30,000 for a row of three air-source heat pumps for his rambling old house.  How was he getting on?  Fine, he said, the pumps are working perfectly well and his electric bills aren't too high.  I then asked him at what temperature he set his thermostat.  "Five degrees Celsius," he said.  The daytime temperature outdoors hasn't yet fallen much below 11 Celsius so far this winter around my way, so it is not surprising his electricity bills aren't too high.  If you are happy to live at 5 Celsius there is always a cheaper alternative:  not having any heating system in your house at all.  For the heat pump evangelists, there is a lesson in these setbacks.  If you improve the product, get the costs down, noise levels down and make them more effective, we won't need to be forced to buy heat pumps — they will sell themselves.  As it is, homeowners are being cajoled into becoming early-adopters of a product which just isn't there yet.

The heat-pump nightmare is far from over.  It's now clear from the evidence that heat pumps are an impractical form of heating for millions of UK homes.  This is due not only to high upfront costs but also the lack of insulation in older buildings and the inability of systems driven by heat pumps to respond quickly to weather variations.  Yet Sir John Armitt, the head of the National Infrastructure Commission, is this week urging the Government to commit to a total ban on gas boilers by 2035, declaring that heat pumps are the only way forward.  In its Second National Infrastructure Assessment, the Commission lays out a set of recommendations without which, it claims, the Government cannot meet its net zero targets.  This includes the disconnection and decommissioning of the UK's entire gas network — at an estimated cost of some £74 billion — thereby ending the use of gas as a domestic and commercial heating fuel by 2050.

UK: you may soon go to jail if you don't upgrade your energy efficiency.  It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the Industrial Revolution began in the UK.  It was the mastery of energy — replacing muscle power with fossil fuels that fundamentally transformed everything.  We still describe an engine's output as "horsepower" for a reason: for most of human history the fastest anything could travel was the speed of a horse. [...] The UK — which is still led by the Tories only because Labour is even worse — is looking to undo the Industrial Revolution.  In a ridiculous bid to save Gaia from an imagined threat, the government is proposing to create new criminal laws that would imprison and fine people for not complying with new energy efficiency standards.  Soon they will make excessive energy use — and that will be energy use that rises above "Net Zero" — could be a criminal offense.  No, I am not kidding.

California's Heat-Pump Fantasy.  Electric-powered heat pumps, once an obscure appliance, are being hyped as the key to decarbonizing homes and buildings in California.  Regulators in Sacramento and in the Bay Area are phasing out gas-furnace sales, and two upscale communities now require heat-pump retrofits when air conditioners wear out.  But as with so many things "green," advocates underestimate the true costs and burdens of these policies, while ignoring their adverse health and climate consequences.  In summer, a heat pump works like an air conditioner, using refrigerant to transfer heat outdoors for cooling.  In winter, it can run in reverse, moving heat into a home.  Activists insist that trading gas furnaces for heat pumps will cut costs and improve health while protecting the climate.  The cost benefits are as yet illusory.

Debate over heat pumps replacing gas in the U.K. gets hot.  [Scroll down]  Besides, I am in love with my nat gas furnace.  As far as I'm concerned, after freezing through some frigid winters in North Carolina with the tepid air of a heat pump blowing on my leg as I tried to work, and the electric meter spinning like a top anyway, I am convinced they are the spawn of Satan.  Granted, that was during the 90s and I have heard they are much improved, but I am much scarred by the experience.  I will NEVER again have one. [...] They work in teensy increments of a few degrees up or down from the heat you've set it at and that it's settled to.  For it to move anywhere above those few ticks requires the sudden burst of a heating strip, and you can just hear the electric meter outside singing as it practically spins its little arms off.  And you will still be cold because nothing "warm" ever emerges from a register, like the lovely, toasty air from our furnace.  Your thermostat reads 72° and you'll swear it's 62°.

The U.K. Is Banning Gas Boilers by 2035, but Are Heat Pumps Really the Answer?  Heat pumps are being hailed as the solution to the U.K.'s decarbonising its homes by 2035 when a ban on the sale of new gas boilers kicks in.  But their expense, noise, high costs and installation challenges are just some of the hurdles they need to overcome if they are to meet the Government's ambitious targets.

Major heat pump supplier attacks plans to replace gas boilers.  A major heat pump supplier has attacked SNP-Green plans to use them to replace gas boilers in Scotland, warning parts of the country are too cold for them to work.  Lord Willie Haughey, the business tycoon, said the heating system is unsuitable for the Scottish climate as its performance declines markedly in freezing weather.  The Labour peer said some units can stop working properly at temperatures of -5C (23F), or require more electricity to function properly, resulting in higher bills.  Parts of Scotland hit -15C last winter and the country holds the record for the UK's lowest temperature of -27.2C seen in Braemar in Aberdeenshire in 1982 and Altnaharra in Sutherland in 1995.  The multi-millionaire, who owns a heat pump company, also warned they were noisy and only heated water to 54C (129.2F) — less than the 60C recommended by the Health and Safety Executive to kill the legionella bacteria.

The Editor says...
Yeah, heat pumps will only heat water up to 54°C. — when they're new, right out of the box.  A few years from now they'll be nearly worthless, especially on a winter morning when the municipal water comes into your house at 2°C.

Biden admin crackdown on water heaters would go into effect in 2029 as it targets more home appliances.  The Biden administration's newest crackdown on home appliances, specifically water heaters, would take effect in 2029 if its regulatory proposal is enacted as it continues to implement its aggressive energy efficiency campaign.  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday acknowledged the president was going after home appliances.  The newest target is water heaters.  A Department of Energy (DOE) proposal released late Friday said new regulations would ultimately "accelerate deployment" of electric heat pump water heaters, claiming it would save Americans billions of dollars and reduce carbon emissions.

The Editor says...
[#1] Why does the Department of Energy exist?  [#2] Unfortunately, I have a "heat pump" HVAC system in my house.  If the outdoor temperature exceeds 102°F., which happens very often in the summer, the air conditioner can't catch up.  In the winter, if the outdoor temperature goes below 40°F., the heat pump can't cut it.  The heat pump hasn't saved any money because it almost never stops.  When it's 20° outside, is a heat pump really going to make 40 gallons of water hot enough to wash dishes?  Of course not.  Is this innovation going to "save American billions of dollars," when only about 8 million* water heaters are sold every year?  Certainly not.  [#3] If a new type of appliance has any merit, the free market will get it into every home, without the government having to mandate it.

Biden administration proposes tighter efficiency rule for new home water heaters.  The Biden administration on Friday proposed tightening an efficiency standard for new residential water heaters — a move that it said would both save consumers money and combat climate change.  The draft rule would require that, in order to become more efficient, most common-size electric water heaters use heat pump technology and gas-powered heaters use condensing technology.  The proposal from the Energy Department would cut 501 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years, the department said.  That's the equivalent of the emissions of 134 coal-fired power plants in one year.

The Editor says...
First of all, nobody has provided any reason to avoid the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and even if such a reason exists, India and China are ignoring it.  Second, any assertion that this new rule will "save consumers money and combat climate change" is a lie.  Competition and free markets save the consumers money.  The consumers will decide what kind of technology suits them.  Capitalism works great, for everybody but the government bureaucrats.  No rule or law will "combat climate change."  All the laws in the world will not stop "cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night."*  Any time the federal government wants to mandate some technology that is not already widely popular, it means the technology will be less efficient, more costly, more inconvenient, and less reliable.  Why?  Because if everybody switched over to heat pumps and really liked them, the rest of us would have already bought heat pumps by now.  If nobody liked natural gas stoves, the market would have phased them out by now.  Always assume that the politician who is gung ho about solar-powered doorstops (or something equally stupid) is a politician whose brother-in-law is in that business.

Heat pumps are becoming a plague on all our houses.  Has there ever been a form of mis-government in modern times which will prove so disastrous, reaching into almost every home in Britain, as the Government's attempt to force heat pumps on us?  I ask, not because a heat pump, if properly installed, cannot be an effective way of heating a home but because ministers still seem blithely unaware of the financial pain they are about to inflict on millions of households — and manufacturing industry, too.  The Government's plans for net zero involve a target to switch 600,000 homes a year to heat pumps by 2028 — half of which, apparently, are going to be made in Britain, creating wonderful, well-paid "green jobs".  If the Government is going to set such an ambitious target, you might expect it would start by securing the support of UK heat pump manufacturers.  Not a bit of it.

The heat pump rollout is an entirely predictable fiasco.  Is the government going to reach its nirvana of converting 600,000 homes a year to run on heat pumps by the second half of this decade?  The latest installation figures published by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero show just how hopelessly far the government is from reaching its target — in spite of offering homeowners bungs of up to £6,000 a time.

Heat pumps have become the eco fiasco of the decade.  No one denies that changing the way we heat our homes will play a major role in eventually achieving a carbon neutral economy.  Heating our houses accounts for 14 [percent] of the UK's carbon [dioxide] emissions, so unless we can find a clever offsetting scheme or make drastic changes to other parts of our economy, we will eventually have to find an alternative to the gas boilers that three-quarters of British households use right now[.]  It will be the biggest change to the housing stock since we switched from town to natural gas in the 1970s.  It will require billions of pounds in investment.  It is, to put it mildly, important that we get it right.  Right now, the Government's big idea is that we should all switch to heat pumps.  These are electric devices that work like a fridge in reverse, taking warmth out of the air and then blasting it around our homes.  Huge subsidies of up to £5,000 per home have been thrown at persuading us all to make the switch, and a target, because inevitably there is a target, of 600,000 installations a year has been set.  Indeed, for new houses, gas boilers will be banned [beginning in] 2025, and existing homes may not be far behind.  By the end of the decade, we may well be forcing people to rip out old heating systems.  And yet amid some very stiff competition, the drive to install heat pumps as the country's main source of domestic heating is turning into the greatest eco fiasco of the decade.

Why heat pumps sum up all that is wrong with 'net zero'.  They were intended to be the silver bullet that meant British households would meet the Government's ambitious "net zero" plan to offset carbon emissions.  But flaws with air and ground-source "heat pumps", and the Government's eco strategy, have become more apparent with each passing day.  Now the aim of installing 600,000 pumps a year by 2028 is rapidly unravelling.  Demand for the green technology is stagnating; there is a shortage of engineers trained to install and maintain the pumps; and households who have already opted in are facing higher bills than if they had stuck with gas boilers.  The 2028 deadline is looming.  Nearly nine in 10 British homes still use gas boilers and more than 1,600 heat pumps need to be installed every day to hit the target.  So what's gone wrong?  Should homeowners ignore the call to install, and is there time for the Government to change course?

Banning gas generators:

Related topic:  Intentional power outages — to save the earth

Biden's minions target gas generators.  Is there anything Joe Biden and his greenie paymasters won't try to take away from us?  Issues & Insights has found a doozy of a new item they're targeting for taking away from us — gas-powered generators, which are used in the event of blackouts: [...] The legality of this is amazingly questionable.  They're literally ruling by "rules" to enact vast declines in our standard of living, taking away our freedom of what we can buy for our basic energy needs because of global warming.  It's [nonsense].  In places such as California, the grid has been so battered by greenie requirements for energy production blackouts are expected and inevitable. [...] Generators, in particular, are a bad one to target as they are used in emergencies, that's right, emergencies, and as emergencies, that means people die if they don't have them.  That could be the electricity needed to power a life-saving medical device, or the electricity to keep a resident from baking in his own home during a heat wave or freezing to death in some mountain redoubt during a snow-in and Arctic-cold swoopdown.  They may be the difference between food in the fridge or no food at all.  But none of these factors seem to bother the Bidenites, who are already on record as wanting to take away our flush toilets, our incandescent light bulbs, our gas stoves, our meat supply and, now, our generators.

You'll Have Blackouts and You Will Love Them.  When the power goes out, most of us just have to wait until it's restored to get back to our normal lives.  In the meantime, as we wander through a dark house flipping useless switches out of habit, we make sure we don't open the refrigerator and we put off anything we had planned that requires us to burn electricity.  The more-prepared among us, though, buy fossil-fuel-powered generators to avoid interruptions[.]  Their future, though, is in doubt.  The Biden administration wants those generators to go the way of the incandescent light bulb.

The Editor says...
Here's the impression you may get from this:  Unelected government bureaucrats are out of touch with the rest of us, and they keep coming up with regulations like this to "save the earth."  Here's the big picture:  The people who run the government (and I don't mean the voters) are engaging in a war on self-reliance.  When the power goes out, they don't want you to make your own electricity.  They want to tell you what to eat.  Of course they don't want you to have guns.  They want you to be "vaccinated" with whatever (untested) drugs they choose, they want every car to have a breathalyzer and interior cameras*.  You must not smoke cigarettes but smoking marijuana is okay.  Driving your own car is bad for the earth, but public transportation is good.  The cops never see an offense they can overlook.  The government is both a nanny and a tyrant.

Not Just Gas Stoves: Biden Admin Rule Would Outlaw Nearly All Portable Gas Generators.  Just months after a Biden-appointed regulator teased a ban on gas stoves, the administration is working to enact a rule that would prohibit the manufacturing of nearly all portable gas generators on the U.S. market.  A proposed Consumer Product Safety Commission rule limits the amount of carbon monoxide a product can emit, with the commission admitting that 95 percent of portable gas generators on the market cannot comply with its new standard.  As a result, industry leaders say, the rule will prompt widespread generator shortages, as manufacturers only have six months to design generators that meet the proposed regulation.  That process normally takes years, Portable Generator Manufacturers' Association executive director Susan Orenga told the Washington Free Beacon.  The rule proposal comes just months after Biden-backed commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. teased a similar regulatory ban on gas stoves, which he called a "hidden hazard."  It also comes as many Americans face an increased risk of power outages as the country increasingly relies on green energy to produce its electricity.  A whopping two-thirds of North America faces an "elevated risk" of power blackouts this summer, a leading grid watchdog found in May, a vulnerability that stems from America's increase in green power generation and decrease in fossil fuel power plants.  California, for example, saw power outages in the summer of 2022 as electricity demand surged.

Is this all just a ruse to get everybody to buy a new generator?
Biden Administration Rule Would Ban Nearly All Portable Gas-Powered Generators.  After seeking to reduce the use of gas stoves, the Biden administration is pushing a proposal to ban the sale of almost all portable gas generators — which some experts have said would be disastrous for the millions of Americans who rely on such generators during power outages.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has proposed a policy that would remove nearly all existing portable gas generators from the market.  The new rule restricts the amount of carbon monoxide that generators can emit by forcing these generators to switch off when they reach a certain level of emissions.  Smaller gas generators would have to cut carbon monoxide emissions by 50 percent, and larger generators would have to cut emissions by up to 95 percent.  Nearly all models currently available are expected to not be in compliance with the new standard.

The Editor says...
What is accomplished by the introduction of these new rules?  NOTHING.  If you buy a generator, it's probably because you have had to sit through a multi-hour blackout before, probably after (or during) a storm, and you had to throw away a lot of the food in your refrigerator afterward.  When you finally buy one, if all goes well, you may never use it, except for monthly testing.  But if you do light up the generator, it will be because of a power outage, and at that point you won't care if it emits small amounts of carbon monoxide, or carbon dioxide, because the generator is outdoors.  That's because you have a sense of priorities.  And if you do five minutes of research, you'll find that "photochemical reactions in the troposphere" produce five trillion kilograms of carbon monoxide per year,* and a single volcanic eruption or forest fire probably releases more carbon monoxide than all the gas-engine generators in the world.


Note:  The opinions about statins are all over the spectrum.

Statins Are Not The Disaster Some Claim They Are.  I have had several patients tell me they don't want to take statins because they are afraid the drugs will cause brain fog or dementia[.]  In Dr. David Brownstein's book The Statin Disaster, on page 172, he claims FDA reports from 2004-2014 "caused" the following cases:  4720 amnesia, 7171 confused states, 1577 dementia, 2,054 disorientation, and 13,290 depression.  The prevalence of statin use in adult Americans is 25.5 percent or ~65.9 million people.  I wondered if these sparse cases over ten years had any relationship to statin use when compared placebo or those not taking statins.  Olmastroni et al conducted a meta-analysis of the available studies the reported the occurrence of dementia or specifically Alzheimer's disease with statin use.

Statins: Most Prescribed Drug With Hyped Benefits and Downplayed Side Effects.  [Scroll down]  Who is behind the studies proving statins' ostensible benefits?  It's a crucial question to ask, according to Dr. John Abramson, lecturer emeritus of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.  "Virtually all of the major clinical trials of statins were funded by the manufacturers — when the drugs were still on patent," he said.  In a 2015 investigative meta-analysis published in The Journal of American Cardiology, researchers reviewed all phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in a decade.  They found that nearly 80 percent of the trials had a conflict of interest, and almost 60 percent involved over half of the authors.  Of these studies, 54 had favorable outcomes, and only 12 had unfavorable results.  The financial ties allowed the manufacturers to design the studies and select patients most likely to benefit from and not be harmed by statin therapy.  These ties also allowed the manufacturers to not compare the benefit of statin therapy to the benefit of adopting healthy lifestyle habits and not to ask prospectively about side effects, Dr. Abramson explained.  Furthermore, the peer reviewers of medical journals who review these papers "do not have access to the actual data from the trials and must trust the usually manufacturer-supervised or reviewed manuscript as an accurate and complete summary of the trial results," he added.

New analysis shows statins have "minimal" benefits.  The public health mantra about cholesterol has always been "the lower, the better."  This has been reflected in expert guidelines which have called on doctors to aggressively lower their patient's 'bad' LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) with statin drugs to prevent heart disease.  However, our new analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine (paywalled) challenges that notion.  Over the years, influential researchers such as the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists (CTT) at Oxford University, have monopolised the scientific debate on statins.

Statins may not slash the risk of dying from heart disease:  Controversial study claims the cheap cholesterol-busting pills offer no 'consistent benefit'.  Statins are not particularly effective at reducing the risk of dying from heart disease, a study claims.  Scientists analysed 35 studies into the effects of the drugs which lower 'bad' LDL cholesterol and found the pills have no consistent benefit.  The research, published in the British Medical Journal, found three quarters of all trials reported no reduction in mortality among those who took the drugs.

Now more experts claim statins are a waste of time:  They say studies show cutting bad cholesterol fails to slash heart risk.  Millions of patients are being misled about the pros and cons of statins, experts claimed last night.  Accusing the medical establishment of perpetuating a 'great cholesterol con', they questioned whether statin pills are as effective as claimed.  The group of doctors, from Britain, the US, France and Ireland, said the very theory on which statins are based — that lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol cuts heart disease — is 'fundamentally flawed'.

A $29-billion-dollar-a-year industry.  Two hundred years from now, will historians read about our era and shake their heads and wonder:  How could people have been so gullible as to believe that an essential, life-sustaining substance such as cholesterol was a poison, and poisons such as statins were medicines?  This question is one given new urgency by the latest American Heart Association guidelines on statins, which nearly double the number of people deemed eligible for treatment with these drugs.  It has become received wisdom that cholesterol is bad for you, and therefore a pill that blocks its synthesis must be a good thing.  But matters are not that simple.

Miscellaneous / everything:

Home insulation is the latest net zero farce.  Zoe Godrich of Swansea might best be described as collateral damage in Britain's glorious march towards net zero.  Three years ago, she had her three-bedroom home fitted with cavity-wall insulation — which the government is out to encourage through its Great British Insulation Scheme.  Sadly for her, it has not worked out quite as intended.  Within weeks of having it fitted, Godrich says her walls started to run with water, and black mould started to form on her walls.  She can no longer use two of her bedrooms, and she and her children now have to slum it on mattresses in the one remaining habitable room.  The company which installed the insulation also went bust and the guarantee for the work turned out to be useless.  Her only option seemed to be having the insulation sucked out of the wall — for which she had to borrow £7,000 to have done.  That work turned out to be botched, too.  Godrich's experience, it turns out, seems to be becoming commonplace.

The Editor says...
Insulation is not an energy source.  If everybody's houses are too cold, the solution is to generate more electricity and put it on the open market.  Capitalism will take care of the rest.

Germany Begins Felling 120,000 Trees From 'Fairy Tale' Forest to Make Way for Wind Turbines.  The windmills are spinning golden subsidies in the central German 'fairy tale' forest of Reinhardswald, but the payment is the partial destruction of the 1,000 year-old ancient wood itself.  Work has started on the clearing of up to 120,000 trees in the forest, the setting for many of the Brothers Grimm mythical stories, to provide access for an initial 18 giant wind turbines around the Sababurg 'Sleeping Beauty' castle.  Who is opposing this massive destruction of the ancient forest teeming with wildlife with trees over 200 years old?  Certainly not the Green party, now in power at national and local level.  In fact the project is being led by local Hesse Green Minister Priska Hinz who is reported to have said: "Wind energy makes a decisive contribution to the energy transition and the preservation of nature.  It is the only way to preserve forests and important ecosystems."  There is some local press interest in Germany about the destruction of part of the forest that covers a 200 square kilometre area.  Nevertheless, the mainstream media generally keep well away from covering environmental destruction when the Greens are doing it in the claimed cause of saving the planet.

Dam removal project in the PNW to 'save the salmon' ends up pushing the population towards extinction.  Greenies' delusions of intelligence and enlightenment have some very serious real-world consequences, and the environmental fallout of a California dam removal project is a prime example. [...] The Green cult is really just another death cult, and its approach to nature is infantile.  Admiring the beauty of nature and advocating for its conservation are noble attitudes, but it is only the greenies, with their romanticization of leftism, mixed with their supreme lack of awareness, who reap very serious and very detrimental environmental consequences for us all.

'Smart' appliances — the rise of the machines.  Case in point: my personal battle with a "smart" washing machine.  Our "old fashioned" machine finally died so I went shopping.  Was there a washer that would simply clean clothes?  Not when I talked to the young sales guy.  "This one calculates the correct amount of water needed for the load of laundry using high efficiency detergent.  You can start it with your cell phone.  And you'll get a text when it's done."  I furrowed my brow.  "So after I load the clothes I need to press a button on my phone?"  "Well, first you download the app."  I pointed at the washer. "Can't I just hit that start button?"  The kid went into vapor lock.  Oh, the horror of not using a phone to do something!  Anyway, since all the washers are now "smart," I chose one.  First issue:  not enough water to get clothes really clean.  They smelled, well, kinda funky.  Turned out the washer weighs the load of laundry, so I found a hack in which you soak the clothes with a gallon of water to add seven pounds to the load.  It filled all the way up.  Ha!  I outsmarted the "smart" appliance.  Or so I thought.  The devious thing was not going to let me win.

The Editor says...
In other words, you must have a cell phone to use these appliances.  If you don't have a cell phone, sooner or later, you will be an outcast.  But the most important lesson is this:  Keep repairing your old appliances, instead of buying new ones.

Five things the Biden administration has attempted to restrict.  [#5]  Washing machines:  A proposed efficiency standard by the Department of Energy for washing machines, which could go into effect as early as 2027, has also been criticized as restricting more effective washing machines from being sold.  The Energy Department said the standards would save consumers $3.5 billion annually on energy and water bills, but opponents of the rule argue it would drive up costs for washers while also being detrimental to their effectiveness.  The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers told the Energy Department that the washing machine regulations "would have a disproportionate, negative impact on low-income households," among other concerns.

The Editor says...
Let the consumers choose between a water-guzzling power hog that gets clothes clean in 20 minutes, or a water-sipping earth-friendly contraption that takes all day and simply doesn't work.  I've seen one of these new washers in action:  The clothes barely got wet, and by the time the clothes were dried (by the same machine!), eight hours had elapsed.  Nobody wants that.

Now Biden Wants to Deny Your Consumer's Choice in Water Heaters.  President Joe Biden's proposed energy efficiency standards for water heaters, released July 21 by the Energy Department, not only would raise the cost of water heaters for consumers but take certain products off the market.  One popular tankless natural gas water heater, made by Rinnai in Griffin, Georgia, would have to be discontinued.  The public has until Sept. 26 to file comments.  Beginning in 2029, the Energy Department's proposed regulation would set government standards for all types of water heaters, including gas-fired, oil-fired, electric, and instantaneous tankless water heaters.  The proposed rule would raise standards disproportionately for tankless, gas-fired water heaters to over 91% efficiency.  Trouble is, achieving this level of efficiency with noncondensing technology is impossible to do.

Don't expect the greens' 1,600 percent mistake on ocean plastic to get them to change course.  For climate warriors and enviro-radicals, the science (their science, anyway) is always "settled."  That is, until it isn't.  The latest backtrack?  Turns out there's less plastic in the oceans than claimed.  Far less.  Per a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience, just 500,000 metric tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans each year, not the 8 million tons previously bewailed.  That's an overestimation of 1,600%!  Meanwhile, worries about ocean plastic have fueled restrictions on the use of a range of products — shopping bags, utensils, straws — no matter the inconveniences or side effects.

About those electric stove "savings."  Nevermind.  After scoffing at the idea that they were going to try to ban your gas stoves, the Biden Department of Energy turned around and introduced new regulations that would effectively do just that.  But they assured us at the time that this would be a big net benefit to everyone because of all of the money you would save by switching to an electric stove.  So you would not only be saving the planet, but you would have more cash on hand to deal with the ongoing inflation that the White House's policies are driving.  (They never say that last part aloud.)  But that information turned out to be a bum steer when we learned of the latest "oops" moment coming from the White House.  The estimated savings claimed by the DOE were quietly "revised" last week.  It turns out that the "big savings" you will see if you switch from a gas stove to an electric stove will work out to a whopping nine cents per month.

Crazy Environmentalists Launch Anti-Bathing Campaign.  Last year, I commented on a handful of crazed environmentalists who were sterilizing themselves because children boost carbon emissions.  I thought this was a wonderful form of natural selection since it meant at least some statists weren't passing on their... um... peculiar genes.  We have a related story, which also comes from the United Kingdom.  Some nutjobs have launched an anti-bathing campaign because it is bad (so we are told) to use water and emit carbon.  Having traveled extensively in Europe, I can say from painful experience that there already are lots of people who are on board with this effort, though I doubt it's because they are environmentally sensitive.  Since I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy, I'm looking at the bright side of this development.  I suspect that dirty, smelly, and greasy people are less attractive to the opposite sex.  This probably means they are less likely to reproduce, so we should look at this as an indirect form of natural selection.

Ireland Looking To Kill 200,000 Cows To Fight Climate Change; Are US Herds Next?  Climate activists are coming for livestock producers and farmers.  European governments have been targeting the agriculture industry for several years.  The Telegraph reports that Ireland's government may need to reduce that country's cattle herds by 200,000 cows over the next three years to meet climate targets.  In an effort to reduce nitrogen pollution, Reuters reported the European Union last month approved a $1.6 billion Dutch plan to buy out livestock farmers.  Now the Biden administration is targeting American agriculture.

Marijuana: One Problem After Another.  Last month, Oklahoma voters rejected the legalization of recreational marijuana.  Hopefully, this means the word about all the problems associated with marijuana use is getting around.  In New York City, licenses for legal pot shops have been slow in coming so illegal shops have proliferated, leading to the sale of illegal drugs and attracting more than 500 violent robberies last year alone.  Mayor Eric Adams noted there are as many as 1,500 of these illegal shops in the City.  They open near schools and target kids. "We are losing our grip," he said.  Licensed shops also target kids with candy-flavored gummies and other cannabis products.  It's Joe Camel all over again.  Legalized marijuana is also a factor in Colorado's rising crime rates.  It attracted criminals to the state initially, and now the homeless and others are committing armed robbery and burglary to get the money to buy marijuana.  The same pattern is playing out in other states.  Legalizing marijuana was supposed to reduce crime but, instead, the illegal drug market has mushroomed and violence has increased.

Washing machine wars.  When we first moved into our new (to us) home in late 2020, the one frustrating thing was all the modern appliances we had to deal with.  I'm pretty sure the entire suite of appliances that came with the house (washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove, refrigerator) were a "Costco special," since they all have the same modern steel appearance. [...] But the washing machine — a massive and modern front-loading monstrosity — was just plain annoying.  This was supposed to be a fabulous whiz-bang appliance boasting the highest efficiency standards.  Wrong.  Loads of laundry took up to three times longer to wash than my old agitator machine.  And I'd never seen a washer that gave so many error messages.  Whenever there was an error, it held the laundry hostage (because the door locked), which then required a frantic scrambling through the user's manual (which usually revealed nothing), then a massive pushing and shoving to get the washer far enough away from the wall to unplug it (to reset it), and then we had to jiggle the controls again until the washer deigned to unlock itself (usually by running it on spin cycle or something).  One time I did a load of whites that, I kid you not, took a total of about 12 hours to get finished.  This is efficiency?

The Editor says...
Proper labeling in your breaker panel will make it easy to kill the power to a specific appliance or an area of your house.

Pumping Gender-Bending Drugs Into Kids Is Even More Dangerous Than We Thought.  Suppose a troubled teen girl "identifies" as a boy and wants to change her body to match it.  Most people balk at the thought of pumping her with testosterone or cutting off her healthy breasts.  But many of these same people think using puberty blockers isn't so bad for even younger kids.  In fact, activist groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest drugs like Lupron can "pause" puberty without harm.  Even some conservative lawmakers, such as Georgia state Sen. Carden Summers, have bought this claim.  As a result, the bill he sponsored, just signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, partially restricts "gender-affirming" hormones and surgeries for minors but says nothing about puberty blockers.  Is it really safe to give these drugs to kids?  Mounting evidence says "no."

A bunch of major cold medicines apparently do nothing to relieve congestion.  I don't know about you but congestion is maybe the worst part of a cold.  It's just awful.  If I'm shelling out bucks for a medicine I've been led to believe is a [...] mucus thinner, I expect to have my mucus thinned!

Why Many Cold Medicines Don't Work to Relieve Congestion.  Some of the most widely used decongestants don't work, several studies have found, prompting doctors and researchers to call for ending sales of the drugs.  Versions of Benadryl, Mucinex and Tylenol, which more people are taking now as reports of respiratory infections increase, are among dozens of over-the-counter pills, syrups and liquids that rely on an ingredient called phenylephrine to clear up stuffy noses.  The ingredient has proven safe, but at least four studies have found the medicines don't relieve congestion.

The Editor says...
Read the directions.  You're supposed to take it with a full glass of water.  It's the water that makes you feel better.

Satellites detect no real climate benefit from 10 years of forest carbon offsets in California.  Many of the companies promising "net-zero" emissions to protect the climate are relying on vast swaths of forests and what are known as carbon offsets to meet that goal.  On paper, carbon offsets appear to balance out a company's carbon emissions:  The company pays to protect trees, which absorb carbon dioxide from the air.  The company can then claim the absorbed carbon dioxide as an offset that reduces its net impact on the climate.  However, our new satellite analysis reveals what researchers have suspected for years:  Forest offsets might not actually be doing much for the climate.  When we looked at satellite tracking of carbon levels and logging activity in California forests, we found that carbon isn't increasing in the state's 37 offset project sites any more than in other areas, and timber companies aren't logging less than they did before.

White House proposes blocking sunlight to fight global warming.  The White House recently announced that it was funding a five-year research plan for a controversial proposal to fight climate change by geoengineering — i.e., technologies and processes that can be used to artificially modify the Earth's climate.  This research would be dedicated specifically to a form of geoengineering known as "solar radiation management," which involves spraying fine aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the Earth.  The hope is that, once the sunlight is reflected, less heat will be generated, and ergo temperatures will go down.  Presto:  actual anthropogenic climate change!  A global SPF 100, as it were! [...] They're hoping to fight the scourge of climate change by blindly trying to change the climate?  What is it with Democrats?  They're also fighting racism with racial quotas and making race the primary consideration in, well, everything.  That's working well, isn't it?  Next, they'll propose fighting drug abuse by giving out free needles and crack pipes.  Oh wait, they're already doing that.

The Editor says...
"Solar radiation management" is a poor choice of words.  Nobody in Big Government manages the Sun.

Climate Hysteria Takes Over as Dutch City Becomes World's First to Ban Meat Ads.  California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on gas-powered passenger vehicles in the name of saving the planet ain't got nothin' on the Dutch city of Haarlem, which is just west of Amsterdam.  The city will become the first in the world to ban meat advertisements when the policy goes into effect in 2024.  Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Leonardo DiCaprio were reportedly seen furiously nodding in approval.  As reported by — wait for it — vegan news site Plant Based News, the ban is being instituted to reduce the consumption of meat to lower greenhouse gas emissions by livestock [...] according to multiple reports.  Ads will be banned on "city buses, shelters, and screens in public," joining the list of already banned ads on gas-powered cars, flying, and the evil fossil fuel industry, of course.

Dutch city bans ads for meat.  Things are getting stranger in Harlem.  Well, actually, Haarlem — a city in the Netherlands.  The Dutch city of 160,000 people, located near Amsterdam, has agreed to outlaw ads for intensively farmed meat on public places such as buses, shelters and screens, starting in 2024.  The move was approved by the city council last fall, but a councilor only recently announced that he had officially notified advertising agencies of the ban.  Ziggy Klazes, councilor for the GroenLinks (Green-Left) party who drafted the motion, proudly told the Agence France-Presse (AFP):  "It will be the first city in the Netherlands — and in fact Europe and indeed the world — to ban 'bad' meat ads in public places."  Ms. Ziggy sniffed to the Trouw newspaper, "Meat is very harmful to the environment.  We cannot tell people that there is a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of it."

The Editor says...
Before you ban meat, you should first prove the existence of a "climate crisis" that is caused by eating meat.  How can you be so sure there's a problem, when it only shows up on computer simulations and TV shows?

Canada Joins The Netherlands In Declaring Climate-Crazed War On Farmers.  In his latest bid to amass greater control of Canadian society, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to move forward with his government's plan to reduce nitrogen emissions by limiting fertilizer use among Canadian farmers.  The revelation came following a Friday meeting between Trudeau and Canadian provincial ministers, where the prime minister unexpectedly announced his decision to cap fertilizer emissions by unilaterally targeting the country's agricultural sector. [...] As referenced in the press release, the targets set by the federal government include a bid "to reduce absolute levels of [greenhouse gas] emissions arising from fertilizer application by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030," which the Trudeau administration previously announced in December 2020.  While Trudeau has not publicly released specific mandates, the provincial governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan are blasting the prime minister for advancing the policy.  "We're really concerned with this arbitrary goal," said Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit.  "The Trudeau government has apparently moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set their sights on Saskatchewan farmers."

Canada's Trudeau Declares War on Fertilizer, Following the Footsteps of Sri Lanka.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ignored cries of anger and desperation from farmers and provincial officials last weekend by pressing ahead with a climate change agenda that will dramatically reduce Canada's use of fertilizer — the same ruinous strategy that drove Dutch farmers into revolt and destroyed the agriculture of Sri Lanka.  The Toronto Sun reported on a dismaying Friday meeting of federal and provincial ministers, in which the latter could not convince the Trudeau administration to show any "flexibility" in its emissions targets, not even with a global food crisis on the horizon.

There's No Green Way of War.  When last heard from, I was pointing out that Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, though undoubtedly a monstrous crime by every decent standard, had produced one worthwhile consequence.  It had forced the political leaders of the Western world to be much more realistic about their policies on energy.  The first expression of this realism was the strategic decision of several European countries, above all Germany, to reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas. [...] That will have a massive impact on the world's energy markets with innumerable secondary effects that we can only dimly foresee but which we will shortly be experiencing.  Among them, however, is that this decision will complicate even further what is the invasion's second major consequence for energy policy — namely, it has made the legally-binding commitment by Western governments to a Net-Zero policy of reducing carbon emissions by 2050 completely unrealistic so that it will have to be substantially re-thought.

Aspirin and acetaminophen raise risk of severe pregnancy complications, study finds.  Pregnant women who took over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen were at higher risk of experiencing stillbirth, miscarriage, and delivering their babies pre-term, according to a massive new U.K. study.  Researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed records of more than 151,000 women who gave birth in the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank between 1985 and 2015.  The vast majority of women, over 83%, who were pregnant reported using an over-the-counter analgesic to relieve common symptoms such as joint pain in the first trimester.  They studied five common pain relievers — acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, diclofenac, and naproxen.  Women who took at least one of five over-the-counter painkillers during pregnancy were at a 50% higher risk of premature delivery and 33% more likely to experience a stillbirth.

You can rent a 'bunk bed pod' in the Bay Area with 13 other people for $800 a month.  The housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area has gotten so bad that one startup is now offering renters the chance to live in a "bunk bed pod" with 13 other people for just $800 a month.  Brownstone Shared Housing posted an ad for anyone looking to live in Palo Alto, the birthplace of Silicon Valley and the home of Stanford University.  Tenants are given the opportunity to shack up in a house with 13 other people.  They sleep in a "bunk bed pod" while sharing two bathrooms.  The pods are "fully equipped" with electrical outlets, shelves for books, a rack from which one can hang clothes and laundry, hooks to hang plants and other decorations, and black curtains at the end of each pod for privacy.  Normally, the three-bedroom home would house a single family.

Thinking About Riding A Natural Gas Powered Bus?  Alternative fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG) are an easy way to make ICE-powered buses — and passenger cars — less harmful to the environment.  However, in the extremely rare case something goes wrong with the tanks, things can turn pretty ugly.  This is exactly what happened on April 16 near the Italian city of Perugia, with a city bus bursting into fire.  The flames coming out of the roof looked like a scene from a space launch program or a CGI effect, although the video is legit.  [Video clip]

Wait... genetically engineered mosquitoes were released in the U.S.?  [D]epending on how you measure it, mosquitoes kill more people each year than any other animal, adding up to more than a million deaths annually.  But now there's a new type of mosquito hanging out in the Florida Keys.  It's one that's never been seen before because scientists genetically modified the species in an effort to use them in a genocidal war against their own kin.  Thus far, the scientists seem to be declaring the experiment a success.  But that sort of ignores the fact that there are now five million genetically modified super-mosquitoes roaming around Florida.

California's greenie 'food waste' law hits the reality wall.  In their never-ending quest to remake and remodel California into a greenie socialist paradise, the tsentral planners running California have once again blundered like boobs again, failing to anticipate the unintended consequences of their feel-good 'food waste' law.  The law, which went into effect this year, forbids restaurants and groceries, no matter where [...] they are, from discarding unused food and legally binds them to donate it to food banks instead.  No word from the report on whether the items are old or expired or unfit for human consumption.  We'll just have to take the greenie word for it that it's all a good thing.  But as usual, there are problems they didn't expect from all this virtue-signalling in the name of saving the earth: [...] The report states that just the cost of driving around and picking up unused food in rural areas is a monster money-eater in the era of Joe Biden's "I did that" gasoline costs, piled on top of California's huge fuel mandates and taxes that were all in place earlier.

Thirty Years of the 'Now or Never' Climate Cry.  The 2,913 pages of the United Nations' "Climate Change 2022" report make clear only that nothing is clear.  Written in the incomprehensible language of climate science, there are only two things that are easily understood:  the word taxes, which appears 270 times, and the word costs, which appears 1,585 times.  The entire report, full of technicalities, cross-references, and incomprehensible tables, generates more headaches than alarm.  This is not for public consumption, quite obviously.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change keeps the taxes and the costs confined to the report — but it reserves the artillery of apocalyptic words for the press release.  The headline reads, "The evidence is clear: the time for action is now."  (The "evidence" is the 2,913 pages that no one will read.)  In short, the apostles of the climate apocalypse are once again summarizing their strategy with the "now or never" war cry, the same one they screamed nearly 30 years ago in 1995 at the first climate summit in Berlin.

Study: Medical Marijuana Leads to Addiction, [and is] Not Shown to Be Effective.  Medical marijuana has been legalized in 37 states, but a new study released Friday found that the drug had no benefit for those treating pain, depression, or anxiety.  Moreover, a significant number of people in the study who used marijuana for medical purposes developed cannabis use disorder, also known as marijuana addiction, the study found.  The study was conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital.  "People with pain, anxiety or depression symptoms failed to report any improvements, though those with insomnia experienced improved sleep," said the study's lead author, Jodi Gilman, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.  Depression and anxiety are some of the conditions most commonly treated with marijuana.

Autonomous battery-powered rail cars could [displace] truckers.  For the last 200 years, freight trains haven't changed much; massive locomotives still move relatively dumb freight cars.  Certainly, rail fans could argue that plenty has changed — they're not wrong! — but from a distance, trains work pretty much the same today as they did in the 1800s.  That may change, though, if three former SpaceX engineers have placed their bets properly.  Today, their startup, Parallel Systems, has emerged from stealth mode with a prototype vehicle that promises to bring advances in autonomy and battery technology to the relatively staid world of freight railroads.  In the process, they hope to not just electrify existing routes but also bring freight rail service to places that don't have it today.

The Editor says...
The system depicted in this article shows a single shipping container being propelled by a couple of electric platforms.  This system won't work, because railroads don't work that way.  Freight trains are efficient because they move dozens or hundreds of freight cars (and tank cars, and coal cars, and others) between cities as a single shipment.  The engines are enormous, but the larger a train is, and the fewer stops it makes, the more efficient it is.  A system to deliver one shipping container at a time is no better than delivery by truck, even if the shipping source and destination are served by rail lines.  There are no dormant rail lines on which a system like this could be implemented, and even if there were, nobody wants railroad crossings to be occupied more often than absolutely necessary.

Insulation was supposed to save us money — but it ruined our homes.  Getting Britain's homes insulated is the cornerstone of the Government's green energy policy and an obsession for road-blocking eco-protesters.  But the scale of damp-related problems linked to cavity wall insulation is so serious that an MP is calling for an independent inquiry to improve protection for householders.  One expert has estimated that up to two million homes may have problems as a result of insulation being pumped into the cavity between outside and inside walls.  In some extreme cases, the resulting problems of damp and mould inside the house have rendered properties worthless and unsellable.

European Environmentalists Have New Plan For Cargo Ships Based on Paris Climate Agreement Compliance.  To meet the compliance standards of the Paris Climate Accords and the subsequent treaty that all EU nations agreed to, they must reduce carbon emissions in freight and transit systems.  They have spent thousands of hours pouring over possible solutions and will begin the test phase next month. [...] Yes my friends, the extremely well educated scientists, physicists, climatologists, sustainability engineers and cross functional decarbonization problem solvers for the planetary saving climate justice agenda, have invented ... Sailboats!

The Editor says...
That's just brilliant.  If these are the people you're counting on to "save the earth," you're in for a big disappointment.  Anyone who has any experience flying a large kite knows a few things about wind:  [#1] the wind doesn't always blow, [#2] the wind doesn't always blow in the most favorable direction, and [#3] sometimes the wind blows with enough force to rip your kite to shreds, snap the line, or hurt somebody.  If you are foolish enough to use a giant kite to tow a ship across the Atlantic Ocean, at some point in your journey, you will probably have to reel in the kite after it drops into the sea, limp and useless.  Then you and your cargo can either sit there, stranded, or you can light up your good old reliable 50,000-horsepower diesel engines and get back underway.

European environmentalists' insanely stupid plan to decrease shipping pollution.  Environmentalism, as much as anything, represents semi-educated man's yearning to return to a less complicated past, one in which man was dependent upon nature's vagaries, rather than master of them.  Maybe that explains why European environmentalists have decided that the way to reduce carbon emissions from shipping is to use "giant kites" — or, as humans called them for thousands of years, "sails."  This is not a joke.  It's absolutely real and highlights just how ludicrous the modern left has become. [...] We live in an incredibly stupid era.  We are blessed to be removed from the travails of the pre-modern era but those who control our institutions are dragging us back to a time of tremendous human pain and suffering.

The Editor says...
Sometime when you're not busy, use your favorite non-Google search engine to hunt for the "average horsepower of a cargo ship," [1] [2] [3] [4] and you will immediately see the futility of this giant-kite idea.

Campaigners call for London's controversial ULEZ to be scrapped after study showed it only minimally cut pollution.  Campaigners today called for London's 'money-grabbing' Ultra Low Emissions Zone to be scrapped after scientists warned it has barely had any impact on improving the capital's dirty air in the month after it launched.  Researchers from Imperial College London say the controversial scheme — which was last month expanded and made 18 times bigger — is not effective on its own.  The team looked at the level of pollutants over a 12-week period, starting before and ending after the ULEZ was launched by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in April 2019.

Net zero greenhouse emissions is an impossible goal.  The scale of the effort needed to meet net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) targets is extremely large and appears impossible to achieve on a reasonable timescale.  All alternatives to current en-ergy systems start from relatively very low bases, and face serious, and perhaps insurmountable, environmental, economic and materials-availability barriers.  The debate over net zero needs much more honesty, a sense of realism, and an appreciation of broader global developmental, economic and environmental needs.  Even if 40% of the UK's fossil fuel use could be eliminated through efficiency improvements, 120 GW of new, continuous CO2-free energy generation capacity — equivalent to 40 nuclear power plants of Hinkley Point C size or 300 GW of new offshore wind — would be required to replace the remaining 60%. The capital cost would be over £1 trillion, even without the necessary back-up.  Storage costs and operating costs would also be very high.  The UK government has announced a new target of reducing GHG emissions to 22% of 1990 levels by 2035.

The Future Of Power Generation.  The current consensus on energy and climate is both unserious and incoherent.  Burning fossil fuels is said to be responsible for global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions.  Although nuclear power is a carbon-free energy solution, much of the public seems to be more afraid of a reactor accident than extinction by the greenhouse effect.  Solar and energy conservation have been media darlings since the energy crisis of the 1970s.  President Barack Obama spent $100 billion on "green energy" in just one stimulus package.  Yet there is little to show for it.  World energy use is projected to grow rapidly.  Solar accounts for only one percent of energy production.  Although I can't agree with his conclusions, Director Jeff Gibbs did an outstanding job of skewering solar energy in [...] Planet of the Humans.  (Michael Moore is executive producer.)  Ethanol, hydrogen-powered cars, solar cells, and other supposedly renewable solutions are exposed as frauds that are dependent on fossil fuel once you scratch the surface.  Brazil's forests are being converted to sugar cane and burned as part of the ethanol scam that Goldman Sachs promotes.  The manufacturing process requires a great deal of electric power.  There is an amusing scene in the film where a manager explains that Iowa is the perfect location for an ethanol plant because it is near coal deposits.

The world needs more energy, not green BS.  Earlier this month, a report from the United Nations University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health announced that 'fecal sludge' might be one answer to several of the world's problems.  According to the authors of Valuing Human Waste as an Energy Resource, if the excrement produced by those who lack access to sanitation — a billion people — was collected and processed, 10 million homes could be provided with electricity.  And this would amount to $200 million-a-year worth of biogas.

The Editor says...
Stop for a moment and do some of mental arithmetic.  [#1]  Can 200 million dollars worth of biogas power 10 million homes for a year?  Can you power your house for a month for only $1.67?  [#2] The sewage from 100 people might be enough to power one house, they say.  But unfortunately, they're 100 people who lack access to sanitation, so how will all that poop be collected, and stored, and transported to a central plant for processing, if these people live in such a backward country that they don't have sanitation?  The people at the UN who are pushing these half-baked ideas are counting on you to accept them without thinking.

Goodyear to phase out petroleum-based tires with soybeans by 2040.  For decades engineers have used petroleum to make everyday products.  It's still commonly used in everything from rubbers and plastics to chemicals and asphalt.  But this useful product comes from crude oil, which is often criticized by activists and experts as harmful to the environment, citing oil spills and fracking incidents.  Recent studies from the last decade have shown that petroleum isn't as efficient as some once thought.  Now, companies, engineers and scientists aim to replace it with plant-based oils, specifically soybeans.  The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. recently announced its goal to replace all petroleum-based products with soybean oil by 2040.

The Editor says...
What problem does this solve?  When tires are made from soybeans, and gasoline is made with ethanol (i.e., corn), food prices will increase rapidly.  Apparently a lot of CEO's have never heard, "If it works, don't fix it."

Google, Boston Review Promote Rolling Blackouts to Cut CO2 Emissions.  Among the top Google News search results today for "climate change" is an article published by the Boston Review calling for Third World-style electricity blackouts in the United States to fight climate change.  According to the article, American households are unnecessarily spoiled by experiencing an average of only six hours per year without electricity.  Instead, government should impose frequent "planned interruptions" of power to force households to use less electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  The Google-promoted article, titled "To Save the Climate, Give Up the Demand for Constant Electricity," argues that "Each household demanding continuous electricity marginally exacerbates the climate crisis."  "Waiting to ensure uninterrupted power for everyone as we transition away from fossil fuels will cost too much time — and too many lives," the article adds.

Not so Green.  [Scroll down]  Green Energy isn't green.  It has a huge cost in rare metals; it creates toxic waste problems; solar panels create solar deserts; turbines chop birds and steal wind and rain from inland areas; and now they want to steal fresh water and energy to export low-energy explosive hydrogen.In contrast, coal is fossil sunshine.  Burning it releases new energy for industry and its combustion products bring great benefits for the green world -water vapour, carbon dioxide plant food, and valuable plant micro-nutrients.

The Life and Death of the Tiny Home Trend.  The tiny home trend has been hard to ignore over the last several years.  The increasingly saturated market of TV shows and Pinterest pictures dedicated to the topic of exploring micro-dwellings where your home is reduced to the size of a walk-in-closet and each room takes on a triple-duty programmatic role.  What looks enticing on reality TV is often much less desirable in real life, and as people increasingly long for a style that frees them of material goods and the ability to travel, what does this mean for the actuality of tiny home construction?

About Those 'Green Energy' Unicorns...  [Scroll down]  As [Mark P.] Mills points out, among the reality of "green energy" are:
  •   Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.
  •   A single electric car contains more cobalt than 1,000 smartphone batteries; the blades on a single wind turbine have more plastic than 5 million smartphones; and a solar array that can power one data center uses more glass than 50 million phones.
  •   Replacing hydrocarbons with green machines under current plans — never mind aspirations for far greater expansion — will vastly increase the mining of various critical minerals around the world.  For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials.  Averaged over a battery's life, each mile of driving an electric car "consumes" five pounds of earth.  Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.
  •   Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines.  The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.
  •   By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels — much of it nonrecyclable — will constitute double the tonnage of all today's global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades.  By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.

Your electric car and vegetarian diet are pointless virtue signaling in the fight against climate change.  Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, wash your clothes in cold water, eat less meat, recycle more, and buy an electric car:  We are being bombarded with instructions from climate campaigners, environmentalists and the media about the everyday steps we all must take to tackle climate change. [...] For example, the British nature-documentary presenter and environmental campaigner David Attenborough was once asked what he as an individual would do to fight climate change.  He promised to unplug his phone charger when it wasn't in use.  Attenborough's heart is no doubt in the right place.  But even if he consistently unplugs his charger for a year, the resulting reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions will be equivalent to less than one-half of one-thousandth of the average person's annual CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom.  Moreover, charging accounts for less than 1% of a phone's energy needs; the other 99% is required to manufacture the handset and operate data centers and cell towers.  Almost everywhere, these processes are heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Paper towels beat air dryers against viruses, small study finds.  Frequent hand-washing with soap and water is key to preventing the spread of coronavirus, but what's the best way to dry your hands afterward?  In a new, small study, British researchers found paper towels were better than the air dryers often found in public restrooms at getting rid of germs that are still on your hands after you wash them.

Canola oil is the biggest hidden health 'danger' at the prepared food bar.  Canola oil, or rapeseed oil, is one of those ubiquitous oils used in restaurants, delis, even organic food stores for baking and the deli bar.  It's cheap, plentiful and nearly all of the canola oil you buy at a regular grocery store is genetically modified.  But that's not the only reason it's not good for you, or your digestive system, according to this report from Natural News.

'Like sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession.  Dennis Arp was feeling optimistic last summer, which is unusual for a beekeeper these days.  Thanks to a record wet spring, his hundreds of hives, scattered across the central Arizona desert, produced a bounty of honey.  Arp would have plenty to sell in stores, but more importantly, the bumper harvest would strengthen his bees for their biggest task of the coming year.  Like most commercial beekeepers in the US, at least half of Arp's revenue now comes from pollinating almonds.

Almond Milk Is Even More Evil Than You Thought.  In the past five years, almond milk consumption in the United States has exploded over 250 percent.  The lower-calorie, vegan milk alternative is a staple in grocery stores and coffee shops across the country now, but its booming popularity comes at a heavy environmental cost.  According to a new report from the Guardian this week, the titanic and growing demands of the California almond industry are placing a huge strain on the hives of bees used to pollinate their orchards, wiping out billions of honeybees in a matter of months.  "My yard is currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives," Dennis Arp, a commercial beekeeper, told the Guardian.  Like many of his peers, nearly half of Arp's income comes from renting out his hives to pollinate almonds.  But now, he says, he loses 30 percent or more of his bees a year, a number that's on par for many beekeepers in the U.S. One survey of commercial beekeepers found that 50 billion honeybees were wiped out in just a few months during the winter of 2018-19.

Going Fully Organic Would Drive Up Greenhouse Gas Emissions:  Study.  Greenhouse gas emissions would be driven up if the world's agriculture were to be converted to organic farming, a new study suggests.  Researchers from Cranfield University said that if England and Wales switched to a 100 percent organic diet, it would lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, because methods used for organic farming take up a greater amount of land.  Compared to conventional farming, greenhouse emissions could rise by 21 percent, the study found.

Cities are banning drive-thrus to improve Americans' health — but will it work?  A growing number of local legislatures in cities across the country want to put an end to drive-thru windows.  In August, Minneapolis became the latest city to pass an ordinance banning the construction of new restaurant drive-thrus.  Officials say the ban will help curb pollution, make the city more walkable and improve health problems pertaining to obesity.  Other places that have enacted similar measures say they are aiming to combat traffic, cut carbon monoxide emissions and litter.  But fear not, Chick-fil-A fiends, the zoning changes currently in effect only affect new construction.  Thus far, cities in California, Missouri and New Jersey have implemented similar bans.

The Editor says...
This is the first time I've heard a claim that drive-through windows increase carbon monoxide emissions.  But you see, the customers at a drive-through window are outdoors, and the occupants of the next car in line are exposed to carbon monoxide anyway, just by driving to the restaurant, or anywhere else.  (Incidentally, the natural concentration of carbon monoxide in air is around 0.2 parts per million (ppm), and that amount is not harmful to humans.[*])

The False Promise of Fish Oil Supplements.  Consumers have been told so many times that dietary fish oil supplements promote heart health that it seems to be accepted as factual.  But this conventional thinking is not supported by the science.  After decades of promises that fish oil "may work," the lack of demonstrated benefit leads me to conclude that consumers are wasting their money on supplements in an effort to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Greenland's 'Record Temperature' denied — the data was wrong.  Greenland's all-time record temperature wasn't a record at all, and it never got above freezing there.

Study:  Millions should stop taking aspirin for heart health.  Millions of people who take aspirin to prevent a heart attack may need to rethink the pill-popping, Harvard researchers reported Monday [7/22/2019].  A daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke and for those diagnosed with heart disease.

Making America Venezuela:  The left is coming for your toilet paper.  Apparently toilet paper is the new plastic straw of the green lobby, and they're out to put a stop to it. [...] And greenies can't even get their stories straight.  If saving toilet paper is the aim, why are they targeting Charmin, which in this lefty review, is the best toilet paper to use because users use LESS of it, based on its superior absorption capacities, quite unlike that flimsy scratchy recycled stuff.

How Bureaucrats Ruin Everything From Dishwashers To Gas Cans To Cars.  Have you ever wondered why dishwashers today take twice as long to do a worse job of cleaning dishes?  Or why it's so much harder to get gasoline out of a new gas can?  Or why cars made decades ago always turn heads, while today's are drab in the same way?  There's a simple answer to these modern-day mysteries:  Government regulators.  Take the dishwasher.  Earlier this month, the Department of Energy announced that it would revise its rules regarding dishwasher efficiency.  Why?  Because the existing rules — which set limits on how much electricity and water a dishwasher may use — are forcing manufacturers to build machines that are worse than ever.

Low-dose aspirin linked to bleeding in the skull, new report says.  Taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease and stroke is associated with an increased risk of bleeding in the skull in people without a history of those conditions, according to a new report.  Researchers analyzed data from 13 previous studies in which over 130,000 people ages 42 to 74, who didn't have a history of heart disease or stroke, were given either low-dose aspirin or a placebo for the prevention of these conditions.

False flag environmentalism is dangerous for America and the world.  Current, unabated flooding taking place seasonally in the US is over green insanity in the Missouri River Basin, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.  This began when "Congress in 2004 under pressure from environmental organizations approved a revision to the Master Water Control Manual (MWCM)."  This allowed the U.S. Corps of Engineers to have the authority via the US Congress permission to flood eight states in the MWCM.  The MWCM's original mandate was flood control, but now the Corp "are utilizing dams in a way for which they were never designed — to attempt to mimic the natural cycles of the river through the season."  This environmental fragmentation of using emotion over reason has caused billions in damage and cost many lives and family destruction all in the name of "wild rivers" being returned to their natural habitat.

Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age.  Here is some of the supporting evidence:
  •   The banning of DDT from ~1972 to 2002, which caused the malaria deaths of tens of millions of children under five years of age, and sickened and killed many more adults and children;
  •   The fierce green opposition to golden rice, actions that blinded and killed millions of children;
  •   The misallocation of scarce global resources for destructive intermittent "green energy" schemes, which are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy;
  •   Properly allocated, a fraction of the trillions of dollars squandered on green energy schemes could have installed clean drinking water and sanitation systems into every community on the planet, saving the lives of many tens of millions of children and adults; [...]
  •   The number of Excess Winter Deaths and shattered lives caused by runaway energy costs in the developed world and lack of access to modern energy in the developing world probably exceeds the tens of millions of malaria deaths caused by the DDT ban; [...]
  •   Indoor air pollution from cooking fires kills many women and children in the developing world;
  •   In addition to runaway energy costs and increased winter deaths, intermittent wind and solar power schemes have reduced grid reliability and increased the risk of power outages;

False flag environmentalism is dangerous for America and the world.  The current United States (US) environmental movement is dangerous for America and the world — because of how many times their predictions are wrong — which is normally 100% of the time.

Green Luddites Are Coming for Your House, Car, and Freedom.  Like so much coming from the corporate Left in America, probably the most dangerous aspect of this column is the blithe presumption that its premises are beyond debate.  The climate will change catastrophically, and emissions from burning fossil fuel are the culprit.  Low-density housing is the reason fossil fuel emissions remain too high.  Public transportation is a good thing.  Just hold on.  Stop right there.  Emissions of CO2 may not change the climate very much at all, and the cost of precipitously curtailing them condemns billions of people around the world to prolonged poverty and misery.  And in any case, high-density housing is creating more CO2 emissions, because existing roads cannot handle the increased traffic.  And no, public transportation is not always a good thing.

Despite California's long drought, trillions of gallons of rainwater [are] wastefully flowing into sea.  California's rainy season could be the wettest in 40 years, but experts say the state is missing a major opportunity by failing to collect the trillions of gallons of storm runoff that currently flows wastefully into the ocean.  "We will never capture it all, but we need to do a better job of capturing what we can," said Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute.  In February alone, an estimated 18 trillion gallons of water fell on the state.  In urban areas and coastal cities, 80 percent ends up diverted into the ocean, as Los Angeles and other cities built long concrete channels for flood control.  The Los Angeles River, for example, is a 51-mile-long canal as wide as a football field.  Almost none of the water seeps into the underground aquifer.

Appliance standards often cost more than they save.  In 1987, DOE began regulating the energy use of air conditioners, refrigerators, washer/dryers, ovens, water heaters, and just about everything else that plugs in or fires up around the house.  Ever since, the agency has periodically revisited and tightened these standards, as many as four times for some products.  The goal is to reduce energy bills, but even DOE admits that for some consumers, these standards raise the up-front price of appliances more than what will be earned back in the form of energy savings.  This was particularly true of air conditioner standards but also refrigerators and several others.  Low-income and senior households are most likely to experience net costs, according to the agency.

Turning Luddite eco-imperialism into a virtue.  Banks and other carbon colonialists glorify limited wind and solar energy for poor villages, while denying financial support for fossil fuel electricity generation.  Anti-chemical fanatics promote bed nets and narrowly defined "integrated pest management," but bitterly oppose chemical pesticides and the spatial repellant DDT to kill mosquitoes, keep them out of homes and prevent deadly malaria.  Radical organic food groups battle any use of genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide spraying by 75% or more.  They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death.  Now their struggles are getting worse, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups once again prove the adage that power politics makes strange bedfellows.  Coalition members share a deep distaste for fossil fuels, petrochemicals (including chemical pesticides and fertilizers), modern agriculture, biotechnology, corporations and capitalism.

Keyless Cars and Their Carbon Monoxide Toll.  It seems like a common convenience in a digital age:  a car that can be powered on and off with the push of a button, rather than the mechanical turning of a key.  But it is a convenience that can have a deadly effect.  On a summer morning last year, Fred Schaub drove his Toyota RAV4 into the garage attached to his Florida home and went into the house with the wireless key fob, evidently believing the car was shut off.  Twenty-nine hours later, he was found dead, overcome with carbon monoxide that flooded his home while he slept.  "After 75 years of driving, my father thought that when he took the key with him when he left the car, the car would be off," said Mr. Schaub's son Doug.  Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage.  Dozens of others have been injured, some left with brain damage.

Looming Catastrophe:  Power Grid Collapse Now In Sight in New York.  Here is a fascinating and revealing news article behind a paywall that I'm alerting you to.  It is about just a few of the complications that will result from New York State's (NYS) Clean Energy Standard (CES).  It discusses the NYISO (New York State Independent System Operator) 2018 Power Trends Report which (paraphrasing Winston Churchill): ...defends itself against the risk of being read by its very length and obfuscating technical jargon.

'Raw Water'? Natural Isn't Synonymous With Better.  A recently introduced product fad hitting store shelves might just prove to be the death of you.  Popping up across the country and marketed as yet another "healthy" product in that genre of back-to-nature lifestyle craze — "raw water." [...] It is truly ironic that in the developed world, where scientific knowledge and developments have proven to raise living standards, life expectancy and quality of life, there are those who choose to vilify and distort these achievements as problematic, unhealthy and even dangerous, in order to sell Americans on the flawed concept that human technology equates to the unnatural and therefore unhealthy living.  Meanwhile, much of the developing world is plagued with diseases that would have been easily avoided but for the lack of access to clean water technologies.

Therapy animals are everywhere.  Proof that they help is not.  A therapy-animal trend grips the United States. [...] The trend, which has accelerated hugely since its initial stirrings a few decades ago, is underpinned by a widespread belief that interaction with animals can reduce distress — whether it happens over brief caresses at the airport or in long-term relationships at home.  Certainly, the groups offering up pets think this, as do some mental health professionals.  But the popular embrace of pets as furry therapists is kindling growing discomfort among some researchers in the field, who say it has raced far ahead of scientific evidence.

Marijuana DOES cause schizophrenia and triggers heart attacks, experts say in landmark study.  Marijuana does raise the risk of getting schizophrenia and triggers heart attacks, according to the most significant study on the drug's effects to date.  A federal advisory panel admitted cannabis can almost certainly ease chronic pain, and might help some people sleep.  But it dismisses most of the drug's other supposedly 'medical benefits' as unproven.  Crucially, the researchers concluded there is not enough research to say whether marijuana effectively treats epilepsy — one of the most widely-recognized reasons for cannabis prescriptions.

Energy Star:  Icon Or National Disgrace?  If it's not Energy Star, it's not energy efficient" wasn't just a motto, it's the guiding policy for arguably the most corrupt federal program in US history.  The nexus for the greatest story never told!  97% of climate scientist supposedly believe in the Global Warming theory [which we know is a false claim], but what about cure?  Try to find a single scientist, lawyer, or politician willing to defend EPA's business ventures, or the delusional energy-saving claims made by the ENERGY STAR brand.  Better yet, try to find the scientific evidence supporting EPA's multi-billion dollar claims and you'll quickly understand why Silence is Golden!

Energy Star:  Possibly The Most Corrupt Federal Program In US History.  Energy Star has become a multi-billion dollar Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), marketing a single unique and valuable product; government energy efficiency.  This government-created commodity is so rare and precious that it must be kept secret, for fear of undermining its value in Global markets.  Which totally explains the need for a media blackout on all news related to 'energy efficiency' in Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP), and the fact that the entire 4th Building Block of Obama's CPP had mysteriously disappeared.  Nobody dares to speak of this multi-billion dollar Bait & Switch scam!

Flossing is a complete waste of time.  The federal government has recommended flossing since 1979, first in a surgeon general's report and later in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued every five years.

The Editor says...
Conventional wisdom cannot be changed overnight by one report.  (Pluto is still a planet.)  Flossing is still beneficial.  Do not change your personal hygiene habits based on anything you saw, or you think you saw, on this web site.

Gluten-free diet may not be good for healthy kids.  Going gluten-free might not be the healthiest choice for a child who doesn't have celiac disease, according to a new article in The Journal of Pediatrics.  "The increasing popularity of the GFD [gluten-free diet] has important implications for children," writes Norelle R. Reilly, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Columbia University Medical Center and author of the article.  "Parents sometimes place their children on a GFD in the belief that it relieves symptoms, can prevent CD [celiac disease], or is a healthy alternative without previous testing for CD or consultation with a dietitian."

Another 'Scientific Consensus' Bites the Dust.  [Scroll down]  We have heard for a long time now that the so-called "caveman diet" rich in lean meat and low in carbohydrate is a good heart disease preventive.  Well throw out the ground buffalo and kale and make up a plate of spaghetti carbonara — it's not likely to make a big difference in your susceptibility to heart disease.  The same thing is true with the fish oil theory, which is bad news for the diet supplement industry.  Neolithic people with diets rich in aquatic fats still suffered from heart disease.

See Why FL Divers Are Pulling Thousands of Old Tires Out of the Ocean.  Once upon a time, someone thought it'd be a good idea to dump millions of car and truck tires into the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1972, environmentalists believed they could use the piles of rubber to create an artificial reef off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Now, the enormous tire piles on the ocean floor are considered a huge environmental mistake and taxpayers are spending nearly $2 million to clean it up.

No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day.  If there is one health myth that will not die, it is this:  You should drink eight glasses of water a day.  It's just not true.  There is no science behind it.  And yet every summer we are inundated with news media reports warning that dehydration is dangerous and also ubiquitous.  These reports work up a fear that otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated, even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions.  Let's put these claims under scrutiny.

Homeowners find green heating units can't take the cold.  During February's bitter chill, some Chapel Hill homeowners found that the homes they bought with the environment in mind could not keep up.  Their brand-new heating systems suddenly stopped working when it got too cold! [...] The "green" furnaces called 90 percent energy efficient are installed in most new homes and are a top choice for those who are replacing their furnace.  They've become a big problem for some homebuyers in the Triangle's largest all-green community, Chatham County's Briar Chapel.

Early exposure 'cuts peanut allergy'.  Eating peanut products as a baby dramatically cuts the risk of allergy, a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests.  Trials on 628 babies prone to developing peanut allergy found the risk was cut by over 80%.

Your Probiotic Is Probably B.S..  In the past few years, the number of scientific articles published on the effects of probiotics on everything from cancer to anxiety has jumped from 175 in 2000 to a whopping 1,281 in 2013.  These studies have already begun to show that certain types of probiotics are an effective treatment for some specific conditions.  But there's a problem.  Scientists say that the hype has far outstripped evidence supported by rigorous, peer-reviewed research studies.  Guidance from the FDA isn't clear, either.  What consumers are left with, then, is a confusing array of products that may or may not be able to do what they claim.

Paleo, vegan, gluten-free — the only certainty about health trends is their reversal.  Ever since humans have had enough to eat, we have worried about the right things to eat and devised diets to target various goals, including weight loss, beauty, sexual health and disease prevention.  Nearly every consumable food and beverage, whether organ meats, tomatoes and grain liquor or sugary sodas have been praised, at one point, as a panacea.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity May Not Exist.  Analyzing the data, [Professor Peter] Gibson found that each treatment diet, whether it included gluten or not, prompted subjects to report a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees.  Reported pain, bloating, nausea, and gas all increased over the baseline low-FODMAP diet.  Even in the second experiment, when the placebo diet was identical to the baseline diet, subjects reported a worsening of symptoms! [...] Patients reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause. Gluten wasn't the culprit; the cause was likely psychological.  Participants expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did.

An Aspirin a Day? Don't Dose Yourself, FDA Says.  Taking an aspirin a day may help prevent heart attack or stroke in some people, but it's not for everyone — and the common drug can have serious side effects that offset the benefits.  That's the reminder Monday from health officials at the federal Food and Drug Administration, who have finally told giant drugmaker Bayer Corp. not to expect the agency to give the go-ahead for labels listing aspirin as a drug for primary prevention of heart attacks and other problems.

Too much running tied to shorter lifespan, studies find.  Running regularly has long been linked to a host of health benefits, including weight control, stress reduction, better blood pressure and cholesterol.  However, recent research suggests there may a point of diminishing returns with running.  A number of studies have suggested that a "moderate" running regimen — a total of two to three hours per week, according to one expert — appears best for longevity, refuting the typical "more is better" mantra for physical activity.

Teenage E-Cigarette Use [is] Likely [to be a] Gateway to Smoking.  E-cigarettes facing municipal bans and scrutiny by U.S. regulators received a new slap on the wrist from scientists:  A report today [3/6/2014] suggests the devices may be a gateway to old-fashioned, cancer-causing smokes for teens.  Youths who reported ever using an e-cigarette had six times the odds of smoking a traditional cigarette than those who never tried the device, according to a study published today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.  E-cigarette use didn't stop young smokers from partaking in regular cigarettes as well.

New study adds to evidence that mammograms do not save lives.  A new study has added to growing evidence that yearly mammogram screenings do not reduce the chance that a woman will die of breast cancer and confirms earlier findings that many abnormalities detected by these X-rays would never have proved fatal, even if untreated.

The health-care myths we live by.  Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice.  It's already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans.  Not exactly what you'd expect given the extravagant — and incessant — claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants.  In fact, they are either useless or harmful, conclude the editors of the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine.

Multivitamin researchers say "case is closed" after studies find no health benefits.  "Enough" with the multivitamins already.  That's the message from doctors behind three new studies and an editorial that tackled an oft-debated question in medicine:  Do daily multivitamins make you healthier?  After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of "no."

What happens if sequestered CO2 is somehow released in a big cloud into a populated area?  Bhopal!
Rules that could 'kill'? Safety, cost concerns over EPA's new coal regs.  The EPA, by Friday, is expected to release a new proposal to set the first-ever carbon dioxide limits for new power plants.  To meet those emissions caps, power plants would likely have to use what is known as "carbon-capture technology," which involves burying the carbon underground.  The technology, which is still under development, remains expensive and not commercially available.  But there are lingering safety risks.

Dam construction to reduce greenhouse gases causes ecosystem disruption .  Researchers conclude in a new report that a global push for small hydropower projects, supported by various nations and also the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, may cause unanticipated and potentially significant losses of habitat and biodiversity.

Is Greek yogurt hurting the environment?  While it takes one cup of milk to produce one cup of traditional yogurt, it takes at least three cups of milk to produce a single cup of the thicker, healthier Greek variety.  That's because Greek yogurt is a "strained" version of the dairy product, meaning it's been stripped of whey, a watery byproduct.  All that excess whey — known as "acid whey" because of its high level of acidity — isn't necessarily dangerous in itself.  However, it's incredibly difficult to dispose of because simply dumping it could lead to serious consequences.

Battling bottle ban in Concord.  A new shot has been fired in the battle in Concord over the plastic water bottle ban, with opponents now vowing to repeal the controversial law — considered the first of its kind in the nation — that went into effect Tuesday [1/1/2013].

No benefit in drinking eight glasses of water a day, scientists say.  The idea that drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health has been dismissed as a myth.  Scientists say there is no evidence drinking large amounts of water is beneficial for the average healthy person, and do not even know how this widely held belief came about.

Treehuggers Against Trees:  When the pioneers first entered the great forests of America, they found that the Native Americans had managed the forests for centuries.  Their woodlands contained very few big trees — maybe fifty such trees per acre.  Apparently the Indians had set regular, low intensity fires which burned away accumulations of undergrowth, deadwood, dying trees and particularly small trees growing between the big trees.  The larger trees were unharmed, because of their thick fire-resistant bark.  These fires kept the forest healthy by providing a barrier to disease.

Save The Earth — Hug A Logger.  As environmental alarmists entertain themselves by turning off lights, their efforts sometimes lead to unintended consequences.  A new study, for example, shows they may be warming the earth by saving trees.

How Green Is a Fake Christmas Tree?  Although some fakes are crafted from recyclable material, about 85 percent of artificial trees are made in China from the petroleum-based plastics polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC or vinyl.  The natural-tree industry says PVC could contain lead and is potentially harmful to workers manufacturing it.  And any plastic tree will someday end up in a landfill, where it could take millions of years to disintegrate.  From a consumer perspective, PVC trees are only dangerous if they catch fire, producing the toxic, highly acidic gas hydrogen chloride.

Carbon Nanotubes:  The New Asbestos?  Nanotechnology experts are calling for prompt government action to ensure that carbon nanotubes are properly regulated, after researchers discovered that some carbon nanotubes can cause precancerous growths in the same way that asbestos does.

Environmentalists always say, "If only we could learn from the dolphins..."
Baby Dolphin Murders Blamed on US Military.  These aquatic mammals where literally beaten to death with multiple internal injuries, lacerations, contusions and the like.  Back in 1997 the whole C.S.I. treatment was given these animals and guess who these scientists first blamed?  You guessed it, the United States Military.  It turns out, however, that scientists have now realized that it is the "smartest" fishie on earth that is responsible.  Yes, they were surprised to discover that dolphins are outright murderers.

Vitamin pills 'increase risk of early death'.  Popular vitamin supplements taken by millions of people in the hope of improving their health may do no good and could increase the risk of a premature death, researchers report today.  They warn healthy people who take antioxidant supplements, including vitamins A and E, to try to keep diseases such as cancer at bay that they are interfering with their natural body defences and may be increasing their risk of an early death by up to 16 percent.

Drano Used in Processing Soybeans.  We've been duped into believing soy is a health-giving product because the Asiatic people use soy and are sooooo healthy.  What we weren't told is that the Asiatics ferment the beans in order to eliminate the health hazards. ... [Scroll down] The next step is that the refined oil is mixed with sodium hydroxide — NaOH — which most of us know as Drano, at a temperature of 167°F.  That's right — the exact same corrosive lye you pour down your drain when it's clogged.

Sugar-free gum poses a health hazard.  Chewing too much "sugar-free" gum can lead to severe weight loss and bowel problems, doctors are warning.  Many "sugar-free" products such as chewing gum and sweets contain a sweetener called sorbitol.  It is a sugar alcohol with around a third fewer calories than sucrose, or table sugar.  However, the substance can have laxative effects if taken in large enough amounts — a fact that many people are unaware of because potential side-effects are usually listed in small print on the packaging, say the researchers.

Energy Saving Day flopped, say organisers.  Energy Saving Day was a flop, its organiser admitted last night after the National Grid confirmed that across Britain energy use went up by just over one percent. ... The E Day website encouraged participants to turn off as many appliances as possible and to leave them unused for as long as possible.  But by mid afternoon it was clear from the meters on the Day's website that consumption was about 600 megawatt hours across the country, higher than what the National Grid estimated was used on a normal February day.

Garden Biohazard:  Man Killed By Compost.  A man has died after inhaling lethal spores which grew on rotting compost in his garden.  The 47-year-old fell ill less than 24 hours after being engulfed by "clouds of dust" while working with rotting tree and plant mulch.  At first medics thought the previously healthy welder had pneumonia when he was admitted with severe breathing problems.  But when antibiotics failed to help, tests showed evidence of Aspergillosis, a reaction to Aspergillus spores.

Did thick brush, environmental concerns worsen Martin Fire?  State officials attempted to clear brush two years ago on the piece of land where a fire now raging in Santa Cruz County began, but much of the work was delayed and ultimately not finished because of opposition from two local environmental groups. ... The reserve, an ancient seabed famed for its rare plants and trees, has not had a significant fire since 1948.  As a result, dead trees and brush were piled high.

Kicking the Tires of T. Boone's Natural-Gas Car.  Automakers have been trying to get the public to buy natural gas vehicles since the 1970s.  Yet, despite millions in tax subsidies, today there is only one — count them:  one — -compressed-natural-gas (CNG) product in America's showrooms.  It's the Honda Civic GX and it ain't exactly flying off the shelves.

Superfood rice bran contains arsenic.  Rice bran — a so-called "superfood" — might contain dangerous amounts of a natural poison.  A new study suggests that rice bran, the shavings left over after brown rice is polished to produce white rice grains, contains "inappropriate" levels of arsenic.

Why not raw milk?  For those of you who don't know what raw milk is, let me enlighten you.  Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.  That's right!  Straight from the udder to you! ... Do [the proponents of raw milk] not realize that without pasteurization the safety of consuming that milk is seriously questionable?  That cow lives on a farm, not in a sterile facility!  Where has that udder been; what has it touched; what kinds of bacteria has that milk been exposed to that are not removed because it's not been pasteurized?

States pay a price for bottle deposit laws.  Michigan would have at least $10 million a year more for environmental cleanup if not for people redeeming containers that were bought in other states.

Chicago's 'green' promise fades.  Mayor Richard Daley promised long ago that his administration would start fighting global warming by buying 20 percent of its electricity from wind farms and other sources of green energy.  But more than two years after the deadline he set, the city continues to get nearly all of its power from coal, natural gas and nuclear plants, according to records obtained by the Tribune.

Spokane residents smuggle in real suds over useless "green" brands.  The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers.  They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. ... It's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Commentary from Greenie Watch:
The phosphate in regular dishwashing detergents also happens to be a basic fertilizer.  Most people who know farms will have heard of superphosphate.  Plants love phosphates.  Just like they love CO2.  Horrors! say the Greenies.  It helps nasty plants to grow too.  Helping farmers to trap fertilizer runoff from their farms would make more sense if there is any real problem with it.

Nuclear only safe option.  Majestic dams set in pristine, forested water catchments become tourist attractions in their own right and their names are bywords in feats of engineering: Hoover, Aswan, Boulder, Three Gorges, Hume.  But they are the deadliest form of power generation known to man.  Hydroelectricity kills thousands each year and claims many more lives than other forms of energy generation — natural gas, LPG, oil and even coal, the mining of which can be perilous.  Dams regularly fail, sometimes catastrophically.  Just three days ago a dam burst in Jakarta killing 77, with 100 people missing.

The Fine Print:  What's Really in a Lot of 'Healthy' Foods.  The yogurt aisle is dizzy these days with products that promise to reduce your cholesterol, control your blood pressure, protect your digestive health or boost your immune system.  In many cases, it's a single ingredient that provides the benefit, and you can find much more of it in other sources.

The Problems with Al Gore:  [Scroll down slowly]  Gore then made the stunning assertion that geothermal resources in the US alone are so enormous that they could meet our entire energy needs for 35,000 years.  Is it not remarkable that we ignore such a vast, unexploited source of energy?  Is it not astonishing that generations of scientists and engineers have failed to recognize the potential for withdrawing virtually limitless amounts of free energy from the Earth?  If the promise of geothermal energy sounds too good to be true, the reason is that it's not true.  The United States gets less than one percent of its energy from geothermal sources.

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Updated July 19, 2024.

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