Tag Archives: Environmentalism

We can see how Democrat presidential candidates would govern from Democrat-run states

California's ignorant Democrat governor Jerry Brown keeps failing
California’s ignorant Democrat governor Jerry Brown keeps failing

A lot of low-information voters decide who they are going to vote for based on the words the candidates speak, and how those words make them feel, and what their peers will think of them. They see their vote as membership in a club, not as a way to get policies that will actually produce real-world results. Thankfully, we can know what results Democrats produce by looking at Democrat-run states.

Let’s start with the Democrat-dominated state of California, which has pursued some of the most aggressive Green New Deal policies in recent years. The prediction from Democrats is that Green New Deal energy policies will lower the cost of energy and produce abundant energy to fuel economic growth. Is that what happened?

Consider this article from National Review:

More than 2 million people are going without power in Northern and Central California, in the latest and biggest of the intentional blackouts that are, astonishingly, California’s best answer to the risk of runaway wildfires.

[…]The same California that has boldly committed to transitioning to 50 percent renewable energy by 2025 — and 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 — can’t manage its existing energy infrastructure.

[…]California governor Gavin Newsom, who has to try to evade responsibility for this debacle while presiding over it, blames “dog-eat-dog capitalism” for the state’s current crisis. It sounds like he’s referring to robber barons who have descended on the state to suck it dry of profits while burning it to the ground. But Newsom is talking about one of the most regulated industries in the state — namely California’s energy utilities, which answer to the state’s public utilities commission.

So, what happened? What happened is that the Democrats pursued a pretty standard play book in which they regulated the energy industry, forcing them to focus on green energy. And the result of that policy was higher electricity prices, higher gas prices and blackouts. By the way, the utility company has filed for bankruptcy, which is certainly not going to help matters.

They really should have known that this would happen, because other countries, like Germany and Canada for example, tried it first. And the results are the same: higher electricity prices and rotating blackouts. Is it any wonder that business owners are fleeing the state, or outsourcing their operations to areas that are more reality-based?

But that’s not all. What else do environmentalists do? They block the thinning out of forests which prevents forest fires. So what happened next?

Meanwhile, California has had a decades-long aversion to properly clearing forests. The state’s leaders have long been in thrall to the belief that cutting down trees is somehow an offense against nature, even though thinning helps create healthier forests. Biomass has been allowed to build up, and it becomes the kindling for catastrophic fires.

As Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out, a report of the Western Governors’ Association warned of this effect more than a decade ago, noting that “over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires.”

In 2016, then-governor Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that had unanimously passed the state legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines.

The result of their environmentalist policies? Massive wild fires. California already has a homeless epidemic going on, and the wildfires will only make that problem worse.

But that’s not all, there’s more failure to achieve in other areas:

Californians know that having tens of thousands of homeless in their major cities is untenable. In some places, municipal sidewalks have become open sewers of garbage, used needles, rodents, and infectious diseases.

Yet no one dares question progressive orthodoxy by enforcing drug and vagrancy laws, moving the homeless out of cities to suburban or rural facilities, or increasing the number of mental hospitals.

Taxpayers in California, whose basket of sales, gasoline, and income taxes is the highest in the nation, quietly seethe while immobile on antiquated freeways that are crowded, dangerous, and under nonstop makeshift repair.

Gas prices of $4 to $5 a gallon—the result of high taxes, hyper-regulation, and green mandates—add insult to the injury of stalled commuters. Gas tax increases ostensibly intended to fund freeway expansion and repair continue to be diverted to the state’s failing high-speed rail project.

Residents shrug that the state’s public schools are among the weakest in the nation, often ranking in the bottom quadrant in standardized test scores. Elites publicly oppose charter schools, but often put their own kids in private academies.

Californians know that to venture into a typical municipal emergency room is to descend into a modern Dante’s Inferno. Medical facilities are overcrowded. They can be as unpleasant as they are bankrupting to the vanishing middle class that must face exorbitant charges to bring in an injured or sick child.

No one would dare to connect the crumbling infrastructure, poor schools, and failing public health care with the non-enforcement of immigration laws, which has led to a massive influx of undocumented immigrants from the poorest regions of the world, who often arrive without fluency in English or a high school education.

Stores are occasionally hit by swarming looters. Such Wild West criminals know how to keep their thefts under $950, ensuring that such “misdemeanors” do not warrant police attention. California’s permissive laws have decriminalized thefts and break-ins. The result is that San Francisco now has the highest property crime rate per capita in the nation.

Nothing is working. It’s a complete disaster. And it has to be blamed on Democrats, because they have super-majorities in the state House and state Senate, not to mention the Democrat governor.

Although Democrats like to present themselves as science-based and intelligent, the best way to measure scientific understanding and intelligence is by comparing intentions to results. Smart, reality-based people achieve what they tell others they will achieve. If a Democrat claims that they will get X result (e.g. – you can keep your doctor, you can keep your health plan, your health insurance premiums will go down) and they get opposite results across the board, then you know that they are not scientifically-literate or intelligent.

The best way to get the results you want is to elect people with a record of achieving results. That’s why we look at a candidate’s resume and references before hiring them – at least in the private sector. Democrat voters should know better than to hire candidates based on appearances and words and feelings. We need to learn from their failures.

Does global warming alarmism cause mass shootings of immigrants by eco-terrorists?

Elizabeth Warren is telling people that we have 11 years to live
Elizabeth Warren is telling people that we have 11 years to live

Before you can show why someone is wrong, you have to first prove that they are wrong. Right now, voices on the secular left are crying out that we have only 12 years to live unless we empower the federal government to completely revamp how Americans generate and consume electricity, Let’s take a look at their reasons for their views, and then see where their rhetoric leads.

Let’s start with this article from Reason about the doomsday predictions of darling of the left Greta Thunberg:

Such catastrophic thinking is similar to AOC’s equally apocalyptic statement that “The world is gonna end in 12 years” and Warren’s contention that “we’ve got, what, 11 years, maybe” to cut our emissions in half to save the planet.

As Reason‘s Ronald Bailey has documented, such predictions stem from a fundamental misreading of a 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That report offered up predictions in the growth of global economic activity, how it might be affected by climate change, and how reducing greenhouse gases might increase planetary GDP. It did not specify anything like a 10- to 12-year window after which extinction or amelioration is inevitable.

OK, but a lot of people are listening to the rhetoric of the environmental extremists, and they DO believe it. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have a background in science. They just believe what they hear. And some of them have decided to take matters into their own hands to stop global warming – by stopping the people who create emissions, with violence.

Quilette explains:

For over 50 years, environmentalists have argued that a significant down-sizing of American living standards is required to prevent environmental catastrophe. They have been attacking the American lifestyle since the 1960s, and Walmart since the 1990s. The El Paso shooting suspect named his manifesto “The Inconvenient Truth,” a title nearly identical to the 2006 documentary about Al Gore’s slideshow on global warming. In it, Gore says: “The truth about the climate crisis is an inconvenient one that means we are going to have to change the way we live our lives.”

[…]The suspect clearly states that his decision to kill immigrants was, in significant measure, because of their impact on the natural environment. “Of course these migrants and their children have contributed to the problem, but are not the sole cause of it,” he writes. “The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life.”

The El Paso suspect said he was partly inspired by the suspected shooter of Muslim immigrants in New Zealand in March, who also made clear in a manifesto that environmental concerns motivated his anti-immigrant ones. “Why focus on immigration and birth rates when climate change is such a huge issue?” the New Zealand shooting suspect asks. “Because they are the same issue, the environment is being destroyed by overpopulation, we Europeans are one of the groups that are not overpopulating the world.”

It is not surprising that the two manifestos echoed environmentalist ideas. For two centuries, prominent scientists, conservationists, and journalists, have blamed immigrants, the poor, and non-whites for their degradation of the natural environment. Much of what we call “environmentalism” is simply a repackaging of the ideas of 19th-century economist Thomas Malthus. He believed overpopulation of the poor would deplete resources, and that the ethical thing to do was let the poor die of hunger and disease to prevent more hunger and disease in the future. “Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits,” he wrote, “and court the return of the plague.” The British government and media used Malthus’ ideas to justify the policies that led to mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1849.

After the Second World War, leading conservationists embraced Malthus’ view that overpopulation would result in resource depletion. Their concerns were directed at poor non-whites in other countries, particularly India, even though North Americans and Europeans consumed and produced an order of magnitude more resources and pollution. Anti-humanist environmentalism came full bloom in Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 Sierra Club book, The Population Bomb, which used dehumanizing language similar to that used by today’s anti-immigrant activists. In the opening pages of his book, Ehrlich depicted poor people in India as animals, “screaming…begging…defecating and urinating.”

More recently, environmentalists and scientists concerned about overpopulation tried to get the Sierra Club to oppose immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries, expressing the concern that, by adopting an American lifestyle, immigrants will use up supposedly scarce natural resources—the same argument used by the El Paso shooting subject—and increase pollution.

Both the El Paso and New Zealand suspects echo the exaggerated rhetoric of environmentalists. “Nothing is conserved,” wrote the New Zealand shooting suspect. “The natural environment is industrialized, pulverized and commoditized.” The El Paso suspect blames “consumer culture” for plastic and electronic waste, and “urban sprawl” for environmental degradation.

So, when you see people shooting at immigrants, the reason they don’t like immigrants is not because of their race. The eco-terrorists don’t like immigrants because the eco-terrorists think that they have too many children. And concern about the world becoming overpopulated is a core belief of global warming alarmists. That’s why you keep reading stories about how the secular left thinks that it is going to save the planet by not having children.

Naturally, eco-terrorists on the secular left will be in favor of abortion. I have talked to mainstream Democrats in my office who want to use government coercion, including forced abortions, to stop “high” birth rates in poorer countries. But what if people with high birth rates won’t have the abortions that the eco-terrorists want them to have? Well, that’s when the eco-terrorists pick up weapons and go on a shooting spree. And that’s what all this unhinged rhetoric about global warming doomsday predictions produces. The secular left complains about the very mass shootings that are caused by their global warming alarmism.

And guess what? The public schools have been turning out millions and millions of environmental radicals for the past few decades. So, we’re probably going to be see more eco-terrorism, rather than less, in the near term.

Socialist Macron attacks protesters in France: armored vehicles, tear gas, water cannons, riot police

The Queen of France tells the peasants what to do if they can't afford gas
The Queen of France tells the peasants what to do if they can’t afford gas

France’s socialist leader Macron raised gas taxes in order to encourage people to drive their cars less. His gas taxes were supposed to reduce carbon emissions, and “stop global warming”. The people who have to pay those taxes, many of whom voted for him, protested. So Macron decided to persuade them.

The radically leftist New York Times reported on what Macron did:

Vincent Picard describes himself as a “militant ecologist.” But when protesters took to the streets to express their rage over a planned increase in France’s fuel tax, Mr. Picard joined their ranks.

He acknowledges that the tax might encourage the conservation considered critical for a healthy planet. But with the nearest train station 35 minutes away, he has to drive to work every day.

“I am conscious that we have reached the end of fossil fuels and that we have to modify our habits,” said Mr. Picard, a 32-year-old pastry maker from northern France. But, he added, “You have to continue to live.”

The gas tax is part of an effort started by France in 2014 to regularly raise the tax on fossil fuels to fight global climate change.

The so-called Yellow Vest protests against the tax increase have become the biggest obstacle yet to such attempts to encourage conservation and alternative energy use.

[…]Mr. Picard, the pastry chef, for instance, earns €1,280 a month, or about $1,450, after payroll taxes. For him, the planned tax increase of 6 or 7 cents per liter of gas “is enormous,” he said.

Wow, the “ecologist” (pastry chef) wants to save the planet, but he doesn’t want to have to pay for it.

This tweet made me laugh out loud:

I would be willing to bet a pay check that she's not married
I would be willing to bet a pay check that she’s a single mother

She doesn’t like the socialism she voted for, either. Taxing the rich made her feel so good, until she found out that the government thinks she is rich, and taxed her.

But isn’t green energy working in Canada?

But France isn’t the only socialist country passing carbon taxes to stop the global warming monster. Canada is doing it too, especially in the province of Ontario, where they switched from nuclear power to wind power.

Here is a helpful graphic from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank that focuses on fiscal policy:

Let's shutter the nuclear plants, and move to wind power!
Let’s shutter the nuclear plants, and move to wind power! It’s for the planet!

But it’s not just green energy, they wanted a carbon tax, too. Environmentally conscious Canadian voters handed their socialist leader Trudeau a majority government two years ago. But now that they are getting the carbon tax that they voted for, they’re having second thoughts about paying for it.

Far-left Bloomberg News reports:

Two years ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a set of aggressive policies to reduce his country’s greenhouse gas emissions, centered on a nationwide price on carbon.

As that price is about to take effect, growing opposition has put Trudeau on the defensive and has provincial governments rolling back other measures, raising questions about the appetite of this oil-exporting country to tackle climate change.

[…]The growing backlash to Canada’s climate push reflects a number of changes, experts say. Those include widespread anger in Ontario as electricity prices soared in recent years, driven in part by a shift to renewables.

Canada’s environment minister “Climate Barbie” (she has no earned degrees in climate science, or any applied science, but she sure is glamorous and hawt) says they’re going ahead with the carbon tax:

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, said in an interview that the dangers associated with global warming meant her government had to cut emissions. She said the government would proceed with its plan in the face of provincial opposition.

Canadian socialists felt so good when they elected a socialist. They wanted their carbon tax, and they thought the rich would pay for it. But just like the socialist voters in France, they are learning that they are going to have to pay for it. It felt so good to save the planet by voting for socialism… voting didn’t cost a thing, and it felt so good. You can tell your friends “I voted socialist”, and they’ll think you’re compassionate and caring. But then the bill came, and you find out that you have to pay for what you voted for.

French voters voted for socialism, and now they are getting it good and hard
French voters voted for socialism, and they’re also getting fascism for free

The nice thing about consumption taxes (e.g. – gas taxes and carbon taxes),  is that everyone has to pay for it. Income taxes are only pad by people who earn money. But consumption taxes are paid by everyone. If France is any indication about what’s ahead for Canada, then we should soon see young Canadian socialists choking on tear gas. (Maybe they will think that’s an improvement from the pot they’re smoking now that they legalized it). It’s time for Canadian socialists to understand the price they have to pay for their belief in global warming mythology. Bring. It. On.

Can a person be postmodern and a Christian at the same time?

Can a person be postmodern and a Christian? Not for long
Can a person be postmodern and a Christian? Let’s look at their leader

Wow. Postmodern “Christian” Brian McLaren has completely abandoned traditional Christianity. McLaren, you may already know, spear-headed the “emergent church” movement – an attempt to fuse postmodern relativism with liberal Christianity.

Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung analyze his latest book “A New Kind of Christianity”.

The MP3 file is here.

Details:

Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christianity
Host: Greg Koukl

Guest: Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s “New Kind of Christianity” (00:00:00)
Commentary: Reality vs. Religion? The Modern Upper Story Leap (00:56:39)
Guest: Dennis Prager – Reality vs. Religion (01:52:25)

We’re interested in the first hour of the three-hour show.

Topics of hour one:

  • What is Brian’s view of Creation?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of Scripture?
  • What is Brian’s view of Truth?
  • What is Brian’s view of sin and Hell?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of atonement?
  • How did Brian’s leftist political views infect his theology?
  • How did postmodernism affect Brian’s epistemology?
  • How faithful is Brian in interpreting the text?

There’s also a nice blog post about Brian McLaren by Melinda from Stand to Reason, too.

Excerpt:

McLaren doesn’t think the Bible is to be taken literally. For instance, the Garden of Eden story isn’t about sin and the Fall, rather it’s a “compassionate coming of age story.”  Consequently, the whole idea of sin and Hell is a horrible overreaction and has caused the church to offer a violent message and image all these years.  It follows from this interpretation then, that there is no need for the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Those are violent ideas resulting from a bad reading of the Bible.

And a couple of longer reviews are linked.

Tim Challies and Kevin DeYoung have written excellent and more in-depth reviews of McLaren’s new book and I highly recommend them.

I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and if you know anyone who is being influenced by the (non) religious left, take a look at the articles, especially the DeYoung article, which is quite good.

A generous “orthodoxy”?

And finally, here is a review of another much earlier Brian McLaren book by Biola University professor of philosophy Doug Geivett – one of my absolute favorite people. This is back when McLaren was just starting to leave orthodox Christianity behind.

Excerpt:

Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan, 2004) has been called a manifesto of the “emerging church” — a movement that is rethinking Christianity against the backdrop of postmodernism. McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md.

[…]In using the term “orthodoxy” for his position, McLaren is making a political move to subvert traditional evangelical theology. “Orthodoxy,” as he uses it, is whatever happens to be in vogue and culturally dominant. Also, an important theme among postmodernists has to do with the nature of belief — they doubt that people have, or need, good reasons to believe as they do, so they emphasize behavior over belief. (This probably explains why McLaren’s book relies less on evidence and argumentation and more on rhetoric.) However, in de-emphasizing the importance of belief, McLaren and other postmodernists overlook three things.

First, belief is the engine that drives behavior. The best way to cure wrong action is to identify false beliefs. Second, all people — even postmodernists — have definite beliefs about the things that matter most. They can’t help it. While McLaren resists the invitation to state clearly what he believes — for example, about the eternal destiny of nonbelievers — surely he has some view of the matter and that view influences his approach to the proclamation of the gospel. (As a pastor, he should have good ideas about this and a host of other issues of theological significance.) Third — though postmodernists sneer at the idea of evidence — evidence matters because it’s how we determine what’s true and is crucial to ordering our lives according to truth. In this respect, the postmodernist is out of step with the culture because human beings are by nature evidence-gatherers.

Very important to understand where these postmodern “Christians” are coming from, and where they end up when they’ve worked their mystical anti-realism through to its conclusions.

As Speaker of the House in Florida, Marco Rubio pushed for cap and trade

Marco Rubio with his allies: Democrat Churck Schumer and RINO John McCain
Marco Rubio with his allies: Democrat Churck Schumer and RINO John McCain

Somehow, I missed this story about Rubio’s support for a radical anti-business policy that is pushed by global warming alarmists. (It came up in the Fox News debate last night)

Read this from Breitbart News:

As the Speaker of the Florida state House of Representatives, now U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  was aggressively pushing for Florida to adapt to what he viewed as an inevitable “federal cap and trade program.”

In a politically damning video, Rubio backs cap and trade and argues that Florida—his state—should get in line to comply with the federal government rather than fight back.

“Florida should do two things,” Rubio said in 2008 on Florida television, in video discovered by Breitbart News.

First, Florida should position itself for what I believe is inevitable and that is a federal cap and trade program. Florida should do everything it can to be an early complier so it can access early compliance funds and so that it can help influence what that cap and trade looks like at the federal level. So I’m in favor of giving the Department of Environmental Protection a mandate that they go out and design a cap and trade or a carbon tax program and bring it back to the legislature for ratification some time in the next two years.

Cap and trade is an environmental system that hardcore liberals including former Vice President Al Gore support. A federal cap and trade program would be centered around a carbon tax.

“It will be difficult for sure but we can back away from the fiscal cliff and the climate cliff at the same time,” Gore said in 2012. “One way is with a carbon tax.”

Support for cap and trade is basically about as politically toxic a position as a Republican can take when it comes to the party’s voters, and ranks up there among GOP base voters as about as unacceptable a position as support for amnesty for illegal aliens, government-run healthcare, restrictions against the Second Amendment or support for open borders style international trade policies.

That Rubio has now racked up questionable behavior not just on immigration and international trade—which have been known quantities heading into this election cycle—but now questions about his Second Amendment stance, his actions on Obamacare, and even his work for cap and trade have conservatives questioning if there’s anything Rubio agrees with them on.

Here’s the video:

It looks like Rubio agrees with Barack Obama on this:

Yes – Rubio and Obama agree that your electricity prices should skyrocket, because we have to stop “global warming”. So pay up, suckers. You have lots of money for global warming schemes, don’t you?

In the past, I blogged about Marco Rubio’s support for amnesty, his support for Hillary Clinton’s disastrous Libya intervention, and his deliberate skipping of votes to defund Planned Parenthood to do campaign events instead. Rubio has a billionaire donor who is strongly in support of gay rights, gay marriage and amnesty – does anyone believe that he does not expect to get his money’s worth if Rubio is elected President?

And in my afternoon post, I’ll be blogging about ANOTHER time where Rubio sided with Democrats on their priorities – this time on removing the rights of people accused of rape and sexual assault on university campuses. Rubio just seems to always want to side with Democrats on their issues, and never with conservatives on our issues.

The good news about this is that we don’t have to pick a pro-amnesty, pro-cap-and-trade, pro-Libya-debacle liberal in the GOP primary. We can vote for Ted Cruz, who has made none of these mistakes.