Happy Birthday to The Pipeline!; Data Dives; & Mainstream Media Climate Corruption.
Today is The Pipeline’s third birthday, and in his Editor’s Column today Michael Walsh spends a little time looking at the statements of purpose we published when we launched, the first by our Founding Editor, John O’Sullivan, and the second by Walsh himself.
Happy Birthday to Us
Three years ago today, the-Pipeline.org published our first piece. Written by John O'Sullivan, it was our opening salvo in the war against the "man-made climate change" hoax currently bedeviling both policy makers and the public:
People all over the world live healthier, longer, and more prosperous lives with access to a range of physical, cultural, and environmental satisfactions unimaginable to our grandparents. These two aims go together in a more fundamental sense. Both improving people’s lives and reversing environmental damage depend upon technical and scientific progress and in particular upon the availability of cheap and reliable energy that powers it. It would be environmentally regressive to return to a recent world of smokestack pollution, acid rain, and wasteful energy usage; but it would be socially regressive to return to an older world of untreatable epidemics, rural backwardness, widespread malnutrition and regular famines.
Two important things have occurred in recent years to make that possible. First, environmentalism has mutated from a rational movement for prudent regulation that reconciles growth with ecology into an almost religious cult that believes all development is damaging to the environment. There are more moderate and sensible environmentalists still around, of course. Increasingly, however, extremist Greens call the shots to which politicians, governments, and activists respond.
Their leading figures predict at frequent intervals that unless their policies are adopted, the world will come to an end shortly. They are never embarrassed when the world continues and even registers improvements in environmental standards such as air quality and wider human well-being. To avert catastrophes that never arrive on schedule, they propose extreme measures on a range of matters: eradicating the use of fossil fuels on an accelerated schedule, phasing out nuclear energy production, switching to “renewable” energy sources before their reliability is established, prohibiting the building of dams that might disturb local species, and raising energy prices substantially to subsidize such changes.
"Catastrophes that never arrive on schedule," of course, have been with us for literally thousands of years. They pop up repeatedly in European history, generally religiously inspired; the End, it seems, is always Near. The poor deluded child known as Greta Thunberg, shamelessly exploited by malevolent Cloward-Piven regressives who want to impose both their lunacy and their privations on the rest of us, is just the latest in a long line of numinous crackpots who have afflicted the planet with their fantastic fears and punitive solutions.
What once was viewed as God's anger at having his commandments disobeyed has today molted into Gaia's anger at having her virginity defiled. Reversionary paganism has replace waning Christianity as the animating factor, but the principle is the same, as is the villain: us. And so I followed O'Sullivan's piece that same day with one of my own:
Today, we have the New Luddites, political "progressives" except that instead of being against the future, they are against the past, and seek to return what used to be called the First World to Third World standards of technological backwardness. Fittingly, the public face of this Green movement is that of an angry Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who has turned playing hooky from school into a career. Issuing dire warnings of geological calamity with the certainty that comes from invincible ignorance married to an unwonted sense of entitlement blended with an inherited self-loathing of her culture, she seems everywhere at once, a grim prophetess of incipient doom that would put Cassandra to shame. The doomed Trojan princess, however, was hated not because she foretold calamity, but because she was always right. Thunberg is celebrated precisely because she espies calamity, and yet is always wrong.
What has to go? Well, pretty much everything. Automobiles and airplanes, to start; they burn "fossil fuels" and therefore are contributing to the chimerical phenomenon of, alternately, global warming, global cooling, or the catch-all term, "climate change." Private cars, even those powered by electricity once the sale of petrol and diesel automobiles is banned; eventually they will have to go, too, and citizens forced into public transportation for the good of Gaia. The entire system of light and heavy manufacturing, henceforth to be powered electrically by windmills and solar panels. Homes will no longer be heated by fuel oil, but by other means -- including, presumably, heavy jackets indoors during the dead of winter, since in order to "save the planet" we will not long be burning wood, coal, or even turf. Diets will undergo drastic change, as the cattle and dairy industries come under attack. Indeed, even childbirth will be restricted.
That all of this is merely harum-scarum is self-evident. "Climate change" has been going on for centuries, with no help from mankind. The real goal of the "Extinction Rebellion" is not to rescue a anthropomorphic damsel in distress -- Mother Earth -- but to control you: where you work, what you eat, where you go (you will essentially be a prisoner in self-driving electric vehicles), how or even whether you will keep from freezing to death in the winter. Imagine a hell created by fascist vegans and you will have an idea of what Planet Thunberg will be like.
Where all of this is leading was clear to us from the start. The modern Left has long been a suicide cult, ready to bare its throats to the barbarian knives of a weaponized Islamic death cult as long as we rational creatures go with them. The problem was, not enough westerners were being killed fast enough by religious fanatics. But in "climate change," the Left has found something even better: a reason for wholesale depopulation of the planet.
Mark Mendlovitz dove deep into the data for his contribution on the feasibility of replacing Diesel Trucks with Electric Vehicles. Be sure to read the whole thing.
Outlawing Diesel Trucks Makes No 'Green' Sense
No year in California would be complete without banning more stuff or pretending the world could run on pixie dust and unicorn farts, and 2022 was no exception. Among the latest targets California’s green czars have identified for elimination are diesel trucks, including the kinds that transport goods across long distances. These heavy-duty vehicles are known in the trucking industry as Class 7 trucks (gross vehicle weight between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds) and Class 8 trucks (gross vehicle weight greater than 33,000 pounds). Cal Matters has the details:
The California Air Resources Board held its first public hearing on rules that would ban manufacturers from selling any new fossil-fueled medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks by 2040. The new rules would also require large trucking companies to convert their fleets to electric models, buying more over time until all are zero-emission by 2042. The move is part of the state’s wider strategy to end its reliance on fossil fuels and cut planet-warming emissions.
The article notes that the weight of electric truck batteries could necessitate relinquishing thousands of pounds of cargo weight, requiring more trucks and drivers on the road. It also explains that California is ill-prepared for the transition to electric trucks because of the lack of charging infrastructure and generating capacity. Still, a number of manufacturers have already introduced Class 8 electric vehicles to the market, including Freightliner, Volvo, Kenworth, Nikola, Tesla, and Lion Electric. Undoubtedly, more will follow suit.
A serious question that should precede such a major decision is, does it make sense to deploy electrically powered trucks on a large scale over diesels, especially for long-haul use? Assuming the consequent increase in electric power demands are met and recharging infrastructure is built – hardly a small feat – there are still a number of other factors to consider, such as recharge time, range (on a full charge), economics (including battery replacement and cargo displacement due to battery size and weight), energy efficiency, and environmental impact. Proponents of electric vehicles concede that impact is sensitive to the way in which electricity is generated.
Big diesel trucks can carry 300-gallon fuel tanks and have an average range of over 2,100 miles. Refilling a diesel tank takes relatively little time compared to battery charging, which is prohibitively slow with standard electric charging. A fundamental problem with battery charging is the state of charge approaches full charge inverse exponentially. That means the battery achieves a partial charge quickly, but charging decreases proportionally to the state of charge, and a full charge can take many hours.
As a result, high-power fast direct current charging (DCFC) has been developed to mitigate the delay, but it is expensive and still not widely available. Recharge time is dependent on the truck range and charger power, but as an example, Kenworth states its T680E battery has a range of 150 miles and takes about 3 hours to recharge using DCFC. Bigger batteries with longer range and greater weight are available, but the charge time increases as well. Class 8 electric trucks currently fall short of the long-haul performance of diesels, both in range and delivery schedule.
The cost of achieving greater range in big trucks is heavy – literally. Here are typical range, power, and weight combinations:
235 miles (480 kWh) = 6,600 pounds
275 miles (565 kWh) = 7,768 pounds
350 miles (750 kWh) = 10,300 pounds
A diesel day-cab may weigh about 15,600 pounds, while a comparable electric day-cab with approximately 200 miles of range weighs about 22,000 pounds. A cab with 350-mile range weighs about 29,000 pounds without a trailer. In other words, a Class 8 electric cab with a fraction of the range and significantly longer refueling/recharge time is almost twice as heavy as a comparable diesel cab.
Speaking of data dives, Peter Smith recounts a debate between Francis Menton and Lord Christopher Monckton on the feasibility of entirely replacing traditional energy sources with wind power.
Are 'Renewables' Worth the Trouble?
Tom Finnerty blogged about the growing concern (among so-called experts) that the racial make-up of Britain’s plumbers (they are overwhelmingly white) is going to harm the U.K.’s chances of achieving net-zero.
Are White Plumbers Endangering Net-Zero in Britain?
Some background: we've previously discussed the fact that three successive governments in Britain -- all ostensibly Conservative, mind you -- have committed to (and even passed legislation mandating) the U.K.'s achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. A central plank of this plan is a "20-fold increase in the number of heat pumps installed annually by 2028," despite the fact that less than 1 percent of British homes are currently heated with heat pumps, and for good reason -- they are roughly three times more expensive than the much more common gas boilers. We further noted that "They also take up a lot more space, are more expensive to operate, and work best in well-insulated houses -- not exactly Britain's strong suit." All of which is to say, the U.K.'s heat pump obsession is madness.
But this government report fretting about the racial make-up of the plumbers needed to install the new equipment is next-level lunacy. It has all the earmarks of a social panic -- around both race and the environment -- especially in a country whose population is 80 percent Caucasian, and much less ethnically diverse (contra the national self-image presented by the BBC) than the United States.
Plumbing is one of the great cornerstones of civilization, and the work of plumbers is nothing short of heroic. The dearth of young men entering the profession in the U.K. is concerning, as it is here in the U.S. And these so-called "experts" aren't wrong to suggest that that pumping up the numbers will likely require combatting existing prejudices.
But it is the content of those prejudices which they are confused about. Young people on both sides of the pond have been force-fed propaganda about the necessity of receiving university educations for their entire lives. These programs are, generally, pointless at best and destructive at worst. Much better to challenge young people to consider training for noble, and often well-remunerated blue collar jobs such as plumbing instead. Mike Rowe, host of the TV show Dirty Jobs, has been making this case for years, and would be a worthy model.
Lisa Schiffren looked into a recent report on the amount of money environmentalist foundations donate to media organizations, and the apparent return on that investment.
Greenwashing the News for Fun and Profit
If a prominent media outlet takes money from liberal philanthropies to report on "climate change," and then attributes all weather-related problems to that climate change, and never fact-checks how normal these weather phenomena actually are, what would you call that? Is it not the definition of corruption?
You'd also call it the new normal for the Associated Press – and several other outlets, all of which take funding from donors with agendas. Not surprisingly, they faithfully ascribe to "climate change" all manner of occurrence. In fact, it turns out that there are plenty of grants to go round if a media company wants to write about the climate.
Once upon a time in the newsroom, the "weather story" was generally assigned to the lowliest cub reporter, who would dutifully check the clips in the morgue and then compose her own variation on the hundreds of weather stories that had preceded the new one. "Largest snowfall in Frozen Elk, N.H. since 1986," or "hottest day in Fishburg since the summer of '42."
Today, however the weather (however unchanged) is big news. According to Fox News, the AP “took $8 million in donations to fund climate coverage in 2022.” Fox was quoting from a year-end report called The Climate Fact Check Report 2022, put together by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Heartland Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute, and the International Climate Science Coalition. It argued that climate alarmists and members of the media promulgated claims about the relationship between manmade emissions and natural disasters, “claims that clashed with reality and science.”
The organizations paying for this “philanthropy-funded news” via climate grants, are the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Quadrivium, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. An AP vice president is quoted as saying that they only accept money without strings attached. For what that's worth.
One AP article blamed climate change for flooding in Pakistan, Hurricane Ian, droughts in Europe, China, and Africa, as well as various heat waves. Heat waves in particular are always blamed on carbon emissions and the "climate change" they are said to create. That is the case even when the heat wave in question is well within the realm of normal heat waves for a country.
So ubiquitous is the ascription of all weather to climate change, that after recent devastating storms in California, the Los Angeles Times had to run a front page article on January 19th, stating that “Scientists cast doubt on storms link to climate change.” It went on to say that “as California emerges from a two-week bout of deadly atmospheric rivers, a number of climate researchers say the recent storms appear to be typical of the intense, periodic rains the state has experienced throughout its history, and not the result of global warming.” Shockingly, the report also blamed rugged topography and aging flood infrastructure, instead of “climate-altering greenhouse gas.”
The paper noted that many officials and other media had blamed the recent weather events on "climate change" but made the case that they were wrong. They quoted a scientist, Alexander Gershunov, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who said, “Assuming that these storms were driven by global warming would be like assuming an athlete who breaks a record was on steroids.” Gershunov warned that “a group I call ‘mediaologists’ always hype the current situation to make it seem worse than the last one."
And finally, retired police officer Jack Dunphy does a minute-by-minute evaluation of the footage of the recent Tyre Nichols incident to help figure out exactly what went wrong.
The Inexcusable Death of Tyre Nichols
You’ve heard the saying that one shouldn’t ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. In the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers, there is ample evidence of both….
An official autopsy report on Nichols has not yet been released, but a pathologist hired by Nichols’s family performed an independent autopsy and concluded Nichols died from “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
That’s exactly what it was, and in my judgment not a single kick, punch, baton strike, Taser activation, or use of pepper spray can be justified under the law. And while five of the involved officers have been fired and charged with murder, I believe it is the one I call Officer X who is the most culpable in the death of Tyre Nichols, for it was he who delivered the two kicks and five vicious punches to Nichols’s head that will likely prove to have been the fatal blows.
But while the incident ended in criminality, it began in incompetence. The three officers involved in the initial stop were unable to subdue and restrain Nichols even after putting him on the ground, this despite the fact that at least two of them appeared to outweigh him by at least fifty pounds. I will grant that it is not easy to handcuff someone who does not wish to be, but given the minimal level of resistance Nichols appeared to be offering, it should have been a simple matter of one officer controlling his legs while the other two each controlled an arm. If in attempting this they were still unable to handcuff him, they should have kept him on the ground until additional officers arrived.
The same can be said for when Nichols was taken down minutes later. With two, three, then four officers coping with Nichols, who was already on the ground, they should have had him in handcuffs within seconds, as even minimally competent officers could have accomplished. What instead followed was not something that even remotely resembled a lawful use of force, but rather some 3 a.m. Waffle House beat-down. It was a disgrace.
In addition to the incompetence, in addition to the outright thuggery, other failures are evident if not explicit in the videos released on Friday. At no time during the incident, despite it lasting more than a half-hour, is there any indication that a supervisor responds and takes charge. Was there a SCORPION unit sergeant on duty at the time, and if so, where was he?
Also telling is how few patrol officers responded to the incident. A foot pursuit in most police departments would bring every available officer within miles, regardless of their assignment. Here, only two patrol officers appear to have responded. To me, this says most of the patrol officers were aware of the SCORPION unit’s reputation, as reflected in this incident, and chose not to involve themselves.
Thanks for reading, and keep a look out for upcoming pieces by Richard Fernandez, Dave Cavena, and Clarice Feldman. All this and more this week at The Pipeline!