Shooting oneself in the foot….

Krazy Kalifornia has decided it’s the evil oil companies that are to blame for global warming:

California’s lawsuit says oil giants downplayed climate change. Here’s what to know

It’s bad enough to suggest that oil companies meeting consumer demand for energy are to blame for global warming (rather than the consumers who actually burned the fossil fuels). But to suggest that no one knew of the impact of fossil fuel use due to the so-called propaganda of the oil companies is ludicrous.

I first heard of the impact of CO2 emissions on climate change in the 1958 Frank Capra produced Bell System Science Series film, “The Unchained Goddess” – a film that many of us saw in primary school (I saw it in sixth grade). This film made clear – more than 6 decades ago – that continued CO2 emissions due to the use of fossil fuels would lead to global warming. So, in short, even school children knew by 1958 that fossil fuel use would lead to global warming. To claim ignorance with a straight face now is insulting to sixth graders everywhere.

The truth is that the people simply didn’t care. They insisted on personal automobiles, air conditioning, and cheap power to operate them. It’s the consumer and their demands for energy that have driven fossil fuel use and carbon emissions, even though they knew – or should have known – its long-term impact. Consumers are the ones to blame – not the oil companies.

Finally, any legal award against the fossil fuel companies will not result in a loss for the oil companies – even though that’s how climate change activists and politicians will present it to the voter. In truth the energy companies will simply be forced to charge substantially more for their products going forward, passing the costs of litigation and claims onto the poor consumer – who still needs the energy to power their Hummer for the occasional grocery run, or to condition their condo down to a crisp 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer heat. An award against the oil companies is really an award against your own pocketbook – no matter how loudly politicians cry otherwise.

The only real positive impact of such an award (from a climate perspective) is that the resulting increased cost of fossil fuels will drive a downturn in use, reducing carbon emissions (at least locally;  as if China – the world’s largest CO2 emitter – will give a damn…). However, the increased energy costs will disparately impact low-income users in the U.S., requiring additional government interference (i.e.: wealth redistribution systems) to resolve.

California politicians are wasting taxpayer funds to litigate a case that – even if they win – will only cost the average voter even more money, all while having a negligible impact on global CO2 emissions.


I am appalled by the Biden administration’s blatant ploy to buy votes with taxpayer money. But I am not surprised.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Student Loan Relief for Borrowers Who Need It Most

A couple of things to note:

a) The loan forgiveness program will provide “relief” for households making 3.7 times the median household income (a/o 2020) in the United States. Yeah; sounds like it helps poor people to me…

b) If you’ve been a  successful, responsible adult who chose a valuable degree and paid back your student loans – tough. And thanks for all the fish.

But  if you didn’t complete your degree or pay towards your student debt – debt that benefited no one but you – Jackpot! you WIN the student loan lottery (and you get to keep the car you bought instead of paying your student loans).

c) The loan relief will do nothing to lower the cost of college; it will simply shift its cost to others – including those who have not/will not attend college. This cost transfer will be direct via increased taxes, or indirectly via increase costs as tax increases are passed down to consumers. Colleges have no incentive to lower prices as long as the government is footing the bill as written. Similar to electric vehicle prices when sales are supported by government rebates, I expect college cost to rise, not fall.

But by far the most insidious element of the Biden administration’s debt forgiveness program is that students cannot apply for relief now; they instead must wait for the government to develop the program, ensuring that the relief comes after the election. From the White House fact sheet (a/o 8/29/22 5:52pm PDT):

The application will be available no later than when the pause on federal student loan repayments terminates at the end of the year.

This action by the Biden administration – announcing the relief before the process is available – confirms that this is a buy-the-vote effort meant to ensure that the 41 million students now lined up for “free” money will vote Democrat in November.

Sadly, this is not a new tactic by the Biden administration. Biden used a similar tactic in 2021 to campaign for Georgia senators Ossoff and Warnock, stating:

“If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door … The power is literally in your hands.”

It’s becoming increasingly popular ploy, as other Democrat politicians use the same method to buy local elections – such as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf:

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf calls for $2,000 payments to help families ‘survive inflation’

His plan? Send $2,000 to families making less than $80,000/year (still 18% above the 2020 U.S. median income) in order to help them fight inflation(?!?). Wolf, however, is an even slyer fox than Biden; he knows that with a Republican-controlled state legislature he won’t actually have to send the money. And he’ll still be able to blame the Republicans for not putting such a bill on his desk. Promising money he won’t actually have to pay – brilliant!

We are on a slippery slope, with Democrats driving our population towards government dependence while destroying the economy through inflationary giveaways. I hope you all have the courage to vote them out of office this November – student loans or not.

Undoing Trump, Paris-style

As president Biden rushes to to un-do the work of President Trump, I take issue with one action in particular: rejoining the Paris climate accord. You don’t have to be a climate science denier to be against the Paris accord as originally agreed; you just have to be awake.

Note that I have no problem with America working towards a greener, cleaner and self-sustained energy infrastructure. Nor do I deny that this is something we – along with the rest of the world – must do to preserve our way of life. But it must be done fairly, uniformly and simultaneously to prevent unintended consequences.

My primary concern with the Paris climate accord is that it is a voluntary commitment allowing different countries to have different goals for their global warming emissions reduction. The U.S. has committed to an aggressive goal; other countries have not (guess who…). The result could be that American products are priced out of the international (or even domestic) markets due to increased compliance costs associated with America’s bold emissions reduction goals. If this happens we’ll lose our manufacturing base; we’ll end up buying our products from other countries that might not have the same emission standards or Paris accord commitment, resulting in even more emissions than if we had continued production here without any additional reductions. It’s a double-whammy: lose our industry AND increase total global emissions. Not a good combination.

Instead we must insist on trading partners who agree to meet the same Paris accord commitment as we do or pay a tariff commensurate with the difference in manufacturing costs associated with emissions compliance. This will require productivity-based emissions goals – in other words, comparable products should have comparable emissions no matter where produced. Complicated – yes, but the alternative is to wipe out our own industrial base while increasing worldwide emissions.

Dump the Paris accord, President Biden, until it treats all polluters equally.

Chicken or egg?

The city of Baltimore is suing more than a dozen oil companies for damages resulting from climate change, claiming that the companies knew their products caused global warming.

Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

I’ve got news for you, Baltimore – it’s not the manufacture of oil products that causes global warming; it’s the use of such products. Are you also going to argue that your citizens – you know, the ones with SUVs, traveling by plane, heating their pools, etc. – did not know that the use of these fuels caused global warming? Because I think the ones using the oil products are at least as culpable as those producing them.

Blaming the oil companies for global warming is like blaming McDonald’s for making you fat; it was your choice to use their products, and you must assume responsibility for your actions. But this is just about extorting money out of the oil companies, isn’t it? Deep pockets, you know.

China and the Paris Climate Accord

The impact of the Paris Climate Accord on China’s carbon emissions has effectively been nil. It’s no wonder China has remained a proponent of the accord; it has no impact on them, yet shackles their competition. China’s terms under the agreement? Peak their emissions (without limit) by 2030. U.S. terms? Reduce carbon output by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025. Hardly seems fair, given that China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Are Up Again. What Now, Climate?

Throttling our own companies with carbon emission regulations to the point where they shut down, then buying the same product from unregulated overseas manufacturers hardly seems prudent. It may cut our own carbon emissions, but will raise overall emissions while destroying our industrial base.

If we want to have an impact on carbon emissions, we should consider placing a tariff on imported goods based on their embedded carbon content. This will level the playing field and preserve fair competition among manufacturers while lowering overall world-wide emissions.

Can you spell “Hypocrisy”?

Today, President Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accord, citing inequities in the plan that would negatively impact American jobs while handing decisive advantages to our competitors.

I agree; the Paris Accord is unfair to the United States. Under the accord we are committed to reducing our carbon output by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025, while our competitors have much more favorable terms. Note that it is these competitors who are now chastising us for pulling out of the Paris accord. They are upset, and rightfully so: we’ve leveled the playing field and forced them to compete with us on an equal energy footing.

Take China, for instance, who emits more carbon than anyone else. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proclaimed that:

… fighting global warming was a “global consensus” and an “international responsibility.”

Without mentioning the U.S. specifically, Li said that “China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment” and pointed out that his was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.

I would sign on to the accord, too, if I had China’s terms. Their commitment to the Paris accord: to peak their emissions (without limit) by 2030. Not to reduce their emissions (not one iota), but only to stop increasing emissions by 2030. Really. How is this fair to U.S. producers? Give the U.S. the same limits that China enjoys and I’m sure President Trump would sign on in a second. It’s no wonder the stock market hit a record peak Thurday, the same day Trump made his announcement to quit the accord.

The complaint by countries who have no commitment to lower emissions under the agreement is tantamount to those people who pay no taxes but receive government “benefits” chastising those who don’t want to pay their “fair share” of taxes.

Oh, wait…

For the record: I am a scientist, and I can tell you that climate change due to human activity is real. However, I do not know whether the impact of this climate change will be overall substantially negative; no one really can. Those they claim they can are being naive; the world’s ecosystem is sufficiently complex that it is unreasonable to make such claims. We can’t even accurately predict weather over extended periods.

That being said, I’d rather not gamble with all human life on Earth. I know how we fare in the current climate, and I’d like to see it continue. As a result I believe that carbon emission management is important, and I hope that we can find a way back into the environmental fold. However, it needs to be on equal footing for all participants.