Category Archives: Energy

The Unintended, Destructive Consequences Of Renewables

Energy, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Left-Liberalism, Technology

The Left discovers what rightist conservationists (at least this one) have known for so long. I wrote about how “Commies Cars” (electric cars) trash the environment as far back as … 2002:

Perhaps the biggest obfuscation in the gimmick-car racket—which President Bush has fallen for, if to judge from his energy plan—has to do with the source of the energy. Whether a vehicle is propelled by hydrogen-powered fuel cells or electricity, both electricity and hydrogen don’t magically materialize in the vehicle. They must first be generated. Be it coal, natural gas, nuclear or a hydroelectric dam, these cars are only as clean as the original source of energy that generated the vim that powers them.

(Commie Cars.”)

And from my: “NIMBYs: Not-In-My-Backyard Environmentalists”:

Mining for rare earth metals is not the cleanest undertaking. Hybrid hypocrites prefer by far that it be done by the poor villagers of the Baiyunkuang District of Darhan Muminggan in Inner Mongolia, northern China. There lie the largest deposits of rare earth metals. The Prius is packed with the stuff.

Liberals don’t grasp that the more expensive it is to bring a source of energy to market the greater the pollution it generates.

Now Tucker is popularizing Michael Shellenberger’s wisdom on the problems with renewables:

… solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, and are opposed by local communities and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.

Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.

… What kills big, threatened, and endangered birds—birds that could go extinct—like hawks, eagles, owls, and condors, are wind turbines.

In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with.

Solar farms have similarly large ecological impacts. Building a solar farm is a lot like building any other kind of farm. You have to clear the whole area of wildlife.

In order to build one of the biggest solar farms in California the developers hired biologists to pull threatened desert tortoises from their burrows, put them on the back of pickup trucks, transport them, and cage them in pens where many ended up dying. …

it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.

You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural.

Dealing with energy sources that are inherently unreliable, and require large amounts of land, comes at a high economic cost.

Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet,” written by Michael Shellenberger.

UPDATED IV (4/4/019): Did Stefan Molyneux Fail To Properly Credit Ideas From My Book, ‘Into the Cannibal’s Pot’?

Energy, Ethics, History, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, Logic, Morality, South-Africa

The implication in this Southern Poverty Law Center article is indeed that, in a 2015 video, vlogger Stefan Molyneux liberally used the material from my book, “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” published in 2011.

The authors at SPLC hate me just as much, so they don’t care to harp on unethical use of material they had traced to me (“Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa”), if there was any. Still, their facts imply that no attribution was made or  direct credit given to me for a Molyneux podcast based on the rather idiosyncratic ideas that came from a chapter in Cannibal titled “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70).

Writes the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In 2015 Molyneux published a video wherein he quoted an unnamed historian who claimed that “Apartheid wasn’t an expression of racism but concern over the survival of the white population.” The source for this quote is Ilana Mercer, a paleolibertarian writer and pro-Trump activist. Mercer’s 2011 book, which forms the basis for Molyneux’s YouTube video, is entitled “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.” The tome received a glowing review from Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance website. “Apartheid was never based on a theory of racial supremacy; rather, it was a survival strategy for the badly outnumbered Boers,” the review reads. This is a mirror image of Molyneux’s sleight of hand: a decontextualized racism is deemed immoral but it is argued that Apartheid makes sense. The real message Molyneux and Taylor are delivering to their audiences is that the application of racial discrimination in South Africa was essential to ensure white survival (read: dominance) and that force and laws should be applied to keep different races apart.

Of course, the ideas in my chapter, “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70), are not quite those expressed by the second-handers.

In any event, one gets accustomed to such lowly practices in this business. But if this is indeed true, and Stefan Molyneux had failed to fully credit this author for ideas that are nearly verbatim from “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70)—then this is a new low.

Citing one’s sources is the very essence of ethical thinking and writing. If you don’t, you can’t claim to be an ethical thinker, much less a thinker. You lose all credibility.

It’s also so unmanly—and oh so very common. Yuk.

UPDATE I (11/27):

As was said, “Citing one’s sources is the very essence of ethical thinking and writing. If you don’t, you can’t claim to be an ethical thinker, much less a thinker. You lose ALL credibility.”

Ever wonder why Stefan Molyneux, and many men on the so-called hard right (some of whom came well after me), have never asked me (one of the few people who knows the ins-and-outs of apartheid South Africa) on their shows to speak to matters South African (or to any other matters)?

A LOT OF men are simply uncomfortable with certain women. (Hint: Young blondes showcase them better and are easier to best.) As a result, libertarian men (or mini-men) end up mouthing crass, historically wrong, right-wing talking points, on their shows, about my birth place. Coming from libertarians, this laxness is a disgrace.

At least credit your sources if you don’t want to engage the writer! Before Into the Cannibal’s Pot, nobody spoke about South Africa in any meaningful way in the US, other than the praiseworthy WND reporters, and one or two others liberally credited in my book. You see, I cite my sources (primary and secondary) religiously. Again, many of the johnny-come-lately sorts whom the Mini-Men aforementioned (or hinted at) interview on their limited shows speak a load of right-wing crap about South Africa.

Still and all, some ideas are too idiosyncratic to be generic—which is the case with a hell of a lot of what’s in Into the Cannibal’s Pot.

UPDATE II (11/28): “The Art of the Ego: Review of Stefan Molyneux’s Stupid Book”

If you can get past the author’s redundant liberal preening (it sullies a solid piece), Alexander Douglas makes short work of Stefan Molyneux’s short-on-logic book.

… Molyneux’s first few chapters outline some basic principles of logic. His explanation of ‘logic’ is as terrible as you might expect from someone with neither qualifications nor natural talent (see this review). Molyneux is one of these people who thinks that (barely) being able to do the First Figure Syllogism is ‘knowing logic’?—?the logical equivalent of the Astonishing Human Calculator who can add single-digit numbers in mere seconds or Sir Andrew Aguecheek who can speak languages without book. The really telling thing, however, is how Molyneux deals with his own ignorance. …

… Here is what he says about abduction, for example … Now, many people don’t know what abduction is. Nothing wrong with that. And you might find yourself in an exam, where you’re asked to define abduction, and maybe you missed that lecture, or you drifted off, or you just can’t remember. Then you might just write some bullshit, hoping to get a few marks. Perfectly acceptable behaviour. But if you’re writing a book on reasoning, and you remember that abduction is a form of reasoning but you can’t quite remember what it is?—?can you imagine in that circumstance just writing down some bullshit and hoping to get a few marks? Wouldn’t you just google it or something? Imagine being so devoid of intellectual humility. …

… It does help to show that, while logicians have no claim to be any better at informal reasoning than anyone else, there is such a thing as being godawful at informal reasoning. I’m not sure I knew that before looking at this book. But Molyneux is as bad at reasoning as he seems to be at everything else. Yet somehow, through some Dunning-Kruger pathology, he seems to regard himself as good enough to educate others. He is desperately in need of education himself, although I wouldn’t blame you if you preferred to put him ‘through the fist’ (“There are only two ways to resolve disagreements: through The Argument, or through the fist”). …

Myself, I’ve never been able to get through anything Molyneux writes. Other libertarians, systematic thinkers all, have said the same. My favorite, David Gordon, calls Molyneux’s arguments “often preposterously bad.”

“A (Tiny!) Bit More on Molyneux,” also by Alexander Douglas, delves into the problems of logic.

UPDATE III (11/29/018): On crap output and arrogant overreach. As someone who labors over every sentence she puts out (to the best of my abilities, which are respectable but far from infallible), these points, as made by a professional logician, are good.

Alas, and as noted by Tocqueville in the 19th century and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th, conformity of thought and anti-intellectualism are powerfully prevalent among Americans (the kind who follow Stefan Molyneux type Svengalis) .

Molyneux on logic just humiliates himself. And frankly it’s irritating to have spent years of hard study trying to master some elementary logic and then have some pontificating fraud claim the right to lecture others without doing any work at all

An Open Letter on Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux” By Alexander Douglas.

UPDATE IV (4/4/019):

List Of Day-One, Trump Executive Orders

Donald Trump, Economy, Energy, IMMIGRATION, Islam

No mention of The Wall, or protections against an ongoing influx of Islam:

* A notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership
* Cancel restriction on the production of American energy, clean coal included.
* For every regulation, two will be eliminated. (Why is the cancellation of bad regulation predicated on creation of new regs?)
* Develop right away a plan to prevent cyber attacks and other attacks on vital infrastructure.
* Immigration: Investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut American workers. (But many of the programs do just that by definition. See “Why Aren’t The H-1B Hogs Satisfied With The O-1 “Extraordinary Ability” Visa?”)
* Five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave office. Lifetime ban on the same sorts lobbying a foreign government.

TRUMP @ 1238 Says ‘Market Forces Are Beautiful’ & Other Lovely Things

Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Economy, Elections, Energy, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Regulation, Republicans

Twenty eight minutes and 27 seconds into this YouTube of his press conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, Donald Trump emerged to take questions: He has reached and surpassed the 1237 delegate threshold. Behind him stand “the folks, delegates, who got him over the top.”

Trump sounded masterful—and mirthful. If only he put on this hat all the time:

* About Obama badmouthing Trump at the G-7 summit: “It’s good, although Obama used a business term, rattled, and he known nothing about business. It’s good that world leaders are “rattled” by him, Trump. As for Obama’s assessment of his, Trump’s, ignorance, basically who’s he to talk? “Obama has done a horrible job. He’s got to say something. Every time he has a news conference he talks about Trump. Obama has not done a good job; we’re divided, we have tremendous difficulties.”
* VP: We are not going to pander and get a woman or minority just for show. We’ll have women involved, as we do now, but “we’re looking for absolute competence.”
* Hillary: No I don’t want her out of the race.


I want to have her in the race. The report is devastating. She’s skirting on the edge. This is her history of bad judgement. I love watching Hillary fight. She can’t close the deal.
* Message to Suzanna Martinez. Nothing much.
* The HuffingtonPost; I don’t read it. Do they cover politics?
* Muslim ban: We’ll look at the solutions. (As of this moment, the ban, it would seem, stands.)
* I’d love to debate Bernie Sanders … for charity. The problem with debating Sanders is that he is going to lose the nomination, as the system is rigged.
* Debating process: We’re not debaters, we businessmen; we put people to work. We businessmen don’t talk, we do.
* Regulating energy: The Federal government should get out of the way. They’ve put the coalmines out of business—which is what Hillary has promised. Energy independence and exporting energy is what Trump promises. Coal can be restored, if regulations are reduced. All I can, says Trump, is free-up coal and let the market work. Market forces are a beautiful thing.
* Give the people of the US a piece of the profits from the Keystone Pipeline and other such projects.
* Lower taxes are key to economic vitality. America is over-regulated. Regulation is even more of a problem than taxes, which will go down.
* About Elizabeth Warren aka …


* On first-day duties: Trump will be “unwinding various executive orders,” not least the ones affecting the porous border on the country’s Southwest.
* Intends to make use of the Republican campaign-infrastructure machine.
* “I won’t forget Indiana.”
* Fracking and our feathered friends: Bernie will ban it; Hillary will ban it. We’re going to open it up. Solar is expensive. It has a 30-year payback. And it’s killing all the eagles in California, one of the most beautiful and treasured of our birds.
* Blessed be the Farmers.
* Accursed is the New York Times, which doesn’t need Donald’s help in discrediting itself.

So what if Trump forgot to bless the cheese-makers: