If the definition of insanity is doing the same over and over again and expecting a different result then both the state of California and, most especially, its governor Gavin Newsom, are certifiably bonkers.
See if you can spot the insanity contained in this report on Newsom’s response to the blackouts:
Though the state would continue its “transition” to 100% renewable energy, Newsom said, “we cannot sacrifice reliability as we move forward in this transition.”
Just moments earlier, Newsom had fessed up to the fact that California’s over-reliance on renewables – wind and solar – was directly responsible for its power shortages. So by what contortion of logic can it possibly make sense for California to commit itself to doing more of the very thing that caused its current crisis?
That’s what ‘transition’ means, by the way. It’s the green movement’s codeword for ‘abandoning cheap, effective energy like coal, gas, oil and nuclear and replacing it with expensive, intermittent energy like wind and solar.’
No successful economy has ever done this. Those that have tried – such as the state of South Australia – have had the same result as California: rocketing electricity prices; blackouts and brownouts; an exodus of businesses; misery and disruption for everyone unfortunate enough to still live there.
The reason for this is that renewables – aka unreliables – are completely unsuited to providing base load power for a First World economy. (Or even a Third World economy, come to that). If the wind isn’t blowing (as is quite often the case when electricity is most needed: in the heat of the day or in the still depths of winter) or the sun isn’t shining (which it doesn’t at night, for example), then you need back up power from fossil fuels or nuclear. But if you’ve started scrapping your nuclear and fossil fuel power plants for ideological reasons, like California has, then pretty soon you’ll find yourself back in the pre-industrial idyll so many greenies yearn for: the Stone Age.
Not only do renewables fail to provide the reliable, cheap energy a functioning economy needs but they also fail on environmental grounds. I call wind turbines bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes because of the millions of bats and birds they slaughter every year.
They are made partly with poisonous rare earth minerals dug up in hideously polluted regions of China. They despoil the landscape, ruin views and disturb residents with their low frequency noise and shadow flicker.
Why would anyone with a moral conscience champion these expensive, environmentally destructive monstrosities?
The answer is that no one with a moral conscience does.
It’s why, for example, there is now a bitter division on the left between those watermelon ideologues (green on the outside, red on the inside) who see renewables as a vital tool in destroying Western industrial civilization and those such as activist filmmaker Michael Moore who recognise their true evil.
That was why left-wing activists tried to cancel Planet of the Humans, the anti-renewables documentary that Michael Moore executive produced.
Planet of the Humans was never meant to be an anti-renewables documentary. It just ended up that way when its director/presenter Jeff Gibbs – himself a green activist – did his research and saw the light.
As I reported earlier this year:
Gibbs follows the money trail and discovers — quelle surprise! — that the people and organizations most assiduously stoking the war on fossil fuels and most aggressively promoting “renewables” as an alternative are invariably the ones who stand to benefit most financially.
Among the Hall of Shame: Canadian activist Bill McKibben; Al Gore; Van Jones; Robert F Kennedy Jr; Jeremy Grantham; Michael Bloomberg; Richard Branson.
These are revealed to have an unhealthily cozy relationship with green NGOs like the Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy, which mouth the usual environmental pieties while yet quietly promoting energy which is every bit as environmentally destructive as fossil fuels.
The worst of these, the documentary suggests, are biofuels and biomass. We visit one biomass plant on the shores of Lake Superior — awarded a $11.5 million government grant because it qualifies as “renewable” energy — which encourages its green wood chips to burn with the help of tire fragments and creosote (causing the snow to turn black).
Another left-leaning green activist turned renewables dissenter is Mike Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.
As a Californian – and aspirant California governor – Shellenberger is well versed in exactly how California got itself into this mess.
Not the first time @GavinNewsom has said he would take responsibility and that this wouldn't happen again
After last October's black-outs he said, “I own this" and “It’s on me to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” https://t.co/s1Rz2Gswl3
— Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) August 17, 2020
It is, he has reminded us in a series of tweets, an entirely unforced error – borne of green ideology entirely divorced from any cost benefit analysis or even a basic understanding of energy economics.
– is imposing black-outs for a 2nd time in a year
– saw electric prices rise 6x more than rest of US, 2011 – 2019
– is shutting down last nuclear plant which creates cheap, clean, reliable power to 3M people
– is the model Democrats want to impose on the rest of US
— Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) August 15, 2020
Here is the back story:
Don't believe what they say about Calif. blackouts
They result from *political* failure to hold PG&E accountable after $21 BILLION bail-out
Failure stems from decades-long focus on climate/renewables instead of fortifying electric grid & a weak, distracted governor
— Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) October 27, 2019
California’s energy woes, he explains, are the result of corruption and blinkered green ideology.
Oil interests and anti-nuclear Malthusians joined forces under the leadership of Gov. Jerry Brown, first elected in 1974 Brown’s family owned a lucrative Indonesian oil import concession Brown’s advisor & fundraiser was father of current Gov. Newsom who worked for Getty Oil
As soon as he took office @JerryBrownGov took action to protect his family’s oil monopoly and work to kill the building and expansion of nuclear power in California, which most threatened the wealth of his family & that of the Gettys & Newsoms
How could they justify killing nuclear power plants while maintaining legitimacy as people who cared about the natural environment and air pollution? Easy: by promoting renewables
California invested massively in renewables starting the 1970s with disastrous consequences The solar farms were technical and economic failures and wastes of taxpayer investments. They were mostly abandoned The wind turbines installed devastated hawk & eagle populations
Under Jerry Brown & Gavin Newsom, California’s governors have focused like a laser on awarding renewables & battery contracts to friends & political allies while killing the state’s last nuclear plants, San Onofre & Diablo Canyon
But perhaps one good thing may yet emerge from this disaster: California will now act as a salutary warning as to what the rest of the U.S. will look like if Biden wins the presidential election.
As Shellenberger warns in Forbes, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris see California as the template for America’s post-Green New Deal future.
At the Democratic National Convention this week, presidential and vice-presidential candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will make the case for spending $2 trillion, or $500 billion per year, to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels toward renewables like solar and wind.
Biden has said he would not “tinker around the edges” with his plan. “We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity.”
Or, as he might more succinctly have put it: ‘Vote Democrat; Vote Green Suicide’.