Interesting Items 12/09

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Landslide
  2. Good News
  3. Climate
  4. Strategy
  5. Football
  6. Battle
  7. Renewables

  1. Landslide. A cautionary piece in the American Thinker last week asked the question if there will really be a Trump landslide in 2020.  Rich Logis draws some very uncomfortable parallels with the near certainty of victory by the Hillary campaign, democrats and the media that not only would Hilly win in 2016 but would win in a landslide over Donald Trump.  Today, we are hearing similar things out of those of us on the political right, with predictions of up to a 480 Electoral Vote Trump win next year.  He then goes into the numbers and reminds us all of the overall problem the Trump campaign has today and asks precisely what has changed over the last three years.  For instance, Hilly got 85% of her Electoral Votes, 227 from only 19 states and DC.  She was just 43 EVs short at the end.  Trump won seven swing states, FL, PA, OH, MI, NC, WI and IA, with a total of 115 EVs.  If you drop OH, NC and IA, all of whom Trump won by over 4%, you are left with 75 EVs.  How could she get those 43 EVs?  Three combinations come to mind:  FL & PA, PA, MI & WI, or FL & MI.  If she wins any of those combinations, she wins the presidency with 21 – 22 states plus DC.  Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein also took millions of votes from the leading candidate totals.  And in 2016 many, many democrats stayed home.  If the rabid leftist mobs and the media can turn these people out next year, the results may be very different.  The article ends with a warning to conservatives not to give into hubris, the assumption that the battle is already won, when the truth of the matter is that it hasn’t even been joined.  We must play scared, assume we are behind, put the knife in our collective teeth, light our collective hair on fire, and go for the gold with all the energy possible.


  1. Good News. A response to this cautionary tale comes out of a Bryan Preston column entitled Here are Four Pieces of Great News for America and President Trump.  The piece details positive changes the Trump administration has made in our daily lives.  First up is unemployment which is at a historic low of 3.6%.  Unemployment rate for black women is a record 4.4%.  While the unemployment rate for black men rose to 5.9% from a historic low of 5.8% last month, it is still near its historic low.  Hispanic unemployment is 4.2%, a historic low set earlier this year.  Finally, the gap between black, Hispanic and white unemployment is the smallest gap on record.  One of the things that is driving this is massive quantities of affordable energy.  The US is now the world’s top energy producer and a new petroleum exporter for the first time in 70 years.  Violent crime rates fell 51% 1993 – 2018.  Other data has that rate down 71% over the same period.  Incessant reporting based on the old reportage notion that if it bleeds, it leads by the media in support of the anti-gun narrative has unfortunately convinced a majority of Americans that things are getting worse rather than better.  Finally, we are defeating Islamist inspired terrorism to the tune where recruitment, training and leadership are suffering.  We are defeating terrorist attacks with narwhal tusks and fire extinguishers, not a negative turn of events.  Best of all, we have fairly recent polling that shows a spike of Trump approval among blacks, above 34%.  This may be huge as Trump only got 8% of the black vote in 2016.  The NPR/PBS poll mid-November pegged his non-white support at 33%.  Both Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have gone after the minority vote the old-fashioned way, not by scaring them to death waving the bloody racism flag, but rather making the very real case asking, “What do you have to lose?”  No democrat does this, as race baiting is simply too easy and ingrained in their bodies at the cellular level.  If this is real, the democrats are in deep serious trouble.  But it is up to us to make it true, once again the old-fashioned way, campaigning in their neighborhoods while making their lives better.


  1. Climate. Three loosely related posts in WUWT ask and support the question:  What if there is no climate emergency?  The first post from Dec 1 makes the case that in the Greenland ice cores over the last 10,000 years during the Holocene, the occasional global optimum temperatures (periods of warm temperatures) has been declining over the last 3,000 years, with each high point being a bit cooler than the one before it.  The most recent of these warming periods, the Modern Holocene warming in the end of the 20th Century is beneficial to the biosphere and mankind, within normal limits, and “… sadly may not now even be occurring at all.”  So much for catastrophic global warming due to manmade emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.  This means several things, most of which are at least positive.  These include the following (paraphrased from the same article):
  • Concern over CO2, a manmade pollutant can be entirely discounted
  • Not necessary to destroy the Western world’s economy to no purpose
  • Extra CO2 is increasing plant growth and fertility
  • Warmer climates have been beneficial to civilization in the past
  • Warmer climate will be especially beneficial to the third world

These are all great outcomes, especially from a climate concern point of view.  But there is bad news in all of this, as if the periodic peaks in global temperatures have been decreasing over the last 3,000 years, where does this put us?  The bad news is that it puts us on the path (or a path) toward global cooling, a time that is not nearly as positive for humanity and civilization.  This where the other two of the three stories come in.  The second story is that early snow cover in the US set a record for early December, with at least a foot of snow falling in 25 states since winter began.  Snow was on the ground on 46.2% of all land in the Lower 48 on Dec 2, nearly double the normal coverage.  This set a record since NOAA started keeping records in 2003.  While 2003 is not that far back, this does remind us all of the dearth of detailed climate records the warmists have been taking advantage of to make their case over the last 30 years.  Final story comes out of San Francisco, which tied record cold temperatures on Thanksgiving, with the daily high never above 48 F.  The last time this happened was 1896.  The all-time low in SF was 27 F low to 35 F high Dec 11, 1932.  As I have said before, our problem is not heat.  It is cold.


  1. Strategy. A very depressing piece by Angelo Codevilla in American Greatness last Monday entitled A Deplorable Strategy Beyond 2020 painted a picture of the battle we find ourselves in with the other half of the nation.  He describes what he calls as the Ruling Class as O’Bama and the political, educational, media and corporate establishment that he represents as having come to view themselves on a plane of existence above the rest of us mere mortals.  Over time, they have come to view the rest of us as lower beings, and common citizenship no longer being possible.  Trump was elected as a shield against insult and injury from above.  Unfortunately, the Ruling Class used the 2016 results as confirmation that their judgment and views of the rest of us were correct.  In response, they launched what they call The Resistance.  And they resent in their very bones our refusal to bow to their ever-escalating demands for conformity to their whims.  Whatever happens in 2020, this battle will only escalate in intensity.  Worse, the Ruling Class rejects common citizenship, the very definition of words, and election results.  With this, even winning a bloody civil war will not be enough to defeat them, at least in Codevilla’s point of view.  What is our choice?  Go our separate ways.  Withdraw from blue strongholds.  Make our lives in parts of the country where we will at least be left alone at some level, which I think is what most of us want.  Make no mistake, the Ruling Class has amassed significant power over the last half century.  Since 2016, we have learned they like that power and have developed the taste to enjoy making us miserable.  Codevilla believes our only choice is to separate from them, their structures and priorities.


  1. Football. In the annals of Stupid Guy Tricks, things range from the extreme (Darwin Awards), where people (generally guys) painfully self-select out of the gene pool, to less deadly, but just as stupid, activities.  A week ago, at the Egg Bowl, a yearly rivalry SEC college football game between Mississippi State and University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), a post-touchdown end zone celebration ended up costing Ole Miss the game.  Ole Miss scored a touchdown with four seconds left.  This got them within a point.  Kick the extra point and send the game into overtime is generally the correct coaching choice.  Occasionally, you get a coach who goes for two points and the outright win, not this day, though.  A couple Ole Miss players celebrated the score by getting down on all fours and lifted a leg, pretending to do what dogs do to mark their territory.  Not surprisingly, the referees flew a flag for unsportsmanlike behavior, moving the extra point 15 yards farther back to the 35-yard line.  The kicker promptly missed the try, handing the game to Mississippi State, who were quite happy with the unexpected gift.


  1. Battle. The NYT ran a pair of extensive pieces last week.  The first was entitled How a Divided Left is Losing the Abortion Battle.  It was immediately followed by a second article entitled Uncharted Territory on Abortion Politics.  Both stories focused on what the reporters believe are “recent missteps and miscalculations made by abortion rights groups.”  While the articles celebrated political victories by pro-abortion groups, they decried the pushback by pro-lifers, particularly in the south and west.  Completely unaddressed in the articles was video of Planned Parenthood profiting from sale of infant body parts, the chop shop for babies’ side business they’ve gotten themselves into.  Completely ignored was the absolute glee with legislative embrace of abortion at ANY point during pregnancy by NY, RI and an attempt to do worse in VA, where democrat Governor Ralph Northam publicly supported infanticide.  Anti-abortion legislation in more conservative states is offered precisely because of the in-your-face celebration of infanticide by democrats and their cheerleaders in the media.  Lots and lots of words but precious little analysis or understanding of what is going on and most importantly, why.


  1. Renewables. A final piece out of WUWT last week was a detailed look at excess costs of UK renewable energy in 2018.  The analysis finds that the current capital cost of the current UK renewable generation fleet is around 84 b £ with the long term (60 year) costs around 350 b £.  In comparison, for the same gas-fired generation would only be 7 b £ with the long-term cost only around 31 b £, less than a tenth of the cost for renewables.  So, like what are they paying for?  More importantly, precisely what privilege are the rest of us paying for at 10x the long-term cost over six decades?  The problem gets even worse when you consider that renewable (other than hydo) are not 24/7 energy producers.  For instance, in Britain, renewables are consistently less than 22% of their installed nameplate rating.  Comparative costs of renewables consistently ignore the following costs:


  • Intermittent and variable energy production costs
  • Poor timing of generation, uncoordinated with demand
  • Additional transmission for renewables and their intrinsic losses
  • Additional infrastructure costs
  • Costs of redundant backup spinning generation
  • Unsynchronized generation
  • Inability to recover from a black start, essential after a failure

There are additional costs never considered:

  • Carbon footprint of renewables
  • Energy return on energy invested

Onshore wind achieves a generation capacity around 25% of installed capacity.  Offshore win is more variable at 35%.  Solar in the UK is consistently at the 10% level.  The costs of all of these are a regressive tax burden imposed on the less affluent in the UK by its decision to impost renewables upon the nation.  Overall, renewables are consistently 2.5x the cost of nuclear energy and 16x the cost or gas fired generation at least in 2018.

More later –

– AG


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