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The Two Most Destructive Frauds in History

It’s getting harder and harder to not abandon faith in the supposedly respectable institutions we once relied on, and to unequivocally reject what has become their core governing premises. So here goes: the entire “climate crisis” is an opportunistic hoax; the entire “equity” (along with diversity and inclusion) movement is a corrupt fraud. This fraud and this hoax have permeated and overwhelmed every “respectable” sector of American life, with disastrous consequences that are only beginning to be felt.

If you are someone who still has faith in the ultimate resilience of the institutions that once made America great, try to research positive new ideas. Try to identify and promote solutions to genuine challenges. Invariably as you peruse the promotional literature of today’s innovators, no matter what it is you’ve found, you’ll have to sift through endless drivel about carbon this and carbon that, along with diversity this and diversity that, before you might find any facts that matter.

This is a huge problem, because obsessive attention to climate and equity priorities, regardless of how important they may be, obscure the essence of pretty much anything, and deflect attention from whether or not it might have genuine value. We get it. Less carbon. More diversity. But does it work? Thanks to the obfuscating filters of climate and equity, separating useful ideas from monstrous scams is far more laborious than it ought to be, and all the while, the scams are getting bigger.

Climate and Equity Politics Will Destroy America

It’s becoming […] Read More

Latest Attack on Proposed Sites Reservoir – Not Enough Water

When it comes to attacking anything that will make so much as a scratch in the earth, California’s environmentalists never run out of arguments, and their litigators never run out of money.

So it goes with the proposed Sites Reservoir, which is enduring a withering new bombardment from environmentalists in the wake of Governor Newsom’s recently announced Water Supply Strategy in which the governor endorsed the Sites Project and even had the temerity to suggest environmentalist obstruction is stopping as many good projects as bad ones.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week, and dutifully highlighted in Maven’s Notebook, “California’s largest reservoir in nearly 50 years may be derailed by water shortages.” Apparently there isn’t enough water flowing down the Sacramento River to fill the 1.5 million acre foot reservoir. But that entirely depends on who you ask.

Shown below, courtesy of the US Dept. of Geological Survey, is flow data for the Sacramento River, upstream at Colusa, which is near to where the planned diversions into the Sites Reservoir will be made. The data is expressed in “CFS,” which stands for cubic feet per second.

What is immediately evident from this chart is how it vividly depicts the volume of surplus water that hit Northern California even during what has been described as the driest winter in decades. If during the on-and-off wet months from October 1 to April 30 just 20 percent of the Sacramento River’s flow had been diverted […] Read More

While California Dries out and Burns, Bureaucrats Hype Diversity

A few months ago, a friend of mine in the water business participated in a lunchtime seminar in Sacramento on the topic of how to increase diversity in the water industry. Being a civil engineer, he thought the discussion would focus on how to develop diverse sources of water in a drought stricken state. Instead, as he later related to me with refreshing clarity, “the whole event was about how to get rid of white men.”

The man who hosted this event was Wade Crowfoot, who enjoyed media adulation in 2020 when he reportedly challenged President Trump on the science of climate change. Trump, who was being briefed by California state officials on the wildfires ravaging the state that summer, had said “It’ll just start getting cooler, you just watch.” Crowfoot responded, “I wish science agreed with you.”

When it comes to who’s running California, there’s nothing unique about Wade Crowfoot. In California, reducing the percentage of white men in any position of responsibility and hyping the “climate emergency” are behavioral prerequisites for any ambitious public servant. But to hear them endlessly parrot these themes can be quite frustrating, since it deflects attention away from their poor job performance.

Crowfoot’s portfolio includes management of California’s forests, which have suffered catastrophic fires in recent years. But the reason these fires have burned with such unprecedented ferocity is not primarily due to heat waves and drought, but due to appalling mismanagement, for which we have hostile bureaucrats and environmentalist extremists […] Read More

Excess Deaths in America Are Still Excessive

Trying to accurately track COVID deaths in the United States over the past 30 months has been a fool’s errand. Even if you were to dismiss allegations that hospitals had financial incentives to overemphasize COVID deaths, you still would have to navigate the subjective territory of co-morbidities and where the line is drawn between a death truly attributable to a COVID infection, vs a death that would have happened anyway from some other terminal cause.

Thanks to these ambiguities, leavened by an assortment of institutions including the media, the government, and the medical community, that have lost almost all their credibility with countless millions of Americans, skeptics abound. Just how bad was COVID? How bad is it? Some people still think the entire epidemic was a hoax.

Through the fog of data, so it goes, deaths from pneumonia and the flu fell during the COVID era, getting moved instead to be classified as COVID deaths. According to the hoax theory, the actual danger posed by COVID was greatly overstated, because deaths caused by COVID were overstated. But there is one thing that cannot be as easily obscured via errors in classification, and that is total deaths, from all causes.

Referred to by statisticians and epidemiologists as “excess deaths,” this is a far less controversial data point. After all, it has an unambiguous essence: you are dead, or you are not dead. What may ail you, or how you died, is irrelevant. Since the COVID era began in 2020, using Read More

Questions About Water for Governor Newsom

Borrowing a page from the More Water Now campaign, which unsuccessfully attempted earlier this year to qualify a water funding initiative for the November 2022 ballot, Governor Newsom announced a new water supply strategy on August 11.

Perhaps with the presidency in mind, or perhaps because he really means it, Newsom’s remarks were surprisingly accommodating towards those of us who have been fighting for more water supply infrastructure.

For example, Newsom said “We have a renewed sense of urgency to address this issue head on, but we do so from a multiplicity of perspectives and ways. Not just from a scarcity mindset – so much of the water conversation in this state has been about conservation – but that is a relatively small component of the overall strategy we are introducing here today. What we are focusing on is creating more water, moving away from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.”

This shift in emphasis, if it is genuine, cannot come a moment too soon. Over the past decade, total water diversions for cities, farms, and to maintain ecosystems totaled 75 million acre feet per year. Every primary source for all this water is imperiled.

California’s reservoirs, most of which are in-stream, cannot be used to store water from early season storms, such as the deluge that fell in December 2021. If early season storms are allowed to fill these reservoirs, should a late-season storm hit the state, there would be no reservoir capacity left to […] Read More

Exposing the Homeless Industrial Complex

Earlier this month a guest column in San Jose Spotlight defended efforts by homeless nonprofits to end homelessness in Santa Clara County. The author, Ray Bramson, is Chief Impact Officer at the nonprofit “Destination Home,” a tax exempt organization that collected over $62 million in contributions and grants in 2020. The CEO of this organization made a reported $335,404 in that year, and one of the directors made a whopping $754,871, of which a hefty $693,186 was “base compensation.”

Let’s suppose these salaries are justifiable, since it isn’t unusual for an organization with revenue of $62 million to have executives who make that much. The problem is that this organization is the product of perverse incentives. The management of public space has been taken over by what has now become a homeless industrial complex. Organizations like Destination Home will not flourish if homelessness is eliminated. Instead, like many other prosperous nonprofits and heavily funded government programs, the more they fail, the bigger they get.

In his column, Bramson attacks his critics. He writes, “The rhetoric machine likes to foment discord with the general public. It’s either that nothing is being done or it’s being done the wrong way. We need to criminalize, blame the individual for their shortcomings, complain about costs, or find a way to protect the community first, which almost always means putting the needs of the most vulnerable people last.”

Well, in deference to Bramson, plenty is being done. But it’s being done the […] Read More

Racism to Achieve Diversity Harms All Americans

If you’ve navigated the thicket of microinstructions, hectoring, guilt-tripping, institutionalized resentment, establishment-generated misinformation, double standards, and bizarre new terminology, then welcome to the world of woke antiracism in America today.

One of the biggest absurdities spread by the woke antiracists is that white people must practice “allyship” and refrain from sharing their opinions on race relations with “people of color.” There is nothing wrong with listening as well as talking, but for white people to remain silent in the face of one of the most destructive movements in American history is negligent and cowardly.

As it is, progressive elites in America, almost all of them white, are indoctrinating nonwhites in America to believe that they live in an oppressive, racist nation. They are falsely told that unjustified police violence disproportionately targets blacks. They are falsely told the biggest threat to the nation is white supremacists. Worse still, they are told that every disparity in achievement between races is a product of white racism, and that white racists are to blame for any failures in their individual lives or within their communities.

The motivation for this indoctrination is political and economic. America’s corporate socialist uniparty—all of the Democrats and a sizable percentage of Republicans—finds power and profit in selling this narrative. It justifies expanding government, nurturing dependency, unchecked immigration, and building the welfare and diversity bureaucracies. It creates a divided and fractious electorate that is incapable of recognizing this political betrayal and unifying to stop it.

The fruits of woke indoctrination […] Read More

Newsom Promotes “Water Abundance”

Standing on the site of a new desalination facility in Antioch, Governor Newsom announced a new water supply strategy on August 11. In his remarks he introduced a disruptive and encouraging theme, one that injects long overdue and much needed balance into the discussion over how to address California’s water crisis.

“We can’t just talk about conservation,” he said, “that is a scarcity mindset. Conservation is a relatively small component of our strategy today. Now we are focusing on creating more water.”

It would be premature to be cynical about the governor’s remarks. Sooner or later, California’s ruling elite will have to face an inescapable truth: during multi-year droughts, conservation alone cannot possibly balance supply and demand for water. The shortfall, or the required sacrifices, is simply too big.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, over the past decade, total water diversions for cities, farms, and to maintain ecosystems totaled 75 million acre feet (MAF) per year. Every major source for all this water is imperiled.

To begin with, groundwater pumping, averaging 18.7 million acre-feet per year, has withdrawn water faster than it can be replenished with percolating runoff. This has caused wells to dry up, led to ground subsidence, and in some cases, is causing underground aquifers to collapse and degrade to the point where they no longer can be refilled. To restore aquifers as a sustainable source of water storage and supply, not only will annual withdrawals need to drop well below 18.7 million […] Read More

Green Fascists Are Destroying the World

Earlier this summer, the CO2 Coalition was banished from LinkedIn. The CO2 Coalition, with only three full-time employees and an annual budget of under $1 million, had committed the unpardonable sin of sharing contrarian perspectives on climate science. Its work, produced by a network of volunteers that includes dozens of distinguished scientists, offers indispensable balance on a topic that requires honest debate now more than ever.

Among the many comments that followed LinkedIn’s decision, the mentality of the climate crisis mob came through loud and clear. If “the science is settled,” then any contrary perspective is dangerous and must be silenced. A typical comment: “Why does LinkedIn allow so much Climate Disinformation to persist throughout its platform?” Brigades of these content wardens continuously log complaints with LinkedIn against climate skeptics. The impeccable work of Bjorn Lomborg is one of their next targets.

This is not the environmentalism of previous generations, and this new zealotry does not negate or diminish the common sense concern for the environment that most reasonable people share. But this new breed of intolerant, fanatical environmentalism, manifested in the movement to avert a “climate crisis,” is perhaps the most virulent and dangerous expression of fascism in America today. If left unchecked, this fascistic climate change movement will destroy freedom and prosperity while it destroys the planet it purportedly wants to save.

Ideological and Economic Fascism Combined

This is not a frivolous accusation because, in this case, the shoe fits. There are two types of […] Read More

Desalination on the Sea of Cortez

Proponents of desalination tout its potential to quench the thirst of a water-deprived civilization. The logic is compelling. If fresh water is in short supply, why not remove the salt from the vast oceans? With an estimated volume of 1.1 million billion acre feet (an acre foot is the amount of water volume that would cover one acre, one foot deep) of seawater, there will always be enough ocean.

For all its potential, desalination has yet to be a game changer. Worldwide freshwater consumption is estimated at 7.5 billion acre feet per year. Of that total, roughly 20,000 desalination plants worldwide produce an estimated 30 million acre feet of fresh water per year. That’s an awful lot of water, but it’s less than 1 percent of global water consumption.

Nonetheless, desalination plays an outsized role in arid coastal regions around the world. In Israel, for example, five massive desalination plants on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea produce nearly a half-million acre feet of fresh water per year, an amount the nation plans to double by 2030. Israel’s Sorek Desalination Plant, located a few miles south of Tel Aviv, produces 185,000 acre feet of fresh water per year, from a highly automated operation that occupies only about 25 acres. Approximately 80 percent of Israel’s municipal water comes from desalination, and this nation of 9 million people […] Read More